Las Vegas is the third city in the west coast that we arrived in after LA and San Jose. Las Vegas meaning a prairie or a pasture in spanish, is actually a city built in the middle of the dessert. It is the first state in America to have gambling legalized, so Las Vegas is well known for touring, prostitution and gambling.
In the downtown of Las Vegas one can see the Statue of Liberty from New York, Paris’ Eiffel Tower and the Triumphal Arc at one sight. The water show in front of the luxurious Bellagio Hotel has beautiful music and water streams in harmony with each other, and the fire show that you can see in front of the Mirage Hotel is an unique attraction of Las Vegas
The city where the lights are never off, in Las Vegas the night is more beautiful then the daytime it is because of the bright and shiny signs of casinos and amusement spots. In the nightless city many have gathered at the Cashman Center Theater to received the gift of Christmas. Friends and family who were waiting at the lobby for the house opening were sharing their thoughts and expectations about the up coming performance.
When Anna the troublemaker daughter realized her father’s love and hugged her father the audience were happy as if their own daughters have returned to them. The comical expressions and each lines that the actors read out made the audience smile as well as also making them aware of the importance of family.
After the second act Pastor Joseph Park preached the Gospel to the citizens of Las Vegas.
“Folks, the meaning of the name Jesus is ‘He will save his people from their sins’. In regards to forgiveness the heart of the forgiver is more important then the person being forgiven. God as soon as Jesus was sent on earth to wash our sins, wanted to forgive our sins. God said that we have been cleansed, justified and sanctified. There is no reason for you to be in pain because of sin. You have all been forgiven already by the Lord!”
The citizens of Las Vegas through the Christmas Cantata met the true heart of God. This was the prairie and the pasture which solved their third and gave them rest.
Holy Night which was sang by all the audiences, although they have never practiced with the Gracias Choir, the harmony which they mad was more moving and beautiful then any other songs.
“We came to the performance because our friends invited us. It is a performance that I want to hand out 10 stars to. Little Santas dancing were so cute and the chorus which the choir sang in the third act was really touching. I had a great time with my husband!” – Christpher & Stephanie
“I came here after seeing the Dear Neighbor letter on my car. Yesterday I wanted to request more tickets, but was worried because the performance was only one day away, but when I phoned them they were able to provide me with some tickets. That is why I came with my children. The performance was great. Especially, Anna’s story in the second act was the best. I really like the scene where the troublemaker Anna changed after realizing the importance and love of the family. The word of pastor was great too. I think it is truly time for us to know the heart of God. God’s love must be the priority. I think if that is not the priority then all other things are meaningless. Thank you.” – Yavamis
“I met a short term missionary promoting the Christmas Cantata in the university I go to. It was amazing to see them sacrificing their time under the scorching sun in order to promote the Christmas Cantata. When I told them I was going for a Bible study the short term missionaries asked me if I have received the forgiveness of sin and if I was righteous. I answered ‘Yes!’ to all the questions they were asking me at the time. But the more I spoke with them, I got more and more curious about the one year overseas volunteer program and about the God they were feeling and experiencing. Although I attended church from a young age, there was never once when I felt that I was connected to God.
In that way I was connected to the church and started volunteering for the Cantata. As I heard the Gospel from pastor at church I was shocked and extremely happy simultaneously. ‘Hebrews 10:10 – By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ As I heard this from pastor I was surprised. The fact that I had no sin was so amazing and joyful. I thought salvation was only available to those who lived at the time of Jesus but that was not the case. The churches I have been until now told me to live a kind life, pray hard and read the Bible often, but I was very thankful that I met the true church.
Even during this Cantata, although I did not do much I was happy to have been able to participate. I was concerned, ‘what if not many people show up today,’ but whenever people entered the auditorium it was really nice. Moreover after the performance as people came out shaking my hand and thanked me for inviting them to the event, I thought that there wasn’t much I did for them so I was rather more thankful towards them. I am really Happy!” – Mikee (Las Vegas Cantata volunteer)
Las Vegas, a city sought by those searching for flesh’s pleasure. The empty heart which couldn’t be filled after sinning was able to be filled and their thirst quenched through the Gospel which was preached. Christmas Cantata which provides the birth of Christ which the people dearly sought for. It was thankfulness and glory that one cannot express with words. In the Sin City, Las Vegas, the mercy of God reached out to them. People spend the holy night with the Gracias Choir secretly shedding tears thinking of the Lord who entered their filthy hearts which is like the manger,