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Praise and Prayer ~ April 19th, 2021

Photo credit: Leaders at the MBB Conference using solar-powered audio players.

Dear FFICM Prayer Partners, 

Thank you for sharing our journey this week. We are deeply grateful and humbled by the success of the MBB Conference last week. Pray with us for all the MBBs who committed to share the gospel in their communities. We’re also praying for the final FFICM spring conference: the True Gospel Conference in Jalingo, Nigeria. Help us cover this event in prayer: the speakers, those traveling on dangerous roads, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are open to be transformed. Praise Jesus for the powerful impact of these events to strengthen the Church in Nigeria!

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:

  • Prayers for Ongoing Ministry: 
    • Rich’s luggage was late in arriving, but got to Nigeria several days after he did. We praise God that all his luggage contents arrived safely.
    • Radio and TV Ministry — The team recorded 13 new TV episodes (aired on 2 stations) as well as 13 new radio episodes. Praise God for this profoundly impactful ministry! Produced by FFICM’s Nigerian team, these programs are aired in a predominantly Muslim area on public radio stations with teaching about the gospel and the Bible. The teachings address myths commonly believed by Muslims and offer the truths about the Bible.
      • Pray for Yusuf, an FFICM staff in Nigeria, who has been the main radio speaker. Yusuf’s family has been receiving threats of violence because of these radio recordings. For his safety, a volunteer from another state will replace him to do these recordings. Pray for protection for Yusuf and his family! 
    • The team moved into their new office. Pray for wisdom as they work with the landlord to get more copies of the keys for the building. 
    • There is an ongoing risk of being kidnapped while driving on the roads in Nigeria to conferences, trainings, etc. Pray for wisdom as our team maneuvers around and goes to and from the various conferences and trainings. Please pray for God’s protection.  
  • Prayers for Current/Future Events: 
    • The MBB (Muslim Background Believers) conference happened last week. Praise God for the unity established among the diverse Christian organizations which are collaborating to bring about this important conference! 
      • Over 600 people attended.
      • There was so much joy because the teaching, organization, and strategies were all successful!
      • Praise God for safety. Everyone traveled without harm from kidnappers. 
      • ~40 people gave their lives to Christ. 
      • Rich challenged them to share the Gospel to at least 10 other Muslims before the end of the year. About half of them made this commitment! Pray for those who commitmented, for courage and faith and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Pray also for the Muslims who will hear the gospel. Pray for curiosity, for dream encounters with Jesus, for courage to listen, and openness to relationship with God. 
      • Many of the MBBs are using the audio Bibles! These are igniting a growing interest and curiosity about Jesus. Praise God! 
    • The “True Gospel Conference” in Jalingo, Nigeria this week. 
      • The local ministry leaders are coordinating with the churches and there is a growing excitement and anticipation of how God will use this to strengthen peoples’ understanding about God and give them a firm foundation. 
      • One of our ministry partners from eastern Europe, Roman Baronowski, flew from Poland to speak at the conference along with Rich Gardner from the US and various Nigerian leaders. Pray for wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit as he speaks. Pray also for protection and good health.  
      • Prayer needs: 
        • There have been attacks due to intertribal warfare which make it dangerous for people to travel. This means some cannot travel to attend. 
        • For the speakers that God would use them to bring glory and honor to Jesus. 
    • Last week the team led a New Believer Follow-up Training at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN) for 180 seminary students. TCNN is one of three major seminaries in Jos, Nigeria. The school would like to increase FFICM training events to every semester and make them mandatory for all seminary students. Praise God for an growing interest in new believer follow-up training!
    • Rick Cordell will be in Abuja from May 3-5 to train 30 pastors using FFICM’s Follow-up Booklet. Pray for God to move through that time to awaken those pastors to the unique needs of new believers. Pray that their fellowship with one another would strengthen the Church in Abuja. 
    • This week the FFICM team (Sam, Ishaku and Pankyes) will travel to Foron to train 150 pastors in New Believer Follow-up.
  • Prayer for our Ministry Partners: 
    • Comfort – Please pray for safety for her traveling to Jos this Thursday to do follow-up with a number of new believers. 
    • Baba, the primary organizer of the HBB conference, has been seriously sick, almost paralyzed. He is healing slowly, but please continue praying. He was able to walk to the church for worship this Sunday. Praise God for his gradual recovery!
    • Zainab – 
      • Zainab’s husband just graduated from Bible School. Praise God! Zainab will enroll in the same program, which should take 1-2 years through night classes. Pray for 
      • Zainab’s daughter needs finances to enroll in university. 
      • Zainab has a vision to train and disciple at least 500 women in 2021! Please pray for a ministry helper, an assistant to help her. 
      • Joseph – a local pastor has been receiving death threats from Muslims. He just disappeared. Pray for his protection. 
    • Serious food scarcity! – Many families are not able to eat even twice a day. Due to COVID, the food production declines. Bandits are also attacking the farm workers. Due to these stresses on the Nigerian agricultural system, there is now widespread food scarcity. Pray for provision.  
    • Pray for Peter Wash, the National Director in Nigeria, and his family who are grieving the passing of his mother-in-law. Margaret, Peter’s wife, is deeply devastated. She has also lost an uncle and another family member this past week. Pray for God’s comfort for Margaret and for grace to move through her sadness with hope and faith that God is near.  

