Warm hellos from David (Faouzi) and Linda Arzouni, your “sent ones” to Mali, West Africa!
Many of you have asked for an update on the situation in Mali. The northern part of Mali is still in rebel hands, and Mali’s position of being “chaotically insecure” has been downgraded to being “politically and economically unstable.” The Malian government, frustrated and helpless, does not have the man-power or the equipment to recapture its northern territories. And now, ironically, the two northern rebel factions that had previously joined forces (the MNLA and the “Ansar-ad-deen”) are fighting among themselves.
Economically, even though the rains started early this year, all the farmers’ granaries were already empty after last year’s insufficient harvest, leaving many hungry people anxiously watching the crops grow. (Psalm 126:5,6) Worse yet, Mali’s shaky interim government has not been able to manage its imports, so the price of rice and cereals is escalating.
Our self-sufficiency agro-pastoral project is going really well, although the grant money is all dried up. Many Muslim villagers are now both hearing and reading the Word, and two have come to Christ. In the past two weeks we have used the tractor (purchased 2 years ago with your offerings) to help over 40 poor farmers plow more acreage than they would have normally been able to do, enabling them to rise above just the subsistence level of farming.
We would love to do more, but we’re out of funds. It only costs us $30 in diesel and labor to plow one hectare of land. So, if you’d like to rush some help to one or more families to plow, plant and harvest a little more this year, you can do so by making your one-time gift check to the order of Account #5298001, then mail it to us at AGCU, 1535 N. Campbell Ave., Springfield, MO 65803. That way we can take action against the harsh cycle of famine and poverty that governs these people’s lives. Thank you so much for adding sacrifice to your intercession and prayers!
Even in the face of many trials, our Lord is raising up more leadership for His church! Global University-ICI literature has been a powerful missionary tool to reach into unbelievers’ homes (Evangelism courses), to inspire God’s people to more holy living (Christian Life and Service courses), and to equip church leaders (University level courses) to be better shepherds and guides! I am therefore particularly proud to announce that our Malian pastor Enoc Dembelé has, last school year, earned his “Certificat.”
And our dear friend and colleague, Nigerian missionary pastor Dondo Iorlamen, has earned his BA in Bible/Theology with Global University (ICI)! We are so proud of these two fine men! And we are confident that they will be an even greater blessing to the Malian church due to their diligence to “rightly divide the word of truth”!
Please, friends, we need your prayers! I am home in CA once again with my mom who has fallen, breaking 2 arms, and is again in a health care center. She is struggling anxiously to regain the limited mobility (with a walker) that she had last year. I think many of you know how stressful it is to see one’s independence slipping away. And, when praying for my mom, please remember me too (Linda), as I make plans to have rotator cuff surgery, probably in July. I am so confident in our Lord! He is the Shepherd of our souls, and He’ll walk with me—and you–through the valleys ahead of us!
We are forever grateful for your involvement in our lives, for your compassion for the lost of Mali, and for your sacrificial giving! To God be the glory for the great things He has done!
Warmly in our Risen Lord,
Linda and David (Faouzi) Arzouni