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Praise and Prayer ~ June 2nd, 2021

(Photo detail: Taken during the live portion of FFICM’s Spring Fundraiser 2021.)

Dear FFICM Prayer Partners, 

As we welcome in a change of seasons here in the US, our team in Oregon is eager to embrace the slower pace of international travel. With Rich’s next trip scheduled for October, we turn to welcoming new staff onto the US team. Lord willing, we will have several new international trainers traveling with Rich by October! Also, we’re excited to be nearing the end of our job search for the communications team. Please continue to pray for wisdom and direction regarding these hiring decision as well as the many other exciting and pressing ministry needs in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Cameroon.  

Ministry updates and new requests are noted in bold. Thank you for your ongoing prayers for the ministry teams, for those receiving the gospel, for all the local leaders newly trained in follow-up, and for restored safety and political stability in all three countries (Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Cameroon).  

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:

  • Ongoing Ministry
    • Radio and TV Ministry:
      • Impact — The FFICM Nigeria team produces broadcasts designed to reach 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. Praise God for this profoundly impactful ministry! Continue to pray for the impact of those who are listening to the TV and Radio broadcasts. 
      • MBBs turning to Jesus — Yusuf and Ahamed continue to lead many MBBs to Christ through the radio teachings. Praise God! Yusuf teaches about how the Koran points to the Bible, points to Jesus as the Savior, and how the Koran talks about life after death. 
      • A broader reach — The recordings will soon be broadcast in another state (Kano State, the heart of Muslim cities). Pray for those who hear the message of the gospel. 
    • Wisdom for leadership 
      • Praise God for the hiring of a Nigerian accountant, Mercy Chris Dawah, a widow from Jos, Nigeria. Mercy is excited to get to work and the team is working to train her in all that she needs to do.
      • Ongoing security issues make it difficult to travel and do ministry. You never know which road will be closed or where the bandits will be. There are very frequent attacks and insecurity in the land. Please pray for safety for the trainers.
      • Pray for wisdom as we work with our MBB trainers Ahamed and Yusuf. There have been some challenges in working with them and communicating well together. Pray also for the safety of both of them as they are often in great danger as they refute the teachings of Islam.
      • There have been increased attacks in and around the city of Jos, Nigeria where our office is located. There are rumors that Jos in the Abuja area are going to be attacked. Continue to pray for God’s protection.
  • Prayer for Current Events
    • New vehicle — We praise God for the safe arrival of the new (used) vehicle that the office in Nigeria was able to purchase. Peter asks for prayer for the paperwork to come through and that this vehicle would last a long time and be helpful in the ministry. We praise God that this vehicle was paid for mostly by the money from the sale of our old car, local contributions in Nigeria, and with a little bit of assistance from the US.
    • FFICM Africa in Nigeria will be having their next board meeting this week. Pray for wisdom as they discuss many upcoming issues on Thursday.
  • Future Events
    • We plan to have 2 or 3 new believer follow-up training events in June. It is hard because this is a busy month for those with gardens. There is one new believer follow-up training scheduled for next week and three new believer follow-up training events scheduled for June. 
      • Pray for both the FFICM team and the church leaders we are working to prepare for these training events.
      • Pray for those who will be attending. Pray that God would prepare their hearts now for what they will be learning when they attend.
  • Prayer for our Ministry Partners
    • Pray for the MBBs who committed to share the gospel with 10 people before the end of the year. 
    • Pray for Peter Wash, the National Director in Nigeria 
      • Peter’s final presentation for his Master’s program was last week on Tuesday through Thursday. Peter is making corrections to extensive final papers and asks for prayer that he will be able to finish that within the week. Please pray for Peter. 
      • Praise: Dr. Tim Robnet agreed to sponsor Peter (and Eskinder) for the DMin program at Multnomah University. Pray for wisdom as Peter finishes all the paperwork for the application process.
    • Praise: Ishaku continues to praise God. He is so grateful for the new motorcycle he was able to due to the generous gift of an FFICM supporter! He and his whole family are overwhelmed with gratitude. Praise God for the community of believers who can share our resources to provide for each other! 
    • Praise: Zainab praises God that her new home is ready enough for her to move into. She is currently packing up her current house and moving into her new house. Praise God for his provision and pray for the transition. 

