Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Honour of One of My Friends.....Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor (dark blue dress) with her family in New Zealand

I've been thinking about my friends recently and all the folk that passed my way. I thank God for the many real, genuine, God-fearing folk that have been a blessing to me and for all my friends - many of them out there. This is for one of them

“Do you have a friend who loves you for being you and not for anything else,Who stands with you no matter what, who encourages you, supports you, prays for you?
I have such a friend.

Do you have a friend who believes you when you speak because they know you and
Honesty is the basis of the friendship,
A friend who believes in you, who trusts you and looks out for you?
I have such a friend.

Do you have a friend who encourages you to forgive when you’ve been wronged or have done a wrong, a friend who spurs you on in the gifts of the spirit, who says “you can………?”
I have such a friend.

Do you have a friend who can call on you when they’d like to share a burden or a heartache,
And they know that you will LISTEN, possibly encourage and spur them on?
I have such a friend.

Do you have a friend who gives you a “reality check” and tells you things that may not
Be easy to hear. BUT through it all, they are there for you?
I have such a friend.”

One of my closest life-long friends is Carol Taylor. I thank God continually for bringing this Godly lady into my life.

What a blessing to have a true and trustworthy friend!

By Molly Manhanga

Very first baptism at Crossroads

Baptismal "pool" – Ebenezer Dam
It was really exciting on Saturday afternoon when 13 people from Crossroads went through the waters of baptism at the Ebenezer dam. We were excited that the rains have been pretty good in Kezi and consistent this last week so we expected light showers during the baptisms.
Stephen Manhanga sharing the word before the baptism

Much singing and jubilation took place as people entered the water and were led through the process by Stephen. It was excellent that the two emerging leaders Mxwayisi Dube and Brilliant Khoza were the first and last to be baptized.

Mxwayisi Dube (21 years) going down under!

What a very special occasion! Some testimonies from the younger folk were that they feel free and are so happy.

Mildred Mkwananzi (65 years) about to be baptised

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baptismal Class in Progress

It’s the very first baptism being held at Crossroads and it’s just exciting when you get a positive response from folk wanting to be baptized. 30 people signed up to get baptized at Crossroads. Incredible! Stephen held baptismal classes to help folk understand what it means to get baptized: dying to self and being raised in newness of life with Christ. Most of the 30 people attended the classes so we’ve decided to split the group and to have more regular scheduled baptisms.

Attentive class

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the week

Matthew 16: 24 - 25

" Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Friend Is A Gift Of God

A Friend Is A Gift Of God

Among the great and glorious gifts
Our heavenly Father sends
Is the Gift of Understanding
That we find in loving friends,
For in this world of trouble
That is filled with anxious care
Everybody needs a friend
In whom they’re free to share
The little secret heartaches
That lay heavy on their mind,
Not just a mere acquaintance
But someone who’s “JUST OUR KIND” –
For, somehow, in the generous heart
Of loving, faithful friends
Our gracious God in His charity
And wisdom always sends
A sense of understanding
And the power of perception
And mixes these fine qualities
With kindness and affection.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Virginia, USA calling in at Kezi, Zimbabwe

Gary Darcus

It was wonderful having Gary Darcus from Virginia, USA visit us at Crossroads on Sunday. He encouraged the church with a short word from Exodus about Moses. The gist of his message was that God has given all of us something – a talent, gift, ability which is the “possibility/hope” of our lives for us to make a difference in this world.
Moses came across a difficulty: when he led the people out of Egypt: he came to the Red Sea on one side and the army was behind. We all will come across difficulties in our lives and we need to trust God, trust His word and He’ll give us the answers. Moses had a rod and God told him to hold it out and the waters of the Red Sea parted. In our difficulty, God will part the waters and allow us to see breakthrough.

(Left to right) Brilliant Khoza, Stephen Manhanga and Gary Darcus

Gary encouraged us not to lose HOPE but to use what God has given us. God said He would do exceedingly, abundantly, above that, which we can imagine or begin to think. How? With the spirit of God, NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE.

By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Crossroads report

When thinking of Crossroads Community Church, we say “God Only”. God only has had his hand on the life, vibrancy and progress of the church in Kezi.

