Mtshabezi village in Zimbabwe struggled with the lack of clean water throughout its entire existence. A river serves as their water source, but each time villagers need water, they must carry buckets to the river and back – a total of 2.5 miles. To make matters worse, the water is contaminated.
Upstream villages use this same river for bathing and washing clothes. No toilets exist, so human waste potentially washes into this river. Animals stand in and walk through the water. This is the water they drink. Illness from this water is a constant.
The church in Mtshabezi desires to take care of the people in their community and share the gospel with those around them. The church seeks ways to specifically care for AIDS orphans who live in the village. Many are HIV positive and need medication, but traveling to the doctor poses a challenge. Since 1980, the people have wanted to build a school, but they have been unable to make bricks without water close by. Over the years, they’ve managed to erect two walls. The children now meet for class within these two walls.
During their first encounter with Mtshabezi, GAiN provided seeds. The church farmed a garden using these seeds, and its success made some amazing things happen. They grew vegetables that helped feed the orphans in their community. Proceeds from the sale of excess produce helped pay for transportation to get these children to the doctor for medication. Produce also funded scholarships for four students to complete Bible school. These students now travel on motorcycles to surrounding villages to teach Sunday School to children there.
Because of the diligence of the church and the people, GAiN wanted to do more for Mtshabezi. GAiN secured funds to drill a water well in the village. On drilling day in October 2015, the anticipation and excitement was high, but after drilling 215 feet through rock, no water appeared. But, these disappointed people didn’t give up. They praised God and prayed that He would provide another way.
In January 2016, a second drilling attempt produced water! People desperate for clean water collected the runoff in jars and buckets. After installation of a hand pump, clean water flowed. At the sight of clear, fresh water, those gathered couldn’t contain their joy! The sounds of singing, laughter, and dancing filled the air.
Now the people of Mtshabezi can grow even more fruitful gardens, live without illness caused by water contaminates, and make bricks for buildings. And, maybe more students will continue the mobile Sunday School for years to come. God used seeds, water, and the care of compassionate people to display His love for the people of this dry land.
* At GAiN, I tell stories of life change, letting people know how their gifts and donations make a difference in people’s lives. Originally, photos and portions of this post were used in one such report at GAiN.