ZOE representatives were invited to speak briefly at the last two meetings of the LA County Board of Supervisors as our top county officials considered motions related to human trafficking. We were honored to share insights based on ZOE’s experience. Read more
I’ve been in a season where I am reflecting and constantly being reminded of why I am in this work. Before I get into some of the things I’ve been reflecting on, I just want to THANK YOU, ZOE friends, for engaging with us. Without YOU, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We are so grateful for your support. Read more
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. Read more
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.
All of us here at ZOE are excited to share some news about our partnership with GV Concepts, Inc. ZOE will be the first in-the-field user of the Doctorgram application, the brainchild of Mr. Ching-Kay Chow, founder and president of GV Concepts, Inc. What is the Doctorgram app, you might ask?
Wan is one of our talented Thai staffers who speaks Thai, English, and Burmese. A few years ago, she helped take care of a young girl who stayed at ZOE for a short time. Since this girl was Burmese, Wan was able to minister to her in her native tongue.
Wan led the girl to the Lord and she was eventually sent home after being with us for a short time. When this little girl returned home, she told her family she was a Christian. Her mother hit her and tried to convince her to be Buddhist. She was very obedient in every area EXCEPT she refused to worship idols.Eventually, this girl converted her WHOLE family to Christ!
A few weeks ago, we sent out a ZOE team to check up on a different case. Our team also had the ability to check in on this little girl. She was as happy as ever and gave a gift to send back to Wan. Wan received the gift just before Christmas, and it was the softest and cutest stuffed bunny she ever saw! This was the little girl’s way of showing gratitude and thankfulness to Wan for sharing the gift of eternal life with her and her family!
It’s a textbook case of human trafficking: deception, a network of handlers, border crossing, imprisonment, forced labor, debt servitude, threats, and abuse.
Five daughters shared a one-room house with their parents. Things were tight. A woman from another village visited numerous times to persuade the family to send the 15-year-old girl to Bangkok for a good job.
Soon, the girl (we’ll call her Deng) found herself at a border camp teeming with refugees. Walking through the forest for miles by only moonlight, she was smuggled across the border into Thailand. Deng was transported to a small town and taken to a factory ringed with razor-topped fencing. It was then she was told she must pay a hefty “transportation fee.”
Put to work immediately, Deng was forced to finish her daily quota, which meant she often worked from 4 a.m. until midnight. Accommodations with another girl consisted of a bare room with a thin floor mat. She was paid 215 baht a month ($6.35). The rest of her pay went toward paying off her transportation debt.
When ZOE received the call, a raid was coordinated. A special unit of 25 officers from the Bangkok Anti-Human Trafficking Division Police was called in because the factory was owned by a prominent figure in town and we did not want to compromise the raid by the word leaking out. A raid and arrests! Subsequently, Deng testified and one human trafficker was sentenced to prison.
ZOE traveled to Deng’s home country to meet her family and ensure it was safe to repatriate Deng.Later, ZOE escorted Deng back to her overjoyed family.
Although ZOE operates a state-of-the art aftercare facility for human trafficking victims, not every child we rescue comes to our home. In fact, our preferred and primary goal is to reunite children with loving and responsible family members whenever possible.
Our ZOE Child Rescue (ZCR) team is constantly taking calls, participating in investigations, making assessments, and following up with families. The children we rescue from human trafficking come from all different types of backgrounds and there is no one solution that works for every child. One child may do best back with her relatives while another child has no family or would not be safe with her family and it is best for her to come to ZOE. Our goal is to find the solution that is best for each individual child.
An example of this is a call we received about a girl who was in danger of being abducted and abused by a perpetrator in her community. Her caregiver filed a report with the police, but unfortunately the perpetrator was granted bail and he escaped to the border. He threatened the child and those who cared for her that he would come back and take her. Because of his history of drug abuse and murder charges, his threats needed to be taken seriously.
After government officials did their investigation, they determined the child was not safe living in this community. We then conducted our own follow-up investigation and decided to bring her to ZOE because she was highly at risk. At first, it was hard for her to be away from her family, but she quickly adapted to life at ZOE while we provided her the protection she needed.
Whether it is a child who has been trafficked or a child who is in danger of being trafficked, ZOE continues to provide protection for children in danger...for as long as they need.
"Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me
On and on and on and on it goes……" - Jesus Culture
The story below is true, but the name has been changed to protect our child's identity and dignity.
Considering that the U.S. State Department estimates that 2 million children are enslaved in the global commercial sex trade, it would be all too easy to throw up our hands and say “What can I do?” But if we instead reach out with those same hands to help one child at a time, we will make a difference!Bpet’s is one life that we have had the privilege of touching through ZOE.
Bpet, age 12, worked at a locked-down brothel where he was forced to have sex with men multiple times a day.He never left the brothel and the only time he was allowed outside was to go into a small courtyard enclosed with high walls where he could get some fresh air.
One night, during a break, Bpet stood outside looking up at the stars shining in the dark night sky. He shouted to the sky “Is there a God?! Is this my life? Do you see what is happening to me?!If there is a God, why don’t You help me?!”
The very next day, ZOE’s Child Rescue Team, along with police, raided the brothel and rescued Bpet.When Bpet recounted his story to us, he was convinced that it was no coincidence that he was rescued the day after he cried out to God.
Please join with us in crying out to God for the rescue of boys and girls who are enslaved in human trafficking! If you want to help ZOE as we continue searching for and finding trafficking victims, please donate here.