Serving Well When the Needs Seem Overwhelming : Echo VanderWal

Serving Well When the Needs Seem Overwhelming - Echo VanderWal - 105 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

How can we remain resilient in ministry when we face tremendous challenges today and an unknown tomorrow? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Echo VanderWal. Echo and her husband Harry founded The Luke Commission, the largest non-governmental health care provider in the Kingdom of Eswatini in southern Africa. Together, Echo and Jason look at the incredible importance of soul care for yourself, your family, and your team as you serve in ministry. Echo shares stories from their ministry as they faced the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic all the way through the COVID pandemic and beyond.

Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!

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Ministry Leaders Growth Guide

Key Insights and Concepts

  • Early callings in life often lay the groundwork for significant journeys with God, even when the destination seems unclear at the time.
  • Partnerships built on shared callings and complementary skills can sustain and enrich ministry endeavors, especially in challenging contexts.
  • Embarking on a journey of faith often involves taking blind steps, relying on trust in God’s higher plans and purpose rather than our own concrete plans.
  • Founding an organization or creating any type of ministry can emerge from responding to specific needs revealed on the ground, rather than from preconceived plans.
  • Scaling compassion requires intentional efforts to address individual and collective internal wounds, fostering healing and resilience.
  • Balancing professional pursuits and family commitments requires mutual support and acknowledgment of each spouse’s strengths and roles.
  • Integrating family, including children, into vocational journeys can deepen personal connections to the mission and promote a sense of belonging to the community and the family unit.
  • Navigating unforeseen challenges in ministry requires anchoring decisions in principles of compassion and empathy,
  • Attention to an individual’s inner healing should never be neglected. Inner healing processes not only benefit individuals but also empower teams to navigate crises with resilience and unity.
  • Enduring hardships in ministry calls for leaning into faith, despite the intensity of the trials.
  • Recognizing the transient nature of life underscores the significance of eternal hope in Jesus, which can be sustaining when facing intense pain and suffering.
  • The integration of spiritual care within areas of ministry that are not overtly spiritual offers holistic support and opens doors for sharing the hope of eternity.
  • Listening to the still small voice of the Spirit amidst chaos provides guidance and anchors individuals to the solid foundation of Jesus.
  • Prioritizing life-giving activities amidst challenges is essential for maintaining resilience and sustaining mission-driven work.
  • Seeking support and guidance from mentors or coaches can provide valuable insights and help maintain balance during difficult times.

Questions for Reflection

  • How would I describe my calling to ministry? How has that influenced my current sense of purpose and direction in ministry?
  • Reflecting on my collaborative partnerships, what unique strengths do I bring to my team? How do I leverage my contributions, and the contributions of others, for collective impact?
  • Describe a time when I felt uncertain in my ministry journey. What did I experience? How did I navigate that season?
  • What steps can I take to seek God for guidance and direction when I do not know how everything will turn out? How does this feel?
  • Can I recall a moment when I had to respond to a pressing need in my community or congregation without a predefined plan? How did I navigate that situation? What was the outcome?
  • In what ways do I prioritize compassion and healing within my ministry, both for individuals and the community as a whole?
  • How do I balance my professional commitments with my responsibilities to my family and loved ones within the context of ministry leadership? When I struggle with this, what steps can I take to get back in balance?
  • In what ways am I incorporating my family into my ministry work? Do I sense they are feeling a part of the mission and deepening connections? Why or why not?
  • Do I consider myself a compassionate person? How does compassion show up in the ways I serve?
  • When facing unexpected challenges, how do I ensure my decisions are grounded in empathy and compassion for those affected?
  • What are some of the greatest challenges that I have faced in ministry? How do I sustain faith and determination in the face of ongoing trials and hardships within my ministry context?
  • In what ways does my understanding of eternity shape my approach to ministry and the care I provide to those in need?
  • When navigating chaotic times, how do I discern the still, small voice of the Spirit amidst the noise?
  • What practices do I prioritize to maintain personal well-being and resilience amidst the demands of ministry leadership?
  • How do I seek and utilize mentorship or guidance to navigate challenges and uncertainties in my ministry journey? Who is my coach or mentor? Who am I coaching or mentoring?

Full-Text Transcript

How can we remain resilient in ministry when we face tremendous challenges today and an unknown tomorrow?

