How are the crops doing?

The belt of wheat - 3 hectares is looking good. It's also looking appetising for the donkeys and kudu. 2 beds of wheat have been eaten by the 15 kudu that have been spotted at Ebenezer.

There are 2 hectares of onions which are looking great as well and half a hectare of cabbages.




2 hectares of tomatoes have been planted so far and about 1 hectare of carrots.

By Molly Manhanga

Choose Freedom!

1st year apprentices doing Life Skills training

 Shelton Taguma and a team from Family Impact (Mary Chinamasa, Tafadzwa Nhembere and Wadzano Mutambirwa) spent 3 days at Ebenezer with the new apprentices doing Life Skills Training from the programme called “Choose Freedom”.

Shelton Taguma

The programme included

  1. What is Freedom?
  2. Self-Image
  3. Communication
  4. Family
  5. Sex and Relationships
  6. Love
  8. Decision Making

1st year apprentices

    Both Shelton and Tafadzwa said that on day one, the response from the new apprentices was slow and quiet as they were somewhat shy and the course was new to them. As the days went by, the apprentices became more responsive and there was lots of input. They really came alive with the topics on love and sex however, the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS made them pretty sombre.

Apart from the various topics of discussion, the first years played volleyball and interestingly enough, the quiet ones in the lessons became very active on the sports field. Many characters were seen during the sports activities.

Shelton Taguma doing training

Although Shelton and the team were going to read the feedback they received from the new apprentices on how they felt about the 3 days, I’m sure it will be mostly positive stuff. Shelton is quite eager to do follow up sessions.

By Molly Manhanga


More news on the kitchen with Mrs Nyams pt 2

Pot of sadza

The kapenta stew tasted great and was cooked as follows

Soak the kapenta for 5 minutes
Fry until brown
Make tomatoe gravy and add a powder soup to thicken it
Add the fried kapenta to the soup and let it simmer

Kapenta stew

That did the trick with this particular meal as the apprentices really enjoyed it!

Lining up to receive their meal

Apprentices filling up the dining hall to enjoy their lunch

by Molly Manhanga

More news on the kitchen from Mrs Nyams

Mrs Nyamayaro

Info from Mrs Nyams on the kitchen
  • The lunch that was on offer on Friday was sadza and kapenta (small fish) 
  • The catering has gone interesting with the arrival of the 62 (now 61 new apprentices). The catering team are doing well and are very organised. They have a 'new' gentleman who has joined the team - Nicholas Ncube who attends Crossroads Community Church. he has settled in well to cooking!
  • Meal times are at 8:00am (breakfast), 1:00pm (lunch) and 6:00pm (supper)
  • Inbetween cleaning and tidying up the team works outside as well.
  • The quantities of food stock being used has increased.
  • Food deliveries have improved.
  • The menu has improved too. The apprentices are eating sadza with kapenta, meat, beans, soya chunks, cabbage and chomolia.
  • The apprentices also have tea twice a week, porridge with peanut butter twice a week and bread with jam twice a week.
  • There is a gas fridge too at Ebenezer.
  • So, things are certainly looking up in the kitchen. 
Nicholas Ncube

By Molly Manhanga


What's happening with Mkhululi and Caroline Ncube

Mkhululi and his lovely wife Caroline

It was good catching up with Mkhululi and his lovely wife Caroline on Friday.

Here is an update on them................

Mkhululi is part of Beyond Belief - tomatoes - and he works closely with George Mlilo. He covers the Mapane and Gqalaza area with his workmate Vusani Dube. They oversee 58 farmers.

Mkhululi got married on the 22nd December 2011 to his sweetheart, Caroline. They are enjoying their marriage and the great news is that they are expecting their first baby at the end of September. Both of them are feeling really blessed and honoured and happy. Their families are very supportive of them and are encouraging them. They haven't faced any marital 'challenges' yet - apart from trying to balance their finances in preparation for their baby.

Caroline takes care of their home.

We look forward to seeing the new addition to the Ncube household real soon.........

By Molly Manhanga


Meet John Gilmore

John Gilmore
It was really nice chatting to John Gilmore who is from the Australian Churches of Christ Global Mission. There are 9 partner countries and John is the Executive Director. This is his 3rd time to Zimbabwe and he is keen to support projects that move people from dependency to self-reliance. John felt that dependency disengages creativity and limits space. Long term, they'd like to build up people's capacity and equip people.

Thank you John!

By Molly Manhanga 


Special evening at Ebenezer

This week has been pretty busy at Ebenezer as 50 new apprentices arrived and had orientation week. They were getting familiar with what is expected of them at Ebenezer like the rules and regulations, relationships, First Aid, team building, field work and so on.

Wednesday evening was a special evening as the apprentices, staff and invited guests had dinner by candle light:
Firstly to commemorate the end of the 50 days in which a candle burnt at Ebenezer - day and night. A friend from Jerusalem prayed for 50 days that light would explode from Ebenezer. Renee Cunningham expounded by saying that God's presence was amongst us and Jesus is the light of the world. We have that light within us and we are meant to light for those around us. Let's celebrate God's goodness and grace toward us.
Secondly to welcome the 50 new apprentices

Stephen Manhanga and team did brilliantly in leading a few vibrant songs. There was such joy and merriment and everyone sang, clapped and danced. Some testimonies were shared as well. The Lord is certainly doing a new thing and making a way in the wilderness where there seems to be no way.

