A Journey of Growth and Impact

“Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is!” Isaiah 12:4

As we celebrate 60 years of AE ministry and look ahead to the next 60 years of ministry, we have much to thank God for and indeed our initial response must and should be a celebratory shout saying, ‘Ebenezer!  Praise God!  Thus far the Lord has brought us!’

Let each one of us pause and take time to look back at the journey of AE from the 1960s to date, reflect and understand where we have come from and pray that the Lord will enable us to see a clear path ahead of us. I am reminded here, of God’s word to his people through prophet Jeremiah “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it” Jeremiah 6:16. Let’s walk in the path the Lord has set for us.

As one reflects and looks back, maybe from first hand ministry experience, or reading books and reports on AE, or talking to people, clearly the milestones and accomplishments of AE are evident and many. Now, our reflection today is to bring us back to the throne of God where we lay these accomplishments (mentioning but a few, and encouraging each one of us to add on as you pray) at his feet, praising him and acknowledging him for he is the one who has done it all.

We praise God for the vision bearer, who run with the vision. Michael Cassidy in his book “African Harvest” speaks of himself as an ordinary man called by God to do something pretty extraordinary and quotes Isaiah in reference to where AE must put its trust, “all. . .will be nothing more than the chariots of Egypt unless our basic trust is in God and his enabling power” Isaiah 31:1

  • We praise God for those brave young men in their 20s, some still students, who rallied around Michael to help lay the foundations by faith, of a ministry that was going to evangelizing all the cities of Africa.
  • We praise God for bringing together in unity and purpose, Michael and Festo, enabling the ministry to expand to East Africa and later to West Africa.
  • We praise God for the faithful servants of God who have ministered and preached with zeal the gospel of Christ to millions all over the partnership. These include team leaders, mission coordinators, social action coordinators, prayer coordinators, associate evangelists, worship leaders, volunteers the list is long.
  • We bless the Lord for the spirit of unity in diversity, across different races, different church backgrounds, different professions name it. Unity even in the midst of tensions and painful disagreements. “The possession of difficulties” as Michael puts it.
  • We praise God for the impact of AE ministry: Thousands of Souls saved through pan-african and national missions, church leaders trained and equipped in evangelism and discipleship, the young mentored and skilled, thousands reconciled, many empowered through transformational groups, children sponsored in school, to mention but a few.
  • We praise God for the many who continue to give selflessly and from their hearts to the cause of AE.

    What shall we say? Is it our doing? By no means. It is all the Lord, who says in John 15:5 “Apart from me you can do nothing”. This is God’s ministry.

As we look to the future, we continue to claim Africa for Jesus and must constantly be reminded of the Lords words “The harvest is great but the laborers are few” Matthew 11:37. Let us therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that AE will raise more laborers to bring in more harvest as we enter another season of ministry.

Assured Victory Regardless of Opposition

The are many open doors of opportunity for us, but there is opposition. Today I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 16:8,9. “I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened for me, and there are many who oppose me.”

Every opportunity has opposition to overcome. When Caleb and Joshua went into Canaan, they saw giants that needed to be overcome. We cannot and must not shrink back from opposition.  Adversaries are there to strengthen us and to equip us for what is beyond the doors of opportunity. God is there and has left adversaries as sparing partners to strengthen us and to sharpen our battle skills. Remember that Victory is only achieved after an intense Battle. So, in order to live Victorious lives, we need to fight the battles. Do not pray for them to be removed but rather that we go through and them and win to come out on the other side with a powerful testimony of the Power of God at work in and through us.

Remember our battle is not against flesh and blood but against powers of darkness and all manner of evil. Spiritual Warfare is how we win battles. Remember we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of our Testimony. God is developing a testimony for you as you pray before, during and after the battles. We must pray without ceasing in order to win the battle which is not ours but the Lord’s.

So today pray to battle the opposition so you can go through the many doors of opportunity God has provided for us. God wants to use you in His Kingdom to fulfil your destiny. Press towards the mark of the High calling which is in Christ Jesus.

Satan is coming against you while God is using it to train you for Greatness. Remember! Many are facing great opposition in these days. Jesús said be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. You are a winner. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Prayer: Father let the entrance of your Word bring light in the lives of all your intercessors. Amen

One Love, One Family, One Ministry

This year we reach the milestone of 60 years of ministry African Enterprise ministry on the continent of Africa, and not only in Africa, but many other parts of the world as also around the world as AE evangelists have travelled far and wide.

Those 60 years have seen an unparalleled change in society and technology.  The change is so great that the changes during the time of the AE ministry equate to all the changes since the time of Christ to the start of AE’s ministry. I recall the times when communications were so difficult and different.  Telephones were erratic (often due to the attraction of the copper wire in cables to thieves) to non-existent.  There was no such thing as the internet or mobile phones.  The fax machine which has now almost been phased out had yet to come in to use and computers were in their infancy and years off the era of the personal computer.

The one thing that has not changed and which was proclaimed then as it is proclaimed now was the great and wonderful fact that God loves us.  Despite all our feebleness and frailty, He loves us.  Indeed, he loves us so much that he was willing to send His son for us to pay the ultimate price on the cross on our behalf so that all who trust in Him should not suffer the consequences of their sin but instead, by adoption be brought into God’s family in the confidence that because Jesus broke the chains of death, we too who have surrendered our lives to Him have an eternal future with Him.

