In Memory of Juanita Funk

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of a member of the WIM Family, Juanita Funk, on January 18, 2020. Below is her obituary. Please keep her family and husband, Dave Funk, in prayer.

 

 

Juanita Joy Funk passed away peacefully while surrounded by her family on January 18, 2020 at her Newton residence. She was born August 4, 1965 in Newton, Kansas to Walter W. and Susie (Ortmann) Busenitz.

On April 18, 1987 she married David P. Funk at Emmaus Church in Whitewater. They were blessed with four children in the years to come. She enjoyed her role as a mother and keeping the home running smoothly. Family was important to her and she greatly looked forward to quality time spent with her loving family and many friends.

Juanita was an active member of the Grace Community Church in Newton and kept her connections with Emmaus Church in Whitewater. Faith was very important to Juanita. All who knew her saw the evidence of her strong faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Juanita is survived by her husband: David; father: Walter Busenitz; sons and their spouses: Aaron and Holly Funk, Jason and Nelsy Funk, and Titus Funk; daughter and her husband Tina and Andrew Price; brothers and their spouses: Robert and Marilyn, Stephen, Mark and Joan, Reuben and Diana, Ethan and Denise, Earl and Cori Busenitz; sisters and their spouses: Fern and Rick Rudolph, Elizabeth and Jim Pearce, Lillian and Dan Jerred, Kip and Pearl Nanninga; sister in law and her husband: Rachel and Gordon Busenitz. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

She is preceded in death by her mother: Susie; brother: Jonathan Busenitz and nephew: Douglas Pearce.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday January 25, 2020, at Grace Community Church with Pastors David Reimer and Steve Friesen presiding. Visitation will be Friday evening January 24th 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Grace Community Church, The family will be present to greet friends.  Interment will be at the Emmaus Cemetery in Whitewater, Kansas.

David and Juanita had a special connection with Honduras and took multiple mission trips there to work at Project Talitha Cumi, a home for abandoned girls. Juanita requested that memorials be given to World Indigenous Mission in support of Project Talitha Cumi. Memorials can be given in care of Petersen Funeral Home or online at worldim.com/give to the “AA-Juanita Funk Memorial Fund” listed under Special Projects.

The Mechanic and the Hamburger Stand

Excerpt from “Mexican Soul Food,” a book by Stephen Muscarella

I suppose we all have people in our lives we see so often we take them for granted. This was the case with me and my friend, the mechanic, when I was a young missionary living in the northern sierra of the state of Puebla.

At that time, all I could afford to drive was a beat-up old pickup. Consequently, I spent a lot of time with the mechanic. When I say a mechanic, I don’t mean someone who plugs an engine into a computer scanner and then changes a part. No, I mean someone who was a true craftsman with a mechanical mind. Trini was an artist.

When he did not have the proper tool for a job, he made his own. Once I burned up the thrust washers in the rear end of my Dodge, and we could not find the part anywhere. I looked all over Mexico City. Finally, Trini took a similar washer and adapted it. He promised me that, if I took it easy, I would make it to the border where I could find the real part. Just as he said, I did get to the border using his fabricated part and found a new one.

When I moved to Puebla, I didn’t know very much about working on my vehicle. I am still not an “ace” mechanic, but I did learn quite a bit from my friend Trini. He never minded if I stayed in the shop handing him tools or if I just watched him and practiced my Spanish. 

Trini was an older man who did not have the luxury of retiring. He had to keep on working to pay the bills, but there were times when I knocked on his door and found him drunk or hung over. He was not the most expressive person I have ever met, so it was difficult to tell if he liked me or not. He always treated me fairly on the price, and he always did a top job on my vehicles. He was not just a machine who fixed my trucks, he was a person.

The moment I realized he considered me his friend was when he hugged me after I returned from preaching in the U.S. As I said, he was not normally the most expressive person in the world but, that day, I went by to give him a ball cap I brought him from the States. He hugged me and said, “Güero (white boy), I missed you, I’m glad that you are back.”

