he second city is Philadelphia.
We arrived in Philadelphia after a two hour ride from New Jersey.
The venue for this Christmas Cantata in Philadelphia is the Liacouras Center in Temple University. The Liacouras Center is a very famous performance theatre that everyone knows. The estimated 5000 seats increased to 7000 seats as the stage was pushed back. To make things worse, news came that the Cantata schedule overlapped with a 65,000 seat football match, a fanatical sport of the citizens of Philadelphia. This game was a very important one that determines the ranking of teams so all the roads were expected to be extremely congested. We wondered, ‘God must have known such a situation but why did He allow the seats to be increased?’ but the brothers and sisters of Philadelphia Church believed, “God is happy with this Cantata. In whatever situation we’re in or whatever problems we have, this Cantata can only go well. Why? Because God rejoices in this Cantata.” We began to believe that God will work strongly through the Philadelphian Cantata and everyone looked forward to many people filling this theatre that has the most seats among all the Cantata Tour destinations.
In the afternoon of September 20th, on the day of the Philadelphia Cantata, there was a Pastor’s Meeting. “I am happy to meet you here today like this. Let’s prepare next year’s Christmas Cantata together!” Pastor Sang Rok Ryu proposed in tears to preach the gospel to the many people in difficulty in Philadelphia. Many of the pastors were moved by Pastor Ryu’s sincere testimony. Also, all the pastors responded with ‘amen’ after hearing the gospel preached to them and showed their willingness to work with our mission.
“I really think that the youth are important. They lack the ability to control their environment or behavior. That is why there are many youth in pain and despair. I believe the solution is the gospel. Through the gospel, we can save them and they can overcome their dark environment to see the bright light of Jesus Christ. The Good News Mission has many programs for the youth and I like their enthusiasm. Moreover, the Words in this mission is clear and indisputable. I would like to fully support you and work together. I am very happy to meet all of you” – T. R Nicholson (Greater Faith Missionary Church)
At 6:30pm, when the house opened (performance started), the citizens of Philadelphia flooded into the concert hall and got ready to see the Christmas Cantata.
The citizens of Philadelphia that were brought back in time — 2000 years ago when Jesus was born in Bethlehem – soon immersed into the music of the Gracias Choir.
There was pin-drop silence in the audience as they payed full attention to each and every verse of the Choir’s songs.
Pastor Young Kook Park of New York Church invited to the stage John Park, who was revived from a sting by a scorpion to share the story of that moment. Moreover, he spoke about eternal redemption through the words in Hebrews chapter 9 verses 11 and 12.
“Throughout the whole performance, I felt like my heart had become rich. I believe that all this is the plan of God. I really like going to the theatres and the music of the Gracias Choir was very professional and rich, and the sound was pure and beautiful. The birth of Jesus was most impressive to me. I live in this era but I felt like I was brought back to that time, and I think the birth of Jesus was expressed very well. Also, I heard the testimony of one person that came out and told us about how he came back to life after being stung by a scorpion and it was really amazing. God worked.” – Lane Une
The colder it gets, the more you can feel warmth and the darker it is, the more the stars shine brightly. The citizens of Philadelphia have a bright but dark side to them. This midsummer night’s Christmas Cantata in Philadelphia made their hearts even brighter. After gifting treasures to the citizens of Philadelphia tonight, the Gracias Choir will be delivering the message of hope to the citizens of Washington D.C. tomorrow.