The Blessing of School at Next Life Foundation

Life is very hard for the students of Next Life Foundation.  What a blessing our young people find at our campus!  It’s a refuge of love, safety, comfort and peace.  Our director Mary visits each of our students at their home to know their struggles first hand so we can help them stay in school and encourage them individually.  Our lives in America are vastly different from how these families live.  Let’s take a glimpse at some of the accounts Mary has shared.  Praise God these young people are learning a skill and worshiping the Lord each day at school.

The stories go on and on.  Of course, each is a little different but Next Life Foundation serves the neediest of the needy.  We want our students to primarily know Christ, then to learn a skill.  What an honor that each of us gets to be a part of their story as God writes it.  We are Jesus’ hands and feet to these struggling families.  Their neighbors and the communities see Christ through the love and actions of Next Life.  You can pray for them and give financially in whatever capacity you choose.  The impact is monumental!  Everyone associated with NLF is so appreciative for what you offer.

Matching Funds Offer

We have a generous donor that is willing to donate dollar for dollar your gift up to $10,000!  Would you like your donation to be doubled?  That is what this gift will do.  If you give $500 this match gift will turn it into $1000.  If you decide to give $25 it becomes $50.  What an opportunity to bless Next Life Foundation.

There are also several students that are not sponsored.  It means a lot to these youngsters to know someone is praying for them and financially supporting their schooling.  A $60 per month investment truly changes a life.   With these matching funds, new sponsors can pay for one month and have the second month covered until the matching funds are gone. 

If you are interested in sponsorship, send an email to

The Security Wall

We have begun the perimeter security wall!  As all things in the past few years, costs have increased greatly. 

Construction looks much different in Mbuguni, and all of Tanzania, than in the U.S.

JoyUs Youth Group

The middle school youth group at Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church, JoyUs. in Milford, Iowa hosted a supper and game night to raise money for the students and their families at Next Life Foundation in Mbuguni, Tanzania.  The American students heard Patti talk about the lives of some of the students and wanted to help them with their food deprivation.  They read some articles about the East Africa drought and some of the messages that Mary sent about her home visits to understand who and why they were hosting this service project.

Prayer Requests –

  • Love for and knowledge of the Lord increases amongst all that are touched by NLF
  • Wisdom for the staff & Boards of Directors
  • Praise God for rain in Mbuguni. Now may their seeds grow bountifully
  • Adequate funding

New Transformer

January 2021 the electric company brought electricity to Next Life campus.  But immediately they said the transformer wasn’t large enough…so don’t use any electricity!  After a 15 month wait and the electric company saying they’d show up “next month”, “next week”, we finally have an electrical transformer that is appropriately sized. We can now have electricity at our site!  Praise the Lord!  Hallelujah!

January Short Term Mission Trip

A Successful Mission Trip

Eight short term missionaries were met at the Kilimanjaro Airport by Patti and Laurence in January.  They started their journeys from Kansas, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and arrived in Tanzania about 30 hours later.  Their mission:  Bring sight to the blind.  Next Life Foundation was the site for this life changing eyeglass clinic.  This MOST (Mission Opportunities Short Term) Ministry team brought over 1000 eyeglasses and hundreds of people had their eyes tested. 370 folks were fitted with appropriate eyewear. Everyone received sunglasses along with education about how to care for their glasses and the damage the sun can do to their eyes.

As each participant registered, Pastor Emmanuel, a local pastor, enthusiastically proclaimed the Gospel to each one using witness bracelets and witness finger puppets

Jesus Feeds the Eight Hundred

Jesus took a few loaves of bread and fishes to feed thousand in the Middle East thousands of years ago.  In January he took some corn and beans (Makande) to feed hundreds in Mbuguni!  Due to the severe drought in East Africa the Tanzania Next Life Foundation Board of Directors wanted to provide lunch for anyone that came to the Eyeglass Clinic.  Thanks to donations from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hamburg, MI, Trinity Lutheran in Pinckney, MI, and some anonymous individual donors we were able to make this happen.

Mary, our director, was overseeing the lunch crowds and stated that many were coming just asking for food.  No one was turned away.  No one could have ever anticipated these kinds of numbers but God provided.  It is a distressing situation.  We must never neglect to thank God, the one who meets all our needs.

