Friday, June 29, 2012

Spiritual Well-Being with Angus Buchan pt 5

Make sure of your calling

I cannot stress enough how important it is to be sure that you're in the work situation God wants you to be in. If we're going to be effective in our work - for our family, other people who might be counting on us and, most of all for God - we need to be called by God.
As you read this you might think "But I have no option!" Well, I was in the same situation when I left school. My options were limited, but I had a vision and my dream was to be a farmer. That vision has since multiplied and now I'm farming people for the Lord.

I'm more fulfilled than I've ever been in my life. I'm totally satisfied by what I do. I can't wait to get to work in the morning, can't wait to go the extra mile. I feel at peace with what I've been called to do by the Lord. My father, a blacksmith, used to say to my brother and I when I was young that if you get up in the morning and you don't feel like going to work, change your job. Farmers who love what they're doing don't work according to the clock; they work according to the sun. There is a profound difference between being a hireling and being a son. A son works for his inheritance. A hireling works for a wage.

You don't have to own the business or the farm. You can work and take care of it in such a manner that your employer will be so pleased with you he'll trust you more and more to run his business for him, and will recompense you accordingly..............................................................................................

The point I'm making is that if you're called to a specific type of employment you'll do it successfully and it will work for you. If you're merely doing it to put bread on the table, you need to start looking at the future and change your outlook on life.
Remember - if you're satisfied and content in your employment you'll find that you're physically, mentally and spiritually healthy.
The word of God says in 1 Timothy 6:6 "Godliness with contentment is great gain."

If you're happy with what you're doing in life, you'll find that you won't need to visit the doctor too often, either.

Meet David Marcus Luft

David Luft
It was great chatting to David and getting to know him more. David was born in Bristol. He has 3 brothers, Andy, Matt and Tim. He lived in Nailsea for 20 years and his dad was the leader of the church. David studied Photography at College and eventually did a year with a Church in Redding. He focused on Youth Groups, Door Knocking, Bible Teaching etc. He then moved to Winchester to work in a Camera shop where he stayed for 6 years before getting "itchy" feet. He was approached by the leader of Winchester about being part of a church plant and he eventually moved to Salisbury. By this time he was married to Heather and they felt it was time to move on.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
D.L: This quote is from my dad; "Time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted."

M.M: Whats your favourite meal?
D.L: My father in laws (David Dean) serloin steak

M.M: What's your favourite drink?
D.L: Coke and I drank Twizza Cream Soda

M.M: Who has influenced you these last 6 months?
D.L: Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll. Tim Keller is a great teacher on Apologetics. They both have brought alot of truth and insight into the Bible and helped me have a right way of thinking particularly on grace.

M.M: What do you do to relax?
D.L: Watch football, write worship songs (not sure if this is very relaxing though) and make video's.

M.M: What responsibilities do you have in your church?
D.L: I lead the worship team. there are two other worship leaders and we have 3 bands. We started from one guitar and leader to having 3 bands.

Nathan - Left, Emily - Centre and Daniel - Right
M.M: Amazing! What else do you do?
D.L: We were asked to take on the Alpha Course which we really enjoy. I lead the discussion groups.

M.M: What would you say are the challenges facing young people generally?
D.L: Peer pressure to go against the flow. Our culture is fueled by the media - music, T.V, films etc which promotes a lifestyle contrary to the word of God.

M.M: David, thank you so much for your time. Great meeting you.

by Molly Manhanga

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Water Project pt 3

Ebenezer dam. Water level down by half a meter
The water levels in Kezi have dropped drastically as we didn't have a good rainy season. I had previously written in the Water Project pt 1, that folk living near the Maleme river which feeds water to the Ebenezer dam, are more blessed as the Maleme hasn't dried up yet. Well, the water levels in the Maleme river has gone down considerably and one section of the river is looking pretty muddy as cattle go down for a drink. Gauging from the Ebenezer dam wall, the water level has dropped by approximately half a meter. This is alot of water, taking into consideration the daily evaporation.

