Toronto, Ontario, Canada—The 2013 Gracias Christmas Cantata Tour dropped anchor in Toronto, Cantata, the final stop. Past Cantatas were always held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but this year Toronto, the first city of Canada, played host to the festivities.
Canada is home to 197 ethnic groups. The city of Toronto is a hotbed for so many immigrants. Many considered Christmas Cantata a strictly religious event, which proved to be a major hurdle in promoting it across the city.
Fortunately, Christmas Cantata was held during Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday and this opened the way for more people to be able to attend with their families.
30 minutes before the house was opened, a diverse crowd gathered in front of the venue, Global Kingdom Ministries: Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Canadian, African American, and more. The theater felt like a microcosm for the world.
By the start of the performance each seat in the 1560-seat hall was filled with people eager to experience the night when Jesus was born. The depiction of people in pain, in darkness, and in search for the Savior finally worshipping Jesus manger brought the applause of the audience. We could tell they were inviting Him in their own hearts for their own sin.
Every Cantata stage carried the message of the Gospel. The citizens of Toronto naturally opened their hearts to Jesus as they were watching the performance and were given the opportunity to hear the Gospel directly through the Cantata message.
“Just as the man with the 38-year infirmity was able to overcome his sickness through the words of Jesus, ‘Rise, take up thy bed and walk’, everything we need for our sins to be washed is within the Word. When we look at ourselves, we can’t be righteous, only a sinner, but through the Word…’and such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God’, I am clean. I am holy. I am righteous.”
“Everything about tonight’s Cantata was perfect. Especially during the message, I had hope to hear that if I believe in Jesus, then everything is possible, even the washing of sin. As I listened to the message tonight, I opened my heart to Jesus and I believed the words the pastor preached.”
– Doloress Uptegrove
“The words that Jesus died for our sins…that through the shedding of His blood, our sins have been diminished, that we are holy, clean, and righteous…it’s truly an “Amen”. It gave me such joy when His name was immediately praised in Act 3. It’s truly touching and I will tell my son about the amazing thing that happened here today.”
– Marva McLean
The Cantata that traveled all across the United States to preach the gospel has officially ended in Canada. Wherever Gracias Christmas Cantata went this year, the precious works of salvation were witnessed in each city, in each venue, and in each heart of those who attended. Although the 2013 Tour has concluded, there is so much hope in the work that God will fulfill through this unique ministry in 2014.
Thanks so much for joining IYF and Gracias Choir on this journey. Follow these orgs on Twitter if you haven’t already: @IYF_USA and @GraciasChoirUSA