The opening ceremony for the 2014 IYF World Camp in New York was held at LIU Tilles Center. The participants of the camp as well as the citizens of New York filled the seats with high expectations.
The senate member of New York, Tony Avella and Philip Boyle, and more VIPs came to congratulate the World Camp and its opening. From the soldiers who participated in the Korean War to Michaelle C. Solage, a State Assemblywomen, and to Dr. Betty A. Rosa a Member of the Board of Regents in the New York State Education Department; many VIPs brightened the opening of the World Camp.
The VIPs, before the opening ceremony participated in the VIP reception and as a sign of gratitude for the work that IYF was doing passed on 3 manifesto of thankfulness, and heard the presentation about the IYF organization. During the opening ceremony one more manifesto was delivered so in total on that day 4 manifestos were received. Through the participation of many organization and their representatives one could check that co-operation of society from different regions towards the problem of youth.
The performance for the opening ceremony began with Patricia Kenny Dance Collection’s Reverence dance. Afterwards the sharp Taekwondo dance and the beautiful fan dance of the Masan Lincoln School students drew out great admiration from the crowd, and the heat of the performance was raised even higher through the newly created dance The World is Ours by the New York volunteers and a cultural dance of IYF West Coast called “Vida”. And the heat of the performances reached its climax through the performance of the Gracias Choir.
As the sound of the Gracias Choir surrounded the auditorium the echoes and the reverberation in the hearts of the audience grew deeper. Every time the songs ended the audience responded with a standing ovation.
“I became a fan of soprano Alice(Hye-Mi Choi) through watching her on Youtube. I wanted to hear her singing in person so I flew all the way from Virginia to New York. It was really great. Although the other choir members sang well, for me Alice’s singing was the best. Tonight I will be sleeping in my friend’s house in New Jersey and will be returning tomorrow. I really want to see the Christmas Cantata which will be happening this week, but unfortunately because of work I have to return. But I am satisfied with having heard Alice’s songs in person!” – Ken
“Today, I am already participating in the fourth opening ceremony of the World Camp. The opening ceremony of the World Camp is always great whenever I attend. I think they improve by the day. I brought my friend along and it was very fun for both of us. I think it is a performance that the many youth should see at least once. What was my favorite performance..? It is really hard for me to pick one. All the performances were very touching!”
– Sunita Matra, Ajay Batra (IVS TV Representative)
“It was an incredible show! Among the performances by the choir ‘New York New York’ and ‘Be Still My Soul’ were my favorite. It would be great if many other youths can see this performance. I believe that IYF is doing great things for the youth. Many youths now days live having lost the direction of their lives, it is impressive to see IYF suggest the right path. Pastor, as he was giving his message, spoke about opening and sharing the heart, and I believe one cannot despise the influence that one person’s heart can have on another person. I hope that the youth can learn about God through the IYF and learn also about faith. – Alice
Pastor Seong Ho Hong from Goodnews Masan Church congratulated the opening of the New York World Camp, and spoke saying that his heart happy thinking about the isolated hearts of the youth chaining through the camp. He said that when students have fallen into their own thoughts they cannot listen to others, but at the same time said that if the heart opens then the thought changes and the heart changes as well.
“In a movie that I have seen before there is this scene. A person who was bitten by a venomous serpent had no way to live although he went to the hospital, but he hears the news that if he has a blood transfusion with a person who has survived the bite of a venomous serpent then he can survive. After he hears that he transfuses his blood with a survivor of the venomous bite, then even in this patient’s body immunity towards the venom was formed and he avoids death.”
Just like how a person who has been bitten by a venomous serpent can survive if he gets the immunity transfused into his body, likewise if students with pain in their hearts share their hearts with people who have escaped from despair then they can also gain the immunity of the heart. The Bible teaches how to escape from despair and enter hope. Through the camp I believe that many students will share their hearts with one another and develop immunity in their hearts through learning about the Bible.
Having begun in southeast Asia and having passed Korea and Central America now the World Camp has opened in New York. The country where the camp is held, their economic level and their culture may be all different but the heart of God in each camp remains the same. That is why the heart of God felt in the camps are always very touching. For the remaining three days when I think about discovering such deep touching heart of God I am very hopeful.