Dear friends & supporters,
Our teacher candidates are making progress in their applications, but it’s clear that our teacher team won’t come together in time for the coming school year. Yet it’s possible each candidate can come early to engage in ministry (see photo of Chelsy Luck) & the Belize Prayer Network. National prayer will always be high priority for us, even after our school opens (see Call To Worship photos). The issues we face on Caye Caulker are also national issues, so I will continue our ministry on this island but also in the nation too. God has given me, and the Evangelical Association has approved, the assignment of linking prayer groups like BC-HOP into the Belize Prayer Network. In this network intercessors & leaders can share and agree on what God is showing us for Belize. This will mean more expenses in travel, in communications, and in developing an up-to-date website that tracks our prayer campaigns as we make progress in all 7 arenas of influence in Belize. But it will be worth it! Belize is facing many crises that only 2 Chron. 7:14 prayer can overcome. Please ask God what you can contribute, to make a difference on Caye Caulker and in all of Belize!
GOD’S LOVE ON TV & RADIO. On Feb. 26 at BC-HOP we focused on prayer for Media, one of the seven arenas of influence in the nation. We felt led to pray specifically for LOVE-FM, the most popular TV and radio station in Belize. We prayed that LOVE would promote the true love of God shown in His Son, instead of music & ads promoting lust without commitment, leading to unwanted children.
One month later, LOVE invited national church leaders—the Anglican bishop, the former and current church representative in the Senate, and the president of the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC)—to a TV and radio panel discussion on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The BAEC president had a previous commitment, so he asked me to sit in his place. It was the first time I had ever been on radio or TV. I was just getting over a severe flu, but on Monday April 2, I joined the bishop and senators in a small refrigerated studio, which glaring floodlights quickly heated up.
At one point so did the discussion, when two of them debated over the authority of church traditions. But for the most part we stayed on common ground, the Word of God. What did it mean for man to be created in the image of God? How did sin and Satan ruin that image? How did the cross restore it?
God helped me with that part. Christ is the image of the invisible God, and we were made to be like Him. Satan, the worship leader of heaven, became prideful of his status but envious of our even higher position in Christ. He rebelled, taking one-third of the angels with him, and deceived Adam, the ruler of the earth, so that he could seize that rule from Adam. Christ won that rule back by resisting Satan’s temptations and paying the price for every sin on the cross. Now, if we confess our sin and let Christ rule us as Lord, we can overcome any tribulation in this life, and see Him work it to the good. And we will rule with Him in the next life, as co-heirs in His very image. The life He now gives us lasts forever in glory!
DOORS OPEN FOR THE GOSPEL. Then I realized why I was there. The next Sunday was Easter, and Easter was the day I got saved! In my next turn I encouraged all viewers to go to any church of any name where Christ is praised. Because 25 years ago on Easter Sunday, when I had long given up on church, a friend invited me to try a nearby church he’d heard of. I decided to go with him just to ease his inevitable disappointment. But God surprised me. We entered late, and the small congregation was singing to God like they really meant it, from their hearts. I had never heard that before. God inhabits the praises of His people. Jesus came in a glorious light and showed He loved me despite the mess I had made of my life. For me it was love at first sight. All the songs they sang about Him were true. I wept for joy, trying to hide my face behind my songsheet. After the service I meant to slip out the door and not try to explain what was obviously happening to me. But the Lord said, “I want you to stay.” How could I disobey Him? He had just become my Lord. I stayed, and I was warmly welcomed without any questions. I prayed that Jesus would meet each viewer in a similar way, when they went to meet Him on Easter.
