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As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.John 9:1-3

There are some questions we can’t answer: Why must one mother struggle to find resources for two children who are differently-abled, while another mother births children who can see, walk and play without extra assistance? Why do some have easy access to quality schools, while others walk miles to schools where the teachers may or may not show up? Why are some born into poverty while others are born into privilege? Life seems so unfair sometimes. Yet, this month we were reminded that even in the tough parts of life, or maybe especially in the challenges of life, the works of God are displayed. We give thanks for each and every work of God.

>Visit from Kim Davis (Linda’s Mom) and Lori Whiteley Linda’s mother, Kim Davis, shared this family’s story with her physical therapist friend, Lori Whiteley. God spoke to their hearts, and they began planning a trip together. On August 8, Linda’s mom and Lori arrived safely in Tanzania. We are so thankful to Linda’s mother for showering Michael and Julia with love and attention during the week, so that we could give our full attention to helping Lori serve this family. We are also thankful to Julia Mutungi, who interpreted throughout the week, supported the family and helped connect us to medical resources in Tanzania. Lori brought walkers with her for both children, which they absolutely loved!

Lori was able to determine that Amani doesn’t have the same walking challenges as Baraka and simply needs to build up muscle strength and confidence. Eric was able to set up the hammock swing Lori brought for the kids and built a standing frame with the pieces Lori brought over. During the week, Lori offered physical therapy a couple of times a day, and we saw progress every single day. It was hard and beautiful. We also enjoyed showing Kim and Lori around town, introducing them to our friends and taking them to Saanane Island for hiking and animal viewing on their last day in Tanzania.

On Lori’s recommendation, we took Baraka to Bugando hospital on August 15 to see if they would be able to provide botox injections and serial casting. By God’s grace, Dr. Heakyung Kim was visiting from Cornell Medical College and one of her specialties is botox injections. The following day was her last day at Bugando, and she hadn’t been able to show the Tanzanian doctors this procedure yet. We were amazed by God’s timing.

The actual day of the procedure was incredibly difficult. After driving almost three hours to get to Mwanza, we waited almost another three hours to receive the medicine for conscious sedation. Then we unsuccessfully tried to get Baraka to drink the bad-tasting medicine. The doctor gave him two shots to compensate, but he never became as relaxed as we hoped. Apparently sometimes conscious sedation doesn’t work properly for kids with sensory processing disorder (SPD).

Even with sedation, it took eight adults to hold Baraka still enough for the procedure. Then we had to wait for casting and putting on the casts was also extremely scary for a kid with SPD. We managed to get casts on, but not in the hoped-for position. We had those casts removed nine days later when he started developing a sore. Bugando hospital has agreed to book an operating room for September 4, so that the doctor can use anesthesia for the next round of casting. Please pray that everything goes smoothly on September 4.

Our Sister School in Mwanza

On August 14, we had the joy of seeing all of the progress on the new kitchen at Mwanza Lutheran Secondary School. Thank you again to St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas, for making this possible! The diocese has now hired a headmaster, accountant and several teachers, and will fully open in January 2020. The diocese still needs $2,600 to finish the roof of the kitchen.

If you are interested in helping this school get off the ground, you can make an online donation by pressing the “GIVE” button at and writing the donation amount next to “Projects—Funke: Mwanza School.” Or you can write a check to “Global Lutheran Outreach,” put “Funke: Mwanza School” in the memo line and send it to Global Lutheran Outreach, 6709 Ficus Drive, Miramar, FL, 33023. We continue to pray that God will use this school to bless the lives of many generations of students.

In Other News We recently received word that our diocese will soon receive funding to build a home for vulnerable children on our school grounds. Praise the Lord! In preparation, Linda traveled on August 23 with our school’s headmaster, assistant headmaster and two deaconesses to see two family-style children’s homes in the Mwanza area. It was an inspiring trip, and we look forward to sharing more about this exciting new ministry in the months to come!

Eric continues teaching computer classes, assisting in national exam registrations, typing exams, training teachers in how to use his gradebook program and compiling grades. Linda taught a “Lessons in the Movies” class and continues to homeschool our kids. Linda’s mother brought some new books for the school’s library, and the library now has ceiling board. School will close for a two-week break at the beginning of September, and we look forward to the break.

Our car, unfortunately, continues to have problems. We have spent over $2,500 on it since January, and it has been eating away at our family’s budget. Please pray that these most recent repairs last.

In happier news, another mother dog has given birth to six adorable puppies on our property. We had no idea we were opening a canine maternity home, but here we are. Life continues to surprise us, and we continue to delight in how God works through it 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, where you can also find photos and videos and make donations.