Hear my cry

A quick turn of the knob and the pot starts heating up. A few seconds of luxury, completely taken for granted. Somewhere in Ethiopia a mother is also heating up a pot for her family with fire created from wood, leaves, animal dung and crop residues.

Most households in Ethiopia still make use of traditional biomass energy as they lack stoves that can make use of other fuel sources. Often it is the women who needs to fetch the firewood, not only for their own families, but also to sell. This is the only income many of these families have. Most women get up before sunrise and cover vast distances to go and collect enough wood to sell. They then make the trip back to the markets carrying nearly 20kg of firewood on their backs.

Going to collect firewood might seem like an everyday task, but not for these ladies. For them it causes much distress. Their wood often gets confiscated by guards and they are often mistreated and raped. Aregash is but one of the many women who have such heartbreaking stories.

“One day, about a year ago the forest guards confiscated my wood and I had to come back home empty-handed. As my children were waiting for food, I had nothing to give them. So I got extremely distressed and went to the backside of my house, took a rope, and hung myself on the roof. As I was struggling to die, an anonymous child saw me and shouted aloud. Those who heard her cry came immediately to my rescue. They cut the rope and carried me down. I was hurt but came down alive.”

Aregash is only 36 years old, she has 6 children and have been collecting and selling firewood for 20 years. Her husband earns very little, not enough to provide food for their kids.

AE Ethiopia has heard the cry for help and identified 30 women in the Arba Minch district to enroll in a new program called ‘Life Transformation of Vulnerable Firewood Collecting Women’. These ladies will be trained in sewing, tailoring and embroidery for 6 months and then divided into smaller work groups, each with 3 ladies. AE Ethiopia wishes to equip each group with a sewing machine and help them to open a small shop where they can sell their items.

Our sewing programs in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa has transformed the lives of many women and their families, but in due course their transformation also spills over into their communities.

Annie Kachali, a post graduate from AE Malawi reflects on her training:

“With the skills which I acquired from AE sewing school, I have been able to make my family’s living standard to be easier than before. Through this activity, I am able to generate income of about MK15, 000.00 (U$20.00) a week which helps me to meet my family’s basic needs. I am able to buy fabrics from part of the generated money while a certain part of the money, I contribute to the church activities. I am glad to state that I have managed to pass my skills on to my neighbour’s daughter who can now manage to do recommendable work.”

AE Ethiopia has partnered with local churches to run this program and one of them has kindly offered their church as a venue for the training to take place.

Pray with our team in Ethiopia and the partner churches as they prepare to launch this project. No one should go through what these ladies have been through, pray for their protection, for true transformation to take place in their lives and for doors to open so they can start their own businesses.

Favourable or not

Missions in a COVID-19 world.

Our teams have refused to give up on the Great Commission, despite incredibly challenging circumstances in Africa.

Evangelism is the heartbeat of African Enterprise. We exist to share the eternal hope of the Gospel, and this hasn’t changed. In 2020, AE has developed a home-based evangelism (HBE) approach to share the Good News of Jesus, in spite of COVID restrictions.

The HBE model equips believers to share the Gospel with their families and neighbours, in a structured and effective way. The approach focuses on personal evangelism, on a large scale. Mission volunteers facilitate home gatherings, where a pre-recorded or live Gospel message is shared using television, radio, mobile phone or social media platforms. The Gospel broadcast is followed by a personal testimony and an invitation to follow Christ, extended by the HBE facilitator.

Between mid-April and July 2020, our AE teams trained 2,590 pastors and volunteers in the HBE approach, and have found the approach holds enormous potential for evangelism, as well as discipleship. For example, one church in Lukunga, DRC, was able to share Christ with at least 945 people, in multiple homes, on a single Sunday.

One mission volunteer in Kenya, Nancy, has shared the Gospel with over 300 people since the HBE approach was implemented there in May. When she shared the Gospel with a Facebook acquaintance, the 24-year old Margaret, Nancy had no idea that Margaret was suicidal. Nancy describes:

“I shared the Gospel and she made a commitment for salvation during one of our phone calls. The following day we met and from that time, we have created a relationship that is exceptional. It is wonderful to see the great transformation Christ has brought to this sister. She is now happy in the Lord. Today, as I see her smiling, I often have the sobering thought that, if the Gospel had not come her way, she would possibly not be alive!”

