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Letter From A Child Trafficking Survivor

June 18, 2020

Letter From A Child Trafficking Survivor

First, I thank God for bringing me to ZOE. My life and heart have been changed by Him. Second, I am so thankful for each of you. I am thankful for all ZOE leaders and staff. I feel grateful that I was rescued and brought to ZOE. 

Thank you for creating a new world with great love for me and all kids here. Thank you so much for loving me and many other kids. It has helped me understand the value of my life. It helps me to be bold and not give up no matter what comes into my life. I have gained understanding and wisdom. 

Thank you for introducing me to new things and for taking care of me to the best of your ability. Thank you for assisting me in every area of my life. I feel warm because of you and this is a feeling I never had in my life. 

It’s been just a short time that I got to know everyone at ZOE but you all became my family as we spent time together as a family. I can now say that I have a warm and loving family! I am so happy to have met and to know you all. Thank you for loving, caring, listening to what I say, and understanding me. You are my family. 

Before, I never knew what true and beautiful love was, but now I realize how beautiful it is. You have shown me through your love, care, and doing what’s best for me. You are my brothers and sisters, my mom and my dad who love me sincerely. Your love is a great inspiration. 

You give me confidence to overcome this hard life with God and your love. You all are my heroes and I know there are many children out there who need your help. Without you all, I may not have today. I might not know how precious my life is. I might not be able to move forward. Without you, my face would not be filled with such a big smile. 

You have shown me and other kids how to exit from darkness. We used to live in the darkness and you all have rescued us and given us wings to fly away. Now we can fly in the sky with your love. 

I cannot stop saying “THANK YOU” to you all. I have realized and seen how hard you work for all kids. You all are merciful. Thank you so much for loving me. I may leave ZOE soon, but I am not alone. Now I have God and ZOE who will walk alongside me. 

Family Relationships Key In Preventing Trafficking

May 15, 2020

Family Relationships Key In Preventing Trafficking

In every country in the world, including Japan, the COVID-19 lockdown is challenging traditional perspectives and, to a certain extent, even redefining the values of society.

Japan is famous for its hard-working culture; with fathers, mostly employed as so-called salarymen, working excessive overtime – often just to live up to society’s expectations. 

There is even a term, karoshi, which means to literally work yourself to death. Although hard work is admirable, it presents the danger of a generation of children growing up with a father who is basically invisible. He is often just the tired man in the dark suit who comes home late and leaves again early.

The absence of fathers creates an open door for the enemy to attack children. Many young boys don’t have a role model to teach them the meaning of being a real man who values women. Instead, they absorb and mimic whatever the media feeds them. Many young girls learn about life and love from friends, movies or online.

To fill the emotional void, children often turn to a popular networking app where they can interact with randomly selected strangers, ignorant of the danger of traffickers just waiting to take advantage of their vulnerability. What starts as a seemingly innocent online friendship soon leads to a face-to-face meeting with the trafficker during which the child is sexually abused. Photos and video footage taken during the abuse become key weapons that the trafficker uses to instill fear and force the child into further submission and continued abuse. Without the safety net of strong family relationships, children simply don’t have the courage to turn to their parents for help.

Government reports show that “the number of people under 18 who fell victim to social media-linked sexual and other crimes in Japan in 2019, rose 271 from the previous year to a record 2,082 cases.” These are only the reported cases; the tip of the iceberg. But there is always HOPE.

And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
And you will feel secure, because there is hope:
you will look around and take your rest in security.
Job 11:17-18

Just observing the parks in our neighborhood during the lockdown, COVID-19 is clearly bringing families together – perhaps for the first time. The previously invisible fathers are suddenly popping up everywhere! They are pitching to their future baseball-hero sons, or jumping rope with their daughters. We see them climbing trees, creating memories together, sometimes even crying and just being vulnerable together. We truly believe that these restored relationships are not only a blessing to all family members, but also serve as a natural prevention strategy against child trafficking.

“Many times it takes just one member of a family to initiate the action to bring a family back together again.” – Billy Graham

As their hearts are softened by the joys of being part of an earthly family, may they also discover the love of our Heavenly Father and open their hearts to Him.

