Getting Real with Lance Edwards.....

Lance Edwards
Lance Edwards is the Operations Director at Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre. He is married to his beautiful wife – Elizabeth and they have 2 adorable children: Katy and Ashton. It was great getting a chance to chat one on one with Lance…..

We really need to hear something of your background Lance, but another time will do. For now, ‘up close’ on the realities on the ground will do….I know you have had highs and lows but tell us……

M.M:……..What is your greatest Joy?
L.E: Seeing the Ebenezer vision becoming a reality. The vision is to equip young people for life in Christ and it’s a joy seeing the apprentices transformed. It is the core of why we are here – to see young people passionate for God in everything they do, see and say.

M.M: What has been your greatest challenge as being the Operations Director of Ebenezer?
L.E: The greatest challenge has been trying to provide all the necessary inputs needed by the apprentices to make them profitable.

M.M: With joys and challenges, you probably have experienced disappointments?
L.E: Yes. Disappointments have been there, like having to dismiss apprentices, after trying to work with them and extending grace. Seeing the cabbage crop fail due to lack of water and the apprentices giving up on them was also a disappointment. The progress hasn’t been as I’d like it to be due to the Zimbabwe situation.

Peter Cunningham and Lance Edwards having a “light” moment in front of the camera!!!

M.M: With the business between Bulawayo town life and Ebenezer, do you see God’s hand on Ebenezer?
L.E: It’s not so much what I see but the feeling I get. Ebenezer is a special place. God is doing an amazing work here and I’m not surprised at all the battles we are facing. Ebenezer is a very important groundbreaking work. We are developing a model for the future.

M.M: How best would you describe the Ebenezer team?
L.E: The team is absolutely amazing. Only God could have put it together. The commitment and talents of the team are a blessing. With the nature of our work, the Ebenezer team is a driven and committed people. They work well together and are an example of Christian leaders living in very difficult circumstances.

M.M: Well put Lance. Thanks. How have you coped juggling work life and family life?
L.E: Work and Home life! Not very well. I was recently told to prioritize. Other things won’t be done as well which will result in people being unhappy. I need to live with the fact that I can’t do everything.

M.M: Wise words and very true. How do you de-stress?
L.E: By being able to talk with my wife Elizabeth at the end of the day. Being able to talk to someone close brings back perspective. I also de-stress by doing things that are not work related and not feeling guilty about it.

M.M: Any words of encouragement for the apprentices?
L.E: I’d encourage them to look at where they’ve come from and where they are now. They have a bright future and their dreams can become a reality. One important thing they need to realize is that the success of their business is equivalent to what they put in. Give to receive. What you put in is what you get out.

A more serious moment for Lance as he looks at the Ebenezer buildings...

M.M: Thank you so much Lance. It really was good catching a bit of your heart and seeing where you are at. We all appreciate everything you are doing.
“Keep on keeping on.”

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga

The Heart of Worship.......

Drawing Closer To God Through Worship
27 people from Crossroads Community Church (C.C.C) and River of Life Church in Bulawayo (Rol Byo) attended a workshop organized by Stephen Manhanga - C.C.C and Mpi Ndebele - Rol Byo. The workshop was held at Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre.

Stephen Manhanga and Mpi Ndebele
Mpi facilitated the meeting which was very interactive and participatory.
Worship is a lifestyle and God is looking for a people of true worship - that will worship him in spirit and truth. We were encouraged to live a life pleasing to God. Once we understand the size of Christ’s sacrifice, it will change our expression of worship.

