Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thought for the day

1 Thessalonians 4:11
.....and make it your ambition to live
a quiet life:
You should mind your own
As christians we are encouraged to live quiet lives and to mind our own business. The Bible says, make that our ambition. Some christians find it so hard to do. We feel if we know what is happening - to the point of invading someone elses privacy or getting information from others or roping people into your schemes, then we can handle things, control people or situations.
Key: Again, God has given to us a sound mind. A person can pretend as though they are 'losing it' by their speech, to see the reaction of people they are interacting with.
The problem with 'invading' someone elses life is that you are not minding your own business. Infact, you are revealing much about yourself. Nothing is hidden from God.
God has given to us life - abundant life. Lets live in a manner that is pleasing to Him. 


I was reading this interesting article on Insecurity. This is what it says....

One of the greatest challenges we face in our lifetime is becoming comfortable in our own skin. A person who is secure with himself is much more likely to achieve success, have meaningful relationships and be respected by others. A person who is insecure finds difficulty in many aspects of life.

Confidence is usually a gradual process. It often comes with age and wisdom. Those who work on themselves and gain confidence early on will have a much easier time navigating the challenges of life.

Insecurity, (like jealousy) is destructive. Even though non of us is perfect, it's easy to spot those who are overly insecure. Extreme insecurity is usually marked by an obsession with gaining the approval of other people (to the point of doing things you know you shouldn't). This level of self-doubt is extremely destructive to a person's life and is often the root of almost all their problems.

Secure people find validation from within while insecure people attempt to find validation from sources outside themselves. This manifests in 2 ways:

1. A person becomes overly selfish
2. A person becomes overly accommodating.

Signs of an insecure person
  • Defensiveness
  • Can't enjoy silence
  • Excessive joking
  • Self-promoting
  • Bullying
  • Over authoritative
  • Overly competitive
  • Materialistic
  • Insecure in relationships (need to feel you are the main person) 
KEY: Many insecure people find scapegoats for their problems, never realising that they are causing the problems themselves. (They tell themselves and others, 'you have driven me to this'. In actual fact, they did it all on their own, revealing deeper internal issues)

The beginning of security is learning to laugh at yourself, realising that no one is perfect.

Interesting article....

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Demolishing Strongholds - Sam Poe

I was reading over some blog articles that I compiled a few years ago. Sam Poe did a couple of  teachings on 'Demolishing Strongholds' taken from a book written by David Devenish.
The first stronghold we'll look at is that of jealousy....the green eyed monster. It doesn't seem to die down in both the rural areas as well as the city, despite the fact that we know how destructive it is. Instead of being unifiers, the natural tendency is to be divisive.

Sam Poe

Stronghold of Jealousy by Sam Poe

Sam started off by telling the story of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4: 1 - 15. This is quite a tragic story of Cain who allowed jealousy to build a stronghold in his life. It had to do with the condition of Cain’s heart. True worship is in the condition of the heart. Abel had a good heart of love and joy while Cain’s heart darkened with sin. It wasn’t repentant and he wasn’t willing to turn from sin. Cain went through the motions but he had the stronghold of anger and jealousy. God came to Cain and wanted Cain to come to him with his whole heart. Cain wasn’t responsive to God. Not only did he have a bad attitude towards God, he had a resentful, jealous attitude towards Abel. Finally, the stronghold of jealousy and anger in Cain’s life led him to turn on his brother. He murdered Abel and walked away. Cain’s life ended in ruin. He wound up all alone, not experiencing God’s grace. It’s not part of Gods plan for us to wonder through life on our own.

Proverbs 14:30 “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” What is jealousy? Jealousy is like bone cancer. It eats you up inside and brings death. It’s dangerous and must be demolished.

James 3:16 “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Wherever there is jealousy, the door is open for every evil practice. People will kill others because of jealousy – kill people with words.
Jealousy is an attitude of the heart. It’s a heart that feels when someone is blessed; it’s a curse on them. Another persons, happiness and success in life are misfortune for them. Envy and jealousy are closely linked and it’s rooted in the heart that is a lie. It’s a lie that believes think there is limited good in life. Envy and jealousy cause people to go on the offensive. They try to hurt the other person, bring them down and want to see their misfortune because of the good the other person is receiving. Jealousy just wants to destroy and tear down.

