So much has been happening at Next Life Foundation since our last newsletter. The carpentry and tailoring students continued to perfect their skills and learn Biblical principles. In November, one student reaffirmed his faith in Christ through confirmation and another student was baptized. Next Life helped their families financially so they could celebrate these wonderful milestones. Read their testimonials later in the newsletter.
The end of November students visited a young mama’s home with a new bed, made by our carpentry students, and mattress. She’d been sleeping on the dirt floor. Our students also fixed another bed in her home. Our tailor students mended many of her and her children’s clothes, and swept and cleaned her home. Jesus is seen through our staff and students. It is not the typical Tanzanian way to do for others without an expectation of something in return, but it is the Christian way.
The carpentry building has come a long way. Classes are being held in this new structure. It won’t be long before it’s completed. (A good friend of Patti’s in Arusha told her it is unheard of to have building projects progress so quickly. Good job, Humphrey, our Onsite Manager.)
Graduation took place in January and new students were welcomed.
Friday, January 21st was the celebration of twenty-five students as they graduated from Next Life Foundation; two carpentry pupils and twenty-three tailors. There was much dancing, singing, speeches and lots of praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Each student received a certificate of completion.
During the ceremony the carpentry building was dedicated to Christ and the new students were officially welcomed to NLF.
Next Life Foundation welcomed 27 new students to our family January 17. They range from 13 to 21 years old. They walk anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours to get to class each day. Only one of these young people is in the carpentry program but three other youths started learning this trade over the last year.
The first week of orientation involved a lot of game playing to get to know the staff and each other. This was a first for Patti to participate in this acclimation time.
What fun they had trying to make each other laugh, painting nails, playing name games, etc.
Most of our new students begin their training as very insecure youngsters. They struggle to speak loud enough to be heard and eye contact is nonexistent in conversations with adults. This is an area that our staff works with them. At graduation our graduates were confident to speak into microphones and address the crowd as to the creations they had made. It is a dramatic transformation. Our staff and Pastor Elia, who comes to our campus each week for devotions, are very intentional on proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The biggest thrill is to see those of the Islamic faith singing and dancing with all their heart to songs of praise to our Christ.
The Best Fruit
It was mentioned that November was a month of celebration. Let’s hear it from our students themselves. It’s almost impossible to send “mail” from Tanzania so notes are sent through photos.
Haruni was the young man who accepted Christ and publicly acknowledged it through a Confirmation ceremony at his church. This is his testimony: “I am Haruni. My baptized name is Sunday. I am glad to tell you that I received a confirmation. I used to go to Sunday School as a habit, but since then I found that going to church is not just a habit but what you feel inside. I can now read the Bible very well and understand. I am proud to be a Christian. Thank you, God, for birth me in Christian family.”
Bahija is not the real name of our next student. It has been changed for her protection. She was raised in the Islamic faith and accepting Christ can mean severe persecution; being rejected by her family or even death. The village of Mbuguni is primarily a Muslim community.
Praise God that we have the opportunity to share the Good News in the setting we’re in. We’ve seen a number of our Muslim students accept Jesus as their Savior.
“I am Bahija, Muslim name. Now I am Sarafina, Christian name. I am happy to be a Christian. I was once a Muslim but I started taking Christian teachings for one year and I got baptized and started going to church. I was nervous at once but after some time I got used to it. I made new friends as a Christian, learned how to pray and also Next Life students teach me how to pray and the Holy Spirit help me. Things have changed since then. I feel like a different person since I welcomed Jesus in my life. I have seen miracles within me. I love being a Christian and I am now praying for my mom to become a Christian. My FIRST warmly gratitude is to my God. My second warmly gratitude is to Next Life for showing me the light to us and become a Christian.”
Congratulations to Haruni and Bahija. Welcome to the family of God!
Short Term Mission Trip
It’s not too late to join the mission trip to Mbuguni May 7 – 18. Contact Patti in the next couple weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. We’ll be working with our students and we hope to teach a skill to a few mamas in the region so they can start their own businesses to support their families.
Prayer Requests —
- For Bahija’s mother to come to know Jesus
- For Joseph, one of our security guards, to return to good health
- Wisdom for the leadership of Next Life
- Health and safety for the students and staff
- Hearts that are ready to accept Christ
Sponsor a Student!
Pick the pupil you’d like to pray for and build a relationship with at https://nextlifefound.org/sponsorships/ It’s a $60/mo commitment. Prayer can drastically change their life.