Your Support in Action: Lighting a fire in Africa

Foxfires was born in 1980 with Team Leader of AE Zimbabwe Chris Sewell’s vision: “What if we were to take young evangelists just out of Bible College, baptised by the Holy Spirit, and send them out into the world to preach the Gospel?” Sewell began with 16 young Christians and called it Operation Foxfires.

Now operating in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa, as well as Zimbabwe, the Foxfires team is hard at work, bringing the Gospel to the more than 225 million youth across the continent.

Every Foxfires member has a story to tell and an ability to relate to the young people they meet. Bongani says he has come through his own challenges.

“As I was growing up, I started doing wrong things. I started sniffing petrol and glue … just trying to fit in, you know? [But then] my friend … took me to church and my life was changed from that day forward.”

Now Bongani and the Foxfire team bring the Good News to students and children every day, through drama, dance, song, poetry and their personal testimonies.

“I’ve learned so much during my time as a Foxfire, and the training we’ve received in evangelism and Bible theology has been incredible! Every morning that I wake up in the Foxfire program is a morning I think, ‘Today God can change somebody’s life. I’m going to bring them that hope and that faith that made such a change in me – and help them see that there is more to life.’

“My life has been changed by this ministry and I’m so thankful for the donors across the world who have made it possible. Thank you.” 

Inspired to see more? Watch Bongani and the Foxfires team in action at www.https://africanenterprise.com/foxfires right now!

You have helped change thousands of lives at the Centre for Champions!

Your support has so far helped change more than 5,000 young lives through the Centre for Champions in Rwamagana, eastern Rwanda. Established by AE Rwanda in 2008, the centre offers holistic rehabilitation and development for former street children and youths as well as those from impoverished families.

You’ve helped thousands of young people learn literacy skills, graduate their primary or secondary school exams, and learn practical vocational skills in a number of trades – plumbing, auto mechanic, tailoring, hairdressing and many more. These youth are also mentored and receive emotional support from the trained mentors at the centre, giving them added stability as they rebuild their lives.

Delphine, 23, completed her vocational training in hospitality in 2008. She now works at the St Agnes Guest House in Rwamagana and says the Centre for Champions completely changed her life.

“My father and two siblings died during the 1994 genocide when I was very young. My other four siblings and I remained with our mother and we lived a life of great suffering … it was a big challenge for [my mother] to cater for all our needs single-handed, and many times we lived in lack.

“I dropped out [of school] in primary 5, and lost hope of ever going back. [But then] I learnt through a mentor [about] the Centre for Champions. Sitting in a classroom again put a new smile on my face … [our teachers] taught us the Word of God, and after several months I decided to receive Jesus in my heart, and I felt a very deep peace.”

Delphine says her life now looks incredibly different, thanks to your support!

“My heart is so full of joy. I became a Christian and finished school. I now earn some money, which enables me to meet my needs and I’m also able to offer some support to my mother on a regular basis.

“I’m so grateful to AE Rwanda and every person who gives generously to this organisation. [You have] put new hope in my life and a new smile on my face!”

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“I’m so grateful to AE Rwanda and every person who gives generously to this organisation.” –Delphine

Thank you for supporting thousands of vulnerable young people like Delphine at the AE Rwanda Centre for Champions – young people who are seeing their lives restored and given new hope as they learn, grow and meet Jesus!

Victims can heal the victims

A victim of inter-tribal violence in South Sudan has told how a survivor of even greater violence in neighbouring Rwanda has helped him forgive his enemies and seek peace through God.

James Jibi, who works with the police chaplaincy in Juba, was forced to hide his family indoors for several days as armed groups roamed the streets of the South Sudan capital.

When it was finally safe to venture outside, he found the streets littered with dead bodies.

Soon after this, James was encouraged to take part in an African Enterprise (AE) Peace and Reconciliation program, during which he met an AE facilitator from Rwanda.

The facilitator told James of the suffering he himself experienced during the 1994 Rwanda genocide, when 800,000 people were slaughtered in three months.

“I identified with his struggles”, James says, “and he helped me to overcome my own hurt”.

James says that through the AE program he found the freedom to forgive those for the terrible violence which took place in Juba.

“People in South Sudan are still recovering from what happened and there is still widespread mistrust and animosity.

“But I hope that with God’s help, we South Sudanese will manage to forgive one another and reconcile with one another”.

James now wants to be a “bridge” between opposing tribal groups.

“I am no longer prejudiced against other tribes and this helps me to minister to them in love”.

 

Thank you for supporting AE reconciliation projects.

If you would like to donate to other AE initiatives, please click here.

Story provided by Mike Heard, AE Supporter.

Showing Love in the Slums

#World toilet day

Showing Love in the Slums

Providing Toilet facilities in a Nairobi slum

Korogocho is one of the largest slums in Nairobi, Kenya with almost 200 000 people crammed into 1.5 square kilometers of the city.

“We’ve built between 120 and 130 toilets over the years in Korogocho,” said Edward of AE Kenya. “It’s a very poor neighbourhood where people don’t usually have the luxury of a toilet. You rarely find such facilities there.”

Recently, Edward took a team to visit the people of Korogocho and build a set of new toilet facilities for the community which can be seen below, next to the old block. At the bottom of the page, the new gutter system built through AE can be seen. It keeps water and sewage from flowing through peoples homes.

