60th Celebration Update

The preparation for the Lusaka mission is in high gear.

AESAR in Zambia has partnered with the church in Lusaka and other like-minded organizations for the upcoming Continental Grand Mission in Lusaka, Zambia.

We shall hold this celebratory mission from 25th August to 4th September with over 2,000 national and 240 international mission volunteers from our key church & partner organizations. The target of the Lusaka citywide mission is to reach over 300,000 people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the African Enterprise’s Stratified Evangelism Model.

We have divided the Lusaka city into 7 constituencies of Munali, Mandevu, Matero, Chawama, Kanyama, Kabwata & Lusaka Central which will each host a number of visiting and the local mission volunteers through the proclamation week.

Prayer Points;

  • Pray for other celebratory missions that will take place in Uganda and South Africa with the Zambian Grand Celebration on 2nd September 2022
  • Pray that our time together at the 60th -anniversary celebrations of 2022 will be fruitful and impactful, leaving fresh impetus to Zambia.
  • Pray that the Lord will turn many hearts of men to Himself during the proclamation week.
  • Pray for all the speakers and facilitators that God will use them to accomplish His will.
  • Pray for all travels, and that all logistics will run smoothly for the entire team.

Transformed, strengthened and with new hope

Ministry Update – March 2022

Thanks to your ongoing support, our AE teams have enjoyed some wonderful success in our outreach programs across Africa. By the grace of God, our Togo farming project has begun, with participants preparing the land ready for seed planting. They are also being educated on the correct way to grow vegetables for sustainability.

In Kenya, the local church leaders are helping to train up missionaries to reach even more people with the good news of Jesus. The Foxfire program has also had great success, with high schools now participating in forums to expand and continue the harvest. One young student, Boaz, says that he ‘feels strengthened to keep pure and serve God and His people.’

Our sewing school in Malawi has seen many graduates become trained in tailoring and professional dressmaking. These skills enable people to generate an income to meet their basic needs, and some have even gone on to open their own businesses.

The Hope for Girls Project will also soon launch in Malawi, with the aim of providing essential re-useable sanitary products to young girls aged 10 and over. This will be incorporated into the needlework program to ensure the sustainability of the program.

AE Ethiopia continues integrating new believers from the Kotebe mission into the mainstream church. New believer Gelan Megersa says she was met by someone on the street who told her about Jesus. “I was convinced and became a believer, and have been attending discipleship classes for the past 3 months. I have seen such a transformation in my life.”

In Uganda, the Omoo Youth Skilling and Production Centre has been training young people to bake cakes, mandazi, samosas, chapatis and buns to sell to the local market. They were able to raise more than 200,000 Uganda Shillings (approximately AUD 73.74) through the sale of their products.

Once again, AE has been able to outreach successfully in South Africa. In partnership with other ministries, we have been able to bring food relief to those who continue to suffer from unemployment, the ravages of the pandemic and the aftermath of recent unrest.

One recipient said that she had been praying for God’s intervention after both her mother and sister succumbed to COVID leaving her with the responsibility of caring for her brothers, all of whom are unemployed. Her response to our outreach was, “I feel I have hope now.”

Your prayers and support are invaluable to AE, and we give thanks to God for enabling us to bring some relief and minister to communities in desperate need. Please continue to pray with us that those whose hearts are moved by the Holy Spirit may grow in their journey of faith and be a witness to others.

 

Jubilee Celebrations Reminiscences

As long time supporters of African Enterprise, begun by Michael Cassidy in 1962 to “Evangelize the Cities of Africa through Word and Deed in Partnership with the Church.”, the fiftieth anniversary in 2012 was one to celebrate. With Ann, who makes and sells jam to support AE, I took the opportunity to join a team from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, Belgium, Canada and ten African nations to share in the week of “Choose Zikhethele” mission to Pietermaritzburg, KwaZula Natal, South Africa on 12-19 August, and stay for the week of Jubilee following.

The first AE mission was 12th August 1962 and Michael Cassidy was at the PMB City Hall for the opening rally on 12th August 2012. Also present was Paul Birch, a Canadian who was one of the original team of five. He played the magnificent organ pictured.

Over 600 events were planned in the week of stratified mission, ranging from nightly tent rallies in up to 8 venues around the city, a youth rally and a bikers rally, open air meetings, and visits to townships, informal settlements, government departments, factories, bus stations, the magistrates court, prisons, police and fire stations, post offices, primary, secondary and trade schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, aged care facilities, children’s and retirement homes, hair salons, disabled centres, shops, restaurants, businesses, street workers, banks, community centres, outreach events and feeding stations run by local churches – anywhere people could be found. Evangelists had come from near and far to share the good news of life in Jesus – that by all means they might save some.

