“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit”—Jer. 17:7-8
Prayer Campaign for the ECONOMY of Belize
Purpose of Economy: To glorify God by being good and faithful stewards of the relationships, resources and strategies He provides, to create and multiply wealth that sustains nationwide transformation according to Kingdom principles.
Current Conditions: Belize depends far too much on the world economy, which is collapsing with the financial meltdowns of the US, Europe & Japan. Belize has a debt of more than $1 billion, represented by the Superbond. Unable to make the huge monthly payments, Belize struck a deal with its creditors–a long prayed-for breakthrough–for which it won the 2013 Sovereign Restructuring Deal of the Year. Still, our low credit rating causes investors fo hesitate. Corruption is rampant. Despite much business in ecotourism, and marine and agricultural products, poverty is rising. 43% of Belizeans are now classified as poor, and 14.4% are unemployed. More and more are lured into the drug trade for big profits without taxes, but with higher risks of violence, especially with Mexican cartels spreading into Central America. Is that where we want to see Belize go?
There is no human solution. But God has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11). The next verses show the crucial conditions that we must meet: “‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” Prayer makes all things possible: discovery of more oil and other natural resources, development of national industries, increasing rewards for good and faithful servants, and emergence of a new breed of business-people who practice successful Kingdom economics —who like Moses call forth financial miracles, who like Joseph follow God’s directions for the nation’s future. The more we pray, the greater the future God will give us.
AGREE IN PRAYER WITH US FOR
STEWARDSHIP IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
- A grace period to get our financial houses in order and establish righteous living
- Conviction about illegal activities among Christians
- Release from bondage to a covetous survival mentality into the Spirit of overcoming
- This time of scarcity to cleanse us from ungodly habits so we can be purer vessels of His blessing
- Understanding tithing, cheerful giving, and no more stealing from God
- Breaking the curse of poverty over believers
- Filling financial lack in ministries
- Rewards for those who lead by faith, not fear
- Rewards for those who like Solomon, value wisdom above wealth
- Changing from a materialistic mindset to the mind of Christ
- New creative ideas and business opportunities to create true wealth
- Trust in God and not in riches—use riches for Him
- Growing dependence on His kingdom economy, and less dependence on the world economy
- Practical steps toward habits of stewardship, giving, and finding local answers to local problems
- Wisdom for believers to manage finances that God blesses them with
- Fair and appropriate division of labor and distribution of wages and profits
- Multiplication of wisdom and wealth to those who give wisely and generously
- Overflow of wealth to the poor and to the next generation
- Ministries helping the poor with discipleship, employment, accountability and stewardship
- Solid commitments of tried & tested believers to live as one big family, sharing what we have so that there is “not a needy person among them” (Acts 4:34), no matter what tribulation we face
GUIDANCE FOR LEADERS IN ALL SECTORS
- Guidance and favor for Belize’s Superbond debt restructuring committee
- Help in overcoming the current economic crisis and developing a stronger national economy
- Commonwealth resistance to UK financial pressures to adopt gay agenda & other lucrative vices
- Increasing financial independence from the world economic system
- Revelation and wisdom for God’s way toward individual and national recovery and prosperity
- Clarity of God’s calling on every jobless person
- Offers of paying work to each of the 14.4% unemployed Belizeans and show them how to be good and faithful servants and gain more
- Training in how to work as though working for and with the Lord, making yokes easy and burdens light
- In-depth, relevant education about economics in the home, workplace, government and world
- Preparation and guidance for starting and growing honest small businesses
- Wise investment in microeconomics with increasing profits
- God to distribute means of production to more & more people as they show faithfulness & responsibility
- Collaboration on plans for sustainable national development of infrastructure & transportation for new products, agricultural expansion, industries, investments and markets
- Wisdom and integrity in handling government finances
- Yearly audits to keep the government accountable and stable
- Development of clear and simple audit trails and internal controls to prevent corruption
- Help in reducing government deficits and debts that are draining our economy
- Clarity for voters on economic consequences of proposed policies
