Thursday, June 30, 2011

Face to face with the Cross

When you come face to face with the Cross, you can never be the same again.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,batising them in the nme of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Matthew 28:19 - 20

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thought for the day

Isaiah 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord God
Is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the
To proclaim liberty to the captives;
And the opening of the prison to those
Who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the

Meet David and June Dean

David and June Dean

David and June Dean are from Kings Eastbourne. David has been an elder for 10 years and full time staff for about 15 years. June is a part time infant teacher at West Rise Infant School for 21 years. It was great chatting to them as we went round Crossroads and Ebenezer.

M.M: How long have you been married?
D & J.D: 43 years

M.M: What has been the greatest challenge in ministry?
D & J.D: Balancing time, prioritizing and reassessing.

M.M: What would you say is the greatest need in your community?
D.& J.D: People need to hear the gospel.

M.M: Interesting. How would you describe your time in Zimbabwe?
D & J.D: Brilliant. Loved it. The people are great and so, so friendly. We admire how people just keep on going with so little. The faith levels are up when every day is a challenge.

M.M: What are your thoughts on Crossroads and our vision?
D & J.D: Amazing. You are trying to serve the community. The church is about reaching the community and it’s so impressive. James speaks about true religion. Your vision and heart is so great even though there is so little.

M.M: This is encouraging. Thank you. What are your thoughts on Ebenezer?
D & J.D: There are no quick fixes to poverty. People need to be trained, educated and shown business. It’s a long hard road. You must see people walk away and cry but you keep going. We commend you for that.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
D & J.D: “Take hold of all that God has taken hold of me for.....” from Philippians

M.M: Thanks so much David and June.

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Collecting water in the village......

Lady from the village collecting water

I found it very interesting watching a lady collecting water from a sandy river bed recently. We take it for granted that we have taps/running water in our homes and by simply turning the tap, water comes out. Not so for the majority of homesteads in Mablauwuni and the surrounding villages. Collecting water can be quite a mission especially now in the winter season.

For folk living near the Maleme river which feeds water into the Ebenezer dam, water isn’t a problem or for folk that live near a well or water point. Other people carry buckets or push them in a wheel barrow and go to the nearest river to collect water. The rivers and streams are now very sandy and folk have to dig to depths of approximately one and a half meters to hit water. They also tend to use “tins” as a filtration system so that not too much sand is collected with the water. Once the containers are full, they need to push the wheel barrow back to their homesteads. This can be quite a task as the dirt roads are sandy and tend to have gullies or slopes.

Water filtration system

The women and children work real hard getting water for their homes........

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, June 27, 2011

What's next in line at Crossroads?

Current building for the grinding mill - making do with what we have!

Plans are underway to construct a bigger building for the Grinding mill. Stephen is hoping to fit at least 2 mills in the new building. There is going to be a store-room and an office for Mr Manhanga. Men in the community are moulding bricks at the moment and we hope to purchase them at the end of July. The women are busy cutting thatching grass in the Matobo National Park.

It's great that there are continuous physical signs of change. What about on the spiritual front? Summed up, it's battle after battle. With God though, we are victorious!

By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crossroads Tuckshop Update

Crossroads Tuckshop serving the community

The tuckshop has been open for a couple of weeks now and it is doing pretty well. Mbekezele Moyo and Mxwayisi Dube are responsible for the Tuckshop and this is their micro-business which we hope will assist in meeting their financial needs and the young men being able to take care of themselves. They are serving the community well and keeping the tuckshop stocked with consumer goods that are in demand.

The down side is that the older folk are willing to go into debt as they don’t have cash readily available to purchase the groceries they need for their homes.

All in all, the tuckshop has been a brilliant idea.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review: Transitioning by Dan Southerland

“One of the most exciting and encouraging examples of transitioning from being program driven to purpose driven.”

Why do churches plateau or decline? Do we care enough about people? Is it a heart issue or is it a lack of vision? The church does love God, care for the people and it’s not so much the heart issue. It’s probably attributed to loss of vision. So, how can the church transition from where they are to where they want to go?

