PRAYER ALERT: Very early Tuesday morning, Jan. 8, in Belize City four men ages 19 to 40 died of multiple stab wounds in a horrific execution-style attack unlike anything we have seen in Belize. This occurred in a house where there were no signs of forced entry and where blood was spilled in several rooms including the bathroom. On discovery of this grisly crime, city police quickly mobilized in the streets, assisted by BDF volunteers. But citizens were so terrified of gang retaliation that many schools, banks and businesses closed early, and by late afternoon downtown Belize City resembled a ghost town. George Street Gang leaders were persuaded by government officials to leave the city temporarily so that no gang vs. gang violence would result. They left accusing their long-time adversary, the Gang Suppression Unit, of these murders, but the GSU credibly countered that it would be unthinkable and counter-productive for them to act in such a way.
Investigators have not yet established a motive or made known any suspects. But new Acting Commissioner of Police Allen Wyllie hinted to reporters, without elaborating, that it may have a crime of opportunity. When reporters at a press conference asked if it was a drug cartel-style massacre of the kind that is happening in Mexico and Guatemala, PM Barrow replied that he was very conscious of how close we are to those drug wars, and that the Belize Defense Force has been positioned to plug holes in our borders to prevent those wars from spreading into Belize. Significantly, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca offered bipartisan cooperation. But this is a vulnerable time for Belize, when as of January 4 there are new leaders in eight top positions in the Ministry of National Security and the High Command of the Police Department. If drug cartel lords did not perpetrate this gruesome attack, they might plan crimes of opportunity in future attacks while the new leaders are adjusting to their new roles. But we have an army greater than any force—an army of intercessors led by the Lord of Hosts. Even the newscaster at LOVE-FM tonight said that we all can agree on one thing—this is a time to pray. If we mobilize and unite in prayer, we can drive back this attack against Belize.
A TIME TO PRAY: Father God, You are the Lord of Hosts, our shield and our very great reward. You are the Giver of life, and You have grieved with us at so many young lives being cut short in Belize. But now we are facing an atrocity the likes of which we have not seen before. The devil wants to drag us into the same vicious cycle of violence, retaliation and gang domination that is ravaging our neighbors Mexico and Guatemala. But this is not Your plan. You have arranged that this not be a time to panic, but a time to pray and fast, as many churches in Belize are already now doing. As we turn to You in prayer, calm our fears. Thank You that in answer to prayer You have already enabled schools and businesses in Belize City to reopen today under Your protection. Guide us as we pray for Your kingdom, and not drug lordship, to come to Belize. Let us agree on Your good will for Belize so that Your will, and not the enemy’s, be done. Forgive us our trespasses and deliver us from the evil one.
This enemy may be a giant we have never seen before, but we can say to that giant, like David said to Goliath, ”I come against you in the name of the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied…for the battle is the Lord’s.” Belize is Yours, and so is this battle. Lead us, as You led David, to strike this giant in the head, bring him down and send his underlings fleeing. Let us be a greater light where the enemy sought to spread greater darkness. Show Your people how to bring healing, living and restoring where the enemy was stealing, killing and destroying. Unite both the church and the nation against this enemy. Set the course for our new leaders of the police and national security to establish peace, order and justice in our streets, and for the church to release fresh outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Without You this is impossible, but with You all things are possible. Bring Your people, through prayer and action, into a greater and enduring unity that no enemy can prevail against. For when God is for us, no one can stand against us. In Jesus’ name, amen.