All Posts in Short Term Teams
Guest blogger: Stephanie Chabot
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!
The following is a guest post from our faithful ZOE supporter, Tammy Bauer. We asked her to write this because, like most of us, she is an ordinary individual who wants to end child trafficking. Using her sphere of influence, gifts, and talents, she has found very creative ways to raise money and spread human trafficking awareness. As we launch our new program, My Gen My Fight, Tammy's story fits right in and may provide you with ideas and inspiration.
My 8th Short Term Missions Trip
I just returned home from my 8th trip to Thailand. I was privileged to lead a team of 18 people from several different places across the United States, including Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles as well as Saudi Arabia.
Every time I go on a trip, it is different even though we do pretty much the same thing. ZOE team members are unique and it is fun to watch lives being changed right in front of you. This trip was the first time for me to be part of something new on the team schedule called “Cultural Day.” The day starts with team members being assigned to a ZOE Family. Whatever the ZOE Family is doing for the morning, the team member also does with them. Some team members received a Thai name and played games. Another group played games, and made fried bananas and fried sweet potatoes. One of the groups had to go and harvest vegetables from the garden. This team said it was really hard work.
Later that evening, the team provides a cultural experience from America for the whole ZOE Family. This team put on a Thanksgiving meal and shared about Thanksgiving.
If you or someone you know is interested in being part of a short term missions trip to Thailand to be with our ZOE Family, check out information about our short term missions trips. You will never be the same!
I love when the young generation gets involved in making a difference. There’s just something special about the entire experience. Not only is it great to see them being heroes in society, but I believe by getting involved, it’s a great start to shaping their future.
This month, I wanted to spotlight Paige Chabot. Paige has been a longtime supporter of ZOE, and she’s only 14. Read her interview below.
Thank you Paige for your continuous support toward ZOE. You are such a blessing!
Name: Paige Chabot
How did you hear about ZOE?
My mother got me involved with ZOE. I don’t remember where she heard about ZOE from.
At what age did you start supporting ZOE?
I believe I was about seven or eight when I started to support ZOE.
What are some ways you have supported ZOE in the past?
I have raised money for ZOE when I was younger by having lemonade stands and participating in the quarter tube fundraisers for Kids Helping Kids. I have also raised money during my birthday parties by giving my guest the option to donate money instead of giving me a gift.
What was the best memory of your mission trip to ZOE this past February?
One of my favorite memories, and I have a lot, was probably worshiping with the ZOE kids. I loved seeing how devoted they were and exited these kids were to spend time with the lord.
What kind of things did you do while on your mission trip?
We went to some schools and did outreaches. We handed out goodie bags (after making 1,000 of them) to families in the village we visited and preached to them too. We also saw elephants, met some amazing kids at ZOE, played games with kids at the schools, and hosted a luau for the ZOE family at the Children’s Home.
Would you go again? If so, why?
I would definitely go again. It was a great experience; if I was able to go again, I would definitely invite one or two of my friends to come along with me.
Favorite Food: well if you’re asking what my favorite food was during the trip, I would have to say all of it. Except the spicy food, not a fan of that. In general, I like everything!
The 3rd Annual ZOE Rescue Walk is expanding! We are grateful for our partners who are willing to take on the task of forming a team this year in their home state. Nick Durick of Rockford, Illinois is one of those people. But Nick isn’t content with simply forming a team of people and walking; he is planning an entire event for his team of people! When we asked Nick why he would take on such an enormous task, this is what he said.
There are countless reasons why I am wanting to hold a ZOE Rescue Walk in Rockford, Illinois. My church has had a partnership with ZOE international for seven years, and I have had the honor of serving with ZOE as a short term missionary for the last two years. I am completely committed to helping ZOE grow! The level of excellence and grace that ZOE commits to is off the charts! If I can be a part of that somehow, I will do everything I can to partner with such a beautiful organization.
I have talked with thousands of people over the last few years about human trafficking, whether locally, globally, or just in general, and the percentage of response that has no idea it is going on is mind blowing. So bringing awareness to our city, our state line area, will be HUGE! Rockford, IL will no longer be silent. We will no longer be neutral. We will no longer be uneducated. We will be a voice. We will be a movement. One that states clearly that Human Trafficking Is Not OKAY! The walk will not only be beneficial to ZOE for obvious reasons, but it will be the start of changing the heart of this city. We will be bringing LIFE to a broken and lost city. We will be bringing ZOE. I have prayed Isaiah 61:1-3 over Thailand and over ZOE for the last 2 years. It is time to bring that prayer and promise to Rockford!
