Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Eats to share while watching the Royal Wedding

It was excellent getting together with 17 ladies in Boskruin, Joburg to watch the Royal Wedding. The hostess was Julie Bennett who is an avid royal fan. She went out of her way to decorate her lounge with Prince William and Kate Middleton. She also had the British flag flying high, not to mention a box of tissues for any lady who is moved by the beauty of the wedding. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think we were sitting somewhere in the U.K being very patriotic.

Some of the ladies in Boskruin

It’s interesting listening to ladies chatting. Much detail is shared. The conversation ranged from dress, head gear; make up, seating arrangements etc. A few cheers were heard in the lounge when Prince William and Prince Harry were seen dressed in full regimental uniform. The ladies unanimously agreed that Mrs Carole Middleton looked lovely.

Much speculation surrounded the comment of a lady from San Francisco who fainted when she saw Prince William.

When there was a close up shot of Kate Middleton, the comments were just how beautiful she looked- The lovely bride. The service was beautiful and the reading of Romans 12:1 – 18 by James Middleton capped it all. Some “older” ladies in the lounge were moved to tears. They kept saying “excuse me” before wiping their tears and sniffing.

The atmosphere in the home was wonderful and the wedding itself was beautiful.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thought for the day

Psalm 145: 1 - 3 & 8

"I will extol You, my God, O King;

and I will bless Your name for ever

and ever.

Every day will I bless You; and I will

praise Your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be

praised; and His greatness is un-


The Lord is gracious, and full of

compassion; slow to anger, and of great


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Passion of The Christ

Silence as people watch The Passion of The Christ.

Last Sunday, Stephen decided to show "The Passion of The Christ" to the whole Church. It's pretty graphic and violent and shows in part what Jesus went through when He died on the Cross for us.

At the beginning of the movie, the people were still chatty and as they got more and more into it, there was a deathly silence in the Kidz Block. Not a word from the children or the adults. Some of the adults covered their mouths in disbelief and shock. The deathly silence continued right to the end of the movie and people got up quietly and went home.

People about to watch The Passion of The Christ.

As one of the older ladies walked past me, she held her heart and said "This is hard". I guess it isn't one of those movies where talking or discussion is required but rather meditation and contemplation.

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Holy Spirit by David Holden pt3

David Holden

Building a community of the spirit.
We are held together because of a common experience. How do we stay together?

Spirit of God: the unity keeps us together. In being a community of the spirit, we are responsible for imparting the spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:3 – 6. 2 Corinthians 3:8. We give life to people. Life and the spirit go hand in hand. God has wired me to be a minister of the spirit. You can only give what you got. Romans 1:11. Intimacy with the spirit imparts life. Impartation needs to happen. We got to give more. We are called to be a minister of the spirit. What should I impart?
1. Life, energising life of God. Get out of the boat, out of our comfort zone and take risks. It’s there that I need God. Become a minister of the spirit. We need an army of people in the spirit.
2. Impart the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace. The ministry of the spirit gives love, joy and peace. Jesus is moved with compassion. Minister and don’t be mechanical. Let it rub off on other people. The ministry of love is Christ. The way we say something to others – let it be seasoned with salt.

David and Liz Holden

3. Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let the gifts lie dormant. 2 Timothy 1:6. Fan into flame the gifts of the spirit. “The gifts are not given in full bloom. They need to be developed through full use.” They need to be cultivated. Come prepared. Sanctification is work of the spirit. As we teach one another, we need the work of the Holy Spirit. Bring counsel and wisdom to people who will grow in the spirit.

a) It’s time to trust the Holy Spirit. Believe God wants to use you as you recognise the voice of God. Start to step out.
b) In Corinthians it tells us that the body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost.....we are bought with a price......and we should honour God. We need to get over ourselves and trust and honour Christ by exercising them. We don’t have the luxury of saying no. We are the very temple of the Holy Ghost.

Summarised By Molly Manhanga

The Holy Spirit by David Holden pt 2

David Holden

Life of the Holy Spirit Corporately

Ephesians 2:19, 21
Community of the Spirit being built together. Have an understanding, reality that what we do is also a work of the spirit. Ephesians 2:22

Give the Holy Spirit prior position when we gather. A new generation is coming through and we’ll battle to have spirit-filled meetings. Let’s get Biblical. It’s not about culture but what God is saying. Christians are looking for modern, lively churches filled with the spirit and full of joy. Things done in meetings are rooted in scripture. What does the Holy Spirit want when we gather together?

