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.

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.

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)

Christmas update from Michael Cassidy

15 December 2021Dear Special Friends and Family,I am overwhelmed with embarrassment at the very long time it has been since last I wrote to you all in this way.  But life, waywardness, mental laziness and procrastination can all play havoc with one’s plans and intentions.  Carol told me the other day not to procrastinate on something, and I replied to her:  “Sweetheart, one must never put off till tomorrow what one can put off till next week!”  Now with my feeble excuses over, let me give you some of my news for 2021. HappinessFirst of all I would have to say that it has been a good year, and one in which I have experienced a great measure of unusual happiness.  And no wonder, because, as I think I said before, I have been locked up in a place I love, in a home I love, with the woman I love, and doing the thing I love, … which is writing. I have also found enormous joy in just being with Carol for the kind of extended times which were not easily possible over all those years when I was in the full swing of ministry with so much travel.  And never before has it been possible after supper, just to listen to the news and then perhaps some fun TV such as the series, When Calls the Heart.  We have also got into Heartlands which, apart from some rather silly teenage romances, is all about horses, and I find this particularly enjoyable because I grew up on horses in old Basutoland, and riding was part of my daily life.  After these sorts of indulgences, we can each do some letters or general reading.  What more could one ask for?  As to general reading, for some years when I was very weakened in health, I did not have good energy for serious reading, but that has now returned and I have been reading history, biography, ethics, and cosmology.  At bedtime, after Carol and I have prayed together, I used simply to read my devotional book and then go to sleep.  But now I find myself eager to put in a further half hour or forty five minutes of general reading.  Then at the end, I do the devotional book, and go to sleep quickly, praise God, with the Lord and His Word in my heart. All of this adds up to a very rich time for which I cannot thank the Lord enough.  Perhaps on top of this I should add that I am increasingly blessed by Nature and Carol’s truly lovely garden.  One of my very favourite verses is:  “Day to day pours forth speech” (Psalm 19:2).I find when I look at the garden that I feel the Lord and experience afresh the revelation of His Supernatural Creativity.  Orville Dewey, a devotional writer of yesteryear, once wrote:  “A new day rose upon me.  It was as if another sun had risen into the sky; the earth fairer; and that day has gone on brightening to the present hour.  I have known other joys of life, I suppose, as much as most men; I have known friendship and love and family ties; but it is certain that till we see God in the world – God in the bright and boundless universe – we never know the highest joy.” Family newsCarol is well and in good shape.  We walk every day to keep our blood oxygen up and I am fed on a very healthy diet by this great girl.  We also try to have one dinner date out per week where we can observe Covid protocols.  Carol is incredible the way she does all of our family admin from finances and bills through to funerals and wills!!  We find it quite a battle to know to whom we should leave our family plastic, or our coffee mugs, or our two silver teaspoons!  Carol still does flowers regularly for our local church and these lovely arrangements we are able to see in the excellent online YouTube services we receive from our Church of the Ascension.  Carol has not been able, because of Covid protocols, to keep up her Bonginkosi work in Sweetwaters, a nearby township, amongst the poorest of the poor.  Her garden is her particular delight and this year I think it excels all other preceding years. Thankfully, we are also able to be in touch by phone daily with our kids and Cathy rings very faithfully from the States every day.  The Scott family in Chattanooga are in quite a few transitions.  Jonathan has a new job, and Cathy gets increasing responsibilities as CEO of the parachurch ministry The Bible in Schools.  This involves raising money for salaries of Bible teachers where the government won’t fund the activity.  Cathy has turned into a remarkable fundraiser and this year her budget is three million US Dollars.  Andrew, now 21, is training to be a pilot, and Cameron moving towards the end of his high school years. Gary and Debs lead very full lives, with Gary still having cricket coaching jobs and Debs having an ever expanding ministry, along with Jackie Moll, into the lives of women, and especially young mums.  This is called Strongest Story (Writing a Stronger Story with Your Life). More info at www.strongeststory.com/. The big thing in that family is that Joshua has come up here to Michaelhouse for his last two years of school.  We are delighted that he is a school prefect for next year, and Vice-Captain of the First Eleven Cricket and its opening bowler.  We love going to watch him play and having him for weekends. Martin and Sam press on merrily with their lives in Johannesburg, Sam teaching, and Martin being CEO of a rubber factory with some 250 workers.  Very demanding.  Martin has become a class act game photographer and they relish in regular visits to his father-in-law’s game farm up near Kruger.  Their three kids are all excelling and bless us with messages saying, “We love you to the moon and back!”  I said to Samantha the other day, “It’s not fair for one family to have two future Miss South Africa’s!”

My sisters, Olave and Judy, are still in good health, and likewise their families.  This is a mercy indeed.

