This week I’ve had the opportunity to meet with various staff members here at Thrive Africa to learn about the departments in which they work. It’s sort of like getting a broad overview/general training in each department.
While this might sound tedious to some, I’ve loved it. Not only do I get to see all the ways in which Thrive is interconnected, but I have the chance to hear the passions of the staff with the work God has called them to do. I can hear the excitement in their voices. I can detect the love they have for the people they serve. I see glimpses of compassion and joy they get from different local pastors, coaches, interpreters, and other staff members. I see their eyes light up while teaching me about their favorite parts of their jobs. I have the opportunity to hear the doors God has opened for Thrive, the faithfulness He has continually given, the provision and protection He supplies. I see room for growth, for expansion, and the need the area has for the work Thrive does.
And it is beautiful.
It’s hard to not ‘catch the heartbeat of Thrive’ as Jace says. I haven’t even started doing any outreach yet but sitting with the staff this week has been an absolute privilege. In offices with thatched roofs and drafty windows, I’ve seen God show up more than I can describe. I’ve been encouraged by the big, long-term dreams the staff has shared with me. I’ve been inspired by their perseverance this year. I’ve been humbled by their complete trust in God. It’s like watching a child who grabs her Father’s hand in the dark and, with one glance in His reassuring eyes, faces the unknown, moonless night without fear but with determination.
God is known here. He is ever-present. He is always acknowledged, always thanked, always at the center.
While I’m not at work, I’m spending time with the interns and staff building relationships and community. I can’t remember a time, or group of people, that has been more welcoming, encouraging, warm, and selfless. Any question I have, any concern I raise, any thing I need has been addressed with grace and love. I’ve gotten to know my roommates better in the past almost-week than I knew some of my roommates in college. The questions I raise in my meetings are answered..no matter how random or off-the-wall they may be. I eat meals with the year-long and summer interns. I’m blown away by the vigor with which these students pursue God. Both groups are very close and have created a family here in South Africa. It’s a blessing to watch them interact, debrief their days, and build each other up.
The reckless love I see here is like honey to my heart right now. Thrive is truly a pocket of light in a world encompassed with darkness. I’m excited about the outreach opportunities I will have later this week. To go out and meet the people with a different cultural and spiritual background has my heart smiling and my soul rejuvenated. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this and when I sit back and close my eyes, I know this is exactly where God wants me right now.