From early on, African Enterprise saw the importance of school missions. Michael himself had been thoroughly influenced in school, and Festo Kivengere made a commitment to Christ after an evangelist spoke in his school. Furthermore, both leaders realised that the youngsters in schools today are tomorrow’s leaders. Knowing that young people can make lifelong commitments to Christ meant that one could impact tomorrow’s leaders now for a brighter future in Africa.
The first opportunity for a school mission came in 1968 with the mission to Michaelhouse (in Balgowan, South Africa). Over time, the programmes remained almost identical. The African Enterprise team or main speaker would take the morning chapel service. The team would then take all religious education classes for the day, culminating in a voluntary evening service where the vast majority of scholars would show up. The events were creative, as the team used comedy, skits, or dance to speak to the audience.
The response was almost always overwhelming. Principals and even scholars would write to the African Enterprise team afterwards to express amazement that “even” the naughtiest scholars had become Christians. They informed the team that prayer groups had formed in the dorms, run by scholars themselves and continuously growing. They reported that the school had become a nicer place with people helping each other and fairer play on the sports fields. And years later, significant numbers of young people who had accepted Christ in a school mission could be found in ordained ministry.
These school missions were later practically replaced by the Foxfire ministry. The duration of ministry opportunities now varies from an assembly meeting to a week-long “mission”, and the approaches vary greatly depending on the specific school’s requests. Dance and drama continue to be powerful tools used in school assemblies and larger gatherings. In classes, life skills lessons are used to connect with the scholars. Response rates continue to be well above the ministry’s average, with up to 90% of school audiences accepting Christ or recommitting their lives to the Lord.