Jason Daye
In this episode, I’m joined by Echo VanderWal. Echo and her husband Harry founded The Luke Commission, the largest non-governmental health care provider in the kingdom of Eswatini in southern Africa. Together, Echo and I look at the incredible importance of soul care for yourself, your family, and your team as you serve in ministry. Echo shares stories from their ministry as they faced the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic all the way through the COVID pandemic and beyond. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye
Hello, friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I am your host, Jason Daye. Each and every week, I have the privilege to sit down with a ministry leader all in an effort to dive into a conversation helping you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy rhythm for both life and ministry. We’re proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. And not only do we have a conversation every single week, but our team creates an entire toolkit that’s available to you and your team at your local church. You can find that toolkit at There, you will find a number of resources, including our Ministry Leaders Growth Guide that has some insights and some questions that you can process through and take your team through at your local church to help you dig more deeply into the topic that we discussed. So be sure to check that out at Now, our team at Pastor Serve loves walking alongside pastors and ministry leaders, and if you would like to learn more about how you can receive a complimentary coaching session from a trusted ministry coach, you can find that information at Now, if you’re joining us on YouTube, we ask that you give us a thumbs up and take a moment to drop your name and the name of your church or ministry in the comments below. We love getting to know our audience better and we will be praying for you and for your ministry. Whether you’re following us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, please be sure to subscribe and to follow so you do not miss out on any of these great conversations. And I told you I was excited about today’s conversation. At this time, I would like to welcome Echo VanderWal to the show. Echo, welcome.

Echo VanderWal
Hi, thanks. How are you doing?

Jason Daye
I’m doing very well. Thank you for making the time to hang out with us here on FrontStage BackStage and you are joining us from the other side of the world, which is really, really exciting. Echo, I would love for you… Well, first, we’re going to dive into talking through how to lean into God whenever you face challenging situations in ministry, and you’re going to share some from your story and Harry, your husband’s story. But before we get into some of those questions, I would love for you to share with us a little bit about your ministry, where you are, what you’re doing, and kind of how you and Harry ended up being involved in The Luke Commission.

Echo VanderWal
Well, thanks, Jason. When I was eight years old, I was actually sitting in church on a Wednesday night and felt called to work overseas in health care. I didn’t know where. I felt that Africa was the continent, but I didn’t know anymore. But I just really did feel a strong call from God on that. And then when my husband was 17, he had a similar calling. And we met when we were 19. We graduated from undergrad in 2021, and then we went to medical school, he went and was board-certified eventually in internal medicine and pediatrics, and I went to PA school. My background is in surgery and pediatrics. Then we finished and right when he finished his residency, God opened the doors for us to be able to go to a country by the name of Eswatini, which at the time was called Swaziland. And it’s a very small country in southern Africa that had the terrible distinction of having the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. So in 2004, for the first time, it was actually the first stamp on our passports, we boarded the airplane to go to Eswatini. And we landed in the middle of probably the worst of the HIV pandemic. And someone took us off of an airplane and took us to a rural area, and we saw people dying in their houses. And we really felt that God wanted us to come back and to embed, especially in the rural areas, so that people would have access to health care. So it was a long maturation process, I would say, of a calling. But definitely know that there was a very specific time that God said you will go overseas and work in African health care. Of course, it was a very vague calling at that point. But I’m grateful to have been on the journey for I guess it’s 40-plus years now, just pursuing that from a young child.

Jason Daye
Yeah, that’s awesome, Echo. Now, it’s pretty wild when you tell the story, you tell the story just like yeah, this is what happened, which is amazing. But for most of us, we’re like, okay, hold on, Echo. You and Harry, you went to med school went to PA school, you graduated, you decided to go take this trip to this small country in Africa. And you’re there, and then you decide, okay, yeah, God, this is what we’re gonna do. And then you literally just did it. You just moved there and started ministry. So, help us understand. Because for a lot of people, it’s hard to maybe wrap your mind around it. And as you said, God was at work in your life and in Harry’s life, obviously. But it’s just one of those things where it’s just like, wow. You literally stepped out of an airplane, you saw some people, and you saw the need. And you said, Okay, this is where we need to be. Tell us a little bit about that decision-making process. And how was God preparing you for that? Then what was that like for you and Harry? Did you both say, Okay, this is it? Or did you have to wrestle through some things? What did that look like?

