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Praise and Prayer ~ February 23, 2021

(Above photo: FFICM’s primary partner in Ethiopia: Eskinder with his family)

Dear FFICM Prayer Partners, 

We have much to be excited and hopeful about regarding this week’s prayer requests. They reflect the reality that we’re coming toward the final stretch of planning several significant conferences and training events. As you read on and join us in prayer, remember with gratitude the many complex details that God has worked out among a diversity of people and organizations, all in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. We serve an amazing God and are inspired by the hard work and dedication of our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and Nigeria and our team in the U.S. Thank you for offering your gifts of prayer each week for both the exciting work of ongoing discipleship and for the daunting struggle against fear and the power of the enemy (such as an increasing danger from kidnapping and the ongoing debilitating sickness of our beloved staff member Dara).
May the peace of Christ lead you in your prayers this week!

Nigeria:

  • Conferences and Training Events: 
    • Peter is in Kano preparing for the HBB conference. Pray for continued preparations. They have started to purchase some of the food for feeding the attendees. They are now expecting over 2,000 at the upcoming HBB conference. There are some security concerns, but the committee is planning many security preparations and they are trusting that God will protect them.
    • Pray for the large conference in Jalingo for over 1,000 (April 19-23). Peter will be traveling to participate in a planning meeting for this conference. Please pray for safety for Peter during his travel, for protection against kidnappers, and for smooth transit over rough roads.
    • The MBB (Muslim Background Believers) conference has been rescheduled to mid-April due to a scheduling conflict with the venue. Pray for wisdom as the conference committee continues to plan and prepare for this conference. The committee has had some challenges and has had to change the date several times now, but the committee is excited for the opportunity to gather together these persecuted believers and prepare and equip them to reach out to their family and neighbors.
    • Peter is applying for a visa for Ethiopia so he can attend the big conference (15,000 attenders) that FFICM is leading in southern Ethiopia. The conference will be held March 25-28 together with Richard Gardner. Pray that the process goes smoothly.
    • The training that was supposed to be in Jos, Nigeria this week got rescheduled to early April.
    • Starting this Thursday, there are two training events that the team in Nigeria will be facilitating. Pray for wisdom as the team has a lot of upcoming conferences and training events that they are preparing for. 
  • God’s protection and mercy: 
    • The kidnapping problem has gotten worse. The kidnappers are targeting indiscriminately, both wealthy and poor. People have been killed by the kidnappers. Key leaders are being killed every week by the kidnappers. Please pray for those who are still with the kidnappers. Return those people to their families. 
    • Prisca asks for prayer for her outreach to prostitutes. 
    • Danladi’s sister just had a miscarriage. Please pray for her family as they grieve.
  • Gratitude and praises: 
    • Rick Cordell just moved and has a better housing situation there in Jos, Nigeria. He’s able to host visitors and is very happy with the situation. 
    • Rick preached this past Sunday in Jos, Nigeria and everyone was very encouraged. 
    • Priasca’s husband returned after 3 weeks absence. Praise God they are reunited!
    • Praise God that the TV and Radio programs continue to air and have been having many positive responses. Pray for the growing number of new believers from this ministry, and for the believers who are encouraged to share the gospel with those around them and to follow-up with new believers. On Thursday and Friday this week the team will record the next 13 TV and radio episodes.

Ethiopia:

