Going to the first city, 'Göttingen', Germany!
After 2019, amidst the chaos and despair of the world caused by the pandemic and the Ukraine war, the Christmas Miracle went to Europe with hope for the first time in three years. The European Church of Good News Mission started various activities for refugees after the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February, and as a part of that, established Ich halte dich (We will hold you), a non-profit support organization. In addition, since last July, Ukrainian youths have been invited to carry out the ‘Mriya Project’. The 'Mriya Project' started with the motto, 'The world's largest aircraft in Ukraine, the Mriya (dream), was destroyed by war, but the dreams of Ukrainian youth cannot be broken'. Team Mriya participated in the World Culture Dance Festival in Korea and received the grand prize, and since then, they have been busy preparing for the Christmas Miracle Bus Tour. This European Christmas Miracle is more meaningful in that it is centered on Ukrainian youth and European short-term missionaries. So, the Miracle performance took its first step, starting with Göttingen, Germany on November 1st.
In preparation for the rehearsal for the performance, member Hwang Ga-eun (Germany) expressed gratitude for the work of God through difficulties.
“At first, it was difficult for me to communicate with my Ukrainian friends, but through this, my English improved and I was able to focus more on preparing for the performance. Also, I complained about not having enough time to familiarize myself with the staff work, but at the meeting, I changed my heart when I heard the words, 'The lack of time is not the problem, but I need to realize my lack of self and ask for God's grace'. I am thankful when I think about how God will make me beautifully regardless of my many shortcomings such as language problems and insufficient practice.”
In this Miracle, Ukrainian students and members from Korea prepared the cantata together, and there were various barriers such as language and culture, but they were prepared beautifully one by one as they united in the word of God.
Before the Miracle performance, there was a CLF meeting at 6pm. Among the attendees of the meeting were Göttingen Mayor Hans Albert Rudolph, 'Freie evangelische Gemeinde Göttingen' Pastor Simon, 'Haus der Hoffnung' Church Senior Pastor Martin, 'Ecclesia Kirche Göttingen' Church Senior Pastor Marc and Agnes, etc.
At the meeting, Pastor Young-Shin Oh talked about the journey from Ukrainian students evacuating to the German IYF center, and the story of the Mriya team attending the Korean Dance Festival and winning the award. At that time, the most difficult part was the material part, with plane prices constantly soaring. Pastor Oh and his party went to large Korean companies in Frankfurt to pay for airfare, and as they opened Deuteronomy 22:1-4, “There is a saying that when you see your brother is lost, do not ignore him and must help him get up. After the war, Korea also went through a lot of growth with the help of Germany, and the present Republic of Korea was not existent at that time. Ukraine is in trouble now, and it is our turn to help.” In the end, he received 50,000 euros and gave his testimony that he was able to prepare air tickets for 37 Ukrainian students. Next, Pastor Young-Shin Oh emphasized that our sins were forever cleansed by the blood of Jesus by using Hebrews 9:12 as evidence, along with saying that God never fails to see us. At this, the CLF attendees nodded their heads and listened to the words.
“When I heard the news of the war against Ukraine, I was upset. It is so graceful to be able to have hope through a program like this, even though many people may be in frustration and sadness. It is truly admirable that we do not miss the most important point, the life of walking with Jesus. And it feels really great to raise so many people through this event. I am grateful to God and I am thankful that through this work, young people can meet Jesus.”
After the CLF meeting, the first Christmas Miracle performance of 2022 opened with a Christmas carol medley performed by a Ukrainian student band.
Next, the K-pop dance Dynamite prepared by European members, the Christmas dance performance of the Ukrainian and Korean dance team, and the ‘Aehan’ dance performance where you can feel the beauty of Korea firsthand were performed.
The performances by Ukrainian youth and Korean youth stood out more than ever. When the concert hall, which was filled with cold air, became warm, the performance of the first act containing the emotion of the birth of Jesus began and conveyed the true meaning of the birth of Jesus.
Following the words of Pastor Ui-gyu Ryu, the performance of the second act, the story of Anna who found out about the warm love of her family, gave a calming impression and warmth to the hearts of the audience at the concert hall.
After hearing the message of the Gospel and the Miracle performance resounding in Göttingen, the audience praised them, saying they were deeply moved.
“The beautiful voices and atmosphere of the actors touched my heart and it was wonderful. The stage in Act 1 was truly amazing, and the acting wasn't awkward at all, even though they weren't professional actors. I saw each one doing it with all their heart and enjoying this play. I saw the story of the girl who sold the match last year through a concert video, and it is really touching to see it in reality and it suits the Christmas season very well. It was a very good and uplifting performance.” - Hans Albert Rudolph, Mayor of Göttingen
“I am a man, but it was so moving and surprising that I cried. I was particularly impressed with the birth and place of birth of Jesus because I thought it was really important to all of us. As the Lord prophesied, Jesus came to this world in a human body and died. It was at this time that I knew once again that Jesus really loves all human beings and wants to be with us. God is love. I am so happy that Jesus lives in me and I am in Jesus. The best news I have ever heard is the gospel.” -Jens Allas, Attendee
“I was very nervous before the performance, but as soon as we came out of the stage, many audiences greeted us with a big and warm applause. So I put my worries aside and performed on stage with all my heart. Although we lack, thank you very much to those who came to see our performance. And I hope that many people can feel the heart of God, which is bigger than my heart, through the performance.” -Victoria, a Ukrainian student who played the role of a court lady and the people.
The Christmas Miracle team, which will turn the hearts of people full of darkness and pain into light, has taken the first step. As they watch the gospel spread around the world due to the Ukraine war, they are witnessing the fulfillment of the words of Matthew 7:11 that God only gives us the best. We hope that the bells of the gospel will ring in many cities in Europe through the Miracle Tour in the future.