Zimbabwe (BGR/MNN) — The Sanyati
Baptist Hospital in Zimbabwe is a 60-year-old icon of Southern Baptist overseas
work that has fallen into serious disrepair as that country's economy has
On average, this bush hospital sees about 35,000 outpatients,
cares for 1,800 inpatients, assists in 1,800 child births, and performs 1,000
minor surgical procedures and 240 C-sections.
Funds and resources weren't matching the increased patient
load, which is putting the hospital in crisis. There has been a limited
supply of drugs and supplies while AIDS, TB, cholera, and malaria have risen. Baptist Global Response, partnered with
Samaritan's Purse, stepped in and helped provide needed medicines and clean
water to help keep the doors open.
However, a malfunctioning water system,
leaking roofs, rotting fascia, termite damage, electrical malfunctions, and a
set of auto headlights jury-rigged from the ceiling of an operating room
presented a significant challenge to the ministry team.
Volunteers are being mobilized from both U.S. and
Zimbabwe churches to repair the hospital and portions of the station to working
order. Rick Sykes, a retired maintenance project leader for General
Motors and member of Pleasant Heights Baptist Church in Columbia, TN, was one
of the first volunteers who saw the needs firsthand.
Sykes' was at Sanyati to help with the hospital's water problem–the compounds wells and pumps weren't working–but he quickly saw a host of
other maintenance issues. The electricity
was off more than it was on, which creates life-threatening situations during
Sykes and his son (an electrician) used their fix-it experience to
correct one of the more simple problems. That led to a host of other maintenance issues that needed their skill
sets. A brainstorm or two later, and
the idea to do an "Extreme Makeover" on the hospital was born.
"The five-year plan for the 'extreme makeover' project
intends to restore the hospital facilities to a state where they can be locally
maintained," says Mark Hatfield, who directs work in Sub-Sahara
Africa for Baptist Global Response.
He notes that "God has used Sanyati Baptist Hospital
to meet both physical and spiritual needs for 60 years. Its ministry extends
far beyond the 100,000 or so residents who look to the hospital for medical
care. Sanyati is a symbol for the whole country of Christ's loving compassion
for the sick and hurting, and I don't think God is finished with Sanyati Baptist
This is a five-year plan to engage volunteers in making the necessary
repairs. This year, they're hoping
to have volunteer teams organized to accomplish the following: installing a
solar power system, make necessary repairs to the interior and exterior of the
chapel, and build a dorm for housing volunteers that will be used for nursing
students after the makeover is completed.
In the remaining years of 2013, 2014, and 2015, all of the
other work will be completed. This ranges from window repair, ceilings, electrical,
plumbing, tile, cabinetry, painting, etc. All told, it will take a dozen teams per year to finish everything up.