Echo VanderWal
Well, maybe when you say in two minutes, it sounds like it was just very easy. And on the surface, or even at the core, it was easy because God had been preparing us for 20 years for it. And I didn’t mention the fact that when my husband was in residency, we had triplet boys. So when we first came to Eswatini, we came with our youngest. At that time, we had four, a boy, two months old, he’s turning 20 In a few months. So he’s aged here and raised here. So, we came, and I will tell you that every single step has been a blind step of faith. From really, if the steps started at eight years old, or it started when we came to Eswatini for the first time, we never got the validation or confirmation of 10 steps ahead, ever. It was always okay, this is what God would lay on your heart that you need to take a blind step of faith. And then you would say, well, but what about the next step? And he just wouldn’t reveal that until you took the first step. So I know it sounds a little bit crazy. But it was the journey that he took us on. And we were not really, I would say, well-understood at the beginning. It was difficult for people to understand because when we came to Eswatini, we really felt called to the rural areas. That’s where we saw the massive gap in health care. And so we looked around the country to see who was working in the country doing kind of high volume work in rural areas and didn’t really find an existing organization. And so then we ended up founding The Luke commission, not because we planned to found an organization, but we were just responding to the calling that God had given us earlier and then the needs that he revealed to us on the ground.

Jason Daye
Wow, that’s amazing. And so The Luke Commission, tell us a little bit about that. What does it look like today?

Echo VanderWal
Well, it looks very different today than it did in 2004. When we first started, Harry and I were the only medical professionals that we had and we actually went to all of the outreaches in the rural areas. And then over the years, God opened the door. At that time, we were just living and actually doing ministry in one house. We were working with a team of about 12 local staff. And then in 2013, God opened the doors for us to buy 150 acres in the center of the country. It just had an old dairy barn on it at the time. And since then, with a team of 700 now on our team, they’ve built 25 buildings there. To be honest with you, Jason, I cannot tell you how it all happened because when you look back on it, it seems like it’s not possible. But somehow God just, one step after another, allowed things to happen that we definitely could never have anticipated. On one hand, you know God can do things that are beyond your imagination. On the other hand, you don’t want to demand anything from him. So it’s been, you know, trying to stay in that space where you expect God to do big things, but you don’t have expectations of what his plan is. So it’s been an amazing journey. And now it’s a team of, as I mentioned, 700 with 45 different departments. We basically developed all the support teams there. So the 45 departments are all of our fleet maintenance, engineering, and biomed. And we have ended up building a digital ecosystem that we use to really enhance the efficiencies of the organization because we’re seeing about 300,000 patients a year. So it’s very high volume. And in order to do that in a resource-limited area, we started embracing building digital technology about seven years ago. And eventually, it gets so exciting that you solve big problems with applications that the team has just built. Several applications that drive the day-to-day operations. So there’s a lot that’s happened, I would say since God opened the doors for us to buy what we call the miracle campus. But the first eight years, I would say, I wouldn’t call them lonely, but they were definitely just kind of like walking in quite limited space as far as external support, I would say. But a very intimate space with God because he was revealing things to us in those eight years. You wouldn’t really have an understanding of the barriers, the lack of access to treatment, how people feel rejected, or what happens as a result of a child losing their parents when they’re young from HIV, and then what implications that has later on. And so God revealed a lot to us in those eight years. And it was really a time that when you look back on, you know that God was just setting the stage for what he planned to do in the future.

Jason Daye
Yeah, Echo, I absolutely love that. Now, I think you shared something very important there because oftentimes in ministry, we might look at another ministry organization or a church down the road, and we see Oh, Wow, looks like amazing things are happening there. And if people looked at The Luke Commission today, they’d be like, unbelievable. Like, how did this happen? How did God birth this? And yet, you said that there was a long period of preparation, of challenge, of just step-by-step faithfulness, and leaning on God. Can you share with us a little bit in more detail about what that looks like as you are just taking that one step at a time, and some of the challenges that you faced in those first eight years? And then how did you navigate some of those challenges?

