Evangelicals unite in Guat before border vote

evangelicals unite

Guatemala map showing Belize as disputed territory.

PRAYER ALERT on evangelicals uniteA team of six Belize evangelical leaders will participate in a January 25 meeting in Guatemala City with the Association of Evangelical Ministries in Guatemala. AEMG involves hundreds of denominations. NEAB President Lance Lewis will lead the Belizean delegation. We seek to deepen relational ties with Guatemalan evangelicals as the referendum on the border dispute approaches.

We first met with them to pray at the border near Melchior on May 28, 2016, at the height of that year’s border conflict. God answered our prayers by quickly defusing that conflict. That began a series of friendly contacts surrounding our second visit on July 18-19. There a conference representing all of Guatemala’s 22 departments treated us like VIPs.

Now the border tensions are intensifying again. On April 15th Guatemala will vote on whether to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Belize too will set a date to vote on the ICJ. Guatemalans are hearing only one side of the story. Most don’t realize that Guatemala has never ruled over Belize. And that it would be to find a single Belizean willing to accept Guatemalan rule.

Belizeans are hearing the other side. Few of us realize that most Guatemalans have always thought of Belize as Guatemala’s. They would cry foul if the ICJ called Belize independent. Whatever the ICJ decides, more strife is likely to break out. But if we don’t let the ICJ decide, we will have to make the peace ourselves.

evangelicals unite

Guatemalan and Belizean evangelicals taking communion together at the border on May 28, 2016.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). God has called His people to be peacemakers. We must pray that God will lead His church on both sides to lead the way to right relations.

PRAY WITH US. Father God, You have begun a good work in us. You have brought us together with Guatemalan church leaders. You have led us to pray against further violence at the border. And You have answered our prayers with peace. Now our real enemy is stirring up border strife again. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the enemy. He came and preached peace to those who are far away. He preached peace to those who are near. Through Him we both have access to You by Your Holy Spirit.

Bring us together by Your Spirit at this crucial time. Teach us Your ways. Be judge between our nations instead of the ICJ. Settle the disputes between our two peoples. Show Your church how to lead the way to better understanding. To appreciate our differences, and establish harmony and right relations. Show us how to love our neighbors. How to work together for Your purposes. Carry this good work in us to completion for the glory of Your Son. For His own blood bought our peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DailyInsight. You can’t make peace until you have peace (See 2 Cor. 1:2-4).

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For peace to prevail between Belize and Guatemala, we must see evangelicals unite.

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