(Photo courtesy International Mission Board)
Mali (MNN) ― On March 22, a coup seemed to be the best answer to a growing leadership problem in Mali.
Now, an interim leader charged with heading up the transition government must take the country back from the junta, Islamists, and Tuareg rebels.
Meanwhile, northern Mali could be facing a major humanitarian disaster unless fighting stops long enough to give aid groups access to distribute food and medicine.
Aid groups have also warned of a humanitarian crisis and abuses against civilians in the lawless area hit by drought and acute food shortages, where more than 200,000 people have been displaced by the fighting this year.
The U.S. State Department said it "warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Mali at this time because of current political instability in the country, an active rebellion in the north, and continuing threats of attacks and kidnappings of Westerners in the north of the country."
At that point, the Southern Baptist International Mission Board evacuated their team. They are now with other co-workers in neighboring countries who have warmly received them and provided for their immediate needs. Due to the continued chaos, there is no timeline for getting back into Mali.
Pray for those in leadership as they spend time debriefing these personnel, that they would have the wisdom to know when teams can return and the compassion to be comfort to them.
Pray for the missionaries as they process this uprooting from home and the feelings of guilt at abandoning the field and their friends. Ask God for continued Gospel opportunities for the indigenous team in spite of the upheaval.