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Rafiki Foundation  |  Training Africans to Transform Africa for Christ
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Click Here to read our Summer Letter
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2019 Prayer Guide

September 2019

Letter from the Executive Director

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Dear Friends,

This verse has been special to us on our East Africa Home Office trip. We have one of our Rafiki Board Members, Dr. Dennis Johnson, along, and he has provided a very meaningful devotion from this passage for each Rafiki Village team. For us travelers and our missionaries, it has been spot on!

I am so thankful for our Rafiki Prayer Groups, for all who have faithfully prayed for Rafiki every month for YEARS! I do hope you have been encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you have seen our Lord and Savior answer prayers so specifically. We have certainly been encouraged as we’ve seen His faithfulness on this trip through our Villages in Africa.

As I write to you, I am sitting in the house of our missionary, Yeenlan Lam, now serving in the Rafiki Village Malawi. This is our fifth country of the six we are visiting in our 19-day, whirlwind tour of Rafiki Villages East Africa.

Our first stop was Tanzania. The Village is truly beautiful! Seeing our beloved missionary team and the Rafiki children and students warmed our hearts. Our school continues to thrive, and soon we will open our senior secondary school. We were able to hammer out plans to grow their RICE program. Heads up! Be on the lookout for more Rafiki coffee bagged in cloth with colorful designs from Tanzania.

Next stop, Rwanda—after recovering from a 3 a.m. arrival in Kigali, we made it to the Village and thoroughly enjoyed a recitation by the students. We were treated to piano recitals and a play written and dramatized by our oldest students. We also engaged the older students in a lively discussion on their business plan for raising chickens that lay eggs. Another highlight was our visit to one of our partner-church schools which will soon be using Rafiki’s Christian Education System—what an answer to prayer!

From there it was a short trip to Uganda. Over our weekend stay, we enjoyed a concert, met with church partner leadership, and enjoyed a cookout (the children did all the cooking)! We saw great progress on the accreditation of RICE—and we pray that this month we will receive a favorable response from the government.

A brief flight Sunday landed us in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We then drove to our Rafiki Village in Modjo where we were greeted with plenty of hugs from the children and pleasantly cool weather. Our meeting with our church partner was most fruitful—we plan on facilitating a conference for pastors from this denomination in 2020. A Rafiki board member and regular Enrichment speaker has agreed to speak at this conference. It will serve to strengthen our relationship with this large denomination. We also worked out the best way to acquire a new vehicle for the Village. Thanks to the generous giving of one of our donors, we now have the funds and have decided upon the most reliable and economical way to do this. Last, but not least, we mapped out the best location for Rafiki Village Ethiopia’s senior secondary school and initiated preliminary talks with our contractor.

So here we are, in Malawi, and our next stop is Kenya. Please pray for us as we finish our trip, that we will be an encouragement to our missionaries and continue to see the work move forward. And pray for the Home Office as they batten down the hatches for Hurricane Dorian—we get back Wednesday, September 4, just in time to rake the debris out of our yards! Pray the hurricane just heads out to sea.

Love to you all!

In Christ’s Service,

Karen Elliott

Executive Director

Ethiopia

Rafiki Village

Updates:

Things have continued to be peaceful and stable in our area and we are thankful; pray that continues throughout the country.

Our operating license from the federal ministry of Civil Societies has been permanently renewed, meaning we don’t need to re-apply every three years!

A generous donor has given Rafiki money so we can purchase a new vehicle!

Praises:

Our supervisors at the regional level have been very helpful in the process of writing a new project agreement.