How can we be free from jealousy?
Tear down the lie with the truth of God’s word. With God there is unlimited good. God has an unlimited supply of goodness and blessing for everything on earth.
Psalm 145: 7 & 9 “They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness……….The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”
God wanted Cain to know this truth but Cain hung on to the attitude of jealousy and it finally destroyed him.

Summary: Come to the truth that God is unlimited in goodness even through difficult times. He can turn it around for good. Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
Demolishing jealousy is not natural to the human heart. It comes from God, the Holy Spirit, confessing the sin and being in God’s word.

Summarized by Molly Manhanga

Pigs at the Crossroads site...

Pigs are growing

And..........multiplying......(increasing in number)..

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chickens at the Crossroads site.....

With the chicken house now complete, approximately 1,200 chickens are now in the chicken house. They are about 3 weeks old. Some of them seem to be doing well while others are underweight. We hope they will pick up in the next week or so.

What a learning curve!!

By Molly Manhanga

Food for thought

There is nothing quite like being still and meditating on the Word of God. This mornings devotional was on LOVE......

  1. Colossians 3:14 "And above all these virtues put on love..."
  2.  1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
  3. Hebrews 10:24 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
  4. 1 Corinthians 13:6 " Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth." 
  5. 1 Corinthians 13:8 "Love never fails"
  6. 1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
  7. James 2:8 "..........Love your neighbour as yourself, ........."
  8. Matthew 22:37 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
  9. Song of Songs "Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away..."
  10. Romans 8:38 -39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Love these scriptures.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Farewell to the 3D Team

Left to right (Vuyo, Victoria, Kathleen, Maria & Jolene
The 3D Team came and joined the service at Crossroads on Sunday. It was their final Sunday in Kezi. They have served really well at Ebenezer and all have made good friendships. It was great seeing all the hugs between the 3D ladies and the lady apprentices at the church. It was also so good seeing the older ladies chatting to the young 3D ladies.

How good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.

3D team being prayed for

3D enjoying sitting at the back of the bukkie at Crossroads.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ladies Conference: Women of Significance by Pastor Faith Netha

Pastor Faith Netha
As women, we need to enjoy abundant life. Don't settle for the crumbs but ask for the loaf. God is speaking through Flora, Molly and myself. The messages are linked and it seems to happen this way at conferences. If we have ears, let us hear what God is saying.

What made women significant in the Bible? Be a notable, significant woman because you love God, you are passionate about God, you are a woman of prayer etc. Play a role that is significant. Leave your mark in Kezi. Look at the woman who went to Jesus with the alabastar box and broke it before Jesus. She will be remembered. She annointed Jesus. Wherever the gospel is preached, this woman will be remembered. Look at the women from Genesis to Revelation. You get the good and the bad. Lets be an Esther, a Ruth, a Deborah.

Mark 5:25 - 34
The woman with the issue of blood. This woman suffered many things. As women, we know about having a menstral cycle - it can be uncomfortable and the bleeding can be heavy etc. For 12 years this woman bled non stop. She was a social outcast. In the days of Jesus, women were not supposed to mix with men. This woman was said to be unclean, she suffered rejection, wasn't loved and probably felt sorry for herself etc. When she heard that Jesus was passing by, she didn't care what people said. She said to herself; "Enough is enough!" This sickness has stayed here long enough. Sometimes we need to have righteous indignation and desire to change our situation. God hears our prayers.

She told herself, "If only I can touch the hem of his garment." Sometimes we receive discouragement but this woman said; "If only...." She had faith. She pressed through the crowd. Don't just sit at home and watch sickness come into your home. Press in until you get a breakthrough. Be women who press through the crowd - for your husband, your family, your relatives, the church etc. Bring everything to the Lord. This lady touched the hem of Jesus garment and "the fountain dried up." Jesus came to a stand still. Press on in faith and cause Jesus to stand still like when Stephen was being stoned.

Jesus said, "Your faith....." Your faith will get you to areas of healing that you need to get. immediately the fountain stopped. Worship the God of the 'suddenly'. This woman probably danced as her joy returned to her after 12 years. Be a people that believe. God can change our marriages. He can deliver you from toxic thoughts. Be women of prayer. The word of God is active and alive. Take the living word and let it quicken our situation. Speak the word of God and something is activated. It starts working in our situation. Don't give up. The man was healed after 38 years. God will not put us to shame. Sometimes we give up when our breakthrough is near. Press in harder. God can do anything.