- Guidance in investing in profitable enterprises that benefit the nation
- Exposure and rejection of gambling establishments as places of vanity and exploitation
- Direction, protection & stewardship for our oil, gold, silver & mineral resources, esp. in Chiquibul
- Fair distribution of income from these resources to developers, workers, residents & government
- Drug cartel & gang members to experience conviction and to find Christ & His way out of ungodly ties and into honest work opportunities
- Legal and permanent establishment of our borders and right relationships with our neighbors
- Secure borders and safe streets for freedom of legitimate commercial activity
- Conviction on leaders and businessmen concerning corruption and illegal activity
- Higher standards of integrity in business
- Prosperity for businesses that deal honestly & pay taxes
- The wealth of the wicked would be laid up for the righteous
- Help in being wise, good & faithful stewards, so He can entrust us with more wealth & authority
- Disaster recovery plans & resources for businesses to function effectively & help others overcome
- Wisdom and ideas on creating wealth in hard times so we can not only survive but thrive
- Fair and free competition where virtue is rewarded and more people can gain employment
- Clear, consistent and necessary regulations to keep the economy on track
- Sustained free market growth with opportunities for good & faithful stewards to keep advancing
KINGDOM ECONOMY TO COME TO WORLD ECONOMY
- Exposure and consequences for those manipulating the economy for selfish or political purposes
- Accountability for financial conglomerates so they won’t get so big they’ll force a bailout if they fail
- Simple and clear regulations to limit the impact of irresponsible speculators on world markets
- Guidance for OWS & protesters to reject riots & anarchy and promote justice in world financial dealings
- Frustration of radical Islam’s use of oil money to attack and impose Shariah law on vulnerable nations
- Deficit and debt reduction for the US and EU to stabilize world economy
- Exposure and restraints on the developing antichrist world economy
- Growth of a kingdom-based economy that survives and thrives in any tribulation
GOD HAS SHOWN US
- When Christians persist in disobeying Him in finances, they open the door to more crime in Belize
- As we keep praying, those engaging in financial corruption will either repent or be exposed
- We are not to seek the best political deal on our Superbond debt but His righteous way to pay it
- God will pour out His Spirit and free many who are in slavery to fear of drug lords
- Many Belizeans are driven by a survival mentality that has its roots in slavery
- He is greater than the US economy or any drug lord or economic power
- He will shake what can be shaken, so that what cannot be shaken will remain
- In times of scarcity God is testing us, as He did Israel in the desert, to see if we will turn to Him or turn to materialistic Egypt for help
- We must learn that man does not live by bread alone but by the Word of God
- If we live according to His word, we will prosper and succeed (Josh. 1:6-9)
- As we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be given to us (Mt. 6:33)
- If we thank Him for the little bread we have, as Jesus thanked Him for five loaves and two fishes, and we start giving it away, He will multiply it many times over
- He will pour out blessings on those who tithe (Mal. 3:10-11)
- He wants to lift up faithful Josephs and prepare storehouses for widows and the needy
- He gave Bezalel wisdom, skill & creativity with gold, silver & precious stones, to glorify His house
TESTIMONIES: ANSWERS TO PRAYER
Beginning with the most recent (see more in Testimonies)
May 16, 2014. Belize won a key battle to maintain its 2011 takeover of the formerly foreign-owned and lucrative Belize Telemedia Limited. In a 2 to 1 decision, the Court of Appeals ruled the government’s right to acquire BTL, and also the foreign-owned Belize Electricity Limited. The ruling may leave Belize liable to pay compensation for the period between its first BTL takeover in August 2009, which the court had found unconstitutional, and its July 2011 takeover, which was affirmed by a constitutional amendment. The case now goes for final appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice. We must pray that God will not allow impoverished Belize’s finances to be bled away by rich foreigners.
March 24, 2014. Maranco Energy reported finding about 50 million barrels of crude oil in Orange Walk. Because the oil is more than 4000 feet deep, and below a complex rock formation, Maranco says they will need financial and technical help from abroad to determine if it is commerciably viable. The last time Belize had such a large oil find was in June 2005, right after a new corporate prayer initiative in Belize City began. It relieved Belize of a severe financial crisis at that time. We must pray that God will open the way for this oil wealth to be extracted and justly distributed!
