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.


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!
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



New Video and Awards

Here’s a new video from The Lion of Judah Academy.  A few weeks ago we posted a short one-minute clip, but this is much longer…over 7 minutes…and includes 3 different songs.

The music is performed by the Simba wa Yuda Choir (Lion of Judah Academy Choir) and all the video is taken in various settings on, or immediately adjacent to, the school campus.

We’re working on translating the lyrics into English so you can understand what the songs are about…but they are all songs praising and worshiping God!  When we get the translation we’ll post it here.

Incidentally, the video was filmed and edited entirely by one of our graduates who is currently studying communications and public relations at one of Tanzania’s best universities!

The school regularly receives various awards and recognition for the academic performance of our students.  While we’re primarily concerned about building character and spiritual strength, we just can’t help but be proud of the academic achievements of our great students!!

Here’s a commendation the school recently received, for being one of the Best Performing Non Government Secondary Schools in the entire nation!  The school has received this one before, but we want to share our joy with you!


Praise God from whom all blessings flow!



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Term Two Begins July 3

Lion of Judah Academy is abuzz with activity this weekend!  The second term begins Monday, July 3, so students are returning from their one-month holiday and teachers are hectically preparing for their classes.  (Actually, this is the beginning of the second term for all the classes except Forms 5 and 6…they are also starting classes on Monday, but for them it is the beginning of a new academic year).

Please pray for the students and staff as the new term gets underway.

The girls who live in the older girls dorm are also getting a big surprise…the girls dorm has been renovated and upgraded while they were on break!  We haven’t seen any photos yet ourselves, but as soon as we receive some we’ll post them here.  We understand it looks very nice.

A few weeks ago we received an update letter from Dan and Paula Shaffer, missionaries from Pennsylvania.  We thought we’d share it with you for three reasons…

1  — so you can get to know them a bit…and see life at LOJA through a different set of eyes than we usually present

2 — because they share a touching true story from one of the students…we think that might give some added depth to the ministry of the school

3 — because they share some personal news which is exciting…and we ask you to pray for them…you’ll have to read the letter to discover what we’re talking about!

Here’s the link to their newsletter:  Shaffer 2017 June Newsletter



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School Choir CD and Music Video

Recently the Simba wa Yuda (Lion of Judah Academy) School Choir recorded a CD of its music, which was released on Form 6 Graduation Day (May 13).

A brief music video featuring one of the songs from the CD has been posted to Facebook which you might be interested to watch (you’ll need a Facebook account to see it).

Here’s the link:

It’s a short clip — only 60 seconds — but everyone in the video is a Lion of Judah Academy secondary school student, and several of the shots in the video are taken at the school, including during school chapel.

Hint if you aren’t familiar with watching videos online…hover your cursor over the lower right corner of the video image and a small box with four outward pointing arrows will appear…click on those arrows to enlarge the video to full screen size.


P.S.  So far as we know there is only one copy of the CD in North America…the one we (Hart and Lynn Inlow) brought back with us.  If there is interest we might be able to get some additional copies…let us know if you’d like one!  It’s a music CD…no video on it.



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Sosthenes Mtebe

School Director Mtebe’s father, Sosthenes, died last week following an illness.  Please remember Mtebe and his family, including his mother, in your prayers.  He was a good man, much loved by his family.  He will be missed.  All of us who knew him thank God we were able to share life with him, and we thank God for the assurance he has of eternal life through Jesus.


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Graduation a Grand Success

The 2017 Form 6 Graduation, May 13, 2017, was a great success.  Tanzanian graduation celebrations tend to make U.S. graduations, by comparison, look like minor events!  Close to five hours long (not counting the ‘warm up’ music and concluding meal!), it was a panoply of music, dancing, speeches, presentations and celebrations!  (for more information on what form 6 is see recent posts, below)

The 47 Form 6 graduates were sent off in grand style.  Here are some photos of the event.


Friday Preparations…decorating the Platform


The Graduates Enter…Let the Celebration — and the Dancing — Begin!  First the guys….


Now it’s the Ladies Turn!


Special songs…


Skits and Presentations…


The Graduates Special Presentation to Family, Friends and Fellow Students…



Uninvited Guests…but Everyone is Welcome…


Certificates and Awards….


Class Photo…with Director Mtebe in the middle….


More Singing and Dancing….

Alphonce 1 (5)

One of 47 Proud Families…with Director Mtebe….

Congratulations Graduates of 2017



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