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The Cross by Night

 

Praise and Prayer

Nigeria

  • Peter’s wife started taking the drugs for her illness three days ago; as of yesterday there has been a great improvement! She’s feeling great relief for the pain in her abdomen! Praise God and pray for her continued healing.
  • The former sheik and Ishak Pate left for Bali! They’re going to be visiting the new converts. One of the new converts is an former imam, was leading a traditional Islamic prayer group, bowed down and saw a picture of Jesus on the ground. He suddenly started talking about Jesus. All other Muslims were astonished; the next in command pulled him away and from that day forward that man refused to pray as a Muslim and went to a church and became a Christian. Please pray for all the courageous new believers in dangerous circumstances!
  • One of the new believers in the discipleship center in Bali whose son who was born with severe heart problems last month, was able to get funding for an operation in India, and is currently there waiting for the surgery. Please pray for him! The little boy’s name is Samuel and his father’s name is pastor Enoch.
  • Peaceful in Berom land, thank you for the prayers.

USA

  • FFICM will have a booth at Mission Connexion, pray for God to bring people to us who will be a good fit to join the organization!
  • Dara’s family continues to struggle with sleeplessness for their children. Please pray for rest in this coming year!

Cameroon 

  • Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in ministry there, especially for our sister Florence as she is continuing to seek God concerning her calling and responsibilities as a missionary!
  • Pray for peace! The conflict in Cameroon continues to claim lives in the English-speaking regions. May God have mercy on our friends.

Ethiopia

  • Pray for peace in Ethiopia!
  • Agazi has safely crossed the border and returned as a test! Praise God and please pray for the pastors as they consider the risks of attending the training, and for our partners on the ground as they seek to make this crossing safe.
  • Pray for Eyasu’s wife—her older sister died while she was in the US. Praise God, she is feeling his comfort, but pray for continued comfort and healing for her!
DaraThe Cross by Night
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Praise and Prayer December 18th!

 

Nigeria: 

Praise

  • Sam is safe after his travels!
  • Our friend and partner, Nuhu, the head of NLFA needed a serious eye-surgery, it has been successful, and he is back in Jos!
  • Praise God for journey mercies to Nassarawa state; we now have an open door with ECWA. They want us to train all their pastors in the region so they can then train their elders!

Prayer

  • Peter’s wife is seriously sick with hepatitis! Please pray for her healing
  • Pray for safety for Maiduguri (especially Comfort and her friends) as they are still under the threat of attack by the Boko Haram. 
  • The NGOs working in Baga have left, scared off by the Boko Haram warning letter. Pray for protection for that region, and mercy as the aid organizations leave.

Cameroon: 

Praise

  • Praise God for the continued safety of Florence, her family, and our volunteer trainers! 
  • Thank God for the ministry of our volunteer trainers, particularly Killian and Linda, who have been hard at work evangelizing and following up with new believers. 

Prayer

  • Killian has attempted to reach out to freedom-fighters. Several expressed interest, but most of them said that their demons protected them better than God. Florence told us that many young people are beginning to turn to the occult. Pray for them, that they will turn to the Lord instead of the false “protection” of the enemy!
  • Florence and her co-wokers were planning on a larger outreach in December, but due to security risks, will need to remain in Mbingo and will be praying for the sick. Pray for them! 

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • The pastor was located, praise God! He told us that 25 people are confirmed to come to the training. 
  • Eskendir has been conducting follow-up lesson with a couple of dozen new believers from his home village!

Prayer

  • Continue to pray for peace in Ethiopia! Violence continues to break out in disparate regions. 
  • Pray for Eyasu, Eskinder, and the continued safety of our contacts as we plan the Eritrea training! 

USA:

Praise

  • We now have half of the money we need for the car in Nigeria! 
  • Dara’s husband Ian received really good news from his artery scan; he does not have heart disease! 

Prayer

  • Board meeting for FFICM is this week! Pray for the board as they look to this next year! Russia/Siberia:

Praise and Prayer

  • Roman is conducting follow-up in Siberia, praise God! Pray for him as he continues to minister
DaraPraise and Prayer December 18th!
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Praise and Prayer December 11!

