September 29, 2012
I went on a witnessing trip to Nashville to promote this past 2012 IYF World Camp in New York. Being the first time my wife and I went on a witnessing trip like this, I admit I was worried about it.
It was then that I remembered a passage in the Bible. The words in Ruth 3:18 spoke of the work of God, and when I re-read the verse, I felt peace enter my heart.
Reading on, I came across 1 Samuel 12:16, which says, “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!” This verse filled me with so much hope. I always made the effort to try my best, but the more I did that, the more I saw myself fall into difficulty.
My senior pastor had asked me to visit Knoxville, TN, but by accident, I went to Nashville instead. I visited public schools during the day and went around from church-to-church at night. During one of public school witnessing trips, I happened upon a sign for a Spanish church and decided to pay them a visit. I remember their doors were closed, so my wife and I determined ourselves to come back later.
When we did, a woman at the church greeted us and we told her we wanted to meet the church’s pastor. She told us he was busy and to leave our information so he could call us back. But, we insisted on meeting him and asked her again and again to connect us. She went back into the room and emerged saying that he would meet.
As we followed her in, their large, clean, well-organized chapel caught our eye. Just then, the pastor’s wife came back after having been out shopping and guided us further in. This is where we met Pastor Victor for the first time.
We introduced ourselves to him and promoted the World Camp and our IYF organization. He watched our promotional video and completely opened his heart. Pastor Victor told us that he was searching for this kind of organization and then proceeded to politely invite us in his office. He told us that he, along with his wife and 40 members of his young adult group, would attend the World Camp. He made arrangements for a bus, and his wife searched for flights online with us.
When we told him about Pastor Ock Soo Park, he was already very familiar with him because of the sermons that were broadcasted on Enlace, an international cabel TV channel that covers the Americas. Victor was so happy to hear about Pastor Park and expressed his wish to meet him in New York. He then showed us his chapel, end-to-end, and said that we could hold the Christmas Cantata here, so we tentatively agreed to a performance the next year.
Victor eventually met Pastor Park in New York during the IYF World Camp and joyfully received the Gospel. Pastor Park invited him to the Korea World Camp, which further delighted Victor, who informed us he was already making plans to go. That was the moment that we decided to officially hold the Christmas Cantata in Nashville.
While preparing for the Christmas Cantata, Pastor Victor’s congregation helped us prepare for the performance with all their hearts. Everything from cooking food, to making arrangements for Gracias Choir, we could see their sincerity and anticipation for the Cantata. They covered the venue, stage, electricity, lighting, and rental fees. They also happily took our orders in preparing the event itself. Pastor Victor took it upon himself to alert many of his fellow pastors around the region, as well as the broadcast media and radio stations. His church even printed posters and put them up to promote the Christmas Cantata to the citizens of Nashville.
So many people had already taken their seats when the lights went down on the Cantata. Many of the attendees were touched by the music, stating that they had never heard or witnessed a performance like this. When Pastor Yeongkook Park took the stage to deliver the welcoming message, he had the undivided attention of everyone in the audience. Pastor Park preached from Acts 10:15, reciting God’s commandment to Peter saying not to call what He deems clean, unclean. We could see firsthand people accepting the Gospel. On top of that, Pastor Victor was so touched by the sermon he invited Pastor Park back to be a guest speaker for a separate revival. He also pleaded for Gracias Choir to come perform the Easter Cantata at his church next year.
God worked beautifully through this Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata in Nashville and held fast to his promise in 1 Samuel 12:16: “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!”
Pastor, Good News Atlanta Church