Panhandle Spirit: Boys Ranch Christmas Cantata

Students at Boys Ranch are preparing for their annual Christmas cantata(Courtesy Cal Farley's Boys Ranch)

All across the area, groups are sharing the Christmas story in many terrific ways, and that message truly resonates with the kids who participate in the annual cantata at Boys Ranch.

Since early November, Chaplain Ray Martinez has been guiding more than 60 kids through rehearsals for Sunday's performance.

"It's a big accomplishment for our kiddos to be able to pull it off in front of hundreds of people. It's a beautiful thing to watch, and to watch them smile, and be proud of what they accomplished," Martinez said.

Amaya Kearney-Yancy is one of the singers. It's her third year to be on stage.

"It was really nerve-wracking, but the second year, it kinda got a little better because I'd done it before, and this year I feel it's gonna be the same way. I was really excited to get that feeling again..feels really good," Amaya said.

Alex Brennan is one of two narrators in the program. He performed last year in the same role and is eager to share the Bethlehem experience again.

"What it means to me is to everybody that comes is to just tell the story of Christ, and how he became, and what had happened during his birth," Brennan said.

"I hope our teenagers here, the kids here, get that Christmas is more than about getting presents or getting the most expensive shoes or something like that. It's more than that. It's built around a very important person, and I just really like the message we deliver every year," Amaya said.

This year's theme is "Hope is Born". Martinez says he sees that theme play out daily in the lives of the hundreds of at-risk boys and girls who live at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.

"As we were putting it together and praying about it, and writing this thing out, a lot of kiddos in care, we find hope here at Cal Farley, so it's very fitting this year, the hope we have found," said Martinez.

During this year's performance, the kids will share their own journeys, with what they call “cardboard testimonies”. A word written on one side that describes their life before coming to Boys Ranch, and on the other side, a message of the love and confidence they've discovered through Christ.

The performance is at 4pm, Sunday, December 16th.

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