Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Relating One with Another

“Families” relating to each other

Pastor’s Mark Maklin from Christian Community Church, Hounslow, London, U.K

It was such a blessing having “family” from the U.K visiting Stephen and I in Kezi Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. We were blessed by their encouragement, love and input into our lives as well as the lives of folk at Crossroads Community Church and Ebenezer Training Centre.

Pastor Mark Maklin, Pastor Nigel Lurrie, Tina Henry and Brett Mills from Christian Community Church in Hounslow, London (affiliated to Assemblies of God) came and served us so well. Pastor Mark preached at Crossroads on the Sunday morning and folk enjoyed themselves so much. Pastor Nigel shared with the apprentices and found it more challenging in that he needed to ‘connect’ with them and help them to relax. I suppose as it was their first time hearing him, they were listening rather attentively, without smiling…… He ended up winning them over as Pastor Nigel is an anointed worship leader and plays the guitar really well.

Tina Henry is a nurse and she did extremely at the Home Based Care meeting on the Monday morning. She spoke on general hygiene and cancer. The HBC volunteers had many questions with regard to cancer. She was blown away by the service at Crossroads and has ‘promised’ to come back and visit us next year.

Brett Mills is a “fired up” Youth leader. At the age of 20, he is so passionate about God and reaching the lost – it’s inspirational. He is serving Pastors Mark and Nigel and the hope for him was that once being in Zimbabwe – a new people group and culture group, Brett would be lifted to a new level in his walk with God. That seems to be exactly what has happened. I think everything will really begin to settle once he is back in the U.K.

What an awesome time we had.

By Molly Manhanga

Operation Trumpet Call pt 10.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

Two Foundations for a Successful Enterprise:

1. Faithfulness with little (Stewardship) The Bible tells a story os a master who entrusted some money to his servants while he went away on a journey. Some of his servants invested the money to earn a profit, while one servant buried the money in the ground and it did not earn a profit. When the master returned, he was very pleased with the servants who had earned him a profit, and he took away even the little he had, to give to the other servants. This story illustrates that when we are faithful with even the little we have we gain more. If we are not faithful we experience loss. If you are faithful with the land you have, even a small piece, and steward it well, you reap a good harvest.

2. Giving to receive. It is a universal law that the more you give into something, the more you will receive. We cannot expect the land to give us a harvest if we have not given to it with some sort of fertilization. Our farming enterprise will become more profitable the more we give of our time, energy and extra effort. If you are willing to be a good steward, giving of all your resources you have available to you into your farming enterprise, you can become one of the best farmers in the world!

Operation Trumpet Call pt 9.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

Foundations for a Successful Crop:
Step by step procedure for growing maize

6. Planting: Plant after good rains in November, preferably before 25 November. (Two and a half bags of grain per hectare are lost for every day you plant after 25 November – so plant on time), plant your seed within 2 days of soaking rainfall, your seeds should be planted at a depth, which is the same as the length of a matchbox, place 3 seeds in each hole. These will ultimately be thinned to 2 per hole, which will give a plant population of 44,000 plants per hectare, plant in a straight line across the row. Cover your seeds carefully with soil until it is level with the surrounding soil surface (no clods or stones over the seeds).The should be no mulch in the soil, which is used to cover the seed – full soil to seed contact is vital for seed germination. Cover as much of the field as you possibly can with mulch.

7. Weed Control – Three Vital Principles: Hoe the weeds when they are very small. Make sure you have a good crop canopy (roof) that shades out the weeds. This is achieved by having high standards and precision of planting holes, seed placement and covering resulting in eveness of growth and a full plant population. Keep weed free throughout the year, especially at the end of the harvest! Hoe just below the surface. Cut off the roots – except for creeping grasses which must be sprayed or carried out to effectively eradicate them.

8. Thinning: Thin to an average of two plants per hole. This is very important! Thin the weakest plant or middle plant if three emerge. Leave three in the hole where one emerges on the previous hole so that there is an average of two per hole.

9. Top Dressing Fertiliser (If available): Apply a minimum of 5ml of AN fertilizer (or 200ml chicken manure) per planting station about two weeks after emergence when the plants are about 20cm tall. If you are able, apply a second dose of the same amounts just before the maize tassles. Place the dressing a minimum of 5cm from the stem base on the slope side of the plants. Place it equidistant from each plant in the planting station.

