Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Around Zimbabwe with the Poes pt 3

Bvumba Botanical Gardens

Arriving in Mutare was great as Stephen and I managed to spend some time with family while Sam and Marlene caught up with new friends who are very interested in Chronological Bible Storying.

The Bvumba was a lovely experience. The winding road, the plush green vegetation, the amazing variety of flowers, the cascading mountains and so on, was a refreshing experience. As soon as we arrived at Bvumba Botanical Gardens, both Stephen and I looked for the spot where Stephen proposed to me. He found it first. It sure is beautiful!

Walking through the gardens was so peaceful. I was tempted to lie under a shady tree and listen to the various sounds of insects while admiring my surroundings. The small streams and waterfalls are just pleasurable............especially when you stand on a small wooden bridge that overlooks the streams and waterfalls. The sound of the water “washes” away any stress or anxiety that you may be feeling and it’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts. Nature at its best! There were huge palm trees that caught our attention. As Sam and Marlene stood under them, well.........they looked minute. The trees were probably over 10 m tall. A small gazebo built in 1960 gave Stephen ideas of what he’d like to build at Crossroads. The walk in all was excellent
Stream at the Botanical Garden

Footpath in the Botanical Gardens

After the Botanical Gardens, we went to The Leopard Rock Hotel – an extremely beautiful & posh place known for its golf course which happens to be the second most difficult course in the world. Late Princess Diana visited Leopard Rock and so did the Queen of England. We walked through part of the Hotel and it was........NICE. I appreciated everything about the place. It comes highly recommended.

Entrance to the Leopard Rock Hotel

After seeing the beautiful sites, we decided to stop at “Tony’s” in the Bvumba for some tea and cake. We were blown away! Everything about Tony’s is wonderful – the setting, the service, the tea, the cake ‘is to die for’ etc. It is a place you’d easily recommend to anyone who is visiting the Eastern Highlands. We had a treat........

Tea at Tony’s – eat your heart out!

We had an excellent morning in the Bvumba. After Tea, we headed off to Nyanga which was our next destination – still in the Eastern Highlands.

Read more on our trip around Zimbabwe with the Poes....

By Molly Manhanga

Around Zimbabwe with the Poes pt 2

Lake Mutirikwi

Visiting Lake Mutirikwi was wonderful. Water just reminds me of the magnificence of God especially during creation when He said “Let there be....” and there was. His power, strength, calmness, peacefulness, stillness, quietness and so on is reflected through water.

Dam Wall

Walking on the dam wall was excellent. We could feel the spray from the open floodgate at the bottom of the dam wall. The flora and fauna was lovely. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to walk up a hill to see St Andrews Chapel. Next time, I guess.

Some facts about Lake Mutirikwi:
1. Effective capacity of 1,378,000ml
2. The surface area is 9,105hectares
3. Maximum water depth is 57,10m
4. Catchment area is 3,990km
5. Height of wall is 63,1m
6. Construction dates is 1958 - 1960

Lake Mutirikwi – water flowing down to the Lowveld: South East Zimbabwe (Triangle, Chiredzi & Hippo Valley)

The journey to Mutare in the Eastern Highlands was good. We look forward to tomorrows site seeing of the Bvumba Botanical Gardens and passing through Leopard Rock Hotel. These should be amazing sites..........We will then proceed to Nyanga.

By Molly Manhanga

Around Zimbabwe with the Poes pt 1

Sam and Marlene Poe at The Hill Complex

It was really great deciding with Sam and Marlene that we would go on a trip together to Masvingo (my home town) and see the Zimbabwe Monument – formally known as the Zimbabwe Ruins, visit Mutare (Stephen’s birth place) and see the Bvumba Botanical Gardens which is very, very beautiful and dear to my heart as this is the place where Stephen proposed to me 14 years ago. From Mutare, we would visit Nyanga which is also beautiful and scenic. I love it!

We left Bulawayo and headed for Masvingo. The drive was smooth and Stephen and Sam had much to chat about while Marlene and I were enjoying the scenery and chatting about an upcoming Kidz Alive event for early January 2011. As we neared Masvingo, I felt such a love and warmth in my heart. I have such special and happy childhood memories. Seeing the home I grew up in was wonderful. I truly honour and thank God for my mum and dad. What a privilege to have had such loving parents!

We stopped at The Wimpy (fast foods outlet) and had lunch before we proceeded to The Zimbabwe Monument. I have been here countless times as I was growing up but, for the first time, I really felt like a “tourist” on this particular visit. The setting is just amazing. It was excellent climbing the Hill Complex – formally known as The Acropolis. I recalled the days when I was younger and used to run up the Hill Complex as a form of exercise. Now, climbing the steps on the Ancient Path was slow and interesting. Our guide did an excellent job of telling us the history of the place and how communication took place those years – a loud noise was made and it echoed through the hills and people knew that they were being summoned for a meeting. The Hill Complex was where the King lived together with other men. The Kings sister was the only female who lived on The Hill Complex as she was the “food taster” for the King. The King apparently had 200 wives (Rather much!! 199 too many) that would cook for him. Having many wives, children and cattle was a symbol of ones wealth. About 25, 000 people lived in that community of the Hill Complex and the Great Enclosure where the Queen and 199 wives lived.

Conical Tower

The scenery from the Hill Complex was stunning! Seeing Lake Mutirikwi – formally known as Lake Kyle, was wonderful. We then visited the Museum for more History – work people did, what they traded, religious beliefs, meaning of the birds and so on. Lastly, we visited The Great Enclosure where we saw the famous conical tower and were enlightened on the rituals that took place with the younger women. Oh yes, if any of the many wives “misbehaved”, they were disciplined by the Queen. That is so..................interesting!

Sam, Marlene, Stephen and I stayed at a place called “Lodge at The Ancient City”. It was beautiful and peaceful!

We head off to visit Lake Mutirikwi this morning, before proceeding on our journey to Mutare.

