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But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.Isaiah 64:8

While God sometimes acts in big ways in our lives, we’ve been reminded recently that God really molds us in the little everyday moments of faithfulness. This month has had many of those “step by step, bit by bit” moments.

US Citizenship

This month we have been extremely busy filling out and gathering documents for our home study coming up July 5–7. We completed the 21-page questionnaire, which became 36 pages with our answers to all the essay questions. We submitted our answers to the 72 essay questions that went along with the 223-page Parenting Education Manual. We gathered and submitted copies of our birth certificates, marriage license, passports, residence verification, employment verification, health insurance verification, financial statements, tax returns, four recommendation letters, a letter from potential guardians if something happens to us and a quality picture of us. We also began the process of getting background checks in all the states where we have lived in the U.S. and a police clearance letter from Tanzania. Bit by bit, we are making our way through this process.

Also, we have great news! This month we received $5,755 towards Funke Kids’ U.S. Citizenship! Thank you all so much! This amount covers the application fee, the home study fee and the travel expenses for the U.S. social worker to come do our home study! We still need $1,800 to travel to Dar Es Salaam to get notarization at the U.S. Embassy on some of our documents and to pay for official translations of all Swahili documents. If you are willing to help our children become American citizens, you can make a secure online donation at Please make sure to write your donation next to “Funke Kids Citizenship Project” so it goes to the right place. Or you can write a check to “Global Lutheran Outreach” and put “Funke Kids Citizenship Project” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to Global Lutheran Outreach, 6709 Ficus Dr, Miramar, FL 33023. We greatly appreciate your prayers and support.

Mwanza Trip

After a hectic May, we headed to Mwanza to run some errands, catch up with friends and decompress. We had the joy of reconnecting with Michael Leen, a friend who lived in Mwanza for 3.5 years and was back for a visit. We visited Forever Angels in order to drop off more hand-me-down clothes and get copies of documents from Julia’s file that we will need for U.S. Citizenship. We also made a trip to the waterpark and had a playdate with our friends the Berry-Stableins. Even though our engine belt shredded and the projector at the movie theater broke, it was overall a delightful weekend.

Adoption Update

Because of problems obtaining a correct Consent to Adopt document and our local social worker’s report, on June 12 we had to go to court to reschedule our court date (now July 10). We’ve continued to have difficulties getting our social worker’s report. Not only is she on maternity leave, but on Sunday, June 17, she was in an accident and broke her leg. Thankfully, she and the baby are ok, and she did eventually complete the report. On Monday, July 2, Eric was able to file her report. However, the struggles to get the Consent to Adopt continue. We learned earlier this month that our lawyer had made another error on the Consent to Adopt. Since we had the soft copy and were able to fix it ourselves, we asked if the Ministry of Social Welfare could print it there instead of sending another. However, it took multiple days to find the necessary green court paper. Since then the new Consent to Adopt has sat on the Commissioner’s desk for almost two weeks waiting to be signed. Please pray with us that it makes it to Shinyanga with enough time for us to file it before our court date.

Saying Goodbyes

This month we had to say goodbye to three dear friends. Our Peace Corps friend, Taylor, has completed her service and will be traveling back to the U.S. later this month to prepare for her Masters in Public Health Program at Emory University. We will miss her tremendously at Bible study and at our dinner table. We also said goodbye to two of our oldest friends here in Tanzania. Tilla and Wessel have lived and worked in Mwadui for eleven years and will be retiring to South Africa. Some may remember that Tilla was the one who taught Linda so much about pottery and was the one who stayed by Linda’s side for hours at the hospital when she was so sick with malaria in 2012. We will miss them, and we wish them a joyful retirement.

More Visitors

On June 14, we had the joy of seeing Scott and Lori Rische again as they finished up another successful Pastoral Leadership Institute seminar for pastors and their spouses. On June 22, we also had the opportunity to meet some of Amber and Austin’s friends from language school, Noemi and Manuel Ruckstuhl. We love how many visitors come during the summer months.

Father’s Day

This Father’s Day was unique in that it was our first Father’s Day with Julia. We also spent a good portion of the day at the Opening of the Tanzanian Lutheran Women’s Convention, which was held at our school for the first time. We are glad that our school now has the facilities for events like this. After the service, Eric enjoyed homemade Father’s Day cards, a nap, food delivered from a restaurant in Shinyanga and homemade cinnamon rolls.

Time at Home

Since school was on break, most of this month was spent working on citizenship and adoption paperwork, homeschooling and playing with our kids, leading Bible study and working on many long-neglected household projects. We have been so grateful for this time together.

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.