May 2021

New Campus Moves Along

March 2021

God has provided, in His steadfast manner, and work has progressed steadily at our new campus despite the rainy season.   This week the trusses are going up on the classroom building.

The underground septic and drainage for the restroom is complete along with the exterior of the building.  Next will be the inside finishing, doors, and windows.


Thanks to all who have donated above and beyond their usual contributions to make this a reality.  If funds continue to come in, we will proceed with an open-air classroom/shed for the carpentry students or begin drilling a well, depending on the finances we have secured.  Hakuna matata (no worries), God is in charge of this project.

Rainy Season

     The rainy season is expected every year in Tanzania.  Usually from March to May.  There have been years of no rain during this time and other years, like last year, where it started raining in August and continued through May.  The last weekend in April brought very heavy rain.  So, with the rain came flooding again in the Mbuguni area.

Crops have been decimated, roads were closed and life continues to be extremely difficult in northern Tanzania.  A number of our students had trouble getting to classes.  Mary, our director, could not get out to Mbuguni from Arusha, the city that’s about an hour away.  The many homes that were damaged last year from the floods were mutilated even further.  The homes that are made of mud and sticks are likely no longer inhabitable.  We continue to try to find an organization or someone that can fund and build stable homes for these people.

New President in Tanzania

The middle of March President John Magufuli passed away and Vice President  Samia Suluhu became the new president.  It brings a lot of unknowns when a new leader takes control in Tanzania.  We pray that she will be friendly to Christians and Christian organizations in the country and that her policies and actions will honor our God.


Do you wonder what is happening with the coronavirus on the other side of the globe?  Well, as you may recall, Laurence, our co-founder of Next Life Foundation, suffered from the virus about a year ago.  He has recovered completely with no ill effects.

Many people in Tanzania suffer from HIV, tuberculosis, untreated blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.  (The healthcare system has a lot of room for improvement.  There are not many similarities to the healthcare we are familiar with.)  This population of patients are at higher risk for mortality from Covid-19.

In March and April 2020 there were many deaths.  The government trucks that carried away the deceased were constantly traveling down the roads of Arusha. 

In May, 2020 President Magufuli tested non-human samples, including papaya and goat.  Because of the positive test results that prevailed, the president refused to do any further testing and reporting to the World Health Organization.  In June, after three

days of national prayer, he announced to the citizens that coronavirus was no longer in the country which lifted the fear from the people and they went about their daily lives as usual. 

Since President Suluhu was sworn into office she set up a commission to look at measures to stop the spread of the virus.  There are now requirements on travelers entering the country to show a negative Covid test, enhanced screening and mitigation measures.

  Needy Student Fund

Our vocational students are some of the neediest of the needy in the area they live.  They come individually to Mary, our director, asking for very basic needs.  We’ve set up a “needy student fund” to help them.  Some of these young people live with family members other than their parents and are not provided food, soap and other items we take for granted.  Some are in need of underwear, shoes, and other necessities they cannot make in class.  Easter weekend all students were given vegetables, rice, cooking oil, salt and soap.  They all had a meal together to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and God was given all the glory.  We received videos of prayers and songs of praise.

PRAY —                                                                                                                         

-for the safety of our students as they walk, many for long distances, to and from school                                     

-for our students to know Christ as their personal Savior                                                                                        

-for perseverance in their faith                                                                   

-for our staff and Boards to have wisdom, discernment, understanding & a closer walk with Christ                                                                        

GIVE —                                                                                                                          

-sponsor a student $60/month                                                            

-donate monthly                                                                                             

-one-time donation

February 2021

Recent Happenings

I recently communicated some critical needs in the funding for Next Life Foundation in Mbuguni.  Those needs were for the development of the NLF campus for facilities and a neighbor that was making the lives of our staff and students miserable.  Our request was for funds to build our first classroom building at a more rapid pace so we could actually move and occupy our developing campus.  The need was presented as $39,000 to build the first classroom, $7,000 to finish the restroom facilities which were under construction, and the cost of continuing operation of the school at $4,000 per month.

