- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 05 November 2016 05 November 2016
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;[a]
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?” Job 12:7–9
Children have the amazing ability to help us see the world with wonder, as if we are again seeing it for the first time. During Michael’s first full month in the U.S., we have had the joy of watching him discover so many new places, people, animals and things. He now regularly asks “What is it?” or “What happened?” when he sees something new that he doesn’t understand. Seemingly little things such as ice or a squirrel or a water fountain are opportunities for learning. We are so thankful for each new discovery and for all the reminders of God’s love both in the U.S. and in Tanzania.
While we are treasuring time with family and friends here in the United States, we continue to stay in contact with dear friends in Tanzania. We were delighted to hear that Jeremiah (Jerry) Shauri, our diocese Community Health Evangelism (CHE) coordinator, has returned from his five-week course in Kenya. The course covered CHE concepts in a variety of contexts including agriculture, women’s health, children’s ministry, micro-enterprise and serving people with disabilities. The participants were able to visit numerous sites that are currently implementing CHE programs and learn from their experiences. The course also covered principles of teaching, using appropriate technologies, monitoring and evaluation and report writing. Jerry returned with even more knowledge and enthusiasm to share with the trainers in our pilot program. In fact, he has already planned a two-day review seminar for the trainers November 10–11. Thank you to all who made it possible for Jerry to attend this incredibly valuable training!
This month, we received the wonderful news that our diocese in Tanzania held a fundraiser for our school’s new administration building. Around 500 people attended the event at the cathedral, and they raised $20,000 for the new building! The Williamson Diamond mine has also pledged 400 bags of cement and 300 sheets of iron for the project. Construction will begin soon! Our fellow teachers and students also continue to work diligently as national exams began this week. Please keep our students in your prayers, especially those in Form 4 taking exit exams. Thirty-five Pre-Form 1 level students have also arrived and are receiving introductory lessons until December. These classes will give them a head-start for when the new school year begins in January. Eric has been helping his substitute Sundi with a few computer issues long-distance, but we are so pleased with her abilities and how computer lessons are continuing in our absence.
Presentations and Connections
As we have traveled around to different partner churches each week, we have also had the joy of rediscovering the love, encouragement, prayers and support of so many partners in the US. In the past weeks, we visited many of our Texas churches, including Messiah in Plano, Zion in Pasadena, St. John in Cypress, St. Paul in Plano, and St. Paul in Fort Worth. Zion also held a wonderful “Meet and Greet” for us at a local Applebee’s the Saturday before our visit. In each place, we were truly touched by the warm welcomes, hugs, encouragement and prayers. We were also grateful for family members who accompanied us so that Michael would have a familiar face in Sunday School while we presented. We love getting to share all that God has done this past year in Tanzania. It’s pretty amazing! We look forward to seeing many more of you in the coming months!
One of the most precious aspects of being back in the US is introducing Michael to family and friends and making beautiful memories together. This past month we took Michael to his first zoo, camped at Eisenhower State Park, spent a day enjoying the sites of the State Fair of Texas, enjoyed numerous mid-week playdates, wandered the Discovery Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum, celebrated Michael’s third birthday, rode the DART train to downtown Dallas and took Michael to his first costume party. He made an adorable Superman! If you would like to see more pictures of this month’s adventures 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 www.afunketimeintanzania.blogspot.com, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.