Friday, August 31, 2012

Community Day

Elderly folk at work

On Wednesday 29th August, folk from Mablauwuni community came together to help dig the pipeline for the water project. From the Crossroads site to the Church, it is about one and a half kilometers.

The first people to get to work were the elderly. They started digging quite early in the morning. Some of the younger people came a little later. It is now quite hot in Kezi so the best time to get much work done is early morning.

Men and women at work

Not as many people turned up as we had hoped because quite a few had gone off to Silozwe (about 14 - 20km max away from Crossroads) to receive seed from ORAP and Family Impact were doing a training with the women in the community.

Progress being made

We are so grateful to those who made the effort to come and work. We stopped at lunch time and shared a meal together. Some of the Ebenezer apprentices went to continue digging in the afternoon despite the heat! We've got about 500m to go before we complete digging the pipeline.

We can see the progress!!!

By Molly Manhanga

Buildings in progress at the Crossroads site

Chicken house

Chicken house coming along nicely

Roof on chicken house going up

Pig House


Pig houses

The roof is going up on the chicken house and more pig houses are being built.

Meet Maria Moyana - 3D

Maria Moyana
It was good chatting to Maria and getting to know her more......

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
M.M: I grew up in SOS (Save our Souls) Children's Home here in Bulawayo. My mum passed away when I was young and I don't know my dad. I'm 18 years old. I attended SOS Primary School before going to Northlea High School.

M.M: Which church do you attend?
M.M: The Bulawayo Baptist Church which is led by Pastor Jeff from the States.

M.M: How has your time at Ebenezer been so far?
M.M: I'm enjoying it although I find it hectic. I'm growing and able to do 'stuff'.

M.M: What did you think about the wedding at Crossroads?
M.M: Weddings are not my favourite but it was different to weddings I've seen at home.

M.M: I'm sorry you don't like weddings very much! Whats your favourite quote?
M.M: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

M.M: Whats your favourite meal?
M.M: Avocadoes

M.M: What are you hoping to gain personally during your stay at Ebenezer?
M.M: I hope to grow more and learn more from the apprentices. I would like to share my story and grow closer to God.

M.M: Thank you Maria. I hope you have a wonderful stay at Ebenezer and make lasting friendships.

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Meet Victoria Pittari - 3D

Victoria Pittari
Victoria was born in Australia in a city called Griffith and has lived there her whole life. Pittari is Italian and Victoria, together with her grandparents, aunts, uncles etc - her BIG Italian family - all live in Griffith, which is multicultural, very agricultural and has lots of wineries etc.

M.M: Tell me about your background?
V.P: I was raised a Roman Catholic. When I was 12 years old, I started attending a Baptist Youth Group. At 14, I got saved and became a Christian. I have 2 older sisters and both my parents are alive. My sisters are 24 and 21 and both are married with children. I am 19 years old.

M.M: Which church do you attend?
V.P: I attend a Baptist Church and it's led by Kevin Webb who is South African.

M.M: Nice! From the Nations to the Nations. How have you found your stay at Ebenezer so far?
V.P: Generally, I have found it hard. The cultural and language barriers are so hard and I'm feeling abit intolerant. I feel scared of people and I've realised that the girls here are also scared of us and are unresponsive. I really want to connect but I don't know how.

M.M: Thank you for your honesty. We'll get people to help you. Anything else you'd like to add?
V.P: I really like the spiritual input at Ebenezer. People seem so committed to prayer and reading the word. It is awsome.

M.M: How did you find the wedding at Crossroads on Sunday?
V.P: The wedding was very different to what I've seen. People here really celebrate and are so happy when two people get together in marriage. The women are so open and express themselves so freely in dance. I enjoyed seeing that people preach at weddings and say what weddings are and what the two people are getting into. That was good.

M.M: What's your favourite quote?
V.P: "The gospel if free but it is not cheap."

M.M: What is your favourite meal?
V.P: Butter chicken. It's an Indian dish, with naan bread. It's the best stuff ever.

M.M: What are you hoping to gain/achieve personally in the 6 weeks you are at Ebenezer?
V.P: I'm hoping to establish some deep relationships and overcome the cultural barrier - at least with one person.