Written By: Annerie Van Wyk, ZOE Japan Missionary

A World Without Orphans

November 26, 2019

God put a new dream in my heart over 3 years ago and… 
guess what?!? It’s happening!!

Written by Jessica Dodd

A World Without Orphans.

Can you picture it? A world without any orphans? A world where all children grow up in safe, stable, and nurturing families? I can.

What an amazing experience to be able to attend the Global Forum for a World Without Orphans (WWO), which was held on 24-27 October 2019. With 600 attendees from 60 different countries, WWO has a clear vision to see children thriving, families strong, and churches engaged. The vision will be achieved by helping children remain in, be reunited with, or regain a healthy family, so that they can reach their God-given purpose. The forum focused on the spiritual, relational, and practical aspects for how to best accomplish this aim.

Jessica Dodd with Director of ZOE Children’s Home Thailand, Yim at WWO

What was so encouraging about the forum was the spirit of “working together” to care for orphans and vulnerable children better. A united goal of implementing best practices and making realistic changes on every level…from the community/society, government, and even national policies.

A powerful time of worship, as well as the main session, focused on the Father’s heart for orphans, steered attendees towards how we can be the hands and feet of Jesus. Breakout sessions were taught by experts from around the world, and included both valuable and practical takeaways.

It was awesome to hear about how different countries have changed their policies on every level as a result of the 1st global forum in 2016 (just 3 years ago!).

For me personally, the four days of forum were life changing, inspiring, challenging, convicting, stirring…all at the same time! I’m so glad I got the opportunity to attend. I’m excited about the future, in more ways than one! 

August STM Blog

September 17, 2019

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words but I say one word is worth far more than a thousand pictures to convey the work that God is accomplishing through ZOE International in Chiang Mai, Thailand. That one word is GO!

ZOE Recognizes Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

March 26, 2019

  By Jessicah Ray, PA & Concussion SpecialistTraumatic Brain Injury Awareness for Survivors of Human Trafficking Much advancement has been accomplished in the recognition of the comprehensive and trauma-informed health needs for survivors of human trafficking. However, publications and guidelines have yet to consistently include the consideration for traumatic brain injury (TBI) assessment and care. This can […]

The Day ZOE Changed My Life

March 12, 2019

  ZOE AustraliaBy Mark Easton My first contact with ZOE was in 2013 when I met David Cross while on a mission trip to Chiang Mai with my son’s school. David told the group the story of Moses, the first man to try and abolish slavery. In Exodus 4 Moses, confused and overwhelmed, tries to […]

Lessons from Thailand

February 27, 2019

  ZOE Thailand By Gaye Obenchain, January 2019 USA Joint Short Term Team Member Every year, two short term teams come to ZOE Thailand from the United States. We are privileged to have so many wonderful people over the years from all over the U.S. come to see first hand what God is doing through […]

The Home Front and the Fight

February 6, 2019

The Home Front and the Fight Against Human Trafficking – Part 2: Community Awareness and Action By Jessicah Ray, PA-C ZOE International From Individuals To Communities In August of 2018, ZOE shared practical tips for individuals to fight human trafficking on the home front by keeping eyes open to the signs of domestic violence, and by speaking up (https://gozoe.org/2018/08/24/the-link-between-domestic-violence-human-trafficking/)when […]

Top Things You Need to KNOW About Human Trafficking

January 6, 2019

Human Trafficking Facts “Human trafficking is happening in your subdivision, my subdivision, in apartment complexes, and everybody is unaware of it.” – Louisiana State Representative Valerie Hodges KNOW the Stats Exact human trafficking statistics are difficult to collect because of the hidden nature of trafficking. Labor and sex trafficking are the main forms of human […]

freedom

December 6, 2018

Freedom By Jessicah Ray, PA-C Why is a diagnosis of human trafficking important? Human trafficking is internationally recognized as a public health problem with over 40.3 million victims identified, and with one-quarter of those being children. (Dovydaitis, 2010, Fink-Samnick, 2018). In response to this global epidemic, hospitals and clinics are joining the mission to end […]