Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

Highlights in 20111. Completion of the Kidz Block.
2. Leaders from Zimbabwe and abroad coming to Crossroads to share their gifts and talents. We thank God for them.
3. Tuckshop and grinding mill serving the community.
4. Community Events like COSMOS, Eye Clinic, Foundations for Farming Training, Faithful Stewards Programme etc.
5. Introduction to Foundations for Family at Crossroads.
6. Painting of the toilet block.
7. Releasing emerging leaders who joined Beyond Belief and moved to Mapisa.
8. More people employed as activities begin at the Crossroads plot i.e. foundations for farming, pig project while others have joined the chicken project
9. Different ministries led by local leaders like Hospital visitation, Kidz Alive, Cell meetings, Women’s ministry, Chronological Bible Storying etc.
10. Evidence of spiritual growth in individuals.

Challenges1. Life issues faced with emerging leaders.
2. Lack of water at Crossroads (Soon to be rectified – praise God!)
3. Animals eating the crops in the Well Watered Garden demonstration plots.

As we are at the end of another year, looking forward into 2012, our prayer is that God will be glorified in all that we do and say, we will impact and influence our community and that we'll see many, many people come to the knowledge of Christ.

God Bless You

Molly Manhanga

Friday, December 30, 2011

Festive season in Rural Kezi......

Ever wonder what folks in the rural areas do over the festive season? Well, it's just like everywhere else......they celebrate, some have parties to "ring" in the festive mood, eat lots of food, spend time with family and rejoice with family that visit from neighbouring South Africa or Botswana or arrive from the City of Kings - Bulawayo. Watching television or DVD's, listening to the radio or to loud music is the norm for young people. Others will take the time to go into the fields and work seeing as it is the rainy season and some will go to church or become spiritual in one way or another.

Festive season.....thats how it goes year after year....

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the day

What's in our hearts?

Capacities for love, mercy, anger, envy and pride can lie dormant until awakened by circumstances. Strength and weaknesses of heart are found not when everything is going our way but when flames of suffering and temptation test the mettle of our character. As gold and silver are refined by fire, and as coal needs time and pressure to become a diamond, the human heart is revealed and developed in the presence of pain and suffering.

Romans 5:3 - 5
1 Peter 1:6 - 8
Job 42:1 - 17

Eye clinic at Crossroads pt 2

Grace Tshabangu "sporting" her new glasses

Medications being dispensed

Rachel Beaty giving a talk

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eye Clinic at Crossroads

Dr Steve Beaty

Crossroads was quite a hive of activity yesterday as we hosted an eye clinic for folk from Mablauwuni village and the surrounding communities. We weren't too sure how the turn out would be seeing as it is the festive season but, the response was good. Dr Steve Beaty, his lovely wife Jane and a team served us so well. They not only examined eyes and blessed folk with glasses, but they also checked on general health - those with ailments of sorts. The day was fantastic and the Crossroads Catering Team did an excellent job in cooking for over 150 people and serving them on time......

Folk from the community waiting for the eye clinic to begin......

However, the day didn't start off so brilliantly for the Beaty's. We had scheduled the eye clinic to start at 9:00am and were expecting the Beaty's before hand to set up. We were then informed that the vehicle they had hired from Bulawayo broke down on the way and so they had to head back into town to sort that out. Folk from the surrounding communities started arriving at Crossroads as early as 6:00am. The general atmosphere was good as people waited patiently and the clinic eventually kicked off at approximately 11:00am.

It was a good day and the thunderstorm in the afternoon was AMAZING!!! Farmers in Kezi are smiling.....

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, December 26, 2011

Faith's Many Definitions

"By Faith Abraham Obeyed."
When God demands our most cherished possession, do we flinch - or obey?

What is FAITH?
An acronym for faith....

F - Forsaking
A - All
I - I
T - Take
H - Him

Faith is belief that God exists
Faith is trusting God
Faith is waiting patiently for God to undertake
Faith is the absence of doubt or worry
Faith is holding firmly to the promises of God
Faith is hoping for what is yet unseen
Faith is being crazy for God

Someone else describes faith with these words...."I cannot explain the wind, but I can hoist a sail."

The story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22:1 - 12, is a good illustration of faith in action.

Why do believers get worn out?

I was reading a very interesting article on how war in the trenches wears down the troops.
Often the battle is won by the one who can hang in the longest. Power contests between individuals are usually a test of endurance. The one who does not crack under the stress of opposition, or run from the attacks on his person, or wear out from the length of the fray wins!

Daniel makes an interesting comment on the tactics of the evil one….he shall “wear out the saints” Daniel 7:25. The word actually speaks of affliction and oppression. Satan has strategies such as persecutions, temptations, doctrinal deviations and other such frontal attacks. But when he cannot achieve his way quickly through such means, he may dig the trench and hold the line.

Trench warfare wears down the troops. You never know where the bullet may blaze from. A fresh charge may come at any moment, or not for days. Living conditions are horrible. Crowded in by walls of mud, stepping on each other’s feet, worrying about each night’s foray – it all stretches the nerves.

