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Written By: Karen Miyamoto
I love highlighting our little heroes that are doing big things! This months’ little hero is Hope Zazueta. Hope is 11 years old and has always had loved helping others. In the past, she and her family have attended ZOE’s Rescue Walk, raised money for ZOE International and donated items like socks during Christmas time. I had the honor of interviewing this amazing little girl.
Here at ZOE we have two major school breaks a year. One in October and the other in March-May. This year we are running three different week long camps simultaneously for our children, pre-teens and teens. By separating them into three different age groups, we can develop more age appropriate lessons and activities. Needless to say, it is a whirlwind at ZOE! Wherever you look there are activities going on non-stop. From games on the lawn to excursions to various locations, the coordination is simply AWESOME! Between Thai staff, missionaries and our Leadership Training Program students, everyone is going all out!
While we have many self sustaining agricultural projects around ZOE, one that's very popular amongst the family are mushrooms. Our ZOE family loves mushrooms so much they just can't get enough of them! Mushrooms are fairly expensive, but thankfully, we have a huge mushroom farm to keep our tastebuds satisfied.
For roughly the past two years, ZOE has been in the process of planning and building its newest addition. This new space will be used as a teen boys’ dormitory, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. With the launch of the ZOE Education Program, an education wing is needed in the main building, so the rooms vacated by the boys when they move into the new building will be put to immediate use.
At the beginning of this project, ZOE was approached by the Goldstone, Regenstreif, and Regency Lighting families who committed to funding the entire project! Now after all the planning, designing, and construction, the new home was recently dedicated. Many of the donor family members were able to make it out to Chiang Mai, Thailand where they received a grand “thank you,” ZOE style.
Only the finishing touches are needed to complete the building, and it’s easy to see that the boys are eager to move into their own space. Within the next few months, we will be able to hear the shouts of a ping-pong tournament and see them on the balcony doing their homework.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: thank you to the Goldstone, Regenstreif, and Regency families. We are eternally thankful for your generosity in making this much needed dream a reality.
We are in exciting times. ZOE is growing and people are getting on board to help end the trafficking of children in Southeast Asia. A few examples are Marla Pascarelli, Dan Gillespie, and Randy and Tammy Bauer. They have taken it upon themselves to help fundraise for ZOE’s many ministries.
Marla, a longtime friend and supporter of ZOE, set up a fundraising page on Crowdrise.com for a run in which she is participating. While Marla hasn’t considered herself a runner in the past, she felt that running to raise money for ZOE was something she could do. Her resolve to train is strengthened every time she remembers that what she is doing will help orphaned children and those who have been trafficked.
Dan is another runner who happened upon the ZOE website. So far he has raised more than $1,400! Dan says, “Occasionally in life, we choose to look beyond our own immediate needs and desires and open our eyes to the needs of those around us. It is not always convenient or comfortable to do so, but once we do, if we are truly human, we find it difficult or even impossible to once again look the other way and let such great injustices go unconstrained.” This is true wisdom as not only are our minds opened to injustices going on in the world, but Jesus Himself commanded us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
Tammy Bauer was recently on one of ZOE’s short-term mission trips. While she was visiting, God moved in her heart to begin making stained glass sun catchers, night-lights, and jewelry boxes alongside her husband. All of the profit earned has gone to ZOE. So far they have made more than $700 and orders for their creations keep rolling in!
Praise God for the love and support we get from people every day! These examples perfectly illustrate how anyone can help in the fight against child trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.
Foothill Covenant Church Hosts Benefit Concerts
Within the past month, Foothill Covenant Church has hosted two youth benefit concerts for ZOE International. The talented musicians performed pieces by Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Fauré, and Mozart, and your ears would certainly be deceived into believing these young men and women were seasoned professionals. A well-performed melody of string, piano, and voice has a special way of lifting the soul, and that effect was certainly captured in these concerts.
ZOE is so incredibly thankful for young people who have a passion to see change in the world. It is also encouraging to know that partners in the United States support ZOE’s mission to fight for those who cannot fight for
themselves. By stepping up and taking action like this to help open the eyes of those who have not heard about human trafficking, these performers have entered into the fight against human trafficking themselves.
Thank you again for your courage, talent, and prayers. Please remain alongside ZOE as we fight the good fight together.
The task of reaching the unreached in Thailand is no small one. Not only are there cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai that are hustling and bustling with people, but there are also countless villages that have a limited access to the gospel. In response to this problem, ZOE along with other organizations and individuals has created a network that seeks to enable local pastors and empower communities.
The philosophy is to equip the local pastors so they can perform their calling with greater efficiency. One of the ways the local pastors can build relationship with their village is through food distribution. Rather than giving the food out in impersonal lines, he will visit homes one-by-one and give to families in the community who are in particular need. This generosity opens doors and builds opportunities for the pastors to share the love of Christ with his neighbors.
A pastor of Dong Dtao village, is fulfilling his calling by organizing children outreach services, highlighting the transformation of fellow believers in the community, and giving boxes of food to those who need it the most. In only two years the village’s church has grown from 30 to 170 attendees! This is a clear example of God’s faithfulness.
ZOE’s Food Distribution Program has been honored to help put the boxes of food together for so many communities and pastors. This tool helps open the door, and we are humbled by God’s power to change the hearts of so many people once the Good News of Jesus has been shared.
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.
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.
Evergreen Church SGV strikes again! First the team kicks ZOE off to an amazing start of the Summer Camp for our kids, and now they sponsor a Bar-B-Que in honor of our Thai staff. This was a delicious surprise, especially for the kitchen staff as they got a morning off to be served hamburgers, hotdogs, French fries, and watermelon. The ZOE missionaries did all the food prep, cooking, and serving (with a little help from the kids).
Not only did the Thai staff get a chance to enjoy the festivities, but the kids were involved as well. They buzzed like busy bees to help prepare condiments, grill meat, and crisp the golden French fries to perfection.
A ZOE BBQ or, as we like to call it, BBZ, is everyone’s favorite. It was a grand opportunity to bring the entire ZOE family together to enjoy a rare treat, but it also gave the ZOE missionaries a chance to give back to the Thai staff. The Thai’s at ZOE have an enormous heart to serve others at every opportunity, so they were simply required to sit back and enjoy.
Thank you again to Evergreen for providing the staff this wonderful treat.