Ethiopia:

  • Peace and security in the nation of Ethiopia
    • Ethiopian Election — There is a party election coming up on June 27, 2021. Please pray for peace in the country. 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. 
    • Threat of War — Egypt and Sudan have agreed to fight Ethiopia over the rights to water from the Nile. There was an imminent threat of open war, but this past week has been more peaceful. 
  • Strategic Development: 
    • Internet access — Eskinder’s internet has been coming and going. Please pray for a strong internet connection so that he can work well. This week it was out again.
    • Pray for the right timing for the purchase of a vehicle — Eskinder has been informed that it might be better for us to purchase the vehicle prior to the upcoming elections. We praise God for his provision of the funds and we ask for His wisdom in timing. All current ministry transportation has been through public busses. Traveling and transporting supplies (often hundreds of booklets at a time) this way is incredibly cumbersome and slow, not to mention less safe. 
    • Praise: Eskinder is registered for the Doctorate of Ministry (DMin) program at Multnomah University. Praise God for his successful application process and sponsorship! The program will begin June 7. 
  • Past Ministry
    • Last week Eskandir and Tesfye and Fekadu (a leader recently trained by Rich and Eskinder) trained 50 individuals representing 20 local churches and evangelists in Assella, Ethiopia
      • Back in their local churches they are now training 620 people to do new believer follow-up. They are going out and doing weekly outreach meetings through each of those churches!  
      • 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.   
  • Future Programs: 
    • The team continues to receive an overwhelming number of requests to provide new believer follow-up training. Pray for wisdom in knowing how to plan.
    • October – Rich plans to travel to Ethiopia in October to assist with four weeks of new believer follow-up training, including the following:
      • A group of 80 Ethiopian women seeking training in New Believer Follow-up. They want to establish a team of women from this training who will be trainers of trainers. They have a plan for exponential growth as women are prepared to go out and train other women. 
      • Elias, an Ethiopian missionary in Sudan, wants FFICM to lead a follow-up training in Sudan. The proposed date for the training has been changed a couple of times, but now it is scheduled for October. We pray that God will work out the details and give us wisdom in how to proceed. 

Cameroon:

  • Update from Florence – The lead coordinator for the training events we have held in Cameroon. 
    • Pray for peace and healing in Cameroon
      • Cameroon has been suffering through a devastating civil war since 2016 and there continue to be many killings, kidnapping and torture. Doing ministry has been very challenging in the midst of civil war when so many people are just trying to survive.
    • Pray for Florence’s ministry – Building a Retreat Center
      • Florence has felt called to build a retreat center. She’s currently raising money by selling household goods in order to have money to build the retreat center huts. Pray for funds to pay for the workers at the site. Pray for grace and wisdom. Pray for a reliable, trustworthy team of workers.
      • Florence is waiting for the building team to provide an honest quote on the first building for the Mountaintop Experience prayer retreat center in Cameroon. She praises God for stamina to climb the mountain frequently.
      • There have been electricity issues. Pray that it will stabilize.
      • Florence has been connecting with SIL missionaries in Yaounde, Cameroon with Vision Mission who are very interested in our follow-up training. 
      • Pray for trainees that they will not forget what they have learned and will put it into practice.

USA:

  • Prayer for our Ministry Partners: 
    • Dara Searcy-Gardner, former FFICM staff — Dara continues to struggle with debilitating asthma. She asked us to pray that the medication (Xolair shots) would conquer the asthma. Pray for complete healing. She can’t go out of her house for more than 2 minutes without having trouble breathing.
  • Pray for Materials Development: 
    • We plan to purchase and distribute 900 3D printed solar powered Audio Bible Players before the end of 2021 which cost $11/each (instead of the ones we were previously getting at $50/each) to distribute in Nigeria and possibly Ethiopia later this year! Pray for wisdom as we continue to move forward with this new opportunity.
    • Pray also for wisdom as we continue work on revising our new believer follow-up materials in several different languages including Urdu and Arabic. We are also looking at how to better adapt our materials for use here in the US.
  • Pray for Strategic Development: 
    • Pray for our hiring for new FFICM staff: 
      • Development Director – Thanks to the grant we were approved for through the Murdock Trust, we are hiring a Development Director. Pray for guidance as we grow our organization to keep up with the profound global impact of our partners in ministry. We are working on continued interviews and trying to discern who God would have us to hire for this strategic role.
      • Communications Coordinator – We’re looking for a part-time staff (20 hrs) to fill the role that Dara left. Pray for wisdom as we make a decision about the right person to help communicate about the amazing things we are seeing God doing around the world. We have several more interviews we will be doing this week. 
      • International Trainers – We’re looking for new team members to be trained and mentored by Rich Gardner to help us as we expand the impact of this ministry to new countries and languages as we mentor national leaders. We have a couple people considering. Rich is asking for everyone to pray that we will be able to find international trainers soon! We really need more people on the team to help with the training load. 
    • Praise God for the successful completion of our Virtual Spring Fundraiser!

Goal: $48,000 

Pledged/given so far: $27,539

Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ June 2nd, 2021