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Funke News: The Potter

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.Isaiah 64:8

While God sometimes acts in big ways in our lives, we’ve been reminded recently that God really molds us in the little everyday moments of faithfulness. This month has had many of those “step by step, bit by bit” moments.

US Citizenship

This month we have been extremely busy filling out and gathering documents for our home study coming up July 5–7. We completed the 21-page questionnaire, which became 36 pages with our answers to all the essay questions. We submitted our answers to the 72 essay questions that went along with the 223-page Parenting Education Manual. We gathered and submitted copies of our birth certificates, marriage license, passports, residence verification, employment verification, health insurance verification, financial statements, tax returns, four recommendation letters, a letter from potential guardians if something happens to us and a quality picture of us. We also began the process of getting background checks in all the states where we have lived in the U.S. and a police clearance letter from Tanzania. Bit by bit, we are making our way through this process.

Also, we have great news! This month we received $5,755 towards Funke Kids’ U.S. Citizenship! Thank you all so much! This amount covers the application fee, the home study fee and the travel expenses for the U.S. social worker to come do our home study! We still need $1,800 to travel to Dar Es Salaam to get notarization at the U.S. Embassy on some of our documents and to pay for official translations of all Swahili documents. If you are willing to help our children become American citizens, you can make a secure online donation at GlobalLutheranOutreach.com/support-funkekidsproject.html. Please make sure to write your donation next to “Funke Kids Citizenship Project” so it goes to the right place. Or you can write a check to “Global Lutheran Outreach” and put “Funke Kids Citizenship Project” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Global Lutheran Outreach, 6709 Ficus Dr, Miramar, FL 33023. We greatly appreciate your prayers and support.

Mwanza Trip

After a hectic May, we headed to Mwanza to run some errands, catch up with friends and decompress. We had the joy of reconnecting with Michael Leen, a friend who lived in Mwanza for 3.5 years and was back for a visit. We visited Forever Angels in order to drop off more hand-me-down clothes and get copies of documents from Julia’s file that we will need for U.S. Citizenship. We also made a trip to the waterpark and had a playdate with our friends the Berry-Stableins. Even though our engine belt shredded and the projector at the movie theater broke, it was overall a delightful weekend.

Adoption Update

Because of problems obtaining a correct Consent to Adopt document and our local social worker’s report, on June 12 we had to go to court to reschedule our court date (now July 10). We’ve continued to have difficulties getting our social worker’s report. Not only is she on maternity leave, but on Sunday, June 17, she was in an accident and broke her leg. Thankfully, she and the baby are ok, and she did eventually complete the report. On Monday, July 2, Eric was able to file her report. However, the struggles to get the Consent to Adopt continue. We learned earlier this month that our lawyer had made another error on the Consent to Adopt. Since we had the soft copy and were able to fix it ourselves, we asked if the Ministry of Social Welfare could print it there instead of sending another. However, it took multiple days to find the necessary green court paper. Since then the new Consent to Adopt has sat on the Commissioner’s desk for almost two weeks waiting to be signed. Please pray with us that it makes it to Shinyanga with enough time for us to file it before our court date.

Saying Goodbyes

This month we had to say goodbye to three dear friends. Our Peace Corps friend, Taylor, has completed her service and will be traveling back to the U.S. later this month to prepare for her Masters in Public Health Program at Emory University. We will miss her tremendously at Bible study and at our dinner table. We also said goodbye to two of our oldest friends here in Tanzania. Tilla and Wessel have lived and worked in Mwadui for eleven years and will be retiring to South Africa. Some may remember that Tilla was the one who taught Linda so much about pottery and was the one who stayed by Linda’s side for hours at the hospital when she was so sick with malaria in 2012. We will miss them, and we wish them a joyful retirement.

More Visitors

On June 14, we had the joy of seeing Scott and Lori Rische again as they finished up another successful Pastoral Leadership Institute seminar for pastors and their spouses. On June 22, we also had the opportunity to meet some of Amber and Austin’s friends from language school, Noemi and Manuel Ruckstuhl. We love how many visitors come during the summer months.

