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Praise and Prayer ~ March 30, 2021

(Photo Credit: Kate Thomas, a speaker at the Ethiopian Mega Conference with a Cameroonian trainer.)

Dear FFICM Prayer Partners, 

In our prayer time during Holy Week, we remember Jesus’ vulnerable humility and his courageous obedience in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus’ spoke to the Father of his weakness, his fatigue, his fears. In the same moment, he faithfully surrendered to the Father’s guidance and will. Jesus invited his closest friends to “keep watch” with him as he surrendered his own will and sought the Father’s.

As we pray together over the ministry of FFICM this week, we hear Jesus’ plea for us to ‘keep watch,’ to vulnerably confess our struggles, and to surrender with obedience to God’s will. Let us come before our Father, confessing the weight of the crosses we bear, with faith that as we surrender, God will supply for us too what we need for obedience.

Below you will find a prayer guide to support you as you accompany us in prayer and worship this week. May God bless your time in the quiet place with hope and peace.  

Nigeria:

  • Prayer for Ongoing Ministry: 
    • Please continue to pray for the ongoing TV/Radio ministry in Nigeria. They plan to record the next 13 TV episodes in April.
    • Praise: This past week the Nigeria team did a new believer follow-up training event for 130 pastors and leaders from the COCIN church denomination in Jos, Nigeria.  Continue to pray for those who attended the training as they apply what they learned. The board members of FFICM-Africa in Nigeria attended the training in order to better understand and share about the ministry. 
    • The Nigeria team is getting closer to being able to move into their new rental office. They have meetings this week with the agent. Pray for wisdom as they prepare for this transition that will give them much more greatly needed space.
  • Prayer for Future Events: 
    • The event that was scheduled for this week to train former drug addicts has been moved to next week. The former addicts have asked our team for training in how to follow-up with other new believers who are coming from a background of drug addiction. The program will be aimed at the 70 people who gave their lives to Jesus during a previous training. Peter Wash, the National Director, and Priscilla will lead this training in Kaduna state. They will also offer strategies and teaching on maintaining sobriety.  
    • Continue to pray for the MBB (Muslim Background Believers) conference preparations which will be held in April. Pray for wisdom on which speakers to invite. Praise God for the unity established among the diverse Christian organizations which are collaborating to bring about this important conference! The conference will be held in mid-April in Nigeria. We expect at least 1,000 to attend.
    • Pray also for the “True Gospel Conference” that will be held in Jalingo, Nigeria in late April. Preparations are coming together, and we need God’s wisdom as we continue to get things ready.
    • Pray for wisdom as FFICM Africa in Nigeria is they are working to build their capacity to do fundraising in Nigeria. We have a philanthropy consultant that is going to be working with them to help them with developing a plan and strategy for doing this more effectively.
  • Prayer for Ongoing Education: 
    • Pray for Valentine this week as he completes his final exams for a Masters in Computer Application. Valentine serves FFICM-Africa as the Director of Operations. Pray for him as he begins working on his thesis in educational technology. He will be focusing on the topic of secondary students learning photography as a part of curriculum in Plato State. 
    • Peter completed his application forms for D.Min. program at Multnomah University. Peter will graduate with his Master’s in Missions and Evangelism program in May. Praise God for Peter’s diligence, commitment to learning, and openness to continue this long journey towards the top degree in his field. In Nigeria, the significance of terminal degrees grants leaders exceptional, unparalleled influence. We are grateful for Peter’s eager willingness to pursue this advanced degree as it will open new avenues for preaching and teaching the Gospel. 
    • Pray for Priscilla’s son, Joseph Praise, who is working to complete his school exams. He recently graduated from high school. 
  • Prayer for our Ministry Partners: 
    • Pray for Comfort:
      • Comfort is an FFICM trainer located in Maidugri, a city in northern Nigeria and home to the Boko Haram, a jihadist terrorist organization. 
      • Pray for safety for the people. The kidnapping and killing of people on the roads continues and everyone is still very afraid. More detailed information about the history and violent impact of Boko Haram can be accessed easily on Wikipedia.  
    • Pray for Zainab: 
      • Pray for Zainab’s health. She thinks she may have Malaria and needs healing. 
      • 8 new students joined Zainab’s Baking School and will study with her for 3-6 months. Praise God! Before teaching the baking skills each day, Zainab leads his students through FFICM’s follow-up materials and how to use the gospel card. 
      • This past weekend, Zainab hosted a free baking class at a local village community for 40 adults and 22 children. She provided free food and drink, surprising and blessing all the villagers. Before teaching the skills, she led everyone through the follow-up lesson on assurance of salvation.
    • Pray for Sam: 
      • Sam has been having challenges with his landlord who continues to increase his rent and won’t do needed repairs to the house. This has been an ongoing challenge for Sam. Pray for wisdom for Sam as he deals with his landlord and tries to save money so that he can buy his own land and build a house.
    • Pray for Rick Cordell:
      • Rick’s flight from Abuja to His was cancelled today by the airline. He will need to travel several hours by road instead of taking the 30 min flight. Pray for safety on the road as there have been many kidnappings and robberies along the roads in Nigeria lately.
      • Praise God for the good training that Rick just finished in Abuja and the doors of opportunity that God has opened for him for the future there with Christian leaders.

Ethiopia:

  • Prayers for safety and health:
    • Pray for Eskinder, our National Director in Ethiopia, who is recovering from COVID-19. He was really really struggling and is still very tired and weak. Pray for his entire family since his wife and daughter are still very sick. He was not able to attend the mega-conference. Pray for comfort from the Holy Spirit and assurance that nothing surprises our God who is able to do far more than we imagine in and through our weakness. 
    • Pray for Belay, a friend and colleague of Eskinder who has helped with many of our FFICM training events in Ethiopia, now has COVID. Pray for Keleme, a leader of the church denomination’s Missions Department, who is also sick. 
    • Pray for peace and security in the nation of Ethiopia. There is a party election coming up. There are 107 parties in Ethiopia and the winning party will elect the Prime Minister. There have been rumors of wars with neighboring countries.
  • Update from the Mega-Conference
    • Praise God for the completion of the mega-conference (last Thursday-Saturday) in Southern Ethiopia! The estimated attendance was around 10,000. The conference speakers focused on strengthening the church with a vision of the true gospel. We are striving to give the people a ‘firm foundation’ in Christ so that they do not fall away from their faith as has been happening.
    • The spread of COVID is increasing in Ethiopia so the Ethiopian Government closed ALL meetings and gatherings of more than 50 people starting on Monday March 28th, the day after the conference finished. Praise God that the conference finished in time!
    • Praise God for the teachers and musicians! Everyone attending was greatly blessed.  
    • Pray for safe travel back from Ethiopia for Rich Gardner, Michael Jen, Mike Parker and Kate Thomas. They got their COVID test today, and should have the results by tomorrow so that they can travel back to the US on Wednesday. 
    • Many of the leaders became sick during the conference, but everyone was able to accomplish their task. Rich caught a cold, Tesfye had stomach problems, and the Ethiopian translator, Tedesse (who graduated from the FFICM follow-up training) felt sick too. The power of God was able to sustain them as they preached the true gospel! 
  • Prayer for Strategic Development: 
    • Starting April 1st, Tesfye will complete his transitions out of his previous position with the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) and will be fully in his role with FFICM as of April 1.
    • Please continue to pray for the vehicle search in Ethiopia. Unfortunately we’ve come up against more challenges towards finding a vehicle. The Ethiopian government halted all imports of used vehicles and is only allowing new vehicles to be imported. This means that the price of used vehicles will only increase. Pray for wisdom and direction for the team. Until we find a vehicle, the team has been renting one to do the essential work of the ministry. 
  • Prayer for Programs and Materials Development: 
    • Praise God for the re-printing of 10,000 copies of the FFICM Follow-up booklet in Amharic! These were delayed several weeks but have finally been finished. Praise God that there are so many new believers who will be equipped with this essential training and materials for starting their life with Jesus strong.  
    • Pray for the continuing preparations for the training in new believer follow-up in Sudan that our staff in Ethiopia are planning. Due to COVID lock-down in Sudan, it looks like we will need to wait for some time to do the training there. We trust that God will open the doors in His timing. The believers there are very much looking forward to being trained.

USA:

  • Pray for Materials Development: 
    • Please continue to pray for the next $5,000 needed to cover the second 100 solar powered audio Bible players for Nigeria! (So far we have about $1,000 of the needed $5,000.) We are grateful for the $5,000 we got last month which provided 100 solar audio bibles for Nigeria ($50/each) and the people who received them are so very grateful!
    • Pray for wisdom as we prepare and revise versions of our new believer follow-up materials in several different languages.
  • Pray for Strategic Development: 
    • Continue to pray for wisdom as we prepare to hire a Communications Coordinator and Development Director for FFICM here in the US. May God direct FFICM’s hiring team with hope and insight as we seek to grow our organization to keep up with the profound global impact of our partners in ministry. 
    • Pray for wisdom as we continue to prepare for the upcoming FFICM Spring Fundraiser on Saturday May 22. www.fficm.org/spring2021 The theme is: Oaks of Righteousness. We will be sharing about the impact of the three conferences in Nigeria and the mega-conference in Ethiopia this Spring as well as all the trainings that have been happening as well as sharing about plans for this Summer and Fall. We will hear video testimony from our staff overseas as well as reports from our US staff. We are praying that God will provide at least $48,000 through the event, including at least 20 new monthly donors and that we will get at least 30 new prayer letter sign-ups.
    • Pray for the ongoing work of the Website Update Team that is continuing to work on fixing some issues with www.fficm.org and working to make it more useful and easy to navigate for our partners.
  • Prayer for our Ministry Partners: 
    • Please continue to pray for healing for our former staff members Dara and Mercy. Dara continues to have threatening anaphylactic responses to a wide array of allergens. Pray for Dara’s breathing which is constantly labored. Dara should receive a Xiolar shot on Thursday. Pray for wisdom for Dara’s family as they seek direction regarding financial provision. Mercy just received a diagnosis of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Pray for Mercy as she visits her doctors 3-4 times a week.    
    • Pray for the family of Stacey Lloyd, our Director of Multimedia. His brother is in hospice and the family is praying for wisdom and comfort as they manage the challenges of the transition at this time. 
Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ March 30, 2021