Not mentioned in that letter was the need for $7,000 by the middle of February for Tanzania government taxes which would double if not paid on time and would also adversely affect our future tax status as a “non-profit” school.  That would severely change the dollars needed to operate the ministry.  I did not share that because before the letter went out, God provided the $11,000 that we needed to cover the taxes & month’s operations.

What has God Done Since?

Since providing those needs on a tight schedule, God has also provided us with the funds to complete the restroom facilities PLUS an angel donor who has pledged to match half of the needed $39,000 for the new classroom building.  The American NLF board stands together amazed at God’s faithful provision and praises Him for His loving hand in the lives of our friends in Tanzania.

Where Does That Leave Us?

First, the history of our construction projects so far is that through diligent efforts by the Tanzania staff, the projects have come in considerably under the presented budgets.  We therefore believe that we will be able to complete the first classroom and continue on with the campus development.  Our matching donor is delighted that the special gift will go further in the overall development of the school.  

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.                                              ~ Proverbs 19:17

How Can You Help?

Our “Angel” donor is inviting matching gifts from other NLF supporters to advance the development of the Next Life campus at a rate that we had not even been able to envision or “dream” about.  (With God, we need to dream bigger!)  The initial gift is firm, it is simply an invitation to join others in sharing hope for an improved future for a small group of people on the other side of the world and in the process share Christ with them and the community around the school.  This will change lives for generations. 

Our hope is that for those of you who are moved to participate, the joy of the gift and the growth in your relationship with God is a real blessing.  Thank you to any of you who are drawn to join in this effort and thank you to each of you who have supported Next Life Foundation in the past.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.      ~Proverbs 31:8-9

Carpentry Class

A number of the NLF carpentry graduates have come back to classes to learn contemporary skills from our new instructor, Fundi Reonard.  Everyone is very excited about his skills, his faith and his personality.  He’s also interested in adding more students right away and begin teaching beginners the skills of his craftsmanship.

Pictured is one of the beds the young men are making. The beds that are made are given to widows that are sleeping on the floor.  The right picture is Fundi Reonard and Patti

Tailoring Class

Our tailoring students have been very busy measuring, sewing and delivering school uniforms to the students in the three primary schools (similar to what we call elementary school) in Mbuguni.  Uniforms are mandatory in all schools in Tanzania.  If a uniform is not worn or is in too dilapidated condition, the student is beaten and/or sent home.  Next Life tailors-in-training have made uniforms for the children who cannot afford new attire.  There are many very destitute people in Mbuguni.

Giving without an expectation of something in return is not a normal human reaction.  But it is a Christian lifestyle; something we want our students to learn.

Flood Victims

A joy filled and emotional day.

Visits to those helped after Spring floods

Last Spring found Mbuguni and the surrounding area devastated by flooding. The generous friends of Next Life Foundation helped the staff and students get food to many families, including some of our students. Mama Linda (Blue shirt) and her handicapped children were one family who we built a new home for. Next Life staff found Mama Nicole (green shirt) living outdoors after her house was washed away by flood water. God used your funds to allow us to build a new home for her also.  We had enough money for Mama Neema (pink shirt) to receive a new house also after hers was destroyed. She is a joy filled lady who gives really good hugs. We were invited in and I was honored to pray over her and her home.

Philemon and Fiona needed a new toilet, which you’ll see on the left of the picture below. In the past few months the authorities have condemned their home (right side of picture) and require them to sleep at the village office. 

God knows their needs

In the short two weeks I’ve been in Tanzania two widows have come to Next Life asking for houses and two families have come asking for toilets to be built.  (When is the last time you thanked God for you toilet? It’s not a luxury everyone has!) There is so much legitimate need in Mbuguni for so many things but our mission is “To provide Christian and vocational training skills to the community, focusing on the unprivileged mamas and young people of Tanzania.”  When the government closed all schools due to Covid-19 we directed all our funds to help with the devastation of the flooding.  Now we’re looking to you, our supporters, to help us find an organization that we can partner with to help these friends in need.  If you are aware of a Christian mission that builds concrete block homes in East Africa please email us at

God Bless you greatly,

Technology was not always my friend when I was in Tanzania so I’m posting this a week later than I intended.  I’m safe at home now and slept in my own bed last night!

