October 20th 2014! Under the hot sun in Santiago, Dominican Republic, the warm love of God could be felt through the establishment of the 4th World Camp. The World Camp, which was held from the 20th to the 23rd, attracted approximately 1700 students from various South American countries such as Peru, Chile, Mexico and Columbia. God’s grace came roaring down like a tidal wave, in the World Camp.
Food, accommodation, T-shirts, transport and almost all things were prepared by the city of Santiago. You could see the care that the city of Santiago was taking to promote the IYF by preparing a Cantata for businessmen and an Exposition parade participation.
In less than two hours of registration in the morning, so many people came, exceeding the expected number of people. How could so many students know about the World Camp? The interest and curiosity that the Dominican students have towards the World Camp seemed to be more ablaze than anywhere else.
Before the start of the opening ceremony, there was a press conference with Gracias Choir. The Gracias Choir, during the conference presented wonderful songs to the reporters and the atmosphere of the press conference became very warm and enjoyable.
At seven in the evening the long-awaited Opening Ceremony finally began! Although the large hall had 1600 seats there were not enough so the participants had to resort to sitting in the corridor or the stairs to accommodate all 1800 people. As the ceremony started with the Dominican Traditional Dance, each performance such as the Righteous Stars, Taekwondo Dance and the African traditional dance were all met with thunderous applause and delightful cheers from the crowd.
“Desde ahora el día 20 de octubre, empezamos el cuarto Campamento Mundial de juventud!!” “Desde ahora el día 20 de octubre, empezamos el cuatro Campamento Mundial de juventud!!” (Today in the 20th of October, we will begin the fourth Youth World Camp!) The students began to cheer very heatedly, as Pastor Kim gave his opening remark. The Mayor of Santiago gave a word of thanks to the IYF who prepared this World Camp, and also the many businessmen who helped support this event. Also, he hoped that through the Gracias Music School that would open tomorrow; many Dominican students would become prepared musicians. He delivered his heart, saying that he hoped that the IYF would lead the future leaders to the right path.
Afterward the song of ‘Pearly Shells’ bounced around the hall as the performance of Gracias Choir began to give a feeling of the beach. In the darkness, with all the spotlights on the Choir, the students’ eyes began to sparkle. Where else would they be able to hear such music. The song of Gracias Choir, which rings in the heart of the people, began to make to participants’ heart sink in it.
“Saber que se puede, querer que se pueda quitarse los miedos sacarlas afueraPintarse la cara “Saber que se puede, querer que se pueda quitarse los miedos sacarlas afueraPintarse la cara color esperanza tentara futuro con el corazón -” “We know that we can do it, and looking at what we can do we take away our fear. Let’s colour our faces with hope and go towards the future with our hearts –“ The students sang along with the choir who sang ‘Color Esperanza’, meaning that we should get rid of fear and have hope instead. As they sang verse by verse, the song began to sink deeper and deeper into the hearts of the students. It seemed like the IYF wanted to gift a song in their hearts through the World Camp.
Continuing on, Pastor Young Kook Park delivered his message. “Everyone! We want to give you hope and happiness. That is because you are our future. Am I right? Am I?” “Si!!” (“Yes!!”) “You are our future! That is why you need to receive a good education and you also need to have a warm heart.”
“God has put the most precious things in the lowest place. You can find diamonds deep into the mountain or underground. Oil? Oil is very important, right? You can find it deep inside the earth. Just like how God put those precious things into those deep places it is the same with wisdom. People who think that they themselves are good cannot gain wisdom. That is because, in order to receive wisdom, you need to have the lowest heart. But I hope that through this camp, you will find wisdom! If you gain this wisdom you will live a very different and surprising life.”
In the VIP Reception, 300 VIPs of all levels of authority participated to decorate the Opening Ceremony. Also, the mayor worked hard to introduce people, in person, to the IYF The IYF World Camp will plant unforgettable dreams and hopes inside of the students of South America.