M.M: Thank you so much Victoria. It's been great chatting to you. I'll help you when available and get some young ladies to walk beside you to make your stay and experience at Ebenezer fruitful, help you overcome the cultural barriers and to establish some deep, lifelong friendships.

By Molly Manhanga

What or who are the 3 D's?

3D Outreach is based in Benoni, South Africa and it's aim is to reach out across borders to the needs of the whole person by being a resource and support. They reach out to other countries by connecting the church to the missionary. 3D outreach is like the middleman.

The 5, not 6 as previously mentioned (4 ladies and one gentleman), are doing their internship for ten and a half months. Five and a half to six months were spent in South Sfrica doing training with Operation Mobilisation (OM) and now the interns have been sent by 3D to different places.

The 5 interns that have been sent to Zimbabwe have been to Mawabeni and helped the community make benches, they did youth events, devotions and discipleship etc for 2 weeks. They arrived at Ebenezer Training Centre last Tuesday.

Whilst at Ebenezer, they will be helping out with the practical things like gardening, the library, making signs on doors as well as setting up clubs like dance, art, music etc.
Amidst all the work, the 3D's need to have some FUN and build relationships - genuine relationships.

The 3D's were at Crossroads last Sunday attending Mxwayisi and Nobuthle's wedding. It was great to catch up with them individually and get their perspective on the wedding.

Read on and meet the 3D's individually.......

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Wedding pt 2

These pictures will give you a snapshot of Mxwayisi Dube and Nobuthle Moyo's wedding

Simanga Ndlovu and Smellie Tshabangu

Bride about to walk to the church

The Cake

The people

Mx and Nobuthle about to head off for their honeymoon

By Molly Manhanga

The Wedding pt 1

Nobuthle Moyo
On Sunday 26th August 2012 we had an exciting wedding day at Crossroads Community Church. Mxwayisi, one of the emerging leaders at Crossroads married his lady love, Nobuthle Moyo. Brilliant Khoza was the bestman, the lovely Simanga Ndlovu was the maid of honour while Smellie Tshabangu was the miniture bride!

About 200 adults and children gathered at Crossroads to witness the event. There was much jubilation as the bride arrived at the church. Many women welcomed her by dancing and placing mats on the ground for her to walk on.

Mxwayisi Dube
Stephen Manhanga officiated the event while George Mlilo translated for him and was the Master of ceremony. Stephen reminded the bride and groom about a cord of three strands not being easily broken: husband, wife and God. He encouraged them to love each other, to communicate with each other and so on. Mx and Nobuthle then said their vows to each other before everyone was then introduced to Mr and Mrs Dube.

People gathered at Crossroads
We went to the Ebenezer Dam wall where pictures were taken of the family and close friends. Gifts were given after lunch and there was much celebration.

What a happy day for Mxwayisi, Nobuthle, the families and the community. It was good seeing the Church and the Community in Action!

Simanga Ndlovu

By Molly Manhanga


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spiritual Well - Being by Angus Buchan pt 10

Angus Buchan
A few pointers from
The Old Godly Way

  1. Jeremiah 6:16 "This is what the Lord says: 'stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old Godly way and walk in it. Travel its path and you will find rest for your souls.'"
  2. Let us not forget that our profession started at the beginning of time and will continue until the day of Jesus Christ.
  3. We need to encourage our young people to respect the animals and the produce God has given to us and then "all these other things will be added unto us" Matthew 6:33
  4. I really believe God wants us to enjoy our work. It must not become a burden, because you spend most of your life in the workplace.
  5. For the older farmers out there - don't take all your knowledge to the grave with you.
  6. A word to the younger generation - there are many men who are like libraries just sitting waiting for you to come and interact with them. They'll share everything they've learnt with you for free.
  7. The handbook of life is the Word of God, the Bible.
  8. Psalm 119:105, the Lord says: "My Word is a lamp unto My feet and a light unto My path."
  9. If we continue to seek Him, He will ensure that we manage His creation correctly.
  10. We will never have any shortage in our lives.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

COSMOS to serve at Crossroads in Sept.

COSMOS Healthcare Team from Australia, will be serving at Crossroads on Monday 10th September - Tuesday 11th September 2012.

We'll be advertising in the Mablauwuni community and the surrounding communities and really pray for a good turn out over the two days.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

3 D's

Now, I can only imagine what you are thinking when you read the title 3 D's. You'll need to follow the next couple of articles to meet the 3 D's.........