What do worshippers look like?
What worshippers look like….
  • Born again: 2 Corin 5:17
  • Alive to God
  • Creative
  • Expression shows God’s creativity
  • Renewed mind
  • Being transformed brings growth


  1. Hungry for God
  2. The more we know, the more we worship
  3. Passionate
  4. It’s contagious
  5. Peaceable – live at peace with others
  6. Attractive. Good for building relationship
  7. Servant heart/Humble
  8. Called to serve
  9. Skillful & Honours God
  10. Knowing and believing God – Faith & it takes away the pressure

Group picture of Worship Leaders

WORSHIP: (Summary)
v God focused. Psalm 95
v It’s a gathering and focuses on God, His worth, what He has done for us.
8 of the Ebenezer apprentices that attend Crossroads Community Church participated in this workshop and really enjoyed themselves.
The ‘worshipping’ team ended the session by having a friendly volleyball match. River of Life Bulawayo won both the matches that were played before the games were stopped due to rain.

Volleyball is ‘THE GAME’ played at Ebenezer

By molly manhanga

Orientation of the new Ebenezer apprentices

Getting the 'hang' of life at Ebenezer

On the 3rd November 2008, the 3rd intake of apprentices arrived at Ebenezer. There were 10 boys and 5 girls.
New intake of Ebenezer apprentices
The new apprentices or 1st years were shown to their dorms and they got stuck right into life at Ebenezer. The Vision of Ebenezer was shared to them again, expectations, Code of conduct and so on. They then assisted the 2nd years in their fields before they worked in team marking out and clearing their plots. The business, joys and challenges of life at Ebenezer was becoming more of a reality for the 1st years. After the first week, most of them went to their home for the weekend to inform their parents of what was happening at Ebenezer and to bring things to make their lives more comfortable.

New apprentices clearing their plots
A team from Family Impact came for a one and a half day session with the 1st years and did Choose Freedom. What is Freedom being the excellent introduction by the team. As Charles Kingsley puts it; “False freedom leaves a man doing what he wants but true freedom, what he ought to do”. Other sessions that followed were on Self-image, Communication, Family, Love and Understanding and escaping AIDS. Lighter moments were the exciting game of Chair-ball and the different energizers.

Apprentices and the Family Impact team playing Chair-ball

The 2nd week has since come and gone for our 1st years and this is what a few had to say:
Cuthbert Dube, 18 years. Life at Ebenezer is FINE. I’m clearing the plots and enjoying it very much. Working in team is good. I’ve made friends with all the 1st years.

Thubelihle Dube, 18 years. I have enjoyed my 2 weeks at Ebenezer especially working with my friends and telling jokes. I’m enjoying the spiritual and business lessons so far. Agriculture is okay.

Proud Moyo, 19 years. It’s good to be at Ebenezer. I’ve enjoyed Ebenezer’s approach of working in team to clear the fields. As for the lessons, I LOVE the spiritual lessons. Without the spirit, there is no life.
What a great start to LIFE at Ebenezer. This new intake of apprentices seem to be really serious about their businesses.
Written by Molly Manhanga


One on One with Mbusiso Ndlovu

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I come from Nkayi but I live with the Dlodlo family in Mamgupo area which is 31km from Ebenezer. It takes me 5 hours to walk from Ebenezer to the family I live with. I am 23 years old and the 2nd born in a family of 3. Both my parents have passed away.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: My friend told me about Ebenezer. I filled in a Selection Camp form and attended the camp. I enjoyed the camp especially playing with my friends and the lessons.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: The greatest challenge has been the water shortage. Its now better because of drip irrigation. My plants were eaten by cows but I have since made a bush fence which is a deterant for the animals.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: My greatest joy has been the spiritual lessons with Stephen Manhanga. They have helped me grow in Christ. I also enjoy knowing how to manage my business.

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: My role model is Gerald Mangena. I like his plumbing skills and I feel I can learn a lot from him.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years I will be helping my community by teaching them Farming God’s Way that I have learnt at Ebenezer and I will be a successful farmer.

May God bless you as you continue to be a light at Ebenezer and in your community.

By Molly Manhanga

One on one with Kingdom Moyo

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I am turning 18years old. I come from Silozwi which is about a one and a half hour walk from Ebenezer. I live with my grandfather as my parents are separated. I am the eldest of 3 siblings.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: When I was in school, I saw my peers with application forms for the Selection Camp. I collected a form from my Kraal Head – a person with authority and rank in the local community. I attended the camp and really enjoyed myself, especially the way the Ebenezer staff entertained us. It was good.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: The greatest challenge has been the water shortage. It is better now because we now have a pipeline with taps and drip irrigation. Another challenge has been my tomatoes being attacked by bollworm and red spider mite. I have sprayed my crops with chemicals and I hope to get a good harvest.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: My greatest joy has been the knowledge I’ve gained on farming as well as the lessons in business, agriculture and spiritual.

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: Stephen and Molly Manhanga. I enjoy looking at their marriage and how they support each other.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years, I’ll be in a relationship that is heading for marriage. I’ll also be a successful businessman. I’ll employ people from my community and teach them how to Farm God’s Way.

May God bless you as you continue to be a light at Ebenezer and in your community.

By Molly Manhanga

Drip Irrigation At Ebenezer

Align Left

Apprentices taking a break between installing the drip kits

What Is Drip Irrigation?

v Drip irrigation is a slow application of water, nutrients and chemical directly to the plant root area or root zone.
v It can be controlled to maximum and minimum use of water.
v Soil moisture can be optimized by controlling the area and rate at which water is applied.
v Water drips through an emitter or micro-tubes in slow regular and controlled manner.

Types of Drip Kits
v Bucket kit
v Vegetable garden kit
v Easy drip irrigation

Advantages of Drip Irrigation
v Affordable
v Improved yield – several crops after a calendar
v Water saving – Uniformity water distribution
v Labour saving
v Good quality

Disadvantages of Drip System
v Difficulty to trust easily
v Susceptible to clogging

Stephen and Mkhululi measuring the drip kits

Why Drip Irrigation at Ebenezer?
v Water saving
v Labour saving as it gives the apprentices an opportunity to catch up with other chores instead of watering each plant with a hosepipe.
v Time management: The apprentices can work on their records, put mulch in their fields and so on while their crop is being watered.

One on One with Mqondisi Moyo

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I am 19 years old. My home area is at Bhazha but I stay at Ethandweni Children’s Home. Ethandweni is an orphanage. Both my parents have passed away. Ethandweni Children’s Home is approximately 20km from Ebenezer. It takes me about 4 hours to walk this distance. We are 4 in my family and I am the last born.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: Application forms were brought to White Water High School – The school I was attending at that time. I was interested in Ebenezer and our Headmaster gave us a brief on Ebenezer. I filled in the forms and came for Selection Camp which I enjoyed, particularly the Vision and interaction with different people.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: The greatest challenge has been in understanding the Business aspects of Ebenezer with regards to me making a profit from my plot. I’m beginning to understand it more as time goes on and I get taught more on business.

Q: What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: My greatest joy has been the spiritual lessons with Stephen Manhanga that have changed my life and learning to be a successful businessman.

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: Mr Mapanga from White Water School. I enjoyed his teaching and understood him.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years, I will have a piece of land and I will be farming.

May God bless you as you continue to be a light at Ebenezer and in your community.



One on one with Shingani Nyoni

Shingani Nyoni

Shingani Nyoni, affectionately known as Shingi, joined the Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre staff as the accountant and administrative person based in the Ebenezer town office in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Q: What an honour to have you join the Ebenezer family. Do tell us about your background?
A: I am Shingani Nyoni. I was born and grew up in rural Hwange. I was born on the 22nd October 1980. I am 28 years old. I am generally a quiet person but can easily make friends. I am still single but I look forward to marrying before I’m 30.

I am from a family of 7. There are 4 boys and 3 girls. My parents are elderly and they are still living in Hwange. I am the youngest boy in my family and the only one still living in Zmbabwe (am the Joseph of my family). Now I’m looking after my little sister.

I did my primary education in Hwange and I went to Thekwane High School in Plumtree for my secondary education in 1996 to 1999. Then l came to Bulawayo for my Advanced level in 2000 to 2001 (Foundation College). After Advanced level, l taught for a year in Hwange at a secondary school while trying to find a course to do. l had a passion for accounts but I had not done it at Advanced level. I excelled in the science subjects. I knew I wouldn’t get a place in any university to study accounting because of that. I came to Bulawayo Polytechnic in January 2004 and I studied Accounts which I completed at Higher National Diploma in 2007. Then l registered with The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK last year to further my studies.

My life really changed when l came to Bulawayo. By the grace of God I was saved and now I am a born again Christian. I go to Family life Centre (Pentecostal). I am the National Treasurer and also a board member and Trustee of Family Life Projects Trust. I am also in the church and youth leadership committee. I lead and participate actively in all church activities.

I really like soccer, chess and socializing with people of different age groups.

Q: Where were you working before you joined Ebenezer?
A: I taught for a year in Hwange 2002 and worked for a chemical distributing and Trucking Company Bulchem here in Bulawayo as an Assistant Accountant from December 2005 to Feb 2007. Then I joined Ostarama Feeds Growouts as Administrative Officer in 12 Feb 2007 till July 2008.

Q: What was your motivation for becoming a part of the Ebenezer Family?
A: I was eager to learn new things and to develop my career in accounting and to really understand business. Being part of Ebenezer really gave me the opportunity to develop my career and to learn business.

Q: What work do you do for Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre?
A: Producing monthly management accounts. Progress reports to the management, assisting in procurement and sourcing out funds. Payments to suppliers and all administrative work necessary for the organization to run.

Q: You are based in Bulawayo and not actually on site in Kezi. How does that make you feel?
A: I have no problem being here, since I am still studying and also looking after my sister who still at school. As long as I manage to get to Kezi often, then I won’t have problems in understanding what’s going on there and staying here.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge at the Ebenezer town office?
A: The challenges were minimal except for gathering the required information together. This was because there was no one from the beginning who was doing the accounts. One major challenge I faced was only during the absence of Elizabeth Edwards - Accountant for Ebenezer. Chasing for wages and payments required me to leave the office and find my own transport to and from town. This was generally transport problem to the bank and town.

Q: We really appreciate your skills on the team. Any last thoughts…..
A: I am really happy with the whole team. Everything is just so different to what I am used to. I think its all about prayer. I suggest we interact more so that we meet each other at our point of needs and keep the high spirit and moral among us and the organization going.

Shingi enjoying a game of table tennis

Interview done by Molly Manhanga

Faithful Steward Activators - Want to know more? Read on.....

What is Faithful StewardActivators and how does it link up with Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre?

Two staff members from Ebenezer Agricultural training Centre , Xolani Ndlovu and Portia Chitunhu, went to Harare for 4 weeks training at River of Life Westgate Church, Harare, Zimbabwe as part of the Faithful Stewards Activators programme. Both Xolani and Portia are also members of Crossroads Community Church, a church plant out of River of Life Church Bulawayo. Crossroads Community Church and River of Life Church based in Bulawayo are just two of the many churches that have a relationship with New Frontiers and enjoy being part of the family of churches.

Tongai Mahobele & Alan Norton

Faithful Stewards - Feedback

Faithful Stewards is a ministry based on the exhortation from the parable of the talents to be faithful stewards first with what God has given each of us, before wishing for more.

This year the ministry is aimed at equipping the Newfrontiers Zimbabwe churches to be fruitful and produce food for their own tables and a surplus to sell. The target is over 500 families on 1,200hactares, growing maize and soyabeans, and includes making compost for fertiliser, and linking the families to appropriate markets.
Through this we aim to break the yoke of poverty and set people free to minister in God's church to those as yet unsaved in their communities. The first 35 people received an intensive month of training at River of Life Westgate. We are amazed at their enthusiasm and eagerness. Please pray that they will effectively carry this back to their communities and reap a bountiful harvest.

By Alan Norton & Tongai Mahobele