Meet David and June Dean

David and June Dean

David and June Dean are from Kings Eastbourne. David has been an elder for 10 years and full time staff for about 15 years. June is a part time infant teacher at West Rise Infant School for 21 years. It was great chatting to them as we went round Crossroads and Ebenezer.

M.M: How long have you been married?
D & J.D: 43 years

M.M: What has been the greatest challenge in ministry?
D & J.D: Balancing time, prioritizing and reassessing.

M.M: What would you say is the greatest need in your community?
D.& J.D: People need to hear the gospel.

M.M: Interesting. How would you describe your time in Zimbabwe?
D & J.D: Brilliant. Loved it. The people are great and so, so friendly. We admire how people just keep on going with so little. The faith levels are up when every day is a challenge.

June posing with a sadza pot

M.M: What are your thoughts on Crossroads and our vision?
D & J.D: Amazing. You are trying to serve the community. The church is about reaching the community and it’s so impressive. James speaks about true religion. Your vision and heart is so great even though there is so little.

M.M: This is encouraging. Thank you. What are your thoughts on Ebenezer?
D & J.D: There are no quick fixes to poverty. People need to be trained, educated and shown business. It’s a long hard road. You must see people walk away and cry but you keep going. We commend you for that.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
D & J.D: “Take hold of all that God has taken hold of me for.....” from Philippians.

David Dean

By Molly Manhanga


Update on Mkhululi Ncube's wedding plans

Mkhululi Ncube

Mkhululi, better known as Cooper, is pressing ahead and doing his best to meet all the requirements expected of him in order for him to marry Caroline. His payments are not complete yet. This is a breakdown to date:
1. 2 cows – still needs to purchase them.
2. Suit for his prospective mum in law – still need to buy that.
3. Shoes for his mum in law – paid for those.
4. Scarf for his mum in law –paid for that.
5. Blanket for his mum in law – still needs to purchase that.
6. Jacket for his father in law – Still needs to pay for that. (Seeing as his prospective father in law has passed away, the jacket will go to his prospective brother-in-law)

The deadline so to speak for these items to be purchased is 30th June (on Thursday). If Cooper doesn’t come up with these goods, he’ll be fined – a spot fine which will be decided on the day. We wish him well! This is not an easy task.

In the meantime, Caroline is pretty eager to marry Mkhululi and start her new life with him at Antelope.
Lets see what happens with Thursday’s deadline!!

By Molly Manhanga


The winter frost sets in.....

Frosty tomatoes not looking good

The cold, frosty winter mornings of between -1 or -2 degrees have set in here in Kezi and are being felt by everything.......
1. 422 chickens (1 week old) have died due to the cold.
2. Tomatoes, green peppers, butternuts and onions have been hit by frost. The onion bulb seems to be fine and the apprentices are hoping they will recover. They also hope that the butternuts will recover. The tomatoes however are really not looking great.
3. The carrots seem to be fine.

Butternut hit by frost

Preventative measures:
1. Chickens: The heaters will be brought down so that the warmth will cover ground level. Bremamed TS1 antibiotics is being given to the chickens to assist with their health.
2. Crops: The apprentices are waking up in the early hours of the morning to water their crops before the sun comes out. However, the intended results are not being achieved. Ice is still forming on the leaves of the crops.

2010/2011 winters have been really cold especially early hours of the morning. During the day has been pretty hot. These extreme temperatures are bound to affect the crops and the chickens. We pray though that not too much will be lost during the next month or so.

By Molly Manhanga


Weekly letter to the apprentices

From Stephen Manhanga

Isaiah 55:8
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

As I continue from last weeks thoughts along the lines of trusting and putting our trust in God. This scripture stands out for me. Alot has happened in the last week. We have fought many battles, faced much opposition and some have even given up. As I said last week, the race is not won by the swift or the battle by the strong but by God’s spirit.

We need to remember God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. We cannot think that if we do things in our own strength or ability we will succeed.

I hope this poem will inspire you

“How often we wish for another chance
To make a fresh beginning
A chance to blot out our mistakes and change failure into winning
And it does not take a new year to make a brand new start
It only takes the deep desire to try with all our heart
To live a little better and to always be forgiving, to add a little
‘Sunshine’ to the world in which we’re living, so never
Give up in despair and think that you are through, for
There’s always a tomorrow and a chance to start anew.”


Weekly "Letter to the apprentices....."

from Stephen Manhanga

Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts – you will succeed because of my spirit, though you few and weak.”

I would like to encourage and admonish all at Ebenezer with this scripture –many times we try and do things in our own strength and in our own way. God wants to remind us that the race is not won by the swift or the battle by the strong but by those who wait upon Him and trust in Him.

Life isn’t always fair or just. We face many challenges and obstacles. There are giants in the land. Some of these giants like poverty, lack of education, poor hygiene, sexual temptations or addictions to drugs and alcohol can be overcome when we stand together. Remember, it is not by might, or power but by God’s Spirit.

I hope this encourages you all........


Meet Ashleigh Don

Ashleigh Don

Ashleigh is originally from Harare, Zimbabwe but is now attending University in Colorado Springs in the States. She has been in the States for 6 years and went there through YWAM (Youth With A Mission) She is visiting her mum who lives in Harare.

M.M: What course are studying at University?
A.D: Maths

M.M: Oh my goodness! Why Maths of all the subjects?
A.D: My heart is to get a Masters in Education and my route is Maths. It’s the least philosophical class available.

M.M: How long are you here in Zim?
A.D: 2 months and I’ll be travelling to Lusaka, Zambia and going to Harare.

M.M: Have you eaten any weird food since being here?
A.D: Being a Zimbo, not much is weird but I haven’t eaten sadza and roasted peanuts in ages.

M.M: What is your favourite quote?
A.D: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” and, “Life is a musical enjoy the song!

M.M: What are your thoughts on Ebenezer?
A.D: I’m very encouraged. It’s a great model. I like the example of building up the community and using the land which God has blessed us with for his purposes. It’s encouraging to see the fruit of those who have pioneered and they just keep going.

M.M: Thanks Ashleigh. I hope you enjoy your time in Zimbabwe and Zambia before you head back to the States.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Ruth Biddulph

Ruth and Brad Biddulph

Ruth and her husband Brad are from Witney, Oxfordshire in the U.K. They are living in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for 2 years serving with Kevin and Gillian Jones who moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe recently from South Africa. They are meeting lots of people and seeing the work that Kevin and Gill are involved in and seeing where they might get involved.

M.M: How long have you and Brad been married?
R.B: 4 years on the 2 June.

M.M: Which church did you attend in Witney?
R.B: North Witney Community Church led by Gary Pizzey. The church is affiliated to Salt and light Ministries.

M.M: You’ve been in Zimbabwe for 5 days now. What are your impressions so far?
R.B: It’s really beautiful. People are very hardworking, committed to their country and trying to help others.

M.M: Did you enjoy the service at New Creation?
R.B: Yes. It was lovely. Ian Wilsher (Harare Counselling Centre) shared on 'Having a thirst for God.'

M.M: Have you got a favourite meal?
R.B: Salmon

M.M: What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
R.B: Brush my teeth and say goodnight to my husband.

M.M: Fantastic. Great meeting you and I really hope you settle down quickly in Bulawayo and find your niche. To know more about Brad and Ruth, visit their website on http://www.bradandruth.co.uk/

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Brad Biddulph

Brad and Ruth Biddulph

Brad and his wife Ruth are from Witney, Oxfordshire in the U.K. They have recently moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for 2 years serving with Kevin and Gillian Jones who moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe recently from South Africa. (Kevin and Gill are originally from the U.K) Brad and Ruth are meeting lots of people as well as seeing the work that Kevin and Gill are involved in. They hope to get plugged into an area of ministry soon.

M.M: What was it that drew you to Ruth before you got married?
B.B: Her “bottom”. I liked its shape. I wasn’t a Christian then!

M.M: A very honest and “different” kind of answer! How long did you attend North Witney Community Church?
B.B: I’ve attended North Witney Community Church for 5 – 6 years but Ruth was going there before I did.

M.M: You’ve been in Zimbabwe for 5 days now. What are your impressions so far?
B.B: So far, brilliant! Love the country, the people, the general setup. I’m really pleased.

M.M: Did you enjoy the service at New Creation Church led by Mbonisi and Tashinga Malaba?
B.B: I enjoyed it. The worship was fantastic. Really brilliant stuff. Ian Wilsher (based at River of Life Church Eastlea Harare) shared on ‘Having a thirst for God’ and hit the nail on the head. His message spoke to us.

M.M: Wonderful. Have you got a favourite saying?
B.B: ‘No hurry, no worry.’

M.M: Very similar to ‘Hakuna Matata’ – meaning ‘No worries. Be happy.’ What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
B.B: Reading and say goodnight to my wife Ruth (if she isn’t asleep already).

M.M: Fantastic. Great meeting you and I really hope you settle down quickly in Bulawayo and discover where God would have you serve.

By Molly Manhanga


Happy, Healthy and Fat Chickens?

What constitutes a happy, healthy and fat chicken?

Good question for the Ebenezer graduates.....

The chickens at Ebenezer were weighed this week and they are averaging 1.57kg after 4 weeks instead of the estimated 1.3kg after 4 weeks. A chicken expert from Technoserve visited Ebenezer and said that the only time he has seen chickens looking so healthy, happy and fat were chicken done on a commercial scale under environmentally controlled broiler rooms. He wanted to know what the secret was at Ebenezer especially seeing as there was no electricity or fans?

So what constitutes a happy, healthy and fat chicken at Ebenezer? The graduates pray over the chicks and the Union Brothers sing hymns to them. Now I surely would be a very happy chicken if songs were sung to me and I had food and water day in, day out.

The chickens have 2 weeks to live before they get slaughtered.

The chickens are breaking commercial records in the rural areas and this is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and fruitfulness.

By Molly Manhanga


Model farmers on the move pt 5

Mkhululi Ncube

What does “Beyond Belief” mean for you as you leave Ebenezer and start a new chapter of your life at Antelope?

It means a number of things for me:
1. I am now starting to show how powerful the teaching I received at Ebenezer is.
2. God has entrusted me with a new work and I feel honoured.
3. Being a Missionary Field Officer means becoming a “father” to others.
4. I am getting married to Caroline and we will start our new life at Antelope.

By Molly Manhanga


Selection Camp pt 2

Union Brothers - Ebenezer's male singers

It was quite interesting getting feedback from some of the prospective apprentices about their thoughts of the weekend. Some responses were as follows:
1. I really enjoyed seeing the horses and seeing everything.
2. The food was nice.
3. I enjoyed the interaction through games.
4. I learnt alot about farming.
5. I made new friends.
6. Farming is hard work.
7. I can see the possibilities I have if I come to Ebenezer.
8. I liked the teams.

Agriculture Display

The Ebenezer staff learnt more about the prospective apprentices during their one on one interviews.

The DVD shown on Saturday evening was Facing The Giants. Everyone enjoyed it - a real good choice. Well done Stephen Manhanga! The Union Brothers - Ebenezer's very own male singers, graced the dining hall and brought some entertainment to the apprentices. The Union Brothers are coming along nicely and have 2 CD's at the moment.

The general overview of the weekend was good. 27 apprentices were selected: 10 girls and 17 boys. We’ll need to see who turns up in 6 weeks time.....

One on One interviews

By Molly Manhanga


Selection Camp pt 1

Prospective apprentices arrived at Ebenezer on Friday for the weekend of the Selection Camp. About 40+ young people turned up and of these, between 25 – 30 would be selected for the next intake which begins in 6 weeks time. There were more boys than girls that turned up and that was to be expected.

The prospective apprentices played volleyball before the evening session began where the vision of Ebenezer and expectations were shared. On the Saturday morning, they had an early morning run from Shalom Camp Site to Ebenezer Training Centre – approximately 5km run. They enjoyed the tour of Ebenezer which was led by George and Siphilisiwe Mlilo. The prospective apprentices appreciated and were motivated by what they saw on the ground. They seemed to ask lots of questions too.

New apprentices touring Ebenezer

The prospective apprentices also seemed to enjoy teaming up with the 1st or 2nd years and working in their fields for a while. The academics were a little more challenging as the new apprentices had to put on their “thinking caps”. They had short lessons in agriculture led by Ska Matshlaga, Spiritual by Stephen Manhanga and Business led by Siphilisiwe Mlilo. The English and Maths tests proved to be a challenge to some of the apprentices.

I have a dream!

Stephen Manhanga put up this banner as part of his “Spiritual” display. ‘I Have a Dream’ by Martin Luther king Jr is just apt for the prospective apprentices who come on the Selection Camp having a dream and if selected, they realise they are a step closer to their dream.

It was interesting that quite a few apprentices that attended the Selection Camp this past weekend were from Mablauwuni and Magobeni villages which are real close to Ebenezer. In the past, most apprentices would come from villages that are 4 – 5 hours walk.

Read more to find out pt 2 of the Selection Camp.......

By Molly Manhanga


Model farmers on the move pt 4

Simangaliso Ndlovu

What does “Beyond Belief” mean for you as you leave Ebenezer and start a new chapter of your life at Antelope?

It’s a new beginning in my life as I’m getting to know how other people live. I feel like God is taking us to another level and to use what He has given us to change other people. I’m excited with what God is doing in my life.

By Molly Manhanga


Model farmers on the move pt 3

Tawanda Moyo

What does “Beyond Belief” mean for you as you leave Ebenezer and start a new chapter of your life at Antelope?

For me, it means being exposed to a new area and learning in a different environment. I’m moving from Ebenezer to Antelope, expanding myself and reaching different people with the gospel and agriculture.

By Molly Manhanga


Model farmers on the move pt 2

Mqondisi Moyo

What does “Beyond Belief” mean for you as you leave Ebenezer and start a new chapter of your life at Antelope?

I think it means taking a new step of life so as to expose myself to different kinds of people through sharing the gospel and other practical life skills on agriculture.
I’m very excited to become part of a bigger family and to bless people with agricultural knowledge.

By Molly Manhanga