A day in the life of an Ebenezer graduate

(Left) Simangaliso Ndlovu (Right) Sithabiso Thsuma
The graduates work really hard at Ebenezer and currently they are on a one year programme. We have 2 young ladies and 6 young men on the programme. Their day starts at 5:00am when they go to the fields. At 6:00am – 6:30am, they have devotions. After that they head back into their fields. Whilst there, the graduates can weed, put fertilizer, scout their plants, spray, water their plants and so on. If the crop is tomatoes, they need to tie them so that the tomatoes don’t touch the ground or they harvest them. The day normally finishes at 5:00pm with meal breaks in-between.
On Wednesdays they have meetings to discuss their business plans, update their cash books, hand in cheques and so in. It seems like a really full day but Simangaliso and Sithabiso say they are able to manage all this work.
By Molly Manhanga


Catching up with Matt Hosier

Matthew Hosier

What a joy and privilege having Matt Hosier, leader of Gateway Church, Poole, U.K, come out to Kezi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is a GREAT person: an awesome gentleman, great sense of humour, fun to be around and a treasured friend. Matt served us so well at Ebenezer and was brilliant at camp Momentum. I have so enjoyed chatting to him before and during camp Momentum 2010 in Kezi, Bulawayo.

M.M: What are your thoughts on Camp Momentum 2010?
M.H: Brilliant. It’s great to be here. New Creation church is maturing and growing, building businesses. It’s awesome.

M.M: How do mercy ministries flourish in thriving, evangelistic, local churches?
M.H: Each Church needs to work out the Kingdom of God. Everything is God’s. The Church is bringing the Kingdom of God in action by proclaiming the Cross. Our Kingdom mandate is providing Isaiah 61 and this flows from a healthy church.

M.M: What do you think of churches engaging in culture and society more intentionally in our generation and are there dangers?
M.H: There are definite dangers if the church doesn’t speak into culture/society e.g. the effects of Nazism in Germany. The church didn’t speak out. There is the danger of getting too involved in culture and forgetting about the gospel. There needs to be an appropriate balance. The Church is the hope of the world and having Christians in positions of influence is a good thing.

M.M: There is a growing interest in Chronological Bible Storying amongst oral cultures. What are your thoughts on Chronological Bible Storying (CBS)?
M.H: People need to understand the story of the Bible. God is redeemer, reconciler, we are inheritors of all His promises. People need to understand Genesis to Revelation of God wanting a people. In any culture people need to grasp this story.

Matt Hosier at his seminar “Bring it on.”

M.M: What makes you “tick” or what are the virtues that drive you?
M.H: Loyalty – it reflects the faithfulness of God, love my wife and family well, practice what I teach, curiosity of all kinds of things – intellectual curiosity and interesting creativity.

M.M: Thank you so, so much Matt. It’s always a real pleasure chatting to you.

By Molly Manhanga

Matthew Hosier at Ebenezer

Matt Hosier

I really enjoy listening to Matt Hosier, leader of Gateway Church, Poole, U.K. His time with the apprentices and graduates at Ebenezer Training Centre had a HUGE impact on them. He spoke about “Trust” – the importance of trust in relationships and putting God first. He used an example of a husband/wife relationship and where there is no trust.

Matt then had a time with the graduates/emerging leaders from Crossroads Community Church. The discussion was around Elders and male leadership. It was great. These are the comments some of the graduates made afterwards:

1. Mqondisi Moyo: I found the discussion challenging. Matt spoke on things I didn’t know. I liked his example of Adam being head of his family and male leadership.
2. Brilliant Khoza: It was a great discussion time with Matt. I recall asking a question on eldership and leaders. Matt made things clear from the Bible. He encouraged us to stick to what God is saying.
3. Tawanda Moyo: It was good. I liked the discussion on male leadership. Women can participate in many ways in the Church but not to lead.
It’s wonderful when inspiring topics and discussions have a lasting impression and take root in people’s lives.
By Molly Manhanga

"Demolishing Strongholds" pt 3 by Sam Poe

Sam started this session with the fall of the human race. It’s a sad and tragic story. We see God didn’t give up on Adam and Eve. The eating of the fruit meant that the relationship with God was deeply damaged. The man and woman experienced guilt, shame and fear. These 3 emotions came because of sin and they became controlling factors. Guilt, shame and fear form strongholds in people’s lives and cultures. Nations, tribes, communities and so on need ways to control people. One of these areas becomes a stronghold.