Crossroads will be doing the Water project in 2 phases:

Trench being dug - heading to Crossroads Church
Phase 1: Digging trenches from the Crossroads site to Crossroads church, putting in the pipes, tanks etc.
Phase 2: Digging trenches from the Crossroads site to the Ebenezer dam, building a pump house etc, etc

Phase 1 is underway. Within the next two weeks, we should be putting down the pipes. Exciting times ahead for us and for the community.......

Trench being dug at Crossroads site

By Molly Manhanga

Meet Vitalis Gonese

Vitalis Gonese
It was great catching up with Vitalis on Tuesday. Want to know more about him? Here goes.....

Vitalis works for a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) called Techno Serve and he is based in Harare. He was down in Matabeleland to provide technical advice to the poultry farmers in Mablauwuni area. Vitalis has been with Techno Serve for a year now and he enjoys it very much. He monitors projects in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South provinces.

Vitalis said the farmers in Matabeleland South province are doing very well. Some farmers are actually exceeding expectation. The challenges that he identified in the area are:
1. Water sources. Most farmers have to walk about 1km to collect water for their chickens and with a chicken project, one needs lots of water.
2. Some of the farmers are tempted to do side markets with inputs and feed.
3. He was doing some training with the chicken farmers at Crossroads yesterday.

He will be down in Matabeleland once a month to give technical advice.

On a more relaxed note......
Vitalis is married with 2 children. His wife's name is Winnie and his children are Innocent and Estina. His favourite meal is beef with either sadza or rice. He watches television as a form of relaxation or he actually goes to the soccer stadium to watch some matches. The local soccer team that Vitalis supports is Caps United while his favourite English team is transitioning from Liverpool to Manchester City. 

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Up close and personal with Heather Coral Luft

Heather Luft
It was lovely chatting to Heather yesterday. Heather is married to David Luft and they have been married for 12 years. They have 3 children (2 boys and a little girl). Nathan is 7 years - nearly 8, Daniel is 5 years - nearly 6 and Emily is 11 months. (Emily did extremely well in coping with the blazing heat in Kezi). Heather and Dave fellowship at Salisbury City Church which is led by Simon Redmill and it is part of Newfrontiers Family of Churches.This church was planted about eight and a half years ago.  

M.M: Tell me a little about your background?
H.L: I was raised in a christian home. My parents are David and June Dean. I have a brother Gary who is older than me. We became christians very young. My mum and dad were a good influence. We moved to the Eastbourne Church when I was 14. I went to the University of Winchester and was part of the church led by Greg Haslem and thats where I met Dave.

M.M: How long did you and Dave know each other before you married?
H.L: Dave and I were really good friends for about 10 months before dating.We were part of the 20's group in Winchester.  We dated for a good year and a half before marrying on August 12th 2000. Dave is was 23 and I was 24.

M.M: Nice! Who has influenced you the most over the last 6 months?
H.L: My husband as he knows me best. When something is bothering me he asks probing questions to get to the root.

M.M: Any books that you are currently reading?
H.L: Francine Rivers "Lineage of Grace" and Rob Rufus "Living in the grace of God". It a grace theme.

M.M: What is your impression of Zimbabwe?
H.L: I LOVE the people. I'm overwhelmed with how friendly, loving, kind and generous the people are. It's beautiful especially Matopos and the rocks.

M.M: What are your impressions of rural Zim?
H.L: The people in the rural areas seem to be harder working people with the little they have. They are friendly and waved at us. The cleanliness is good. The people have pride in being clean and tidy and they are a people who have dignity.

M.M: So true! What's your favourite meal?
H.L: Roast beef dinner

M.M: What's your favourite drink?
H.L: I have a cup of coffee in the morning and an ocassional glass of wine in the evening. I drink tea and hot water.