Echo VanderWal
I mean, there were big challenges. I’m sure, as you’ve spoken to other ministry leaders around the world, there’s definitely, in environments like ours, an apathy about how long a foreigner would stay and minister. So basically, people are always looking and waiting for you to leave. So it takes time to build relationships. Of course, relationship is a foundation, not just in ministry life, but definitely in health care. And then exponentiated when you’re working in a highly stigmatized disease, like HIV. When we came here, the UN said that by the year 2030, if something didn’t change drastically, Eswatini would be considered statistically extinct. It was a crazy, very difficult scene on the ground. And then during that period, 20% of our nation became orphaned due to HIV. So now you have all this woundedness that is creeping in from people not being raised by their biological parents. And it’s very painful. I grew up in a poor family, but my parents loved us and they were always around. Poverty did not define us. Love defined the environment in our family. And then you watch people who are shuttled around from place to place and typically not treated as a child like a parent would treat a child. They’re typically raised by extended family members which can end up in a lot of different equations. And then people don’t trust and they don’t want to establish relationships because they’ve been hurt very deeply. And I think that those beginning years when we started to understand, what are the patients going through. Why do they not access the care that they want? It’s not because they don’t want help for HIV, it’s because they felt stigmatized when they went. And very early on, God just really impressed in our hearts so deeply that we needed to take care of every person like our own family member. And even on our name badges, it says, treat every last one as your own father, mother, brother, sister, or child. And, Jason, during the hardest decision points that has been an anchor that we’ve gone back to. We don’t know what to do in this situation. But if it was our family member, what would we do? And it’s definitely not something that builds a 50-page strategic plan. But in the hardest of difficult times, it does help you to make much better decisions than you would without those filters. And very early on God really impressed on us that compassion has to be the cornerstone of what you do. Now then, as the ministry scaled and grew, you have to figure out how to scale compassion. And to be honest with you at first, I had no idea how to do that. Because, in fact, in those eight years, we had a lot of naysayers. Someone asked us, are you committing professional suicide? There were just a lot of interesting things that were said to us. But I realized that if it wasn’t for those eight years of kind of not being affirmed in ministry space, you wouldn’t have the rootedness or the groundedness that you needed when things were maybe on the outside looking successful. Because you go back to the learning points and the lessons that you learned during those difficult times. But at some stage, we had to figure out how we were going to scale compassion because more and more people are coming for services, obviously, there’s a limit to what Harry and I can do. And that process of moving through scaling compassion, I would say, was the thread that was woven through the first eight years to the point where we realized at some stage, this was about eight or nine years ago, that the majority of the people that were working for us were orphaned during the worst of the HIV crisis. And now we’re asking people that are wounded to heal and it’s very difficult to heal when you’re wounded. We really took a step back at that stage. We felt that God’s impressed in our spirits that, you know, you’re taking care of all the sick people out there, but what are you doing to heal the hearts of the people who work for you? And very quickly then you felt like God was saying that it’s very important to heal the orphan spirit. And next thing that he said was, that it’s not only people who have lost their physical parents that have an orphan spirit, you have an orphan spirit, and then recognizing that we all have orphan spirits, and we all need inner healing. And you know, God really, I wouldn’t say I hear God audibly, but there’s definitely impressions where you know that he’s saying, You need to go in this direction. And sometimes there will be people who say no, that’s not a good direction. But you have that sight, very deep root, that that’s where God wants you to go. And this was a very transformative turning point for us when we decided that we were going to start a program by the name of Base Camp. It’s a 10-week induction program for any new staff that come and work at TLC. And it’s a time that we start first with things that are good for the collective, if I could put it that way, like leadership training and personal development. And then once we get to the three or four-week mark, we start moving into, is there anyone in your life that you’d like to reconcile with? Is there anyone you need to forgive? And offering counseling sessions for people to be able to work through those individual relationships that have not really been what they want them to be. Many times people have lost a parent or parents have been absent and that’s causing a woundedness in the staff where they can’t move on. So it’s been, you know, just being able to journey with the patients, journey with the staff, and really understand at a deep level what needs to happen on a spiritual level in order for people to move into true victory and true freedom. That definitely, in another culture, doesn’t happen overnight. So those foundational years were important for us to be able to get guidance from God on how to move into the scaling compassion process. And now, I mean, I never thought it could happen, but it happens. And it’s literally the most transformative thing we’ve ever done is that process of having an intentional way to work through inner healing.

Jason Daye
Yeah, that’s absolutely amazing, Echo. As I hear you talking about that, you’re doing something that I think we all can learn from. All of us in our ministry spaces and places in that you’re not just focusing on what we call the front stage, right? But you’re focusing on the backstage. As you’re bringing on new staff members, you are concerned about their skills, their abilities to serve, and their abilities to do the job. But you understand the kind of backstage of their life and the value and importance of soul care, right? And caring for their soul, and the fact that that is a part of the culture that you are building at The Luke Commission. And I just want to commend you for that. I hope that all those who are watching and listening along are thinking about how they can apply that to their own ministry setting with their own teams and how they can pour into their own team because I think that’s so vital. So, Echo, let’s talk a little bit about the backstage for you because I don’t want it to be lost on our audience. So, Echo, you and your husband, Harry, moved to Africa with four little children, triplets, and another two month old, he was he was under one, right? So, Echo, what have you and Harry done in your own lives, in the backstage of your lives, for your marriage and for your family? Because I can only imagine you’re surrounded by needs that are so great externally, right? I mean, you’re looking into the eyes of people who have had so much loss, but at the same time, you’ve got to pour into your marriage and into your family. So share with us a little bit, what did that look like for you, Harry, and your family?

