Ferrar: May 2012

Dear friends & supporters,

Our teacher candidates are making progress in their applications, but it’s clear that our teacher team won’t come together in time for the coming school year. Yet it’s possible each candidate can come early to engage in ministry (see photo of Chelsy Luck) & the Belize Prayer Network. National prayer will always be high priority for us, even after our school opens (see Call To Worship photos). The issues we face on Caye Caulker are also national issues, so I will continue our ministry on this island but also in the nation too. God has given me, and the Evangelical Association has approved, the assignment of linking prayer groups like BC-HOP into the Belize Prayer Network. In this network intercessors & leaders can share and agree on what God is showing us for Belize. This will mean more expenses in travel, in communications, and in developing an up-to-date website that tracks our prayer campaigns as we make progress in all 7 arenas of influence in Belize. But it will be worth it! Belize is facing many crises that only 2 Chron. 7:14 prayer can overcome. Please ask God what you can contribute, to make a difference on Caye Caulker and in all of Belize!

GOD’S LOVE ON TV & RADIO. On Feb. 26 at BC-HOP we focused on prayer for Media, one of the seven arenas of influence in the nation. We felt led to pray specifically for LOVE-FM, the most popular TV and radio station in Belize. We prayed that LOVE would promote the true love of God shown in His Son, instead of music & ads promoting lust without commitment, leading to unwanted children.

One month later, LOVE invited national church leaders—the Anglican bishop, the former and current church representative in the Senate, and the president of the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC)—to a TV and radio panel discussion on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The BAEC president had a previous commitment, so he asked me to sit in his place. It was the first time I had ever been on radio or TV. I was just getting over a severe flu, but on Monday April 2, I joined the bishop and senators in a small refrigerated studio, which glaring floodlights quickly heated up.

At one point so did the discussion, when two of them debated over the authority of church traditions. But for the most part we stayed on common ground, the Word of God. What did it mean for man to be created in the image of God? How did sin and Satan ruin that image? How did the cross restore it?

God helped me with that part. Christ is the image of the invisible God, and we were made to be like Him. Satan, the worship leader of heaven, became prideful of his status but envious of our even higher position in Christ. He rebelled, taking one-third of the angels with him, and deceived Adam, the ruler of the earth, so that he could seize that rule from Adam. Christ won that rule back by resisting Satan’s temptations and paying the price for every sin on the cross. Now, if we confess our sin and let Christ rule us as Lord, we can overcome any tribulation in this life, and see Him work it to the good. And we will rule with Him in the next life, as co-heirs in His very image. The life He now gives us lasts forever in glory!

DOORS OPEN FOR THE GOSPEL. Then I realized why I was there. The next Sunday was Easter, and Easter was the day I got saved! In my next turn I encouraged all viewers to go to any church of any name where Christ is praised. Because 25 years ago on Easter Sunday, when I had long given up on church, a friend invited me to try a nearby church he’d heard of. I decided to go with him just to ease his inevitable disappointment. But God surprised me. We entered late, and the small congregation was singing to God like they really meant it, from their hearts. I had never heard that before. God inhabits the praises of His people. Jesus came in a glorious light and showed He loved me despite the mess I had made of my life. For me it was love at first sight. All the songs they sang about Him were true. I wept for joy, trying to hide my face behind my songsheet. After the service I meant to slip out the door and not try to explain what was obviously happening to me. But the Lord said, “I want you to stay.” How could I disobey Him? He had just become my Lord. I stayed, and I was warmly welcomed without any questions. I prayed that Jesus would meet each viewer in a similar way, when they went to meet Him on Easter.

