- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 30 August 2018 30 August 2018
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.Psalm 9:9–11
At the beginning of this month, we decided to visit one of the beaches near Dar Es Salaam while we waited for Julia’s Tanzanian passport to be prepared. There is something so powerful and yet so peaceful about the ocean, much like the power and peace of God’s enduring faithfulness. We have been riding emotional waves for months, but, through it all, God has been faithful, and this month we have once again seen God at work.
Before we share all the details of this past month, we have exciting news! We will be in the U.S. September 11 through January 16. You can hear us talk about all that God is doing in our lives and in our corner of Tanzania on November 4, during the Bible study hour in the Large Fellowship Hall.
Trip to Dar Es Salaam for Julia’s Passport
When we wrote our last newsletter, we were in Dar Es Salaam having received Julia’s Certificate of Adoption and applied for Julia’s passport. Our immigration agent informed us that she was no longer allowed to pick up passports herself. Thus, she was going to try to have Julia’s passport expedited so we could pick it up before we left on Saturday. We decided to make the most of the waiting time by taking advantage of the midweek deal of a hotel with both a beach and a water park. While in Dar, we also had the joy of reconnecting with friends, many of whom had also adopted from Forever Angels. Then, by God’s grace, we were able to pick up Julia’s Tanzanian passport the day before we flew back. Praise the Lord!
Trip to Dar Es Salaam for U.S. Visitor’s Visas
We were back in Dar Es Salaam August 19–24 in order to get U.S. visitor’s visas for our kids. We originally tried out a brand-new Airbnb, because we got a 20% discount if we gave a first review and the pictures made it appear to be a nice place. However, when the power went out at 4:30 AM in the dirty apartment, which lacked essentials like a working refrigerator, toilet paper and sufficient towels, we decided to find a new place. We dressed and fed our kids in the dark, attended our 8:00 AM interview at the U.S. embassy, received a full refund from Airbnb and promptly packed our things and moved our family to a much nicer Airbnb. Thankfully, the rest of the week went much more smoothly. We were able to get our visas by Tuesday (much sooner than expected), and by the time we left on Friday, we had received all of the official translations of the Swahili documents that we needed for our U.S. citizenship application.
We have now received our Tanzanian police clearance letter and are waiting for two more state background checks. We are still hoping to file the first round of paperwork with USCIS in September. In terms of funding, so far we have received $9,200 towards the Funke Kids’ U.S. Citizenship project! We are now over halfway to what we will need for this whole process. Thank you all so much! If you are willing to help us get to our total goal of $18,000, you can make a secure online donation at globallutheranoutreach.com/blog/funkekidscitizenshipproject/. 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.
Community Health Evangelism
August 17–19, the three deaconesses trained in CHE traveled to Meatu and held CHE trainings for young people at five different congregations, teaching about sanitation, disease prevention and how to love people as God loves us. We have been so impressed by their initiative! Therefore we joyfully sent them to the next level of CHE training in Kenya, which includes a six-week internship. They arrived August 26 and will return October 5. Thank you to all who make educational opportunities like this financially possible. We know that these women will use what they are learning to serve communities throughout the Shinyanga region.
One of the biggest tasks since returning from Dar has been preparing all of the documents necessary for our work permit and resident permit renewals. Thankfully, the diocese has just opened up a brand-new daycare center for kids with working parents, and our dear friend Amber has been asked to head up this project. While we spent days gathering, filling out and scanning paperwork, our kids enjoyed quality time with Amber and new friends.
This month we rejoiced to see more progress on the school’s clinic. Thanks to contributions from friends at Redeemer Lutheran in Peoria, Illinois, the clinic is now plastered and windows have been installed. They also purchased a school motorbike to be used by whoever is Teacher on Duty.
Recently, Eric has been helping to prepare mid-term exams and has been training other teachers in how to use the gradebook software. We’ve also hosted a few more movie nights for students. Our school will close for the fall break on September 7. Then we will drive to Mwanza September 9 and begin our journey to the U.S. September 10. Please pray that this next month of travel goes smoothly. We are looking forward to seeing many of you in the coming months!
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.