American Missionary Killed in West Africa Al-Qaeda Attack

On January 15th, a terror attack in Burkina Faso left 29 people dead. The Al Qaeda-linked terror group raided the Splendid Hotel, a luxury hotel many Western diplomats stay at in the capitol, shooting many people and taking hostages in a siege that lasted through the night.

CNN reported, “Everyone was panicked and was lying down on the floor. There was blood everywhere, they were shooting at people at point blank,” said Yannick Sawadogo, who survived the siege.

“Security forces entered the hotel early Saturday and freed 126 hostages, half of whom were hospitalized, according to Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, Alpha Barry,” wrote CNN.

Before attacking the hotel, the terrorists attacked the Cappuccino café just across the street, which had about 100 customers. One of the café’s guests, was an American missionary who was killed in the attack.

Michael Riddering and his wife moved from their Florida home five years ago to lead a women’s crisis center and run an orphanage for 400 children in West Africa.

Riddering and a local pastor went to pick up a missions team arriving from the US, but stopped for coffee on their way to the airport.

Pastor Valentin called Riddering’s wife, Amy, on Riddering’s phone saying they “urgently” needed prayer, but then the phone went dead.

“It appears that Pastor Valentin was somehow separated from Mike during the attack and hid somewhere in the Cappuccino cafe,” Sheltering Wings, the Ridderings’ missionary group told CNN.

Pastor Valentin was later rescued by security. Amy waited and waited for information, but sadly “Riddering’s body was found in a morgue later.”

Amy wrote this brave post on Facebook:

Heaven has gained a warrior! I know God has a purpose in all things but sometimes it is a complete mystery to me. My…

Posted by Amy Boyle Riddering on Saturday, January 16, 2016

From Sheltering Wings:

Mike leaves behind his wife Amy Riddering, and four children. Haley age 23, Delaney age 19, Biba age 15, Moise age 4. A fund has been set up to assist Amy Riddering and her family.

Please Click Here to donate to the Michael James Riddering Memorial Fund

If Michael’s story moved you, please spread the word and consider donating to the family. Pray for Amy and their kids as they grieve the loss of their husband and dad.

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Esther Laurie
Esther Laurie is a staff writer at ChurchLeaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.