The stronghold of fear is a BIG issue. Many African cultures are subject to fear control. Jesus sets us free from strongholds. He died on the cross to free us from guilt, through the cross we are delivered from shame and through the resurrection we are delivered from fear. The cross of Christ deals with strongholds. Strongholds are the lies that people believe in.

Where fear is a stronghold, people seem to have special powers in the culture which seems to be tangible. It only works in fear. There are special places of power like a hill or shrine where you get power. It is not from God and based on a stronghold - it’s a lie from the enemy. There are certain needs that arise in a culture with a stronghold of fear:
1. Power needs. It controls situations and people. There is a need to hang on to things – how can I keep my husband? How can I keep my baby from harm? We start to use charms that are supposed to make spirits not do things to us. This doesn’t come from God but it’s based in the enemy. How do we punish them? How do we placate the spirits?
All witchcraft and the occult operates in fear and power. The use of superstitions and charms build up strongholds of fear.

Rituals work through all stages of life:
1. Babies
2. Coming into manhood or womanhood
3. Marriage
4. Death
5. After death
Rituals are based in fear. Fear based cultures have family control through the ancestors. The Bible tells us that the ancestors don’t have power over us as in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. We don’t need to be afraid of our dead ancestors. If we live with fear, it undermines our boldness to be a witness for Christ.

2. Prosperity needs: We need to look to God for our daily bread. There is never a shortage of provision. With God there is plenty of everything. It’s unlimited.
3. Health needs: In a fear based culture when one is sick, they go to the clinic but they also go to the witchdoctor. There is a constant mixing of things.
4. Security needs: the rituals are meant to protect us from things.
These are result of the stronghold of fear. Fear is a strong motivator in the kingdom of darkness. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” In God’s kingdom we need to be motivated by faith, His goodness and His word. God is our protector. If we live in fear we are made captive.

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” V19 is key: “We love Him because He first loved us.” Fear is driven out at the confidence that God loves us and comes to set us free. We will have trouble in this life but God’s love drives out fear.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

One on one with Jessica Richards

Jessica Richards

Jessica Richards has come to serve for 3 months at Ebenezer Training Centre. I was pretty delighted to meet Jess and have a one on one with her. This is what she said:

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
J.R: I was born in Cape Town and we moved to Australia when I was 2 years old. I grew up in Australia. We then moved to England 4 years ago where I did my GCSE and “A” levels. I am going to York University in September to study English Literature and Philosophy.

M.M: What are your links to Zimbabwe?
J.R: My parents were both born in Zimbabwe and they grew up here. They moved to Cape Town for University. I was here in Zimbabwe last August on holiday. I’m on a gap year and doing very useful things in Zimbabwe.

M.M: How has your time been in Zimbabwe so far?
J.R: I had an interesting time in Harare seeing the names and places my parents talked about. I have met people from different walks of life and it’s been an amazing experience. I’m glad I’m here. I was involved in things like Kidzcan (children with cancer) I’d be with the children in the playroom and do some administrative type things.

M.M: What are your expectations about serving at Ebenezer?
J.R: I don’t know. I’m excited to be here and I’m hoping to “click” with the apprentices. The more I learn about Ebenezer, the more “cool” I think it is. Having the opportunity to canoe to work is really “cool”.

M.M: It will be an experience of a lifetime! What are you passionate about?
J.R: Reading, words – I don’t really know yet. It’s such an evocative word. I know what I like but I’m not sure if I’m passionate about it. I like seeing things coming into fruition.

M.M: What do you do to relax?
J.R: Listen to music, journaling, doing “nothing”, just “floating” around the house, I like to think and cooking.

M.M: Well Jess, I hope you’ll enjoy your time at Ebenezer connecting with the apprentices and staff as well as doing all the “cool” stuff like canoeing.

By Molly Manhanga


Catching up with Tim Windsor

Tim Windsor
It was great meeting Tim and his wife Pam who stopped over at Ebenezer and Crossroads to catch the heart of what God is doing in the community. Tim and Pam attend a Newfrontiers church called The Kings Family Church in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The church is led by Chris McLean.
M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
T.W: I was born in Ontario, Canada and I am 44 years old. I met my wife Pam at a Bible College. We have 2 children: Melissa who is 20 and Christopher who is 17 years old.

M.M: What do you do in Canada?
T.W: I own several businesses in Canada. I run medical clinics; a corporate training and Development Company and I do marketing and business consulting. In addition, I serve on a charity board called Africa 180 in Mozambique as well as one in Canada called Initiative 360.

M.M: How often have you been to Zimbabwe?
T.W: This is my 2nd trip to Zimbabwe. I was here in January this year, I’m here now and I hope to be back later in the year – around October or November.

M.M: What is the purpose of your trips to Zim?
T.W: The purpose of the visits is to connect with Foundations for farming in Harare. I’ve connected with Newfrontiers and I’m here to build links, relationships and partner with people in Canada, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. We are hoping to use Foundations for farming in Mozambique.

M.M: What are your impressions of Ebenezer?
T.W: Well, I met Scott Marques and Alan Norton who are extremely warm people. Although we are all “white” people, there are huge cultural differences. We sometimes think we have all the answers but I have come with more questions because the answers are already here. This is a learning experience. Alan Norton recommended we come to Kezi and see/understand the heart of what is happening at Ebenezer and Crossroads (Community development and Church planting) What I love is that it’s taking Biblical principles and changing the heart of people. It resonates with my experience. Get the heart to get life change. It’s a privilege being here at Ebenezer and seeing the formative stages. I’d like to come back in the future and see how it has developed.

M.M: What are you passionate about?
T.W: Igniting excellence in people. Helping the poor in practical ways and I have a growing passion for Africa. The nations have so much and yet so little. They need to utilize what they have.

M.M: What do you do to relax?
T.W: play golf and spend time with my wife.

M.M: Any other comments?
T.W: Coming here and seeing Newfrontier Churches engaged with mission where they live is humbling and provocative. It’s a significant time and opportunity for blessing in Zimbabwe.

M.M: Thanks so much Tim. What a pleasure chatting to you. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Zimbabwe.
By Molly Manhanga


"Demolishing Strongholds" with Sam Poe pt 2

Sam and Marlene Poe

Recap James 4:7 - 8a “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…..”
You have to be active and not passive in spiritual warfare. We are called to:
1. Submit ourselves to God. We can’t keep blaming the devil or our ancestors for our wrong doing.
2. Resist the devil. We are given authority over Satan and every evil spirit. It’s for all who have submitted to God i.e. temptations, wrong thoughts etc Say NO! – to the devil and he will flee.
3. As we draw near to God, He promises to draw near to us.

We are going into the world to see people set free. We are the light of the world, the light of God’s truth which we carry in our hearts.

Sam Poe addressing the apprentices

Sam then told the story of when Jesus sent his disciples out. After a while they came back to Jesus to give feedback and they were pretty excited. Jesus told them not to rejoice because they had power over the enemy but to rather rejoice that they belonged to Him – to the family of God. The story teaches us a great deal about demolishing strongholds.

What do we learn:
1. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. In times of battle, Jesus is the sovereign King. We have an enemy but Jesus rules over everything. We need to stand in faith in the midst of difficulty. Jesus is in control and He will bring us victory.
2. Jesus wanted His disciples to be in relationship with Him. He invited 12 to walk with Him daily and to do His works. Jesus desires us to walk with Him. Our success in the mission depends on this. If we are to be successful, we need to walk with Jesus. Don’t let sin spoil our relationship with Jesus.
3. Prayer is important. Life is war! Prayer is important in the area of spiritual warfare. It’s also important that we pray for each other. As we go into pioneering situations, we need prayer support and to be praying.
4. Jesus called his disciples out and told them to do his work everywhere. This is the work of each of us. The disciples were sent out in team. God loves team. (1 God but 3 persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit) All through eternity, God has been living in community. It’s part of His character.

Jesus gave authority to His disciples over all the powers of darkness. This is true for us. If we know Jesus, we have authority over all powers of darkness. Jesus saw satan’s kingdom falling as the disciples went out sharing the gospel in towns and villages. As people begin to respond to the message, we see satan falling. Share the good news with people and see people come to Jesus.
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

"Demolishing Strongholds" by Sam Poe

Sam and Marlene Poe
We are so blessed to have Sam and Marlene Poe from Tacoma, USA serve us in Kezi, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Sam is currently doing a series on Demolishing Strongholds with the apprentices at Ebenezer Training Centre. He introduced this topic by saying that we are at war as Christians and our warfare is not against people but against the powers of darkness. We are in a battle that Jesus has already won.

Ephesians 6:10 – 12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Paul is writing, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. God gives us the Holy Spirit for us to be strong. He also gives us armor to put on. Paul is speaking about spiritual warfare. We need to stand against the devil’s schemes. God is building His Church. In the community we have Crossroads Community Church and when a church is built in the community, Christians are declaring warfare. If we’re part of the church, we’re involved in God’s army. When the church goes on the offensive, there will be counterattacks from the enemy. We mustn’t ignore the fact that we’re in a battle but we also mustn’t become too preoccupied with the devil. Our focus is on Jesus. In principle, we have already won the battle but the enemy is deceiving people and trying to keep people in captivity.

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
This scripture is an important truth from James. God is victorious. What is our responsibility in the battle?
1. Submit ourselves to God
2. Resist the devil and he will flee from us. This is because we’re submitted to Christ. When we’re submitted and trust Christ and the enemy tries to deceive us, we can resist.
3. Draw near to God and He will draw near to us.

2 Corinthians 10:3 – 5
Paul uses the term “strongholds” meaning the weakest point of entry is wrong thinking. These strongholds are arguments that set themselves up against God. Strongholds are wrong thoughts. We need to have the word of God in our mind.
We need to stand on God’s word and throw out all the lies. As a Christian, we can believe what is not true and that can be a stronghold. Strongholds gain power in our lives through:
1. Culture – Every culture has strongholds. There are parts of culture that are helpful and good.
2. Habitually sinning – e.g. Judas had a stronghold in his life: loving money more than anything else.
3. Emotional wounds – hurtful, offensive things that happen to us.
Jesus comes to set us free from strongholds. When we believe God’s word, Jesus comes against strongholds which exist in secret. People carry dark secrets. When brought to the light, the stronghold breaks down.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga


The Ebenezer dam

Ebenezer Dam

One of my most relaxing moments is sitting by the Ebenezer dam and admiring the spectacular view. It speaks of the magnificence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Not to mention just how peaceful it is seeing all the water.

We had quite a bit of rain in Kezi this past week and the dam is looking amazing. Sam and Marlene Poe from Tacoma, USA, Stephen and I were admiring this awesome view yesterday afternoon. It’s incredibly beautiful! Thank you Lord for all the rain!

Spectacular view of the Ebenezer dam

By Molly Manhanga

Getting to know Sikhanyiso Matshalaga

Sikhanyiso Matshalaga

Sikhanyiso Matshalaga better known as Skha has just started working at Ebenezer Training Centre. I caught up with Skha to find out more about her. This is what she said:

M.M: Tell me briefly about your background?
S.M: I was in born in Harare but I grew up in Bulawayo. I did my primary education at Coughlin Primary school. I went to Townsend High until my “O” levels before going to Dominican Convent School to complete my “A” levels. I then went to the University of Zimbabwe and studied a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in crop science and specializing in horticulture.

M.M: How did you get to hear about Ebenezer Training Centre?
S.M: I heard about Ebenezer from Renee Cunningham. She came to our printing company to print brochures for Ebenezer. I met her again at Family Impact when they were doing Chronological Bible Storying.

M.M: What are you passionate about?
S.M: Jesus and agriculture

M.M: Who has influenced you recently?
S.M: Dr Goodwill Shana. He was sharing on the keys of the Kingdom and when he spoke about not building my life, expectation and value on what people say but rather on what God says, I felt released.

M.M: So, so true! What do you do to relax?
S.M: Read and watch television

M.M: You have just arrived a day or so ago. Any comments on the apprentices fields?
S.M: They are trying hard but they need to apply themselves especially on keeping standards. The apprentices need some self-motivation.

M.M: Thanks Skha. I really hope you have an inspired time at Ebenezer as you mentor the apprentices.

By Molly Manhanga