Progress on the ground pt 1

Crops at Ebenezer….

The apprentice fields are really looking great. There is a “green belt” of healthy crops as our irrigation system has been good these past 3 months……. Take a look……

Golden brown wheat


Tomatoes recently planted
This is just excellent!
By Molly Manhanga


Chatting to Lance Edwards

Lance Edwards

It was great catching up with Lance at Ebenezer. This is what he said:

M.M: What are your thoughts on the progress at Ebenezer this year?
L.E: I’ve seen significant progress in terms of the water system which has directly affected the health of the crops. Our electricity supply these last 3 months has helped us to perform at the level we should. In the past, Ebenezer was described as a construction site (untidy) but we are building above ground and doing landscaping and tidying up. It’s looking good. This is the physical progress. We continue to see significant spiritual progress and there is a definite correlation between the physical and the spiritual progress.

M.M: How do you feel about our plans for an intake of 75 new apprentices in 2011?
L.E: Both excited and scared. I think that we are praying that we get the right 75 apprentices who are dedicated and good candidates for us to do well. We want to choose people who are worthy. It will stretch us but we are ready for the challenge. It will also change the dynamics of Ebenezer and challenge us in having our systems and curriculum’s in place. I think it’s good.

M.M: What do you feel God is saying to you about Ebenezer?
L.E: Ephesians 4:12 – 13 "To prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge os the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ." Our purpose is to help people grow to maturity.

M.M: What quote stands out for you right now?
L.E: “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Thomas Edison
M.M: Thanks Lance. You're doing a great job!
By Molly Manhanga


Family Impact at Ebenezer

Winston Nyamayaro training on Peer Education
A team from Family Impact, Bulawayo are at Ebenezer this week doing a Peer Educators programme in the mornings with young men and women from the community together with the graduates and Life Skills with the first and second year graduates.

The Graduates and young community members are trained to become Peer Educators in the community, in Churches and at Ebenezer. The training covers facts on HIV/AIDS and the challenging attitudes to HIV/AIDS , Roles and Responsibilities of a peer educator and facilitation skills.
By Molly Manhanga


Get to know Jonathan Minchin

Jonathan George Minchin

Jonathan is serving at Ebenezer for 4 days before going into Bulawayo to serve at Family Impact. He comes from Somerset, England and attends Open Heaven Church led by Ness Wilson.

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
J.M: I was born in Bath. I did my primary schooling at Doulting school and my secondary education at Wells Blue School. Currently, I am attending Loughborough University where I am studying Product Design. I complete my course in 2011. (It’s a four year Bachelor of Science and Diploma in Professional Studies)

M.M: Tell me about your family?
J.M: My parents are semi-retired. I have a younger brother Andrew who is 15 years and an older sister Elizabeth who is 23 and has just graduated from Nottingham university. She majored in Pharmacy.

M.M: What are you hoping to do after you complete university?
J.M: Not too sure yet. I have a few options…….

M.M: Is this your first time to Zimbabwe?
J.M: Yes. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with warm friendly people but it still has problems that need sorting. The divide between the rich and the poor is accentuated.

M.M: What do you think of Ebenezer’s vision?
J.M: The vision is very important and what is done here is life-changing.

M.M: Who is your favourite Bible character?
J.M: Solomon for his wisdom.

M.M: Any comments?
J.M: You don’t need to go abroad to do God’s work.

M.M: Thanks so much Jonathan. Enjoy your stay in Zimbabwe and all that’s in store for you.
By Molly Manhanga

Meet Gillian Jones

Gillian Jones

Gillian, better known as Gill comes from Wales, U.K. She is married to Kevin – 33years now and they have 2 children: Claire who is married to Mark and they have a son called Sam and another baby due in 2 weeks, and Richard who is married to Rosie.

M.M: What’s your favourite quote?
G.J: “If good men do nothing, evil men will prosper.”

M.M: Where do you work?
G.J: I work for the Baptist Missionary Society.

M.M: How long are you in Zimbabwe for?
G.J: We’ve been coming to Zimbabwe on and off. This is the 7th time.

M.M: I understand that you’re hoping to move to Zimbabwe?
G.J: We’re hoping to be in Zimbabwe by 1 November 2010. We’ll be based in Bulawayo working with Family Impact and ACET (Aids Care Education and Training)

M.M: Nice! What’s the weirdest food you’ve eaten?
G.J: Snake. It tasted like rubber and I ate hedgehog which tasted like bony meat.

