- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 04 May 2017 04 May 2017
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”Revelation 19:9
Easter is a beautiful reminder that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have been invited into an ongoing loving relationship with Him, and ultimately we will join Him at the greatest party ever. While that is the best invitation imaginable, we have received some additional wonderful invitations this past month, and we have enjoyed opportunities to extend hospitality to others as well.
Diakonia World Federation Conference in Chicago
Great news! We are just $175 short of having all three of our Tanzanian participants fully funded! If you would like to help us cross the finish line financially, please go to globallutheranoutreach.com/support-funke.html. Press the “Online Donation” button and then write the amount you wish to give next to the heading “Funke: Deaconess Project.” Make sure it is “Funke: Deaconess Project,” not “Eric and Linda Funke” or it will go to the wrong account! Alternatively, you can write a check to “Global Lutheran Outreach” with “Funke: Deaconess Project” in the memo line and send it to Global Lutheran Outreach, 6709 Ficus Dr., Miramar, FL 33023.
Please also pray for the logistics of this trip. We are having some problems getting Deaconess Matrida Sanga’s passport, as Tanzania’s immigration office claims to have run out of passport books. We have contacted our immigration agent in Dar Es Salaam and pray that this situation can be resolved soon so that we can purchase plane tickets and obtain visas for all three participants.
LCMS African Missionaries Retreat
We were so grateful to be invited to the LCMS African Missionaries Retreat in Watamu, Kenya this month. We were also grateful that the organizers got a great rate at the hotel, that the LCMS paid all our travel expenses and that GLO paid for part of our stay. We loved getting to know fellow missionaries serving in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. Rev. Darrell Zimmerman from Grace Place Wellness Ministries led worship services every morning and evening and helped us reflect on different types of wellness through the lens of Ephesians 4. During the rest of the day, we enjoyed intentional family time playing on the beach, kayaking, swimming in the pool and eating delicious foods. The only bummer was that Michael developed a mean cold which he later shared with us, but even that generally just meant a bit more rest and reading time in the afternoon. Overall, the time was spiritually, physically and emotionally refreshing. It was exactly what we needed.
We greatly enjoyed celebrating Christ’s resurrection with our friends in Mwadui. The Saturday before Easter our young neighbors came over to dye Easter eggs. We did an Easter egg hunt with Michael before church on Sunday and then celebrated with our church family. Our neighbors, the Nzelu family, invited us and the two remaining boarding students over for Easter lunch after church. It was a joyous weekend!
Over the course of the two-week break, we also welcomed numerous visitors. Our former Peace Corps volunteer, Lucy, came to visit from southern Tanzania. She has been working for a nonprofit there that supports families affected by HIV and houses orphaned children. It was great to see her again. We also loved catching up with Omary. He has been working in Tinde, but just started a new job in Mwanza. Then the Leens came to see us the weekend after Easter. The visit was bittersweet, because in just a few weeks they will be moving back to the U.S. We will miss them greatly, but are excited to hear more about their new adventures stateside.
New GLO Missionaries!
Our next bit of news has been in the works since October, but now it is official. We are happy to announce that there will be new Global Lutheran Outreach missionaries in our area soon! Amber Reed studied at Concordia University in Austin, Texas, to be a Director of Christian Education, but she needs a one-year internship to complete her program. She and her husband, Austin, share a passion for serving vulnerable children, having previously worked in orphanages in Haiti. Amber and Austin will be partnering with our diocese to serve children and teens with albinism, who are regularly hunted by witchdoctors who believe their body parts are good luck. They will come to visit us June 7–15 and then will return to the U.S. to begin fundraising. Lord willing, they will begin Swahili language school before the end of the year and then begin the full internship in 2018. We are so excited to meet them in person and welcome them to this area! We know God will do great things in and through them.
Home and School Life
On April 27, we celebrated Eric’s birthday. Michael helped make the card and cake. School is also now back in session, and the computers are finally back in the computer lab. Eric and Sundi are hard at work getting them all networked and updated. Eric has also begun teaching Form 3 physics since one of our teachers took a government job. Linda will begin teaching again this week, and her Bible study has started a new curriculum. We are so thankful for all the people who regularly invite us into their lives, including all of you! Thank you for your ongoing prayers and encouragement!
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.