- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: November 02 2017 November 02 2017
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.Isaiah 43:2a
While there are definitely aspects of Halloween that we don’t like, we love any opportunity for creativity, imagination, costumes and playing pretend. This week Michael and Julia dressed up as scuba divers, ice skaters and some of their favorite sweet treats. To see more pictures of their costume merriment, visit facebook.com/AFunkeTimeInTanzania/.
Much like our little divers, this month we too have been exploring new waters—learning to be parents of two dear ones. There is no dipping our toes into these waters. Rather we’ve jumped into the deep end. We give thanks that God goes with us in the waters and provides oxygen. We are so grateful for a month with no travel where we could go deeper into our ministries here and could give our kids some much needed consistency and attention.
A New Prayer Request
Last month we shared the amazing ways God has answered prayers in the last ten months since we returned from the U.S. In case you missed it, on our blog (www.AFunkeTimeInTanzania.blogspot.com) you will find ten one-paragraph stories describing some of the answered prayers we’ve experienced personally and in our ministry. Thank you to all who have prayed for us and have many times been the answers to our prayers. Even as we celebrate all that God has done, we continue to look toward the future.
Due to the added expenses that come with having a new family member and various sponsors having to reduce their monthly contributions for personal reasons, we are praying that God would bring forward twenty new monthly donors (of any amount) by the end of the year. If you feel God calling you to partner with our ministry in this way, you can set up a secure monthly automatic donation at globallutheranoutreach.com/support-funke.html. An increase in contributions from current givers would likewise be a great blessing. Please let us know if you become one of the twenty by emailing us at Linda.Funke@GlobalLutheranOutreach.com. We would be very happy to send you a small thank you gift from Tanzania.
Deaconess Strategic Planning Meeting
Earlier this month, Linda was able to attend part of the strategic planning meeting for the Tanzanian deaconess community in our area. It was a joy to hear Matrida share her experiences at the World Federation of Diakonia Assembly and hear how they hope to implement some of the new ideas they brought back. We pray that Jesus’ love will continue to shine through these amazing women as they serve their churches and communities.
Our School’s Graduation
On October 7, we celebrated the graduation of our senior students. Eric and the students gave their families a tour and demonstrations in the computer lab. Here graduation happens before exams because each grade completes exams and leaves the school for break at different times. Having the graduation early allows all the students to celebrate together. Please keep these students in your prayers as they now prepare for national exams.
Preparing for Amber and Austin’s Arrival
This month we have also been helping new GLO missionaries Amber and Austin Reed to prepare for their work in Shinyanga serving young people with albinism. October 18–20 they flew from the U.S. to Iringa. They are now living with a host family there and working through an eight-week intensive Swahili course. Linda has especially been active in answering questions, helping them with travel arrangements and working with our diocese to find a house for them. By God’s grace, we have found a great house for them in Shinyanga that only needs a few relatively minor renovations. We look forward to helping them move in the week before Christmas! Please pray for the Reeds as they learn Swahili, adjust to new cultural norms and battle homesickness, and also for their families as they adjust to Amber and Austin being so far away.
Michael’s Fourth Birthday
On October 28, Michael turned four years old! How the time flies! Seven of Michael and Julia’s friends came over to celebrate. One of the workers at the local hospital has a cake-making business on the side, and about a month ago, when she saw on Michael’s file that his birthday was coming up, she offered to make him a cake for free. We are so thankful for our community and for our little boy. Michael continues to delight us with his stories, observations, humor, generosity and loving spirit. To see more pictures from the party, visit facebook.com/AFunkeTimeInTanzania/.
Life at Home
Eric continues to teach and prepare his students for their exams. However, we are grateful to the school and to his coworker Sundi for allowing him to be home as much as possible to continue bonding with Julia. We are slowly settling into a rhythm. We have started up some home schooling activities with the kids again, including helping them start their own garden. Julia continues to blossom. She now loves doing puzzles, giving hugs and kisses, going for rides in the jogging stroller, learning new English words and playing on the playground. If you would like to see more pictures of us diving into this new life, visit facebook.com/AFunkeTimeInTanzania/. We so appreciate all of your love and prayers during this time of transition.
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.