Thursday, December 17, 2009

What about Kidz Alive?

Precious children coming to hear God's word and have some FUN.

Kidz Alive children singing a song

Did the children come to the christmas luncheon and enjoy themselves? Without a doubt. It's wonderful seeing children laugh, recite poems, sing to God and pray. They loved running around, eating sweets as well as sharing a meal.

Just too adorable!

What a lovely time we all had. Praise God!
By Molly Manhanga

Christmas luncheon at Crossroads

Peter preaching at Crossroads

It was WONDERFUL being in such a vibrant church where people really want to be in church, to praise and worship God, grow in their faith and encourage others to come.

We had an excellent service on Sunday with 148 children and 130 adults from the Mablauwuni community and surrounding villages. The praise and worship was livelyand the freedom experienced by all was GREAT. Bongo drums, tamberines, shakers and vuvuzela's filled the marquee as people danced, clapped, laughed and praised God.

Peter and Di Cunningham join in the vibrant service at Crossroads

It was awsome having the community leaders in the service as it gave us a chance to thank them and honour them for welcoming us into the community.

Peter preached an awsome word. Friends of ours from Bulawayo Baptist Church - Rodney, Daphne & Weslie Saunders also joined us and enjoyed their time in Kezi.

Christmas is all about CHRIST and we rejoice that He was born.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Brave! or what?

Black mamba
It's that time of the year when we are enjoying the rains again. New life and growth are seen as the environment turns green and flowers blossom.

BUT, it's also time for bugs, snakes and other unimaginable creepy crawlies to show face. One such snake ventured to cross the road near my office in Kezi and wasn't so lucky. The farm security smashed and battered it head. It was a black mamba, over 3 metres long. Were they brave - or what?
By Molly Manhanga

Monday, December 14, 2009

Crossroads Leaders Being Spurred On.....

…… Scott Marques ........

It was wonderful when Scott Marques visited Ebenezer Training Centre and took time to meet with and encourage the up and coming leaders of Crossroads Community Church. He “heard their voices” before encouraging them. He said:

1. There are leaders in the staff who genuinely love and pray for them. He encouraged the emerging leaders to open their hearts to the staff and to God and shine as an example at Ebenezer and the community. They will impact many people. Scott said the leaders had done well.

2. He encouraged them to shine in what they are doing as it will not only affect Kezi, but Bulawayo and other regions like Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and so on. He purred them on by saying they need to have missional thinking and be faithful as faithfulness leads to fruitfulness. God brings the fruits when we are faithful.

Some of the emerging leadersfrom Crossroads Community Church

Stephen Manhanga – leader of Crossroads Community Church, thanked Scott who came from Mozambique and took the time to visit Kezi to encourage the leaders. What a blessing!
By Molly Manhanga

Christ Centredness

Stephen Manhanga training on keeping records

Christ CentredWe cannot enjoy Christ centred family life unless our individual lives are centred on Christ. God created people for his glory. When our lives are centred on Christ, he lives in us and we glorify him in all we are and do. Therefore we can live with confidence that Christ is enough at all times and in all circumstances.

Our security comes from living a Christ centred life. It overflows into our families enabling us to enjoy peace in our homes. Christ centred families reflect the relationships of Harmony and love between The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit with The Trinity. They exaly Christ in their everyday Life and enjoy Him as they pray and worship together. They delight to serve Christ as they spread the light of the gospel to others.

Isaiah 43:7, Philippians 1:21, Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Joshua 24:15, Psalm 127:1, Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9, Matthew 5:13 – 16 and Matthew 28:18 – 20

Sexual Purity

Elizabeth Mhunduru better known as "Aunty Liz" training on Sexual Purity

Sexual Purity
God made us men and women as sexual beings and said that all He had made was very good. Within marriage, sex is blessed by God who intends it to be a joy and delight to both partners, because sexual intercourse is so precious to people and so significant in the sight of God, it is kept for the bond of marriage. This means no sex before marriage and no sex outside marriage.

Jesus also made it clear that sexual purity extends beyond the physical act of sexual intercourse to avoiding lustful thoughts and behaviour. However the Bible shows that sex sin can be forgiven and God calls the church to keep a balance between His justice and His forgiveness.

Some serious discussions taking place......

Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 5:15 – 23, Song of Songs 4: 1 – 5:1, 8:8 – 9, Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 6: 13 – 20, Matthew 5:31 – 32, Job 31:1 and Matthew 5:27 – 30

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Valued Children

Elizabeth Mhunduru training on The Family

Valued Children
Jesus showed that children are significant people in God’s sight. They should be treated as valued members of the family. Children are a gift and blessing from God to any married couple.

Parents are responsible to bring their children up to know and love the Lord. Both father and mother should be active in this vital task, God who is THE Father, is the model and example for all parents.

