An Inferno Near Ebenezer

“As the mountain surrounds Jerusalem, so does the love of God on those who fear Him.”

George and “P”
This was the word of God that became a reality to the newest members of the Ebenezer team – George and his lovely wife “P”, on the second day of them being at Ebenezer. They received what has become known as the “baptism of fire”.

On Wednesday 10 September, at approximately 9:00am, while the apprentices were carrying manure to their fields, large clouds of smoke could be seen south east of Ebenezer. By lunch time, the inferno was drawing closer to Ebenezer. The fierce, blazing sound of flames and the engulfing smoke alerted the apprentices and the staff that this was no ordinary fire. People paired up and ran in different directions. The team started fire guards in the hope of extinguishing the fire. The prevailing wind seemed to make their efforts futile as the fire “jumped” and started burning other areas. Severe heat could be felt from about 30m away as the flames lept to heights of between 7 – 10m high.

Amidst this pandemonium, some people were praying, others taking water in containers to the “front-liners” while some used hosepipes in an attempt to quench the fire. Animals, snakes, grasshoppers and so on were seen trying to escape but to no avail. After many hours of hard work and inhaling smoke, the team managed to bring the inferno under control. At about 10:00pm there was a sense of “we have won this battle”. It is an experience we’ll never forget.
Burnt areas near the apprentice plots
The aftermath is still evident as large areas of land around the apprentice plots are burnt and looking lifeless. Amidst the shock, tiredness and reflection on this inferno, testimonies of God’s goodness were heard:
v Some felt God’s amazing peace in the midst of the turmoil
v Some witnessed flames being diverted after prayer had gone out.
The reality of what could have happened has left some apprentices speechless. The general feeling however is that a fire like this had never been seen before and it is God’s amazing hand that kept everyone safe, with minimal damage being done to some tomatoes, a drip kit, the fence near the demonstration plot and some homes in the community near the Ebenezer boundary.
Smouldering trees after the inferno
Written By Molly Manhanga


The joys and trials of growing crops at Ebenezer

Pretty Moyo

I came to Ebenezer on the 7th January 2008. I was so excited to be given a chance to learn more about business at Ebenezer. I started to prepare my fields and put a lot of energy into my work. I was preparing for tomatoes from 8 January until the 28th February. I transplanted my tomatoes on the 29th February. The tomatoes were growing very well and started flowering on the 1st April. Then cattle came into my field and ate 465 tomatoes and 300 tomato plants were left. On the 7th April, the cattle came back and ate the rest of my plants. I was quite disappointed. The team at Ebenezer helped me put a fence around my field to protect my plants from animals.

I then started to prepare for cabbages on the same plot. I transplanted 1 095 cabbages on the 17th April. I transplanted another 568 cabbages on the 14 May. The cabbages were doing very well. Although the birds came and ate some of them, I was still very happy with my produce. I have started selling my cabbages and now I’m preparing for my next crop which is tomatoes. I really want to do well with my tomatoes like how I’ve done with my cabbages.

Pretty’s Cabbage Crop(Right)

On the flip side, we have another apprentice, Honest, who worked really hard in her field and came out with another story…….

My field was well prepared. I added manure and humus to make the soil more fertile and it was well watered. I then transplanted my cabbages on the 24th May 2008. During the first month after transplanting, I told myself that I would have a good harvest but the exact opposite happened. Some of my cabbages began to get affected by aphids and some had stunted growth due to the poor soils and loss of calcium. About 450 cabbages were eaten by bush bucks. There was nothing I could do and I was worried as this loss would affect my business.
Honest looking at her cabbages that are struggling to grow

Some solutions were put in place to make sure that my crops would succeed. I put in a fence around my field and learnt how to treat my plants which are affected with aphids. Ebenezer hired security guards to patrol during the evenings and look after the apprentice fields. I felt encouraged.
Some of the cabbages that were uprooted were cut and I began to dry them so that I could bless the community. I started to then realize that all my efforts were not in vain but would be a blessing to the community. I am looking forward to my next crop.

Dried cabbages(Left)
  1. Prayer Pointers
    1. That each apprentices applies themselves 100% to the upcoming tomoto crop
    2. Good water supply
    3. Cultivate a culture of togetherness and unity

Adapted by Molly Manhanga


Farming God's Way Training with Stephen Manhanga

On Friday 22 August, 36 local farmers from within the Kezi community gathered at a demonstration plot approximately 400m away from Ebenezer and received Farming God’s Way training from Stephen Manhanga. This is a brief account of how the training went……
We had an amazing day on Friday 22 August 2008. God really spoke to us and the Holy Spirit moved in our meeting. We had 36 people attend from the community, for the day of training and planting a Well Watered Garden.
It started off slow with only 2 people arriving on time and so we began the meeting with them to honour them for being faithful and good time-keepers. Others soon joined the meeting and we had a good time sharing together about farming – Genesis 2:15, time management – it’s important to do things on time and how important planning is on a farming calendar – by the end of October, the farmers need to be planting and they need to know what crops they will be
Farmers listening attentively as Stephen shares principles on Farming God’s Way