Hebrews 11:1 We are a people of faith. Believe the word of God and keep on confessing it. Jesus knew this womans situation but He wanted people to see her faith. The multitude thronged Jesus. Do something different that will cause people to throng you. We are here to make a difference. We serve a God who changes things. Our God does the impossible. Only believe. This woman is a tenacious woman. Esther said, "If I perish, I perish!" Fast and pray and change things around. Esther changed the decrees around in the land of Shushan. Don't be casual and mediocre about the things of God.

In 2 Kings 4 we see another woman whose husband left her in debt. The woman went to Elisha for help as the creditors wanted to take her children. Elisha asked her what she had and she said a little oil. He instructed her to get jars - jars of all shapes and sizes, to go into her house, shut the door and start pouring. There are some doors in our lives that need to be shut like doubt, past failures etc. Run to Jesus and present your situation. Don't be mediocre. Up your levels of faith. There is no situation that God cannot handle. Tell yourself the "this too shall pass". You are going through the valley, not standing still. Call upon the God who knows us by name.

Be believing women, women of the word. Just as Jesus called Zaccheus down from the tree and said he wanted to dine with him, He too wants to dine with us. Be passionate about the Lord. Be deliberate. Speak with wisdom. Don't approach a situation carnally. Seek God. Get clarity first before you react. Proverbs 31 - the woman opened her mouth with wisdom. Dignify yourself and people will pay attention.

A woman who fears the Lord cannot be measured. She is far above rubies. Immeasurable. She can't be compared to anything. Hang on to the word of God. Look to God.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thought for the day

Psalm 121:1
"I lift my eyes to the mountains-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth."
Isaiah 55:8 - 9
"For my thoughts are not your
neither are your ways my
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your

Foundations for Farming Training pt 2

Susan Sibanda
Meet Susan Sibanda

Susan is from Brethren in Christ Church in Cowdray Park. She is trying to be a farmer. She would like to grow maize and vegetables but there isn't much water in Cowdray Park. This is her first time to hear about Foundations for Farming and she is finding the training helpful .

Lets hope she implements what she has learnt and has a great crop!

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Health project creates change for a Matobo family

Family Impact and the River of Life PVO have been involved in a family, health and nutrition project in the Matobo area since September 2011. This April the team interviewed some community members to find out if the training had made any difference in their lives.

A volunteer trained by Family Impact under the intervention said that the training had highlighted the importance of building a strong, loving family. The woman, who lives with her husband and child, said previously she did not fully understand what a family and an extended family was. She now aspires to have an extended family in their homestead and to promote stronger, loving families within her community. She also said the training had improved her communication and problem solving skills.

The most significant response to her training observed by the team was the building of a toilet in their homestead. “When we were taught about health issues I was challenged mostly by the need for safe hygiene practices. My husband and I agreed about the need for a toilet in our homestead and we are currently building one "

The most immediate health challenge facing the community now is that they do not have access to clean water. They are hoping that they will be able to get assistance to sink a borehole in the community.
(Written by Family Impact)

The exciting thing about this is that the family attend Crossroads and the womans husband - Sylvester is not only one of the emerging leaders working closely with Stephen but he is also employed - running the small Tuckshop at Crossroads and the Grinding Mill.

Crossroads is also in the process of working on a Water Project which will give the community access to clean water. God is good!

Spiritual Well-Being by Angus Buchan (ii)

Share your story

Here are some pointers from the article

  • Everyone has a story.
  • (A story is a journey) and I thank the Lord for every moment of it.
  • I believe it's important for us to remind our younger generation where we came from and how it all started.
  • (A story) brings back memories to me; sometimes tragic memories, but often fond memories.
  • Tell your story. It'll bring about a bonding like you've never experienced before.
  • ....sit around and just talk, tell stories of what happened during the course of the year, the good times and the tough times. Not for any ulterior motive, but purely to bond and to get to know each other better.
  • Of course the greatest story of all is the story of the birth of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger (feed trough) in a little village called Bethlehem. Joseph his earthly father, was a carpenter and his mother was a country maiden, and for 33 years He lived on this earth.
  • ....Jesus gave us instruction and insight about family life, about children respecting their elders and workers being diligent towards their employers and employers not exploiting their workers.
  • He was also the greatest storyteller of all time: just think of the story of the prodigal son who demanded to have his inheritance and then came back broke to have his father give him a second chance just like our Father has done with many of us.
  • Spend time reading the greatest story of all, especially when the going gets tough.
  • As you know, I refer to my Bible as my 'agricultural manual', and I don't do that lightly.
  • The Bible, the greatest story that has ever been told, is sweeter to me each day I get older. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ladies Conference: God's Healing Power with Molly Manhanga

