- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 07 December 2016 07 December 2016
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever;
from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.Psalm 79:13
This month included many joyful reunions with family, encompassing four generations. We are so grateful for how God has worked and continues to work in the lives of each generation.
On November 6th, surrounded by family and friends at Chapel of the Cross in St. Louis, we shared about our ministry in Tanzania and celebrated Michael’s baptism in faith. Eric’s sister, Andrea Funke, will serve as Michael’s godmother, and one of Eric’s best friends, Justin Moses, has agreed to encourage Michael’s faith as his godfather. We can already see God doing mighty things in Michael’s life. If you would like to watch a video of Michael's baptism, you can click here or go to www.youtube.com/EricFunkeGLO.
Fort Collins, Colorado
On November 10, we flew out to Colorado to meet up with Eric’s parents and grandparents. We are overjoyed that Eric’s grandmother has been able to return home since her stroke in June. She speaks much more clearly now, and she is getting along pretty well with her wheel chair and using her left hand. She and Michael share a special bond as the lefties in our family. Thank you to all who have kept her in your prayers during these months of healing. We also had the opportunity to visit with some of Eric’s dad’s cousins. Michael loved playing with toys that his grandpa used to play with as a child and exploring local playgrounds. On Saturday we took a short trip into Estes Park to do some hiking, and Michael ran most of the way around Sprague Lake. On Sunday, we enjoyed worshiping and sharing with Saint John’s. We were grateful to hear about the successful fundraisers to gather money for more books for our school’s library and equipment for the computer lab.
On Monday, November 14, we flew from Colorado to Spokane, Washington, so that we could see family on Linda’s mom’s side. We thank God that Michael was able to meet all four of his living great-grandparents this past month. We loved staying with Linda’s grandparents and enjoyed a wonderful meal with two uncles, an aunt and a cousin. These family reunions are so precious.
St. Louis, Missouri
November 16, we flew back to St. Louis. We have greatly enjoyed visiting with St. Louis area churches and schools, including Salem Lutheran Church in Blackjack, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Greenville, Lutheran High School North, and Atonement Lutheran School. We have met and reconnected with so many wonderful servant-hearted people. We are so grateful for the support and encouragement we continue to receive from many different generations.
More Family Time
We also had more time this month with our Funke family. Eric’s sister Andrea stayed for a few extra days after Michael’s baptism. We enjoyed quality time with Brian, Alison and our nephew and nieces. We gathered for a delicious Thanksgiving feast with Eric’s parents and Aunt Linda and Uncle Ken. As we head into Advent, we also treasured time with family to decorate the Christmas tree and drive around looking at Christmas lights.
Back in Tanzania
Community Health Evangelism (CHE) continues to have momentum in our absence. The CHE coordinator, Jeremiah Shauri, and Pastor Odolous Gyunda led a two-day seminar for the trainers November 17–18, reviewing previous material and sharing some of what Jerry learned at his course in Kenya. We’ve also received wonderful news that construction has begun on the new administration building at our school.
At our school, most of the classes have finished their exams. Only Pre-Form 1 and Form 5 remain, and they will return home just before Christmas. Thank you to those who donated money toward books for our school library as part of #GivingTuesday. If you still would like to donate, it isn’t too late. You can give a secure online donation at Global Lutheran Outreach. Please make sure to mark your donation in the section titled "Funke: Mwadui Library" so that it does not get added into our general funds. You can also write a check to "Global Lutheran Outreach" and put "Funke: Mwadui Library" in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Global Lutheran Outreach (6709 Ficus Drive, Miramar, FL 33023). All donations are tax deductible.
Our last two presentations will be at Luther Memorial in Chicago on Sunday, December 4 and The Crossing in Dallas on Sunday, December 11. We will be in the Dallas area with Linda’s side of the family until December 28. Then we will be back in St. Louis until we begin our journey to Tanzania on January 17. Thank you for all your prayers as our travels continue.
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.