Stephen encouraged the farmers to start gathering manure, compost or fertile soil from an anthill to use as a basal fertilizer and then to prepare their planting stations(holes). He encouraged those who had livestock or chickens to be prepared to sell their livestock in order for them to purchase seed and other necessities for the family.
Stephen doing a demonstration on the ground

The farmers then did a practical demonstration on how to plant a Well Watered Garden. An explanation of the demonstration plot before it was cleared and after it was cleared was given.
7.5m x 7.5m Demonstration plots

Everyone participated in digging holes with spacings of 75cm x 75cm, putting compound D as the basal fertilizer using measuring cup number 8 before putting 3 seeds in a straight line per planting station. The seed used was SC 513 which is a hybrid seed of medium variety. The seed was then covered and mulch was put between the rows. Mulch is important for moisture retention.

A question and answer session was held and the farmers were motivated to put a Well Watered Garden at their homes. Their eagerness was so evident as they said they would be ready to plant in 7 days.

God’s Way is definitely the Only Way!
By Stephen Manhanga
Adapted by Molly Manhanga

Stephen Manhanga putting basal fertiliser at the demonstration plot

Maize seeds being planted by ladies at the training

Seeds being covered by men at the training


One - on - one with Tawanda Moyo

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I was born on 5 June 1989. Both my parents passed away when I was 8 years old. I have one young sister who lives in Silozwe – a small rural business centre. I come from the Mapane area near Gwanda – a small town in Matebeland South. I live with my grandmother when I am away from Ebenezer.

Q: How did you hear t Ebenezer?
A: I heard about Ebenezer when I was in High school.I took a form and filled it in and then attended the Selection Camp.While on camp, I learnt that I needed to have a vision for my life which has affected my decisions and choices that I make. I learnt to work in team and I enjoyed the sporting activities. I had fun on camp.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: I found stumping trees (cutting down a tree to the roots) very challenging. It requires a lot of energy. The bush buck also ate my crops which I found very discouraging. I then built a fence around my field.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: I really enjoy my spiritual lessons with Stephen Manhanga. I’ve learnt how to live a life for Christ.

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: My grandmother and my sister have been my role models.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years I see myself back in my community running a very successful business. I will help the orphans, employ young people and teach them the word of God.

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

Doing Things God's Way - BY Scott Marques

"So what is God's Way?" Wrong Question........
"Who is God's Way?" Right Question............

Scott Marques, Zimbabwe's Apostolic Leader, explains to us about God's Way

The Solution Outlined
No Prize so far…..

Left to his own devices, all Man’s actions inevitably culminate in futility, vanity, barrenness, unproductively and emptiness. Man’s way essentially leads to death. The disaster trail of poverty, sickness and a myriad of other calamities in Africa’s immediate wake is sobering evidence of this.
We clearly need to do something differently. A sure sign of madness is trying to do the same thing, the same way, and expecting a different result!
Perhaps God can help!

If we cannot look to ourselves for the life and joy and abundance that we long for, then surely the only other place we can look is to God.

Creation is FULL of the demonstration of His nature and characteristics. In fact, Romans 1 v20 tells us

By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have been always able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.’ (Msg)

Rather than flogging a dead horse, let’s look at doing things


So, what is God’s Way?

Wrong question!

‘Who is God’s Way?’, right question!



Jesus claims that He himself is the WAY, He himself is the TRUTH, the answer, the source of all LIFE!

Amazingly, God does not give us a formula to get out of trouble, he does not give us a procedure to follow, but gives us Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
God believes that the essential problem for Man is sin and that without the sacrifice of a perfect substitute for the sins of Man, there will never be anything other than sin, sickness, destruction and death for him.
God sees every problem of ours as essentially a spiritual problem, with its remedy essentially in the transforming power of Jesus Christ.

Step 1, we need to give-up our thrashing around in pride, greed and selfishness by humbly receiving the lordship of Christ in our lives. We need to come to Jesus for help.

Jesus identifies himself in the most personal of terms with the Church, and in this sense it was most fitting that in Acts 25, the Chuch was called ‘THE WAY’.
Again, God chooses to shine the light of his solution to the world in flesh-and-blood rather than in formulas-and-billboards.

God’s design is that through the church, even more than through original creation, his glory and wisdom should be demonstrated to a searching world and to the heavens! The mandate on the every person who knows Jesus is the most far-reaching and most awe-inspiring commission in the universe – to demonstrate to character and nature of God to all creation.
3) The WORD is THE WAY

Jesus is called the ‘Word made flesh’ in John’s Gospel. God’s being and God’s Word is inseparable. In God’s Word, his WAY is loving penned by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit for our life and joy. The Bible gives us God’s blueprint for life, the owner’s manual, the parameters within which we will either thrive or capsize in the challenging journey of life. His ways are to be lived out by us in the overflow of vibrant relationship with himself, in much the same way as the requirements of a marriage certificate are best lived out through the overflow of loving relationship between a husband and wife.
4) The WORLD is the WAY

The Way that Jesus has told us to go is essentially on a mission to people, rather than a mechanism to prosperity. God’s way is to ‘Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.’

