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The Funke family, missionaries in Tanzania, Eastern Africa, sent this special bulletin to share with the congregation at Saint John’s.

They won’t be able to visit us this year because of their recent adoption of a little girl, their second child, but wanted to let us know how our prayers for them and their ministry in Tanzania are being answered and what help they continue to seek from Saint John’s and fellow congregations back in the United States.

Majid, a boy who with your support had surgery to help him walk in 2016, was able to complete kindergarten in 2017! With a modified desk and handicap-accessible bathroom funded by a partner family and a school that took a chance, God is helping this child learn and walk through life.

God rushed deaconess stoles to Tanzania. Members of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Longmont, Colorado, made these gifts in January and sent them on February 17. The stoles miraculously arrived in time to be presented at the March 11 consecration. Most packages take much longer, but these were obviously carried on angel wings!

Deaconess Matrida Sanga, Deaconess Grace Mutabuzi and Bishop Emmanuel Makala attended the World Federation of Diakonia conference in Chicago. Your generous support, discounted registration, passports, visas, housing, drivers, etc … all came together miraculously for these leaders to meet, worship and exchange experiences with others from around the world. They returned bursting with new ideas to integrate!

Mwanza Lutheran Secondary School needed a completed laboratory before the government would let the school open. God stirred St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas, to ask about the school’s progress, agreed to match donations, and, through Vacation Bible School, raise the remainder of the money needed to finish the lab. This new Lutheran school should open in January! No building project is too big for God!

Baraka, a boy born blind, completed two years of preschool last December. The Funkes and Baraka’s parents searched for many, many months for an elementary boarding school that would further his education. This past August, Mwereni Integrated School for the Blind in Moshi not only enrolled Baraka, but also said they’d be willing to teach Baraka’s blind younger brother Amani when the time comes. God continues to see and meet the needs of this precious family!

Faulty wiring in the school’s computer lab came to Eric’s attention when a student reported that a computer that was turned off was hot. This dangerous wiring could have injured students or caught fire. Eric supervised the rewiring of over half the lab, and the students and teachers now love working there. God often keeps his children safe when they don’t even know they’re in danger!

In September 2016, Eric and Linda started the process to adopt a second child. The process included many setbacks, but on September 22, 2017, Julia came home to be their daughter. She had only been eligible for adoption for a few weeks. As usual, God’s time was perfect! The family is now in the probationary period and will begin the court process to finalize the adoption in six months. Thank you for your prayers and support of the Funkes! God answers prayer!

Due to the added expenses of a new daughter and various sponsors having had to reduce their monthly contributions for personal reasons, the Funkes are hoping to find twenty new monthly donors of any amount by the end of the year. If you feel God calling you to partner with them in this way, you can set up a secure monthly automatic donation at An increase in contributions from current givers would likewise be a great blessing. We pray that God’s love and power will continue to shine through their ministry in Tanzania.

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.