Thank you Nick for your passion to end child trafficking and your love and passion for ZOE!
View Nick’s Team Page Here: http://www.firstgiving.com/team/270627
Guest blogger | Elizabeth Mrozek (member of our February 2014 Short Term Missions team #ZOESTMFeb)
Home from the trip of a lifetime..
In Thailand there was so much to take in and it was difficult to word properly all that I was seeing. From experiencing Zoe Children's home...(the professionalism, standard of excellence, grace, love, hard work, and family nature...) to ministering to Buddhists and others never having heard the name of Jesus in the primitive Nakoo village, to teaching and playing with engaging children in the schools, to the slums, There were so many aspects to process. Despite all the misfortune, and simplicity many of the Thai people live with, they are have a spirit of hospitality and treat all with kindness, and welcome strangers into their homes willingly. God is taking care of His children globally and all those who call on The Lord will find him. Reminders of Human trafficking and the appalling truths that accompany the industry were on my mind the the entire trip. We educated many families in the villages that had no idea that it was reality. For those unreached we prayed for, as well as the faces we learned and shared life with even for a day. I miss everyone I met while at Zoe Children's homes specifically, they were the purest, and most loving children and staff that I have ever met and are so full of joy and love for Jesus and others.
Family comes first in Thai culture. I still have so much to think on..promptings and a new open hearted perspective of the planet and the sheer Enormity of God and what He is capable of. If you are uneasy or anxious about anything, he will make you strong, he will be there with answers and truth.
Thailand was rich in culture and I experienced so many beautiful things. The people, sweeping landscapes, mountains, rice paddies, glorious weather, color, spicy and intricate meals, teak trees and dense Forests..a full moon against a navy blue sky, bright stars and glowing lanterns dotting the night sky,
Elephant rides, the night bazaar.
I miss the people most of all. And the ever present red earth of the country, still to be found on my shoes leads me to reflect.
The recent visit to ZOE from The Underground Church in North Hollywood, California was full of incredibly talented people. In addition to their outreaches to many different venues across Chiang Mai, they also got the opportunity to spend time with the children at ZOE.
Most notably, the kids were able to participate in elective classes put on by team members. Being a team predominately made up of dancers, the hip-hop dance class was particularly successful. The ZOE kids had seen the moves, but it was finally their chance to learn and practice them on their own. A few even refined their break-dancing skills.
There was also a drums and rhythm class which was taught by a professional singer and a professional DJ. Using simple instruments, this class taught each group how to work together to achieve a unified and consistent rhythm. This helped the groups, especially the younger kids, learn to work together to create beats in time with everyone else in the group.
A martial arts expert taught classes as well. He focused exclusively on self-defense with escape, not aggression, being the number one priority for anyone caught in a bad situation. The kids and adults alike enjoyed learning how to block high, low, and mid-range attacks while countering with punches and low kicks. Even the younger kids were beginning to master blocks with subsequent one-two punch combinations.
Short-term team elective classes are always a blast, and everyone has fun learning a new skill or taking advantage of the expertise team members bring to ZOE Children's Homes in Thailand. We thank God for The Underground Church and Pastors Tymme and Aury Reitz for allowing us to share in the wonderful people they have in their congregation.
The Underground Church in North Hollywood, California is a wonderful church that utilizes the powerful influence of art to worship and share the love of God with the world. In January, ZOE Thailand had the privilege of hosting members from Underground’s Word in Motion Dance Company for ministry opportunities all over Chiang Mai.
The team was invited to perform at schools, children’s homes, an urban slum outreach, and even a youth correctional facility, which gave them the chance to share the gospel and introduce Jesus Christ into lives of more than 800 kids! The Undeground team featured a professional singer and dancers, DJ, and skateboarder who utilized their talents to reach out to adults, teenagers, and little ones alike. The performances were wildly successful, and there was always a group of kids at the end of the service showing off their moves and learning new break-dancing and hip hop techniques.
ZOE is so incredibly thankful for ourpartnership with The Underground Church and for their creativity in ministry. While this was Underground's first visit to ZOE Children’s Homes, we hope they know they will always be welcome to return and share their gifts to the youth of Thailand.
Stay tuned for a later blog that talks about all the classes that were taught to our kids at ZOE.
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.