As time went on, I got to know the family a little better. Trini’s wife was often sick; his kids were grown. Shortly before his wife died, she attended her nephew’s wedding at our church. After her death, Trini often told me how much his wife had enjoyed that service. I was also at that wedding and I remember the Gospel was preached that day.

Trini was hard of hearing. Sometimes, I had to yell in order for him to hear me. He also had a ‘bum’ leg from an injury when he was younger, which made it harder for him to work on my vehicle, especially in the winter when it was usually rainy.

I found a good deal on a pickup and, although it was used, I finally had a reliable vehicle. This was great for me because most of my ministry was in the mountain villages and I usually drove two to three hours to preach at a service. But this also meant I did not see Trini as often.

By this time Trini’s wife had passed away, and his daughter and her family were living with him. He was moving a bit slower, and I noticed he was making mistakes and forgetting things while working. I heard from his daughter that his health was deteriorating.

One night I had a dream about him. In the dream, Trini was in hell, but I could see him. He said to me, “Why didn’t you tell me about Jesus? I thought you were my friend.” The next day I went to visit another missionary I worked with. I knew he was friends with Trini as well, so I asked him if he had ever shared his faith with Trini. He said he had not, but that Trini had been on his heart lately. I told John about my dream, and we agreed we would both talk to him about Christ. John invited Trini over for a meal, and we shared the Gospel with him. At times, we were not sure he could hear us, so it was comical as we shouted the good news into his ear. He was receptive and he prayed with us. Only God knows the condition of his heart.

I was busy preparing to get married, so I did not see Trini as often as I would have liked, but he was always receptive to the Gospel message, and he always talked about how much his wife enjoyed that wedding service.

Now, instead of working on my pickup, I was preaching and teaching in the villages and buying furniture to receive my bride. I knew Trini was not doing well; the times when I had seen him he did not look good. It looked like he would not be working on cars for a while.

Sometimes, when I came in late from the villages, I would eat a hamburger at a stand in front of the school. I had been there often enough that the owners knew me. Being a foreigner in an Aztec town was similar to being a movie star. We stood out like a sore thumb, and the good and bad were always exaggerated in people’s perception of us.

Because I had recently talked about the Gospel with Trini, I was thinking about this couple who owned the hamburger stand and how I could share the Gospel with them. Sure, they knew that I was a minister, but they had not heard the Gospel in a way they could understand. So I ate my hamburger and went home still thinking about this couple.

My fiance lived two hours away in the city of Pachuca. There was a better hospital there so, usually, when someone was sick enough, they were sent to the hospital in Pachuca. It happened that I was in Pachuca working on wedding arrangements when I got word that Trini was in the hospital there. I went to see him; he did not look good, but his condition was stable and his daughter was with him. I returned to Huauchinango and kept in touch with my fiance who, with her mother, continued to visit Trini and his daughter in the hospital.

Finally, my wedding day arrived. The time just seemed to fly. We left for our honeymoon and, two weeks later, we returned to Pachuca, ready to go on to Huauchinango. While we were in Pachuca, my mother-in-law told us Trini had passed away. She didn’t want to tell us while we were enjoying our honeymoon. She did say that she had shared the Gospel once again with Trini and his daughter had prayed the sinner’s prayer.

The next week we started our new life in the Sierra as a married couple and I took my bride to my favorite hamburger stand. While he prepared my burger, the owner commented that it was a shame about Trini passing away. I didn’t even know he knew him. Not only that, but he knew I had gone to visit him. “But how did you know I went to visit him?” I asked. He replied, “He was my wife’s relative.” He then asked me how it was possible a foreigner went to visit this relative, and he did not. I told him the reason was that Jesus lives in me and that only the Lord could change a heart and make one care about others.

Sometimes it wasn’t so bad being a foreigner. Every day our lives pass us by, the moments become minutes and the minutes become hours, hours become days, days become weeks, and weeks become months, until our life has passed us by. The details are the things that can count for eternity. Do you have people in your life like Trini? Have you shown them Christ in word and in deed? We have the privilege of being salt and light in this world. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Small Beginnings

By Tim Frazier

Excerpt from “A Touch of Heaven,” a book by Walter Fleming

We sow the seed, but God is the power, the Power that makes it grow.

