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Luke Society history

1964: A group of physicians and dentists from the Christian Reformed Church in North America reach out to save the Rehoboth Mission Hospital in Gallup, N.M., building a new hospital and providing services and community outreach. The group organizes as the Luke Society.

1969: Dr. Marvin Vanden Bosch becomes medical director of the new Rehoboth hospital which is dedicated the same year.

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1971: Dr. Peter Boelens opens the Cary Christian Health Center in Cary, Miss., where he serves as doctor alongside three nurses. The health center operates out of at 12-by-60-foot trailer. The Luke Society undertakes sponsorship of the ministry.

1978: Dr. Boelens is appointed executive secretary of the Luke Society. The groundwork is established for the Luke Society to partner internationally with indigenous medical professionals.

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1981: The first Luke Society international ministries are formed in the Philippines. By 1982, nine ministries are established on two islands in the Philippines.

1986: A new ministry outreach opens in Dermott, Ark., where Dr. Wrede Vogel sets up a medical practice.

1990: The concept of Partnership Ministry Teams is formed to provide outside support and encouragement for the indigenous ministries; Luke Society hosts its first international conference.

1991: The Luke Society has established an international footprint in seven countries: India, Honduras, Perú, Ghana, Romania, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.

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1996: New regional coordinator roles are established. Dr. Apolos Landa of Peru oversees Latin America and Dr. John Oduro-Boateng of Ghana serves in Africa.

1999: Dr. Boelens steps down as executive director of the Luke Society and is replaced by Dr. Vogel, who had moved into a private practice in Luverne, Minn.; The Luke Society central office moves from Vicksburg, Miss., to Sioux Falls, S.D.; Dr. Augustin Batis of Romania becomes regional coordinator for Eastern Europe.

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2005: Luke Society central office move across town in Sioux Falls, S.D., from Minnesota Avenue to its present location at 3409 S. Gateway Blvd.; Dr. Pal Oroszi of Ukraine replaces Dr. Batis as regional coordinator for Eastern Europe.

2006: The Luke Society splits its Latin America presence into two regions. Dr. Jose Luis Guerrero of Mexico becomes regional coordinator for Central America and Dr. Landa begins working exclusively with the South American ministries; seventeen international ministry sites are formed from 1999-2006.

2007: Dr. Julius Surjadi of Indonesia becomes regional coordinator for Asia.

2012: Fourteen new ministries are formed from 2007-12.

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2013: A ministry begins in Lugansk, Ukraine and becomes the 40th active Luke Society-supported ministry.

2014: Luke Society celebrates its 50th anniversary in ministry.

2017: Luke Society supports 42 active ministry partners.