It happened faster than he thought it would. The death of his friend took him by surprise.

He had been trying to help his friend face his newly-diagnosed diabetes. Then he was gone.

It happens often like this in Eswatini. But The Luke Commission’s maintenance man, named December, is still saddened.

“I thought he would live,” said December.

December brought his friend to Harry and Echo just last week. The man had a badly infected foot, complicated by diabetes he did not know he had. Echo washed the man’s foot, drained the open wound, and bandaged it.

Harry wrote a referral to the hospital and said he must start taking insulin immediately. The man was visibly upset. Harry said to come back in two days to get his foot drained again and redressed.

December brought his friend back to TLC campus, this time with his pastor. The foot smelled and looked much worse. The man apologized for the putrid odor.

December did his best to encourage his friend to get help, to trust God, to fight for his family’s sake.

“He promised us he would go to the hospital. I said I would take him,” explained December.

The man asked to wait a little while longer. He did. He died a couple days later. His wife called December and said her husband was “late.”

It’s not normal for young men to just die, no matter how common it becomes.

Such was the death of our Savior. He was young, only 33 years of age. He was not sick like December’s friend, but He came to take care of the sickness of sin, once and forever.

And for this we say thank you, Jesus! Your death on the cross, remembered especially this week, and your victory over death, celebrated especially this week, remind us why The Luke Commission exists.

The Luke Commission stands for life amid death, reaching out to the needy and poor while recognizing ourselves as needy, too. Thank you, each and every supporter and donor and prayer soldier, for beings friends to Emaswati on the other side of the world for which Jesus died.

May the week of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection keep you alert to the things God would have you do, “redeeming the time…”

Janet Tuinstra for Harry and Echo and The Luke Commission