2016 IYF World Culture Camp Opening Ceremony

The sky of Busan was dark and rainy. Due to the strong rainstorm that blew after the eve festival the day before, the tent that covered the stage tore, the frame structure of the stage was twisted, and the morning was busy with repair work. An hour before the event began, the thick clouds were above the beach and the sky was grey. ‘How will God work this year?’ One thing for sure, God will turn things to goodness and as believed, the rain really stopped. It was clear that God had worked. Before the event began, God showed his glory and ability, and filled the people with a heart of thankfulness.

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“I was concerned when the rain poured down but as God worked two years in a situation where it was going to rain, I was confident that He would work wonderfully. Even this time, I believe he will work despite the rain and nothing will be a problem.” – Gwon Woo Park(58, Bucheon)

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The International Youth Fellowship (also known as IYF, Founder Ock Soo Park, and Chairman Moon Taek Park) that held the IYF World Culture Camp (also known as World Camp) is the 19th camp being held under the slogan ‘The Ship of Change.’

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At the Haeundae Beach in the evening of July 3rd, the opening ceremony that announced the beginning of the journey of the World Camp. The 5th World Camp opening ceremony to be held at Haeundae Beach in Busan became an annual event for the citizens of the city.  At the World Camp this year, 4,000 youths from over 50 countries, 30 ministers from 27 countries, and 60 university presidents from 23 countries attended. Together with the citizens of Busan, a total of about 50,000 people were present. The opening ceremony was broadcasted throughout the nation through popular broadcasting stations and other media.

“I saw the opening ceremony being broadcasted live on television. I was upset that I couldn’t go to the concert site but I was impressed by the opening ceremony that didn’t stop despite the rain and I kept on watching with the hopes that it would not rain.” – Sejeong Kwon (36, Seoul)

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The performances began with the Righteous Stars. The nest stages were opened by the awarded teams of the 2016 World Cultural Dance Festival held in Jeonju. The grand prize winning China team showed their grand performance, followed by gold prize winning team of Cote d’Ivoire’s powerful dance.

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After the opening performances, there was the opening address of IYF Chairman Moon Taek Park. Following were the congratulatory messages of the Busan Metropolitan Mayor Byeong Su Seo, and welcoming message of Busan Metropolitan Council Chairman Hae Dong Lee. In addition, the South Pacific Republic of Kiribati Vice-President Kourabi Nenem read out the personal letter sent from the President and Malawi Former First Lady Callista Mutharika (Current President’s Advisor) gave a congratulatory message.

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The stage of the Gracias Choir and the world’s greatest artists began.

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“I was watching the opening ceremony online with the brothers and sisters and it was enjoyable. Those who had gone to Korea remembered that time and was immersed into the opening ceremony while the brothers and sisters who hadn’t gone to Korea was surprised by the spectacle and are hoping to attend next year.” – Yeon Hui Jeong(35, India)

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During the performance intermission, IYF Founder Pastor Ock Soo Park went on stage saying, “People who dig clams can get many clams wherever they choose to dig. But for people who dig clams for the first time, it’s hard for them to find clams no matter how much they dig. Likewise, people who do not know the world of the heart cannot find happiness no matter how much they search and suffer pain. But people who know the world of the heart can find happiness wherever they go.” Then he hoped for the blessing of God to be upon all the participants.

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The last stage was the duet of Tenor Tae Jik Woo and Soprano Jin Young Park of <Nessun dorma>. Towards the end of the last stage, the night sky was filled with fireworks that mesmerised the audience.
The rain that dropped from the sky once in a while throughout the concert started pouring after the entire performance ended and we could see that God was with us from the beginning.

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“The homestay I experienced in Korea was really good. The people were welcoming and hospitable. Also, the sermon I heard this week was very good. While attending this World Camp, I am focusing on the mind education. Because this mind education will be necessary to young people, I came here because I wanted to learn how to do it.” – Saah Charles N’Tow (Liberia Youth Minister)

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“I am from Beijing, China. I came to this event today by coincidence. I was walking the beach alone and thought there was a performance, and I came here to see it was the opening ceremony of the organization called IYF. Today’s performance was great! I have been to many performances but this was one of the most impressive, especially, the high-class orchestra and performers. And the fireworks were really impressive. My favourite performance was the piano duet. It was really impressive how the performers continued to play despite the rain was really inspiring. Today was the first day of my travel so I wanted to go home early but I stayed until the end because I felt it was worth staying to watch. I’m going to be in Korea for one week and I’m planning to stay 3 days in Busan and if I get the chance, I would like to go visit the event and even attend it. Although I don’t have a religion, if IYF is okay with it, I would like to join.” – Li Jiying(24, China)

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The voyage of the ‘Ship of Change’ began with the opening ceremony. From July 4th to 8th, it will take place in BEXCO and downtown Busan, on the 10th, there will be a music concert at Imjingak, and from July 11th to 14th, it will be held at the Daeduk IYF Center in Gimcheon and Songho Pinefields in Yeongdong. On the 14th, the last day, the voyage ends with the closing ceremony at the Daejeon Expo Park. We hope for the change of all the participants through the voyage on the ‘Ship of Change.’

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