The Christmas Cantata Tour Bus arrived at its fourteenth destination which is Miami. Miami which maintains the warm weather for 365 days is warm enough to swim even in the Winter. Therefore the sunshine of October felt very strong too.
Miami is one of the favorite holiday destinations even within America. However America’s Economic newspaper, ‘Forbes,’ chose Miami as the number one most pitiful city. This choice was made after consideration of unemployment, strong crimes and commuting hours. Miami was chosen as the worst city in regards to crime rate, housing problems and commuting hours.
The dark side of Miami, hidden behind the title of a beautiful vacation destination. God allowed the Cantata in Miami.
Many citizens gathered at the James L. Knight Center in order to welcome the Christmas in the middle of the Summer in sun shining city of Miami. In Miami there were two performances, one at 3pm and the other at 7pm.
There were people who came to see the 3pm performance but came late so they had to wait for the 7pm performance.
“The pastor from our church told me about the Cantata. The day that he announced it, was the last day to request for tickets, so he told me to request it immediately. But at the time because I was not sure about my schedule I couldn’t request tickets at the time. I thought ‘there will be a chance next time..’ and came home, but someone left two tickets and a letter in front of my door. That is how I got to come here. I wanted to originally see the 3pm performance, but I got lost on the way so I arrived at 4pm. I am going to wait till 7 to watch the performance. I can hear the sound of the Cantata out here, but I think it will be great to see it in person!”
He tried to enter during the middle of the performance, but as he was told that the Cantata would be more enjoyable if watched from the beginning, he smiled like a kid saying “Really?” and sat back down on the couch.
3000 people came for the 3pm performance, and for the 7pm performance people started coming from 5pm and entered until 9pm so in total 4000 people came during the evening performance.
After the angels notified about the birth of Jesus and the shepherds blessed the birth, the cry of baby Jesus could be heard. As soon as the cry of baby Jesus was heard, the audience responded with loud cheers and applause. The audience’s eyes were filled with emotion as they witnessed Jesus who was going to save the people of this world.
“I thank you so much for inviting me. It was a performance which left me speechless. The voices of the choir was amazing, and the overall structure of the performance was great too. It was a performance which was worth one hundred dollars to watch. Each and every stage was amazing in delivering the message of Jesus’ birth. This is the best show! I cried during the scene of Jesus’ birth! The thing I liked about pastor’s message was the fact that God knew that we were sinners and the future sins that we were going to commit and forgave us for all of them. That fact is truly amazing. As I live as a mother and as a member of the senate I often forget about God, but I want to remember this. And the last song ‘God Bless America,’ as I heard it I was blown away. I was even moved further, seeing non-Americans singing a song of America’s blessing with such emotion. Americans often take the freedom and blessing they have for granted, and they often don’t know about the gratefulness which comes with that. I am simple thankful for the fact that still the Americans and America is still inside the blessing of the Lord.” – Anitere Flores (Miami’s member of Senate)
After the interview of Senate Member, Anitere Flores was over her mother asked a lot about the choir. She asked the nationality of the choir, whether they were english speakers, and whether or not they knew the meaning of the lines they were saying during the performance. It seemed as if she couldn’t believe non native English speakers giving such great inspiration to Americans. The choir studies the Bible to express about the birth of Jesus, and during that process they meet God in their hearts as they prepare for the performance, as the mother of Anitere was told this she became emotional. She held both of my hands and thanked me greatly for making such a performance.
“I received tickets during the promotion happening in my university so I came with my friends. It was really great! How can it describe it with words? The story’s expression and explanation about God from Act 1 to 3 was really good. And the last song ‘God Bless America,’ the chills I got.. The consideration in using the Spanish interpretation while the Christmas message was preached was great too, because in Miami there are many people who cannot use English and speak only Spanish! I have very much enjoyed the performance~!” – Jane, Anna, Valerie, Natalie
“I first had my connection with IYF from a year and a half ago. IYF introduced me about the Christmas Cantata and, because I was doing a music related business, I thought that the Cantata would be a great performance. I thought it would be a great performance for the people who have lost their path in life to rediscover it. Music is a global language. I believe that the message of God within the performance and the Christmas message has spread in the hearts of Miami’s citizens.” – Ruben Campbell (Founder of Music for your Heart Foundation)
“This is the third Cantata as a family for us. I first came here when someone left an invitation letter in my post box. With the contacts information I gave them three years ago they continually kept in contact with me and this is now my third time. When I came in my first year, I requested for 20 extra tickets because I wanted to bring people around me, and the second time I requested for forty tickets to give out to many of the church people. And this year I have requested for one hundred tickets and handed it out throughout all the church. So I can see many people from my church here and there and you will see more in the evening time. It was really a beautiful performance. The first stage was my favorite, how the Israelites lived a painful life, but as Jesus was born their pains were finished and they found happiness.. that story was the most touching. I think that is what reality is. In the world you see many people decorating themselves and seeming to live a happy and enjoyable life, but there are many people who are living in pain and in darkness. That image seemed like the Israelites seeking for Messiah in their agony. However, we can be happy through Jesus! I have a heart that this is the Good News and this is the Gospel. When the choir sang “Hallelujah,’ in the third act my eyes continually were tearing up, because I was so thankful to God. I am certain that God has given that music to Handel. I think when I go to heaven in the future it would feel like the song ‘Hallelujah.’ I will come again next year!” – Frias’ Family
After the Christmas Cantata there was the VIP reception. Pastor Ki of Good News Manhattan Church preached the word to the VIP by telling the story of the paralytic. “The paralytic came to be cured of his illness, but Jesus said ‘your sins are forgive.’ The paralytic accepted the word as it is and afterwards, Jesus cured the body of the paralytic. Folks, don’t look at yourself and insult yourself, but rather believe in Jesus who will help you. It is the time to look upon Jesus.” The VIPs responded with applause and pledged to work for the IYF and the Gospel.
Just like how hungry people can eat food the best, the citizens of Miami in their exhausting and pitiful circumstances, sweetly took the Gospel like Manna. The birth of Jesus, the miracle of Christmas that Anna experienced, the Christmas message, and until the very last moment in the Choir’s singing, each moment was filled with joy and emotion and such reaction of the people also made the people watching the audience overwhelmed. Jesus who was born in the manger because he loved the people of Miami so much. That God is going to Jacksonville tomorrow.