The older boys are back from their visits with extended family and are STILL eager to help with the tough and dirty jobs of maintenance, landscaping, and mowing around the Village.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

continued safety for our Rafiki Village residents, students, and employees (and the other nine Rafiki Villages around Africa).

wisdom for Amy as she writes a new project agreement that encompasses Rafiki’s budget, programs, goals, etc. for the next five years.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

The last few weeks were rather quiet around here as thirty-three of the oldest children were staying off-site visiting their extended families and friends. We are thankful that they all returned healthy, happy, and with a renewed sense of God’s blessing in their lives. While they were gone, the younger children enjoyed filling in for their older siblings with helping around the Village. They also enjoyed the extra attention they got from their Rafiki Mothers and the opportunities to explore Modjo and the surrounding towns with their Rafiki Mothers.

Praises:

We are thankful for the safe return of the older children from their family visits.

Biruk has responded well to his anti-seizure medications and has not suffered any further attacks.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

continued good health for all the children.

God to provide new Rafiki Mothers who are spiritually mature, fluent in English, and called to serve here—one of our mothers has resigned and a substitute mother is going to have a baby soon, so she’ll be resigning as well.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

School was on break this past month. Teachers will come for a week and a half of in-service at the beginning of September. Pray that goes very well.

Amy has been training the new preprimary teacher, and she is eager to start.

Before school starts, we hope to hire a language arts teacher who can adeptly handle the curriculum for the upper grades so that Amy won’t have to teach every day.

Praises:

The schools have been repainted and landscaped and look great.

We will probably have at least twenty-five new day students this school year; pray for the selection process to go smoothly!

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

wisdom in hiring and training a language arts teacher for the upper grades.

the families whose children are not selected to go to our school to graciously accept it instead of being bitter and trying to cause problems for Rafiki, which has happened in the past.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

this program to get started.

Rafiki Widows Program

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

this program to get started.

Ghana

Rafiki Village

Updates:

Life at the Village is going well. We are still getting rain, a bit less than we were, so the Village remains very beautiful but a bit overgrown in certain areas.

The Nelson family returned on July 28 from a few weeks of furlough in the U.S. They had a very restful and rejuvenating furlough and are thankful for the time to see family and friends.

Janet Kucko had a quick trip to the U.S. at the beginning of August in order to attend a family reunion.

Praises:

We are thankful for the missionaries who did extra duty while the Nelsons were away. Things went pretty well during that time.

We are thankful for a local contractor, Clipmap, who helps us with larger projects around the Village.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

our vehicles to not break down so frequently. Two of our vehicles are breaking down quite often. One of them is currently at the shop for an engine replacement or overhaul.

the National Staff to be enriched and challenged by the Rafiki Bible Study.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

Since the last update, one of our boys had an appendectomy. His recovery is progressing without incident. Thankfully, two other chronic health cases seem to be fully resolved.

The Village hosted its second Alumni Day on August 10. It was a good time for the residents to glean some wisdom from their older brothers and sisters. And, it was good for our alumni to visit with everyone in the Village. We honored our alumni who have completed their tertiary studies with a small program and cake-cutting ceremony, followed by a large family lunch.

Praises:

We are thankful for God's continued kindness in protecting the health and safety of our resident children.

We are thankful for God's provision for Rafiki in providing for financial needs from primary school through senior high school and, in some cases, tertiary education.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

diligence and wisdom of our Rafiki Mothers and Father as they guide and teach the Rafiki children in their homes.

our resident children and graduates to have a saving faith in Christ and to see the fruits of the Spirit growing in their lives.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

Not all of the teachers we had hired actually joined us. We still are in need of teachers.

Praises:

The new teachers who did join our staff are working hard and contributing to the team.

Our seniors have been diligently preparing for the national exams which will take place during the month of September.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

more teachers.

those who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

perseverance and wisdom for the seniors.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Praises:

Paperwork for the accreditation process is in work.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

our Lord to provide students for RICE once it is accredited.

Rafiki Widows Program

Updates:

The program is on hold as the widows have fulfilled their orders and we await more full-time missionary help.

Praises:

We thank God for the help this program has been for women over the years.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for: 

current Ghana products to sell through the Rafiki stores (brick and mortar as well as online).

more full-time missionaries so we can continue and strengthen our Rafiki Widows Program in Ghana.