Nigeria: 

Praise

  • Comfort and her friends were able to do an outreach last week, and came back Monday safely! They came through Bama, and went to Nchikka, Gwoza, Goza. Praise God for protecting them and for their ministry!
  • The former sheik has been able to meet with 8 of the new converts whose lives were in danger last week, and praise God, they are no longer in danger! All those that he has met with are prepared to be discipled in their own villages. The local pastor (who we trained) has accepted them and wants to help them, and there is a discipleship center we may help them connect to as well! He will meet with the other four MBBs soon.

Prayer

  • Boko Haram has issued a letter warning that they plan to attack Maiduguri over the Christmas season. Please pray that God will protect everyone and will not allow them to kill anyone.
  • Comfort prayed with a woman whose husband was killed by the Boko Haram when he was not able to run away fast enough. Pray for her and her family.
  • Rick is traveling to Lagos meet with 15 people we’ve trained! Pray for protection and for these trainees as they continue to minister.
  • Some of the new believers, who resulted from the outreaches during last training in Rijau are going to church! The boys that are underage are not currently being permitted by their parents to go; pray that the parents of the new believers that are young boys will be allowed to go to church!
  • The man who runs the discipleship center that we are wanting to work with had a newborn baby this month who has a lot of heart and hearing problems. The doctors in Jos have said that the baby won’t survive unless the parents can afford to fly the baby to India for an operation, which they cannot afford. Please pray for a miracle; that this baby will be healed!
  • The  Fulani are still attacking vulnerable villages and churches, please pray for protection.

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • So far, the Eritrean training is moving forward! A supporter has paid for the Eritrean pastors’ transport, which is a major step towards the training being funded!
  • We continue to praise God for Eyasu’s safety from the near-miss car accident last week.
  • Praise for the 800 new believers and almost 200 new baptized resulting from trainees supervised by Belay!

Prayer

  • Eyasu hasn’t been able to contact the Eritrean pastors recently, please pray that they are safe!
  • There is conflict in various parts of Ethiopia recently ; between students and different tribes. Please pray for peace!
  • Pray for Eyasu as he has one more month in Ethiopia without his wife, as she is visiting relatives in the US.

Cameroon: 

Praise

  • Thank God that several of the expat missionaries are back in Mbingo, so the army has backed off for now.
  • Thank God the road to Yaounde is quiet! The shootings are now not as much around local towns, but around the camps of the freedom fighters, so praise God for increased consideration for civilian life.

Prayer

  • Florence needs transport to go to the north soon or the preparations for February won’t be possible and we will need to choose another time for a conference in Cameroon!
  • Florence’s meeting with the medical people was very successful; they are very interested in continuing to be trained to reach out to their patients and their friends!
  • The Mbingo hospital is in financial crisis, as they haven’t had as many patients because of the crisis.
  • There are three follow-up classes going on in Mbingo with dozens of trainees! Please pray for safety for everyone, and for wisdom and grace for the dedicated trainers!

USA:

Praise

  • We have gotten a couple of generous unexpected donations that will really help our ministry continue to function!

Prayer

  • Dara’s husband Ian is needing to have a scan to take a look at his arteries to make sure they are functioning well, pray that there is good news and no sign of heart disease!
  • Prayer for Stacey Lloyd, our new volunteer who is having health problems, pray for healing!
DaraPraise and Prayer December 11!
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A Word from Florence

 

THE WORD BECAME FLESH

The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. (Immanuel) God with us (St. John 1:14)

For God so love the world, that He made His dwelling among men. In Christ, Jesus was the totality of God (Col. 2:9.)

For the God of all creation so loved the world that He left His rainbow throne, His glorious kingdom, and the magnificent worship by His multitude angels, to stay with men on earth.

He brought peace on earth, and the government was on His shoulders! In Him was the light of life. Born of the virgin Mary, born in a manger, the Son of God, the Good Shepherd, the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (St John 10:11, 14:6.)

Born to save us from our sin, for God was in Him reconciling the world to Himself. His name, Jesus, is the only name given to us for salvation. The name above all names.

His kingdom has no end. To Him alone be glory, honor, power, adoration forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus the son of God, we celebrate you. We believe in you as they son of God born of the virgin Mary to save us.

We celebrate GOD’S GREAT LOVE FOR US AT THIS SEASON. SHALOM.

Florence

DaraA Word from Florence
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Praise and Prayer November 20th; Thanks in Great Trial!