1. Glorify Jesus: John 16:13 – 14. Focus on God and not on man. What is truth? The centre is on Jesus and his worth. It’s for God, to exalt Jesus. It’s all about Him.

2. Encounter God: As we glorify God, we encounter Jesus. His presence is here. Our gatherings are for the presence of God. Worship changes the priority of focus and our perspective changes.”Don’t sign up for less but the presence of God.” We need faith. We believe by faith that the presence of God is present. Lean into God from the first song. Be full of expectation. Scripture gives lots of expectation. We are exhorted to dance, to sing etc.

3. The Holy Spirit wants to do things spontaneously – new things, creative, fresh things. Give room for the spontaneous. It’s not in our control and it’s not about performance. Allow the Holy Spirit to move. Submit to the Holy Spirits intervention and spontaneity. The meetings can be boring. The Holy Spirit is the unseen conductor. Things don’t get messy.

4. The Holy Spirit wants to use us to build up the church. This can happen through contributions. 1 Corinthians 12:7. The manifestation is given for the common good – to build everyone up. It makes us a mature people. V 11. Look at the context we are in. Be passionate. It’s for God. Earnestly desire the gifts of the spirit. Bring a tongue, a prophesy etc. I Corinthians 12:8 – 10, 1 Corinthians 14:26. Everything is under control. It’s like building blocks and goes in one flow. Ephesians 5:18 – 19, Colossians 3:16. Spirit and word have the same results. What’s in the well comes out in the bucket. Give public attention to the public reading of scripture. When God’s word is read publically, it lifts people up. The Holy Spirit moves with order.

5. Conviction: The Holy Spirit brings conviction for all people in the room. Christians and unbelievers. We want to see a diverse church. The early church was an expectation of believers and unbelievers. Don’t dial things down. Just worship and God will deal with people in the Church.

Summarized by Molly Manhanga

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Holy Spirit pt 1 by David Holden

David Holden

The work of the holy spirit individually

John 7:37 “On the day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’.”

This is a statement by Jesus of what the Holy Spirit will do. What is the Key Role of the Holy Spirit? What is the work of the spirit?
1. We get born again – conversion is the work of the spirit. We are born from above.
2. The Holy Spirit gives us power to live the Christian life.
3. The Holy Spirit makes us witnesses.
4. The Holy Spirit brings the presence of Jesus.
5. The Holy Spirit has knowledge of whom the Father is. He brings revelation of God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity that makes God real to us.

Before Jesus leaves to go and be with the father, He is teaching on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will continue the work Jesus began. John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
We need to understand son-ship, being a child of God, the nearness of Jesus and having intimacy with Him. The things Jesus did, we can do. Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4. It’s Jesus, the anointed one who will do the stuff. In the New Covenant, the spirit of the Lord is upon ‘us’ so that we can do what he is doing.

David Holden

Acts 1 & 2. The contrast is remarkable but the people are the same. What happens between chapters one and two? The person of the Holy Spirit comes upon them. The Holy Spirit makes all the difference. Jesus is supremely, 100% confident in the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about transformation. The Holy Spirit lives the Christian life through us. We cannot be followers of Jesus in our own strength. There is nothing we can do without the person of the Holy Spirit. Dependency on the Holy Spirit is key.

Summary: We experience the Holy Spirit at
1. ConversionJohn 3:8. He is the great evangelist. We are born of the spirit. The eternal seed of the spirit comes into my heart when I am saved. It’s a miracle.
2. Baptism of the Holy Spirit –we plunge into the spirit John 2:38. It a promise once we are saved. We receive the spirit coming into my life. Acts 19:1. We need the power of the spirit. Baptism is essential.
3. Ongoing dependency. We are saved in the Holy Spirit and dependent on the Holy Spirit. Being baptised in the Holy Spirit is a whole new way of living. The spirit of God is our helper – He carry’s the load. Live the Christian life through Him and in His power. We invite the Holy Spirit into every aspect of our life.