Kenya

Rafiki Village

Updates:

We are preparing for the Home Office visit. Big on our agenda is making final preparations for the upcoming November Classical Christian Education Conference.

We continue to pursue accreditation of our school curriculum. The government is adopting a new national curriculum which is making this process more challenging.

Praises:

Church education secretaries are working hard to recruit attendees for the Conference.

God is showing us favor with people in key government positions to help with accreditation.

Prayer Requests—Please pray: 

all appointments hold for the Home Office team visit.

necessary decisions can be made as we continue to transition to a larger school enrollment and use of building space.

the Conference registration goes smoothly securing 400 participants and finalizing many logistical details.

our school curriculum to be presented and approved by the Ministry of Education at the scheduled September 18 meeting.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

Our agriculture graduate successfully completed her internship here, and we have made great gains toward flourishing biointensive, organically grown fruits and vegetables. The kitchen has “discovered” some interesting vegetables like beets and cucumbers, and everyone enjoys them!

Praises:

All but eight children went on home stays this term break.

Many of our children have been recommitted to Rafiki’s care and protection by the government.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

children to grasp the goodness of the Lord and trust that His plans for them are good.

children to want to do well in school, not be discouraged, and press on.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

The new Rafiki Bible Study Home Discussion Page has gone out to 107 families of our day students. This will enable these families to receive instruction on the Bible passages that their children will study at school and to encourage daily family devotions.

Two more students made it to the honor roll this term.

All our choir and sports students made it safely to and from their national competitions.

Praises:

Our mixed choir and boys choir performed very well at Nationals, placing fourth out of about fifteen entries.

The three girls who participated in National Sports competition enjoyed themselves and had great experiences.

End of term Recitation was attended by 300 parents of 277-day students! They were treated to performances by our choirs, along with other musical entertainment and nice classroom demonstrations.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

meaningful ways to motivate our students to excel in all areas of their educational opportunity and to show it by improving their grades!

Paul Klauke to plan out some edifying teacher training before our last term begins.

Liberia

Rafiki Village

Updates:

All of our missionaries have returned to the Village, and we are enjoying being fully staffed.

The maintenance staff is rapidly completing projects to improve the condition and appearance of the Village.

The building contractor has returned, and final touches are being added to the RICE building.

We are in the midst of our rainy season which makes it a challenge for everyone to be healthy, from staff to students. Malaria is a mighty enemy and often the cause of absences. Yet we press on remembering our calling to grow, learn, and teach—proclaiming the gospel to all in our daily lives.

Praises:

Praise God for his blessing on our team.

We are thankful for our national staff and their vision for the work we are doing here.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

God to continue to work in the lives of our staff and students.

the RICE program to continue to grow and our schools and resident home to be effective for Christ.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

The children enjoyed a wonderful school break—learning about science experiments and playing new games in the gymnasium. The older girls were able to learn about different styles of hair as a future skill. The older boys helped out a lot with the various projects around the Village to improve the facilities. We also had many younger students take sewing classes from our local tailor.

All the children are learning about respect in their nightly cottage devotions.

Praises:

Our children are involved in the local churches and love to participate in the youth programs and choir.

We are thankful for the provided resources to care for the children who live at Rafiki.

We have the opportunity to study God’s Word daily.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the children to learn to have respect towards their friends, Rafiki Mothers, and teachers.

safety in the harsh, rainy season conditions.

open hearts to receive the truth of 1 Timothy in daily Bible study.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

Our preprimary and primary school is reaching full capacity, and we have a waiting list for entry. The benefit of getting their children into a quality school at an early age has spurred parents to begin to apply for entry at Rafiki even before their child reaches two years.

We rejoice to share that all of our ninth-grade students passed their national exams. We still wait for scores but are pleased to see that the exams attest to quality teaching.