The Australian and New Zealand team, (including a 92 year old from NSW) took part in church services and rallies, visited businesses, schools and hospitals, church outreaches, speaking and praying. Some with computer and graphic design skills employed those for AE work. We never knew what we would be doing each day.

There was a march of witness before the closing celebration rally. The Mayor of Pietermaritzburg City, Councillor Chris Ndlela, asked African Enterprise (AE) members of staff and the organisation’s supporters to pray fervently for God to solve the problems dogging his city with challenges like corruption, crime and racial and tribal friction.

Based on the number of response cards received, a total of 3550 people made first time commitments, accepting Jesus as Lord. Another 1450 re-committed their lives to Christ during the mission. A long-term phase of the campaign has immediately kicked in, aimed at running a number of sustained activities that will help to create a model city that reflects the glory of God over a decade, according to the organisers.

The week of Jubilee saw guests from the USA, Australia and the United Kingdom as well as other parts of South Africa join in a week of looking back and looking forward, connecting and reconnecting with the Team Leaders from South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Rwanda and Ethiopia showcasing the work of AE in their nations.

I found this week particularly interesting, with the opportunity to meet team and staff. I had known of Bishop Festo Kivengere of Uganda as a teenager growing up in the UK. Festo had begun AE East Africa 40 years ago. Bishop Edward Muhima, past Chairman of AE International, spoke a number of times and presided over a moving communion service on the final day together.

Fifty trees were planted in memory of those who had played a significant part in AE’s history, and Edward planted the first in memory of Festo, who died in 1988. Some may remember his visits to Australia with African Enterprise.

During the Jubilee week a photo exhibition on reconciliation over 50 years was opened by Rev Frank Chikane, an Apostolic pastor and former advisor for Thabo Mbeki and member of the African National Congress, at the KwaZulu Natal Natural History Museum. He spoke later in the week on reconciliation. This was particularly appropriate as agents of the apartheid government had attempted to assassinate him in 1989!

“A Witness Forever,” hosted by AE to reflect on 50 years of city mission, civic engagement and leadership development by the organisation in South Africa was held on 21st August in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Over 300 invited guests heard KWAZULU Natal (KZN) Province Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, thank African Enterprise (AE) for taking a leading role in propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ and also for being outstanding peace brokers in South Africa and abroad. He paid tribute to AE for being an institution that has preached the gospel faithfully, “with footprints all over South Africa and elsewhere in the world… (and) also going all-out to work with communities.”

There were a couple of sightseeing opportunities, one walking around Pietermaritzburg’s historical precinct and the other to the Nelson Mandela Capture site, which had opened on the 6th of August. It is significant that Nelson Mandela was captured near PMB, a few days before the first mission in August 1962. The new centre is part of a regeneration project to reinvigorate the rural community of Howick.

Since Michael Cassidy stepped down as International Team Leader, he has been investing much time mentoring young evangelists in Barnabas Groups in South Africa. Some 90 of the 200 in the groups were able to come together for the first time. I met three ladies from East London who were pleased to meet someone who had been praying for them!

The final event of a momentous fortnight was the gala dinner at the Alan Paton Hall of Maritzburg College. Some of the Aussie team had a hand in the stunning table decorations and place settings for some 600 friends and staff. Stephen Lungu (whose story is told in Out of the Black Shadows), completed six years as International Team Leader on this night. Michael and his wife, Carol, were honoured and thanked.

Stephen Mbogo, a Kenyan was inducted as the new ITL joining the International Board of African Enterprise with Jonathan Addison (Chairman) and Mike Woodall (Chief Operating Officer), who are both Australians.

I came back with 50 ZAR (less that $A6.00), lots of wonderful memories and a desire to make this great organisation better known.

 

Diana Dow (long time supporter of AE and coordinator of the Melbourne Prayer Group)

Zambia Mission Update

Thank you for your prayers for our upcoming PAN-African Mission and 60th celebrations. Mission leader Lutangu Lubasi says that in his 40 years as a Christian, he’s never seen the churches mobilise like this in Lusaka. Over 300 churches are outreaching to some 300,000 people, and Lutangu is hoping to train 2400 missionaries from Lusaka itself and a further 600 from surrounding areas.

The fact that AE is celebrating its 60th anniversary has helped raise awareness for the Lusaka mission. This is a unique opportunity, and one that the Southern Africa region is very excited about. The team will be using stratified evangelism and seeking to reach people in a celebratory manner.

For the 60th Anniversary, we will have 60 days of prayer, using the word GOSPEL, we will take 60 days of prayer to celebrate 60 years of evangelism. Each letter represents 10 days of the mission.

G – Gratitude (Thanksgiving)
O – Open Heavens (Prayer/Intercession)
S – Social Action (Love in Action)
P – Proclamation (Citywide Mission)
E – Empowerment (Mentoring)
L – Loving New Believers (Discipleship)

The team has also been working on getting denominational leaders and people from senior levels of government involved. “We had a meeting for the top leaders of denominations, and it was just so exciting to see how these men of God came together,” says Lutangu. “Bishop Joe Imakando will be hosting the Lusaka mission, and he pledged $5,500 US dollars to help.”