You’re prayers mean so much to me.  The trip was very good but hard, fun but frustrating, joy filled but sad.  I was very blessed.  I can’t imagine being there without Christ. 

Bwana Asifiwe

Bwana Asifiwe

This means “Praise the Lord” in swahili. The students and staff are doing great at Next Life Foundation in Mbuguni. It was such a joy to spend time with them today. I praise God that He allows me to be one of the vessels He works through for this Christian vocational training center!

The last time I saw these young tailors they were just learning how to use the machines.They’ve come a long way! They’re ready to teach me!

Look what the carpentry students are up to!

Our new carpentry instructor, Fundi Reonard, is teaching the young men the art of upholstery.

Upholstery requires some tailoring skills also!

God you are so faithful!

Heavenly Father, you have been so good to the staff and students at Next Life Foundation. You have given them an opportunity to hear the good news of your son, Jesus, and also to learn a skill that can sustain them financially. Lord I pray that you will continue to bless Next Life with generous gifts to meet their obligations and to expand to their new site. I praise your name for all that you have done and all that you will continue to do. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen



November 2020 Newsletter


 We have an amazing group of students.  Our staff sent us pictures of many of these young people with statements they wrote as to what Next Life Foundation means to them.  It was an affirmation that we are serving in God’s will and in an area and population that is in great need.  We want to share just a couple of these notes with you.

Fatuma has grown up in the Islamic faith.  She states that besides the skills she’s learning for her future, NLF is helping her become aware of the obstacles in the environment she lives in.  Is the Holy Spirit tapping on her heart?

Zahara expresses that she was at a point of desperation and no longer wishing to live until she found Next Life Foundation.  God is showing her that she has purpose and is a child of God.

Pastor Elia does a great job in Bible study with the students each week and our staff lives as disciples of Christ.

Would you be interested in sponsoring one of the NLF youngsters?  Sponsorship involves praying for the student and financially supporting their education with $60/month.  Just knowing someone cares for them makes a huge impact.  Email Patti at or go to

Annual Banquet

The Next Life Foundation’s Annual Banquet was held September 10 at Gull Point State Park Lodge.  It was a little different this year…imagine that!  The setting was beautiful on the delightful shores of West Lake Okoboji.  What a great time it was to connect with friends and glorify God for what He has done through Next Life foundation.  We serve an absolutely good God.

Christmas Preparations

This time of year, is typically a time to begin thinking about the Christmas holiday and the gatherings we’ll have with family and friends.  Schedules have to be coordinated and a place of assembly must be determined.  (Maybe a little more challenging this year!)  As you can imagine, it’s a little different in the Mbuguni, Tanzania area.  Our students are some of the poorest of the poor in northern Tanzania.  The Next Life Board of Directors in Tanzania would like to provide food to our students and their families for their Christmas celebration.   Many of these families don’t always have adequate food each day so what a blessing to celebrate Jesus’ birth with enough food, a “feast”.  Something we often take for granted.  Would you like to give a monetary gift to help these folks in celebrating Christmas with their families…with full stomachs?

Gift Giving

Did you know that the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act passed by congress the end of March, allows taxpayers who take the standard deduction to make a $300 charitable contribution to qualified organizations?   Because Next Life Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity we are a qualified organization.  Imagine if each person that reads this newsletter gave a minimum of $300 today!  How would God use that money to advance His kingdom?  Almost every dollar we receive is sent to NLF Tanzania.  Administrative costs of our organization are paid by our generous U.S. board members.  The bank fees for wiring money to Tanzania are basically the only donor monies used for expenses.  

How about giving to Next Life Foundation in honor of a family member or a special friend?  Do you have a loved one you would like to give in memory?  We feel privileged to receive gifts in others name.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Plans are being made for Patti’s trip to Mbuguni in January.  As always, she can hardly wait to get there to see the students and staff, all here friends. 

There is always much to do and people to meet with.  She will be interested in visiting the different sites that were flooded in April and the families that Next Life helped with rebuilding.  Our new campus has slowly began developing so further discussion and time spent there will be good.  But mostly time spent with students and staff will be her priority.  Despite the language barrier there can be good communication.  Love transcends all languages.

Congratulations to Co-founder, Laurence Laban, for being elected as a representative of his people to the District Council of the Tanzania Government.  May God use him in a mighty way to show God’s way.

Prayer Requests—

  • Students to know Christ and find purpose in Him
  • Financial blessings to support what God has in store for Next Life
  • Holy Spirit’s leading in all NLF does
  • Safety for the students and staff as they travel to and from school
  • The faith of our Boards and staff, and their discernment

August 2020 Happenings

Classes have resumed

After a three-month suspension of classes due to Covid-19, our students returned to class July 7th.  The tailoring machines are whirring as the foot treadles are rocking back and forth and the never-ending planing continues on the carpentry side of the Next Life Foundation site.   It was exciting to have staff and students together again.  Unfortunately, there were students who dropped out; some needing to find work to support their families after all the devastation from the floods, some got married and others just could not be located.  We continue to pray for these young people knowing that life is difficult and God has a plan for them.

Assistance completed

     The devastating flooding that washed away belongings and homes in April left a scar on many families in the Mbuguni, Tanzania area.  Many of our students were impacted and those who weren’t did a great job assisting with cleanup and rebuilding.  Due to the generosity of so many of Next Life supporters we were able to get food to all our current and past students when people were not able to get “out” to work due to high water.  After our students and their families were taken care of, the village leaders of four different communities were given food to assist the neediest in their areas.  God worked through Next Life Foundation to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the crisis situation.

Once the water receded and the folks could get back to work, NLF President, Laurence, and Director, Mary, realized some people were struggling in their living conditions because their homes had been washed away.  They evaluated the most disheartening situations and we were able to build four homes, supply materials for another, plus a church, a village office and for a toilet.  Wow!  Does God know when to show up and reveal His caring heart, or what?  None of this could have happened without your prayers, caring hearts and wallets.  The people in the area could see Christ in the dollars you sent which turned into hope for their lives.  Praise God for His faithful followers.

Annual Banquet

We’d be honored if you’d join us Thursday, September 10th for our annual Next Life Foundation Banquet.  We’ll celebrate all God has done for us and through us at the lodge at Gull Point State Park on beautiful West Lake Okoboji.  There will be plenty of fresh air and space. 

Social Time       6:00 – 6:30

Dinner               6:30 – 7:15

Program            7:15 – 8:00

Please RSVP how many will attend to:       or Text (712)330-7031

to help us know how much food we will need.

Sponsor a Student

For two dollars a day you can sponsor a student at Next Life Foundation.  This gives a young person in the Mbuguni, Tanzania area an opportunity to learn a life skill that can support their family.  Family could include mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.  Students also get to learn about Jesus with a local pastor through devotions and praises each week.  Many people in this area have no skills, no education only hopelessness.  Next Life Foundation provides the hope of Jesus through vocational training in this Islamic dominated area.

We realized not all our students even had food every day so we provide lunch every day they are in class.  Would you be willing to sacrifice a little to provide LIFE for a young person on the other side of the world?

PRAY —  

  • for our students to know Christ as their personal Savior   
  • for perseverance in their faith                                                  
  • for our staff and Boards to have wisdom, discernment & understanding                                                                          

GIVE —      

  • sponsor a student $60/month 
  • donate monthly      
  • one-time donation                                                                

Go to the DONATE page to share in this ministry with us

Flood Relief – 2020

Students & Instructor giving out corn, beans & cooking oil.

Thank you to all that have donated generously to get food to so many in the Mbuguni, Tanzania area after the destructive flooding.  The Next Life staff and some of our students have done a great job identifying those in critical need and delivering necessities.
Your prayers have been heard by our bountiful God in many ways for our friends in East Africa.  As of yet, the locusts have not become a problem in the area and our dear friend and leader in Tanzania, Laurence, recovered completely after suffering with Covid-19.  

Unique Times

Some strange and unprecedented events have been thrown at us the past few months.  It’s taken everyone by surprise but it hasn’t knocked God off his throne or caught him off guard.  He is still with us.  “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.  We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3)  He has put us where we are, in this time, “for such a time as this”.  As uncomfortable, or comfortable, as we may be, we can always find those Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering great hardships.  As our last correspondence described, there has been much distress in the Mbuguni, Tanzania area due to the devastating flooding.  Next Life Foundation has supplied many, many pounds of corn, beans and cooking oil to our students and their families that were affected by the floods and countless neighbors.  This was possible due to the generosity of so many friends of Next Life.  There are still some people we’d like to help further by rebuilding their homes.  We have enough money to build one of the three homes and we’re recruiting our carpentry alumni to help with labor but we need help financially to get all three built and to fund our operating expenses when July rolls around.  (We’ve been concentrating on disaster relief and know God will be faithful.)  So many lost their dwellings in the floods but some seem more desperate than others.  Please read their stories below.

Mama Linda’s daughter outside their neighbor’s home.
(A safer place to be than their own house)

Mama Linda

A boy and a girl blessed the marriage of Mama Linda and her husband but the family continually faces the difficulty of both children being handicapped and unable to walk.  This was too much to bear for Linda’s husband so he abandoned the family long ago.  During the heavy rains and flooding in April and May, about half of their house was washed away.  Tarps and old sheet metal are being used to try to remedy the loss but the situation is very tough.

Mama Linda’s son exiting the neighbor’s home.

Mama Nikol
65 year old Mama Nikol is the sole caretaker of her three grandchildren.  Her husband passed away a few weeks before the heavy rains.  The floodwater carried her house completely away.  They stay outside now but found a piece of a mattress to sleep on at night.  The dangers of snakes, pneumonia and other diseases are a real threat.

Laurence with Mama Nikol and two of her three grand kids.

Mama Neema

Another home that was completely lost in the flooding was Mama Neema’s.  She is 63 years old and lives alone.  Her husband died years ago and she hasn’t heard from two of her three daughters for a very long time.  Her only surviving daughter lives in horrible conditions but Neema’s been forced to stay with her.

Due to the continued spread of Covid-19 Next Life Foundation is not holding classes for our carpentry students or our tailoring students.  Our instructors and a few students come to our site every day to help those who need assistance.  The carpenters are fixing windows, chairs, tables, etc that have been damaged in the flooding and the tailors have been busy making masks.  The Tanzanian Board of Directors anticipates resuming regular classes on July 1st.

Local women picking corn, beans, cooking oil and face masks at NLF site.

Please give what you can

Dual Disaster

Our students and their communities are being hit with Covid-19 and horrendous flooding.  Many have lost their homes this past week and were already struggling with food shortages.  We need your help to get them supplies to build shelter and for food.  We also have our 3 acres in Mbuguni that is fairly dry so we can purchase tents and portable toilets to provide temporary housing if needed. The community knows and trusts the leaders of Next Life Foundation so we’re in an ideal position to be the hands of Christ.

All donations will go directly to the people in need.  Laurence and our directors are already delivering food to our students and their communities but we’ve emptied Next Life’s bank account for this disaster so we need your help.  God will provide but he uses His people to make that provision.  Is He asking you to help with a large amount of money?  Can you give generously? 


