Form 6 National Exams…and RAIN NEEDED!

Some important things you should know about….

First:  FORM 6 NATIONAL EXAMS — Our Form 6 students begin taking their national exams on May 2, and continue a couple of days.  These exams are extremely important because they are basically their university qualification and placement exams.  In some ways they are similar to our SAT’s…only even more is riding on them for the students.  Our students have a record of performing very well on these exams, but it’s a lot of pressure and a great deal is riding on them.

Second:  RAIN DESPERATELY NEEDED — East Africa generally has been experiencing very low rainfall over the past couple of years, and typically our region of Tanzania gets considerably less rain than most of East Africa.  So drought conditions have been developing.  It is currently the season when it should be raining.  It has been raining some, however the rains got a late start, and need to continue at least until at least mid-May before any significant relief will be experienced.  If they stop before then the crops will not have had enough rain to mature and produce a decent harvest.  If these rains fail there will be serious problems in the area and at the school.  Food prices have already increased considerably and Mtebe is feeling “the pinch” of having to divert funds from educational projects to the food budget.  We will be evaluating this situation closely while we are there and will keep you updated.  The last time this happened, back in 2011-12, things got so bad in the area that we initiated an ’emergency feeding program’ for our students as well as children in the Bulima area.  We calculated that we provided about 30,000 emergency meals over about a years time.  It was extremely difficult.

Lynn and Hart Inlow are traveling to The Lion of Judah Academy in just a couple of days.  They will be leaving early morning Tuesday, May 2…arriving in Mwanza Wednesday evening and then on to the school.  They’ll be there most of the month of May.

ATTENTION:  Would you be interested in traveling to the school in late August/September?  It seems there is growing interest in a team to travel to the school during that time.  While several projects are ‘in the works,’ a couple involve setting up a new library for the primary school, and renovating the girls dormitory…getting close to 15 years old now!  If you’re interested in knowing more please contact us!

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2017 School Year Begins – January 16

Classes for the 2017 school year at The Lion of Judah Academy start up first thing Monday morning, January 16.

Students have been arriving over the weekend, and the biggest – as well as the most unexpected – new feature to greet them is the new addition to the boys dormitory.  The dorm was a long way from being finished when the students left at the end of last November, but much has been accomplished during the past 6-7 weeks.  The addition is currently about 50% completed, but that’s enough to put it into use to house the boys who have been living in various locations scattered around the campus.  Work is continuing and we expect the entire dorm will be about 95%  completed within the next three weeks.


Constructing the new boys’ dorm

If you haven’t yet see the photos of the dorm project please visit the link below…it will take you to the school’s Flickr Albums site…there are also other albums there you may enjoy.

Lion of Judah Academy Albums

The most recent of the dorm project photos was taken a couple of weeks ago.  Since then most of the floors, walls and ceilings have been completed.

We are expecting about 750 students this year, in classes ranges for Awali (kindergarten) to Form 6 (university preparation)…that is 14 grade levels.

Prayer concerns for the coming weeks…

We have not been faithful keeping up with the “Prayer Needs” page on this blog and for that we are sorry…we’re committing ourselves to do a better job with that.

There are some important concerns right now, including:

The start of the school year…please pray…

  • for the safe arrival of all returning students…some travel from as far as three days away
  • for God’s Holy Spirit to equip all the students and all the staff with the spiritual graces they will need to succeed academically, and thrive spiritually
  • for need financial resources for all the students and families; and for God’s provision of needed supplies, materials, equipment and food for the school (see below for more about the drought conditions)

Drought in Tanzania and food shortages – the entire nation of Tanzania is currently suffering a major drought with the related food shortages.  Drought can be serious in North American and European countries, but there are almost always alternative food supplies…even if they are expensive.  That is not always the case in East Africa.  A growing drought problem is gripping the entire country.  We know, from experience, this means significantly elevated food prices for the supplies the school needs…and if the spring rains are not sufficient for a harvest, people are going to experience drastic food shortages.   Please pray for relief and for rain.  The spring rains are due in March-April-May.