Father’s Day

This Father’s Day was unique in that it was our first Father’s Day with Julia. We also spent a good portion of the day at the Opening of the Tanzanian Lutheran Women’s Convention, which was held at our school for the first time. We are glad that our school now has the facilities for events like this. After the service, Eric enjoyed homemade Father’s Day cards, a nap, food delivered from a restaurant in Shinyanga and homemade cinnamon rolls.

Time at Home

Since school was on break, most of this month was spent working on citizenship and adoption paperwork, homeschooling and playing with our kids, leading Bible study and working on many long-neglected household projects. We have been so grateful for this time together.

In September of 2012, Eric Funke, grandson of Bill and Lola Funke, and his wife, Linda, followed God’s call to Tanzania. Eric is teaching math and science at a secondary school while Linda works for the Department of Planning and Development. They work in the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. Follow their mission work at www.afunketimeintanzania.blogspot.com, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

The Wolf Pack in Kenya: Equipping the Saints

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.Ephesians 4:11–12

Five generations ago, a German missionary family was diverted to South Africa to share the Gospel with local populations. During a recent visit to the southern part of the continent, John stayed with members of this family who continue today in mission work throughout southern Africa.

John met leaders for both the Lutheran Church of South Africa (LCSA) and Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSiSA), the two Lutheran church bodies the LCMS works with in this area. It was impressive to observe how these historically separate churches support and defend each other. John learned that not only do these churches continue to share the Gospel in South Africa, but have used connections in other parts of southern Africa to help plant Lutheran churches and grow the body of Christ. It was comforting to discuss and learn how we could partner together for mission work in which the LCMS is active in Malawi and Rwanda.

In South Africa, the LCSA and FELSiSA together contribute to the operations of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, which trains and equips men from this country and many others around Africa to become pastors. During his visit, John visited with the board of directors to learn about seminary issues and build upon existing relationships with church leaders, faculty, the rector and student representatives. While exploring the campus, John met a couple South African students. One was a second year student who each weekend returns home to serve as an evangelist alongside his pastor and tend to seven congregations. The other student served four churches. John was amazed and encouraged by the faith and dedication of these young men to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

May God guide and equip these students.

John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.

Funke News: Ups and Downs

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.Romans 12:12–13

This past month has been such a whirlwind of activity that it is hard to even know where to begin. We have celebrated and rejoiced—in meaningful seminars at school, in supporting a family in need, in Amber and Austin’s return from their visit to the U.S., in hugs and homemade cards on Mother’s Day, in seven years of marriage and a lovely picnic to mark the occasion, in the initiative of our CHE trainers and in visits from two U.S. mission teams. Sometimes we laughed until we cried, such as when we accidentally left the backdoor open and discovered a chicken in our bathroom. We have tried to embrace the chaos—when our Peace Corps friend Taylor was stung by a scorpion and Linda spent part of the night with her at the hospital, when siafu ants tried to invade our home or when we couldn’t return home from a Mwanza trip because our house was surrounded by an angry swarm of bees. We have grieved—a missionary friend lost at sea, the sudden death of a friend’s groom less than a month before the wedding, friends being hurt by rumors and setbacks in our adoption case. Yet, God remains the constant, and even in the struggles, we are thankful for the hope and balance God provides.

US Citizenship

Our journey towards U.S. citizenship for Michael and Julia continues. As we mentioned last month, we have hired Wasatch International Adoption Agency to help us get U.S. citizenship for our children, and this past month we have been working steadily on gathering documents, completing essay questions and finishing the homework for the agency’s “Parenting Education Manual.” A U.S. social worker will come to our home July 5–7 to conduct an official home study.

However, we need financial help to get through this process. The citizenship process will cost about $18,000 over the course of the next two years. We need $8,500 by July to cover the application fee, program fee, home study fee, travel expenses for the social worker, translation costs for Swahili documents and flights to Dar Es Salaam to access a U.S. notary. So far we have received $2,400! Thank you so much to all who have contributed!

If you are willing to help our children become American citizens, you can make a secure online donation at GlobalLutheranOutreach.com/support-funkekidsproject.html. Please make sure to write your donation next to “Funke Kids Citizenship Project” so it goes to the right place. Or you can write a check to “Global Lutheran Outreach” and put “Funke Kids Citizenship Project” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Global Lutheran Outreach; 6709 Ficus Drive, Miramar, FL 33023. We greatly appreciate your prayers and support on this intense journey.

