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(Fort Wayne, USA) “The First Merry Christmas!”

The fifth city is Fort Wayne.

Indiana, located in the Midwest is known to be one of the smallest states in America. Especially Fort Wayne in which the Christmas Cantata is held today, on September 24th is a small countryside-like city with a population slightly over 250,000. Fort Wayne is the fifth city of the US Cantata Tour and it the first time to be presented with this spectacular performance.


There are rarely any people in the streets, even downtown. But when there is an event, the citizens of For Wayne can be seen gathered together in participation. That’s how little things there are to satisfy the people. Today, the Christmas Cantata will fill the monotonous lives of the people with joy as an oasis in the desert.


“I started volunteering since the last week of August. Right now I’m excited and anxious. I’m a little sad too. I became really close and family-like with the volunteers while preparing for the Cantata but today’s the end. While doing the delivery work, it was really fun and I was really happy while I was here. I usually stay at home and avoid meeting people and talking with them, and I was really lonely because of family issues but the IYF changed my life. I want to be a part of the IYF.” – Theresa


During the Christian Leader’s Meeting, Pastor Terry spoke about the woman with the flow of blood in Mark chapter 5. The pastors listened carefully to the Words and raised both their hands up saying “Amen” when he mentioned the blood of Jesus. The pastors expressed their wish to work with us and promised to attend the WCLW in Dallas.

“I was sitting in front of my church and thinking about the church matters when the short term missionaries stopped the car and came near me. They told me about what they were doing and wished that I attend this event so I met with them a few more times before coming here and came today. The Pastor that preached the Words today has now become my favorite pastor. Also, I look forward to the work I will be able to participate in. I heard about the woman with the flow of blood for 12 years and I have preached sermons about this story many times but I have never heard anything like this before. But it also makes sense to explain it this way. I’m at peace about being a man of God. Now my heart has changed and I no longer have to worry about sins, and the Pastor’s message really touched my heart. Among the sermons I’ve heard until now, there has never been any sermon like this. After listening to this message my heart was also healed. Today’s Christian Leader’s Meeting was great and it’s a pity many pastors could not make it. I want to be able to work together to let people receive salvation and to form a relationship with the Jesus I know. That’s because relationship with Jesus is more important than relationship with people. It’s been 40 years since I’ve been ministering but it’s the first time to be participating in changing the lives of the youth so I’m very excited and looking forward to it.” – Pastor Michael Latham


Couple of hours before the start of the performance, the citizens of Fort Wayne appeared in the quiet streets stood in line one by one. About 2000 people attended as the first ever Christmas Cantata in the city began.


“This is the real Christmas. It was very fun. I had never imagined it would be such a wonderful Christmas season. This is the first time to see such a performance. I can’t understand such a performance could be free. It was unbelievably wonderful. All the singers were professional. I was also thankful for the clear and precise words of the Pastor. There was difficulty and pain because of sin but by the eternal redemption in Heaven, such pain is gone. The Pastor today told us that we are holy and righteous and that in itself was Heaven.” – Klyle


“The things of the earth are temporary and the things of Heaven are eternal so there is no need to be swayed by the circumstances on earth but focus on God. Those were true scriptures. (To the Gracias Choir) You are all amazing and you showed us the true meaning of Christmas through the Cantata.” – Samantha Flores


“It was fantastic. This is an opportunity given by God. I came with my son and he likes it very much. This performance was so great that I even gave donation. Maybe because I came with my son, the 2nd stage was impressive. Families these days have such problems so it was a very touching stage that informed us of the true meaning of family. Also, the 3rd stage chorus was absolutely fantastic. The technique, how much they enjoy their music etc. everything was perfect and amazing. They were really professional. The message preached by the Pastor was true words. We have become clean by eternal redemption. The Bible is God. Praise the lord!!” – Elizabeth


“I am also a singer so I thought the 3rd stage was most impressive. I love the 3rd song among Handel’s Messiah and by far ‘God Bless America’ is my favorite.” – Lynn Shipe


“We both like operas so we liked the 1st stage the most. It was very touching and time flew by as I watched the performance. Every part was perfect and each and every person singing sang extremely well.” – Ariel and Jack


Gracias Choir has delivered true happiness to the 2000 citizens of Fort Wayne who do not come across such performance often. Everyone in the audience stood up in ovation as ‘Hallelujah,’ the last song in ‘Messiah’ of Handel’s Oratorio was sung. They also listened devoutly to the music as if waiting to be blessed by God. The Gracias Choir didn’t just deliver happiness but the happiness of the gospel so the audience watching the Christmas Cantata couldn’t help but to be enthusiastic. The citizens of Fort Wayne became one of them. Today is their first Christmas Cantata and the beginning of true happiness.

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