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Prayer and Praise!

 

Nigeria

Praise

There was a bomb blast in Maiduguri, but God protected everyone, there were no casualties

Fewer kidnapping and killings in Maiduguri, continue to pray!

Peter’s wife is better, and has medication for hepatitis. 

Samuel and Jessica had a baby boy Friday. Praise God for a safe delivery!

Prayer

Peter’s wife is feeling discouraged in her illness as her sister died two years ago from it. Please pray for her encouragement and comfort. 

Three people were killed in Miango, continued prayers needed for protection in the Jos area. 

Prayer for all the MBBs coming to the conference!

Cameroon

Praise

No more incidents in Mbingo!

Pastor Yisa and Hilda got their passports. There will be 7 or 8 head trainers coming to Nigeria, 5 will be trained.

There is a Cardinal trying to bring dialogue between two sides (government and the separatists) Praise God for him and prayer for his efforts.

Prayer

Florence is still in Yaounde, ill with gastritis! Pray for her healing. 

There are many scattered trainees, prayer for the Holy Spirit to help and strengthen them Many are homeless, hungry, or have lost loved ones.

USA

Praise

Rich is home safely, is feeling better, and he and his family are going on a short vacation this week! 

Prayer

Rick is on spiritual retreat, a major source of funding for the year was postponed, fundraising going slowly. 

Dara and her family have been hit with some expenses needed to fix their house and are praying God provides. 

Ethiopia

Praise

The over 200 university students went out in 5 regions! Pastor Jacob went to see some of them today.

Prayer

Continue to pray for university students as they follow up new believers!

Rich and the team are exhausted from the physical toll of having been up at 8,000 feet for three weeks. Prayer for their recovery!

Dara Searcy-GardinerPrayer and Praise!
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God’s Field and God’s Building

“After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.  I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.  For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (NLT)

“…you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”
Wow! That makes us sound important. God is doing something in and through us.
God is using us for His purposes and His task.

A field is something that requires constant work – preparing, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and back to preparing again. A field is never “finished.” God is never finished with us. He is working in and through us. We are all at different seasons in our life, and we all need God to work in us in different ways in different seasons.
When I was young, I lived out in the country and I watched the farmers working in the field behind my house. They worked with tractors to prepare the fields and combines to harvest the wheat and the oats. I loved to watch the fields as they went through the different seasons and as the fields were transformed from dirt, to green growth, to golden stocks ready for harvest, and then back to brown dirt again. It doesn’t happen overnight. And the farmer can’t “make it happen.” But if the farmer doesn’t do his part, he won’t get the harvest. I always marvel at the beauty along the way, through each step of the process. It is interesting that at the end of the process, it is the death and dryness of the plant that prepares it for harvest. If the wheat and oat stalks don’t die, they can’t be harvested.
Similarly in our lives, I think it is the struggles that we go through, the dying to our own self and selfish motives and desires, that allow God to bring about a harvest in and through us.
God is never idle. He is working in and through us. We are God’s servants, doing the work that He gives us to do. We cannot do that on our own or through our own strength, but as we come alongside Him and allow Him to work in us, He can work in and through us.

Similarly, a building is something that takes a lot of work to build. If a building is built well, it can last for hundreds of years, or more! It still requires maintenance over the years, but the bulk of it’s work is done in the initial stages of building it.
My grandfather was a carpenter. He built his own house and houses for others. I loved going up to work with him during summer break from school each year. I was able to watch him build, and also to have the opportunity to learn from him and help him build. It was his work, but he included me into it, and I was a co-worker with him.
In life, God calls us alongside of him as servants, but also co-workers. We God’s building, but we are also used by God to build into the lives of others. The things that we do to build into the lives of others can have impact for many generations to come.

At FFICM we are working to help people to get a firm foundation in their relationship with Jesus Christ, so that they can stand the test of time like a good building, and so that they can bring in a bountiful harvest through the lives of others.

Written by: David Moore

Richard GardnerGod’s Field and God’s Building
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Praise and Prayer End of July!

