African Enterprise (AE) was recently blessed by an anointed offering shared by 2013 Foxfire, Thanduxolo Christian (Thando). He serenaded the congregation at a Tuesday morning devotion at AE with a song that rained down from an open heaven. He gave testimony to the fact that he was merely the vessel when first playing and singing the song which he later entitled, Jesus Arise. “I was playing piano during a youth service in 2011 at the YMCA Chapel, we were singing You are Alpha and Omega and suddenly it faded and I began playing the cords to this foreign song which, the music was then accompanied by the words ‘Jesus arise in this place…’ The congregation joined in singing and I stopped singing after chanting the words ‘Let Your power be shown…’ at this point I began praying and there began a mighty revival as people who previously couldn’t speak in tongues began doing so, people were crying as they were touched by the Holy Spirit, demons began manifesting…, it was the most powerful moment I have ever experienced, one that I will never forget.” It was Thando’s third time sharing his song at AE’s devotion and in keeping with its origin, a powerful anointing was present among the congregants. Thando continues to write lyrics and music and says that he plans on one day producing an album.
“How do we as Christian leaders walk together to bring a prophetic voice of prophetic action to the nation?” Miles Giljam, AESA Team Leader.
The South African Christian Leadership Indaba was held in Edenvale, Johannesburg on January 22 to 24th to address the above question. In essence, the conference set out to create a platform for conversation between leaders who are concerned about the current and future state of South Africa. In attendance were 140 delegates within leadership from the fields of politics, business and the church. AE, The Evangelic Alliance of South Africa, Kairos South Africa, The South African Council of Churches and the Christian Leaders Forum were among the organizations that had a hand in making the Indaba possible. Four main objectives had been ear-marked as the bases of conversation said AESA CEO, Miles Giljam, these included: hearing the Lord speak, mapping out a clear vision for the nation, designing a process that will produce a way forward and addressing the issues of leadership and unity both within Christian bodies and the country as a whole. He added that he was pleased with the outcomes, as a clear path has now been carved for a journey that leads to the fulfillment of a unified goal. A vision for 18months, 5 years and 30 years had also been discussed and plans are underway for a second meeting to be held at the end of February to solidify some of the discussions from the Indaba.
This is what the attendees had to say about the conference:
“God is now calling the church, saying ‘This is your time to take responsibility.’ We can no longer hide and think that the country will find its way. The church is there to show the way, the truth and to help people overcome the patterns that are destructive and destroying our nation. When we now leave our task is to uproot some things, strengthen some things, plant new things, call the elderly to complete their generation, call the middle age group to do their part because this is their productive years and call the youth to follow us.” Elizabeth Jordaan.
“This conference is going to have an immense impact on the broader South Africa because all who care have come to one unified vision of how to go about in order to have a prophetic voice in post-Apartheid South Africa. Jointly we can do much more than individual churches. The Lord will give us new vision of how to attend to the social and economic injustices in post-Apartheid South Africa.” Mary-Anne Van Huffel-Plaaitjies, Moderator of United Reform Church in Southern Africa.
“[This was a] wonderful opportunity to unite the body of Christ. While we were here God showed me that this is the beginning of awesome things to come, we only need to walk with Him in faith and He will lead us and unite us and He will solve all of the problems of the world starting here. He will feed the nations, educate them, but it’s going to cost us, we must surrender everything to Him.” Marius Brandt,
“This is an important moment, as churches we have rare moments where we have opportunity to do something about the unity of the church and this was one of those moments.” Moss Ntlha, Kairos South Africa
“This is one of the processes where we must relook at the role of the church especially if we feel there is a gap that we are not filling or there are issues that the church has become less involved in. This conference is able to talk to the gap. A lot of people are saying that since 1994 the church has been relatively quiet, it [the conference] is the beginning of a process and it sets the process going.” Spiwo Xapile, James Zweli Memorial Church in Guglethu
“I am excited about the level of enthusiasm that this conference was received, everyone was a willing participant of the process. [Leaving here] I have 3 prayers: Firstly for leadership, that God would raise up different kinds of leaders in different areas; secondly the role of the church in society, clarity of what we can do together and thirdly for the next generation, for a ministry of discipleship, that nobody will think of themselves as a leader on their own but we will all work together. ” Rene’ August, St. Aidens in Lansdown, Cape Town
“It was a kairos moment, there is something happening in the nation that is pushing the church to act.” Miles Giljam, AESA CEO
“[Coming in to this conference] we want to acknowledge our own failures. We have started a process towards a 30year vision, we have committed to walking together on this road, we are committing ourselves to prayer…, we want to affirm actions and initiatives that are already taking place, we commit to engage with leaders from across the spectrum….. to broaden this process. The current leadership…will take these plans forward, beginning with a meeting on February 21st.” Peter Tarantal
“I am encouraged because you must remember we were a nation that was at war with itself and so people carry the wounds and need healing and we have been called by God to bring that process of healing and transformation…Secondly wea re not asked to be the voice of the people but we are asked to propel our people to find their own voice…” Bishop Seoka Seero
“We have acknowledged from the beginning of this meeting that crisis has brought us together, crisis in our country and crisis in the church because we failed to stand as a united Christian witness in the land. Crisis speaks of two things, danger and opportunity, and one of the things we have been focusing on is the opportunity we as Christians have to make a new solution. I am wonderfully encouraged and fascinated by the quality, competence and kind of people that we have here [at this conference]” Jerry Pillay
“…The Lord has been bring His people together and continues to do so. Most of us who have had some responsibility probably feel that we have been failing leaders, that we have not done very well and that somehow our capacities are such that we could only help get the body of Christ to the Jordan. It would take a new generation of Joshua’s to help the body of Christ and South Africa to cross the Jordan and that there would be new challenges in the ongoing efforts to conquer the promised land. For some of us who have have struggled and maybe failed, it was only proper that the Lord would let us see the generation of Joshua’s rise up…” Dr Michael Cassidy, Founder of AE
Hundreds of Pietermaritzburg residents gathered together in the city hall last Tuesday to pray for PMB. This meeting was unusual in that it was initiated, organized and hosted by the youth committee of the ‘Choose-Zikhethele’ mission to Pietermaritzburg, a joint initiative between African Enterprise and the churches of PMB.
