Friday, March 30, 2012

Heaven Touches Earth - Knowing God as Father

What an incredible time we had with Julian C. Adams on "Knowing God as Father."

The destination and termination of the teaching and work of Jesus is encounter with the Father
  • Jesus radically challenged his disciples natural self-reliance and provoked them into a child-like relationship with God as Father.
  • Jesus came and radically taught his followers to use the Hebrew word Abba when talking with God. Roughly translated it means 'daddy' although it would be used by adult and child alike.
  • In John 17, the High Priestly prayer is not about church planting or saving souls or healing. It is about knowing the Father. 'This eternal life to know you the only true God.' John 17:3
  • Theologians and thinkers throughout history have seen the central importance of this revelation:
  1. "If the entire bible could be encapsulated in a single sentence it would cry out like the resounding waves of the sea 'the father loves you'". Augustine
  2. "So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more." John Owen
  3. "All I want to say to you is you are the beloved and all I hope is that you can hear there words as spoken to you with all the force and tenderness that love can hold." Henri Nouwen
  • Yet it is one of the greatest battles of the believer. To go beyond 'knowing about' the love of God to fully encountering it.
  1. "I have difficulty praying the Lord's Prayer because when I do I think of my own Father who was hard, unyielding and relentless. I cannot help but think of God that way." Martin Luther
  2. "But this did not just affect Luther; 'if you should ask me to state in one phrase what I regard as the greatest defect in most Christian lives I would say that it is our failure to know God as our Father as we should know Him." Martin Lloyd - Jones
Common filters that we see God through: conditionally loving, poor at communicating, controlling, judgemental, unreliable, cold and aloof, critical, indifferent/disinterested, dishonest, abusive, unforgiving and stingy. God infact is the exact opposite: loves us unconditionally Romans 5:8, good at communicating Psalm 73:24, releasing Galatians 5:1, understanding Psalm 103:13, trustworthy Proverbs 3:5, warm and affectionate Psalm 22:9, sensitive Matthew 10:30, available Psalm 121:4, honest Titus 1:2, protective Proverbs 2:8, forgiving Psalm 103:12 and generous James 1:5.

  • Paul builds on the foundation that Jesus laid revealing that God's eternal plan was to adopt us into his family.
  • Paul most likely is using the Roman rite of adoption to explain that when we come to Christ, we too are adopted into a new family. William Barclay outlined 4 main consequences of the Roman rite of adoption that Paul is alluding to;
a) the adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. In the most binding legal way he got a new father.
b)it followed that he became heir of his father's estate. Even if other sons were born afterwards it did not affect his rights. he was inalienably co-heir with them.
c) in the eyes of the law he was absolutely the son of his new father
  • Origin, only the second century fathers and pillars of the Christian faith proposed that their were two ways of knowing God. you could either know him as master or you could know him as father. The first way is called servitude and the second is sonship.

  • How do we become adopted? 
  1. You already are! Galatians 4:3 God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba , Father."
  2. Romans 8:15 "but you received the Spirit of adoption"
  3. "Justification, the fact that we are forgiven and cleansed from our sin is the foundational blessing of the gospel......but this doctrine of adoption by the work of the Holy Spirit is the highest blessing of the gospel. It's critical that not only do we understand and experience justification, we also go on to experience adoption as sons and daughters of the Father," JL Packer

Summarised Handout.....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Heaven Touches Earth - Repentance

What a brilliant session on Repentance with Simon Holley

John 7:37 - 39 "On the last 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. Now this he said about the spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

  1. A key part of Jesus 'end game' was the introduction of the Holy Spirit into the lives of his followers.
  2. The transformation of the early church when this happened at Pentecost was dramatic: boldness, high level of spiritual gifting, massive salvation fruit, extraordinary miracles, love, sacrifice, joy, peace etc.

Why is it that we typically don't see these results in the church today? Simon felt that possibly it was because of a lack of thorough repentance.

Both Jesus and John the Baptist began their ministries with a call to repent Matthew 3:2 and Matthew 4:17, particularly emphasising it's necessity because 'the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'

Repent 'metanoeo' literally means 'to think differently. to reconsider.' It has less to do with saying sorry and more to do with a total transformation of our thoughts about ourselves, God and his Kingdom.

If the Spirit within each believer is the same holy Spirit and yet the experience of some is a 'trickle' and others is a 'river', is it possible that the reason is 'unrepentant' areas of the heart form blocks to the flow of the life of the spirit in the believer?

If we are to 'repent'/change our thinking over these areas that spiritual 'rocks' are removed and the river of the Spirit can flow in great gifting and fruit. If this is true, in what areas do we see Jesus leading his disciples in 'total mind change' in preparation to the filling with the Spirit? There are many, we will highlight five of the most significant in this season.

