- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 04 December 2018 04 December 2018
In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.Galatians 3:26–27
Early this month we journeyed up to Estes Park, and Julia experienced snow for the first time. She delighted in it, jumping right in immediately. Unfortunately, not having waterproof gear, she soon became wet and cold, crying “It hurts!” as if the snow had somehow betrayed her. The next day we went to a thrift store in Fort Collins and bought snow pants, snow boots and other gear for our kids. The next time they saw snow, they were well-clothed.
Later in the month, Julia put on another new piece of clothing: her baptism dress, as she received the blessing of baptism and was reminded that she is a beloved child of God who is clothed in Christ. We are so thankful this month as we trust God to not only provide for our physical needs, but also to clothe us in joy, strength and salvation and to help us share those gifts with others.
Here’s a look at what we have coming up. We have two more Sunday presentations, then we will spend two weeks with Linda’s side of the family in Dallas and two weeks with Eric’s side of the family in St. Louis. We will fly back to Tanzania January 16–18. We hope to see many of you in the coming weeks.
Fort Collins Visit
At the beginning of this month, Eric’s dad joined us out in Colorado to visit Eric’s grandparents and his aunt and uncle. During that time we also enjoyed the day in Estes Park and a walk around Sprague Lake, caught up with dear friends in the area, took a picture of our kids in Grandma and Grandpa’s tree (a family tradition) and worshiped and presented at Saint John’s Lutheran Church.
Indiana and Illinois
After flying back to St. Louis, we spent a few days regrouping and recovering from food poisoning (Eric), and then drove out to Valparaiso, Indiana. We stayed with Linda’s long time friend Margaret Felde and enjoyed a few days of showing our kids our alma mater, Valparaiso University, and catching up with deaconess sisters, mentors and friends in the area.
On November 10 we drove to Chicago. Over the next few days, we enjoyed catching up with Linda’s college roommate, visiting with the Byerly family, who hosted us for two nights, visiting with some of Linda’s deaconess sisters and worshipping and presenting at Luther Memorial in Chicago. Before we left, we were able to pick up some free robotics equipment for our school in Tanzania from First Lego League, run by Rev. Tim and Susan Eckert.
Baptism in St. Louis
Back in St. Louis, we finally had our FBI biometric fingerprints taken, so we are another step closer to getting U.S. citizenship for our kids! We also had some fun with sledding as we made the most of a St. Louis snow day, saw our niece’s choir sing in a tree lighting at a local community center, welcomed Linda’s side of the family to St. Louis and showed them around the St. Louis Arch and enjoyed a big family dinner the night before Julia’s baptism.
On November 18, surrounded by family and friends at Chapel of the Cross in St. Louis, we shared about our work in Tanzania and celebrated the baptism of our daughter Julia. Linda’s sister and brother-in-law, Karen and Cory Perkins, will serve as Julia’s godparents. God is doing amazing things in the life of this little girl, and we already see the light of Christ shining brightly in her.
Thanksgiving and Other Activities
We celebrated Thanksgiving with all of our Funke family. Even though Linda was sick with a fever, the time together was precious. That week we also had Funke family pictures taken and celebrated Eric’s brother’s birthday. On November 25 we had the joy of worshiping and sharing at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Illinois, and reconnecting with friends there. After so many full weeks, this week we have been trying to slow down a bit and care for our bodies before traveling again in December.
Meanwhile, Back in Tanzania …
The fourth class of women graduated from the “Right to Live With Albinism” program. Our friend Esther Mangesho was consecrated as a deaconess. Austin Reed’s mom and brother came out to visit, and the preschool/daycare center continues to grow. They have now added playground equipment, napping beds, cubbies and tables. Lastly, students at our school have started returning home as they finish their exams. We pray that the Christmas break will be refreshing for all.
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.