On the work frontI am thankful that I have finished my two Lockdown books; Deep Waters of the Disciple and Great is Thy Faithfulness.  These will both, Lord willing, be published next year and please pray with me that they will touch many people.  We are also republishing my book A Witness Forever about the South African ’94 elections and this will be out in a few weeks’ time.  This is intended especially for supplementary reading along with our new documentary, The Threatened Miracle of South Africa’s Democracy which is based on the book. This documentary was launched on September 24th, South Africa’s Heritage Day, and coincidently my 85th birthday when Theuns and Charlene Pauw and AESA gave me a truly marvellous day.  Martin and his two girls, Jessica and Emma, came down, but Sam stayed in Johannesburg to support Mattie who was playing for a regional team in a big cricket tournament.  Coming back to the documentary, the mantra at the end of it is “DO YOUR BIT.”  This is the film’s strong challenge to all South Africans to become involved, each person, in seeking to make a contribution to the rescue and healing of South Africa at this rather perilous time.  We would profoundly appreciate it if you would be willing share the YouTube link for this documentary with your family, friends, church groups, and spheres of influence.

Please do it, and here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtGgrymEpTs&t=1369s

The vision for this 90 minute film came from Charlene Pauw, wife of SA Team Leader Theuns, and the Producer was Frans Cronje, brother of the late Hansie, and Producer of Angus Buchan’s Faith Like Potatoes, who has done a really marvellous job.  In fact, the film has been placed among the award finalists of International Christian Visual Media.  The awards will be announced at a ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, in February next year.  This is a feather in the caps of both Frans and Charlene. I have also been privileged with a few others to launch a South African Christian Leaders Forum (for discussion and action) and a Christian Leaders Fellowship (for dialogue, interaction and prayer for one another and the country).  We meet monthly with growing numbers and I think this has the potential to be a very useful and relevant contribution to the needs of both church and nation at this time. On the wider Pan African front, Stephen Mbogo, our International Team Leader, is most admirably leading the work forward.  In fact, AE has launched two new teams, the first in Southern Sudan, a desperately needy country under Rev Alex Aggrey.  The team is focussing into evangelism among Members of Parliament and trauma healing among students.  The second is in Zambia under Dr Lubasi who is now serving also as Southern African Regional Team Leader, and securing strategic cooperation between the teams in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia itself.  Their reach will also extend to Angola, Mozambique and Botswana. The team in East Africa also coordinated, just this last week, a three-day virtual evangelism training conference drawing in some 31 countries, including South Africa which was represented by AESA Team Leader, Theuns Pauw.  And I will be happier still, Lord willing, to see next August, first in South Africa, and then in Zambia, our 60th anniversary celebrations of the first mission to Pietermaritzburg.  There is huge planning going on for this and in South Africa it will include another Mission to Maritzurg, and in Zambia, another mission to Lusaka.  How good is our God!  All of this I find gratifying and it makes my heart happy and ready for a nunc dimittisHealthI guess some of you out there may be wondering how we are going with our health.  Carol’s, as I said, is remarkably good, and I feel pretty okay most of the time.  Sadly I do still struggle with shingles (two and a half years now), or perhaps what I should call its aftermath in Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, otherwise called Neuro-Pathic Neuralgia.  This is a trial indeed, and I long to be delivered from it.  I do rattle the Lord’s cage on it a bit, but I know He has His own purposes in leaving me with this struggle.  My leukaemia is stable and non-aggressive and every four months I go for two days to the hospital for Polygam Immunotherapy.  My little congregation of nurses in the hospital all seem to be doing quite well and greet me like a long-lost pastor when I go there!  My Myasthenia Gravis (Google will help you!) is kept under control by medication I take every six hours every day.  I continue to see the medical fraternity as God’s special agents in the world for His healing and loving care. Heaven and HomeI suppose being 85 it is not surprising that I think a lot about Heaven.  And I must say it excites me tremendously and fills my heart with glorious hope and anticipation.  C S Lewis, one of my special spiritual friends, from whom I read a daily extract in a CSL anthology, writes:  “Hope is one of the Theological virtues.  This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.  It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is.  If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next…. They all left their mark on Earth precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.  Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’.  Aim at Earth and you will get neither.”  So I am enjoying aiming at Heaven and finding Earth joyously thrown in!In my new book Deep Waters of the Disciple, I have a final chapter on Heaven – At Last!  This chapter opens:  “I have to say that I am incredibly excited about Heaven.  And I must agree with Peter Pan that ‘to die will be an awfully big adventure!’  And I must think of the unimaginable and inexpressible wonder of what is to come when I reflect again and again on Paul’s words ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has there entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV). So if a student in a varsity mission ever said to me, and some did:  “All you are into is this pie-in-the- sky stuff”, then my reply would be:  “But suppose there IS pie in the sky?”  The question is central, says my chapter, “to our life on Earth, bringing us, as it does, a world-view of breath-taking significance: telling us that this life is just a preliminary, a prelude, the cover and title page, and that that there is more to come, as C S Lewis says in ‘The Great Story which goes on forever, and in which every chapter is better than the one before.’”  And we will know that at last we are Home!With all that said, I nevertheless do ask the Lord for extra-long life so that I can drink and fully drain the Cup of Marriage, knowing that in Heaven, “there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage”, something which I’m going to chat to the Lord about in a quiet moment when I’m not deafened by angels singing, and ask Him for a special plan for Carol and me! And yes of course, I also have a very deep desire to keep ministering the Gospel of salvation and Christian life to as many as I can through writing and preaching, as the Lord enables. Well, I guess that’s it.  So if you haven’t gone to sleep, or hit the delete button half an hour ago, I’d like you to receive Carol’s and my warmest best wishes for a blessed and happy Christmas and a New Year full of joyful and fruitful Kingdom Exploits.  After all, we have to “keep working while it is day because the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).Much love….Michael…and of course Carol

