All Posts in Children’s Home Update

April 17, 2014 - No Comments!

Believing the Best | ZCHLA

We have been sharing a lot about the home ZOE will open in Los Angeles.  Most of our communications have involved the children we will serve.  But we also think about the many staff members who will take care of these precious little ones.

Our ZOE staff will be extremely important to the opening and operation of our home.  We are praying even now – asking the Lord to call those who are to be part of this great journey.  We are praying for staff members who will love unconditionally and share their talents and gifts with the children. We are asking God to bring people who will be encouraging not only to the children, but also to one another. We are asking for staff who will believe the best about their colleagues and about the children. We are asking for people who will fight for the kids to become all that God intended them to become.

ZOE means “Life” in Greek. Our hopes and prayers are that the kids at ZOE Children’s Homes Los Angeles (ZCHLA) will experience new life. We are also anticipating that those who work at the home will also encounter a renewed vision and purpose for their own lives.

Will you pray with us for our future staff as well as for our current ZCHLA team? Truly, prayer is one of the pillars that will support our home and the important work we are called to carry out.

January 23, 2014 - No Comments!

Australian Team’s Amazing Building Project

ZOE is always looking for opportunities to put short-term teams to use. Normally there is a bedroom that needs painting or weeds that can be pulled.  Recently however, we have been in need of a more specialized building project. An Australian team from Thailand Mission Awareness Tour stepped up to the challenge.  For one week this group of Aussies worked full-time to convert unused space beneath one of the decks at ZOE into a large storage room.

There is only one problem.  The room looks so good that a simple storage room seems like such a waste!  There has been talk of it being used as an additional classroom or even an exercise room, but whatever its purposed for, the Australian team has outdone themselves and blessed ZOE much more than we ever expected.  With only a few coffee breaks, they worked with incredible speed, diligence, and focus.  The room began to take shape after the first day, and within a week they had completely finished.

We want to lift up a special thank you to Thailand Mission Awareness Tour for giving so generously of your time and talents.  We are exceedingly grateful, and we pray that God returns your generosity with exponentially greater blessings.

December 26, 2013 - No Comments!

A Look Back at 2013

[quote width="" align="none"]"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." | Mahatma Gandhi[/quote]

If we were writing a book, the chapter about 2013 would be full of tragedy and triumph, challenges and victories and multiple words of praise to God for His rescue and redemption.  We have been blessed and amazed as we witnessed over and over again the transforming power of the love of God touch the children who have come to ZOE.  Trafficked children who have been rescued by ZOE may not necessarily remain at ZOE long term. Every case and every child is different.  The best interest of the child is always given the utmost importance and sometimes the best is for the child to be in the care of biological or extended families and in some cases this past year, our ZOE Rescue Team has had the joy of reuniting children with their loved ones.  In other cases, the best for the child was to remain at ZOE where they are loved and cared for by an amazing staff of dedicated people.

ZOE has grown in many ways this past year. We have welcomed new staff members both in the USA and in Thailand.  We have witnessed staff members getting married and starting their own families. Our boys’ home was completed and additional property was purchased that will be used for our self-sustaining agriculture efforts and basic vocational training. Our ZOE family has also expanded as many have joined us in the fight to end the trafficking of children.  By some standards of measurement our army may be considered small but we see it as mighty force of people united by a passion to bring the love and life of God to the most vulnerable in our society; children.  “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.”  | Psalm 82:3

We look back on 2013 with gratitude to a faithful God who has guided us and provided for us every step of the way. We are thankful for the lives that have been changed and the privilege of being able to play a small part in that.   With great anticipation we look forward to 2014 and all that God has in store for us, the children we serve, and the people He has called us to reach.

 

 

December 23, 2013 - No Comments!

More on ZOE Los Angeles (ZCHLA)

ZOE International Applies for Group Home Licensing

We believe God has called ZOE International to open a specialized home for human trafficking victims in Los Angeles County—a home that will be a place of safety, healing, and unconditional love. Shelter for survivors of human trafficking is one of the most commonly cited needs by individuals contacting the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. We can be a shelter for not only their physical needs, but for the deep emotional and spiritual needs as well.ZOE Children's Homes Los Angeles

A very important step in opening the home is receiving licensing to be a group home. In order to receive this license, we need to submit what is called a Group Home Program Statement. This is a formal document that explains to the state how we intend to take care of the children in our care. It is a key piece of the licensing application and where we are on our journey to open this group home.

