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Publication Date: 21 Feb 2019
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Words: 150000
Page Count: 448
Author: Michael Cassidy
ISBN-13: 9780281081011, 9780281081028

Footprints in the African Sand

My Life and Times
By Michael Cassidy
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ISBN: 9780281081011
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As the nations of Africa shook off the shackles of colonialism and embraced their newfound independence in the 1960s, a singular figure burst into prominence in the tumultuous and expectant atmosphere gripping the continent. A son of apartheid South Africa, Michael Cassidy appeared an unlikely candidate to bring a Gospel message of salvation, reconciliation and hope to a land throwing off the chains of white rule.

Undaunted, he forged vital friendships with black heroes such as Ugandan Bishop Festo Kivengere, preaching – and living – a searing message of Kingdom love, grace, justice and non-racialism. Cassidy beat a unique path of Gospel faithfulness by calling Africa uncompromisingly to embrace Christ as Saviour and Lord, while fearlessly challenging oppressors such as the South African National Party to treat all citizens justly.

Educated at Cambridge and Fuller Theological Seminary, Cassidy nevertheless operated as a layman, yet graced with the authority to summon the church in Africa to unprecedented gatherings. The Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly in 1976 brought 5,000 Christian leaders from nearly every country to Nairobi to strategize together how to tackle the Great Commission across so vast a space during a time of pain and convulsion.

Following the South African Christian Leadership Assembly in Pretoria in 1979, Cassidy helped push the Dutch Reformed Church to declare unequivocally in 1986 that apartheid was a sin. The National Party, now shorn of theological justification, began to dismantle its racist governing apparatus in 1990.

Throughout his 55-year ministry, Cassidy saw clearly the glaring need for quality leadership across Africa, and especially as South Africa finally transitioned to democracy. He fostered vital dialogue among top politicians in the run-up to the Beloved Country’s 1994 elections. As the country hurtled toward civil war that year, Cassidy brought in a Kenyan Christian politician who engineered a last-minute negotiated settlement that paved the way for the miraculously peaceful inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

As Founder of African Enterprise, Cassidy laboriously built up over five decades what has emerged as the first African-led global partnership impacting a continent of vast untapped potential. Empowering Africans to rise up and call their fellow men and women to embrace Christ and live out the power of the Gospel in every facet of their lives is enabling Africa in the 21st century to realize the hopes that beat so strongly in the hearts of forbears who sought the freedom that only Jesus Christ can offer.
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Press Reviews

The book shows that redemption can be personal as well as social and that there can be godly resistance to evil which does not fall into the trap of emulating the ways of the oppressors. Michael has been able, in his own life, to overcome the divisions of race, denominations and theological emphasis with simplicity and integrity. I have learnt much from his example. I know that others will too.

- Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

This is truly a “must read” book! Full of detailed, moving accounts of personal stories – including miracles and gripping accounts of faith in action, courage in situations of high tension and danger, and reconciliation.
This biography of a man whose faith led him to make a unique contribution to the promotion of peace and equality in South Africa is profoundly inspirational – and a glorious Christian witness for the rest of Africa and, indeed, of the world.

- Baroness Caroline Cox

This story is the life's work of not only a friend but a true brother in Christ. Michael Cassidy has been an inspiration and shines forth with the love of Christ. His mission has been to preach the Word of God and he has seen lives transformed at all levels of society, especially in his own country of South Africa.

This book, delivered with such grace, will encourage and challenge all ages to understand the unifying power of the gospel.

- Lady Susie Sainsbury

When it comes to all things African, Michael Cassidy is a Christian statesman who walks his talk. He has invested decades of prayer, preaching, and tireless advocacy on behalf of Christ’s kingdom on the most ancient of continents. Footprints in the African Sand is Michael’s remarkable and highly personal story of how Africa touched his heart… and he, in turn, reached deep into the heart of Africa. If you enjoy captivating stories about missionary zeal, this is a must-read.

- Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

Michael Cassidy has lived a life of Christian nobility. Numberless people are in the embrace of Christ’s love because of his faithful efforts.

- Gordon MacDonald, Chancellor, Denver Seminary

I’ve learned that prayer involves listening as much as talking, aligning us with what God wants done in the world more than what we want God to do for us. Michael Cassidy’s life models that principle.

- Philip Yancey, author and journalist

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