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It’s a scene right out of a Hollywood movie where rebel forces overrun an otherwise peaceful nation, and the people are chased from their homes. This time, though, there are no stuntmen, and the threat is real. To make things worse, people are starving by the thousands and in need of quality health care.

Mali, a West African nation with 20 years of peaceful democratic governance, experienced a coup d’état in March. The mutinous soldiers who led the coup and rebel groups have divided the country in two, and violent rebels have taken control of the northern half of Mali. More rebels and weapons are being moved deeper into the country, posing severe threats to the peace and safety of communities throughout the nation. Christians are especially at risk, and many are being chased from their homes in the north to the safety of Bamako in the south.

Neighboring countries are considering sending military force to control the rebel forces in northern Mali. They are concerned that what is happening there might impact the safety of their countries, as well.

As a result of this crisis, pastors and members of The Foursquare Church in Mali, alongside other Malians, are facing a severe food crisis and the threat of war.

In a remote part of Bamako, The Foursquare Church is completing the first floor of a 4,000-square-foot health center unlike anything the area has seen before—a project that began before people started fleeing to the city to escape the violence in the north. Pastors and churches from the U.S. committed funds to this project as part of the Foursquare Connection 2011 offering.

The health center will be a witness of God’s love to thousands of women and children in the sprawling capital city of more than 5 million people. As you can imagine, in light of the current crisis, work on the center has escalated, and we need to complete and furnish it immediately. Providing this health center will be a significant gift to the Christians in Mali, helping them to stand strong in an increasingly difficult and hostile environment.

Initial reports indicate that as many as 90 percent of the residents in some areas are malnourished due to the food crisis and being driven from their homes. Foursquare Relief and Compassion funds have already been released for food distribution through a Foursquare church plant in Bamako and will be a significant way to reach people with the gospel, as well.

Donations for Foursquare relief efforts in Mali are being accepted online. Financial gifts by mail are also appreciated and may be sent to Foursquare Missions International at the address below. Be sure to designate “Mali” on the memo line of your check.

Foursquare Missions International
PO Box 26776
Los Angeles, CA  90026.

By: Dan L. (last name withheld for security reasons), Foursquare Missions International area missionary to West Africa and Francophone nations

is a freelance writer living in Long Beach, Calif.