.......Focusing on Mark Absolom.....

Stephen Manhanga (leader of Crossroads Community Church, Kezi, Zimbabwe) and I had the privilege of staying with Mark and Lesley Absolom in Poole, U.K in July this year. We were very excited to hear that Mark and his daughter Lydia were part of a team from Alder Road Baptist Church (soon to be Gateway Church, Poole) that was coming to Zimbabwe. The trip was initiated by Matthew Hosier, leader of Alder Road Baptist Church. Mark preached at Crossroads Community Church on Sunday 30th November and I then had the opportunity of chatting one on one with him and Lydia.
M.M: Tell me about your family?
M.A: I come from Poole and I’m married to Lesley. We have 4 daughters: Rebecca 19years, Hannah and Sarah are both 16years old and Lydia is 13. Our dog Lady is 4 years old.

M.M: How best would you describe your family life?
M.A: It’s like a rollercoaster ride. There is lots of excitement and happiness. It’s crazy and has challenges.

Mark and his amazing family

M.M: What work do you do in Poole?
M.A: I’m a nurse looking after old people. I work nights.

M.M: What made you decide to come to Zimbabwe?
M.A: I met the Manhanga’s in July his year and was excited and stirred by what they had to share about the dam and Ebenezer. We went away on a church weekend and Matt instigated the trip. Like all good men, I listened to my wife who said I should go. I then went to Matt and said I’d like to travel to Zimbabwe.

M.M: Wise move Mark. What were your first impressions?
M.A: I came with an expectation of seeing extreme poverty because of the media in the U.K. My perception is not what the media says. People are happy and joyful amidst the difficulties. There is an attitude of hope and happiness. People are content.

M.M: Was this your first time preaching in an African rural context?
M.A: No. I have preached in Uganda.

M.M: How would you describe your preach at Crossroads Community Church?
M.A: There is a sense of great hunger to hear the word of God.

M.M: Yes. I agree! You were part and parcel of the clearing of Crossroads Community Church stand. How best would you describe that experience?
M.A: After working in the fields with Mbusiso (an apprentice at Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre), I saw his passion and work ethic and learnt something from him. I was tired from the heat but encouraged to do my all. Seeing others working so hard was an inspiration. We did our bit in extending God’s Kingdom.

Mark and Lydia helping Mbusiso (an Ebenezer apprentice) prune his tomatoes

M.M: What do you think of the scenic views around Ebenezer?
M.A: It is a different comprehension of God’s handiwork. The starts, clouds and the bushes that go on and on…. It is beautifully strange together with the ruggedness of the landscape.

M.M: What words of encouragement would you give the apprentices?
M.A: Always try and remain focused on the dreams and aspirations that God has given them. Keep God at the centre of all they do, always be able to LAUGH and JOKE and in all circumstances to give thanks. NEVER lose vision. Hold on to it tightly.

M.M: Fantastic words of encouragement Mark. Thank you. Be blessed as you continue your Zimbabwe adventure.

The beautiful Absolom “girls”, including Lady – the dog.

Interviewed by Molly Manhanga

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