  1. Self Reliance - although we do not see this term used in the gospels, it summarises Jesus work with the disciples over the area of their hearts that was not depending on God as Father.
  2. Fear - 'Fear is the machinery of life' Stanley Jones. On eleven different occasions in the gospels we see Jesus warning his followers about fear: fear of death or harm, the future, sin being exposed, being alone, persecution, of a loved one dying, of the supernatural or even an unhealthy fear of God.Paul realised that fear in Timothy was in some way blocking the spirit's activity in Timothy's life; "fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 1 Timothy 1:6 - 7. Notice that the gift was in Timothy but was not operating because of fear.
  3. Judgements - Jesus repeatedly warns his hearers of the danger of making judgements. he is not saying that we should not discern as clearly we are called to discern right from wrong. The word judgement in this context means 'to judge so as to condemn' - it has an element of superiority, finality and places the judge in a position that only God can occupy.
  4. Unbelief - Mark 6:3 - 6. Jesus addressed the issue of unbelief both in the 'crowd' but also in his followers. It is ironic that even believers can be affected by unbelief! Mark 9:19. Unbelief in it's ultimate form obviously prevents us from coming to faith in Christ for salvation. However, in the life of a child of God, it also has negative spiritual effects.
  5. Control - It's an attitude of the heart.One of the saddest verses in scripture Luke 7:30 "but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptised by John the Baptist." Jesus battled these religious people throughout his ministry. because it didn't come in a package they wanted, the Pharisees rejected the very thing that God was offering them and that they were undoubtedly praying for! This is the foundation of a religious 'spirit' - 'freedom on MY terms'. However it seems that God by design likes to 'offend' us to expose a wrong response to the gospel. Romans 9:32 - 33. We want God's power and presence to be tidy and controlled but it rarely is. Every major move of God has been criticised for 'excess' in some way; Jesus movement - hippies being saved, Asuza street - speaking in tongues and there was a one-eyed 'black' preacher, Welsh Revival - falling and crying, Finney - crying and shaking, Wesley - groaning and shaking. etc If we want the Holy Spirit to move when we say "come Holy Spirit", first we must be willing to move when he says "come".

summarised handout......

Worship Workshop pt 4 - Practical Realities

Mark shared on the practical realities of leading worship....
  • Preparation is key i.e. prayer, reading your Bible, know your people etc
  • Commitment - need a heart connection.
  • Privilege comes with responsibility - help people to mature, to grow up. Some people may not be ready for the profile.
  • Serve God by getting your hearts ready first. Know what pleases God.
  • Chose and sing songs about Jesus. Serve the people by getting them to fix their eyes on Jesus.
  • Understand where people are at. 'Work' the room to serve and minister. Be honest with yourself as well and lead yourself.
  • Dress appropriately. Some modern fashions are revealing. Simple is best. Honour God.
  • Be creative - can have dance where necessary, read scriptures etc.
  • The trust factor is so important. Do everything out of humility as it breaks down barriers.
  • Work in team. Have weaknesses and strengths.
  • Greater humility, greater anointing!
  • If you want to be a leader to someone, love them and help them: are there any 'dark' areas in their life?, Is there dependency? Are they in serious debt? Do they have sound doctrine? 
  • The heart of discipleship is loving. be committed to people's futures.
  • Minister from a place of REST. Don't sacrifice people for church growth. That's ambition, not love!
  • Give people vision. Find the balance of releasing versus holding back. tell people who they are and let them fly.
  • Protect people.
  • Apostolic relationship is important. Sowing and reaping is a kingdom principle. Gotta model it.
  • Leaders are keepers of the gate. Why do we have so many burnt out worship leaders? people are precious.
  • Make things fluid. Everyone's a leader but you need a captain.
  • Don't be too sensitive. Take risks and communicate. Find a language that works for your people.
  • Live a life worthy of the calling. Don't stay small. You're a weapon.
  • Key role of the prophetic: lead elder, administer what is going on. have a relationship with your leader. there is a difference between real wisdom words and the prophetic. have robust relationships.
  • Called to contend for the presence of God. Know His presence and desire it and fight for it. Genesis 26:12.
  • In the face of clean worship, real things etc, there will be opposition and disputes. persevere through quarrels and disputes and contend for the presence of God. 

Kathy and Mark preparing to lead worship

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thought for the day - Thought patterns

Raymond Meneses shared a thought during the Worship Workshop on our THOUGHTS: Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Raymond likened our thoughts to water. He said that water - moving water, likes to take the easy route as it flows and it digs furrows as it moves. With time, these furrows get deeper and deeper. That is how our thought patterns are. If we continue to think wrong thoughts, imagining things that are not there, that don't exist, they dig roots into our lives and we start to believe it. We convince ourselves that what we think and believe is right.

