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“Hope for One Million” as AE Southern Africa Region is Launched

Date: 6th December 2019

 

Seated in the hall at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Lusaka-Zambia, where the African Enterprise Southern Africa Region (AESAR) was launched, Rev. Dr. Pukuta Mwanza follows the proceedings with a sense of fulfilment and gratitude. In many ways, the vision culminating in this launch was greatly boosted by his involvement. As the then General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Dr. Mwanza was African Enterprise’s main points-person as the Lusaka Leadership mission of 2017 was planned and executed. 

Although this was not the first AE mission in Lusaka, it became a watershed moment that has seen Zambian Christian leaders more closely involved with African Enterprise. They have sponsored dozens of volunteers to AE missions in various cities around the Continent. It has been a mutually beneficial partnership as AE ministry has grown, and the churches in Lusaka have been enriched and strengthened.

Joshua Chongo is a Zambian church leader who, besides participating in the Lusaka Leadership Initiative, has since participated as a volunteer evangelist in AE missions in other countries. This year, he was one of the twenty-two volunteers from Zambia who joined the AE Kenya team for their Mombasa North mission. His greatest joy in the Mombasa mission was to lead three Muslims to the Lord, an experience he had never had, and did not consider likely. His involvement with AE has significantly impacted his ministry. He says: “When I came back from Mombasa, I was on fire; my passion for evangelistic outreach grew tremendously. I am excited at the privilege that has been bestowed upon the nation of Zambia, to host the Regional office.”

Dr. Mwanza views the launch of AESAR as a fulfilment of the words of Psalm 133, where the unity of brethren in the three countries brings eternal blessings upon their people. “Besides the three countries,” he says, “the region is strategically positioned to reach out with the gospel to at least eight other nations with which the three countries share borders, culture and resources.”

In a coincidence clearly illustrative of divine guidance, AE’s engagement with the church in Zambia corresponded with the “beyond our boundaries” initiative across the entire Partnership. This is the encouragement of National Teams to reach out to their neighbouring countries where there are no AE Teams. It also involves National Teams working together on joint missions to enhance impact through collaborative efforts and combining resources. The Lusaka leadership mission was organised by AE International and AE Malawi, with some of the facilitators coming in from Zimbabwe. 

Some of the cities that have been reached through collaborative efforts in recent years

 

This desire to harness our impact through collaborative effort led to the “Hope For One Million” (HF1M) initiative. In this strategy, AE Malawi and AE Zimbabwe agreed to work together in one team, roping in Zambia as a third member.  They seek to harness resources between the three countries for greater impact: to reach 1 million people with the gospel by 2025, and more thereafter.

This week, following approval of the plan by the AE International Council 2019, the inaugural AESAR summit has been held in Lusaka. Board members and Team Leaders from AE Malawi and AE Zimbabwe, joined by representatives from the church in Zambia, have been deliberating on the future of AE work in the region. This led to the signing of a joint commitment by the chairpersons of the two Boards. 

The Boards of AE Malawi and AE Zimbabwe, led by their chairpersons, Mr. Rangford Chokhotho and Mr. Absolome Gatsi respectively, share a passionate commitment to enhance AE impact in the region through this joint initiative.

Bishop Paul Msusu, the current chairman of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, sees in this initiative the fulfilment of Christ’s desire and prayer in John 17; that by the unity of believers, the world would be drawn to faith. He foresees the AESAR becoming a catalyst of renewed evangelistic effort across the entire region. “Sometimes, even the best of Christians relax and lose focus on God’s heart for missions. This initiative has resoundingly reminded us of the Lord’s agenda, and I am confident the church in the region will arise and make its mark in the fulfilment of God’s agenda for our cities.”

In his keynote address at the launch, Bishop Dr. Joel Imakando observed that “The great commission was given to ordinary, weak, doubtful and questioning believers. This vision comes at a time when many of our churches are weak and dying as a result of false teachings and lack of passion for the lost. The mushrooming of false prophets thrives among those who have not been evangelised and discipled.” Calling on fellow church leaders to embrace the vision for the region, he concluded that “God is counting on our obedience to reach our nations and our neighbours, and we welcome the partnership of AE in responding to this call.”

Bishop Imakando leads other church leaders in praying for and launching the AESAR with its HF1M vision.

 

Similarly, Hon. Dr. Malama, a Zambian Member of Parliament who has also been involved with AE in various initiatives, sees the regional team as a major step towards bringing salvation, peace and development to the people of the region.

AE Malawi Board Chair, Mr. Rangford Chokhotho, presents to Hon. Malama a copy of Michael Cassidy’s book, “Footprints in the African Sand.”

 

We join together in welcoming AE Zambia into the AE family, and celebrating and thanking God for the birth of the regional team, which will see more reached with the gospel of Christ. It is our prayer that these efforts will bear great, lasting fruit, to the glory of God.

Bishop Imakando leads other church leaders in praying for and launching the AESAR with its HF1M vision.

 

Similarly, Hon. Dr. Malama, a Zambian Member of Parliament who has also been involved with AE in various initiatives, sees the regional team as a major step towards bringing salvation, peace and development to the people of the region.

 

AE Malawi Board Chair, Mr. Rangford Chokhotho, presents to Hon. Malama a copy of Michael Cassidy’s book, “Footprints in the African Sand.”

 

We join together in welcoming AE Zambia into the AE family, and celebrating and thanking God for the birth of the regional team, which will see more reached with the gospel of Christ. It is our prayer that these efforts will bear great, lasting fruit, to the glory of God.

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