Vision is vital and so are the steps to envisioning people. Vision is both caught and taught. It should therefore be shared in multiple ways. Share vision and heart. “It is very difficult for leaders who do not know what is going on to support it.” Nehemiah shared the vision with his leaders. “Leaders who hear about changes in direction and focus from the pulpit are not likely to support those changes.”

Implement those changes one at a time and it is only God that can give you strategic order for your transition. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, it will be given to him.” In church, change is like oxygen, essential for life and growth. Handle it wrong, though, and you’ll start a fire you can’t put out. Go slow when implementing changes related to vision.

Dealing with opposition is very interesting and it can be very painful. Anyone who is trying to do something for God will face some opposition. Expect it – expect anger, apathy, ridicule, criticism Nehemiah 4:2 – 3, a fight Nehemiah 4:8, Nehemiah 4:11. The reality is that criticism and opposition will drive you somewhere. Let it drive you closer to God and you will become better. “Anyone who gets down tends to slow down – it is a fact of life.” There is always a price for transition and it’s amazing how many times God raises up new leadership when he wants to do a new thing. Nehemiah 7:1.

Nehemiah’s edge was that he chose to stay amongst his people. It’s so easy to separate ourselves from our people. We look at our title for respect, our clothes, or the car we drive and somehow feel like we are a notch above others. The world is looking for ‘normal’ Christians; Christian leaders who are real. 2 leadership styles are evident:
1. Ex-cathedra leadership meaning ‘from on high’ or
2. Ex-comradre leadership meaning ‘from within’. This is servant leadership and what Jesus modelled.
Vision needs repetition. Cutting edge churches are always in change mode. Let’s pray that God will bring change in us and through us and our churches will be purpose driven, not programme driven.

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reflecting on Mablauwuni Community

Older people in the community

I felt so sad after Steve and I visited a 66 year old lady and her grandchildren who are living in a make-shift room and ‘making do’ with what they have. It saddened me also when I heard of 2 funerals in the community last week. One was the death of the oldest man in the community who was said to be about 112 years. He had stomach problems and ended up dying. The other, was a lady in her 60’s. She went to the funeral of her nephew who was shot and when she saw the body, she collapsed and died. What an atmosphere of heaviness over this place!
It got me thinking about Mablauwuni village and how best to pray for this village.

1. Deaths: Majority of deaths are of people aged between 19 and 35 years. These deaths are caused by T.B or Aids related illnesses.
2. Pregnancies: Young girls aged between 14 and 17 years are getting pregnant. They sleep with men for money. The majority of these men are married and they come from South Africa, Botswana or are resident in the community. The men don’t marry the girls. The girls either stay at their family home and have their babies or if the home environment becomes hostile, they run away to a more consoling/comforting/understanding relative.
3. Marriages: They don’t seem to be healthy. I know that all marriages have their ups and downs but the impression given is that that one or both spouses are unfaithful and there is domestic violence. Sometimes ‘wives’ carry another man’s child and the husbands have to accept it. There is a ndebele saying "Whatever is born in the kraal, stays in the kraal". Families are dysfunctional and there are many broken homes.
4. Children: The positive side is that most children aged between 6 – 12 years go to school. The down side is the home environment – with so much unfaithfulness and promiscuity, the children are learning behavioural patterns which they consider to be ‘normal’. With so many aids-related deaths, there are many orphans who stay with their extended families. These children are most often times beaten or abused daily.
5. Why do men – older men, not want to go to church? They don’t believe in Jesus Christ but rather in ancestors.
6. Fear: The element of fear is rife and the ‘prophets’ bring much accusation against neighbours or family members or use ‘medicine’ to intimidate people.

As a church, we accept people as they are and pray that they will have a radical encounter with Jesus Christ. The unfortunate thing at times is that people have one foot in the church and the other in African traditional religion.

We just really got to pray for our community and believe that God can turn it around.

By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, June 18, 2011

For Such A Time As This

Esther 4:1 - 16

The context: A decree was passed out and all the Jews were to be killed. God had positioned Esther to be in the palace at that time and Mordecai challenged her: "Maybe you are in the kingdom for such a time as this."

Esther was in the kingdom for such a time as this. We tend to be dulled by our comfort and not to see the reality of what is happening around us. The Jews were meant to be killed and the enemy was behind it. God chose a nation and the enemy doesn't like God's chosen. He wants to discredit and derail people. The secular world will make people believe there is no sin and there is no judgement.