Echo VanderWal
Well, thanks for that. I think sometimes you don’t think about this a lot. But when you reflect back, you realize that God was pairing us together with a complementary set of skills, desires, or areas that we would like to focus on. I love work. I love work so much. And Harry’s let me walk in that calling and not try maybe to gender-norm our marriage. I don’t use that word very much. But really, he’s just allowed me to walk in the calling. And then he is very careful to be intentional about our family time, about making sure that we do go on holidays, or travel. And he’s worked very hard at being intentional about our family life. So that’s very helpful because I’m an all-in, what’s the hardest problem in front of us. Let’s go try to solve it. And he’s very much making sure that on the backstage the family is doing well. As you mentioned, we came over with four young children, we actually had two additional children here. And the triplets graduated from university right around when COVID started in 2020. And they’ve actually all decided to stay here and go to school online, which we were totally shocked about. We didn’t think that they would stay around. But it was very interesting when they were making that decision that they said, Well, Dad has taken us everywhere, we don’t have anywhere to go explore, this is home. And they really feel very rooted in the ministry, which has been something that we’ve been very grateful for. They did travel with us for the first eight years. So we worked together as a family, they would board the bus with their video school, and they couldn’t get off the bus until they were done with school. And then when they would get off, they would come work with us. And they said that that was very important for knitting their hearts together with the calling on the ground here. We’ve never pushed the kids at all to be involved in the ministry. But you can tell that it’s part of who they are. One has already graduated with a degree in cybersecurity and the other one just has one class left in international business. And the other one has a class left in business management. The fourth one’s already started. So we’re really grateful for, I’m really grateful personally, just to have a spouse that has allowed us maybe to not have exactly the descriptions in the marriage of what genders should be doing what but said, No, you have a gifting there, I want you to work in that gifting. I’m going to work over here and my gifting and it’s been really a big blessing.

Jason Daye
That’s awesome. Echo, share with us maybe one of the, and I’m sure that you could probably share many stories, but maybe one of the great challenges that you and Harry or your family faced as you were ministering there. And how did God help you face that challenge, process through that challenge, and navigate that challenge?

Echo VanderWal
Well, there are a lot of challenges, although somehow they dull in intensity as time moves on. But one recent challenge that we’ve been through organizationally is that when COVID came to Eswatini in December 2020, we were not prepared as a nation. In fact, we had no way to produce our own oxygen in Eswatini, so we would completely depend on South Africa for oxygen. And obviously, they were also having a COVID wave and you don’t feed your neighbor’s children when your children don’t have food. And that’s exactly what happened. We didn’t get oxygen from South Africa. When that happened, the other facilities would just tell the patients they didn’t have oxygen. And so everyone was coming to us. In fact, when all the data was compressed, after a couple of years, 90% of the ICU patients in the whole country came to our facility. And we also didn’t have oxygen, enough oxygen, at that point and we had to make a very difficult decision. What would we do if it were our own mother? And that’s where I say that that anchor is very important to go back to. So we decided we weren’t going to push anyone away. It was very clear that God was saying, if it was your mom, you would love her even if you didn’t have the one thing she needed. And so we did that. And at the same time, our country broke out into civil unrest for the first time in our nation’s history ever. And so at the same time that we had these huge COVID challenges without enough oxygen, the country is really not at peace. And we kind of got in the political crosshairs at times because there was some desire for the country not to do well, for certain political reasons. And because of that, then we were a problem because we were helping the country and they even called us a slaughterhouse at one stage. Things that were very painful because inside, we just knew, you don’t have oxygen, you don’t have the first weapon to fight COVID. But the team decided, and this is where the base camp process came in because I think we had been doing that for about four years when COVID came. I can tell you, unequivocally, that if it wouldn’t have been for base camp and the inner healing process, we would have never navigated through these difficult waters. It really prepared us and gave us the reserve and the resilience to be able to push through these difficult times. And our team just never wavered, never looked back, they were so grateful that we didn’t give up, and that we didn’t close the gate. They kept working and in the end, it ended up being an amazing story of how much the team did, we’ve been visited by people from every continent in the world, other than Antarctica, to hear what happened during COVID In this country because in between the second and third wave, we ended up building an oxygen plant. Based on that digital system which was telling us how much oxygen we needed. We ended up building an oxygen plant that was the biggest in the continent of Africa of the type that we built. So you know, it was very difficult and very intense. But at the same time, you could see that God was crafting a story that was his story and one we couldn’t understand. I would say that just, for us, leaning in when things are hard and not retreating or withdrawing has been key. Not that it’s always easy. It’s definitely not always easy. But those are been key lessons for us. And when you reflect back when you’re facing the next difficult thing, and you reflect back on what God’s done, you see how he’s been so faithful during those times.

