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May 30, 2016

Evangelists Pray for Peace Between Belize & Guatemala

At the political level, there is tension between Belize and Guatemala as relations deteriorate over Guatemala’s assertion that it owns the Sarstoon. But over the weekend, you would not have known that. Evangelical pastors from Belize and Guatemala converged at the border to pray for peace; it all happened in front of the O.A.S. Office which is charged with confidence building measures and keeping the peace. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Pastor Lance Lewis, President, National Evangelical Association of Belize

“We believe that the church can help by prayer and intervention—those are the two areas and think that prayer is the greatest intervention that anyone can call upon because God is sovereign and he rules in the affairs of men.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

On Saturday morning, evangelical pastors and worshippers from both Belize and Guatemala converge at the O.A.S. Office at the adjacency zone for Operacion Unidos en Cristo/Operation United In Christ. They prayed for peaceful resolution of territorial dispute while giving thanks in song and prayer. The event featured an exchange of blessings between Belizean and Guatemalan Pastors.

 

Pastor Lance Lewis

“This problem that is occurring between Belize and Guatemala need not continue; we believe that there is a time for it to come to an end and we believe that the time is now and we have come here today to pray for God’s divine intervention.”

 

Enrique Novelo

Enrique Novelo, Assistant Secretary, National Evangelical Association of Belize

“As the nation of our Lord God, we are one nation. It is human nature that puts barriers. But if you guys could have seen, we were in unity praising the creator, the owner or the one that created the whole universe. So that is our main goal as the body of Christ, the nation of God to ferment love, unity within the Guatemalans and the Belizeans.”

 

Approximately thirty pastors from neighboring Peten, Guatemala joined their Belizean counterparts for the spiritual event. According to the Guatemalans spiritual pastors, the historical event sends a message to its leaders and Guatemalans that both countries should live in peace and harmony.

 

Victor Manuel Garcia Solares

Pastor Victor Manuel Garcia Solares, President, AMIEP

“The idea is to unite the spirit and use it to pray for both countries.”

 

Reporter

“What are the issues that Guatemalans have on this conflict between Belize and Guatemala? What have you all heard from your congregations?”

 

Nelson Larios

Pastor Nelson Larios, Director, AMIEP

“We haven’t heard issues from our people. What we want to do is prevent major conflicts that can come from this. For that, we are in agreement with the evangelical pastors from Belize and Guatemala to join forces so that our communities can live in harmony, peace and really we support each other. Yes it is a representation of only Peten, but our associations are linked to others at the national level. For example the Evangelical Ministry of Association of Guatemala; and so we will take this message to the other associations at the national level.”

 

According to the pastors, the event proves that not everyone in Guatemala shares similar sentiments in the Belize/Guatemala dispute. According to President of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, Pastor Lance Lewis, politics is destroying the unity between both countries.

 

Lance Lewis

Pastor Lance Lewis

“Belize has a clear defined border and that has been so and people in Guatemala and Belize recognize that. It is usually politicians that try to stir dissension. But we believe that things will come to pass that we will remember and recognize that we gained independence in 1981, we are a sovereign nation—it has been recognized by the entire United Nations—and we just pray that Guatemala will realize all of this and go back to what was defined in 1859 and stick to that because the people in Belize and Guatemala get on quite well. Why should the politics destroy us? We see the borders that we share—in a sense, not fully—but partial heritage that we share and the education and schooling that we share, because there are seven hundred Guatemalans that come to Belize each day during the school time for studies and there are several other Belizeans that go across. Then there is cultural exchange, there is educational, there is medical and all of that. So we share that common thing and a common border.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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