The enemy operates by killing, stealing and destroying us. he will use human anger, jealousy, envy to bring destruction and cause havoc. he is a destroyer especially when you are a christian. He wants you to be a non entity.

How did Esther respond?
Because we have been trained to find human solutions, when we are stuck and cannot find human solutions, we become the victim of the situation. We need to realise we have access to the divine, the supernatural. The church needs to be spiritually alert and ready at all times.

Esther understood the law. The problems came and there were no human solutions. Haman had secured the Kings approval, spent the money etc, etc. There was the King and there was Esther. She knew there was no human solution and so she fasted. The fasting allows God to demonstrate his power. Mordecai presented Esther with a choice: if she didn't do anything, God would raise someone else.

Christians tend to look at the needs of the present and not the bigger picture. Esther needed to see the bigger picture.

Read more on "For such a time as this......"

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Tragic and Heartfelt Story

Make shift home

After 35 years of marriage, an elderly lady of 66 walked out of her marriage. She took with her, some pots, plates, cups, clothes, chickens and her grandchildren. From the home that she built, she is now living in a “make shift” room that is made of sack. She and her three grandchildren all share this ‘sack’ room. The tragedy is that we are now in our winter season and temperatures in Kezi can drop to -2 degrees. Her husband is living on his own at the moment and he is selling their cattle to fend for himself. He doesn’t give his wife or grandchildren any money. They rely on her children who are working in Bulawayo and in South Africa.

Make shift kitchen

To add to this lady’s problems, her teenage grand daughter is 7 months pregnant and doesn’t know who the father of the child is – or should I say, will not say who he is. She has identified 2 young men from the community and both deny profusely that they are the prospective dads and will not take responsibility. Another casing point of what happens in rural Zimbabwe amongst the young people.

This lady has endured much hardship over the 35 years and I guess she just can’t take anymore. She was married customarily to her husband and tragically, this type of marriage favours the man and doesn’t protect the woman. The man can literally do anything he wants including taking as many "wives" as he pleases. There are days when she is down and others where she is more optimistic and can be an encouragement to her grandchildren. This 66 year old lady is just a casing point. Many women in Kezi and rural Zimbabwe face similar situations.

Stephen and I visited this lady yesterday as the whole family and the two young men, attend Crossroads. She was coming to her 'new home' from her garden where she picked some carrots. Her 11 year old grand daughter was cutting vegetables for dinner while she started cooking sadza in preparation for thier evening meal. We gave her 2kg of sugar and she was so thankful. She told us that her sugar had just run out and she was needing to take some maize to the grinding mill so she could have enough mealie meal to feed her family. Although she has many needs, she demonstrates such courage, warmth and perseverence.

Her story is complex and it’s one where God needs to intervene. Ndebele culture is at play but we serve a God who specialises in things thought impossible and we know that “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.”

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Service with a Difference

Stephen and I did a tag team session on 1 Timothy 1:1 – 20. It was interesting and different for the church to see me upfront on a Sunday morning. The women weren’t too surprised as I’ve shared regularly at our Women’s Meetings. Stephen was pretty confident that I’d do well seeing as it was his idea for us to tag. With prayer, all things are possible......

1 Timothy 1:1 – 2 (Stephen) We model our values without trying very hard. Parents demonstrate to their children what they consider important and valuable. Like father, like son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Paul was an apostle. An apostle means “one who is sent” – was sent by Jesus Christ.
Timothy had been sent by Paul to lead the Ephesian Church. He says Timothy is my true child there was a relationship, identity and personal instruction for discipline and administration.

1 Timothy 1:3 – 7 (Molly) Paul first visited Ephesus on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:19 – 21) and later on his third missionary journey where he stayed for 3 years. Ephesus was one of the major cities in the Roman Empire – the centre for commerce, politics and religions. There was a temple dedicated to the Goddess Artemis (Diane).
The church in Ephesus may have been plagued by heresy. Some Ephesians made up stories based on the Old Testament history. The false teachers were motivated by their own interests rather than Christ’s. They got the church arguing in irrelevant, endless controversies. We too can get caught up in worthless discussions clouding out the life-changing message of Christ. Avoid anything that keeps you from doing God’s work.

