Transformations at Next Life

Landscape is Changing

Construction at Next Life Foundation continues due to our faithful God and our donor generosity.  Currently, the carpentry building is being built.  It won’t be long and our woodworking pupils will be moving into this structure.

There was great joy the end of July when we moved from our old site, with its oppressive landlord, to our new site. 

This picture shows our staff and students in front of the tailoring class building.

September 11th the community, village leaders and many local pastors were invited to a day of praying and committing our land, buildings and everything that takes place at Next Life in Mbuguni, Tanzania to our mighty and steadfast God.  God has been so faithful in guiding NLF and showing His goodness.

Students are So Thankful

Many of our students have written notes thanking you, our donors, for changing their lives by giving them an opportunity to learn a trade and all the other benefits they receive at Next Life.

“My name is Grace Mathayo.  I’m doing well and I am happy that we moved to a new compound.  I love Next Life.  Every day I praying for Next Life.  Thank you for all support.  God Bless Next Life.”

“I am Saraphina Vicent.  Firstly, I would like to give thanks to almighty God for the Next Life Foundation to have the new buildings.  Also, I would kindly like to thank Mary for being close to us, especially girls, she cares and treat us like one of hers and also my sincere appreciation goes to Next Life board, Mama Patti, Laurence and USA Board for caring for us.  All thinks to our God.”

Mary is our director who oversees day to day operations of our school.  She prays with the students when they arrive at class each day and before they head home again.  Students also go to Mary if they have personal issues.  She always goes above and beyond for our pupils.

Short Term Mission Trip

The December/January Mission trip to Mbuguni has been postponed to May.  There were many different issues with those interested in traveling; health concerns, passport problems, etc so we’ve rescheduled the trip to May 7 – 18.  Are you interested in joining this group?  Contact Patti at

Gift Giving

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act passed by congress March 2020 was carried over to 2021.  The $300 federal charitable deduction has been extended for single filers who do not itemize and increased to $600 for married couples filing jointly who do not itemize.  Now is a good time to consider where your end of the year donations should be given.  Next Life Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity, an IRS qualified organization.   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.  

We need to meet the budget of the school each month plus the next building project at our site is to build the perimeter security wall around the property.  This project is estimated to cost $41,000.

Consider 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 your loved one’s name.

True Tailors

Our tailoring students are really excelling.  Remember, they don’t use patterns or pins.  They draw on the fabric with chalk, cut out what they’re going to sew and then just hold it together with their hands.  Many of them have accomplished creating sports coats!

Everyone is reviewing what they have learned the past 22 months to make sure they are all proficient in their skills.

Prayer Requests —

  • Students to know Christ and find purpose in Him
  • Carpentry graduates that are trying to start a collaborative business
  • The future of our tailoring students who will be graduating soon
  • The future NLF students beginning in the near future
  • Safety for the students and staff as they travel to and from school
  • The faith of our Boards and staff, and their discernment

August 2021

We’ve Moved!
Friday, July 30, 2021 was moving day.  The sewing machines were packed up, the carpentry tools were loaded and truckload after truckload were carried across the rough, dusty road to Next Life Foundation’s new campus.  It was exhausting but exhilarating.  Thank you to all the students, staff and everyone else who helped with the hard work.  Our biggest thanks and praise to God who blesses us beyond what we could ever imagine!

Where We’ve Been

There was a young man, Laurence, in Eastern Africa, in a village called Mbuguni, who was dealing with people constantly coming to him asking for handouts.  He knew there was a better way to help his fellow Tanzanians.  He thought, if only we could help them start their own businesses.  But they had no education, no training.  His idea was to give them vocational training. 
Along came this American, Patti.  He asked her if she’d be interested in starting a Christian Vocational Training Center.  Did they realize all this was God inspired and He was going to bless this ministry beyond what they could imagine in such a short time? 

In February 2016 the first twenty tailoring students began their studies in a small building on a village leader’s home property.  After nine months the school moved to a larger site and added carpentry.  Friday, July 30th Next Life Foundation moved to its own 3 acre site with a 2-room classroom building, restroom facility and a guard house.  Phase I of the campus building project, provided by your generous donations, has been completed with an expenditure of $41,960. All of these project costs have come in below budget because of the great leadership provided by Humphrey, our construction site manager. Phase II including construction of three open air classrooms for our carpentry class and future welding and mechanics classes, a security wall around the premises, and a well are the next needs to make things much easier for those attending school and serving the students.  Phase II estimates are as follows:

Open Air Classrooms (3)             $40,000
Perimeter Security Wall               $40,200
Well & Water System                  $20,500

In December when the board received the January 2021 budget request of $4000, we didn’t have the full amount to send.  But as usual, our amazing teachers and staff found ways to make it work by making children’s clothes and repurposing used clothing for sewing and the carpentry students made smaller furniture.  They are amazing at being able to make do with what we are able to send!  Since January God has used our wonderful donors to meet all of the school operating budget needs AND build our new campus to a point where we  moved out of our leased site, just as the harassment from the landlord that they had experienced was becoming unbearable.  Praise be to our God who lavishes us with His blessings.

A ministry like Next Life requires a lot of prayer.  The culture, terminology, way things are done, in fact everything is SO different from America that we, as an American board, constantly need the Lord’s direction as we trust Him to lead our decisions.  We are in awe at what the Lord has done in Mbuguni!

Our staff has worked diligently in very tough circumstances but Christ has sustained them.  The work crews have put in long hard hours to complete these buildings in a timely manner through adverse conditions. 

Keep in mind, everything is done by hand.  There is no electricity at our new campus … yet.  What has been accomplished by our African friends is beyond American understanding.  

Classes continued and our students thrive in their studies. The tailoring students have been working on their own fashion designs and making suits while the carpenters are making dining tables, door frames and TV stands.


Please join us Thursday, September 9th for our annual Next Life Foundation Banquet.  We’ll celebrate God’s abundant blessings by sharing a meal and what’s happened over the last year at the Maser Monarch Lodge next to the Nature Center in Okoboji, IA (22785 Nature Center Road)

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.      

Short Term Mission Trip

Join us as we take a team to work with our students in Mbuguni December 27 through January 7.  Participants will have the opportunity to develop relationships with our students while making items that will benefit the community.  We’ll also get to take part in their devotional time with Pastor Elia.  (What a treat!)  The trip will include a 2-day safari to two different national parks to view the amazing animals God created.  (This is a worshipful experience on its own.)  Contact Patti at if interested.  Spots are filling up fast so don’t delay!

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