As I’m sure many of you have already heard, there was a military coup declared here in Burundi yesterday afternoon.
Susan, the kids and I are all safely with our Serge team 3 hours outside of the capital.
Miraculously – we left Bujumbura what turned out to be just before the coup took place – as things were still agitated in the capital, and out security team thought it best for us to come up here for perhaps a week.
You can probably get better/more info than we can at this point as we have a bit more limited internet up here – but as of now it appears that the Bujumbura airport (the only international airport in the country) is closed, as are all borders. A general in the army from the President’s own party declared the coup – and the President is said to still be in Tanzania where he was attending an East African Committee meeting of heads of state to discuss the political unrest here in Burundi. (BBC has tended to have pretty solid info on this since the beginning -as they have people on the ground in Bujumbura)
Pray for this country – as the next hours and days will be critical for its future. Pray for the people here – many of whom were gripped by fear in the past few weeks already.
We are incredibly thankful that we made it safely here -and are with our extended team. We drove through a bit of a skirmish between what appeared to be soldiers/police/protestors on our way up here – and we thought that the protests had spread outside of the capital – but once we arrived here we found out that in fact the coup had been announced during that time.
Our team leaders in Bujumbura – Randy & Carolyn had already been making plans to bump up their planned leave for the summer- and as of yesterday Carolyn was supposed to be leaving today – however her passport is currently in immigration waiting for an exit visa, and of course, the airport is -as far as we know- closed. Please pray that she would be able to make it out and Randy as well.
We are obviously being very cautions – and our team leaders, extended team and our security committee (established when the situation in Bujumbura started 2 weeks ago) are gathering as much and as good information as they can from all relevant sources and are trying to make decisions for what’s next.
For now – we sit tight. Foreign embassies right now are telling people to ‘shelter in place’ – so we are incredibly thankful we made it up here and can shelter in place with our team. We are really out in the middle of nowhere, it is calm, quiet, cool and a welcome break for us.
Please do not be in fear for us – for we still believe that God called us here to this place – and that we are in His hands. Perhaps more than ever there is now work for us to be doing to help this country develop the capacities for a more peaceful and healthy future where it’s people can be provided for.
Please pray for a peaceful outcome to this situation. Pray that all those who now hold power would use it for the good of the people and the peace of the nation.