Safari Time

The shift from a third world country back to the States can be a tough thing so it’s always nice to have a transition time.  The MOST Ministry Team was able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty and awe of God’s handiwork at two national parks, Tarangire National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  They felt like they got a glimpse of the Garden of Eden seeing all the animals cohabitating in one big place.  It was an indescribable experience.

Laurence and Patti went on safari at the same time with some of the NLF staff and those that helped with the eyeglass clinic.  Arusha National Park was their destination.  Despite living just miles from this park, this was the first time many of these friends had ever been to a national park.  Patti heard Elias say, “This is a great day.  I will remember it forever.”

Life without Rain

Life just continues to get more difficult as Mbuguni and the surrounding area wait for rain.  It has been over 2 years since they have had any measurable precipitation.  Agriculture is the primary source of income for the majority of people in this area.  With no water, there are no gardens, no crops, the livestock are struggling and food is becoming more and more scarce.

Thanks to our generous donors Next Life has been able to give our students food for their families.  Many of these families have already sold the few items they have of value to buy food.  God willing, we will continue to provide corn, beans, and cooking oil periodically.

Another MOST Mission Trip to NLF

May 12-21 MOST Ministries will be partnering with Next Life Foundation to do a Clean Water Ministry at Next Life Campus.  What a thrill to teach the people of Mbuguni about Christ through water.  How significant is it to correlate Jesus and clean water?!  The Holy Spirit can use this opportunity to make another huge impact on this Muslim village.  He is definitely very active on the Next Life campus.  Would you like to be part of this ministry trip?  Either check it out at MOST Ministries, or contact Patti at

Message From Next Life Foundation Board of Directors

Guiding and supporting a Christian Ministry in a foreign country is not easy and has been an ongoing difficulty as the NLF Board seeks to do God’s will in a vastly different culture from our “ideal American culture.”  With the guidance from the American board, the final decisions are made by the Tanzania NLF Board of Directors. We seek to be true to our original mission if we can. Doing this with steadfast reserve would be limiting to God and stifling to the ministry. Over the life of Next Life, we have put the mission first but always looked for God’s leading when the needs in Tanzania caused us to do things that did not fit the mission statement. In each instance, following God away from the mission temporarily has remarkably expanded and strengthened the mission to the entire community. Our pledge to you, our donors, is that we will always try to follow God’s will as it is revealed to us. We also pledge to always keep the original mission as our guiding principle. 

Next Life Foundation’s mission is:

To provide Christian and vocational training skills to the community, focusing on the unprivileged mamas and young people of Tanzania.”

As the Next Life organization matures and grows, we realize that, just like any ministry, it is not as simple as it sounds.  People’s lives are messy.  Life is messy.  Ministry is messy.  As much as we’d like to build more buildings and expand our offerings of vocations, we need to take care of the physical needs of our students.  How can you hear the Gospel when your stomach is growling so loud that your ears don’t hear anything?  How do you concentrate at school when you’re responsible for your younger siblings, at home alone, because your parents have left, trying to find work somewhere?!  Or when you’re afraid your mud house might collapse while you are away?!  We definitely don’t want any of our students witnessing the death of a family member from starvation. Nor do we want any to die if their home collapses.

Next Life Foundation chose to be a vocational school for the neediest of the needy.  This brings with it so many challenges.  But it also brings monumental hope.  These young people have an opportunity to provide for their families with the skills they’re learning and with the relationship they’re building with the Messiah that has known them since before they were born and has planned each one of their days.  But we cannot ignore the imminent danger they are in today. As NLF continues to grow and evolve, please pray that we always follow His leading and trust His will over that of ours.

Thank you to each and every one of you for how you have chosen to support NLF ministry.

Prayer Requests:

  • Rain, Rain, Rain
  • Many of our students and their families are struggling with major physical needs
  • Discernment and wisdom for our Boards of Directors and staff
  • The Holy Spirit open the hearts to Jesus’ saving grace

Patti always enjoys telling how God is working to touch the lives of the people in Tanzania.  Do you need a guest speaker at your small group, Sunday School, a special event, your civic club (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.), or will your pastor be gone and you need pulpit supply.  Contact her at

Interested in Giving to Next Life?

You may make a donation at

A Good “End” to My Time at Next Life for Now

What a great day with the students and staff today at Next Life.

Some work was done by the students.

Their voices rang out proclaiming the Word of the Lord

Late in the day we tried flying kites. Oh what a joy! Lots of running, giggling and some success at getting the kites to soar. It was a perfect set up to read Isaiah 40:31 (NASB) “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” God has good things in store for our students. They just need to keep their eyes on Jesus and they can soar like the kites.

We closed with all the students getting prayer patches that one of our donors made for each of them. They know they are being prayed for. Bwana asifiwe! (Swahili “Praise the Lord”)

Thank you for your support and prayers, Patti

An Amazing Week

Internet has been sparce but hakuna matata (“no worries” in Swahili).

I landed in Tanzania late Tuesday, local time. Laurence had a surprise arrival of his baby daughter, Zoey, the day before, January 9th! Apparently her due date, February 19th, was a little off because she weighed 11 pounds!

The MOST Ministries eyeglass team landed Thursday night. What a great group of people they are. Friday we went out to Next Life in Mbuguni for devotions with our students. Pastor Emmanuel gave an excellent message on Zaccheaus & the beautiful singing of our pupils is always an inspiration. .

Saturday through Tuesday we saw over three hundred people for eyeglasses. They ranged from 9 years old to 100 years old.

Lunch was served to anyone that came. Well over 500 folks were nourished with traditional Tanzanian food. When I looked out at all the people under the shade of the tree eating, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus feeding the five thousand.

Unfortunately, time limited the number of folks we could serve in the eyeglass clinic, so many had to be turned away. It broke my heart when a young girl in broken English told me she really needed glasses. Daylight just runs away and lighting is so important in checking vision.

The rest of the team is on safari now, enjoying the amazing creation of God. It’s hard not to worship our awesome God when in the National Parks here in Africa.

Thank you for your prayers. God bless you, Patti

Tanzania here I come

Leaving 22 degree weather for ?? degree hot.

I’m sitting in the Minneapolis airport waiting for my flight to Kilimanjaro airport. I enjoy watching people and wondering what their story is; do they know Jesus? What are the struggles in their life? What divine appointments does God have planned for me along the way on my trip?

I do admire this gentleman cleaning windows. I wish I could get my windows as sparkly clean as he can!

I will arrive at my lodge in Arusha Tuesday night, local time. I’m very anxious to see the Next Life students and staff. The MOST team will arrive Thursday night and we’ll begin the eyeglass ministry clinic Saturday.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Your sister in Christ, Patti

Prayer Requested

A Dire Situation

Often there are times in our lives when we just don’t know how to pray.  There are many reasons this occurs.  We don’t know the situation or the person(s) well, we’re just so distraught or overjoyed and on and on.  Currently, there is a severe drought in all of East Africa.  It’s just hard for those of us in the Midwest region of the United States to understand.  When we’re in a drought no one goes hungry or starves to death, literally.  It’s hard to know how to pray.  It was reported on Christian radio a few weeks ago that if conditions don’t change soon in the East African countries, a person will die of starvation every 36 seconds!

The village of Mbuguni, where our Next Life Foundation school is located, has not had a notable amount of rain in over two years.  That means there have not been any crops to harvest for a very long time.  The whole region is very dry.  To compound the problem Tanzania has always imported significant foodstuffs from Ukraine which is no longer occurring.  How do we even pray for these people?  We are told in Romans 8:26-27 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”  Let’s just pray and let the Holy Spirit fill in the gaps.

God has provided, through Next Life’s generous donors, so we’ve been able to give our students corn and cooking oil for their families to sustain them.  Due to the drastic inflation Tanzania has experienced it, will cost around $6000 each month to continue this endeavor.  We can’t help everyone but we can continue to help our students and their families.   You are welcome to join us in this blessing to our young people.  Our student’s lives are our top priority.  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

January Eyeglass Ministry Team

Eight people will be giving “new sight” to the folks in the Mbuguni area in January.  The team will be leaving the U.S. on January 11th and return the 21st.  Next Life Foundation is partnering with MOST Ministry out of Ann Arbor, MI.  These volunteers will be equipped to check eyes out on the field and then fit glasses for the individual.  There will also be a prayer tent to help with the spiritual needs of the folks that attend this optometry clinic.  Praise the Lord for unique ways to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ!  Please keep this group of short term missionaries in your prayers in early 2023.  If internet and electricity are available, updates will be posted on the website, and sent out in our e-newsletter. (sign up for the e-newsletter on our website)

Students’ Accomplishments

Our students continue to work hard to learn new skills and perfect the talents they’ve already acquired.