Many preachers and believers are near breaking point or being worn out. Snipers sneak shots at will while the army of the Lord holes up in the sanctuary, Carnality controls the contest, despair deepens and hopelessness hangs over the field like a cloud of poison gas. Some church fights go on for years. The same few contestants tie up all advances by wearing down people with continual debates, fault-finding, criticisms and just general contrariness.

In warfare, no retreat is allowed. But, stay in the shelter and eventually it becomes your grave. There is only one way out. Daniel said, “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (11:32). The trumpet sounds the advance. We are called to go over the top. This is not a reckless bravado resulting in slaughter. It is a calculated offense that reveals bravery. Truth is taught, the gospel is preached, discipline is enforced, the church is led and the Lord is glorified.

Our captain has instructed us in spiritual strategy. The church is to resist the devil, flee temptation and go into all the world. Occasionally, our ranks must be pruned. But the call is to discipleship, resulting in a unified move forward.

Greater challenges have never faced us. The battle is the Lord’s. So up, and at it! Too long the enemy has worn us down. Put on your armour and prepare for war. Victory is in the field and not in the trenches.

Yes, interesting article......written 20 years ago......

Compiled By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, December 24, 2011

To Us a Child Is Born

Isaiah 9:6 - 7a

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his


And he will be called

Wonderful Councellor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and


there will be no end..........

Christmas - what is it really about? It's about Jesus Christ.... He is the reason for this season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Poem

A Friend sent this to me recently .....Some may say it’s too warm & fuzzy, mushy, slobbery or even cheesy…but hey, it’s Christmas and the air is filled with love, peace, appreciation, thankfulness etc. Another thing – technology has changed but I think the message/principle remains the same….Here goes

A Christmas Poem
I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book
And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look.
Well, that is when I realise that these names are a part
Not of the book they’re written in, but really of my heart.

For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And in the meeting they've become the rhythm in each rhyme.
So while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I'm composed of each remembered name.

Now while you may not be aware of any special link
Just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think;
For once I've met somebody, the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between,
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It is because you're on the list that I'm indebted to.

Then every year when Christmas comes, I realise anew,
The best gifts life can offer is meeting folks like you.
May love and grace and gladness, and peace that all endures
Leave it’s richest blessing in the hearts of you and yours.
by Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, December 19, 2011

House of Prayer

Mark 11:12 – 25
1 Corinthians 6:19
In this passage, 2 unusual things are related or connected and this is the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the Temple.

The cursing of the fig tree was an acted out parable related to the cleansing of the Temple. The Temple was supposed to be a place of worship but true worship and prayer had disappeared. The fig tree showed promise of fruit but it produced none. If we claim to have faith without putting it to work in our lives we are like the barren fig tree. We look fruitful in appearance only but are spiritually barren.

Fig trees are a popular source of inexpensive food in Israel. They require 3 years from time of planting until they can bear fruit. Each tree yields a great amount of fruit. In late spring and early autumn, the figs normally grow as the leaves fill out but this tree, though full of leaves, had none. The tree looked promising but offered no fruit. 2 Timothy 4:2 – 5
We need to be people that are prayed up. What kind of prayers do we pray? Is it the kind of prayers that moves mountains? God answers our prayers but it’s not based on our positive mental outlook or attitude. There are a few conditions that need to be met......
1. Be a believer: Hebrews 11:6, Mark 11:23 – 242. Don’t hold a grudge against another person vs. 253. Don’t pray with selfish motives: James 4:1 – 34. Let your request be for the good of God’s Kingdom: James 4:7 – 10Our prayers are often motivated by our own interests and desires yet Jesus prayed in Mark 14:36 with God’s interest in mind.

Let’s be a praying people
Let’s confess our sin
Let’s turn back to God.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Child's World

Have you ever taken the time to really enter a child’s world? I find it quite fascinating watching children at Crossroads play with dolls or soft toys, playing with sand or chasing one another and laughing or simply staring at...'nothing'. It’s such an innocent and happy life. There are no deadlines to be met, meetings to attend or decisions to be made – the things that occupy an adult world. How precious children are! Try stepping out of your adult world and enter the world of children. Pray for the children you know – pray for your own children. I was quite touched when we took time at Crossroads and prayed for the children. What a special time. Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them.” Jesus is our perfect example, so let’s welcome the children onto our laps and into our hearts. Let’s recognise their value and do what we can to show them Christ’s love.

Little children are a BIG concern to God.

By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, December 10, 2011

From timidity to compassion

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us the spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Three to one – that’s God’s ratio for success, according to 2 Timothy 1:7. A trio of God-given attributes – power, love and self-discipline – offsets one characteristic that doesn’t come from Him: timidity. The Greek word translated here as “timidity” also means “fear” or “cowardice”. Can you relate? Who hasn’t shrunk back, like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, when faced with opposition or an opportunity to speak about God to others?