Our brothers and sisters in Africa are passionate for the cause of Christ, and our support means so much as they choose to “preach the word of God” and “be prepared, whether the time is favourable or not” (2 Timothy 4:2).

An update of what you have helped make possible in Africa today.

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17).

Through your recent gifts, you have shown God’s love in action amongst communities that are reliant on a hand-up in difficult times. Through you we were able to send emergency funds to each of our teams in Africa as a part of a local community led response to ensure sustainable approach to Covid-19 prevention. These funds were much needed as poverty-stricken communities were in urgent need of food and hygiene supplies as they continue to develop much needed vocational skills to support their families in a healthy way.

Below follows a short update of what you have helped make possible through the work of our various teams to address community needs during this crisis period.

AE DRC have worked hard to give hope through TV engagements, and distributing sanitation stations to 96 communities which included a bucket, soap, sanitiser and reusable facemasks and food hampers.

AE Ethiopia have given out 300 facemasks, food hampers and hygiene and sanitation products to date.

AE Ghana have distributed food to 5,000 families with the assistance of the women’s training project in Akropong, Akuapem and their successful Cassava plantation.

Our Soweto Kayole Clinic at AE Kenya has given medical assistance to 1252 patients so far. The team has also distributed 1345 food hampers and 700 facemasks. In addition to this, the team is working hard to give messages of hope and educating people through TV, radio and social media on COVID awareness and prevention. They have reached 6907 people through media engagements so far.

AE Malawi have distributed 110 facemasks and hygiene and sanitation items to families in need. The team has also donated blood which is such a great gesture during this time of need. They have reached 3000 households through media engagements and continue with training pastors and home based evangelism for their upcoming mission in September.

Initially AE Tanzania had challenges due to government regulations. They have only recently been authorised to start distributing food and other supplies. So far they have provided 3 schools with hand soap and buckets and they have also distributed sanitiser and facemasks to bus and boda (taxi) drivers.

AE Rwanda has been very blessed and very busy, distributing 23 560 food hampers, 1000 facemasks and 3200 hygiene and sanitation items. They have also been able to reach 98 000 people through media engagements.

The Ngezandla Zethu Sewing project run by AE South Africa are currently busy sewing 2500 reusable facemasks for distribution. The AE team have also given out 4956 hampers with food and hygiene and sanitation products. They have distributed 300 facemasks so far and have reached 68 000 people through media engagements.

AE Zambia distributed water buckets, soap and hand sanitiser to a local school and have also given out 300 facemasks in Kaunda Square.

AE Zimbabwe have distributed 150 facemasks and 5000 hygiene and sanitation items. They have also given out food hampers and sanitation items to people with albinism who were in dire need of such provisions.

Thank you for partnering with us to help those in need in Africa and show the love of Jesus in word and deed. Please continue to pray for our teams as they carefully and faithfully serve in their communities in the desperate time of need. Our teams in Africa are so grateful for your love and support.

Africa Needs Your Prayers

Prayer is such an important part of supporting African Enterprise. It’s one of the gifts you can give Africa – your time in prayer. And Africa needs your prayers now more than ever.

A couple of months ago when we compiled our Prayer Diary for May, June and July, we did not know the challenges that we would be facing. As always we look at our calendar and prepare the prayer points around the mission activities happening during that month. This time however, what we planned three months ago has changed enormously from what we are currently facing. The number of coronavirus infections are increasing drastically daily in Africa and more than ever we need to pray for our teams and the people in Africa.

As our CEO, Ben Campbell mentioned in the Prayer Diary:

“Please pray especially for the vulnerable refugee populations, and other marginalised communities, that have less access to help. In all things, our hope and confidence remain firmly in the Lord! As Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) says: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” May God bless, strengthen and encourage you today, as you continue to pray for the salvation and healing of people in Africa. “

Throughout June and July, please join with us in prayer for all of our AE Teams. They are all facing unprecedented times. We will keep you up to date with all the latest articles and responses from our teams as far as possible on our website and facebook page.

Updated prayer requests will also be uploaded to the PrayerMate App.

We are also in the last few days of our Prayer and Fasting Season ending on Pentecost Sunday with a Global Day of Prayer.

Additionally, let us know if you are interested in starting or joining a prayer group. It can be among you and your friends, families, colleagues or members of your church. You can meet face to face or online and as frequent as you want. Let’s gather in the name of Jesus and pray for Africa. Please send an email directly to ae@aeint.org if you would like to be part of or to start a prayer group.

