Tag Team Event

Tag Team Event
Held on Friday 18 July

v Family Impact ran an eye clinic.
v River of Life Bulawayo ran a medical clinic. They provided a doctor and the local clinic in Natisa provided 5 nurses.
v Evangelistic outreach was in the afternoon. Local churches including Crossroads Community Church came together to reach the people of Kezi.

Turn out
v Catchment area was Natisa, Silozwi, Mapane and Simbumbumbi. These communities surround Ebenezer. Village heads attended, war veterans, police, school teachers, heads of schools, people from River of Life Bulawayo, Family Impact and the general public from the various communities.
v Approximate numbers of people were +500.

Structure of the day: Strategic points
v There were 6 different stations to help manage the crowd: Ticket station, Family Impact had 3 stations: The Youth, Families & Adventure Unlimited, Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre station and ZRP Matobo station
v Ticket Station: As people arrived they were directed to a single ticket station where colour coded tickets were given to those wanting to see the eye doctor or medical doctor and meal tickets. Without tickets, no service was provided and the individual couldn’t access lunch.
v Family Impact Stations: When the queues got too long at the medical and eye clinics, people were ushered to the Family Impact station and the youth played games.
v Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre Station: Manned by Xolani Ndlovu. He shared Vision, Ebenezer activities and the 4 principles of Farming God’s Way. 2 apprentices would then escort the group on a tour of Ebenezer and then direct them to the last station;
v ZRP Matobo Station: The Victim Friendly Unit representative from ZRP Matobo would teach and train on the dos and don’ts in society.

Groups then had lunch and 90% were seated in the main area for the outreach by 2:00pm.
The Service

v Started promptly at 2:00pm with a combined worship team from Ebenezer, River of Life Byo and the Presby Church.
v Many other local churches were present.
v Tapiwa Chizana preached a message on salvation. All local pastors were invited to come forward to help pray for people. It was a glorious picture to see different congregations coming together with one vision and mission.
Ebenezer Outreach Report
v 57 people(recorded names) gave their lives to the Lord. Contact details were taken down and follow ups are due to start soon. The actual numbers were a lot more.
v The eye and medical clinics were still operation during the service and many people were in those queues.

Pointers to Note
v Catering: This was headed by Mrs Nyamayaro. The food was provided by the Cunninghams. There was enough food to feed the +400 people. Mrs Nyams and her team are commended for their tireless effort and serving in such an orderly manner.
v Crowd Control: Family Impact, Ebenezer staff, apprentices and farm labourers handled this throughout the day, from issuing tickets to directing people to the various stations. It was a co-ordinated effort and very well managed.

v Even though Ram Babu did not manage to attend, the day was a resounding success. Although everybody was tired, spirits remained high as positive comments were made on how much fun the people had, how impressive the apprentices were, the teaching on Farming God’s Way principles and the potential for Africa, the ZRP representative, the clinics and to top it all, the word of God being preached and people responding to it as well as giving testimonies of healings. It was a special and successful day hosted by Ebenezer/Crossroads/Family Impact and River of Life Bulawayo church, who included the other local churches. It was about the church of Jesus Christ in action.

Written By Xolani Ndlovu

Apprentice Field Trip

Apprentice Field Trip
An outing to be remembered by the apprentices and what an eye-opener on the lucrative agricultural business prospects within Bulawayo City!!!!!!
Lance Edwards

Lance Edwards arranged an “educational” outing for the apprentices on Thursday 7 August 2008. 4 destinations were to be made:
v Ascot Farm Supplies a very busy vegetable shop in Bulawayo that supplies wealthier customers in and around the city.

Lance Edwards briefing the apprentices

v Nipar Farm – the family owned farm that supplies Ascot Farm Supplies vegetable shop.

Apprentices visiting Nipar Farm

v The main vegetable market in Bulawayo city centre where local farmers take their bulk produce for sale and where some of Ebenezer’s tomatoes were sold……
v Douglas Dale Nursery. It is here that the Ebenezer seedlings for the apprentices are grown.

Cabbage seedlings at Douglas Dale Nursery

The apprentices were really excited and went into town with great anticipation – eagerly desiring to learn more and see how to improve their own business at Ebenezer. (See article “From the eyes of 2 apprentices” to know the details of this trip)
Some highlights were seeing the vegetables in Ascot Farm Supplies, learning how to grow potatoes at Nipar Farm, seeing the drip irrigation system at Nipar Farm, learning how vegetables are sold at the Bulawayo Main Market and seeing the Ebenezer tomato seedlings at Douglas Dale Nursery.