But here is a refreshing perspective when confronting our own timidity: Rather than looking at people with fear, we can see them as Jesus did. He was willing to go out and seek each one like a shepherd looks for a lost sheep. He saw each person’s potential to become a child of God. We should see each person, not as a foe, but as a potential brother or sister. Do you see the difference such a change in perspective could make? It can move us from cowardice/timidity to compassion.

Who do you know that needs to hear about Jesus? A family member, a co-worker, a next door neighbour? Have they heard you speak on every subject except eternity? Regardless of what is holding you back, God has already replaced your timidity with power, love and self-discipline (a sound mind)

Power: We can be confident in sharing God’s message because he offers us the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Paul reminded the Corinthians that he came ‘in truthful speech and in the power of God’ (2 Corinthians 6:7) That same power is alive and real and available to you.
Love: God, who is love, can fill us so that we can invite others into his welcoming embrace. Love that ‘never fails’ (1 Corinthians 13:8) gives us the desire to share the very best news with others.
Self-discipline: means that we have a sound mind, good judgment and discretion. These concepts dovetail to make people who have wisdom tell others about Jesus. We will meet people where they are, discern what their needs are, sense where the ‘door’ to their heart is, and walk through it with the gospel message.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Meaning of Life

George Gallup Jr. listed the top spiritual needs of people today:

1. To believe that life is meaningful and has a purpose
2. To have a sense of community and deeper relationships
3. To be appreciated and respected
4. To be listened to
5. To feel they are growing in faith
6. To get practical help in developing a mature faith

Notice how many of the needs relate to relationships. That's because we are created to be relational people. God created us first to have a relationship with him and second to have relationship with one another. It is through our interactions with others that we find meaning in life. The Bible teaches us that others will know whether our christianity is genuine by looking at whether our love for each other is real (John 13:35).

It's easy to love people who love us, but we are commanded to extend acts of kindness and acts of service even to strangers. Doing so is a sign that our faith is dynamic and alive. God asks us to grow and mature by forgiving those who have wronged us. And scripture instructs us to put others needs ahead of our own, even if it's not convenient. That's how we show others we appreciate and respect them.

In Hebrew 13 the author instructs us concerning hospitality to strangers, marital relations and submission to authority - in essence, how to build relationships. But the whole catalog of interactions with others is rooted in, and gets its life source from our relationship with Jesus. Our sacrifice of praise to God and our sacrifice of service to others are fundamentally linked to him. Our good works to others grow out of Christ's work in us, and that pleases him.

None of our sacrifices for others are even comparable to the great sacrifice Jesus made in order to have a relationship with us. But the amazing thing is that when we offer the sacrifices of time, energy and good deeds to others, we not only grow closer to them, but we also grow closer to Jesus.

In Christ, we find true meaning in our lives.

Family Matters....

My sister in law: Virginia Pinto (left) and Molly Manhanga (right)

“In-laws or outlaws: the choice is yours”……I enjoyed my time in Harare recently with my in-laws. We had a great catch up time and parted saying that we’ll encourage each other to live a healthy lifestyle. I decided to go “healthy” and although it’s not difficult when I’m on my own or with Stephen, when I’m with family, it tends to get hard because of the food we eat…..I couldn’t believe it recently when I was having a debate with myself on whether or not to eat French fries. My rationale was that I’d eat this once and it really does taste good! I didn’t succumb to the temptation but, it’s good when you have folk that you are accountable to……and in this case, it’s my sister in-laws….. Healthy living here we come!!

Garden feature

While I’ve been trying to get creative and beautify my garden by planting flowers and trying to put in garden “features”, one of my dogs has other ideas for my efforts……the flowers seem to make a nice sleeping area. Stephen has been doing well with his maize, tomatoes and onions. I won’t need to buy tomatoes and onions for a while.

Tomatoes from the garden…not bad at all!

Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crossroads Camp! pt 2

Saturday was serious business as we spent time discussing how we can improve as a church and how we can impact the community? Groups were formed and different areas of church life were discussed before having a feedback session. What I liked the most was how honest folk were being on areas that we are good in and areas that need improving. I hope 2012 is a good year with everyone playing their part!

Sunday was celebration time and honouring folk. It was good seeing people so happy and really appreciating one another. We ended by sharing lunch together. Seems like the food was more than enough again as we have quite a bit left over which we can use for Kidz Alive.

God is good!

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crossroads Camp!

Excitement spread through Mablauwuni village and Ebenezer Training Centre as our camp date drew near. Preparations went smoothly as church members contributed generously with food items.

Friday Evening: About 150 of us gathered at Crossroads, sang songs, danced, prayed and had a really good time getting to know each other better. Some of the Field Officers from Beyond Belief attended the meeting as well as 'old' apprentices who are now based in Bulawayo. It was great seeing them again.

Stephen encouraged everyone to see things in both the physical as well as the spiritual.....see the possibilities of what God is doing in our community, what is God saying to us individually and for us to look forward to 2012. He then asked the question "What drives Crossroads Church?" Some responses were: prayer, seeing the community saved, God, goals etc. Every church is driven by something be it programmes, events, personalities etc

We then looked at how to best impact and influence the community. It was a good evening!

By Molly Manhanga