When our minds are renewed, we start to dig new furrows. The more we think about things, the deeper it gets. We think of God's good, pleasing and perfect will for us. If we hit our heads against a wall, lets continue to press in and think of things that are good, noble, honourable, lovely and pleasing to God.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga 

Worship Workshop pt 3 - Anointing and Authority

    Left to Right:
    Kathy - worship leader, Glenridge Church, Durban
    Mark - Elder and worship leader, Glenridge Church, Durban

    Mercy - worship leader, River of Life Eastlea Church, Harare

    Know who you are. Know that you want to be a better worship leader. Read your Bible.
  1. Anointing and authority is an issue of Power. Called to great power. Wait for this gift!
  2. God is seeking people who will worship Him in spirit and truth. Have the truth because truth impacts authority. 
  3. Worship is who you are. Have internal truth and genuineness. Your life and your belief need to line up. Have a theological understanding of who God is.
  4. Anointing is about who Jesus is. Luke 14:13, 1 John 2:20. have an anointing available from Jesus. The same power that raised Christ from the dead, that created earth etc is in us......
  5. Anointing: when the spirit of Christ comes over us, we live in 'space'. It's everything I am. I am everything of who God created me to be. God designed us with purpose. Great anointing comes with great humility.
  6. Grace gifts are given. Lets settle it. God will use some people more than us. It's a grace gift - let's not get jealous and envious and harden our hearts. Lets settle it within ourselves. Greater humility for greater anointing. Trust God.
  7. Now is the time for the saints to shine because of Jesus in us, through us and over us.
  8. "The Holy Spirit is in us and he wants out. He is a river, not a dam!"
  9. Examples of the anointing: look at Elijah and the prophets of Baal, the stoning of Stephen, Peter and the adding of 3000 saints, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards etc. Be yourself and don't try to be someone else. We will impact people by being ourselves. We are called to minister and we need to be ignited. God wants to activate things when we get excited about Him. Elijah had confidence to stand up. David had the confidence to stand up against Goliath. get to partner with God and change the atmosphere.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Worship Workshop pt 2

  • A one man band is very small. We are on a journey. Let's move forward together.
  • What will stand? Only God's voice. The pursuit is Yaddah. Our ultimate worship is to know Him...... To Yaddah. 
  • Avoid relying on presentation - what looks and feels good etc. God is looking for vessels, for intimacy. When He speaks, things happen.
  • The Exodus story - take people into freedom so that they can worship God. Freedom into relationship, freedom into intimacy. God is committed to relationship and He desires it with you and me.
  • Exodus 20 - there is the fiery encounter with God. God is amazing. We enter as sons and daughters and not as servants. The broken and wounded people need to encounter Jesus - the one who sets them up for VICTORY! and cares about them.
  • Worship is the presence of God. Mark encouraged the worship leaders to read 2 Samuel 6:3 - 15 and to the end of Exodus. Learn how to carry God's presence and facilitate it. People need to be free to worship.
  • God blesses the whole household because the presence of God was there. Have faith for that. He over rides our weaknesses.
  • The goal of Exodus was for a people to know God's movements - the cloud by day and the fire by night. Know the presence of God. Exodus ends with people who have been freed to worship Him.
  • People, know the voice of God.....the subtle nuances. What's the pinnacle of the Exodus story? To take the people into the promised land. God is looking for tabernacles who house His presence. People 'rock' because of Jesus and nothing else.
  • Don't follow that road where the church is influenced by externals. You cannot take people into 'space' if you haven't been there yourself. i.e. you cannot take people where you haven't been yourself. 

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Meet a couple from the Glenridge Worship Team

It was wonderful chatting to Raymond and Kathy Meneses who are part of the worship team from Glenridge Church in Durban....

M.M: How long have you been part of the worship group?
R & K.M: 20 years

M.M: How long have you been married?
R & K.M: 16 years and we have 2 is 10 years old and the other is 6.

M.M: What are your impressions of Zimbabwe so far?
R & K.M: Hospitality has been great. Expecting things to be desperate but it's better than we thought. The people are very friendly. Everything is green.It's been good.

M.M: Have you eaten anything odd here in Zimbabwe or elsewhere?
R & K.M: Mopani worms, sardine and condensed milk

M.M: What are your thoughts on the worship workshop?
R & K.M: We are big fans of Mark and we have shared some profound stuff. It's great to be together and know that we are part of a greater community.

M.M: Thanks so much and I really hope you enjoy your stay and the Heaven Touches Earth Conference.

By Molly Manhanga

Clothes distribution at Crossroads

We just want to thank our family and friends for donating so many clothes to Crossroads. We were able to bless women and children on Sunday by giving them clothes of their choice. It was amazing.

By Molly Manhanga

Worship Workshop pt 1

Worshipping God

We had an incredible time with mark and his team from Glenridge Church in Durban. Mark is one of the elders at the church and he shared with us on the heart of worship.

