Daniel Philip Blank
Daniel and Lance Edwards, Operations Director of Ebenezer Training Centre, have been friends for the last 12 years. They met at ECHO, In Florida, USA. Daniel was the Farm Manager and Lance arrived as an agricultural intern. The purpose of his trip to Zimbabwe was to be with the Edwards family and participating in their daily life. The Edwards family are really loved at ECHO and many people support them. Lance and Elizabeth had been gone for so long that Daniel decided to take time out and be with them, learning about the work here so that he can share it with folk back in the States. It was GREAT meeting Danny and catching up with him……..
M.M: Tell me briefly about your background.
D.B: I was born near San Francisco, California. I did my schooling in new York and at University I studied Biology. I became interested in agriculture while I was at university. I then took an internship at ECHO in 1994 and remained on staff accumulating more responsibilities until I became Farm manager in 1997. I remained in that position.
M.M: What do you feel is your calling right now?
D.B: Honestly, I’ve made many plans that haven’t come through. I’m taking comfort in living everyday for Him and not being so engaged in a plan. It’s the first time in a long time that I don’t have a plan but I know God is with me. I’m being obedient to Him and want to be a blessing to others. Things will become clearer.
M.M: What are your impressions of Zimbabwe?
D.B: I was expecting worse in terms of the level of desperation and daily living. I was here in 2005 but things have somewhat stabilized now. I’m impressed by the quality of people, the purity of their intention and the earnestness in carrying out the vision. I sat with Brian Oldreive and that was powerful. Coming to Bulawayo and listening to the staff at Ebenezer is impressive. As Christians, you have clarity in your lives. The Vision Casting Day for you all is not a show – it’s for REAL and I appreciate witnessing it a lot. It’s been a great privilege.
M.M: How best would you describe your family?
D.B: My blood family is far and I see them once a year. I am close with my brothers and my parents. I speak to them often on the phone and via email. On a day to day basis, my family is linked to other believers. I have very good friendships with folk my own age that have come through ECHO. They are very rich relationships.
M.M: What are your thoughts on Ebenezer?
D.B: Ebenezer – WOW! It’s an impressive model. As an agriculturalist, I feel the burden of the agricultural products. I’m close to Lance and have a level of concern in that you have to make ends meet. How the rubber meets the road is daunting especially when I see that irrigation has a problem. You need technical support. I LOVE the investment into young people’s lives and see that they have a level of dignity – seeing themselves as precious before God.
M.M: Thank you so much Danny for your honesty and openness. I really hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Zimbabwe.
Interviewed by Molly Manhanga