Monday, May 31, 2010

Please pray for Jamaica

Kingston Jamaica is making headline news around the world but for all the wrong reasons. The country's military and police are trying to arrest the island's most powerful criminal element in the person of Christopher "Dudas" Coke. He is wanted in America on various weapons and drug charges and for also leading the notorious gang, "Shower Posse," a gang known for showering their opponents with bullets. This is a very dangerous man, whom some believe has direct ties to people in high levels of government in Jamaica.

The real victims in this sad series of events are the poor people of Tivoli Gardens, in western Kingston. For decades, Tivoli Gardens was a haven existing outside the jurisdiction of the laws of Jamaica. The area is given a free pass because the residents, strong-armed by local "Dons", show up in droves and force the people to vote for various political leaders. In return the politicians grant the Dons, certain kick back programs.

Overall, the government failed to provide any comprehensive programs to address systemic poverty, lack of education, health care, employment and improved living standards. This explains the strong support given to criminals like Coke. Where the government failed, Coke succeeded.The casualty reports are grim: over 70 civilians dead,two soildiers and one police dead and hundreds arrested.

As Christians, we believe that God is in control. Psalm 76:10 says even the wrath of men will praise God. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph tells his brothers who sold him as a slave “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good”

So despite the very negative news coming out of Jamaica, God will ultimately use these harrowing events to expose the hidden secrets and corrupt practices of many.

Prayer Concerns:
1. Pray for those who have lost loved ones in the violence
2. Pray that the events of the past days will awaken in the people of Jamaica a yearning for spiritual revival
3. Pray for the churches of Jamaica that they will express greater unity and relevance in helping combat injustice, poverty, teen pregnancy and a host of other social ills.
5. Pray for the government. At this time many have limited trust in Bruce Golding's government to properly address the daunting problems of the nation
6. Pray that the evil spiritual forces that control strongholds of immorality, drugs, greed, violence would be forever broken in Jesus' name.
7. Pray for peace