Team off to Tanzania!

Our eight-person work team is off to Tanzania today, August 10.

Hart and Lynn Inlow will be joined by their son, and daughter-in-law, Andi, and grandson Parks, all from Montana.  Jim, Steve and Joe are traveling from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.  We will be meeting in Amsterdam early Thursday morning and traveling on to Nairobi, and finally to Mwanza, Tanzania, where school director Mtebe will pick them up.  We expect that will be around noon Friday (3:00 a.m. Friday morning U.S. east coast time).

Please be praying for safety and safe travel, on-time flights, and good-humor on this long trip!  A special concerns is that some of us are flying Delta to Amsterdam…and as of yesterday Delta was still experiencing problems because of their computer failure on Monday.  We’ve been assured by Delta that none of our flights are going to be affected, but….

We’re all excited and hopeful.  God has things in store for this team, and for every individual member of this team.  Please pray that all his plans and purposes for the team, and for the school, are fulfilled, and for Christ to be glorified!

 

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Experimental Solar Study Lights to be Installed in August

Most of you already know that an eight-member work-team is in the final stages of preparations for our trip to The Lion of Judah Academy on August 10, 2016.  In a previous post we described the work they’ll be doing on the boys’ dormitory.

Another project, which probably doesn’t sound as “flashy” – but has tremendous potential to impact student life – is the installation of several experimental lighting systems in four school study areas.

Imagine this scenario:  you’re living in the African bush.  You have electricity, but it shuts off at unexpected times, for impossible to guess durations of time.  Now imagine that you are a student, with homework …tests to study for… projects to complete.  You’ve settled in for an evening of work and, just as you get started, the power goes off…you’re totally in the dark!

Classroom

Classrooms like this do double duty as classrooms during the day, and study rooms at night…until the power goes off, that is!!  Then everyone is – literally – “in the dark.”  We hopeful that the new, experimental study room lighting will provide the solution!

We can all imagine this, of course…it happens to all of us from time-to-time.  But at The Lion of Judah Academy, with the un-predictable Tanzanian power grid, it will often happen three or four evenings a week…occasionally for days at a time.  With 750 students who need to study, do homework assignments, prepare projects…it can be a HUGE problem!  And one which has caused significant issues for students and teachers alike.

We’re going to be carrying over four specially-designed study lighting systems, which we hope will lead the way to a campus-wide, permanent solution to this problem.  The team will be installing them in four designated study areas so they can be tested in the ‘real world’ environment of the school.

When it’s dark outside, and the power goes off, these systems automatically switch on to provide lighting in the study area.  The lights are special LED lighting, which provide abundant light but use only a small amount of power.  They run off batteries which re-charge when the power grid is on, so they are always fully-charged when the grid goes down.  They are fitted with motion-detection so if the room happens to be empty, or becomes empty, the lights automatically shut off.

We’re very hopeful they are going to be the solution to this major problem.  We’re testing them in four areas and, if they are successful, more will follow!

We’ll let you know how they work when the team returns in late August.

The lights have been designed and built by Tony Zurolo, a good friend of the school who lives in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  Thank you, Tony, for your willingness to use your knowledge and abilities to design and build these systems for the kids in Tanzania!

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August Work Team to Help Build Dormitory

On August 10, 2016, an eight-member team will be heading off to The Lion of Judah Academy for a two-week mission trip.  Several important projects are scheduled, but perhaps the most ambitious is to work on completing the new wing of the boys’ dormitory.

The first phase of the dorm was occupied in 2011, as pictured below.  It is a very large U-shaped building, with study rooms, bathrooms/toilets, sleeping rooms, dorm parent quarters, etc.

Dorm

However, from the day it was occupied we knew it was only half-completed.  The girls’ dorm is a fully enclosed quad-type structure, and we knew the boys would also need such a fully-enclosed structure.  Various obstacles such as other priorities, lack of funds, etc., have delayed work on the second half of the dorm until this year.  But now we are moving ahead with great urgency on the project.  With God’s help, we may have it completed before the end of the year.

This team hopes to make major progress toward that goal!

The design calls for a second U-shaped building, very much like the existing building, to be attached to the first building…making the dorm a fully-enclosed quad.  The foundation has already been laid and allowed to “cure” (or settle) through a rainy-season…an important requirement to insure the integrity and stability of the foundation.  Now building on top of the foundation is underway.

By the time the team arrives thousands of cement blocks…each one made on-site and by hand…will be ready.  They will join the school’s “fundis” – local craftsmen – laying blocks and doing other necessary and important work on this building.

The older male students, who are now having to ‘make do’ sleeping in other areas of the campus, will soon have a dorm of their own…and this team is going to be a huge help!

If you would like to part of this project there are plenty of ways to participate, even if you can’t go to Tanzania.  We expect a project of this size will require close to $50,000, including all the  supplies and materials for construction, as well as the bathrooms, electrical fixtures, furnishings like beds, tables and chairs (all made by the school craftsmen), and so forth.

Your prayers are critical!  And financial contributions toward the project are most appreciated!

When the team returns we’ll post photos and reports of their progress.

 

 

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August Trip to Lion of Judah Academy

Plans have just been finalized for a work-team trip to The Lion of Judah Academy in Tanzania this coming August, 2016.

The team will depart from the U.S. on August 10 and return on August 27.  So far there are five members of this team, which will be lead by Hart and Lynn Inlow, co-founders of the school.  The team will participate in various projects around the school, as well as have lots of interaction with the students and staff.  A exciting trip into the Serengeti, as well as a variety of educational and cultural-awareness experiences, will make this a once in a lifetime, and potentially life-changing, experience.

Past Work Team

Past Work Team project at The Lion of Judah Academy

You are invited to join the team!  If you are interested, or you would like more information, please contact Hart Inlow at 772-245-8693

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Update from School Director Mtebe

Recently Josephales Mtebe, Lion of Judah Academy director, prepared an update.  It is printed below.  There is also a link to a PDF file you can read online or download to your own computer.

Mtebe at Desk

Mtebe greeting visitors to his office at The Lion of Judah Academy

Here’s a link to a PDF version of Mtebe’s Update:      Mtebe Letter 2016 January

DIRECTOR’S UPDATE NEWS FROM THE LION OF

JUDAH ACADEMY – TANZANIA EAST AFRICA

January 2016

 

Dear friends of the lion of Judah Academy, greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I thank God for the opportunity to share with you the great and amazing things God is doing through His ministry at The Lion of Judah Academy. For those who are not aware of this ministry, it is a Christian ministry which started with the aim of supporting the families of servants of God in Tanzania who devote most of their time serving the Lord, but who have little income and are unable to afford daily living, much less able to provide their children with a quality education. We, the founders of this school, decided to start the school as a way for the children from these families to be able to recognize the love of God for them, through the work of ministry that their parents are doing. Some of the Pastors we serve are working in very difficult and challenging environments, yet they persevere for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.

In addition to the children of pastors, we also serve children from poor families who live in the area where the school is located. They always express how much they feel blessed to have this school in their area. Another group that we serve is that of orphans. Finally, we also receive a few students who are able to pay the full amount of school fees…this supports some of the costs of running the school.

As some of you remember, when we started this ministry in 2001/2002 we only had a class of ten pupils; it was a kindergarten class. The class was under the supervision of a teacher who wasn’t even a trained teacher.

Today as I give out this report, the school as has a total number of 763 students from Kindergarten to High school:

  • 318 pupils in primary school
  • 309 students in Ordinary level of secondary school
  • 90 students in Advanced level of secondary school.

All of the levels are doing very well.

The biggest challenge we have is that of having most of our students falling under the scholarship category, while only a few are sponsored. Please pray that God will provide more people who will be willing to be part of this ministry by supporting a child or a student or a project. Remember that your contribution will be supporting the building of God’s kingdom in Tanzania.

We also thank God for the fruits of the ministry that we see.

More than 50 students from our school are now taking different courses in several universities of Tanzania. We regularly have our graduates return to visit with us. Always they report to us that their university teachers and fellow students ask them the same question: “Where were you trained before coming to this university? It must be a very special school!”

Their answer is, “at Simba wa Yuda Academy” (which is Kiswahili for, “The Lion of Judah Academy”).

With the foundation our students have from their education at LOJA – the blessing of knowing Christ plus having and outstanding quality education — there is no doubt that in the near future The Lion of Judah Academy is going to provide leaders for our country.

The first group to graduate from universities will be July this     year – 2016. I hope…and I believe…some will want to come join us in the work at our school. That will be a blessing indeed!

Another fruit of the ministry we are seeing is that students from our school who are in universities and colleges have founded an organization which they call, “The Lion of Judah Students Ministry.” This organization helps them, and helps the school.

I do ask that you pray for some students from our school who have failed to join universities simply because they are unable to pay the fees.

While many students are able to get loans from the government for their university fees, some are not able…and as a result they cannot attend.

I, the director, try to look for some possible solutions for these students. But they are only temporary help. Pray that God will help us find a permanent solution for this problem.

I would like to create a funding program that is special for this group of students who will be able to help our country so much if we can help them attend university.

Last year was very successful year academically for our school. In all of the district, region and National examinations that our students took, the entire class passed the examinations at a rate of 100%. This gives a very good reputation to our school.

I believe that this year 2016 will be even more successful. The staff is working very hard to make things work even better. Pray that God will provide committed teachers and staff members, who will be willing to serve and not to be served. As of now we have a staff of 60 people.

In addition to our Tanzanian teachers we have three missionaries: one married couple from U.S. and a single girl from Germany. These foreign servants of God bless our ministry a lot. Pray that God will provide for them all the support they need for their lives.

I really want to thank God for the great support I am getting from my beloved wife Pili in my leadership. Why God gave me such a wonderful helper I can’t imagine! She is a God-fearing wife. Pray that God will continue giving good health to all the members of my family.

Would you please join us to thank God for the blessing of a new Landcruiser we purchased this year! Thank you so much all of you churches as well as individuals who donated to this specific project, may God bless you. We received the car from Toyota company, Tanzania branch, on 29th December 2015. It is in very good condition.

The Lion of Judah Academy is always “behind” with its building projects…there is always much which needs to be completed!

The most urgent project that need I support for is the dormitories building project. We are finishing up building the last part of the kids dormitory, and next we begin building of the second phase of the older boys dormitory. We really need this dorm. Boys, especially those of high school age, sleep in one of the classrooms. Those boys who are in the dorm share one bed for two students.

Pray that God will open the door for more funds to come to support the projects.

I have started making the early preparations for this project. The main thing 1 am doing now is collecting the rocks/stones we need for the foundation. In the future we will need to build additional teacher houses so we have most of our teachers living near the students.

Another need — though not as urgent as that of the dormitories — is the need of getting school mini buses to help students be able to travel for study tours but also help the day scholars who walk a long distance to

come to school. If you know any of an organization or a foundation which might be willing to support such a project, connect us with them please.

Thank you again for your continuous financial support and prayers.

 

Rev. Josephales Mtebe

Director, The Lion of Judah Academy

(The letter was lightly edited for format and readability)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Academics, Construction, Faith, History, Miscellaneous, Prayer, Student Life

Year End Update from LOJA

Below you’ll find the Lion of Judah Academy 2015 Christmas Letter and Year End update…we invite you to take a few minutes to discover some of the amazing things which have been happening at the school!

