by Karen Miyamoto
Recently, I was blessed to be able to attend the Annual Children’s Ministry conference that was held in Pasadena, CA. ZOE has attended this event that is open to Children’s Ministry leaders for the past 7 years.
Being surrounded by leaders and volunteers that are eager to learn how to impact the next generation is always so encouraging. These leaders and volunteers come to this conference to continually seek new and creative ways to share the love of Jesus and the
gospel their kids. This event is always fun for me because I get to spend time with some amazing ZOE volunteers that help me at our booth for 2 days. It’s also great seeing current ZOE supporters stop by our booth to say HELLO as well as getting to meet new people who love the work we are doing.
This year, our newest addition to the ZOE team, Dr. Jason Plunkett who is our USA Regional Director, taught a break out session at the conference. The topic he shared about was how the church can get involved in combatting human trafficking. He enlightened the attendees on various human trafficking statistics as well as different signs to look for to spot a possible victim. Dr. Jason’s session was very informative and educational.
Along with various breakout sessions educating leaders and volunteers on how to teach, interact, and make church a fun place for kids, there were around 40 other vendors/ministries selling products related to Children’s Ministry and/or sharing outreach opportunities children can get involved in. Speaking with other vendors and ministries always reminds me that there are so many people out there doing great work. Though I may never see them again, we all take a small piece of the puzzle, to help make a difference in this world.
Being able to share about ZOE’s Kids Helping Kids program at this event with leaders impacting children is always fun. Kids Helping Kids is a program designed to help children learn in a fun and interactive way about caring for others in need and empowering them to know that no matter how small they are, they can make a BIG difference in the world. Children are given plastic tubes to collect $15 in quarters. This small amount of change can feed, clothe, and educate a child in Thailand fora full week! Funds collected through this program play an active role in assisting ZOE International’s efforts to help human trafficking victims in Thailand. If this program is something you would like to get your church or home school group involved in, let us know! It’s a great tool to be incorporated during VBS as well as the holiday season.
If you are a church leader or volunteer that works with children, I highly recommend registering for next year’s CMTA conference. You will be inundated with so many amazing resources and beneficial breakout sessions. It’s also a great place to network with other leaders from different churches. Working as a team is always much more fun. Click here to get more information about CMTA.