M.M: What's your favourite Bible verse?
H.L: Philippians 4:13 "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

M.M: Anything else you'd like to add?
H.L: It's been a privilege to come out to Zimbabwe and bring my 3 children. I have felt safe here and I hope my children have a heart for the poor.

M.M: Fantastic and thank you Heather. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

The Deans and Lufts visit Crossroads

Dave Dean chatting to Steve Manhanga
Steve and I were really pleased to have David and June Dean visit Crossroads yesterday. They came with their daughter Heather, her hubby David and their 3 children. Steve and Dave caught up on what was happening at Crossroads and the Crossroads plot and how some of these initiatives can be implemented at Thembalezizwe Church. They were interested in seeing the grinding mill in operation as well as watching a young lady carry 20kg of mealie meal on her head. Steve then took the family to the Tuckshop and showed David snr the basic commodities that are sold. Dave supported the Tuckshop by buying a few items.......David (son in law) was chatting to Sylvester - one of the emerging leaders at Crossroads. Sylvester also oversees the running of the Tuckshop and the grinding mill.

We then went to the Crossroads plot where Steve showed the family the chickens, goats, pigs and cattle - a model that is being set for communal farmers. Being faithful with little and start with what you have......

We visited Mildred Mkwananzi who is one of the chicken farmers in the community. She  is doing really well and collects close to 400 eggs a day. We then headed off to Ebenezer where we had organised a lunch for our visitors.

The Deans and Lufts with Steve Manhanga

It was good catching up with the Deans and Lufts. David Dean is really impressed with what Steve has accomplished.

God is so good.

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thought for the day

Psalm 96:1 - 4, 6 - 9

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be
he is to be feared above all gods. 

Splendour and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his
bring an offering, and come into his
Worship the Lord in the splendour of
tremble before him, all the earth!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Testimony of Pretty Ndlovu

Mbusiso and Pretty Ndlovu
Have you ever wondered if the Sunday services are impacting people and if they are experiencing Gods grace? (To clarify - we are in a context where there are many strongholds which affect people's belief systems & outlook on life etc, etc) After a service it's great when people give positive feedback but the fruits are evident with time: (through reading God's word, prayer, discipleship, fellowshipping with other believers etc, etc).
I get so encouraged and praise God when I look at Pretty Ndlovu nee Moyo and see how God has changed her life and how she places him at the centre of everything she does. 

The before story
I first met Pretty in 2008 when she joined Ebenezer as an apprentice. She was a hard working lady and just didn't give up despite animals eating her crops and half her field being in a waterlogged area. Stephen was going through Firm Foundations during the Spiritual lessons at Ebenezer and it was here that Pretty started asking alot of questions. What she was experiencing at one of the African Traditional Religious churches that she was attending was different to what Stephen was sharing from the Bible. During discussion time, she often dominated the discussion sessions with questions to which Steve recommended that she either remain behind after class or speak to him before supper. Pretty did just that. Steve also encouraged her to speak to her church leader and ask him the same questions. She just wasn't satisfied with her church leaders answers. I spoke to her about "all her questions" and what was "going on with her" to which she responded that 'things were not adding up.' After one of the Firm Foundations lessons, Pretty gave her life to the Lord but hers has not been an easy walk. By this time Crossroads had started and Pretty would attend some Sundays but also attend her former church on other Sundays. She then decided to commit to coming to Crossroads and hasn't looked back.

The After story - In Pretty's own words....
"Crossroads has changed my life greatly. I was in a church where the beliefs were focused on the prophets and we were dependent on someone else praying for us. We didn't know how to pray for ourselves. At Crossroads, I have learnt so much about God. I have grown and can pray for myself and my family. I am so encouraged. My children have changed too. They are always singing church songs and are always talking about church. In everything I do, I am seeing how blessed I am because of God. I got married in the church and I'm now a role model for many young people who want to get married. They come to my husband and I to ask for advice on how we went about doing things. I am enjoying my life. God is good."

Pretty works in 'Stores' at Ebenezer, has attended the Marriage Course 3 times and disciples young couples. Glory be to God!

