“How long do you have? Hurry.
Do you have the ticket? And passport?”
After the meeting with the President of Uganda, we were escorted by the police to drive an hour long distance through the heavy traffic to get to the airport on time for the departure. Barely arrived 20 minutes before the take-off, we took a deep breathe on the seats, smiling at each other. It’s always hectic to travel with Pastor Park.
Pastor Ock Soo Park and his crew, in their 4 Eastern African countries visit, are having the quality time each hour every day.
In Zambia, he had a conference for almost 3 hours with the Vice President and the Minister of Department of Education then a service at the church. Afterwards, they took a night flight to arrive in Uganda.
Meeting with the Minister of the Department of Youth in Uganda
Having come back to Uganda in 10 years, Pastor and the crew headed to the Department of Youth after the morning service, to meet the Minister who arranged this conference with the President of Uganda.
During the Korea World Camp and Ministers’ Forum last July, the Minister of the Department of Youth, who has been aware of the intensity of juvenile issues, clearly witnessed how the students changed as they opened and shared their hearts through the mind lectures. So he made a report to the President when he returned to the country that a key to the juvenile problems is to change their hearts which requires the mind lectures.
He also attended the “Mind Lecture for Youth Leaders of Kenya” in October. At the conference with Pastor Ock Soo Park during the event, he asked when pastor was leaving in hope to bring him to Uganda the next day if it was possible.
The Minister continued, “I have a favor to ask of Pastor Ock Soo Park. With IYF as a partner, I want to build an IYF center in Uganda to educate peoples’ mind, to reduce hardships our children have to face in the future, and to lower crime and unemployment rates. I already have talked to the President and Prime Minister of Uganda. They also agreed that the most secure way is to change our mindset.”
It has only been 3 months, not even a year, but his word came true.
When Pastor Ock Soo Park and his crew arrived, the Minister of the Department of Youth welcomed them with exceeding joy, sharing what has been going on.
The First Meeting with the President
On the day of the appointment, the conference was bit delayed because of the President’s meeting with the congressmen. Still, we were able to have 40 minutes for the conference, 20 minutes of Gracias Choir’s performances, and photo time in the President’s office located in the capital city.
At the first encounter, the President welcomed Pastor Ock Soo Park and his crew with warmth – he even greeted them in Korean. During the conference, many things were discussed with the President. The Minister of the Department of Youth first mentioned about how they could provide some lands, wherever IYF wants, to render the juvenile problems, and just like in Kenya other topics such as World Camp, Mind Education, technical supports through a tech college, the treaty related to AIDS, and opening of Mind Studies major were discussed.
Also Pastor Ock Soo Park invited the President to visit Korea this year, and the President replied that he already has schedule to visit Malaysia and Thailand, but he would still try to re-schedule.
Then Gracias Choir performed, creating a great atmosphere. Especially when they were signing Uthenga, the President also sang along with the rhythm. The President shook hands with each member of the choir to show his thankfulness.
After the performances by Gracias Choir, Pastor Ock Soo Park preached the Gospel to the President and expressed gratitude with a prayer. Then he left to the airport to continue his journey to Burundi.
For 25th, we have a meeting with the President of Burundi, an interview with the First Lady, and a guest lecture at a worldly church scheduled in Burundi.
Though we get exhausted by evening, every day is like a dream; it is just amazing to see innocent brothers and sisters in church, their bright smiles, and unbelievable meetings with the current leaders of the country.
We are very much looking forward to see what God would give to Pastor Ock Soo Park tomorrow.
Please pray for the fruits of the Gospel and for Pastor Park’s health.