Crossroads is led by Stephen Manhanga and it was planted in August 2008. We’ve seen rapid growth over the year. We have started initiatives like Men and Women’s meetings, Home Based Care meetings, Cell meetings, Foundations for Farming training and so on. It’s really exciting.
As a Church plant, we’ve focused on Foundations for Family – the five family values, and Chronological Bible Storying.

The local village authorities have testified that they have seen a change in the young people because of the church. We’ve also seen a witchdoctor come to follow Christ.

The support of the local leaders has been phenomenal. We have also embarked on a building project. Faith at its best in our poor rural community. The folk at Crossroads have been outstanding in erecting a fence and moulding bricks.

Crossroads is just an exciting place to be as we see God changing lives and transforming a community.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Home Based Care Training with Flora Knapp

Flora Knapp
It was excellent having Flora Knapp, a midwife & nurse from London, U.K spend some time with the Home Based Care Team at Crossroads. She recapped the basics on HIV/AIDS, Stigma, HIV & pregnancy, having a balanced diet and how to care for children. It was received really well and many questions followed.

Flora discussing Stigma at the HBC training

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



This is the testing pot for our maturity in God. There are many things that will not come to us except through the right relationships. Others are vital to your destiny walk. Growing up, crucifying the flesh and resisting the enemy are all involved in dealing with and building the right relationships. Many back off when things go wrong in relationships. Our relationship with God is the most important but next to it is relationship with the ones God has put in your life.

If there is an aspect that seems to go unattended to in prayers, it is in the relationships amongst the saints of God. David learnt some things from Jonathan, King Saul’s son. Every right relationship around you has a contribution to make into your life and you have something to contribute into theirs.



We need faith in God to participate with His plans. We need to develop our faith in God’s wisdom, God’s ways and God’s power. Many people major on only one aspect of faith; faith to receive from God. They do not know that is faith to refuse too. In Hebrews 11 we are told some refused deliverance through their faith. Faith is actually our tool to participate with God, for His plans to be executed on earth. It will entail believing, acting and speaking His word. Faith is involved in seeing what God sees, so when we say what he has said, we are on the same wavelength. Many only major on faith for receiving, however some have gone beyond that to have faith for giving. If the truth be known, faith is a lifestyle that respects, reckons, obeys, honours and applies God’s word to any and every situation.

It takes faith to say “If God does not deliver, we will still serve Him.” The 3 Hebrew children were ready to lay down their lives for the belief they had in their God. I wonder how many in the church today will joyfully preach when persecution scatters them. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Pleasing God is the real goal of faith.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Preconceptions affect our focus

A concept is that which governs our thought patterns and usually overrides other opinions and provides the underlying structure for our actions and behavioural patterns.

When Apostle Paul wrote that we should not allow the world to squeeze us into its mould, the idea is that the world will deposit its concepts in us so that these in return will govern our thoughts, actions and sense of progress. When the same Apostle warns about the warfare going on inside our minds in 2 Corinthians 10:3 – 5, we are told to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, high things and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

More recent translations use the word “preconceptions” and “arguments” for strongholds and high things. The singular effect of the fall of man is that it created in man a desire for independence from God. We have our independent judgements, opinions and thoughts and these mainly flow from our nature and nurture (environmental factors and upbringing). When God’s word comes to us it meets with these preconceptions and they tend to reduce or completely nullify the effect that God’s word could have on us. Who would have thought that that Joseph’s incarceration, after a righteous act of not yielding to his master’s wife, would be met with seeming silence from God?

He went to prison and God’s judgement did not fall from heaven to destroy the lady who wanted to cheat on her husband. Rather the innocent went to jail for doing what was right. You see our concept of right and wrong can affect our perspectives in life. This is why forgiveness is hard on us. Love in its purest motive is strange to the fallen nature. This is why we should keep the level of our yieldedness to God to be a high priority in our spiritual walk.

Motive and Focus

Why you do what you do will eventually determine what you do. Our motives are our reasons for doing what we do. When motives are wrong, results are not usually what we expect them to be. Wrong motives affect the eternal quality of what we do. When the Bible says our works will be tested, one of the biggest tests will be our motives. The true or correct motive should be our love for God. God says to us, “If you love Me keep my commandments.” We will delight to do His will if we love Him. Whenever things go wrong one of the areas we all seem to need correction is usually in our motive area. Because of the fallen nature we tend to be selfish and greedy. We need to let the love of God replace those vices in us.