Jason Daye
Yes, that’s beautiful. Echo, I’m curious and I’m sure others might be curious as well. You are working in a field where you see a lot of brokenness, a lot of pain, a lot of death, honestly. How do you process through that? Because if you’re serving with compassion, and as you said, relationship is so important. Whenever you do see the pain, the brokenness, the loss, whenever death does come, over all of these years that you’ve been serving, how do you move through that? What do you receive from God in the midst of that, so that you can continue on and move on as you face those big situations?

Echo VanderWal
I think the realization that this life is not forever and that eternal life is what is most important. Working in healthcare, especially in a situation like we’re in here in Eswatini, where HIV is still really a huge part of the day-to-day reality, is that for us, we’ve paired healthcare as a way to open doors to be able to share about the hope of eternity through Jesus Christ. And even though Harry and I are medical personnel, trained medical personnel, we work hand-in-hand with a spiritual care team. Our whole team does. So everywhere we’re working in health care, direct health care provision, there’s always the spiritual care team. That part of our team is one of the links in the chain that just has to be there. If you didn’t have that hope, I don’t know how you would handle it. Because if there’s no eternity, then you can’t just trudge through seeing, as you’ve mentioned, a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. But understanding that God’s using that open door to be able to make sure that people have eternity with Him. That’s where the comfort comes. For me, I couldn’t really find comfort anywhere else if there wasn’t the hope of eternity.

Jason Daye
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s helpful. Echo, as we close down our conversation, this has been very helpful and informative. Can you share a bit of some words of encouragement for other pastors and ministry leaders who might be facing challenges themselves? How would you encourage them?

Echo VanderWal
Well, for us, the encouragement has been in the still small voice. Because in the times when nothing makes sense, that’s the only thing that can guide you to safer ground or more solid ground. Because truly, the waters of ministry are difficult and especially when that ministry is happening over a long period of time because there are so many ebbs and flows, and unexpected things that happen. But my encouragement is, that we’ve gone through some difficult things in the last few years since COVID because the number of patients coming to us has gone up 450%, of course, our resources have not gone up 450%. So there’s been really difficult decisions we’ve had to make. And I have reached out to, even at this stage, I reached out and realized that I need a life coach right now, just because things are hard. And that life coach has been very good to say, really be intentional about making sure that you’re balancing life-giving and life-sucking activities. Doesn’t have to be on the life-giving all the time, but you cannot get pulled into the life-sucking activities too often. You’ve got to pull back and make sure that you refuel and revive your spirit. Otherwise, you can’t face what’s in front of you. And so we’re not experts by any terms of the imagination in this area. But definitely hearing the still small voice and making sure to integrate more life-giving activities during difficult times has been key for us to be able to balance out through the difficult times.

Jason Daye
Yeah, thank you so much, Echo. And if you want to learn more about The Luke Commission, you guys can download the toolkit that goes with this episode. And you can find that at Echo, are there other ways that they can connect with you and with your ministry? What are some ways they can find out more information?

Echo VanderWal
Well, feel free to visit us on the website,, or write us at We’d love to connect with you. We do have a lot of people that visit over here. We do have visits of subspecialists and other people who come and work with us on the ground here and contribute in other areas of the ministry. So we’d love to connect with anybody who’s interested.

Jason Daye
Excellent. Yes, absolutely love that. Thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with us, Echo. It’s an inspiring story to hear what God has done in and through your family. And we’ll be praying for you and for your ministry.

Echo VanderWal
Thank you very much, Jason. Have a great day.

Jason Daye
You too.

Jason Daye
Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at That’s And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.

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