1. Worship leads us to the place where we meet with God.
2. There is a seduction in the church to be an "echo" - a copy cat. God wants to reveal things to us.
3. Worshippers are more than voices and songs. They are weapons affecting change. When Jesus invades, anything can happen.
4. When times are tough, stick to God. He has a revelation of who He is.
5. The Holy Spirit abides inside of us. God is committed to us. He sets us up for good things and takes us to a higher place.
6. The only ultimate in our hearts is Jesus.
7. Worship is a response, not a responsibility. Whenever the responsibility outweighs the privilege we've lost it. keep your eyes on Jesus.
8. Worship is .......... WoW! We stand in awe of Jesus and it is captivating. It draws people in by the zeal and passion for Jesus.
9. Don't step into 'spaces' we shouldn't. Leaders, don't sacrifice people for ambition.
10. God is seeking out worshippers. He goes after His people.
11. Worship is a heavenly activity. Understand the Kingdom of God - our place, access and what we can push into.

Worship team from Glenridge Church getting prayed for

12. Worship is about His presence.
13. Worship is a sacrifice.
14. Worship is about looking more like heaven, not earth.
15. Sometimes worship is tough but we press in and press on.
16. Get caught up in the wonder of Jesus. In heaven, 'space' is roaring and soaring.
17. Key and vital factor: have an expectation. What you celebrate, you generate.
18. Worship in community: take sons and daughters - not slaves into intimacy. It's fresh all the time.
19. The economy we live in is the grace and goodness of God.
20. Remember that people are on a journey and are at different places in the journey.
21. God does give grace gifts and you cannot separate the man from the gift.
22. Engage each other, give recognition and release gifts. The kingdom of God is an ever increasing Kingdom from glory to glory.
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Faithful Stewards Conference pt 5

Stan and his lovely wife Margaret

Stan Tembo who is part of the eldership team at The Base Church shared an excellent word on using our minds. He started by asking the question ''Is it possible to worship God without your mind?" The Bible tells us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength.

Stan then read from Hebrews 11 - the Faith chapter before moving to Romans 12:1 - 2. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We need to be sure of what we hope for. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We need to love God with all of our mind. Our warfare is not against people but against ''principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 Battles are either won or lost in the mind! People really don't like to think and yet the Bible tells us that "as a man thinks, so he is". Our fight is against the schemes of the evil one. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our faith is connected to our thinking.

The most sort after people are thinkers. If you think, people will seek you out. Because we have no knowledge, we have no faith and we easily doubt. This results in us not being able to stand against the wiles of the enemy. Romans 9:30 "What shall we say then? That gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;..."

There are two things we see:
1. we need to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord
2. acknowledge that Jesus rose from the dead.

Faith and knowledge are so important. Why is the Church in the position it is in today? John 17
Eternal life is to know Him. Do we know God? Do we have faith in God or do we have zeal without faith and knowledge.

By Faith we understand - faith is the higher form of understanding. By faith we see.
Scripture is amazing. It can change life. Lets not believe in weird things or we'll get lost. Lets have the mind of Christ. Iron sharpens iron. We become like the people we 'hang' out with. We need to stretch our brain. Our friends impact our lives: "Show me your friends and I'll prophesy your future." We really need to exercise our brain. Fan it into use and train ourselves to think.

Why was Joseph promoted? He had answers. Why was Daniel promoted? He had answers. Wisdom doesn't necessarily come by age. How do we love God? Love Him with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself. We are here because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Without it, people will perish.
Stan continued to challenge the rural leaders to think and to plan and not to just allow things to happen. The questions he asked were:
1. Where do you think?
2. What do you do when you think?

Thinking is one of the most under-rated things. We need to find people who can help us to think and to stretch our minds. Look at how we can do things better. This is vital. Mentality is important. Be transformed by the renewing of our minds and have the mind of Christ. Lets be ahead in our thinking.

God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Salvation costs us nothing but discipleship costs us everything. Lets learn from people who have progressed. Its a 2 way learning curve - this is a sign of humility. Lets not be jealous of others - read and learn and don't remain stagnant. Remember that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. The enemy fights with our thinking - our thought patterns and it tampers with our faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Faithful Stewards Conference pt 4

It was great catching up with some friends at the Faithful Stewards Conference. Some of them have been leading rural Churches for a while.......

Ronald and Catherine Dzviti leaders of New Life Church in Chiweshe.

Ronald and Catherine have led this church for the past 10 years.

Jimmy Mupingiza, leader of Kingsway Community Church in Bindura

Jimmy and his wife Angie have been leading Kingsway Community Church for about 7 years now.

It was good to hear what God is doing in the different communities. The work is not easy but God is faithful in changing peoples lives.

