On August 21st, the 2nd World Camp in west coast USA has successfully launched, receiving fervent cheers from over 1,200 participants. This camp took place in Irvine Hyatt Regency Hotel, inviting over 700 new students and 20 guests from various fields of expertise such as politics, education, media, and foodservice.

As the first performance of the opening ceremony, a team members from Riverside University presented a Japanese drum dance called “Senryu Taiko.” Their passionate commitment to dancing and drumming seemed to signal the smooth opening of the world camp.

Following the Righteous Stars’ team performance, the participants watched a video clip introducing the main program of IYF, Good News Corps. Students who’d come to learn leadership were greatly inspired to learn about Kathleen Stephens who became a diplomat to Korea through overseas volunteer experience and about GNC member Soyoung Park’s volunteer service in South Africa.

The event hall was filled with growing passion as time progressed with Lincoln School’s African dance “Lecho,” Impact Dance Center’s musical dance performance, and Korean fan dance. The audience appreciated each presentation with insatiable eyes.

Three honorable guests—Temple City Mayor Tom Chavez, Assemblyman Donald Wagner, and Assemblyman Bob Huff—delivered an opening speech for the event. Especially, Mayor Chavez warmly encouraged the students by saying, “Do not focus on your image at present. Think of yourself as a leader in future, and learn practical leadership through the world camp.”

Finally, a joyful stage began with Gracias Choir. Rossini’s Swiss battle hymn “William Tell,” Soprano Hyemi Choi’s solo, Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen,” and American folk song “America the Beautiful” touched and melted the hearts of the listeners. It was a powerful moment in which the choir’s passion seemed to be conveyed by Boris Abalyan’s vigorous conducting.

The anchor stage was followed by the words of encouragement from IYF advisor, Pastor Ock Soo Park. Pastor Park stated that each person has a unique taste and, once it is appreciated, the person’s superficial flaws cannot be considered.

“Satan works to close people’s hearts, but God always works to open them to give faith, peace, and freedom in our hearts. The advantage of the world camp is that students can share their hearts. Then their hearts will feel lighter and they would be able to think through healthy mindset. In the bible, Peter, Joseph, David, and all others were worthless people in the beginning; but once they opened their hearts and connected with God, they transformed into great leaders.”

Like Pastor Park’s message, we hope that all participants will develop into leaders of next generation equipped bright mindset.

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