Molly Manhanga
Mark 5: 24 - 35
John 5: 1 - 15

These 3 stories have a similar thread running through them and that is God's Healing Power.
Some pointers to note:

1. Jesus is our healer: It doesn't matter what the ailment is - including death, God can heal us. There is nothing impossible for Him. Sicknesses can be
  • Physical - as the lady with the issue of blood, the man at the pool of Bethesda and Jairos daughter who had died.
  • Emotional - scars and wounds of the past and present that are affecting us - the way we respond to things (e.g. domino effect of an angry husband who takes it out on his wife and she takes it out on her child who then takes his/her frustrations/anger out on the animals), our perceptions etc
  • Mental - Our thought patterns especially if alot of negative words are spoken over us and you actually start to believe it. God can heal us of that.
  • Spiritual - not having a relationship with Jesus Christ, one foot in the church and one foot out - still caught up in traditional activities. 
2. Jesus meets with us where we are at:  Wherever we are, He meets with us
  • The death bed - Jairos daughter lay 'dead' on the bed and Jesus went to her.
  • Woman with the issue of blood - she was in and amongst the crowd and Jesus was walking by. Her desire was just to touch the hem of his garment because she knew of His healing power. Her faith levels were high.
  • Pool of Bethesda - Jesus came looking for the man who was paralyzed for 38years at the pool and met with him there. Jesus is never too late or too early. He is always on time!
3.   We see the different ways of approaching Christ: Sometimes we think there is only one way but God sees us and hears us no matter where we are. We can kneel, sit, lie down, stand etc and God hears us wherever we are.
  • The woman touched him on her own. She 'pressed' through the crowd. Her determination was there and she didn't give up. Mark 5:28 "....because she thought, 'If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.'" What faith!
  •  We can get help from someone. In this case, Jairos pleaded on behalf of his daughter. What a father! Mark 5:23 "He pleaded earnestly with him, 'My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." What faith!
  • Jesus himself spoke to the man at the pool of Bethesda, "What would you have me do for you?" That was a specific and direct question. We need to identify our problem, take our eyes off the problem and focus on Jesus. We may answer with a long story but Jesus ultimately wants to heal us.
4. God's healing power: In these 3 stories we read that it was "immediately". That's the God we serve. The Bible says in Mark 5:29 "Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering."  With Jairos daughter in Mark 5:42, it says "Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around(She was 12 years old)" and John 5:8  "Then Jesus said to Him (man at the pool of Bethesda) 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.' At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked." Sometimes it may take longer or sometimes the healing changes our physical ability but it's healing non the less. It's a testimony of Gods goodness towards us. The key is FAITH. Jesus says: "Your faith has made you well."

5. Faith: Faith is real important in the healing process. Without faith it's impossible to please God. Believe in your healing. See your healing!

6. Master the thing that has been mastering you: Jairos daughter stood and walked. She didn't stay lying on the bed. The man at the pool of Bethesda picked up his mat and walked away. You see walking speaks of mobility. Move away from the things that hinder you, the things that are holding you back from progressing in God. It may not be easy, but it's key to moving forward.

We then had a time of prayer, asking God to heal us as women.

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Chicken House complete

Chicken house complete

The chicken house at the Crossroads site is looking great now that the roof is on. There are about 1,960 chickens at the site. I'm sure many lessons are going to be learnt as there are also pigs, goats, cows and free range chickens. The chickens are 3 weeks old. Still another 3 to go.

