Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Family Matters pt 4b

Raylene about to head to the church

 The wedding was lovely.......

Justin and Raylene Thomas

Beautiful picture of Justin and Raylene

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happenings at the Crossroads plot pt 3

Here is the storeroom and live in huts......Interestingly, the women build the huts and the men do the thatching. The folk out here work so hard! We thank God for both the men and the women who serve Crossroads.

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the day

Psalm 136:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever."

I am so thankful to God for SO MANY things. He is faithful, steadfast and sure. I'm just contemplating about my family coming to Bulawayo for our nephews wedding on Saturday. What a joyous occasion  and so good for family to be together.....a great time to demonstrate God's love to those who don't know Him.
It made me reminisce on my visit to the U.K last March 2011 when again, my family got together for a joyous occasion. It was fantastic. Not only that, I had the opportunity to visit friends in Weymouth for 2 nights before heading off to Adrian and Madeleine Willard in Worthing for 2 nights. I wrote an article on November 4th 2011 on "The beauty of Creation" and how I enjoy going to the sea whilst in the U.K. Well, Worthing did it for me on that particular trip last year. While Adrian and Madeleine were working, I took a walk to the pier, sat there all afternoon and enjoyed looking out at the sea. So peaceful and beautiful! I'm so thankful to God for that.

2 Corinthians 9:15 "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Profiling community leaders in Mablauwuni area

Some of the Granite rocks surrounding Crossroads
Crossroads is surrounded by beautiful granite rocks and we are located in the heart of Mablauwuni community which means we can expect anyone to turn up to a Sunday service - and this is great! This past Sunday, we had Morris Ndlovu visit us. His wife Letta Ndlovu heads up Kidz Alive - the children's work, together with a team, and they are doing an excellent job. Morris has visited us ocassionally and was faithful in attending the Marriage Course 101 which was held at Crossroads.

It was good chatting to Morris after the service and getting to know him more..........

Morris Ndlovu
Morris lives in Mablauwuni area (The homestead directly opposite Crossroads) which falls under Silozwana village. He has lived in this area all his life. He attended Silozwe Primary School. Morris is married to Letta and they have 7 children. They have been married for 36 years. He has worked in Bulawayo as well as at the National Parks. Morris is now the Chairperson of Silozwana Village - in other words - any meeting that happens in the Village which is pretty large, Morris is the person who chairs it. He is pretty impressed by the chicken project which has started in the community and is helping many people. The advice he would give young people would be:
1. Not to get involved in things that will disturb their future.
2. To take care of themselves and live a healthy lifestyle.
3. To plan and prepare before getting married and to have a vision for their lives.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Transformation begins with you!

Are you tired of living an ordinary life? You were created to do great things! But how do you begin? God loves you and has a unique blueprint for your life - but it's up to you to find it and live it out.......

This is part of a caption from Ed Silvoso's book Transformation. I was flipping through the book and got caught up with 'The Five Paradigms' for sustainable transformation. It's such interesting reading! The Five Paradigms are:
  1. The great commission is about discipling nations, not just people.
  2. The marketplace (the heart of the nation) has already been redeemed by Jesus and now needs to be reclaimed by His followers.
  3. Labor is the premier expression of worship on Earth, and every believer is a minister.
  4. Our primary call is not to build the Church but to take the kingdom of God where the kingdom of darkness is still entrenched in order for Jesus to build His Church.
  5. The premier social indicator that transformation has taken place is the elimination of systemic poverty.
But what is systemic poverty?
Systemic poverty is something that most people are born into and their fate is dictated and controlled by it. It needs to be eliminated because it reflects a scheme that is diabolical in design and evil in its implementation. It deprives the masses of people of their daily bread by stealing the fruit of their labor and keeping them in social misery.
In other words; it is an all-encompassing socio-economic structure that keeps people deprived. It exists because of an institutionalised attitude that legitimizes its twin evil premises that
1. Some people deserve more opportunity than others
2. There is not much that can or should be done about this prevailing social injustice - similar to how slavery was justified in the past. Because this evil is systemic, it will not be eradicated by simply taking care of individuals at the macro level or providing massive aid at the macro level. It must be uprooted.

There are four kinds of poverty:
  1. Spiritual poverty: afflicts those who do not know that God is their father.
  2. Relational poverty: encompasses those whose focus is on themselves at the expense of the community they are a part of.
  3. Motivational poverty: is a state of hopelessness that engulfs those who have no adequate way or means (or the confidence) to tackle tomorrows challenges.
  4. Material poverty: impacts those who lack the basic necessities to sustain themselves
The flip side of these four dimensions of poverty is spiritual, relational, motivational and material wealth.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Family Matters pt 4

Justin Thomas & his fiance Raylene Greenland   
I recall in April 2010, my nephew Justin Thomas had a tooth abscess that went horribly wrong and he ended up in hospital with septicemia (blood poisoning) - fighting for his life. Much prayer went up for him from family and friends.

We thank God that He is Jehovah Rafar - God our healer. It has been an incredible journey watching my nephew recover from deaths door to full health - seeing him back in action and preparing for his wedding in 2 weeks time.

What an amazing God we serve! Nothing is too difficult for Him.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happenings at the Crossroads plot pt 1

Builder hard at work
Builder about to plaster the wall of the chicken house
A chicken house is being built at the moment which will be able to accommodate over 500 chickens. The first lot of chickens that we did (105) were really healthy. We have now increased to 250. Small beginnings have worked well for us so far and it's a great way to model different aspects of farming and anything in life. Other buildings are taking place as well at the Crossroads Plot:
1. A store room is about to be complete
2. Live-in huts for the young men who are living on the premises.