Nigeria:

Praise

  • Thanks be to God, we have been able to hire someone who specializes in working with Muslim background believers!
  • Rick was able to talk to the chapel and Gindiri Theological Seminary, and ask how many needed new materials who had already been trained, and several raised their hands; we dropped off materials for them to use!
  • Peter is getting better from his illness! Pray he is completely healed by Saturday.

Prayer

  • There is an important trip to Ridjau in Niger state coming up this Saturday. Danger of kidnapping! Last training in September, one of the trainees from Tim Robnet’s ministry was kidnapped. Rick might be going on Saturday. We are training 40 people; all pastors and missionaries from Water Winds organization. There are a lot of new converts in the area and a lot of pastors who are pretty young and want training!
  • Today our staff met with leaders from discipleship centers in Jos concerning MBB conference. We talked about how we are together going to take care of the new converts. Right now we have 20, and some of them have to flee to Jos! Preferable we can send some of the teachers from the discipleship centers up to help those who are not in imminent danger so they don’t have to be moved away from their families.
  • Pray for trip in January, we are planning an unprecedented meeting between all churches and ministries working with MBBs in Jos, to figure out a system for how to sustainably help MBBs, especially those whose lives are in danger!
  • Last week Sam traveled the village and there was an attack where he was between 3:30-4, at the village market between Barkin Ladi and Mangu. Four gunmen attacked a car while everyone was going to the market; the driver and navigator were killed, and two others injured. As one of the attackers was running, people killed him. People were so scared in the market, they just all froze. Up to now, there has been no reprisals, praise God. Keep praying for the families.
  • Prayer for Rick’s teaching and the renewal of Rick’s visa!
  • Comfort lost a friend of hers in ministry from Maiduguri, pray for his family
  • Comfort and her group are still going out on Thursday, please pray for safety for them!

Cameroon:

Praise

  • Florence and all of our co-workers are currently safe, thank God.
  • We may be able to run a conference in the middle of February in Cameroon, pray for wisdom.

Prayer

  • Fighting has intensified between the army and the freedom-fighters, pray for peace.
  • All the ex-pat doctors are leaving Mbingo, pray for the safety of the city.

USA:

Praise

  • David’s family all getting together for Thanksgiving and staying for several days.
  • Stacey Lloyd is coming on as a volunteer! He will be helping with our videos and pictures, which will be amazing, and will really help us with creating training videos particularly.

Prayer

  • Pray for wisdom as we follow-up with people who are now new to FFICM since the fundraiser!
  • Pray for wisdom to know how God would like us to reach out to people on Giving Tuesday

Ethiopia

Praise

  • for the doors God is opening for ministry!

Prayer

  • For churches in Eritrea facing extreme persecution!
  • We are praying about working with persecuted pastors! Pray for the plans as they develop.
DaraPraise and Prayer November 20th; Thanks in Great Trial!
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Praise and Prayer November 12!

 

Nigeria:

Praise

  • Ron and Rick are having a great time in Gindiri! Good interaction with students.
  • We have 17 new MBBs who resulted from the Bali outreach!

Prayer

  • Pray for Maiduguri, several villages attacked after the government killed Boko Haram members. 
  • Comfort is running a training and planning on going out to evangelize and follow-up! Pray for protection for them and for the people they will minister to
  • Pray for vehicle for Nigeria office. 
  • 17 MBBs who are in discipleship classes from Bali outreach, 3 will need to move to safe locations as their lives are being threatened. Pray for wisdom and resources to support them!
  • We want to add more staff to the Nigeria team, especially someone to work with MBBs!
  • This is a week of general council for COCIN; a meeting with top administration and faculty members in Jos, trying to sit and pray and think and study and talk together about the direction of the seminary. Pray for wisdom for them!

USA:

Praise

  • Praise for a wonderful fundraiser! We had over 50 people volunteer to help out, and people were generous with their giving and prayers! We are excited for the ministry that God 

Prayer

  • Praying for volunteer coordinator for local office

Cameroon:

Praise

  • We praise God for the team of trainees in Mbingo led by brother Joshua. Last week they went out for evangelism and won 21 converts. Today Florence gave them 21 follow-up booklets.
  • God is working through the crisis to bring people to Himself!
  • We praise God for answered prayer by raising up young people that we will train who will take the gospel every Mondays to homes in and around Mbingo!