M.M: Who is your favourite Bible character?
G.J: Peter because he was always making mistakes yet God used him incredibly. I can relate to that.

M.M: What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time?
G.J: I don’t know. I have learnt that when I make my plans, God always changes them.

M.M: Great chatting to you and I hope your move to Zimbabwe is smooth and you settle down quickly.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Phil Gascoyne

Phil Gascoyne

It was great chatting to Phil and getting to know him a little better….

M.M: tell me about your background?
P.G: I was born in Nottingham, England. I did my schooling in many different places – London, North Carolina etc. I did International Business and computers at University. I was also a medic in the military. I met my wife Alicia while playing volleyball. We married 4 years later. We don’t have any children. We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary in Kezi.

M.M: Happy anniversary! What work are you into in the States?
P.G: I’m a business consultant for small businesses (less than 50 employees)

M.M: Is this your first time to Africa and to Zimbabwe?
P.G: Yes.

M.M: Impressions?
P.G: I noticed how lovely the people are. It’s neat to be around people who are so quick to smile. When we engage with people, they are willing to communicate. Zimbabwe is a place where relationships are important. Its great working and serving here, but we have to be in relationship first.

M.M: Interesting! Please expound?
P.G: This is a mindset in many places: “If I DO something, then I can HAVE something, so that I can BE somebody.” As Christians and from my interactions out here, its “We ARE somebody already and because of that, we HAVE all we need in Christ and then we DO.”

M.M: Excellent! Where do you fellowship?
P.G: LCBC = Lives Changed By Christ and it’s led by David Ashcroft. We are pretty much into church planting and missions. As a church we support a village in Kenya.

M.M: What do you do to relax?
P.G: Take walks with my wife, read and do sport – mainly golf.

M.M: What’s your favourite quote?
P.G: “Life is tremendous” or “All men die. Few men really live.”

M.M: Who has influenced you the most recently?
P.G: Watchman Nee and Oswald Chambers

M.M: Anything you’d like to share?
P.G: There is so much more to the family of god than we can understand in a lifetime. But, we can start where we are and love those in front of us.

M.M: Thanks so much Phil. Enjoy your time at Ebenezer and the beautiful spots in Zimbabwe.
By Molly Manhanga


Many hands at work at Ebenezer

It’s really exciting to see the rapid progress being made on the picnic benches and the staff house that’s being painted. The American team are doing an amazing job. They are really focused and have such a mind to work. Have a look…..

Busy at work

Benches being made

Staff house being painted…….Go ladies!
By Molly Manhanga


American team on mission at Ebenezer

Part of the American team hard at work

A team of about 12 Americans have arrived at Ebenezer – on mission. They are with us for 2 weeks. This week they will be working really hard making picnic benches, shelves and so on – anything to do with carpentry. They’ll probably make a template which will be copied by our local carpenters after the team has left.
Next week, they’ll do the touristy thing with Lance and Elizabeth Edwards – Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park.

Get to know them better as they have one on one interviews with…………

Molly Manhanga


Update on happenings at Ebenezer.....

Wheat looking great but the birds are also "timing" it.

1. Potatoes are being harvested especially those that have been hit by frost. Some of the potatoes are looking really good. Others look like “baby” potatoes.
2. The winter wheat continues to look excellent.
3. Tomato seedlings have been planted in the first year apprentice plots and 2nd year boy’s plots and on the Ebenezer farm. They are looking healthy.
4. The cabbages planted by the second years are looking wonderful.

Cabbages from Honest Matavire's field - 2nd year apprentice

5. Plots are being cleared for our prospective apprentices.
6. We have started planning for our annual Selection Camp with the hope of getting 75 new apprentices to start in January 2011.
7. The landscaping has also started – flowers and lawn.
8. The roads from Crossroads to Ebenezer are being cleared and widened and the electricity lines are also being cleared.
9. Our water system is working well. If we don’t have electricity, the diesel pump is switched on as a backup measure. So far so good!
10. Standards continue to improve at Ebenezer and the “green belt” of wheat, cabbages, potatoes, tomatoes and maize looks great.
Happy days at Ebenezer!

By Molly Manhanga


Nick Blair - on route to Ebenezer...

Nick Blair

It was brilliant catching up with Nick Blair. Nick was out in Kezi - on route to Ebenezer with Peter Cunningham. Nick lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland and he is married to Fiona. This is what he said….

