The Fry's at Ebenezer

Andy and Alison Fry chatting to the apprentices

It's always GREAT having friends pop in at Ebenezer. The Fry's were in Zimbabwe for a brief two and a half weeks and they spent a day at Ebenezer visiting us all. Andy and Alison are just great and have such servant hearts. I didn't manage to chat to them as I would have liked but I did catch a picture of them as they were touring the apprentice plots.

I hope for a better opportunity next time!

By Molly Manhanga


Ladies Discipleship with Marlene Poe

We are going through the book “Influential Women” written by Wendy Virgo as part of our Discipleship for the next 6 weeks. Last week we looked at how 3 different people were added to the early Church in Acts 16. These being Lydia, a businesswoman, the slave girl who was delivered and the Jailer and his family. We also had a brief synopsis of the Book of Philippians.

What would cause women to disagree or be in conflict?
We see in Philippians 4 that 2 women had a relational problem: Euodia and Syntyche. They were not bad women and both had worked alongside Paul sharing the gospel. What is it that can cause problems?

1. Jealousy – There is limited good and you want it for yourself
2. Criticism – this leads to rude behavior and not treating people with respect
3. Different ways of thinking – opinionated people think they are always right
4. Personality differences – loud and quiet people
5. Competitiveness – good in sport
6. Legalistic thinking – leads to judgmental attitudes
7. Immature behavior
8. Difference in preferences of style - (dress, hair, make-up, accessories etc)
What is Paul’s attitude towards these disagreements? Philippians 4:1 “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.” Paul urges the women to keep the unity.

We need to be united and let the world see the love we have for one another. Reconciliation and forgiveness are at the heart of the gospel and it requires humility, putting aside personal preferences and serving one another. We need to have a sincere desire for the good of one another. Paul encourages the women to work out their differences. Let’s be caught up in a much greater thing than little differences that bring division and can grow out of proportion.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga


Getting to Know Nokuthula Mdlankomo - 1st Year Appy

Nokuthula Mdlankomo

M.M: Tell me about your background?
N.M: I’m 17 years old. I live at Luma Village in Kezi. I live with my stepmother. I have two young brothers and 4 young sisters. I don’t know who my parents are or whether they are alive or not.

M.M: You have been at Ebenezer for 6 months. How has your stay been so far?
N.M: I like Ebenezer because I’ve gained more knowledge and made new friends.

M.M: Have you faced any challenges in the last 6 months?
N.M: Seeing some of my crops failing!

M.M: What crops have you grown so far and how have they done?
N.M: I’ve grown cabbages, wheat and tomatoes. My tomato crop failed because of pests and diseases and my cabbage crop failed due to lack of water. My wheat is good.

M.M: What a learning curve! I really hope you do well with your wheat and other crops you will grow.

By Molly Manhanga


One on One with Evidence Ndlovu - 1st year appy

Evidence Ndlovu

M.M: Tell me about your background?
E.N: I was born on the 26th August 1990. I live at Zwehamba Village in Mapisa. I live with my grandparents. I have one young brother and one older sister. I also have 4 nieces and nephews who live at my grandparents home. I am 19 years old.

M: You have been at Ebenezer for 6 months. How has your stay been so far?
E.N: I enjoy Ebenezer because it has helped me draw near to God and to have standards with my work.

M.M: Have you faced any challenges in the last 6 months?
E.N: Nothing yet!

M.M: What crops have you grown so far and how have they done?
E.N: I’ve grown cabbages, maize and tomatoes. They have all done well.

M.M: Great. How much tomatoes have you harvested to date?
E.N: I’ve harvested a total of 617kg so far.

M.M: Thanks Evidence. Keep going and I hope your next crop does well.

by molly manhanga


Crops on the go at Ebenezer

Cabbages are looking good

Apprentices grading their tomatoes

Potatoes have been planted

Beans doing well

The apprentices have been working really hard in their fields despite the many challenges they face. Some of their crops are looking excellent like the cabbages and beans. Although we thank God for the late rains, the tomatoes have been affected pretty badly and most have split. The potatoes are a "new" crop for the apprentices. They prepared their fields on time and we are hoping germination will be good. We hope the apprentices will reap the rewards of their efforts.
As we enter our winter season, we are looking at planting winter maize.
By Molly Manhanga


Stronghold of Tribalism/racism by Sam Poe

Sam Poe
Sam told the story of Jephthah from Judges 12:1 – 7. Jephthah was one of the judges in Israel. The story is set in the day of Judges when everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes. We read of how 42,000 Ephriamites died in the conflict and aftermath. It’s a sad story of tribal hatred that broke out amongst close tribal peoples in Israel.