January 24, 2014. Belize’s negotiations to restructure its US $547.5 million Super bond debt received the 2013 Sovereign Restructuring Deal of the Year. It was awarded by the publication Latin Finance, which covers both Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a deal we longed prayed for. Christine Vellos, leader of the Buttonwood Bay prayer group, participated on the 5-person Belize negotiating team. She was chosen because of her work as Deputy Governor of Belize Central Bank. More than 86% of the bondholders accepted the new terms. The deal included a 41% reduction in the current interest rate and a 20% reduction in the subsequent step-up interest rate, plus a 6-year grace period before principal repayments commence.
September 27, 2013. Rising demand for sugar is being met by the upgrading of machinery for a more rapid throughput of 7,500 tonnes of cane per day at the Tower Hill Factory. Two years ago we prayed specifically for comebacks after setbacks in the sugar industry. That is when a new cane delivery-by-appointment was introduced. This strategy increased cane quality and sugar yield, providing higher payments per tonne of cane to the farmers. Still higher yields are expected as northern farmers are now using new planting methods to plant more cane to meet the higher rate of throughput.
- August 17, 2013. Mario Ramirez Trevino, a top leader of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, was arrested by military forces just one month after the capture of Zetas drug lord Miguel Trevino Morales. This shows that Mexico is again serious about going after drug lords one year after newly-elected President Pena Nieto moved to dissolve the AFI, Mexico’s main agency for fighting drug trafficking.
- July 15, 2013. Mexican Marines captured Zetas drug lord Miguel Trevino Morales in Anahuac, Nuevo Leon, with US $2 million, eight weapons and hun
dreds of rounds of ammunition in his possession. He was wanted on charges of organized crime involvement, torture, drug trafficking, the illegal use of firearms and money laundering. Under his 5-year rule, the drug cartel began expanding into Guatemala, committed atrocities there, and left Z for Zetas marks on trees in Belize’s Chiquibul Forest.
- February 12-13, 2013. We have been praying for months for a new deal for the $1 billion Superbond debt, which is larger than Belize’s entire 2012 budget of $953 million, and on which Belize is behind in payments. God gave us a Christmas present when a new deal with a representative of Belize’s creditors was struck just before the New Year. It was approved by both the House and Senate on Feb. 12-13. The new deal includes a 41% reduction in the current interest rate and a 20% reduction in the subsequent step-up interest rate, plus a 6-year grace period before principal repayments commence.
- October 18, 2012. Insightcrime.org reported on that of the 37 drug lords identified in 2009 as Mexico’s most wanted men, 25 drug lords have now been captured or killed, and only 4 remain at large(http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/mexico-takes-down-another-kingpin-but-violence-remains-high).We have been praying that God brings down drug cartels which are responsible for more than 50,000 murders in Mexico, and which are spreading into Central America and threatening Belize. We prayed specifically for powerful conviction on drug lords, and deliverance of the people from bondage and fear to them. We believe that God gave them a grace period to repent, and has done this out of mercy on more people they have targeted for murder. We must keep praying that cartel members will not regroup under new drug lords but find His Lordship for new lives and new livelihoods.
- Oct. 5, 2012. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley submitted the first yearly audit of GOB in many years, showing many financial irregularities. But this is a big step toward the greater accountability that Belize needs in order to gain the confidence of citizens and creditors alike that GOB finances will be more properly and carefully managed.
- In 2012 the tourism industry has shown strong signs of recovery
- August 7, 2012. Hurricane Ernesto veered north and missed Belize, though we grieve that it later strengthened over Mexico, causing 12 deaths and US $252 million damage
- Dec. 13, 2011. GOB agreed to more patrols in resource-rich Chiquibul where foreigners are intruding
August 2011. Tropical Storm Harvey rolled over Belize causing no damage and Hurricanes Irene and Katia turned away from Belize, the latter getting lost at sea, just as we prayed!
- July 2011. Corruption was exposed in skyrocketing salaries at Belize Electricity Ltd. when BEL asked for higher rates
- June 2011. Greater regional cooperation against Mexican drug cartels spreading into Central America