The Luke Commission auction & dinner in Cedarville, Ohio, may become a pre-Thanksgiving tradition that sparks students and adults alike to consider the poor in southern Africa.

Consider – and then do something. That’s what happened earlier this month, said Mark Kordic, Director of Advancement for TLC.

Dr. Harry and Echo (PAC) VanderWal recently returned from Eswatini where they direct mobile clinics. This year more than 20,000 patients were treated out in the bush. Those patients all were told of Jesus’ love for them.

“You could hear a pin drop when Harry and Echo spoke,” Kordic said. “The more than 200 people in attendance were taking it all in and very motivated to get involved themselves.”

An 11-minute DVD answered questions about what a typical day in the bush was like.

A photo of trailers packed with medicines, eyeglasses, Bibles, wheelchairs, clothes for orphans, and medical supplies caught the audience’s attention, particularly. The reason? Those trailers need vehicles to pull them.

“We can’t leave tens of thousands of people waiting,” noted Kordic, speaking of the Emaswati who are waiting for the VanderWals to return in Eswatini in January and resume the mobile clinics.

Kordic was encouraged by the financial response of folks living in a state hard-hit by economic woes. Some $10,500 was raised for vehicles at the November 7 auction.

“I know people gave sacrificially,” he said. “We thank everyone who donated.”

That brings the total donated for vehicles to $30,500. Three Liswati-road-worthy vehicles that can pull thousands of pounds and transport a couple dozen people will cost $100,000.

Kordic is touched by the younger people’s firm desire to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Eswatini that is claiming the lives of a whole generation about their age.

“Recent grads and current students don’t just want to talk. They want to do something,” explained Kordic. “Harry and Echo suggested real ways they can work locally, right now.”

More than 25 churches and institutions were represented at dinner/auction. Two Nigerian musicians played five instruments throughout the evening capturing another culture and giving folks a taste of Africa.

Those in attendance lingered around the art work donated for the silent auction, Kordic noted. “The photographs from Eswatini framed in African wood showed beautiful, humble people.”

He continued: “The more we can put ourselves in their sandals – if they have sandals – the better we’ll understand true human suffering and extend ourselves.”

The live and silent auction brought in another $12,000 for The Luke Commission.

“This annual event kicks off a year-long opportunity for relationships to develop and for participants to share the message and get involved,” Kordic explained. “We look forward to watching God move in The Luke Commission next year.”

Please note: A similar Idaho gala called “Christmas for Africa” will be held Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in Sandpoint, Idaho, at the Events Center on Euclid Avenue. Harry and Echo and the boys will be there. Tickets are on sale for $25 at www.lukecommission.org.

Love in Jesus, Janet Tuinstra for Harry and Echo and the boys

Mark and Paula Kordic of Cedarville, labor in God’s vineyard in Ohio, spearheading projects for The Luke Commission.

Dr. Harry VanderWal takes listeners to the African bush as he speaks at the November, 2009, dinner/auction at Cedarville University.

Auctioneer Bart Sheridan often offers his services to TLC, benefiting the needy 8,000 miles away.
Bill and Shelley Schlueter (center) drove from Missouri to be with their daughter Tiffany (right), a 2009 Cedarville nursing grad, at the recent Ohio dinner/auction. Tiffany has worked with the VanderWals for two summers in Eswatini and continues to volunteer her time here.

Grandpa Harry VanderWal Sr. shows his grandsons how to video tape memorable events at the 2nd annual TLC Ohio auction.
Paul and Marilyn Carlson join the VanderWals. Dr. Carlson, Director of Strategic Planning and past Associate Dean of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (Harry’s alma mater), has witnessed TLC bush clinics firsthand.

In Liswati garb, Luke VanderWal waits to sing with his brothers at the Ohio auction.
Echo VanderWal, a physician’s assistant with experience in surgery, tells stories about their patients in Eswatini, who had little hope until Jesus touched them through The Luke Commission.

This one-of-kind African-framed Liswati photo is just one of the items auctioned recently in Ohio.
Little brother Zion (right) and his big brother Jacob VanderWal are part of the program whenever and wherever Harry and Echo speak.

Medical school student Joe Rettig, who spent this summer with TLC in Africa, and his wife Amanda now work on this side of the world to help Eswatini’s poor and sick. They’re pictured here with the VanderWal family at the recent Ohio auction.

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