Basically, a team of 6 (5 ladies and 1 gentleman) will be serving at Ebenezer Training Centre for 6 weeks and will also be helping out at Crossroads. 2 come from Australia, 2 from South Africa and 2 from Bulawayo and they attend different churches.

This afternoon they will be cleaning and tidying up the grounds at Crossroads.

Read on to find out more..........

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A glitch in the lobola (bridal price) negotiations

Brilliant and Sithabiso
Things were moving so smoothly for Brilliant and Sithabiso with the first round of negotiations having gone so well.

Now it seems that Sithabiso's family want 6 cows before the wedding and Brilliant and Sithabiso were hoping to get married in December. This is quite a glitch and 6 cows is quite an expense! Brilliant is at a loss for words and is not sure what to do.

Please continue to pray for them........

We are looking forward to Mxwayisi Dube and Nobuthle Moyo's wedding at Crossroads this Sunday.

By Molly Manhanga

Whats happening with Kidz Alive?

Cloe DuPreez playing with sand. Happy times for her.
The children's work is going along smoothly. There were 54 children on Sunday and the facilitators, Simanga and Primrose, did really well in making the Kidz have fun. They enjoyed the meal too!

They will soon be starting Chronological Bible Storying for children and we really hope that goes well and we will be reintroducing the once a month "Share a meal". This will benefit the children on so many levels.

Before schools open for third term, we will have a Kidz Alive function at Crossroads.

So cute and yet so serious!
We want to continue placing emphasis on the children and hope they will grow up loving God, each other and learning how to have fun!

By Molly Manhanga

Thought for the day

Monday, August 20, 2012

Work Team from the USA at Crossroads

Team mingling with the locals

It was wonderful fellowshipping with the team from the States. Although they didn't understand some of the songs which were sung in Ndebele, they seemed to enjoy the service very much. Some comments from the team were:
1. Interesting
2. Very open
3. Direct, straight to the heart and soul of the individual
4. Personal connection

Team enjoying the lunch - eating with their hands....

The lunch is quite a treat
5. Steve knows the people who worship at Crossroads
6. Good. Can see the passion. It's there.
7. Loved the praise and worship
8. The beat and the dancing was great.
9. Real to life message. That was great.
10. Loved the music
11. Steve has a desire to help the young people and encourages the older people to teach the young ones.
12. Everyone welcomes you and waves

We are so pleased the Work Team experienced a service in rural Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga

Spiritual Well-Being by Angus Buchan pt 9

Redeem your time

........I’m about to phone a young girl who’s very ill with a terminal disease. She wants to talk to me and I’m very honoured. As I prepare my heart to speak to her, I’m thinking about life and death.

The Bible tells us that life is but a vapour, here today, gone tomorrow. We tend to spend too much time preparing for this brief life we live on earth and no time at all for eternal life. As I speak to this young girl, obviously I’ll be believing for a miracle in her life, that God will heal her.

But if God chooses to take her Home, then she needs to be ready. I know she’ll have thought about this many times. When you aren’t well you have lots of time to think about the ‘hereafter’.

But we all need to be thinking along the same lines. We need to start counting the cost, and ask ourselves a serious question: where are we putting our effort? Jesus says very clearly: “Where a man’s heart is, that is where his treasure lies.” I challenge you to speak more about eternal life and about our Heavenly Home. The Bible also tells us not to say that there are four months and then the harvest, but that we must ‘lift up our eyes and look at the fields which are white unto harvest.’ John 4:35. We need to be more passionate in telling people about Jesus Christ. Unless someone is born again, they’ll never see the Kingdom of God.

I had the privilege of conducting a funeral service a short while ago in our church on the farm. I preached the gospel and gave people the opportunity to get their lives right for eternal life. A week or two later, I received a letter from a person who accused me of ‘hijacking’ the service for my own benefit. My heart weeps for people who, like this soul, are in fact searching for the truth. The crux of the matter is that the only way to the Father and our eternal life is through Jesus John 14:6 You and I can never convert a person, only the Holy Spirit can do that. However, we have to preach the gospel and give them an opportunity to put their lives right because life is so short. Redeem your time. ......................................................................................................................