1 Timothy 1:8 – 11 (Stephen) Beware of false teachers. There are people who want to be famous or well known and respected. They don’t understand the laws of purpose. The law was not meant to give believers a list of commands for every occasion but to show unbelievers their sin and bring them to God.

1 Timothy 1: 12 – 17 (Molly) People can feel so guilty about their past that they feel God could never forgive or accept them. Paul spoke about himself as being the “chief” of sinners. He persecuted the Christians, hunted them down and killed. He laughed at the message of Christ until he had the radical encounter on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:1 – 9, God forgave Paul and used him mightily for his kingdom. No matter how shameful or bad your past is, God can forgive and use you.

1 Timothy 1: 18 – 20 (Stephen) Paul calls Timothy his child and it’s because of prophesies previously made. Through prophesy, important messages of warning and encouragement came to the church. 1 Corinthians 14:1 Timothy set apart, hands laid on him and elders prophesied about Timothy’s gifts.

How do we keep a clear conscience?
1. Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else and do what you know is right. Each time you deliberately ignore your conscience, you are hardening your heart. God speaks to us through our conscience letting us know the difference between right and wrong.

Next week we look at 1 Timothy 2

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thought for the day......

The 7 Golden Rules in Relationships pt 2

There are different kinds of relationships. Have clean fun to be with.

The 7 golden rules are:
Measure value to others: add value or worth to others.
Do unto others what you want people to do to you: The way I want to be treated is the way I should treat people.
Overcome your insecurities: “Perfect love casts out all fear.” Insecurities and fear hinder us from relating to properly or rightly with others. Before you can “fix” others, “fix” yourself.

1. Knowledge of yourself and others: Know the truth about yourself. Who am I? It will help me know how to relate to others. Know my personality and temperament as this will assist me in choosing my friends wisely. Every temperament and personality has its strengths and weaknesses. One isn’t better than the other so be secure in it. Know your limitations. As a leader, don’t just choose people who are like you. Know others also. Know why you react the way you do. Are things out of sync? Do we expect too much from people? Let people be themselves or else you’ll drive them away. You can help people to change for the better but don’t try to change people to be like you. Our differences enhance our lives. Know people, know what makes them tick etc. “The secret to leadership and knowing how to relate to people is to know their temperament.”

2. Use words wisely: Know the importance of words. They have creative power. Proverbs 18:20. Be generous on praise and economical on rebuke and criticism. Proverbs 18:6 – 7, Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 18:19, James 1:19 – 20, Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 25:11 – 12, Proverbs 10:31 – 32. Let your words be few. Be sensitive to the person’s temperament. What is the quality of your relationship with them? Know what people are ready for. Give people permission to speak into your life. Proverbs 9:7- 8. Learn to say “I’m sorry”. Humble yourself Proverbs 15:1 – 2

3. Leave something of yourself with people to remember you by: Let it be a pleasure indeed for people to meet you. What if you’ll never see them again? Contribute something for them to think about. Let your words be seasoned with salt. Be gracious and offer yourself to people. Be self-giving. Leave a legacy – not only material things but a good name. Touch people’s lives, pray for people, be a blessing! You don’t always have to have the last word. “You can win an argument and lose a friend.” James 3:17, Proverbs 18:24

4. Invest in yourself: “You cannot give what you don’t have.” Pray, study, develop yourself. Have a balanced life and manage your life well. Rest, look good and take care of yourself.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The 7 Golden Rules of Relationships

There are different kinds of relationships e.g. siblings, mother, friend, leader, wife and so on. Our ministry should flow out of our lives. The quality of your life should speak for itself. Live a life of joy and peace. Have clean fun to be with.

