Sunday, August 23, 2009

History stored up over the years....

Elderly man in the Kezi community
He can hardly see but his hearing and speech are excellent. A smile is seen as we listen to him reminiscing the past.

It was wonderful meeting up with a man in the Kezi community who has MANY, many years behind him. He is not too sure of his age - it’s estimated that he is about 107, but his 2 children sitting with him were born in 1936 and 1939 respectively. He speaks about seeing Mxwayisi Dube’s (One of the young leaders at Crossroads) great, great, great grandfather who was born in 1906. He also speaks about Lobengula being in the Matobo District before moving to Bulawayo (Part of the Zimbabwean history taught nationally in schools)

He is a wealth of information and we would love to capture as much of the history of the Kezi community from this elderly man’s perspective. We just thank God for the many years of life He has blessed him with.
Elderly gentleman in the middle with his son born in 1936 and his daughter born in 1939.
More to follow.....
By Molly Manhanga

Community at work pt 2

There’s nothing quite like people getting together who have a heart and mind to work. Much can be accomplished.

Brilliant Khoza digging a hole

We had a morning where folk from Crossroads Community Church came together to dig holes for the church toilets and to mould bricks. In the 4 hours set, much was accomplished. Young and old people alike came to contribute to see the development in the community.

Men at work

While groups of people were working in the field, a group of ladies were busy in the kitchen preparing lunch.

Ladies in the Kitchen

After a morning of hard work, it was very relaxing sitting together and sharing a meal before we all called it a day.

Moulding bricks

For our toilets we need 15,000 bricks. 2,500 have been moulded so far. The work will continue this week.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, August 21, 2009

Community at work pt 1

Moulding bricks

Last November we were busy clearing the land at Crossroads. We had the help of the apprentices, the community and a team that was travelling with Matt Hosier from Gateway Church, Poole in the U.K.

We have put up a marquee where the congregation meets every Sunday and our first building to go up was a little store room and kitchen – which blend in well with the surroundings.

First buildings at Crossroads

As the building project at Crossroads continues to take shape, the Kezi community continue to be a blessing as they are helping us with thatching grass, they are moulding bricks, digging foundations and so on. The statement “Together we can do more” is real and true.

Hard at work at Crossroads

We look forward to the activities at Crossroads Community Church tomorrow morning where the community will be hard at work.

Little children included – raking leaves

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Leadership and Self-Deception

Leadership and Self-Deception
“Getting out of the box”
By The Arbinger Institute

Steven C. Wheelwright, Professor, Sr. Associate Dean, Harvard Business School comments on this book; “Fascinating, thought provoking, and insightful! This book is a wake up call to all those who think they’re good with people, and a must-read for those who know they need to be better. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.”

Louise Francesconi, Vice President, Raytheon Corporation says this book is “A fantastic journey that gave me great insight into how I affect others. This book completely changed how I see myself as an individual and as a leader.”

I accidently stumbled upon this book in my office in Kezi. A friend left it behind under a pile of accessible files. Out of curiosity at how the words “Leadership” and “Self-Deception” are put together, I started reading the book. It’s a fascinating and instructive story.

"Leadership and Self-Deception" shows what self-deception is, how people get trapped in it, how it undermines personal achievement and organizational performance, and- most importantly- the surprising way to solve it.

A Book Review will follow shortly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review on Influential Women

Wendy Virgo

Every woman is unique and no two are the same. Wendy Virgo explores this fact to the full. She addresses a fascinating selection of Biblical heroines and villains, many of whom discovered God’s best for them while others failed badly due to the pull of seductive but destructive alternatives.

Chapter 1 is riveting – “Two quarrelling Women” - Euodia and Syntyche. Paul wanted them to reconcile and quickly. What was the dispute all about? For Paul, the issue was not the issue. He is interested in the health of the church. Many potential pitfalls were identified. Paul however addresses the dispute, urging the women to “agree”, “be of the same mind”.

What goals should we be pursuing in discipling one another? Not only about ensuring the health and well-being of men, women and families in the church for their own sake: it was also about communicating their lifestyles to others around them – to bring to them a sense of purpose, which was to honour Jesus.