When we change our priorities we’ll see life has a lot more meaning and is alot more exciting. When I phone this young lady in a few minutes, I’ll ask her about her relationship with Jesus and then I’ll pray for her and encourage her with the scripture in Philippians 1:21: “For me to live is Christ, but for me to die is but gain.” You cannot frighten a Christian with heaven.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Work team from the USA pt 2

Have a look at these amazing tables and benches..........

Some benches

 We are so pleased with the 2 tables and the 12 benches which the work team from the USA made for Crossroads. They are GREAT and we are feeling so blessed.......
Lance Edwards introducing the team from the USA

USA Work Team

The Work team from The USA fellowship at Community Reformed church which is led by Dr Dann Stouten. Their overseas mission work takes them to Mexico (once a year) and Africa (every 2 years) so we were blessed to have them here in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and attending Crossroads.

The team leave on Tuesday although they say they are not ready to go back. They'd like to do more work and see more of Zimbabwe. the general feeling is that everyone here is so kind and friendly and it makes you want to stay.

I hope the team enjoys their last days in Zimbabwe and travel safely back to the States.

By Molly Manhanga

Ruthless Worship

Ruthless Worship team
Ruthless Worship music team is based at River of Life Church Eastlea, Harare.The team comprises of Mercy Chirima, Tino and Tanaka Mawadza, Nico Ndlovu, Arnold Moses, Sean Shereni and Shamiso Mawoyo.

Ruthless Worship have recorded a CD called Mighty God which is quite an achievement. I've yet to listen to the CD. They were in Bulawayo for the weekend:
Saturday afternoon visiting us at Crossroads
Sunday morning, leading worship at New Creation

It was so good having the team join us at our 40 + lunch and the comments were:
1. They were blown away by the love and the welcome
2. The people seem to be so happy
3. So much progress has been made at Crossroads and the Crossroads plot
4. People in the community have accepted Stephen and I and have made us a part of them

It was very encouraging.

I hope Mighty God will be the start for Ruthless Worship and that many more CD's will be recorded after this........

By Molly Manhanga

Honouring the Elderly in the Community pt 3

The ladies showing their moves

Lunch was served and the Crossroads choir - comprising mainly of Ebenezer apprentices - graced the stage by being the 'lunch time entertainment'. After lunch, we asked the team from Harare to lead the old folks in song and that was just great. Everyone stood up, sang and danced. The ladies certainly did not hold back as they showed their 'moves'.

Much jubilation

Elderly folk doing their skit

Stephen then honoured our elderly people, prayed for everyone and we called it a day. It was enjoyed by all and we are hoping to do this again soon.

By Molly Manhanga

Honouring the Elderly in the Community pt 2

Oldest person in the church - about 88 years
It was just great being able to be a blessing to the elderly in Mablauwuni village and fellowshipping with them.

Things started quite slow as the old folk needed to walk to Crossroads.There were 30 old folk that attended and the majority were 65 + years.

I got everything going by encouraging the old people to SMILE and not look so serious - to forget about their problems, at least for a few hours. They certainly did smile after that. I divided them into 3 groups and gave them brief topics for skits and again encouraged them to make it true to life and fun. They were then given 20 minutes to prepare. It was so good seeing the old people giggle and laugh as they prepared their skits.

Mdala Sam - about 80 years

Na Rose - about 65 years
Just before the groups took to the stage, friends from River of Life Eastlea Church in Harare - "Ruthless Worship" music team, arrived at Crossroads to spend the afternoon with Stephen and I and to give support. That was precious. After the introductions, the old folk took to the stage and that was really funny! Some of them are extremely good actors and actresses. Those hidden talents came out in full swing as the acting brought out the'child' in the 'adult'. Much laughter was heard. The team from Harare were amazed!!!

Continue reading about our Elderly folk!

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, August 17, 2012

Being imitators of God by Steve Manhanga

Matthew 28:18 - 20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

A mule doesn't have the ability to reproduce. It works hard though.

We see from the scripture that Jesus was encouraging the disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. Is that what we are doing at Crossroads? Are we making disciples? Let's start in our homes - making disciples of our siblings, parents, children etc. We need to reproduce other Christians. what is a Christian? It's being Christ - Like. we have a Physical Birth and a Spiritual Birth.