The tailoring students are mastering how to make slacks and perfecting the “basic” dress design.

The carpenters are learning how to build doors.

Remember there is no electricity.  This is all done with hand tools.

The Perimeter Security Wall

We would like to begin construction on a security wall around our three-acre compound.  Unfortunately, we are constantly replacing items that are disappearing, such as 5 gallon buckets.  Our highest priority currently is to make sure our students have food but we also need to keep them safe.  If you are interested in donating to the perimeter wall you can make that designation when giving through our website or in the memo on your check.

Prayer Requests –

  • Rain for all of East Africa then fruitful produce to come from the soil
  • Joseph, one of our security guards, who is dealing with health problems
  • Wisdom for the leadership of Next Life
  • Health and safety for our students and staff
  • Hearts that are open to accept Christ
  • Funding to keep our ministry flourishing

Sponsor a Student!

Pick the pupil you’d like to keep in pray and build a relationship with at  

$60/month provides a special bond between the sponsor and student.  Prayer can drastically change the young person’s life.

Laurence reads and translates  a note from the student’s sponsor.

What Our Students Have to Say

Our Students Speak

Next Life Foundation is changing lives through vocational training. 

It’s not the skills that are making the most significant impact, it’s the love of Christ the students receive through the staff and the life skills they learn because of that love.  It’s the daily worship they experience during “Morning Glory” and “Evening Glory” and Friday devotions with Pastor Elia.  The Holy Spirit is working in ways we would never have imagined.  

Many students walk a great distance to get to class; two to four hours each morning and evening. Education is very important.  But there are many perils along the way. It is worth the risks to gain the education our students are receiving and the hope they see for their future.  It is worth spending time in “the light” of the presence of the Holy Spirit to face the possibility of danger and fear.  Next Life Foundation is a place of refuge; a place of warmth and safety.  It’s hard to find a site with a similar atmosphere.

We take so many things for granted.  Let’s take a moment and thank God for the many meals we eat each and every day.  Praise His mighty name for changing the hearts and minds of the Next Life students as they become more like the image of Christ and He gives them purpose in their lives.

We take so many things for granted.  Let’s take a moment and thank God for the many meals we eat each and every day.  Praise His mighty name for changing the hearts and minds of the Next Life students as they become more like the image of Christ and He gives them purpose in their lives.

Mission Trip Opportunity

January 11-21, 2023 Next Life is partnering with MOST Ministries to provide an Eyeglass Ministry Trip to Mbuguni, Tanzania, where the Next Life school is located.  Using a testing system that MOST Ministry uses around the world, members of the team will distribute appropriate eyeglasses to those in need.  During the daily clinics, teams will test vision, fit and distribute eyeglasses while sharing the gospel through words and actions.  Depending on the number of team members, 100-300 people can be served daily.  A team leader has been assigned to prepare, train and lead the team on this mission.

Sign up for this ministry trip at

To help keep our students safe at Next Life Foundation, we need a perimeter security wall around our site.  Usually in Tanzania that is the first feature completed in a construction project but due to the necessity of leaving behind the persecution of our Muslim landlord we needed classrooms first.  Now we need to focus on a wall.  Is this an area you would like to make a monetary donation to or bring a team over to construct a wall?  For further discussion contact Patti @

Give a Gift

June Newsletter


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.


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.


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


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

Traveling Again

It’s up early for Trey, Grace, Judy & Patti, Lord, so they can make the hour-long drive to the airport, fly about eight hours to Doha, Qatar and then hang out.  They have about nine hours to kill before they head back to the States.  It’s a little exciting though because Godlid is traveling with them.   She’s never been out of Tanzania before so this is a whole new experience for her.  Everyone will have a chance to get to know her and ask all the questions about Arusha and Mbuguni that are popping into their heads after time to process.  Stay close to these travelers again, Lord.  So many people in this airport, so many cultures but all created by you.  You designed each person intentionally with specific plans for their lives.  Forgive me, Father, for not always looking to you and following those plans.  Help me to keep my eyes focused on you through prayer, Bible reading and worship.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.  Psalm 5:11-12