This Program Statement is like nothing I have ever seen. It is very long because of the detailed questions we must answer as to how we will care for the kids in our home. Some of the questions asked are: What are the purpose, methods, and goals of the program? How will children be transported to medical appointments, school, and activities? What will the childrens schedule be like? What will their meal plans be? What will the house rules be? What methods of discipline will be used?

Imagine having to write out how you plan to run your home and raise your children, and then be held to this standard. Oh and this plan has to be OK for all the children. You can’t change it because it works for half of the kids, but not the others. If you want to change later, you have to submit addendums and wait for approval.

We are in the final stages of working on the Program Statement. Soon, we will give it to our Los Angeles advisory board members, so they can read it over and give input. Then, we can become a foster care placement resource through Los Angeles County.ZOE Children's Homes Los Angeles

We are committed to our home being a safe place where human trafficking victims can receive healing and become everything God intended them to become. Please pray for us as we finalize this step in the process of getting our Los Angeles home open. If you want to stay updated on ZOE Children's Homes Los Angeles and other ZOE news, enter your email on the right side of this post to receive blog posts in your email box.

September 12, 2013 - 1 comment.

At ZOE, Children Are Safe

ZOE houseparent & kids“I sleep peacefully through the night now for the first time in years. I don’t cry anymore and I have no fear.”

These are words uttered by a child who should not even have to think about such things. Yet before many of the children at ZOE were rescued, safety was not something they could take for granted.

What is the value of safety? For most of us, the definition of what safety looks like is very different from the above quote. Sometimes our safety lies in holding onto false securities; the areas of our lives that replace wholehearted abandon to God such as pride, food, our loved ones, money and even ministry. We cling to things for a variety of reasons rather than giving complete control to God. There are also those places of deceptive safety where we hide from things that would bring about the plan of God in our lives and how He wants to impact the lives of others through us. This is false safety - fear. We may play it safe by not stepping out and praying for someone to be healed. We may refrain from preaching the gospel, or doing something for the Lord He has placed on our heart to accomplish with Him.

The other area of safety is probably the one we most often think of, our physical safety. Often we can take this basic need for granted if we are not careful. Sometimes we may forget the value of a shelter, our comforts, our homes, having our family and friends and the security and love they afford us. Even going about our day and having the freedom to live our lives and make our own decisions is something other people, often children, may never experience. Having the assurance of a shelter from darkness both physically and spiritually is a gift.Knowing the love of the Father and having Him cover you with His wings is the safest place to be of all.

This safe place is something ZOE desires for all children to experience and is one of the first things that a child is told when they arrive at ZOE:  You are loved and you are safe!  Over and over again as you read the ZOE stories of rescue you read these words; “they are safe”, “she is safe at ZOE”, “children live happily and safely”.

At ZOE, children are safe.

The Lord is our trustworthy refuge, our shelter who lifts us high above the enemy. He wants us to know the safety of intimate fellowship with Him. It is here where the fatherless are wrapped and embraced in the arms of the Father. We are ever conscious of His love and acceptance as His child.

In the arms of our Father, we are all safe.

Written by ZOE Supporter Jennifer Barnett

June 3, 2013 - No Comments!

ZOE Education Ceremony

ZOE Children Achieve Excellence

It is encouraging to see so many of our ZOE children achieve excellence in their studies. Knowing that they are applying themselves, studying hard and earning high marks is especially rewarding for ZOE's Educational Manager. She works just as hard every day to make sure the students have everything they need for school. This includes providing supplies, tutoring and even teaching kids who are unable to attend public school.

Before the new semester began, P'Milk hosted our very own awards ceremony at ZOE International. She took the time to recognize the students who excelled in certain subjects, significantly improved or just had a 3.0 or higher grade average. This list of high achieving students was very long, which is a wonderful "problem" to have. Our hope is that honoring our students will motivate them to continue their efforts into the next semester.

Some of the students are nearing the end of their high school studies, so big decisions are approaching quickly. Please be praying that they will have wisdom and discernment in the next steps of their lives. Pray also for the young ones in their endeavors as well.

May 13, 2013 - No Comments!

