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.
- 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.
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.
We say farewell to our AE Uganda interim team leader, Mr Edward Mubiru, who has served the AE family well since March 2020. He is succeeded by Rev. Canon Dr. Benson Baguma who was appointed as Team Leader of the AE Uganda office in March this year.
As AEE Uganda continues to plan for 2022, we have a citywide mission in Kabale city 10 – 30 July and our major 60th celebration mission planned for Kampala city (1 – 7 August). We also endeavour to establish mini-missions in the central regions where AEE is currently operating its social action programs.
After two years of lockdowns, our Nile Vocational Institutes (NVI) are finally able to reopen their doors again. The pandemic has had a severe impact on the students, with many having to stay home while suffering unemployment and sadly the loss of loved ones. The main focus for the re-opening of these institutes will be to establish our production centres, where courses will focus once again on teaching students to produce goods that they can sell at local markets. This will help provide significant income towards the institution’s costs.
The Milne Medical Centre (MMC) has continued to provide healthcare over the last two years, and has been seeing over 400 patients per month. But the high cost of medicines and transportation for staff has meant that services have been drastically reduced.The Centre urgently requires an operating theatre, as well an eye clinic and repairs to the ambulance. The MMC also desires to expand its community outreach, and repairs to the building are needed to enable more services to be provided.
Your prayers are vital to the continuation of AE’s work in Uganda, and we would love it if you would join with us in praying for the following:
- That God will keep our MMC staff, and NVI students and teachers in good health
- For the right people to fill several vacant positions at NVI
- For increased income to cope with the rising cost of living and repairs needed at MMC
- For wisdom for our AEE lawyer to resolve land issues on our Milne site
This year a major mission will be held in Kabale Uganda, from 24th-30th July as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations. This has historic significant for us as Kabale is the birthplace of the Late Bishop Festo Kivengere, joining team leader with Michael Cassidy in the 1970s, and is the place where his evangelism ministry really started. This mission is the pan-African initiative forming part of the 60th anniversary milestone for African Enterprise. We remember the East African revival and ask for your prayers to see the nation united in repentance and love for the gift of Jesus and our heavenward calling.
Our role at AE continues to be a catalyst for urban evangelism and social action activities, uniting the church to reach out to their communities in the footsteps of Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
A National Youth Convention will also be held in Makerere University with a special emphasis of reaching out to the youth who are tomorrow’s leaders. An estimated 30 000 youth will hear the Gospel through art, drama, preaching sessions, door to door activities and also through digital technology and social media. AEE will also showcase transformational leaders that have been impacted by ministry of AEE over the years.
- the Planning Committees for the Kabale Mission as well as the AEE 60th Steering Committees, that God may grant them special wisdom to plan these Mission events.
- a fresh anointing upon key preachers and evangelists of the for different events and programs.
- a great outpouring of the Spirit of God to touch many lives and draw them to Jesus Christ.
- financial and other resources needed for this year’s mission activities. An estimated budget of $40 000 will be needed for all Mission and 60th Anniversary events in Uganda.
- the anticipated large number of new believers to find effective discipleship programs in the local churches.
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.
Archbishop Fredrick Maaka has commended the recent mission week in Uganda by African Enterprise, saying “the many souls that came to the kingdom is a great testimony.” He also says the closing distance between different denominations, and the ability for churches to sharpen each other in discipleship is a wonderful thing.
The Archbishop believes that building a kingdom mindset is so important, and that unity in the church is powerful. His desire is to see the body of Christ working together, helping as many people as possible receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Mission Leader Juliet Matabira believes that the mission’s achievement of reaching over 100,000 for Jesus is a great success. “Seeing churches uniting to work together and getting people saved has been a great highlight for me,” Juliet says. “There are many more Pastors in Jinja that would welcome the opportunity to participate in our next mission.”