The Ebenezer Telegraph June 2008

Ebenezer Telegraph June 2008

Affectionately known as Mr and Mrs Nyams, they have 3 sons – Simbarashe 27, Rangarirai 24, Tendai 19. Augustine is an entreprenaur and Gertrude is a primary school teacher by profession. Their decision to come to Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre was God’s answer to their prayer for new avenues to be opened up to them. They felt God saying that they should “get out of their comfort zone”.

The Nyams are the site parents to all the 32 apprentices we have so far. They help them deal with both social and emotional problems.

Mrs Nyams’ kitchen recipe: Yummy soyamince meat relish.
(serves 42- best cooked over open fire. Serve with Sadza)
Ingredients: I ½ kg soya mince, 4 large potatoes, 8 large carrots, 4 large onions, 1kg tomatoes, 500mls cooking oil, salt to season, packet of tomato soup.
Soak soya mince into warm water for an hour.
Scrub and cut carrots into cubes. Cut onions and tomatoes
Heat oil and fry onions until translucent Add tomatoes to make a tomato and onion mixture.
Squeeze all the water from the soya mince and add that to the tomato mixture and fry, add carrots.
Add 2 cups of water and packet soup.
Simmer for 20 minutes or until tomatoes and carrots are done.


Above is an example of the tomato beds: Each bed is 20m long and 1m wide. The spacing of each plant is 50cm. Each row has 40 tomato plants and 80 in each bed. The average yield per plant is 4kg’s . Below is one of the apprentices spraying her tomato crop.

The Nyams – continued

Mrs Nyams is responsible for the kitchen and what yummy goodies she comes up with from the limited resources she has! Mr Nyams is responsible for the community work by apprentices into Ebenezer. His heart is to develop a culture where every apprentice knows that they have a social responsibility to the community. Every apprentice has to do 3 hours of helping out in the community and so far some of the apprentice initiatives are helping elderly people with firewood, fetching water, cleaning the houses, planting and weeding in their field. Some are going to help out clean up at a nearby clinic and at Entwandeni orphanage.

Asked how they are coping, they said very well, thank a nearbyyou! with huge smiles. They love Ebenezer a lot and they also look forward to going into town to see their family. Their highlight is the weekend duty because they get to spend loads of time with the apprentices, starting with Friday evenings around the fire singing, jokes and stories, tittering until late. Saturdays and Sunday are chilled out. Fishing and church t crown the day.
Written by Sarah Stell

Three awards were given and they are as follows
1. Most helpful female apprentice : Andile Ndlovu (trainers)
2. Most helpful male apprentice : Mxwayisi Dube (jacket)
3. Most hardworking male apprentice: Mhkululi Ncube (purpose driven life –book)
4. Most hardworking female apprentice : All the girls. It was absolutely impossible to say who was better than the rest. All their fields are looking glorious and their crop it doing really good. Well done girls. We are throwing a ladies tea for the all of them. No males invited.


Good Tomato harvest.
Protection of the Ebenezer Site. .
Good supply good continuous supply of food and resources.
God would provide good communication means with the out side world. ( telephone, internet, road)
Spirit of discernment for the staff to lead the apprentices wisely.
All the apprentices to come to a knowledge of Christ.
Revival within the Kezi community.

One on One between
Tapiwa Chizana
Molly Manhanga

M.M: Rol Byo is better known as River Of Life Christian Church which is based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Is there any significance to the name?
T.C: Jesus is the River of Life- All life is sustained in him and through him- He is our source of Joy, Strength and Life.

M.M: Is Rol(River of Life) Byo(Bulawayo) affiliated to any other church or organisation?
T.C: ROl(River of Life) Byo(Bulawayo) is part of a family of churches called New Frontiers- It is a family of churches together on mission, joined together by relationship, shared values and acknowledgement of gifting.

M.M: What is Rol(River of Life) Byo’s(Bulawayo) vision?
T.C: To glorify God, by extending his kingdom through planting New testament churches.

M.M: What do you see as your mandate for planting churches?
T.C: Providing resources in the form of people, finances and diverse gifts to plant and to establish New Testament churches.

