Mixed bag predicted for Ja

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Only time will tell what 2007 holds, but if you believe in prophecy, look for a mixed bag.

Pastor Phillip Phinn of the Word of Life Ministries International, based on Maxfield Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica, and Bishop Delford Davis, of Power of Faith Ministries in Portmore, have both sought divine answers but have painted different pictures for the year ahead.

The prophesies of a group led by Pastor Phinn are pointing to economic growth, prosperity and crime reduction.

Meanwhile, Bishop Davis, who last year proclaimed that if murders did not decline in 2006 he would give up the microphone and stop preaching, has said he is “fearful” of the prospects for the year 2007.

By the end of 2006, the murder rate declined by approximately 20 per cent over the previous year, falling from 1,700 in 2005 to approximately 1,300 last year. But Bishop Davis does not foresee a repeat of such a decline.

“I am a bit fearful, I am very concerned, things might not hold in 2007 even as they have been in 2006,” Bishop Davis told The Gleaner just prior to the start of the new year. “My spirit is troubled, that’s one of the reasons we are taking back to the National Arena on (Wednesday) January 3.”

The Power of Faith Ministries and the Association of Full Gospel Churches have scheduled a national day of prayer and fasting at the National Arena to promote peace and unity.

This year, Jamaicans are expected to go to the polls in national elections and there have been concerns that violence may escalate in the run-up .

Citing biblical prophets such as Elijah, Bishop Davis said he was just a vessel being used by the Lord.

“One of the lessons, therefore, is that God still speaks to his people – the nation can, therefore, take heed to the saying of God’s servants,” he cautioned.

Bishop Davis said he mourned with the many families who had lost loved ones violently during the past year.

The Power of Faith Ministries pastor urged the country’s leaders to ensure that “whatever they do (should) be able to stand the scrutiny of the Almighty God.”

He also encouraged Jamaicans to play their part in efforts to achieve peace and healing for the nation.

Meanwhile, Pastor Phinn, who claimed that many of the prophecies came during Sunday’s watchnight service, said the police will get on top of organised crime.

“There will be major busts in car-stealing, drugs and ammu-nition rings,” he prophesied.

“Law breakers, great and small, will be exposed and crime fighters will experience great success,” Pastor Phinn added.

He also said the day of the sevens (July 7, 2007) will see an important announcement, even though he could not say what it will be.

What he was almost certain will take place is a continued growth in the tourist and construction industries and an improvement in the health sector.

The pastor also prophesied that there will be an industrial relations disturbance, but not a major one, which will result in teachers getting a reasonable pay increase.

On the darker side though, Pastor Phinn said two statesmen will depart this life – one from Jamaica, the other in the region.

He also said two more prominent Jamaicans will die and that a scandal in the private sector will expose a prominent figure.