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UCCtruths

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Faith and REAL Action

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Is your UCC church making a REAL difference? Let us know so we can share it with others.

Since I started the series, "Faith and REAL Action," a couple of weeks ago, I've received a number of emails about programs and activities from a number of UCC churches. One of the programs that was brought to my attention was The Lion of Judah Academy.

The Lion of Judah Academy in the Tanzania bush (Simba wa Yuda Academy in the native Swahili) likely never would have gotten started had it not been for UCC members and supporting churches, who saw a vision for a school to provide an outstanding Christian education to disadvantaged children, especially to the children of poor Tanzanian pastors and AIDS orphans.

The school was started as a small experiment in 2001, to help ministry students at a local theological college find a way to educate their children. It was founded by a Tanzanian educator and theology student, Josephales Mtebe, working together with two American missionaries, Hartford and Lynn Inlow.

Before going to Tanzania in 1999, Hart served UCC congregations in Connecticut and Illinois for 25 years. Since returning from Tanzania in 2004, he has been pastor at St. John – Hill UCC in Boyertown, PA. That church, as well as others, have become active supporters of the academy.

Since its opening in 2002, the school has received substantial support from UCC churches and individual UCC church members in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania , Illinois , Florida , North Carolina, Ohio, as well as several other states. The academy also receives support from churches and individuals representing a variety of other denominations and organizations.

One of the most common ways individuals and churches choose to support the children and the ministry of the school is by providing student scholarships, which range from $150 a year for students needing help only with tuition, to $600 a year for boarding students.

However, capital development and construction needs are going to be increasing in the near future since the secondary school has been opened, and the school now needs to build educational and dormitory facilities for an entire secondary school.

Started as an experiment in 2001, with 15 students, 1 grade, meeting in a borrowed classroom, today the Lion of Judah Academy student population is about 270 students in 9 grades. The school is receiving widespread attention from educators around the nation of Tanzania , due to the outstanding results its students are achieving. It receives hundreds and hundreds of new student applications every year.

The Inlow’s currently spend much of their time building bridges and partnerships between the school and U.S. Christians who may be interested in participating in the amazing things God is doing at The Lion of Judah Academy. They visit the school at least annually, and organize short-term mission teams to work at the school. In fact, there are currently two openings on a team which will be going out this coming June-July!
posted by UCCtruths, Thursday, March 15, 2007

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