Read on about Family......

By Molly Manhanga


Inkayi Camp

Team from Inkayi
About 40 young adults from Inkayi (about a 5 hour drive from Ebenezer) came to Ebenezer to see what was happening on the ground. The main purpose of their weekend camp was to give vision for their community and their area. If some decided they'd like to join Ebenezer, that would be great too!

Peter Cunningham shared on the perception of Africa as most of the world see it, asked the Inkayi folk how they saw Africa and the potential for their lives.

George Mlilo shared on Foundations for Farming - the four principles on time, to standard, without wastage and with joy.

Steve Manhanga shared on the Life of Joseph. He did an absolutely FANTASTIC job - hit it right out the park!

Honourable Minister Stembiso Nyoni with Steve Manhanga (right) and George Mlilo (Left)

The Honorable Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Inkayi Member of Parliament, Mrs Stembiso Nyoni and team came to Ebenezer as well. They were given a tour of Ebenezer which was led by Steve Manhanga before the delegation went to visit one of the chicken farmers in the community - Mrs Mkwananzi and then proceeded to visit Justin Thebe - young model farmer in the community.

Honourable Minister Stembiso Nyoni touring Ebenezer
The group from Inkayi were impressed to see what other young people were doing and accomplishing. They attended Crossroads Community Church on Sunday morning for some fellowship and had a real good time. It was really great praising God together.

Justin Thebe's chicks

A team from Ebenezer will probably visit Inkayi sometime in the year and see what they are doing on the ground. These links could be the beginning of something special between Ebenezer and Inkayi.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Rachel McCredie

Rachel McCredie
It was wonderful getting to know Rachel McCredie. She is from London, U.K and is attending the University of Birmingham. She is studying Physics which is a3 year course. Rachel has just completed year 2. She attends Church Central which is part of Newfrontiers and is led by Jonathan Bell. After University, Rachel would like to join the Frontier Year Project and/or do Medical Physics.

M.M: tell me a little about your background?
R.M: I was born in Lewisham and raised in Catford. My parents are Christians. I have an older sister Helen who is married to Ioan (Welsh). They live in Reading.

M.M: How is your Zim visit going?
R.M: It's my first time here and I came with an open mind. The Matopos rocks are beautiful but the way they balance is physically impossible from a physics perspective. The people here are very friendly and the culture is different. Things happen 'slowly' in Zimbabwe.

M.M: Where all will you be spending your time/serving?
R.M: I'm serving at Family Impact, Our Neighbours and Ebenezer. It's been enjoyable so far. It's nice to meet new people and interesting to see the world from a different perspective.

M.M: What do you do in your free time?
R.M: I like to sing in the choir, read and spend time with my friends.

M.M: Whats your favourite quote?
R.M: Charm is deceptive. Beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

M.M: Good one! What about your favourite meal and drink?
R.M: Italian food and 95% of the time I drink water.

M.M: What would you say are the challenges facing young people in the U.K?
R.M: Unemployment, lack of role models, lack of integrity, media - the focus on appearance, looks etc.

M.M: Thank you so much Rachel. I hope you really enjoy your time in Zim.

By Molly Manhanga


Lorator Nyathi - Post Advancer Plans

Lorator Nyathi
Lorator Nyathi was one of the Advancers until her graduation last Wednesday. It was good to catch up with her and listen to her Post Advancer plans........

"My mum attended the graduation and enjoyed it very much. She met up with lots of her friends. I don't have any crops in the fields. Although alot of the tomatoes were destroyed by frost, mine seemed to still be fine. I managed to harvest about 1000kg of tomatoes.
My plan now is to be part of the Beyond Belief team working closely with umfundisi (teacher) Stephen Manhanga. I am hoping to offically start on Monday 9th July " (4 days ago)

We wish Lorator well in this new phase of her life and will catch up with her in a few months time......

By Molly Manhanga 


Advancer Graduation

Mr Ndlovu - Community leader

Last Wednesday 9 Advancers graduated at Ebenezer. The graduation started at 10:00am and finished after lunch at 2:00pm. There were approximately 40 people who attended including the Community leaders from Mablauwuni and Magobeni areas - Mr Morris Ndlovu, Mrs Sibanda and the headmaster of Nduna Primary School - Mr Mpofu. The guest of honour was Gerald Mangena - a former staff member of Ebenezer.

Advancers Graduating


Gerald Mangena
Gerry gave an encouraging speech to the Advancers about a Bow and Arrow: the gist of the speech was that God was the bow and the Advancers were the arrows who have been sharpened during their time at Ebenezer. They were now going to be released - "shot" into the community as they go and impact the various communities they'll be working in.

