Ferrar: August 2012

BC-HOP PRAYER ALERT: For our merciful God to protect Yucatan from Hurricane Ernesto

Hurricane Ernesto has accelerated to 85 mph winds and is due to make landfall some 40 miles north of Belize’s border at about 2 a.m. Wednesday. We can thank God that He has answered prayer so far and spared Belize from a direct hit. Now Ernesto is heading to some of Yucatan’s least inhabited regions, so we can pray that it stays on course and that God will have His protective hand over all those in its path.

PRAY WITH US: Father, we thank You for giving all authority in heaven and earth to Your Son Jesus. We thank You that You so loved the world that You gave Him to us, that we may have life now and forever. The enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy, but Jesus came that we may have life abundantly. We thank You for sustaining that life every day, and letting storms come that we may turn to You and receive more of that life. Thanks You for sparing Belize from Hurricane Ernesto. Remind Belizeans and Yucatecans not to take You for granted, but to come to You for new mercies every morning. You love to have us come to Your mercy seat, so here we are now by the blood of Jesus to humble ourselves and thank You for Your ongoing protection. We ask You in faith to extend that protection over Yucatan. Keep Ernesto on course to pass over the least inhabited areas. Let Ernesto to bring healing rains and not destructive rains. In Jesus’ almighty name. Amen.

Ferrar: 30 June 2012

BC-HOP PRAYER ALERT: For Greater Glory to Prevail in & after Mexico’s Presidential Election

On July 1 Mexico will vote for a new president in elections which will have impact far beyond its borders. Much of Mexico bordering the US is controlled by heavily-armed cartels which feed high US drug consumption. One-third of Mexicans are poverty-stricken and so are sorely tempted either to join the illegal drug trade in Mexico or the illegal immigration to the US. 13 million Mexican migrants already work in the US—more than half of them illegally—and about a million try to join them every year. Hiring of illegals at low wages is so pervasive that some US states’ economies would collapse without them. Likewise millions back home in Mexico depend on their earnings. But the sluggish US economy in recent years has increasingly turned them to the drug trade.

The vast poor population in Mexico has seen many past movements for economic reform give way to corruption. In the 1870s the Juaristas’ seizure of Catholic Church lands to apportion among the poor eventually resulted in a return to centralized authority, land confiscation, and economic exploitation of the poor as virtual slaves. In the 1920s the Zapatista revolution for agrarian reform established a Soviet Union-allied government, which violently persecuted the Catholic Church, as portrayed in the movie For Greater Glory. Out of that government arose the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Though it became admittedly corrupt, the PRI held onto power as a virtual one-party system for 71 years until its longtime opponent PAN’s candidate Vicente Fox was elected president in 2000.

Mainly on the promise of economic reforms and jobs creation, PAN’s Felipe Calderon was narrowly elected president in 2006. His main opponent, leftist coalition candidate Lopez Obrador, immediately claimed voter fraud. Lopez Obrador launched massive public protests that brought much of Mexico City to a standstill for weeks, causing heavy financial losses. This strained the support for PAN’s war against the drug cartels, which at this point has cost 55,000 lives. Now presidential polls show war-weary Mexicans giving Pena Nieto, candidate for the old PRI, 38%, Lopez Obrador 24%, and PAN candidate Josefina Vasquez Mota 21%. Though far behind, Lopez Obrador again threatens widespread protests if the vote count is against him.

PRAY WITH US: Father God, You are holy and righteous, the sovereign Lord of the whole earth. “He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them.” We ask that You would establish the next government in Mexico with a decisive election to rule according to agreed-on laws. We ask that You hold it accountable to You and to the people, and empower it to enforce those laws against corrupt forces that undermine justice and peace. We ask that You, as the Lord of lords, arise against the drug cartel lords who seek to extend their lawless and violent oppression to the US, Guatemala, Belize, and beyond. Protect those lands, drive back the cartels, bring powerful conviction on drug lords, and deliver the people from bondage and fear to them.