This is so simple and yet so profound and so powerful.  I have had the privilege of seeing people respond to this message across Africa and many other parts of the world. A couple of years before Covid began I was on mission in Southern India and had the joy of seeing many come forward.  Thankfully not because of any eloquence I might have had which I am sure was sadly lacking, but because of the simplicity of that message and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The great joy for me also as I look back on the 60 years is the inescapable fact that because of our adoption into God’s family we are consequently sisters and brothers in the same family.  We may have different backgrounds, come from different tribes, nations and cultures but we are one.  That I think is the great witness to the power of the gospel and the great witness of AE in its ministry.  It is why my late great colleague and friend Stephen Lungu could laugh and joke with each other and be comfortable in each other’s homes – because we were brothers.  In our days before we respectively surrendered our lives to Jesus, we would have been enemies.

This morning I was reading about Gideon (Judges 6-8) and his faithfulness and obedience to God as he reduced the number of men with him down to 300.  With those 300 he defeated the Midianite army.  Then sadly he later deviated by making a gold ephod that became an object of false worship by the Israelites.  It is a salutary reminder that we must ever be watchful in this changing world where even parts of the church have deviated from the truth, that we are ever called to be faithful and obedient to God.

1 John 5:1-5 reminds us that if we truly love God, we must be obedient to him and love each other.  That is what I hope and pray will continue to distinguish us as the AE ministry moves into the next generation.

God Keeps His Promises

Sixty years of life has brought many changes in politics, technology and society. Personally, it has also brought me many changes in both happy and challenging times which make me rely on God’s promises such as like Isaiah 46:4. There God says that even as our bodies have aged towards the days of ‘grey hairs’ He will sustain and carry us as He has always done.

As time goes by we learn what Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says: that all God’s times, early or later on are right for the season in which they occur. We learn by experience that every time is ‘beautiful’ i.e. suitable (v.11) even in those days when this is hard to see.

My prayer now is that as He has guided me in days gone by I will still be ready for him to ‘bear fruit in my old age’ (Psalm 14) and that all that I do for Him will be ‘fresh and green.’ His guidance has been with me as he has journeyed beside me over the years, even when this does not seem clear until the passing of time when I can thank Him for his wisdom and grace.

Remember that the Lord Jesus meant it when he said ‘I am with you always even to the end of the age.’

Reflecting with Joy, Looking Forward in Faith

My sister and I recently had to move our 91-year-old mother into assisted living from a cottage she had been living in for the past 11 years. My job was to go through our parents’ files and memorabilia dating back to the 1930s: letters, photos, newspaper clippings, genealogical records and more. There was no way to hang on to everything. I had to decide what to keep and what to discard.

Similarly, Paul writes to Timothy as he reflects back on his life, highlighting what is most important for his young disciple to focus on. First, he admonishes Timothy and, by extension, us in AE to “not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim 1:8) and to be aware that sufferings will come our way. Yet, Paul assures us, “He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Tim 1:12).

Second, Paul encourages us to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:1) and to think of ourselves as soldiers or athletes who are able to endure hardship and are focused on the task before them. He instructs us to “shun profane and idle babblings” (2 Tim 2:16), “youthful lusts” (vs 22) and “foolish and ignorant disputes” (vs 23), “knowing that they generate strife” (vs 22).

Third, Timothy is admonished not to be deceived but to focus on the Holy Scriptures, which Paul says “is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16).

Finally, Paul sums up his instructions by writing, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season” and to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim 4:2, 5).

As we reflect on 60 years of AE ministry, we can rejoice that in so many ways we have embraced these Gospel priorities and look forward in faith to ensure that we hang onto them with renewed fervour.

Taking Hold Of The Great Commission

Isaiah 51: 1-3

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord:Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

We must look to the roots of our faith and reflect on its History.

Genesis 12: 1-3

God promised Abraham that he, and his descendants would be greatly blessed. BUT… He was to be a blessing to the nations. The two commitments of the Covenant.  The deal was cut between God and Abraham

1 Corinthians 13; 13

And the greatest of these is love.

I look back over the last 60 years of AE.

At the beginning in 1962 I was then still at school in Eldoret (Kenya).  We were excited about the move to independence/uhuru.  We raised a new flag and were taught a new anthem.  It was coming.  As an idealist I looked forward to a new vibrant and confident country and continent, that could be truly African and improve the lot of all her people.  This passion remains with me today.  I was delighted when I unexpectedly met some African Enterprise people at a conference in Malaysia.  Africans wanting to not only introduce Jesus to people in The Cities of Africa but also and importantly they longed for societal transformation. I served African Enterprise from 1995 until 2016.  My vision is still for an African led and managed ministry that is truly transformational.

Jesus, the Carpenter from Nazareth came for all humankind. We are the children Abraham  (by faith and adoption) and must pass the blessing on.  The enormous Love of God should drive us all forward.  It’s never about statistics and numbers it’s about the transformative Love of God.  Jesus did not come for a select group but for all of us.  He first loved us.

African Enterprise can be truly revitalised and be truly African by approach and culture.  It can also be truly Christian. Let’s grab hold of the Great Commission and share the great love of God throughout the continent and truly accept the Abrahamic covenant.  “blessed to be a blessing to the nations”.

In October I penned a poem called “The Greatest of These is Love”.  The final stanza appears below:

The greatest of spiritual gifts is love

It remains forever

Can we not only accept God’s Love

But pass it on to those we meet?

Can we love, and not condemn, all people

Through the work of The Carpenter of Nazareth

And the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of God?

That gift is available to us all.

God’s abiding love

Let’s embrace it?

Let’s use it and share that gift?

God’s abiding love.