- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 02 August 2018 02 August 2018
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!Psalm 9:9–11
Earlier this month Linda put together a treasure hunt for Michael and Julia as part of X-Week in homeschool, because “X” marks the spot. Every time they used the map to find the treasure, they delighted in the two jelly beans or raisins inside. It quickly became one of our kids’ favorite games, and they continued to play the game for weeks afterward. This month we also spent much time seeking—seeking documents and seeking God in the midst of many challenges. We are so grateful to have a God that invites us to seek Him and seeks us as well.
When we wrote our previous newsletter, our Consent to Adopt document had been sitting on the desk of the Commissioner of Social Welfare in Dodoma for weeks. Here’s what has happened since then …
- July 5: Bishop Makala finally reached the commissioner by phone and learned that the document would be signed July 9 (one day before our court date).
- July 8: Bishop Makala sent the General Secretary Happiness Gefi and our school’s driver Gaspar to Dodoma.
- July 9: Happiness received the document from the commissioner in the afternoon and she and Gaspar drove the ten hours back to Shinyanga. We started running fevers that day and prayed for strength to make it through the week.
- July 10: The Assistant Bishop arranged for a magistrate to meet us at the diocese at 7:30 AM to notarize the document. Eric waited for the bank to open at 8:30 AM so he could pay for the filing, but when he returned with the receipt, the court accountant was MIA. However, after much searching we were told we could still continue with the hearing. Our lawyer arrived from Mwanza and our substitute social worker arrived from Kishapu, but unfortunately our judge was not present. Apparently another judge had been in a car accident that morning, and our judge went to be with her. When they told us our next hearing date would be August 7, we wanted to cry. Thankfully, our lawyer and social worker convinced them to let us try again two days later.
- July 12: We arrived in Shinyanga only to be told again they would have to reschedule our hearing. However, our lawyer and social worker again came to our rescue and convinced them to see us that afternoon. At 2:45 PM we finally had our hearing.
- July 13: We returned to court on Friday for the reading of the ruling and thought we were done until we learned the Order of Adoption would not be ready until Monday.
- July 16: We finally received our copies of the ruling and the Order of Adoption! We immediately sent them to our lawyer in Dar Es Salaam so that she could begin the application for the Certificate of Adoption.
- July 26: We heard from our lawyer in Dar Es Salaam that our Certificate of Adoption would be delayed, because some of the government workers were at a training. Our lawyer wasn’t sure how long it would take. We had already scheduled a meeting with the U.S. Embassy for July 30, so we continued with our travel plans and prayed the certificate would be finished while we were in Dar Es Salaam.
- July 29: We flew to Dar Es Salaam (Julia’s very first plane flight). The flight was almost three hours delayed because it was the maiden voyage of a brand new 787-8, and many dignitaries were at the airport to give speeches and commemorate the occasion.
- July 30: By God’s grace, our Certificate of Adoption was finished and correct! Praise the Lord!
- August 1: We applied for Julia’s Tanzanian passport. Now we wait for Julia’s passport, and when it arrives we will need to get U.S. visitor’s visas for both of our children.
July 5–7 we hosted Gerald Bowman, a U.S. social worker living in Germany. By that point we had submitted almost all of the necessary documents, so the home study interview itself went very smoothly. We are grateful that he took the time to come out here (36 hours of travel each direction). On July 30, we got Linda’s request for a Texas background check and Eric’s request for Verification of U.S. Citizen Born Abroad (Canada) notarized at the U.S. Embassy. These forms are now on their way to the U.S. We are also still waiting for the Tanzanian police clearance letter. Please pray that all these documents reach us before the end of September. In terms of funding, so far we have received $6,700 towards the Funke Kids’ U.S. Citizenship project! Thank you all so much! We need another $1,800 before we file our I600a in September. If you are willing to help us get to this goal, you can make a secure online donation at GlobalLutheranOutreach.com/support-funkekidsproject.html. 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 Drive, Miramar, FL 33023. We greatly appreciate your prayers and support.
Amber’s Birthday and the Youmans’ Visit
This month we also had the joy of celebrating Amber Reed’s birthday and welcoming her internship supervisor, Dr. Jacob Youmans, and his family. We loved getting to know this family and helping to show them around. Because Linda is Amber’s mentor for her Director of Christian Education internship here, she also had several meetings with Jake and Amber during that time. We are so happy with all that Amber and Austin have accomplished so far and look forward to seeing how God continues to expand their ministry.
In the midst of all the unique activities this month, other aspects of our ministry continued. School started back up in early July, which for Eric meant teaching, leading meetings and hosting movie nights. We attended the third graduation of the Right to Live with Albinism program and sponsored a sewing machine for one of the graduates. Linda had the opportunity to join with her U.S. deaconess sisters for their Annual Meeting via the internet. Linda also continued to follow up with those serving Joseph’s family (the family in our community that we have been helping since the kids showed up on our doorstep in December), and we provided more supplementary food as their goat herd grows and their income hopefully stabilizes. Lastly, Linda and the kids finished up their “Letter of the Week” projects in homeschool. As we now transition into furlough preparations, we pray that we may continue to seek God’s guidance and peace.
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.