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.

Michael Cassidy Reflects on Partners’ Support to AE

AE is blessed with the fact that there have been many people, and still are, who have supported us through decades, and some even since our inception in the early 60’s. This is an immense privilege and AE needs to register this with great gratitude to the Lord and to those long-term donors who are still alive.

However, the real challenge facing the ministry now is to establish a new base of new donors and prayer partners who will themselves become dedicated and long-term supporters. In my view we need a new and imaginative strategy to find and identify these younger donors not only in all our support countries, but in all the countries where we have national teams.

This is a necessary investment made in the present now, but which will establish our strength in the future. This is what AE’s early pioneers did in the 60’s and 70’s and it has stood us in very good stead.

In the next edition of our African Harvest, you can read more about the friendships AE has built across the ages. Inspiration, support and friendship from Billy Graham, John Stott, Francis Schaeffer and more. 

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 

Mission Impact 2021

The life-changing impact of our missions continued across Africa in 2021. We conducted 11 missions that were able to provide essential opportunities to preach the Gospel to the unreached. We were able to share the Gospel with over 12 million people through radio, television, social media, street evangelism, mission events and door to door evangelism. More than 46,000 people made decisions to follow Christ through these activities.

Over the last 5 years, we have reached 22 million people, and praise God, 450,000 souls committed to following Jesus! These numbers are extraordinary, and only possible through the support of our partners. Many of you have courageously held up AE through prayers, hard work and financial giving. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, God has been incredibly faithful.

Following the KAYONZA mission in Rwanda, Pastor Gatera was blessed to receive 7 new converts in his church. He has also helped young girls who faced unwanted pregnancies, and after preaching them the gospel, bought goats for them to start businesses.

“We have another group of new converts that we gave 30 Bibles to,” says Pastor Gatera. “We are intentional in helping these new brothers and sisters in Christ with their growth both spiritually and economically.”

God is using His disciples to transform entire communities and bring hope and healing to some of the most impoverished nations in the world.

With your support, more and more people in Africa are receiving the life-changing message of Jesus.

Overcoming challenges as seen in the experiences of Festo Kivengere in Uganda (I love Idi Amin).

In the time and reign of Idi Amin in Uganda (1971 – 1979), the challenges to Bishop Festo Kivengere (AE East African Team Leader and Co- Leader with Michael of AE) and the churches other Bishops were immense and frightening. Amin became one of the most brutal dictators of the 20th Century and some 400 000 people were slaughtered during his reign. He started out looking like a benevolent dictator and Festo and the other Bishops sort of tolerated him but gradually he became more and more brutal and he made life cheaper and cheaper.

Those who opposed him were ruthlessly assassinated and multitudes “were disappeared”, as locals put it. So the major requirement in Festo, other Bishops and the Church as a whole was courage in facing the dictator’s threat. All of this raised very acutely the assorted issues relating to Church and State. And how long and how far the Church continues as per Romans 13:1, to “submit to the powers that be.” Clearly Festo could not sanction revolution or attempt to see the dictator overthrown violently, but clearly they had to figure out at what point the Church could no longer sanction submission to state brutality. Festo and his colleagues knew that Jesus had said “render to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God’s.”(Mark 12:17) The challenge for Festo and others was to discern at what point Caesar was asking people to render to himself the things that were God’s. In early 1980 Archbishop Janani Luwum (who was also AE’s Ugandan chairman), Festo and the other Anglican Bishops drew up a very bold document challenging Amin about his behaviour and where he was taking the country. This infuriated Amin and he ordered the assassination of Lawum in cold blood. It was clear that Festo had now become no. 1 on Amin’s hit list and all the local Christian brethren urged Festo and Mera to flee at once. This they did through forest tracks leading to the base of the mountains separating Uganda from Rwanda. Festo and Mera courageously trekked up the mountainsides during the night till finally they crossed the border into Rwanda where they received a huge welcome.

Festo and Mera then went through to our office in Nairobi which they found flooded with Ugandan exiles and cries for help. The new challenge now was to Festo’s heart and conscience as to what his response would be to these exiles. Because Festo was so well known and so well loved these exiles turned to him and to AE rather than to major aid agencies. There and then effectively, Festo and AE Kenya / Unganda launched RETURN (Relief, Education and Training for Ugandan Refugees Now). In the end this program ran for several years and AE funded over 300 International University scholarships for Refugees who qualified. Some later ended up in new governments in Uganda and felt they owed much to AE.

Festo and Mera then travelled on via London to AE’s office in California. But in London Festo faced and awesome spiritual challenge in terms of his attitude as a Christian to Idi Amin who had terrorised his country, sought to kill him personally and driven him and his wife into exile. In a Good Friday service at John Stott’s All Souls Church, Langham Place , London, Festo and Mera attended a Good Friday service. Festo’s heart was filled with bitterness, almost hatred, towards Idi Amin but in the sermon Festo heard Jesus’s words from the cross: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Festo then heard the voice of the Lord saying to him: “My son, if Amin had been in that circle of soldiers crucifying me, would I have said ‘Father, forgive them all, except this big Ugandan below me.’” Festo’s response became determinative for the rest of his life as he responded to Jesus saying “Lord, I am here and now forgiving Idi Amin.” Immediately he felt a huge release in his soul and he was flooded with the joy and peace of the Lord.

For the rest of Festo’s days the message of forgiveness and reconciliation became even more central to his whole life and being and ministry. His new posture even led him into writing a small book called I love Idi Amin. A reporter in a press conference asked him how on earth he could write a book with this title. Replied Festo: “I may not like Idi Amin but if I am a Christian believer I am obliged to forgive him, love him with Christ’s love, and want the highest and best for his life.”

Another reporter asked: “If you were standing face to face with Amin, and someone gave you a revolver, what would you do?” “Well,” replied Festo, “I would hand the revolver back and say this is not my weapon. My weapon is love.”

The next big challenge Festo faced in conjunction with our USA board was to be practical and raise vast sums of money for the ever developing needs in Uganda. Warwick Olson, then director of AE, Australia, proceeded to launch and AE office first in Australia and then in UK though which these Ugandan monies could be channelled to the needs back in that country. Through these years of Festo’s exile from Uganda Michael travelled with him in many places ranging from USA and Canada through to Australia, several countries of Latin America, Egypt, Liberia (West Africa), and even South Africa. Festo’s message of love and forgiveness melted hearts everywhere and Michael felt ever after the immensity of the privilege he had had of ministering around the world with this great brother.

Festo died from Leukaemia in 1988 and he and Michael had a very poignant time together in their last meeting in a Nairobi hospital. Michael and most of the other team leaders and board chairs travelled in a chartered plane with Festo’s coffin back to Uganda for the funeral in Namirembe Cathedral where Michael was one of the main speakers.