“I love the openness, the way you’ve embraced each lady,” Olivia expressed to the volunteer team. “It’s like you’ve known them forever! You’re really friends with them. I think it’s because you know each other’s culture.”

Olivia is one of two African women influential in local missional communities who is observing the Thrive retreat this week. These ladies have been invited to begin a discussion about what a ministry like Thrive could look like for them. How can they meet the needs of global women sent by African nations who are ministering cross-culturally?

Olivia lives in South Africa, where she and her husband Serge lead Wycliffe Africa and oversee Bible translation for 17 African countries. As the first global workers sent out by the nation of Madagascar, Olivia and Serge have found their journey to be lonely. They’ve had to figure out how to care for themselves and the workers in their charge without a formal member care system.

Esme just retired from being part of the executive team of the Lausanne movement’s. She is a pastor’s wife in Cape Town and serves on many international boards of global missions movements.

Olivia and Esme quickly tuned in to Thrive’s passion to encourage global women to persevere on the field. They expressed amazement at the retreat’s attention to detail and intentionality. They noticed the commitment and quality of the volunteers. Olivia and Esme articulated an admiration for and agreement with Thrive’s holistic approach to encourage these women in global work. They deeply appreciated the foci on worship, Biblical teaching, prayer, dialogue, and self care options—particularly female-oriented, like massage, color analysis, pedicures—as well as counseling and doses of laughter.

Their hearts are full and their minds are turning. Olivia and Esme are considering what a Thrive affiliate for African women could look like. It’s such an honor for me to host them this week and be part of their insights. It’s a privilege to pray alongside them in this journey.


 Would you join us in praying? Thrive’s target is the 75,000 North American women serving cross-culturally worldwide. They have needs Thrive knows, culturally, how to meet. Yet there is also a great need to provide member care to women being sent out by non-North-American sending countries and regions. Pray that Olivia and Esme would know who else to invite to this conversation. Ask God to give them wisdom. Pray God would raise up the right women with strategic influence to launch a member care ministry for women from their cultures serving around the world.

©2016 Thrive.