A Christmas miracle for Ukrainian refugees in Riga

St. Meinard Foundation, organized a concert of the musical «A Christmas Miracle» in Riga for refugees from Ukraine, which took place as part of the group’s European tour.

«A Christmas Miracle» is a performance that combines classical music with a musical show that everyone can enjoy. It is a special occasion to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and to enjoy the beautiful hymns. It’s the perfect way to end an eventful year.

The creator of the musical, ICH HALTE DICH, is a non-profit association that was founded in March of this year to help refugees from Ukraine. The actors are young Ukrainians who have not lost their dreams and hope, and volunteer students from South Korea. During the Christmas season, they will give hope and love to all Europeans and Ukrainians living in different countries.

On the eve of the concert, the creator of the musical, Pastor Yongshin Oh, met with Protestant pastors on the premises of Good News Church.

We spoke with a representative of the creative team, Pastor Jongmin Oh who serves in Warsaw.

— What is the meaning of this feast, and how was the idea to conduct a large-scale tour of 46 cities in 33 countries born?

— We want to convey the true meaning of Christmas joy and why we celebrate it. Many people celebrate Christmas, but not everyone knows its true meaning. We accept and pass on this gift for those people who do not know why Jesus was born. Jesus was born to cleanse our sin and to make us righteous before God. When He died, He said, «It is finished,» which means a complete atonement for sins. Through Jesus we became righteous. It is very important to believe this.

The first part of the play tells the story of how Jesus was born. The second story is about a girl named Anna. She was a troubled child, but when she found out about her father’s heart, the story ended happily. We want to show how important trust is between children and parents.

— This year you will have a «Ukrainian voice.» What does that mean and who are the people who will be in the show?

— It’s very sad, but there was a war this year, and a lot of Ukrainian refugees ended up in other countries. We as an association started working for them, delivering food and helping with transportation. And we thought, what more could we do for them? In our opinion, faith in the heart is very important. It is especially important for young people who have a dream. Perhaps they fear that they will not be able to realize their dreams because of the war. We don’t want young people to lose their dreams. We have organized a group called Mriya (Dream) that works with young people. This group is also participants in the play.

The Mriya Project participated in a dance festival in South Korea, where they showed their dream. It was difficult to do because some of the participants did not have passports and vaccine certificates, they had no visa and no money to travel. Because of the pandemic, ticket prices went from $700 up to $1,500. There were many difficulties, but we believed and prayed and through it we saw that nothing is impossible for God. In the end, the band went to the festival and won the grand prize. What is impossible for people — is possible to God.

— What is the connection between this tour and the Dream Center project in Ukraine?

— The city of Bucha in Ukraine was the hardest hit during the war. Many people died. The mayor of Bucha and our organization signed a memorandum of cooperation. A lot of buildings in this city were destroyed. We decided to build a center for Ukrainian youth. In this center many young people will learn how to think and overcome the psychological trauma of the war. During the free performance people can leave a donation for the construction of the center.