 

 

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • There are 102 students at the current training, the team reports that they are some of the sharpest and most joyful trainees we’ve ever had! Their worship time together is incredible.
  • There were over 21 universities represented between the last two weeks of training!

Prayer

  • The high altitude of this location has been giving Rich a headache, prayer for his health and for the continued health of the rest of the team. 
  • Prayer for last week’s students, they are out right now sharing the gospel and following up with new believers in unreached places!

Nigeria: 

Praise

  • Nigeria team reported that so far we have about 800 attendees confirmed for the MBB conference! 
  • Praise for the former sheik’s safe travel. 
  • It has been calm in Jos so far. This Friday Peter and the team took still more food to people in refugee camps!

Prayer

  • Comfort shared that killings and kidnappings of Christian farmers and travelers are still going on in vulnerable villages outside Maiduguri, and that no news of the murder of these innocents is reaching the media. Pray that God will protect them and that the evil people responsible would not be able to keep these terrible deeds a secret. 
  • The Nigeria team is working to figure out how best to keep the MBBs traveling to the conference safe, prayer for wisdom! We’ve also committed to paying for their transportation, which will be expensive, pray that the additional resources come through!
  • Tomorrow Peter and Rev. Afan will be traveling to Jalingo. 
  • For Samuel’s wife, Jessica, who needs prayer for the end of the pregnancy and safety in childbirth! My apologies to Eskinder, whose wife is not pregnant (I incorrectly heard last week that she was!)

In Jos it is calm. On Friday we took materials, met people in refugee camp, still hoping to be able to return to their farmland. Some have been trying to go to their farms and return to the camps during the night

tomorrow traveling to jailing, spend 3 days there, meet with umcn ecwa, Reverend Afan, Ishaku. 

trying to figure out how to keep MBBs safe during the conference. Meeting with the heads of the Fulani Christians etc. about 800 confirmed attendees. 

Need to pay for their transport, which will be expensive. 

USA

Praise

David’s kids have gone to summer camp for the first time, hoping it’s a great week of them!

David has 2 new monthly financial supporters! 

Dara’s father-in-law’s heart surgery went well. There was a tricky moment where they had to restart his heart, but he seems to be recovering very well.

Prayer

For increased financial support for Rick, David, Dara, and the whole organization as we need more funding to expand!

Cameroon 

Praise

  • for safe travel for Florence, Pastor Yisa, and Linda to Yaounde 
  • They were able to hold a market in Mbingo this past week and people hiding in the bush could come and get food supplies for their families.
  • for the safety of all of their families

Prayer

  • for the people of Belo; the city itself has been deserted and the people still are living in the bushes. Please pray from their protection from wild animals, and that God would provide for all of their needs.
  • both the government and the freedom fighters have set up check points, the freedom-fighters sometimes ask for money and the government asks for passports; the civilians are beginning to feel like they are living under two oppressive governments. Pray for peace!
  • Florence, Pastor Yisa, and Linda are all in Yaounde to try to get their passports put in order so that they can make it to Nigeria for the training for head trainers on Sept. 4th. Pray that all goes smoothly and that they are given favor with the government.
Richard GardnerPraise and Prayer End of July!
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Wretchedness and Joy

“Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness. Jesus is a God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.”

~ Blaise Pascal

In this swirling world of standards we may or may not measure up to, the temptation either to think of ourselves “more highly than we ought” (Rom. 12:3, NIV) or to give in to “worldly sorrow [over our sin] that brings death” (2 Cor. 7:10, NIV) stalks us relentlessly.

Knowing the heart of Jesus is our only escape. If you deny the brokenness or evil at work in your own heart, you will become a slave to it. Pride always enslaves us to those impulses we need to overlook in order to maintain our high opinion of ourselves. If your reaction to the sight of the evil in yourself is to tear at your own heart and punish yourself, you will only participate in the destruction of your soul.

People do these things; ignore sin and worship themselves, or see it and hate themselves, because they think they need to be whole to be loved. They think that Love must be either all-excusing, or blind. Love is so much more powerful than this.