Operation Trumpet Call pt 8.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

Foundations for a Successful Crop:
Step by step procedure for growing maize

1. Tools Required: hoe, 5ml, 8ml & 12ml cups or 450ml tin can for manure or compost, 75cm measuring stick, measuring string with markers spaced every 60cm, fertilizer or manure or compost, seed.

2. Land Preparation: do not burn, stump and clear by chopping the plants off at the roots, do not plough, keep weed free.

3. Preparing Planting Stations: plant across the slope, hole out 75cm x 60cm, dig holes a hoe width wide and 8cm deep for fertilizer or 15cm deep for manure, place soil heap on downslope side, complete by at least three weeks before expected beginning of the rains i.e. by end of October in Zimbabwe.

4. Liming: (Optional) This is necessary if you have acidic soils, try to get a soil analysis done if you can, the amount of lime necessary will be according to your soil analysis, but 10ml should be a good general amount, place lime evenly across the base of the hole.

5. Fertilisation: The amount of fertilizer you use will be based on your yield targets and your available resources, ensure that your fertilizer or manure is available by the end of October to apply before the rains, if you are going to use inorganic fertilizers, apply a 12ml cup of maize compound fertilizer to each hole, if you are going to use manure, compost or ant heap apply a 450ml tin full, place it evemly across the bottom of your hole, cover the fertilizer slightly until you have your required seed planting depth in your hole and wait for the rains.

Operation Trumpet Call pt 7.

Brian Oldreive

Foundations for a Profit:
Profitability is possible if you faithfully apply these management principles of doing everything:

1. On Time: Plan ahead, Prepare well, Start early, Never be late.

2. At A High Standard: Do every operation and detail as well as you can with no shortcuts. Be honest and honorable in all you do.

3. Without Wastage: Don’t waste time, soil, water, sunlight, seed, nutrients, labour, energy, opportunity etc.

4. With Joy: If you do these first three things faithfully without self pity, complaining, blaming others, making excuses, but with thankfulness, there will be no need to fear and hopelessness and you will have hope and joy which gives you strength.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Operation Trumpet Call pt 6.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

Foundations for Production:
The Foundations for Farming principles can be applied in the smallest back yard garden to the largest commercial farm. On a small scale all work is manual and requires nothing more technical than a hoe.

Typically, you’ll be able to grow sufficient food to:
1. Feed your family
2. Sell surplus to help buy next year’s inputs
3. Sell and make a profit and pay for other living expenses
4. Give to others

We have testimonies of farmers who, by adopting Foundations for farming methods, have increased their yield over tenfold i.e. 0.3 tonnes to over 3 tonnes.
Profitability is essential for sustained production and development. The only alternative to profitability for survival in the short term is begging or theft, both of which cause poverty in the long term.

Operation Trumpet Call pt 5.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

The Solution
Foundation for Farming can reverse these trends because it brings a very effective and appropriate technology and implementation system and deals with the socio-cultural causes of the problem.

It is a natural law that those who are faithful with what they have, gain more. Foundations for farming principles protect and preserve the soil and rain a farmer is given.
In God’s natural creation:
1. There is no ploughing.
2. There is a wonderful mulch cover from the fallen leaves and plant material. This greatly reduces soil erosion and captures and transfers the precious water effectively to the plants, reducing the risk from drought, pests and disease.

Operation Trumpet Call pt 4.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

The Problem
Africa has 30% of the world’s natural resources and some of the best climate, rainfall and soils in the world. Africa has an abundance of arable land. Yet, over 35% of the population is chronically undernourished and the whole continent of Africa only contributes 1.3% to the world’s produce – it has the same GDP as a small country like Mexico. (Kofi Annan – World Economic Forum on Africa, February 2008)

In the last 50 years, Africa has received over US$2,000 billion of aid, yet the number of people living in poverty has increased.

While world grain production has been increasing, Africa’s production has remained stagnant.
Why is Africa gripped by poverty and hunger? Why is the situation getting worse despite all the aid being given?

Brian Oldreive chatting to Craig and Wessie

With the use of traditional farming methods, Africa has seen a decrease in yields and an escalation of costs over many years. In a climate where rainfall is often limited to short intense periods, ploughed land is washed away and only a small amount of the available moisture is retained. Traditional methods have sought to extract from the soil without protecting it.

Operation Trumpet Call pt 3.