M.M: How would you best describe the link between Rol(River of Life)Byo(Bulawayo), Ebenezer and Crossroads Community Church?
T.C: Ebenezer is a New Frontiers initiative to extend the kingdom through providing agricultural training whilst applying biblical principles. Cross Roads Community Church is the church that will be birthed in the wake of the kingdom extending initiative. Rol(River of Life) Byo(Bulawayo) is involved in Ebenezer by providing resources for the Initiative... Rol(River of Life) Byo(Bulawayo) is providing resources to help plant Crossroads Community Church, and has oversight with respect to the church plant,

One of the Elders of RoL Byo Christian Church

prayer requests
v Cross Roads Community Church to be a vibrant, life changing church that will the community will LOVE attending.
v Great relationship between Cross Roads, RoL Byo and the local churches within the Kezi community.

Impacting A Community

Our desire to see the Kezi community transformed is forefront in our hearts. The community is riddled with HIV/AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children, widows, unemployed youth, teenage pregnancies and so on. This is typical of many communities around Zimbabwe. The sense of hopelessness and abject poverty prevails. Both young and old feel that “This is how it has always been”.
, which is at the heart of God, is imminent. Change for both the young and the old………… Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre focuses on giving hope to young people, but, River Of Life Christian Church which is based in Bulawayo, have initiated

that are for everyone in the Kezi community. The medical outreaches are part of the apostolic initiatives that aims at reaching out and impacting communities. These outreaches will be held on a monthly basis.
On 23 April 2008, the first Kezi Medical Outreach took place. A group of approximately 70 adults and children gathered to be seen by the doctors and nurses that came. They lined up and had their blood pressure checked before seeing the doctor- Dr Mufaro, from River of Life Christian Church, and then being prescribed medicines that were donated from friends in Canada.

The exciting part of this outreach was the venue. Not only is the Kezi community being blessed with Medical Outreaches, but a church is being planted within the community.

Crossroads Community Church is a plant that stems from River of Life Christian church hence the very close link between River of Life Christian church, Ebenezer and Crossraods Community Church.

The Medical Outreach took place at the prospective church site. As the people gathered, some of the apprentices from Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre led praise and worship which was followed by an awesome message from Stephen Manhanga- the leader of Crossroads Community Church, on “The Family”. The sick were being ministered to spiritually by the word and through prayer, as well as being ministered to in a very practical way. This demonstration of God’s LOVE has already impacted the community

Written by Molly Manhanga

...Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal Godliness.” writes William Carey.
... To pray is to change.
... Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us.

v Young and old being touched by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
v Community transformation and development.
v Togetherness of all people in the area
v Good stewards of what God has given to us.
v Servant leaders with integrity

Apprentice Interviews

Mhkululi Ncube

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I come from Gqalaza under Wenlock area in Matabeleland South province. My mother passed away and I don’t really know my father. I don’t have a relationship with him. I live alone in Gqalaza and when I am at Ebenezer, no one looks after my home.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: I attended a Village meeting and heard the Chief making an announcement about Ebenezer. I attended the Selection Camp and enjoyed myself very much as I met other young people from different areas and learnt to work in team.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: There have been several challenges like extending my tomato beds, reconstructing my rabbit hutch and water – or should I say, lack of water! New designs and changes tend to be demoralising.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: Planning and working at my own pace and having the freedom to praise God.

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: Many different people have influenced my life. There has been no one specific person.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years I will have a business with between 30 – 50 rabbits, I’ll be harvesting many crops especially tomatoes. My target is between 1000 – 1500kg per season.

May God bless you as you continue to be a light at Ebenezer and in your community.
Interviewed by Molly Manhanga....

Reaching The Americans

A group of 12 Americans from different parts of the United States of America are visiting the Theological College of Zimbabwe which is based in Bulawayo. The purpose of their visit is to study theology and Community Development in Africa.

EBENEZER has had the privilege of hosting this team for 2 days.

As this team arrived at EBENEZER, they were officially introduced to the Ebenezer team and spent the morning getting to know what Ebenezer is all about.

With hearts to serve and do lots of HARD work, each American was teamed up with an apprentice and they worked in the apprentice’s field for the time that they were with us.

Braving the heat and getting stuck into manual labour, the Americans experienced “a day in the
life “of an EBENEZER apprentice. The joy and satisfaction of not only working hard but getting to know the apprentices on a one-on-one basis was a highlight.

The group ate what the apprentices ate: sadza, soya chunks and relish or sadza with goat meat, they listened to the talk given on HIV/AIDS and participated in the discipleship groups. They sat around a fire during our weekly evening Cell Meeting and danced and praised God, some played soccer with the apprentices while others engaged in a lively discussion on currant affairs around the world.

