The Ex-Thief that Changed an Island
“I had gotten so good at stealing that I was soon one of the richest men men in the town.”
“That’s incredible…” I leaned back in my chair and put my spoon onto my plate, letting it rest beside a generous portion of spicy eggs and flatbread, “You got that much money just from stealing?”
Our team was sharing a late breakfast with a local pastor in the bustling downtown district of San Pedro Island, Belize. The tin roof and thatched walls of the tiny restaurant were shielding us from the direct sunlight that was baking the sand roadway only a few feet away.
“Absolutely. I had gotten rich, but I was destroying my life and marriage. My wife threatened to leave me and she was serious – I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what…”
“So what happened?” I had stopped eating.
“I heard that a famous preacher from outside of Belize was speaking at a festival, and I knew that my wife wanted to go, so I decided that this would be a good way to win her back, so I told her I would go.”
“Because you loved your wife?”
“I did love my wife – very much – and I didn’t want her to leave me, so I decided to do it. I listened to the whole message, and then when the speaker gave an opportunity to come forward and say ‘yes’ to Jesus, I stood up and went toward, hoping that I could win her back that way.”
“So wait a second,” I shook my head, “You mean you CAME FORWARD at the event just so your wife wouldn’t leave you?”
“Yes – I only came forward for my wife, but the moment I got to the altar… God met me there,” he paused, “I had never experienced anything like it before. Jesus just… changed me. Right there. I realized that I couldn’t keep living like I had – I couldn’t keep stealing.”
“And that was it? Everything changed from that experience?”
“Absolutely. It was a real transformation, but it took two years for my wife to believe that it was genuine.”
“And now… all the lives that are being changed because of what you’re doing – it’s all because God met you at the altar that night…”We just returned from the FESTIVAL OF HOPE in San Pedro Island and Belize City, Belize, where we saw thousands of people respond to the love of Jesus! Now we’re preparing for festival outreaches in the UNITED STATES, MALTA, and THE IVORY COAST – we love that as we stand in prayer together with YOU we can impact nations together, and we’re beyond grateful to have you as part of the team. Click HERE if you’d like to help financially in this mission and thanks SO much for standing with us!
The Belizean pastor had just described the man that he had once been, but it couldn’t have been more obvious that he was now a different person. He was leading a thriving church with a city-wide impact, his television ministry reached much of the country, he was spear-heading our island-wide festival, and everyone we had met throughout the town – including the media and the mayor – seemed to know and respect him.
“Yes!” He smiled and nodded, “Even when my motivations were not to meet God – He met ME, and now we are praying for God to reach many more people this weekend with the message of Jesus.”
And a few days later, God did. The festivals began, and thousands responded to the incredible, freedom-giving love of Jesus throughout the nation of Belize.
And this is why we do what we do.
The amazing things which we saw on San Pedro Island – the hundreds of people who received new life and freedom in Jesus, the restored relationships with God, the broken, addicted individuals who stepped onto the path of healing – all of these things were made possible because God rescued ONE desperate man many years ago.
God is amazing, and He can do far more than we can imagine through one life surrendered to Him.
During the Belize campaign – in partnership with On The Go Ministries and Daniel King Ministries – several different evangelists spread out for a weeklong campaign that reached cities throughout the country, and culminated in a massive festival in Belize City – thousands responded to Jesus, and reports are saying that it may have been the largest Christian event in the history of the country. Here are the numbers:
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 of Salvations: 4,993
Total healed: 938
Total number of churches who participated: 300+
We are humbled and blown away by the things that we’ve been watching God do, and we know that it is ALL by His strength – praise Jesus for everything!
We’re so grateful for you, friends – and we’re so honored to walk this road TOGETHER with you! Please pray for our upcoming outreaches in the MALTA, the United States, the Ivory Coast, Greece, and beyond, follow us on Facebook for daily updates from the field, and click HERE if you’d like to partner with us financially in our mission to reach multitudes in every nation with the incredible love of Jesus! God bless you, friends, and thank you so much!
Also, if you haven’t seen our new collaboration with Kpop supergroup HISPOP, check it out HERE – these guys are amazing! God bless you, friends!
Zach Blickens and White Ribbon Day