Susanna Ballard

Praise and Prayer ~ January 18th

Nigeria:

  • Please pray for protection from coronavirus which has been increasing in Nigeria. 
  • Pray for Zainab as she trusts God to start leading a cohort of trainees by the end of this month. She’s working on preparing a venue. She has doubled the number of trainees (from 200 to 500!). Praise God!
  • Please pray for Joy (Zainab’s cousin) who is having a serious kidney problem (she can’t urinate). She’s receiving dialysis and waiting for a surgery. Her blood pressure is also causing her serious problems. She almost died, but thank God that she’s still living. On top of her health problems, last week Joy’s husband abandoned her after 15 years of marriage and remarried suddenly. Joy has two children (one is a girl age 15) whom she can’t care for so they’re considering living with their father who is not a good person. 
  • Pray for protection, deliverance, and wisdom for Zainab’s friend whose husband has been beating her severely. Pray that the police are helpful to her when she calls them. 
  • Zainab’s birthday is coming up on January 28th! Praise God for her life! 
  • Peter Wash is planning to host a training in February or March. 
  • Praise God that Peter’s daughter started at university! She’s been waiting for admission for the past four years to a public school, and was finally admitted to a private school so this is a miraculous gift, especially the provision of financial assistance given the high cost of tuition. 
  • Pray for the MBB conference committee that will be meeting this week on Thursday as they continue to plan for the upcoming conference. Pray for the MBB section of the ministry. Pray for wisdom and direction regarding the right people to work with. Pray for guidance regarding the radio and TV programs. Pray that many would come to God’s saving grace through these programs. 
  • Pray for Rick Cordell who will be traveling to Nigeria, leaving next week and will be there for four months. Please pray for the timing of his COVID test before he goes. Pray for Rick’s housing situation in Jos since it’s still uncertain.
  • Pray that the preparations for the new FFICM-Nigeria office would be quickly completed. They hope to be able to move into their new office within the next week.

Ethiopia:

  • Pray for training that Eskinder is doing in southern Ethiopia this week. He arrived today at the location of the training and the training will start tomorrow. They expect over 100 leaders to be at the training.
  • Eskinder has three women who will be training 20 women in how to follow-up new believers. The women specifically wanted women to train them. Praise God that there are more and more women who really want the training in how to follow-up new believers.
  • Eskinder plans to travel to Waleso to train 100 church leaders. One representative will come from each church. Praise God that these churches share the passion and willingness to learn about new believer follow-up!
  • Pray for the ongoing conflict between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. There continues to be fighting along the border and unrest due to the dam that Ethiopia has built among other issues. 
  • Praise: Eskinder has found a possible good vehicle that we can buy to be used by the ministry there. Rich will be looking at it with Eskinder and, Lord willing, they will buy it while Rich is there. Pray for wisdom to know if this is the best vehicle. Praise God for the funds that have been given for this vehicle and for all the generous people who contributed!
  • Continue to pray that Eskinder would be able to get an internet connection at his house. He has been waiting many months for this.

USA:

  • Rich’s Ethiopia trip (Friday February 5th – Monday February 22nd)
    • Pray that the timing of Rich’s COVID test pre-travel to Ethiopia goes smoothly (unlike the stress of the delayed COVID test results from Rich’s last Ethiopia trip!)
    • The first week Rich will be helping train 20 potential national trainers from different language groups at a center near Addis Ababa. The second week they will be training 60-80 pastors, evangelists and church leaders in evangelism and follow-up, including at least 5 of the people from the first week who will be mentored by Rich and Eskinder in training using our materials.
  • Praise God for the successful Missions ConneXion conference this past weekend. We had a good number of participants at the workshops in our track, and there were a number of people who signed up for our prayer letters. There was also an organization that does a lot of work in Egypt and the Middle East who is interested in partnering with us. Pray for wisdom as we talk to them about the possibility of working with them in the future.
  • Pray for David as he continues his classes for his Master’s Degree. He is now in the second week of his third class.
  • Praise God for the new church that has committed to partnering with FFICM financially.
  • Pray that God would provide someone to coordinate our Spring Fundraiser.
  • Pray for health and healing for Dara and Mercy. They both continue to have ongoing medical issues. Pray for Dara’s breathing trouble to be resolved. Dara still needs a clear diagnosis in order to make strides towards recovery.
  • Pray for David’s mother-in-law as she continues to wait for her back surgery. She has a virtual consultation with the doctors this week to go over her x-rays. Pray that the needed surgery will be able to be scheduled soon.
Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ January 18th
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Praise and Prayer ~ January 11

Dear Prayer Partners, Thank you for your faithful partnership as we enter a new year! We are grateful to God for continuing to lead us towards ever greater impact. We also grieve with the Nigerian families who have been devastated by the kidnappings, which have become increasingly lethal. Please join us in prayer for God’s protection and for God to establish justice in Nigeria.

