BELIZE JOURNAL PT.1 on 2016 retrospective. On February 27 NEAB’s AGM (Annual General Meeting) gave us the opportunity for a 2016 retrospective. 2016 was a year of preparing for the harvest we expect in 2017 and beyond. Jesus told His disciples, “the harvest is great”. Then He told them to “pray that the Lord of the harvest send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
Fittingly NEAB President Lance Lewis opened our AGM with a message from Psalm 30 that prayer and praise are the divine antidotes to our earthly issues. As leaders we cannot take our eyes off God and take pride in past achievements. We must seek the Lord for much more, in Godly sorrow for the suffering and the lost. Only then will He turn grief into joy and our mourning into dancing.
As NEAB Secretary I reported the highlights of last year’s AGM, starting with the “prayer and praise” initiative of the Halal Intercessory Marches. Vanessa Peyrefitte shared last year her vision of worshipers dancing in the streets followed by intercessors praying in the streets. The vision was to take these marches to every district of Belize. Dozens of intercessors made it happen. They attracted and led crowds at every venue. As they marched and danced, they believed they were breaking ground and preparing the way for God to break through our old ways and begin new works in Belize.
These marches began in October 2015. That was the same month that NEAB began. Sure enough, according to the vision, God started many new works in Belize through NEAB and evangelicals throughout the nation. We featured many of those works at last year’s AGM:
- John George of YWAM spoke of using sports—which kids love—to reach the 50% of Belizeans who are 17 or younger.
- Eric Maas of Young Life challenged all of us to reach the youth where they are now. We must win the right to be heard and then draw them into our church activities to become saved and discipled.
- Ulanda Jones shared how Child Evangelism Fellowship equips kids with discipleship materials to share with the rest of their family at home.
- Derrick Pitts told us how Every Home for Christ was using comic strip versions of the gospel for kids as they planned to bombard every home in Belize with the gospel.
- Pastor Ruth Pipersburg introduced Festival of Hope, an 17 month evangelism campaign for every district, climaxing with a week of major gospel events July 16-22, 2017 in Belize City. More below.
NEAB President Lance Lewis gave us some of last year’s NEAB highlights in a 2016 retrospective:
April 1. At a press conference, NEAB supported Scott’s Stirm’s testimony of a Garifuna spiritist priestess who gave her heart to Christ and burned all her books on sorcery. Garifuna Christians stood with him, affirming that his comments were anti-spiritism, not anti-Garifuna culture.
May 28. NEAB leaders met with Guatemalan evangelicals at the Melchor border crossing. We prayed together over the border conflict, recently inflamed over a recent fatal shooting incident. We sought God for mutual understanding, peace and harmony between our nations. Then we took communion in mutual affirmation. Thank God the tensions quickly decreased.
July 18-19. Five NEAB leaders accepted the same Guatemalans’ invitation and participated in their bi-monthly national gathering of evangelicals. They warmly welcomed us and celebrated our presence. We greatly enjoyed the passionate preaching—including an address by our NEAB President, and the prayer, praise and brotherly love.
July 29. NEAB agreed to put out a press release calling for an outside independent investigation into the horrendous beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, concerning certain government ministers’ ties to the alleged murderer William “Danny” Mason. We await followup.
August 10. NEAB members gathered with other prayer warriors outside the Supreme Court in Belize City to intercede as the Chief Justice made known his verdict on the Section 53 law against unnatural sex. To our shock, he legalized sodomy. Struck down but not destroyed, we resolved to keep fighting the good fight.
August 23. About 1500 participated in a prayer march beginning on the steps of the National Assembly in Belmopan and proceeding around the Prime Minister’s office and into the adjacent streets. The national dynamic shifted.
September-November. Prime Minister Dean Barrow—contrary to his former stances—conceded to the interested church parties the right to appeal the sodomy verdict. He also eventually gave in to union and church demands to implement several good governance measures.
After this 2016 retrospective we featured fresh initiatives including youth outreaches for reaping a harvest in Belize…
DailyInsight. A nation’s greatest hope is a praying church with members who disciple that nation in every arena (see Neh. 1-9).
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Wide range of activities in 2016 retrospective.