(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)


  The victims were aiding in the construction of a school.

On January 15th, attackers linked with Al-Qaeda murdered 29 people from 18 countries before being stopped by Burkina Faso and French security forces. Six of the victims were Canadian citizens on a humanitarian trip prompted by their Christian faith, four of whom are from the same family. A seventh Christian victim was a U.S. missionary.

Retired teacher Yves Carrier and his wife Gladys Chamberland, residents from the town of Lac-Beauport (located in the Quebec City region), worked for the Ministry of National Resources. On the day of the attack, they were tragically killed, along with their two children, Maude (37) and Charles-Élie (19). The family had been in the country for nearly a month aiding in the construction of a school. The two other victims from Quebec were Louis Chabot and Suzanne Bernier, both close friends of the family.

The seventh victim, Michael Riddering of Florida, had been running an orphanage and women's refuge with his wife in this West African country since 2011. During the recent Ebola crisis, Michael's work included comforting families and digging graves.

On the same day that the attack took place, an Australian doctor and his wife were kidnapped in Ouagadougou. Ken and Jocelyn Elliott, a Christian couple in their 80s, had been setting up medical facilities in Burkina Faso since the 1970s. They were overseeing a 120-bed clinic in the town of Djibo, close to Mali's border, where Dr. Elliott was serving as the only surgeon.

Hamadou Ag Khallini, a spokesperson for the Malian militant group, Ansar Dine, told Australian media that the al-Qaeda affiliated group, Emirate of the Sahara, was holding the couple. Since the abduction, there has been no official statement announcing where the couple are being held or the reason they were kidnapped.

Please join us in praying for the families and friends of those who were either killed or maimed as a result of this month's horrific attack in Burkina Faso. May this tragedy bear witness to the comfort, love and hope that our Lord Jesus offers to all who call upon His name. And while we can be thankful for the fruitful ministry demonstrated through the lives of these good and faithful servants, may the fact that they are now with the Lord also bring assurance and consolation to loved ones remaining behind. In addition to praying for the healing of the wounded and comfort for the grieving, please also intercede for the safe return of abducted missionaries Ken and Jocelyn Elliott. May they sense the protective presence of the Lord surrounding them, bringing great comfort in their time of need.

Select a Region

Burkina Faso News