Alaska, meaning ‘great land’ in Native American language, was bought in 1867 by US Secretary of State William Henry Seward at 7,200,000 dollars from the Russian Government. Afterwards, in 1959, it officially became American territory as it was included as America’s 49th State. Anchorage, which is the biggest city in the State with 40% of Alaska’s population acts as a hub connecting flights flying between European and North American continents and the far east. With many beautiful nicknames such as Aurora Heaven, World’s Last Clean Zone etc. Anchorage is comprised of four mild springs, cool summers, chilly autumns, and cold winters.
“My Korean name is Eun Hye Jung, after the last name of the Anchorage pastor. I’m a student in UAS, and I met with people promoting the Cantata at a booth in the campus and I was surprised to hear that it is a world-class choir. I was in a choir in high school and I like music so I thought it was a good idea to volunteer and that’s how I joined. While preparing with the church members doing delivery and letter work I heard the mind lecture. I don’t know why but I gained freedom from everything in my heart and found peace. I can say for sure that I received salvation through this volunteer work. I gained freedom from sin. I want to bring all my family members here and make them receive salvation. Especially, I would be really happy if my mother received salvation. I just started this volunteer work thinking it would be fun but I learned so much from it and they were good times that made me realize a lot of things.” – Cindy
On the 1st and 2nd of October, for two days, the theatre housing 2000 seats that will be holding the Anchorage Christmas Cantata is the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Due to geographical issues, it is not easy to encounter cultural performances in Anchorage nonetheless this theatre is known to have been where famous Broadway shows took place.
At the VIP meeting, Pastor Ja Yang Jung testified of how he felt burdensome about the Anchorage Cantata but he was able to begin by the will of the Church and God. People opened their hearts as he explained how God helped in the process. Pastor Jung said that anyone who watches the Cantata will open their hearts so he wanted to invite many people and God brought many people.
After the 2nd stage ended, there was a message. Pastor Young Kook Park of New York Church likes the word, ‘BUT.’ The words ‘BUT’ has the power to overturn all the sentences that come before it. Jesus tells us, “You are very filthy. You cannot go to Heaven. BUT, you have become clean and holy and righteous.” As he spoke these words, several of the audience started to shout “JESUS!!” “Hallelujah!!” etc. Moreover, when he asked, “How righteous are you?” the citizens of Anchorage shouted out in one voice, “Forever righteous.”
“It was a fantastic performance that is not at all common. I can’t believe how such talented people could sing for free. Some of them were from different language areas and that was surprising. There is another Cantata performance tomorrow again — just don’t think about whether it will be good or not, if you just come and see you will think that it was valuable time and you will be able to see the lives of the performers.” – 11th Division Air Force Lieutenant General, Russell J. Handy
“It was very wonderful. The message delivered through the music was so beautiful. Also, there wa strength in the message. Everything was beautiful and impressive. But if I were to choose, the last chorus part of the ‘Hallelujah’ was most impressive. I’m also a Christian so I was deeply moved by the pastor’s Words, it was perfect. I felt that there was strength in the Words. The testimony of one missionary who was revived after being stung by a scorpion was very marvelous. To me, today’s Christmas Cantata was a performance that everyone can enjoy together and that tells us the true meaning of Christmas. “ – State Governor’s Wife, Donna Walker
“Today’s performance was fantastic. It was beautiful. Especially as I watched the 1st stage, the birth of Jesus was really amazing. I’m also a Christian and as I watched the 1st stage I was able to think again about Jesus’ birth. Also, the Words of one missionary who was bitten by a scorpion and came back alive were very moving. There is not one lie in the missionary’s words. I also know the Words of Isaiah and I was able to clearly feel that God was working. To me, the Christmas Cantata is Jesus because first, I’m a Christian and also because it is a day that best shows the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.” – Jessica
Alaska has finally opened the stage for its first Christmas Cantata. Perhaps it was the cold weather, but it felt like a Christmas in winter. It’s a rare occasion to come across a cultural performance here so people were excited but also a bit suspicious at the free Christmas Cantata performance. However, the hearts of the citizens of Anchorage who saw the performance were completely changed to happiness and answered, “It was so wonderful and very professional. Tomorrow, I plan to bring my family.”, “I plan to invite my friends tomorrow,” ”It was beyond imagination.” The Gracias Choir that always delivers things beyond imagination and the true Gospel within it brought the people of Anchorage to a Heaven of Aurora filled with miracle and wonder.