Gracias Choir Concert Captivated the Heart of Mexico!
On the second day of the Mexico World Camp, Summer Night Concert with Gracias Choir was held at Zocalo, the Constitution Square located in Mexico City, a capital city of Mexico. We prepared an outdoor concert in Mexico City to have a change to introduce IYF and the Gracias Choir.
The Zocalo, the Constitution square, is a renowned venue in the country. Located in the center of the capital city, it is a historical sites for Mexico with monuments its independence from Spain. For such reason, the government has to approve any type of event to be held in the plaza, yet as we meet many people God caused many miraculous things.
Before the opening, we set up 2000 chairs in the Constitution Square, however about 4000 people came and enjoyed the concert. People in Mexico do not have many chances to encounter Classics, so a lot of people came even during the rehearsal and were greatly amazed.
Righteous Stars’ dances and Wonju Lincoln House School’s beautiful fan dance opened the concert.
As the main concert unraveled, the World Camp participants and the residents applauded with enthusiasm for each song, and especially after a Mexican song, all of them replied to the Gracias Choir with applause, standing.
Laura Leyes (45yrs old) rejoiced saying, “Gracias Choir’s performances are very beautiful. I was getting goose bumps when they were singing. Their music truly comforts my heart. I am so happy.” Many people at the concert showed great interest in IYF. Gracias Choir’s music opened and deeply moved the hearts of the citizens of Mexico.
Pastor Ock Soo Park’s Mind Lecture continued after the performances, and all of the audiences stayed and paid attention to the lecture. Pastor Ock Soo Park encouraged them that the young people in Mexico can also be a great leader in the future and advised them to open their heart and accept the words of God to live a new life.
A manager of Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) attended the concert and was greatly amazed by the performances. He was bit uncertain when we showed him recordings of Gracias Choir’s previous performances, so he came to check in person. Yet after the concert, he very much appreciated to be invited. He also said that he was greatly moved and hoped to host concert at the Palacio de Bellas Artes next year.
There were many problems in preparing this concert. About a month before the World Camp, we got a sudden notice from the department of culture. The department of sports has been holding a marathon for the citizens for 30 years, and this year they decided to have the marathon at the Constitution Square on August 28th. The concert was to be on August 26th, but they said that they already have made advertisements so they need to use the facility from August 25~26 to pass out the number for the marathoners.
So we requested the secretary of the Mexico City Mayor for a meeting. The Marathon was such a big event; it had some political backgrounds and also was supported by big corporations. Thus it was really hard to change its date. As we continued to petition, many departments of the city decided to cancel concert. That’s when we were able to meet the secretary of Mayor. He had no idea that we have been legally preparing the concert for 4 months. The secretary was very surprised when he looked over all the documents with the signatures from the head of departments. Afterward, they made a final notice to change the venue for the Marathon. Also the city decided to mainly organize the concert for the Gracias Choir. All the brothers and sisters could not help but to praise the Lord upon hearing this news. The government hosted meetings four times with the representatives from different departments.
About 25 representatives attended the meetings, and they began the conference about the concert. Ultimately, IYF was able to host the concert at the Square with all of their approval. Though we only have a short period of time to advertise the concert, the government posted the news about the Gracias Choir concert on websites of radio stations, the department of cultures, police stations, and other affiliated departments. They also allowed us to pass out the posters and flyers.
On the day of the concert, weather looked so gloomy as if it will rain in a moment. Even during the concert, we could see and hear lightening and thunders yet it started pouring after the concert. As we see all these we could see that God was leading the concert and that He was delighted with it. We were so thankful that God was with us working. It was a such a precious moment for all the participants to feel that the Mexico World Camp was inside of God’s will and His plan.
Reporter/ Park Mi Mi
Photographer/Park Sang Ho