We all had such a good time sharing about Christ that the program went a half hour overtime. The host, Rene Villanueva, was so moved by God that he not only invited us back for his Wednesday program (which BAEC President Crawford was able to attend instead of me), but said that he wanted to start broadcasting from a different church service each Sunday! Rene also arranged to broadcast a discussion with church leaders each month on the pressing issues of our times. We in fact had prayed on February 26 that the voice of God would be heard on the media as the answer to our troubles. Now we had a public forum for Him to do just that! That same night Rene told us he had decided to broadcast the upcoming July 1 March For Jesus. Originally planned only as a procession for the Anglican Church’s bicentennial celebration, now the March for Jesus is going to be a multi-church citywide campaign. Rene vowed to promote the event and urged us to invite everyone we could find.
HELL BREAKS LOOSE. The prospect of multitudes of supposedly divided Christians marching in united prayer through the streets of Belize City must have shaken the powers of darkness. Because in the next ten days the enemy retaliated with the most vicious counterattack I have ever seen in Belize. To claim that he and not Jesus was lord of the streets, during April 4-11 alone—the week surrounding Easter—he triggered a wave of violence: six murders, three more attempted murders, and fourteen reported robberies and burglaries. He also assaulted intercessors in our prayer network with severe pains in the head, lungs, stomach, etc., making thinking, breathing, eating and praying most difficult—afflictions which defied medical explanation. (For an hour I was in agony with stomach pains I thought would kill me as the local doctor looked on helplessly, her shots and medicine unavailing, till I got a breakthrough in prayer.)
We had sudden deaths and near-deaths in our families and neighborhoods. The enemy was hitting our weaknesses relentlessly. We persevered in praying for each other and Belize by phone and email alerts, and gained some relief. Then another wave of violence hit Belize City on the weekend of April 20-22. On Friday a lone gunman shot and killed two men on bicycles on crowded downtown Orange Street, close to Taylor’s Alley gang turf. That night the rival George Street gang leader and his female companion were gunned down at a gas station. On Saturday a stevedore rumored to run with the Southside Gangsters was shot twelve times by two men in a black Camry, and died where he fell. All downtown stores closed early that day in fear. On Sunday the Taylor’s Alley gang leader was killed in the back of a police van.
We prayed for God’s grace to resist the devil and send him fleeing. We prayed for grace to submit to God, repent more fully, and yield more deeply to Him alone. We prayed that this wave of evil would end in a new wave that leads to revival. We prayed that God would remind gang members of ways He has touched their lives in the past, to turn to Him now their leaders are gone, to find His way out of bondage to gangs and into new relationships and honest work opportunities. We prayed for His power for us overcome fear and intimidation, and walk in faith wherever He leads through the city streets.
HEAVEN BREAKS LOOSE. The multi-church Call To Worship was held the next Saturday night, April 28, at Princess Hotel in Belize City. So many believers came out without fear to participate, that we filled to overflowing the nation’s largest hotel conference room (see photos). God responded by filling us to overflowing! I had a vision of the wall behind the worship team turn into a huge window of heaven pouring forth light. It was liquid light filling the fan-shaped room like a calm rushing flood, rising over our feet and ankles. It came onto some of us, but into others, filling our bellies and hearts and minds with His higher feelings, His higher thoughts, His higher will. It separated into streams of colors flowing, mixing, swirling, making our hearts dance and our heads swim in His glory. I believe these are anointings of the Holy Spirit which will keep flowing through us as we walk in holy boldness through the city streets, releasing His power & peace where there was fear. He who is in us is much greater than he who is in the world.
I believe that this anointed corporate worship will open the way for more outpourings at our next multi-church event in the city, the Global Day of Prayer on May 27. I have been asked by the BAEC to organize this event in connection with what God is doing in our Belize Prayer Network. Since it is clear now that our present teacher candidates will not be ready to come together as a team for the coming school year, I can go on facilitating for another year the national prayer movement God has called me to. At the Global Day of Prayer we will have church leaders making declarations of what God is about to do in the coming season, to loose on earth what God is loosing in heaven. Then we will put feet to our prayers at the March For Jesus on July 1. Pray that through us God will flood Belize with His grace, take back the streets He purchased with His blood, and release peace that crushes Satan under our feet.
Yours in Christ, George