Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching up with Wendy Virgo.......

Wendy Virgo

Wendy Virgo is married to Terry Virgo – founder of New Frontiers Family of Churches. Wendy is an exceptional lady, one whom I admire and respect deeply. Her wisdom and insight into the word of God is so evident as she is firmly rooted and grounded in His word.
I am so honoured to have spent some time with Wendy interviewing her but sharing heart as well. She is extraordinary. This is what she had to say:

M.M: How many years have you been married to Terry and how many years have you been in ministry together?W.V: Terry and I have been married for 41 years now and we’ve been in ministry about the same.

M.M: With so many years behind you, what highlights in ministry can you share?W.V: I can remember the first church plant where people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Those were wonderful days. There was such a sense of community. The first Bible Week – Downs Bible week which was held on the race course in Sussex. It started with 2000 and ended with 10 000. We stopped it to seek God and the churches were growing fast. In 1990, we had Stoneleigh. It was fabulous. 30 000 people would attend especially for the day. It was wonderful. A special time of our own was seeing our children coming to know the Lord, getting married and having babies. There are so many highlights.

M.M: With all the joys, there is much pain. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?W.V: The early years in Brighton in 1979……we were looked down upon in the town. Terry was slandered and misunderstood. Lies circulated. Those were difficult times. Now we have friends all over the city. God has been kind to us. We have had very few internal disagreements in New Frontiers. The situation in India 7 years ago was very painful. The churches are now healthy and growing.

Wendy Virgo

M.M: God sure is faithful even in the most difficult of times. I really enjoyed reading your book Influential Women. What inspired you to write it?W.V: My own experience and revelation of the dangers of the Jezebelic spirit. I knew at the time that I’d write about it. It’s such a prevalent problem. I needed time for it to digest and get a right perspective on it. The seed of the book was 10 years ago. In the New Testament and epistles we read of other women and can glean much.
M.M: Interesting! What words of encouragement would you give ladies, especially as you look around the room at our ladies here in Zimbabwe?W.V: God is for you. He is absolutely not wanting to put women down, not squashed. He wants you to be fulfilled and His ways will lead you to joy, peace and fulfillment. Believe what God says.
M.M: Totally! What is your favourite quote?W.V: “As for God, His ways are perfect”. Also Psalm 18 and Psalm 144:12.
M.M: What do you do to relax?W.V: I love running (not as much now) and walking on the hills around our home, swimming, reading, crosswords, scrabble.

M.M: What’s your impression of the Church in Zimbabwe?W.V: Courageous, full of faith, valuing the presence of God and seeking for it. There is vision to advance the Kingdom and not just maintain it, to church plant and see initiatives. You don’t meet the bitterness and anger when talking to people but how God provides for people. It’s remarkable.

M.M: Thank you so much Wendy. I hope you enjoy your time in Durban, and in Cape Town and beyond.

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga

Wendy Virgo pt 3

Wendy Virgo

Wendy shared about Pillars from Psalm 144:12.
Pillars: pillars are strong, straight, solid, able to hold something up, sharing.
Strong:Women need to be strong. God wants strong women. Not the idea of strong that we have which is aggressive, pushy, self-assertive.
• Ephesians 6:10 – 13. We need to be strong in a particular way: strong in the Lord, a sense of knowing who we are in the Lord, secure in Christ and being warriors in God. We need to stand and stand firm – not being pushed around. Our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. The enemy is trying to push us, to bring accusation and doubt. We need to withstand the accusations. 2 Timothy 2:1, 1 Corinthians 6:13.
• We need to counteract the lies of the enemy for Biblical femininity. Men and women need to live in harmony. The man is the head of the woman as Christ is the head of the church. It’s linking of authority. There is order in the Godhead. The enemy hates submission but submission is not being a doormat. We need to be strong to withstand the lies of the enemy and we need to know what we believe.

