There are very few similarities between Mbubuni, Tanzania and America. That’s why it’s such a joy when God calls others to travel to the other side of the world to experience a few days with the students and staff at Next Life Foundation school. It’s important for our American Board to continue to understand the cultural differences on these trips and for all of us, leadership, guests and donors to see lives changed through education and a growing exposure to Christ in the process. God’s glory is evident everywhere the eyes see.
MAY MISSION TRIP
The May trip was Patti’s 12th trip to Mbuguni and God’s work in developing the ministry, Next Life Foundation. Let’s look at the team that dove into this adventure. Each person financially supporting and praying for these individuals becomes part of the experience also so we thank God for each of you.
Grace is a young wife who began physician assistant school at the beginning of June. East Africa wasn’t totally new to her. When she was 12 years old, she travelled with her parents to Ethiopia to meet and bring home her 8 year old sister, Zinash, from an orphanage there. Grace has spent a lot of time at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp with her family and also as a counselor so when there was down time with the Next Life students she was teaching them simple camp songs and they loved it. After finishing one song they would beg for more. We always know the students are comfortable with us when they play with our hair and Grace was very obliging in letting the girls “style” her hair. (We only know what we know and the Tanzanian hair is much different than most of our western hair so they are very curious.)
Judy was the loving “grandma” of our group. In 2009 Judy made her maiden voyage to Tanzania with STEMM (Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries) out of Sioux City, IA. She was thrilled to have her granddaughter, Grace, return with her to this wonderful country. She shared some of her heart-felt memories from her previous trip with the team and her love for the Tanzanian people had not dimmed at all. She was ready with hugs for any and all. Her sweet personality made it easy for her to bond with everyone she met. She welcomed each individual into her heart. Judy has no problem loving her neighbor as herself even when her neighbor was 8,000 miles from her home.
Trey was a first grader in the Okoboji school when Patti shared about Tanzania with the Joy Kids program at her church. He decided that day he would someday accompany Patti on a mission trip. The dream stayed alive for 8 years and eventually he began raising funds. This May, he had the money raised and during May Term of his freshman year at Okoboji High School his dream became reality. Trey was around the same age as many students and bonded quickly despite the language barrier. As a self-proclaimed picky eater, Trey was the one that wanted to have a goat roast with the students. He participated in classes with them, ate with them and played with them. He has already decided to return to Mbuguni to see his friends and make new ones.
Each member of the team brought a special set of skills with them and they all used those skills to relate to the staff and students. They ministered to others by demonstrating the love of God and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit throughout the week. They were a blessing and were blessed through their willingness to go and serve others who may not know but are learning more about the God who loves them more than we can imagine.
HOPE BEING REALIZED
In 2016 the first tailoring students began their journey with Next Life Foundation and God’s big vision through NLF for the young people and mamas in Mbuguni began. This primarily Muslim and poverty stricken village in northern Tanzania is home to people trapped in a life of little hope of improving their situation.
Next Life Foundation’s goal has always been to provide a vocational skill that will provide a future income for our graduates and also more importantly bring them a hope in Jesus Christ. Due to the Islamic influence in the area sharing Christ must be done in a gentle but consistent manner. As the reputation of the school has grown, so has the sharing of Christ. The Christian worship has become an important part of the school day. “Morning Glory” and “Evening Glory” begin and end each school day. These are times for the students to pray, sing praises and hear our carpentry instructor, Mr Reonald, read and speak from the Bible. The May mission team had the opportunity to share in this special time Thursday afternoon. The Holy Spirit was definitely in that place. It was a joy to see that all of our Muslim students chose to stay and participate. There is also a weekly time of devotions each Friday. This is a extended time of worship where Pastor Elia, a local pastor, comes to lead the worship time. God’s goodness was and is overwhelming no matter our circumstances.
God has provided so abundantly for Next Life. To think of having our own property with the classrooms and buildings in the short time our ministry has been in existence is a God-story in itself. We are so thankful for each of you, our faithful financial donors. Our Tanzania Board of Directors and staff do a great job adjusting to the funds available. They are deeply appreciative of our generous donors. The past few months the next phase of construction, building a perimeter security wall, has been put on hold due to financial constraints but it is very important in their culture that we provide protection for our students, staff and the physical property. If you feel moved to be part of God’s continuing work among this Tanzanian village, we will welcome your financial support and praise God for it. We have been and are blessed by your support.
- Student, Rakia, who recently lost her mom shortly after the birth of Rakia’s 4th sibling
- Christ be glorified in all that Next Life Foundation does
- Holy Spirit be active in the lives of our students, staff and board members
- Health and safety for our students, staff and their families
- Adequate funds
SAVE THE DATE
Mark your calendar for the Next Life Foundation Annual Banquet. Thursday, September 22nd at the Maser Monarch Lodge, Okoboji, IA (22785 Nature Center Road)
|Next Life Foundation 2106 Tarzan St Okoboji, IA 51355 http://www.NextLifeFound.org|