Each Advancer received a plate, a cup and pot from Kango group of companies as well as a puncture repair kit from Racing Snakes. A former Advancer, who left the programme early to become a model farmer in Mabaluwuni doing tomatoes, onions and chickens, was also present - Justin Thebe. He received 2 bags of cement.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the graduation and some of the "former" Advancers will be going on to join Beyond Belief.

Mrs Sibanda - Community leader

We wish them well as they begin a new chapter in their lives.....

By Molly Manhanga


Sporting Update....

Gracious Dube - left and Honest Mushandirwa - right

Honest Mushandirwa and Gracious Dube kindly gave me feedback on the recent sporting activity at Ebenezer. They tried to make the soccer tournament sound as exciting as possible but the expression on their faces gave it away......here goes 

Ebenezer soccer team captained by Cuthbert Dube, took part in a soccer tournament 2 weeks ago. There were 5 teams from the surrounding communities: Chapo, Dewe, Inqaba, Ebenezer and Matopos National Park.

The biggest challenges with this "tournament" was that there was only one soccer field for all these teams and the matches started late. As a result, each team only got to play one match and the overall winner was selected by the number of goals scored.

Ebenezer drew their game and the overall winner was Matopos National Park who scored 5 goals against Dewe.

We hope for a better tournament next time round!!!!

By Molly Manhanga

In Sink!

Two wash basins are being put in at the Ebenezer kitchen. One will be for the apprentices and the other for the kitchen staff.

Nice going!

Molly Manhanga


Classroom news with Skha Matshalaga

Skha Matshalaga
It was great chatting to Skha on Saturday afternoon. Skha teaches Agriculture at Ebenezer. They are hoping to get 66 new apprentices on the 16 July. The staff are pretty excited at the moment. Seeing as the group will be so large if everyone turns up, Skha will split the new apprentices into 2 groups when she begins teaches agriculture. The new apprentices will be taught in the morning while the 2nd years in the afternoon.

By way of introduction to Agriculture - Steve Manhanga will start to teach them the basics of Foundations for Farming (the spiritual side of it). The 2nd years currently are learning crop husbandry - cabbages, which is the crop of the month. They have just planted 17,000 seedlings.

Skha was saying that all the apprentices are busy planting cabbages and onions and will soon start on carrots. Planting is hectic as it interferes with lessons i.e. takes time away from the classroom.

Lets hope she has a great start with the 66 new appy's.

By Molly Manhanga


Tapiwa Munyati - Budding entrepreneur

It was good to catch up with Tapiwa yesterday. This is what she said........

Tapiwa Munyati
I have been given a peanut butter making machine by SOS (Save our Souls). I have been with SOS since a baby until now - 21 years. They gave me this machine so that I can start making money for myself.

Peanut butter making machine

If Tapiwa shells a 20litre bucket of ground nuts, she'll be able to make approximately 15 jars of peanut butter. She is hoping to start shelling this week and is really excited.

Lets hope her micro-business does well......

Tapiwa with her peanut butter making machine

By Molly Manhanga

Cookery club at Ebenezer

Saturday afternoon ladies fellowship! Mrs Nyams and some other enthusiastic chefs were busy in the kitchen yesterday afternoon making cakes and meat pies. Mrs Nyams heads up cookery club which meet either once or twice a week.

Busy preparing their goodies

Amidst all the preparations, some of the girls decided to sing and dance. That was interesting. Mrs Nyams said that they would take the cakes and meat pies home togive the children.....

A quick pose from the Cookery Club members

By Molly Manhanga


From the Marketing man......Rod Spencer pt 2

Rod Spencer

I managed to catch up briefly with Rod as he passed through our home to link up with Steve. This is what he said......

  1. The Advancer graduation is tomorrow 4th July 2012 at Ebenezer.
  2. Each of the Advancers will be receiving a pot, a plate and a cup - courtesy of "Kango" and a puncture repair kit for their bicycles donated by "Racing Snakes".
  3. All the apprentices are busy working on their Business Portfolios which will enable them to track their own businesses and get a feel for what they are doing.
  4. Prayer request from Rod - His laptop was stolen in Bulawayo and it has ALL his information on it. It also has everything of his Zimbabwe experience including pictures. Without it, it's like a chunk of his life is missing. The joys and pains of modern technology.....Please pray that the investigating officer will be able to recover his laptop. Nothing is impossible with God!

By Molly Manhanga


From the Marketing man.....Rod Spencer

Rod Spencer
“Quality” and “Consistency” is the core of marketing of fruit and veg and will be at the centre of the Marketing drive for 2012.
It is not complicated; if you consistently produce the best quality vegetables, the vegetables will sell with out any problems.

During the first quater of 2011 Ebenezer experienced the rewards of producing top quality when they produced some of top tomatoes in the market. The results of their high quality meant that the tomatoes sold quicker and for a consistently higher price.

The goal for 2012 will be to consistently produce not only Tomatoes to the highest of standards but every other vegetable that comes out of Ebenezer.  If Ebenezer can achieve this it will build up a trustworthy reputation in the market and this will ensure that the market will always be hungry for produce coming from Ebenezer.