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the day

Philippians 1:9 - 11

''And this I pray, that your love may
abound still more and more in knowledge
and all disernment,
that you may approve the things that
are excellent, that you may be sincere and
without offense till the day of Christ,
being filled with the fruits of righteousness
which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory
and praise of God."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Faithful Stewards Conference pt 3

Scott Marques
Scott Marques read Acts 2:42 - 47
He called and encouraged the leaders to a high standard of living. He said that rural churches are important and that both rural and urban churches can benefit from each other. People working and helping in the rural context are not simply the 'crumbs' from the urban area but the best. God has given to us a place to live and a work to do.
Jesus walked with the disciples for 3 years and they learnt from him and watched him closely. The things that Jesus did characterised his life:
1. He devoted his life to the word of God
2. He was devoted to fellowship
3. He was devoted to breaking break
4. Shared his belongings
5. He was devoted to going to the Temple
6. He honoured his family etc, etc
The disciples learnt from Jesus and they implemented it when he was gone.
There are 7 things that came out of this scripture which are vital to our personal life and the life of the church:
1. Devotion to the gospel: to the Apostles teaching. Do you know the good news? before you know Christ you are hopeless and can call on anyone or anything but nothing can remove your sin. We are powerless. We cannot please God on our own. God came to the earth, lived as a man and was sinless. On the cross he took our punishment/sin and gave us his righteousness as a gift of love. All we have to do is receive it. John 3:16" For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus dealt with our sin on the cross. We are the righteousness of Christ in God. The grace of God teaches us to say NO to sin and worldly passions. Our way to heaven is not based on repentance but on our identity. Our identity is that we are 'married' to Jesus. The gospel causes us not to want to sin, but even if we do, we are forgiven. Is your mind on behaviour or on belief? Do you believe in Christ? The righteousness of God is a free gift and not based on anything you have done. When you sin, you are still a child of God but not living right. Let our faith be in God and not in other things. Our identity is based on faith and not our feelings and lifestyle. Be Holy for I am Holy says the Lord.
2. Fellowship is a commitment to relationship. Love one another and be humble.
3. Breaking of bread and prayer. Have communion one with another.
4. Worship. Fear the Lord.
5. Sold possessions and belongings: sold because you are producing and you can be generous.
6. Family: stay connected with the Apostles and other churches. They were a family of churches. If churches are not growing, it's a bad sign. Lets not plateau but grow from glory to glory. Lets stay connected but GROW.
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Faithful Stewards Conference pt 2

Alan Norton heads up Faithful Stewards and he encouraged the Pastors and leaders from the rural areas to:
1. Be blessed - blessed and refreshed. Jesus said if you are weary and heavy laden, come to me. Take my yoke.....find rest for your souls. Sometimes we think that resting is doing nothing. By putting on the yoke of Jesus, you are doing something. Do it His way and you'll find rest. There are many people who are tired.
2. Be envisioned - when we continually serve people and there are continuous problems, you get tired. You'll get worn out if that is all you know. People perish where there is no vision. Alan said he hoped the delegates would get a BIG vision.
3. Be equipped - equipped with weapons for battle. There is a physical battle but also a spiritual one against principalities, powers and wickedness in high places. We are in a war and we need to be equipped. Poverty is a battle, poor financial management is a battle, bad use of time is a battle etc. We need weapons to equip us. We need to get out of the "begging bowl" mentality. God wants us to be excited.
We then spent time praying for delegates from Mozambique and from around Zimbabwe:
Kaitano - near the Mozambique border
Kezi - Matobo district
Makonde district
Bindura and the FSP team. We prayed that God would train and transform everyone. We needed to have faith for the areas we are working in.
This was an excellent introduction to the conference.....

Compiled By Molly Manhanga

Faithful Stewards Conference pt 1

River of Life Church Westgate

The Faithful Stewards Conference focuses on training, equipping and refreshing pastors and leaders from the rural areas in Matabeleland and Mashonaland. The conference is held at River of Life Westgate church which used to be the base for Foundations for Farming. The church is looking AMAZING with the variety of crops that are of an excellent standard as well as the amazing gardens. It's totally beautiful this time of the year. There are approximately 130 people including the Faithful Stewards staff. It has been wonderful seeing old friends and making new ones and of course God's word has been fantastic. This morning the speakers were Scott Marques, Apostolic leader of Newfrontiers Zimbabwe and regions beyond as well as Stan Tembo from The Base church.
Amazing crops at Westgate
Read on to find out more........
More crops...... What an excellent standard 

By Molly Manhanga 

Relaxing time with the Poes

Sam Poe discipling the young men from Crossroads

Marlene Poe discipling the young ladies
Sam had a relaxing time with the emerging male leaders from Crossroads while Marlene spent some time with the young ladies. They also spent some time with the Life Change Team at the Ebenezer Dam.
Sam & Marlene Poe with Steve Manhanga & the Life Change Team

By Molly Manhanga

Faith Chapter pt 3 by Sam Poe

Sam Poe did brilliantly at Crossroads when he told the story from God's word on Rahab. How did this prostitute end up in the list with men and women of great faith? What does it all mean?

