Thursday, June 04, 2009

Glenda shares on WOMEN, WATER, The WORD & WORSHIP

Everyday, the WOMEN of Africa wake up & have to deal with the reality & challenge of where they will find WATER that day for their families. Everyday, I meet these WOMEN. I am touched by their determination to find this WATER. These WOMEN attend the churches of Africa. They are hungry for the WORD & they love to WORSHIP. But the WOMEN also need the WATER for their homes & families.

Two years ago, I drank contaminated water from an unknown water source. I was speaking at a Women’s Conference in the rural areas of Southern Zimbabwe. The result was some unpleasant days recovering from this action. Now the women were asking me to minister again.

I didn’t want to return unless there could be a well for the Women at the conference. When AOP made arrangements to start drilling for water in Southern Zimbabwe I was excited. However, the first 2 attempts were unsuccessful, resulting in dry wells. We asked friends and churches to pray with us for a breakthrough. My prayer was, “Lord, I want take the WORD to these WOMEN, but they also desperately need the WATER”. Time was running out, but the praying didn’t stop.

A month before the conference, news came from Zimbabwe missionaries Jim and Brenda Strysko that the drilling rig hit water in the village of Garanyemba. We were excited, because this village is centrally located & on the main travel road to all other rural villages in the area. Dean & Peggy Galyen, also Zimbabwe missionaries contacted us. They had funds from USA churches to enlarge the steel structure at the Garanyemba Church, to accommodate all the women who would be coming. Then the Zimbabwe women’s leadership called to say, “We are meeting at Garanyemba village, by the new well & under the church’s new roof. Can you please come & bring friends to minister.” I immediately felt led to invite Carol Traub, whose church, Bethel Church in Modesto, CA. had given funds for a well in Zimbabwe. Pastors Cliff & Carol Traub, had also ministered in Zimbabwe, a year earlier, praying over the dry wells. Carol was delighted to come & preach.

Getting into Zimbabwe would be the hardest challenge. First, Carol’s 3 suitcases, full of gifts for the pastor’s wives got lost in flight & arrived a day late. Then we couldn’t get all the food, gifts & 40 BGMC Buddy Buckets into the car. Steve, my wonderful hero & world-class packer came to my rescue.

At the border, for the first time in 30 years, the officials, refused my entrance into the country. They said I was not the legal owner of our STL vehicle & demanded my marriage license to prove I was married to Steve. For over 3 hours I went from office to office, trying to sort things out while Carol kept praying. Back at home, Steve tried faxing a 4 page legal document, stamped by a police station, proving that I was his wife & not stealing his car. Carol & I waited & prayed under a thorn tree until finally clearance was granted. The only thing to laugh about was the sign in the public toilets!!!
When we arrived at the conference over 350 women were all sitting on straw mats, under the shade of the steel structure, holding their babies & waiting to hear the WORD. Carol was ready to preach and they kept asking for more. Some of these women had walked over 10 hours to attend the 3 day conference.... the older women coming by donkey carts.

As Carol & I shared the preaching sessions, we could see the cooks fetching water from the newly installed well. They went in groups, balancing the buckets of water on their heads. Carol learned how to eat cornmeal mush with her hands & how to preach at night with 2 available light bulbs & a headlight around her neck.

We went to view the newly drilled well in the village. It was 2 blocks from the church.. When we arrived, 2 young boys were filling up their containers. I gave them a BGMC Buddy Bucket to take home to their mother. I would have loved to have seen her expression when they told her, “We met a lady at the well, who gave us this bucket to give to you.” We prayed over the well, thanking the Lord for letting the water flow. Carol pumped the well & I drank the water. Praise the Lord, this time I did not get sick!!

The giving service was the highlight of the conference. This was the service where the women blessed their pastors & wives with gifts of clothing, blankets, dishes, grain, goats, chickens & even cows. Carol also had gifts to give the pastor’s wives from her ladies in Modesto. We filled the BGMC Buddy Buckets with useful gifts like pens, pencils, journals, nail files, soxs, soap, lotion, candy, perfume & jewelry. The women yodeled & cheered when the buckets were given to their pastor’s wives. They also loved hearing that the boys & girls in the USA raised the funds to buy the buckets.

There was great rejoicing that afternoon in the village of Garanyemba for many reasons. The village had WATER & the pastors went home with their buckets overflowing. The WOMEN came dancing, bringing their gifts on their heads & they responded to the WORD preached to them. In a country where food & supplies are hard to find, where the inflation rate is the highest in the world, these women had found the secret of giving joyfully & completely, as they WORSHIPED the Lord.