For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
Kenya Mombasa West Mission – 2 – 12 June – 382,880 – heard the Gospel – 20,492 saved by grace.
Rwanda Rwamagana Mission – 18 – 24 July – 60,251 – heard the Gospel – 4,815 saved by grace.
Uganda Festo Kivengere Mission, 24 – 31 July, happening now.
What a joyous moment it is when someone gives their life to Christ, when someone decides to follow Jesus. After a mission, I tend to stare at the numbers for a bit and just say thank you to Jesus for His grace, compassion, forgiveness and salvation. Each one of those numbers is a person like you and me. Long before our missioners reached the people from the stories below, God was there. Preparing their hearts and making sure they were on the right place at the right time where they could respond to the Gospel. All by the grace of God.
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. – Luke 15:7
Stories from the mission field:
Located in a quarry area in Likoni, Ebenezer Worship Centre church sits in a unique raised place. Construction in the area was supplied by stones extracted from a quarry area which is now dormant. Settlements have now been set up in the area and Ebenezer Worship Center, led by Pastor Naomi Furaha, is their worship center. The fellowship has unique neighbors, drug addicts. The addicts spend their days in a cave situated just below the church – a cave formed due to the former quarry activity. Pastor Naomi, who is also part of the Likoni Pastors Fellowship, invited them for a hot cup of tea and a snack. Together with missioners at the Reach Mombasa and Diani Mission, they managed to feed 38 addicts – feeding them with the Word as well. Many of the addicts admitted that they were interested in a new life but the bondage has kept them there. The missioners led them in prayers with 12 giving their lives to Christ. Having their church as “their home”, they were receptive of the idea to go to church and Pastor Naomi mentioned that she will remain dedicated to reach out to them. With the church above and drug den below, the positioning seems as if holiness sits above while evil lingers below. What is unique is that those below are looking up – looking up to a new life in Christ. We pray that these addicts will be freed of their bondage and that through them, many will get to turn to Christ.
This is a new convert with joy – Niyomungeri i Emmanuel. He is 31 years and a father of 2 kids.
“I went through life’s challenges in my family at the extent of stopping my studies. This made me feel hopeless in life. Because of this kind of life, I took a decision of engaging in drug abuse leading to me being addicted by them. In the midst of this kind of life, I got married but my marriage was not successful at all just because of my bad behaviours. I ended up in divorce and I remained hopeless and vulnerable. But today, when the preacher was sharing his testimony about his journey of salvation, my heart was convicted that I have to repent and be saved and turn to my creator. After hearing the gospel, I have a plan of joining the local church so that I may continue growing in Christ. I want to bring back my lovely wife because she was innocent; I believe that she will respond positively to my repentant request.”
During School Ministry at the Bishop Festo Kivengere Girls School, the school was filled with angelic voices singing spirit filled praise and worship. The students were dancing and surrendering their lives to Christ. The Holy Spirit was ever present and many of the students testified to the Glory of God.
At Trinity College, the young students were thirsty for the word of God. Ministering to them, Oscar Sabit encouraged the students to remain focused on the right path referencing his teachings from 1 Peter 1:24-25. By the end of his sermon, several students gave their lives to Christ.
Thank you our beloved supporter, for your prayers that carry our missioners through every day, thank you for praying for our missions and for every new believer. Continue to pray with us for the upcoming missions in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia. Pray for every new believer, that they will be connected to a church where they can learn and grow in their faith.
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.
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.
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.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17),
As we draw towards the end of 2021, we want to thank all our faithful supporters for donations, prayers and partnerships that has enabled us to take the Gospel into Africa this year. Thank you to everyone who shared our mission with your church, small group, friends and on social media and who encouraged us along our path. We could not have done it without you. At AE we give thanks for countless blessings received and rejoice in the impact you have helped make in the lives of thousands of people.
As we move into the new year, we value your prayers and support over Christmas and the new year to help all our teams plan missions with certainty. Our 60th anniversary missions planning processes are well underway, including establishing mission outreach in Togo, Zambia and South Sudan. This is a significant move forward for AE to reach out into more countries and cities of Africa, and your support is vital to mobilise churches for mission in each of these areas. Africa is one of the youngest continents on earth, so strengthening our Foxfires youth evangelism teams is vital. Our development programs are assisting hundreds of vulnerable women and children to move off the streets and provide for their families, and water and sanitation programs are saving lives of the very young in slum areas.
In the past year we have seen 2,700 enrollments in the pastor training program. Praise God that through your support we are able to provide online theological education with the support of local and Australian teachers.
We Thank God for:
- Faithfulness to the Great commission, equipping workers in Africa within God’s harvest field
- The readiness to share the Gospel in word and deed to the glory of God, every single day in Africa
- Our partnership in Christ to reach out to all nations in Africa, through all challenges, recognising the very great needs and doing something about it.
- Our supporters, and raising up of support and prayers to fund mission and development in Africa
Please pray with us for:
- Those reached with the Good News, who have made a decision for Jesus, to be faithful in meeting together for church, discipleship and outreach.
- Funding of all our future missions, development, and for the AE coordinators and evangelists
- For all those suffering through conflict, poverty, disease, economic and environmental issues – that God will show a path through of hope, certainty in Christ and healing.
- The leaders of Africa, through the love of God, that all Christians can live a godly and peaceful life dedicated to glorifying God.
- For all team leaders, support office staff, boards and volunteers that they might be blessed in the love of God and sow peace in Christ for a harvest of righteousness
15 December 2021HappinessFirst 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!”
Dear 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.
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.
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 dimittis. HealthI 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
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