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Praise and Prayer ~ February 1, 2021

February 1, 2021

Dear FFICM Prayer Partners, 

May the peace of Christ fill you as you join us in prayer this week. We are grateful for and in awe of our God who is always with us, who is able to take care of our every need, and who cares deeply about our lives. Thank you for coming with us before the throne of grace where we trust we will always receive mercy from God.  We trust and believe because of numerous experiences of God’s provision, deliverance, guidance, and mercy. Be encouraged as you read the exciting testimonies of our brothers and sisters! We trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you in your prayers with us and for our ministry partners in Nigeria and Ethiopia.   

Nigeria:

  • There is a new LCC (usually a council of about five churches) in Ishaku Pate’s area. Praise God the church is growing and Ishaku has been part of the process of helping them as they plant new churches and figure out how to structure the growing churches.
  • Ishaku Pate has been running a follow-up group of about forty people! Praise God. A lot of the members are family or extended family. He is seeing a lot of people committing their lives to Christ. There were a lot of former priests from ATR (African Traditional Religion) in their family, but they have committed their lives to Christ!
  • Last week, Sam did a training with former drug addicts; they are in need of prayer! They have committed not to go back to their former life, but quitting drugs is very difficult. Pray that God has mercy and helps them stay with their commitment to the Lord and to stop using drugs!  
  • Sam asks for prayer for a stable internet connection at the office, because they are supposed to do a trainer’s training with Richard Gardner via Zoom. 
  • Our trainer Sam praises God for helping his wife. She has been having a hard time the last couple weeks since her family’s house burned down, but she is doing better. Pray that she and her family continue to heal from their trauma. The community is pulling together to help provide food and clothing for them as they recover.   
  • Pray for Peter Wash who is in transit on his way to Kano to meet with the leaders who are meeting for continued planning for the HBB conference. They are trying to decide whether or not to go forward with the conference at this time due to coronavirus and other complications. 
  • Pray for Yusuf who is continuing to meet with many new believers from a Muslim background and training them and helping them to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • The audio Bibles we gave out last year in northern Nigeria have started to cause a stir. The Muslims are upset about the audio Bible players that were given out with the the Bible in the local language in the northern part of Nigeria where most of the people are Muslim. The Muslims are increasing their persecution of Christians in the area. Pray for strength for the believers and that God’s Word would not be a stumbling block for the believers, but that it would be a firm foundation for them in their faith.
  • Pray for Comfort. The situation in Maiduguri has seriously devolved. These days they don’t have electricity. Boko Haram has cut it off. 
  • Pray for an end to the horrific kidnappings that are happening everywhere. The kidnappers are now kidnapping in broad daylight, even in the cities. There is a forest by Kano where a lot of the kidnappings are happening. Three of one of our trainees’ parishioners were kidnapped. Pray for their safe return. 
  • Pray for Ishaku that we have funds to provide a new motorcycle for him, as his traveling to conduct refresher trainings and follow-up with Muslim background believers is difficult without it.  
  • Continue to pray for the preparation of our new office in Jos, Nigeria. The preparation of the office has been slow. It was supposed to be ready by January 1, but it is not yet ready. The staff in Nigeria have been cramped into just two rooms. The new office space will give them much more space.

Ethiopia:

  • Pray for the upcoming training next week. The trainers will come from 15 different places all over the country. Pray for safety as they travel. We will be training them to be trainers of others, using the FFICM follow-up materials. Our pool of trainers has been limited to a small group in Ethiopia so far, but we praise God for the opportunities he is opening up to expand the team there and the training capacity.
  • Pray for the upcoming North Sudan training we are preparing for April. There are still many details to work out and the Ethipian worker in North Sudan we are working through has been having some visa issues.
  • Pray for peace between Ethiopia and its neighbors North Sudan, Egypt and Eritrea. There is continued fighting and outright war is getting closer to breaking out it seems.
  • Pray for wisdom as we continue to prepare for purchasing a vehicle for the ministry in Ethiopia. There are very few options at this time because the government there has stopped the importing of all vehicles to the country a few months ago and no vehicles are made in their country. The options that we are finding are all old vehicles and very expensive. Pray for wisdom as we continue to look for the right vehicle. Praise God for the finances that have been given so far! Now we need God to lead us to the right vehicle!
  • Pray/Praise: Eskinder’s internet at his home is getting closer. They have started the installation process but it is not yet finished. He has had a hard time working from home without internet this past year.
  • Two of Eskinder’s sons are at University. One of them got his phone stolen while riding in a taxi this past week and he is feeling discouraged. Pray for safety and encouragement.

USA:

  • Pray for Rich who will be traveling to Ethiopia on Friday. Rich is getting his COVID test tomorrow and needs a negative result to be able to travel. Pray that it is negative so he can travel!  
  • Pray for wisdom as we begin to prepare for our Spring Fundraiser that will be held on May 22. Pray that God would provide a volunteer to coordinate the event and that we would have wisdom as we try to figure out many of the details.
  • Praise God for the annual report we just sent out. We celebrate all that God did in 2020 and we look forward to 2021 with great anticipation of what God will do.
  • Pray for Dara’s doctor appointment she had today. They are doing more tests to try to determine the root cause of her ongoing health issues. Pray for wisdom, patience and stamina as she has been experiencing ongoing health issues for almost a year now and the doctors don’t seem to be able to figure out the root causes.
  • Pray for Rich Gardner’s family here in the US. Many of them are Roman Catholic. We pray that they will be able to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Our International Director of Multimedia, Stacy Lloyd asks prayer for his oldest brother Gary. We have previously shared prayer requests for his health. Gary has just gone under hospice care. He has been fighting prostate cancer, water on the brain, etc. He has had multiple strokes. He has a brain bleed, a blood clot in his leg and a hole in his heart. His cancer is now stage 4. He has a personal relationship with Jesus and we believe that he will be going to heaven, but in the meantime, pray for for comfort, wisdom and peace for the family.
  • Pray for David Moore’s wife Denise who was recently bit by a dog at a nearby park. She had to get multiple stitches on both sides of her hand and is still in pain. Pray for healing and wisdom.
  • Pray for wisdom as we continue to explore opportunities for partnership in ministry in Egypt and the Middle East.
Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ February 1, 2021