Ministry Update: Take your shoes off the Swazis
Dear Ones in the U.S. and Canada,
We know you'd like an update from The Luke Commission and the VanderWals. Here are some tidbits from Harry and Echo and the boys' journey to the East and Ontario this past six weeks, as they visited supporters in preparation for a return trip to Swaziland January to May, 2008. You'll be excited to read how Jesus is working!
Harry with Pastor and wife in North Carolina
One retired pastor in North Carolina invited 2 dozen pastors to hear Harry and Echo speak. He wrote these pastors: "From time to time, according to the great plan and purpose of God, there arises an opportunity to support a man, his wife and family who are doing extraordinary things in the world..."
- A large church in Ohio gave the VanderWals one whole Sunday morning service to talk about taking free medical clinics and the Gospel to Swaziland. A few Sundays later, a pastor surprised the congregation when he challenged them to leave the shoes they were wearing, so they could be sent to those who had no shoes in Swaziland. More than 400 pairs were laid at the altar. Kids' shoes are still being collected. To God be the glory!
- Another church in Ohio prays for the VanderWals and The Luke Commission every Sunday morning at 11:20, every Monday at 5:30, and every Wednesday at 6:30. Pray on, dear ones!
Boys riding goats at supporters
Individual donors from North Carolina and Ontario regularly encourage us with their giving, as do all those who give so Harry and Echo can return to Africa in January, 2008.
farm in Ontario, Canada
- The Luke Commission is truly multi-denominational. New Song Bible Church in Idaho and South Asian Bible Church in Canada are our sponsoring churches. However, Harry and Echo have spoken and been embraced warmly at these churches: Lutheran, Baptist, Community, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Christian Reformed, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Bible churches and non-denominational churches. We thank each congregation for their acceptance.
- The Nazarene Church also offers tremendous personal help covering our backs and keeping us out of trouble in Swaziland.
- The Kettering Medical Center Network in Ohio opened their mission warehouse to the VanderWals, offering Harry and Echo anything they can use in the bush or give to the mission hospital. Last week, wheelchairs, bed-tables, medical supplies, IV tubing, syringes, needles, and much more were loaded onto a 40-foot container which is now almost full. Echo attended the Seventh-Day Adventist Kettering Medical Center to earn her physician's assistant degree in 2000.
- Attending physicians at Wright State University School of Medicine, where Harry was graduated as a doctor of medicine, are intrigued by The Luke Commission's desire to treat those out in the southern Africa bush who have no health care.
- One attending physician, who supervised Harry's internal medicine and pediatrics residency program, wrote Harry and Echo: "Very proud of you both and thanking God for the amazing work you are blessed to be a part of. I don't think I know anyone, personally, who is living Christ's mandate for our lives more than you and your co-workers. I am humbled."
Harry with principal at his
A public school superintendent tearfully said he was "amazed how quiet and absorbed the kids were" when Harry spoke to his alma mater of 1,300 North Carolina high school students. That superintendent took The Luke Commission's story to his adult Sunday School class, and those folks immediately wrote a large check.
alma mater in North Carolina
- A lady was at Wal-Mart buying material to make wraps for the Swazi ladies. An elderly lady sat watching her and finally asked what she was doing. The elderly lady rushed to get her daughter, who now wants her Catholic church to get involved in a project for The Luke Commission. Are these not divine appointments to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ!
On the road in New York City
A husband, pushing his wife in a wheel-chair, quietly entered a service to hear Harry and Echo speak. They quietly support The Luke Commission monthly.
- A lady in Ohio has been praying for years that her church would get deeply involved in overseas missions. "Since the VanderWals came into our lives that prayer has been answered," she said. "If our congregation can just add one jot or one tittle to bring joy to the Swazi people, we'll be part of those souls who have been saved and those who are going to be saved."
- Canadian women who meet every week to sew dresses for Swazi girls hosted a dinner for their church family, saw the 2007 video, and were inspired "to keep on keeping on."
May we all keep on working where Christ has placed us. May we rejoice together. We are grateful for each one of you.
Love in Jesus,
Janet Tuinstra for The Luke Commission