Thrive Kenya leaders Yvonne Mtafuta and Lillian Kanji were excited, eager and a bit nervous in the weeks leading up to their first international mission trip. They had the opportunity to travel to West Africa where they would share about Thrive with the FMC in Lomé, Togo. Yvonne and Lillian loved the experience of “international travel.” Flying for the first time is always exciting – right? But there was so much more that made this trip an unforgettable experience for them and others!
Over the week, Yvonne and Lillian had several opportunities to share their calling to Thrive. The first opportunity was with a core group of young women from the Free Methodist Church in Lomé. Through several training sessions, they covered topics like discipleship, child protection, online safety and raising awareness of gender-based violence and human trafficking. The ladies from Togo were very engaged and eager to learn. Within a few days, the young women in Togo took the lead as they taught during the distribution of Days for Girls Kits at the FMC school in Tchore. The young women in Togo even did a presentation for the women’s group at the FMC in Lomé. They did a great job and were well received.
Yvonne and Lillian also taught students at the Wesley Missionary Institute (WMI). These two young women are excellent teachers, and the students were engaged and eager to learn. It was eye-opening for everyone, as the different cultural perspectives came into play regarding the causes of human trafficking and gender-based violence. Typically these topics are not addressed well by the government or the church – so having this opportunity to have frank, honest discussions was huge! As these missionary students graduate and return home to begin their cross-cultural mission work, they become better prepared and more aware.
What a blessing to know that while the Thrive “movement” will continue strong in Kenya, it is also being established in Togo as the “New Thrive Generation” group begins to grow. And hopefully, every student who goes out from Wesley Missionary will impact the communities they serve. From Kenya to Togo, from East to West, and even beyond – may the hearts and lives of many be transformed and, yes, rescued – for the Glory of God!