“Love’s as hard as nails,/Love is nails:/Blunt, thick, hammered through/The medial nerves of One/Who, having made us, knew/The thing he had done:/Seeing (with all that is)/Our cross, and his.”  (C.S. Lewis)

Jesus is the only one on earth who sees exactly how bad and how beautiful your soul is. Jesus will never mock you. Jesus will love you relentlessly, until this gorgeous and gut-wrenching age passes away like a watch in the night, and all your brokenness and sin is nothing more than a bad dream, and you stand clean and filled with Joy in His sight for all of eternity. Jesus will give you courage to face yourself, power to forgive others and yourself, and strength to continue that journey until the Day comes.

Dara Searcy-GardinerWretchedness and Joy
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Praise and Prayer July 23rd!

 

Nigeria

Praise

  • This week, Samuel met with 7 of the new believers from the jungle, and it was a really a good time for them! They are continuing tomorrow with the teaching. 
  • Benjamin is really progressing in his training, and is taking Bible classes by correspondence. He is the one who witnessed to the 7 people who are now attending the training. 
  • On Saturday Peter went to the refugee camp with food bought with donations from our supporters. More and more people are responding to refugee camp needs, and they are not as dire as they were last week!
  • Comfort was sick last week but has been recovering well this week, praise God!

Prayer

  • There are more than 20 areas that refugees are staying, the camps in Kurru and Bukuru are the largest, one with over 3,000, and the other with over 2,000. They still are in need of a place to stay and continued support.
  • Comfort’s training had to be postponed because of attacks on farmers and people in transit outside Maiduguri. The government is not adequately responding to the threat, and the militants are dressing as soldiers so people don’t know where to run.
  • Comfort is the only one of her family in Maiduguri, prayer for her encouragement and strength.
  • One more week of classes for Peter. 
  • Peter travels next Monday to Jalingo to find out about the conferences that we are going to have with UMC and ECWA
  • Sheik coming from Sokoto today, prayer for safe travel, and thanksgiving for success stories about people giving their lives to Christ, and people willing to come for the MBB conference in October. 

USA

Praise

  • David’s trip to WA went well! 
  • Praise for the supporters who donated to help with the refugee situation!

Prayer

  • Rick has a trip to Bellingham next weekend to speak about FFICM at a church!
  • Dara was able to talk with several Christians during the opera she performed in this weekend and is hoping God will give her a chance to minister more to singers this fall (she has an audition with Portland opera chorus in two weeks.) 
  • Dara’s father-in-law is having heart surgery this week, prayer for his protection and his family as they are very concerned. 

Ethiopia

Praise

  • Rich and the team are teaching university students this week! They have 103 students from all over Ethiopia, from many different universities. The students have a lot of energy and passion for the Lord, and are so enthusiastic one of them was even sharing the gospel at break times!
  • Weather is great, which is a mercy!

Prayer

  • Students are embarrassed about their English, so people aren’t volunteering as easily for individual questions, so tomorrow the team is making a rule that they speak only in Amharic so that they won’t feel pressure.
  • For safety for Eskendir’s pregnant wife and his baby.

Cameroon

Praise

  • Florence arrived in Mbingo safely!

Prayer

  • Rich heard from pastor Yisa that it is still too dangerous to check on our trainees from last year, please pray for their protection! 
Richard GardnerPraise and Prayer July 23rd!
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Ethiopia: 

Praise

  • The training going well! 
  • the temperature is unexpectedly cool.
  • Eskinder, Eyasu, Rich, Terese all made it to the training and are enjoying working together!
  • The prime minister of Eritrea and the President of Ethiopia met in Awasa, and are signing peace documents. We might be able to hold a training up in Eritrea early next year! They use the Tigre language, and we already have the material translated, thanks to our work in the refugee camps. 

Prayer

  • About fifteen of the trainees haven’t been able to show up, prayer for their travel.
  • challenges with materials! The printer printed gospel cards wrong.Thankfully it was just one card front and back, hoping to get it by tomorrow night.

