John & Suzanne Funk
John was a school teacher and successful business manager in the computer industry, until finally claimed by the mission call he had suspected was coming since he was a youth growing up in Tennessee. A Walk to Emmaus and participation in a community Bible study triggered his decision to take the missionary pathway.
John and Suzanne met at US Space Camp in Alabama and have lived for some years in Madison, Alabama, near Huntsville, the space center city. They are members of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church of the North Alabama Annual Conference. He grew up in the First United Methodist Church of Cookeville, Tennessee, where he was active in the youth group. �There was often mission literature around our house�I remember being fascinated by the stories and pictures, and I believe God was laying the ground work even then.�
A teacher from 1988 through 1992, John became a project manager in a business firm in 1992, and in 1998 became vice president of Genius Consulting Group. He graduated from Tennessee Technical University in his hometown in 1987.
Suzanne was born in Atlanta, GA. She recalls her own spiritual identity as a young adult. She got involved with a local Chrysalis Community and began seeking God's will in all aspects of her life. She received a degree in elementary education from the University of North Alabama and taught in the Huntsville area. The Funks were thinking of answering the mission call once their sons were out of college. However, she says, "Circumstances and people were placed in our lives that made us question our delay in answering the call God made. We realized we had to follow the example of Noah and Abraham and go when and hwere God wants us, even if we don't fully see the big picture."
The school where they will work in Bolivia is related to the Methodist Church of Bolivia. It provides junior and senior high education and vocational training for children in the remote and poor rainforest area around Rio Colorado.
John and Suzanne Funk have two sons, Jonathan, age 11, and Jeffrey, age 9.
John notes, �I try to live out my personal philosophy based on Philippians 1:5: Your attitudes should be the same as those of Jesus Christ. This involves a servant mentality and one of the stewardship of God�s resources. I believe that all good things come from God and work according to his timing.