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Funke News: Gifts of Love

Valentine’s Day this year was unique because it was also Ash Wednesday. While the two holidays generally have two completely contrasting moods, it did provide an opportunity for us to reflect on Jesus, God’s greatest gift to us, as well as the many other gifts of love that we have received and have had the opportunity to give.

Second Graduation of the “Right to Live With Albinism” Program

February 1 we had the joy of celebrating the graduation of thirteen amazing women with albinism. For the last four months, they had been learning how to make clothes, pastries, lotions and soaps. They also learned how to start a business to sustain themselves and their families. We are so proud of them and the deaconesses who mentored and taught them. A fundraiser was held during the graduation so that each woman will return to her community with her own sewing machine and start-up materials. Thanks to the support of many of you, we were able to contribute enough money for a sewing machine and start-up materials for one of the women. We pray that as they return home, they will be able to live with security and dignity.

Bishop Makala’s Walkathon

Bishop Makala recently shared with us that he was inspired by the “Kilimanjaro for a Cause” fundraiser we did four years ago, and he has decided to hold his own two-week walkathon across the South-East of Lake Victoria Diocese (SELVD). March 18–31 he will walk a total of 340 km (211 miles) from Lamadi to Kahama. Should he for some reason not be able to complete the journey, Assistant Bishop Trafaina Nkya has agreed to take his place.

The money he raises will help fund staff housing for diocese leaders (eliminating the high expenses of monthly rent), roofs for new churches in mission areas and motorcycles and education for evangelists to unreached areas. We are so proud of and excited for him. We will be praying for his journey and donating a certain amount per kilometer, and we hope some of you will join us in supporting his efforts. If you would like to sign our pledge sheet or share a pledge sheet with your own family and friends, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us. Next month we will share stories from his journey and where donations can be sent.

Couple’s Day Retreat

The first weekend in February we traveled to Mwanza to participate in a couple’s day retreat. We were so grateful to our Peace Corps friend Taylor for coming with us and babysitting our kids at the hotel while we enjoyed six hours of Bible study and fellowship with other missionary couples.

While in Mwanza, we had a lovely dinner with all the other GLO missionaries in Tanzania. We were also able to meet with our adoption lawyer and give him everything he needed to write the petition. We will hopefully be able to file it next month!

Eric put his life guard skills to use, rescuing a young boy and his dad in an active drowning situation at the hotel pool. Thankfully, though they were shaken, they all were fine. Overall, it was a very productive and meaningful weekend.

Mwadui Lutheran Secondary School

Eric continues to enjoy his new position as Assistant Academic Master. His time at school is filled with teaching, registering students, adjusting schedules, making peer education lists and putting together math and science worksheets and activities. He also was able to download Wikipedia and Khan Academy so students can use the computers to research even without internet. Multiple teachers have likewise approached him to help them include media in their classrooms, such as watching examples of debates or a movie for a history class.

This month Linda’s guidance and counseling class covered how to ask good questions, how to stay awake when studying and the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset.” She also helped to organize the first Career Day of the year. We were joined by the Honorable Neema Gasabile and Grace Mutabuzi. Neema Gasabile is a magistrate and a lawyer for our diocese. Grace studied journalism and now works as a communications officer for our diocese (among other things). We were so grateful that they took the time to come and answer students' questions about these fields of study.

Life at Home

On Valentine’s Day, Linda and the kids had a wonderful time making Valentine’s cards for friends. The following weekend Amber and Austin graciously gifted us with free babysitting so we could enjoy a belated Valentine’s lunch in Shinyanga. On February 23, we joyfully celebrated Julia’s birthday. While this was her third birthday, it was our first time to celebrate with her, which made the day extra special. Thankfully, all the packages from our families in the U.S. arrived on time. She had a wonderful time eating cake and ice cream and batting around balloons with her friends. Linda continues to arrange home school activities for Michael and Julia around the letter of the week, and the weeks seem to be flying by. If you would like to see more pictures from Julia’s birthday or all of the kids’ home school activities, you can find them at

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, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

The Wolf Pack in Kenya: Teaming Together

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5

Milking cows meandered on the lawn, youthful voices filled the hall and much-needed rain pattered on the tin roof as people from across Kenya and the U.S. gathered for the sake of orphaned and vulnerable children of Kenya. Focusing on the needs of children has a way of bringing people together! In this case, for the third-annual forum on the state of Project 24.