However, is a couple is not able to have children their marriage is complete in God’s sight, and should be accepted as such in church and society.

Matthew 18:2 – 6, Psalm 128: 3 - 4, Matthew 19: 14, Psalm 127: 3 – 5, Proverbs 6:20, Proverbs 22:6, Genesis 18:19, Ephesians 6: 1 – 4, Hebrews 12:7 – 11 and Luke 1:6 –

Committed Couples

Discussion Groups

Committed Couples
Marriage is God’s idea. He created men and women equally in His image to be companions and to help each other. The foundation for marriage is given in Genesis 2:24 “a man will leave his father and mother”: The marriage relationship comes before all others including our relatyionship with our parents. When a couple marry, they set up a new family unit.

“and be united to his wife”: Marriage is the union of one man and one woman in intimate, life-long relationship and companionship.

“ and the two shall become one flesh”: This refers to sexual intercourse which comes after leaving and being united and so is kept for marriage.

In our short life on earth, it is possible to bring God glory either in marriage or as a single adult. Neither is a higher or more spiritual calling because for both men and women our first marriage is to Christ. We are His bride.

The wedding of the lamb has come. The bride closes with the wedding of Christ and the church. Every human marriage points forward to that glorious day and every Christian, married or single, is fully part of it for ever.

Genesis 1:27, 2:18, 2:24, Matthew 19:4 – 6, Mark 10:6 – 9, Ephesians 5: 18 – 33, Matthew 19:11 – 12, 1 Corinthians 7:7 and Revelation 19:7.

Everyone in Family

David Cunningham training on The Family
The biblical word for family is “house” which means a physical building and then refers to all the people in a ‘household’. Household includes all living generations and all in the family such as servants, visitors and animals. It is similar to the traditional extended family of Africa where everyone belonged in family.

Today family life is changing and we need to make a special effort to preserve the strength of the extended family by caring for the relatives in our extended families. By including everyone in the life of our families, especially single adults, orphans and widows. BUT there is a limit to the demands of relatives. In the church family and the human family, people are required to contribute what they can – “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

Joshua 7:18, Exodus 20:10, Isaiah 58:7, 1 Timothy 5:8 and 16, Psalm 68:5 – 6 and 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Five Family Values

"Revelation To Build A nation"

Five Family Values
God’s ideal for family is a strong marriage relationship between a man and a woman as the center of an extended family network. When the Church has restored relationships and strong families, it demonstrates how heaven invades earth. The church is the Bride of Christ. Revival across Africa is in the hands of the local church.

Here are Five Family Values that sum up God’s plan for family in all cultures and all times:

1. Everyone in family
2. Committed couples
3. Valued children
4. Sexual purity
5. Christ centred

Foundations for Family

A group of about 16 people from Umguza and Kezi gathered at the Family Impact offices for a 2 day training on the Family. We had folk from Themalezizwe Church, New Life for All Church, River of Life Westgate Church, New Creations Church, United Penticostal Church and Crossroads Community Church.

The training was amazing as we looked at the Five Family Values as well as keeping records in agriculture. The facilitators were David Cunningham, Alan Norton, Stephen Manhanga and Elizabeth Mhunduru.

Lynne Knight from Family Impact is the Project Co-ordinator of Foundations for Family while David Cunningham, also from Family Impact is the Custodian. What I love so much about Lynne and David is that they actually LIVE out Family. It's so encouraging.

David Cunningham

"Revelation To Build A Nation"

The Problem:
Malfunctioning relationships, disturbed families, disjointed churches, dysfunctional society. When people no longer treat each other as human beings, when people are treated as objects, it results in rape, prostitution, sexual abuse, forced child labour, alcoholism, racism, extreme violence, domestic violence, and you think this is normal……. That is when hell invades earth

The Solution:
Loving relationships, strong families, inclusive churches, transformed society……When objects become human beings again, made in the image of God, when a soldier becomes a son, when a prostitute becomes a mother, when families become a safe place to be, when fathers turn to their children, when husbands love their wives……….. That is when Heaven invades earth

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One on one with Pastor Mark Macklin

Pastor Mark Macklin
Senior Pastor of Christian Community Church, West London

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
M.M: I was in youth and children’s Ministry for about ten years. I led another church for four years before I became the senior leader at CCCWL. Long ago, I spent some years in the army and when I left, I worked for a computer firm.

M.M: How best would you describe your family life?
M.M: Julie and I have three children: Ami 15, Ryan 13 and Cameron 10. It is hectic even chaotic at times, but a lot of fun. We thank God for three excellent young people.

M.M: How long have you been leading the church?
M.M: Ten years last month

M.M: What have bee the highlights of the ministry?
M.M: I love most things about what I do. Seeing people connect with God is always the best part of it.

M.M: Any challenges you've faced?
M.M: Challenges I have faced just today, just joking. Challenges are always there, just different in each place.
Challenges for us here in London :

1. Trying to get people to understand that God wants to use them.

2. Trying to help people understand change in Church life.

3. Wanting to be relevant to the community and not seen like some dinosaur from another age.

4. The lack of space !!

M.M: How was your Sunday service at Crossroads?
M.M: The first thing I noticed was friendly people. The second thing was that these people wanted to be in Church and engaged in worship. Nothing was going to stop the service, even when we lost half the canvas roof. Nothing seemed to bother the leaders. We were here to have Church and that’s what we will do. We can all learn a lot from that. It was a great experience and one that I feel privileged to have seen and been a part of.

M.M: This is so encouraging. Any words of encouragement for us here in Kezi?
M.M: Just keep pushing through. Every set back that may come can be turned into an opportunity. If you can find that key of opportunity in everything, who knows what God will do in that place.

M.M: You've been a real blessing to us at Crossroads. Enjoy your time in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Faithful Stewards Programme Seed Distribution pt 2

An elderly farmer from Mablauwuni Village waiting patiently for his seed.
It was brilliant that we were able to distribute seed to elderly folk, widows, orphans and so on. Visiting their homes was a highlight as we were able to actually get a feel of what was happening on the ground.

Stephen Manhanga verifying names of farmers before the distribution began at Crossroads Community Church.

By Molly Manhanga

Faithful Stewards Programme Seed Distribution pt 1

Farmers receiving seed
It was excellent receiving the Foundations for Farming training at Shalom Camp Site at the end of October. What was also fantastic for the farmers was receiving maize seed and cowpeas. They were really thankful and went to plant at their homes. The rainy season has started and so the farmers are really busy in their fields.

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"God Moments........"

I LOVE having "God Moments" - some cut to the heart while others are sheer bliss. This morning, I was reading an old Newfrontiers magazine "A Tribute To Two Great Heroes" those being Simon Pettit and Frank Gamble when these nuggets spoke volumes to me:

1. Faith says 'we can do it' when everything screams 'it's impossible!'

2. The word automatic is part of our doesn't work like that; it's not automatic.

3. Every single person you meet, whatever their background, is made in the image of God, that is, the God of the Bible, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. When God desires something He usually gets it. God's desire is to save. He sent His Son to make it happen. 
By Molly Manhanga

A few minutes with John Hosier

John Hosier at Crossroads Community Church, Kezi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

What do you do to relax?
Read, listen to music, walk, help Sue gardening and visit my grandchildren

What is your favourite quote?
1 Corinthians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 10:14

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Crocodile pate

What are you most passionate about?
The local church

John and Sue Hosier at Crossroads Community Church with Stephen Manhanga, leader of Crossroads
Who has shaped your life?
My wife Sue, Terry Virgo, Martin Lloyd Jones, John Piper

What sorts of book do you like reading?
Lots of Theology books. I’ve read Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” a few times. I read books that win literary prizes so that I can keep up with what people are reading.

What is your favourite current album?
It’s a Moroccon/French album called Tootya.

By Molly Manhanga

A few minutes with Sue Hosier

Sue Hosier at Crossroads Community Church

What do you do to relax?

What is your favourite quote?
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in beleiveing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

What are you most passionate about?
The Lord, the church, my family, discipling younger women and compost

Who has shaped your life?
My husband John

What sorts of book do you like reading?
Traveling books

What is your favourite current album?
Evan Rogers “Devoted”

John and Sue Hosier at a compost heap at Ebenezer Training Centre

By Molly Manhanga

A few minutes with Shaun McElvaine

Anne Cowley & Shaun McElvaine at Crossroads Community Church
I met Shaun McElvaine last year when he came to serve at New Creation Church, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is a wonderful person and really talented. Shaun and Anne have been dating for a year and it was awsome seeing him again at Crossroads and Ebenezer. It was Anne's first time in Zimbabwe and she loves it so far. They make a "cute" couple.

What do you do to relax?Play music
What is your favourite quote?John Piper “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?Kapenta
What are you most passionate about?Anne
Who has shaped your life?My grandfather. He moved out to Zimbabwe and became head of the civil service for a long time. Pastor Simon Elliot also shaped my life.

What sorts of book do you like reading?
What is your favourite current album?Oliver Mutukudzi’s greatest hits

By Molly Manhanga

A few minutes with Anne Cowley

Shaun McElvaine & Anne Cowley at Ebenezer Training Centre

What do you do to relax?Watch films and eat
What is your favourite quote?The joy of the Lord is my strength
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?Ostrich
What are you most passionate about?Children’s ministry
Who has shaped your life?A few people like Sarah Metry who discipled me, Beny Johnson, Stef Liston and Simon Virgo
What sorts of book do you like reading?Short Christian books
What is your favourite current album?Jurassic Five 

By Molly Manhanga