Saturday, September 13, 2008


Steve & Glenda recently witnessed a joyous celebration in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In the midst of the country’s water crisis, a well has been drilled beside the church, Calvary Tabernacle. The people gathered to celebrate & we were invited to attend. “This is a special well,” says Steve. “Having it beside the church makes it an evangelism tool, for people to come for running and Living Water.

This is a special place, as we helped to build this church 26 years ago, when we 1st came to Zimbabwe as missionaries. The people receiving this water are some of our dearest friends in Africa. The funds to drill the well came from special people & churches in the USA.”

Reports came to us that Bulawayo was running out of water. City water was available one hour, every 7 days & was polluted. Missionary-Nurse Practitioner Brenda Strysko was caring for people suffering with cholera due to the bad water. Everyday, people continue to arrive at Jim & Brenda Strysko’s house, desperate for medicine, because there is none in the hospitals.

We found Mama Chimsoro, the pastor’s wife of Calvary Tabernacle storing precious water in an old steel drum we had left in Bulawayo many years ago. The drum still had Glenda’s Dad’s name on it. Vernon Pettenger had shipped it to Africa in 1967.

Seeing the grim situation & realizing generous offerings had come from individual donors & churches, we decided this well needed to be drilled. The challenge was that recent drillings had produced dry wells. So we asked churches in Zimbabwe & the USA to pray. Pastors Cliff & Carol Traub, from Modesto, California took a trip with us to Zimbabwe, to lay hands on the dry wells & pray for water to flow. By faith, the drilling started at Calvary Tabernacle & they hit water the first day of drilling. God had truly answered the prayers of many people!

There was lots of excitement & thanksgiving on the dedication day for the well. It was also the 1st time, BGMC Buddy Buckets, raised by the boys & girls in the USA were given out. Bright yellow smiley faces on bright buckets were everywhere. Glenda enjoyed handing out the buckets to the women. They danced & yodeled as they were given a bucket. The women were grateful, saying the buckets were a big & useful gift. They could wash clothes in the buckets & also store clean water, because there was a lid. Steve & Pastor Chimsoro prayed a dedication prayer that the well would be incredibly productive for many years to come.

Even the children enjoyed themselves. They wanted to pump the well & carry the buckets home, for their mothers. We were full of emotion & gratitude to the Lord, as we watched the celebrations around the special well, at a special church & seeing special friends being blessed. Another church & needy people have now been helped in Africa. And what a privilege we have to have special people in the USA helping us to do this.