Praises:

We thank God for His protection for our students and staff as they come and go to school and for the shelter provided from the rains.

We thank Him for servant hearts that we see in our RICE trained teachers.

We praise God for His faithfulness to bring fruit as His word is taught.

We are thankful for wonderful curriculum and materials to teach well.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

health of both students and teachers during the rainy season.

wisdom to lead and make this school what God intends it to be.

spiritual and academic growth of our students.

our students to dream large for their futures as servants of the King.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Praises:

Our first graduates of the RICE Program (March 2019) took part in our accrediting university’s graduation ceremony on August 20, 2019 to receive their Associate Degree in Elementary Education.

Students have a spirit of thankfulness for their education.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the United Methodist Church and our other church partners to hire our teachers as they graduate from the program.

understanding of students as they study their lessons.

the economy of Liberia to improve. Students struggle for transportation to come each day. This also makes it difficult to find new students for the program.

Rafiki Widows Program

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

this program to get started.

Malawi

Rafiki Village

Updates:

Raising ninety-eight youths, fed daily on God’s Word, comes with joy and a fair share of pain. Recently four youths broke into the Village office and the home of the Village Administrator to steal money. They were caught, and the Malawian norm would be to lock them up in the local jail and beat the daylights out of them. God mercifully guided the Village leadership to counsel and reason with the youths. In twenty-four hours, one thief turned around to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We were reminded of Jean Valjean from Les Miserables…a thief whose life was transformed by the grace of God shown through a bishop from whom he had stolen. The second and third youths have begun to draw closer to choose right from wrong. The fourth is behaving like Pharaoh. The Rafiki Village provides plenty of opportunities to reach out with the gospel of love, grace, and peace coupled with disciplinary consequences. We are looking for more long-term workers to come and walk alongside these youths to shape them into Christlikeness.

Praises:

The Rafiki Bible Study Home Devotion Page in the 1 Timothy study is being used by thirty families of day students. God’s Word is at work beyond the Village.

The Rafiki families have expanded the gardens to plant more greens, and a five-star chicken coop was built by short-term missionary Chris Mack to pilot the first twenty-five chick-layers.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

continued capacity building and skills training for the national staff who are eager to learn.

our partner church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, to have all the staff and resources to shepherd the members in Mzuzu.

the fruits of the Home Office visit in August to help the Village make significant improvements to all five programs.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

The boy’s residence hall is overseen by three seasoned Rafiki Mothers on a rotating basis until God sends us another couple to train as Hall parents. The youths are learning to cooperate, take greater responsibility for the premises, and support their caretakers joyfully.

One cottage has been re-assigned to preschool as more day students enroll.

Praises:

The youths enjoy learning new life skills as all Rafiki families are involved in meal preparations, laundry, and cleaning of the dining halls on a schedule.

All our resident grade level eight students thank God for letting them pass their national tests. English is their best performing subject.

Prayer Requests-Please pray for:

a new Malawian woman to train as Rafiki Mother to replace Ronnie, who is retiring for family reasons.

all residents to grow in a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and for them to commit to daily personal devotions.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

Two new teachers, Richard Gawani and Vinjeru Chiwone, are God’s gift to the school.

An order of science laboratory equipment is on its way from Johannesburg, South Africa. The upper school students are looking forward to spending more time in the science laboratory.

Praises:

The seventeen grade level eight students have passed their national tests with fair grades.

The school administrative team of four teachers does an excellent job providing oversight for thirty-two teachers and 297 students.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

suitably qualified biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics teachers to apply for posts we have in Rafiki School. We also need a music and art teacher for upper school.

teachers to teach faithfully from the Rafiki Christian classical curriculum, only employing national syllabi on a need basis.

a full-time missionary to be appointed Headmaster soon.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Updates:

Interim RICE Dean Bill Wood is back at the Village for the second year and thoroughly enjoying his time and work with the fifteen RICE students.