Project 24 is an initiative started by the LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya to construct boarding centers for children who have lost one or both parents and would otherwise not receive an education. These centers provide a Christ-centered, loving and safe environment near an ELCK church and school. Children at centers can be sponsored through the LCMS Christ’s Care for Children: Kenya program. The forum offers a chance for all those involved to hear, assess, advise and rejoice in the progress of the program. It was a pleasure to interact with on-site staff, site managers and site board members who provide for children’s needs.

The LCMS program director for Program 24, John Kissinger Nyang’au, has used this last year to emphasize vocational training and team-building skills for each of the five operational children’s centers. The consistent emphasis on responsibility, ownership and accountability has resulted in team members helping each other, a better use of resources, safer environments for children and even higher academic achievements. Pride and joy were evident in the eyes of participants recounting the trials and lessons of this last year. The forum even offered an opportunity for ELCK congregations not previously involved to learn and hear how children are cared for.

During this time, John visited with children at the Program 24 centers at Rongo and Othoro. It is a blessing to be part of this effort to provide for stable, Christ-centered homes for children affected by HIV/AIDS, conflict or other calamities. May God continue to bless these children and those who care for them.

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,, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Hearing the Word of the Lord

The Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) works daily to build Christ’s church. We are thankful to partner with this important ministry through our work at the seminary. It also brings us great joy when we are able to partner alongside our colleagues at the LCU to share the love of Christ in the villages throughout Uganda. The church’s growth in Uganda continues to expand rapidly, especially in the villages. The Holy Spirit continues to change the hearts and minds of His people, through hearing the Word of the Lord. We have witnessed this continuously through the steadfast work of the Lutheran Church of Uganda.

Most recently, Megan was able to accompany Rev. Peter Maganda, Dean of the Eastern Deanery, and other LCU leadership to Butayunjwa, a remote village near Lake Kyoga, which is near the middle of the country. About twenty years ago, the Lutheran congregation at Butayunjwa had one of the first permanent structures built. Since that time, children regularly attend the school, and families gather on Sundays for worship. Currently, there are over 500 children who attend the school.

The LCU saw great importance in hosting a workshop at Butayunjwa Lutheran focusing on teaching the Word of the Lord, instructing others on the Small Catechism and encouraging the Christians in that region. During the closing worship, thirty six children and two adults were baptized and six people were confirmed.

Megan was also able to spend time with the women in the community, encouraging them in their daily lives of service to the Lord, sharing in their joys and praying about their struggles. We praise God for these moments of witnessing the Gospel message take root.

In January, when students were still home evangelizing, teaching and anticipating coming back to seminary, we prepared for the upcoming term.

For Megan, a lot of preparation goes into how to best approach Christian education and counseling classes for her students at the seminary. The methods of teaching in East Africa are quite different than in the United States. Thus, Megan engages in conversations with local Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) leaders and asks plenty of questions to learn more about implementation. She also researches her topics to ensure a proper approach in teaching within her assigned role and how the students can best understand the information.

Mark’s preparation included meeting with different leaders of the LCU and seminary, looking back at the financial records of the past semester, but also looking ahead and learning about the new goals from the seminary and church leadership. In and throughout all the planning, Mark’s work is centered on Christ Jesus, and helps manage the business aspects of the seminary, so the pastors and students at the seminary can best build up the church through the Holy Spirit.

During the month of February, we welcomed the newest missionary to East Africa, Rachel Meyer. Rachel serves as a teacher at Hope Lutheran Primary School in Bufuula (near Jinja), Uganda. We were happy to welcome her alongside the LCU Mission Coordinator, Violet. We were also able to assist in her orientation with another missionary from Kenya. Please keep Rachel in your prayers as she assimilates to life and ministry in Uganda and gets to better know the people we joyfully serve alongside.