  • Eskinder has internet at his home now! We have been praying for this for many months now! Praise God! This will help in many ways and will allow Eskinder to be able to work from home and to be able to join us for our prayer meetings via video. 
  • Rich and Eskinder just finished two weeks of training in Ethiopia.
    • The first week (two weeks ago) the team trained 29 people as potential trainers of our materials. We are hoping that some of these people will become our partners. Pray for wisdom as the team in Ethiopia grows and expands. 
    • The second week (last week) we trained 113 pastors. In the evenings, the trainees went out and shared the gospel to 118 people. 6 people accepted Christ, 5 of whom promised to return for follow-up! All the trainees were all given follow-up books to return home with and have made plans for how they will 1) use the materials and 2) train others to use them as well.
  • Please pray for the preparation efforts regarding the upcoming major conference. They are expecting 15,000 to 20,000 people in attendance. They are not practicing COVID-saftey measures in that area. Please pray for their protection from the virus, and praise God for the opportunity to challenge and equip the believers there.  
  • Pray for the political situation in Ethiopia. There are still many divisions. 
  • The vehicle owner decided not to sell the 1996 Land Cruiser that we were going to purchase. We pray that God will lead us to the right vehicle that will be a good resource for the team there in Ethiopia for many years into the future.
  • We are moving forward with a new partnership with another denomination in Ethiopia. The denomination has a plan to share the gospel with 5,000,000 people and plant 5,000 churches in Ethiopia in 2021! They have asked for our help as they move forward with this mass evangelism effort. Please pray for wisdom as FFICM considers how and when to reach out beyond our current relationship with the Kale Heywet church in order to expand our partnerships in Ethiopia.  
  • Our partner organization in Ethiopia (the Kale Heywet Church) will add its second employee towards the work of FFICM. Please help us welcome Tesfaye! Praise God for the resources from FFICM financial supporters and the opportunity we have to this experienced partner! He had been responsible for coordinating the thousands of evangelists from the Kale Hayet church. The Kale Heywet church has released him from that position so that he can work under Eskindir’s leadership to help facilitate the work of evangelism and follow-up with FFICM. Praise God that the Kale Heywet church has agreed to release Tesfaye to the work of new believer discipleship! 

USA:

  • Rich made it safely to the US yesterday morning. He is currently in the Washington, D.C. area. He flies to Atlanta today to meet with some current and potential future ministry partners. Please pray for his flight safety. While in Atlanta, Rich will be meeting with the leader of a ministry that is working in the Middle East. They are very interested to work with us in doing training in the Middle East to prepare people to follow-up with new believers there.
  • We are currently working with an Arabic translator to revise our materials for Arabic speakers so we will be prepared to offer follow-up training events in the Arabic speaking countries. Praise God for the opportunity to translate the discipleship materials into the heart language of so many people! 
  • Continue to pray for Dara’s health. She has continued to have many health challenges and has taken this past week off work to try to rest and recuperate. She continues to have frequent breathing attacks. The doctors continue to look at various possible allergic reactions.
  • We praise God for the continued work that our Website Update Team has been doing update the fficm.org website to make it more useful as a tool to share about what God is doing through this organization. Praise God for the volunteers and staff who are working on this, and pray for wisdom as they deal with challenges in the process including rampant hacking attacks on our website. We praise God that the site has not been hacked or harmed, but we need wisdom to know how to continue to protect it.
  • Murdock Trust meeting on Thursday. Please pray for God’s direction and favor during the deliberation process regarding the grant request. Help us to be ready to receive your blessings of open doors for more resources. 
  • Pray for recruitment of 2-3 new International Trainers for FFICM in the US in 2021.
  • Pray for the planning meeting coming up on Wednesday for the four people planning to travel to Ethiopia from the US for the big conference there in late March.
  • Pray for David as he continues to work on his Master’s in Nonprofit Management while serving full-time as Director of Operations. He is in his final 2 weeks of his third class out of ten.
  • Pray for wisdom as we begin to plan and prepare for our Spring Fundraiser. We plan for it to be another virtual event. We hope that by the time of our Fall Fundraiser we will be able to do an in-person event again.
  • Pray for David Moore as he will be sharing this coming Sunday at FFICM partner church Laurel Community Church for their missions emphasis Sunday (Feb 28). David grew up attending this church and has been supported and prayed for by them since he first became a missionary in 1999. 
  • Pray for FFICM partner Trail Christian Fellowship in Eagle Point, OR as they also will be having their missions conference this coming Sunday (Feb 28). David will send video greeting and thanks to them for their faithful prayer and financial support. 

As always, thank you for your prayers. May God bless you and your families!

Susanna Ballard
Director of Outreach

Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ February 23, 2021