Praises:

All grades’ reports for term two were completed, and we are pleased that the students have progressed remarkably well.

Four RICE graduates have confirmed employment as preschool teachers in two partner church schools. They will be using the Rafiki curriculum in the church schools.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the University of Livingstonia Senate to endorse the RICE curriculum for submission to the National Council for Higher Education.

full-time Deans for Rafiki Institute of Classical Education (RICE), Rafiki Institute of Art ( RIA) and Rafiki Institute of Music (RIM) to be appointed soon to take RICE to the next level, in tandem with the completion of accreditation.

Rafiki Widows Program

Updates:

The widows are waiting patiently for suggestions from the Home Office for their products enhancement.

Praises:

Ruth Nyondo and her team are looking forward to following the Home Office Widows Program Manager’s suggestions. They believe there will be progress forthcoming.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the widows to be able to make the right products that will sell in the USA.

the Rafiki Bible Study to be used by the widows in their meetings.

Nigeria

Rafiki Village

Updates:

August is the month for heavy, daily rains, and so it has been. Everything is green and lush.

The students from Bingham University are back in the area and awaiting the start of their school again in mid-September.

Praises:

Everything is growing and lush.

Students are improving in many areas of school.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

all national exam scores to be released and good enough for entry into university.

a new borehole to be completed soon and to be productive.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Praises:

We have seen general good health of the children.

We praise God for blessing us with three short-term missionaries who will soon arrive to help in ChildCare and at school.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

Joseph, Josiah, and Kefas who recently took entrance exams for BuTech Government Technical High School.

those who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Rafiki Education Program

Praises:

Spiritual growth is evidenced among students and staff.

Teacher training is gradually improving lesson preparation and presentation.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

plans for how to implement more tutoring time for students who are struggling, especially in English and math.

wisdom in hiring and training new teachers.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Updates:

Students are studying hard and enjoying putting into practice what they have learned. (Thirteen are working in grades one through six.)

Praises:

We see perseverance in studying hard for mastery, not just getting by.

A recent RICE graduate who loves math is working at the school and assisting with RICE strugglers in math.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

applicants for the new term in January to come and qualify well.

our six students who will be completing their time here at RICE in September.

Rafiki Widows Program

Updates:

The completion of orders is in sight providing income for many who are struggling in the current economy.

Praises:

Products are to be delivered next week.

We see joy in the women knowing their products are selling in the U.S.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

a steady income for the women.

new products to be well received.

Rwanda

Rafiki Village

Updates:

Great changes are occurring in Rwanda. With the construction of the new international airport very close to Rafiki, the accompanying infrastructure is also being built. This has already resulted in significant increases in the reliability of our electricity. Soon, there will be a new water treatment plant which should eliminate our periodic “droughts.” The roads are being expanded and rebuilt. Many good changes are coming our way!

Praises:

Many of our children are turning into mature, hard-working, God-loving students. It is a great delight to watch them grow up.

God has taken great care of our Village and protected us from many of the problems occurring elsewhere in the country.

We are thankful for the visit from the Home Office the last of August.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

continued excellent and speedy work on the construction of our new senior secondary school and laboratory buildings.

our new long-term missionary, Allison Cannon. She joined us in August to teach art to both students and teachers.

the Home Office to have productive meetings and safety as they visit all the East African Villages.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

All of our cottage remodeling is complete with five cottages in use for our boarding students, two for preschool classrooms, one for our new library, and one for the ChildCare office and storage area.

Praises:

This year has seen a bumper crop of avocados, and the children and Rafiki Mothers, as well as the day students, have greatly enjoyed them.

Three of our youth who were questioning their faith and beliefs have worked through their struggles and are once again firm in their faith.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

one of our boys who needs a new guardian so that he may stay in school at Rafiki.

our resident girls and their Rafiki Mothers to develop a bond of trust with each other.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

We have a brand-new library, and it’s absolutely beautiful! What was once known as Samuel Cottage was gutted and transformed into an airy, spacious, inviting dwelling for bookworms.

