Two years of work and preparation are now over and it is time for the Belize Festival of Hope to enter the history books. I am thankful for everyone who helped to make the Belize Festival of Hope a success! Thank you for your hard work and your dedication to the Lord. Our outreach to the nation of Belize was an enormous success. Here are some of the statistics.
Number of Evangelists: 10
Number of Cities where Festivals took Place: 10
Number of Missionaries who participated in the trip: 203
Total Ministry Sites: 87
Total attendance at all events: 50,756
Total who watched on Facebook: 27,600
Total who watched on TV in Belize and on EnLace: ?
Total Documented Salvations: 4,993
Total healed: 938
Total filled with the Holy Spirit: 537
Total number of churches who participated: 300+
According to the World Factbook, the nation of Belize has an estimated population of 353,858 people. This means that total attendance at our events added up to about 14% of the total population of Belize and approximately 1.4% of the population made a public decision to follow Christ. Another 8% of the nation viewed the festival on-line and we have no way of measuring how many people watched the national broadcast that aired across the nation from 10 o’clock in the morning until midnight and is being re-aired several times in the weeks to come. All of these numbers add up to massive national impact.
Behind each of these numbers there is a story of an individual whose life was touched by God. The story of what God did in Belize goes beyond the pictures and the numbers, the story continues on into eternity. Because of your service to the Lord, lives were changed forever!
Out of the thousands of lives that were changed by the power of God, one story stands out to me. We reserved almost every room at one hotel for our massive team. One day, as we were getting ready to leave the hotel for a day of ministry one of the hotel staff approached us and said, “Is there someone who can pray for me?” Phil Rich, one of our team members, took him aside and began to pray with the man. Thirty minutes later, Dr. Phil came and excitedly told me, “The man asked me to pray with him for salvation. He repented of his sins and gave his life to Jesus.” God softened this man’s heart and before we even arrived at our ministry site for the day, we had already been given the opportunity to lead the man to Jesus.
Another one of our team members, Matt Kearney, shared this testimony with me in an e-mail. He writes, “One night at a festival outreach, an ex-gang member named Alan pulled me aside after I had shared my testimony of how only Jesus can satisfy the longing in our hearts. He said he used to be one of the worst criminals in Belize City. He had done many terrible things and nothing could satisfy him. After getting shot, his sister dying of cancer, and his brother dying in his arms from gunshot wounds, he knew he had to leave that lifestyle. So he came to San Pedro, got a respectable job, and tried to become a good person, but he was consumed with guilt. He didn’t think that God could forgive him of all the bad things he had done.
But Jesus died for all! I explained how God forgave the Apostle Paul who identified himself as the worst of sinners because he helped kill Christians. A moment later, [the evangelist] invited the crowd to come forward if they wanted to get right with God and begin a relationship with Jesus. I said to Alan, “If you feel that what we’ve shared with you is true and that you need to respond, then that is the Holy Spirit telling you that you need to do this today.” But he was still hesitant, so I asked, “Would you like me to go forward with you?” He said yes and he gave his life to Christ. He felt the burden of guilt was gone! He ended up getting connected with a great church too.”
I get excited every time I see a crowd of people raise their hands and cry out to Jesus for salvation. I consider it a huge privilege to have the opportunity to share the Good News with people. But, when I stand on a platform preaching, I do not stand there alone. You stand there with me, because without your financial help and your prayers, that platform would not be there.
Thank you for your faithfulness! Because of you, we were able to impact the nation of Belize!
Thankful for a Harvest of Souls,