School Director Mtebe’s father – Director Mtebe’s father has become seriously ill, and is currently hospitalized.  He definitely has pneumonia.  But in addition he has been unable to keep down food and nutrition.  Please pray for him…his name is Sosthenes Mtebe.  He is a wonderful man, and a dear supporter of the ministry of Lion of Judah Academy

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End of the Year Update

Dear Friends and Supporters of The Lion of Judah Academy,


We’ve prepared an End of the Year Update which you can read by clicking on the following link (please note…a draft of this blog post was inadvertently sent out to some of you about five days ago…our apologies!  This post is essentially the same…just shorter with fewer typos)

2016 End of the Year Update

In this update there is a link/address for a photo album showing the progress made on the new boys dormitory.  That link may not work by clicking on it, so here is a link directly to that album (as well as several other photos albums about the school):

Dorm Project Photo Album

2016 has been a year of turmoil and unpredictability in the world.  But one thing which hasn’t changed is the constancy of God who continues to pour out mercy and grace on The Lion of Judah Academy — the students and the staff!

We thank you for your prayers, and we are blessed by your support and encouragement.

The school is currently on its end-of-the-year break.  Classes, and a brand new year at the school, begin on January 16, 2017.  Please pray for the school, the students and the staff.  Prayer is the powerhouse which stands behind the The Lion of Judah Academy!

Since the new year is beginning we will have many bright and talented young students who cannot afford the cost of school fees, our scholarship program is absolutely critical to their success and if you would like to be a part of it, here’s a link to more information:  Scholarship Program.  There’s a donation button if you would like to use PayPal, as well as information about how to contact us.

Thank you for your partnership in this amazing work.

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Prayers Needed – Form Four Students Taking National Exams

Beginning today sixty-nine Form Four students at The Lion of Judah Academy began taking their Form Four national examinations.  They are joining students from all over the nation of Tanzania who are taking this multi-day exam.

The students are tested in a wide-array of subject matter.  How well they score on these exams greatly influence the future of their educational opportunities:  what schools they will be able to attend, what subjects they will qualify to study, etc.  Therefore this is a stress-filled time, and the pressure to perform well can be great, indeed.

The Lion of Judah Academy has a tradition of doing very well on these examinations, and has developed the reputation of being one of the top schools in the country in preparing its students for these exams.  But this is about much more than tradition and reputation, because the future of these students is at stake.

Therefore, please pray…


  • that God will calm the hearts of the students as they take the exams, helping them remember all they have learned and employing all the skills of reasoning they have been taught;
  • that Christ will be honored in how they behave and perform
  • that the plans and purposes God has for each one of them will be fulfilled, now and in the future.


Thank you for your prayers!

We will not know the results of these exams for a few months.  When we hear, we will report the results here.

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Earthquake in Tanzania — LOJA is Not Affected

Some of you may have heard the news regarding a large earthquake in northwest Tanzania on September 11.  There was significant loss of life and property damage.  While the earthquake was felt at The Lion of Judah Academy, there were no injuries and no damage.

At the time the earthquake hit a gathering was taking place in the school chapel.  The school’s alumni were meeting with school director Mtebe and special guests — the Regional Commissioner (somewhat equivilant to a governor in the U.S.) and District Commissioner (somewhat equivilant to the mayor of a large city).


While they felt the quake, and comments were made about it, it was not until the next day anyone realized how serious the earthquake had been.

While we are thanking God the school, students and staff were spared, many others were not so fortunate.  Please pray for those in Tanzania who lost their lives and were, in other ways, affected by this disaster.  The most recent report we have seen lists 16 dead and over 250 injured.

The earthquake was felt more intensely on the other side — the western side — of Lake Victoria, in the Bukoba area.



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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!


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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