Praises:

Our resident students dedicated their day off to move 5,843 books from the old library to the new, and they were very happy to see the results of their labor of love.

From hydraulic arms to robots and insect collections, the students are whole-heartedly preparing for our first Science Fair. We thank God for their diligent research and preparation and enthusiasm. They truly are discoverers!

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

Joseph, Eliya, Bebeto, Olivier, Emmanuel T., and Daniel to develop a passion for learning and apply quality study habits to their lives.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

this program to get started.

Rafiki Widows Program

Praises:

The Anglican widows have completed their order of embroidered items.

We have a new order for the Presbyterian widows to make baskets.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the ladies to complete the baskets accurately and with excellence.

Tanzania

Rafiki Village

Updates:

It’s been a good month for our agricultural projects! The chickens have been giving us about 120 eggs a week, the bean harvest is complete, and we expect a good yield for our maize, despite extremely challenging conditions at the beginning of the growing season. It’s exciting to see the children taking part in these endeavors, that provide opportunities to learn vital life skills and contribute to the good of the entire Village.

We still await a positive outcome in our efforts to register our secondary school and resume classes at the Village for our oldest children and day students. There has been a long delay in the process of re-zoning the Village property, and that seems to be the main obstacle to our registration.

Praises: 

We thank God for providing for our needs through many means.

We thank God for the encouragement of a good harvest when any harvest at all seemed unlikely a few months ago.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for: 

God to move the responsible official to resume the property re-zoning process.

approval of the registration of our secondary school.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

The children are enjoying the pleasant weather and getting back to their gardens. The ground is plowed, and planting is starting for vegetables to be used in our kitchen to feed the many residents and day students who eat in our dining hall each day.

We are past the season of colds and glad to see the children busy and energetic. The children all had their yearly physicals and were found to be healthy and growing.

Praises: 

Praise God that the children are in good health.

Praise God that the teen who had appendicitis last month is fully recovered and did not need to have his appendix removed.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

healing with no long-term effects for one child who injured a tendon.

the children to work hard and be blessed with productive gardens this growing season.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

The teachers and students daily impress the staff with their new learning, their creative ideas, and their inquisitive questions. It is amazing how God has made their brains like sponges.

The newly started after-school academic clubs are giving our upper primary students inspiration and the opportunity to further explore their interests. It is a blessing to see these precious young students grow in all areas of life each day.

Praises:

God has given our primary school girls’ soccer team the opportunity to participate in the East African School Games, where they will compete against teams from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Burundi.

God has used the daily Rafiki Bible Study to stir up important conversations with the teachers about certain truths in God’s Word, helping everyone to grow spiritually.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

God to give our standard seven students the ability to apply all that they have learned and perform their best as they take their national exams on September 11 and 12.

God to provide just the right teachers as we look ahead at starting the secondary school in the coming school year.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Updates:

As our third term of 2019 draws to a close, we are excited to see the enthusiasm and growing knowledge base of our newest cohort of RICE 1A students.

Three students in level 2D are preparing to teach lessons in Rafiki Primary School as part of the requirements of their practicum.

The effort to register as a recognized teacher college continues to move slowly, but in the meantime we see opportunities to serve as a training center even for qualified teachers, as many are seeking to improve their skills.

Praises: 

RICE 1A students have made commendable progress this term.

Many of the students are participating in a program to read through the Bible in one year in addition to their daily Rafiki Bible Study.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

God’s direction as we seek to share his Word and this excellent teacher training in ways that will most benefit the people of Tanzania.

opportunities for employment or further education for our students who finish the three-year RICE program.

Rafiki Widows Program

Updates:

Several of the women accompanied Widows Program Skill Trainer Restmary to the fabric shops in order to choose bright khanga material for a new order of coffee bags.

