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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work

Cicone November 2022

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from Tanzania!

They say, “Time flies” and that is so true as we are well underway with our work at Rafiki Tanzania! Our first four months have been a time of understanding our roles, observing how the Village operates, and developing relationships with the national staff, residents, and students. We no longer feel as lost and are excited to see how God has molded us for the work here.

Secondary school happenings

In Tanzania, the academic calendar follows the yearly calendar (January to December) so as you read this newsletter, we are on break and getting ready for a new year to begin in January. Students in ninth grade and eleventh grade take national exams in November. We are thankful for good results for both classes. The pandemic provided these students with many academic challenges, and we are thankful God blessed their efforts with such good results.

John is excited about making improvements and additions for the upcoming year. First, providing more opportunities for students to showcase their art and music talents. Second, promoting the Rafiki school throughout the surrounding areas highlighting our students’ spiritual and academic growth. Third, working to show how the Rafiki curriculum meets the national standards. Finally, developing a “Culture of Grace” among the teachers and students to facilitate godly discipline and obedience.

John with Form IV students (11th grade)

Child Care Happenings

Gwen has been busy getting to know all the residents and the Rafiki Mothers. Parenting and teaching for thirty years provides her with biblical insight for dealing with the mostly teen-age residents. Her roles include counselor, spiritual advisor, medical expert, and mentor. She is excited at developing more activities for the residents to participate in next year to help them develop life skills that will serve them well when they leave the Village.

We did say good-bye to seven residents who completed their schooling at Rafiki and will be moving on to the next phase of their education. While they may leave us, we keep in regular contact and help to mentor and guide them in this exciting phase of their lives.

Meeting with a resident’s extended family

Residents creating stencils for their Christmas cards

Our IT specialist with his son and preschool friends

RICE happenings

Gwen has been teaching some classes to our RICE students. The RICE Program is a one-year certificate program so these students will be seeking work as teachers for next year. Rafiki was able to hire two of these graduates—one as a school librarian and another to teach in the primary school.

God has been very good to us, and we appreciate all your prayers and support. Please be in prayer for a new guidance counselor for the secondary school, wisdom as we disciple the national staff, and for continued good health.

Widow’s Ministry

Here in Tanzania we have a faithful group of women who get together to read the Bible, pray, sing, and make a variety of things with their hands. Jewelry making, sewing, and creating crafts with banana fiber have all been part of this ministry run by a widow from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) named Restmery. Now they have branched out into soap-making and look forward to completing an order of homemade soap, wrapped in Tanzanian kitenge cloth, ready for gift giving. Look for the arrival of their soap in the Rafiki Exchange soon! To purchase beautiful handmade crafts that are available now, visit the online store at .

Widows meeting for Bible study, prayer, and praise

Please pray that the Lord will provide more Rafiki Missionaries and more day student sponsors so that we can bring Bible study and classical Christian education to more needy children. Perhaps He is calling you to be the answer to one of those prayers? Visit to learn more.

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