Prayer

  • Pray for process of arranging conference in northern Cameroon
  • Yisa was to finalize arrangements for training in a church in Bamenda but was unable to meet. Pray that the pastor and Yisa will be able to meet.
  • Pray for our Boyo land, movement is becoming more and more difficult. The road from Mbingo to Bamenda was cut near a bridge last week.
  • Two young people were shot at hilltop on Saturday evening, one is still fighting for his life in the ICU.  Shot by the army. 
  • Pray for God’s guidance concerning the conference and training in Maroua. Pray for God’s provisions for our trip to Maroua. It is this trip that will determine where we hold the conference and training. 

 

Ethiopia: 

Praise

  • Praise for new ministry opportunities, potentially near Sudan 

Prayer

  • Pray for potential ministry outreach to Eritrean refugees!
DaraPraise and Prayer November 12!
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Reason and Rhyme

 

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost. 

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Legalists of both the liberal and conservative variety treat truth similarly; as though it were a collection of facts that we can act on independently and reliably manipulate in order to get what we want out of life. The best people of both stripes want good things for others as well as themselves–conservative Christian legalists tend to focus on eternal salvation for themselves and others, and liberal Christians legalists tend to focus on working towards a utopia on this earth, or getting the world as close to a utopia as we can reasonably manage for the good of all.

There is, however, a fatal flaw in the way that they both go about their projects. Laws about the physical world, properly applied, lead to amazing scientific achievements, such as airplanes, water purification systems, and skyscrapers. We can never, and should never assume the same kind of mastery over moral truth. This attitude of pride leads us to the tower of Babel, where we assume we can build a staircase to heaven without being actually led by God. This project will always fail and fail miserably no matter how many times we invoke His name.

Reading the gospels we see that Jesus answered questions about what we should and shouldn’t do in really unexpected ways; by making extravagant demands, by going to the heart of motivations, by dodging some questions entirely. Clearly questions about what is right and wrong, what the meaning and purpose of our lives are, are meant to drive us to the person of Jesus in that humble surrender we call faith. It is only with the heart of a child that we can hear Jesus and obey Him, and actually grow in love. Without Him, we will find a way to do what is wrong, to apply good laws in evil ways that will cause pain and suffering to ourselves and others.

Jesus told us in Matthew that the first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. How is it that people of both sides say and do terrible things in the name of love of others, and in the name of the love of God? It is this pride, and the attendant fear (it’s all up to me and if others thwart me, then it is all over) that destroys the best intentions of all and turns us on one another in the basest and most destructive hypocrisy.

Let’s pray together and repent of this pride; pray instead for the hearts of children who are deeply rooted in His love. Only in this way will we ever become part of His kingdom. God does desire justice on this earth, God desires to right what is wrong, to free us from the evil of others and the evil in our own hearts through confession, repentance, forgiveness, love. It is not your ability to force other people or yourself to abide by a list of laws, even the “law” of love that will save us. Only in willingness to give up control and live in trust can you hear from Jesus daily, live deeply rooted in Jesus, and be safe from the poisonous scourge of hatred, pride, and fear which threatens to make hypocrites and empty shells of us all. Only as we live in a posture of receiving from Jesus, like children, will Jesus change and save your heart, and change and save the world.

 

 

 

DaraReason and Rhyme
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Praise and Prayer October 29th!

 

Nigeria:

Praise

  • Peter’s house could have burned down. His daughter accidentally left something on the stove when they went out for the evening, but a neighbor saw the pot smoking and broke in through the window to put out the fire. Praise God that his family and home are all safe!
  • The 600 evangelists have started evangelizing! They are reaching out to 36 villages.
  • Peter, Sam and Ishaku trained 54 people to follow up with new believers

Prayer

  • Pray for evangelism outreaches! For safety and effectiveness
  • Pray for safety for everyone and Peter, Sam and Ishaku and their families
  • This evening, Sam is going out to see how the work is going, pray for him.
  • In Chibok, Comfort reported that 2 people have been killed prayer for their families.
  • Comfort’s daughter traveling back to Jos next week! Pray for her safety as she travels.
  • There are people coming back from outreach an outreach in Taraba on Saturday that Comfort would like to work with and train from Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) denomination. Pray for this collaboration!
  • Fighting broke out on the Abuja-Kaduna highway today! A Voice of the Martyrs staffer is pinned down in the crossfire. Pray for everyone in Kaduna for protection and healing.

USA:

Praise

  • For the upcoming fundraiser! We look forward to it as an event that will glorify God’s movement and work and build our FFICM team and community!

