- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: 28 February 2019 28 February 2019
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.Ephesians 6:14–15
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8
Our children love a good walk, especially if it means that they can put on their rainboots, splash in puddles, and get as wet and muddy as possible. We, too, have been continuing our walk in Tanzania. Each day we figuratively put on our boots as we walk with God and with our Tanzanian friends through the highs and lows of life. Sometimes life gets messy, but we pray that we can continue to seek out the joy in each step, just as our children do.
Please Help Us Find New Missionaries
We are preparing to move back to the U.S. in early 2020. We are currently teaching our Tanzanian colleagues how to take over various aspects of our ministry. However, we hope and pray to find new missionaries to come live in our furnished house, to nurture and build up international partnerships between this school/diocese and churches in the U.S., to provide an international perspective at this school and to use their unique gifts to serve this school. They can serve in any capacity—teacher, nurse, chaplain, social worker, DCE, deaconess, IT person, etc. It’s extremely important to us that when we move, we leave well, and that the positive momentum at Mwadui Lutheran Secondary School continues. The sooner we can find new potential missionaries and bring them out to visit our school, the easier the transition will be for all involved.
Deaconess Student Study Tour
Thanks to all of your donations, we were able to say “Yes!” to Bishop Makala’s request that we sponsor a study tour for the current class of deaconess students (January 26–30). They had been studying how to minister to people who are sick and dying, and Bishop Makala wanted them to have real-life experience in a Lutheran context that is known for the quality of their care—Haydom Hospital in the Arusha area, about ten hours drive from our house. During their time at Haydom, Bishop Makala, Deaconess Lilian Makala and the four deaconess students toured the facilities, visited and prayed with patients at the hospital, worshiped at Haydom’s chapel and ministered to people at Haydom’s Amani House for those who suffer from addiction. God was very much at work during this trip. We are thankful for how God worked through them, for all that they learned and for how they are using what they learned to serve communities in our diocese.
Community Health Evangelism
On February 14, Linda was able to sit down with the Community Health Evangelism (CHE) leadership team that we sent to Kenya for a CHE internship August 27 through October 5, 2018. They shared pictures and stories with her from their time in Kenya. During those six weeks, the course covered the Training of Trainers 2 materials, the CHE for Children curriculum, and the Women’s Cycle of Life curriculum. They had the opportunity to learn about appropriate technologies such as how to make candles, liquid soap, key holders and clothes. They also learned about beekeeping and pipe irrigation and had the opportunity to lead trainings in a variety of settings. Since they have been back, they have been teaching classes for women at the Bishop Makala Training Center, but have struggled since all of their materials are on a flash drive and they didn’t have a computer. They were therefore overjoyed when we presented them with a used computer and told them that we have the funds to hire Esther Mangesho to be the CHE Coordinator for this coming year! We are excited to see what God will do with this program.
Walking with Friends
Some of our friends continue to face hardships, and we are thankful that we are able to walk with them in the hard times. Joseph’s family, who live just outside of Mwadui, continue to feel the weight of poverty. The children came to our door looking for shoes this week. Thankfully, Rev. Joe Meyer’s church gave us multiple pairs of “The Shoe That Grows” which we were able to give to the four children in the family. Finally, we were reunited with our young friends Baraka and Amani, who were born without eyes. We hadn’t seen them in over a year since their family moved away from Mwadui. However, the reunion was bittersweet because even though Linda taught him to walk at age five, at age eleven he can no longer take even two steps without falling. On February 21, we took Baraka and his mother to Mwanza to see our American friend Dr. George Stablein. He was able to advise us on what tests we need to get and some possible steps towards treatment. Please keep all of these young people who are dear to us in prayer.
Meanwhile, Eric stays busy at school teaching math and computers and registering students for their national exams. Linda has taught study skills for the last four weeks and will be covering goal-setting in her class this week. She was also asked to speak at a gathering of teachers from four schools about the negative effects of corporal punishment, and her presentation was very well received.
U.S. Citizenship Update
The correction to our I-600A document was approved this month, so we can now file our I-600. We found out that we actually need to file the I-600 in Dar Es Salaam instead of Nairobi, so we have an appointment to file it on Monday March 4 at the U.S. Embassy. Please pray that the filing goes smoothly. We should have enough money in our “Funke Kids’ Citizenship” account for this trip and for the filing fee, but we do not have the $3,500 for the placement fee that follows. 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.
Life at Home
At home, Michael and Julia have settled into their homeschool rhythm and are doing well. They also enjoyed baking cookies for friends and neighbors for Valentine’s Day. On February 23, we celebrated Julia’s fourth birthday with eight of her neighborhood friends as well as some grown-up friends. February 24–26 we enjoyed hosting and catching up with Lucy Kohler, our Peace Corps volunteer from a couple of years ago. We are so grateful to be able to walk with so many people and that so many people choose to walk with us, including all of you!
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.