Mali’s socio-economic quandary is sobering. It is one of the poorest nations on earth, with people making on average $1.5US/day. Cotton growing employs one-third of the population but is highly vulnerable to world market fluctuations and competing growers elsewhere. Functional literacy is low and secondary school enrolment is under 20%. About one-fifth of children will not survive to the age of five, and of those who do, one-third will be malnourished. Two-thirds of the land area is desert or semi-desert, and the threat of desertification is ever present. Pray that Mali’s leaders have wisdom and insight in knowing how to provide health, education, gainful employment and long-term stability to their people.