Mali Remains in “Wait and See” Mode
June 8, 2012
The following article is adapted from an update by Alliance Field Director for Mali Al Stombaugh, who reports on the status of the country, following the March 2012 coup that required evacuating most of our international workers. Please keep Mali in prayer.
As we wait to see how the situation develops in Mali, things are in a holding pattern. Daily life goes on pretty much as normal in the south of the country, yet people are living with a lot of tension.
The next two to three weeks will tell us whether the country will go forward with the interim government. If not, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has again threatened to impose sanctions, which would be devastating to the economy this time.
Currently, fuel and food are available, and most banks have reopened. Some missions and nongovernmental organizations are beginning to send personnel in on a limited basis.
C&MA Team Status
Several of our Bamako team returned to the city a couple of weeks ago, including Carina Saarloos, who helped found Rahab Center—a ministry to street women in Bamako.
“We are doing fine and happy to be in Bamako at this time,” Carina writes. “Our center is full, and we are thankful for all that the Lord supplies to be the hands and feet of Christ in helping these women.”
As far as the impact of the coup on our broader C&MA team, about nine international workers are at the Koutiala Hospital. This is the number we’ve maintained there all along.
But most of our other ministries throughout the country have been put on hold.
Workers like Joe and Maria Howard have continued their ministries based out of Burkina Faso—reaching out to the Bozo people on the Burkina side of the Mali border.
Our hope is that by fall, we can get back to a more or less “life as normal” mode. Due to the continued unpredictability of the situation, we have not approved work teams to come to Mali until at least September.
Pray for our Mali team—that the Lord will make His presence known to each one in unusual ways during this time and that each will know His peace and leading in the days ahead, even as they continue in a wait-and-see mode about next steps in their ministries.
Also, continue to pray for peace in Mali and for the suffering of so many, especially of those in the north where there have been reports of killings and rapes by rebel soldiers.
“Pray also for Alliance church partners in Mali to stand strong in showing Christ’s love during this unstable time,” requests 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
Funds are needed to cover the costs of moving U.S. Alliance staff in Mali to neighboring countries during this time of uncertainty. Expenses include travel costs, temporary housing, and travel and communication within Mali to make all the needed arrangements for our personnel. Please make a donation today.
Read a news article about the situation in rebel-controlled northern Mali. Note: Clicking on this link will take you off of the C&MA Web site.
For more articles about Alliance ministry in Mali, see the March 2012 issue of Alliance Life magazine.