Thank you for spending time in prayer for African Enterprise.

Discipleship Program offers Spiritual Stability to Students in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a rugged, land-locked country, rich in ancient history.

Home to the powerful Aksumite trading empire for over 800 years, the region is littered with the ruins of rock-cut churches from the 12th and 13th centuries. Currently, nearly half of Ethiopia’s population are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

In order to empower the Christian leaders of the future, African Enterprise once again hosted their Students Discipleship Program (SDP) in schools during 2019, offering young people a chance to gain a better understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. Over the last two years, tens of thousands of students have taken part in the Program, and the results have been encouraging. 

Dawit attended the program as an 18-year-old and described how “the SDP has helped me grow as a young Christian believer. In the consecutive years of my attendance, I learnt that God is the creator of the universe, that Jesus Christ died for me and I am saved through faith in Him… Because of this program I now am able to explain the Biblical worldview to my classmates.”

16-year-old attendee Eden said, “One of the most important lessons I have learnt through SDP is reading and understanding the Bible. Though I have the Bible I was not reading it. But now I have learnt the ‘keys’ of studying the Bible. Now I have started to read daily. I have also started to share what I have read to my friends in school. I have also become a youth fellowship leader in my church. I want to go deeper and higher.”

Not only does the course offer students confidence in their school years, it imparts life skills that serve them well into adulthood as well. Marine Engineer Anteneh Demissie was among thousands of attendees who took the course in 2003. Now spending most of his time on the high seas of Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, Anteneh expressed that: “The training was a ‘turning point’ in my life. Though I was a young boy with Christian orientation I had many spiritual questions for which I was seeking convincing answers. In the SDP training, all my questions were sufficiently answered. I consider that moment as a ‘Reference Point’ in my life. For me, the training was like a city gate – a doorway to abundance. Because of it I have entered into an abundant life in Jesus that is full of joy and enthusiasm. I am so happy.

One of the many benefits of the program was helping me understand the worth of the Bible as the word of God and igniting the love of reading it. Since then I have developed the practice of reading the Bible on a daily basis. The program has also made me become passionate about Christian spiritual matters.

I am now a marine engineer travelling around the world staying in high seas for many days and weeks. But my inner-self stays cool and tranquil even when the outside is extremely violent. This is because of the Rock Jesus, the foundation of my faith, whom I came to know better through the SDP training.”

Mission Summary: Arba Minch Mission 2019

Arba Minch, which literally means 40 springs, was founded in the early 1960s on the edge of Abaya lake, south of the capital Addis Ababa and toward the borders of Uganda and Kenya.

Local churches called on the AE team to organise a mission in the city, which has been heavily impacted by social problems including homelessness, prostitution, young people on the streets and drugs. AE’s focus on church unity, evangelism, social action and training were seen as essential to bring the churches back on track, and focus on building the church through offering true hope in Jesus to their communities.

One of the church leaders Rev Milkias, president of South West Mekane Yesus Church Synod that oversees 726 local congregations spoke of the reasons why AE was approached.

“With my current position as president of the synod, I have travelled to many places and congregations and the testimony I hear about AEE is very affirmative. AEE is church friendly, purpose-driven, focused and effective in its undertakings. It is a trustworthy ministry and we, in this area, partner with it wholeheartedly”, he said.

In preparation for this mission, AE conducted an initial series of exploratory meetings with city Church leaders to determine what the level of engagement would be. It was determined that Church leaders were absolutely committed to building their strength and ability to effectively reach out to a young and transient population, heavily influenced by ancestral spirit worship and post-modern relativistic views and prosperity doctrine eroding teachings of the church.

From early in the year, AE team leader Mel Mesfin conducted a series of training workshops to address key issues of church unity, bringing the leaders together to discuss their joint goals of winning their city for Christ. This successfully mobilised the churches together to be able to engage 150 evangelists from 32 church to drive the mission forward in December.

One of the missioners involved in the training and mission itself was Meheret, a year 12 student from Kale Hiwot Church in Arba Minch.

A graduate of the AE student discipleship program in 2018, she chose to take the next step to take a leadership role within the mission itself, and became trained as a mission facilitator. During the course of her training she said that that the process was a real ‘eye opener’.
“We were sent out to the market place for our induction, and completed a stage of one-to-one evangelism. That has been very insightful and I will share this to other students and youth in my church.”