Our School

On May 5, Linda led her annual 6.5 hour seminar on sex and relationships with the help of five other staff members. This seminar covers the basics of sex, abuse, the physical, emotional, and spiritual ramifications of sex, and how to develop healthy relationships and make decisions for their futures. At the end, the boys and girls were separated so that they could ask questions. Once again, the seminar brought up some tough topics and Linda provided some follow-up counseling sessions for some individual students.

On May 12, Linda helped our Peace Corps friend Taylor German implement the Huru program for the girls at our school, which not only provides reusable menstrual pads, but also covers topics such as puberty, menstruation, how to avoid risky behaviors, assertiveness training, goal-setting and self-awareness/self-worth. Linda also led a “Lessons in the Movies” class, which pulled life lessons from some of their favorite movies.

Meanwhile, Eric’s time at school was spent teaching, typing exams, registering all students and teachers into the e-learning system and compiling student grades before the June break. All but the Form 4 students have returned home for the break and will return July 1.

Joseph’s Family

Joseph and other children in his family have been coming to our door for months begging for food. They were living in terrible conditions. Previously, we provided the family with emergency rations and have been looking for sustainable solutions. This month, with the help of local Lutheran church leaders, we were able to provide two bicycles so the children can attend school more regularly and ten goats so that the family can develop a steadier income. Thanks to all who help make efforts like this possible! Please continue to keep this family in your prayers.

Community Health Evangelism (CHE)

This month the three deaconesses trained in CHE taught the students in the “Right to Live With Albinism” program about their value in God’s eyes and the basics of good hygiene and how to avoid disease transmission. We love that they continue to show initiative and send us pictures of their work. We hope to send them to the next level of training this coming August.

Mission Teams from the U.S.

This month we also had the joy of showing two mission teams from the LCMS Mid-South District around our school. We were also delighted to have Jamie Wisely and Jessica Strong from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Peoria join us for a reception at school, breakfast at our home and worship at the school that Sunday. Partnerships like these enable so much ministry to happen at our school and beyond.

Adoption Update

Finalizing Julia’s adoption continues to be an uphill battle. Shortly after our “mention” in court on May 3, we discovered our lawyer had forgotten to provide the “Consent to Adopt” form. He thus sent it to the Ministry of Social Welfare, where it sat unopened for two weeks. Eventually we learned that our lawyer had only submitted two copies instead of three. Eric and our friend Godfrey drove the ten hours to Dodoma May 27–28 to hand-deliver enough copies. Then Eric and Godfrey drove back to Dodoma June 3 to pick up the signed documents. They also found the letter our local social worker needed, which had been sitting in the mailroom for six weeks. However, when Eric tried to file the Consent to Adopt at the court this past Tuesday, June 5, we learned that our lawyer had written it incorrectly, and the Commissioner won’t return to the office until June 18. We will have to reschedule our court date, which was supposed to be June 12. We have the additional hurdle of our local social worker now being on maternity leave. Please pray that we can file the correct and properly signed Consent to Adopt, that our social worker files her report soon and that our lawyer, judge and social worker or an appropriate substitute all show up for our next court date.

In September of 2012, Eric Funke, grandson of Bill and Lola Funke, and his wife, Linda, followed God’s call to Tanzania. Eric is teaching math and science at a secondary school while Linda works for the Department of Planning and Development. They work in the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. Follow their mission work at www.afunketimeintanzania.blogspot.com, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Preparing for Vicarage

We praise God for the opportunity to be active in our roles at the seminary for one full academic year.

We have been able to walk alongside the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) in our roles at the seminary as an instructor and project manager and witness how God works in the lives of his people here. We thank God for calling these men into ministry and also that through the Holy Spirit they answered the call to serve and study at the seminary. We praise God that we get to be a part of the team that encourages, prays for and supports them through our various roles at the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU).

The semester ends the first week of June, which means our focus turns to other aspects at the seminary. Since the seminary is only in its second year of operation, the end of term break allows us to provide support to the LCU as they further develop policies and procedures for the seminary. It also provides opportunities to support the pastors and church leaders in other ways, such as visiting seminary students in their home deaneries (districts), interacting with other LCU partners (individual LCMS congregations) and preparing for the new academic year that will begin the last week in July.

Over the break, Mark will continue to work with the seminary administration in financial and project management, and Megan will utilize the first few weeks to grade final exams and papers. Both of us will miss seeing students on a regular basis, but look forward to one class returning and welcoming a new class in July. We also look forward to visiting some of the upcoming Year Three students (current Year Two students) during their vicarage and witnessing them apply the knowledge and insights they have gained at seminary.

As vicarage for Year Two students approaches, we wanted to introduce you to two students preparing for their placements, Mutebi Edson and Waiswa Emmanuel. Edson is originally from southwestern Uganda, but now lives and serves in the Eastern deanery, which is the same region as the seminary. Emmanuel is from Bugiri, also in the Eastern deanery.

As seminary students, they are already serving the Lord in ministry. Each week, they lead worship services and teach Bible studies and Small Catechism classes. Edson has learned Lusoga, which enables him to lead worship in the local language. He also preaches in Luganda (another nearby language that is understood in the region) and also leads an English speaking service. Emmanuel travels nearly seventy kilometers a week sharing the Word of the Lord at various churches and communities. He also utilizes that time to visit those who are sick and hospitalized and reconnect with people who have not been able to attend worship for various reasons.

Their vicarage starts soon, and they are both eager for this next step in ministry. Edson is most excited for opportunities to evangelize to Muslims that are in his community. In the Eastern deanery, there are many Muslims, so this is a chance to share the Word of the Lord so that more people can hear. He is looking forward to building relationships with others and training up the youth and teaching them about Christ in his community. Emmanuel shared his eagerness to evangelize within his area, with a focus on planting a church. Additionally, he is passionate about training evangelists so they can share God’s Word.

We thank God for these men, including their classmates. We pray the Lord continues to guide them all as they serve the Lord with faithfulness and steadfastness.

Mark and Megan Mantey serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as career missionaries in Uganda. Mark serves as the project manager for the seminary, and Megan is the seminary’s instructor of Christian education and counseling. You can follow their work at www.facebook.com/MissionMindedManteys.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Life Together

As Christians, life together in Christ allows us to focus on the mission that He sets before us. Even though barriers often persist, our God is ever faithful in providing for our needs and giving opportunities for us to share the love of Christ with the people He puts before us. This past month, life together for the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) included two instances where they continue to walk together, share the love of Christ and proclaim His name.

Baptism

The LCU continues to grow, as they evangelize and share the love of God in communities throughout Uganda. Recently, one of the areas where the LCU has been preaching and teaching is Bubago, Uganda, which is about an hour away from Jinja. As they spent time with the community, they learned many people in the community were not baptized. The LCU saw the need to continue to minister to the people of Bubago, encourage them and continue to teach them the Word of the Lord.

On one Sunday morning, the congregation gathered under tents for a worship service. Bishop Bameka and Rev. Peter Maganda (Dean of the Eastern Deanery) led worship. After reading Acts 2:42–47 in worship, parents gathered with their children around the altar for Holy Baptism.

210 people were baptized that day! We celebrated alongside as the family of God multiplied! We praise God for these moments. The faithful believers at Bubago continue to gather together for worship, and the church continues to minister to their spiritual needs. Please pray for the community in Bubago, and for the LCU as they remain faithful in teaching and preaching God’s Word.

Team Ministry

As you may have heard us share before, the LCU works daily to expand the kingdom of God in Uganda. Even though there are now over 135 congregations, there are few pastors to do His work.

Recently, there have been men from the Lutheran Church of Uganda that graduated from the neighboring Lutheran seminary in Matongo, Kenya, including Erifazi Buluba.

For Erifazi’s wedding and ordination, it was very much a church and community event. In other church denominations throughout Uganda, not all ordinations are done where the local community can witness and participate. Yet, the LCU finds value in actively inviting the congregation and community to be a part of these ministry events. It is one of the ways they use to teach about the church.

The most meaningful part of the ordination for us was witnessing and hearing the pastors gather around Erifazi and pray for him in their native language. It further showed the unity in Christ these men have, even though they come from different backgrounds, languages and experiences. They all belong to the body of Christ. The deans and pastors from other regions were able to assist in the ordination and encourage Erifazi in this way.