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

Funke News: Back to School

After a very fun but fluid December, January was a welcome opportunity to get back into our normal routine. For Tanzanian students and teachers, January is “Back to School” month, the start of a brand new school year. We have enjoyed getting back to teaching and learning in multiple settings.

Mwadui Lutheran Secondary School

In early January, Eric was promoted to “Assistant Academic Master.” Since then he has been busy organizing the teaching schedule, preparing the grade book files, checking lesson plans and preparing monthly exam schedules. This year he will also continue to chair the Math and Science Department, and he will teach the computer classes for Forms 3–6 (junior level, senior level and the first two years of junior college). He also looks forward to mentoring teachers and helping them integrate technology into their classes. Last week he already had a geography teacher reach out to him about showing examples of volcanoes, so he spent an evening helping with that class.

Linda is teaching her guidance and counseling class again on Fridays. So far she has covered basic study skills, time management, relieving test-taking anxiety and how to move information from short-term memory to long-term memory. We have also started movie nights again for the students. So far they enjoyed reliving a little bit of Christmas with “The Nativity Story” and have been inspired in their studies by the movie “Akeelah and the Bee.”

It is a joy to see the school campus active and growing once again. This month the students and teachers planted new trees around the school, and Julia and Michael were invited to help. They are really excited to watch their trees grow. Thanks to generous donations from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Peoria, Illinois, and Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, the school clinic is once again progressing. Workers have plastered the inside and outside of the buildings and put the bars on all the doors and windows. One day these two buildings will serve as the school’s dispensary and will also minister to the greater community.

The Reeds

This month we made several more trips to Shinyanga to help Amber and Austin Reed get settled in. We were able to help them set up electricity and phone vouchers, show them where to get medical care, show them different markets and stores and help them set language learning goals. We are happy to report that they have already visited all three of their ministry sites, received their driver’s licenses and all their stickers, met all their neighbors and are now officially members at the Ebenezer Lutheran Cathedral in Shinyanga. We are amazed at all they have been able to accomplish in the three weeks since they moved into their house.

For Thrivent Members

Last week during a GLO missionary online meeting, we learned about new ways that Thrivent members can partner with our ministry. We wanted to pass them along to any of you who may be Thrivent members. One way is to direct your Thrivent Choice dollars to our ministry. To do this, first let Thrivent know that you want to direct your Choice Dollars to “Global Lutheran Outreach.” Then contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let them know the dollars are intended for us. Also, if you want to organize a fundraiser for our ministry but need help with overhead costs, Thrivent members can apply for an "Action Team Grant" and receive $250 in seed money to help underwrite a one-time fundraiser, service activity or educational event. For more information, go to

Home Life

Our home life has had its share of challenges lately—bug bites, raw sewage in the backyard thanks to a pipe bursting twice and a full week where the electricity was out for thirteen to twenty hours a day. In spite of the challenges, we have enjoyed getting back into our routine. The English Bible study that Linda facilitates started back up. Linda also started homeschooling our kids again. Each week she and the kids have a letter of the week and read books, sing songs, learn a Bible verse, eat snacks and do activities relating to that letter. For example, during “A” week they pretended to be astronauts and acrobats. During “B” week, they made binoculars for bird-watching and pretended to be in a ballet. You can find more pictures of our “Letter of the Week” activities at

Life Lessons From Our Kids

Often we find that our children are also our teachers. For example, one morning this month it was raining hard enough that we couldn’t go to the playground as we had planned. Michael surprised and amazed us when he said, “I am angry about the playground. I should pray. Dear Jesus, please make me happy.” I am learning from his example to reach to Jesus when I’m having tough emotions. Our kids also regularly teach us about generosity, such as giving out some of their cars to kids who don’t have any. They teach us about advocacy as they sometimes stand up for each other. They naturally teach us patience as they examine every branch, bug and flower on our walks. They inspire us with their enthusiasm for life and for connecting with others, whether it is running up to greet the school driver, holding hands with friends on their way to church or shouting for joy when a friend is coming over for dinner. We know we will continue to learn from them for the rest of our lives.

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, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

The Wolf Pack in Kenya: Escaped and Found

I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.