Lutangu also believes that COVID has presented an opportunity to reach the lost, because people are asking very difficult questions about eternity. But AE also saw an opportunity to bring the whole church in the region of Zambia together.

One of the highlights of the mission is the upcoming National Prayer Breakfast, to which the President of Zambia and the President of Malawi have been invited. “We’ll be meeting these presidents to put our cares to them,” says Lutangu. “We are very excited to see what is unfolding.”

It’s our faithful AE supporters making it possible for us to engage with the people of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The idea is to reach over a million people in the next five years, and this pan-African mission goes a long way towards involving leaders all across the country.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for me to just thank those that have been standing behind us and supporting us,” says Lutangu. “I feel very touched because we have not had an office in Zambia in the last fifty-nine years.”

“Like the Bible says, when we unite we can do so much more.”

PTC Transforming Gospel Ministers in Africa

African Enterprise has continued to offer PTC training to pastors and Gospel ministers in Africa. This course which is offered both online and in person has remained a treasured program by many. It enables the Gospel ministers to acquire knowledge that would make them be more effective in ministry.

The students in Kenya continued with the online study in 2021. It was not possible to conduct the in person studies due to COVID-19 restrictions. There were 33 students that remained active by conducting studies on various course and benefiting from the program. The course has remained an important tool in their ministry and remain grateful to the sacrifice done by many in sponsoring the program. There are other 61 that enrolled but have not been very active. We have encouraged them to resume their studies in 2022.

We are resuming the in person trainings in 2022. As part of 60th anniversary, AE Kenya is conducting a citywide mission in Mombasa as from 2nd- 12th June 2022, the second largest city in Kenya. Over the last three years, AE Kenya has been reaching the city with the Gospel targeting different zones. Currently there have 51 students that have enrolled for the PTC course. This number may rise to almost 70 as there are more students interested in the course. We want 60 students as per our 60th anniversary. The incorporation of the PTC course to the citywide mission will greatly help in the mobilization of Churches that otherwise they could have not participated in the mission. There are students from Churches that are not part of the pastors’ fellowship but when they heard about the program they have enrolled and they have since joined the planning of the mission. The Churches will participate in the mission with clearer understanding of the Bible thus producing reliable evangelists during the mission. We can confidently report that the PTC is indeed helping to spread the Gospel in Africa. Our first course will be as from 4th- 9th April 2022.

We will continue to share more stories and testimonies from Kenya on this amazing program that is transforming lives.

“The Program has been of tremendous in helping on reaching out/sharing the gospel as it has helped me to study the scripture thus knowing it better.

Throughout PTC I have gained the basics of bible interpretation, am able to dissect Scripture and preach the word contextually/accurately.

Through PTC I have been equipped in defending of the word, by Interpreting Scripture correctly am able to give an answer to some difficult bible related question/texts that the unbelievers misinterpret or are unable to decode.

I have grown as a believer In Christ reading the word is easier since my understanding is sharpened. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and more specifically to individuals who give directly to AE in support of PTC. We are forever grateful. I can’t wait to dig deeper into the course.” – Derrick Muriithi

We will continue to share more stories and testimonies from Kenya on this amazing program that is transforming lives.

AE Institute of Evangelism

Many of you already know that AE is celebrating 60 years of evangelism in Africa this year! That’s why we are so excited to announce our brand-new initiative, the African Enterprise International Institute of Evangelism (AEIE).

There is a desperate need for theological training throughout Africa. Formal academic education is rare, and Bible teaching does not always have the correct Biblical foundation. To evangelise the body of Christ effectively, knowledge and training are essential.

Lack of support for Evangelists continues to have a negative impact on the church, and can lead to the preaching of a false gospel. An academic qualification is a requirement in most fields today; and Evangelists are not exempt.

That is why now is the right time to launch the African Enterprise Institute of Evangelism! This program will equip the church in Africa in evangelism and missions, multiply local evangelists and rollout stratified evangelism missions in every African country.

The program will take approximately four years to complete, and will train over 600 pastors from 12 countries in Preliminary and Advanced Evangelism. The objective is to provide a biblical foundation in evangelism while emphasizing the important of discipleship and strategies to continue with missions.

The story of Evangelism in Africa is deeply entwined with AE, and it was Dr Michael Cassidy’s passionate vision to see the continent won for Jesus. The first mission was launched in 1962, and its success is where our call was confirmed.

At AE, we consider every believer a witness. However, we recognize the importance of Evangelists who focus on the proclamation of the gospel and train others to do the same. We hope you are as excited as we are about this new initiative, and we thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Image: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash