ON THE SITUATION IN MALI
On Tuesday the
curfew was lifted. The borders and airports
were reopened on Monday - but in a restricted way. The
airport is not open around the clock, and some airlines adjusted
their schedules, or canceled some flights. Yesterday there was a
scare that Air France stopped operating entirely, but that turned
out not to be true. We can only pray that air travel continues
to be possible. I'm scheduled to fly to Austria
are on "Easter vacation" this week, and
are supposed to go back to school next Monday. Food and
gas prices have risen, but are now going down again with
trucks being able to move around freely and bring in supplies from
neighboring countries. Today we're buying a big quantity of rice
in case the situation worsens and prices go up again.
coup leader captain Sanogo is a middle-level soldier
who has been able to gather a lot of unhappy people around him.
In fact, politicians and organisations have now split into
two big factions - those FOR the coup, and those AGAINST
it. The president is alive and safe, and the French ambassador has
talked to him.
Sanogo is planning
to retain power until elections have taken place
and a new government is in place. When? He said it could take months.
Originally elections were planned for April 29th. They have just
made their new constitution public on TV, reading
out all articles.
international community has without exception condemned
the coup in Mali and stopped most aid, with a few exceptions
for humanitarian aid. Don't forget that over 3 million Malians
are directly affected by the severe famine in the country,
and the current situation makes it hard to impossible to help those
To make matters
worse, ECOWAS (the West African economic union)
had an emergency meeting yesterday and imposed economic
sanctions on Mali. As of today, no money transfers
in or out of Mali are allowed, Western Union and the like
are closed. Banks are only open a few hours, and only pay out limited
amount of money. It is unclear as of now, whether that also means
that we cannot use our foreign ATM cards to withdraw any
more money. This is the way we access our European and
American accounts. Needless to say, if that is not possible any
more as well, we will have no way of acquiring money.
Thankfully, or providentially (thank God!), we had just made a big
transfer of money to Mali through an organisation that was helped
that way, and they were just able to get that money to us. So we're
now restricting our expenses to what is absolutely
necessary, as we don't know what lies ahead, and how long this situation
ECOWAS is also
sending a delegation of 5 African presidents to
Mali within the next 48 hours. Their goal is to convince
capitaine Sanogo to step down and restore democracy and
the regular government. In case he is unwilling, their troups
are already gathered at Mali's borders to march into Mali and
make him step down by force. So these next
48 hours will be crucial. Please pray that he is willing
to step down to prevent a bloodshed in our country!
to pray for us, and forward this email to anyone you know who could
do so as well.
We know that
we are surrounded by an army of big, strong angels who
will fight for us, and I know that it is no coincidence that I'm
in the middle of a 40-day fast right now (though I didn't know that's
why He asked me to fast).
A BBC article:
from regional bloc ECOWAS over coup
NY Times article: West
African Bloc Puts Peacekeeping Troups on Alert
village church Goro - This village is nearly a 2-hour
drive from our base, crossing all of Bamako, and leading through
the town where the rebels have their headquarters.
It is out of the question for us to travel that direction with
the current situation.
village church in Dara - This village 45 minutes away
is safe to visit. However, Paul will go there for the
last time today, as it costs a lot of gas. I'm also sad
that we have to postpone handing out bags of rice to some needy
Our Base - The mood on our base is good.
The kids are on Easter vacation (school starts again Monday),
and enjoy their free time and time to play, as if everything is
as always. We're following our regular schedule.
We do keep them informed as to what's going on in the country,
and ask them to pray, which the older ones are (hopefully) doing.
On Thursdays we have our weekly prayer meeting.
to city electricity - Since we have not given them any
bribes, they keep saying "tomorrow" as to when they'll
come to connect us to city electricity; it was scheduled for the
end of February. Paul went there today and they said that the
rebels have seized all their vehicles so they're
unable to do any work at this time. I'm measuring up to
98.8 F (37 C) in my bedroom every single night (it's
the hottest time of year), and our power goes out from about 1-2
am to 10 am every night (not enough solar power), making it hard
Trip - I'm very much hoping I'll be able to fly out on
April 11th. The Austrian ambassador and consul
have also talked to me about possible evacuations.
I can only hope it won't come to that. I also very much hope I'll
be able to reenter Mali in May. Look to the left
to see when I'm where, with more details on the CALENDAR
page of our website.
- We still need volunteers, but as of now, it is NOT
advised to travel to Mali.
Book - My book can now be ordered from
all over the world. Just click on the link on the left side.
Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.”
Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and
saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around
Standing from left: Claudia, Paul, Tierno, Adama, Saloum, Joseph,
Yakou, Julie, Mimi, Fanta
Sitting from left: Florentin, Karim, Jérémie, Amadou,
Youssouf, Hama, Boubacar, Bakary, Sarata, Jonathan
- current monthly support, red - support needed