The fourth city is Detroit.

‘Motor City’. Detroit, once renowned for being America’s largest industrial city, started to subside with American domestic cars in the early 1990s by the emergence of foreign automobiles. Moreover, livelihood was pushed to the corners with key leaders of Detroit involving in secret deals and corruption. Finally in 2013, the city of Detroit declared bankruptcy.

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Afterwards, many people left the city and the remaining citizens lost hope in life, falling into drugs and alcohol addiction. Detroit degenerated into the most dangerous city in America with the highest crime rate. Presently, 2 years after declaring bankruptcy, there are efforts to change with redevelopment construction taking place in different places within the city. But the citizens live on with an unhealed scar left inside the heart.

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“I believe the Christmas Cantata is performance that is absolutely necessary for the people of Detroit.  I grew up in this city. A lot of stuff happened. But one thing I felt for sure while preparing the Cantata is that the Cantata will make a lot of people happy. I’m attending as a volunteer for the 4th time and each time I was really happy. I’m already sure that people watching this performance for the first time will definitely enjoy and be happy.” – Davell_Volunteer

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“I am Malika Velinor working as a teacher at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. One of the officials here came to our school and talked about volunteer work for students while explaining the Cantata. It was very interesting and I brought my class students thinking of letting them participate in the volunteer work. The students are really enjoying and happy right now because they like music. I hope they have a good experience volunteering today and listening to music.” – Teacher Malika Velinor_Volunteer

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The 4,000 seat Masonic Temple theater was filled with Detroit citizens. The Christmas Cantata stage began with the end of the bright-smiled Righteous Stars’ performance.

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As the song of Angels announcing the birth of Jesus appeared, the audience cheered and shouted ‘Amen!’ The people of Jerusalem with all hopes lost under the oppression of the Romans. The citizens of Detroit who have also lost hope under the weight of despair. Jesus has been born today in their hearts. Having been unable to hide their joy at Jesus’ birth, they sent unremitting applause.

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“There is power in the world of God. Believing in the Words is believing in the power of Jesus. In Hebrews chapter 9 verse 12, it talks about eternal redemption. We are currently living in a temporal world. In this temporal world there exists past, present, and future. There is each a tabernacle in Heaven and earth. The tabernacle in Heaven is in eternal world while the one on earth is in temporal world. That is why when Jesus bled and died, his blood was put on the tabernacle in Heaven and so it is the eternal world. The reason we have no sins is an eternal fact. He has made us righteous, whole, and holy.” As Pastor Young Kook Park of New York Church preached the Words, the citizens of Detroit answered with words from deep within their heart; “Amen!”, “Yes!!”, and “Righteous!”

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“I remember seeing such a Christmas Cantata when I was young. What I saw today was also very good. I am so thankful to have been able to see such a performance as a Christian. I am very happy that I have discovered a performance that informs of the true meaning of Christmas. I liked the pastor’s message the most. Also, the testimony of the missionary that came back alive after being stung by a scorpion was miraculous. God has done it. And the pastor spoke about eternal redemption and the eternal and temporal world and he said Jesus’ blood was left in the eternal world so my sins are forgiven forever. I believe that. I’m so thankful.” –  Julie

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“The whole performance was perfect and great. Also, very spiritual. Especially, the pastor’s message was very good. The pastor said that Jesus took away all our sins. I was so thankful.” –Helen Dozier

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“It was so wonderful. The 1st stage was very similar to the actual birth of Jesus. I think the 1st stage moved the hearts of the audience because it portrayed the Bible as it is. As I heard the testimony (Missionary John Choi), I was able to think again about what heart God wants to give us.” – Pastor Geraldine Simmons

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The true meaning of Christmas is the day of the birth of Jesus in our hearts. The Christmas of Detroit citizens was not December 25th but today, September 23rd. The true Jesus was born in their hearts and they tasted an invaluable joy through the Christmas Cantata that cannot be traded with anything else.

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