October 2, 2017 - No Comments!

Duct Tape, Some Change and ZOE!

By Karen Miyamoto

This past summer, Higher Vision Church located in Santa Clarita, CA decided to adopt ZOE for their 2017 Vacation Bible School missions focus.  They gave each child plastic tubes to collect change through our Kids Helping Kids program.  The VBS was over the course of 5 days and the theme was Maker Fun Factory.  Higher Vision Church prayed for and had over 600 children in attendance and at the end of the week, more than half of the children raised their hands to accept Jesus Christ into their lives.  As if that wasn’t amazing already, the final numbers of what was collected was just presented to us last week.  In just 5 days, the children collected over $5000 to be donated to the children at ZOE!  I was completely blown away that in just 5 days…children under the age of 12…collected change equaling over $5000!  Wow!  How cool is that!

Along with learning about ZOE and what ZOE does with their donations, the children learned various bible points throughout the week such as, God Made You! – Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex (Psalm 13:14) and God is Always with You! – The Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

One of the highlights of the week was that on the last day, one leader would be duct taped to the wall.  For organization purposes, the children at the beginning of VBS are separated into 4 color groups.  With the creativity of the VBS planners and because who doesn’t enjoy some friendly competition, they decided that the color group that brought in the most change for ZOE would get to see their team leader get duct taped to the wall!  The competition was intense and the kids had a blast!

Thank you to Jael Liko, Heidi Krouzian, the many volunteers for VBS and Pastor Jared Ming for sharing ZOE with the kids at this year’s VBS at Higher Vision.  We are beyond blessed and super grateful for everything you did.  It’s so great to see children wanting to give to help other children in need. 

September 18, 2017 - No Comments!

To Dance or to Bike…that is the Question!

by Hanne Fellers

Art and artistic expressions can move you and make you feel emotions such as feelings for compassion, love and joy that are needed to be felt in our world today. When you hear your favorite song, it can bring specific memories and emotions to mind.

Dance, is also a wonderful creative expression, an art form indeed. We’ve learned from trafficking survivors that dance can be very healing.

On October 2nd, we will be launching the Dance 4 Freedom Challengewww.gozoe.org/dance.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a dancer, you can still be a part of this challenge!

If you’ve been following ZOE for more than a year, you’ve probably seen or heard that about our Annual ZOE Rescue Walk. This year we decided not to host the Walk but we still need your involvement to keep ZOE going. Therefore we are hosting this Dance 4 Freedom Challenge as well as the  Road of Justice Coast 2 Coast Bike Ride. We hope that you can engage with us in one or both events. We need your assistance to be able to continue doing prevention work, rescue children and help bring restoration to those that are hurting.

This late summer we were a part of the Step of Hope Dance Benefit that Word in Motion Dance Company out of Life150 Church in North Hollywood hosted for the 6th year in a row. At this event I felt so many emotions. Mostly good, but I must admit, I also felt nervous, frustrated and sad. Nervous, because I was speaking at the event. Frustrated because through the dances and artistic expressions, it was clear that human trafficking is a growing problem. Sad, because the reality of slavery is heartbreaking.

This years event started off with a spoken word by DJ Baluyot. His message was so well prepared and executed with so many facts.

He talked about the reality of kids and teens today seeking acceptance through social media and starving for real love and attention, and how some take advantage of this and prey on the youth in our society. We hope to continue educating our youth about the dangers of human trafficking. But we need your help to do so. We hope you will join us for the Dance 4 Freedom challenge or Road of Justice Bike Ride.

Watch the spoken word here:

September 11, 2017 - 2 comments

Even in the Midst of Transition

By Karen Miyamoto

If you have been following ZOE long enough, you know by now that there are things always happening at the ZOE USA office.  From going to conferences to meeting with church pastors to big projects like opening up ZOE Children’s Homes Los Angeles, the USA staff is always on their toes keeping busy with the various projects.  Currently the USA office is going through a big transition.  The office in which we called home for the past 14 years is no longer our home.  We are moving!  Though we have not found a permanent office location yet, we are super excited and very much looking forward to a new office space that we will be able to grow with.  Great things are to come for the USA office!

Every month, our faithful volunteers trek to our office to assist us with prepping and assembling the newsletters and postcards many of you receive in the mail.  Well now without an office for our volunteers to come to, this was going to be a big challenge.  Where could we go that would hold the many volunteers that come out to lend a helping hand and in addition, have a large enough space where we had room to work?