Proclamation period

All church leaders and mission volunteers organized to reach out to the old city of Secha and business area of the new city Sikella during the mission period between December 24 and 29th, 2019. Mr. Berhanu Deresse, ex-AEE Ethiopia team leader led the proclamation commencement ceremony in the biggest church hall in the city.

Mission volunteers then went out into one-to-one street witnessing through handing-out tracts, visiting schools, daily university mission, repeated proclamation activities for prison inmates and mission week gatherings in the local churches.


During the mission, the following highlights occurred:

Impoverished children equipped to attend school

Participating churches raised funds to equip 114 children with school materials required for attendance. Parents were so touched by the generosity of AE supporters and the AE Ethiopia team who made this possible during mission. They were open to hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were overwhelmed with joy, with many saying “there is hope to our children”. Our aim is to see children continuing with their education and attending church.

Street kids invited to have fellowship at the church

Street children were invited to a participating church for a meal and to receive school materials. Of the multitude invited, seven came and received what our supporters made possible, including a warm and welcoming environment and the opportunity to join a community that will care for them for the future.  The good news of Christ’s love was preached to them, and mission facilitators will continue their outreach and follow up.

Leadership dinner

More than 30 government, business, and church leaders attended the leadership dinner. The theme of the meeting was good governance as explained by the Bible. The government representative appreciated AEE’s effort in convening leaders from different sectors in the city for this very relevant topic, and asked the church to pray for the continuation of peace and tranquility in the area as there were tensions in the community some time back.

Family counselling session

20 couples in leadership roles were invited to participate in a daylong family seminar to strengthen their marriages and families. It was a common cry that Christian youth of today are fast conforming to the pattern of the world and becoming unethical in many ways. Most church halls are filled with children and youth on Sundays, but there is a fast decline in moral standards. That is a huge challenge to the future of the church and African Enterprise’s involvement in discipling the next generation was much appreciated.

Preservation – Mission Follow-up

Following the celebratory closing rally, which also involved discussions with government officials and church leaders on future partnerships, the mission-overseeing committee deliberated on preserving the fruit of the mission. It was jointly agreed to continue the strategic partnership of AEE with the local churches for the coming six months.

The AE Mission chair, Rev Tsayas, was incredibly encouraging to all the church leaders involved. A leader of one of the largest churches, Rev Tsavas thanked the AE team leader and all those involved.  “We commend AE for its vision and endeavour to raise new generations of God-fearing people through its outreach and discipleship programs”, he said.

The preservation strategy will now include integrating the new believers into the various partnering churches; building the capacity of churches for discipleship and nurture through training; and ensuring that new believers are integrated into small Bible study groups.

Through the support of AE donors, we intend to maintain our follow up of new believers and strengthening the discipleship program with literature and visits.


I abandoned Jesus and went into the pit, but he pulled me back

Tamirat came back from an “expedition” he chose to go for “exploration”. He left the house of God and went into the world at full speed some 14 years back. He sought what he calls “a happy and stress-free life” by immersing himself into drugs, drinking and all kinds of evil. He was blinded by his own decision and was not at all willing to listen to his believing mother’s advise to return right away.

As time went by he came to realize that the happiness he sought from the world was not actually there. He became miserably poor, despised by the community and lonely. He also got seriously sick and was abandoned by his friends. He saw himself being misled into the dark.

Tamirat came to the church and was met by mission facilitators and recommitted his life to Jesus. He says: “I am so sorry that I wasted half of my life. I terribly deceived myself. Hereafter, I want to make the best use of my life because I have now clung back to Jesus. He is so good that he accepted me back into the fold. I want to get stronger in the faith and then go out to preach the gospel to the many people who still live in the dark.”

I have chosen what is eternally correct

Berhane is a mother of two who made a recommitment to follow Jesus during the Arba Minch Mission. She says “I was a follower of Jesus until my husband forced me to backslide. I retreated from The Way for five years just to please my husband and live together with him. However, the five years were years in hell. These were the darkest years of my life- no joy, no hope. Finally, I chose life and came to church. It is now as if my soul has returned back to me. Life without Christ is walking in the dark. My husband is not happy about my move, but I have chosen what is eternally correct. I hope and pray that someday he will come back to Jesus.