The meeting opened with vibrant singing of both modern praise and worship songs and older, well-loved hymns. Those gathered were then led to pray for the city of Pietermaritzburg in the areas of relationships, education, morality and leadership. Interspersed throughout the programme were testimonies of youngsters who had left behind lives of promiscuity, drugs and hopelessness and chose to walk a different path in Christ Jesus.
‘Choose-Zikhethele’ is a colloquial Zulu term meaning ‘the choice is yours’. The citizens of PMB can choose honesty over corruption, purity over promiscuity, responsibility over carelessness, life in Christ over death, the city itself being molded and shaped by the choices of its citizens.
The prayer evening was part of the mission which will extend throughout 2012 and beyond, with an intensive week of focus from the 12-19 August 2012.
On Thursday 8 March, AE’s international CEO, Stephen Lungu, preached at UBI’s (Union Bible Insitute) chapel service. He was met with great excitment, especially from the students who are using his book ‘Out of the Black Shadows’ as a text book for their English Literacy class.
Mr Murray from UBI welcomed Stephen in Chichewa, much to the uproarious enthusiasm of the other students.
Stephen then shared a brief message based on the themes of the book he is currently working on ‘Treasures of Darkness’, in which he deals with his journey in forgiveness and inner healing.
He shared how we can experience God’s blessing even in our times of darkness because He, in His love for us, uses these times to discipline us. He shared around the themes of: the Discipline of Delay; the Discipline of Discrimination; the Discipline of Discomfort; amongst others. The central theme being that often in times of great trial God is doing something within us for our good, and using difficult circumstances to position us for His Glory and our good.
Students come from all over South Africa and beyond, with pastors from Lesotho, Nigeria and Zambia joining the group. They come from numerous denominations and churches, working in various ministries as pastors, women’s workers, choir masters and youth pastors.
Thabo Phenduka, who has already completed 2 of the 6 subjects making up the preliminary level of the certificate, says “I like this course for the simple reason that it is teaching us what is the content of the Bible. It is very encouraging to be taught how to preach what is in the Bible, and not just stories that are not in the Bible.”
George Naidoo, who is attending for the first time, says “I can truly declare that the course is both instructional and inspirational. I have benefitted and I highly recommend it.”
The courses are generally wonderful times of fellowship and learning, and already there is great hilarity as people get to know each other and encourage each other in their service of the Lord.
For more information about enrolling in the Preliminary Certificate of Theology, an internationally acclaimed course administered by Moore Theological College in Sydney Australia, contact Darien Khlentzos at 0713676711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With Pietermaritzburg being known as ‘The City of Choice’ the steering committee felt that this name was apt, as we are presenting the people of Pietermaritzburg with the opportunity to choose Christ and the resurrection life that He brings. The scripture for the mission is taken from Joshua 24:15, “… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24: 15). See below some updates on the mission process from some of the mission committees:
At the latest Prayer Committee meeting at the Church of the Vow in Longmarket Street, the committee took time to submit themselves on their knees before God. They prayed specifically against the stronghold of colonialism in PMB. As someone of British descent, Mrs Orton stood vulnerable and broken before the committee to ask for forgiveness. She laid her fears bare in front of all and this opened people’s hearts to cry out to God. The Church of PMB needs to be one. Colonial attitudes need to be forgiven.
In response a young Xhosa lady prayed and encouraged people to also feel free to celebrate their heritage and different cultures, not to feel guilty for their diversity. “It is not sinful to be White, Xhosa, Afrikaans, or Zulu – pride is the sin,” she said.
