Such is the call to by songwriter Henry Smith in the timeless Christian song of God’s gift to us in his Son, Jesus Christ: a call to all believers, a call to us at African Enterprise. And most assuredly do we heed this call on every occasion, and at every opportunity.

That is a big deal of course though, inasmuch as we must continue to do so, we were challenged when it dawned upon us that we seldom express gratitude with a grateful heart to our brothers and sisters who faithfully support the ministry of AE through dedicated donorship and consistent prayer. And so, in this epiphanic moment, we were moved to host a Donor Appreciation Tea in their honour. Whilst we were desirous of having all our donors attend the event, we were acutely aware that this was never going to be possible given that they are spread far and wide, across cities, provinces, even countries and continents. Naturally our gratitude extends to every donor in equal measure wherever they may be.

We were grateful to have some thirty+ donors respond positively to our invitation to a Donor Appreciation Tea which we hosted on Thursday, 26th March. It was wonderful to reconnect with many whom we had not seen for some time, and equally wonderful to watch them joyfully reconnecting with other donors, many of whom are friends but do not get to see each other much of late.

AESA CEO, Theuns Pauw, provided some historical information about the partnership and the South Africa team before updating Donors on AESA’s current and upcoming ministry activities  

Our beloved Michael and Carol Cassidy were also in attendance at the event. Michael, as always, eloquent, jovial and inspirational shared on the importance of saying ’THANK YOU’ – the ‘big thank yous’ as he coined them in reference to adults saying ‘thank you’ to parents and people to whom they are indebted.

Of AE’s ‘big thank you’ Michael said, “It finds root in Revelation 3:8, ‘Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut.’ The Lord has opened the door for AE’s ministry and there has never been a door shut to its’ ministry. A big part of this open door is the heart and generosity of our donors for our ministry: for this we owe a huge debt of gratitude.”

Michael went on to say that the doors of our Parish (which is Africa) are open, and the people are lost. Easter is a good time to pause and think about what we need to focus on:

  • The CROSS                         This is where forgiveness lies; it’s the message we must share
  • The RESURRECTION        The place of power for living and for healing.

Of course, only Michael could dare to trespass on the very secret place of Last Will & Testament, encouraging donors to leave a lasting legacy of contribution to the ongoing ministry of AE. As a token of our appreciation, each of the donors present received a ‘goodie bag’ which included a copy of Michael’s latest book, ‘Deep Waters of the Disciple’. The author was on hand and ever-willing to autograph a personal message to those who were patient enough to wait on him whilst he recounted many stories of AE history and ministry as he is wont to do.

Of course no event or celebration is complete until cake is served and so we shared fellowship over tea and cake as staff and donors interacted.

It was indeed a blessed morning of ministry and fellowship – and Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Gavin John Communications | South Africa

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