I’m where I am thanks to His mercies – Mombasa Mission, Kenya

AE is delighted to provide you with an update on our recently completed Mombasa Mission in Kenya. Many of our missionaries were under the age of 25, and traveled hundreds of kilometers to join us. It warms our hearts to watch young people become inspired to share the gospel.

Due to the locals’ belief in witchcraft, our teams experienced a number of challenges. Many families have a connection to this destructive stronghold, and the local pastors joined us in praying for a divine breakthrough.

Despite this, our missionaries remained confident of winning souls to Christ. Mercy Njuru from Nairobi expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to join the mission. “We carry the love of Christ, and we know the Lord will help us reach as many people as possible,” she says.

Our teams were then given the opportunity to minister to prisoners at the Mombasa Remand Home as part of the Social Action Program. Prison Chaplains welcomed them to the Sunday service, which was attended by over 234 inmates.

Local leadership in outreach projects is also an important part of ministering to local communities. A dinner was held to educate officials from the county government, as well as business leaders and religious leaders, about the need for transformational leadership.

Radio broadcasting is another method used in Mombasa to reach out to people with the Gospel. Our missionaries were given the chance to participate in prime-time programming, allowing them to interact with and answer questions from listeners.

School ministry has always been an integral part of AE’s citywide mission. Discipling children in Christ ensures that our future is in safe hands. We had the incredible honour of being able to minister to over 60 schools, with 178 students receiving the gift of salvation!

Our team met a young man named Issa, who 15 years ago married a Muslim woman and renounced his faith. Since then, Issa has been estranged from his family. The team was able to remind him of the love of Jesus, and encouraged him to open his heart and renew his relationship with the Lord.

During their travels, the team discovered that the Mombasa Ferry branch of the Mombasa County Police Force is one of the busiest in the county. Despite their massive workload, they invited us to come in and speak, and 6 of them gave their hearts to the Lord!

We then moved on to The Ebenezer Worship Centre, which is built in a quarry and surrounded by drug addicts who spend their days in a cave directly below the church. They were invited in for a hot meal, and the team was able to feed 38 addicts – while also feeding them the Word of God.

Standing guard at Redeemed Gospel Church, a base for the Reach Mombasa Mission, Joshua Mwamburisays told us he would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness. “Young people get into drugs and substance abuse in this region,” he says. “Hiding in the Lord is the only safe haven.”

“I’m where I am thanks to His mercies and I’ll never stop serving him. I’m blessed for this opportunity to take care of the missioners in this centre. The daily interaction with them strengthens my faith and I’ll keep being a missioner in my own ways.”

This is just a small sample of the amazing work that AE is doing in Kenya thanks to your support! God is so wonderful, and we continue to see Him move ahead of us in the life-changing mission of seeing more people come to know Jesus.

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.

Building the Church of tomorrow, today

The Student Discipleship Program run by AEE Ethiopia is a forward-looking spiritual investment on the next generation. The objective of the program is “Building the Church of Tomorrow, Today”. It primarily focuses on the next-generation, Christian students of grade 5 and upwards to high school and university. It is a Bible teaching undertaking, an age-graded; curriculum-based with seven rounds of training.

The discipleship program started by enrolling 794 students in 9 cities in 2003. Currently, it reaches more than 20,000 students in 100+ cities all over Ethiopia each year. The program is done in partnership with the local church.

Program impact over the years has shown that the youth now:

  • have a better grasp of the Christian faith
  • are more equipped to read and study the Bible.
  • encouraged to share the faith with their peers in schools
  • come to their local church services more regularly.
  • the teachings had helped them overcome challenges and temptations the youth are facing.
  • the program is fostering unity among churches

For 2022, the plan is to enroll 20,000 students in 100+ cities. Accordingly 50,000 textbooks have been made ready for the school holidays (July & August).

Testimony

Nazrawit was a student in the Discipleship program as a senior high school student in 2007 & 2008.

She says “I grew up in a Christian family and had a general orientation to Christianity. But I did not have a personal relationship with God and was not used to reading the Bible on my own.

I am so happy that I was able to pass through the Discipleship Program. The courses were very basic and very helpful. I have learned how to read the Bible and have personal quiet time. I have also benefited from the Christian fellowship among students and teachers. As I was in my formative years it has helped me to get prepared for life’s realities.

After high school, I did 2 doctorates; a doctorate in vet medicine and a doctorate in human medicine.

I am one of those who have greatly benefited from the program and now have volunteered to teach students, whenever I have the time. I wish the program could expand extensively and reaches more youth.

AESA team – Breaking through barriers

Our African Enterprise South Africa (AESA) team, under the leadership of Theuns Pauw, has hit the ground running this year with two new mission staff members that have joined. The team has a great dynamic and the members are skilled in the various areas of ministry, from conferencing and team building to community development and missions.

Charlene, Theuns’s wife, is making good headway with the AE Legacy project where she is helping Michael Cassidy with editing his books and content for the Michael Cassidy and Friends website.

The team is in full preparation for the 60th anniversary this year. They will be commemorating the anniversary with a gala dinner followed by the “Mission to Maritzburg” in partnership with the local churches. The Gospel will go out in every area of Pietermaritzburg and our founder, Michael Cassidy, will also be part of this exciting mission. Back to where it all started with the first “Mission to Maritzburg” in 1962.

The vibrant and energetic foxfire team has just finished their training and are ready and eagerly waiting to bring their unique and dynamic youth ministry to schools and churches as they proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This godly team is still busy with COVID-19 relief actions and has already distributed 160 food parcels this year.

Another focus for the year is the Ngezandla Zethu sewing project, which has been running since 2018. The AESA team are excited to announce that 2022 looks brighter and better as the project opened its doors for skills training to 30 participants enrolling this year, up from 20 when they started. By the Grace of God some of the graduates from this sewing and fashion design course have successfully formed Community Transformation groups. (CTG’s). The AESA team is hoping to form another two CTG groups for 2022.

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5b

Please pray:

  • for our Foxfire youth team as they conclude their initial training and prepare for their commissioning service and subsequent ministry
  • for our 60th anniversary “Mission to Maritzburg” planned for 12-21 August, that we will be able to secure the funding and venues required, and that the training and ministry will have a great impact on our city
  • for our community upliftment projects, especially the NgeZandla Zethu sewing project where 30 women has been enrolled this year.
  • that the gospel may spread quickly during this time of uncertainty, bringing hope to the hopeless.
  • that AESA will financially continue to sustain through the pandemic.
  • that our documentary “The Threatened Miracle of South Africa’s Democracy” may reach multitudes through social media in South Africa and beyond.
  • for our 60th anniversary preparations for this year and unity on the steering committee.

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)