Ethiopia:

  • Safety and health:
    • COVID recovery: 
      • Belay, a friend and colleague of Eskinder who has helped with many of our FFICM training events in Ethiopia, has recovered from COVID. He was hospitalized for two weeks and is at home now. 
      • Keleme, a leader of the church denomination’s Missions Department, had surgery. He was also hospitalized but is home now. 
    • Pray for peace and security in the nation of Ethiopia. There is a party election coming up on June 5, 2021. There are 107 parties in Ethiopia and the winning party will elect the Prime Minister. There have been rumors of wars with neighboring countries as well as much division and fighting between tribes, language groups, religions, etc.
  • Strategic Development: 
    • Tesfye started full-time with Eskinder on April 1! Eskinder and Tesfye are sharing office space with one other church staff member in one small room. Please pray that the church denomination headquarters (EKHC) would be able to provide an office space that can accommodate all three staff. 
    • Tesfye started English school last week to help improve his skills. He gave us his update in English and joined us in prayer in Amheric. 
    • Praise: We are getting closer to purchasing a vehicle! The first one we tried to buy fell through, but we are now in the process of purchasing a different vehicle. Please continue to pray for the vehicle search. We have had a difficult time finding a good used vehicle due to limited supply nationally. Pray for wisdom and direction for the team as they negotiate with a car owner this week. There are two potential options.
  • Programs and Materials Development: 
    • Eskandir and Tesfye and Fekadu (a leader recently trained by Rich and Eskinder) will be training 40 church leaders and evangelists April 26-30 in Assella, Ethiopia. Pray for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and guidance as they teach using FFICM’s Follow-up Booklet. Those 40 church leaders will then return to their churches and offer the FFICM Follow-up training using 300 Follow-up Booklets. Praise God for the exponential growth in new believer follow-up made possible by the excellent training and the simple, reproducible lessons contained in the material.  
    • The 113 people who were trained in March have requested 1000 Follow-Up Booklets in the Oromo language! The trainees returned to their local churches and want to host FFICM training events. They need follow-up books for this purpose. 
    • The FFICM Ethiopia team is getting ready to print another round of materials in the Oromo language. Praise God for how quickly the last printing was used and for all the people who are both being trained in how to follow-up new believers but also the people that they are then following up!

USA:

  • 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 5th and final Xiolar shot on Thursday. Pray for a breakthrough in Dara’s recovery. Pray for wisdom for Dara’s family as they seek direction regarding financial provision. 
      • Mercy just received a diagnosis of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, an incurable disease which is incredibly debilitating. 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 is slipping away slowly into death. The family is praying for wisdom and comfort as they manage the challenges of the transition at this time. Pray for Arlene, his wife as she loves him courageously all the way to the end. 
    • Continue to pray for David (FFICM USA Director of Operations) and his wife Denise and their son, Ben (a.k.a. Andrew). Andrew continues to struggle with making poor choices which has been very hard for all of them. Pray for wisdom, guidance, hope and healing. 
  • Pray for Materials Development: 
    • Praise God for the 200 solar powered Audio Bible Players we were able to distribute in Nigeria this past month! 100 were distributed at the HBB conference (mid-March) and 100 were given out last week at the MBB conference (mid-April). The people who received them are extremely grateful! Continue to pray for the impact of these devices filled with Bible recordings as well as the 52 FFICM Nigeria radio broadcasts. 
    • We are exploring options for 3D printing solar powered Audio Bible Players, which cost as little as $10/each (instead of $50/each)! Pray for wisdom as we continue to explore this new possibility.
    • Pray for wisdom as we continue work on revising our new believer follow-up materials in several different languages.
  • Pray for Strategic Development: 
    • We continue to 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. We have had about 8 different people apply for these positions and we have begun to do phone/Zoom interviews with them.
    • We are also looking to add to our team of International Trainers. Pray that God would bring along the right people who are willing to be part of this ministry and are willing to raise their own support. These would be people who can be trained and mentored by Rich Gardner and can help us as we expand the impact of this ministry to new countries and languages as we mentor national leaders. 
    • Pray for wisdom as we continue to prepare for the upcoming FFICM Spring Fundraiser on Saturday May 22 at 4pm (Pacific Time). 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 training events 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 specifically as we work to get ready the scripts, video content, and prepare the electronic and email invitations.
      • Tuesday we will be recording three short promo videos for the event.
      • Tuesday we will also be sending out the email invitation for the fundraiser event. Pray for a good response as people start to RSVP.
      • We also plan to send the paper invitation to the printer later this week, which we will be mailing out on Tuesday May 4.
      • Saturday April 24 we will record several pieces of the program. Pray for the work we are doing this week on the scripts for the program and for all the technical aspects of the recording on Saturday
Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ April 19th, 2021