History

History

TLC was founded in 2005 at the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Eswatini. In 2005, no treatment for HIV/AIDS existed. Harry & Echo VanderWal moved to Eswatini with their three-year-old triplets and one-year-old baby with the goal of providing compassionate, comprehensive healthcare to as many people as possible—especially those suffering complications of HIV/AIDS.

Staff for the first outreaches included Harry, Echo, their children, and a translator. Based in a rented house near Manzini, Eswatini, the TLC staff soon grew to 15. Leaving before dark and arriving home after dark, the staff conducted more and more outreaches every year, reaching increasing numbers of people.

In 2013, TLC acquired the land that is now the Miracle Campus. In the years following, the TLC team constructed over a dozen buildings on campus, turning the Miracle Campus into a self-contained hub for serving the Kingdom of Eswatini.

Today, with over 500 staff, the TLC staff is 98% Emaswati. Between on-campus and outreach efforts, hundreds of patients from across Eswatini are welcomed each day for compassionate, comprehensive care.

Discover more about The Luke Commission’s work in Eswatini with stories of hope, help, and healing
An Eye from One to Another

An Eye from One to Another

“I did not know someone could give an eye,” said an overwhelmed but ever-so-grateful mother of a teenager who received a cornea transplant on the Miracle Campus. Indeed, it was a big day, a miracle day, for 14-year-old Tibuyile Masilela. One of the...

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When It’s Your Last Opportunity to Live with HIV

When It’s Your Last Opportunity to Live with HIV

The third line in HIV treatment is the last line, almost like the principle “three strikes and you’re out.” Sounds ominous. Sounds dreadful. Sounds fatal. This is HIV/AIDS, after all. However, as in Sabelo’s case, his third strike may be a home...

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When the Mind is Surrounded by Love…

When the Mind is Surrounded by Love…

It’s remarkable how a mind, and body, responds to intended tenderness and tenacious attention. Jabulane has been a patient at The Luke Commission for two years. He is mentally disabled, and his past saw him isolated at the end of a chain for ten...

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This Visitor Came and Stayed…and Stayed…

This Visitor Came and Stayed…and Stayed…

She came as a university volunteer, returned alone as a volunteer, and then remained through the COVID-19 travel ban—all with a smile and a serene sense of service. “What a privilege it has been to be part of this team,” said Meredith Merritt....

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What His Body Lacks, His Soul Enlightens

What His Body Lacks, His Soul Enlightens

His body is disabled in every way, every limb, every movement. But his mind is healthy. In fact, his mind, heart and soul brim over with thankfulness and joy. When Sizwe was eight years old, he was kicked in the back by a cow. When he healed, his...

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Her Father Follows the Father

Her Father Follows the Father

(These photos of a few TLC staff members speak, with no words necessary, of their delight in being fathers.) Some fathers are exactly who they should be, when they should be, how they should be to their children. This is a Father’s Day message to...

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