a) Prayer is important. Romans 8:6 The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Pray in the spirit.
b) Worship needs the Holy Spirit. Singing songs and worship are different. Worship comes from the heart, from within. We worship God in spirit and truth. The word of God is dynamic and we need revelation when we read it. The Holy Spirit helps us. It helps us relate to one another as Christians. We cannot do the things we require to do without the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit in marriage, raising children, the workplace. He is our helper. We need more of the Holy Spirit.
c) Our companion. The Holy Spirit helps us. He is not robotic and he is not an “it”. The Holy Spirit is a person and we need to be in relationship with him. The Holy Spirit is not just an ‘experience’. Whether our experience is heightened or little – during fruitful times or dry, we need to depend on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives life. Get to know Him as He is a person. Continually pursue the Holy Spirit. It’s a life long pursuit. Philippians 2:1, 2 Corinthians 13:14. Have fellowship and dialogue with the Holy Spirit. We miss things because we are not tuned in.
d) He is our empowerer. Acts 1:8. The Holy Spirit will give us power. If we know the person of the Holy Spirit more, we’ll have power. Something happens internally and something happens externally. Philippians 3 and Ephesians 3:16

Have power in our inner beings. This will give us power to overcome the past, wrong thinking, baggage (undo the clutter) and power to overcome sinful habits.

Luke 4
and Isaiah 61:1. These truths are still available for us today.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

A visit from friends.....

It was so good having Andy Thorn bring his wife Ruth and their 3 children to visit with Steve and I in our home yesterday. Meeting his family was wonderful and seeing them all feel so at home was great. Andy will be in Zim a little longer but his family fly back to the U.K today.

When Andy is in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, he attends the City Pentecostal Assemblies (CPA) which is affilaited to the Pentecostal Assemblies Of Zimbabwe(PAOZ). Interestingly enough, the PAOZ churches in and around Bulawayo are having their first Regional Easter Conference. That should be pretty good.

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mighty Men's Conference

Angus Buchan

Angus Buchan, well known for his book “Faith Like Potatoes” which was turned into a film in 2006, lives in Greytown, South Africa. In 1980, Angus Buchan started Shalom Ministries to preach to the local community. Over time he became an evangelist. Angus Buchan is seen to be a powerful minister because there are no airs and graces. He is the real deal: what you see is what you get.

Mighty Men’s Conference was born out of a desire to reach men for Christ. The purpose of Mighty Men’s Conference has always been to see men impacted, so that they may be the leaders that God made them to be.

God has given Angus Buchan a deep and passionate call to see men from all walks of life being raised up to their rightful place as head of their families and the head of their homes.

Stephen has wanted to attend a Mighty Men’s Conference for a while now and this year he has the opportunity to do so. It’s so exciting. He will be driving down to the conference with a dear friend of his John Guy Taylor while I spend some quality time with my close, life-long friend Carol Taylor. The conference is guaranteed to change men. A testimony from someone who has been to MMC goes like this:
“After many years of searching for answers, God revealed Himself to me at Mighty Men’s Conference 2009 in a mighty way. My life has not been the same since. Since MMC 2009, I have been testifying to many people and by grace, had the privilege to lead people to the Lord. God willing I will attend MMC every year, but no longer for my own sake but to help others to find the Lord as well. I wish his peace on all.”

My hope is that Stephen will be refreshed and strengthened in the Lord, make new friendships and continually be fired up for God.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Be Committed

The key ingredient that releases potential in any field of life is commitment. It can turn a potential leader to a successful one above all other qualities. When you are interested in something you do it only when it is convenient but when you are committed to something, you accept no excuses. Many are interested in things because they are good or they like the people involved. Interest alone will not get the job done. Many love the Lord, they say, and are interested in seeing His Kingdom expand but expansion will not happen based on their interest only. It takes commitment for growth to take place. In your personal life, being interested in growth won’t bring it; it is being committed to the principles of growth that will produce growth. You are only committed when your consistency continues when it is no longer convenient.

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Thought for the day

Acts 2:17 - 18

"And it shall come to pass in the last

days, says God,

That I will pour out My Spirit on

all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall


Your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.