By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ladies Conference: Moving from Fear to Faith with Flora Chizana

Flora Chizana & her little girl - Maita
John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Jesus comes to give life. The enemy doesn't like us. He doesn't like it that Gods affection is on us. It makes the devil mad and he devises schemes. Praise God that there is one who has given life and life in abundance. We are too used to a life that has been stolen from, destroyed. We re surrounded by it or born into it. One scheme is fear. Fear is not of God. It's not His will that we live in fear. As way of clarification: The fear of the Lord is a good thing. In Proverbs it tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

Fear the Lord, not man and the devil. The Fear the Lord will guide us. It's not a terror where we are paralysed. It's knowing God exists. There is NO ONE above God. What does it mean to fear God? To fear God is reverence, in awe, to respect Him. To give Him glory & honour - to obey God. If we disobey, we fear man not God. God has given us talents which are not to be hidden. Its for His glory. We are not honouring Him by hiding it. We are to use it. 2 Timothy 1:7 "For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."

Fear is a spirit sent to destroy, to keep you confined and in your place. It is not to be welcomed into our lives. It is not from God. Don't give it any place in our life. Lets welcome what motivates us to love. We need to steward our minds and life. It's glorifying to God.

What is it that we fear?
1. Failure: This results in us not trying. Afraid of making the same mistake. We get paranoid.
2. Rejection: This results in us not wanting to get close to anyone. Struggle to make friends. Will do anything to be accepted by a group.
3. Disappointment: Results in us not hoping and dreaming for anything in our life. We are not sure and are afraid of being disappointed.
4. Afraid of what people think of us: Their opinions are so important to us. We can't do anything because of what they'll think. we can't please everybody. The fear of the Lord is what is to guide us regardless of what others think.
5. Death: This results in us putting strings on the children. Whose hands are you committing your child to? Where has all this come from? Put your child in the hands of God not in the hands of the ancestors or grandparents.
6. Afraid of travelling: We are afraid because of accidents. We feel paralysed.
7. Curses: This results in us appeasing people by going to traditional ceremonies. We go to the dead because we of fear of what will come.
8. Not having enough: especially as women. We hoard things. We can't let go of anything.
9. Stingy: We can't share with anyone.
10. Worry: We have great difficulty spending money. We think "Where will that dollar come from? When will the money come back?

We need to live a life of faith and sometimes it's risky. God wants us to live a life of faith. 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment The one who fears is not made perfect in love." There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear. The punishment was put on the cross of Jesus Christ. The love of God will fill our hearts. He is concerned about us. Our lives are important to Him. He has a plan, no matter where we come from or what wrong has happened in our lives. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Walk the walk of faith. Fight the fight of faith. Everytime we fear, we are opening a door for the enemy to influence us. We need to take this seriously and repent. Close the doors of unbelief and fear. Its up to us to take that step.

Hebrews 11:6 "We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realised."

1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith."

Faith is sometimes a battle. We need to replace our fearful mindsets with the word of God.
2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we live by faith, not by sight."
Ephesians 6:16 "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." The shield of faith is part of the armour God gave us. The shield - we need to use it in the battle.

Be courageous women. Step up and do it. don't be afraid. Don't allow fear to rule your life.

Flora then got all the ladies to repeat after her, "I am a woman of faith."

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Foundations for Farming Training with Steve Manhanga

About 40 farmers/church leaders attended a Foundations for Farming training which was held at the Free Methodist Church in Bulawayo yesterday. It's always amazing how eager men and women are to learn 'new' things. Most of the people who attended were from Brethren in Christ Church from different neighbourhoods in Bulawayo. e.g. Mpopoma, Entumbane, Cowdray Park and Ngubo etc , as well as from Entumbane Presbytarian Church and Free Methodist Church.

Stephen started by painting a picture of where people are at with farming with the aim of laying down foundations and building from there. He started by reading from Genesis 2 where God put man in the garden of Eden and man's first job was tending to the garden. He encouraged the farmers to shift their mindsets from simply subsistence farming to that of making a profit. He said there was nothing wrong with making a profit.(Proverbs 14:23; Titus 3:14) Farming is not a 'lazy' mans occupation but it's a serious business and is hard work. We all need to eat and we need to produce food.

Steve encouraged the farmers that Gods ways are the best ways. God is the best farmer. We need to be faithful (Matthew 25:14 - 30) with what we have been given and God will add to us as this leads to fruitfulness. Stephen also shared abit on giving (Luke 6:38) - We 'give' to 'give', trusting God to give us our needs in His time and measure. Giving is the key to high standards - time, energy, effort in doing something well.
Stephen then shared on the 4 principles of Foundations for Farming:
1. On Time: plant before November 25th. 22nd December is the longest day in the year i.e. the plants get the most sunlight, heat units and potential of rain at a crucial time in its growth.
2. At Standard: Everything God made high standards and the key to that is wholeheartedness.
3. Without Wastage: Steve asked the farmers to give examples of 'without wastage' and they did really well i.e using left over sadza to make Mahewu (health, nutritious drink), vegetable skins, leaves etc to compost.