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

According to Mbusiso Ndlovu

Mbusiso Ndlovu

Two Sundays ago, Gottfried Hertzer was the guest speaker at Crossroads. We had invited New Life for All and the United Pentecostal Church to join us at Crossroads to listen to issues pertaining to money.

Stephen and I missed that service as we were on route from Mutare but Mbusiso - one of the emerging leaders, gave this feedback..........

  1. Gottfried spoke about finances.
  2. All things belong to God.
  3. He encouraged the folk not to worry about money and not to fear.
  4. God created everything and He didn't need money when he created everything......
  5. The plans God has for us are plans of prosperity and not of calamity  plans to give us a hope and a future.
  6. Money in itself is not a problem. It is how we use the money that can become a problem.
  7. Gottfried encouraged folk to ask God for their needs and to do things His way and not mans way.
  8. It is good to give back to God in tithes and offerings.
  9. There was a Q & A session that followed and apparently many questions were asked. The gist of it being that we need money to survive.
  10. The topic of bartering came up which many folk seemed to agree with.
  11. Stephen picked up on the topic of money this past Sunday and there was great discussion that followed. There was much clarity and folk were real happy with the discussion.
  12. There sure is a link between money and the heart......... 

By Molly Manhanga

Pre-engagement Camp

Family Impact will be hosting a pre-engagement camp at Shalom this Friday to Sunday. We are pretty excited that 2 young couples from Crossroads will be attending these sessions. These two couples are hoping to get married either before or by year end. We really hope they will be blessed beyond measure.

Looking forward to the feedback........

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Catching up with Gottfried Hertzer

Gottfried Hertzer
It was great chatting to Gottfried Hertzer last Friday morning on Money Matters - A Biblical Perspective. Gottfried was in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for the Foundations for Finance Conference which was being held at Thembalezizwe Church. This is what he had to say......

M.M: What are your thoughts on Foundations for Finance as a follow up to the Champs Kingdom Advance conference?
G.H: At the Champs Kingdom Advance conference, we had about 50 - 60 people from 20 different nations. We got together with people who are interested in finance and what they thought should happen. We presented abit of the challenges that come out of the world financial system that is dragging down even Christianity and what is needed to get transformation in this financial area. We have therefore put together some material, coaching, training etc. Out of this was born the urgent drive to establish Foundations for Finance.

M.M: Foundations for Farming and Foundations for Family have 4 and 5 core principles which can be used across the board in the urban, peri-urban and rural contexts. Does Foundations for Finance have core principles or are you still establishing them?
G.H: We need to get the foundations established this year and on how to help people get a different mindset in terms of finances. Most people live in fear, anxiety and worry over money and yet there is no need for that. Some of the core principles we are working on are:
  1. Committed to God
  2. Depending on God
  3. Stewarding God's property
  4. With integrity   
  5. with an unselfish heart
M.M: Sounds good. Care to expand or explain abit more?
G.H: 1. Committed to God - meaning; being fully committed to God, loving and serving Him wholeheartedly, not money.
2. Depending on God - meaning; Living a life in total reliance/dependence on God and His ways and not on myself and mans wisdom.
3. Stewarding God's property - meaning; acknowledging God as the owner of everything and managing his property well for the benefit of His Kingdom and the betterment of Hid creation.
4. With integrity - meaning; Living a life of integrity i.e. honesty, transparency, accountability, reliability and moral uprightness etc.
5. With an unselfish heart - meaning; Acting altruistic/unselfish with a heart for the poor,needy, orphans, widows and destitute, thus expressing the generosity the Lord has shown in His Redemptive work.

M.M: How does the financial system used now differ from what you are hoping to establish?
G.H: The system being used now will make the rich richer and the poor poorer. How can we use this system to help the poor when it is designed to make the poor poorer? How can we use a system to build up when its designed to destroy? How can we use a system to set people free that is designed to enslave people?

