Dr. Richard Gardner
My heart aches for people around the world who don’t know Christ, and live with guilt, anger and the crushing weight of their past mistakes. I want them to experience the joy, forgiveness, freedom and love of walking hand-in-hand with God.
During my 27 years as a missionary, I helped men and women in Nigeria read about God’s love for them by translating the New Testament into their own language of Afizere.
During that time, I saw Christian outreach events where hundreds of people would come forward to dedicate their lives to Jesus. Sadly, in many areas, very few of those that committed their lives to Christ followed through on their decision.
I knew we had to help these lost and hurting people. Like sheep without a shepherd, they lacked anyone to lead them to what they hungered for. Left alone, they wandered away into the unknown.
The answer wasn’t hard. But I couldn’t do it alone. “Train them,” God seemed to say to me. “Show them what it means to have a relationship with Me, not to follow a religion.”
I and people God brought alongside me began to work together to develop a strategy, not just to evangelize, but to follow-up with new believers so that they would have a strong and lifelong relationship with Jesus.
Firm Foundations in Christ Ministries (FFICM) was founded on this principle: people easily leave a religion, but they rarely leave a friend.
Your support of FFICM provides a much-needed, unique approach to Christian evangelism that works. Our specially-developed training equips thousands of local evangelists, pastors, and lay leaders in countries like Nigeria, Uganda and Ethiopia to follow up with new believers so that they will understand how to develop a meaningful relationship with Jesus, and walk in the freedom that He offers. We also teach new believers how to share their passion for Christ with their friends, loved ones and neighbors.
Each year, thousands of people attend our conferences. But there are thousands more who long for our help. Our training sessions are fully booked with waiting lists. Many people live hundreds of miles away from our nearest sessions and cannot attend.
With your support, we can expand our work to provide more trainings and conferences in new locations. We can print and translated urgently needed training materials. Your gift invests in the eternal life of a man or woman hungry to know God better. And your partnership has a multiplying effect beyond what any of us can imagine as we coach each one of our trainees in how they can train other fellow believers to evangelize and follow-up.
Why Do People Leave Christ?
On average, only 6% of converts from evangelistic crusades have held onto their faith a year after making a commitment to Christ – if they didn’t receive good follow-up right away.
Why? Only God knows whether a person’s initial surrender to Christ was heartfelt and true. However, tragically, one of the most prevalent reasons for new believers abandoning their faith is also the most preventable – lack of follow-up. All too often new believers simply do not receive the mentoring in faith that they need.