Stories on the home front attest to a team on fire under the banner of The Luke Commission.

Some people we’ll spotlight in this update. Others serve quietly in such a way we may never know their dedication or sacrifice, but their lives are touching Emaswati by the thousands, one at a time.

  • Ohio medical students listened in wonder as Harry and Echo explained their methods of treating the poor in Eswatini. The meeting was sponsored by Christian Medical & Dental Association in conjunction with the humanitarian Global Health Initiative. As a graduate of Wright State Medical School, Harry spoke to his own, just a few years removed.
    The students laughed when Harry admitted he sometimes forgets to tell audiences that he’s a doctor. “Lots of times after we speak, people say to me, ‘So what do you do?'”

Idaho Prayer Team – 2009

  • A lady in Idaho with heart problems but a heart of compassion crochets baby blankets, dozens of them, for Liswati babies. “It’s such a privilege,” she said.
  • An elderly lady in Idaho collects fabric pieces from all the ladies in her large assisted-living home and sews baby quilts, day after day, week after week. Each quilt is an original. Now she and her fellow residents are buying quilting cloth, so she doesn’t run out of material.
    id_prayer_retreat_2009a id_prayer_retreat_2009c

  • After seeing The Luke Commission video, a North Carolina high school football star quarterback told Harry and Echo with tears in his eyes: “If I could ever do anything to help in Eswatini, I’d like to go there.”
  • A pastor in Florida knew his family had a “call in the background” to go overseas. “Your visit here,” he wrote Harry and Echo, “has been a catalyst for God moving in our hearts.” The pastor’s great-grandparents served in Eswatini in the early 1900’s.
  • A Lions Club couple in Illinois spends one Friday afternoon and evening a month hosting bingo games at a large VFW in suburban Chicago. All proceeds go to The Luke Commission.
  • Twenty-nine business students at Cedarville University in Ohio gave $2,500 to The Luke Commission. When thanked, one student said, “It’s our pleasure. We love what The Luke Commission is doing and are glad to help.”
    The students, part of an Integrated Business Core class, started a company, secured a loan, produced and sold a product. The name of their business was “Coloring Connection,” which created an activity book sold on campus and online. “It took a lot of work,” said a student leader, “but we sold out quickly.” They donated half their profits to The Luke Commission and the other half to the Dayton Gospel Mission.
  • Luke VanderWal, one of the 7-year-old triplets, made this observation recently: “I can’t believe how much the Americans have and how little the Africans have and how the Americans want more.” Well…
  • One of Harry’s old friends from elementary school and her husband own Moore Creative, a graphic design and web development company in North Carolina. Jennifer Moore discovered The Luke Commission on the internet about a year ago, contacted Harry, and offered to join The Luke Commission team.
    “This mission you and Echo are involved in is phenomenal, and we want to find a way to help,” e-mailed Jennifer.
    And find a way they have! Today Moore Creative designs everything free for The Luke Commission and is launching a new TLC website. Our ministry was charged only 15 percent of normal production costs for the latest edition of the TLC Magazine.
  • A coffee roasting company in Ohio is now marketing a blend named “TLC Sonrise Blend.”
  • A businessman in Ohio, who attended church with the VanderWals when they first married, commented: “We knew way back then that it was going to be fun to see where God led you two.”
  • World Missionary Press in Indiana shipped 500 boxes of printed material to Eswatini, free of charge for The Luke Commission. Each box contains 505 tract booklets in the SiSwati language telling the story of Jesus from Scripture.
    After the VanderWals spoke at the company’s chapel services one morning recently, an employee stood up and said: “I’ve heard two missionaries that excited me. One was 35 years ago, and you are the second.”
  • The missions’ committee chairman at a large church in Ohio has worked diligently to support The Luke Commission.
    “We’re excited to finally have them on board,” she said. “So many people in our congregation are passionate and actively involved in The Luke Commission.”
    One lady organizes weekend sewing parties with local university students and church ladies to make eyeglass cases, diapers, and skirts for the Emaswati.

The missions’ chairman continued: “We want to have a relationship with our missionaries, more than just financial. We have that with Harry and Echo. They are going places in Eswatini where we can’t go and representing us.”

Last night of Awana for the boys
in Eswatini in 2008 – they are so
excited to be back in Africa and
their Liswati Awana group!


The person who fears the Lord is blessed, says Psalm 112. How are we blessed? We scatter abroad gifts to the poor, and then our righteousness endures forever (verse 9). What a promise!

As so many of you scatter your talents and time and resources, you have no fear of bad news. Why? Because your hearts are steadfast, trusting in Jesus (verse 7).

Thankful for each of you,
Janet Tuinstra for Harry and Echo and the boys