Lodge at The Ancient City

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thought for the day

Colossians 3:16 - 17

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the father through Him."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meet Andy Thorn

Andy Thorn
I had “met” Andy Thorn via emails earlier this year through a mutual friend from Bishopstortford. I missed Andy when he visited Zimbabwe and came to Ebenezer earlier this year and it was wonderful finally meeting him when he came to our home recently. When in Zimbabwe, Andy is linked to City Pentecostal Church in Bulawayo. This is what he said……

M.M: Tell me about your background?A.T: I was born on 24/8/1963 and brought up in a Christian home. I schooled to “O” level standard and trained in insurance - an industry that I have been now working in for 30 years. I had a very stable up-bringing and traditional English lifestyle.

M.M: How best would you describe your family life?A.T: I am married with 4 children (2 older girls and 2 younger boys) and family life is hectic and busy at times. However, two of my children are now grown up –Patsi, 20, and Corrie, 18, and the boys are less difficult to look after than when they were younger as they are now 15 (Alex) and 13 (Joshua). So life is calmer now.

My wife is Ruth and I love her so much. She is the foundation upon which our family is built (though you could be super-spiritual about that kind of thing if you want) and I am proud of myself to have chosen so well in choosing Ruth!

M.M: Love it! What are the highlights of your time in Zimbabwe?A.T: This is my ninth trip to Zimbabwe since 2004. Everything is a hi-light this time. The anointing and favour of God has been upon me. We have been able to purchase a much needed project vehicle which has been a great blessing. We have employed the best couple,( local, young, enthusiastic and with some experience in the work) you could imagine to spearhead the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) work in Cowdray Park. Everything I have touched has gone right, thank you Lord – I have completed all my tasks set before arrival and have been pushing further forward than I dreamt would be possible in the remaining time.

M.M: Praise God Andy! Any challenges you’ve faced?A.T: Road blocks! And being away from my wife and family for 7 weeks!

M.M: What is your favourite quote?A.T: (Typically long!) Roosevelt – “it is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly.....who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails whilst daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have known neither victory nor defeat."

There, I have written it out and I am crying. It gets to me every time.

M.M: Who is your favourite Bible character?A.T: Too many to choose from! Perhaps David – violent, dangerous and fundamentally flawed – but stated as “a man after God’s own heart”. If you can sleep with your mate’s wife and then get your mate killed and marry the lady, and God doesn’t write you off, there’s hope for us all!

M.M: What is your favourite drink?A.T: In Zimbabwe? Got to be Coca Cola!! Followed closely by Mazoe Orange Crush.

M.M: What is your favourite meal?A.T: A good Indian curry – not too spicy hot, but hot enough.

M.M: What’s your favourite scripture?A.T: My favourite passage is Matthew 25:34 – 40 and my favourite verse is Matthew 25:40

M.M: Great chatting to you Andy. Enjoy the rest of your time in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, December 3, 2010

Community Home Based Care Get-Together

I was invited to attend a Community Home Based Care get-together yesterday which was held at a Silozwe Primary School – a local school in the community. About 100 enthusiastic HBC people attended as well as the primary school children. The event was organised by ACET – AIDS Care Education and Training.

I thought the event would start late, which is pretty typical in the rural areas but, by the time I arrived, the programme was well under way, much to my embarrassment as a seat was reserved for me at the main table.

The MC – Mr Precious Ndlovu, did a brilliant job of keeping things moving. 5 HBC groups attended and a slot was allocated for each group to either sing a song on AIDS or a poem or do a skit. Unfortunately I missed the entertainment slot from the Silozwana group as the majority of HBC folk attend Crossroads Community Church. The two groups I did see sent out great messages: The group from Gwandaville village spoke on AIDS being no respector of persons….it doesn’t matter who you are, it kills….. and the group from Tombo (rock) did a drama on the use of male and female condoms. That was really hilarious as the drama involved showing a gogo (granny) who could barely see; how the condoms work in-case she was still sexually active. A “free for all” dance followed and that was such fun. Of course, I focused on the Crossroads ladies and had a good laugh. Some were bold enough to come to the main table where I was sitting and show their moves. Amazing! It was so good seeing them enjoying themselves.

A Field Monitor Mr Bhebhe, then addressed everyone and had an open Q & A time on the concerns and struggles faced by the HBC teams, some being that an HBC person cannot visit a homestead alone because they may be misquoted or get into trouble, some families hide the sick and say the a patient is sleeping. Mr Bhebhe said that in order to be effective and have an impact in the communities, HBC teams need to visit patients.

Competitive netball matches followed between the teams. That was really interesting as it brought out the competitive spirit in the teams.

It was a good morning and I enjoyed meeting the folk from ACET as well as local leaders.

By Molly Manhanga

Book Review: God's Stump by Nigel Measures

While Stephen and I were on a 2 week break recently, I read Nigel Measures book “God’s Stump” The Church in all it’s Glory. I really enjoyed it as it’s one of those “REAL” books in which Nigel tackles real issues head-on and humbly offers clear, practical advice on how to overcome some obstacles and bridge the gap between people of different cultures.

Building multi-cultural church is not easy. There are many challenges, joys and pain, laughter and heartache but, a diverse church brings glory to God. I enjoyed all the chapters particularly, “The Church in all its Glory”, “Building together”, “Cultural Tapestry”, “Breaking the Silence” and “As it is in Heaven.” There is so much that we don’t know about one another’s cultures and yet we can be so quick to make judgements. Going in as a learner is the best way forward. Reading through some of the stories made me think of my situation - living amongst the Ndebele people in the rural areas of Kezi. They are such an amazingly resilient people who have endured so much. Nigel did an awesome job on racism and prejudice in “Breaking the Silence.” It’s such a hot and painful topic which many Christians avoid talking about and yet it’s as real as it gets. May God help us as we build multi-cultural, multi-racial churches and cross economic, racial and social boundaries. Jesus is our perfect example.

I really enjoyed “Life from a Stump” Isaiah 11:1 says “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” What is a stump? Here are some pointers from the chapter:
1. The stump was a prophetic picture of what was going to happen to the people of Judah if they did not respond to the voice of God.
2. The stump was to become a metaphor for both Isaiah’s ministry and the message that he preached. Just as people might so easily overlook a tree stump in the ground, so the people of Judah overlooked both Isaiah the messenger and the message that he preached.
3. The stump is the holy seed from which salvation will grow. This stump is a person insignificant in appearance, but who will be the salvation of the entire world.
4. The stump is Jesus! The God of heaven and earth, the giver of salvation would choose to reveal himself to us and appear to us as a stump!
5. Jesus came like a stump and died like a stump. He also became a stump. Like a mighty oak he was felled down, crucified, destroyed and seemingly chopped of all life, never to grow again. Yet death could not hold Jesus in the grave.
6. Isaiah continues by highlighting some of the evidence or fruit that will emerge from the stump with the coming kingdom inaugurated by Jesus. From the stump new life will shoot forth…………
7. New life in Jesus will reveal itself through the radical transformation of relationships. Isaiah prophesied that the fruit of Jesus ministry would be the formation of new and unusual relationships that stand in sharp contrast to what is generally witnessed in the world around us.
8. The stump, therefore, not only gives us a picture of unusual relationships, but also of togetherness, activity, unity and community displayed in those relationships.
9. The stump then points to radical, strange and new community found in Jesus and his coming kingdom.
10. Reconciled relationships across worldly divides made possible by the spirit of God, will give a vivid demonstration that God is alive.

“God’s Stump” is such an excellent book to read. Give it a bash!

By Molly Manhanga

The Five Family Values

As a Church we are going through the Five Family values again……nothing quite like repetition for folk to grasp and understand what is being said. We have covered Everyone in Family, Committed Couples and Valued Children. Sam Poe tackled Sexual Purity in the service today.

Stephen Manhanga did a fantastic job with Valued Children and had folk in tears as he shared the following story about a girl called Nyasha:

“Nyasha was a teenage girl aged 15 when she ran away from her rural home to go and live in the big city of Bulawayo. For many years her family did not hear from her and did not know if she was dead or alive.
She was ashamed to contact her family because she had got herself into trouble. Finally, with no money, no friends and now with HIV, she wrote home: “I’m sorry I left you. I am in trouble and living with HIV, but, I want to come home. I will catch the bus through the village next Sunday. If you will take me back, please put a white cloth on our mango tree. If I don’t see the white cloth, I will just keep on going.”

Imagine her feeling as the bus came near the village. And, what did she see? Not just one cloth – the whole mango tree was covered in white. Her parents and family were standing and waving. She was their lost child come home. She was precious to them. She was valued and she was welcomed home.”

Luke 15 tells the story of the prodigal son. To add to this, there are the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin.
Children are a real blessing from God.

Read more on Sexual Purity……..

By Molly Manhanga

Experience at CCC and TLZ

Our Present Experience At Crossroads Church in Kezi and Thembalezizwe in Umguza

It has been our joy to be involved with two young churches here in Zimbabwe which both began by using Chronological Bible Storying as a primary way of sharing the Gospel with those being added into the churches. We often see that the stories being told have prophetic application to specific situations in the church. Very often, during post-story discussion, there will be personal stories shared that connect the truths contained in the story with daily life. What a joy to see the “light turn on” as people discover that they too, are included in God’s big salvation story.

By Sam Poe

How does Bible Storytelling affect worldview

Jesus nearly always taught through stories. The message of Jesus was challenging many wrong worldview assumptions. Through his parables Jesus intended to challenge the existing Jewish worldview and to provide an alternative picture of reality that he called “the kingdom of God”.

N.T. Wright says, in his book The New Testament and the People of God:

“Stories are, actually, peculiarly good at modifying or subverting other stories and their worldviews. Where head-on attack would certainly fail, the parable hides the wisdom of the serpent behind the innocence of the dove, gaining entrance and favour which can then be used to change assumptions which the hearer would otherwise keep hidden away for safety.” Wright goes on to say, “The only way of handling the clash between two stories is to tell yet another story explaining how the evidence for the challenging story is in fact deceptive”.

If stories anchor people’s existing perspective on the world, then the best thing
Christians can do in order to displace wrong beliefs about the world and our life in the world is to tell better stories, and we have them! The stories of the Bible provide answers to the essential questions of life. The more biblical stories people know and can fit into a single comprehensive story of God’s saving work, the more completely they are able to embrace a biblical worldview. By hearing the stories of God’s Word those who are prepared to listen and receive will experience change in their fundamental view of the world. This, in turn will influence a wide range of beliefs and practices that are not in accord with the life Jesus came to bring us into.

When preparing stories for telling in a particular culture it is important to seek to understand the worldview of that culture. Where there are worldview issues that are in conflict with the biblical worldview more stories should be told from the Bible that show God’s perspective on that issue. For example here in Zimbabwe there is a prevailing attitude that ancestral spirits have a great deal of influence on the living and therefore must be appeased. This worldview regarding the spirit world goes against the biblical revelation regarding those who have died. Therefore we have chosen some stories that particularly give a biblical perspective on those who have died. One good example is the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Here are two men who have died. Lazarus goes to heaven and the Rich Man goes to hell. Neither of these men is allowed to go back and connect with the living. Abraham says in the story that if the living will not listen to the testimony of God’s written word they will not listen to those who have died and come back.

Compiled by Sam Poe

Why is the Chronological Bible Storying strategy so relevant to oral cultures?

About four billion people on earth, that is two thirds of the world’s population, are ‘oral learners’ (those who are either illiterate or functionally illiterate). About 70% of the ‘unreached people groups’ (those who have never had opportunity to hear the Good News about Christ’s Salvation) are oral learners.

Oral learners have a different learning style to literate learners. Those who learn by reading have a tendency to isolate their teachings out of a story, or give detailed explanations of the various parts of a story, often boiling the story down into a statement of principle. Print makes this possible because words take on visual presence and therefore can be more easily separated out from each other. For an oral learner words are sounds without visual presence and only make sense when they are linked together in a sentence or paragraph associated with a life event or a story. For this reason they do not tend to quickly isolate ‘teachings’ or principles out of a story, but rather they encounter the story and enter into its world.

An oral learner will tend to carry what he knows in the form of remembered stories, proverbs or mental pictures of life events.

Jesus ministered to such a world. In the time of his ministry it is estimated that about 5% of the population of Israel could read. Aramaic was the common language spoken and there was not a lot of printed material in Aramaic. The Jewish scholars could read Hebrew and most of their written material was in Hebrew. When Jesus taught he used stories. In fact, when we begin to look closely at the teaching that was given by the early Christians in general, it is clear that Biblical Storytelling was normative.