Prayer

  • Rick is leaving Wednesday morning for Nigeria! Prayer for him as he travels and ministers and for his work packing out of his real estate office before he leaves.
  • For wisdom for Rich, David, and Dara as they continue to plan the November 6 dinner event!

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • For possible open doors to minister in Eritrea!

Prayer

  • We are currently trying to get pastors and evangelists who can minister in severely restricted or unreached areas to come to our training. Pray that this training goes through! It will take a lot of careful planning.
DaraPraise and Prayer October 29th!
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Praise and Prayer Oct 23rd!

Nigeria:

Praise

  • For safe travel for the Nigeria team to Bali
  • There are two trainees in Bali who are interested in coming onto the team as trainers! It would be wonderful to have two trainers in that location.

Prayer

  • In a village in Kaduna yesterday, 55 people were killed, and the chief and his family kidnapped
  • Peter, Sam, Ishaku Pate are training 100 people ahead of the training in Bali. Please pray for safety and peace for their families who are still in Jos! 2 interested in becoming trainers. 
  • Comfort reported that 30 Christian farmers were just killed outside of Maiduguri in a village called Mulai.
  • Rich stuck outside Mangu, was stuck in 2nd gear. Part broke and they had to weld it together, find a welder. Rick has been stuck in front of mosques on Friday afternoon.

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • The political situation has calmed down!

Prayer

  • For open doors to work with Eritreans!
  • Eskinder’s son is placed in Jimma in university, great university, but 10 hours from Eskinder! Pray for his family.

Cameroon:

Praise

  • things calming down a bit there, some people are going back to their homes.

Prayer

  • President Biya confirmed winning the election, amidst
  • Pastor Yisa wants to relocate from his former station, because there aren’t enough people left, everyone has fled. Prayer for wisdom and protection for him and his family.
  • The team there is still working on a possible date for January, getting us into the north. Prayer for wisdom and grace for all of us as we consider this!
  • There were killings in Florence’s village. Freedom fighters killed a general, so the army went to village and shot young people and burned down houses.

USA:

Praise

Rick’s business deal went through, enabling his continued ministry~

Prayer

  • For the fundraiser on November 10th, that we would have the right people there!
  • Rick is leaving for Nigeria Oct. 31st!
DaraPraise and Prayer Oct 23rd!
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Praise and Prayer October 15th!

Nigeria:

Praise

  • That everyone is currently safe!

Prayer

  • There is still killing, Peter’s wife just called to warn him there’s trouble in Jos Jarawa again. On Bauchi road, a group of Muslims has taken over, is stopping cars, taking the Christians out and killing them, and Ishaku Pate has to travel on this road!
  • Ruth’s mother tried to go back to her house, but the military moved them out of the house, they suspect that a local person killed a general and have been arresting people. Pray for the innocent, and that the situation is resolved!
  • Pray for Bali area, as we prepare for the training there! There are pockets of attacks around the villages, pray that all the attendees, and our team would be safe.

USA:

Praise

  • Janice’s 60th birthday went well!

Prayer

  • Rick needs prayer that a real estate deal goes through, because without it he can’t go over 1st of November .
  • Dara’s babysitter is moving to Mexico, pray she can find a trustworthy, loving person to care for her kids as she works!

Cameroon

:

Praise

  • The violence around Mbingo has eased up! Some of the refugees have been able to return to Belo, and the hospital has been able to admit people again—during the worst of the crisis, they were only conducting a few outpatient appointments.
  • Our trainer, Hilda, who lost her father recently, is feeling thankful for the comfort that God has given, and that her father’s funeral went well.

Prayer

  • Pray that Florence’s visa is approved! She would love to go to her sister’s wedding, and we would all love to see her.
  • The pastor that hosted Peter in Anjadua, talked to him on the phone and told him that yesterday they killed about 21 youth—the military just goes to an area and attacks any man between the ages of 15-50.
  • Pray about possible January date for training!

Ethiopia:

Praise

  • For open borders between Ethiopia and Eritrea!
  • the last few weeks security was not good in the country, but it is now.

Prayer

  • Pray for communications issues with the Ethiopia team, that they’d be able to join us in prayer!
  • There is green light to train Ethiopians and Eritreans on Evangelism and follow up in Sudan. So please pray so that God would open doors to train!
DaraPraise and Prayer October 15th!
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