Praises: 

The women found khanga material in beautiful designs and in sufficient numbers so that they can complete the 500 bags ordered by the Rafiki Exchange.

The Home Office visit was a time of encouragement and joyful reunion.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

attention to detail as the women sew the coffee bags to the exact needed measurements.

continued help from short-term missionaries in transporting product from Tanzania to the U.S.

Uganda

Rafiki Village

Updates:

August was a busy but good month with a positive inspection of the RICE facilities by the National Council of Higher Education and a visit from our Home Office team. 

Praises:

We are thankful for the Home Office team’s guidance and encouragement provided during their visit.

A recent short-term missionary started a robotics club with our students and left all the materials needed for the club to continue.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

many of our resident students to enjoy a safe and enriching homestay at the end of September and start of October, when we will break for term holiday.

Missionary Patti Lafage to have a successful surgery on her dislocated wrist.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

Some resident students participated in an orchestra which presented in Kampala on August 18. They enjoyed the experience thoroughly, as did other residents who filled the audience.

Praises:

God is faithful to us! We are thankful for the good health and growth of our residents, both spiritually and physically.

We are thankful for the opportunities our students have to participate in community events, like the most recent concert.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

our residents to strive to display Christian character in their interactions with their peers, staff, and teachers.

strength and perseverance for our Rafiki Mothers and ChildCare administration. Pray for us to seek Jesus as we offer our work and service to raise these residents here at Rafiki and ultimately to Him.

Rafiki Education Program

Updates:

Term three is progressing with many blessings: field trips, science competitions, new uniforms for our older students, and increased enrollment. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Praises:

The classes taking the national exams this year are focused, driven, and desire to do their best in the upcoming exams.

Our teachers are hardworking and do what it takes to get the job done, even if it means working overtime.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the classes preparing for the national exams to experience a fruitful last few weeks of studying before the exams start in October/November.

the teachers to grow in their wisdom and creativity in the area of disciplining.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Updates:

We have completed work with Westminster Christian Institute Uganda (WCIU), finalizing a response to the questions from the Ugandan National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) regarding WCIU’s application to bring the RICE campus under its accreditation. This resulted in an inspection by the NCHE in August, which we believe went well. We are now praying that the resulting report to NCHE will be positively received and the application approved during the next NCHE meeting.

The RICE program is in the end of the third term and the students are studying hard as they work to complete all papers and assignments and prepare for finals during the week of September 16.

Praises:

Our eight new students are doing well and have adapted to the RICE curriculum and learning methodology.

The RICE building was in great shape for the recent inspection from the NCHE team. We received many positive comments from the inspection team, including comments focused on the Early Childhood Development Lab and a short-term missionary’s work in the library.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

successful reception of a positive report from the Ugandan National Council of Higher Education inspection team that will lead to approval of WCIU’s application and our accreditation.

protection from accidents and illness for all students during the remainder of term three and especially for one of our former students who is struggling with a serious illness.

Rafiki Widows Program

Updates:

In the past twelve months, Rafiki has purchased and shipped to the Home Office a total of $15,000 worth of craft products from the Uganda Widows group. Our widows have benefitted in all the usual ways: paying school fees for their children, making small improvements to their homes, and purchasing seeds, plants, or sometimes chickens to grow for food. One amazing benefit stands out: Our Acholi group built a brand-new latrine near their homes.

Praises:

The Uganda Widows Program participants have filled the last orders.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

God to lead many potential new buyers to the Exchange website and to the various points of sale so that new orders can soon be made.

Zambia

Rafiki Village

Updates:

It is dry season now, but we continue to enjoy a good supply of water. Zambia is currently suffering drought and the Kariba Dam is very low on water. This has caused the power company to regiment power supply throughout the country. Currently we are only without power four hours per day. This, however, is likely to increase very soon. The generator which powers the Village when the power company shuts down power has developed a problem and has not been working for several weeks.