Straight:Phillipians 2:15. As women we need to be straight, not crooked. Straight forward in our ways, not devious and with half-truths. Jesus comes to make the crooked straight.
• We need to be uncompromising and clear on our motivation.
• Lot’s wife also turned into a pillar – of salt. We don’t want to be that pillar.
• James 3:17. We shouldn’t be double-minded, not wobbly. Our immovablility must come from Jesus. 1 Corinthians 16, Stand firm. Psalm 112:11
• We can be vulnerable and admit to being vulnerable. We can depend on God and need the Holy Spirit.

Purpose of pillars:To hold things up & be supportive. As ladies we can take a certain amount of pressure. The ways of God keep us going.
• Hold up the roof: sometimes pillars are hidden while others are seen. Some women are more prominent than others. We need to be positive about this and supportive, not undermining. We need to see our position in relation to the ceiling. Don’t be part of the problem.
• Pillars have to have a foundation – be well-rooted. Proverbs 31. Enjoy being a woman. V 25, she is clothed with strength and dignity. Be comfortable with whom you’re married to. Be industrious, have vigour and be clothed with strength not manipulative or easily manipulated. Her husband had confidence in her love, affection and understanding. She brings him good and not harm. She is a woman of strength.

Position of a pillar:Pillars are not to be the same. There are a variety of pillars and that is characteristic of us women. Things that are common to us as women are: loving, forgiving, sexual purity, value homes and family but we shouldn’t all be the same.
• Thank God for the pillars that are hidden: the prayer warriors, counselors, hospitality and so on. Others have prominent positions but we are not to feel inferior.
• Pillars are in groups or rows. God wants us as women to be together. The enemy will try and separate us but we need to maintain unity. Don’t gossip and spread lies. Enjoy fellowship with one another. Pray together. There is strength in that. We need other perspectives to widen our understanding. Iron sharpens iron.

The session ended with Wendy praying for the ladies. Amazing truths taken from Psalm 144:12.

Compiled By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wendy Virgo pt 2

Wendy Virgo

The second story was on Mary, taken from Luke 1:26 when God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary. God sent the angel to a specific person, at a specific time with a very specific message.

Mary is like a prototype woman. God comes specifically to us. Mary possibly had her plans but God was interrupting her plans with the message about Jesus. God the Father was sending God the Son. Mary objects and thought she was being asked to do something she couldn’t.

When God comes to us, He changes everything. In and of ourselves, we don’t have the ability to bring life. The Holy Spirit is the answer and he comes along side us in our times of weakness. The Holy Spirit gives us power to do what God has called us to do.

Forgiveness: It’s not a human thing. It’s a lifestyle. We chose to forgive and in our human strength, we are unable to. It’s not natural but the Holy Spirit will empower us.
Why was the story of Elizabeth brought in here when Mary was receiving her news? It shows us that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE for God regardless of age. The Holy Spirit comes to enable us to do the supernatural.

God is taking us to new areas and Satan is trying to bring us down. We are called to pray: your kingdom come. Pray it into being.
Wendy encouraged us to be women of prayer, who seek God and have new understanding – women with discernment.
Wendy Virgo talking to the ladies at River of Life Eastlea Church, Harare, Zimbabwe

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Wendy Virgo pt 1

Wendy Virgo
I really enjoyed Wendy Virgo’s sessions with the ladies. They were an encouragement for the women to have our roots deep in God and not be superficial and to be pillars, not devious, crooked and full of half-truths.

During the first session with Wendy, she told two stories: the first about Job’s wife and the second about Mary. We learnt very real truths about what can become of our characters as women.

In the story of Job we see how God doesn’t change. Our circumstances may change as God gives and He takes away but He remains the same. He is the bedrock of my belief. Job and his wife had the “good” life: they were wealthy and had many children. God took it away and Job was inflicted with sores. The saying: “How the mighty have fallen” depicts Job and his wife. Trials show us where our strengths and weaknesses are. Job held on to God. He refused to blame God and maintained a worshipful attitude. His wife on the other hand, is pretty known for her words “curse God and die”.

What lessons do we learn from Job’s wife?1. She is an immature woman.
2. She was an outward show.
3. Take everything away from her, the status, money, wealth and there is nothing there.
4. She didn’t have her roots in God.
Job reacted much better to the crisis. Job prospered in God. He remained healthy in spirit. Jeremiah 17:7

It’s a good picture for us. Job and his wife seemed like they were flourishing. Everything on the outside looked good but Job’s wife was superficial – her roots didn’t go deep.

