Molly talks to Matt.......

Matt with his daughter Georgie and George, a staff member at Ebenezer looking at the rabbits.
Matt Hosier is the Leader of Alder Road Baptist Church (soon to be called Gateway Church) in Poole, U.K. I had the privilege of catching up with him when he visited Crossroads Community Church in Kezi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe as well as Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre which is also based in Kezi, Bulawayo.

M.M: Tell us something about your background Matt…
M.H: I was born in Southampton. We moved around a lot in the south of England because of my dads work. After school, I worked in Africa for about a year: 3 months in Swaziland and about 9 months in Cape Town. I then went to university in New Castle in North East England – close to Scotland. The longest I’ve lived in one place for was in Siddcup. I lived there for 13 years.

M.M: You’re married to your lovely wife Grace and have four beautiful daughters. How best would you describe your family life?
M.H: FUN! Busy, noisy, full of emotion – lots of laughing, crying, affection and arguing.

M.M: A normal, healthy family life. How long have you been leading a church?
M.H: 8 years. In Siddcup, I went from volunteer, to youth pastor, then elder before becoming the lead elder.

M.M: Awsome. When did you move to Poole?
M.H: I moved in January this year. I had a general sense that my time at Siddcup had come to a close. I went to preach in Poole. When Grace and I walked into the meeting, we felt that this is where God wanted us.

M.M: When you hear the words “churches being in relationship”, what do you understand by it?
M.H: Recognizing and gladly submitting to Apostolic authority. Recognizing that men have gifts and they do things with common goals, purpose and aspirations. It only works when we submit to those in authority.

M.M: When was your first encounter with Zimbabweans?
M.H: Grace and I met P.J and Ashleigh Smyth (Leaders of God First Church in Johannesburg, South Africa. P.J and Ashleigh founded River of Life Church in Harare, Zimbabwe before leaving for South Africa) at a conference in 2003 and we came to Harare, Zimbabwe in 2004 where we also met Mbonisi and Taps (Elders at River of Life Church in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

M.M: Do you see any hope for the church in Zimbabwe?
M.H: Yes. Psalm 10. As God changes individuals, churches are built resulting in towns and communities being transformed. Where the Kingdom advances, there is hope for the church.

M.M: What emphasis should be placed on the poor?
M.H: A strong biblical emphasis. In the U.K everyone has stuff and few people are poor materially. There is spiritual poverty which goes hand in hand with material poverty. The church has a vital role to see poverty overcome. Churches in the U.K can minister to the needs of communities and help in other parts of the world where material poverty is more obvious. It is a challenge in the West to think less of self and more of others.

M.M: Will the poor be with us always or is it idealistic or utopic to think that EVERYONE one day will be able to look after themselves?
M.H: The poor will always be with us. Injustice results in poverty and because of men’s hearts, injustice will be with us.

M.M: What do you think of Ebenezer?
M.H: Ebenezer is a beautiful spot. It is inspiring in what it’s trying to do – touching the whole person spiritually and physically.
Matt working with Msizi Mwale: one of the apprentices

M.M: How best would you describe your visit to the community?
M.H: Short, brief. It was good to see people outside Ebenezer trying to make life work for them despite the material poverty. It is challenging.

M.M: Any final thoughts on life in rural Zimbabwe?
M.H: What you are doing at Ebenezer is the only way out of the cycle of injustice and poverty. We need to be basic, love your wife and so on. Farming God’s Way is to model a way of breaking poverty, injustice, spiritual injustice and move to something better. I’m hoping too that this visit will be a life transforming experience for our daughters. I hope they will think differently about money, God and church. Thank you for having us.

M.M: Thank you too Matt. Be blessed as you continue to serve the folk in Bulawayo.

Matt and team walking in the Mabhulawuni community in Kezi


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