Foundations for Farming – Formerly Farming God’s Way
Revelation to Feed A Nation

Brian Oldreive

I’ve known Brian and Cath Oldreive for 13 years and they are truly remarkable. Stephen and I lived with the Oldreive’s for 3 months and they have become our “spiritual parents.” What you see in public is how they are in private: loving, honest, compassionate, humble, gentle, God-fearing folk - People who genuinely love the poor and have a heart to seeing the poor empowered. They are such a blessing to all who meet them. I love and respect them so much. We were so encouraged and inspired listening to Brian share at Operation Trumpet Call held in Bulawayo.

The Foundation
Foundations for Farming started many years ago when the farm which Brian Oldreive was managing in the North of Zimbabwe was nearing bankruptcy. Burning and deep soil inversion were common practice on the farm causing terrible sheet erosion to occur resulting in loss of seed and water. Increasing amounts of money were being spent on the machinery required for ploughing and double rollings of the lands, and yet the yields were declining.

Being a man of faith, Brian asked God to reveal a way for him to get out of the dire situation he found himself in. God began to reveal to him that in natural creation there is no deep soil inversion and that a thick “blanket” of fallen leaves and grass covers the surface of the soil. This led him to research how he could apply theses ways of nature to his farming. He began to experiment with zero-tillage using a simple hoe on 2 hectares at the highest standards possible.

The results were outstanding and so he had the faith to increase the hectarage under zero-tillage. Within six years the whole farm of 1,000 hectares was under minimum tillage and in subsequent years, due to the yearly profits from then on, other farms were bought and he oversaw the farming of 3,500 hectares of net annually cropped area. The success of the principles advocated, are undeniable in his life’s testimony.

Foundations for Farming was born out of a man basing his farming and life on the foundations found in God’s word, the Bible. If you would like to find out more about these foundations, why don’t you read the Bible for yourself? We recommend that you start by reading these verses:
Proverbs 3:5 – 6
Isaiah 58
Matthew 25:14 – 30
Luke 6:38
John 14:6 – 7
Romans 3:23
Romans 6:23

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Operation Trumpet Call pt 2.

Mbonisi arriving at Victory Fellowship in Bulawayo
Mbonisi Malaba, lead Elder from New Creation Church (River of Life church in Bulawayo) also shared a brilliant word. He spoke on The Trumpet Call. He said we are living in the days of a Trumpet Sound. Isaiah 58: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.”

(1) Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.
Mbonisi also read from Nehemiah 4:13 – 19.

Every believer should be asking these 4 questions:
1. Where are we now?
2. Why are we here?
3. What should we do?
4. Where will that take us?

Where are we now?
(2) For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
(3) “Why have we fasted,” they say, “and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and have not noticed?”

Mbonisi preaching

Why are we here?
Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
(4) Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
(5) Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
Christianity is both vertical (God and me) and horizontal (You and me). How are we treating one another? To work together we got to be together, be in agreement. Jesus is our answer.

What should we do?
(6) “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
What is oppressing the people? What is the yoke?
(7) Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
We should:
 Loose the chains of injustice
 Break every yoke
 Set the oppressed
 Feed the hungry

The word coming ALIVE. Relevant word for a relevant time.

Where will that take us?
(8) Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Ephesians 3:10 “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.”
(9) Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here I am. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
(10) And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
(11) The lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land (There is hope for Matabeleland) and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
(12) Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Operation Trumpet Call pt 1

Dr Goodwill Shana

It was excellent attending Operation Trumpet Call yesterday. Over 20 different churches from the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) were represented. Operation Trumpet Call is an initiative by the churches in Zimbabwe with the focus being on Foundations for Farming.
Dr Goodwill Shana – president of EFZ, opened with an outstanding message. Some highlights of what he said are:
1. Evangelical/Theological: basis of our faith
2. Fellowship: “fellows in a ship”
3. Zimbabwe: We are living in Zimbabwe

Dr Shana preaching

We are going through some stuff right now in the nation. We need the biblical aspect and fellowship to give us momentum to help Zimbabwe. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.” God has a plan and purpose for Zimbabwe. The instrument God uses for His plan and purpose is the collective church – All of us together. The Church influences the Nation.

85% of people in Zimbabwe are church goers therefore I am an instrument of god’s mandate on earth. When a nation was in trouble, God uses the Church. If we take our eyes off God, He will allow things to happen: if we are idolatrous, have wrong values, disunity and disharmony etc, God allows hard times and persecution. He doesn’t allow compromise in a nation.