Nigeria: 

Praise

  • Thank God, the former sheik who went down to Kano, Katsina, had successful trip, and was able to meet with different families who are MBBs. Peter met his wife and children, all doing fine and really happy to be in this ministry. 
  • Thank God for the former drug addicts from the jungle outside of Jos, they are doing fine also! There are new believers coming to do follow-up in the office, Samuel is going to be teaching them. 

Prayer

  • There were more people that killed in Barkin Ladi Thursday night, and over the weekend. The governor went to visit the IDP camp after not having sent any aid to the camp for 2 weeks, and a crowd attacked his convoy with rocks.
  • MBB discipleship center was attacked in Jalingo, they killed one person. Continue to pray for them! 
  • Comfort couldn’t have training because there were attacks. Yesterday Muslim militants attacked Christian villagers while they were watching world cup finals. They have rescheduled the training for 2 weeks from now. In Chibok, Boko Haram also killed farmers. Please pray for farmers especially, as they are vulnerable, and need to attend to their farms during rainy season.
  • We are in need of a safe bus for our Nigeria group!

Cameroon: 

Praise

  • Florence had a safe trip to KA, and enjoyed her time there!

Prayer

  • Crisis still going on in Belo. More attacks on the people by the military. Some of the doctors have moved out of Mbingo, and we are afraid the government will intensify their attacks.
  • most of the people we trained are scattered, it’s hard to keep track of what has happened, they have all run away to the bush.

USA: 

Praise

  • David shared yesterday in main service at a church about FFICM, people had a lot of questions.
  • The church wants the life group he shared with to adopt FFICM as missionary focus, will be continuing to pray for us regularly. 
  • Some supporters volunteered money for us to use to take to the IDP camps for food and mattresses for the needy families. May God bless them richly!

Prayer

  • David is meeting with a pastor tomorrow and next Sunday will share with another church in central WA
  • support is needed for David, Rick, Dara!
  • for Nicole adjusting working full time and still doing social media for us! For the blessing of strength and encouragement for her!
Richard Gardner
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Praise and Prayer July 9th

Nigeria

Praise

  • Comfort is running training in Maiduguri this week with Good News Church and is expecting 30-40 participants!
  • Seven teenagers in Maiduguri that Comfort has trained in use of the gospel card have agreed to speak to their friends about the gospel this week and will talk to Comfort on Sunday to share with her how it has gone and learn from her how to follow up with any new believers!
  • Kidnappings in Maiduguri have reduced to some extent. 
  • One of the former drug addicts from the jungle outside of Jos, Benjamin, has been actively reaching out to his friends, and will be bringing 7 of his new-believer friends for Samuel to begin teaching tomorrow! 
  • The church in Rashalang, that the Nigeria team planted last year has 28 members and is doing well! They have moved on from learning from the follow-up materials to also using other church materials. 
  • Jos has been calm for a week. 
  • The former Muslim sheik is traveling in Katsina and Kaduna safely! Pray for him and for the Muslim background believers he is working with. 

Prayer

  • For the trainings and outreaches mentioned above, and for Comfort, Samuel, Benjamin, Osang, and Peter, and Solomon particularly as they work with these people. 
  • For Peter’s mother-in-law, she was admitted to the hospital and had to receive a drip. She is diabetic and is ill! Prayer for her healing. 
  • for continued peace in Jos. 
  • One of our trainees from Gindiri Theological Seminary, Solomon, has come to Jos to get materials to use in his field practicals, pray for him as he reaches out!

Ethiopia

Praise 

  • for continuing peace!
  • for the declaration of the end of the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia!
  • for the blessing of the Christian Prime Minister who is leading the country wisely. 

Prayer

  • Rich is leaving for Ethiopia on Wednesday for 3.5 weeks! There, he, Eyasu, and a team of strategically selected trainers will train 200 university students in two sites, and 60 career evangelists in evangelism and follow-up. Prayer that God will protect them and prepare the hearts of the trainees. 

Cameroon

Praise 

  • The military was going through and burning houses on the hilltop (the killings have been ongoing) and a doctor in the hospital called the army commander on Bamenda and told him what the military was doing and he called them and told them to stop. 
  • Florence and her husband were in a vulnerable area and prayed that God would stop the military before they came to their house, and He did!