Sam had a time of discussion and some answers were as follows:

1. No matter what the sin, God still loves you and will rescue you.
2. God blessed Rahab's faith.
3. God promised through the spies that he would save Rahab and her family even though the city was going to be destroyed. What a faithful, saving God we have.
4. Rahab cared about her family. God is looking for a family made up of people from every nation. Rahab became part of the family of God because she trusted in God.
5. Rahab believed the stories of the true God of the Israelites. She had faith and became one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ.

It's an unusual story - Rahab was from a pagan culture and her job was prostituting herself. She would sell her body and have sex for money. She had fallen into a deep dark hole. Her culture was full of evil ways and God was going to destroy the city. But, one lady believed the stories of the God of Israel and how he saves. Rahab wanted the God of Israel to save her and her family. She wanted to belong to the Israelite people and have their culture. She was willing to leave her culture and her business. Other people in Jericho also heard the stories but they didn't want to have a part of the God of Israel. They were afraid and hardened their hearts. God judges evil. When Rahab told her family that the city was going to be destroyed and that they would be saved, they believed her.
You see, Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we can be saved.

What an excellent service!

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gardening Delights

I've always loved beautiful gardens with lots of flowers. There is just something peaceful about it all. Since deciding to take up gardening as a hobby, I'm realizing the constant attention it needs or maybe its because I'm still kinda new at this! Some parts of my garden look really nice (I think) while other parts need abit of help!

I'm hoping to plant my last batch of flowers before the end of this month and will continue after winter.

Gardening sure is delightful.

By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Faith Chapter pt 2 by Sam Poe

Joshua chapters 2 - 6
Rahab and the spies
"Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent 2 spies from Shittim to look over the land of Jericho. So the spies went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. The King of Jericho was told that some Israelites have come to spy out the land and they were staying with Rahab. So the King of Jericho sent a message to Rahab: "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land." Rahab said the men did come but they had left. In the meantime she had hidden them on her flat roof and covered them with the flax plant.
She then spoke to the men and said she knows what God has done for the Israelites. She believes that the Lord has given them the land and that they will take over the city. She asked them to make a promise -to spare her life and that of her family when they invade the city. The men agreed on one condition - that her family be gathered in her house when they came and they gave Rahab a scarlet cord to put on her window. When they see it, they'll get her and her family to safety. The spies then escaped...........
Under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites went to the city of Jericho. They planned that for 6 days they would march around the city in silence and on the 7th day, the priests would blow their trumpets and horns and the people would shout. as they finished doing that on the 7th day the walls of Jericho fell. the city was destroyed except for Rahab and her family. The 2 spies that were initially sent by Joshua went to get Rahab and her family. They went with the Israelites and joined the Israelite people where they saw God do many more miracles.
This is an amazing story from God's word. What does it all mean? Read on and find out.....
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Faith Chapter pt 1 by Sam Poe

It was amazing having Sam and Marlene Poe together with the Life Change Team fellowship with us at Crossroads.
Sam shared from Hebrews 11 - the Faith chapter.....
Hebrews 11 show us people who lived their lives in faith towards God. It tells us what Faith is in verse 1 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
God has made many promises and revealed things in his word. God is true to his word. When we put our faith in the word - the great salvation story - we can be absolutely sure to see these things come.
Verse 6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God...." God is pleased with those who put their faith in him,looking to him for everything. He will save us and include us in his family. He is a God who rewards those who earnestly seek him. He will look for reasons to reward us. salvation is a free gift. If we walk faithfully with him, he will reward us - some in this life and others in heaven.
This Faith chapter speaks of many men and women who walked with him. people like Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Noah, Isaac, Joseph, Jacob etc walked with God. The Bible tells us that Enoch walked with God until one day he was caught up and was no more. These are great examples of Faith.
Verse 31 "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient." We see Rahab, a prostitute in the same list as the men and women of great faith - the Abraham's, Enoch's, Noah's etc She is one of the examples of faith. How did she get into the list? A prostitute gets into the list of people of great faith....
Keep following as the story of Rahab comes next.
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Up close and personal with Greg Virkler

