The 21st city is New Orleans.
“Many people try to carry the burden of their sins. But the Lord has always taken the burden of our sin to Him. If the President tells someone that he is Minister of Culture, wouldn’t that person become a Cultural Minister? Likewise, if God says you are righteous, you are righteous.”
On October 12th, at the New Orleans Lake front Arena, 32 pastors that attended the Christian Leader’s Meeting shouted, “Amen!” Especially, Gracias Choir Top Soprano, Jin Young Park and Hye Mi Choi brought back the inspiration from the song ‘Yesu Dame’ which they sang in front of the Ghanian President to the pastors gathered there. The harmony of the two singers sounded beautiful like the sounds from Heaven, and the audience took out their phone cameras as they felt the chills down their back. The New Orleans pastors said that they “Want(ed) to work together soon” and that they look forward to the World Christian Leader’s Conference scheduled to be held this winter in Dallas.
Missionary Inho Choi, who visited local churches ahead of the Cantata, received the grace of inviting a pastor in a Hispanic church and preaching the gospel there. Missionary Inho Choi says that it is not easy to allow someone else on the podium as southern New Orleans Baptist churches are prevalent and conservative. He preached the scriptures in Genesis chapter 27 to the church members and they responded with ‘Amen,’ giving offerings. After the service was over, he realized this was not a common occurrence.
Pastor Juarez couple and their daughter’s couple Penton has been attending the Christmas Cantata in New Orleans since the first show. Pastor Juan Roberto Juarez gave the journalist comments on his feelings about the Christian Leader’s Meeting.
“I’ve been to the Cantata performance since the years before last year. The Words today at the Christian Leader’s Meeting were beautiful, soul-reviving, and touching. It guided me to reach the will of God. The Words make us receive salvation exactly by faith in Jesus, not by our deeds. Today’s Words were Words we need. Irrespective of who we are, we become righteous through faith, never by deeds. I received salvation because these Words were clear.”
Pastor Hy McEnery, who invited 40 people to today’s Cantata, attended the Christian Leader’s Meeting and even saw the Cantata performance.
“The Words today felt very strong to me and gave me inspiration and hope. Although sin is prevalent in the world, God’s Words are even greater. Jesus died on the cross and we have received salvation through the blood shed by Him. I am caring for children and they are going into prison from misdeed or living a life of no hope. In the Pastor’s words, these children have also been made whole by God. “
At 7pm, the citizens of New Orleans entered the Lakefront Arena. Among the 25 US cities that the Christmas Cantata is touring, the citizens of New Orleans filled 4,000 seats. There were many citizens who said they were attending the second time because they wanted to “see the performance again” after last year, thrilled with great expectation.
During the Cantata performance, Pastor Ock Soo Park delivered a message about the “man sick of the palsy.”
“For a long time I was in pain from sins. That’s when I started reading the bible and the bible told me that Jesus redeemed all our sins and through this we have become righteous and holy. In the bible, when Jesus told the palsy, “Son, Arise, take up your bed and walk” and the palsy received those words in his heart, he was able to walk. Today, God is telling you, “All your sins have been washed. You are holy. You are righteous!” God wants to enter your heart. When we accept these words, we are at last accepting God into our heart. I hope you accept these Words in your heart and stand before God on that Day. Merry Christmas.”
“I came last year but I wanted to feel that touching sensation so I came today again. It was very impressive today to the see the scene where Mary and Joseph give birth to Jesus. Also, in the Words by the Pastor today, Jesus came to this earth for us and through this we have become righteous. He said that when we accept that in our hearts, we have received Jesus. Actually, one of the reasons my wife and I came back this year is because the Words of the Pastor from last year were really important. I want to come back again next year.” John
“I have never seen such a high class performance before. The actors, the Choir, and the orchestra all of them were good but among them I think the orchestra was most awesome. As everyone might have seen, the play of the orchestra in every performance was inspirational. Each melody moved and I was really able to enjoy it.” – Ted
“I came through the Dear Neighbor (invitation letter) in the mailbox. Today’s performance was absolutely fantastic. The voice of the Gracias Choir was really beautiful. Everyone is talented; everything from costume, lighting, atmosphere was good. I was told that Christmas is a day Jesus came for us. Jesus came to this earth for our sins and we must know the love of Jesus. And through Him, we have become righteous. Christmas is the birth of Jesus and I think it’s the day of celebration. Today was fantastic.” – Dana
“I saw an advertisement on a website called ‘Union’ and we came because it looked like a performance we could see with family. When we deal with family not out of selfishness, but with sincerity, we can feel each other’s love and misunderstandings becoming resolved. It was a 2nd stage that really made us think about caring for family with sincerity.” – Deb
New Orleans is starting to find its old appearance again but the scars left from the Katrina Hurricane still remains in their hearts. The earth cannot overcome darkness by itself. We can see their scarred hearts meeting with Jesus and begin to heal. The Christmas Cantata healed the hearts of the citizens of New Orleans today.