We all had such a good time sharing about Christ that the program went a half hour overtime. The host, Rene Villanueva, was so moved by God that he not only invited us back for his Wednesday program (which BAEC President Crawford was able to attend instead of me), but said that he wanted to start broadcasting from a different church service each Sunday! Rene also arranged to broadcast a discussion with church leaders each month on the pressing issues of our times. We in fact had prayed on February 26 that the voice of God would be heard on the media as the answer to our troubles. Now we had a public forum for Him to do just that! That same night Rene told us he had decided to broadcast the upcoming July 1 March For Jesus. Originally planned only as a procession for the Anglican Church’s bicentennial celebration, now the March for Jesus is going to be a multi-church citywide campaign. Rene vowed to promote the event and urged us to invite everyone we could find.

HELL BREAKS LOOSE. The prospect of multitudes of supposedly divided Christians marching in united prayer through the streets of Belize City must have shaken the powers of darkness. Because in the next ten days the enemy retaliated with the most vicious counterattack I have ever seen in Belize. To claim that he and not Jesus was lord of the streets, during April 4-11 alone—the week surrounding Easter—he triggered a wave of violence: six murders, three more attempted murders, and fourteen reported robberies and burglaries. He also assaulted intercessors in our prayer network with severe pains in the head, lungs, stomach, etc., making thinking, breathing, eating and praying most difficult—afflictions which defied medical explanation. (For an hour I was in agony with stomach pains I thought would kill me as the local doctor looked on helplessly, her shots and medicine unavailing, till I got a breakthrough in prayer.)

We had sudden deaths and near-deaths in our families and neighborhoods. The enemy was hitting our weaknesses relentlessly. We persevered in praying for each other and Belize by phone and email alerts, and gained some relief. Then another wave of violence hit Belize City on the weekend of April 20-22. On Friday a lone gunman shot and killed two men on bicycles on crowded downtown Orange Street, close to Taylor’s Alley gang turf. That night the rival George Street gang leader and his female companion were gunned down at a gas station. On Saturday a stevedore rumored to run with the Southside Gangsters was shot twelve times by two men in a black Camry, and died where he fell. All downtown stores closed early that day in fear. On Sunday the Taylor’s Alley gang leader was killed in the back of a police van.

We prayed for God’s grace to resist the devil and send him fleeing. We prayed for grace to submit to God, repent more fully, and yield more deeply to Him alone. We prayed that this wave of evil would end in a new wave that leads to revival. We prayed that God would remind gang members of ways He has touched their lives in the past, to turn to Him now their leaders are gone, to find His way out of bondage to gangs and into new relationships and honest work opportunities. We prayed for His power for us overcome fear and intimidation, and walk in faith wherever He leads through the city streets.

HEAVEN BREAKS LOOSE. The multi-church Call To Worship was held the next Saturday night, April 28, at Princess Hotel in Belize City. So many believers came out without fear to participate, that we filled to overflowing the nation’s largest hotel conference room (see photos). God responded by filling us to overflowing! I had a vision of the wall behind the worship team turn into a huge window of heaven pouring forth light. It was liquid light filling the fan-shaped room like a calm rushing flood, rising over our feet and ankles. It came onto some of us, but into others, filling our bellies and hearts and minds with His higher feelings, His higher thoughts, His higher will. It separated into streams of colors flowing, mixing, swirling, making our hearts dance and our heads swim in His glory. I believe these are anointings of the Holy Spirit which will keep flowing through us as we walk in holy boldness through the city streets, releasing His power & peace where there was fear. He who is in us is much greater than he who is in the world.

I believe that this anointed corporate worship will open the way for more outpourings at our next multi-church event in the city, the Global Day of Prayer on May 27. I have been asked by the BAEC to organize this event in connection with what God is doing in our Belize Prayer Network. Since it is clear now that our present teacher candidates will not be ready to come together as a team for the coming school year, I can go on facilitating for another year the national prayer movement God has called me to. At the Global Day of Prayer we will have church leaders making declarations of what God is about to do in the coming season, to loose on earth what God is loosing in heaven. Then we will put feet to our prayers at the March For Jesus on July 1. Pray that through us God will flood Belize with His grace, take back the streets He purchased with His blood, and release peace that crushes Satan under our feet.

Yours in Christ, George

 

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