MOU Ceremony between the IYF and the Minister of Education
The wind of the Mind Education flowing in Ethiopia is very strong. After the first visit of Pastor Ock Soo Park to Ethiopia in August, 2016, exactly according to the promise of God, the door to preach the gospel has been opened wide. Especially, through the meeting with the Minister of Youth, Shiferaw Mariam, and the Governor of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, which took place during the second visit of Pastor Ock Soo Park in December, the Mind Education was able to be clearly explained to the government. Both the Minister and the Governor were in agreement that the Mind Education was something that was essential in Ethiopia today. The Ethiopian government chose the Mind Education in order to lead the hearts of the youth and wanted to begin this education as soon as possible.
On the 15th March, 2017, Pastor Ock Soo Park visited Ethiopia for the third time. Because it was a very tight schedule, especially after the Christian Leaders Fellowship in the USA, this was a visit that was made possible by the sincere request of the Minister of Education. The Minister insisted that there be a MOU sign in order for the Mind Education to start and therefore requested the earliest possible visit of Pastor Ock Soo Park to Ethiopia. Anyone could feel how seriously the Ethiopian government took the Mind Education.
At the building of the Ministry of Youth of Ethiopia, Pastor Ock Soo Park once again met with the Minister of Education, Shiferaw Mariam. After the previous meeting, the Minister had been organizing events for the Mind Education in universities and government establishments. As he saw, in person, the participants who changed through this Education, he was certain that the Mind Education would be spread to all of Ethiopia and that the people of Ethiopia would change through this. The meeting between Minister Shiferaw and Pastor Ock Soo Park, who have become reunited after three months, began with a hopeful conversation about how the Mind Education will change Ethiopia.
Then, the MOU Signing Ceremony began. A lot of VIPs including the Minister of Education, Shiferaw Mariam, himself and others such as the Chancellor of TVET University and the Director of Religious Affairs, were in attendance. After a simple national ceremony, the IYF promotion video was shown and the Minister of Education gave his greetings to the participants. The Minister spoke about the excitement for the wholesome Mind Education of the IYF, which he said will be vital and a strength for the process of progression in Ethiopia.
The Minister of Education, Shiferaw Mariam, and the Chief Advisor of the IYF, Ock Soo Park then signed the MOU documents. In the specifics of the MOU, it stated that the IYF will run the Mind Education in all national education institutions from kindergarten to university, and that the government must provide support for this work. Through the signing of the MOU, the Mind Education has become an event that must be run under the official support of the Ethiopian government. It does not stop at just one or two lectures but IYF had been given the duty to provide the Mind Education for all national education institutes in Ethiopia. This is a solid foundation from which the Mind Education can be delivered to all the corners of Ethiopia.
Through the congratulatory message, Pastor Ock Soo Park spoke about the future of Ethiopia that will be changed by the Mind Education. People who do not know the world of the heart do not know how to overcome the difficulties in their hearts and simply suffer and despair, but as the citizens of Ethiopia receive the Mind Education from a young age, he stated that, they will be able to defeat the darkness and unhappiness, leading the country to be a peaceful and joyful place.
After the MOU signing ceremony, there was an interview with the national broadcasting station of Ethiopia, EBC. Minister Shiferaw and Pastor Ock Soo Park explained about the meaning of the MOU Signing Ceremony and how the education will be carried out in Ethiopia. One could feel that even the Ethiopian media had huge excitement for the Mind Education.
We have three plans. Firstly, it is a short-term plan in which the Mind Education will be delivered to various departments such as government establishments and educators. Already, over 1000 people are being trained in various departments. Secondly, it is the work of making the Mind Education into a Curriculum. Thirdly, the plan is to build a Youth Center. We have already requested land from the government. Once the building is built, the IYF will be able to do so much more work.
According to the policy of concern about the possibility of conflict between Christianity and Islam, it is very difficult to talk about religion in public places. However, the Mind Education is a good tool to deliver the heart of God despite having no religious content. Through the signing of the MOU, we now have foundation from which we can quickly spread the Mind Education throughout all of Ethiopia. Through the Mind Education, it is not long before the we will be able to see the students of Ethiopia, who will have learnt the heart of God, lead Ethiopia to becoming a much more new and wonderful place.