Prayer

  • The expatriate doctors have decided to relocate, most of them will be gone in the next two weeks, and the last remaining one may return to the US for a few weeks. Pray that even without the pressure of the presence of international people, the government will respect the lives of the refugees in 
  • Some of the committed evangelists and trainers we’d like to bring from Cameroon into Nigeria for extra training are having trouble getting passports (including Linda, who trained the new believers this month, and Pastor Yisa). FFICM is going to help them with their expenses, we need prayer for continued resources for us as we meet these needs and that the government will approve the visas in time!
  • Florence is traveling to Kent Academy for a retreat, she is in southern Nigeria right now having just crossed the border. Pray for her safety!
Richard GardnerPraise and Prayer July 9th
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July prayers for mercy and thanks for God’s faithfulness

Nigeria

Praise

  • for the safety of Gindiri Theological Seminary, and most of Jos and the surrounding area over the weekend. 
  • for peace in Maiduguri (our trainer, Comfort’s area!) this week
  • for God’s continued work! Comfort is doing a training this week in Good News Church in her local area with 30-40 members. 
  • the former drug addicts from the “Walls of Satan” jungle around Jos are continuing to stand strong by testimony of their local brothers and sisters

Prayer

  • for safety, particularly for the women and children in vulnerable villages, these terrible, genocidal attacks by radicalized Fulani mostly claim the lives of women, children, and the elderly. 
  • Peter is still in classes to get his masters, prayer he will be able to focus.
  • There were two attacks Sunday on villages in Mangu and Barkin Ladi and 10 died. Prayer for safety of the whole Jos area and for comfort for the families of the victims. 
  • Osang travels from Gindiri to Jos June 3rd, prayer for his safety, and the safety of his family
  • Osang and Samuel will be teaching the former drug addicts this week. Prayer for wisdom as they follow up with them, and that the new believers will stand strong!
  • the former sheik will travel tomorrow for Kaduna and Katsina, prayer for protection for him and his family. 

Cameroon

Praise

  • thank God for follow-up classes going on! Every Sunday at 3 pm, the 8 new believers from the last week’s outreach to the refugees have been meeting to go through the follow up program! They are  now in lesson four of follow-up.
  • the French translation of the follow-up materials is finished!

Prayer

  • there are some new believers in a village behind the hospital that Florence cannot safely access, pray that we can find someone in their village to follow up with them. 
  • there are still many killings. The army has abducted a pregnant woman from a local village and they don’t know where she is. Locals fear that this will escalate, or has already escalated into ethnic cleansing of the English-speaking Cameroonian population, as the army continues to target civilians. 
  • the expat doctors at Mbingo hospital are considering leaving as the student doctors are having a hard time focusing with all the shootings around the hospital. The residents of Mbingo fear that once they leave the army will begin killing the locals; they feel certain that the army hasn’t attacked because they are afraid of killing people from other countries and starting an international incident.
  • Florence prays for wisdom as she would like to travel to attend a retreat in Jos, but Jos is now unsafe. 

Ethiopia

Praise 

  • All is going well in Ethiopia as we plan for the trainings of 200 students and 60 evangelists!
  • Eyasu gives thanks to God for the president who is actively preaching peace and forgiveness all across the country! 

Prayer

  • Rich leaves in 9 days for Ethiopia! Pray for Eyasu, Eskendir, and Pastor Jacob as they continue to prepare for the three trainings. 
  • Pray for peace in Hawassa, particularly.

USA 

Praise 

  • Rich and David had the opportunity to speak at David’s home church!

Prayer

  • Dara’s husband is traveling back from Iowa from his grandfather’s funeral. Prayer for safe travel and for comfort for his grandmother, and strength for Dara. 
  • Rick had heart pain after learning of the danger to Gindiri Theological Seminary last week, where he has several close friends. Prayer for his health!
  • Nicole is having a hard time recovering from a sickness, and is needing to host friends this week, so prayer for strength for her! She is also working very hard adjusting to learning her new full time job while also continuing to work with us. Prayer for grace!
Richard GardnerJuly prayers for mercy and thanks for God’s faithfulness
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Praise and Prayer ~ the faithfulness of God in the midst of strife

 

 

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • Eyasu estimates that every month 40-50 Muslims are coming to Christ through MBBs that we work with! They’ve said that the biggest challenge they face is not knowing what to teach new believers after conversion, so our materials are solving the biggest challenge they face in their churches. Praise God!

