April 2, 2012
According to the BBC, West African states imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on Mali today. Mali’s borders have been closed and its access to cash through the West Africa banking system has been blocked—a heavy blow to this landlocked, deeply impoverished West African nation.
“Sanctions will cripple the already very fragile economy and will create a difficult situation for the average Malian citizen,” said Tim Stephenson, an associate of an Alliance ministry in Mali.
Rebel forces took advantage of Mali’s political instability over the weekend to capture key cities in the north—Gao and Timbuktu—in addition to Kidal. Many in these areas have been forced to flee in advance of rebel fighters who are pushing further southward.
Some Good News
Stephenson reported that approximately 25,000 people—both Christians and those of the majority religion—gathered in a soccer stadium in Bamako for a prayer meeting yesterday.
Dr. Chris Braun, Africa regional director for The Alliance, also shared positive news: “Our Mali folk who opted to go to Burkina arrived safely today. And our three MKs made it to the Dakar (Senegal) guest facility at 4 o’clock this morning.”
An Alliance couple working among Mali’s fishing people has just arrived safely in southern Mali after fleeing their hometown in the north. “We learned that the Malian military had moved out during the night and headed south, leaving no military presence in our region. We were strongly advised to leave as soon as possible. So here we are!”
Pray for Mali
Currently, about 20 U.S. Alliance workers and youth have safely withdrawn from the embattled nation. “Keep praying for those who continue to minister in Mali and for our many partner churches and Malian Alliance leaders!” Dr. Braun requested.
The following are additional concerns for which to intercede:
- The coup and Tuareg rebellion have intensified a humanitarian crisis in Mali and some neighboring countries, said the BBC. Aid agencies warn that 13 million people in the region need food aid.
- “Pray for peace in this nation and for Alliance church partners in Mali to stand strong in showing Christ’s love during this unstable time,” requested Bob Fetherlin, vice president for Alliance International Ministries.
“Pray that—no matter what happens—the door for sharing the good news remains open in Mali.”
What You Can Do
Make a Donation to the Great Commission Fund; partner with Alliance workers, like those in Mali, who are often in places where they have opportunity to share the peace of Christ with those living in crisis.
Read a BBC article to learn more about the deteriorating situation in Mali. Note: Clicking on this link will take you off of the C&MA Web site.