It was really great seeing Greg again in Zimbabwe and particularly out in Kezi. This was his second time on the Life Change Team with Sam and Marlene Poe. He was out here 2 years ago. It was good to catch up with him. Greg attends Jubilee Church in St Louis led by Steve Miles.
Greg Virkler
M.M: This is your second time to Kezi. What are the obvious changes that you can see?
G.V: The conditions seem harder at Ebenezer and yet the apprentices are still working hard. I admire their perseverance. It's good to see the church, the Tuckshop and the Grinding Mill at Crossroads. When I was last here, they weren't there. It's also good to see what is on the Crossroads stand/plot. I recall Steve sharing the vision and it's wonderful to come out here and see it come forth. It is dramatically different. We now need to see God at work!
M.M: How did you like the service at Crossroads?
G.V: I love seeing the freedom of worship, the enthusiasm and the joy of God in people. It's nice. People here worship God from their heart. Sometimes we get caught up in making things appear nice e.g. posters, great worship band etc. That's not bad but people here just worship from the heart.
M.M: Would you like to come back again to Zimbabwe?
G.V: I want to bring my wife and son. God just draws your heart to people. We have developed good friendships with people. Whatever we do, its done on the basis of relationships with people.
M.M: I agree. Relationships are amazing! Whats your favourite quote?
G.V: Thomas Edison "I haven't failed. I've just found 1000 things that don't work." It inspires me.
M.M: What book have you read recently that inspired you?
G.V: Wayne Cordero's book called "The Divine Mentor". As we read the Bible, we can learn from the lives of Bible characters like Joseph, Abraham, Moses etc. I listen to what God is telling me and I journal . we are using it in our local church.
M.M: So great seeing you again Greg and chatting to you. Lets hope you'll be able to come back again with your family.
By Molly Manhanga

Up close and personal with Kristin Childress

Kristin Childress

Kristin was one of the people on the Life Change Team and it was wonderful getting to know her better.

M.M: tell me about your background?
K.C: I was born in Alabama and raised in Texas. I did my schooling in Nashville, Tennessee. My older brother is married and lives in Dallas and so does my mother. My dad passed away. I have a degree in Sociology. I work 2 jobs - one as the secretary in the church office at Lifehouse Church and the other at a coffee shop called 'Hot and cold'. It's a fun place to work as we sell coffee and ice-cream.

M.M: is this your first time to Africa and to Zimbabwe?
K.C: This is my 2nd time to Africa. I've been to Nairobi in Kenya and now I'm in Zimbabwe. This is my first visit to Zimbabwe.

M.M: What were your thoughts on the Champs Kingdom Advance Conference?
K.C: It was abit overwhelming but in a good way. I met many people from different parts of Africa. God is doing lots through Agriculture, Health, Business and so on. It was encouraging and challenging at the same time.I have heard about Foundations for Farming and I'm blown away by the principles. It is a good programme.

M.M: I agree. How best would you describe your time at Crossroads?
K.C: Great. I was really looking forward to coming here. The city churches are like at home. I love the people of Africa - the root culture. It's encouraging to see how different we are and yet so similar i.e. hearing from God, prophesying,prayer etc. It seems so normal and common out here. I enjoyed Kidz Alive your children's work. I feel so challenged to tell people that the spiritual is real. we have so much to fill our attention in the USA. It's very encouraging and refreshing to be out here.

M.M: what books have influenced you recently?
K.C: It's a book on relationships called "Relationships: A Mess Worth Making" by Paul David Tripp. The concept of the book is people having a willingness to have real relationships which will be messy because people are different. We need to work through it because God called us to live in community. The other book is "Let The Nations Be Glad" By John Piper. It's a really helpful book.

M.M: What do you do for fun?
K.C: I cook and bake. I can spend all day in the kitchen. I also love talking to people and being with children. They are so much fun.

M.M: What's it like being part of the Life Change Team?
K.C: This trip is about learning and taking in the culture. The question now is what do I do now? it's good to listen to people before doing things. I need to pray and see what God has - learn, see and help. I have a purpose here.

M.M: What words would you have for your friends and people back in the States?
K.C: My first emotion is that I'm incredibly humbled. People have faith in real hard circumstances and yet they still pray for others. I'm real humbled, uplifted and challenged. This is the body of's multi racial and ethnic. this is what heaven will look like. Cross cultural experiences can be uncomfortable at times.

M.M: Thanks so much Kristin. I pray that God will speak to you clearly so that you know exactly what to do next.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, March 16, 2012

Up close and personal with Joshua Evan LeMasters

Joshua Evan LeMasters

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
J.L: I was born in Missouri. I have one younger brother and 2 older sisters. I work and serve in the church in Joplin, Missouri. my brother serves the church in Atlanta led by Carl and Virginia Harrington.

M.M: How did you get saved?
J.L: My aunt and uncle influenced me. They attended the church in Joplin for many years and during the summer they would have braai's and invite their christian friends over. It was really casual and drew me in.

M.M: Great. What is your impression of Zimbabwe?
J.L: This is my first time here and my first time to leave America. I love it here in Zimbabwe. The climate, the people are full of hospitality, generosity and faith to see God move in the nation, in Africa and the world. The people here see themselves as agents of change for God's kingdom. It is difficult seeing the disparity between the rich and the poor.

M.M: Did you enjoy the service at Crossroads?
J.L: I loved the praise and worship. I love the African style where anyone can lead a song. I was so stirred seeing a 10year old lead a song. It excited me and I recorded it on video.

M.M: What did you gain from your whistle stop tour of Ebenezer?
J.L: It's another faith building initiative. It was good seeing how confident the apprentices are when working their fields. I like the aspect of the physical and spiritual going together. I felt connected to Crossroads and Ebenezer before I got here. It's a highlight of being part of a family of churches.