Romans 10:20b

In early August, I visited group of Lutherans in the Nakivale Refugee Camp in southern Uganda. During my visit, I met two nurses, three teachers, a doctor, a community health worker, a carpenter and an evangelist. These are dignified people who had worthy professions before ethnic conflicts forced them to leave Ethiopia for South Sudan. While there, they learned about the Lutheran teachings and converted from Pentecostal, Anglican and Roman Catholic faiths. Many people in South Sudan have become Lutherans because of LCMS efforts through over fifteen years to share the Gospel by starting churches and schools. This is an area we now do not enter because of the continued conflict, but where the Holy Spirit through God’s Grace continues to bring people to Christ!

Unfortunately, conflicts in South Sudan displaced this people group to southern Uganda. Remembering their Lutheran faith, they sought other Lutherans in Uganda, and then Kenya and the LCMS. For two years, they worshiped under a thorny acacia tree within the camp. When they learned they could have a church roof if they made bricks, they quickly got to work, despite the approaching rainy season.

The Lutheran Church of Uganda has lovingly taken in their Lutheran neighbors from South Sudan—the only Lutheran pastor and vicar in the area have made more than 35 visits over the last couple years, preaching, baptizing, catechizing, donating items and encouraging this congregation that has chosen the name “Alleluia Lutheran Church” for the church building they completed in May 2017.

The congregation expressed their overflowing gratitude through jubilant song and dance. I was surprised and impressed by the clean living conditions, land parcels for home and crops, and integration by the Ugandan government to give these displaced persons the opportunities to resume their former professions (or seek new ones) while in a new land. Their lives are not easy, but these are not poor miserable people. They are very much a proud and dignified people who must start a new life in a new place, but remember God has guided and taken care of them throughout their exodus.

God’s ways are not our ways, and we may often not understand. But these people would not have become Lutheran had they not been forced from their home and into South Sudan. They would not be living in south Uganda and now in a position to help their church grow had they not been forced from South Sudan. But God has done all this for the sake of the Gospel, that others may know about Christ and their eternal salvation through Him!

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,, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Joy-filled in Jesus

After this past semester had ended at the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU), we were invited to accompany Bishop Bameka and other Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) representatives to Nakivale Refugee Settlement for the consecration of Alleluia Lutheran Church’s new building.

As we wrote in our June/July 2017 newsletter, the congregation of Alleluia Lutheran Church at Nakivale Refugee Settlement received a grant through the Tin Roof project from the LCMS. This was the perfect opportunity to celebrate alongside the congregation and encourage them in their daily lives and ministry.

When we visit congregations throughout Uganda, the services are in the local language for the region. Depending on the situation, there are also translators available so that the Word of the Lord can be understood by as many people as possible. This past visit, Okach Opiew, a student at Neema Lutheran College in Matongo Kenya, translated the consecration and worship service (including 29 baptisms and eleven people confirmed).

When you worship in other languages, it allows the opportunity to observe in other ways how the Lord is working in the lives of his people. While with the people at Alleluia Lutheran in Nakivale, we witnessed great joy in the Lord. We saw this through our time together in worship, conversations and interactions. Even though they encounter hardships, it was their joy in the Lord that was most evident, and for this we praise God.

Ochan, a LTCU student who is a member at Alleluia Lutheran Church, was also present for the celebration. One of our great joys is that we get to continuously encourage and equip Ochan in his ministry, so that he may build up the body of believers at Nakivale.

Christmas Celebrations

In Uganda and throughout much of East Africa, everyday routines often shift during the Christmas season.

Many people leave the cities and go back to their family’s home, often in smaller towns and villages. Most of our colleagues that we work with at the Lutheran Theological College Uganda (LTCU) also went back to their family homes, continuing to work and share the Gospel in their home region. The LTCU students are also responsible for evangelizing, teaching and building up the LCU while at home during the Christmas break. In southwest Uganda several mission stations started with the help of current LCU pastors and LTCU seminarians. In midwest Uganda, pastors and seminarians work together to build bricks to lay the foundation of a new church in their region. We praise God for the work of his kingdom through their hands!

Christmas in Nairobi

While students and staff at LTCU were with families in different parts throughout Uganda, we had the opportunity to visit with our missionary family in Nairobi, Kenya. Even though we are part of a larger LCMS mission team, and often work together in different avenues, we are only able to get together as a team twice a year.

Although not all team members live in Kenya, we were able to spend time with all families that live in Nairobi. We’re thankful for the opportunities to build upon and strengthen relationships, worship and spend time together, and encourage one another in life and ministry.

We now look forward to preparing for a new semester and welcoming students back to the seminary!

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

Funke News: Fullness

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.Galatians 4:4–5

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11

This past month has been so full! We’ve had a house full of family and guests, bellies full of delicious foods, a calendar full of activity and celebrations with friends and, most importantly, hearts full of gratitude and joy for all that God has done.

Christmas Letters

Thank you for all the Christmas letters we have received so far! It has been so fun to see pictures and hear stories from many of you. If you did not receive a copy of our Christmas letter and would like to, you can find a digital copy at

A Big Thank You!

Thank you so much to the sixteen individuals and families who either became monthly donors for the first time or increased their monthly donations! While we didn’t quite make our goal of twenty new or increased monthly donations by the new year, we are so grateful to those sixteen and to all of you who gave wonderfully generous one-time gifts. Thank you all! You are such a blessing in our lives and are living proof that God provides in many and varied ways. We will strive to be good stewards of these resources as we continue raising our children and serving our community here.

If you had intended to partner with our ministry but forgot during all the activity of Christmas, it is never too late! You can always set up a secure monthly automatic donation or a one-time gift at Thank you again for supporting this ministry through your prayers, encouragement and financial partnership.

Special Events

This month was filled with community as we celebrated a wedding, a confirmation and a birthday with friends. On December 2, we joined with Bishop Emmanuel Makala and Lillian Makala at the wedding of Lillian’s brother. Then, on December 10, numerous young people in our church confirmed their faith in Jesus, including our neighbor and family friend, Victor. We made the cake for Victor’s celebration and had a wonderful time with friends at his party. Finally, on December 26, we again put our cake baking skills to use as our neighbor Noel celebrated his eleventh birthday.

Our Trip to Mwanza

December 14–18, we headed to Mwanza to pick up a new homeschool curriculum from friends, drop off some clothes and toys for kids at Forever Angels Baby Home, pick up new GLO missionaries, Amber and Austin Reed, from the airport and check on the progress at the new Lutheran secondary school. We were pleased to see that lab tables, sinks and a septic system have been installed in the laboratory of the new school. Thanks to all who made this possible!

While in Mwanza, we also made some time for some family fun, including splashing and sliding during Julia’s first trip to the water park, painting hand camels and magi at Sunday School and going to see Star Wars at the new theater in Mwanza while our kids enjoyed pizza and a movie with friends. It was a wonderfully productive and refreshing weekend. For more pictures from our Mwanza adventures, visit our Facebook page.

Getting Amber and Austin Settled In

For the past three weeks, Amber and Austin Reed have stayed in our guest room while we all worked together to get their house set up. Over the course of three day-trips to Mwanza and ten day-trips to Shinyanga, we’ve been able to get/order/install everything that the Reeds need to begin their new lives here—driver’s licenses, resident permit stamps, a car, furniture, appliances, curtains, cookware, linens, etc. Earlier today, January 4, they moved into their house, and soon they will begin their work serving young people with albinism. We have greatly enjoyed having them stay with us the last few weeks and look forward to more time together in the months and years to come.

Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

Our first Christmas as a family of four was so lovely and memorable, and it was made even more special by having Amber and Austin here with us. Fifteen years ago Linda’s mother wrote a nativity play for preschoolers called “A Little Bit of Christmas,” so this year we performed our own version of it at home. To see more pictures of our play, visit our Facebook page. The week of Christmas we also made Christmas cookies to share with friends, crafted homemade Christmas cards, sang carols and watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Eric and I also stayed up late several nights hand-painting the finishing touches on the kitchen play set that we designed and our carpenter built. Our kids were so excited on Christmas morning! We also loved finishing our Advent devotionals with Amber and Austin and worshiping with our church family on Christmas Day. To see more pictures of our Christmas festivities, visit our Facebook page.

