- Written by Eric and Linda Funke Eric and Linda Funke
- Created: June 11 2020 June 11 2020
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:21–23
The suffering in the world feels so potent right now—so much injustice, so much pain, so much conflict, so much loss. As a friend recently shared her pain over the loss of a loved one, I reminded her that lament is Biblical and that Jesus cried. As I have been thinking more about lament, I have naturally been drawn to the book of Lamentations. I was reminded that “because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” In spite of it all, we cling to hope. Here are some of the bits of hope God has shown us this past month.
We hope to be able to reconnect with many of our partner churches in the coming months. You all mean so much to us! In the mean time, after many hours of prep, we are thrilled to say that our video presentation is now online! This presentation is what we would have shared with you all if we had been able to visit in person. It includes three sections:
- A twelve-minute video recap of the past seven years of ministry;
- A slide show with more details about the past year and a half since we last visited the US; and
- A song with pictures we hope will be a blessing to you all.
On May 4, Eric attended a virtual job fair for Garland Independent School District. By the end of the day, North Garland High School issued him a letter of intent. We are happy to announce that he will be teaching Algebra 1 (one of his favorite subjects to teach) at North Garland starting in August. Thankfully, it is only an eleven-minute drive from our new home. We thank God for this answer to prayer!
On May 2, we signed a lease for a rental house in Richardson, Texas, and May 8–10 loaded up a trailer to be delivered to our new home. After more precious time with our family in St. Louis, we drove down to Dallas May 12. We stayed with Linda’s parents for the next week while we waited for our trailer and repainted the three bedrooms and two bathrooms (all of which were pink) and all the ceilings in our new house. May 16–17, our Davis family helped us unload all of our belongings. Unfortunately, we soon discovered that the garage conversion/playroom reeked of cat pee, and we have cat allergies. We squeezed all of our things into the other rooms while the landlord tried to remedy the situation. We tried repainting the closets, using a good enzyme cleaner on the carpet, sealing off the room and using the landlord’s industrial strength air purifier for a weekend, ripping out all the carpet and treating the subfloor with enzyme cleaner and laying Kilz sealant. Nothing worked until finally we discovered that the cat pee had seeped into the baseboards, damaging the sheet rock. Now that the sheet rock is removed, the smell is finally dissipating. Adding to the craziness of the move, as Linda was navigating boxes she tripped on the couch and broke her baby toe!
We’ve spent much of the last few weeks consolidating our possessions for the first time in our married lives, selling unneeded items and searching Craigslist for items that we do want/need. We’ve found many good deals, including a brand new washer and dryer for half price, a dining set, patio furniture for the backyard, and a piano—which was on sale for $20! Hopefully we will finally feel more settled soon.
As chaotic as this past month has felt, we are thankful for finally being able to celebrate Julia’s (February 23) birthday very belatedly with our Davis family, time to camp with Linda’s parents in their trailer over Memorial Day weekend and Linda’s parents hosting a sleepover for Michael and Julia so we could enjoy a romantic dinner at home in celebration of our ninth wedding anniversary.
News From Tanzania
The president of Tanzania has declared that Tanzania is now free of COVID-19. This assertion is in direct contradiction to what some of our doctor friends are seeing on the ground. There continues to be a crackdown on anyone in Tanzania who challenges the government’s claim, and doctors are fearful of sharing what they are seeing. Thankfully, the hospital in Mwadui has had no cases of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, both Lutheran dioceses in Shinyanga and Mwanza received grants from the LCMS to help with COVID-19 awareness and food scarcity issues. They will also receive money to start radio ministries.
This month Cheryl Kruckemeyer began mentoring young women in the community, facilitating a Bible study for other expats in Mwadui, hosting a German agricultural missionary, and helping a few families with food aid. Dixon and Christy also continue to lead and serve their church in Mwanza. Unfortunately, their funding is now extremely low. If they don’t receive $6,500 in the next few months, they will be forced to return to Nigeria. If you can help this wonderful family continue their ministry in Tanzania, please go to globallutheranoutreach.com/support-gbeanquoi.html. Every little bit helps!
Our friends in Tanzania continue to be in our hearts and in our prayers.
In September of 2012, Eric Funke, grandson of Bill and Lola Funke, and his wife, Linda, followed God’s call to Tanzania. Eric taught math and science at a secondary school while Linda worked for the Department of Planning and Development. They worked 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.