M.M: Who has influenced you in your life?
J.L: My grandfather. His faith influenced me and his simple devotion to honesty and purity.

M.M: Praise God! What is your favourite quote?
J.L: I heard Sam Poe mentioning it and it goes like this...."Cross cultural workers are most happy when travelling to or from their destination."

M.M: Thank you so much Joshua. Great meeting you. I hope you have a safe trip back to your home.

By Molly Manhanga

Up close and personal with Michael Mix

Michael Mix

It was great chatting to the Life Change Team and getting to know them better.
Michael Mix attends Christ Church in Fort Scott which is led by Brian Studer.
M.M: Tell me something about your background?
M.M: I was born in Kansas and have lived there for most of my life. My parents still live in Kansas. I have 1 younger sister and 2 step brothers. i did my schooling in Kansas until university when I moved to Joplin, Missouri. I didn't grow up in the church. I got saved when I was 17 years old and almost immediately went to South America. God captured my heart for the Nations.
M.M: Where did you meet your wife Angela?
M.M: I met Angela at Joplin university. Actually, it's a Bible College. I didn't finish because I felt God telling me to train in the field of "Water" as a profession. Angela and I have been married for 12 years now and we have 3 children: Marion who is 10 years, Samuel who is 9 years and Emma who is 6.
Michael came bearing good gifts.......
M.M: What are your impressions of Zimbabwe and the people?
M.M: I love it! Things are much simpler here. The issues and solutions are more clearer. The people are friendly and more given to community rather than having their independence. back home, it is hard to get people to open up.
M.M: What has your experience been like at Crossroads?
M.M: I felt at home because the holy Spirit is here. It is really wonderful to worship with people of a different culture.
M.M: What did you think of your visit into the community?
M.M: I can see the effect the church is having in the community in very practical ways. The gospel is being demonstrated in very practical ways. It inspires and challenges me.
M.M:Who has had the greatest influence in your life?
M.M: The Eldership team in my church.
M.M: What's your favourite quote?
M.M: Jim Elliot "He is no fool who gives away what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose."
M.M: Great! Would you like to visit Zimbabwe again?
M.M: Yes and this time I'd like to come with my wife.
M.M: That would be so good! Have a safe flight back home.
By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Visiting a homestead in Mablauwuni village

Mildred Mkwananzi
Sam and Marlene Poe together with the Life Change Team, visited Mildred Mkwananzi's homestead. Mildred is 67 years old and attends Crossroads Community Church. She is one of the chicken farmers in Mablauwuni village. Mildred has close to 400 layer chickens which are very healthy. She collects approximately +380 eggs daily as is at 96% production. She is one of the best chicken farmers in the village.
Impressive collection of eggs
The team were totally impressed with Mildred and prayed that God would increase the work of her hands and bless her household.
Sam & Marlene & LCT praying for Mildred and her chickens
It's so encouraging seeing an 'older' lady glorify God in her work and be so proactive in the community.
Healthy, happy layer chickens

By Molly Manhanga

Ladies Workshop at Crossroads pt 2

Cutting around the pattern to make a re-usable pad

Letta Ndlovu busy sewing
The session on sanitary pads included a discussion on what women in the rural communities currently use and the dangers of some of the materials used, re-usable pads as well as how to make sanitary pads.
Ladies making progress sewing her re-usable sanitary pad
Overall comments from some of the ladies
1. Very excited because now she will be able to change some of the things she does/uses in her house.
2. She'll be able to teach other young ladies how to make sanitary pads.
3. One lady was so excited because she usually doesn't socialise/meet with other women and now her husband allowed her to attend the ladies workshop.
4. Knowing how to make sanitary pads will reduce costs of purchasing them in town.
Finished product

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Ladies Workshop at Crossroads pt 1

Approximately 60 ladies attended a ladies workshop at Crossroads which was held in conjunction with Family Impact. It has been a while since the ladies from Mablauwuni village and the surrounding villages got together. What a joyous time of singing and dancing to kick the session off followed by the word from John 10:10 and John 14:1.
The aim of the workshop was to learn from each other and teach each other on Sexual Reproductive Health, Menstruation and Cancer. The practical work was on how to make sanitary pads. When the discussion started, the ladies were somewhat embarrassed but when they got over their embarrassment, their contributions were fast, somewhat controversial and really funny. There was alot of laughter as the women shared their knowledge on the different topics. some included and questioned beliefs held in the African traditional religion.
What is Sexual Reproductive Health? The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines it as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual Health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.
The topic on menstruation focused on what is a period and cleanliness during your period while the session on Cancers focused on breast, cervical and prostate cancer.
The ladies really enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to the next meeting in June.

Fishers of Men pt 2

Some of the fish caught in the Ebenezer dam

Morris Ndlovu - oldest man at the men's event