LFS Introduces…Alece & Thrive Africa

Please introduce yourself, and tell us about what you do with Thrive Africa?

Hey! I’m Alece, Originally from New York and have lived in South Africa for almost 12 years, where I helped pioneer the ministry of Thrive Africa. I provide strategic and visionary direction to the ministry, even during this season of being Stateside.

What inspired you to start Thrive Africa?

I fell in love with Africa when I first spent a summer on her soil at 16 years old, and then I moved to South Africa by myself when I was 19. All I knew was that I felt God was leading me there and I wanted to use my life to make a difference. As I began by simply meeting needs around me, God brought clarity to my vision and my ministry work became more focused on leadership development.

What is 2010 shaping up to look like for your work with Thrive Africa?

I’m in a unique season of restoration right now. A year ago my husband chose to leave me and the ministry to pursue another woman. The ripple effects of that decision have obviously been devastating both to me personally as well as to Thrive. By God’s grace, Thrive continues to move forward and bear fruit of changed lives under the leadership of our Director. I am spending this year Stateside, allowing the Lord to do His healing work in my heart and promoting Thrive domestically.

What is your favourite thing about the work you are doing?

What I’m most passionate about is the work we’re doing in public schools, teaching students what it means to follow Christ and make Godly choices. I believe it’s the best thing we can do to prevent the next generation from contracting AIDS.

What is the most challenging thing about the work you are doing?

The challenge for me lies not in the work we’re doing, but in the work we’re still unable to do because we simply don’t have the finances yet. Our vision is bigger than we are, which is how I know God’s in it. But it is also an ongoing challenge to lack the resources and manpower to do all we want to do. The realities of poverty and HIV increase the urgency of the vision. My heart always longs to reach farther and have a greater impact than we currently are.

Who do you have supporting you? How do they support you?

We are funded solely by donations from generous people and churches across America. Support information can be found here if anyone is interested in partnering with us: http://thriveafrica.org/helpout/

Do you partner with any other organisations?

We partner locally in South Africa with over a hundred local churches of all denominations. We work with several other African-based independent missions organizations that have visions similar to ours. We also have supporting partner churches in America that run the full spectrum of denominations.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about doing mission/charity work overseas?

More important than Biblical training or a missions degree, is a teachable heart. For anyone doing missions work, it is vitally important to have the posture and attitude of a learner and not just a teacher. Be willing to be flexible and to learn as much as you can from the people you are going to serve. Nothing makes a missionary more effective than a teachable spirit.

How can others engage with you and support you in the work you do with Thrive Africa?

You can support our work through your prayers and giving. You can help promote what God’s doing through us by telling others about us. You can also spend time on the field with us. We have programs that run two weeks, two months, one year, and three years, giving you the opportunity to serve with us for any length of time that you might be interested in.

If people would like to pray for you, what would you have them talk to God about on your behalf?

For Thrive, I covet your prayers for wisdom, favor, and provision as we navigate through this new season of ministry. For me personally, I’d appreciate your prayers for my heart healing and strength for the journey.

Thank you so much for sharing with us Alece. What an inspiration, we pray for continued healing and restoration for you, and for the growth and provision needed for Thrive Africa to continue its work alongside partner churches in South Africa.

You can read more on Alece’s personal story and many of her thought provoking writings on her blog Grit and Glory at www.gritandglory.com


15 Responses to “LFS Introduces…Alece & Thrive Africa”

  1. 1 Caroline Collie February 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Alece! It is awesome to hear of Thrive’s vision. And to “meet” you! You are a living testimony, and I will be praying for you as well. Where is most of Thrive’s work based? I wonder if there is the possibility of collaboration between Thrive and Samaritan’s Feet. May you find the green pastures and still waters, and the soul restoration of God in this season.

    P.S. Your observation on the necessity of a teachable spirit is so incredibly true and good to hear. From my time in Scotland, I recognised some folks who understood that they had a lot to learn, others that felt only that they had a lot to teach, and could clearly see the differences in effective ministry as a result.

    • 2 alece March 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      we’re based in harrismith (halfway between joburg and durban) – would love to dialogue about ways we could partner! thanks, caroline!

      • 3 Laura Anne March 1, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        If it’s ok with you guys, I can send e-mail you both so you can get connected.

        Also Alece, look out later this week for a guest post of some ministry that is based near Amanzimtoti/Durban that may have some crossover with what Thrive are doing. 🙂

  2. 4 pluckyuppie March 1, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Alece, you are so brave and humble. I am always learning from you!

  3. 6 joy renée March 1, 2010 at 3:39 am

    I LOVED reading about your vision and that it’s bigger than you are.

    I’m loving learning more about Thrive. It’s starting to become a little dear to my heart.

    • 7 alece March 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      it’s the “bigger than i am” part that makes it worth giving my all for. i know you have a dream and vision inside you that will require God’s intervention to come to pass. go for it, JR.

      (and thanks for always being interested to hear about thrive… means a lot!)

  4. 8 gitz March 1, 2010 at 4:31 am

    This was such a great interview… every time I hear you speak about Thrive, the more I know in my heart that the word needs to spread even further…

    • 9 alece March 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      mmmm… thank you, fritz. just think. next month you’ll get to see all the facial expressions and hand gestures that go along with it! eeeeee!

  5. 10 tracee March 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Dang I love your beautiful heart!! O love being able to hear you through your responses! Makes me smile. I believe on you so much. Greater things than these is happening through you. That is more than encouraging!! YOU are so encouraging!!

  6. 12 Rebecca March 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I love that this dream can become a reality! We need more people like you – amazing!

  7. 14 Mary March 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Wow! I really enjoyed reading about Thrive, Alece. I can sense your passion/drive and heart in this interview. Praying for you and the ministry, my friend.

    xxx M.

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Welcome to LFS Introducing...! We hope that you find a story here that will encourage you to pursue the dreams you've been given, or inspire you to do something you've never done before. Perhaps you'll meet people that will become your mentors or friends. Maybe you'll learn something new. Whatever it is, we'd love to hear about it, so do share with us in the comments section.

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