“God is growing something out of this ground, out of the pile of rocks,” said Frans Pienaar, The Luke Commission board chairman. “Still, our success is not about building, but about taking a step every day listening to Jesus. First we focus on people.”
Amid cement blocks and construction tools, 50 TLC leaders gathered recently at the work-in-progress Staff Development Centre on the Miracle Campus to take communion and to thank God for what He is doing there already.
It was an early morning, as the birds serenaded the quiet circle. Quiet and reverent. But noisy joy comes in the morning, too. Singing and surprising delight burst forth.
“We knew we did not have money to finish the inside of the Staff Development Centre or to furnish it,” said Echo VanderWal, co-executive director. “Generous donations have built the outside. Then a few days ago, we learned a donor had given enough to finish the inside. We are so thankful for God’s new provision.”
As the communion bread and juice were passed around the circle, Echo looked back: “When we moved here in 2013 and dedicated this land, the Miracle Campus was a few containers, the TOB (Temporary Operations Base, formerly a backpacker's lodge), and rocks which we gathered as a memorial.”
Continued Echo: “Today the heart of this building is to train and to grow Eswatini and beyond. Leaders standing in this circle will be trainers here and for other nations. Imagine if the DNA of compassionate healthcare could be spoken into all areas of government and private sectors, not so caregivers become like TLC, but so they become like Christ.”
“Let’s keep showing compassion to our patients and our staff, being in prayer to keep our focus,” said Harry VanderWal, co-executive director.
“Twenty churches of every denomination and no denomination came together to build the shell,” remembered Echo. “They represent well the body of Christ who came together in a common goal.”
Added Harry, “We wanted a place to show the value of the staff. We must grow this humbly. God has opened doors for ministry we did not expect and we do not understand.”
The Staff Development Centre will also be a church for the entire community. “I’m reminded,” Echo said, “ that ‘if we are not scared of the vision, then that vision is not big enough.’”
“We need to listen to the Holy Spirit every day,” said Frans. “Let’s be intentional when we center ourselves on Christ. Then we deny Satan opportunities to work.”
The Luke Commission thanks the donor who is financing the inside and everyone else who has prayed and given. “Now we will pray for donations to furnish the new centre,” added Echo. And voices of praise surged forth around the circle, once again.
(by Janet Tuinstra)