Playing with Puppets

One of the many blessings of working with kids on a daily basis is seeing their enthusiasm.  Blowing bubbles is great example of how kids can go crazy over simple things.

Jessica Dodd, ZOE’s Children’s Ministry Director, got to see this kind of excitement recently when she had a few of the young girls make sock puppets.  After a bit of conversation, Jessica found that they had never played with puppets before in their life!  “If you think these are fun, check these out,” Jessica said as she pulled out the real puppets.

ZOE's puppet collection

The girls were having so much fun that they attracted the attention of a couple teen boys.  They had never played with puppets either, so two groups of kids, who rarely spent much time with each other, were able to connect in an all new way.

Not only was this fun, but it was also a great time for ministry.  The young girls used the puppets to pretend to be like mothers praying for their children.  They also used the puppets to encourage each other in their faith.  The older boys did the same, and Jessica was able to transform a simple arts and crafts project into a teachable moment.

Please continue to pray for childhoods of the kids at ZOE.  Pray that the staff and other volunteers can seek out and recognize these times where kids can be taught how to love, trust, and grow.

April 24, 2013 - No Comments!

Songkran!

One of the first things you learn as a newcomer to Thailand is the countrywide water fight known as Songkran.  For a few days in the middle of April, the streets of Thailand are full of kids and adults with water guns and buckets.

Rather than going into town, ZOE brought the party home.  While the kids were participating in summer camp, ZOE camp leaders incorporated all kinds of water games and activities.  These included relay races, water balloons, and even a huge downhill water slide. The kids had a blast, and it was also a wonderful break from the heat.

April 15, 2013 - 2 comments

Congratulations to our High School Graduates

ZOE Children’s Homes is pleased to announce the 2013 High School Graduates!  This year ZOE is proud to have two students graduating from high school.  We are excited to see Nong A and Pan off to the next steps in their lives.  Both of them have excelled in high school and have carefully considered their plans for the future.

Nong A will be attending university working towards a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management and Tourism.  She hopes one day to own and run her own hotel.  Nong A likes to listen to music and spend time with her friends and family at ZOE.  She will definitely miss them after she leaves for college!

Pan will also be going to university once his term starts in June.  Before he begins, he will stay at ZOE as a staff intern for the summer.  He will be working with Jessica Dodd to assist with the upcoming children’s camp, with Joe Chongsiriwatana in the Information Technology Department, and he is also a very skilled translator.  Once summer is over, he will be studying English, and he hopes one day to use the talents God has given him to work in the ministry, perhaps even at ZOE.

We cannot say enough how proud we are of these two young adults.  They are both extremely talented, and we know that they will go on to do amazing things.  Keep them in your prayers as they transition into adulthood.

April 8, 2013 - No Comments!

New ZOE Fleet Additions

There never seems to be a moment at ZOE Children’s Home where everything stands still.  Kids are running, cooks are cooking, students are studying, and staff is hustling.  The constant movement requires constant transportation, and fortunately for ZOE, we’ve been blessed with vehicles to get us to the places we need to go.

For the longest time, ZOE’s many ministries had to juggle and maneuver for the use of vehicles.  Until recently, this problem was becoming more and more noticeable.

Newly Donated Toyota Vios

In the past few months we have been blessed with two additional vehicles.  One is a small sedan for basic transportation that was donated by an in-country missionary family who recently bought a new car, and the other, a four-wheel drive SUV, that was purchased by the ZOE Foundation Australia.  The SUV is perfect for travel into the villages of Northern Thailand and will greatly assist the ZOE Child Rescue team as they continue to educate vulnerable communities about child trafficking.

Toyota Vigo used for staff and student transportation

With the addition of new vehicles, ZOE Fleet Manager Sam Ahn is looking to increase staff training in the care and maintenance of the ZOE fleet.

With 13 cars, trucks, and SUVs that need to be maintained and managed, Sam wants to train ZOE staff to care for the vehicles while recruiting more experienced staff who can not only care for the vehicles but can train some of our teenagers in the care and maintenance of vehicles.

“God is honored by taking care of the things we are blessed with,” says Sam.  This goes for the ZOE vehicles, but also for the kids.  When we ensure our transportation is safe, we can better protect the children who have been entrusted to our care.  And that is always our number one priority!