It started out with pride and the problem of arrogance. Hatred grew until civil war broke out. God ordered it that we are part of a people group and culture. Every tribe, people group, nation and so on is valid. God wants a people group, he wants to save people groups and it will be pretty colourful in heaven.

Tribalism/racism isn’t the problem but it’s the arrogance that says “we are superior to you” and it grows derogatory.
Words like barbarian – a Greek word that is derogatory to cultures that couldn’t speak Greek or Latin and made fun of them. The travelling people were looked down upon. The Greek culture had a stronghold of “civilized and uncivilized” which is inappropriate. Who decides what or who is civilized or uncivilized? So-called “civilized” nations have done atrocious things.

How do we demolish the stronghold of tribalism or racism?God’s purpose is to create one new man and to create peace. He delights in certain parts of all the cultures. Colossians 3:11 “…where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” All languages will be represented in heaven. What is the splendor of the nations and languages in heaven? ALL have expressions and beauty that glorify God. This revelation will demolish the stronghold. Revelations 21:24 “And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their and honour into it.”

Summarised by Molly Manhanga


Ladies Discipleship with Marlene Poe

Marlene Poe with the graduate and 2nd year lady apprentices

We’ve started a 6 week Discipleship course with the Graduate ladies and 2nd year ladies apprentices at Ebenezer. Marlene Poe will be facilitating the sessions using Wendy Virgo’s book “Influential Women.”

Marlene spoke about Lydia being a businesswoman (had money) who responded to the message, became a worshipper and invited Paul into her home where they began to meet. Interesting things were happening in Philippi. There was also a slave girl (poor) who followed Paul around and he discerned that there was something wrong with her spirit. The girl was delivered. Paul and Silas ended up in prison where they continued to praise God. As they were singing one evening, an earthquake happened, their chains fell off and they walked out of the prison cell. As a result, the jailer (Had Roman influence and authority) and his family were saved. Exciting! The Church is Philippi was forming and people loved one another who ordinarily wouldn’t even have been friends.

Paul writes a letter to the Philippians:

Chapter 1 he tells them how much he loves them and about him being in chains to advance the Kingdom. The hardships though didn’t keep him from sharing the gospel and others were strengthened to share the gospel with boldness.
Chapter 2 talks about Christ’s humility
Chapter 3 encourages us not to have confidence in ourselves but in Christ and to press on to live for God – far above anything we could desire.
Chapter 4 encourages us to stand firm in the Lord and in His love. It also encourages women to get along and not to allow little differences to divide us. We need to prefer one another and strive to keep the unity.

Strive to be like Jesus and have his mind.
Marlene closed the session by reading from Philippians 4:8 – 9
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

We look forward to next week’s session on little differences that can cause conflict amongst women.

Summarised By Molly Manhanga


"Africa Works" coming to Ebenezer

Molly Manhanga and Samuel Grottis at Ebenezer
Samuel Moses Grottis, President and C.E.O of "Africa Works", together with a team, came to Ebenezer.
You can't imagine how excited I was to hear that Sam was touring Ebenezer. He is not only a friend, but he has been a mentor and father to me. I've known Sam and his wife Deborah & family for 21 years. It's just wonderful seeing him again after quite a few years. Sam is based in Maputo, Mozambique.

By Molly Manhanga


Community Field Day pt 2

Lance Edwards

Lance Edwards, Operations Director of Ebenezer Training Centre, shared with the community about our Annual Selection Camp that happens in the latter half of the year. He said that the prospective apprentices want to CHANGE. Some have seen a phenomenal change in their family members that are Ebenezer and would like to experience that as well. The apprentices are our future leaders. Lance encouraged the parents and the community to take “ownership” of Ebenezer and what happens at the Centre. If we want to see change in the apprentices, then we – the staff and the community – need to work together. Lance also shared that at Ebenezer, it’s all about HARD WORK and not a “holiday camp”. The staff is investing 2 – 3 years into the young people and we are looking for young people who will be serious, who will take what we are teaching back with them into their communities. With the hard work at hand and the many challenges the apprentices face, they too need encouragement. Ebenezer is a wonderful programme and we have lots of success. As a staff, we are here to serve the apprentices and the community. We are a family.

Sam Poe followed on with a story from God’s word about Jesus Christ. He shared about the calming of the storm and about Legion – the “mad” man. Sam did a brilliant job and was caught up in the story. Everyone was captivated by the story including the community leaders. Well done Sam!

Sam Poe sharing a story with the Community Leaders

The community was really appreciative as they toured the apprentice fields. They saw the good crops and the crops that are struggling. All in all it was an excellent day.

By molly manhanga

Stronghold of mammon by Sam Poe

We recapped Romans 12:1 and Philippians 4:13. Sam encouraged us to memorize James 4:7 – 8a, Luke 10:20 and 1 John 4:18. We then looked at the Stronghold of serving mammon. Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
It’s impossible to serve God and money. The stronghold of money means to serve money as the supreme thing. Some say it’s a problem of the rich but, it’s also a problem of the poor. The rich hold on to it. It becomes an idol as they believe money is an assurance for their future; it will care for them and meet their needs. The poor will try to get it because they believe that money will meet their needs. Money fails and it can lose its value. When Jesus used the word mammon to describe money, He was speaking about a demon spirit. Behind the love of money, there is an evil power which leads to destruction.

Sam told the story of Judas when he betrayed Jesus. Although Judas was one of Jesus disciples, he loved money more than Jesus. It was the love of money that caused Judas to betray Jesus and this love of money eventually destroyed him. Only God can take care of us and give us the assurance that our future is safe. When we look to money for security, when we worry about the future and where it will lead us, when we want what other people have and get caught up in covetousness, when we get greedy or have our identity in being successful by having lots of things or looking good for the neighbours and so on, we are falling into the stronghold of mammon.

How do we demolish this stronghold?Be generous and give to others what we have. Be willing to share - Practice sharing our belongings with others, give money away, help someone in real need. This can break the stronghold. Money says: “You need me, hang onto me, get as much of me as you can.” We can break this by being generous and making money serve us, making it become our servant. We need the attitude of looking at the eternal and seeing our life in light of heaven. When we give generously, we are storing up treasures in heaven. Jesus wants to reward us in heaven. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Summary: Make money your servant and not your master.
By molly manhanga


Stronghold of Passivity/Fatalism by Sam Poe

Sam Poe telling a story

Recap: Satan gets into our lives by us believing lies through culture and habitual sinning. We come to believe a lie because we’ve been deeply sinned against. They form strongholds in our lives. The enemy can influence us even though we are Christians. We need to believe God’s word. It exposes the lie and can be demolished.

Sam went on to recap the story of Adam and Eve. Eve ate the fruit in the presence of Adam who did nothing. This is a sexist statement but passivity is found mainly in men. They struggle with it. Adam fell into this in the Garden of Eden when Eve ate the fruit. Satan was lying to Eve and tempted her to eat the fruit. She was seduced by the lie and what did Adam do? He didn’t do anything. He was watching the whole thing. That is passivity in a sinful way. Why didn’t he do anything?

Men are called to be leaders and to take the lead lovingly in families, to lead their wives and protect them. Sometimes men have a huge battle here and can fall into one of two things:
1. They abuse their wives in a bid to show their authority.
2. When they should take the lead lovingly, they do nothing.

Men are made to be problem solvers. When he can fix a problem, he does it and feels good. When a man faces a problem he doesn’t know what to do, instead of taking the lead, he does nothing. Adam wasn’t sure what to do. He is confused and doesn’t do anything. It’s the worst decision he could have made, Almost anything would have been better than nothing.

Men, as leaders, if you don’t know what to do, ask God for wisdom and DO something. The stronghold of passivity is a problem. Men are called to be leaders of their families, leaders of the church and the enemy knows this. The enemy brings in lies and this breeds fear in the heart. Men think they no matter what they do, it won’t make a difference. This is the lie of fatalism. It can develop early from the culture we grow up in.

Sam Poe sharing on the Stronghold of passivity

James 4:7 – 8a “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you,…..”We can submit to God and resist every evil spirit that is not of Him. We need to trust God and have confidence in Him who has given us all authority to cast out evil spirits. As Christians we have choices: we choose to follow God, we choose to resist the devil. We can no longer claim that the spirits made us do certain things because this is a lie. It’s important to see that God has given us authority Luke 10:20. We go through battles in this life, difficulties, circumstances that can discourage us but we need to ask God for wisdom and find a way forward.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

summarised by molly manhanga


Community Field Day pt 1

Part of the community gathered at Ebenezer Training Centre

We were so pleased to hold our very first Community Field day at Ebenezer Training Centre recently. The purpose of the Field day was for the community and parents/guardians to gather at Ebenezer and build relationships/friendships amongst themselves and with the staff, to meet the community leaders and tour the apprentice fields. It was also for them to know what happens at Ebenezer.

Stephen Manhanga, leader of Crossroads Community Church opened the event in a word of prayer. This was followed by the apprentices doing a song which the community found highly entertaining. The drama was excellent as well and that focused on how God changes lives at Ebenezer. George Mlilo, a staff member at Ebenezer then shared on the Vision which is to Equip young people for a life in Christ. He also spoke about the main lessons taught at Ebenezer which are Spiritual by Stephen Manhanga, Agriculture by George Mlilo and Business by Siphilisiwe Mlilo. Extra English and Math’s lessons will be offered as well by Gertrude Nyamayaro and Molly Manhanga.

Brilliant Khoza, a graduate shared with the community what the graduates do at Ebenezer. The great part is that the graduates lead by example and they mentor the first and second years. Brilliant also thanked Stephen Manhanga for teaching him how to live a life that is right before God.

Ebenezer dance group showing their moves!

By Molly Manhanga


Stronghold of Jealousy by Sam Poe

Sam Poe at Ebenezer

Sam started off by telling the story of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4: 1 - 15. This is quite a tragic story of Cain who allowed jealousy to build a stronghold in his life. It had to do with the condition of Cain’s heart. True worship is in the condition of the heart. Abel had a good heart of love and joy while Cain’s heart darkened with sin. It wasn’t repentant and he wasn’t willing to turn from sin. Cain went through the motions but he had the stronghold of anger and jealousy. God came to Cain and wanted Cain to come to him with his whole heart. Cain wasn’t responsive to God. Not only did he have a bad attitude towards God, he had a resentful, jealous attitude towards Abel. Finally, the stronghold of jealousy and anger in Cain’s life led him to turn on his brother. He murdered Abel and walked away. Cain’s life ended in ruin. He wound up all alone, not experiencing God’s grace. It’s not part of Gods plan for us to wonder through life on our own.

Proverbs 14:30 “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.”
What is jealousy? Jealousy is like bone cancer. It eats you up inside and brings death. It’s dangerous and must be demolished.

James 3:16 “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
Wherever there is jealousy, the door is open for every evil practice. People will kill others because of jealousy – kill people with words.
Jealousy is an attitude of the heart. It’s a heart that feels when someone is blessed; it’s a curse on them. Another’s joy, happiness and success in life are misfortune for them. Envy and jealousy are closed linked and it’s rooted in the heart that is a lie. It’s a lie that believes that there is limited good in life. Envy and jealousy cause people to go on the offensive. They try to hurt the other person, bring them down and want to see their misfortune because of the good the other person is receiving. Jealousy just wants to destroy and tear down.

How can we be free from jealousy?Tear down the lie with the truth of God’s word. With God there is unlimited good. God has an unlimited supply of goodness and blessing for everything on earth.
Psalm 145: 7 & 9 “They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness……….The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”God wanted Cain to know this truth but Cain hung on to the attitude of jealousy and it finally destroyed him.

Summary: Come to the truth that God is unlimited in goodness even through difficult times. He can turn it around for good. Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”Demolishing jealousy is not natural to the human heart. It comes from God, the Holy Spirit, confessing the sin and being in God’s word.
Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Stronghold of Sexual Sin by Sam Poe

Stephen Manhanga about to introduce Sam Poe

Sam recapped what strongholds are: wrong thinking that we hold in our heart – things that are not true. The cultures we grow up in can bring thinking that is not aligned with God word. Every culture has good that can be helpful e.g. Zimbabwean culture has a warm, welcoming way and an appreciation for genuine relationships and friendships. There are also things prevalent in cultures that don’t align with God’s word e.g. In the West, people hold on to possessions. They feel secure through having lots of things. African culture has fear. As Christians we can be set free.

Sam then told the story of Balak and Balaam found in Numbers 22 – 25 & 31: 15 – 16; 2 Peter 2:15, Revelation 2:4 and Jude 11. Judgment came on God’s people because of sexual sin. It’s deadly.

Sex is in the Bible. God created it and it was His idea. Adam and Eve were joined together to have a wonderful time in all aspects of life including sex. God intended sex to be for husband and wife. It is so precious and it’s for the marriage relationship. Any sexual relations outside marriage is deadly. 1 Corinthians 6: 18 – 20 “Flee sexual immorality…………For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The Apostle Paul is telling us how much damage is done through sexual sin. Sexual sin is a sin against your own body as well as the other person. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, sexual sin weakens us so that we wind up preaching a false gospel – a false message about God’s relationship with us. When we are trapped in the stronghold of sexual sin we live a lie but God can set us free when we believe the truth. Our bodies are to be used as instruments to show how good god is.

Many people are abused sexually, even by people in their own families. They are victims of sin rather than those who committed the sin. Abuse damages the heart. Abused boys link sex with violence while abused girls link it with oppression and pain because of the stronghold. Jesus can heal us, take away the stronghold and restore us.

Romans 12:1
“I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Summarised by Molly Manhanga