I attended the first Music Camp in the Dominican Republic. We arrived a week early in order to prepare, however it was our first overseas Music Camp, and in addition the Choir remained in the U.S to prepare for a competition; therefore a few orchestra members were left to manage the Music Camp.
While preparing we lacked much wisdom, but what also troubled us was whether students would attend or not; we were not sure. Then two days before the start of the camp we held an audition and were shocked by arrival of young students. Starting from students who were 5~6-years-old, there were students in their twenties and thirties, and the majority of them had no experience in music.
That is how the camp began. Pastor Young Gook Park came and told us on the first night during the teachers’ meeting that when God decided to send Jesus Christ to this earth, God proclaimed that we were already righteous; likewise God was pleased with this camp and would work with a will. If God possesses a will, then there is no choice but for it to be fulfilled. Furthermore, our director told us that they were not just students, but were people who were going to lead the Dominican Republic standing on the same stage we were standing on. When I heard those words, I realized how different they were from my heart which wanted to work without experiencing any problems and spend a good time with students in a good atmosphere. It was so different from the heart of God, and caused me to be much ashamed. I threw my heart away on the spot and accepted the pastor’s and director’s heart.
Then from the next day, I began to preach the gospel to students during group meeting time. Their interest in spiritual life was deeper than what I had expected. When I asked them what I must do to enter heaven, one student said that you had to memorize a Bible verse and devote your life to God, love your neighbors and honor your parents, attend church and volunteer diligently. Although they were young students, I discovered how in the corner of the heart they had interest towards the spiritual world. I was so grateful.
While I preached the gospel I spoke about a perfect method and an imperfect method; I told them that working with our zeal is an imperfect method that cannot be fulfilled; however Jesus Christ is the perfect method. As the first, second and third day passed, I saw how students changed as they heard the gospel from the pastor during Mind Lecture time and the Word which was shared during group meeting. From the 5-year-old child who lied about his age due to the 9-years-old age limit, the 33-year-old youth who came from his workplace, even to the married lady; everyone received salvation. On the last day we tried to test them to make their gospel waver, but we observed how the gospel had been solidly established in their hearts. It was so grateful and overwhelming.
There was a Music Concert on the last day, and we told the people who came: “There are many talented musicians in the world. These students who attended the Dominican Republic Music Camp are still young and lack music skills. Nevertheless, these students will become musicians who will lead the Dominican Republic because we teach them how to mind control. Many musicians are unable to control their minds, and so though they have outstanding talent and quality instruments, they easily falter and give up. The power to control the mind is inside the Word of God. Our students learn this Word. That is why our students are different. I was so hopeful, overwhelmed, joyful and thankful.
I attended the camp as a teacher who had to lead and teach students, but throughout the camp God truly put my heart to shame. While preaching the gospel to students, I as a person was so dirty before the extremely clean and precise Gospel. I saw how compared to the students who opened their hearts to me and approached me, my heart was full of calculations, and lived only living for myself. However, I lowered myself who was like that, and throughout the camp I relied on God and was able to see Him work up close, and was so thankful to be in that position. What changes students is not a good lecture nor quality music, but it the gospel and the God who made music. It was such a thankful time.
After the Closing Ceremony ended on the last day, when greeting the students the native translating volunteer and students all cried and did not want to separate. The camp has ended and I have left the Dominican Republic, but I still cannot forget the students’ faces and miss them so much.