As a theatre and communication major and lead pastor of Da Nang International Fellowship (DIF), Cindy Brewer loves to tell a story with music and dance. Each year DIF rents Trung Vuong Theater to give a musical presentation of the Christmas story to Da Nang residents. Merry Christmas Da Nang now has two packed performances, totaling 2400, and an international choir that is 70 percent Vietnamese.
In the beginning, Cindy, who at the time was the associate pastor of DIF, thought the Christmas program would be primarily for expatriates away from home during the holidays, but it has grown to so much more.
“The Christmas ministry had a ripple effect,” Cindy said.
Those involved in the production total more than 100, which is larger than their congregation. Many come to practice their English, but find faith in Jesus Christ.
Dancers, actors, choir members, production specialists, backstage personnel, and costume, prop and design artists share the joy and hope of the Christmas season the first weekend of December. This year’s program entitled Christmas All Over the World provides a cross-cultural representation of music, dance and traditional Christmas celebrations from around the globe.
“It really is like planting a kernel of corn,” she said. “What comes up is so much more than what you anticipated. Those are the moments that you feel like, ‘This is what I was made for.’”
DIF is a congregation of about 100 expatriates from 15-20 countries who meet together weekly. The group is theologically and denominationally diverse, but shares the common desire of an English speaking service.
“A lot of our members are missionaries and come as part of non-governmental organizations to do the work that they are committed to,” Cindy said. “But the greatest change in their life is something God does in them.”
English teachers use the Christmas program as a way, not only to teach English, but also to talk about the story and meaning of Christmas. Recently, one of the teachers had several in his group come to faith and go on to baptize a couple of their friends, too.
“For so long, you don’t see the fruit, and then all at once, it’s everywhere,” she said.
The church also partners with the Communist government to provide for humanitarian needs. Together they allocate resources to underprivileged children, host holiday parties at the local pediatric hospital, and sponsor two families to provide school expenses for their children.