Our focus is the mental image we carry that inspires our actions. We should look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. He ran the race and finished His course; let Him inspire you to do the same. Receive grace to change in these areas and watch your contribution into peoples lives go to another level. If your motives have been wrong, do not stop the good you are doing simply change your motive and go on.

Strength for the journey

I was reading “Strength for The Journey” written by Rev. Kola Ewuosho of Fountain of Wisdom Ministries, Virginia Waters, U.K, and enjoyed these truths so much. This is what he wrote:
Time and tide, they say, waits for no man. We are all given 24 hours for each day and when it is gone, it can never be regained. So learn to use time wisely. In this write up, I am speaking to people who want their life to count for now and eternity. Those who want to fulfil God’s purposes for their lives and have the fulfillment that they are on course for their destinies in God to be fulfilled. By that I mean, whatever God has designed for their lives to contribute that is what they want too. We are looking at 4 different aspects of this journey called life, to see how we can be encouraged to pursue this walk of faith to fulfil our part in the eternal plans of God for our lives.

They are:
1. Motive and Focus
2. Existing preconceptions
3. Faith to participate with God
4. The role of relationships

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Farewell to James Allen

James Allen

James has spent just over a month with us at Crossroads Community Church and Ebenezer. It’s hard to believe that his time is almost up as he prepares to go to Lesotho, then Nagoya before heading back to the U.K. I asked him about his time with us in Kezi, Zimbabwe and this is what he said:

M.M: What were the highlights of your stay?
J.A: Living the rural Zimbabwe life with no power, sadza three times a day and everything that went with it.

M.M: You did extremely well. Any challenges?
J.A: My camera breaking and NOT coming across many snakes.

James Allen

M.M: Would you come back to Zimbabwe?
J.A: Almost certainly. I would commit to a couple of years at least, if I could work out what job/career I could do here.

M.M: Any personal experiences of what God said to you that you’d like to share?
J.A: That I still have a lot to learn.

Stephen Manhanga and James Allen eating Sadza and relish at Ebenezer

M.M: May God bless you abundantly on your travels and as you work out your future.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An answer to prayer

Apprentices from Ebenezer praying for rain
It’s incredible how God pours out his blessing when we call on his name. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call unto me and I will answer…….” That’s exactly what God did for us at Crossroads and Ebenezer.

Stephen Manhanga, leaders of Crossroads Community Church called the Kezi community, the apprentices and staff of Ebenezer to a time of prayer. We were pretty desperate for rain and felt that God is our only hope. We gathered together at Ebenezer Training Centre and called on the name of Jesus. We then paired up and went into the apprentice fields to pray. It was a beautiful sight seeing clouds gather, hearing the thunder and seeing flashes of lightning before the rain came down.

Stephen Manhanga leading the prayer meeting

What a glorious feeling to know that God takes care of our needs – no matter how big or small. It rained and little pools of water formed. We truly serve an amazing God.

A God who answers prayer: “I can see clearly now the rain has gone!”

By Molly Manhanga

Progress on the toilets at Crossroads

Holes are dug

Building has started

Nearly complete......praise God!

Back view

It has been quite a journey getting the toilets at Crossroads to the stage they are at now. The community have been a real blessing in moulding bricks. The builders have done a great job and as they reach the finish line, it's wonderful seeing the joy in them as well as with the congregation.
By Molly Manhanga

Monday, February 1, 2010

The te Velde's at Crossroads

Brilliant Khoza with Riemer & Jen te Velde

It was wonderful having Riemer and Jen visit us at Crossroads on Sunday. They were a real blessing to the folk that met them.

Jen te Velde praying with a few ladies at Crossroads

M.M: Great to have you here Jen. Just LOVE your company and friendship. What are your thoughts of Crossroads?

J.t V: Vibrant, animated, free with the messages being practical, relevant to people’s lives. I was really impressed when one of the children (girl) started a song in the church.

M.M: Thanks Jen. This is so encouraging. Be blessed as you serve at Crossroads & Ebenezer Training Centre.

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the week

Hebrews 12: 1 - 3

" Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finsiher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."