The AE Vision That Has Led To This Day

I guess the very heart of the AE vision that has brought us to this great sixtieth anniversary day would lie in the very nature, context and wording of the Lords clear call to me in Madison Square Garden in 1957 during the Billy Graham New York crusade.

Can you imagine. I was visiting relatives in USA during a summer vacation during my university studies in England and was invited by a student in Fuller seminary to go down to some of the crusade meetings. There, night after night, I heard Billy Graham faithfully and clearly preaching the Gospel. I was touched and stirred. In fact, inspired.

One night after one of the meetings I was down in the basement of Madison Square Gardens where respondees were being counselled. I was pensively walking up and down and reflecting on what I was seeing. Then, like Isaiah, I can say, “I heard the voice of the Lord…” (Isaiah 6: 8)

It was a pivotal moment in my life and the Word was clear and unmistakable. “Why not in Africa? I want you to do evangelism in the cities of Africa.” Over and out! I was startled, even shocked, because I only saw myself as capable of evangelizing young school boys as a Christian School master and I was terrified of public speaking.  I tried to protest my inability but the message of the Voice persisted and that night I left Madison square gardens a called man.

And it was on that word and that experience that AE came forth with its vision “To Evangelize the cities of Africa through word and deed in partnership with the Church.” The Lord brought many others to share in this call and that is why 60 years later we are here celebrating the anniversary of the launching of our ministry in the mission to Maritzburg in 1962.

Praise His Name!

Tribute to Ebenezer Sikakane

It was with real sadness that we heard of the passing to glory of our very dear friend, and long time colleague Ebenezer Sikakane. But our sadness is overwhelmed by our realisation that he is with his Lord whom he served in a distinguished manner all his life. In this lies the wonderful comfort of those who are left behind.

We extend our deepest sympathy to his second wife, Emlinah whom he married a number of years after his first wife, Emily, had gone to be with the Lord. So to Emlinah and all the family plus grandchildren we extend our deepest sympathy and express our huge gratitude for this great man of God, husband, father and grandfather.

Our original team first met Ebenezer Sikakane when we came to Pietermaritzburg for our very first mission in 1962. Ebenezer, a theologian, musician, writer and lecturer at Union Bible Institute brought to the city-hall the amazing UBI choir which he had trained and which delighted audiences on many occasions. The whole team loved Ebenezer and dearly hoped he would one day join us.

When the team returned to South Africa at the end of 1964 and were to conduct our first mission on return to Ladysmith in Northern Natal, Ebenezer was invited to join the mission as a volunteer. Ebenezer was one of the stars of the show and so loved his ministry with AE that he was ready to respond positively to our invitation to join us.

I personally loved ministering with Ebenezer who proved himself not only the best Zulu interpreter in the country but one of the greatest Zulu preachers in all South Africa. Ebenezer served the ministry with distinction, and I had the privilege of having him accompany me in ministry in a number of schools, in Egypt and then in Latin America (Panama and Nicarugua). In 1970 he and I preached together for three weeks in a mission to Soweto.

In Nicaragua he was always very amused when we were travelling with Bishop Festo Kivengere and a mixed up pastor introduced him to a meeting as “Bishop Sugarcane”!!

Sadly in the late 80’s in South Africa he felt so overwhelmed and depressed by the apartheid system, and fearful of being detained, that he emigrated to Canada where he became a baptist pastor, and our representative in Toronto and remained part of the AE fellowship in North America from that day to this.

He was a lovely man of deep godliness with the gifts of friendship and laughter and he won people to Christ wherever he went. We do indeed bless the Lord for his life and again send our deep sympathies to the beautiful Christian family he has left behind.

God’s Faithfulness in Forgiveness

Exodus 34: 6b -7a “I am the Lord. The Lord is a God who shows mercy and is kind. The Lord doesn’t become angry quickly. The Lord has great love and faithfulness. The Lord is kind to thousands of people. The Lord forgives people for wrong and sin and turning against him. (Int. Children’s Bible)

Reflecting on 60 years of African Enterprise, I remember hearing Bishop Festo Kivengere speak when I was a teenager in England. “Walking in the light” was the message of the man with a very dark skin, reminding those with white skins, that all our hearts were black – all needed to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus to purify us from all sin and be able to have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7).

Festo came to Melbourne with Michael Cassidy in 1978, and with my husband Malcolm, I went to the first African Enterprise meeting, beginning our prayer commitment to AE.

The Lord revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai is the One preached for sixty years in AE. As we begin this Gold Anniversary year, God’s faithfulness to forgive is my point for praise.

“But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them, he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 The Passion Translation).

May we allow His light to search and cleanse our hearts, so that we may be reconciled to one another and able to demonstrate Jesus by His and our love on display together in deed and word.

One of Festo’s favourite stories reminds us of how good the Lord is at fixing us:

“One day a little girl sat watching her mother working in the kitchen. She asked her mummy, ‘What does God do all day long?’ For a while the mother was stumped, but then she said, ‘Darling, I’ll tell you what God does all day long. He spends his whole day mending broken things.'”

Know Our Team: Simon Mundu

Mr. Simon Mundu Nzivwa serves at African Enterprise as the International Operations Manager. Married to Grace Kakii, they are blessed with three children: Euphemia, Elijah and Emmanuel.

Simon also currently works as a Council member at the Murang’a University of Technology where he also chairs the university’s Finance and General Purpose Committee. He is also a board member at the Kitui County Assembly.

Mr. Mundu possesses exceptional leadership qualities and has held different leadership positions in the past. These include; Chairperson at Uttermost Evangelists Team, Church Treasurer, Chairperson of the International Conference Committee in Kitui County and the Coordinator of Vision Casting for Kitui County in Kenya.

Simon fellowships at Deliverance Church in Embakasi, Nairobi where he serves as the Men’s Pastor.

Simon is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree (PhD) in Finance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

He loves offering assistance to people especially the youth and he takes great delight in engaging in discussions on faith and other life matters. He also loves watching football.

The Threatened Miracle

The Threatened Miracle of South Africa’s Democracy is a highly educational and inspirational historical documentary based on the book A Witness For Ever written by Michael Cassidy in 1995. Michael Cassidy was privy to many behind the scenes events as they were unfolding. The documentary includes statements and viewpoints of many of the main role players such as Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani, Constand Viljoen, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Frank Mdlalose and Danie Schutte  – the then minister of Home Affairs and in charge of the 1994 election.  Michael Cassidy was also involved in many behind the scenes initiatives to support and promote the peaceful transition in 1994 and these come out in the production. Also included are the thoughts of younger generation leaders who bring insight into our context today. Michael Cassidy’s habit of journaling daily and staying abreast of international and local events makes this documentary rich in previously uncelebrated historical content which forms part of our collective heritage. And, yes, he did in a unique way watch the miracle of our democracy unfold. Frans Cronje and his team have brilliantly captured the heart and nuances of our convulsive but extraordinary history. The documentary is intended to remind South Africans of the complexity, pain and beauty of what happened in our land in the run up to that miraculous election. It also strongly cautions us not to throw our miracle away and it inspires us to dream together of a great and peaceful future as everyone “does their bit”. It is the story about how ordinary people can change history forever. The Threatened Miracle of South Africa’s Democracy offers a refreshing, balanced, comprehensive and hope-filled perspective on South Africa’s current context.