Hi there! My name is Nicole Bird and I am one of the new interns at ZOE for the semester. I am a senior at California Lutheran University and am studying Criminal Justice. Most of my professors have incorporated human trafficking into their courses. They have realized that this understated crime is in desperate need of attention and solutions.
Last month, I had the privilege of sharing about ZOE and our Kids Helping Kids program to a small class of students that are a part of the Pioneer Club at Valencia United Methodist Church in Santa Clarita, CA. This small but mighty class has been collecting funds that get donated to our Children’s Home in Thailand for the past 6 years! Wow! Their passionate leader, Kim Fisher, has been the driving force behind continuing this program for the Pioneer’s Club.
During the month-long school breaks when all the ZOE children stay on campus, the Children’s Ministry Team puts together an eventful and activity-filled week for them. This past year, it was SUPERHERO week at ZOE. The kids sported SUPERHERO t-shirts, rotated throughout different rooms fully decorated as SUPERHERO CITIES, and engaged in SUPERHERO-THEMED stories, crafts, games, and music.
We constantly meet new people at ZOE. We’re always amazed at how people come to know about ZOE. Often it’s “word of mouth”, other times it’s from a ZOE staff member sharing at a community event, school or a church. Sometimes people hear about us through a friend sharing one of our posts on their social media. We are so thankful for all our ZOE friends who passionately share about human trafficking and the work we do to their sphere of influence.
Prayers were answered in a mighty way recently when a 13-year-old girl had the courage to run away from a brothel. She contacted authorities and gave them pictures of other girls who were still being held in the brothel.
ZOE Child Rescue (ZCR) was called along with other NGO’s (non-government organizations.) ZOE traveled 14 hours to Northern Thailand. Along with government authorities, ZOE helped create a plan to raid a Karaoke bar which they knew had the girls from the brothel inside.
Guest Blogger, Jessica Ramsay (Jessica was a part of a short term missions trip that visited our Children's Home in Thailand this past August)
This trip to ZOE was filled with many firsts for me. The first time traveling as a short term missionary, first time traveling to Thailand, and the first time traveling outside of America. Little did I know just how life changing these two weeks were going to be.
This was my fourth trip to Thailand to serve alongside of ZOE. Every time I go I make sure I have the mindset of no expectations. I always want to make sure of that, because I want to see what God has in store for myself and the team. Each trip has been different in many ways with the teams all having their own flow and unique characteristics. There is an awesome dynamic when people come together as a team to complete tasks, do service projects and outreaches. I love how God uses each of our strengths to work together!
Can you believe that our ZOE Rescue Walk is in just 75 days? I love this event for many reasons but the greatest reason is that on this day, we get to meet and see all of you who have supported our organization face to face! Some of you have supported us from the very beginning and some of you are brand new. Regardless of when you joined the fight to combat child trafficking, you are all passionate, doing your unique part to make a difference. Some of you drive hours and some bring your entire family just to be a part of our Walk. Some of you have even been Team Captains and formed a group every single year! What a humbling experience to join hands together with all of you; our supporters and our friends, to fight injustice!
After 14 years in the fight against child trafficking we have learned a few things about caring for children who have suffered at the hands of human traffickers. When we first began rescuing children in Thailand, our rescues were considered prevention rescues. In other words, we rescued children before they were trafficked. These children were highly at risk because of their circumstances: orphaned, extreme poverty, drug addicted parents, on the market to be sold and other heartbreaking situations. These precious children had multiple trauma issues to deal with and our staff did an incredible job pouring the love of God out and ushering these children in to a place of restoration in their lives.