Very interesting lesson to learn!

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Deeper Christian Life

I've started reading another book called "The Deeper Christian Life" by Andrew Murray. So far so good.

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

God intended for your walk is transformed:
  • God's free favour
  • Increasing answers to prayer
  • Success in witnessing to others
  • Peace in today's storms
  • Health and healing

A BOOK REVIEW will follow shortly.....
Molly Manhanga

Book Review - Leadership & Self-deception

Leadership and Self-Deception

I LOVE reading stories, especially stories that transform my life – make me look at myself, my thought patterns, my behavior and how I affect others.

Leadership and Self-Deception is one such book. The story is instructive: When we betray ourselves we “get into a box” and this style of leadership is focused on self: I need to justify myself to be right, my view on reality becomes distorted, I begin to provoke others, I see myself as hardworking and important while others are not, I blame others constantly for my inadequacies. The result is people problems: It is a destructive and damaging style of leadership.
But, when I’m “out of the box”, I can inspire people. I see them as people and not objects. “Imago deo” – the image of God. Knowing about it is not enough. Living it is releasing and freeing.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I’d recommend it anytime to up and coming leaders, organization, families and so on.
By Molly Manhanga

Friday, September 18, 2009

Meeting the GREAT......ladies

Bernadette Ncube
Bernadette, better known as Berns, is a GREAT friend whom I’ve known for years. She is married to Cedric Ncube - an anointed worship leader, and they are currently fellowshipping at New Day Church in Gabarone, Botswana. Bernadette is an awesome singer and she working on producing a C.D at the moment. I consider her to be a GREAT lady and this is what she had to say….

M.M: Who is your favourite worship artist?
B.N: Smokey Norful

M.M: Who has influenced you most recently?
B.N: My mother. I appreciate her and love her wisdom
M.M: What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
B.N: “Fluffed” meat in Botswana

M.M: What do you do to relax?
B.N: Pray

M.M: GREAT!What are your thoughts on Mega Vision so far?
B.N: I’ve enjoyed the worship
By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Foundations going down....

Digging of the foundations for the children's block has begun.

We are also in the process of gathering all the building materials for this block to go up before the rainy season begins. Our faith levels are high.

Meeting the GREAT.........ladies

Mercy Chirima

Mercy is a GREAT friend whom I’ve known for years. She is working in the Zimbabwe New Frontiers office as a graphic designer. Mercy used to head up the worship at River of Life Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe where she fellowships. What I love about her most is her desire to draw close to God and she enjoys life despite the difficulties. I consider her to be a GREAT lady and this is what she had to say….

M.M: Who is your favourite worship artist?

M.C: Brooke Fraser

M.M: Who has influenced you most recently?

M.C: Rebecca Jackson – her passion for worship

M.M: What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

M.C: Snails

M.M: What do you do to relax?

M.C: Read

M.M: What are your thoughts on Mega Vision so far?

M.C: P.J has been excellent

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Poor Deserve The Best

Nigel Ring

I've been so inspired reading Nigel Ring's blog, especially the articles on the series of "The Poor Deserve The Best".

Words like "Pursuing Excellence" and "Good Practice" stand out. What is Good Practice? It's defined as God's Practice. As Kingdom people, we should seek to do all that we do to a high standard.

20 indicators fall into 2 sections with the first one being Church and Leadership. There are 8 indicators for this:
  1. Apostolic endorsement: Galations 2:10, Isaiah 61:1 - 3, Ephesians 4: 12 - 16
  2. Local church eldership oversight:
  3. Hearing God: John 8:28 - 29
  4. Vision to be clear
  5. Gospel impact: The gospel should be at the heart of all we do - HEART transformation.
  6. Kingdom extension to be intentional
  7. Individuals changed from poverty to active mission
  8. Biblical principles to be clearly applied
The articles are excellent - worth the read.

By Molly Manhanga

A Pumping Church...

Visiting…….. River of Life Church – Bulawayo

Stephen and I joined River of Life Church, Bulawayo in their main Sunday service. It was awesome. Seeing our friends again was wonderful. Needless to say. The worship was amazing and so was the word. It's a vibrant, pumping church. The Bulawayo folk are known for their uninhibited dance and worship to God. It's wonderful.

Worship at River of Life Church
I was so encouraged when I visited the Children’s work called Heroes. The children were so great and enjoyed themselves.

Heroes banner
A banner that inspired me so much had “God is our protector” written on it. It’s a reality for us in our day to day lives.

Stephen Manhanga with long time friend Eddie Makumbe

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home Based Care Training pt 3

A Bridge of Hope

The main training of the morning was on how to do a bed bath – from approaching the family to the patient – to communicating with the patient and doing a bed bath. The Home Based Care team were really knowledgeable and were able to do a bed bath quite easily. It’s great being part of such a pro-active community.

Preparations for a bed bath

Scabies is also quite a problem in the community at the moment. We discussed briefly what scabies is, how it spreads and possible solutions.
Basic Scabies Facts
  1. Scabies are caused by mites
  2. Mites are attracted to the warmth and smell of humans
  3. Female mites burrow into the skin, creating small threadlike tunnels that can sometimes be seen on the skin. The mites lay eggs and leave feces in these tunnels
How Scabies Spreads
  1. Scabies and human mites are contagious
  2. If you have scabies, you can spread mites to other people before and after you develop symptoms – for as long as you remain untreated.
  3. Scabies is spread by close, intimate contact, such as sleeping in the same bed with or touching someone who has scabies.
  4. Scabies can also be spread through clothes and bed linen.
  5. Scratching can spread scabies mites to other parts of the body.
Possible Solutions for the Kezi Community
  1. All clothes, rugs, bedding, chairs, shoes, towels, underwear etc must be washed in hot water and hung in the sun to dry.
  2. Avoid sharing hair brushes, combs etc.
  3. Bath daily.
Demonstration of a bed bath

By Molly Manhanga

Home Based Care Training pt 2

A Bridge of Hope

Ladies helping to make lemon juice

This activity was a real hit and the enthusiasm to learn something new inspired me so much.
This is the simple recipe we used:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice
3 – 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely. 
While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 – 6 lemons, enough for one, cup of juice.
Add the juice and the sugar water to a jug. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength.
Refrigerate 30 – 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more water.
Serve with ice and lemon slices
The lemonade was GREAT. Give it a try and TASTE!

By Molly Manhanga

Home Based Care Training pt 1

A Bridge of Hope

We had such fun at our training on Wednesday. 38 people turned up but it was exciting that 2 men joined the 36 women.

Molly at the HBC training

The ice-breaker was such a laugh as each person introduced themselves and did an action to reflect what they enjoy doing. Imitating each person was hilarious.

I then asked each person to draw a picture of how they see their future in 5 years; how they hoped to impact their community. Very interesting ideas came up but the most common was looking after the orphans in the community. Linked to this activity was “Walking the Bridges” – a journey of getting to our dream island – our future. While trying to get our future island we can encounter many challenges, trials and obstacles. It is easier to overcome these obstacles if we have the help of family, friends, communities and churches to reach our dream island. The participation was excellent.

Walking the bridges
By Molly Manhanga

Faithful Stewards visit to Kezi

Faithful Stewards visit Kezi

Zulu, one of the leaders of Kingdom People Church in Harare – part of the New Frontiers Family of Churches, and his team – Simon and Blessing from River of Life Church, Westgate in Harare, came to visit us in Kezi over the weekend. They are part of the Faithful Stewards programme and they came down to Kezi to do monitoring and evaluation as well as interviewing some of the local farmers in the area.

Mark Wells addressing the folk 

The Faithful Steward team also joined us at Crossroads Community Church for our Combined Men’s and Women’s meeting held on the Saturday morning, a Youth meeting on the Saturday afternoon as well as the main Celebration Service held on the Sunday morning.

Zulu playing the bongo drum at the combined meeting

We had an excellent time together and it was great receiving encouragement from the team. We felt loved and supported by the guys.

By Molly Manhanga