Dearest praying Friends, Family, and concerned Supporters,
I am quickly writing to let you all know that my dear husband, David (Faouzi), got home safely Tuesday evening. After 10 days in the bush, David was dusty, dirty, dehydrated, and thrilled to eat fresh green salad, to drink ice-cold tea, and to take a shower instead of a bucket bath. (During his last two days at the field, he and the workers only drank boiled river water and ate white rice with a tomato paste sauce.)
But, something as unsettling as this coup will continue to send waves of repercussions across Mali for days, months and even years to come. Many angry reactions have been aired from OUTSIDE of Mali, not just from the USA, the European Union (EU) and the UN, but especially from the African nations and institutions. Everyone is grieved to see the coup end Mali’s splendid 20 years of democracy.
Yesterday, the “mother” of all West African banks, BCEAO, cut off any more disbursements to all our Malian banks until this problem is solved. So, Tuesday, even before driving home, David rushed to find an ATM machine where there wasn’t a long line of people waiting to draw out money.
The future could still hold a lot of surprises for us here in Mali. Hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to Mali have already been cut by outside agencies, and sooner or later, this is going to affect us as missionaries too.
We were surprised at the Malians lack of a reaction to Amadou Sanogo’s coup. We’re learning just how angry they really are with the former President’s weak response to the Tamashek rebels’ activities in the north, and with his failure to keep the prices of basic commodities down. The price hikes are particularly offensive in the light of last year’s pitiful rainfall and ensuing famine.
Instead, pro-junta Malians have been demonstrating in the streets FOR Sanogo’s takeover! And today, Malian protesters covered the Bamako airport tarmac, successfully thwarting the arrival of four African presidents coming to negotiate with Sanogo the return to constitutional rule.
We try not to be anxious about what we hear, reports, rumors, predictions. Some things turn out to be true, others not. So, that being said, I will not write unless the political climate changes dramatically. Please do be patient with us. We have received dozens of concerned emails from you, our dear friends, and it has quickly become too hard for me to respond to you one-by-one. So, will you please accept this e-newsletter as my answer to you all.
And, when you think of us, do continue to lift us and the Caswells up in prayer,
Linda and David (Faouzi) Arzouni