PRAISING GOD FOR THE RAIN!!

As many of you know, rain has been a scarce thing in many areas of East Africa in recent years…and that’s especially true in Tanzania, and the region around The Lion of Judah Academy.  We’ve often asked you to pray for rains as we have lamented season after season of failed crops, sky-rocketing food prices, and genuine hunger.

Last fall the rains were somewhat better, but still far short of what is needed.  But this spring the rains have been strong and good…in some places almost too good as there has been some flooding (including some lost of life).  But we are so excited to be able to report that the spring rains appear to have been strong enough to yield good harvests of all needed crops, including rice.

PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!

Crops around Lion of Judah Academy

Fuzzy…but Green!!

This photo was taken from one of the Lion of Judah Academy staff gardens just a few days ago.  Sorry it’s kind of blurry (we had to crop it from another low resolution file)…but look at all the green!  And things are obviously growing!!  And on the left you can see something we (the Inlows) haven’t seen around the school for several years — standing water after a rain storm!

Thank you for all your support and prayers over the past few years!  Please pray for a good harvest, and good rains in the coming rain seasons — the next one should come in October – December.

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CRUCIAL FORM 6 EXAMS BEGIN TODAY

Examinations are an important time for all students, everywhere.  But it doesn’t get much more important for students in Tanzania than their Form 6 National Examinations.

Which universities they are eligible for…even if they are eligible to attend a university…will largely be determined by their exam results.  For many students their chosen career path will be opened…or closed…based on their exam results.

Most of the next two weeks – from today (May 7) until May 18 – will be occupied by their Form 6 national exams (that’s right…two weeks of exams!!)

So…please keep the fifty-two Form 6 students from The Lion of Judah Academy in your prayers during the next two weeks.  They will do well…we have no doubt about that!  They are bright, and well prepared, and capable.  But will their exam results be strong enough to allow them to qualify to attend the medical university…the law school…the engineering college…or other school…which will then enable them to go on to fulfill their dreams?  To reach their full potential and calling?

To a large extent that will be determined based on their national examination results.

Form 6 Graduation will be Saturday, May 19.  All fifty-two students will be graduating — they have already met all the qualifications necessary to successfully complete their Form 6 education at Lion of Judah Academy.  The graduation will be a wonderful and joyful celebration – Lynn and I had the opportunity to be there a year ago for the graduation.  They are special events!

But then the waiting begins.  They will need to wait many months for their exam results.  Only after that will they be told what career fields and universities are open to them.

We are proud of each one of our 52 graduates.  They will always be part of our Lion of Judah Academy Family, and under the umbrella of the school’s care and love.  But today, and for the next couple of weeks, they are in special need your prayers.  So please be praying for them.  Especially for God

  • to bless them during this exam period
  • to keep them healthy and alert
  • to assist each one to perform up to his or her full potential

Update:    I just found this photo of the 2018 Form Six students posted on Facebook…these are the students you are praying for:

2018 Form Six students

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Please Pray for Rain…and Other News

PRAYERS URGENTLY NEEDED — We have just spoken to Mtebe, Lion of Judah Academy director.  Rain is very much needed.  There has been rain…enough to get crops to grow and start to develop.  But the rain has slowed down and if a harvest is to be realized, more rain is needed and needed soon.  The drought situation in East Africa is truly critical.  We haven’t heard much about it in our U.S. news reports, but people are suffering.  Our food costs for the students have increased as much as 300%.  We have had to increase school fees for the coming year to help cover costs.  We will keep you posted…but for now — please pray for rain!

July 2018 mission trip to Lion of Judah Academy — We have quite a bit of interest in an upcoming trip to the school, and are planning a trip for this coming July.  Details are still being developed but if you may be interested please contact us soon:  LOJ@thelionofjudah.info

We’re very pleased that, once again, our Lion of Judah Ministries overhead/ administrative/fund-raising expense ratio is among the lowest of all charities in the United States.  Our most recent 990 Tax Report to the Internal Revenue Service showed that only 1.5% of what we received in 2016 was spent on administration, fund-raising and overhead.  What it doesn’t show is that of that amount, all of the expense was paid by donations specifically for administration and fund raising.  What that means is 100% of every dollar contributed for the work of the school and the benefit of the students went directly to those purposes.  If you’d like to see our 2016 IRS 990 tax report, and our 2016 Financial Review, CLICK HERE

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Student Sponsors Needed — and Other Updates

Student Sponsorship Site — We have prepared a new website for The Lion of Judah Academy Student Sponsorship Program.  You can visit it here:  Student Sponsorship      You will find photos and information about students who need sponsorship; you’ll be able to sign up to sponsor a students and make recurring monthly contributions via credit card or ACH donations.  We will be building on and developing the site as we go…but it is fully operational now.  This might be the time to sponsor a student!  Over 300 of our students will be in need of sponsorship when classes begin in January, 2018

Shilikale Family - edited

A Group of Sponsors from the U.S. with Students (and parents) they are supporting and sponsoring — a miracle in the making!

Website Updates — As part of the project to develop the Sponsorship Program we have updated the website…if you haven’t visited recently, drop by:   TheLionOfJudah.info

Expansion of the girls dorm — we need to expand the girls dormitory…we simply need more space for the girls!  Currently our resources do not permit us to move ahead with this project.  The plans are drawn up and we have the foundation in place, thanks to a generous donor.  But we’re stuck until it either starts raining (so crops will grow and food prices go down) or God provides additional resources.  If this project touches your heart, contact us for more information or go here to contribute

 

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School’s Out! Lots of Updates!

My apologies for being out of touch in recent weeks…life has been extremely hectic around our house.  However, it’s not for lack of things happening at Lion of Judah Academy.  Instead of trying to cram everything into one post I’m going to write about a few things now…and add a few more every couple of days for the next few days until I get caught up.

School’s Out – the school year ended a couple of weeks ago and students are all on break.  Classes will resume in January with a new school year beginning.  Two classes have graduated:  Standard Seven, most of whom will be continuing on to Form 1 when classes resume; and Form IV, most of whom will be continuing on to A-Level Form V (Advanced Level High School)…but those classes won’t begin until later in the spring.  All the graduates in both levels took their critical national exams during the fall, and are awaiting the results.

Graduates

One of the recent Lion of Judah Academy Graduating classes – fall 2017

Photos of the graduates, along with some other photos of interest (like the school staff) can be found here:  Fall 2017           The link will take you to Flickr where you can view the Fall 2017 album and find other photos from the school

Dan, Paula and Everlyn Shaffer — in our last post we told you about the arrival of Dan and Paula Shaffer’s baby girl, Everlyn Grace.  But we didn’t have any details.  So here’s a link to Dan and Paula’s recent update…including a photo of Everlyn!  They are currently in the U.S. for a short time, and will return to Lion of Judah Academy in January.  Here’s a link to their newsletter:  Shaffer 2017 December Newsletter

Drought and the Rain Situation — many of you know that East Africa generally, and our region in particular, have been experiencing drought in recent years.   The fall rainy season has not provided much relief…the situation is growing more critical.  Food prices have soared…in some cases to 300% of their normal level.  This hits our school budget hard…the school almost didn’t make it through the last term.  We have had to increase school fees for the coming year which, of course, creates a different type of pressure on the school and the families.  Please pray for rain and for God’s intervention, and His gracious provision for all the needs of the school and His people

I’ll write more in a couple of days!

 

News and Updates from LOJA

Some important things have been happening at The Lion of Judah Academy…it’s hard to know what to write about first!

GRADUATION — Saturday, October 21, was graduation day at The Lion of Judah Academy!  Standard 7 and Form 4 had a joyful combined graduation celebration, including all the “pomp and circumstance” — the singing and dancing — and the banquet!  We weren’t able to be there personally, but I’m sure the campus was overflowing with proud families and students.  Standard 7 students took their national examinations several weeks ago and are awaiting the results.  Form 4 students will be taking their national examinations very soon.

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WELCOME EVERLYN GRACE SHAFFER – Sunday, October 22, Everlyn Grace Shaffer was born in Nairobi, Kenya.  Everlyn is the newborn daughter of LOJA missionaries Paula and Dan Shaffer.  She’s 6.4 pounds, 19 inches, healthy and happy!  Dan and Paula have been missionaries at Lion of Judah Academy for several years and are an important part of the LOJA family.  They traveled to Nairobi a few weeks ago to await Everlyn’s birth.  Paula and Dan shared their joy,  and some wonderful demonstrations of God’s providence and grace, in a recent email.  Here are a few excerpts (note:  the process they talk about below typically takes weeks to accomplish):

Dear friends,

“We are so overwhelmed by the way God has answered our and your prayers. Here is the story of our last few days. 
Everlyn came on Sunday… We were discharged from the hospital last night… Dan went to town to get the birth certificate this morning… There have been almost daily demonstrations in the area where he was, and bad rioting/tear gas this afternoon, but there were no demonstrations this morning… He got everything done by lunchtime….  After lunch Everlyn was awake, so we took a shot at getting her passport photo. She’s never wide awake, which is a must for passport. They got a good picture in three tries…. Our friends (missionaries in Nairobi whom we have known for two weeks. They have really been like angels in our lives) came to visit and gave us an emergency line for the embassy. (Normal procedure booking online show no appointments available through December)… Dan called, and they said, “tomorrow is a public holiday, Thursdays are the elections, try to send us an email.” We did. An hour ago. We JUST got an email back saying we have an appointment TOMORROW (a holiday) at 8 am. The process to get an appointment can take two or more weeks. 
We just want to praise God so much. We are really, really amazed by His grace, and the miraculous ways He has answered these specific prayers.
Please keep praying for us. 
God is so amazing; praising Him so much.
Dan, Paula, Everlyn”
We will post a photo of Everlyn as soon as we receive one!
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RAIN HAS STARTED – There has been severe drought in East Africa for some time…worse in some places than in others.  Lion of Judah Academy and the surrounding area has been hard hit and, while we have food available for the students, prices have risen 200 – 300% — a severe strain on our budget.  There is great hope and anxiety for the coming “short rain season” — what if the rain is insufficient and another crop fails?  Results could be devastating.  We spoke to the school just a couple of days ago:  the rains have just started.  Please join us in prayer for a good, strong season of rains which will bring forth an abundant crop, and which in turn will go a long way toward breaking the drought and the resulting food shortages in East Africa.
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Exams and Term-Break at Lion of Judah Academy

Please be praying for all the Class 7 students at Lion of Judah Academy…this is a challenging and stress-filled time for them…National Examinations!

The Exams are scheduled September 6 and 7.  All Standard 7 students throughout the nation take their national examinations on those days, and the results can have a significant impact on the future of their educational success.

Also, September 8 is the beginning of mid-term break for all students.  Students will be on break until September 18.  Please pray for safe travel and blessing on their time away from school, with their families and friends.

studying 2

Students preparing for their upcoming national examinations