Recently when listening to my favorite daily devotional, I heard a story about Francis Asbury. When John Wesley was looking for someone to come to America to encourage the fledgling Methodists in the new world, 26-year-old Francis Asbury raised his hand and took on the assignment. He arrived to find 316 Methodist society members. He road an average of 6,000 miles a year on horseback, totaling some 270,000 miles. He preached upward of 15,000 sermons, ordained 4,000 ministers, and presided over 224 annual conferences of the burgeoning movement. Forty-five years later, the movement had grown to over 215,000 members.*
When Asbury took on this assignment, he had no idea where it would lead or how much impact he would have on the kingdom of God. He simply chose to be obedient to God’s leading in his life. In 2015 a group of young women came together to form the Thrive Ladies discipleship group. Their original purpose was to encourage one another and carry each other’s burdens. As they grew, their vision also grew. They became advocates for those younger than themselves, providing a safe place for girls to share about their challenges. The Thrive Ladies participated in several training programs to educate and equip themselves to effectively minister to others. Since 2018 they have been able to meet more than 1,000 young people, encouraging them in their faith, raising awareness about gender-based violence and human trafficking, and helping provide basic needs for vulnerable girls. Two “Thrive Jr.” discipleship groups have formed, with more on the horizon. The Thrive Ladies have also partnered with one local FM church in developing a “Thrive Boys” group.
In addition, these ladies have established a presence on several social media platforms, sharing their experiences and highlighting issues related to human trafficking. Developing partnerships with SEED, Tumaini Women Kenya (TWK) and the Set Free Movement has given them even more unique ways to serve. Thrive Ladies are still thriving!
When these young women started with Thrive, they, like Francis Asbury, had no idea where God would lead them. With the Lord’s help, the Thrive Ladies are committed to seeking and serving God as they love and disciple others, so they too may Thrive.
*Walt, J.D. “Are You Raising Your Hand Yet?” Seedbed Daily Text. 2021, May 1.