Farmers reading the rain gauge

4. With Joy: When we are on time, doing things to a good standard and without wastage, hope begins to rise. Hope leads to joy. (Nehemiah 8:10)

After lunch, we all went outside and Steve did some demonstrations on how to read a rain gauge and the spacing for planting maize, how to plant maize, thinning etc. That was really good as well.


Throughout the training sessions, there were lots of questions which Steve answered brilliantly. It was a good day and the farmers learnt many 'new' things.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ladies Conference: Blind Bartimaeus by Pastor Faith Netha

Pastor Faith Netha
Women know how to birth things. When we leave here, we need to be different. God works with open hearts. When we seek God, we'll find Him.

Mark 10:46 - 52.
This is a very familiar story. Jesus was in Jericho with his disciples and was about to leave the city. There was a blind man there and he knew Jesus was passing by. The man was blind physically. He couldn't see colours, anything beautiful etc. He'd probably bump into things as he walked and he needed to be looked after. Bartimaeus had a physical blindness. All he could do was beg.
There is a spiritual blindness which we are concerned with today.

Galatians 5:19 "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery..." We see the works of the flesh and we live as if there is no God. We can't tell the difference between right and wrong. We are walking in the dark as we are spiritually blind. We have no conscience. There is idolatry, scorcery and we cannot trust God. We need an idol or something to trust in. When we are spiritually blind, we cannot trust God. During the day we are in church but at night we see the witchdoctor. Our children have strings tied around their wrists, hips, ankles etc. We cannot fully commit to trusting God.

The theme of this conference is Rebuild, Restore, Release. God wants to restore our eyesight. When we are  blind, we kill others, we cannot separate good from evil. V47 Bartimaeus 'heard'. He couldn't see but he 'heard'. When he heard Jesus was coming his ears were alert! What are we hearing? What are we listening to? Bartimaeus heard Jesus was coming by and he paid attention. He heard that it was Jesus and he cried out. People around him tried to quieten him but he cried out even louder. Bartimaeus knew he needed help!

Jesus heard him. When Bartimaeus called out he said: Jesus of Nazareth, son of David. Bartimaeus knew who Jesus was. Jesus stopped because he was called by name. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto me and I waill answer....."  Call on the name of Jesus as He listens to us. Jesus is here today in Kezi. When we call on his name, he will stop and listen. When one sinner repents, the whole of heaven rejoices. Whatever burden we have, we can call on Jesus. We need to take the initiative, the first step to come to Him. Don't let opportunities of being in the presence of God pass you by. We need to pray for our nation and God will hear us.

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask orimagine, according to His power that is at work within us,...." This is the God that we serve. Our God. He is a BIG God. Those situations you think cannot change, God can do it. Call upon the name of the Lord. don't underestimate God.

Become like a Ruth. Boaz saw quality in her. There was something about her. Naomi advised her and Ruth ended up marrying Boaz. From gleaning to owning. This is our God. He opens doors for us. He is good. Be the Naomi's and nurture the young ladies. Call upon the name of the Lord and things happen. It brings people together. Be a uniter. Be different. Be women who love the Lord. Be specific to God. God is restoring what we have lost. Bartimaeus received his eyesight and saw thing anew. God will change our eyesight/perception from one level to another.

Be women that are different. Sing. Ladies, we are precious.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Update on Brilliant and Sithabiso (Lobola)

Brilliant and Sithabiso
On the 29th August, Gilbert Thebe went to negotiate with Sithabiso's family on behalf of Brilliant and Sitha. Sithabiso's grandparents, aunts and uncles were present.
The outcome of those negotiations was that Brilliant needs to buy a suit for one of  Sithabiso's family. He needs to go back and see them with his mother to discuss how the 6 cows are going to be paid for and to discuss the wedding.
In essence, the family has agreed that the wedding can take place by the 5th December 2012. They just need to agree officially on the date and discuss the way forward i.e. special introductions between the two families.
Brilliant and Sithabiso have started purchasing the food items for their wedding.