At the meeting it was felt that there was a shift in the atmosphere, in the spiritual realm as they prayed – unity will now flow in PMB. It was felt that the tears shed during prayer were washing away the blood on which the church, and the nation of South Africa, had been built. The venue of the Church of the Vow being symbolic as it was built to commemorate a famous Boer victory of the Zulu.
The Prayer Committee brings people of different race groups and denominations together. These are people who share a passion for prayer, intercession and who love their city – Pietermaritzburg. This Committee is lead by Pastor Daya Chetty, Pastor Alan Bester, Mrs Buyisile Cele and Ronelle Muragan. They meet once a month and have many exciting prayer events planned for the year. For more information please email Ronelle on email@example.com
The next City wide prayer event is planned for 13 March 2012, 7 pm. Venue TBC.
The youth committee meet on the 18 February at God’s Family Life Centre in PMB. There was great excitement over the coverage of the Natal Witness of the youth prayer march they had organised at the end of January! Some of the main areas of focus going forward for the Youth Committee, are the use of the Forgood social media platform, planning events in their zones in which to engage youth in churches to get involved in the mission process, or to bring along non-believing friends, and the prayer rally on the 13 March.
Forgood: The committee will be mobilising youth to use the Forgood social media platform (www.forgood.co.za) to connect with others in the city and to better learn the needs of the city. It is hoped that this media platform can be used to add momentum to a movement ‘for good’ across the city.
Prayer Rally: The next city-wide prayer rally will be held on Tuesday 13 March. This time the meeting will be organised and lead by the Youth Committee, in partnership with the Prayer Committee. We are expectant to see how their fresh approach will energise the prayer life of the city. One of the key areas of attention for this prayer rally is to insure that more cultures and churches are represented and catered for.
Future Meetings: If you would like to join the Youth Committee at any of their future meetings please make note of the following dates:
17th March – 7am – Breakthrough Church (43 Boom Street)
21st April – 7am – God’s Family Life Centre (271 Boshoff Street)
19th May – 7am – City Harvest Church – (160 Church Street)
SOCIAL DEEDS & JUSTICE COMMITTEE
The Social Deeds and Justice committee also met on Saturday 18 February. Ps Vincent who is heading up this committee said that their main objective is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and they hope to do this by ‘showing’ the people the Good News through deeds. They seek to do this through addressing key areas such as:
HIV/AIDS: Partnering with existing organisations and initiatives, this sub-committee is hoping to organise HIV Counselling and Testing Events, monthly prayer meetings for those infected or affected, as well as drama workshops to facilitate expression and communication.
Education: Ps Sinatra, an ex school principal shared his passion to see educational excellence in schools by motivating teachers and learners. As a pilot project, with the help of the Department of Education, they will identify the top 4 schools, visit them and find out what their best practices are, and then to visit the worst 4 schools and share this with them: seeking to affirm what is working and to build up and strengthen what is weak.
Food and clothing bank: Through synergising with others already hard at work in the city, this sub-committee hopes to see a central distribution centre set up where people can bring their contributions and from which they can be distributed to those in need.
Justice: This sub-committee will focus on women and child abuse and hopes to provide counselling and a safe place for victims to speak out.
Health: The focus of this sub-committee is on the whole person and their relationship within their communities, as well as to help churches minister to health related issues in their communities.
The Disability Committee also met on Saturday 18 February at St John’s Church. Barbara Watt from AE’s disAbility Connexion shared some background on the mission to Pieternaritzburg and discussed how the disabled of the city could be accommodated to serve in the mission and how those who are disabled who had not heard the Good News could be reached. Some ideas discussed were the use of websites such as ‘Ramp up’ and also providing ‘Testimony Training’ to Christian disabled people to prepare them for the mission. If you would like to be involved with this committee please email Barbara on firstname.lastname@example.org.
AE promoted our Foxfire programme to learners at a careers day hosted by Hilton College on Friday 17 February. This event was sponsored by the Vula Programme in conjunction with PROTEC Pietermaritzburg.
Five to six hundred grade 12 learners attended the event and the following schools were represented: Nsikayethu CS School, Russell High, Haythorne Secondary, Asibemunye High, Injoloba Secondary, Shayabantu High and M. L. Sultan.
The day started with presentations to the leaners by UKZN, DUT and Umgungundlovu FET. The learners then went on to learn more about 30 odd companies and organizations which had display stands.
AE’s stand was cheerfully manned by Pros Ndimande, our corporate fundraiser, and Jessica and Malusi from the Foxfire team, who engaged extremely well with the learners. It was great that our representatives were bilingual, as most of the learners spoke Zulu as their 1st language.
At the AE display stand learners were given a flyer informing them about the Foxfire programme along with contact details, as well as the Student Edition of Faith for Daily Living.
Around 50 learners signed up wanting to join the Foxfire programme in 2013, which was very encouraging.