M.M: Interesting! I can see how passionate you are about this! Do you have key scriptures as a backup or rather to build Foundations for Finance on?
G.H: Romans 12:2, Matthew 6:24, Matthew 6:33.

M.M: I recall from previous conversations with you, you mentioned that about 2% of people actually see and understand this biblical perspective. Have more people caught onto this?
G.H: It hasn't changed much. People need a paradigm shift.  Luke 16:10 - 12. We need to start looking to God rather than to the outside world.

M.M: Do you honestly feel that there is potential for change?
G.H: There is tremendous potential for change. The point here is - unlocking the potential translates into wealth. You had better know how to handle the wealth. Operate in God's system rather than on the destructive world system. This is the challenge we are facing in getting the groundwork established.

M.M: What exactly will you be doing at the Foundations for Finance conference?
G.H: I will be giving a prophetic thrust on Finance.

M.M: Any last thoughts you'd like to share?
G.H: The thrust is to make people depend on God and not on man. Jeremiah 2:13.Whatever man creates doesn't hold what it promises. Mans ways don't work. We need to bring people back to God; to trust Him, believe in Him, tap into His wisdom, not mans; into His power, not mans and into His ability, not mans. 

M.M: Very inspiring! Thank you Gottfried and I hope you enjoy the conference and your time in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, June 11, 2012

Snapshots of Bishop Trevor Manhanga's 50th birthday...

May God bless him with many more years.......

Pastor Virginia Pinto (left), the Bishops sister, honouring her brother

The 50th birthday cake......

Bishop Manhanga and Charmaine about to cut the cake
  1. Turning 50 is quite an achievement.
  2. Bishop Manhanga has good people around him.
  3. He is the spiritual leader in his family.
  4. He has been through many battles and he has been in the trenches but it's Gods grace that keeps him going.
  5. There are friends that add to your life, subtract from your life, cause division in your life and those that multiply in your life. Friends that have added much to Bishop Manhanga 's life and to many other folk are Sam and Debbie Grottis. Such special, special people.   
  6. Although the Bishop is 50, there remains much land to be possessed.
  7. Mbuya Elvis Katerere and Mr Kenny Kapuya, who have been with Bishop Trevor Manhanga since he opened Victory Tabernacle in 1985, were present and honoured him. They have walked a long road together.....
  8. Life is about relationships. It either takes you up or down......
  9. Bishop Trevor Manhanga knows what it is to lead and his leadership has changed many, many lives.
  10. Stephen and I honour our brother & brother in law and pray that God be with him in the second half of his journey and may he move many more mountains in Zimbabwe, in Africa and internationally......

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bishop Trevor Manhanga celebrates his 50th birthday..

Bishop T.E.C Manhanga
It was just wonderful being able to celebrate Bishop Trevor Manhanga's 50th birthday with him this weekend. About 150 family, extended family and close friends were with him on Friday evening and on Saturday, about 600 + people gathered at Victory Tabernacle, Mutare, Zimbabwe to celebrate his birthday. Bishop Manhanga is loved and respected by many and it was so good listening to people from all walks of life honour him for the work he has done....his faithfulness, commitment, steadfastness to the things of God. He has impacted , influenced and touched many lives both urban and rural within Zimbabwe, within Africa as well as internationally. Words that kept coming up were that he was a man on integrity, humble, listens to people, visionary, honest etc. Bishop Manhanga is a preacher, teacher, consultant, leader and counsellor. In his own words, he is a man who stands up for injustice and truth.

This is what Bishop Manhanga wrote:

I guess at fifty it is as good a time as any for reflection, recognition, realignment and readjustment. In reflecting back on a life that begun as the seventh child and third son to my parents, Ernest and Amy Manhanga, I cannot thank them enough for being the vessel that God used to bring me into this world. Though my mother died whilst I was still young I have vivid, fond memories of a loving mother, and I thank God I was able to grow up and experience the love, hard work and dedication of a father who raised his children single-handedly and gave them a solid foundation from which to launch their respective lives. I am greatly indebted therefore to my family, my late parents, my wife Charmaine and five children - Ernest, Zoe, Trevor Jnr, Charissa and Christopher, my siblings (three brothers and four sisters and their families) who played, and continue to play a pivotal role in my life. I recognise the role my family has played in making me what I am today and my love and gratitude to them grows fonder each day.

