December 27, 2021
Dear FFICM Prayer Partners,
Today in our time of devotion, Rick shared his thoughts on group prayer. He mentioned that we spend a lot of time asking God for things and reminded us that we need to take time to think about how God is bringing us together, putting us through different life circumstances, and to pray for wisdom in those circumstances. Rick talked about James 1 when James talks about praying for wisdom. Ask what God is doing in these situations. What is God doing in our lives that God is trying to teach us or show us? How does God want to use you? Look to God in trust, in faith, in hope.
New highlights from prayer updates (noted in blue below):
- Pray for Peter and Yusuf as they meet together tomorrow.
- Pray for Peter and Rich as they work together on a strategic review of the Firm Foundation new believer follow-up training process.
- Praise for the safety of our staff members and their families as they gather for Christmas.
Nigeria Program Updates
- Pray: Peter is working with Rich on a strategic review of the Firm Foundation new believer follow-up training process. We are looking at how to continue to improve the current week-long training program that we have been using for a number of years as well as praying about developing a “next level” training that could help improve the effectiveness of the training that we do. We have started to invite people back that have been trained by our staff to do new believer follow-up, to come to a refresher training. We have seen much fruit from these refresher trainings. People have been able to get help in areas they have struggled and have been encouraged to continue to practice what they have learned. Pray for wisdom as we look at how these new ideas can impact our ministry in 2022.
- Pray for the churches that are being forced to close and being persecuted in Northern Nigeria.
- Pray for HBB Conference preparations
- Peter is traveling to Katsina this week on Wednesday. While there he will be working with the committee there to plan for the 2022 HBB conference where we expect over 2,000 attendees.
- Please pray for traveling mercies as this is a dangerous area to be driving through with frequent kidnappers and bandits.
- Pray that they will be able to contact all of the right people.
- Pray also for wisdom in establishing the budget that is needed to be able to make this event happen. We are excited to see more and more funds coming from sources in Nigeria.
- Praise: Thank God for safety in the area of our Nigeria offices over Christmas.
- Pray for the many staff and community members who are suffering from colds right now because of the colder weather.
Prayer for the Nigeria Ministry Team
- Peter Wash, FFICM Nigeria National Director
- Doctoral studies work — Peter is back from Kenya and continues to work on his Doctorate in Global Evangelism. Pray for wisdom as he divides his time between work at the office, going out and helping with training events, doing school assignments, as well as personal and family responsibilities. Pray for wisdom in allocating time to his studies in the midst of his busy ministry and leadership schedule.
- Prisca Barth, Trainer
- Masters Degree — Prisca is back from Kenya and is working on her Masters degree in Global Evangelism. Pray for wisdom for her and she divides her time between that as well as family, FFICM trainings, and leading the FFICM fundraising effort locally in Nigeria for FFICM Africa. She’s had a lot on her plate and has been overwhelmed with stress.
- Samuel Chungwom, Trainer
- Praise: Samuel’s wife Jessica who is expecting a baby in February and has been experiencing some complications, was able to go to the hospital in spite of the ongoing hospital worker strike. Please pray that God will continue to uphold her and others who are expecting babies. Many of the doctors and nurses have COVID, so pray for protection for the hospital staff. Samuel and his wife will return for an appointment on January 10. Currently Jessica is doing well, but pray that she and the baby will be able to remain healthy.
- Water scarcity: He must go to collect water in jerry cans. Has limited mobility so is needing help to get water to his home.
- FFICM Nigeria National Director Peter Wash who is meeting with Nigeria staff member Yusuf tomorrow. Yusuf has been doing follow-up with new believers from a Muslim background and training others to do the same. Yusuf has been going through a difficult time of persecution and this has caused him to question his faith and relationship with Jesus. Pray that God would draw him back and whatever is pulling his heart away from God would be made powerless.
- General Prayer requests:
- Hospital Strike: The hospital strike is still ongoing in Nigeria. This makes it very challenging as many people have been having medical issues and they aren’t able to get the needed medical care. Pray for wisdom for the people needing medical care. Pray for the medical staff who are feeling overworked and underpaid. Pray for health. This has had a personal impact on several of the Nigerian FFICM staff.
- Pray that God will continue to provide for the needs of the Nigerian FFICM staff. Prices continue to go up for basic food and everything else. They look up and trust that God will give them what they need. Pray for wisdom as we set 2022 salaries in light of the ongoing inflation issues.
Muslim Outreach Ministry
- Pray: TV and Radio Ministry — We continue to broadcast the TV and radio episodes that have been recorded to share about what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and are specifically made for people coming to Christ from a Muslim background. Continue to pray for the impact of these recordings, and for the FFICM staff as they work to follow-up those who are coming to Christ. The FFICM-Nigeria team is meeting in-person with these converts to support them in their new faith.
Safety amidst Dangerous Violence:
- Pray: Safety while Traveling — 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 and kidnappings are reported daily. Please pray for safety for the trainers.
- Prayer: Vehicle search – We continue to look for a vehicle for the use of the team in Ethiopia. $32,000 has come in so far, and we had hoped that would be enough. The cost of used vehicles continues to increase in Ethiopia and there are so few that are available. It is now looking like we will need as much as $55,000 in order to get a decent used vehicle there. We might be able to purchase a vehicle from another department at the EKHC denomination. Pray for wisdom and God’s provision. https://fficm.org/ethiopiavehicle/
- Pray: Uncertain Political Future — Civil war is continuing in the northern part of Ethiopia between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray people. Please pray for political resolution, for peace and for provision for the people whose lives had been devastated by the violence and loss of access to basic resources. People are displaced from their villages to other parts of the country due to this war. This ongoing unrest is mostly in the northern and western parts of the country. The economy is suffering because of all the fighting.