Mexico faces such poverty, warfare, chaos and institutional injustice that many in government despair of political solutions. Some are turning to the Church for answers. And despite much historical persecution, 95% of Mexicans profess to be Christians. We ask You to set the course for Your church to come into agreement on Your answers for the nation’s dilemmas. We ask for radical salvations for nominal Christians, for deep discipleship, and for trained and anointed leadership to emerge in every sphere of public influence. And that many illegals in the US would return to find new opportunities at home. With You all things are possible. Let the movie For Greater Glory be prophetic for Your people in Mexico, that as darkness covers the land, “the Lord rises upon you, and His glory appears over you.” Let Your glory on your people increase so that darkness flees before them, that divine order is established where oppression and fear once reigned, and that people find Your ways of surviving and thriving in their homeland.

In Jesus’ name,
amen.

Ferrar: 29 June 2012

BC-HOP PRAYER WATCH: As the powers of Egypt shake, let Christ arise as Savior and Champion

One year ago a massive public uprising forced Hosni Mubarak to step down as president. Now Egypt has elected a radical Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, to take power alongside of the radical Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament. The MB agenda is to impose shariah law, strip away freedom of religion, and destroy Israel. But we cannot be sure that the MB will be able to hold onto power. Two days before the presidential election, Egypt’s highest court—which was appointed by Mubarak—ruled that the parliamentary elections six months ago were invalid, and so dissolved Parliament. The next day the ruling military council locked down the Parliament building and claimed the sole right to make laws. MB members called this action a coup and vowed to ignore the ruling and hold Parliament meetings anyway.

The court also ruled that Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, could stay in the runoff presidential race, striking down Parliament’s ban against his candidacy. Shafiq promised to be a new strongman who would restore a secure police state and prevent an Islamist takeover. So many Egyptians were disgusted with the choice between a radical Islamist and a Mubarak henchman that only 15% showed up to vote. When the MB’s Morsi won, the military rulers defied him by issuing an interim constitution giving them control over the national budget and immunity from any oversight. And Mubarak, sentenced on June 2 to life in prison for the killings of protesters against his rule, suffered a heart attack and lost consciousness on Tuesday, just at the peak of the struggle over his succession. “It is very Shakespearean,” said one analyst. “…He does not want to hear the name of his successor.”

Meanwhile leaders of last year’s mass demonstrations launched more protests in the streets. Israelis face the prospect of a formerly peaceful southern neighbor now joining nearby Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas in vowing Israel’s destruction. The 13% of Egyptians who are Coptic Christians, and who have suffered multiple Muslim-incited and state-condoned massacres and church bombings since Mubarak stepped down, fear much worse persecution under an Islamist MB regime.

We must remember the Lord’s yet-to-be-fulfilled promise, that Egypt “will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. The Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day…” (Isa. 19:20-21; see the rest of the Scripture below). Let us pray that He will begin to fulfill that promise now.

PRAY WITH US: Father God, we give all honor, all glory, and all power to You. We declare You sovereign over the nations and thank You for making Your Son Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords. We know that You are allowing Egypt to be shaken, so that only what cannot be shaken will ultimately stand. We declare the neither the oppressive military nor the oppressive Muslim Brotherhood will stand for long in Egypt. We join the persecuted Christians who “cry to the Lord because of oppressors.” Show many more Egyptians that You are their only Savior and Champion so they will cry to You too. Show them that the spirit behind both the military agenda and the MB agenda is determined to steal and kill and destroy what rightfully belongs to You. Deliver them from these evils, and make Your good will known to those who receive You as their King and Lord. Fulfill Your prophetic word that Egypt will be Your people. Make them witnesses to other Muslims throughout the world that the Son of man is the Son of God and the only way to the Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Isa. 19:23-25: “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria [present-day Iraq], and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.'”

 

George Ferrar: January 2012

PRAYER CAMPAIGN FOR EDUCATION. As I’ve written, I’m planning to hand over my leadership of BC-HOP (Belize City House of Prayer) to a qualified successor as soon as God gives grace for the much-prophesied resurrection of Caye Caulker High School. God showed me He wants BC-HOP established first so that He can release power for all the schools and ministries in Belize. But I wasn’t able to find a teacher to lead prayer for the “mountain” of Education until recently. Teachers in Belize are overworked, and most don’t yet realize that a little prayer can go a long way in easing their burdens and speeding their gains—as our other prayer leaders have found.

