According to a CBS report in 2015, Detroit was ranked number one as the poorest city in America. With a total population of 706,000, 48% of the people in Detroit earn an annual income below 25,000 dollars, College graduates are only 12.7%, and those who earn an annual income of 150,000 dollars are only 1%. The main cause was the economic blow from a series bankruptcy of automobile industries such as GM. Consequently, in 2014, Detroit declared bankruptcy despite being the biggest city in America. Tens of thousands of houses were abandoned and several dozen thousand households couldn’t pay for water. Due to the city’s bankruptcy, the citizens living in Detroit lost all hope.
In such a city, Missionary Daeil Ro preached the gospel experiencing the ‘grace of God that loves the citizens of Detroit’ and fostering hope. Four thousand people attended the <Christmas Cantata> that took place on October 10th at the Detroit Masonic Temple and experienced the grace of God.
Dr. Cheryl Moore met with Missionary Myeong-cheol Lim 5 years ago in Detroit and was introduced to the <Christmas Cantata>. Afterwards, when she was suggested by Missionary Lim to become a member of the preparation committee, she says she accepted because it was meaningful. “I accepted on the spot. I attended from the first performance and invited about 700 people last year, and this year, I delivered 4,000 tickets this year. The <Christmas Cantata> is a very high-class music performance and musical as well as a gospel seminar. Many people who wouldn’t come to church otherwise are able to efficiently know the true meaning of the birth of Jesus through the Cantata performance. When I first saw the Cantata, especially when I saw the scene of the birth of Jesus, I thought, ‘That’s how Jesus was born!’ and it felt so real that I shed tears because I was touched. I think the Gracias Choir’s <Christmas Cantata> is the best in all parts of music, opera, instruments, props, acting, dancing, costume etc. People who haven’t seen the Cantata have not been able to see the best thing ever or even have the chance to receive salvation. I feel proud to be taking part in supporting the promotion of the Cantata.”
Among the viewers of the <Christmas Cantata>, Mr. Eric who limp his leg due to a cardiogenic shock he experienced not long ago says he ‘experienced an amazing power’ as he listened to the Cantata message. “Among the sermon, I heard a story about a youth that was stung by an African scorpion. But in the scripture of Isaiah it said, ‘ those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength’ and I also gained the great strength that my leg was also going to be healed. I felt the grace of God and I already feel like it has gotten better! I’m going to carefully read the scriptures in Hebrews chapter 9 again when I get home. Thank you!” He watched the performance with his younger brother and son, and he gained a happy smile and hopeful life.
“I saw the Cantata last year and I came with my family and church members this year – my daughter, friend, and church members. Everything today was great and fantastic. The birth of Jesus in Act 1, the story of Anna in Act 2, and even the sermon of the Pastor was all great. Everything was the best. I wrote down the bible verses and I plan to read them again when I go back home. The sermon was really thankful, and Jesus made us righteous by paying for all out sins, and I am thankful that he delivered to us this message!” Four thousand Detroit citizens attended as audience and watched the beautiful Cantata performance. The citizens that already know the fame of the <Christmas Cantata>, in particular, believed that ‘All our sins have been eternally redeemed in the tabernacle of Heaven’ today. Detroit, where the great grace of God overflowed, felt the love and great power of God tonight. On October 11th, the love of God in the <Christmas Cantata> will be painted in Philadelphia.