Family ‘waits it out’

A Vernon family remains anxious during escalating turmoil in a central African country

A Vernon family remains anxious during escalating turmoil in a central African country.

Ray and Mary Anne Bale, and their 11-year-old son Boss, have remained inside their home in Bujumbura as the military has attempted a coup against president Pierre Nkurunziza.

“The airport and all borders are now closed, so we wait it out,” Ray Bale told The Morning Star.

Violence broke out in Burundi more than a week ago when Nkurunziza attempted to seek a third term as president.

However, the situation worsened as the military got directly involved.

“There’s lots of shooting and explosions. We are OK but hunkered down for the moment,” said Ray.

The violence has made it difficult for the Bales to not only leave their home but visit the 62 children they care for at an orphanage.

“Sitting watching tracer fire over the city at present. It looks like there is fighting out by the airport. Still uncertain where this will all end but continuing to pray for peace in Burundi,” said Ray in a Facebook posting Wednesday.

The Bales began working in Burundi in 1995 and the family moved there in 2002 to continue with their efforts through New Hope Centre and Vernon Christian Fellowship.