A major project for The Tide® throughout 2019 has been the construction of a new studio in Zimbabwe that will not only broadcast life-changing programming but also serve as a sustaining source of income for the community. And a local construction company was able to be part of that project from many miles away.
This fall, Lehman Construction Services, Inc. (LCSi) in Chambersburg, Pa., where we have had our U.S. headquarters for many years, donated $6,000 to cover the installation of solar panels on the newly constructed recording studio in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
LCSi President Jay Finkenbinder and Secretary/Treasurer Alice Hyatt-Hawbaker made the gift to The Tide ministry after learning that electrical power is only sporadically available in Zimbabwe, rendering the new studio useless for long stretches of time.
“We understand the need for power and know the importance of solar energy in the industry, so we see this as a way that our construction company can help The Tide fulfill its mission in another part of the world,” said Hyatt-Hawbaker.
Although based in Chambersburg, LCSi is both a community and commercial contractor with construction currently taking place in three states. Its corporate mission goes beyond construction, as the company supports many nonprofit organizations. Leaders are also active within their own churches.
“LCSi’s gift to The Tide ministry serves as an example of how local businesses can make a global impact by the work of their hands,” said Mark D. Story. “We are grateful for their generosity and are proud that a Chambersburg contractor’s kindness will power our new studio in Zimbabwe.”
The Zimbabwe studio opened this spring and was officially dedicated in August when 12 leaders and representatives from The Tide traveled to Bulawayo for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and pastor training seminar.
Director Don Shenk, who was born to missionary parents in then-Rhodesia and taught at a Bible school in Zimbabwe, said it is evident that more listeners are becoming engaged with the new studio and its offerings.
“We’re seeing that more listeners are not only tuning in to hear from local preachers and teachers, but more are also downloading WhatsApp devotional content on their phones and devices,” Shenk said. “Besides hearing the programming, they are hungry for information about Jesus and daily insight and biblical wisdom that can build upon their faith and strengthen their relationship with Christ.”
Besides sharing the Gospel, a goal for the Zimbabwe studio has been income generation so the local community can be financially self-sustainable. Audio and voice production services that were once available only in South Africa are now offered locally through the new studio.
Zimbabwe listeners are also sharing how The Tide radio programming has changed their lives:
“My name is Oriann,” said one listener. “I live in Morningside, Bulawayo. I received Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. I had stopped praying because of the problem I am going through. But as from today onwards, I don’t think I will backslide. Thank you for the Word, servant of God.”