- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 04 January 2018 04 January 2018
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.Galatians 4:4–5
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11
This past month has been so full! We’ve had a house full of family and guests, bellies full of delicious foods, a calendar full of activity and celebrations with friends and, most importantly, hearts full of gratitude and joy for all that God has done.
Thank you for all the Christmas letters we have received so far! It has been so fun to see pictures and hear stories from many of you. If you did not receive a copy of our Christmas letter and would like to, you can find a digital copy at www.dropbox.com/s/4whl4cs5shbp76y/Christmas%20Letter%202017.pdf?dl=0.
A Big Thank You!
Thank you so much to the sixteen individuals and families who either became monthly donors for the first time or increased their monthly donations! While we didn’t quite make our goal of twenty new or increased monthly donations by the new year, we are so grateful to those sixteen and to all of you who gave wonderfully generous one-time gifts. Thank you all! You are such a blessing in our lives and are living proof that God provides in many and varied ways. We will strive to be good stewards of these resources as we continue raising our children and serving our community here.
If you had intended to partner with our ministry but forgot during all the activity of Christmas, it is never too late! You can always set up a secure monthly automatic donation or a one-time gift at www.GlobalLutheranOutreach.com/support-funke.html. Thank you again for supporting this ministry through your prayers, encouragement and financial partnership.
This month was filled with community as we celebrated a wedding, a confirmation and a birthday with friends. On December 2, we joined with Bishop Emmanuel Makala and Lillian Makala at the wedding of Lillian’s brother. Then, on December 10, numerous young people in our church confirmed their faith in Jesus, including our neighbor and family friend, Victor. We made the cake for Victor’s celebration and had a wonderful time with friends at his party. Finally, on December 26, we again put our cake baking skills to use as our neighbor Noel celebrated his eleventh birthday.
Our Trip to Mwanza
December 14–18, we headed to Mwanza to pick up a new homeschool curriculum from friends, drop off some clothes and toys for kids at Forever Angels Baby Home, pick up new GLO missionaries, Amber and Austin Reed, from the airport and check on the progress at the new Lutheran secondary school. We were pleased to see that lab tables, sinks and a septic system have been installed in the laboratory of the new school. Thanks to all who made this possible!
While in Mwanza, we also made some time for some family fun, including splashing and sliding during Julia’s first trip to the water park, painting hand camels and magi at Sunday School and going to see Star Wars at the new theater in Mwanza while our kids enjoyed pizza and a movie with friends. It was a wonderfully productive and refreshing weekend. For more pictures from our Mwanza adventures, visit our Facebook page.
Getting Amber and Austin Settled In
For the past three weeks, Amber and Austin Reed have stayed in our guest room while we all worked together to get their house set up. Over the course of three day-trips to Mwanza and ten day-trips to Shinyanga, we’ve been able to get/order/install everything that the Reeds need to begin their new lives here—driver’s licenses, resident permit stamps, a car, furniture, appliances, curtains, cookware, linens, etc. Earlier today, January 4, they moved into their house, and soon they will begin their work serving young people with albinism. We have greatly enjoyed having them stay with us the last few weeks and look forward to more time together in the months and years to come.
Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations
Our first Christmas as a family of four was so lovely and memorable, and it was made even more special by having Amber and Austin here with us. Fifteen years ago Linda’s mother wrote a nativity play for preschoolers called “A Little Bit of Christmas,” so this year we performed our own version of it at home. To see more pictures of our play, visit our Facebook page. The week of Christmas we also made Christmas cookies to share with friends, crafted homemade Christmas cards, sang carols and watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Eric and I also stayed up late several nights hand-painting the finishing touches on the kitchen play set that we designed and our carpenter built. Our kids were so excited on Christmas morning! We also loved finishing our Advent devotionals with Amber and Austin and worshiping with our church family on Christmas Day. To see more pictures of our Christmas festivities, visit our Facebook page.
On New Year’s Eve, after our kids went to sleep, we had a game night with Amber and Austin until we rang in the new year. Soon life will settle back into a routine as school begins again, but we have been grateful for this uniquely full season and the memories that were made.
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.