Ngezandla Zethu Project Update

We have been seeing some fantastic outcomes from AE’s Ngezandla Zethu project in South Africa. 35 women and 3 men have enrolled in the 2021 Sewing and Fashion Design Program. So far we have celebrated 13 graduates, 4 of whom are now successfully running their own businesses. One of our male students has even opened his own training school called “Kairos School of Fashion”.

The 2021 class has also been making face masks from material off-cuts. They have been able to supply over 100 masks to school children and members of their local community. The program has now become so popular, that the project administrator has had to split the students into smaller groups to accommodate the increased demand.

The students have completed courses in sewing tailored skirts and blouses, and will soon move on to designing and sewing coats and pants. They are a committed learners, determined to keep equipping and empowering themselves and their communities. We are so grateful for your support!

Mission Update – June 2021

The Mombasa West Mission in Kenya is the first one to be conducted in the year 2021. The mission is scheduled for 1st to 11th July. The mobilization of missioners and preservation facilitators took place in the month of May. The AEE Kenya team intends to host 300 visiting missioners in 9 zones. The rest of the missioners will come from within Mombasa. This month, there has been a series of continued mobilization and trainings.

The Kayonza Mission in Rwanda was scheduled for 20th – 27th June but following the Volcanic eruption in the neighboring DRC, the mission was postponed to 15th – 22nd August. Preparations for the same are ongoing. At least 127 homes are targeted to be trained to conduct Home Based Evangelism (HBE). Though this is an ongoing activity, 42 households were reached in May this year using HBE and 9 people accepted to follow Christ.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), preparations for the Mont-Amba Mission, which is set for 16th to 24th October, are ongoing. Mont-Amba is located South East Kinshasa in DRC. AE DRC Team conducted School of evangelism in the targeted location of the Matete, Ngaba, Kisenso and Lemba districts and a total of 276 participants from 99 local churches were trained. Currently, the team is mobilizing for prayer and funds for the mission. Earlier, 19 different local churches were equipped for further church members’ mobilization in the target area.

AEE Tanzania is set to have its mission between 22nd and 29th August in the capital city, Dar es Salaam. The team has been meeting the Pastors, equipping them through trainings towards the mission and conducting prayer for the 2021 Mission. Mobilization of evangelists and partners to participate in Dar Back-to-God Mission has as well been ongoing. In the month of May, a group of intercessors from different Churches gathered to purposely pray for the mission preparation and all programs at AEE-Tanzania.

In September, AE Uganda will have a mission in Jinja from 19th to 26th. The AE Team conducted a Vision Casting seminar for the mission where 52 leaders from Jinja City attended. This meeting brought together both the Anglican church leaders and Pentecostal church leaders in one house for the same purpose bridging the gap and dealing with misunderstandings that have always been there. Mobilization teams have been established and tasked to draft their strategies to aid achieving the mission targets. An overall steering committee with 18 members was constituted in May to help oversee the preparations. AE Uganda facilitated a training held in Entebbe for 120 evangelists by our partners in ministry who are planning a citywide mission in that city. The training was organized by the Joint Pastors Network in Entebbe city.

AE Southern Africa Region (AESAR) which is comprised of the Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe teams is set to hold a mission from 19th – 25th September in Zomba, Malawi. AE Malawi held three training sessions in Zomba ahead of the mission where 85 people were trained. The second phase of training the same group was set for the month of June. In April this year, task team leaders for the Zomba Leadership Mission were successfully appointed and a meeting with Church leaders in Zomba to review mission plans was held.

The AE Zambia team continues to go through the AE Manuals to adequately prepare for both the Kitwe and Lusaka mission scheduled for this year and next year respectively. The AE Zambia team visited Kitwe at the invitation of the Maranatha Pentecostal Assemblies of God church to help with the mobilization of the church for evangelism. Close to about 100 church members turned out for the evangelism outreach in Kalulushi.

In Ghana, the AE team is preparing to have a mission in Lome, Togo from the 15th to the 25th of October. An online meeting with the leaders in Togo was held earlier to aid preparations. The leaders were also able to meet the working committees in person. A HBE online training is scheduled for 30th June.

Preparation is ongoing for AE Ethiopia’s mission scheduled for 22nd – 26th December in Kotebe, North East  of Addis Ababa. Last month, the AE team held a Home Based Evangelism training as part of the preparations steps for the mission.