Where has God taken The Luke Commission thus far this year?
The birth of Gilead Siphosemusa VanderWal on August 12th, 2014 gave Harry and Echo time to reflect.
Here is what Echo posted on facebook the evening before Gilead was born:
“The Luke Commission, 2014, is like every prior year for TLC – unprecedented growth working in the supernatural zone above and beyond ourselves.
“But it’s a special year, too. TLC is undergoing the move to replication.
“The second team is being trained. Departments are being split to move staff into their specific area of specialization. It has been an exciting process to watch. Staff has grown by 75%. The new staff is catching the mission and vision and assimilating in a way we never dreamed possible.
“Have we had challenges? Of course. Is the growing process a stretch? Yes. Are some of us losing our jobs – giving up our ‘A’ game? Yes we are. Things we have done for years, and loved, are being transferred to others – and they are doing them well!
“Enveloping all the change and growth, we have seen a team determined, united, driven, and committed devoid of personal considerations, to reach more rural patients.
“By the end of June 2014, the TLC staff has delivered more medical services than in all of 2013. Blessed. Humbled. Ecstatic.
“Underlying our vision and dreams for TLC are personal dreams and desires. We have often said that a normal, personal life may be almost non-existent as a result of the work we have been called to do. While that might sound like something we miss, let us assure you, we do not.
“It has been a joy, an adventure, and a complete thrill to live in the supernatural and see miracles that could never have been accomplished through one’s own strength. We willingly have been swept into the vortex of TLC. (Those who have visited in Eswatini know the truth of this.)
“Some of you who know us well, will also know that just over 20 years ago when we decided to marry, Harry asked for a family of 6 children. At the time, I did not make any commitments, but after the birth of the triplets in 2001, I observed Harry’s level of involvement in the kids’ lives. I realized his request for 6 children was deep and genuine. Zion was born in 2004, and then in 2006, we transitioned to Eswatini full-time.
“The reality of working in the country with the highest HIV and TB rate in the world where people were literally dying everywhere was all-consuming. The desire for 6 children faded into the background for 8 years.
“And then as you know, 2 years ago, God blessed us with Hosanna. In answers to our prayers, Hosanna was born the first day of Eswatini school holidays. The four older boys and a baby have brought such joy to our family.
“After starting our parenting journey with three children, the thought of Hosanna being “alone” when the boys leave for schooling was something we have never known – a child without a sibling, a playmate.
“But Harry, knowing my aversion to pregnancy, the rapid growth and expansion of TLC, and the quick approach of my 40th birthday, released me from his dream. He said he did not want me to undergo another pregnancy.
“For years I’ve watched Harry’s sustained commitment to parenting, schooling, fully engaged in all aspects of parenting; while he fully supported my intense desire to engage in development and service of TLC. He has treated me like a queen and been so tender and loving, both personally and in relation to TLC.
“I knew I could not say no. I didn’t want to have regrets when I was 60 years old. We prayed for the blessing of another baby, and of perfect TLC timing during Eswatini school holidays. God answered our prayer.
“Due to the expansion and replication plan in 2014, we decided to stay very low-key about this pregnancy. Our best friends and many family members were not aware. Only those who have visited Eswatini, have seen the undeniable gift of new life.
“Now 9 months has passed, and tomorrow Baby #6 will join us. Words cannot express our gratefulness and anticipation. Thanks so much for your love and support. We hope you will understand our desire to remain focused on TLC mission and vision. Love you all, Echo”
Harry had this to say about their 6th child:
“We enjoyed researching our newest’s baby’s name.
“Gilead is a Hebrew word that means hill/rock of testimony or memorial. The rocky, mountainous land on the east side of the Jordan River that was conquered by the Israelites on their way to possess Canaan is called Gilead. This land was later given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh.
“The word Gilead is derived from the Hebrew words “Gil,” meaning joy, and “ad,” meaning forever/eternity. Therefore, Gilead can also refer to joy that is never ending, a joy that surpasses all understanding.
“In addition, we appreciate the medicinal references in Scripture to Gilead. The land of Gilead was known for its healing spices and ointments. In Genesis 37:25, the Ishmaelites that bought Joseph were travelling from Gilead with spices, balm (ointment), and myrrh to sell in Egypt. In Jeremiah 8:22, after learning of Israel’s impending judgment, Jeremiah asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead?”– a plea for healing.
“Siphosemusa (sē-pō-sā-moo’-sŭ) is a siSwati name that means the gift of grace, the gift of undeserved merit, God’s gift of forgiveness for all of us who deserve Hell but now because of Jesus’ sacrifice and siphosemusa have hope of Heaven!
“Our prayer as we welcome Gilead Siphosemusa VanderWal is that his life will be a true testimony of God’s joy, God’s healing, and God’s grace to draw others into a closer relationship with Jesus.
“We are humbled by all of your love and prayers. Please rejoice with us in praise and worship to our Creator and Savior as our cup overfloweth and our quiver is filled”.