My journey arriving at Thrive is scattered with God’s grace and sovereignty. But, that has been the case with every major life transition I have made. What ultimately brought me to Thrive is my passion to join a movement that helps lift others out of poverty. I hate poverty. God’s call on my life started when I was nine and went to hear a missionary from Indonesia speak. I explicitly remember being deeply inspired by the huge banner behind him that said “If My People…” showing people from various cultures around the globe praying. I strongly felt the Lord call me to…
I got to know Thrive through Dale, whom I had known for more than 10 years as part of the Pastors and Leaders group in the Greater Toronto Area. Soon I discovered that Dale went to Africa often with a mission to end extreme poverty through the Thrive organization. Over the next couple of years I got to know Dale and the organization better and was able to connect some people and ethnic groups with this amazing ministry.
At the end of November 2016, Dale sent me a message stating, “We need to chat.” During this chat, he shared the updates of Thrive during the year 2016. At the end of the presentation, he invited me to become part of the Thrive Board. Lydia, my wife, and I prayed about it and felt called to accept the invitation and decided to join the team in January 2017. Realizing that one day we would need to go and visit the Thrive Growing Health Institute in Kitale, Kenya. Africa would be the last continent that we haven’t been.
I first heard about Thrive in the early stages of its conception. Margaret (my wife) and I had reconnected with Dale and Linda around our common interest in sailing. About that time Dale and Linda had both made significant life changes in order to follow their vision of building a social enterprise and a charity which could end extreme poverty in Africa and the world. We remained in contact with Dale and Linda when Dale became a director of the Forerunner Project which we founded in 2003.
Recently, I felt we should offer to help Thrive in whatever way needed. I currently serve on the Board of Directors as chairman. I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve in what I believe to be an important, effective, strategic and compassionate ministry to the poorest of poor.
While I was attending college, I can recall returning home to see a few men working in our family garden. They created nice garden beds and planted a variety of crops that I often only saw in grocery stores. My family and I really loved the work that they did in our garden. A few years later, my mum and I were strolling through our neighbourhood when we heard celebrations taking place at Thrive’s Growing Health Institute. We were intrigued to find out what was going on, so we stopped in. During our visit to Thrive’s graduation ceremony, my mum reminded me about the men that used to work in our garden and that they had come from Thrive. I instantly fell in love with Thrive and dreamt of working with them. Today, I realise that dream has come to pass.
After being struck by the size of the orphan population in Africa, I felt a strong pull to go see the situation first hand in 2004. True to what I had heard, there were unsupported children everywhere. During this time money was raised to help build a home for orphans. The seer number of unsupported children was still very bothersome.
After finishing high school, I was figuring out what would be my next move and was looking for something to do in my life. I tried so many things, including burning charcoal, working as a room steward in hotels and working in peoples’ gardens to earn some money. In the year 2006, my mum received an opportunity to attend training on organic farming at Manor House Agricultural Center. When she came back she shared with me about it and I was interested to do a two year course at the college.
Figuring out where I was called to work was a crazy ride. After finishing my Bachelor of Science – Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education, I went on to supply teach in various Christian schools. One of the schools that I was teaching at mentioned a potential partnership that they may create with an organization called Thrive. I thought nothing of it as it didn’t involve me until the principal of the school recommended me to them for their Curriculum Development Coordinator position.
In the year 2008, I went for an internship program for 6 months at Ecology Action in California. I learned a lot and felt like sharing the knowledge with many people rather than just sitting in a fence for 8 hours a day. After the internship, I came back to Kenya and on the second week I met Mr. Dale Bolton. I shared what I wanted to do after the internship which turned into birthing Thrive Kenya. It started in 2008 and after 3 years of operation we elevated it to an international organization after doing a seminar where 13 countries were represented and here we are.
5 Idleswift Drive
Thornhill, ON, Canada
Charity #: 861028298RR0001