At the end of the day, they would sit in a trailer and be transported back to Shalom - the camp site that they were staying at which is about 5 km from Ebenezer. The activities of the day proved to be “too” exhausting for some of the American folk. As they lay down for the night, some “snoring” was heard. The American team, were in essence, getting to know more about each others habits as well.

An apprentice tomato field

In the short time that they were with us at EBENEZER, the group were struck by how far EBENEZER had progressed since opening in August 2007. They were impressed by the behaviour of the apprentices, how well they interact with each other, their sense of responsibility and their passion for their businesses.

Simple accommodation for the apprentices

The EBENEZER girls were very impressive. They not only work hard but they have overcome the mindset of "I can't do it".

“A worthwhile trip and eye-opener for the Americans”
…By Molly Manhanga…

Life At Ebenezer

The apprentices are kept very busy at Ebenezer academically, culturally and recreationally. The following are some of the activities you’d expect to find at Ebenezer:

The core lessons are Spiritual, Agriculture and Business. We also offer “O” Level English for the apprentices that want to improve their English language.

An “O” Level English lesson in progress

The heart of Jesus is making disciples as seen in Matthew 28:18-20. Our desire is to see the apprentices following and living a life for Jesus and having Godly role models. We want to equip them not only with skills but to see hearts changed for Christ.

A session on Leadership training being done by Augustine Nyamayaro

Community Work:
As the apprentices are part of the community and come from different areas of the community, it is our desire to see them continue to serve and reach out in meeting the needs of the community. This is done by visiting the sick, assisting the elderly, praying for the sick at the local clinic, visiting a nearby orphanage, practical help in the local schools like repairing the sewing machines, making volleyball courts, training various sporting activities and so on.

Apprentices working on the road that leads to EBENEZER

Sporting Activities:
Soccer, chair-ball and volleyball bring out the competitive nature of the apprentices. After a hard days work in the fields and having lessons, sport is a great way for the apprentices to exercise their bodies, socialize, de-stress and work in team.

Volleyball being enjoyed by the Ebenezer staff and the apprentices

Social Evenings:
Social evenings are a “fun” time with and for the apprentices. They get to know each other and the staff better in a very relaxed atmosphere. Discussions, DVD’s, board games, song, dance, and rhythm games and so on are part of the fun times done on the social evening.

Ebenezer staff – Xolani and Gerryenjoying a relaxing moment on site

The Arts:
Watching the apprentice dramas are a highlight for anyone. They are very innovative and creative when dramatizing the events in the community. Self
initiated songs groups have emerged which keep the apprentices entertained.

Apprentices rehearsing a drama for Parent Day

Fishing, reading, swimming and board games are done for recreation.

v News HouR
v Book CluB
v Etiquette ClasseS

Prayer Requests

v Continued developments of the agricultural and business curriculums
v Exposure to farming, market gardening sales, conferences etc for continued growth within the apprentices

The Ebenezer Team

Mr and Mrs Nyamayaro
Augustine and Gertrude were praying for God to open new doors as they were in their comfort zone for so long. They had spent time doing outreach ministeries in the rural areas for their church – New Life for All. The Nyams also helped in Marriage ministry that is affiliated to Family Impact part of whose outreach is to enrich marriages. While spending time with the Cunninghams, they heard about the vision for EBENEZER and the fact that the Cunninghams were looking for a couple to be the “EBENEZER Parents” for the apprentices. This is how the Nyams came to Ebenezer. They felt God opened the door for them and answered their prayers.

Mr and Mrs Manhanga
Stephen and Molly began to get a stirring in their hearts that it was time to “move on” from their comfortable life. Stephen spoke to some apostolic leaders at a meeting in Clarens, South Africa, about church planting. They then received prophetic words from River Of Life Christian Church in Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe and more confirmation at the annual New Frontiers Leaders Conference in Brighton, July 2007 in the U.K. God placed an incredible peace in their hearts and as they visited Ebenezer (there were only trees at the time), their faith increased and they began to get excited at what God would do within the hearts of young people in the Kezi community in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It was now all about trusting God and having faith for what he was going to do. A new chapter in their lives was beginning and they are so thankful to be part of a team on this incredible journey.

Mr and Mrs Mangena
What a unique story about Gerald and Laura – They got married 31/2 months after the official opening of Ebenezer. Both Gerry and Laura felt that they wanted to live on a farm and they had a passion to serve. God was equipping them both to work with people in rural communities whilst maintaining a relationship with the wider family of churches. Bottom-line, it was God that brought the Mangenas to Ebenezer.