Imitate Christ. When people look at me what do they see. Be an example that others want to follow. "Follow me as I follow after Christ."  Be an example for Christ in all that we do. be hardworking, honest, trustworthy. "Make disciples.......... and teach them everything I have commanded you."

Stephen encouraged the church to go into the world and be a good example and make disciples.

Compiled By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The love of animals.....

I've got six of these adorable puppies at my home and they are starting to run around and growl. Sweet! Will be needing to find good homes for at least 3 or 4 of them.

By Molly Manhanga

Food for thought

I've been hearing the word "friends" often enough or should I say "no friends". I haven't yet come across any christian who has "no friends" and if people say it, it's because they don't really know a person well. Having no friends at all - bar being a hermit/recluse - doesn't seem possible as Jesus is a friend, a husband or wife is a friend, friendships within families, in the Church, in the wider body of believers, in the workplace, neighbours, maintained friendships from school or university etc.

Friends or friendships range from good friends to friends to acquaintances whom you are delighted to see every time. The level or depth of friendship depends on the individuals concerned and the joy of having friends is that you don't have to see them daily or even weekly. Friendship is a relationship one can have with plenty of people at one time. There is an understanding or connection amongst friends especially good friends and its based on trust. Friends can have similar tastes and persona's but this does not necessarily define the friendship. I have quite a few people whom I would consider to be good friends and these friends range from Mining Directors to house wives - or should I say "Domestic Engineers". Those that are wealthy materially, to those that don't have quite as much.
 In order to be friends or have an understanding about a person, there needs to be a level of openness and honesty, mutual respect, trust etc. Friendships or relationships cannot be forced upon people and having or wanting different social circles doesn't equate to having no friends.

Obvious friendships that inspire me from the Bible are those of David and Jonathan, Jesus and Lazarus, Jesus and John etc. Jesus is our example for everything.

As the saying goes, "In order to have friends, you need to be a friend."

"Always try to bring out the best in other people. In doing so you will bring out the best in yourself." Nicky Gumbel

"7 keys to great relationships: love, trust, forgiveness, communication, honesty, understanding, respect." Nicky Gumbel

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catching up with Sikhathazile Moyo

Khatha Moyo
It was so good catching up with Sikhathazile Moyo,better known as Khatha, after the service on Sunday. Khatha was an apprentice at Ebenezer from January 2008 and graduated in August 2009. Khatha used to attend Crossroads and was part of the praise and worship team. Two years ago, Khatha moved to Precious Life Foundation which is just outside Bulawayo. Precious Life Foundation looks after teen Mums and helps them with agriculture and life skills. It opened 3 years ago.

The vegetables that are grown are mainly lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach and mustard seed. The youngest teen is 13 years old while the youngest teen mum is 16 years old. Some of the teen mums are at Precious Life because they have been abused by a relative or relatives. Others have been promised the "world" by their boyfriends but as soon as they get pregnant, they get 'dumped' by the boyfriend. There are eleven girls in total at Precious Life. If the girls have family that can care for them, they are empowered for 9 months at Precious Life before heading back home. If not, they stay at Precious Life until they find employment.

Khatha lives on site at Precious Life and enjoys helping the girls and discipling them. She empathizes with their situations. Her joy is seeing the young girls gain their confidence and self-esteem as they realise that they can care for themselves and their babies.

We pray Gods blessing on Khatha and the work she is doing!

By Molly Manhanga

Honouring the Elderly in the Community

On Saturday 18th August 2012 we will be having a special lunch at Crossroads for all those who are 40 years and above. I don't consider 40 to be elderly. Infact, life begins at 40 as the saying goes..........

There are quite a few elderly folk in Mablauwuni village (60 years and above) and we just felt that that it would be great to honour and appreciate them, chat to them, treat them with a special lunch, learn lots about the community from them, entertain them, pray for them and just to let the older folk connect again with each other for mental/brain stimulation.

As people age, it gets more difficult to look after themselves. As a church, we want to care for the elderly, visit and protect them. The elderly face many challenges like feeling as if they are a burden, the sickly need lots of care, there is lonliness, abuse, no where to live and so on. Friends become family and what a great way to reconnect friends by sharing a meal and by being honoured.

We really hope that many elderly folk will come to Crossroads on Saturday.

Stay tuned for the feedback.......

By Molly Manhanga