Military Coup Impacts C&MA Church in Mali, Alliance Workers Safe
March 26, 2012
“Praise the Lord that all of our Alliance international workers are safe,” wrote Al and Lauralynn Stombaugh, the field director couple for the Alliance in Mali, West Africa, today.
This news followed sobering reports the Stombaughs shared over the weekend, detailing the deteriorating situation in Mali’s capital city, Bamako, following the coup that Mali’s army staged last week.
Believing the Malian government’s response to be “inadequate” in supplying arms and supplies toward their ongoing fight with Tuareg rebels in Mali’s northern desert, the army mutinied last week, taking over Mali’s presidential palace and radio and TV stations.
“There are now reports of a possible counter coup,” Lauralynn reported Saturday (March 24). “So we are not going out of our compound. Things are quiet but tense; the military keeps assuring everyone that the looters will be punished, but our feeling is there is no control or order at this point—please pray!”
Alliance Church Destroyed
The Faladjé C&MA Church was victimized by the violence late Friday night, when a mob of drugged youth armed with machetes and pick axes ransacked and looted the church. Thankfully, the pastor, Caleb Sagara, and others of his flock—who had gathered at the church Friday night to pray—fled to safety.
Pastor Caleb has since reported that the military has caught two members of the gang who destroyed the church. The military has promised to continue pursuing their investigation. However, none of the stolen property has yet been recovered.
Promised that the military would be patrolling their neighborhood, the Faladjé congregation met on their property, under a tarp, to worship on Sunday. “While the congregation is obviously discouraged,” the Stombaughs said today, “they are trusting God is in control and will bring something good out of this for His glory.”
Craig Hanscome, who serves at Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children, also sent a report over the weekend. “[The coup] has had little direct effect on [our work] here; except that the airport and borders are closed, which impacts two work teams that are supposed to fly back to the United States Sunday (March 25).
“Also our Mali MKs (missionary kids) were to fly back Sunday from Dakar Academy for their spring vacation. Unless the airport opens, we will have some disappointed children and parents.”
Reports are that the junta leaders have no support from outside the country and no major political party within the country to back them.
Pray for peace in Mali during these uncertain days—and that God will bring something good out of this crisis for His glory.
What You Can Do
Check out the Mali Update under “Urgent Prayer Requests” (see the March 27 entry) on the C&MA Prayer page for more details from Alliance workers in Mali about the coup and how to pray.
Read a BBC article, “Thousands Flee Mali after Military Coup,” and view a video about the crisis. Note: Clicking on this link will take you off of the C&MA Web site.