- Eskinder asks that we pray for strength and patience for the churches in the areas of political unrest since we do not know what is going on there since all means of communication have been shut down.
- We praise God that things are safe in the central and southern part of the country and that we are able to continue to do the new believer follow-up training there that is so crucial to equipping the church. Eskinder shares that much of what the International news is reporting is not true or accurate. It is very biased against the Ethiopian government and sensationalists. Pray that the truth would be made known and that the Ethiopian government and the International news community would report accurately on the ongoing situation in Ethiopia.
- Pray for the churches in the northern part of the country
- Pray to bring evangelical church leadership and EKHC church to come together for training. They are planning on meeting with church leaders this week. Pray for the meeting and for future conferences as well as training that will follow up in different places.
- Praise: There is much need for printing of our follow-up materials. Please pray that we are able to meet these needs and for the printing of FFICM follow-up materials in the Oromo language.
- Update: The women that were trained in October need more gospel tracts and follow-up materials. They are even helping to pay for the printing of some of these! Praise God for the outreach and follow-up that is happening and the resources that God is providing.
- Tesfaye, Ethiopian Trainer
- Pray for Tesfaye who has Covid again. He has not needed to go to the hospital, but has had low blood oxygen levels and is not feeling well. Pray for healing and that he would not pass along the infection to anyone else.
- Pray/Praise: Fundraising — We praise God for all that He has provided in 2022 and all the ministry that we have been able to facilitate!
- Pray for wisdom as we look at “what next” in regards to fundraising as we creatively seek God’s guidance on how to increase our donations by 40% next year to meet the needs of ongoing increased opportunities to train people in new believer follow-up around the world.
- Carly Powne, US Based International Trainer — www.fficm.org/carly-powne
- Pray for 100% monthly support by the end of December 2021 — We pray that God will continue to bring a full team of prayer and financial partners for Carly before the end of December so she can focus fully on her role as an International Trainer with FFICM. Praise God for those who have already signed up to be part of her prayer and financial support team. Praise God for several new monthly supporters this past week. She still needs about 40%.
- Pray for wisdom: As we look at what Carly will be able to take on in 2022, a lot of that is tied to how much time she will need to devote to ongoing fundraising. We currently have her scheduled to help with 2 training trips overseas of about 1 month each. Once she gets up to full support we can look at increasing that to 4-6 trips per year.
- Praise for a safe arrival to Portland to spend Christmas with family and time at the FFICM office. Pray for wisdom in how to balance time between family, support raising, and time at the office while in Portland.
- David Moore, Director of Operations
- Pray for wisdom in parenting. Pray for spiritual protection of his children and for good ability to communicate as a family. Pray especially for his son Andrew (aka: Benjamin) who has been having a hard time making wise choices.
- Pray for his continued progress on David’s MA in Nonprofit Management. David finished up his Grant Writing class with a presentation and paper last week. Pray now as he works to finish preparing the grant request he wrote for this class prepare it to be submitted to a local organization to help with the costs for training more female trainers in Ethiopia using our FFICM New Believer Follow-up materials in 2022.
- Pray for his wife Denise who is pregnant and due in May 2022. She continues to feel a lot of discomfort during the pregnancy.
- Rich Gardner, President
- Rich’s daughter, Dara Searcy-Gardner, continues to struggle with debilitating asthma. With the failure of the first medication, she’s needed to try a new medicine; however, the insurance is refusing to pay for it. Pray that the insurance company would change their response so Dara could receive the treatment she needs. She’s unable to work and barely able to function. She is asking us to pray that the medication would conquer the asthma. We pray for complete healing.
- Pray for a good time with family over the holidays. His kids will all be coming to Portland to celebrate Christmas together.
- Jerel Skeith, Director of Strategic Relationships
- Pray for wisdom as we make year-end calls and text messages to the many who are investing prayer and finances in this ministry. We are so grateful for the many people who are part of the team, making all of this exciting ministry possible!
- Deborah Sezov, FFICM Board member
- Pray for her Associate Pastor Andrew Barshinger who returned from deployment to Kuwait as an army chaplain this September and shortly afterward went into Stage 5 kidney failure. He has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma. Pray for him and for his young family (wife, 3 year old, and 18-month-old twins).
- Rick Cordell, Adjunct International Trainer
- Pray: Rick is preparing to fly back to Africa in late January. There are a lot of things to be wrapped up before he goes as well as preparations to be made.
- Pray: For patience as he waits on finalized training schedules.
- Praise/Pray: Church status — FFICM has applied for church status here in the US. The application is complete and has been submitted! Pray for wisdom for the IRS as they consider our application. Most large mission organizations have applied for and been granted church status in the US. This would allow us to be able to have all of our staff receive the ministerial housing allowance and would have other tax and financial benefits for us as an organization.
- Pray: International Director of Prayer — We are praying that God will provide a volunteer International Director of Prayer for FFICM. We would love to have someone to take charge and develop this crucial area of ministry even more. Pray that God would raise the right person up for the job.
- Pray for Rich and Jerel as they prepare to travel around the midwest and east coast to share about FFICM in January and February 2022.
Praise: Mission ConneXion opportunity — FFICM has been asked to serve as the workshop track coordinator for Mission ConneXion’s NW 2022 conference. The “Discipleship Basics” workshop track will be amazing! We hope to see you at the conference in our workshop track and at our booth on January 21-22, 2022.