For the last five years we have journeyed freely in and out of the republic of Mali. Well, except for the aggravating hassle in the airport from a few individuals who pull our luggage aside and want “government papers”, meaning money as a bribe.We played that game a lot, but I never bribed them. But we traveled without fear, and we sensed a great warmth from most of the people.
Now there has been a coup, and from what little news I can gather yesterday there was a counter coup. What friends close to the situation have suggested is that the military is not relinquishing the government back to the people as smoothly as they had promised, and apparently yesterday tried to arrest some of the “red berets,” a more elite military group.
I guess the resources of that country don’t cry out for our military involvement. Gold ( a major commodity there) is not as valuable as oil. With the U.S., Libya, China, and others pouring aid into the country for the years we have been there, mixed with the antagonism of Al qaeda and the Tuareg rebels, I guess it was a boiling cauldron waiting to happen. What do I know about all that?
What I do know is that we cannot get back to the village where we have planted a church right now. What I do know is that there are multitudes of wonderful people in that country that have still not heard the name of Jesus and have no access to the Gospel. I can only pray that the seeds that a number of churches have sown, along with the work of many faithful missionaries will now bear a harvest among the nationals in the various people groups and that the church will thrive by the igniting fire of the Holy Spirit.
China was a fertile soil for missionaries for years, and then the communists took over. Western missionaries lamented, “We have lost China.” But when the bamboo curtain lifted ever so slightly, the church had exploded with growth. “Please gracious heavenly Father, ignite the fires of a rapid expansion of Your church throughout Mali. Let the Gospel flourish.”
I encourage any who read this to please pray that God will restore peace to the country of Mali. Pray that as the scriptures speak of God directing the heart of the king, He will direct the leaders in this nation and those close by to seek the good of the people.