Classes have started again.....

1st year appy's being pretty attentive


Appy drawing a picture on the white board

Classes started this week and I managed to catch the Spiritual Class on the Life of Joseph. Steve Manhanga does an excellent job with Spiritual classes and the apprentices relate to the story so much. One comment I received from an appy was that the lesson time, which is an hour, was 'too short' as they enjoy Spiritual so much.

We thank God that the apprentices are so eager to learn about Him and get to know Him more as well as for Stephen's awsome teaching gift.

By Molly Manhanga

Meet Jolene van Heerden - 3D

It was great chatting to Jolene........
Jolene van Heerden
M.M: Tell me abit about your background?
J.vH: I was born in Rustenburg and lived there for 4 years before moving to Pietermaritzburg. We've recently moved to Joburg. We are 4 siblings in our family and I am the oldest. I have 2 younger sisters and a brother. i am 19 years old. I did Home schooling from Grade 1 to Grade 12. I enjoyed it and its quite flexible. I've never been in a formal school system.

M.M: What church do you attend?
J.vH: I was raised in the Dutch Reformed Church but now on my gap year I'll be attending different churches. I want to get exposed to different cultures and the way people conduct their services.

M.M: We look forward to seeing you at Crossroads. How has your stay at Ebenezer been so far?
J.vH: It has been quite enjoyable especially the farming and getting up early. We will be starting clubs like Art and I enjoy Art. There is alot of walking around and I'm not used to that. There is alot of spiritual warfare. Generally, I enjoy it.

M.M: You're certainly right about the spiritual warfare! What are your thoughts on the wedding held at Crossroads last Sunday? 
J.vH: The wedding was interesting. It was a mixture of cultures - traditional versus modern. Seeing how the bride and groom arrive was very different to what I know and then sharing lunch together but it was interesting.

M.M: Whats your favourite meal?
J.vH: Pizza

M.M: What are you hoping to gain personally during these 6 weeks at Ebenezer?
J.vH: I'm hoping to grow in God and learn more about Him. I'm also hoping to gain knowledge and experience here for my future. I'd like to get involved in Prison Ministry so I want to learn as much as possible.

M.M: It's so encouraging seeing a young person know exactly what they'd like to do. Be blessed as you learn more about God and about yourself while you are at Ebenezer.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Vuyolwethu Mpoposhe - 3D

Vuyo Mpoposhe
Want to know what 3D's are, just click on www.crossroadskezi.blogspot.com

Vuyo is one of the five 3D's serving at Ebenezer for 6 weeks. It was great chatting to him and getting to know him better. Here goes

M.M: tell me abit about yourself?
V.M: I was born in Mthatha, South Africa in 1993. I come from a family of 4 (My parents, my young sister and myself). We all attend the Methodist Church in Mthatha. I went to Queens College in Queens Town. I was supposed to be in university this year but I felt God say that I should go to 3D Outreach based in Benoni.

M.M: How did your parents react to this?
V.M: My mum was happy but my dad needed some convincing. Both my parents are christians.

M.M: How has 3D gone so far?
V.M: This is one of our first outreaches and it has been amazing. I'd recommend it to any young person.

M.M: Great. How has your time been at Ebenezer so far?
V.M: This is the only time I'm doing something practical like the gardens, building relationships, discipling young people and so on. (We need not only talk the talk but walk the walk as well.) It's a building process for me and I'm learning much about myself as I live radically for Christ.

M.M: How did you find the wedding at Crossroads on Sunday?
V.M: I was in the kitchen so i didn't see much of the wedding. I wanted to help out as much as I could cooking rice, sadza, meat, chicken, potatoes and making salad.

M.M: Fantastic! Go chef Vuyo! What is your favourite quote?
V.M: "Esse Quam Videri" which means to be rather than to seem to be. It's adopted from my school motto.

M.M: Nice one. What's your favourite meal?
V.M: Anything that has alot of meat in it.

M.M: Following the true Ndebele style! What do you do to relax?
V.M: I play worship music on the guitar.

M.M: This has been great Vuyo. I really hope you enjoy your time at Ebenezer.

By Molly Manhanga

Buildings being completed

Dorms that the 3D's are occupying currently

Completed dorms

Completed ablution facilities

By Molly Manhanga



Catching up with Justin Thebe

It was good catching up with Justin as he stopped over at our home for a bit of a rest. Justin had come into Bulawayo with 1000 of his broiler chickens which weighed approximately 2kg each for slaughter, packaging and sale. He originally had a total of 2000 birds of which 200 died due to yoke infection. 700 birds are still waiting to be collected from his home in Mablauwuni village.

Justin is expecting about $500.00 from the sale of his birds and generally, he feels that chickens are a profitable business.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet the 1st Year Appy's - Tungamirai Mapisa

Tungamirai Moyo

We are 7 children and I am the 5th born. I live with my parents and I come from Bindura - approximately 1 hour drive south of Harare. I attended Chironga Secondary School and completed form 4. I am 20 years old and I was born at Karanda hospital.

Life at Ebenezer after 1 month
The life here at Ebenezer is fine. I am happy and I know God. Since coming here things are going well for me. I like the food. I've made 3 new friends. I'm in the Mlilo family and it is good. I'm building houses for the chickens and making beds for the crops. I attend Crossroads Community Church and have learnt how to forgive and honour my parents.

Learnt to date
I've learnt to build, how to live with others and respect God.

I really hope that Tungamirai grows during his 2 year stay at Ebenezer.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet the 1st Year Appy's - Alice Moyo

Alice Moyo

I come from Jimilalucu in Tsholotsho which is very far from Ebenezer. I have to board 3 buses to get to my home. I am 20 years old and I live with my 71 year old grandmother. My mum died in 1999 and my dad is in Masvingo. I keep in contact with him. I went to Jimila Primary School and finished my Grade 7. I was 13 years old. I didn't go to High school because we couldn't afford the school fees. My granny had no money and my mother died when I was 5 years old.

Life at Ebenezer after 1 month
Life is fine here at Ebenezer. It is not much different from my home in Tsholotsho. I attend New Life for All Church. The food is okay. I didn't eat beans but now I do! I'm building chicken houses and thats okay. I haven't made 'good' friends yet. I think I'll last for the 2 years at Ebenezer.

Learnt to date
I've learnt to be a builder and how to fertilise crops like onions.

I really hope Alice makes 'good' friends and enjoys her time at Ebenezer.

By Molly Manhanga 

Meet the 1st Year Appy's - Godknows Mlilo

Godknows Mlilo

My dad died when I was 3 months old and my mum died when I was in grade 6 (11 - 12 years old). I live with my sister in Majunge in Karoi in a soldier camp. I've got 3 brothers and 3 sisters from different fathers. I am the last born. I am 17 years old, turning 18 in September. I did my schooling in the soldier camp school and learnt up to form 2. I couldn't go any further because we couldn't afford the school fees.

Life at Ebenezer after 1 month
It is great so far. I've got people my own age that I can socialise with but no one that I can call my 'best' friend. The food is good especially the "amabiscuit", or "ingoloyi". (In English - the baked crust at the bottom of the sadza pot. That is really a hit amongst the apprentices!) I'm in the Mlilo family. I attend Crossroads Community Church and I enjoy it because of all the freedom I have. I am building chicken coops for the first three months. It's my first time to build.

Learnt to date
I've learnt how to measure foundations, poles, roofing sheets and so on. I'm learning how to approach people and how to build others up.

That's great Godknows. Enjoy your 2 years at Ebenezer!

By Molly Manhanga


Meet the 1st Year Appy's - Ambitious Mpala

Ambitious Mpala

I come from Kezi which is approximately 40km from Ebenezer. I live with my father. My mother passed away recently - on the 15th June 2012. I have 6 brothers and 3 sisters and I am number 8 in my family. I went to Shashane Secondary School and finished in form 3. I couldn't complete high school due to lack of finances. 

Life at Ebenezer after 1 month
My time at Ebenezer has already changed me. I can now pray and I have received the Lord as my personal saviour. I attend New Life for all Church. We haven't started lessons yet as they will begin in September. I have been digging planting stations and so far I have dug 50. my favourite meal is rice and chicken. I have made new friends at Ebenezer.

Learnt to date
I've learnt practicals like digging holes and keeping chickens.

Let's hope Ambitious will grow in her personal walk with God and learn many more things during her 2 years at Ebenezer.

By Molly Manhanga

On a sombre note....

Two of the second year apprentices had to leave the Training Centre due to misconduct. This leaves a total of 6 second year apprentices: 2 girls and 4 boys. Lets hope they last until they graduate!!

By Molly Manhanga


Meet the 1st Year Appy's - David Dube

David Dube

I am 17 years old. I was born in Kwekwe city. We are 2 siblings and I am older than my sister. I live with my dad as my mum passed away on 11 March 2011. I went to Manunure High School and completed my form 4. Kwekwe is almost a 3 hour drive from Ebenezer.

Life at Ebenezer
Everything is fine. The food is alright, I'm socialising with friends, learning how to build chicken coops, cutting down trees and digging planting stations for carrots and maize. I'm in aunty Skha's family and it is peaceful. We are about 15 in our family. I've made new friends and I attend Crossroads Community Church.

Learnt to date
I've learnt how to build, love and respect others, love and respect God.

I hope David has an excellent 2 years at Ebenezer.

By Molly Manhanga



Meet The 1st Year Appy's - Brenda Mpala

Brenda Mpala

I come from Mzaca village in Inkayi district. Inkayi is about 5 hours drive from Ebenezer. I live with my father and my aunt. My mum died in 2010. My dad had 3 wives and we are a total of 20 children. Two of the wives had died. I am number 18 in my family. I know all my siblings. I went to Komayanga Secondary School and finished my form 4. I am 20 years old.

Life at Ebenezer after 1 month
It is better here than where I come from. I have made new friends and I attend New Life for all Church. The food is okay. I haven't planted anything yet but I have dug planting stations. We work in teams. I find this hard because some of us work hard while others relax.

Learnt to date
I have learnt how to pray and how to live with others.

By Molly Manhanga


Happy 5th Birthday Ebenezer

Ebenezer turned 5 on the 15th August 2012. Time has passed from the first time Ebenezer started with 16 apprentices on the 15th August 2007.

This years birthday was marked with a Mini Olympics. Yes, Great Britain did brilliantly in hosting the Main Event but Ebenezer had a little one - a mini one. 4 teams were represented as they worked in Families - what used to be Cell Groups. There was Team Mlilo led by George and Siphie, Team Nyams led by Augustine and Gertrude, Team Mthsalaga led by Skha and Team Ndlovu led by Mbusiso and Pretty.

Some of the events were shot put, long jump, relay races, pushing Rod Spencer's car 50m and so on. These olympics were real exciting and Team Ndlovu, who had 21 people, simply "creamed" the other teams. They were impressive! They pushed Rods car 50m in 9 seconds. How energetic and determined is that! Some of the apprentices can run - really run (wonder how they'd fair against Bolt though!), while others,......... don't have the speed........ It's not their talent.

Team Ndlovu received 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 4 bronze medals. They had 85 points in total. For their efforts, they received a cake and will be able to get their meals FIRST from Wednesday through to Saturday.

The main attraction of these Olympics was the meal in the evening. The apprentices feasted on chicken, rice, salads etc. Nice one.

The whole day was funfilled and everyone seemed to have a good time.


By Molly Manhanga



Snapshot of 1st year boys

First year apprentices - Boys just before a meal!

I managed to round up the 36 first year apprentice boys to ask a general question as to how they are finding life at Ebenezer so far. The response was:

  1.  Life is good
  2. The food is good
  3. Fantastic
  4. The dorms are fine
One on one interviews will take place shortly so that you can 'meet' the apprentices and get to know a little about them.

Ebenezer celebrated it's 5th birthday yesterday - 15 August.

Read on to find out more about the celebrations........

By Molly Manhanga


Brief update on the chickens.......

Honest Matavire and Moreblessing Moyo were hard at work  - paper work that is - calculating numbers etc of the chickens at Ebenezer, Silozwe, Magobeni and Mablauwuni. This is what they said:

Moreblessing Moyo (Left) and Honest Matavire (Right)
1. There is a total of about 18, 424 broiler chickens in the above communities.
2. The main challenges have been yoke infection which have caused the death of quite a few chickens and water is quite a problem. The chicken farmers have to dig down to about 1 meter in the sandy river beds to get water or use the wells that have some water in them.
3.Majority of the chickens are between 1 week to 6 weeks old.
4. Generally, the farmers are doing well in looking after the chickens.

By Molly Manhanga


More buildings in progress

Apart from the volunteer house being built, there are more ablution facilities being built by the girls dorms.

By Molly Manhanga