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Ministry Spotlight: The Luke Commission

Revenue, expenses and net assets more than double over 2-year period

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The Luke Commission (TLC), based in Eswatini, Africa, saw a significant increase in both revenue and expenses from 2020 to 2022.

In 2020, the organization had revenue of $8.5 million with $7.9 million in expenses. A year later, in 2021, its revenue jumped to $20.7 million. In 2022 it was $19.3 million.

TLC also has $17.7 million in net assets and a reserve coverage of 120%, compared with 68% for other organizations in the Foreign Missions sector.

According to USAID, in 2020, TLC opened a Specialty Care and Surgical Centre to serve “patients with a full pharmacy, medical laboratory, three operating rooms, an emergency/casualty unit, a vision screening station, and X-ray and ultrasound rooms.” It also expanded its services to treat COVID-19 patients.

The organization, which has a 90% Donor Confidence Score in the MinistryWatch database, was founded in 2005 by Harry and Echo VanderWal. The couple chose Eswatini because it has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection globally (26%) and lacks access to medical care due to its isolated rural communities.

Since 2005, the organization has grown into a fixed medical site known as the Miracle Campus that provides 24/7 outpatient and inpatient care, including HIV care, cancer screening, eye screening, pharmacy services, counseling, as well as emergency, surgical, and specialty care.

According to its website, the Miracle Campus is “a robust infrastructure of medical facilities, oxygen services, supply chain and logistics warehouses, housing, and support functions, [and] serves as TLC’s logistical hub and heartbeat of staff development as the team mobilizes throughout the country.”

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The organization has two boards—one in Eswatini (5 members) and one in the United States (7 members). But the founders of the organization, Harry and Echo VanderWal, sit on both boards.

When MinistryWatch reached out to the Luke Commission for information about it’s sudden growth, Echo VanderWal responded, “The increases you noted reflect increases in gift-in-kind donations, not cash donations or cash expenditures. For full transparency and in accordance with best accounting practices, TLC accounts for all gift-in-kind (GIK) donations in local wholesale value. These GIK donations are considered in TLC’s annual audit.

“Regarding governance, operational control of The Luke Commission lies with the board of The Luke Commission Swaziland, a registered nonprofit in Eswatini. A sister organization providing fundraising and communications support in the United States, The Luke Commission, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) with a separate board. In 2023, Harry VanderWal stepped off both the USA and Eswatini boards. I continue to serve on the board of The Luke Commission, Inc. (US entity) and the board of The Luke Commission Swaziland (Eswatini entity).

“The Luke Commission Swaziland and The Luke Commission, Inc., voluntarily participate in a consolidated audit annually; all audits have come back with unqualified opinions (clean).”

The Luke Commission also made MinistryWatch’s List of the “50 Largest Bible Translation and Foreign Missions Organizations in the US,” moving from a “Not Ranked” position to number 32 on the list.

MinistryWatch Donor Confidence Score: 90 (out of a possible 100) “Give with Confidence”

MinistryWatch Financial Efficiency Rating:  4 Stars (out of a possible 5 Stars)

MinistryWatch Transparency Grade:  D

ECFA Member? No

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Brittany Smith

Brittany Smith is a freelance writer living in Colorado Springs. She is the co-author of Unplanned Grace: A Compassionate Conversation on Life and Choice.