Dear FFICM Prayer Partners,
On Monday, Jerel shared from 1 John 4:7-12 about how God is love. Jerel’s message encouraged us to lean into past grace and future grace as we look into travel visas for our team and prepare for our Spring trainings and conferences.
New highlights from prayer updates (noted in blue below):
- Prayer: Vehicle search – We continue to look for a vehicle for the team to use in Ethiopia.
- Pray for HBB (Hausa Background Believers) Conference preparations. Preparations need to be finalized this week for this conference.
- Pray for the Conference, Training, and travel preparations for the spring
Nigeria Program Updates
- Praise for the time of fasting, prayer and planning that the FFICM Nigeria staff had this past week. It was very encouraging to all the staff as they look forward to 2022 and what they see God doing in this new year.
- Pray: Ahamed is working on revisions to the FFICM materials for new believers from a Muslim background. He is also working on preparing messages for our TV and radio broadcasts in Nigeria that he intends to teach in the coming weeks.
- Praise God for the new President for the Church of Christ in Nations denomination in Nigeria. Pray that we will be able to work well with him. This denomination has been very supportive of the FFICM work in Nigeria to train people to follow-up new believers. The new president is someone we know and have a relationship with already.
- 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 (Hausa Background Believers) Conference preparations. Preparations need to be finalized this week for this conference.
- Peter is traveling to Katsina again 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 in March.
- 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.
- 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 continuing 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 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.
- Samuel Chungwom, Trainer
- Pray: Samuel was sick over the weekend and was able to get into a clinic today. He has been diagnosed with Typhoid and Malaria. Praise that he is now on medication, please pray for continued healing.
- Praise: Samuel’s wife Jessica who is expecting a baby on February 11th and has been experiencing some complications. 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.
- Please continue to pray for Yusuf, former FFICM staff member who has been questioning his faith. Yusuf was 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.
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.
- Praise for peace in the nation. Christmas in Ethiopia is celebrated the same as Eastern Orthodox Christmas which this year fell on January 7. Believers gathered and worshipped the Lord together.
- Pray for neighboring country Sudan. The Prime Minister has stepped down and this has a huge impact on the safety and security in that country.
- 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.
- 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 that continue to experience much persecution.
- Prayer: Vehicle search – We continue to look for a vehicle for the team to use in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government is looking at stopping the import of used vehicles in the country, which would squeeze an already very tight market. We might be able to purchase a vehicle from another department at the EKHC denomination, our main partner denomination there. Pray for wisdom and God’s provision. If you want to donate to the fund for this vehicle purchase, you can do this at: https://fficm.org/ethiopiavehicle
- Pray: We just found out that the week in March that we are planning to do a new believer follow-up training and a large conference for 8,000 people in Durame, Ethiopia has been chosen as a national prayer week for the main evangelical denomination in Ethiopia. Eskinder is meeting in Durame this week to meet with the planners of the training and conference to determine if they will go forward with the training/conference as planned or .
- Pray: Next week Eskinder is going to Sudama for a new believer follow-up training of 80 people.
- Tesfaye, Ethiopian Trainer
- Pray that internet connection will be made available in this village so that he can join us for our weekly prayer calls and have the ability to work from home.
- Pray for his English language learning that he is working on regularly. As his English skills improve, it will help him to be able to be used to train people with our materials in countries around Ethiopia as the work of FFICM expands.
- Pray that our team will be able to get visas for Nigeria. We have heard that visas are currently not being issued to Americans for Nigeria. It is not clear what the issue is or how long it will be a problem. We are planning a ministry trip to Nigeria and several other African countries in March/April 2022 and we have three people on our team (Rich, Jerel and Carly) who are needing Nigerian visas to be able to participate in that trip.
- 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 many of you from Oregon at the conference in our workshop track and at our booth on January 21-22, 2022. More info at: https://missionconnexion.com/
- Pray/Praise: Fundraising — We praise God for all that He has provided in 2021 and all the ministry that we have been able to facilitate! We are getting ready to run year-end receipts for 2021 donations and a year-end impact statement. Pray for the logistics needed to make that all go smooth.
- Pray for Rich and Jerel as they prepare to take an East coast tour to share with churches about FFICM and the many exciting things we have planned for 2022.
- Carly Powne, US Based International Trainer — www.fficm.org/carly-powne
- Pray for 100% monthly support by the end of February 2022 — 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 the new monthly donor that just committed this past weekend! She is currently just over 50% of her needed monthly support.
- 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 four weeks each. Once she gets up to full support we can look at increasing that to 4-6 trips per year.
- Praise for a good week at the FFICM office this past week including two days of training with other trainers on Wednesday/Thursday.
- 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. He will be traveling to San Diego this week and will be there for three weeks with his aunt and uncle and then will start at a new school in Hillsboro at the beginning of the second semester in February.
- Pray for his continued progress on David’s MA in Nonprofit Management. David has just one two-month class left that starts this week and then two months to write the final research paper.
- Pray for his wife Denise who is pregnant and due in May 2022. She continues to feel a lot of discomfort during the pregnancy. In preparation for the baby’s arrival, they are working on adding a second bathroom to their house. Pray for wisdom, finances and all that is needed will come together in the coming months.
- Pray for healing for daughter, Hannah, and for protection for the rest of the family in the house. They will be going to the doctor to get a covid test today.
- 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.
- Praise for a good time with family over the holidays. His kids all came to Portland to celebrate Christmas together and had a wonderful time.
- Pray for preparations as he prepares to teach at Mission Connexion.
- Jerel Skeith, Director of Strategic Relationships
- Praise for God’s provision for FFICM in 2021! We are so grateful for the many people who are part of the team, making all of this exciting ministry possible!
- Praise: Today is Jerel’s birthday! We celebrate all that God is doing in and through him and we pray for what God has planned for him in 2022.
- Praise for opportunities to share about FFICM while preaching at a local church this weekend
- 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 for donations and support coming through that are helping to pay for his last trip as well as future trips.
- 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.