An Awake Grace Ministries Church building in Chinhoyi was completely destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning on Saturday night.

However, some of the equipment, such as chairs and a PA system were saved.

Church leader, Pastor Nicholas Mavhondo, confirmed the incident to H-Metro but said he is currently in northern Zambia conducting crusades. He said:

"Unfortunately, the fire brigade came but they had no water. It’s sad that our fire brigade inogara isina mvura. Last year we called them to Niasha and they had no water again.

We officially opened and dedicated it on the 30th of July and today the 30th of September it’s gutted by fire caused by lightning.

It’s really a setback. It’s not human error, but a natural disaster."

The chairperson of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe in Mashonaland West Province, Pastor Tafadzwa Mafukidze,  expressed confidence that they will be able to rebuild the church. He said:

"This was quite unfortunate as we lost a great investment to the fire. We are grateful to the people who fought and managed to save the chairs, PA System and some other equipment from the fire.

We stand today with our fellow Servant of God and the entire Awake Grace Ministries family during this time of loss.

We are not ignorant of the devices and schemes used by the enemy as he pounces on us trying to steal, kill and destroy.

We believe that God will restore all that was lost."

In Zimbabwe, lightning strikes are common during the rainy season which normally runs from late October/early November to March.

Here are several ways to prevent lightning strikes:

_Installing lightning rods on the roof of a building can help to attract lightning strikes and direct the electrical current safely into the ground.

_Installing surge protectors on electrical equipment can help prevent damage from power surges caused by lightning strikes.

_Ensuring that electrical systems are properly grounded can help to prevent damage from lightning strikes.

_Avoid outdoor activities during thunderstorms. If you are outdoors during a thunderstorm, seek shelter immediately to reduce the risk of being struck by lightning.

_Unplugging electrical equipment. Unplugging electrical equipment during a thunderstorm can help to prevent damage from power surges caused by lightning strikes.