Please pray for a Colombian nun, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, 56, who, according to a Malian source, was kidnapped in southern Mali on Feb. 7 by self-declared jihadists. Two days later, security forces were searching territory in Mali and Burkina Faso for the nun, a nurse in the Franciscan order. Argoti was seized by armed men in the village of Karangasso, close to the Burkina Faso border.
In Bogota, the head of the order said the men had said they had “an order to kill” when they grabbed her, adding that she had spent six years in Mali. Edmond Dembele, secretary general of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, described the uninhabited border areas, where they seem to have been headed, as having many places to hide.
Last month, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa released a new proof-of-life video of Swiss missionary Beatrice Stockly, who has been held hostage by the group for more than a year. The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) video showed Stockly, who was captured in northern Mali, saying she was in good health. Please join us in praying for these women.
Mali took a swift and unfortunate rise on the World Watch List this year, going from #44 to #32. This is directly linked with Islamic radicalism and violence. Since the Islamist takeover of northern Mali in mid-2012 and the subsequent French-led effort to restore Malian authority to the entire country in early 2013, civil liberties and political rights have yet to return to pre-2012 levels in both the north and south of the country.
Father, we pray for these two women who have committed to serve You with their lives. Protect them wherever they are and comfort them with Your presence and the knowledge of our prayers on their behalf. Guard their faith in the face of danger and release them from the captivity they are in. Equip the authorities as they search for these women and as they seek to weaken the power of the Islamic radicalism in their midst. And we pray for all Christians in the nation of Mali as they live in increased dangere. Embolden them to face each day in the strength of Your Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus who upholds these women with His strong right hand and whose love casts out fear. Amen.