May the Lord grant you and your families peace as you trust God’s presence and grace in your lives.

Nigeria:

  • Pray for the ongoing plans for the MBB and HBB 2021 conferences. The committee is meeting for the MBB conference tomorrow. The FFICM Nigeria director Peter Wash has traveled to a neighboring state for that meeting.
  • Thank God for this past weekend. The Anglican church is interested in being trained by us in how to follow-up new believers
  • Praise God for Zainab! She continues to do follow-up with women in Nigeria. She is praying that God will give her 500 women who are believers in 2021 that she can take through our follow-up materials and provide vocational training for them as well. 
  • Pray for safety and protection from kidnappers. The kidnappings have increased in Nigeria. In Kaduna state, a friend of a pastor friend of Zainab’s was kidnapped and the family did not pay the ransom so his organs were sold for the money and his corpse was given back to the family. Pray for peace and safety. Pray that the kidnappings will stop in Nigeria.
  • Pray for the FFICM Nigeria office as they prepare to move into their new office. We praise God for his provision of this larger office for them as they continue to expand their work in 2021.

Ethiopia:

  • Pray for Eskinder and the ministry in Ethiopia. 
  • Pray that God would stop the spread of coronavirus there.
  • Keep praying for peace in Ethiopia and North Sudan. The Ethiopia government seems to be handling the situation well, but the situation is complex.
  • Next week they are starting a training in Ethiopia if the coronavirus in that area isn’t too bad. The people are eager to be trained.
  • Eskinder’s son Nathan is preparing to go to university tomorrow. Pray that he does well in university.
  • Pray for wisdom as Eskinder looks for a vehicle for our work there in Ethiopia. We praise God that almost all the funds that we thought would be needed have come in. Once a vehicle is identified we will know the exact cost. 
  • Genet church denomination is asking FFICM to train their pastors and other leaders. Pray for wisdom as we work to respond to the many requests for training from different churches and church leaders in Ethiopia.

USA:

  • Rick Cordell goes to Nigeria two weeks from today. Pray for safety for his travel. He will be in Nigeria for four months. 
  • Rick’s eye surgery went well. Please continue to pray for his healing post-surgery. 
  • Praise God for the financial support that Rick Cordell received over the Christmas holiday. 
  • Mission Connexion 2021 will be this weekend (the 15th in the evening and 16th all day)! Missionary speakers will share on significant topics. FFICM will be leading the workshop track on discipleship basics. 

www.MissionConnecxion.com 

http://missionconnexion.com/mc2021/ https://missionconnexion.com/mc2021/exhibitor/ffic/ 

  • David started his third class in his Master’s degree today! Pray that he would know how to manage his time well with classes, work with the office, and family.
  • Pray for wisdom and direction for the young couple from the Portland area who are considering joining FFICM as International Trainers. Pray that God would also raise up others so we can continue to expand our impact for God’s Kingdom.
  • Pray for Rich’s plans to visit Ethiopia in February for two weeks. 
  • David’s mother-in-law is going to have back surgery next week. Pray that all goes well and that the healing would be quick. She has had debilitating pain that often keeps her in bed all day.
  • Continue praying for healing for our US Communications Director Dara Searcy-Gardner and for our former Communications intern Mercy McVicker as they both struggle with ongoing, debilitating health issues.
Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ January 11
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Praise and Prayer ~ January 4

Happy New Year to all our Prayer Partners! 

Thank you for continuing to join us in prayer as we enter a new year. Below you will find the prayer requests by region as reported by our staff and ministry partners. We are grateful for your participation in God’s work through FFICM’s global outreach in Nigeria and Ethiopia. May God bless you and your homes with grace through every circumstance in 2021. 

Ethiopia 

Prayer for the training will be held on Jan 18-22. About 120 people are expected from local churches. New Ethiopian staff member Ayele will be helping. 

The Sudanese military, which is collaborating with the Egyptians, invaded northern Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government is negotiating. We need to pray for those negotiations and for peace. 

Many killings in Northern Ethiopia. The federal government had solved the issue with the Tigray people wanting to separate, but the attackers (the Tigre people, a group which used to be in ruling power) are continuing to kill people there while wearing Ethiopia military uniforms, and blaming them. The situation is complicated, but the major prayer request is for peace in Ethiopia in the midst of all the fighting and struggle.