Builder assessing his work

By Molly Manhanga

The Water Project pt 2

Lady cleaning her container before collecting water
What does it actually look like when a river or stream dries up and the villagers have to dig about a metre deep in the sand to get water. This lady shows how it's done!

It's quite a mission as the ladies still have to carry the containers to their homes - either carrying it on their heads which is the norm, or using a wheel barrow.

By Molly Manhanga

Tin is used as a filtration system for the water

Lady collecting water from the tin and putting in her container

Monday, May 7, 2012

The service at Crossroads

There was such vibrancy and life at the service yesterday. Everyone, including the children sang and danced amidst such excitement as we could feel the presence of God. It was great seeing 15 year old Mollety Tsabalala and 12 year old Nancy Nkomo sing 2 songs as they prepare to head off to the start of the second school term.

Stephen shared from Romans 12:1 - 21. It was interesting reading the scriptures again on renewing the mind. Change starts with our minds. "Real people need real change in real times." God remains the same but as we become Christians and experience a new life with him, we start out with such fervour and energy. As the years pass, we can drift away from God. We need to be rooted and grounded in Him. Stephen then asked a couple of questions which led to interesting discussion:

1. Are we living or existing? Living
2. Is there a God?Yes
3. If there is a God, does He care? Yes
4. If there is a God, does He care for me? Yes He does!
5. Does God care about what I do? Yes

Stephen encouraged the church to keep their spiritual fervour in serving God, to share with God's people who are in need and to practise hospitality.

May God help change our thinking and the way we interact with one another.

We look forward to next week's message!

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, May 4, 2012

COSMOS at Crossroads

We had a double blessing from COSMOS - a medical team from Australia. They attended Crossroads on the Sunday and had a medical outreach at Crossroads on the Monday.

The medical outreach started at 8:00am and finished at 3:30pm. About 175 people who were not feeling well came to get seen to by the doctor and the medical team. As the teams time was limited in Kezi this time round, half went to spend the day at Ebenezer Training Centre with the apprentices while the other half were at Crossroads. The majority of patients were suffering from back and body pain. It was unfortunate that an eye doctor didn't come so patients with eye problems were not attended to.

Doctor Hugh is also a counsellor -focusing on depression, disappointments etc. He was able to help a lady in the community who is battling to get over her divorce.

We continually thank God for the service of the COSMOS team and their diverse gifting. We look forward to their return.

By Molly Manhanga

The Water Project pt 1

Maleme river that feeds water to the Ebenezer Dam
The beginnings

Clean drinking water has been one of our concerns for the folk of Mablauwuni village, particularly the children. The main water sources at the moment are the Maleme river and Mapilimili stream. The villagers will collect water from the water points to cook their food and for other domestic chores. These water points are also used as a place for the ladies to wash their clothes, for the children to bath, as fishing spots and the animals, especially cattle come to these same points to drink water etc. In the winter and summer months, Mapilimili stream "dries" up and folk have to dig up to a metre deep in the sand to collect water. Those who live closer to the Maleme river are a little more blessed as the river doesn't or hasn't gone dry.

Mapilimili in the rainy season
Crossroads has an opportunity to meet the "water" need in the community. We will be putting up 2 x 10,000 litre tanks at Crossroads and another 2 x 10,000 litre tanks at the Crossroads site which will be filled with water.  The community can come as and when they need it and collect fresh, clean running water.

Stephen has started purchasing the water pumps and he will buy pipes and tanks as well. Trenches are being marked out and dug. It's so good watching the beginning stages come together and soon, there will be running water in Mablauwuni village. Praise God.

Continue reading and follow the progress on The Water Project

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thought for the day

We are already into the 5th month of 2012. How time flies........

A friend said to me recently " Don't let anything come between you and your values". I was somewhat surprised because I had encouraged my friend - a lady - to "fess up" if she "messed up" on the job. It got me thinking about the messages I've heard so far in these 4 months and many seem to have been surrounded on the mind and renewing the mind.

Lets talk a little about honesty:
I was wondering why people find it so difficult to be honest - to be genuine, without pretense? Why do people find it so hard to give correct information or facts and why is it so hard for people to actually listen and believe the truth? I've been told that its because we 'don't need each other' anymore. Once you've outdone your 'usefulness' like a nut or bolt, you get discarded by any means possible. The thing is......we DO need each other. I've also been told that its because we want to be loved by man.
It seems like lying, deception, half truths has become the norm as like many other things while speaking the truth is 'rare'. If an individual does speak the truth, you'll get people who try and 'decifer' the meaning, read between the lines so to speak and deliberately look for a lie and/or deliberately do come up with a lie. People seem to have become so 'good' at lying, it almost seems "right", so "plausible". They'll rope others in - in their quest to satisfy their need to be 'right' - to win - an ego boost. The sad part is that the people they rope in will tell them exactly what they want to hear - not because it's the truth - but as a means to an end. I've heard of how some people "prophesy" negatively about someone behind their back and it's 'considered' to be truth. Again, it's a means to an end.
Some say it's because of our culture, the society we live in today etc, etc. I've also heard it said that "good people finish last" or "nice people finish last" - they don't get anywhere in life???!!! It's all about how convincing we can be. A lie is a lie and it doesn't matter how convincing one is......it doesn't make it the truth.
As Christians, we live in this world but we are not of it....... we ought to be different. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His word is a sure thing and He is Truth John 14:6. The words "I tell you the truth....." is mentioned about 80 times in the New Testament alone and there are MANY scriptures that speak about true, truth, truthfulness.
Zechariah 8:16 "These are the things you ought to do: speak the truth to each other,..."   ........ that is one of my life's values.