And on My menservants and on My


I will pour out My Spirit in those


And they shall prophesy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Check your motives

Why you do what you do will eventually determine what you do. Our motives are our reasons for doing what we do. When our motives are wrong, results are usually not 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. “If you love Me, keep my commandments”, God says to us. 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. Let the love of God replace those vices in us and do it because we love God and His people.

1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”

Getting to know Bishop Trevor Manhanga

I've been asked on numerous occasions if I am related to Bishop Trevor Manhanga. My answer is YES. Bishop Manhanga is my brother-in-law. Much speculation has surrounded him and much has been said about the man through the media. In an attempt to not sound or appear biased, I present a small portion to you of the real Bishop Trevor Manhanga – the man behind the myth!

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
T.M: Being someone who reads widely and who enjoys reading, I find many quotes that I really enjoy so it would be difficult to say what my all time best quote would be. I will share one that I find very stimulating and encapsulates my approach to life and ministry is the following by George Bernard Shaw:

"This is the true joy of life – that of being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one. That of being a force of nature, instead of a feverish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle for me, it’s sort of a splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

M.M: How best would you describe your family life?
T.M: I have a wonderful family life – a loving wife and five great kids. We spend as much time together, drive long distances together, holiday together and though it is tough, I try and give each one of them enough time. That is not always possible but I give it my best shot. I also enjoy the company of my siblings – I come from a family of eight, four sisters and three brothers and nothing is more satisfying than getting together as a family, sharing a meal, a day together. We may not do it often due to each being in different places, but I know we all care for and look out for each other. Yes, we have disagreements – but that is all part of being family.

M.M: How long have you been in ministry?
T.M: I have been in ministry for 30 years.

M.M: What have been the highlights of ministry and any challenges you’d like to share?
T.M: As you can well imagine, thirty years has many great memories and substantial challenges. It would take pages to share all that but in a nutshell, nothing has given me more joy than to see people come to Christ and have their lives transformed – the change is just so awesome and inspiring it makes everything worthwhile. The challenges – they are there and perhaps what brings so much frustration is the pettiness of people, their inability to see anything more than themselves.

M.M: What are your views on politics and the church?
T.M: The Church can not divorce itself from politics. What it must do at all costs is be partisan, but it is a misnomer to say the church must be apolitical because everything we do in this world is the result of political decisions. Let us disabuse ourselves of the notion that the church and politics are the antithesis of each other. The exact opposite is true. The church should be a positive influence in the political realm.

M.M: What about those who say politics is a “dirty” game?
T.M: To those who say politics is dirty and therefore by inference the church should have no part of it, I simply contend that if it is dirty, that is even more reason for the Church and Christians to get involved to clean it up. We were never called to be light in an already fully lit building. We must be light where there is darkness. For the Church to have relevance in society it needs to get out of its Holy huddle and engage the world by being salt and light.

M.M: The media has portrayed many myths about you. Care to respond?
T.M: It is difficult to respond to myths for myths are not supported by facts, they simply have supporters. I simply ask those who care to know who I really am and what I am about to spend a day with me, walk with me, see where I go and what I do, who I interact with and then they will know who I am and not what some people in the media or wherever else think about me. Ultimately it is not what is portrayed in the media that counts but what the people who you minister to and help in their daily lives say and feel about you.

M.M: Life is about seasons we go through. What season are you going through in your life right now?
T.M: A season of establishing and preparation for the next half of my life. The first half has been great and the second half is going to be better than the first. I am strategically placing myself for the next move of God in my life – and I can’t wait. I know it is going to be awesome.

M.M: Amazing and thank you Bishop Trevor Manhanga. May God continue to have his hand on you and direct you in everything you do.

By Molly Manhanga

Thoughts on Easter

While I was in the U.K in March, two special occasions were looming – Mothers Day and the first inklings of Easter. It was pretty obvious that Mother’s Day was approaching as I saw a variety of flowers, potted flowers, perfume, cosmetics etc that were gift wrapped being advertised in many shops. Other shops had a variety of Easter eggs which brought to mind that Easter was approaching.

