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We are right in the middle of the dry season. We haven’t seen rain in Mwadui for months. Our humidifier is our nightly companion. Lotion guards our heels and knuckles against cracking. It takes only a few hours for our clothes to dry on the line. Everything is covered in dust, and most of the world around us is a parched shade of brown. And yet, there are some trees that continue to bring green leaves and bright blooms to the landscape.

It reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah comparing those who trust God to trees planted by the water which bloom even during the drought. God has been teaching us a lot about trust in the ups and downs of this past month.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.Jeremiah 17:7–8

A Bit of Refreshment

At the start of the month we took a short trip to Mwanza for some rest and rejuvenation before the next term at school. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with friends, swimming and celebrating the Fourth of July with American friends.

Regaining Our Rhythm

On July 10, our school reopened. Eric began teaching both computers and math again. With one math teacher still recovering from being attacked by thieves last month and another math teacher away because of pregnancy complications, Eric has been doing what he can to help the classes catch up, including teaching a few nights and weekends.

We’ve also started movie nights again for the students, and Linda taught a “Lessons in the Movies” class, pulling clips from different movies to bring out life lessons, such as working as a team, asking for help when you need it, using creativity and problem-solving skills, and doing the right thing even when people criticize and laugh at you.

We are also so pleased to report that construction has resumed on the library and computer lab thanks in large part to a $5000 donation from St. John Lutheran in Cypress, Texas, and other individual donations that came during the last two months. We weren’t sure where the money would come from to complete this project, but God is good! The floor tiles are now in. Soon all the doors will be completed and air conditioning will be installed in the computer lab. We are looking forward to moving into the new building soon! The school board met this month, and they were so impressed with all that is happening at the school. The future is looking bright!

With Linda’s illness in May and then a June filled with special projects, we were glad to settle back into a routine this past month. The Community Health Evangelism teams are working hard on their ten-week study. Baraka is back in school after the break, and Linda had the joy of visiting him. He is now using full sentences, and his aide continues to make use of all the resources sent over from the St. Louis Society for the Blind.

Linda’s women’s Bible study with South African friends has resumed. She and Michael started some of the homeschool lessons again, and we’ve enjoyed having Lucy join us for weekly dinners.

This month a group from MOST Ministries came to provide eyeglasses clinics at the Lutheran cathedral in Shinyanga. We greatly enjoyed having lunch with them and seeing God working through their group. If you are at all interested in coming to Tanzania with a future team, please check out If you would like to donate eyeglasses to teams such as this one, please send them to Most Ministries; 655 Phoenix Dr; Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

Adoption Journey

Our highest highs and lowest lows this month have come from our adoption journey. We completed our mandatory six-month foster period in March. We filed our petition in March, had our first hearing in April, and then we were supposed to have our court date in May. However, our judge had been called away to Dar Es Salaam to work on election petitions, so our May 26th and June 30th court dates didn’t happen. Here’s what’s happened since then—

  • Friday, July 15: We learned that our judge still hadn’t returned.
  • Monday, July 18: We heard from our lawyer the judge was back. Yay!
  • Tuesday, July 19: We learned that we’d misunderstood our lawyer. The judge wasn’t back, but they thought maybe he would be by our court date on Thursday.
  • Wednesday, July 20: We learned that the judge was back for real.
  • Thursday, July 21: We finally had our court date with our judge, lawyer and social worker. Our adoption was approved! They scheduled the official reading of the ruling for the next Wednesday, because the judge was returning to Dar at the end of that week.
  • Wednesday, July 27: We received the Order of Adoption! We scanned it in and sent it to our lawyer in Mwanza.
  • Friday, July 29: In the evening we finally heard back from our lawyer. We learned that the court had used the wrong format for the Order of Adoption, so needed to go back and have the judge do it again on Monday.
  • Monday, August 1: Our judge was already in Dar so the clerk said he would call him. We made plans for Eric to fly to Dar with the documents to find our judge and have him sign them. It would have been an expensive and difficult task.
  • Tuesday, August 2: We heard that our judge was returning and should be able to sign the papers the next day.
  • Wednesday, August 3: We discovered that our judge was still in Dar on family business, so Eric couldn’t even fly to find him there. The judge should return this weekend, but Monday is a national holiday, so we will try again on Tuesday.

We still need to receive Michael’s corrected Order of Adoption, Adoption Certificate, Tanzanian passport, and US visitor’s visa before we can visit the US, so the journey continues. Lord-willing, we want to return for a furlough this fall. We’ll let you know dates of when we will be in different cities/churches as soon as we can. Thank you for your ongoing prayers in this journey. We hope to see you soon!

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.