Pray for continued planning for the big conference that will be coming 25-28 March 2021. They are working on finalizing the location for the upcoming conference for 15,000 there in Southern Ethiopia.

The training event in Sudan which will be held in April. We need to print books. Please pray for the preparation process. 

Pray for the remaining $5,000 needed for the vehicle purchase there in Ethiopia.

Nigeria  

Praise God for seeing us through this new year. 

This week has been dedicated to prayer in the Nigeria-FFICM office. Prayer from 8-10, then break, pray again at 12. We pray for the activities for this year, especially for the conferences and trainings. 

We are praying for safety for the traveling because travel is becoming increasingly unsafe due to kidnapping. The kidnappers attack people associated with foreign partners (like our FFICM-Nigeria team members!). 

Last year, we had significant health challenges – Valentine’s children, Sam’s family, and Margaret (Peter’s wife). We are praying for everyone’s health. Praise God for Sam’s healing, for healing for Valentine’s children, and for healing Margaret’s sickness. 

We are praying for new openings with Fellowship of Christian Students. They want us to train their students. We are praying that God would give us open doors. We want to work with churches locally too and are praying for more invitations. 

There will be a planning meeting for the HBB conference which will be held in January and the conference in Jalingo (no date set yet). 

Pray for the final preparations of the new office space for the team there in Nigeria. It was supposed to be ready by January 1, 2021, but still needs to be painted and needs some electrical work. Pray for wisdom as we negotiate with the landlord about the completion of the repairs of the new office.

Pray for the FFICM Nigeria board of trustees as they meet and work on plans for 2021.

Pray for the ongoing TV and radio programs in Nigeria that are being aired on 4 radio stations and 2 TV stations. 

USA

Rick is flying to Nigeria for a four month trip, working with FFICM and other partners there.

Pray for Rick’s eye surgery that will be happening this morning in a few hours.

Continue to pray for our Murdock Grant application. We expect to hear a decision next month.

Continue to pray for Dara and Mercy’s health. Dara had to go to the emergency room again this past week. Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they try to figure out her various health issues that seem to be eluding the doctors.

Pray for David’s mother-in-law who has been in severe pain and hasn’t hardly been able to get out of bed the past few days. She is waiting to see a back doctor and probably needs surgery again, but hasn’t been able to get in to the doctor due to doctors being out of the office for the holidays. 

Pray for Courtney as she starts classes again this week and David as he starts his next class for his Master’s degree next week.

Pray for wisdom as David works on getting all the year-end donations processed and the year-end donation summaries processed and sent out. We praise God for all the prayers and finances that he provided in 2020 in the midst of all the other challenges.

Continue to pray for the recruitment of new International Trainers for FFICM. We hope to add 2 or 3 new International Trainers in 2021. 

Pray for continued preparation for the Mission ConneXion conference that will be held on January 15th and 16th. Pray for Rich’s preparation for the lecture/discussion he will host during the event. Pray also that we would have many good contacts at our virtual display at the event.

Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ January 4
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Praise and Prayer ~ December 28

We met virtually for the last time in 2020 to focus on worshiping God with thanksgiving for God’s steadfast faithfulness during an especially hard year.

Thank you to Ken Keeley, our board secretary, for leading us in a devotional meditation from John 14. Ken reminded us that we may not have felt close to God due to the trials of the year, but as believers we can be certain that God is our constant companion. We have confidence in God’s presence with us. 

We will rely on God for what will come in 2021. As we meditate on what we’re grateful for, we remember God’s faithfulness, in the midst of our trials, loss, grief, and suffering. Amen.

At the end of  a deeply challenging year, we want to express our gratitude and remember God’s faithfulness.

God, thank you for: 