The WAY we are to go is to people, the world, who will come to know Jesus and live in such a way as to perpetuate and expand the knowledge of Christ through the Church with the demonstration of His Wisdom in everything.

So, in summary, God’s WAY is
His Christ, His Church, His Commands, His Commission

Heart-Change -> Behaviour-Change -> Situation-Change -> Exponential-Change
When we do things God’s Way,

1) we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, trusting no longer in our wisdom for our lives but rather trusting totally in His wisdom for our lives. Our hearts are changed, no longer hard and arrogant and self-sufficient, but rather humble and able to be changed by the Holy Spirit.
2) we are added to local churches. Our salvation is worked-out in corporate unity with other believers. With the same fervor that we commit to Christ, we commit to other believers. In growing in our relationship with Jesus and with others, we change in everything we do, to more clearly reflect the character of God. We apply what we learn to every area of our lives with an increasing passion to glorify God in everything - from who we are in secret, to who we are at home, at work, in the market place and in the social space.
3) we see the effects of God’s wisdom and grace in our lives. Galatians speaks of ‘the evidence of the grace of God’. The tangible and intangible fruit of God’s transformation should be evident in relationships, life, productivity and transformation in many areas.
4) we have a burning passion to share the Good News of Jesus with the everyone, everywhere – taking the wealth of what God has given us to fuel the extension of the Gospel into all the earth.

A Walk in the Kezi Community

Alan Norton and Tongai Mahobele, Elders from the River of Life church Westgate in Harare, visited Kezi on Monday 18th August and part of their visit was a walk in the community (an area between Natisa and Silozwi – approximately 3km from Ebenezer). Some of the Ebenezer team accompanied Alan and Tongai into the community. One of the noticeable features of this area is the breathtaking scenery – from the stunning run-rises, beautiful flora and fauna, to the granite kopjies.
Breathtaking sunrise in Kezi

Our first stop was at the prospective site where we are hoping to build Crossroads Community Church. At the moment, we are still waiting for a response from the Mapisa District Council with regards to the land.

We then stopped at Mr Ndlovu’s homestead. He is one of the “Headman” in the community. “Headman” is a term used in the rural communities of Zimbabwe for someone who is in a position of authority. Alan and Tongai then asked Mr Ndlovu a few questions like; how long he had lived in the area, what kind of crops does he grow, what challenges he faces and so on. It was very interesting listening to the history of this respectable man. The crops that he grows around his homestead are maize, cow peas, ground nuts, sorghum, millet and sweet potato. Mr Ndlovu is well known within the community for his excellent sweet potatoes that he sells to supplement his income. The Ndlovu’s have an excellent garden with a good supply of water. The main challenge that he faces are the baboons that come and eat his crops. The baboons live in the hills and kopjies that surround the Ndlovu’s home. What a blessing it was to hear his story.
Mr Ndlovu sharing his story much to the delight of Alan Norton and Lance Edwards.

We proceeded to another homestead approximately 100m away from Mr Ndlovu and met a lady with her child. Her needs seemed much greater than the Ndlovu’s in that she didn’t have any seed to plant her maize crop and she was going to ask neighbours to help her. She hadn’t started preparing her fields yet, her husband was made redundant recently and despite her living in the area for more than 17 years, water and sanitation continued to be a problem for her. Her situation seemed desperate. On a brighter note though, she did have a vegetable garden and a few chickens to supplement her diet.
Alan Norton and team visiting a lady in the community

Part of the practical help that Crossraods Community Church will be doing is to equip the local community in Farming God’s Way hence, enabling the community to become self sustainable.
What a privilege to be a part of this community.


One - on - one with Mbekezeli Moyo

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I come from the Mapane area which is under Gwanda – a small town in Matebeleland South. We are 7 in my family and I am the 1st born. I have one younger brother and 3 younger sisters. When I go home, I live with my mother. My father works in Bulawayo.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: I heard about Ebenezer through my cousin Qhubekani Moyo. I attended the Selection Camp and learnt about the vision of Ebenezer, farming and how to be successful in business. I made some new friends and I enjoyed the camp.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: There is no electricity at Ebenezer so I cannot study during the evenings. When I planted my crops, they got eaten by cattle and bush bucks. Water was also a problem as I couldn’t get water to my field. I decided to keep going and not get discouraged. I put a fence around my field to help keep the animals out.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: I am studying the Bible and learning how to preach the word of God.

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: My father has been my role model.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years time, I see myself as a successful businessman and I will employ other young people within my community.

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

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga