[Uganda] The ‘Education Needed in Uganda’ – Meeting with President of Uganda and Pastor Ock Soo Park
– “We will support you with land or building etc. everything needed for the mind education.”
– Scheduled to meet again with the President and Education Minister on August 5th for detailed plans On July 26th, the meeting with the President of Uganda and Pastor Ock Soo Park took place miraculously. Originally, the schedule of the President was to attend the retreat of cabinet ministers and vice-ministers from morning, but he made time specially to meet with Pastor Ock Soo Park.
The meeting between Pastor Ock Soo Park and the President of Uganda is the fourth time but each time, the meeting did not take place by coincidence. The heart of meeting the President was in the Pastor’s heart since long before and expressed this to Missionary Hyeong Jin Kim of Uganda every time they met. For the mind lecture and inviting Pastor Park, Missionary Kim requested a meeting with the First Lady and finally met in late May.
The First Lady was happy about the mind education and expressed her wishes for Pastor Ock Soo Park to visit Uganda and to meet with the President and educate the youth about the mind. Therefore, another appointment was requested for the First Lady’s office and the President’s office in July when the camp was scheduled to be held. However, there was no call from the office for over a month and a half. When finally reached, we were told that the President would be gone on a retreat for the cabinet ministers and vice-minister from the 26th of July until the 2nd of August. The circumstances were impossible, but we received a call on the day Pastor Ock Soo Park arrived in Uganda, on the 25th, that a meeting with the President was confirmed for the morning of the 26th.
Pastor Ock Soo Park entered the State House on the 26th escorted by the police vehicles prepared by the State House of Uganda. There were many reporters and the General Manager of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development was also present. They were called by the President for the meeting.
The President greeted us in Korean, “안녕하십니까?” and immediately recognized Pastor Ock Soo Park saying, “Didn’t we meet in Korea?”
The President asked how the mind education was going to be carried out and Pastor Ock Soo Park answered, “Most people educate the youths saying ‘don’t play games or don’t take drugs,’ but we explain the structure of people’s minds and lead their hearts. As a pastor, after I discovered the world of the heart through the bible, I am writing books and teaching many people. Among the parables spoken by Jesus in the bible, there is the story of the Prodigal Son. The second son’s body was dirty and in difficulty but when his heart went to his father, we can see him gain hope and happiness. I give education that plants hope in the hearts of people such as those who have lost their jobs and fallen into difficulty and make them bright and happy. Mr. President, we want to work in Uganda for 10 years.” The President was delighted and he asked what Pastor Park would like to do first and how he could help.
Pastor Ock Soo Park replied, “First, we want to carry out education for the teachers. If you give us land, we will build a building there. Before we built the building, if you give us a building where 1,000 people can gather, we will begin the mind education immediately. The First Lady seemed to be extremely interested in youth education and I heard she has become the Education Minister lately. If your Excellency and the First Lady would help us, we will begin working immediately.” The President gave a satisfied “OK” and asked when the Pastor was scheduled to return to Korea, suggesting that they meet again a week later with the First Lady to discuss detailed execution plans. An appointment was made for Pastor Ock Soo Park, the Ugandan President and the First Lady to meet again on August 5th.
The President expressed that he had a lot of interest in Pastor Park’s mind education saying that living with negative thoughts will make people give up their life while living with positive thoughts will awaken the potential and consciousness within a person. He wanted to show the positive way to the youths and the bible showed many examples of turning away from the bad way and going to the good way. Therefore, it would be better if Pastor Ock Soo Park taught the youths, and real outcomes of this education have been seen in Korea. Moreover, there are many conditions to utilise to their advantage, but there needs to be a change in attitude first. Hence, the mind education is important and formality without contents of change can never be successful which is why mind education should be implemented in higher education first.
Afterwards, there was the performance of the Gracias Choir. They sung a Ugandan local song and the President listened joyfully as he tapped his hands on the table along with the rhythm.
After listening to the song, the President spoke about Christianity. He remembered Pastor Ock Soo Park as the pastor that preached the gospel.
Although the meeting lasted only 30 minutes, the President understood that the mind education was needed in Uganda and scheduled to meet again and discuss detailed plans on August 5th.
Before Pastor Ock Soo Park left for the airport, he preached the Words to the brothers and sisters at the church for 15 minutes.
Although it was a short visit to Uganda for half a day, we could see God open a great door of the gospel.