Another aspect to this day was witnessing the excitement and joy of the community. They worked together to prepare the church and to put on the reception. They also openly displayed the joy of the Lord for their new pastor, Rev. Erifazi Buluba. We are thankful for these moments of celebration in ministry. We praise God for the twentieth pastor who joyfully serves in the LCU.

Mark and Megan Mantey serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as career missionaries in Uganda. Mark serves as the project manager for the seminary, and Megan is the seminary’s instructor of Christian education and counseling. You can follow their work at www.facebook.com/MissionMindedManteys.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Thank You!

Greetings in Christ from Jinja, Uganda. Megan and I hope that you and the believers at Saint John’s are well. Thank you for your wonderful gift of support for the seminary here. Through the generosity of the people of Saint John's, more men will be trained to spread the gospel in Uganda and beyond.

Leaders of the Lutheran Church of Uganda along with members of the seminary management committee are working with engineers and builders in planning the completion of the chapel building on campus (see the photo, below). Once that plan is complete it will be submitted to the LCMS for final approval and the transfer of funds, including the $8,600 from Saint John’s.

During the week the chapel will be used for matins and evening prayer services, along with other programs. On weekends, there is a local congregation that meets here, currently in a lecture hall, that is looking forward to using the chapel as their permanent worship space.

I will send some pictures during construction so that your community can see more of what they are a part of. It is such a blessing that the people of Saint John’s are able to help in this ministry. Thank you again!

Mark and Megan Mantey serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as career missionaries in Uganda. Mark serves as the project manager for the seminary, and Megan is the seminary’s instructor of Christian education and counseling. You can follow their work at www.facebook.com/MissionMindedManteys.

The Wolf Pack in Kenya: Teaching Little Ones

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5, 7a

Despite heavy clouds and pending rain, excitement and singing brightened the mood as we gathered for morning devotions at the Project 24 (P24) Children’s boarding facility at Othoro in western Kenya. Today was the start of a two-day Catechism Club that brings together orphaned and vulnerable children from all five children homes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK).

The Catechism Club is a joyful celebration that allows children to share their knowledge of God’s Word through songs, dramas of bible stories, recitation of memory work and fellowship. This twice-a-year gathering plays an important part of the ELCK’s effort to bring up orphaned children in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Bringing children up in the church makes P24 different from other popular child-sponsorship programs.

Four of the Wolf boys (John, Ian, Sean and Angus) travelled this month to join this event, renew acquaintances with the children and meet with many of the pastors, bishops and workers who encourage and care for these children.

Local pastors and chaplains play a key role in growing the children in the Lord. Pastor Paul, who serves as chaplain for the children at P24 site in Lenkishon, makes regular visits to the clans and extended families of orphaned children of that site, sharing salvation and hope through Christ. Last year he baptized over fifty children and family members. The outreach and impact that this P24 site (and the others) has on the community has even been recognized by the local chief and county government.

During this month, we received a special visit from Rev Dr Brent Smith of Mission Central. Together with the site manager of P24 Lenkishon and Bishop of ELCK Central diocese we saw clan homes, the school and local church that help the P24 children.

May God protect and care for these children.

John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.

Funke News: Renewal

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:30–31

Earlier this month we had the joy of introducing our children to their first kite. Watching the wind lift the kite up into the air brought to mind Isaiah 40:30–31 (see above). We have entered into an exceptionally strenuous period of our lives, filled with multiple dynamic ministries, ongoing time-intensive efforts to finish Julia’s adoption and to get U.S. citizenship for our children and the energy of two lively children. At times, we have, admittedly, related to the tired and weary part of the verse. Yet this verse has also reminded us of the need for rest and trust in God. I’ve been reminded lately that only when we hope in the Lord—trusting that our value lies in Christ rather than what we do, trusting that God will provide, trusting that God will take care of the needs of others while we rest—can we truly take the time to breathe and to allow God to renew our strength. We are so thankful for the times of renewal this past month in the midst of all the walking and running.

Easter

This month began with the jubilant celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Our celebration included Easter egg dyeing, an early-morning Easter egg hunt, worship with our church family, and hosting the Medard family (dear friends from our first year here who recently moved back to Mwadui) for playtime and dinner. We also sponsored a dinner for the 23 boarding students remaining at school and Easter dinner for Joseph’s family—the struggling family that we mentioned in our last newsletter. It all made for a wonderful, memorable first Easter as a family of four.

Spring Break

Since the first week of Spring Break was consumed with adoption-related errands and preparations for Easter, we intentionally set aside the second week for family and relaxation. We started our Mwanza trip by dropping off hand-me-downs at Forever Angels. This visit was Julia’s first time back to Forever Angels since we brought her home. We then spent two lovely nights with the Peck family and three nights at Wag Hill Lodge, taking advantage of their “pay two nights, get the third night free” special. We swam in the pool, hiked for hours, rode horses, enjoyed a complimentary evening boat ride, canoed, watched the monkeys play while eating delicious meals, read on the lakeside deck of our cabin and made beautiful memories. The time away definitely helped prepare us for the full schedule of the following weeks.

Adoption Update

May 3 was our first court hearing for the Tanzanian side of Julia’s adoption. Even though we had to wait over three hours to see the judge, we are happy to say that overall it went smoothly. They assigned our case to the same judge that we had for Michael’s case and gave us the date of June 12 for the next hearing. Please pray that our judge, our lawyer and our social worker all show up for that hearing. The second hearing is the most important one in this process. With Michael’s case, we had to reschedule the second hearing three times before everyone showed up!

U.S. Citizenship

We have begun the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship for our children. In order to file an I-600A/I-600, we must work with a Hague-accredited adoption agency in the U.S. After much research we signed a contract with Wasatch International Adoption Agency (WIAA). Our next steps include collecting loads of documentation, completing all 72 homework questions associated with the 223-page Parenting Education Manual, and completing the 21-page essay-based questionnaire. We also have to have a U.S.-accredited social worker fly to Tanzania to conduct a home study. Thankfully, WIAA has a social worker stationed in Germany, so he will not have to fly all the way from the U.S. He is planning to come to Tanzania July 5–7. The entire process will cost about $18,000 over the course of the next two years. However, we need $8,500 of that as soon as possible to cover the application fee, program fee, home study fee, travel expenses for the social worker, translation costs for Swahili documents and flights to Dar Es Salaam to access a U.S. notary. If you are willing to help our children become American citizens, you can make a secure online donation at https://globallutheranoutreach.com/support-funkekidsproject.html. Please make sure to write your donation next to “Funke Kids' Citizenship Project” so it goes to the right place. Or you can write a check to “Global Lutheran Outreach” and put “Funke Kids' Citizenship Project” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Global Lutheran Outreach; 6709 Ficus Drive, Miramar, FL 33023. We know we can’t get through this process on our own and greatly appreciate your prayers and support.

Community Health Evangelism

We are happy to report that the three deaconesses who attended the Community Health Evangelism training last month returned with great enthusiasm and many new ideas for how CHE materials could be more effectively used in our diocese. One of those ideas was beginning CHE in school, so they started at our school on April 29. They did an amazing job holding the students attention and teaching them about the importance of wholistic health. I am excited to see how God continues to use their talents and passions to develop new models for CHE in our diocese.

Other Activities

School has been back in session for three weeks now. Eric attended a Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) e-learning seminar and has been integrating ideas from there. Linda taught the students about ways to grow in their relationship with Jesus, and we have reinstituted student movie nights. Linda continues to homeschool our two precious children. We also had the opportunity to spend time with Pastor Peter Gregory who was teaching a short course at the Bible Training Center. We spent Eric’s birthday (April 27) with friends in Mwanza, because we needed to meet with our adoption lawyer. The next day we returned to Mwadui to attend the send-off of the daughter of our dear friends Mercy and Abel. A send-off is a giant party for the bride and her friends/family before the wedding. If you would like to see pictures from this event and read more details about the tradition of the send-off, please click here. While our schedules are sometimes hectic, being connected to godly community (including you all) continues to lift our spirits.

In September of 2012, Eric Funke, grandson of Bill and Lola Funke, and his wife, Linda, followed God’s call to Tanzania. Eric is teaching math and science at a secondary school while Linda works for the Department of Planning and Development. They work in the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. Follow their mission work at www.afunketimeintanzania.blogspot.com, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

The Wolf Pack in Kenya: Sustained By Christ

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35, 38–39

We waited while a couple young shepherd boys followed their flock of goats and sheep across the dusty road as we made our second day of travel to remote villages in Turkana. Although clouds graced the skies, rain hadn’t fallen for over a year in this forgotten region of northwestern Kenya.

