By Charlene Pauw, African Enterprise
It has been internationally acknowledged that South Africa’s peaceful transition in 1994 was a miracle! A miracle suggests the divine, merciful intervention of God. This certainly was the case though few know the details of how this miracle unfolded.
Cassidy was integral
People know Michael Cassidy as an excellent speaker, Christian leader, evangelist, author and founder of African Enterprise. Few fully realise that he was in many ways one of the inspirations that God used to spur the tides of change or as an instrument of skill and precision that accessed the collective consciousness of our nation in his time, to help bring about change.
Working to abolish apartheid
Apartheid was a system that was undergirded by a distorted theology that favoured white Afrikaner nationalism. Thus the battle had to be won first on the grounds of restored biblical theology before the system could finally be dismantled. Michael Cassidy worked tirelessly from the 60s onwards to bring church leaders together cross-denominationally and cross-culturally to engage in this dialogue. He reached out continuously to political leaders to build bridges, to confront and to minister, always reminding them that God would give them wisdom if they asked Him.
Accolades and initiatives
In 1989 Cassidy published a very influential book called The Passing Summer. Some of his other South African initiatives included the SACLA conferences, the National Initiative for Reconciliation, From Africa with Love, the Rustenburg Conference, the Kolobe Lodge Dialogues, the National Pray Away and The Jesus Peace Rally. Finally, he facilitated the involvement of the Kenyan negotiator Washington Okumu, who, after major international mediation attempts had collapsed, brokered the peace agreement upon which civil war was abated and we had our first peaceful democratic election.
African Enterprise is very proud to announce that Cassidy’s memoirs Footprints in the African Sand have been published in South Africa and have been in stores since July 23. Cassidy has been an ardent chronicler since his youth and has a treasure trove of letters to and from his parents and others, journals, scrapbooks and sermons which enrich his writing. It has been important to him to write about his formative years since his political, sociological and theological postures were shaped in his mid 20s and his ministry and reconciliation work was an outworking of this established belief system.
Inspiration behind stories
Stories of his grandparents’ recollections and opinions of the Anglo Boer war set the context of South African history and influences on young Cassidy and interesting family friends conscientised him politically. Later, as a student in the USA, he was inspired by Billy Graham who was preaching man’s reconciliation to God and Martin Luther King who was challenging society on God’s demands concerning how we treat our fellow man. Having Cassidy’s full story told provides the reader with many opportunities to process their own journey and call in perspective of the bigger picture. Michael and Carol also have a love story that trumps Romeo and Juliette!
Get your copy of Cassidy’s memoirs signed at a book launch event! See dates and venues of upcoming launches below: