Challenging Time at Lion of Judah Academy – COVID 19 and Flooding of Lake Victoria

Rainbow Over Lion of Judah Academy

June 2020

Providing Hope and a Future

This is a challenging period at The Lion of Judah Academy…COVID shutdowns…record-breaking floods on Lake Victoria.  Here are updates and prayer requests….

COVID 19 at The Lion of Judah Academy
        The virus itself has had little impact on the school, however…
        The economic impact upon our Teachers is severe and urgent

FLOODING OF LAKE VICTORIA and The Lion of Judah Academy
        Record-setting flooding of Lake Victoria is occurring right now
        The school water system, some buildings, and all gardens are damaged

DISPENSARY Updates
        Good News about the Dispensary Project

DENTAL TRAINING MISSION Rescheduled to 2012
        COVID required postponement of the mission until February 2021

WHAT YOU CAN DO
        Your prayers are key…and there are many other ways you can help

PRAYER REQUESTS

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COVID 19 at The Lion of Judah Academy

The incidence of COVID in the area of the school has, gratefully, been quite low. However, the economic impact of the virus, especially on our teachers, has been very severe. All schools were ordered closed mid-March. This means no school fees were being received, resulting in months of no resources available to pay teacher salaries

School Director, Josephales Mtebe, recently explained: “Most of our teachers receive barely enough salary to get by as it is. In this situation they are suffering terribly.”

In addition to limited salary income, other widespread COVID shutdowns, along with major flooding problems around Lake Victoria, have severely curtailed teachers’ effort to supplement their income.

The Lion of Judah Ministries (our U.S. based charity) is stepping up to help relieve the suffering, but could REALLY use your assistance. The need is urgent.

We have created a separate page (click here) with more details about the problems related to the virus, along with information about when classes may be able to resume.

There is also an opportunity for you to donate to support for the teachers.

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FLOODING of Lake Victoria has had serious repercussions at The Lion of Judah Academy

Record-breaking flooding has beset all communities surrounding Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world. The flooding continues, and the water levels have not receded in over a month. The Lion of Judah is located on Lake Victoria and the school has experienced the consequences in a number of destructive ways.

#1 — The school water system was shut down for over two weeks because the pump was damaged in the flooding. The system is operating now, but a new pump had to be acquired. Thanks to a generous donor we were able to do this quickly. While no students were at the school, it was an added misery for the staff who live on campus.

Below is School Director Mtebe, standing in knee keep water by inundated teacher houses. He is looking out over the submerged school gardens and, beyond that, to where the bank of the lake normally is.

#2 — Teacher housing for three families is completely underwater (as can be seen in the photo above). The pump house for the water system is inundated. The teachers had to be relocated to other housing. It is unlikely any of these buildings can be used again. A new pump house, along with two deep sumps, plumbing and electric, is urgently needed.

#3 — The school gardens are under two feet of water. The gardens of several teachers, which those teachers have worked hard on and rely upon for supplemental income, are submerged and destroyed. Livestock (cows, pigs, chickens, etc.) have been displaced and some have perished. These gardens (“shambas” in Swahili) have been major sources of fruit, vegetables and meat for the students…as well as important sources of income for the school and teachers. We cannot even guess what will happen with these gardents

Here is a link to more information about this situation, along with a way you can help.

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THE DISPENSARY PROJECT

A very bright spot in the midst of all these challenges has been the progress on the Bulima – Lion of Judah Dispensary. As you may know the school took over responsibility for the Bulima Dispensary about 18 months ago. Since that time there has been a tremendous resurgence of patient care and community confidence.

One of the goals has been to upgrade the Dispensary to the level of “Health Care Center.” In Tanzania there are well-defined levels of health care, each level having its own requirements and able to provide differing levels of services. Upgrading to the level of “health care center” will enable the dispensary to provide more services to more people. It will also have the benefit of allowing our facility to participate in Tanzania’s national health care insurance system. This will enable even more people to come to our facility, improve our standing as a health care facility, as well as provide the center with more resources to carry out its work.

There are specific improvements and upgrades the dispensary has been required to add, including a children’s ward, a kitchen, upgraded facilities for patients who need to stay for extended periods, provisions for medical waste, a mortuary, and so forth.

Almost all of these have been completed. The children’s ward is fully operational, the other improvements are either completely or nearly completed. A small temporary mortuary has been created until a permanent one, already under construction, can be completed. We have even improved the road leading to the dispensary which had been badly neglected through the years. We are very hopeful the district and regional health officials will approve the upgrade and permit the dispensary to begin operations as a health care center in the very near future.

Below is a part of the new Children’s Ward, now fully operational

The Children’s Ward is now fully operational

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The DENTAL TRAINING MISSION planned for mid-May had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. Even if the team had wanted to go, all air travel into and out of Tanzania had been suspended.

The team, organized in partnership with I-DENT and Virginia dentist, Dr. Michael Kennedy, was to train eight Tanzanian medical workers in basic dentistry to help meet the overwhelming dental needs throughout Tanzania. This was expected to be the first important step toward establishing a permanent dental clinic at Bulima – Lion of Judah health care center.

The mission has been rescheduled for the first week of February, 2021.

The mission still needs financial support. Details can be found here.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP

Prayer is key. The Lion of Judah Academy is built upon the Cornerstone of Jesus Christ. Jesus promised, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

Therefore, please pray!! In the second below you will find several specific prayer requests.

In addition to prayer, some of you may be willing and able to help in other ways, including financial support

There is a page with links to options for donations, including the teachers during this COVID-19 crisis; and to assist with needs created by the flooding on Lake Victoria. Visit that page here.

The most consistent and ongoing source of support for the school is student sponsorships. You can find students to sponsor here: Sponsorships

Support while you Shop! There are several ways you can support the school while shopping on your computer or mobile device…find details here

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FOR YOUR PRAYERS —

The Lion of Judah Academy, along with all other schools in Tanzania, has been ordered to shut down. Flooding on Lake Victoria is serious. This has been an extremely difficult time. Your prayers are very important!

— Please begin with Prayers of Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving because none of our teachers or students, to our knowledge, have been afflicted with COVID. We are so grateful God provided a new pump for the water system (we literally received a major donation for the water system days before we even realized we needed a new pump…God provided for the need before we knew the need existed!). We are thankful for His ongoing provision and blessing upon Lion of Judah Academy. We believe God knows our every need, and is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or even imagine!

— Pray for the Form 6 students who are studying for their national examinations. Form 6 national exams were canceled when schools were closed, and have been rescheduled for June 29th. Form 6 students are on campus and having a special study period preparing for the exams. Please pray for their health, safety and studies. These examinations are extremely important because they determine what disciplines students will be allowed to study, and where, when they move on to university. Also please pray for the Lion of Judah students currently attending university…they have been allowed to return to their campus.

— Please pray for our Lion of Judah Academy teachers. This is an extremely difficult time for them…they are struggling with major economic issues — food, health care needs, transportation needs, and others. They need money…they need encouragement. Ask God to open the floodgates of heaven to pour forth blessings upon them…blessings of encouragement and blessings of needed resources.

— Pray especially for school director Mtebe and his wife, Pili. They are hard-pressed on many sides and by many forces during this time. They, personally, have lost a great deal due to the flooding. They also, of course, bear much responsibility for all elements of the school life, safety and well-being. Mtebe has his many church responsibilities. Ask for God’s wisdom, strength, refreshing and encouragement for them.

— Pray as the school recovers from the flooding. Gratefully there was no loss of life at the school (or in our immediate area, so far as we know), but there has been extensive damage. Ask God to push back the flood water…to control the rain…to provide resources needed to rebuild what has been lost so it will be even better than before!

— Pray for the way to be made for school to re-open in July. Re-opening school will go a long way to help stabilize the financial challenges the teachers are facing, as well as being a big step to get things back to normal.

GOOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

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