Back on the ground in Zim, Easter IS fast approaching and it’s time to meditate on what is important. For some, it’s the Easter eggs that matter, for others, it’s time to visit family or go on outings. While still with others, it’s party time as there are several days off work. As wonderful as that might be, Easter has more value than that: the death of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For me, Easter can be summed up in two words: giving and loving. God gave his only begotten son and Jesus gave His life. This was done because of LOVE – He just loved us all so much.

Sometimes we don’t realise the hardship, pain and suffering that Jesus went through when He gave his life for us. At Crossroads we’ve decided to show the Church “The Passion of The Christ” – the Mel Gibson film. Having watched it a few times, it still has the same effect on me – that someone could go through so much because He loved me. It’s heartbreaking and heart wrenching and draws me closer to Jesus. Preaching about what Jesus went through is excellent, but seeing it in part, makes it more real.

Let’s give a moment this Easter and contemplate on what Jesus has done for us.

We hope that the church is blessed.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Review: Conviction

Change a system! “My brother is innocent! Words of absolute confidence from Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) Now some of you may be thinking that I seem to watch a lot of movies and truthfully, I do. Watching good movies is one of the many ways I relax. I enjoy a good movie with an excellent storyline. I also enjoy true movies. However, since deciding to write movie reviews, I’ve been pretty intentional about watching “good” movies which we can show at Youth meetings or evangelistic outreaches and then discuss issues that are raised. I emphasize good because sometimes it's a "hit and miss". SO......

The caption on the DVD says it all......Conviction – The Incredible True Story of Betty Anne Waters

“Conviction is the inspirational story of a sister’s devotion to her brother. When Betty Anne Waters older brother Kenny is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in 1983, Betty Anne, a wife and mother of two from Massachusetts, dedicates her life to overturning the murder conviction. Convinced that her brother is innocent, Betty Anne puts herself through high school, college and law school in an 18year quest to free Kenny. With the help of best friend, Abba Rice, Betty Anne paws through the suspicious evidence mounted by small town cop Nancy Taylor, meticulously retracing the steps that led to Kenny’s arrest. Belief in her brother and her quest for the truth, pushes Betty Anne and her team to uncover the facts and to utilize DNA evidence with the hope of exonerating Kenny.”

With such utter devotion to her brother and to his innocence, something has to give and in Betty Anne’s case, it’s her marriage. 18 years imprisonment for a crime he didn’t commit, speaks of the loopholes in the justice system and just how scheming and devious people can be when they are out to “pin” something on someone. I love it when good triumphs over evil.

Molly Manhanga

Don't quit

The Bible is full of people who faced and broke through all kinds of barriers. A failure is not someone who failed while trying but is someone who didn’t attempt to do anything at all. A failure is someone who gives up, someone who quits trying. Quitters never win and winners never quit! If you could just hang in there and not quit, you will not only learn many ways not to do things but will also succeed eventually! “Tough times never last, but tough people do!”

James 1:2 – 4 “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Deal with offences

A lot of the time, we are offended at people because somehow, we think they are responsible for our troubles or situation. Adam blamed his disobedience on God and on Eve, in one statement: “The woman whom You gave to be with me gave me of the tree and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12) Even Jesus was blamed for the death of Lazarus! Mary said to Him, when He eventually showed up, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” And some who were around said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:32, 37) Many today are blaming their lack of success in life on their parents not giving them proper education, so they are offended in them. Yet many blame their government, their spiritual leaders, their employers, etc, for their predicament, and they are full of offences. It’s time to take full responsibility for your life and your actions, that is called maturity! Acts 24:16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense towards God and men.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie Review: Facing The Giants

Never Give Up

Never Back Down

Never Lose Faith

Very dear friends of mine, Steve and Catherine Hunter from Weymouth Family Church, blessed me with this DVD “Facing The Giants.” I thought the title rather apt coming from rural Kezi where there are many giants to be faced. Steve said this was a “Molly DVD” and that got my interest and curiosity going as I wanted to see what he meant.

The summary at the back of the DVD is just an appetiser: “In his six years of high school football, coach Grant Taylor has never led his Shiloh Eagles to a winning season. When faced with seemingly insurmountable professional and personal crisis, the idea of giving up has never come easier. It’s only after an unexpected visitor challenges him to trust in the power of faith that he discovers the strength to persevere.”

