All Posts in USA News

October 2, 2017 - No Comments!

Duct Tape, Some Change and ZOE!

By Karen Miyamoto

This past summer, Higher Vision Church located in Santa Clarita, CA decided to adopt ZOE for their 2017 Vacation Bible School missions focus.  They gave each child plastic tubes to collect change through our Kids Helping Kids program.  The VBS was over the course of 5 days and the theme was Maker Fun Factory.  Higher Vision Church prayed for and had over 600 children in attendance and at the end of the week, more than half of the children raised their hands to accept Jesus Christ into their lives.  As if that wasn’t amazing already, the final numbers of what was collected was just presented to us last week.  In just 5 days, the children collected over $5000 to be donated to the children at ZOE!  I was completely blown away that in just 5 days…children under the age of 12…collected change equaling over $5000!  Wow!  How cool is that!

Along with learning about ZOE and what ZOE does with their donations, the children learned various bible points throughout the week such as, God Made You! – Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex (Psalm 13:14) and God is Always with You! – The Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

One of the highlights of the week was that on the last day, one leader would be duct taped to the wall.  For organization purposes, the children at the beginning of VBS are separated into 4 color groups.  With the creativity of the VBS planners and because who doesn’t enjoy some friendly competition, they decided that the color group that brought in the most change for ZOE would get to see their team leader get duct taped to the wall!  The competition was intense and the kids had a blast!

Thank you to Jael Liko, Heidi Krouzian, the many volunteers for VBS and Pastor Jared Ming for sharing ZOE with the kids at this year’s VBS at Higher Vision.  We are beyond blessed and super grateful for everything you did.  It’s so great to see children wanting to give to help other children in need. 

September 18, 2017 - No Comments!

To Dance or to Bike…that is the Question!

by Hanne Fellers

Art and artistic expressions can move you and make you feel emotions such as feelings for compassion, love and joy that are needed to be felt in our world today. When you hear your favorite song, it can bring specific memories and emotions to mind.

Dance, is also a wonderful creative expression, an art form indeed. We’ve learned from trafficking survivors that dance can be very healing.

On October 2nd, we will be launching the Dance 4 Freedom

Even if you don’t consider yourself a dancer, you can still be a part of this challenge!

If you’ve been following ZOE for more than a year, you’ve probably seen or heard that about our Annual ZOE Rescue Walk. This year we decided not to host the Walk but we still need your involvement to keep ZOE going. Therefore we are hosting this Dance 4 Freedom Challenge as well as the  Road of Justice Coast 2 Coast Bike Ride. We hope that you can engage with us in one or both events. We need your assistance to be able to continue doing prevention work, rescue children and help bring restoration to those that are hurting.

This late summer we were a part of the Step of Hope Dance Benefit that Word in Motion Dance Company out of Life150 Church in North Hollywood hosted for the 6th year in a row. At this event I felt so many emotions. Mostly good, but I must admit, I also felt nervous, frustrated and sad. Nervous, because I was speaking at the event. Frustrated because through the dances and artistic expressions, it was clear that human trafficking is a growing problem. Sad, because the reality of slavery is heartbreaking.

This years event started off with a spoken word by DJ Baluyot. His message was so well prepared and executed with so many facts.

He talked about the reality of kids and teens today seeking acceptance through social media and starving for real love and attention, and how some take advantage of this and prey on the youth in our society. We hope to continue educating our youth about the dangers of human trafficking. But we need your help to do so. We hope you will join us for the Dance 4 Freedom challenge or Road of Justice Bike Ride.

Watch the spoken word here:

September 11, 2017 - 2 comments

Even in the Midst of Transition

By Karen Miyamoto

If you have been following ZOE long enough, you know by now that there are things always happening at the ZOE USA office.  From going to conferences to meeting with church pastors to big projects like opening up ZOE Children’s Homes Los Angeles, the USA staff is always on their toes keeping busy with the various projects.  Currently the USA office is going through a big transition.  The office in which we called home for the past 14 years is no longer our home.  We are moving!  Though we have not found a permanent office location yet, we are super excited and very much looking forward to a new office space that we will be able to grow with.  Great things are to come for the USA office!

Every month, our faithful volunteers trek to our office to assist us with prepping and assembling the newsletters and postcards many of you receive in the mail.  Well now without an office for our volunteers to come to, this was going to be a big challenge.  Where could we go that would hold the many volunteers that come out to lend a helping hand and in addition, have a large enough space where we had room to work?

Here’s a photo of just a few of our dedicated volunteers

It was then that God provided.  One of our dear and generous volunteers offered to open up her home on a monthly basis until we find an office so that our volunteers had a place to work and also so that we can continue to stay connected with you all with our mailings!  It was such a huge blessing!  I must admit that I was a bit worried in the beginning since the home was in the valley and many of our volunteers lived in Santa Clarita.  Would our volunteers drive to the valley just to help us with our mailings?  To my surprise, many if not all of our volunteers said the would make the drive because they wanted to help!  I was so humbled and honored.  We have the best volunteers in the whole universe!

Thank you ZOE volunteers for going above and beyond the call of duty and lending a hand during this transition.  You guys are the BEST!

July 17, 2017 - No Comments!

Combating Trafficking in the U.S.

written by, Hanne Fellers

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.
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June 19, 2017 - No Comments!

We Need Each Other

“Not one of these kids who have succeeded has done it without connection to at least one supportive adult.”

     Nola Brantley
     Human Trafficking Survivor, Advocate, and Educator

An amazing survivor of child trafficking made this statement recently. Her words confirm a basic, well-known truth:

We need each other.

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May 10, 2017 - No Comments!

Prevention in America

This spring we’ve been very busy. Locally, in California, we’ve  shared with over 2000 people about our fight to end Human Trafficking. We are so excited that we are now having more conversations with people who say: “Yes, I know about human trafficking. How can I help?”
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April 17, 2017 - 1 comment.

Finding ZOE International

¡Hola a todos!

¡Mi nombre es Cristina Amaro y yo soy una pasante de ZOE!

English translation: My name is Cristina Amaro and I am currently an intern at ZOE! I graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in International Studies and an emphasis in Latin-American Studies (I really love tacos). I have also completed two years of Theology studies through Portland Bible College.

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March 20, 2017 - No Comments!

God Uses It All

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely week. My name is Brianna Thompson, though I am referred to by my nickname, Breezy. I am pleased to say as of this spring I am one of ZOE’s new interns. I am currently in the application process for College of the Canyon’s respected and highly competitive Nursing program, where I will receive the critical training I need in my future career.

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March 13, 2017 - No Comments!

Music Touches All Hearts

by Karen Miyamoto

Several months ago, I had the honor of connecting with an amazing girl named Denae Holler. She heard about ZOE through a friend of a friend and came up with the idea to collect instruments for the children at ZOE Children’s Home in Thailand as a part of her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Karen & Denae with the donated instruments.

Through a series of email conversations with our office, she inquired what some of the needs were and one of the things mentioned was that ZOE was really short on instruments for music therapy. Denae is a musician herself so she thought this was the perfect project for her and that it would be an awesome way to be able to use her passion and skill for doing good.
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March 1, 2017 - No Comments!

Caring for Kids in LA and Preparing to Serve More

During 2016, ZOE’s Los Angeles team:

  • Provided support for young survivors of trafficking in response to several requests from federal law enforcement
  • Attended a Child and Family Team Meeting to provide insights about human trafficking for a 15-year-old and her parents
  • Provided training to several dozen Supervising Social Workers from the Department of Children and Family Services
  • Provided backpacks, school supplies, Christmas gifts, and conference gifts for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children here in LA County

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