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 nextlifefound@gmail.com.

God Bless you greatly,
Patti


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

Blessings,

Patti

November 2020 Newsletter

Inspiring!

 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 nextlifefound@gmail.com or go to https://nextlifefound.org/donate


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:           

NextLifeFound@gmail.com    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

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.


Coronovirus

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,

Patti

March 2020 Newsletter

Graduation

Graduation 2020 is in the books!  It was quite the celebration January 18th.  The students were almost hard to recognize they looked so good in their nicely tailored outfits that our graduating tailors had made; the girls had their hair done and festivity was in the air!  

 The food was prepared and the chairs were in place and ready for the guests when family and friends arrived a little after 2pm. 

It was one of the biggest days in these young people’s lives.  Throughout the merriment and ceremony, our great God was glorified.  A member of the Tanzanian parliament addressed the graduates and the crowd and commended Next Life on the training it’s doing to give a hand up to the young people in Tanzania.  Pastors from the area gave thanks to God through Jesus Christ for the blessings He has shown all of us.  Certificates of completion were handed out, food was served, and many pictures were taken.  All the neighborhood children were invited in to share the meal with us.  What a joyous occasion! 

There was dancing before, during and after the ceremony!

New Campus

The plans are drawn up and we’re ready for building.  Please check out the plans and costs at https://nextlifefound.org/its-time-to-grow/  Patti would love to talk to anyone interested in financially supporting part (or all) of our building project.  Currently we have the capability to serve 45 students at our leased site.  When we complete our new campus we have the potential to accept 300 students plus house female students in a dormitory.  Wow!  We’re so thankful to God! 

When we put out a notice that we are accepting students, we receive hundreds of applications.  We currently have over forty young people on a waiting list!  God is up to great things!

New Tailoring Students

The Monday after graduation our new tailoring students began their journey with Next Life.  Not only will they master the trade of sewing but they’ll learn English, entrepreneurial skills, and Bible lessons.  These thirty young people range from 13 years in age to 23 years old and an educational background of completing 4th grade to completing 11th grade with most having a 7th grade education.  They are all very enthusiastic about learning.  Only four of our new students are from the village of Mbuguni where Next Life Foundation is located.  Many walk two to two and a half hours to get to class each day.  They have made a commitment to learn. After just a few days practicing on the treadle sewing machines many were designing and making simple shoulder bags. 

Look at the joy and pride on their faces!

Think what they’ll accomplish after a few months of training!

Sponsoring a Student

Do you realize that you can radically change the life of one of these young people for $60 a month?  That’s two dollars a day!  Learning a life skill at Next Life Foundation not only affects the student but he/she will, most likely, support their parents, siblings and possibly aunts, uncles and cousins when they complete their training.  The region of Mbuguni sees hope for their young people again. They have an opportunity to meet Christ for the first time or to deepen their faith through devotions with Pastor Elia, the local pastor that visits each week.  These are generational changes.  Time spent at Next Life impacts our students, their families, their future children, grandchildren, etc.  The Boards of Directors and staff will use your financial gifts as responsibly as possible and the Holy Spirit will multiply them beyond our imagination.

How many of us can find $2 a day by giving up a specialty coffee, a lunch out or something else once a week?  Please pray and consider sponsoring a student.  You can learn more about each youth at https://nextlifefound.org/tailoring-students/ to chose a student to sponsor.

On The Road Again

Laurence and Patti have been putting miles on her car again.  This time they were in Oklahoma and Texas.  They were the keynote speakers at Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Entrepreneur Seminar in Enid, OK February 20-21. 

What an honor it was to tell their story and the story God is weaving for the young people at Next Life.  They prayed (along with many in Iowa) that God would be glorified in all that was said.  They also had an opportunity to speak at Eagle View Church in Ft Worth, TX.  Again, may God be glorified in all that happens at our training center and when the Next Life story is told.  We could never make these connections or do what we do without Him!  Laurence and Patti met many wonderful people as they traveled and had a great time together.

Prayer Requests

  • New students adjustment to NLF and safety as they come & go
  • Financial blessings to build at our new site & to support our students
  • Holy Spirit guidance in all NLF does today and in planning for the future
  • Holy Spirit speak into the hearts and minds of our Muslim students and their families.
  • Battle the enemy to diminish the fear of corona virus and flourish the economy of Tanzania and the USA for God’s glory.

Prayer

     So often we can look back in time and see how clearly God has answered prayer but I praise Him for showing me how He is answering prayers right now from so many people and in so many languages.     

“May he Grant you your hearts desire and fulfill all your plans!      May we shout for joy over your salvation,     and in the name of our God set up our banners!      May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!     Now I know the Lord saves his anointed;     he will answer him from his holy heaven     with the saving might of his right hand.     Some trust in chariots and some in horses,     but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”                                                          Psalm 20:4-7     

The Christian parents that have been praying in their tribal tongue or Swahili for their children who are now our students. Our board members and myself who have been praying for our students to know Christ in a deeper way and for our Islam students to know Christ as their personal Savior. The faithful sponsors of students that consistently lift up their student in prayer. God has heard these prayers and is faithful.     

Now, God has given Next Life property of our own and I believe he will bless us with a facility that will welcome many more students to hear His name glorified and their lives changed. He is moving in marvelous ways in northern Tanzania and I am blessed to see it happen.     

We had such a sweet time of devotion at our site on Friday with Pastor Elia. There was much singing (and many can’t help dancing when they sing), scripture reading, praising God, preaching, praying and more singing. Even our Muslim students stayed and participated; the Holy Spirit is working! My heart was full despite the language barrier.     

Now, tomorrow I leave this beautiful, yet struggling place to head home to frozen Iowa. I’ll miss the sights, the sounds, and the smells…. and the warm weather. But mostly I’ll miss the people; our new students that don’t quite know what to think of this pale skinned lady, the few students I already knew and our staff. I’ve grown to love them all. We’ll stay connected through prayer; God will watch over them. And when God’s timing is right, I will return again.

God bless and hold my friends in Tanzania,    Patti