All Posts in Child Rescue
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?
ZOE Thai Staff Member Changes a Young Girl's Life
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!
Human Trafficking Story
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.
ZOE Child Rescue Protects Children
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.
Read Part 1 of this story here if you missed it yesterday
So armed with my orders, a quick pulse, and a smirk, I strutted back to my office to work on my master plan. I’ll cut to the chase and point out the operative word in that last statement. “My.” It didn’t take long, only a week, before I came to the hard conclusion that I have very little to offer this fight. After waking up at 3AM a few consecutive mornings, I got the hint from God that in my planning I was defaulting to “my” plan and what “I” can offer. I failed to totally submit my plan to Jesus for direction and counsel. Thank you Jesus for 3AM epiphanies! Very early this morning I re-identified with a few things I had forgotten.
1) Jesus’ fierce intentionality to rescue his own. John Eldridge taught me this in his book, Beautiful Outlaw. My orders were already carried out perfectly 2000 years ago and I first need to learn from the Master, Jesus, as to how he submitted to His Father for the ultimate battle plan.
2) The battle of rescuing children is not of this world. Ephesians 6:12, reminded me that, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I had forgotten this for a time. In constructing my plan I concentrated on my abilities and strayed from seeking the answers in God’s Word.
These realizations came to me like the easing of a painful injury. I so needed Jesus to show me the dangerous path of defaulting to my abilities instead of claiming His victory of an already won battle.
Armed with this truth I am now ready to sit at the Master’s feet and listen. I now can see Jesus smiling as He says, “Ready to follow Me? Now let’s go make a plan to find My children…”
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written by our Director of Child Rescue
I’ve received orders before. If there’s one thing I know how to do is follow orders. The Marine Corps instilled that discipline in me and it was refined by twenty years in law enforcement. But something in these words that I received from ZOE Co-Founder, Carol Hart has been ringing in my ears like no other orders before.
It wasn’t just the words that were said to me, it was the passion behind the words that struck me. I immediately identified with Carol’s heart as she gave me my orders. “Find the children.” It wasn’t a demand or a suggestion. It was a passionate plea.
I received these words in a ZOE Child Rescue vision casting meeting as my new position as Director of Child Rescue was discussed and shaped. It’s been almost a week since the meeting and it’s as if the echo of these words is still resounding in my head.
During this meeting we were outlining my duties and exploring where God wants to take ZOE Child Rescue in 2015. Nothing of what was discussed was a surprise to me. I knew why I was accepted by ZOE: to find and rescue children enslaved in labor and sex trafficking – no surprises here. But now with the meeting over we were crossing the line of departure. Now we were about to “lock and load” and start scanning the horizon for enemy activity.
Nothing quickens my pulse more than the thought of using my experience and passion to snatch precious children from the hands of the enemy and place them into loving hands at ZOE. Hands that will give them love, truth, and a chance for redemption. I guess there’s something in every disciple that yearns for these type of orders – orders to engage the enemy to win back what was stolen from the Kingdom. That which Jesus purchased by the cross is precious to us. And what is more precious than the purity and innocence of children?
Make sure to check back tomorrow for the conclusion of this story. If you want to receive notification of new blog posts, fill out the form below.
Story told by Andrea Cross, Missionary in Thailand at ZOE Children's Homes
She looks up at me and smiles, her eyes full of life, “Where should I hang this one mum?” As I look at the decoration in my daughter's hand, it takes me back to when it arrived in Thailand in a box full of tinsel, balls and ornaments from some friends in Australia. Wreaths and home made crafts are hung from door handles around the house. And with the flick of a switch the Christmas tree lights glisten brightly in the living room.
Christmas was definitely on its way!
At about the same time, in a different home, down the road… just 20 minutes away, stands another little girl, the same age as my daughter.
This little girl also has a cute smile that immediately lights up the room as she enters.
As she looks up at her ZOE mother, she is hearing about Christmas for the very first time.
“But I don’t understand” she murmurs intrigued, eyes wide. “Tell me more.”
And as she asks her new parents to explain more about this Jesus and His amazing love, I wonder, “Where was she last Christmas morning as I sat cross-legged on the floor in pajamas, hair in a messy bun, laughing and passing presents, sipping hot cocoa and reading the story of the first Christmas with my children in the safety of our home?”
“Where was this little girl?”
Sadly, I find out that she was rescued while wandering the bustling city streets. She came to our attention after a report of a man who was working in the sex industry and who had a little girl with him. She was highly at risk in an extremely vulnerable situation, being put in places children should never be.
Even after years of hearing about these scenarios, it is hard to think about. My mind just doesn’t want to go there and consider what this young girl has been exposed to…
Now, after having been at ZOE for only a short time, this precious girl’s new family is amazed at how quickly she has adapted to her new home.
With so many questions and with Christmas fast approaching, the excitement is building as she learns that the God who loves her has an amazing plan for her future.
We are so thankful for your support of ZOE! When there is no relative or anyone else to care for a child, they come to ZOE to be loved and kept safe.
From the youngest child to the oldest among us, the Christmas message remains consistent: peace, joy, hope! And, of course, for the children at ZOE that means LIFE!
I want to share a story about a man I saw a few weeks ago in the Emergency Room of our hospital. This man came into the ER after overdosing on his psychiatric medications, saying he wanted to kill himself. I asked him why he did it, and he started telling me about his life. He told how, at age 4, his mom put his hands over the stove and turned on the fire and burned them, because he took some candy before dinner without permission. Then he ended up in foster care, where he was sexually abused and molested by his foster dad and uncle for the next five years. They would take him upstairs, tie him to the bed and abuse him over and over. He said he bled so much, they would have to stitch him up, but then they’d do it over and over again.
It finally stopped when he tried to kill himself at school by tying a jump rope around his neck and jumping off the monkey bars. He was 9 years old. After this incident he was sent to a group home where he was abused and bullied. Again, he tried running away and killing himself. As an adult, he’s tried hanging himself multiple times, shooting himself in the head (he still has the bullet lodged in his head), and setting himself on fire (his chest is all scarred and burned). He even ingested gasoline and jumped off a freeway overpass. He said he knew he wasn’t going to die by overdosing on pills, but if he kept hurting himself, it would eventually kill him. This man has spent most of his adult life in prison or state mental hospitals, and he’s only 33 years old.
This was one of the most horrific stories I’d heard in a long time. This man was so desperate to die, and all because he had been abused as a child and exposed to more than any person ever should ever have to experience. I share it because it made me think about ZOE, and what ZOE does: rescuing kids who would otherwise be forced into a life of trafficking, suffering and abuse; rescuing kids out of these situations and, by God’s grace, helping to restore their lives so that they don’t end up like this man.
I know we can’t save everyone, not here, and not in Thailand, but the little that we do can make a significant difference, even just to save one of these little ones from the horrors of what they otherwise might be forced into.
What drives me to support ZOE and other relief aid organizations are the questions: What if I was the one born into a life of exploitation and human trafficking? What if my parents or guardians abused/molested me? On the other hand, what did I do to deserve being born into a middle class family that took care of me and provided love, stability, and opportunities for me? NOTHING! But here I am.
”...From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48
We are God’s solution to the world’s problems – problems created because of our sin. And only God’s redeeming power can help us make things right.