God has an amazing way of lifting us up at our lowest points. He seems to send someone along who has just the right words to spur us in our faith. I loved the analogy of the 2 farmers – both waiting for the rain but one goes to his field to prepare while the other doesn’t. God does send the rain...... Coach Grant Taylor prepared his team, honoured God in everything and the “rain” of blessings came. His inner strength and perseverance is awesome and seeing young people give their lives to the Lord is brilliant.

This DVD is a “tear-jerker” or some would say, mildly emotional. My tears were more in awe of the faithful God we serve and how He brings us through those “giant” experiences. The whole family can watch and have a great discussion time after. It comes highly recommended.

Thank you Steve and Catherine. It really is a “Molly DVD.”

By Molly Manhanga

The first wedding at Crossroads pt 3

More Pictures of the happy couple....... May God bless their marriage abundantly.....

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, April 15, 2011

The first wedding at Crossroads pt 2

Bride going to the Church

Much preparation went into Mbusiso and Pretty’s wedding. The most impressive thing was that the bride and groom knew exactly what they wanted and this made everyone’s life easy. The deco in the Kidz Block was simple but effective and the community rallied behind them in opening their homes to accommodate visitors and in donating food. This was just incredible to see. Interestingly enough, the mixture of a traditional African wedding and a western white wedding was pulled off really well. This “mish-mash” was enjoyed by everyone.

The Preacher

It was an honour to assist the bride getting dressed and to drive the bridal party to the church. As soon as folk saw the vehicle, they came and gathered by the entrance of the church and were singing and ululating. The celebrations had begun! The groom appeared and then the bride. What a pleasure seeing everyone rally around them as they walked to the Kidz Block to say their vows. Stephen Manhanga, leader of Crossroads Community Church, did really well as he conducted the ceremony. Many people streamed in and the catering team were concerned that the food wouldn’t be enough. As Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding in Canaan by turning water into wine, so He did perform a miracle for us by letting there be more than enough food to feed 450 people and still have left over’s. That was incredible. The vows went well and Steve presented Mr and Mrs Mbusiso Ndlovu to everyone.

We headed off to take photos before the presentation of gifts took place and of course the dancing. That was just wonderful. The young people moved to the beat and created alot of dust as they danced. It was just a wonderful occasion. Many young people now want to get married in a church setting and enjoy the support of the community. We thank God that all went well and He received the Glory.

The Cake

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nehemiah: Opposition by Nigel Ring

It was 600years before Jesus was born. The Jewish people were told that if they were obedient, God would bless them. They were held captive for 60 years by Babylonians, then taken by the Persians to Susa. 90 years later in the Book of Nehemiah, the story starts. Sin kept them captive for 150 years. Susa, in modern days is Iran. Nehemiah grew up in Susa and he was the cup bearer. He was trusted by the king. The seed of building the walls sat in him and grew and grew. The King asked him why he was so sad. He prayed and then responded to the King that he would like to go and rebuild the City Walls. 10 years before, sanballat and Tobiah had got Artexexes to reverse the original refusal to build anything – reverse his will. The King changed his mind and asked what can I do for you. Nehemiah asked for letters of passage and timber from the forestry’s. A few weeks later he arrives and tells no one that he is there. He goes to investigate the city wall. He comes back and calls the leader of the city and shares his plan. You can feel as he shares with them and the response is not positive. They changed their minds and said God is with us. There were about 30,000 people living in Jerusalem: carpenters, builders, gold workers, perfume makers and so on. The wall was 6m high and maybe 8m wide. The wall was about 1.5km long. Nehemiah 3:5 The Nobles would not stoop to serve the Lord. Nehemiah said take no notice of them and they defended the wall. They did not take off their clothes and they worked and guarded the wall. Nehemiah taught them. He led by example. Get involved with the people. Good leadership is leading by example. The Nobles had no story’s to tell because they were too proud to take part. To rebuild the city was much more than walls. A church is more than the building. It’s the people. Establish the people of God. He choses to forget our sins when we repent. If we are too proud, we remain in bondage. They never fully entered in because of pride. How long did it take 52days = 7½ weeks. Crossroads is a unique church. God has a purpose for this church. There are gifts and skills God wants to use if you have a heart to be involved. The church is to be salt and light – 24/7, the leaders are to do so, with all their hearts. Do not be like the Nobles - being proud. Give yourself completely to God.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The first wedding at Crossroads: "I DO, I do, I do!"

