Oct 12th – Chicago,IL. The 13th stop on the Christmas Cantata Tour was the windy city itself: Chicago, Illinois. Chicago lies along Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes in the Midwest that’s so big, two Korean peninsulas could fit inside. Chicago is also the place where world renowned pastor D.L. Moody did his ministry. It was here that God allowed the Cantata to be held.
After the infamous Great Chicago Fire of 1871 ripped through the heart of the city and destroyed a large portion of the city, the best architects gathered to reconstruct the city in a new design. Thus, no matter where one looks today, beautiful and modern buildings and architecture greet the eye.
Prior to that day, the preparation team had visited the representative of the 65th district in which Evanston Township High School (the venue) is located, with hopes of receiving help in promoting the Cantata. The 65th district is densely populated with 3 middle schools and 15 elementary schools, all within 10 minutes travelling distance. With the help of the district, all teachers were able to distribute the invitation letters to the students.
Not only did the preparation team use invitation letters, but also ran a call center for 3 weeks, during which they contacted every store in Chicago’s Korea Town area to invite Korean-Americans. It just so happened that among the many attendees for the Cantata, many of them were the very same Korean-Americans that had been invited.
Also, on the day of the Cantata, KBC TV ran special coverage of the event. An employee of the station who had seen the first Chicago Cantata in 2011 actively helped us with making the coverage possible. The event itself was scheduled to air on Channel 41 news that same day.
When Act 1 began, there wasn’t a single person in the audience who didn’t feel the sorrow resonating from the stage as no one could be found to offer a room for Jesus to be born. But this sorrow turned to cheers and acclamation as Jesus was born in the humblest place.
In Act 2, the realization of the father’s love for his mischievous daughter Anna, together with familiar and joyful carols, ignited the once dry hearts of the people so used to living a busy Chicago lifestyle.
After the second act, Pastor Terry Henderson from Good News New York Church spoke, “A man with an infirmity for 38 years was able get up and walk right away when he heard the word of Jesus telling him to, ‘arise and take up thy bed.’ The Word of God has power.” He preached that even though we are all evil and sinners, we have been washed, sanctified and justified just as the Word of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 says. Then he asked the audience,
“So, if God says you’re washed, you are~?”
“If God says you’re sanctified, you are~?”
Even after the encore song in Act 3, the audience wouldn’t stop applauding. In this very city where many world-class performances happen every day, these people might have been waiting for a performance that could fill their hearts instead of their ears.
“I remember the Cantata from two years ago. I was invited by people from a prayer meeting that I go to. One reason I came back to the Cantata is because I can’t forget the truly beautiful performance last time.”
– Victoria Nba
“I came here after watching a performance at the best opera house in Chicago yesterday, but the Christmas Cantata is by far better. Beautiful melodies have rung in my heart. My husband and I have 11 grandchildren and we are planning on bringing them all next year.”
– Mary Jendras
“I came here with a ticket that was sent to the school my son goes to. I was feel that this Cantata is done to let us know that Christmas isn’t a day just for giving and receiving gifts, but that it has a different meaning to it. The performance was so much greater than what I anticipated and the message remained in my memory especially. Even though we have sin, I believe that in the Word we are righteous and clean.
– Sofia Mamcera
Despite the fact that there is a church and school established here by the once strong gospel preacher, D. L. Moody, it has been a long time since the trace of the Gospel has faded away. That is why God has led the steps of His loving citizens of Chicago to this place and allowed them the gospel, again. Now the Choir is on the road to their next city –Detroit to deliver this good news.