Prayer

  • There was a riot in Hawassa (where Rich plans to travel and conduct a training in 3 weeks) please pray for peace!

Nigeria:

Praise

  • Peter’s family is well!
  • The new believers from the jungle area outside Jos are doing well and Peter plans to meet with them in the coming weeks to discern how we may continue to support them.

Prayer

  • Peter has an exam coming up for his masters degree class on Friday and would appreciate prayer!
  • Several people were killed in a village 20 minutes outside of Jos this weekend. Prayer for their families and for no further violence. Tensions in Jos right now are high.
  • the former Muslim sheik we work with is still traveling and carefully spreading the message about the conference! Prayer for the MBBs as they consider whether or not they can come, for their safety and their encouragement.

Cameroon:

Praise

  • Thank God for Florence’s safe trip to her personal retreat, and for the renewal of her calling in the Lord.

Prayer

  • for peace;  at least 9 more were killed this week in clashes between the army and the freedom-fighters.
  • for the hospital in Mbingo, facing a financial crisis as many of their patients are unable to pay.
  • for the new believers that resulted from the giving of aid to the displaced people in Mbingo, and for Linda as she follows up with them.

USA:

Praise

  • for Odette’s healing! Dara’s family is well for now and she’s thankful
  • for Nicole’s new job
  • for the completion of the formatting of the materials with our graphic artist!
  • for the progress that Susanna and Rich are making on the training manual. This will greatly increase the effectiveness of our training.

Prayer

  • Our US based staff are still struggling with doing the work that needs to be done and making time for fundraising as well! Please pray that more finances come in to support the work that needs to be done and that the Lord grants us wisdom as to how best to do this.
Richard GardnerPraise and Prayer ~ the faithfulness of God in the midst of strife
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Praise and Prayer mid June!

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • Rich has finished the Tigre translation!
  • Eyasu reports that many muslims are coming to Christ, and he is currently working with MBBs.
  • The July trainings in Ethiopia are all set to go!

Prayer

  • Eyasu’s youngest daughter is going through exams! Prayer for her success.
  • Eyasu will be working with 26 MBBs over the next two weeks, prayer for their safety and their growth in the Lord.

Cameroon:

Praise

  • The government appears willing to dialogue with the English speaking region. They sent a committee to Bamenda to interview and talk with locals and they have taken their report back to the capital.
  • although soldiers shot into crowds at the market in Mbingo this past week, and one woman was wounded, no one was killed!
  • We are in the process of getting the materials translated into French and another local language.
  • 31 people came to know Christ this past week because of an outreach made with private donations from FFICM supporters! 8 of them are currently in follow-up classes that Florence and Linda are conducting.

Prayer

  • Florence is traveling to Bamenda this week for a personal retreat prayer for her and for her family’s safety in her absence!
  • There were more killings and kidnappings this week in Belo, prayer for comfort and protection

Nigeria:

Praise

  • Everyone’s health has recovered!
  • We have many requests for trainings! The general secretary of the UMC wants us to train between 500-2000 members!

Prayer

  • The former sheik we are working with is beginning his dangerous journey throughout Nigeria to contact MBBs and let them know about the upcoming conference.
  • Peter is working towards his masters! Prayer for him as he does classes as well as works.
  • We need a safe and reliable vehicle for the Nigeria team to travel in! Prayer for funds to come through.

USA

Praise

  • We have had a lot of success working with our graphic artist to redo our materials!
  • We praise God for healing for Dara’s family, who have been very sick for weeks.

Prayer

  • Our US staff continue to need prayer to meet their support-raising needs!
  • Prayer for wisdom and grace from the Holy Spirit as Rich and Susanna continue to work on the training manual
Richard GardnerPraise and Prayer mid June!
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