Travel Journal: Humbled and Thrilled, the VanderWals Return to Africa.
One week from today, January 17, Harry and Echo VanderWal and their four little boys will leave Atlanta, Georgia, for Swaziland, Africa.
So many of you have participated in this departure, and for that we are grateful. Thrilled. Excited. Humbled. Sitting on the edge of our seats, watching and working and waiting for God's outpouring on the Swazis and on us.
What's different about this departure than the previous five departures?
- The Luke Commission is now an official non-profit charity.
- Hundreds of new supporters have joined the North American TLC team to take medical missions to southern Africans who have little or no health care.
- Many volunteers, who may never visit Swaziland themselves, are laboring on this side of the ocean to take the Gospel to the other side of the ocean.
- The VanderWals and their mobile medical clinics idea is sparking the interest of churches and schools and civil organizations.
- Tens of thousands of eyeglasses have been donated by Lions' Club in Illinois and North Carolina.
- The Luke Commission's first magazine / gift catalog is in several thousand homes, hopefully to be read and reread throughout 2008.
- JLZ Enterprises, Inc., Echo's business which launched The Luke Commission and financed the first trips to Africa, is being phased out step by step so the VanderWals can devote full-time to God's call for African medical missions.
- Response to the "critical needs" list was marvelous. Many of you acted generously, for which the VanderWals and the Swazi national team out in the bush will be continually grateful. Harry and Echo will revise this list and post it on the TLC website.
In other departure news, Bob and Sabrina Ludka and Cathy will join the VanderWals from February 13 to March 2. Kalvin and Janet Tuinstra will return to Swaziland March 22 until everyone returns May 16.
If you need to contact the VanderWals during the next four months, you may email them at [email protected]. It may take them a few days to pick up your email, but they will eventually receive it. Any general questions about The Luke Commission may be directed to April Mathews in Idaho at [email protected].
Please continue to pray that thousands who are dying of AIDS and related diseases will hear that Jesus loves them before it's too late. To God by the glory!
Love in Jesus,
for The Luke Commssion & the VanderWals