Flooding in the Mbuguni area

For the past seven months it has been raining in northern Tanzania.  When Patti left the area the beginning of February roads were starting to wash away and the rainy season hadn’t even started yet. People were claiming they had never seen such weather previously.  Well, Thursday night the torrential rain in the Mbuguni area washed away homes and decimated others.  Executive staff of Next Life were already making plans to get food to our students, their families and others in Shambarai where the majority of our students live.  Now, Shambarai is in horrible shape and parts of Mbuguni are looking terrible also.  The situation is cataclysmic.  We’re reaching out to individuals and other Christian organizations to partner with us to provide food and help build shelters.  Many families are living outside with no shelter and nothing to cover themselves with.  If you’re able to help financally you can contribute on the donate page or send a check to Next Life Foundation 2106 Tarzan St. Okoboji, IA  52355.  Jesus just asked for a few fish and a few loaves of bread and he multiplied it to satisfy many.  The dollars donated will allow Christ to multiply it to help many and make His name known.  Please pray that through these tough times throughout the world Christ will be known by many.

Rubble where a home stood
Laurence with a mama and her child checking out her collapsed home

Suspension of Classes

Some of our tailoring students singing in January

The end of March, Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, cancelled all school classes for 30 days and since, has prolonged that ruling indefinitely.  Therefore, Next Life is not meeting for class until further notice.  But as you read above, we are still trying to support our students.

Also, at the end of March, the government suspended all international flights.  Northern Tanzania depends on tourism with Mt Kilimanjaro, and many national parks, such as the Serengeti.  There are many complications with situations like these in Tanzania.  Times are very tough.  Most people live hand-to-mouth, they bring in money today to last for a couple days.  There is no such thing as a bank account for the majority of people.  This quickly leads to food deprivation.


It seems the picture of the Covid-19 molecule is everywhere.  The virus has been awful for many in our country.  Life in Tanzania looks different.  When hunting on the internet to find out what’s happening, the number of confirmed cases is in the hundreds.  But it also states all are hospitalized.  It would be realistic to believe more cases are in the communities.  Social distancing is not recommended because it is known that people need people and without each other there would be death from starvation.  The medical facilities are not equipped to handle the severe cases.  In the second largest city in the country, Arusha, there may be one hospital that has a few oxygen tanks.  Out in the villages that would be a luxury that’s unheard of.  But most people couldn’t afford to go to the hospital anyway.

Let’s pray that God in his mighty strength and power brings this virus to a halt so no man can claim victory over it; only God can be glorified in bringing it to an end. 

Effects of Covid-19

Our world has changed a lot in the past few weeks with the Covid-19 virus affecting almost every corner of the globe.  Many in the United States are without work or childcare, and a lot of time on their hands.  I pray that there’s a great deal of soul searching going on, with hearts and minds turning to Jesus.  I know I’m spending more time with Christ than I normally do.  I’m realizing how many idols I put in God’s place, how I slack on observing the Sabbath and so many other commandments I’m breaking because I’m “in the world” instead of “in the Word” where I should be.  We’re dealing with a number of inconveniences in the States with the “lock-down” rules, but for the most part we will survive this social distancing…uncomfortably.

Have you thought about how our neighbors in developing countries are doing in their lock-down?  In Tanzania very, very few people have a bank account or any savings; they live hand to mouth.  In the northern part of Tanzania, the economy depends on international tourism due to the national wildlife parks, e.g. the Serengeti, and Mt Kilimanjaro.  That whole industry is shutdown leaving thousands without work.  Out in the villages many live without electricity or clean running water.  As they socially isolate, they have no means to buy or sell.  They have no means to buy food or store food.  In many areas the ground is not suitable for growing produce so in these desperate times there is nothing to eat.  Many children attend boarding schools but those are all closed which means young girls who are now home are likely to be sold as child brides to put food in empty stomachs.  It is a crisis! 

Please remember these people in your prayers.  Next Life Foundation is trying to get food to our students, their families and out to the more desperate villages.  If you would like to help us, your generosity would be greatly appreciated.

God have mercy on us all,