The Luke Commission team does not look for guests to say TLC is doing a good job.
After all, we seek the approval of a Master so much greater.
However, occasionally individuals who visit The Luke Commission leave with firsthand impressions and observations that are fresh and sparkling.
Such were six visitors who came from the United States and South Africa. Energetic and open, they watched and participated on the Miracle Campus and at outreaches. We use their real first names with permission.
“I love seeing you grow. I have loved being here several times since year one,” said Heather.
“Two new things stood out on my latest visit. The church in the hospital is one of the most innovative, breaking-the-mold endeavors I’ve ever seen. Patients are not in the back where they are hidden and not in the front where they might be on display, but they are wrapped around the edges in their beds if they cannot get up.”
An entrepreneur herself, Heather continued: “I’m fascinated by the degree of organizational management, unsurpassed on a large scale, dialed down to the nuts and bolts to a creative and efficient machine for the Kingdom.”
Heather added, “In stewardship, TLC’s emphasis on teamwork is the key. By harvesting the labor pool of the wounded, they are creating an army where 1 and 1 equals 11 and not 2. That’s truly God’s hand.”
Donald works for a non-profit youth organization in South Africa. “The one word that stuck with me is ‘Joshua.’ You train someone to do your job. I’ve seen many non-profits, but I came here and saw something different.
“Everything you have you give away,” noted Donald. “The eyeglasses you give away are expensive. Most non-profits would charge, but you are about people and not yourselves. It’s a lesson to me to put God first, and all will be well.”
At age 25, Donald came to Eswatini with his “Joshua,” 18-year-old Glen.
“TLC’s DNA is amazing. You are going to communities without expecting anything in return,” Glen said.
A young American nurse, Shalyse, noted: “I am impressed how sustainable you have created TLC. You are taking services farther by weaving medicine and culture and then offering them together.”
Having worked at a renowned US hospital and headed back to resume duties as a traveling nurse, Shalyse said she has a “new attitude of the heart. I will level more with my patients, come in with open arms that can treat each one, while making sure his or her needs are met.”
Shalyse explained, “Eswatini may not have as many resources as we do in the US, but you are working with communities to see individuals as valuable people.”
One visitor was especially quiet while in Eswatini. When handyman Jay returned home, however, he quickly arranged to be baptized. “Yes, Jesus and The Luke Commission met me right where I was at in life,” Jay said.
Dulce is a veterinary surgeon, and she spoke about other matters at TLC, including her acceptance of Christ as her own Savior.
“The DNA is different here,” Dulce said. “It’s ferociously protected and placed into culture and lived daily. Employees are not just numbers or files. Each individual is set apart.”
Also from Dulce: “You provide so many services you would not think possible, such as engineers and a construction team and an IT team. You need an anesthesia department,” she laughed. “You can do it, since you have already created departments that are hard to sustain.”
Many patients touched Dulce. “I love the kids at TOB. They don’t have families and that makes me sad, but I see TLC staff standing in that gap.”
Struggling with a fire that destroyed her home and interpersonal relationships that fell apart shortly before she left for Eswatini, Dulce thanked the staff for including her with “so much gratitude and thoughtfulness.”
We, in turn, appreciate the thoughtfulness and gratitude that all visitors bring to The Luke Commission. The freshness they convey, the wonders they see which have become commonplace to those on the ground although they are not “common,” the stories they take home, the memories they share with others who may not know anything about TLC, the friends they are, and the friends they become, unite us all into one team.
by Janet Tuinstra for the whole TLC team, here and there