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I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.Psalm 118:21

We are so thankful to all of you who pray for us and for our ministry so consistently. Sometimes it feels like God is slow to answer, and then some months we see so clearly how God is at work. This was one of those months!

We are thrilled to share that after much prayer and many meaningful conversations, Cheryl Kruckemeyer feels that God is calling her to serve here in Mwadui! Praise the Lord! Cheryl is a member of one of our partner churches, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, Texas. She is currently an English teacher at Newman International Academy in Arlington. In the past, she has also homeschooled missionary kids in Tokmok, Krygyzstan, led Vacation Bible School in Uganda and taught ESL classes both in Krgyzstan and at Grace Community Church in Arlington. She likewise brings with her a wealth of experience in the business world; she has held leadership positions in numerous companies over the course of her career, including serving as Senior Vice President of Esend and President and Founder of Healthcare Management Solution, Inc. Her resume is incredibly impressive, and we thank God for her heart to serve students internationally. Her next steps are to work through Global Lutheran Outreach’s orientation program and then come out to visit us May 25–June 5. We are so excited to meet her and to show her around our school and community! She will then return to the U.S. to begin her Support Discovery journey. She is eager to share about how God has led her to this moment and about her upcoming ministry. We pray that the funds will come together for her to begin Swahili language school this coming September or October. Please keep her in prayer during her trip this month and in the months ahead as she prepares for this ministry.

As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, we would love for Cheryl to have missionary colleagues, so we are continuing to recruit new missionaries in the hopes of building up a team here in Mwadui and Shinyanga. Amber and Austin Reed will be concluding their time in Tanzania in June, so their car and furniture will likely be available to future missionaries. Do you know any teachers (preschool, elementary or high school), nurses, doctors, chaplains, social workers, DCEs, deaconesses, computer gurus, agricultural specialists or childcare workers who might be interested in serving in Tanzania? We have prepared one-page descriptions of these opportunities that you can download at www.globallutheranoutreach.com/blog/funke. If you know of someone who might be interested or have other ideas for how we can get the word out, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

U.S. Citizenship Update

We are still waiting to hear from the U.S. Embassy that our children’s I-600s are approved. Thank you to all who have prayed for us and supported us in the process. This week we took a closer look at our Funke Kids’ Citizenship account and realized that some of our expenses had accidentally been entered twice, so we have more money than we thought! If the remaining fees and costs for travel to Dar Es Salaam are what we expect, we are only $700 away from the goal! If you are able to help finish off this project, 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. You can also 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.

School

During the first two weeks of April, Eric helped register all the students for national exams, taught, typed up midterm exams and prepared grades before the Easter break. Linda taught a Guidance and Counseling class with the help of her new aide Deaconess Esther Levison, who will be taking over Linda’s class when we leave next year. They taught about spiritual warfare and how to grow closer to Jesus. The students greatly enjoyed the part about the armor of God where Linda dressed up a student in homemade armor. Before the two-week break, we also showed The Jesus Film to all the students in Swahili. The school closed on April 12 and then reopened April 21.

Trips to Mwanza

As soon as break began, we drove to Mwanza. We (Eric and Linda) had both been having unexplained symptoms, so we had tests done at a clinic there. It turns out that both of us had H. pylori, a stubborn bacterial infection in the stomach that can cause ulcers. We did a week of intensive treatment, which caused headaches and fatigue. Thankfully, during the next visit, it was confirmed that the treatment worked. We now just have to complete three weeks of Prilosec to help heal our systems. The visits to Mwanza also allowed us the opportunity to catch up with friends and see the progress at the new Mwanza Lutheran Secondary School. We praise God that their inspection on April 12 resulted in a positive report. We pray that the diocese will now be able to register the school and complete the remaining projects so that the school can open next year.

Easter and Other Joys

As usual, we celebrated Easter by dyeing eggs with our kids and their friends, hiding eggs for our kids to find, rejoicing with our church community, sponsoring Easter dinner for the remaining boarding students and Joseph’s family, and hosting friends for dinner. Since this will likely be our last Easter in Mwadui, this Easter felt even more poignant, and we spent time reminiscing over past Easters in this place. We praise God for the joy of Jesus’ resurrection that reverberates around the world.

On April 27 we celebrated Eric’s birthday with homemade cards, cake and a “sleep until you are done” nap. We also give thanks that Baraka’s walking continues to improve and that the new playground equipment Amber and Austin funded is bringing joy to all the kids at the daycare. We continue to pray with confidence, trusting God to answer in His own time.

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.