A bus approached West Pines Community Church last night. Out of it walked 15 missionaries who had just returned home from Burkina Faso.
The group left for the West African country last week to volunteer at an orphanage run by Broward native Michael Riddering and his wife. The couple moved to Burkina Faso in 2011.
When news broke Friday about the al-Qaida attack on Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, the plane carrying the missionaries was diverted to a couple of other stops before eventually making it to its original destination. Riddering was killed in the attack and the group never did make it to Yako, where the orphanage is located.
“There were people there that were just taking care of us that you wouldn’t believe. You wouldn’t believe the love and support that we had and the missionaries that worked there," said Jeffrey Barnes, one of the missionaries.
Riddering's old church, Hollywood Community Church, will hold a memorial for him on Feb. 6.