July 4-22, 2011
by Park Byung Chul, KSCF Staff for University Work
The Korea Student Christian Federation (KSCF) held its first Asia Ecumenical Trekking as international program last July 4 to 22, 2011. This programs was organized with the EYCK (Ecumenical Youth of Council in Korea) to rebuild the Youth-Student organization for a year. It aims to draw the strength of both organizations as an international network belonging to the ecumenical movement.
The groups chose Indo-China as the venue for the Ecumenical Trekking because of its history of colonization, economic and social system, and cultural richness and diversity. The theme was “We are letter from Christ (2 Corinthians 3:3)”. The Program aimed to share the situation of Asia from the experiences of the participants to Korean churches and Christian societies. There were 12 participants coming from KSCF and EYCK. The places visited were Chiang-Mai in Thailand, Vientian, Vang vieng, Luang Prabang in Laos and Hanoi in Vietnam.
Each participant chose an issue as his or her concern as they made their journey in each city. The issues and concerns were ethnic culture, visiting that country churches, looking for cultures and life, meeting with local people. The group stayed for five days in each country. In each city, the group had meetings for reflection about their activities. During these meetings, they shared their experience and feeling and every participant gave questions and feedbacks.
The outcome of the program was different from their expectation before they left Korea. The participants found the different situations in the field and broaden their horizons throughout the whole journey. When the participants reflected about this program when they came back to Korea, they agreed to organize each ecumenical branch to deepen their understanding of their situation.
The participants were from different ecumenical organization member, church youth or students. Theirs perspectives were varied, hence the group had some difficulty meeting the expectations, although it turned out to be positive. The participants are preparing to share and brief the programs to other ecumenical group. Through this experience, the organizers will modify the program, to make it more organized and educational.