Dallas, TX—English Camp volunteers woke up at 6 AM for the first full day of the 2014 IYF English Camp Final Workshop on December 30.
Meena Haque, a U.S. Fund to UNICEF Global Citizenship Fellow based in Houston, TX, delivered morning lecture B in front of the entire crowd. The U.S. Fund to UNICEF has been loosely collaborating with IYF since the IYF World Camp in New York this past August. Haque’s presentation revolved around the work UNICEF is currently doing in the field, the mindset it takes to be a volunteer, and the types of systems that need to be in place for effective service. She also explained how UNICEF works and how it relates to IYF.
“First off, it’s so good to see the passion in the students here today. I hope that you will be able to work with our UNICEF students in the future. I know that with the IYF English Camp activities, you will bring a lot of change back with you from Mexico. For those of you who are bound for Mexico, I hope you keep an open heart and share your experiences with others once you return.”
Meena Haque,U.S. Fund to UNICEF Global Citizenship Fellow
The afternoon brought an IYF English Camp tradition: the Scavenger Hunt. Although it started as a simple game, volunteers later testified that it turned into a time where they learned how teamwork is formed from failures and the importance of silencing the individual voice in favor of the group.
“We were playing, and a lot of us began to give up after failing some of the Scavenger Hunt missions. But once we understood each other, we were able to overcome difficulties together. I feel that’s the definition of “connection.” I did what I want in the beginning, but I had to discover how we could play the game as a team and I found myself listening to the suggestions of others. It feels like with this game, we are training ourselves to understand the students we’ll meet in Mexico. It amazes and touches me that we can learn these kinds of lessons through a game.”
Stephen Doolittle, Arcadia University student
“This English Camp is my first time at IYF. I felt awkward and burdened at first, but once I got to know my group members, I realized everyone was feeling the same way. After the Scavenger Hunt, it’s as if I’ve known my teammates for a really long time, we’re so comfortable together. This Workshop is so much better than I could have imagined. I’m really looking forward to how English Camp is going to turn out!”
Blein Yohannes, Washington University student
Later that evening, IYF Founder Pastor Ock Soo Park preached the following: ‘The four lepers who stood at the gate of Samaria discovered who they were. ‘We can’t enter this gate, and if we stay here, we starve…look, we’re just here waiting to die…’ Once these lepers knew they were out of options, they could take steps forward. That’s where they met God.
Like these lepers, a lot of young people have fallen in their own thoughts and are not meeting God. As IYF English Camp volunteers participated in the Scavenger Hunt and listened to the Word, we could see them shed their old images. We can’t wait to see them meet God more and more with each step they take forward.