A SURPRISING NEW DIRECTION

The adventure began on an October Sunday in 2001.  For months – close to a year – we (Lynn and Hart Inlow) had been seeking God’s guidance about whether or not we should help our friends, Mtebe and Pili, start a school for the children of Nassa Theological College students.  Suddenly, in one sweeping moment, while Hart was worshiping in one location and Lynn was in another location, God’s reply came to us both with great power and conviction.  That afternoon we took our first steps on the wild and glorious adventure which has become The Lion of Judah Academy!

We really understood nothing of what God had planned!  We thought about, perhaps, a two room school house for a couple of dozen elementary students while their parents were studying at NTC.

SURPRISE!!!  For nearly twenty years God has been surprising us at every turn…both as we discover new elements of His miraculous plan for Lion of Judah Academy, and as we observe His amazing provisions for all He has purposed.  “Amazing Grace,” isn’t a song we sing so much as it the reality of seeing God work out the miracle of creating The Lion of Judah Academy, literally from nothing.

There’s still work to do with the school.  Plenty of work, in fact.

But in recent years, as the school board of trustees and others have thought about what God might be planning next, it seems as if a veil had been lowered.  We were strongly encouraged to start university level studies…but “NO,” God seemed to be blocking that direction.  Trade and vocational schools seemed a good thing to do, and we still see that as an important opportunity…but God wasn’t providing either the direction or opportunities.  Other ideas were suggested, but nothing seemed “right.”

Until last fall.  The trustees had, from time to time, idly discussed the idea of starting some kind of medical training facility…perhaps even moving toward some kind of medical treatment opportunities.  But how?  Where?  With what resources?  No.  It couldn’t happen.  Not possible.  No more than idle talk and ‘maybe someday’ dreams.  Until last fall.

The local dispensary (envision a small two building village clinic) had fallen on hard times.  It was really struggling.  It looked like it was going to fail completely.  Not really thinking the dispensary owners would ever seriously consider the possibility, the school trustees wrote a letter offering to take it over.  Many months passed…the offer was largely forgotten.  Until the day we received word the owner had accepted the offer…The Lion of Judah Academy Board of Trustees was now the manager of Bulima Dispensary.  Next question:  “what in the world does that mean?”  (for some of us it was a little more like, “OK God, You got us into this…NOW what are we supposed to do?”)

But seriously, the past few months have been exciting, indeed.  God has been opening many new and unexpected doors.  This is a surprising new direction.  We’ve never been down this road before!  But we’re already seeing wonderful and amazing signs of God’s guidance, blessing and provision.  It seems whole new verses of “Amazing Grace” are being written!

One important purpose became immediately clear:  the school had long ago outgrown the small infirmary which was build 10 years ago.  We need something larger and more robust for the medical needs of our students and staff, and this Dispensary was definitely suited for that function.  But we know there is more, much more, God is planning.

In this post we are just introducing our friends and supporters to this new thing God appears to be doing.  We will fill in many details over the coming weeks and months.  Marvelous things are happening related to this new project…each phone conversation with our Tanzanian friends brings to light new surprises and opportunities.

There are also surprises here in the U.S.  A couple of months ago a Christian optometrist, who has set up eye clinics all around the world, contacted us out of the blue:  would we be interested in setting up an eye clinic at the school?  About a month ago a Christian dentist contacted us – again out of the clear blue – he’s interested in starting a oral health clinic in Tanzania…would we be interested in starting a dental clinic?

What is the Lord doing??  We don’t know…but we certainly want to grab hold of wherever He’s leading, to find out!  Those of you who know Mtebe won’t be shocked to learn our school director is already dreaming of a hospital!  It is an overwhelming thing to even try to imagine!  But, truth be told, for years we’ve wondered why God has provided so much land…He must have some kind of a plan for all that property.

We will provide more details in coming posts (I could lots write more now but I don’t want to make this too long).  For now, we invite you to grab hold of God’s hand with us, dream the dream…come along for the ride!

Here are a few suggestions for what you can do now:

— Please Pray…for God’s wisdom, direction and provision

— Please be open to any way God might be tugging on your heart…could He want you, somehow, to be involved in this surprising new thing He seems to be doing?

— Please think about folks who might have a heart and vision for medical care…dental care…eyesight…medical education…Tanzania…let them know what God is doing at Lion of Judah.  You never know how He may touch their hearts.

— Hart and Lynn will be in Tanzania for the month of July…you are warmly welcome to join us; if you can come we guarantee you’ll be seeing and hearing lots more about these things.

More to follow soon….take a look at the photos below of the school infirmary which has served us for over ten years

 

Jeanne Noble, one of the team leaders of the team building the school infirmary – 2009

 

School Health workers

 

It was great in 2009…but now we have over 800 students!

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