God is calling the remnant. We have an answer; we are the voice of God. In 2 Kings 7 we see how the word of the man of God changes things. We need the voice of the Church in Theology, in Fellowship and in Zimbabwe. Isaiah 6.
We need perishing paradigms to see prophetic perceptions. When things die, the only place to go to is to God.
The land is very important. We see with Adam – he was to look after the land – to work it. The church needs to influence the land: impact the generations through productivity of the nation. We preach in a practical way and Foundations for Farming is preaching in action. Christianity must affect us in every area of life. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we think. We are salt of this earth. 2 Corinthians 3: we are God’s garden.

If we nourish the nation, we’ll influence the nation. EFZ has 6 primary focuses and these are:
1. Food and humanitarian relief
2. Service recovery and delivery
3. Healing, reconciliation and unity
4. New dispensation of governance
5. Economy
6. Land

The EFZ has mobilized 10 provinces as we see our nation of Zimbabwe feeding itself in the WORD and FOOD.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Positives, Negatives and Neutrals

Positives, Negatives and Neutrals.....Interesting title.I read a really interesting article on Mark Driscolls blog on “Positives, Negatives and Neutrals”. This is what he wrote:
“Every ministry leader needs to be a positive. They also need to know who the positives, negatives and neutrals are in official leadership and unofficial leadership in their ministry.


Positives are people who do gospel things in gospel ways for gospel reasons. They are trusting, supportive and encouraging. They build bridges and mediate conflict. Positives bring organizational health, work for the good of the gospel over any single issue or cause, and are a blessing because they humbly want the gospel to win. Positives are prone to turn neutrals into positives, while they also work to neutralize negatives. In the Bible, positives are often referred to as shepherds.
NegativesNegatives are people who do ungospel things in ungospel ways for ungospel reasons. They are distrusting, unsupportive, discouraging and contentious. They burn bridges, are wounded by bitterness from past hurts and are often the centre of criticism and conflict. Negatives bring organizational sickness, division and trouble because they are proudly more interested in their cause winning than the gospel and the good of the whole. Negatives tend to draw other negatives towards themselves as factions, and they also prey on neutrals in order to increase their own power and control. In the Bible, negatives are often referred to as wolves.
NeutralsNeutrals are followers who are easily influenced. They are prone to being unsure, confused, and fearful. Neutrals are often caught in the middle when there is conflict between positives and negatives. A neutral becomes a positive or negative depending upon who their friends are, whom they listen to, what information they have access to, which books they read and which teachers they look up to. In the Bible, neutrals are often referred to as sheep.

Sadly, in most ministries, the negatives are the most vocal, most exhausting, and most distracting, as well as the least likely to contribute to growth and health. Though few, they are often loud and difficult, spreading – as Paul says – like gangrene through the church body (2 Timothy 2:17) Practically, this means that even few negatives working together can become quite difficult. The Bible reveals that negatives often pair up like two barrels of a gun, as was the case with Jannes and Jambels opposing Moses, Sanballet and Tobiah opposing Nehemiah and Hymenaeus and Alexander opposing Paul.”Mark Driscoll then goes on to write about how to stay positive. I LOVED it. 

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meeting the GREAT......ladies - Tashinga Malaba

Tashinga Malaba

Tashinga, better known as Tash is a GREAT friend whom I’ve known for years. She is married to Mbonisi Malaba, the lead elder of River of Life church in Bulawayo. Tash is a dynamic lady, a mother of two and great to be around. I consider her to be a GREAT lady and this is what she had to say….

M.M: Who is your favourite worship artist?T.M: Michael W. Smith
M.M: Who has influenced you most recently?T.M: Apart from Mbonisi who is an ongoing influence, my good friend Sabina, James Dobson, Drew & Megan Land/Dave Larsen(i-groups), Elizabeth George and some really cool mums I hang out with once a week.

M.M: What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?T.M: Octopus!M.M: What do you do to relax?T.M: I like to read, I like to watch DVDs with Mbo, and more recently I like to write.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?T.M: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what’s for lunch. : )

M.M: Here, here Tash:-)

Mbonisi Malaba – lead Elder of River of Life church Bulawayo

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Terry and Wendy Virgo

Terry and Wendy Virgo
What a privilege having Terry and Wendy Virgo minister to us in Harare, Zimbabwe last month. I’m just constantly blown away at how humble they are and just how much they love God. I’ve been thinking about how best to describe Terry Virgo and I think Adrian Warnock does it brilliantly.