On New Year’s Eve, after our kids went to sleep, we had a game night with Amber and Austin until we rang in the new year. Soon life will settle back into a routine as school begins again, but we have been grateful for this uniquely full season and the memories that were made.

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, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

The Wolf Pack in Kenya: Merry Christmas

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:1–2,14

During this Christmas season, it is with joy we remember the birth of Christ, the Word incarnate that dwelt among us. This Word of grace and salvation is eagerly heard and tenderly embraced by so many in Africa. Over this last year, it has been a blessing for us to see the Lord’s Hand at work in so many lives, countries, and people groups across this continent.

2017 has been a year of blessing for our family. We are thankful for the warm welcomes we have received while traveling, and for the many locals and missionaries who have befriended us as we start our work here in Africa. Thank you to the many families, congregations, friends who have walked with us, prayed with/for us, and encouraged us over this last year—we are grateful for your partnership in helping us tell others about salvation through Jesus.

As 2017 comes to a close, we look forward to the new year and the opportunities to share the Word of Christ with others in Africa. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Merry Christmas!

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,, which is also where you can sign up to their mailing list and make donations.

Mission-Minded Manteys: Grateful as We Serve

Our first semester ended the last full week in November. This allowed us to reflect on the generosity of our hosts, the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU), and our individual and church partners through the LCMS.

Throughout the semester, there have been ample opportunities to be grateful. After several months of transitioning, our recent focus was more on our assigned roles of project management and teaching. We have been able to work alongside the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU), learning the best practices to teach and learn about financial management in different cultures and build relationships with people all throughout Uganda. Megan enjoyed teaching three classes and learning more about class subjects she’s familiar with through the context of her students’ experiences. Mark has gained a better understanding of how projects develop and how the church implements their vision. The LCU has warmly embraced us, assisting us as we learn, asking questions to better understand and serve God’s people in Uganda. The real blessing is seen through the interactions we have with the 41 students at the seminary and the pastors and leaders of the LCU. We understand the unique opportunity to daily serve alongside others who are passionate about sharing the Gospel on a daily basis with communities throughout Uganda.

As we reflect, our hearts and minds also ponder the relationship with you, our friends, family and partners in the Gospel who live in the United States. We’re grateful for the varying ways that we’re cared for, such as daily prayer, encouraging emails, phone calls, cards and letters, as well as ongoing financial support. We’re grateful to be your missionaries in Uganda.

This past month, we had a lot to be thankful for in life and ministry.

As many in the United States prepared their homes and kitchens for Thanksgiving, life in Uganda continued on its normal path. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it is not widely celebrated here. However, since people in Uganda are so caring and and compassionate towards others, we were asked about what Thanksgiving is and how we were celebrating.

We saw this as an opportunity to have a “Thank-filled” meal at our house, inviting friends from the Lutheran Church of Uganda (LCU) along with our neighbors. Our meal included a combination of traditional Ugandan and American foods. The most important aspect was spending time together as friends, learning more about our cultures and sharing the love of Christ through fellowship, hospitality and conversation.

As there are many Muslims in our surrounding area, we also wanted to be intentional about reaching out with the love of Christ and introduce our friends who are Muslim to our friends within the LCU. We were overjoyed when our neighbor, who is Muslim, could join us for dinner and be part of our “Thank-filled” meal. It was quite the celebration with friends and for that we are grateful!

Servant Leaders

We are grateful that seminary students get the opportunity to practice and lead worship at our congregation in Jinja. This month we had Earnest and Obed, originally from southwest Uganda, serve in this role. This also allowed us to spend additional time with them outside of worship and the classroom. We’re thankful for such moments as we build relationships with the body of Christ!

Lusoga Learning Update “Nenda okugula akatunda. Mukalini leero?” This translates to “I would like to buy some passion fruit. Do you have it today?” Every couple of days we go to the Central Market. This gives us the opportunity to practice language, build relationships, as well as buy the delicious foods that are in season. This market is similar to an American farmer’s market. It has different farmers and vendors that sell fresh produce, spices and more throughout its three levels of shops. All of our produce comes from here, so you could say it is definitely farm to table. As we grow in our language skills, we enjoy that we can engage with others in our community this way.