Life by its very nature is about the relationships that one embraces and I am grateful and indeed privileged to have met some wonderful people along the way. Each relationship has enriched me and made me a better person and I am thankful for the vast array of wonderful people who have come into my life and the relationships that have ensued as a result. Yes, there have been some who came but have strayed, but more have stayed with me and even more have prayed for me. To all my friends, I thank you for your unflinching support and dedication.

Charmaine Manhanga honouring her husband
The ministry that was given to me to preach the gospel has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I had no idea when I answered the call to give my life in service of the Master, what it would entail and the road I would travel. What a joy it has been, what an honour to be used of God to make a difference in the lives of people, communities, and nations. I can truly say, it has been simply awsome. Yes, in fifty years of living and in thirty years of ministry I have seen some things and I have been through some things. Life by its very nature comes with great challenges, hurts, failures, pains and setbacks. But I am still standing because I have discovered that God is faithful. What He said in His word is true, and fifty years later, I can say through it all I have learnt to trust in Him and depend on Him. Just like the old hymn I learnt in Sunday School encouraged me to "Trust and Obey", I have never flinched from that and here I am, fifty years later not standing still, but still standing!

And so in my Jubilee year, I most definitely will realign myself and readjust certain things as I prepare for the second half! The first half has been an incredible journey, I expect the second half to be even greater. The best is yet to come!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Visitors at Crossroads

It was really great having 4 visitors from the U.K attend the service at Crossroads on Sunday as well as Sean and Debbie Mullens from Harare.

The U.K team were Geoff, Irene, Correll and Martin. They attend an Anglican church in Bristol, U.K while Sean and Debbie lead ONE Church in Harare. Geoff and Irene shared their testimony. It was their first time in Zimbabwe and their first time attending a rural church service. They actually enjoyed the experience. The U.K team donated 2 balls and writing materials for the children.

Sean picked up on Steve's message on Vision and did extremely well. Without vision my people perish....

The church were encouraged by the message and having visitors come and fellowship with us.

It's really good when brethren dwell together in unity and fellowship together worshipping the living God.

By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Spiritual Well-Being pt 4 with Angus Buchan

Angus Buchan
Follow your heart

We need to follow our hearts, whether we're in school, university, or in the workplace, whether we're contemplating retirement or are already resident in an old age home.....................................................

I am following the thing I love the most, and that is telling people there's a better way to approach this life we live. to tell them that we have the answer for reconciliation, that their marriages, homes, businesses and their lives can be different, if they put their trust in God. What's more, your physical health largely depends on how you feel, mentally and spiritually.

.............God is no respecter of persons. He will use any man, any woman, any boy and any girl, who is prepared to put their hand up for Him.

Many of us seem to afflicted with low self-esteem, an inferiority complex, a case of 'woe is me'. With that type of attitude you'll never be able to follow your heart and realise your dream. We have to understand that each and every one of us has the opportunity to realise our dream if we trust in God.
Remember, too, Jesus said love your neighbour as yourself. If we truly start to do this, we'll see a serious change, not only in our personal lives, but in our business, our farming enterprise and, very importantly, in our community and in the home.

This will have a direct affect on the nation.............(We) are desperately short of spiritual mentors, of examples, of encouragers. The name of Barnabas, the character in the Bible also known as Joseph, means 'encourager'.

And we desperately need Barnabases in the world today. Many people can't reconcile themselves with their own past. They feel they've messed up too badly and there's no hope for them. This is a fallacy. If we look in the Bible, God continually uses people who have messed up. But the requirement is that we repent, which means to stop doing what we have been doing and start again.