What God has joined together, let no man put asunder!

The Kiss

The Vows

The Groom

The Bride

The People

What a momentous day at Crossroads when approximately 450 people gathered from in and around the community to celebrate the wedding of Mbusiso Ndlovu and Pretty Moyo.

Want to know more, Read on!

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thought for the day

Mother Teresa

"Let no one ever come to you

without leaving you better and

happier. Be the living

expression of God's kindness -

Kindness in your face,

Kindness in your eyes, kindness

in your smile."

A minute with David Holden

M.M: David Holden How has your time been in Zimbabwe? D.H: Remarkably encouraging! When I come back, everything has moved forward. It’s encouraging to see how the Church is looking to God for an answer for everything.
By Molly Manhanga

Meet Elizabeth Holden

Elizabeth Holden
M.M: How was your time in Zimbabwe?

L.H: I absolutely love the country. I always feel my heart is here. I’m never worried about the politics but its great connecting with friends – friends that are dear to both of us. I feel so at home and completely connected to the church. It’s inspiring to see the churches working with the poor.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?

L.H: John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

M.M: What is your favourite food?

L.H: Italian food – fresh tomatoes, basil, fresh cheese, pasta and things like that.

M.M: Nice! What is the last thing you do before you sleep?

L.H: I read before I sleep.

M.M: What are your favourite books?

L.H: Phil Moore’s book on Matthew called “Straight to the heart”. It’s like a daily reading. I enjoyed the Sermon on the Mount. I also like “The Cross of Christ” by John Stott.

M.M: Have you done anything with women lately?

L.H: I had a women’s retreat in Norwich where about 400 came. It was all about making a difference and it went really well. I spoke about getting women out of their comfort zones, being pro-active in sharing Christ and being active in the church.

M.M: Sounds awesome. From your travels across the globe, what would you say are the issues facing women in general?

L.H: Women carry alot of responsibility and can feel disconnected/isolated. Single women also carry alot and they need encouragement. Sometimes it can feel like a man’s world and we need to support each other as women. Don’t neglect each other as women live busy lives and it’s easy to get isolated.

M.M: That’s really interesting! What do you do for fun?

L.H: I absolutely love spending time with my children. They are good for me. They tease me alot. I have 5 grandchildren. I also ride my bike. That’s fun!

M.M: Thanks so much Liz. It’s been great catching up with you. Have a wonderful time in South Africa and beyond.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Movie Review: The Blind Side

Despite having watched this movie 3 times, it still amazes me what love and acceptance can do for people. The Blind Side is a very inspirational story. We see how a homeless teen who knows the streets and projects of Memphis is taken in by a well – to – do family and how his life is transformed. Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock, takes Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) into her home despite knowing very little about his world. Just as much as Michael’s life is changed, so the Tuohy’s lives are changed too as they find a son and a brother. What makes The Blind Side is uplifting is that it is a real-life true story of family. The fact that people can still open their homes to strangers and believe in them is incredible – A God thing. We see the contrasting world’s that people live in from the homeless and life in the projects to the cushy, comfortable life of the suburbs. I really liked how the Tuohys accept Michael and find his strength in “defensive instincts”. This is not only used to encourage his American football, but the analogy is something he can relate to. How precious, to get the best out of him in sport. His education improves as well. It’s such a great movie to watch.

By Molly Manhanga

Provoking thought for the day

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched people's lives as much as adversity. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, the most poignant poems, the most gripping stories and the most inspired lives."

Billy Graham

Meet Mark Absolom

Meet Mark Absolom

Mark and Lesley Absolom It was just excellent having Mark Absolom with us again in Kezi. He visited us in November 2008. Mark is married to Lesley and they have been married for 25years. He is really great having around and he has an excellent sense of humour. It was good catching up with him. This is what Mark said......

M.M: From November 2008 to now, what noticeable changes can you see at Ebenezer?