Corinthians 14:33 – 35 and Timothy 2:11 – 14 seem to place restrictions on women. Women however should view these teachings with faith, believing that God’s ways are good. God wants women to operate in security under the covering of an eldership, yet clear about boundaries. In church, if there are no boundaries we can be unsure as to how far we can go beyond the proper limits and cause ourselves, and others harm. Boundaries define a spacious area to be profitably used and enjoyed.

The famous question…..Why should women not be elders? Are we saying that women are not equal to men, that they are inferior? No! Our model is the Triune God. There is a sublime love relationship in the Trinity; there is mutual trust and there is perfect equality. But, there is also an eternal order: it will always be Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in that order. This does not detract from the worth of any of them. Same with men and women – men came first, then women. The role of eldership in the church is for men and women can do almost anything else.

The chapters on The Devious Woman, The Dangerous Woman and Jezebel are very enlightening. Wendy tackles them with such transparency and truth. There can be all sorts of ramifications but Revelation 2 gives us the answer – zero tolerance and repentance. As Wendy says, the best policy is to pray that God will reveal and expose things His way and in His time. Her personal story reveals the grace of God and how her “giant” was slain. As she says, “Jesus must always be our magnificent obsession.”

The final chapter looks at Two Influential Women – Eve (Genesis 3:1 – 2) and Mary (Luke 1:30 – 31) They were both influential but pretty much as opposite as you can get. Eve acted in her own interests; Mary acted in faith, forfeiting her own plans. Eve considered how she might be like God; Mary considered how she might serve God. Eve’s actions brought death and destruction; Mary’s brought life and peace. Eve precipitated a curse; Mary opened a pathway to blessing.

“Influential Women” is an excellent read. It comes Highly recommended. I have enjoyed reading this book.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Together 4 The City pt 2

Together 4 The City pt 2
With Michael Eaton
Michael Eaton, originally from the U.K, who is now based in Kenya was the guest speaker. He did an incredible job sharing about the heart and centre of the Christian faith – “The Cross” He shared from Hebrews 9
Michael Eaton
Everything focuses on the Cross.

Summary: The cross of Jesus will:
Give us eternal redemption
Give us daily cleansing
Inherit the promises of God

The challenges we may face are:
like Abraham with Isaac
Opposition – When God has something for you and wants to use you, opposition will break loose.
Weakness – We say “Lord, send someone else” Jesus is touched with our feelings of weakness. In our weakness His strength is revealed.

With all 3, we need to go on believing and holding on to God.
Stephen Manhanga, with folk from Crossroads Community Church also attended Together 4 The City

While Michael Eaton was preaching in the ZITF Hall, the children had their own activities on the ZITF grounds outside.

Precious Children

Victory Fellowship, together with a number of other churches, did an excellent job ministering and caring for the children. All in all, Together 4 The City was a reflection of the body of Christ, the Church In Action.

Children on the ZITF grounds

By Molly Manhanga

Together 4 The City pt 1

Together 4 The City pt 1

With Michael Eaton

We had an incredible time when a number of churches came together in Bulawayo - The City of Kings, to worship God and listen to His word. Seeing people coming in their numbers and waiting for the doors to open was a sight to remember.

Mbonisi Malaba opening “Together 4 The City” Celebration service

We were about 1500 from in and around Bulawayo. River of Life church led by Mbonisi Malaba hosted this exciting event. We started by watching the very talented and skillful, RoL Ex dance group from River of Life “do their thing”. What an effective tool to reach young people.

RoL Ex Dancers
A vibrant, dynamic praise and worship session followed and it was wonderful to see the body of Christ worshipping together in unity. Some of the churches represented were River of Life Christian Church, Celebration Church of Zimbabwe, The Rock, Victory Fellowship and others.

People gathered in ZITF (Zimbabwe International Trade Fair) Hall
A time of prayer followed which was led by Tapiwa Chizana, an Elder at River of Life church. The scriptures we focused on were Jeremiah 29:7 and Jonah 4:11. We prayed for
People in the city
Prosperity in the city
Influence in the city

The offering that was taken up will be used to bless one of the hospitals in Bulawayo.

What about the children? Where were they? Were they cared for?

Read more…………….
on Together 4 The City pt 2.
By Molly Manhanga