The new school year begins Januay 11, 2016, and if you would like a way to change a child’s life in 2016, providing a scholarship for a student is a guaranteed way to accomplish that goal!!    For more information, or to donate, click on “Donate” above.

The Lion of Judah Academy is a miracle in process!  Sometimes people wonder, “Is God still performing miracles?”  The Lion of Judah Academy is proof positive God is still in the miracle-working business…and is using ordinary people like you to do extra-ordinary things!  Thank you so much!

Click on this link to open a PDF file of the update —   LOJM Christmas Letter 2015

The PDF file above will be the best way for most to view the update.  Below are jpeg images of the update, which will open better for some readers than for others:

 

Posted in Faith, Get Involved Opportunities, History, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

HOPE AND A FUTURE

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The Lion of Judah Academy Chapel

HOPE AND A FUTURE

In Jeremiah 29:11 God declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This has been an important verse for us at The Lion of Judah Academy because we believe God is giving His people “Hope and a Future” through the school. We’d like to share a very recent, and personal, example of that powerful truth.

When we started building LOJA in 2001 Dotto was a young man in need of a job. We hired him as a worker at the school…cutting grass, painting, cleaning up, helping with construction.  He worked hard, was reliable and bright. He became one of the school’s most consistent and helpful workers. He even spoke English a bit. Gradually we became aware of Dotto’s story. He had finished standard 7 in the village school and done fairly well. But he and his family had no resources for secondary school…that’s why he needed the job at Lion of Judah Academy. He wanted to go farther in his education, but like the vast majority of hopeful Tanzanian students, it was a ‘pipe dream’…no more than a distant hope.

Occasionally Dotto would ask us if we would “sponsor” him in secondary school…that is, pay his school expenses. We explained all our resources were committed to developing The Lion of Judah Academy, which at that time was still building the primary school buildings. But we encouraged him not to give up his dreams. Perhaps he could save enough money in his work…God could and would provide for his purposes.

As time passed Dotto faithfully continued his work for the school, always consistent…always persistent. A great deal of construction was taking place, and there were few projects Dotto was not involved in, in one way or another! By then we were no longer living in Tanzania, but we would see him on our frequent visits, and we would speak about his dream of attending secondary school.

Around 2007-08 the board of trustees made a most important decision…to begin The Lion of Judah Academy Secondary School. Construction started…Dotto continued to help. We started the first form 1 class…then the first form 2 class. And that’s when it happened. Mtebe, the school director, invited Dotto to apply for entrance into form 2 (roughly equivalent to our grade 10) at LOJA. “How could the school fees be paid?” he wondered. The response:  a scholarship would be provided to Dotto if he qualified and kept his grade up.

Well, he qualified. And in 2010 Dotto became a member of the form 2 class at Lion of Judah Academy! The next time we saw him, he wasn’t wearing work clothes, but the secondary school uniform of gray slacks and white shirt…carrying books rather than a shovel or paint brush.

For the next five years we prayed for him, encouraged him, and thought often about him. We were ecstatic when he passed his form 4 examinations, qualified for and was accepted to Lion of Judah Academy advanced level (forms 5 and 6) classes. He continued to do very well…graduated…qualified for university…and just recently started university classes!

Mtebe reports that Dotto calls from time-to-time, just to say, “thank you.” Dotto didn’t have money to pay for an education…but God had plans for him…God still has plans for him…”Hope and a Future.” Dotto had a ‘pipe dream’…God has a plan. Three years from now Dotto will be a university graduate…something achieved by fewer than 1% of his fellow-countrymen. He will be in a position to help shape his nation’s future…for the cause of Jesus.

We are overwhelmed with gratitude to God.

And we are overwhelmed with gratitude to each one of you who supports Lion of Judah Academy with your prayers and gifts. Because God is using you to work out his plans for Dotto, as well as for countless other students like him.

Thank you.

Lynn and Hart Inlow

Posted in Academics, Construction, Faith, History, Prayer, Student Life