The 7 golden rules are:
1. Measure value to others: add value or worth to others. Everybody has an intrinsic worth. We were made in the image of God. Don’t add worth to someone after the flesh – the car they drive, the house they live in, their bank balance, clothes they wear etc. Get to know people. Give everyone a chance. Esteem others better than yourself. Look for areas they are better and acknowledge them. Tell people how they have blessed you when they are alive. Sometimes our pride gets in the way but when last did you say “thank you” to someone. Treat people as people not as things. Love people, care about people and go the extra mile. Invest in people “ The people you build will build the work.” Raise people, don’t use them. Treat people with dignity, treat them properly. Proverbs 17:17. Be committed to people. Don’t be a fair weather Christian or a fair weather friend. A friend loves at all times.
2. Do unto others what you want people to do to you: The way I want to be treated is the way I should treat people. Put yourself in the shoes of others. Think about how our decisions, actions and words affect others. It’s not good to crack jokes at the expense of others, or to talk about others. We can so easily embarrass our husbands, family or friends. Learn to forgive the mistakes of others. Be gracious and give people a fresh start. We judge ourselves by our intensions but others by their actions. The measure you use to judge is the same measure that will be used on you.
3. Overcome your insecurities: “Perfect love casts out all fear.” Insecurities and fear hinder us from relating to properly or rightly with others. There is fear of rejection. Remove the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s eye. Insecurities affect accurate discernment. If you are a man pleaser, your discernment isn’t right. You say of others: “She is so proud....” No. It’s you who is proud or “She thinks she is better than others” No, it’s you who thinks you are better than everyone else. Another ‘label’ is “She doesn’t have any friends...” No, it’s you who doesn’t have any friends. Don’t project your insecurities on others. Overcome your insecurities or else you’ll be a “pain” to be around. You won’t relate right to others and it will cause errors in our judgements. You cannot see clearly and therefore you see things that don’t exist. Before you can “fix” others, “fix” yourself.

Read more on The 7 Golden Rules of Relationships

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thought for the day

John Maxwell states that people actually don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. That is so, so true! What I find so interesting is that you can sense it if someone cares about you. It's great if words are spoken but even if they are not, you can feel it. How wonderful it is when people know that they are loved, cared for and prayed for.

The Bible says that knowledge puffs up (our heads) but love builds up! Our goal should not be to display ourselves or what we know, but to build up others. One reason why Jesus is still such a great "influence" is because He gave His life for all. John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." Have you noticed that people don't change in an atmosphere of criticism and dislike but rather, they change when they know they are loved and accepted.

"Let all things be done for edification." 1 Corinthians 14:26

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord

"If you never felt pain,

Then how would you know I am a Healer?

If you never had to pray,

How would you know that I am a Deliverer?

If you never had a trial,

How could you call yourself an overcomer?

If you never felt sadness,

How would you know that i am a comforter?

If you never made a mistake,

How would you know that I am a forgiver?

If you knew all,

How would you know that I will answer your question?

If you never were in trouble,

How would you know that I will come to your rescue?

If you never were broken,

How would you know that I can make you whole?

If you never had a problem,

How would you know that I can solve them?

If you never went through the fire,

Then how would you become pure?

If I gave you all things,

How would you appreciate them?

If I never corrected you,

How would you know that I love you?

If you had all power,

Then how would you learn to depend on me?

If your life was perfect,

Then what would your need for me be?"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happiness is a choice

You can be happy, no matter what your state in life is - single, married, widowed, separated or divorced etc. because, happiness is a choice you make in life! It isn't a decision somebody else makes or can make for you. Happiness is not a function of what somebody does or doesn't do for you, it is what you do for yourself.

First and foremost, we must understand that there is a difference between Godly happiness and worldly happiness. In the world you are happy when everything is going your way; everyone doing what you want; you having all you want; doing all you want, etc. And if you can't have it your way, you are not happy. The theme of worldly happiness is you; the focus is you - the'world' must revolve around you if you are to be happy.

In God's kingdom, it's a different ball game all together.

"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments." Psalm 112:1

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kidz Alive Event

Happy Kidz

It was excellent getting together with the Kidz alive children on Saturday. Their enthusiasm, laughter and zest for life were a pleasure to see. They really enjoy getting together to have fun! We had a wonderful time during praise and worship which was led by our budding leaders. It’s fantastic to see how the children are so willing to play the drums and shake the tambourines. It was beautiful!

We then separated the little ones (Tiny Tots) who sat and listened to a story shared by Nosimilo Ncube – our Family Champion. They also had a sing along time and games. The older children (Y-Zone) had some balloon competitions before playing soccer and netball. They had a fun time and it was amusing seeing the faces of the children whose balloon burst as they were blowing it up. The children received “noise makers” and they sure did make lots and lots of noise. Its wonderful seeing children being children and enjoying themselves.