It was good to be able to sit with them and write down all the tasks that need to be covered before the wedding and to help them along where necessary before December 5th. 

Please continue to pray for them and we'll keep you posted on their progress.

By Molly Manhanga

Ladies Conference Feedback pt 2

3 D Team helping to serve the food
How was it all done? Mobilise is the word.........

Donations came from
1. Beyond Belief - box of eggs
2. New Creation - $60 : half was used to pay for fuel for our guest speaker, to pay for the accommodation of our guest speaker and her lady friend and to purchase small gifts and cards.
3. New Creation - 20kg mealie meal, (1kg beans & 4kg rice -Not used), 4kg sugar
4. Heather Wells - sponsored the 1st year Ebenezer apprentices
5. Stephen Manhanga - sponsored two 2nd year apprentices
6. Molly Manhanga - sponsored some elderly women from Crossroads
7. Martha Prescott printed out the programmes for all the ladies who attended and did the registration of ladies attending.

Crossroads was mobilised to cater and cook the Friday evening meal and Saturday morning breakfast while Thembalezizwe church was to cater for Saturday lunch. (Outside cooks eventually did the Saturday breakfast and lunch). I was totally impressed with Crossroads for their generosity in giving food items. They gave in abundance - more than was required which is great because the non perishables can be used for the Kidz Alive meals or any function we may have.

Some of the perishable food items were given to the 'cooks' to say THANK YOU for their efforts.

Thembalezizwe Church, New Life for All (Magobeni) and Crossroads each lead a Praise and Worship session which was really good and of course the speakers did extremely well. Quite a few churches were represented at the conference: New Life for All City Church, New Life for All Magobeni, Thembalezizwe Trenance, Thembalezizwe Hamara, Kingdom Embassy, Harvest Time International, United Pentecostal Church, Bulawayo Baptist Church, Griffith Baptist Church Australia, Dutch Reformed Church South Africa and Crossroads Community Church. This is quite a variety of churches and yet we all enjoyed ourselves and left with something!

Crossroads Praise and Worship Team

COSMOS ladies enjoying being at the conference. Gloria is hiding from the camera!

The aim of the conference was to model something simple - something that can be replicated anywhere amongst poorer communities so that women can be Rebuilt, Restored and Released and be able to reach their full potential - being the women that God intended them to be!

The different talks are to follow.......

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, September 10, 2012

One on one with Glory Parry from the COSMOS Team

Gloria Parry
It's just great being around Gloria. She is a 'fun' lady and has such an appreciation of life. She led everyone in the morning stretching exercises and prayed for folk in the 'prayer room'.

M.M: How long have you been with COSMOS?
G.P: This is our 3rd trip. I started in 2009. We missed 2010 because I had breast cancer. We then came out here again in 2011 and 2012.

M.M: You speak about 'we'. Are you married to someone on the team?
G.P: Yes - to Doctor Cliff. We've been married for 31 years and we don't have children of our own.

M.M: Which part of Australia do you come from?
G.P: 70km South of Perth.

M.M: Which church do you attend?
G.P: Mandurah Baptist Church. We've been there since 1994 and it's led by Pastor Hans Van Assalt

M.M: What have been some of the highlights on your Zim trips?
G.P: Meeting warm people who inspite of their suffering have a hope, cheerfulness and generosity which just shines through. I'm amazed at the deep christian faith. People are not in despair. They have a resiliance. I also love the physical stature of the women. Despite their poverty, they look glamourous and poised especially when they are carrying loads on their heads. I love seeing the animals, the open spaces, the history of the place, the beauty of God's creation is outstanding in Africa. I love being able to buy organic veges which are cheap and in abundance and I love being able to pray with people. people actually want you to pray with them which is wonderful.

Gloria about to lead the morning exercises

M.M: Excellent! Any challenges you'd like to share?
G.P: The biggest challenge is having the electricity turned off and the indoor creatures like spiders in my bedroom and bugs in my handbag. Seeing all the suffering and being able to do so little is a challenge.

M.M: What did you think of the service at Crossroads?
G.P: It was challenging, educative and humourous. Our churches in Australia could take great lessons. Steve taught about the need for holiness which is so often 'watered down' or ignored totally. he is also interactive and draws people out. It was so interesting and we were blessed. We loved it!

