Dear Friends, Colleagues, Supporters and Prayer Warriors,
Thank you so much for your many concerned calls and emails about the war situation in Mali, and especially for your prayers and encouragement. Linda and I want to reassure you that at present we are in the relatively safe zone of Mali, West Africa.
Even though the Al-Qaeda-backed rebels tried to push south, an international force led by France and the Malian army stopped them some 300 miles northeast of the capital city, Bamako.
The Malian bus, pictured to the left, is sporting a French flag, to indicate the Malians’ hope that their former colonizers will come to their rescue in their time of need.
Linda is presently in the USA while I continue with the outreach at our self-sufficiency agro-pastoral project. I am usually there every week from Monday through Friday, keeping me geographically far away from any unrest. Our other AG colleagues, Tom and Jenni Keating and Glen and Karen Smith, are also continuing with their work in the capital city.
Even though our U.S. Embassy has recommended that all Americans leave the country, (they always prefer to “err” on the side of caution), we three couples have prayerfully committed to remaining in Mali unless the situation worsens. We neither want to downplay the seriousness of the circumstances, nor do we want to react with panic to everything that we hear. We feel it is imperative for us to stay and serve with our Malian brothers at this point in time.
So we need your prayers, as we are sure to face off with many urgent needs stemming from this war – refugees, displaced Christian brothers and sisters needing food and medicine, and basic goods. Please help us to be able to respond quickly to emergencies.
- Pray for more open doors of ministry, as this is a time when the hearts of men are troubled, and we have God’s answers to their questions.
- Pray for a quick resolution to this conflict and that as few people as possible would slip into eternity without Christ – our Lord does not want anyone to perish! (2 Peter 3:9) And He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Ezekiel 33:11).
- Pray for a double portion of wisdom in all that we do here at such a time as this.
- Pray that we have favor with the man in the street, and I say this because Malians have been anxious that America will not come through for them in their time of crisis. They fear that, since Mali recently went through a military coup and since democracy hasn’t yet been restored, the U.S. will not honor its counter-terrorism partnership established with Mali in 2005. Many Malians think that the U.S. won’t come to their rescue because they don’t have valuable commodities like oil to make it worth our while. Correct or not, this is the perception on the street. In so many ways, Mali needs your prayers!
- Pray for our protection, because even though we are removed from the war’s front lines, terrorism can quickly find its way to the capital city where expatriates often are the target.
Thank you for faithfully standing with us,
David (Faouzi) and Linda Arzouni