At last Ernest Betson (see photo), the warm-hearted, cheerfully busy Presbyterian pastor and founder-principal of Unity Presbyterian School, caught the vision and agreed to lead prayer. It took us time to develop a prayer campaign, as we do with each of the 7 mountains of influence—Family, Religion, Economy, Government, Arts, and Media, as well as Education. In each campaign we identify the short-range breakthroughs we need to make progress to long-range goals, so we can achieve our ultimate purpose. But what is tha ultimate purpose? That’s something I admit, in planning out CCHS, that I had not fully developed. What are we teaching students for?

PURPOSE STATEMENT. It took several phone calls and sessions on Ernest’s white-pillared porch overlooking the Caribbean Sea to find out. But we prayed through and worked out a purpose statement: To pass on the learning of past generations and produce students who can assess their developing SHAPEs (Spiritual gifts & callings, Heart passion, Abilities, Personality & Experience), contribute to team-building, and keep learning and solving problems as they arise in the 7 mountains of influence on local, national & global levels. (The acronym SHAPE we got from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.)

It’s not enough for students to answer our questions and pass our tests. They must learn to ask questions, find answers from God, and pass His tests. Who is God calling me to be? How have I progressed in my calling? How fully is my heart engaged? How am I using His gifts and developing my abilities? How does my personality interact with others? What experience do I have, and what more do I need?

If we stop there, we have an individual who knows only himself. No one can realize his recalling without knowing how to work on a team. This, we are convinced, is a key element that most schools miss. God designed us as cooperative members of a body. “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:16).

Teams are looking for members who can keep learning as times change, and keep solving problems as they arise. The most valuable team members have an overview of the seven mountains, because these mountains do not stand alone but are interconnected in a wide range of concerns. Family and Education prepare children for involvement in the other mountains. Economy is the means we all use and the way the world works. Government steers the world. Arts portray, enhance and transcend it. Media publicizes the most important developments. The more we succeed in managing these mountains on the local level, the more we will graduate to national and international levels.

Education is in essence making disciples of all nations, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt.28:20). We must take one step at a time. The Education prayer campaign is our map. Below are steps, short-range to long-range, in the transformation of our schools, teachers and students:

Teachers and resources

Honoring God as the Originator and Guide for every school subject
Raising up more men and women as Christian teachers & administrators with biblical worldviews
Conversion of non-believing and nominal teachers into ones passionate for Jesus and His purposes
Elimination of homosexual and other ungodly agendas in curriculum
Textbooks & resources with a bibical worldview on all subjects, including intelligent design
Christian teacher review boards with higher standards than Belize’s Teaching Service Commission
Thorough, well-paced, divinely-appointed course plans with room for Holy Spirit initiatives
Integration of course plans so teachers can know and build on teaching in other courses

Parents and conditions outside school

Right relationships among stakeholders for the good of the school & community
More connections with parents leading to better understanding and cooperation
Counseling for dysfunctional families to grow in right relationships with healthy boundaries
Agreement on times and quiet spaces at home for students’ schoolwork
Family finances to support ongoing education of all family members
Safety and watchful eyes for students going to and from school
Counseling & good alternatives for students caught in fornication, drugs, violence & self-destruction

Conditions in schools
More time in the school day for heart-to-heart worship & prayer, both planned and spontaneous
Presenting Him as the Originator and Guide for every school subject
More room for God during the day in heart-to-heart communications with students

As we make room, He will address every difficulty in learning, discipline & communication
Agreement among teachers & students on practicing biblical values
Simple but comprehensive discipline plans which teachers & students agree on enforcing
Divine protection so that students will consider weapons unnecessary
A grace-filled social climate with basic cooperation and healthy, respectful competition
Respect and proper boundaries between the sexes
Good male and female role models who help students grow in their God-given identities & callings

Learning activities
Purposeful learning activities that build step-by-step into greater understandings
Classroom management of varied lessons that fully engage students with different aptitudes
Opportunities to learn teamwork with team assignments and assessments
Students who excel in any skill to teach other students, and help them outside the classroom
Equipping students to assess and improve their spiritual, mental, emotional and physical growth
Growth in understanding how each learning unit contributes to the big picture
Methods and content that interact proactively with a quickly changing world
Increased access to computers and other devices as students grow more responsible