M.A: There is progression with physical buildings at both Ebenezer and Crossroads. Ebenezer has a dining hall, irrigation, staff houses, lots more students, more dorms, a chicken project and the plots look impressive.

M.M: What about changes at Crossroads?

M.A: There is a huge difference with Crossroads. When I came the first time there was “nothing” physically but now there are guys living on site, there are toilets, the Kidz Block is complete and there is a grinding mill which serves the community. There is both spiritual and physical growth – the church has grown numerically and so has the children’s work. The church will grow even more being placed in the community. Foundations for Farming is also beginning to transform rural and urban areas.

M.M: What are your thoughts on the leadership?

M.A: There is growth of leadership. Stephen and Molly are modelling what is right and good. You are trying to build a team of leaders. There is progress. You get an essence of God’s family with an international flavour. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can participate in the Crossroads vision.

Mark Absolom

M.M: So true! How did you feel after your preach at Crossroads and your time with combined Family Groups at Ebenezer?

M.A: I shared on the Armour of God and how we can bring down the giants in our lives. It was a follow on from Andrew Ellis’s preach on Idols. The Wednesday Family Groups were more relaxed and there was time for questions. I spoke about being a man and tackled some taboos like men crying or expressing emotion, provision, leadership, sacrifice, qualities to look for in a man or woman etc.

M.M: Sounds excellent. Any “different” kind of food you’ve eaten at Ebenezer?

M.A: I ate cow hoof and that tasted like rubbery jelly. I also ate kapenta which tasted nice.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?

M.A: Florence Nightingale “It takes as much skill to bring life into the world. How much more we need to enable people to leave it.”

M.M: What is your favourite drink?

M.A: Good English ale like Hobgoblin and Furstyferret and a nice bit of mature cheddar with real butter and crackers and pickles and onions AND traditionally a good English curry.

M.M: I just got to ask - will the Cherries get promotion?

M.A: As we leave, they are 6th place in the play off position. Thanks for the continued support and prayers from Ebenezer. We need it!

M.M: Thanks Mark. So good chatting to you. Enjoy your time in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thought for the day

Psalm 112:1

"Blessed is the man

who fears the Lord,

who finds great delight

in his commands."

Meet Lesley Absolom

Mark and Lesley Absolom

It was just great having Lesley Absolom serve at Ebenezer and Crossroads in Kezi, Zimbabwe. Lesley is married to Mark and they have been married for 25 years. Lesley attends Gateway Church, Poole led by Matthew and Grace Hosier. Mark and Lesley have a beautiful family.

M.M: Is this your first time to Zimbabwe? L.A: Yes! M.M: What are your impressions?

L.A: Beautiful country with beautiful people. They very friendly.

M.M: How best would you describe your time at Ebenezer?

L.A: I had a great time with the students – the girls; learning about their lives and goals. I had fun sharing the gospel. They asked alot of questions about my relationship with Mark. It was a good time.

M.M: You obviously have been a huge blessing to the girls. Did you learn anything from them?

L.A: Yes. They are so hard working, have such faith especially a young lady called Simanga, they are so willing to serve. Their initiative in overcoming difficulty really impacted me. The apprentices have strength and dignity and they laugh alot.

Lesley Absolom

M.M: Excellent! How was your time at Crossroads?


M.M: What impacted you the most?

L.A: The way the community work together – both men and women. It was quite emotional seeing people in such need and yet they have such dignity. The worship at Crossroads impacted me. There are no musical instruments as we know and yet people sing. I loved the schools outreach and listening to the children sing. The problem solving initiative i.e. a death and funeral arrangements – even though it was difficult, the people took it on. I felt privileged to be allowed into something private.

M.M: Did you eat any traditional Zimbabwean food?

L.A: Yes. I ate sadza, kapenta (small fish), vegetables, beans, tomato sauce, and fried chicken. Seeing the cow hoof in my plate was a challenge.

M.M: Did you manage to read any books while you were here?

L.A: Yes. I read “When helping hurts” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. It is a challenging book and it had me in tears. It’s a real tool for churches, especially for those who go out and serve in other nations.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?

L.A: There are 3 kinds of people: those that make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wondered what happened.

M.M: Nice one. Thanks so much Lesley. It was wonderful spending some time with you. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga