Getting to know Sara Hendershot

Sara Hendershot

Sara comes from Pennsylvania, USA and she grew up on a dairy farm. Currently she is based in California attending Fuller Seminary. Sara is 29 years old. She is serving at Ebenezer for 2 months.

M.M: Tell me about your family?
S.H: I have one brother. My dad is a life-long farmer and my mum retired from teaching 2 years ago. My brother is a 5th generation farmer. He always knew he wanted to be a farmer.

M.M: I understand you are studying at the moment. What are you studying?
S.H: A Masters in cross-cultural studies, focusing on international development.

M.M: Sounds interesting! What do you intend doing after you complete your studies?
S.H: It’s hard to say. I would love to be involved in agriculture, subsistence farming and sustainable livelihoods but I’m not too sure how.

M.M: Is this your first time to Zimbabwe?
S.H: Yes and it’s a lot more developed than I anticipated. It’s the Africa that I saw in the movies. It’s beautiful.

M.M: What do you think of Ebenezer?
S.H: It’s incredible to see all that God is doing through this place. I didn’t know what to expect when I came but there is a lot more than I anticipated. The 3 components – agriculture, spiritual and business are important.

M.M: Who has influenced you the most recently?
S.H: My boyfriend Matt Hillegass (Matt is serving at Ebenezer for close to 3 weeks before he heads back to the States)

M.M: Any words of encouragement?
S.H: Come and see for yourself. It’s hard to communicate the experiences like this in words. Go out of your comfort zone!

M.M: Thanks Sara. Great having you at Ebenezer and I really hope you enjoy your stay with us.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Matt Hillegass

Matt Hillegass

Matt is serving at Ebenezer for close on 3 weeks. He comes from the United States of America. Matt grew up in Maryland and lived there for the first 25 years of his life. He has been living in California for the last 5 years. He is 28 years old and will be turning 29 in August.

M.M: Tell me about your family?
M.H: I have a brother and sister. My sister is married and she has 2 children whom I adore. My brother is 6 years younger than me. My mum died of cancer when I was 13 and my dad remarried. My family doesn’t venture far out of the world. They are happy where they are. I am the restless one. I love my family and we are very close.

M.M: What job are you currently doing?
M.H: I am a high school teacher and I teach biology to 17 – 18 year olds. It’s a lot of fun and there are lots of opportunities. I love the topic as well. I’ve also studied Theology and love to help students see the real presence of God – the real, tangible, beauty of God.

M.M: Is this your first time to Africa and Zimbabwe?
M.H: Yes and I’m glad that my first time to Africa is to Zimbabwe. I was caught off guard as to how “western” it seems. It was a surprise to me. The urban and rural life is very different. I love how genuine people are. There is an authenticity and I’m being blessed. There is also much potential for adventure.

M.M: What are your thoughts on Ebenezer?
M.H: It’s a fun atmosphere. The people I’ve interacted with are ambitious and hopeful. There is an excitement about expansion but there are necessary challenges that will be faced.

M.M: Who has influenced you the most recently?
M.H: A book I’ve studied called “Christian Ethicist” by Hauerwas. He thinks differently and helps me to reflect on things.

M.M: Who is your favourite Bible character?
M.H: Isaiah. This is a guy who disturbs people’s paradigms.

M.M: Any words of encouragement?
M.H: I say the students need to leave their comfort zones and go somewhere else. They need to be uncomfortable and experience things that are different. If they leave, they will come back changed/better people.
M.M: Thanks Matt. I hope you enjoy your time at Ebenezer.
By Molly Manhanga


Meeting Jackie Bell

Jackie Bell

It was excellent meeting Jackie Bell from Surrey, U.K while she was visiting Ebenezer. Jackie attends Reigate and Redhill Community Church which is part of Newfrontiers. The church is led by Alisdair Semple.

M.M: Tell me about your background?
J.B: I was born in Brighton and it was pretty much my mum and me. I am close to my grandmother. I don’t have any siblings. I did my college in Brighton and studied Psychology at the University of Sussex. I moved to Redhill and became a Youth worker at the church. I then became a Youth Evangelist for 2 years. I loved it. During that time God called me to Africa where I attended Jubilee and I was involved with Kids Club. I realised then that I needed a skill so I went back to England and qualified as a teacher with the view of coming back to Africa. Like Paul, I’ll use my tent-making skill to serve God.

M.M: What do you feel passionate about?
J.B: God has given me a heart to set up a work for under-privileged children and street children. When I go to Mozambique, I will be learning more about underprivileged children.

M.M: How long are you in Zimbabwe for?
J.B: I’m in Zimbabwe for a week and I’m staying with Mbonisi and Tashinga Malaba. I then head off to Mozambique for two and a half weeks.

M.M: What are your thoughts on Ebenezer?
J.B: I love the way the apprentices are using Foundations for Farming and that they have their own plots. I think it’s a good idea that Ebenezer is not too luxurious and it’s great to bring God into the community. The idea of being self-sufficient is necessary.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
J.B: “If the son has set you free, you are free indeed.”

M.M: Any words of encouragement?
J.B: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He is the God of the impossible.

M.M: So true. I hope God speaks to you clearly as you stay in Zimbabwe and on your adventures in Mozambique. Be blessed.

By Molly Manhanga


Molly chats to David Stroud....

David Stroud

It was great seeing David Stroud in Kezi and chatting to him as he was on a whirlwind visit of Ebenezer Training Centre and Crossroads Community Church. David leads Christ Church in London. I enjoy his “out of the box” thinking. It’s so inspirational. Stephen Manhanga took David on the tour and was accompanied by Mbonisi Malaba. This is what he said.

M.M: How has your stay in Zimbabwe been?
D.S: GREAT! I enjoyed it and it has been a delight meeting people. I attended the Zimbabwe versus Kenya rugby game and that was fun. (I won’t reveal the score). I had a great time at Eastlea and at Antelope Park.

M.M: Is this your first time to Africa and to Zimbabwe?
D.S: This is my first time to Africa and Zimbabwe and it has been great on multiple levels. It’s been fun meeting leaders – young guys – Stephen and Mbonisi. It’s been an incredible week. We are running with similar visions. Kingdom proclamation looks different in the U.K and Zimbabwe but our hearts are similar and it is outworked differently. The best for the Church is still to come. The Church is promising and hopeful.

David Stroud and Stephen Manhanga

M.M: How was your time with our leaders?
D.S: I met great men and women who love Jesus, are equipped spiritually, academically and have business understanding to make a difference to the Nation. There have been long periods of preparation and God is lifting things. The skills that have been latent are being profiled and lifted to a higher level. It will be exciting to see what will happen in another 10 years of obedience and when God blows through it all. Men and women have a deep commitment to the Nation. All the ingredients are in place and it’s exciting!

M.M: What is your impression of Ebenezer?
D.S: Inspirational. I love the holistic approach, the agricultural skill and spiritual change in the young men and women. It’s empowering. I like the responsibility instilled in the apprentices with each receiving a plot of land and working it. Within the arid area, Ebenezer is like an oasis of fertility, like Eden – creation affects our lives. It makes me think of what we could be doing in the U.K and we could link up. I really like the church planting element. You are hitting redemption at every level!
M.M: What is your favourite quote?
D.S: George Bernard Shaw "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable adapts the world to himself. Therefore all hope of change lies with the unreasonable man."

M.M: Thanks so much David. Great chatting to you. Have a pleasant trip home!

By Molly Manhanga


Anamed Team at Ebenezer

Left to right: Brilliant Khoza – Ebenezer graduate with the Anamed team; Nelson Moyo, Dr Keith Lindsey and Lucie Bradley

It was fantastic hosting the Anamed (Action for Natural Medicine) team at my home last night and discussing the uses of natural medicine – la medecine naturelle. The team is pretty much international with Dr Keith Lindsey coming all the way from Germany, Lucie Bradley from Scotland and Nelson Moyo from Malawi. This team really know their stuff. The team are preparing for the Anamed workshop that Crossroads is hosting.

Lucie Bradley and Nelson Moyo

They enjoyed their tour of Ebenezer led by Brilliant Khoza, an Ebenezer graduate and asked lots of questions on the vision of Ebenezer and what the apprentices hope to be doing after their two years at Ebenezer. In and amongst the tour, they were identifying different trees and plants for their medicinal properties. Interesting!

We look forward to the workshop that’s happening tomorrow.

By Molly Manhanga


Back on the ground.......

Wheat - looking good!

At the moment the apprentices are growing wheat which is looking excellent but also pretty appetising for the birds.

Last month the potatoes were hit by frost and the apprentices did their best to save them. Last Tuesday was really cold and ice had formed in the dam………There was frost but it didn’t affect the crops as the sun only came out later in the day. God shielded the crops with a cool cloud covering.

More wheat....

The onions are doing well and the apprentices have started selling them at the market in Bulawayo.

The 2nd year cabbage crop is doing exceptionally well. The key here was that the 2nd years sat down as a class and decided to help each other and care for their crops. What initiative and it’s evident when looking at the crop!


Most of the apprentices have prepared their fields for maize and tomatoes. Lets hope all goes well for them.
By Molly Manhanga

Half Year Celebrations

Thursday 15th July was the Ebenezer Half Year Celebration. A fun-packed day with a fun-run followed by a lunch-time braai for the apprentices and staff.

There was a 5km run in the morning before breakfast. Cuthbert Dube came first followed by Mediator Dube. Renee Cunningham came first for the staff and Mrs Nyamayaro, the oldest of the lady staff was very willing in spirit but her flesh gave in! She ran a “very short” distance before being picked up by a vehicle. Well done Mrs Nyams for your effort! The fun part with the run was when directions weren’t very clear at one of the points and many girls ended up “lost” in the woods. They did however manage to find their way to the finish line via short-cuts as they were rather exhausted. Prizes were awarded to the runners who excelled and this was followed by fun-filled games led by Mrs Laura Mangena. A drama was also performed. This was one of the “just for fun” drama’s to make people laugh and they sure did. The apprentices really know how to act!

Volleyball was the game of the day and the teams comprised of the 1st years, 2nd years, graduates and staff. The much “older” managed to beat the 1st years at a game but overall, the 1st years won the volleyball tournament.

It was a great day full of laughter and we look forward to the next one at the end of the year.

By Molly Manhanga