Sanyati hospital ‘extreme makeover’ continues to offer hope.

Sanyati Hospital

Our ACTS office in Zimbabwe has been extremely fortunate over the last couple of years to see the incredible work being done by visiting mission teams at the Sanyati Hospital. Not only have we seen it, but through our involvement in arranging the logistics, we have really felt the passion and heart behind it all.

Sanyati, a rural town with an estimated population of about 3,000 people, remains nearly as isolated today as it was in 1951 when Southern Baptist missionary Ralph Bowlin began praying for medical work to start in the area — after a pregnant woman died as he was driving her to receive medical care. His efforts led to the construction of Sanyati Baptist Hospital, which opened in 1952 and functioned as a mission hospital until the government nationalized it in the 1980s. Over the next decade, as the country’s economy collapsed, the hospital fell into serious disrepair.

In 2010, Baptist Global Response, a key IMB partner in health care initiatives, spearheaded “Extreme Makeover: Sanyati,” a five-year project focused on restoring the hospital’s infrastructure. During the past three years, construction teams from Southern Baptist churches across the United States traveled to the compound, providing clean water, new roofing, fresh paint and other repairs. Twelve teams visited the hospital in 2012 alone, conducting renovations that included the installation of solar panels — eliminating the need for candles during nighttime deliveries and emergency surgeries.

As the initiative progresses, the Sanyati makeover continues to bring hope, says project director Peter Sierson, missions pastor at Pleasant Heights Baptist Church in Columbia, Tenn. For Sierson, the work has transformed from project to partnership to family.

In spite of the advances, however, much work remains to be done.

“We still have at least two more years of work,” Sierson says. “I have six teams lined up for 2013 and could probably use twice that number.”

Stories like this keep Sierson focused on sustainability — for national partners to be able to maintain the renovated facilities themselves.

“Our goal is to make sure the hospital can function for the next 60 years,” Sierson said. “I really think we’re accomplishing that.”

Here is how to get involved:
There are several ways you can help with this project. First and foremost is prayer! Pray for Sanyati Baptist Hospital, pray for Zimbabwe, pray for revival, and pray that God will raise up the necessary resources required for this project. Secondly we need a project manager to help coordinate the work at the hospital and the source of building materials and supplies. Third we need financial support to buy the materials. Volunteers will pay for their own costs, but adding materials to their portion would make the trip far too expensive. Fourth, we need teams to go and do the work. A trip would typically be two weeks which would allow eight days of work and a couple of days to enjoy a safari.

To learn more about the extreme makeover of Sanyati Baptist Hospital and ways you can give visit their website:


Lovell, A. (2013) IMB connecting. [blog].

(2013) Sanyati hospital ‘extreme makeover’ continues to offer hope. IMB connecting, [blog] 1/14/2013, Available at: [Accessed: 05/03/2013].


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