Upon arrival at the home of Pr. Atan in the village of Lokori, from which he shepherds four rural congregations, we were greeted with chai tea. Our visits to some of these churches took us to a tree in Marelem, under which the congregation had met since 1997 when the Lutheran faith was first brought to Turkana by three evangelist men. Despite having only a single pastor, the Lutherans at Marelem and throughout Turkana have remained faithful to Christ alone, scripture alone and grace alone.

John was joined by Rev. Shauen Trump (LCMS area director for east and southern Africa) and Rev. Benjamin Lamosi (General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya). Along with sharing the Word of God and encouraging congregations, we attended an ECLK-hosted gathering of Lutheran church leaders within Turkana.

Through partnership with the LCMS, the ELCK has added a missionary of their own and soon a second refugee pastor to the existing three church workers that share Christ within a region the size of West Virginia. The large influx of refugees, the discovery of oil and nomadic traditions make this a challenging area, but one which the churches are eager to tell others of their salvation through Christ.

While we sat on modest log benches under the tree at Marelem, a young boy put his hand in mine, and I was humbled by how the Lord has sustained these people and kept them strong in the faith. May we learn from them that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Later that night, we fell asleep to heavy rains.

May God continue to sustain His people and grow His church in Turkana.

John Wolf is the Africa Region Project Manager for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and his family, with the support of LCMS churches like Saint John’s, are serving in Kenya. Please keep them in your prayers! We encourage you to follow their family blog, www.hereiamsendmesendme.blogspot.com, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Collaboration in Ministry

Recently, the LCMS and the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) collaborated ministry efforts to share the Word of the Lord from a Lutheran perspective with the leaders of the independent Anglican Church of South Sudan at Nyumanzi Refugee Settlement in Adjumani, which is in northern Uganda. Because they are independent, they have not been able to access training for new pastors, teachers and lay leaders and wanted to learn more about Lutheran doctrine.

The LCMS and the LCU saw an important opportunity to provide instruction, answer questions and share about the Lutheran faith by teaching on the Small Catechism. Copies of the Small Catechism in Dinka, the language of the people group in attendance, were brought from the U.S. for use in training and continued study. It’s amazing how God continually provides the resources to share His word in even the most remote locations. Bishop Bameka, Rev. James Odoo and Rev. Raymond Kaija were able to represent the LCU as instructors and leaders to teach and answer questions about the Lutheran faith in East Africa. Two LCMS pastors who are missionaries in East Africa were also able to attend, teach and support the work of the LCU in Adjumani. Mark was also able to serve as an advocate, encourager and logistics coordinator to the pastors for both the LCU and LCMS.

By the end of the seven days together, the leadership of the Anglican Church of South Sudan was eager to learn more about Lutheran theology and asked for more training. It was resolved that the LCU would offer additional training opportunities to pastors and lay leaders so they can continue to learn more about the Lutheran teachings and doctrines.

Life and Ministry Update

At the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU), farming is an important part of being good stewards of the resources God gives the church. Uganda is blessed with rich soil and the ability to grow enough food to feed the seminarians, faculty and staff. By growing much of the needed food, students also learn important farming techniques which will help them provide for their own families once they are regularly serving in their communities. It’s also an important contribution of the church body to provide for the 41 students in this way.

Seminary staff and leadership have the opportunity to lead by example by spending time in the garden with the students. Most recently, Mark was able to help plant beans with the students over a weekend. We praise God for these hands-on opportunities to encourage His workers, serve alongside students and utilize the resources that God continuously provides.

Megan was recently invited to participate in a LCU women’s conference and facilitate a session about mentoring and equipping other women in congregations. As many of the women live in very remote areas, it’s always a celebration when they are able to gather together to enjoy, encourage and listen to one another. They are able to share in each other’s joys as they gather together to study God’s Word. Megan appreciates the opportunities to build relationships with the women and learn more about their daily lives in Christ.

Mark and Megan Mantey serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as career missionaries in Uganda. Mark serves as the project manager for the seminary, and Megan is the seminary’s instructor of Christian education and counseling. You can follow their work at www.facebook.com/MissionMindedManteys.

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