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Travel Journal: A Boy, A Bus, A Spider... And Hope In The Midst

 Harry and Echo and boys took to the Swazi highways and byways this week. Hold onto your winter hat and read what happened at the first sweltering clinic out in the bush.

A crowd awaited The Luke Commission team in a poorer-than-most area of Swaziland. Hundreds had walked miles to get to the clinic, but for the first time a large bus brought in sick Swazis, too. They had heard that The Luke Commission was back in the country. How? On a Swaziland radio, whose managers have asked for a weekly list of clinics.

Trans World Radio also has started announcing dates and locations of The Luke Commission medical mobile clinics.

Harry and Echo and their team worked will into the night, so it was pitch black when the bus returned to pick up patients.

Excitement was high, not just because Swazis had received medical treatment, not just because many had new eyeglasses and needed medications, not just because 112 Zionists from the Jericho sect had accepted Jesus Christ, but because a big, black poisonous tarantula was on the loose. The unwelcome guest scurried under the translators' feet as they reloaded the supply trailers.

Zeb, one of Harry and Echo's 6-year-old triplets, ran towards the commotion, slipping on a rock and tripping almost under the rear tire of the loaded bus.

"Zeb landed only a few inches from that wheel," Echo said. "Emmanuel (a translator) and I hollered at Zeb to stop, but he did not hear us."

"My heart beat fast for an hour. We had a long talk about how when we are tired and hot and our senses do not work as well. It was scary," Echo continued. "I watched that bus driver take off fast and could not do a thing."

(We can do something, and that is to continue to pray for the boys and thank Jesus for His protection Monday night).

Zeb was shaken badly. He told Echo, "When you're a kid my age, you sure have a lot to learn."

By the way, the large poisonous tarantula slithered off into the bush with no further recorded incidence.

Hot it is in Swaziland these days. Echo had to take two critically-ill patients to the Manzini hospital during the first clinic. She also needed to retrieve a forgotten projector.

"After the patients were admitted, I went back to our home base to pick up the projector," Echo explained. "It was so hot, I just wanted to lie down and take a half-hour nap, but I knew the lines of people were waiting..."

The vehicles are running well with their new motors which cost about 33,000 Emalangeni or $5,000. Please pray the air conditioning in the Noah car is restored, as the rides to the bush are dusty and long and, of course, 100 degrees or more.

Harry said the national workers (translators) are working as a great team. While the VanderWals waited for the vehicle repairs, they talked and prayed with each translator individually. They held a 3-hour meeting with community leaders seeking clinics in their areas. The Manzini policeman who tackled the security problems at "home base" also has encouraged Swazis to provide security out in the country at the clinics.

So Isaiah 40:31 becomes dear once again. "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

We are thankful for computer technology and Skype which allows us to talk to Harry and Echo frequently. We will keep you posted. Thank you for your prayers and donations to The Luke Commission. To God be the glory. Already, great things He hath done!

Offering the Hope in Swaziland,
Janet Tuinstra for Harry and Echo and the boys

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