M.M: Fantastic! Great chatting to you Gloria. Have a wonderful stay in Zimbabwe.

Here she goes!!!

By Molly Manhanga 

COSMOS at Crossroads

COSMOS team joining in on the morning stretches
It was just wonderful seeing the COSMOS team again and having them serve the villagers today and tomorrow. The Healthcare team comprises of a Doctor, several nurses, a physiotherapist, a team leader and helper.

It was great having some of the COSMOS ladies come and listen in at the Ladies Conference and the team fellowship with us at Crossroads on Sunday morning. They really enjoyed the service - the vibrancy of the praise and worship and the word.

This morning, the team starting setting up just after 8:00am - setting up rooms for Doctor Cliff Parry and the nurses, as well as setting up a prayer room. The triage table was set up too. We had 5 translators today but we are hoping for 7 tomorrow. Stephen Dewing - the team leader, gave all the folk who were waiting to be seen to some instructions on what was to happen. Gloria Parry then led everyone in some stretching exercises which was quite hilarious to watch before the 'patients' started being seen too.

Triage table

There was a steady flow of people throughout the day and when COSMOS packed up at around 4 O'clock in the afternoon, they had seen a total of 119 patients. We are hoping that more folk will visit the Healthcare team tomorrow and be blessed by their 'free' medical service and prayer. 

Nurses attending to a patient
It's so encouraging that Crossroads can be used to serve the community in such a relevant, practical way.

By Molly Manhanga

Ladies Conference Feedback pt 1

I have come away from the Ladies Conference speechless, so at peace, blessed, desiring more of God and totally in awe of Him. He can accomplish so much from NOTHING.

Ever try to organise a conference with NO budget!! Can it actually be done? The answer is YES, it can. With the God we serve, All things are possible. The word best suited would be mobilise - mobilising people into action. A total of 76 ladies turned up on Friday. Everything seemed so easy and relaxed and the conference itself went off really smoothly. It's just so amazing!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us.

Read on for more details..........

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

God's Keeping Power

Stephen shared a message entitled God's Keeping Power from Numbers 13 - 14:11. He spoke about the 12 men who went out to spy the land of Canaan and the report these men brought back. 10 brought back a negative report while 2 were different.

Negative Report:
Numbers 13:27 - 28 & 31 - 32 "And they told him, "We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there.......................................................................................................................................................
Then the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are. So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land they had spied out.........."

Positive Report:
Numbers 14:6 - 10 "And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, 'The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.'"
Reaction v 10 "Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.

The way we see things and situations is very important. We will either be negative or positive and sometimes when you are positive, we'll get a bad reaction. Joshua and Caleb believed God was with them and that they could conquer anything but the other 10 spies gave a bad report resulting in the congregation wanting to stone Joshua and Caleb but the glory of the Lord appeared.

Stephen encouraged the church to learn from these stories - that God can bring us through anything. He is always present. Steve encouraged the young people to learn from the older folk and for the older people to teach the young people. We need to "get into" each others lives and encourage/build one another.

It was a good service.

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ladies Conference Preparations

It's quite an incredible feeling when God places something on your heart and after a couple of years, you are about to see it become a reality. The Ladies Conference is upon us - September 7th - 8th. There is such excitement amongst the ladies in Kezi, especially the Ebenezer apprentices.

Ladies from different churches will be gathering at Shalom Camp Site to pray, worship God, listen to the word and fellowship together. There is such expectation and anticipation!

The speakers are Pastor Faith Netha from New Life for All City Church, Flora Chizana from Thembalezizwe Church and myself - Molly Manhanga from Crossroads Community Church. The theme of the conference is Rebuild, Restore, Release. It is my prayer and hope that the ladies who attend will be rebuilt and restored where the "canker worm" has eaten, healed, blessed beyond measure, feel totally released and draw closer to God.

Please do pray for us as this will be a conference with a difference and I'm sure many lessons will be learnt.

By Molly Manhanga

Gardening Delights pt 4

Gardening continues to be a great and relaxing hobby for me. Winter has come and gone and has left its mark on my hedge and other plants which have been hit by the frost. Some plants are recovering while others needed to be dug up and thrown away. Despite that down side, things are looking up again. Some colour is returning in my garden as flowers are blossoming and the lawn is turning green again.

Oh happy days.......

By Molly Manhanga