Here’s a photo of just a few of our dedicated volunteers

It was then that God provided.  One of our dear and generous volunteers offered to open up her home on a monthly basis until we find an office so that our volunteers had a place to work and also so that we can continue to stay connected with you all with our mailings!  It was such a huge blessing!  I must admit that I was a bit worried in the beginning since the home was in the valley and many of our volunteers lived in Santa Clarita.  Would our volunteers drive to the valley just to help us with our mailings?  To my surprise, many if not all of our volunteers said the would make the drive because they wanted to help!  I was so humbled and honored.  We have the best volunteers in the whole universe!

Thank you ZOE volunteers for going above and beyond the call of duty and lending a hand during this transition.  You guys are the BEST!

August 31, 2017 - No Comments!

A Successful Village Outreach

written by Les Ginoza

The August 2017 Short Term Team recently accompanied our bible school and human trafficking awareness team to do a joint outreach to a small village just outside the area of Hot, in Northern Thailand.

The night event where 95 people came in the rain! It rained almost the whole time, yet people kept showing up because of the excitement we created in the house visitations conducted earlier that afternoon!

This village had approximately 100 homes with an estimated 600-700 people.  Our entire team went house to house, meeting and greeting everyone in the village and invited them to our evening outreach.  95 people came out to see our presentation, which included games, dramas, singing, a short human trafficking awareness program and also lots of FUN!  Little did we know, the pastor from the next village over met us to watch the events unfolding and told us an incredible story.

He was amazed at the response of our presentation. His church tried to do an outreach at this same village but the people of the village threw rocks at his congregation!  They were not receptive to the gospel at all!  This was a miracle to see all these villagers welcoming the team and actively participating with us!  The favor of God truly was on this group!

The next day, we presented a human trafficking awareness program at the local school.  It was a day filled with games, crafts, activities, dramas, evangelistic themes and a human trafficking awareness presentation.  There were about 70 children and they laughed, loved and connected with everyone from our short-term team, ZOE bible school and staff.  To top it off, we ended the day by giving every child a goodie bag filled with some of their favorite candies! 

      

Many of the children accepted JESUS and the teachers were genuinely appreciative of everything that we did for the school!  We left the village entirely spent as most of the team simply slept on the way back!  They gave everything they could, but it was ENTIRELY WORTH IT, because GOD was GLORIFIED!

August 17, 2017 - No Comments!

An Unseen Impact

written by Marji Iacovetti

I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching over the last seven years. I’ve learned about child trafficking from survivors, therapists, social workers, and other heroic individuals.

The hardest part for me is the opposite of what I would have expected. When I see beautiful, loving, healthy parenting, I often ache inside.

As I see genuine parental love, I can’t help but picture the enormous number of young people who need and deserve that same love but never find it. I long for every child to see a face light up because he or she just walked into a room. When children know they’re cherished, they are well armed for life’s challenges. They’re also protected from the lies of traffickers and others who might hope to exploit them.

Fighting child trafficking doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as becoming a helper in a youth group or making room for a young neighbor at your dinner table.

It’s impossible to know this side of heaven the impact you will have when you take the small steps of showing love and treating people like they matter.

July 17, 2017 - No Comments!

Combating Trafficking in the U.S.

written by, Hanne Fellers

Every summer, The U.S. State Department releases the Trafficking In Persons Report. Many of our ZOE staff anticipate the release of this report every year. We’re always curious to which angle the report will take. This years report did not disappoint. It is filled with heart wrenching stories, but also inspiring progress and victories of good people who fought the good fight and won. It’s encouraging to read about what people are doing all over the world to combat trafficking.
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June 21, 2017 - No Comments!

My Voice Being Heard

Hello! My name is Jessica Murphy and this year I had the pleasure of interning with ZOE International. I also had the opportunity to transfer to CSU Channel Islands in Ventura County where I am currently studying Business and Nonprofit Communications.
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June 19, 2017 - No Comments!

We Need Each Other

“Not one of these kids who have succeeded has done it without connection to at least one supportive adult.”

     Nola Brantley
     Human Trafficking Survivor, Advocate, and Educator

An amazing survivor of child trafficking made this statement recently. Her words confirm a basic, well-known truth:

We need each other.

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June 13, 2017 - 1 comment.

Little Heroes Making a Big Impact!

Written By:   Karen Miyamoto


I love highlighting our little heroes that are doing big things!  This months’ little hero is Hope Zazueta.   Hope is 11 years old and has always had loved helping others.  In the past, she and her family have attended ZOE’s Rescue Walk, raised money for ZOE International and donated items like socks during Christmas time.  I had the honor of interviewing this amazing little girl. 

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May 31, 2017 - No Comments!

From the Field

written by Abigail Jennerson

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder what ZOE’s been up to”? Well ask no more! Here’s what’s been happening at ZOE Thailand this month!

The kids were out of school for summer break! Which means camps and activities and fun. We had four camps - two Bible camps, Purity Week and Around the World.
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