 

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“On this particular incident, we were met by the sheik, the leader of the local mosque – in a Christian context, he would be considered the pastor. He came forward, very excited to meet me, surrounded by many of his followers. They recognized that we were from African Enterprise and they greeted us and walked us through the estates with a sense of providing security. As strangers in that area, it would have been unsafe for us to walk there alone. It really moved me to see people of another faith coming to protect us, showing us love because of the impact we’ve had by building those toilets there.

” It really moved me to see people of another faith coming to protect us, showing us love because of the impact we’ve had by building those toilets there.”

I was struck by the friendship of the Muslims; usually we think about Muslims in confrontation and only think of presenting the gospel to them against the Islamic belief in the Koran. But I had never experienced anything like the friendliness that came out of the mosque that day. It still remains with me.”

Edward and his team were shown around the slum and then went to visit a small community of families in a Muslim homestead.

“We were going to officially hand over one of the toilets to a local homestead and we found that the majority of the Muslims in the homestead were women because the men had gone to work. It was just the women at home with the children. They gathered together and as the team leader for AE Kenya, I gave my little speech and talked about how we were handing the toilet over to them. There was quite a reaction of joy! I asked them, ‘Will you allow me to pray?’ and to my surprise they said yes. I told them, ‘I’m going to pray in the name of Jesus, whom you call in Islam Isa’ and they said,

DSC_8164‘It’s fine; go ahead and pray in the name of Isa.’

So I prayed and they quietly listened to what I had to say. I can tell you that my prayer was not really a prayer; it was an evangelistic message. I quoted John 3:16 and talked about God who has loved us to the extent that he has not only given us toilets, but has given his only son that when we believe in him we might have not only this toilet facility but have eternal life!

‘It’s fine; go ahead and pray in the name of Isa.’

I took my prayer as an opportunity to present the Gospel in a non-confrontational way to these Muslim women and I left the place satisfied, happy with a sense of peaceful impact on this Muslim community. That toilet stands there to this day: we went back and installed a hand washing point, and I keep thinking that, whenever they use it they must ask the question, why did these Christians bring this to us? The presence of that toilet must be preaching to them every day about the love of God. It’s one of those silent ways of preaching, a beautiful way of presenting the Gospel without confrontation. There is a place for proclaiming, but there is also a place for displaying the Gospel and I think, in that instance, we demonstrated the love of God.”

 

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Sweep Our Hearts – Kumasi Mission

Sweep Our Hearts: Kumasi Street Cleaning

DSC_4707Early Saturday morning, volunteers, local church members and city workers gathered in their hundreds to clean the street of Kumasi. With gloves and brooms at the ready, they marched into the markets and the alleyways sweeping up the rubbish and waste that plague Kumasi streets.
 
As the volunteers began cleaning, a look of astonishment could be seen flashing across the faces of the street vendors as the crowd descended upon the market to clean. Some even joined in on the activity by sweeping and cleaning their own areas and adding the rubbish to the pile!
 
 “This is great!” one market women said,
“This shows me that the church is thinking about us.”
DSC_4720“This is great!” one market women said, “This shows me that the church is thinking about us.” 
Clement, another volunteer said, “The women in the market are amazed. They are saying they’ve never seen Christians do anything like this before!”  When asked what he hopes the outcome of the mission will be, Clement said, Our hope is that during this week people will see Christ’s love for them through our actions. We hope that this mission will transform many lives in Kumasi.”
 
As the cleaning teams continued their work, they had the opportunity to share gospel tracts with bystanders and explain the reason behind this event. “This is a symbolic exercise, as much as it is a physical one.” said Stephen Mbogo, AE CEO/ITL Our sin makes us just has filthy as these streets. We need Jesus to sweep our hearts clean.”
Back at the meeting point the Kumasi mission leadership, in partnership with Royal Bank, who sponsored part of the event, presented new dustbins to various organisations around the city including a school, the marketplace authorities and the Kumasi Prison which were presented with several bins and wheelbarrows in particular.
“Our sin makes us just has filthy as these streets. We need Jesus to sweep our hearts clean.”
DSC_4994Andrews, Discipline Officer at the prison said, “We have a huge sanitation problem in the prison. You can imagine with over 1,000 prisoners the rubbish can become overwhelming. Unfortunately, the government is not able to provide everything we need to take care of problems like these so we rely on organisations like African Enterprise to help us fill the gaps. These will be a huge help to us! Thank you so much!”
 
Following the presentation of the dustbins, the volunteers took to the streets in a ‘March for Peace’ through the main thoroughfare of Kumasi. A band from a local church played songs and the marchers sang and danced along. The group was lead by a police escort and tailed by a fire engine with siren blaring. There was no way to miss and the city of Kumasi is now fully aware of our presence here this week. Continue to pray that many hearts would be touched by the love of God this week.
“We have really worked hard today. Some people were asking me why we were cleaning so I was able to tell them that the churches in Kumasi care about them and Jesus loves them most of all.”
Abena Kusiwaa, a volunteer from a local church said, “We have really worked hard today. Some people were asking me why we were cleaning so I was able to tell them that the churches in Kumasi care about them and Jesus loves them most of all. Some other wanted to know what they could do to help! I believe this event has had a good impact on the people of Kumasi. Thank you African Enterprise for coming and making this possible for us.”
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Sunday will be the Opening Ceremony for the mission and on Monday our teams will disperse across the city to share the gospel with everyone they meet! Thank you for your prayers and your support. Kumasi will be a changed city when we’re done.