Blow the balloon competition

Christina Smestad from America volunteered to help at the Kidz event. She is part of a team that are here in Zimbabwe to minister at the Theological College of Zimbabwe in Greek and Hebrew.

Simangaliso Ndlovu ended our session by telling the children a story from Chronological Bible Storying. The children listened attentively. I realised yet again just how important it is for children to fellowship together and share God’s word at a tender age. Children need so much love, attention, support, encouragement, direction and so on. We look forward to the next Kidz Alive Event and to Crossroads School’s Ministry coming up shortly.

Fun and games at Crossroads

By Molly Manhanga

The face of a child......

A penny for the thoughts of these children as they clap their hands during the praise and worship session and yet have “lots” on their mind. Their faces tell a story

Luke 9: 47 – 48 “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him and said to them,’ Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Him who sent me;....”

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meet Christina Smestad

Christina Smestad

It was wonderful getting to know Christina this weekend, especially when she volunteered to assist us with our Kidz Alive event at Crossroads on Saturday. Christina comes from America and she is part of a team that is ministering at The Theological College of Zimbabwe.

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
C.S: I went to Wheaton College and majored in English Literature. I then moved back home to Minnesota and worked in eye research at the Mayo Clinic for a couple of years. Then I came to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary last fall where I am pursuing an MA in Theology. I grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at a very young age.

M.M: How has your experience been so far in Zimbabwe and your visit to Ebenezer?
C.S: I have enjoyed it very much. I’ve learnt alot about Zimbabwe and I have enjoyed meeting Christians here and seeing what God is doing through different ministries such as Isaiah’s Children’s Home, Our Neighbours and Ebenezer. I have not gotten sick (yet), and I think I am even adjusting to the power-cuts.

M.M: How did you feel about being part of the Crossroads event?
C.S: I am really glad I was able to go to the Kidz Event at Crossroads today. For me as an American, I felt like I was stepping into the “image of mission work in Africa surrounded by dozens of children in a rural church.” The children are friendly and sweet. I felt privileged to visit the event today.

M.M: I’m so glad you enjoyed it and had a mission experience in rural Zim. What is your favourite quote?
C.S: “He is no fool who gives the thing he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose.” Jim Elliot.

M.M: Thanks Christina. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

A walk with Jesus by Mike Ndlovu

Mike and Simanga Ndlovu

It was excellent spending time with Mike and Simanga Ndlovu this weekend. Mike and Simanga are leaders at Thembalezizwe Church which is led by Tapiwa and Flora Chizana. We had a wonderful time catching up, sharing issues of the heart, how to be relevant in our communities and being blessed by the word Mike shared at Crossroads on Sunday.

Mike started by sharing a story from Matthew 8:23 – 27 “Now when he got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ’Why are you so fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marvelled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Jesus desire is for us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him, learn from Him, draw from Him. Jesus wants to be personal with each one of us. As we walk with Jesus, we’ll meet storms and difficulties in life. The challenges will be there. Jesus wants us to respond to these challenges in a positive way.
Mike asked the question, “What do we do when difficulties come?” Some of the responses from the congregation were as follows:
1. Call on God.
2. Search ourselves
3. Ask myself – “God what have I done for all these problems to be with me?”
It shows we are human. When we face difficulties, we react with anger, complain, feel God has rejected me, fearful like the disciples and so on. We forget that God is with us.

Mike preaching

Look at Job, his body was full of sores and his wife said “Why are you suffering like this? Curse God and die.” Job knew Job. He didn’t curse Him as his wife suggested but rather blessed Him. Challenges of illness, hunger, loss of a loved one, feeling hopeless like there is no tomorrow will be there. God has good news for us. Let’s have faith in him at all times. Stand when the storms come. Stand in faith. Don’t abandon God. At times we can feel like Jesus is sleeping and doesn’t care about us. The disciples asked him that very question. They forgot the miracles Jesus did during throughout the day. When things are good we praise God but when difficulties come, we ask Jesus where He is, or stop coming to church. When difficult times come, have faith in God.