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

Funke News: Praise the Lord!

Thanksgiving has always been one of our favorite holidays. Not so much for the delicious foods—though they are a wonderful treat—but because it gives us a time to sit back, reflect on the many gifts God has given us and give thanks. In other words, “Praise the Lord!” As we now begin preparing our hearts and minds for Advent and Christmas, we continue to be reminded of all that God has done. This year we have rejoiced in opportunities to teach at our school, to connect with our students, to sponsor kids who are differently-abled, to mentor and strengthen the local deaconesses in their ministries, to take next steps in community outreach programs and, of course, to welcome the newest addition to our family. For all this and so much more, we praise God.

Christmas Letters

Soon we will be sending out hard-copies of our Christmas letter. If you have moved this past year or didn’t receive a Christmas letter last year and would like to, please email your address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, we love receiving your Christmas letters, too. Our address is Eric & Linda Funke; P.O. Box 252; Shinyanga,Tanzania; East Africa.

Needing Your Help

As we shared last month, due to the added expenses that come with having a new family member and due to various sponsors having to reduce their monthly contributions for personal reasons, we are praying that God would bring forward twenty new monthly donors (of any amount) and/or increases by current monthly sponsors by the end of the year. We so happy to report that we have already heard from five new monthly donors, and one current donor has told us they are increasing their monthly sponsorship! Praise the Lord! We are still looking for fourteen more people to either become monthly donors or increase their monthly sponsorship towards our ministry. Could you be one of them?

If you feel God calling you to partner with our ministry in this way, you can set up a secure monthly automatic donation at Please let us know if you become one of the twenty by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would be very happy to send you a small thank you gift from Tanzania.

Our School

This month Eric has been hard at work holding final review sessions, writing and grading exams and compiling grade sheets for students to take home. However, as of Tuesday November 28, all of the students except for Pre-Form 1 are headed home for the Christmas break. And with that, our fifth school year in Tanzania is complete! Eric plans to do some computer system updates in December, and then we will welcome students back again in January.

Progress at Our Sister School

Earlier this month we traveled to Mwanza to do some preparatory shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner, catch up with friends and see how things are going at the new Lutheran secondary school in Mwanza. Thank you again to everyone at St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas, who raised money for the new school laboratory. We were so pleased to see that the outside is completely plastered, the stairs are in, the window frames and doors have been installed, the trenches for chemicals in the laboratory have been dug and they are hard at work installing the cement lab tables. They are also finishing the administrative building, have painted the classrooms and have installed doors in the bathrooms. They are still hoping to start classes in January, but could use your prayers because the government continues to try to add new requirements for starting a school. Now the government is saying they need a library and a kitchen before the school can start. Please pray that the diocese leaders will be able to convince them to allow the school to start with one of the classrooms as the library and the pastor’s house as the kitchen.


The Saturday before Thanksgiving, we hosted our own Thanksgiving celebration for other Americans in the area. We felt so blessed to be joined by six Peace Corps volunteers and two missionary friends. Everyone helped out to get the meal ready, including our two littlest helpers. We all enjoyed turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, sweet potato casserole, cornbread, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, chess pie, ice cream and peanut butter cookies. We even were able to download last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Several of our guests shared that they had been struggling with homesickness lately and this little taste of home was exactly what they needed.

Life at Home

Julia has been home with us for over two months, and we are now having trouble remembering life before her. Every moment—our first family road trip to Mwanza, playing music together, scavenger hunts, blowing bubbles, stomping in puddles after a rain storm, decorating our Christmas tree—feels so incredibly special. Julia’s English is growing by leaps and bounds, as is Michael’s Swahili. She no longer cries in her sleep every night. She is gradually overcoming her fear of dogs. As she gains confidence, we see her becoming more curious, more outspoken and more creative. She and Michael continue to be best buds, and we love how Michael looks out for her. While we are still very much in the bonding process and we know her scars will take love and time to heal, we are amazed by how far she has come and how far we have come as a family. Praise the Lord!

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, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.

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