- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: March 31 2016 March 31 2016
We have been teaching Michael the song “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory … children of the Lord.” He loves the song—perhaps a little too much! We have seen far too much of 4:30 AM lately. Yet, on Easter it dawned on us: Christ was an early riser, too. Easter is the reason we can rise and shine and give God the glory in all things, and we have much for which to glorify God this month.
CHE Vision Seminar
One of our biggest projects this month was organizing a three-day Community Health Evangelism Vision Seminar for twenty diocese leaders. CHE is a community-based, multi-year, Biblically-founded, holistic health program. It has been used successfully in 119 countries worldwide, but is relatively new to Tanzania. Linda was trained in CHE over a year ago, and we sponsored three pastors to attend a vision seminar in September. Those three pastors became the seminar’s leaders, while Linda prepared and managed all the visuals aides and activities, monitored the schedule and budget and did her best to keep everything running smoothly. Eric ran errands, paid bills, took pictures and gave Michael extra loving attention. We covered a lot of material, but thankfully the curriculum was filled with lively debates, group discussion, skits and activities. Everyone loved the three days of learning and were excited to share it in their communities. They want to continue learning about the program, so we are already beginning to think about when to host a Training of Trainers. If you would like to learn more about CHE, you can go to www.chenetwork.org or see our album on Facebook. We pray that God will use this for His glory.
An Update on Our Sister School in Mwanza
Mwanza Lutheran Secondary School has accepted applications for thirteen teachers, and they used the $2,000 we gave them to build thirty desks and chairs. They had planned to open this year. However, national elections were held last November, and the new government administration issued additional requirements for secondary schools. Now the school cannot be registered until it has a laboratory. The diocese has begun construction, but does not have enough money to finish the building. Fellow Global Lutheran Outreach missionaries Dixon and Christy Gbeanquoi are heading an effort to raise the $20,000 needed to complete the building. We believe that God has great plans for this school, and if you would like to help get it up and running, you can find more information at www.globallutheranoutreach.com.
We have finished up the first term and are currently enjoying two weeks of Easter break. This month Linda taught two classes on communication skills. Eric’s computer classes continue to go well. He also spent a significant amount of time figuring out how to use Excel to streamline the process of distributing each student’s grades before they went home. Previously all the students got a page with everyone’s grades, not just their own. Eric’s solution will give them much more privacy. The school has needed to prioritize the two dorm extensions so that they can begin welcoming Form 5 students in July. Therefore progress on the library has not gone as quickly as we hoped, but we look forward to the day when we will be able to move all the books and computers into the new building.
A week ago we learned that the hospital where Majid was being treated decided to sponsor the braces for Majid’s legs. Praise the Lord! We continue to pray for healing and that soon he will be able to walk on his own. Before we discovered this news, we had already received some money for the braces. So with these funds we will sponsor Majid to attend Agape Lutheran English Medium Primary School in Kahama. At his doctor’s recommendation, he will start school next year. The pastor in Kahama told us that Majid is a bright boy, but has not had many opportunities for an education. Majid, his social worker, and his Muslim grandmother came to church on Easter to give thanks to God. Our hearts are bursting with joy as we witness what God is doing in this young boy’s life.
International Women’s Day
Linda doesn’t often have the time to sing in a choir anymore, so she was delighted when she was invited to be a part of a small group ensemble for our church’s commemoration of International Women’s Day. It was a special day to celebrate the amazing women in our own community and around the world. We pray that someday all women will be valued and treated with dignity, respect, love and compassion.
We once again enjoyed our Mwadui Easter traditions. We decorated Easter eggs with the neighbor kids on Saturday. We made an Easter egg hunt for Michael, which he loved so much that he immediately wanted to do it again. We shuttled the ten remaining boarding students to church on Sunday. We celebrated Christ’s resurrection with our church family. Then we, with the help of our neighbors, welcomed the students over for Easter dinner. We let them pick a movie to watch with the school projector, and they chose the first Chronicles of Narnia movie. I can’t think of a better movie with which to celebrate the resurrection.
Michael has now been part of our family for six months! Our mandatory foster period is officially over, and, Lord-willing, we will have our first court date April 21. Of course in our hearts he is already ours, but it will be wonderful to make it official. Please pray with us that all the various reports arrive on time and that we get a child-loving, pro-adoption judge. Michael continues to amaze us. He has really started picking up his letters and numbers, he’s very comfortable with guests now, and he loves family hugs. If you would like to see more adorable pictures and videos, you can go to Facebook.
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 their blog, where you can also find photos, videos and make donations.