My wife Vicki and I moved to the state of Aguascalientes in late 1981. There were three known churches in the state and all three of them were in the capital city also called Aguascalientes. This left approximately 972 different towns, communal ranches, small villages and the like with no known witness for our Lord.

We had no idea how to begin except with prayer and a deep hope of a clear vision from the Lord. Vicki raised and homeschooled our three children and I decided to “Caleb walk” the state. So, I bought a map of the state and of the capital city. Two days a week, I would drive, marking each township, county road and village. I usually got out and walked around the places, claiming Caleb’s promise in Joshua 14:9 for myself. The other two days, I would walk the various streets, colonias and ghettos of the capital city, doing the same.

After many months of doing this and crying out to God for help, the Lord did give me a clear vision of what He wanted us to do. That was to plant four churches in the state with the first one in the city of Rincón de Romos. It was such a relief not to have to choose or guess where to start from the over nine hundred plus choices.

Around that time, Tony and Lois Freeman and their two daughters joined us, and we began in earnest to evangelize. We walked nearly every street as Tony was and is a gifted street preacher, handed out lots of tracts and then rented a room to host an evangelization event. One person came! He was the local taco vendor who sold “tacos de la cabeza” (cow head tacos), and he was afflicted with alcoholism. He was our first convert.

A little additional background on Rincón was that the city was soon to celebrate its 450th anniversary of becoming a city. Well known for its vineyards and temperate year-round weather, it was also known for being a hub for “green” magic and for many demonic manifestations. 

The Freemans opened their house for Bible studies and the believers slowly grew. We then rented a storefront right next to a chicken rotisserie restaurant as we outgrew the Freeman’s living room. 

About a year and a half after our arrival, we had our first visitors from our organization, Walter and Mae Fleming. We were excited to say the least. The church had grown to about twenty people and I asked Walt to share. Prayer was offered afterwards and a little old lady came up and asked for a prayer of healing. She had some sort of bone deteriorating disease for which there was no cure. Mae stepped up and said she had suffered from the same disease and God had healed her. It was an easy choice for us to ask Mae to pray for her.

The Flemings left the next morning. The next Sunday service, in came our visitor, the little old lady from the week before, but she was not alone. She had most all of her extended family, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, and her own children and grandchildren. Her testimony was simple; she wanted to give praise to God for healing and wanted all of her family to hear of Jesus, the God who heals. 

The church never looked back after that; it just kept growing. In time, land was donated and a building project was begun.

The Freemans moved on to other places to fulfill their unique call, and Vicki and I did plant churches in the other three towns as per the vision given to us. From there, we moved on to take on fresh visions and projects. I had occasion on the 10th anniversary of the Rincón church to visit, and the congregation had grown to over 200 people. It was making a name for itself as a center for worship and training. I also went back on the 25th anniversary. The church had sent out workers all over the state, accomplishing many new church plants, and had also sent Mexican missionaries to the Middle East. It was right then and there, I felt a release that our work was done in Mexico.

I learned some foundational values in Central Mexico as we walked through the fires of cross-cultural church planting. Those simply were and still are:

  1. The battle is the Lord’s. We were privileged to have a part in it.
  2. Never despise small beginnings. Everything starts with a seed, a prayer, a conversion, a miracle, always something seemingly small, but one that just keeps on growing.
  3. The Church is the Lord’s. He will build it, one living brick at a time.

Recommended Reading: “Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry,” by Duane Elmer

Once again, Elmer has published an excellent book on a very practical cross-cultural issue that we as workers face, as we attempt to relate and understand those from a different culture than our passport culture. 

He shows in this book that knowing how different cultures handle various types of conflict is crucial to effective, culturally appropriate resolution of conflict. Communication in itself is difficult, and when conflict arises, it becomes even more challenging. This book focuses on Asian, Latin American, and African cultures and uses stories from the author’s experience, as well as from others, making this book not just theory, but practical in conflict resolution.

A Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Written by Ginger Rogers.

The staff of the missionary agency, where I was the receptionist, was often called upon to join in the prayers for those who were departing to minister on the foreign field. More often than not, we were asked to pray for those who seemed to be stuck between their calling and the demands of family and other unresolved issues. Our missionaries were expected to raise their own funds; they themselves had to approach individuals and churches to appeal for support. They were advised strongly to wait to leave until they secured adequate start-up funds and a reasonable emergency account that would float them if their supporters failed to come through as promised. Finances were almost always a big issue for those stepping out for the first time and without a doubt a cause for prayer.

One day the staff gathered to pray for one couple in particular. They knew they had been called to go, but they had to contend with both disapproving grown children and their squeamish parents. Furthermore, they were still underfunded as their date of departure drew near. As we laid hands on them and prayed, I felt led to make mention of the fact that the servants of the Lord will face trouble in the world but Jesus has overcome the world. It follows anyone who believes in Him will become an overcomer, too. Well, the more I prayed, the more carried away I got until a vision formed in my mind. I saw so clearly that overcoming the world is like rising with a hot air balloon, just driving up, up and away, far above all the oppressions of the earth that drag us down, keep up bound, prevent our answering our calling and fill us with worry and concern.

It was not a frivolous vision, but, instead, a sound analogy of God’s intentions for His people. He does lift us up. And the higher we lift up our praises and thanksgiving, the higher we float above the negative influences in life. Going for a hot air balloon ride became firmly etched on my “Things-to-Do-Before-I-Die” list and never diminished in the ensuing twenty or so years since that prayer time in the headquarters of the missionary agency. 

Oddly enough, as much as I wanted to go, I was totally taken aback when our daughter in Albuquerque suggested that we do that very thing during our planned visit with her and her family over the Thanksgiving holiday. As often as I had gazed longingly at the balloons floating over Franklin on balmy spring evenings, I didn’t know how to prepare for actually being up there myself. Would it be terribly frightening? Would the whole trip be wasted as I sank to the floor of the basket to calm my fears? Would I become dizzy? Or sick to my stomach? What if Phil reacted negatively and we had to land early in order to tend to him? What if something went wrong? What if the balloon blew out a seam and ceased to inflate? Or a cable broke? Or a storm blew in and carried us way off course? 

Hey, wait a minute!! My desire for going up in a balloon was birthed during a prayer for overcoming. And here was my opportunity to experience that very thing. As I talked down my anxieties, I began to the thrill to the moment. And it proved to be the single most amazing event of our lives. Our balloon arose just as the sun did one morning. We floated above the ground in such peace and quiet I can only describe it as a holy hush. Except when the whoosh of the heated gases shifted the altitude or the course of the balloon, it was as if we were suspended above everything that is dirty or ugly or noisy and held in the grip of cottony purity. There was very little sense of movement though, traveling at a speed of about thirty-five knots per hour, we skimmed the surface of a river and climbed to a height of 8,500 feet. We scared a flock of geese seeking shelter under a bridge and sent them honking through the skies. We awakened the dogs and chickens in a little rural community. We waved to children boarding their school bus and, hopefully, cheered up the lady dragging an outsized trash container to the curb. In landing, we disturbed the rest of the sandhill cranes that were all nestled in the grasses of an open field. Though we observed, we were truly above the everyday life beneath us. The noise, the routines, the chores, the responsibilities belonged to someone else, while we owned the solemn sublimity and crisp air of our lofty space.

If that is what overcoming means, that is how I want to live my life. To view the dullness and stress of all life’s “gottas” as belonging to some other realm, while my reality is above in surreal quietude and supernatural peace. After all, the Word says that we live and move and have our being in Him. In Him, we are high and lifted up. Our lives, though often rocked by trauma on earth, are in essence above all the world can do to us. We belong to the realm that glides gracefully through all that evil intends. We are as much a part of God’s covenant as the morning sunrise! And His mercies are new every morning!