Sawubona: a common greeting in Eswatini, which in English means “I see you” and to which is responded “yebo”. This May, Josh Jones, Adam Klauck, and I spent three weeks in Eswatini, a small country next to South Africa. After finding out a few days before we left that our team leader and his wife were no longer able to join us on the trip, we arrived in Eswatini around 11:30 p.m., after a fifteen-hour flight with our fourteen checked bags in tow (they all miraculously made it safely!). Our team served at The Luke Commission, a medical missions organization in Eswatini. The mission of The Luke Commission (TLC) is “To deliver compassionate, comprehensive healthcare to the most isolated and underserved populations of southern Africa in collaboration with local communities, government, corporate, and non-profit partners.” Our time with The Luke Commission was spent shadowing doctors, serving at outreach, and learning about the mission and ministry of TLC, where they provide free medical and spiritual care to isolated populations in Southern Africa. The organization has over six hundred employees, and around 98% are nationals. The connections and love that the staff shows for one another was so encouraging to see, and I learned so much about compassionate medicine through this experience.
During our three weeks there, we shadowed doctors in acute (set up like a mix of an urgent care and physician’s office), eyes, women’s health, maternity, and inpatient. We also had the opportunity to serve at three outreach days, where TLC traveled one-two hours away from the main campus and provided a free health clinic, typically at a school. The motto of TLC is “every last one,” meaning that they will serve each and every patient that comes, regardless of how long that takes, the weather conditions, or anything else that may get in the way. On one of our outreach days, it stormed as the sun was going down, yet the team worked together to serve each and every patient.
Before each outreach, the team gathered to have a short devotion, sing together, pray, and recite the mission, vision, and core values of TLC. The TLC DNA is Teachable Spirit, Looks for Solutions, Committed to Unity, Dedicated to Every Last One, Not About Me=Servanthood, and Attitude of Gratefulness. It was evident throughout from how the staff interacted with one another and their patients that this is the true DNA of The Luke Commission. Their patients are known as “VIPs,” and they treat each one as family and friends.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was being able to assist in the delivery of a baby at the hospital. It was an incredible learning experience, and it was amazing to see and assist in bringing new life into the world. I was also given the opportunity to watch the first C-section that was done on the campus of The Luke Commission. From an organization that started with only doing outreach and working out of one house to an organization with a large hospital campus that is able to perform surgeries, it was amazing to see the way the Lord is working through TLC.
During our time in Africa, we spent the weekends resting and doing things in the country. We went to Swazi Candle Company, where they handmake beautiful candles, some that are shaped into incredible animals. We also went on a safari game drive and got to see lions, an elephant, giraffes, rhinos, and much more.
Through this whole experience, God reminded me that people are never too broken for His redemption. When The Luke Commission was started, they were mainly caring for patients with HIV who were losing their lives. Many of those who passed left behind children who were now orphaned and needed to be cared for. Fast forward almost twenty years, many of those children are now working for The Luke Commission and continuing to give the compassionate healthcare that they were given years ago. God’s goodness is shown through our hardest circumstances, and He is good even when life seems to be broken.
The Luke Commission treats every patient with the best care possible, even if the patient is severely disabled and will never recover. If you are interested in learning more or giving to The Luke Commission, their website is www.lukecommission.org. I am so thankful for our time spent in Africa, as it was so powerful to see the things that God is doing and the ways that He has grown and orchestrated this ministry.
Major & Year: Nursing, class of 2025
Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 5:8
Hobbies: Hammocking, watching movies, and playing board games