IUBA Academic Year Opening Worship 2023

Seeing the Future with Faith, Not with Hesitation


March 1, 2023 1283 Views

On March 1, the IUBA Academic Year Opening Worship was held at the Okcheon Go&Come Training Institute, where the fever of the ISBA School Year Opening Worship, which was held three days ago, was still lingering. It is the first time to have an academic year opening worship on-site after the pandemic. University students had become accustomed to online lectures and gatherings, but now they were adapting themselves to the face-to-face activities. They joyfully gathered at the training institute for the long-awaited large-scale event. About 8,000 people attended the event, including both graduate and undergraduate students, their parents, the young adult guidance teachers, and the pastoral staff members.

The opening worship began at noon. Mother deeply thanked Father for calling the university students, the dew of the dawn, on the stage of prophecy, and prayed that they would receive wisdom and understanding from Father and fulfill all their dreams and hopes they had in their hearts. In addition, Mother praised those who devote themselves to the gospel and volunteer activities all around the world even though they were busy with their studies, career concerns, and job preparation. As the new academic year began, Mother urged them to have clear goals and to believe that if they follow the teachings of the Bible, they will be blessed, and that if they make efforts to do God’s will, God will help them. Mother also enlightened the importance of humility, saying, “Have the mind of Jesus Christ who humbled Himself and sacrificed Himself to save many souls. Be great prophets who consider others better than yourself” (1 Co 9:14–22; Gal 2:19–20; Php 2:1–9).

General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol blessed the students, hoping that 2023 would be the brightest year of their lives. He encouraged them by saying, “When you hesitate, you see obstacles, but when you have faith, you see the way. If you think something is difficult, the way will be blocked, but if you challenge yourselves by believing that you can do it, the way will be opened.” He also urged everyone not to be afraid but to take on the challenges for their dreams and hopes because the way is surely opened since God, who even made the way in the midst of the Red Sea, helps them. The united choir of university students praised God Elohim with a New Song, expressing their willingness to spend their time of youth meaningfully so that they would shine forever in heaven.

At the awards ceremony held after the worship service, 29 outstanding IUBA students with excellent grades and 20 IUBA clubs which set good examples with their active and meaningful activities in various categories such as religion, volunteer service, and academics, were honored with the awards. Students from many other universities in other countries such as the United States and India were awarded, too.

Following this, various events were held: the reciting thank-you letters by the representatives of graduates and freshmen, results report on the IUBA education in 2022 and of the Overseas Culture Experience Group in the first half of 2023, presentation of plans and goals for 2023, and watching special videos.

In particular, the report on the activities of the Overseas Culture Experience Group, which was reactivated after a few years, caught the participants’ attention. In January of this year, 38 teams flew to 28 countries, including the U.K., Argentina, and Uganda. They introduced the truth of the new covenant to local citizens and prominent people from all walks of life. Their volunteer activities in various fields such as welfare and environment through partnerships with government agencies, major organizations, universities, and other institutions based on God’s love, laid the foundation for future cooperation. They also received citations from the Philippines and India for the “Reduce Crime Together [RCT] School,” a character education on crime prevention for children and youths. The presenters agreed that the experience they had through the Overseas Culture Experience Group strengthened their faith, developed their self-reliance, and broadened their perspectives.

The special video, “Reformers in the 21st Century,” conveyed a message that university students must have a sense of mission to preach and practice God’s will as believers who follow the truth of the new covenant and as intelligent individuals who have received a wide range of education. “Miracle on Campus” is a video about the realizations and blessings of a Korean student who flew to the U.S. and the local university students who devoted for the gospel together in the early 2000s. The video enlightened the university students to the virtues they need to have for the campus mission such as vision, passion, and patience.

At the end of the event, university student presenters showed their goals and vision for 2023, saying, “Let’s spread the love and truth of God Elohim to 20,000 universities around the world,” raising the expectations of not only the freshmen but also the current students. Mother was very proud of the university students, saying that She even wanted to give them a piggyback. Mother blessed them, saying, “Today, the figures of prophecy have gathered here. Since God said, ‘Let it be done according to your faith,’ let your dreams and wishes come true according to your faith.”

Kim Su-hyeon (Senior at Chosun University) said, “Many times, I barely got over my sleepiness and went to school. However, after having the morning prayer gathering at my club, I began to start the day with different mindset and attitude. I will practice what I’ve learned at my university and Zion, so that I will spend the period of youth that will never come again without regrets.” Im Eun-gyeong, who attended the event with her daughter who is a freshmen, said, “When my daughter entered university, I was worried about many things as if I released a bird from a cage. But now it seems like my daughter and I have crossed the first hurdle successfully through this Academic Year Opening Worship.”

Thus, the university students prepared for their new academic year with the word of God, and headed to their campuses, dreaming about their future with excitement.