Jesus wants us to stand just like David did with Goliath. He didn’t fear Goliath because he knew that God was with him. When we speak the name of Jesus, things happen. The disciples thought they would die, they were fearful and we are the same. All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. We need to be in a place where we can command all difficulties to change. We need to know our God. He will raise a standard for us. He will give us power and strength to overcome.

Summary: Mike encouraged us as a church to dream big – to see the Kidz Block full of people. God loves us and cares for us. Our faith needs to be in Him. When challenges come, it shouldn’t stop us from serving God. Nothing should make us lose sight of him.

I loved the ministry at the end.

Ministering to the body of believers at Crossroads

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Meet Esther Luisa Del Corro

Esther Luisa Del Corro better known as Cha Cha

It was just excellent meeting Cha Cha and Becky from Australia and hosting them for an evening. What a privilege getting to know what God is doing in different continents. This is what Cha Cha said.......

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
E.C: I originally come from the Philippines and came to Sydney, Australia in February 1999. As a team of 6 people, we were on our way to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to minister for 3 months. We were in Sydney for a month ministering to several churches and getting ready to go to Port Moresby when we received a call telling us not to go because of civil unrest and the people there could not guarantee our safety. I released the team to do what they felt God was telling each one of us to do. I stayed in Sydney to just live out my one year visa but God had other plans for me and I’ve been living in Australia ever since.

M.M: How long have you known Brian Oldreive?
E.C: I met Brian recently in Sydney when he was there sometime in April 2011.

M.M: Nice! What have been the highlights of your stay in Zimbabwe?
E.C: Meeting people doing ministry in Harare, at Antelope Park and you and Stephen here in Bulawayo.

M.M: What work are you involved with in Australia?
E.C: I’m in full time ministry and do pastoral work with Radiance of Jesus Christ in Sydney, with Faith Christian Community Church in Melbourne, I work with 47 pastors in Payatas, Philippines, I co-ordinate a missions trip one a year to the Philippines for Impact nations based in Vancouver, Canada.

M.M: Did you eat any strange foods while in Zimbabwe?
E.C: I haven’t encountered strange food!

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
E.C: “Generosity will break the back of poverty.”

M.M: Thanks so much Cha Cha. Wonderful meeting you!

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meet Rebekah Cooper

It was wonderful meeting two lovely ladies from Sydney, Australia whilst at Antelope Park in Gweru. Brian Oldreive (Founder and Pioneer of Foundations for Farming) introduced them to Stephen and I and immediately asked us if we could accommodate them for an evening in Bulawayo. It was only a pleasure and wonderful getting to know them.

M.M:tell me briefly about your background?

R.C: I am from Sydney, Australia. I am a registered nurse, a registered Midwife and Children's Pastor. I do regular short term work in different parts of the world.

M.M: How long have you known Brian Oldreive?

R.C: Almost 5 years. I came to Zimbabwe and stayed with Brian and Cath in 2006. I came with my father. They are a great couple where the presence and character of God is very evident in their lives.

M.M: I agree with you 100%. What has been the highlight of your visit to Zimbabwe so far?

R.C: My visit has been full of highlightys including visiting the clinic and herb garden, hearing the wisdom and Godly insight of the staff of Foundations for Farming, staying with Molly and Stephen and their great hospitality and we are about to meet Dr Michelle. Riding an elephant and walking the lions was a highlight whilst at Antelope Park. Most of all, the beautiful people of Zimbabwe has been my greatest highlight!

M.M: Which church do you attend and who is the leader?

R.C: Radiance of Jesus Christ (RJC) and the leaders are Pastors Cha Cha Del Corro and ray Clemente.

M.M: Did you eat or drink anything "strange" whilst in Zimbabwe?

R.C: I drank rooibos tea and it was yummy!

M.M: What is your favourite quote?

R.C: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

M.M: Thanks so much Becky. It has been great meeting you and getting to know you.

By Molly Manhanga

Winter Blossoms

COSMOS Double Click

I was so pleased to see the first signs of my COSMOS Double Click flowers blossoming in winter. They look lovely and I'm enjoying transplanting them to different areas of my garden.

My mixed variety of plants are doing well.

I need to transplant my calandula's as well. Happy days ahead for me.

COSMOS Double Click starting to blossom

By Molly Manhanga