By Sam Poe

What is the Chronological Bible Storying Strategy by Sam Poe

The term ‘Chronological Bible Storying’ is a specialized term that not only involves telling the stories of the Bible in chronological order but it also involves a strategy for using these stories for evangelism, church planting and training up leaders to carry on the mission of leading the church and multiplying churches without making literacy a prerequisite for such leadership. Of course this approach also serves very well in bringing God’s Big Story to those who do learn by reading.

Oral learners (those who don’t read to learn, but learn by hearing) learn best through stories and they are usually quite good at remembering treasured stories very well. With CBS each story is bridged to the next story. This stitches the stories together to form the big story of the Bible. In this way an oral learner is able to remember many stories because each story contains a reminder of the coming story. In this way they will be able to share the Great Story with others. For those called to leadership and church planting they will be able to clearly bring sound biblical understanding to those they lead through this chronological storytelling approach.

What is Chronological Bible Storying by Sam Poe

At Crossroads, we have been doing Chronological Bible Storying and we have completed “The Evangelism Track” and “The Church Planting Track.”

What Is Chronological Bible Storying?

The Bible is not only made up of many different stories, the Bible IS A STORY. It is God’s Great Salvation Story. The best way to share a story is to start at the beginning and tell it through to the end. Jesus used this approach on the very day of his resurrection. He met two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus, a village about ten kilometers from Jerusalem. As he joined them on their way they did not recognize him. The two were full of sorrow and confusion over the death of Jesus. Now, here is the newly resurrected Jesus walking along with them. He wants to show them who he actually is. It might have been expected that he would perform some amazing sign to show them that he had risen from the dead. But instead he begins to tell them God’s Great Salvation Story, starting at the very beginning with Genesis and taking them through to the end with the words of the prophets. Then he showed them how he stood at center stage in this great drama. (Luke 24:27)

If those we want to share Christ’s salvation with don’t catch the big picture they will be left with many gaps in their understanding of what Jesus has accomplished for us through his death, burial and resurrection. There are key stories they must hear from the Books of Genesis to Revelation in order to catch the full impact of what Jesus has done for us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reason 3: Divine revelation of the Fatherhood of God

He is the way to the Father-heart of God. God is the father and He sent His Son to reveal His fatherhood nature. Christ lived his life to show us how to live with the Father and to reveal how the Father thinks and functions. God is a Father and His goodness far surpasses the best of Fathers on earth. Scripture says the family in heaven and earth is named after God the Father Ephesians 3:14 – 15. Understanding God as a Father implies some maturity in us as we mature into sonship. In spiritual growth we have children, young men and fathers 1 John 2:12 – 17. We also have carnal and spiritual Christians. Maturity helps our appreciation of the fatherhood of God. Our knowledge of God is incomplete if we do not come to the realisation that He is the father of all who come to Him through Christ. In the story of the prodigal son, we see the fatherhood of God exemplified Luke 15:11 – 32. He seems to be more interested in restoring His son than in checking him for purity or holiness or obedience. This insight into the nature of God should not be seen to negate the other reasons why Jesus was sent to us. Many such acts make some people erroneously believe that they can play with sin and God is not so interested in counting sin, He simply winks at it because He is a loving father.

Nothing could be far from the truth. Sin destroys everything in its path. We need to confess and forsake it so we can enjoy our fellowship with the Father and with the Son, Jesus Christ. Pleasing the Father should be uppermost in our affections for everything in life. Sons train their affections to come into alignment with the Father’s pleasure. Knowing God as your Father will minister a deep sense of destiny and acceptance. You will understand how to walk with Him, taking initiatives where necessary in your walk of Faith. Our prayer life takes on a new level of boldness, intimacy and clarity. The Father commits more to faithful sons who by practise have exercised and trained themselves to discern between good and evil. They may carry command and execute God-given assignments as sons who know the will of the Father and His times and seasons.

Jesus came to show us the Father-God. We need to have a face-to-face relationship with God when we know Him as our loving heavenly Father. We must cultivate a heart felt passion for God. This will lead to us having quality times in His presence. Many things happen when people have a real relationship with God as their Father.

Reason 2: Divine pattern of Sonship

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29

He died to set us free but His life, death, burial and resurrection also shows us a pattern for us in living according to His will. This is the aspect of character formation, where inner attitudes and attributes like humility, intimacy and faithfulness are cultivated. The main issues here are that character-tests precede kingdom-promotions. He died and we are supposed to die to ourselves. Our flesh needs putting under. He carried His cross and we are supposed to be ready to carry ours. A body was prepared for Him as He was to lay His Body in death, and we to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Our motives and focus come to bear on our servant’s heart for God’s kingdom purposes.

The death process of the grain of wheat comes into focus here. We undergo the process of denying the self, taking up our cross and following Him. (see also John 12:24 – 26). In our death process, all the trappings of the old nature and its effects on our souls undergo death. Paul says “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me and the life I live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God who loved me and have Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. This aspect is not popularly preached because dying to self is not always palatable neither is it found when happiness is our ultimate goal in our Christian faith. Our motive in life should be our love for God and our focus should be Christ and His Kingdom.

Reason 1: Divine Exchange

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

This is the aspect of His substitution on the cross. He became poor so we can become rich. He took our place in rejection so that we can gain acceptance from the Father. By the stripes He took, we are promised healing. Our faith in the finished work of Calvary helps us appropriate the benefits His suffering made available to us. The streams of teachings on faith, spiritual warfare, pulling down strongholds, new creation realities etc, all come through this aspect of Jesus coming to earth. God’s attitude to sin is seen here: He sees sin as that which needs the blood of His Son to cleanse the human race. The Son carried the judgement of sin on behalf of the human race. This aspect also helps us to see how Satan operates in utilising sin as a means to deceive humanity and the power of the blood of Jesus over the works of darkness. We also see the concepts of authority and how the choices we make determine whose authority we are under. The finished work of Calvary gives us a new identity, a new authority (in His name as believers) and a power to choose to live above sin by the Holy Spirit. How well established we are in this is very much dependent on how we are taught and how much we meditate, internalise and ac on these truths to effect the renewal of our minds so we can walk in the will of God. We come into a new position in our relationship with God simply because we accept what Jesus Christ did for us at His death burial and resurrection. This is the divine exchange. We need to be strong in the grace that this dimension brings to us.

Three reasons why Jesus came

I was reading a magazine I received recently and came across this article which I thought was inspiring...... read on....

There seems to be a 3-fold pattern for most of the things of God in the Bible. For example we see god revealing Himself as the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, each revealing a part of God’s nature and purpose in His processes for the human race. Each of His revealed identity captures something of His purpose and all three give us a more correct picture of God’s plans and purposes.

The God of Abraham reveals the aspect of God as one who provides even in the most impossible situation. He is more than able to do the impossible when we believe, have faith in his Word (like Abraham) and participate in His plans for our lives. The God of Isaac is the One who expects us to walk in submission and obedience. Isaac was revealed as one who was in subjection to his father and all through his life God’s purposes were fulfilled as he stayed in submission, even to the point of submission to death. To walk with the God of Isaac is to walk in submission to His will for your life. The God of Jacob is He who changes natures to fulfil His will for our lives. Jacob received the blessing through deceit but did not experience the fullness of it until some price had been paid and his nature changed with a name change. These all reveal the different aspects of God’s processes that need to be taken together to interpret the seasons in our lives and how to respond to them. This will also help us know how to understand what we are going through and how to participate in the seasons of life we find ourselves in.

There are 3 known motivations for anything we do in life. They are fear, duty (obligation) and love. These represent the must-do, have-to0do and want-to-do motivations. All three have their place in our developmental processes. The fear of punishment is the usual motivation we see in the Bible when people are faced with the consequences of disobedience. Then we see the sense of obligation (duty) to obey God. This is followed by the love motivation which pleases God. This is where God’s purposes can be experienced. Our greatest motivation is and should be love.

We see something similar in the words of Jesus when He said He is the Way, the truth and the life. He is the way to the Father, as He provided, through His sacrifice on the cross, the possibility of our acceptance, becoming sons, and He gives us a new identity and authority as believers. This elicits our thanksgiving. He is the Truth. Truth is a person as well as reality. When we come to God through the Way, we encounter the Truth who challenges us with the Word and the Word confronts the true states of our hearts. This is when we begin the transformation process, as we let go of the lower life in favour of the higher life. Our humanity and self life is challenged as we progress from the ‘outer court’ to the ‘holy place’. He is the life when ‘it is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me’ and ‘the life I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.’ This is where it is none of me but all of Him. He is the life.

Once again, we see progression in the process of God captured by the 3 dimensions of the outer court, holy place and holiest of all. In each dimension we can have the difference between thanksgiving, praise and worship. Sometimes we experience different dimensions in the different aspects of our lives.

These are the three reasons why Jesus came: He came to take our place in the DIVINE EXCHANGE; He came to show us the pattern for living as a DIVINE PATTERN and he came to show us the true nature of the Father-God as the DIVINE REVELATION OF THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD.

Read more on Divine Exchange

Psalm 23

Psalm 23
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down
In green pastures
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths
Of righteousness
For his name sake
Even though I walk
Through the valley
Of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me,
Your rod and staff
They comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love
Will follow me
All the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house
Of the Lord

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Progress on the Kidz Block

Stephen Manhanga monitoring the progress on the Kidz Block

8 pillars up. Another 8 to go before we start the roof.

By Molly Manhanga

St Neots,U.K in Kezi, Zimbabwe

Stephen Manhanga with the team from St Neots, U.K

It was just great having a team from St Neots, U.K visiting Ebenezer and Crossroads yesterday. The team comprised of John and Pat Topham, Stuart Johnson and Esther Robinson. The team fellowship at Open door Church led by Martin Tibbert. The team will be helping serve the Caudry Community in Bulawayo, working closely with Graham and Sarah Giles.

Stephen sharing the heart & vision of Crossroads with the team

By Molly Manhanga

A minute with Esther Johnson

Esther Robinson with Stuart Johnson

What is your favourite drink?
Lychee juice

Who is your favourite bible character?

What is your favourite quote?
“When I was young I caught a reflection of myself in a spoon and I thought ‘wow, you’re really good looking.’ You should do this for a living – be professionally good-looking.” Zoslander

What is your favourite meal?
Thai green curry

What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time?
Still adventuring with Jesus

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A minute with Stuart Johnson

Stuart Johnson with Esther Robinson

What is your favourite drink?

Who is your favourite bible character?

What is your favourite quote?
Proverbs 3:6
“…in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct for paths.”

What is your favourite meal?
Steak and kidney pie

What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time?
More of the same

A minute with John Topham

John Topham (far left) with Xolani Ndlovu, Gerald Mangena and Steve Manhanga

What is your favourite drink?
Zimbabwe cider (Savanna Dry)

Who is your favourite bible character?

What is your favourite quote?
1 Corinthians 12:13

What is your favourite meal?

What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time?
Sitting here in Kezi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

A minute with Pat Topham

Pat Topham

What is your favourite drink?
Red wine

Who is your favourite bible character?

What is your favourite quote?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

What is your favourite meal?
Any fish

What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time?
Still visiting Zimbabwe

Monday, November 8, 2010

Visiting Thembalezizwe Church (TLZ)

Taps Chizana - leader of TLZ and Hozzie

Poverty and Prosperity: The value of time
Stephen and I had an excellent time visiting Thembalezizwe Church led by Tapiwa and Flora Chizana. We met up with many friends and it was extra special seeing Joyce Mutangara – a dear, dear friend who is now based in Nampula, Mozambique, Xolani and Portia Ndlovu who were visiting from New Creation and Andy and Alison Fry who are visiting from the U.K.

The praise and worship was vibrant and fun. 2 emerging leaders/preachers (Hozzie and David) shared on The value of Time:
Hozzie spoke first and emphasized the importance of doing things on time. What is the purpose of time? The Bible says “Selah” meaning pause – to think things through. Time was given to mark out the seasons. How valuable is time to you as an individual? When time is lost, you can’t get it back.

Andy and Alison Fry at TLZ

Unless you know the purpose/value of a thing, you’ll
1. Misuse it
2. Abuse it
3. Not use it

In Genesis 1:14 we see God as a God of order. In Genesis 2:2, God had created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day, he rested. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8 “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven….”and 17 “I said to myself, in due season, God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.” We see that there is a time for everything. We’ll need to give God an account of what we did with our time here on earth

Romans 5:6 “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” It says “at just the right time”…In other translations it says in due time….or at the right time……an the appointed time…. God gave us his son to save us we all have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. John 9:4 “All of us must carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all the work comes to an end.” How do we value our time? Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
Hozzie encouraged us not to just exist, but to make proper use of our time. He challenged us by asking us how faithful have we been with the days and years we’ve had here on earth. If we haven’t used our time wisely, it’s time to evaluate. There is a saying:”God doesn’t give second chances but many chances come daily.” If we haven’t done things on time the first time round, we have another opportunity – daily. Lamentations 3:22-23 “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.”
David picked up from that and continued by asking us what happens when we do things on time? As farmers we can make a profit. Proverbs 10:4 – 5 “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.” We need to harness our time – to plan and be organised like God. We are made in His image and likeness. It doesn’t only apply to farming but to all aspects of life. Keeping time reflects an aspect of respect.

3 things we can expect if we are on time:
1. Work becomes easy
2. Good results
3. Becomes a part of our lifestyle – all I do will be on time.
Let’s not do things randomly. There is another saying “procrastination is the thief of time.” Let’s work and be on time. All that we do should be Christlike and Christ cam to give us life in abundance.

What an excellent service.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

David Rowsell at Crossroads

David Rowsell

It was excellent having David and Ann Rowsell come to Crossroads and share the word of God. David told the story of Jonah and these are some of the highlights of the story….
1. God had a plan for Jonah and for Ninevah
2. Jonah realised that God’s plan was best.
3. Jonah said sorry to God for being disobedient and God forgave him.
4. Jonah was swallowed by a huge fish.
5. Jonah stayed in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights.
6. God caused the fish to spit Jonah out.
7. God gave Jonah a second chance.
8. Jonah listened and followed God’s plan.
9. The people of Ninevah listened to Jonah, stopped their evil ways and turned to God.
10. God’s rescue plan worked out in the end.

David Rowsell at Crossroads
The Bible is clear where we stand with God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. None of us can know God on our own. Our actions, words, attitudes all fall short of God’s holy plan. Like Jonah, we can’t do it on our own. God loves us and has a plan for us. While we were still helpless, Christ died for us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us.

David then called up 2 groups of people for prayer.

It was a word in season.

David planting a tree at Crossroads
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Men's Breakfast at Crossroads

Mick Richardson: Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” Mick emphasized that as we have received compassion from God, we can show compassion to our children. We can have the compassionate heart of God.

Steve Hunter: Steve asked two men to run a short distance and the illustration was to show that the men wanted to win the race. God wants us to win the race. It’s not how we start but how we finish that is important. We are encouraged to run well and to finish strong.

Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize.”
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Steve encouraged the men to run well in their marriages and in their families. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her….”
1. Lay your life down for your wife: What does it mean? Jesus loved the church. For us it is different in that we show our wives that she is more important, we are for her and interested in her…..
2. It’s important to receive input from our wives: wives are a blessing and a gift of God. Be open to your wife speaking into your life. You’ll need to be in a good relationship to receive input.
3. Biblical headship (making decisions) The man has the mandate of making decisions on behalf of the family. Adam and Eve: God said to Adam “Adam, where are you?” Typically, Adam blamed Eve and yet God held him accountable. Husbands will be accountable for their wives.
4. Knowing how to love and cherish your wife and care for her. We need to show appropriate affection. Your wife should be special. The way you are with your wife is unique. The way you handle outside relationships with other women is important. Save your affections for your wife. Be mindful of her.
5. Be a husband who gives praise. It’s like putting money into a bank account. You can only withdraw what you put in. If nothing has been put in, nothing can be withdrawn. Affirm your wife instead of putting her down.

Steve concluded with 1 Timothy 2:8 “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” They spent some time in prayer with the men lifting their hands to God.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The importance of prayer by Steve Hunter

Steve Hunter

Steve spoke about the Importance of prayer using the illustration from The Sermon on the Mount. He started out by sharing a prophetic picture for the church before going into the importance of prayer – not as a corporate body but in one’s daily walk. Steve looked at two groups of people that Jesus was addressing:
1. The religious leaders of the day who were well known for their public spectacle of prayer life and
2. The pagans/gentiles who prayed nonsense using impressive speech.
When we pray, we are praying to the father in heaven. It’s about what we do in the secret place. Our father in heaven will see and reward us. When we pray at home, God sees. Set time aside to pray.

Steve Hunter preaching at Crossroads

What does it mean to know our father in heaven?
We need to understand our relationship with God who is our father. He is close to us. Once we were lost, now we are found.
Hallowed be thy name: We see the relationship between the character of God and names of God. God is above all things. When we pray for specifics, God is able to answer us.
Your kingdom come: Line up with God’s purposes rather than our own

The first three parts are about God and the last three parts is how to pray for ourselves:
1. Provide us with our daily bread – very real prayer in our context.
2. Forgive us our sins – know what it means to be forgiven, to be totally free. Come in boldness and confidence to him.
3. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil – God lead us into righteousness. Help me live this life and demonstrate righteousness.
Steve gave a personal challenge for folk to spend time with God, to be honest with him and to thank him. He also encouraged folk to pray on a daily basis.

Steve Hunter at Crossroads

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Community Field day at Crossroads

Community Field day

Hot! Hot! Hot! It was a real hot day but the community came out to Crossroads to share the day together. What was great was not only having folk from around the Mablauwuni community but also having the international flavour of Sam and Marlene Poe, Steve Hunter, Mick Richardson, Brett Mills & Adam Landreth-Smith. Phil & Claire Biggs from the U.K, now based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe also came and visited us as well as a team from New Creation Church.

Foundations for Farming demonstration

Brilliant Khoza did an amazing job of sharing the heart of Foundations for Farming. Sam Poe was excellent as he shared a story from God’s word. Stephen Manhanga shared the vision and mission statement of Crossroads. Fun and games began as the adults played volleyball while the children sang songs and walked down a road near Crossroads. Lunch was great and the catering team outdid themselves yet again.

Stephen Manhanga sharing at the community day

Sam Poe telling a story

The afternoon soccer match between New Creation and Kezi was a highlight. We were real hopeful in Kezi as we had 4 “foreign based” players from the U.K with us at the time. Unfortunately, I arrived late with Steve Hunter and Mick Richardson – 10 minutes before the end of the match, only to discover that New Creation won the match 1 – 0. Well done New Creation.
If only, if only! Next time.

It was a real pleasant day despite the heat.
By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thought for the day....

Psalm 95:1 - 3 & 6 - 7

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is a great God,
the great King above all gods...
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ladies Meeting at Crossroads

Ladies dancing and enjoying themselves

We had an excellent time at our Ladies meeting held at Crossroads this morning. The ladies really enjoyed themselves singing and dancing. It’s great seeing the older ladies “getting down” and worshipping God.
Our topic was on “The attacks/lies of the enemy”. We looked at it from a physical point of view and a spiritual point of view……

I showed the ladies 5 defence techniques that they could use if someone attacked them physically. They all paired up and did the demonstrations. That was really hilarious. They all had a good laugh.

We then moved on to “How to care for your hands” – hands can be used in a positive or negative way. The demonstrations worked really well. The ladies also washed their hands.

Demonstration on how to wash hands

The 3 things that came up that bring ladies down and where the enemy attacks the most is:
a) Feeling like you are not good enough, especially if you sin. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
b) Worrying about many things Philippians 4:6 – 7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” & Matthew 6:27 – 34 which speaks about worrying. A key verse is vs 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
c) Comparison – feeling like you don’t have enough. 1 Timothy 6:6 “Now Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Discussion Groups

The ladies got into 3 groups for discussions before we had an open question and answer time. That was really interesting as the ladies shared about things affecting them. We prayed together before parting ways. The ladies enjoyed themselves very much. It’s just wonderful seeing them laugh and being so open about different issues.
By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Purify My Heart

Some may say it’s the golden oldies but I just love this worship song:

“Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver;
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold.
Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire
Is to be holy, set apart for you Lord;
I choose to be holy, set apart for you,
My master
Ready to do your will.”

As the apostle John says in 1 John 3:3 “Everyone who has this hope purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Amazing when we contemplate the grace and love our Father has for us. An all time favourite scripture is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This is my hearts desire.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update on the Kidz Block

Building going up steadily

We are so pleased with the progress being made on the Kidz Block. The builders are working steadily and have now begun to build the pillars. We are hoping to be at roof level within the next week or so and our target is still to complete the building before the rains begin. I'm sure we can do it!

Work being done on the pillars
By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Celebrations at Crossroads

Stephen Manhanga

We had an excellent service at Crossroads. A service with much laughter, dancing and such a happy atmosphere. Stephen did a brilliant job telling the story of Paul’s journey to Rome. Stephen has an amazing way of making stories come to life. The church responded so well to him. We are also blessed to have Brett Mills come from London U.K to serve us for 3 months.

Stephen, Sam and Marlene sharing a meal at Ebenezer
Apart from that, we celebrated Stephen’s birthday today. Spoiling him was great and a surprise later in the week is in store for him as well. Friends came out to Kezi to spend the weekend with us - Rodney, Daphne, Mervyn and Wessely Saunders. It was awsome having Brett Mills from the U.K and Sam and Marlene Poe as well. Sam did an excellent job of getting the church to pray for Stephen and prophesying over him. Really inspirational. What a great day!

Friends sharing a meal with Stephen
By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Foundations for Family Champions Conference

Couples Time. Nice!

Nicholas and Nosimilo Ncube from Crossroads attended the Family conference on “Enjoying your marriage” which was held at Resthaven, Harare. The aims and objectives of the conference were:
1. To spend time together with the Lord
2. To encourage cooperation by involving both Family Champion and church leader couples
3. To provide an opportunity for couples to have time together learning about marriage and applying it to their relationship in a peaceful environment
4. To equip the Family Champions with marriage counselling skills
5. To empower the couples present to lead marriage groups in the churches

Couples having some fun.

What they enjoyed most was:
• Mostly we enjoyed being together just the two of us, learning, playing and talking together.
• Seminars were very interactive, the group times & discussions where we went to discuss outside made things fresh.
• We enjoyed learning about how to communicate with our spouses and the importance of having time with each other as couples so that we can share our feelings so that you can come to know each other better.
• We enjoyed the topics communication and romance and sex.
• We were enlightened on how to deal with problems in our marriages.
• We enjoyed all the lessons.
• We enjoyed the lesson on HIV & how to talk to my partner.
• Good food
• Teaching on counseling

The Family values need to be integrated more into church life. How wonderful it would be to see couples enjoying their marriages and to see happy & healthy families.

Comments from Nicholas and Nosimilo
1. The conference was good
2. We learnt a lot which we will apply in our marriage
3. We learnt how to sort out problems in our marriages
4. Communication is important

Thought for the day....

2 Corinthians 4: 4 - 9

For God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of (Jesus) Christ. But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trumpet Call: News from Kezi

Gathering in Kezi

We had an excellent time in Kezi at the Presbyterian Church where 120 people from 7 different churches gathered together to pray. The praise and worship was exhilarating as the rural folk sang and danced to God(The kind that gives you goose-bumps) The unity was so evident among the church folk and the atmosphere was peaceful and yet expectant that God was going to do something in Zimbabwe. Heartfelt prayer went out as people prayed for unity in our nation and that we’ll be able to feed ourselves. Stephen Manhanga did brilliantly as he shared the heart, science and technology of Foundations for Farming. Everyone was challenged and felt encouraged to plant before November 25. The older people commented that they had never seen the churches come together in unity before and hoped that this would be the start of the church leading the way.

It was an excellent day and prayer sure changes a Nation.
By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Trust Factor

I was reading about “The Trust Factor” by David Fernandes who is from Mumbai, India from the Newfrontiers magazine with the theme Christians in the workplace. I really liked what he said…
Trust does not fall from the sky. It is not something that can be defined on a piece of paper. It belongs to the realm of character and the spirit, and has as much to do with who we are as with what we do. It is painstakingly built over time. It is tested by circumstances. How therefore can trust be built and, if broken, rebuilt?

TRUST, is HUGE for me. I find I work better in an environment where there is trust. I relate better where there is trust. We are living in a fallen world where “trust” has faded away rapidly and we have an atmosphere of competitiveness, suspicion, undermining our workmates and so on all in a bid to “get ahead.”

It’s so interesting chatting to people about trust and seeing their reactions when I say that trusting people and believing the best in and of them is important to me. I’ve been told “NEVER trust anyone”, “You’ll only get hurt”, “The day and age we are living in has no room for trust”, “You are too trusting”, “It’s a cut-throat world. Dog eat dog” and so on. I find it quite fascinating. Yes, I’ve been let down and hurt badly because of trust but ultimately trusting God helps me trust people who are made in his image and likeness – imago deo!

How can trust be built?
1. Always be truthful: not just once but over and over again
2. Speak the truth with grace: be gentle but firm
3. Set things right when you are wrong: Be quick to apologize when you are wrong
4. Be quick to forgive: Talk through things sensitively and thoroughly
5. Keep your promises: It can make or break your credibility
6. Act consistently: Match your words with actions and vice versa
7. Know that it’s okay to say “I don’t know…” It creates an atmosphere of security and breeds trust.
8. Entrust and encourage: Encourage in public and correct in private

I have worked with teams where trust is the order of the day and I’ve just LOVED it. I have flourished and I’ve seen my workmates flourish. It’s wonderful. The workplace becomes a place of enjoyment. I was told recently by Brian Oldreive – Founder and pioneer of Foundations for Farming, that he “trusts me with his writing”. I’ve been told by Julian Adams that he trusts me to publish correct information about him and many others. That is so precious.

On the other hand I’ve worked with teams where trust doesn’t exist. “Divide and rule” is the order of the day and I’ve seen suspicion created, workmates being misquoted, division in the team etc. That is just a difficult environment to be in and it weighs heavily on people.

As Christians, there are unlimited opportunities to be trustworthy and to create an atmosphere of trust. Trust really does belong to the realm of character and the spirit. Are you a builder of trust?

Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One on one with Xolani Ndlovu

Catching up on the Faithful Stewards Programme with Xolani Ndlovu

It was great seeing Xolani Ndlovu at Crossroads yesterday when he came to train the Faithful Stewards Farmers. Xolani, better known as X attends New Creation Church. The main thrust of his training held at Crossroads was to discuss the preparedness of the farmers for the coming season, seed, land preparation, fireguards, farming calendar and so on. This is what he said….

M.M: How do you feel the Faithful Stewards Programme will benefit the churches – Thembalezizwe led by Tapiwa Chizana and Crossroads Community Church led by Stephen Manhanga?
X.N: I feel FSP will teach our churches how to be faithful stewards. People will come to realise that they actually are stewarding a lot and that realisation will spill into people’s hearts. Husbands will start to love their wives, children will hear Godly things, wives will start to submit to their husbands and so on and this will be all through the farming initiative. God is at work.

M.M: What are the pro’s of coming into the community?
X.N: Well it’s always good to see a people eager to learn, a people who relate with each other based not on the latest fashion trends or some other superficial connection but based on real fellowship. This is a people with land to use. There is always a hope that people can feed themselves and I love to perpetuate that hope. We need to relearn how to feed ourselves for the future of our children.

M.M: Great. Any con’s you’d like to share?
X.N: Whenever someone comes from town, people are still expecting to be given something. They start to share about the things they don’t have like seed, food etc. Although these are genuine concerns, it all too often leads people to gorget what they actually DO have.

M.M: What are your hopes for the 2010 – 2011 season?
X.N: It is my hope that we will experience bumper harvests this season. I dream of the day when donor organisations come into communities and the church say “Thank you very much but we are okay.” I hope to ground the farmers on the 4 principles of on time, to standard, without wastage and with joy then hopefully these same farmers will train others in the coming season.

M.M: Thanks so much X. I hope you have a great time with the farmers.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Your Prayers are Needed"...from Brian Oldreive


A new era is dawning, and either our hurting nation will be rebuilt on the world’s money and the world’s system of human tradition, or on God’s way through a strong and united church, obeying and applying the Word of God to all of life.

In an unprecedented way, all groupings of the wider Body of Christ are gathering in many centres throughout Zimbabwe on


This plan begins with a loud trumpet call to turn back to God, and away from the selfishness in the heart that has been the root cause of all problems on earth. This plan is magnificently expressed by God’s people together removing the yoke of poverty and oppression of the poor. The rebuilding of the nation begins with this heart and by faithfully using the land that God has given us.

This cannot happen with one obedient church, or one denomination, (although this may well be the beginning point) but by the incredible critical mass of effectiveness of all of God’s people building together in unity, as happened in the story of Nehemiah.



Please pray that the rebuilding will be done through the humility and unselfishness of Christ Jesus, expressed in His people, so that when the Lord allows us to prosper once again, we will not fall into the pride, selfishness, and materialism of the ways of the world.




Back under the marquee

Dancing at Crossroads
It’s just wonderful being back in the heart of the community and meeting under our marquee. Everyone has done so well these last 3 months by walking extra distances for some, especially the elderly. The joy and excitement of being back in the community was felt as folk danced, whistled and celebrated.

The down side of being under a marquee at this time of the year is that the heat comes through it. Summer is upon us and it can get pretty HOT but, we are still so thankful that we have a place to meet in the community.

Steve sharing a story from God’s word at Crossroads
By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quotable quotes...

1. "Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it." John Maxwell

2. "What you see depends on what you're looking for."

3. "Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds." Gordon B. Hinckley

4. "Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them." Richard L. Evans

5. "You may only be someone in the world, but to someone else, you may be the world."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kidz Block going up.....

The Kidz Block is going up nicely. The builders are doing an awsome job with the beautiful matopos granite rock. We are so looking forward to the pillars going up and eventually the thatching for the roof. Watch this space for regular updates on the building.....

By Molly Manhanga