Xolani Ndlovu
One Monday morning, Mbonosi Malaba – The lead Elder of River of Life Christian church, the church Xolani was attending in Bulawayo, asked him to go on a joy ride. The ride was to Kezi. Along the way, the Ebenezer vision was shared by Peter Cunningham and we went to the site where Ebenezer was going to be built. There were no buildings yet but he liked the vision. Xolani thought more about Ebenezer, the vision and prayed about it. He didn’t want his lead elder to say he was hasty but the truth is, he bought it the same day he heard it.

Hlulani Chauke
Equipping young people for life in Christ is a vision that caught her heart and attention. It’s the body of Christ in action and Hlulani wanted to be a part of it. She figured it can’t be a bad idea and jumped on the train. So here she is at Ebenezer and completely blown away by the work that God is doing. His hand is very evident.

v Spiritual growth in the personal lives of the team
v Harmony and unity
v The right staff to join Ebenezer who have a heart to serve
v Diligence and excellence in the team’s work ethic
v A team filled with integrity

The Ebenezer Staff having an early morning cup of tea and “catch up” time around the fire before the start of the days activities.

Ebenezer Dam - The Miracle


Much like the story of Noah and the Ark is the story of the Ebenezer Dam. As Noah was faithful in building the ark even though no rain was in sight, so did Peter Cunningham build the Ebenezer Dam in Matabeleland South which is one of the driest regions of Zimbabwe. His faithfulness and perseverance was a pleasure to God. On many occasions, Peter sat on a rock overlooking the dam wall and would wonder if he really heard from God. How could it be possible for a dam to fill up in a dry region?

In obedience to God, construction began in April/May 2006 and the dam was complete in March 2007.
By this time the VISION for Ebenezer was down on paper. The vision is “Equipping Young People for Life in Christ” and the mission is to enable young people to live as a light for Christ in their communities by equipping them with appropriate business, agricultural and life skills. The buildings for Ebenezer started in March/April 2007 and Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre officially opened with 16 apprentices in August 2007. Needless to say, a lack of water was the major problem facing the Centre and this affected the growth of the apprentice tomatoes.
The team, apprentices and many churches across Zimbabwe as well as abroad began praying for an abundance of rain in the Matabeleland region and for the Ebenezer Dam to fill to overflowing. It was estimated that it would take approximately 7 to 10 years for the dam to fill with good rains. The rains came early and God opened the windows of heaven! The Matabeleland Region received an abundance of rain and the meteorological department stated that it was the most rain that fell in 127 years. How did this affect the Ebenezer dam? From what was thought to take 7 to 10 years to fill, God filled the dam to overflowing in less than a month. On 3 January 2008, the Ebenezer Dam spilled for the first time.
What a miracle! What a mighty God we serve!

Written By Molly Manhanga


Zooming In On Peter Cunningham

M.M: Completion on the Ebenezer Dam was in May 2007. What was your motivation behind the construction of the dam and its location?
P.C: really just to be obedient to God on that step and to wait on him on the next step which turned out to be the basis for being able to do ebenezer

M.M: Matabeleland South falls under region 5 which is a low rainfall area. By all standards, how long did you think it would take for the dam to actually fill and spill over?
P.C: the survey said that it should fill 7 years out of 10 as it has a good catchment

M.M: What is the purpose of the dam and how do you see it benefiting Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre?
P.C: as indicated did not know the purpose at that time but now can see it as a necessary foundation to have water for 200 apprentices and for Ebenezer to be a possibility

M.M: The building of the dam can be likened to Noah building the Ark. Would you agree with this statement?
P.C: in the sense that it is God initiated, God driven, God providing the necessary skills and arrangements and God being every part of it I agree

M.M: How were Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre and its Vision birthed?
P.C: from the growing feeling of God preparing for a revival in Africa and the need to create new wine skins in church structures etc with real disciples and leaders to be able to grow this

M.M: What is your dream for the apprentices?
P.C: that they will be ‘true’ disciples of Jesus and church and community leaders in the transformation and revival I believe God is preparing for

M.M: How do you see the Centre impacting the local community, Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole?
P.C: giving vision, leadership, integrity and energy to the development and transformation of rural areas with great real churches and great real businesses which give life and refreshment to the thirsty in a dry land (spiritually as much as physically)

M.M: You are a very astute businessman. What words of encouragement would you give to the up and coming businessmen/women of Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre?
P.C: if God is for us, who can be against us. The greatest place we can be on earth is working each day with the great God of the universe in continual and complete presence with us.


v Water system at EBENEZER to function properly
v Drip irrigation kits to work
v Another abundance of rain this coming season

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga


Ebenezer Overview

The land on which EBENEZER is being build belongs to the Cunningham family. The Cunningham family has a heart to serve the Lord, the community and to invest in rural Zimbabwe and rural Africa. Peter Cunningham has a degree in business and agriculture but he not only uses this for himself, but also for the rural farmers.