Applying learning to life

Relevance of lessons to current developments on the 7 mountains of influence
Development of habits of lifelong learning and solving problems
Promotions, based on thorough ongoing assessments, only when students are ready
Jobs available upon graduation which will utilize & develop students’ skills for the greater good
Preparing this generation for ongoing divine transformation at local, national & world levels

Agree in prayer with us, that as we seek first His kingdom and righteousness in Education in Belize, all these things will be added to us on Caye Caulker.
Yours in Christ, George

George Ferrar: PRAYER ALERT: Don’t let the foreign gay agenda violate Belize!

PRAYER ALERT! With very little advance notice, yesterday the US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize staged a discussion or web chat on promoting the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) agenda in Belize. Representatives of the US State Dept., the UN and other international organizations are determined to push the gay agenda on 80 nations which have not accepted it. They are targeting Belize as the first nation where they will take their case to court. They have avoided our elected legislature and the referendum process because it is clear that the vast majority of Belizeans are opposed to the LBGT agenda. They limited participation in this web chat to a limited number of people in Belize, Jamaica, Barbados, Suriname and Trinidad. We must keep informed and active, and pray! The policy of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the LGBT agenda was reiterated throughout the web chat. Below are ways we can respond.

Secretary Clinton states: “In our work as a department, we must openly and explicitly affirm our commitment to the human rights of all persons, including LGBT people.”

A Response: All people in Belize already do have the same “equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator”–Belize Constitution Preamble (a).

The lawsuit before our Supreme Court aims to create a new right to commit sodomy. On what grounds then do we deny people a new right to commit bestiality? Our law calls both sodomy and bestiality unnatural acts. They are not rights “endowed by their Creator.” The Creator designed the rectum as a one-way street, like a sewage pipe but much more vulnerable. In violation of the body’s design, sodomy exposes participants to infectious and contagious disease, as does bestiality. In our Constitution, laws can limit personal liberty “for the purpose of preventing the spread of infectious or contagious disease” (Article 5[1]g).

Secretary Clinton states: “The goal is to eliminate violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”

A Response: Violence against any person is already against the law in Belize. And in our laws there is no discrimination against any person. In fact, all laws discriminate against behavior, but not against persons. In Belize, there are many more violations and violent acts by homosexuals against heterosexuals–including child rape–than vice versa.

Secretary Clinton states: “Human rights are universal – no group or individual falls outside the framework of human rights protection.”

A Response: We agree, and we ask the U.S. State Department and international organization representatives to respect our right to uphold and enforce our Constitution and our laws, which are meant for the protection of the rights of all our people. Our Constitution begins by stating in its Preamble that the “People of Belize affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God” and “recognise that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and upon the rule of law” ([a] and [d]).

We call on non-Belizeans to refrain from promoting activities which cause disease and violate laws meant for protecting the “public safety, public order, public morality [and] public health” of Belize (Constitution 9[a]). .
PRAY WITH US: Father God, we thank You for creating all things to be good, and especially for creating us to be very good, “in the image of God…male and female” so that we may “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:27-28) We affirm that of all creation only woman is “a helper suitable for him” and that only one man and one woman “shall become one flesh” according to Your design (2:18,24). We agree with You that any other sexual union is an abomination which we must warn others to flee, since it brings awful consequences (Lev. 18:22-25). We ask for Your light to shine upon the goodness of Your design, and Your power to set captives free from this terrible deception, so they may find their true identity that You created them for.

We thank You for overseeing Belize’s constitution which has enshrined many of Your principles and values. We are a young nation; help us to live up to it. Let us not be tempted by nice-sounding words but be led by Your word, made flesh in Jesus Christ. We declare one-man and one-woman marriage as holy because it reflects Christ and His church. Let Belize not be the first of 80 targeted nations to bow to this demonic agenda, but be the first to stand against it, in the courtroom and every other public arena. Thank You that You have led the churches and many political party spokesmen to be united in this stand. Let Your church keep speaking as the conscience of Belize, with one voice for the nation and the world to hear. In Jesus’ name, amen.