Sometimes the end of a long Luke Commission mobile hospital has special memories, special mind pictures, special gratitude…

On this Thanksgiving, 2014, we’d like to share one of those times.

It has rained off and on all day. Poured sometimes, drizzled in between. Darkness sets in, but many patients do not seem in a hurry to leave, despite the damp chilliness that lingers.

Two young men pass and say respectfully, slowly practicing their English: “Hope to see you again some day.”

Gogos and mukhulus (grandmas and grandpas) in the pharmacy line carry worn purses and crumpled plastic bags to protect their medications from the rain.

Many wait to receive Bibles, more men, young and old, than usual. TLC staff member Phumzile talks to each person to see who has a SiSwati Bible in his homestead or who can read English.

Patients hold new Bibles reverently and close to their hearts. TLC staff member Phumi is in the midst and shares in their joy.

English Bibles are plentiful; SiSwati Bibles are more difficult to keep in stock, both price-wise and availability.

Surprisingly, this evening several want English Bibles. Those who prefer Bibles in their own language receive them. Great joy spreads as the new Bible owners celebrate their precious gifts.

The Luke Commission team climbs into three vehicles for the two-hour ride home. Some patients catch rides in the back of a crowded pickup. Most start walking. Waves and smiles all around.

A community leader uses his bakki (pick-up) to take people home — as many as can be squeezed in the back.

The rain leaves deep puddles in the dirt roads, making for a bumpier than usual ride. TLC vehicles cross through two creeks and a river that have swelled considerably since morning.

Harry and Echo and staff drivers know the back roads of Eswatini like the proverbial backs of their hands. Road sign are few. We see none this night.

But all is well. Hearts are light, knowing hundreds of Emaswati have been treated, a couple thousand children have new shoes on their feet, and Jesus Christ has been uplifted. The rainy night is dark, but the dawn is not far behind.

Giving thanks from the whole TLC team by Janet Tuinstra

Receiving new Bibles is the highlight of these folks’ rainy day. They burst into song to show appreciation.
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