Although the gospel is preached in Africa, it has been said to be “A MILE WILD AND AN INCH DEEP”.

We need role models and to see the role models in action by nationals. We need servant leaders with a head and a heart knowledge to serve and role-model Christ. Pastors in Africa have a special role, however, we need to set a new standard and live for Christ.

EBENEZER evolved from here – to run agricultural businesses and serve the Lord. It’s Ebenezer’s aim to teach the business apprentices to know God through head and heart knowledge so that we can impact the community in all we do. In 2 years, the business apprentices will be discipled and hopefully led to the Lord.

Africa is a vast continent and has a third of the world’s natural resources but little is being tapped. The rest of the world is now looking at Africa in a different light as they are vying for the natural resources.
Why hasn’t Africa done well since gaining independence? Although billions of dollars have been poured into Africa, we continue to become poorer and poorer. Being colonized has robbed Africa of her pride and self-initiative. It is much, much easier to receive a gift than to apply ourselves to hard work hence the “begging bowl” mentality.
What does this mean for Africa? We are becoming a target for our natural resources. Africa has a lot to offer and has huge potential. We have people that are competent and capable and can produce products that are comparable to the rest of the world. How do we tap this potential? NOT with easy money or by patronizing the African people but with BIBLICAL principles and raising Godly standards.

The apprentices will get trained to handle finances and agriculture in a biblical context – to use their skills wisely. The apprentices will end up being role models in their communities and a larger context in that they will sell their rabbits, tomatoes. This model will be rolled out into the rest of Africa. We need to take advantage of our own resources instead of selling them.
The community is very excited about what Ebenezer has to offer. With Zimbabwe turning out approximately 300 000 school leavers every year, a small percentage has a remote chance of getting a job. This leaves the young people with no hope and leads to trouble. As the saying goes; “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. The older community leaders want to see the young people staying in the community and having hope and skills.

Ebenezer chooses apprentices with high potential. We bring them to Ebenezer and train them to manage their businesses and finances well. Ebenezer has a practical component with guidance and input. Each apprentice gets a third of a hectare with the goal of having 3 plots of 30m x 30m. Currently, the apprentices are working 2 plots in rotation with tomatoes and cabbages. We are hoping to get drip irrigation soon. Rabbits are being reared as well. We want to train the apprentices to have good work ethics with the Biblical principle of the parable of the talents – your give to receive. The apprentices will work their plots and see the fruits of their labour i.e. harvesting tomatoes, selling rabbits. We train the apprentices how to Farming Gods Way and to keep records. It is done by everyone and is very basic in order for ALL the apprentices to understand basic accounting and bookkeeping. They record all they have bought and sold in their cash books. Ebenezer has its own currency called the MATO which is based on a crate of tomatoes. 10kg of tomatoes = 1 mato. Ebenezer not only has a currency but a BANK system. The apprentices write cheques to the Kitchen, Stores or
Administration. They buy from Stores and sell to Stores. The cheques are taken to the BANK and the BANK records everything. This is in order that the apprentices see how their money goes up and down. They can get an “interim statement” every month to see how they are doing. The apprentice businesses are tomatoes, cabbages and rabbits. We are intending to plant cow peas which is a legume and will help with the nutrients of the soil. The businesses give dignity to the apprentices whose efforts are paying for their infrastructure. After one year, they will own all they have and have profit at hand. We teach them tithing and how to reinvest their funds into the business in a safe environment. The apprentices will be in a very good position when they leave EBENEZER.

Adapted by molly manhanga

Prayer Pointers!!

…………That pride and dignity will be restored
……………Biblical worldviews will be the order of the day
…………….That the apprentices businesses flourish
……………..Godly relationships across the sexes

Beautiful cabbage crop in an apprentice field – Pretty Moyo