Praises:

The Nixon short-term missionary group spent a week with us putting their helping hands to good use in every area of the Village.

Many are hearing and understanding God’s word in Paul’s first letter to Timothy.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

the repair job on the generator to be successful.

us to trust the Lord to provide for our need of power and water, while we meet the challenge of adjusting as needed.

Rafiki ChildCare Program

Updates:

Children are very busy with school and school related activities.

Grade nine will soon be writing the national exams and are diligently preparing.

Praises:

We thank God for evidence of maturing in our tenth and eleventh grade young people.

We thank God for His Word and the timeliness of the message of 1 Timothy for our young people.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

wisdom and discernment to train the children in our care in godliness.

God’s Word to penetrate hearts and minds to effect change—that children would desire to please God in their thoughts, words, and actions.

Rafiki Education Program

Praises:

Zambia is thanking God for the Rafiki Bible Study in 1 Timothy. We are being encouraged, taught, and challenged as we study this wonderful book.

We are thankful that when we began the study of 1 Timothy, we began sharing with all day students a Home Discussion Lesson which summarizes each day's main points and doctrinal focus. It also includes the week's memory verse, catechism questions, and hymn.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

every staff member and student to have a a greater hunger for God's Word and a desire to apply it to their lives.

energy, creativity, and effective teaching for all teachers, and for all students to develop a greater love for learning as we enter the second half of our third term.

the Home Discussion Lessons to be used in each home and in area churches to spread God's truth among families and communities.

Rafiki Advanced Learning Institute Program

Updates:

We are in midterm week of our third term at RICE this year. All is going well with our students. NO one seems to be in jeopardy of failing, and even the four 3D students appear to be making it well this term. Almost all students in all five cohorts are doing quite well on exams. In fact, in week four, we had a record number of students making our Dean's Club—thirty-nine out of forty-eight! That means all 100%'s on every exam for that week. We are certainly impressed with their diligence, and they love it!

Praises:

We praise God for the help we have had from short-term missionaries this term. First, the six from Atlanta were so encouraging and helpful to us particularly with grading papers, teaching business principles, and fixing computer/technical problems. Now, we have the Davises with us. Reca has helped a lot with grading and spiraling curriculum from our last week shipment and making pillows with each student! What a terrific gift for them, along with the comforters/blankets we were able to get them from our supporters. Lynn has been super as a handy man doing any number of jobs here at RICE from leveling lecterns, to spiraling curriculum, to fixing drawers and tables and chairs. Now he is tackling putting together the two basketball stands we just received.

We praise God that He enabled us to put together a power point presentation for partner church schools to encourage them to hire our RICE graduates as teachers in their schools.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

ALL (students, staff, Karen, and Richard) to finish the term well with five weeks to go. We have seventeen in Practicum, and we are praying to be able to observe all 3Ds two times and all 2Ds one time at least.

us to be able to make strong, meaningful, and actionable presentations to our partner church schools so that they would be motivated to hire our RICE students.

Rafiki Widows Program

Updates:

Judy Stokes has concluded the four-month program with her sewing trainees: Anne, Christina, Selina, Esnea, and Linda. The Reformed Church of Zambia and Rafiki staff joined the families of these ladies for a commencement program which displayed their new sewing skills and each shared her experiences working with Judy.

Praises:

All of the ladies in the program were able to attend consistently and learn hand and machine sewing skills.

Judy remained healthy, energetic, and enthusiastic throughout her time in Zambia.

The ladies had a successful follow-up outreach to a group of ladies at the church near the Rafiki Village.

The ladies have a plan for continuing their training and for the startup of small groups where they will be teaching basic sewing skills to other vulnerable women.

Prayer Requests—Please pray for:

Judy to have a smooth transition as she returns to the U.S.

wisdom for Judy as she continues to coach the ladies from the U.S.

determination for the ladies as they continue in their sewing skill training and start training other ladies to learn sewing.