The final day of the 2013 New York World Camp ended with two Christmas Cantata performances at LIU Tilles Center. The 3:30 PM performance served as the finale for IYF World Camp participants.
Fox and Friends First co-host Ainsley Earhardt paid a special visit to IYF, offering a congratulatory message before the first act began. “I believe that God is leading IYF as well as the world. Whatever it is that we may need in our lives, God will definitely fulfill it. All we need to do is pray with faith,” she said during her address. The audience cheered loudly for Earhardt and even louder once the Gracias Christmas Cantata performance began.
The second Christmas Cantata performance at 7:30 PM was completely open to the surrounding communities. Two weeks prior to IYF World Camp, short-term missionaries as well as Camp volunteers delivered hand-written invitation letters to the doorsteps of houses in Brookville and Huntington. Not one day after promotions began, calls began pouring in from people asking for more tickets and information. Many people couldn’t believe that such a show was free or really happening. This was truly a first for the town of Brookville.
LIU Tilles Center was filled with people who lined up well before the doors even opened. God sent the people He promised to send. We wondered if they were happy to see the hand-written “Dear Neighbor” letters that had been delivered on foot. And much to our delight, many concertgoers were seen with those letters in hand.
Although this Christmas Cantata was on a weekday, the theater was full of people who had come to see Gracias Choir for the first time. The start of the performance was postponed to allow the throngs of people to find their seats. The auditorium’s 2200 capacity was filled in an instant as the 1st stage depicting Jesus’ birth began.
After the 2nd act concluded, Pastor Park testified about the God that had worked in him, and spoke about the difference between the life of pain he lived before meeting God and his current joy-filled life he lives for the Gospel.
The final performance of “O Holy Night,” drew a standing ovation and shouts of “Encore!” filled the hall as Gracias Choir signed off in grand fashion with “God Bless America.”
Here is what some people had to say after the Gracias Christmas Cantata:
“The most moving part for me was ‘O Holy Night.’ The performance was so beautiful and it was so cute to see the little five year olds dancing. I had a wonderful time thanks to Gracias Choir. More than anything, I felt the love of God and the importance of family through the Christmas Cantata. Thank you so much for the invitation.” -John Jiarranno, Long Island
“We got to see the Christmas miracle of Jesus’ birth through this music concert. It was our first time hearing Gracias Choir’s music and it was just so moving. I’m especially glad that my daughter was able to listen to such great performances. If we get a chance I definitely want to come again. -Bridget Groeger/ Northport
The love of Jesus Christ portrayed in the Gracias Christmas Cantata truly moved so many people. This performance at LIU Tilles Center marked the start of the 2013 Christmas Cantata Tour, which will take place in late September through October. 15 cities are scheduled and preparations are well underway. Without a doubt, the Gospel will be spread to millions of Americans in the near future.