M.M: tell me briefly about your background?
N.B: I originally come from Northern Ireland. I first met Peter Cunningham in University in Edinburgh about 20 years ago. I did all my schooling in Northern Ireland. I met my wife Fiona at university but we didn’t get together for another 10 years. We then got married and we have 3 children: Joanna who is 8, Jonathan who is 6 and William is 18 months old.

M.M: How best would you describe your family life?
N.B: It’s an incredible blessing, busy; we are close as a family. There is lots of grace and apologies needed, but making up is fun!

M.M: GREAT! What work do you do in Scotland?
N.B: I am the Chaplin at Merchiston Castle School in Scotland. It’s an ‘All Boys’ Boarding school – really lovely and the boys want to be at school. I’ve been there for 6 years. I teach, coach rugby, do pastoral care, and lead Bible studies with the staff and pupils. I do this for more or less, 7 days a week for 8½ months. I have 3½ months holiday.

M.M: Nice! How long are you in Zimbabwe for and is this your first time?
N.B: I’m here for 6 days. I was here about 9 years ago on holiday.

M.M: Any thoughts you’d like to share on your time in Zimbabwe?
N.B: Zimbabwe has changed from 9 years ago. I’ve received warm welcomes and there are exceptionally good people in the country. I have a tremendous sense of peace in being here even through the difficult things. God is doing transformational things in people’s lives.

M.M: I agree. What are you up to here in Bulawayo?
N.B: My wife, Fiona and I have been supporting “Our Neighbours” which encompasses Isaiah’s Home of Love (Babies home) and many other things like Northend Boys Home for Street Kids, a soup kitchen, Light House Christian school and so on. The Baptist Church in Bulawayo is part of it.

M.M: Much is happening in Bulawayo. What do you do to relax?
N.B: I cook and try to go to the gym.

M.M: What is the weirdest food you’ve eaten?
N.B: Sheep brain stew. I thought it was cauliflower. I recently ate fish and caterpillars (Kapenta and mupani worms) Let’s just say I was hungry!

M.M: African delicacies. What is your favourite quote?
N.B: “Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” or, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

M.M: Thanks so much Nick. It’s been great meeting you. I hope you are inspired by your visit to Ebenezer and hope to see you back in Zimbabwe.

By Molly Manhanga


Buildings continue to go up at Ebenezer

Buildings in Progress

Staff house going up.......

Thatching underway

We are hoping this staff house will be finished soon.

By Molly Manhanga


Some achievements on the Ebenezer Timeline....

It was excellent reflecting on where we started and where we are now ......

Some achievements
• First Selection Camp
• Isaiah 35
• Dam started

• Intake of 16 apprentices
• Staff arrive at Ebenezer: Steve & Molly Manhanga, Augustine & Gertrude Nyamayaro, Xolani Ndlovu, Gerald Mangena, Renee Cunningham
• First crop of tomatoes was planted

• Dam spilt on 6 January 2008
• Edwards began at Ebenezer
• Ebenezer kitchen complete
• Plants eaten by animals
• Eye clinic held at Ebenezer – great for exposure
• Inferno at Ebenezer

• First graduation at Ebenezer
• 2 Ebenezer staff got married
• Funding coming into Ebenezer

• Irrigation complete and in full swing
• Surprise funding
• Sprinklers work for the first time
• Variety of crops grown other than tomatoes and cabbages
• Major Tom
• Chickens arrive

Compiled by Molly Manhanga


Ebenezer staff get-together

We had an excellent time together as a team on Friday morning. We spent some time in prayer, having fun, looking back, looking ahead and having loads to eat. A Friday morning with a difference…….

The prayer session was a great strengthening and connecting time with lots of heart-felt prayer and the team brought the following scriptures:

George Mlilo: Philippians 2:5 - 11 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Gerald Mangena: James 1:2 – 4, 12 & 19 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything……. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him…….My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."

Molly Manhanga: Isaiah 41:10 “ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Sikhanyiso Matshalaga: Isaiah 61:1 – 2a “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour."

Renee Cunningham: Philippians 4:4 – 7 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Gertrude Nyamayaro: Isaiah 40:30 – 31 “ Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Stephen Manhanga encouraged and spurred the team on. He said God has called us and set us apart. We are vessels to be used. God uses people who have weaknesses, shortcomings, faults and so on 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

It’s all about God and what He is doing through each and every one of us.

Read more on some of the achievements made on the Ebenezer Timeline to date…..

By Molly Manhanga