He says of Terry…

“….the father of the family of churches of which I am thrilled to be a part, and a man I respect like few others alive today.
Terry Virgo is that rare true gift of God to the global Church, a man who will leave the worldwide Church in a far better state than he found it. His influence extends far beyond the 500 churches which are a part of Newfrontiers to the many thousands of others who have been affected by his teaching.”

This is a snapshot of this amazing man – a true and rare gift from God.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Heart of Worship (When The Music Fades)

How do you respond when you arrive home and discover that you’d had a break-in: the place is a mess and things have been stolen? While Stephen called the farm security, I prayed. The peace of God is just beautiful. Yes, the thief got caught (a teenage girl believe it or not) and we have dropped the charges. A few days later I was sitting on my verandah in Kezi watching the sun set, listening to gospel music, thinking the break-in and how God cares about our finest details when this song spoke volumes to me….

A golden oldie
The Heart of Worship (When the Music fades)When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Only just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart

I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself, is not what you have required,
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You looking in to my heart

Chorus: I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus,
I’m sorry Lord for the things I’ve made it
When it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus.

King of endless worth
No one can express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single word

I’ll bring you more than just a song
For song in itself, is not what you have required,
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

Chorus: I’m coming back to the heart of worship
Nand it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus
I’m sorry lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus.
Amazing words when it hits home that EVERYTHING is about Jesus.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, October 5, 2009

Visiting Crossroads Church & Ebenezer

Ostrich Chicks

After meeting with Scott and the team, Stephen and I went with Tim, Donna and Anna to visit Crossroads Community Church and Ebenezer Training Centre. Whilst in the community, we saw ostrich chicks. Donna and Anna had a chance to carry them – and they are just the cutest things ever!

Anna and Donna holding the baby ostriches 
We stopped at Crossroads Community Church and Stephen shared vision with the 3 guests. The builders were very busy with the toilets. Donna was impressed with all the changes that had taken place.

Anna and Donna at Crossroads

The team then visited Ebenezer Training Centre and were shown the various crops in the ground which are looking excellent. Tim commented on the Ebenezer nursery. It certainly is looking good with the cabbage and onion seedlings. They then stopped at the compost heaps and Steve explained how compost is made, regulated and turned around. They also met the Ebenezer team.
The last stop over was at the Dam. What a beautiful sight! It was an excellent afternoon.

By Molly Manhanga

Scott Marques...on mission in Bulawayo pt 2

Scott Marques
Scott then pitched his next bit of encouragement to Mbonisi Malaba, Stephen Manhanga and Tapiwa Chizana. He said being together makes us share unique characteristics:
1. Grace preached – preaching is Christ-centered

2. Leadership style that reflects New Testament wineskin. Plurality of elders and servant leadership.
3. Influence lives: large meetings, home to home, one on one meetings, discipleship. Get to know one another.
4. Kingdom expression of the gospel: relevant preaching of the gospel and have practical help with Foundations of Family, Health, Farming, Education. Do it all for the Glory of God.
5. Worship Jesus
6. Focus on the family
7. Be open to apostolic and prophetic gifting.
Need to communicate the truth as it affects world views. Have a quality of church life and it will open to massive revival.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Scott Marques...on mission in Bulawayo pt 1

Scott Marques
Scott Marques, Apostolic leader within the New Frontier Family of Churches in Zimbabwe, came to Bulawayo…..on a mission. He came down with Timothy Maunza, Anna Bryon and Donna Bloemfield.

15 leaders from Bulawayo, Kezi & Mguza gathered. Scott affirmed and encouraged the leaders... like only he can:

God is on the move in the nation. People are genuinely loving Jesus and living in unity. The Lord commands a blessing where there is unity.

It is vitally important to have churches in the peri-urban and rural areas. Where there once was no hope, people can come alive, loving Jesus and loving each other. Although there is a lot that goes on in the communities, the church needs to be relevant – bringing healing, helping widows and orphans. People in humble circumstances need to know that they are important and significant.

The battle is to take on the giant of poverty and take it down. When people feel small and insignificant – that is what God uses to take down giants. We are in the same army and we need young men and women to step out and take the giant – to do things what those around them expected.

It’s combat time. Let’s live and love God. We talk about Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi and reaching the nations. Let’s do what God has called us to do. Let’s run together and let the Glory of God shine.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga