After travelling to Sanyati for 5 hours in the ACTS Overland truck, it felt good to get out and walk around on level ground for a while. But it didn’t take long before this construction group, made up of mostly Kentuckians, was ready to explore the hospital and spy out where they would be spending the next few days breaking ground for the Sanyati Baptist Hospital Extreme Makeover. With 17 team members, 4 workdays, 1 hospital, 0 roofing materials, the scene looked challenging, but this group was up for the task.

Early on Day 1, these murungus (white people) could be easily spotted on top of roofs and ladders in the section of the hospital that housed the pharmacy stock and old medical records. By faith, they began tearing off the leaky, rusted, metal roofing sheets and piling them in a nearby storage facility. This revealed some very termite ridden trusses that had to be replaced as they literally just crumbled to the ground. The new roofing material was on the way, maybe.

In other parts of the hospital electricians were busy crawling up in the ceiling spaces trying to follow old wiring systems that would shock any professional into a heart attack, even though the wires weren’t hot. Their goal was to get the wiring set up for the new solar system that would be set in place as a part of the Makeover. The Solar system would eventually be able to power key parts of the hospital such as X-ray and ultrasound equipment, lighting for the Labour, Delivery and Operating Room, and refrigerators for immunizations and laboratories.

One of the team members, Tina Weitkamp, was a Clinical Nursing Instructor at Cincinnati University. Her participation took on a little different aspect of the Makeover. She spent time teaching the nursing students and full-time nurses techniques in neonatal resuscitation and how to help the newborns that may be in distress. Developing relationships with the staff and working side by side is part of the dream of this makeover and Tina, along with other team members did a great job at this.

By the end of Day 2 the roofing material arrived and after four hours of offloading heavy steel sheets (by moonlight!) using our pick up truck, the team was exhausted. What seemed like only hours later on Day 3, the new gleaming white roofs were in place and skilfully being fastened down. Most of the wires were pulled through the ceiling and being attached to new outlets for solar use only. Day 4 was spent touching up, applying cement, and finishing repairs on baby warmers, X-ray and suction machines, borehole pumps and various other little projects that were being done along the way.

These generous, hard working, dedicated men and women did more than just put up roofs and wires, they ministered to people they’d never met before in many ways. They shared words of encouragement and prayers with people of the community and patients, they shared devotions with the staff in the morning, they shared a meal at a local village of believers, and they preached and shared the Word of God at two different local churches. They unselfishly shared their skills and hearts in a way that will last long after the new ceilings start to fade and leak. God’s love shown in this practical way is making an impact at Sanyati Baptist Hospital.

The hope is to mobilize volunteers from both US and Zimbabwe churches to repair the hospital and portions of the station to working order. This is a five year plan to engage volunteers in making the necessary repairs. Churches or organizations interested can request to be a part of the makeover. Different phases will be available and multiple trades and spiritual gifts can be used at the hospital and the surrounding area.

For more information or how to get involved check out www.sanyatimakeover.com or find the Sanyati Makeover page on Facebook.

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