By Molly Manhanga

From the eyes of 2 apprentices - Simanga and Faith

Simangaliso and Faith

On the 7th August 2008 we went on a trip to Bulawayo. We arrived at Ascot at 8:00am and entered Ascot Farm Supplies – a shop that sells vegetables. We saw different kinds of vegetables like cabbages, carrots, onions and so on. The vegetables were sold at a high price.

Apprentices in Ascot Farm Supplies
Later, we proceeded to Nipar Farm, the farm that supplies Ascot Farm supplies with vegetables. MaNyathi – a lady that works on the farm – explained to us how they farm. They use drip kits to water the crops. Fertilizers and compost are used to add nutrients to the soil.
Drip irrigation system at Napir Farm

They also have their own nursery and produce high quality seedlings. We noticed that the labourers were few and they were women.

Our next stop was at the Bulawayo Main Market to see how the market operates. A gentleman was explaining everything to us. He told us that if we have any produce, we can take it to him and he will sell it for us but the price varies according to the quality of our produce. After he sells the produce, he then takes 12.5% of the full price which is his commission. He told us that if the product is below standard, he sells it at a give-away price but still takes his commission. With his commission, he pays other labourers and gets the day to day business running.

Lastly, we stopped at Douglas Dale Nursery. The owner of the nursery is Mr Mills. His wife took us to the green house with some labourer. Her aim was to show us some of our tomato seedlings and how to get them ready.

Ebenezer seedlings at different growing stages

They use compost when planting the seeds and the seeds are grown in trays. The reason for planting the seeds in trays is that when you are pulling them up for transplanting, all the roots come out with the soil and they are not broken. The seedlings are put in the green house for warmth especially during the cold season. Liquid fertilizers are also used. We were so impressed with their products.

Ebenezer Tomato Seedlings

One on One with Mxwayisi Dube

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I come from Njelele which is approximately 30km from Ebenezer. When I am at home, I live with my parents and my younger sisters. My older brothers and sisters live in Bulawayo. There are 8 of us altogether and I’m 5th born. There are 4 boys and 4 girls in my family. I am 20 years old.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: I was in school when I heard about Ebenezer. I then took application forms, filled them in and went on the Selection Camp. I enjoyed the camp very much. It was my first time to camp with other young people and learn about life skills and how to overcome difficult problems. I enjoyed myself very much.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: The water was a great challenge and my crops were not doing well in my field. The cattle and bush bucks also came and ate my plants. Dogs from the community were a problem as well as they came and injured my rabbits. I was very discouraged but I decided to believe God, stand firm and overcome these problems. The solution for my rabbits was to put mesh wire around the hutch.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: I have learnt how to run a business and being a good leader. When I leave Ebenezer, I’ll lead in my home and I’ll be able to impart to others the skills that I have learnt.

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 big business and I will be worshipping God. I’d like to be married at 28 and have a good family. The foundations I have learnt here will enable me to be a good husband and father.

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

Mxwayisi inspecting his cabbages

Interview done by Molly Manhanga


Happy Birthday Ebenezer

One Year Today!!
The Ebenezer team celebrated Ebenezer’s first birthday on 15 August. Not only did they celebrate over a meal but they also took time to look back over the year and look forward to where they’d like to go. The Ebenezer dream was caught and they were on their way.

The day started with a time of praise and worship, sharing of scriptures, prophesy and testimonies. Some of the scriptures that came through were Isaiah 40:31, Isaiah 41:13, Isaiah 61:1 – 2, James 1:2 – 4.
The Ebenezer team that met were Renee Cunningham, Augustine and Gertrude Nyamayaro, Gerald and Laura Mangena, Lance and Elizabeth Edwards, Xolani Ndlovu, Portia Chitunhu, Stephen and Molly Manhanga and the newest member on the team being Shingi.
Breakfast was amazing……. Portia, Xolani and Stephen

In looking back, we realized that there were many great things that happened over the year which outweighed the challenges.
Some of the challenges were:
Promiscuous behaviour of some of the apprentices leading to them being dismissed.
v Language barrier – Ndebele is not the first language of half the team.
v Time – the days are so short when there is so much work to be done.
v Animals eating the crops.
v Community – Although they are supportive of us, they lack commitment to the things of God.
Some of the Joys
v Spiritual growth of the apprentices and growth in numbers of the apprentices and staff.
v Presence of God encountered.
v Families in the community coming to ask for advice. They have confidence in the Team and appreciate the times of prayer.
v Positive outreach events like the medical clinic, the Ebenezer/Family Impact/River of Life Bulawayo Church outreach.
v Incredible team. Each one is hand-picked by God and have the same passion for the Centre.
v Crossroads Community Church impacting the community.
v Being a part of Ebenezer: All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.

