This past year, one of our ZOE children was getting ready to leave ZOE and attend university. He was in the process of packing up his things and going to his new dorm room. However, before leaving, he wanted to say goodbye to all the staff, children and missionaries.
As he said his goodbyes, he started to tell Carol Hart, our founder, what ZOE meant to him. He said, “ZOE has given me a lot of opportunities…. a good education, a place to stay, good food, safe environment.” This was all very important to him, but in his wildest dreams, he never thought that ZOE could ever give him something that he thought was impossible to have. He said, “ZOE gave me a mom and dad.” He began to weep uncontrollably as he said this in front of his ZOE mother and began to hug her. He never thought as an orphan, he could have a mom and dad. Today, he still calls these ZOE parents his mom and dad. He regularly keeps in contact with them and even takes the time out to come visit and help around ZOE.
This is one of the key reasons why we have experienced so much success at ZOE, because we have staff who not only consider their duties as a job, but as a lifelong calling. These children are not merely foster children passing through, but they consider them as their own.