  • FFICM’s continued impact and growth despite the pandemic. 
  • David began his Master’s degree (and the finances came in for this program). 
  • David’s in-laws have moved to live with him (including the building of their tiny home!). 
  • The ECSA accreditation of FFICM was completed. 
  • Additional volunteers at the FFICM office.
  • Our intern staff (Mercy and Courtney!) who greatly blessed FFICM’s home office (video production and communications).
  • Increasing in the number of donors at FFICM.
  • All the paperwork was submitted for the Murdock Trust grant.
  • Helping us to be creative when we couldn’t do ministry and fundraising the way we used to. We always want to remember to be creative even when the pandemic ends. 
  • The generosity of our ministry partners who still gave despite the financial stress of the year. 
  • Helping us persevere in our attitude of service to the Lord during this time of disruption. 
  • Helping us look after those in need. FFICM developed a hardship fund for those without food in Nigeria and will continue to maintain it. 
  • Digital communication that helped us maintain personal relationships virtually. 
  • For the humility and compassion of those who committed to wear masks to protect our loved ones. 
  • Making us better people and followers of Jesus through the trials we endured because of the pandemic.
  • The money raised for the car for the Ethiopia team (thus far we have received $30,000 out of $35,000!). 
  • For Dara’s perseverance despite debilitating sickness, for the doctors who have given her good medicine and have provided wise direction, and for the family and friends who have been praying without ceasing for Dara’s healing. 
  • For our partnership with FFICM-Nigeria. 
    • For Peter, our director, and his family! Praise for Peter’s family achievements: his second daughter graduated secondary school and his oldest son completed primary school (God has seen them through those stages of life); 
    • For Margaret, Peter’s wife: for her survival through great sickness; for the dreams and visions about Margaret’s upcoming sickness that alerted Peter’s family to pray. We continue to trust God for her complete healing, for wisdom from doctors, and for provision for the family. 
  • FFICM- Nigeria thanks God because we were able to work together even in the midst of a pandemic. Thank God for the trainings we were able to conduct this year. Thank God for the TV program which gave us the opportunity to impact Muslims. Through the TV program we can answer questions that Muslims are wondering about but would not ask openly. Thank God for FFICM-Nigeria’s additional staff!
Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ December 28
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Praise and Prayer ~ December 21

Prayers for our Nigeria partners: 
As we celebration of Jesus’ birth this Christmas, please pray for protection for our brothers and sisters who are at increased risk of attack from their Muslim neighbors. 

Please pray for Margaret, the wife of Peter, our FFICM-Nigeria Director. Last week she suffered excessive, undiagnosed bleeding. She is doing better after having received some medication. She is getting tested for various illnesses since the cause of her sickness is unknown. Pray for her complete healing and for an accurate diagnosis. 

The FFICM-Nigeria staff has increased beyond the capacity of the current office (Praise God for additional staff!). Pray that the new office space is ready in time for the Nigeria staff to move. The new office space needs major reconstruction and repair before it is habitable. The repairs are not complete yet, but the current lease may end before the new space is available!

Praise God that the father of one of our of our lead trainers (Sam) was baptized! Prayer for protection for him as he begins his new life following Jesus. 

Comfort is having a problem with some pastors she trained. Pray for safety and protection during the outreach.

Praise God that a person came from FES in Jalingo to learn from FFICM to train students in elementary schools. 

Rick Cordell has set up trainings in Abuja for January. Rick is also organizing a discipleship class. Pray also for Rick Cordell’s housing for next year. 

Prayers for our Ethiopia partners: 
Pray for our outreach in the Tigre area. FFICM has hosted follow-up training in this area and has translated FFICM materials into the Tigrina language. Now we need to find a leader (a pastor or evangelist) to be the director of the local training efforts. A local leader will better understand how to communicate the gospel effectively and disciple the local church as it grows.

Prayer for the conference hosted by FFICM at the end of March. The church is expecting 15000 in attendance. Trainers are working hard to prepare. Many Christians in that area are losing their faith because of the prevalence of the prosperity gospel and animism. They will train a whole congregation. We need to print more books!

Prayer for the onboarding of Ayele, our newest member of the Ethiopia partner team. He has completed FFICM’s training program and recently been mentored by Rich and Eskandir to be a head trainer. 

Pray for the people who just received FFICM’s training in the Hamer area. The people are calling for more follow-up materials. It’s expensive to print as many as we need, but it’s essential to get them the materials so they can grow! 

Pray for our outreach efforts to a country nearby Ethiopia in a predominantly Muslim area. We’re working to prepare materials and get a training organized for Spring 2021. 

Prayers for our U.S. team: 
Please be praying for Dara (FFICM’s Communications Director) who needs complete healing from her 10 month struggle with debilitating sickness. Please pray for healing and for wisdom for her doctors. 

Please continue to pray for our grant application to the Murdock Trust which is pending its final review by the Trust in February. 

Pray that Lydia (Rich’s daughter) is protected from COVID-19 since she was exposed to someone who tested positive. 

Praise God that David’s first semester of his master’s program is ending well. David is already implementing strategies he learned from his coursework to improve FFICM’s U.S. office operations!

Pray for the first FFICM podcast recording which will happen today. 

Susanna BallardPraise and Prayer ~ December 21
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