The team then looked at what a Unified Team looks like. The discussion was great because it focused primarily on Heart attitudes. What the team would like are people with humility, unity, responsibility, working for God, perseverance, encouragement, willingness, relationship, respect, love, servant leadership, diligence, enthusiasm and so on. They would each start with 3 or 4 and then grow on the rest. The biggest question was “Why are we here at Ebenezer?”

Lunch was a highlight….. Laura and Portia having “light” conversation

After lunch, attention was given to the Ebenezer Vision, Mission Statement and Objectives and an analysis done on how well they were doing in achieving the objectives. The spiritual objectives were going really well but business and agriculture can do better. With the Selection Camps coming up in September and hopefully an additional 40 apprentices coming to Ebenezer, the team looked at practical ways in which they could gear up for this. Several ideas came out but NON-NEGOTIABLES were raised as well. These being: To maintain
High standards
Family feel of togetherness
Discipleship groups
Keep core vision
Continue interacting with the community
Devotions started and maintained

Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham came along to the meeting and spurred the team on with encouraging words. He said the King of Kings is looking at Ebenezer and feels a huge sense of encouragement from God. He then shared from Ephesians 1 that Paul’s situation was tough but if we look at Eph 1:3, words like GRACE – know God’s abundant love and PEACE – know God’s fulfillment. God has blessed us – the Ebenezer team, with every spiritual blessing. Through the hardships and frustrations, the team will be rooted and established in God. Eph 4:28 – a biblical perspective: that poverty is going to be eliminated by the poor knowing Jesus. With radical life transformation, the poor will empower the poor hence the poverty cycle being broken. This vision is much bigger than any person. Peter encouraged the team to make disciples as we need radical changes within our lives and the community around us. e.g. the woman at the well.
The day was incredible and the team felt more united and ready for another year.

Go Ebenezer!!!!

Written by Molly Manhanga

Interview with Tongai Mahobele

Tongai Mahobele

Apart from being a dear friend, Tongai is one of the Elders at River of Life Church in Westgate, Harare, Zimbabwe. He visited Ebenezer while it was in its vision stage a few years ago and he came again in August 2008 with Alan Norton, a fellow Elder from River of Life Westgate in Harare, Zimbabwe. The purpose of their visit was to look for possible opportunities of strengthening Crossroads Community Church, to set up God’s Way Targets and invite 2 God’s Way activators for 4 weeks of training at River of Life Church, Westgate. (What is God’s Way all about? Coming up in Next month’s articles…..)

M.M: When did you first come to Ebenezer?T.M: In January or February 2006. The dam had just started being built and there were trees only where Ebenezer was to be built. It is hard to believe the progress made in a year.
M.M: What was your first impression of the dam?T.M: The site seemed unusual and it was difficult to visualize. The dam is now full!!!!!1
M.M: What noticeable improvements have you seen at Ebenezer?T.M: The buildings are coming up, the dam is completed, people moving in(apprentices), the buzz and activities on the ground and the classes are happening. A lot has changed since I was last here.
M.M: What words of encouragement would you give to the apprentices?T.M: God is definitely on you. If he has done this so far with the current environment, He is bound to do more. KEEP GOING!

Tongai and Alan Norton visiting families in the Kezi community. THANK YOU SO MUCH TONGAI.
By Molly Manhanga


One -on - one with the apprentices: Brilliant Khoza

Q: Give a brief outline of your background.
A: I come from Silozwana area. There are 8 in my family and I am the 6th born. There are 4 boys and 4 girls. 3 of my siblings have passed away including my father. When I am at home, I live with my mother, young brother and 2 sisters. Some of my siblings are in South Africa and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. They are hoping to improve their lifestyle.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: I didn't do well in school and I wanted something that would benefit my life. My mother and the community leaders encouraged me to go to Ebenezer. I attended the Selection Camp and learnt to communicate well with a team and to help others.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: There was a shortage of tools especially when we were clearing our fields, and our accommodation wasn't ready. When we planted our first crop of tomatoes, we camped on site to deter animals from eating my plants.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: I met other people from different areas and I was able to discuss different issues affecting our communities. My life has changed and I realise I am special.
Q: Who has been your role model?
A: Various people have impacted my life.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
A: In 5 years I see myself as a successful businessman in my community. I also want to travel outside of Zimbabwe to purchase equipment for my business and find a market so that I can expand and be more influential.

Brilliant's beautiful cabbage crop
May God bless you as you continue to be a light at Ebenezer and in your community.

Brilliant explaining about his cabbage crop
Interview done by Molly Manhanga