fbpx

All Posts in Australia

March 12, 2019 - No Comments!

The Day ZOE Changed My Life

ZOE Australia
By 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 convince God that he has nothing to offer that can help to free the Israelites from slavery but God asks him “What is that in your hand?”

I knew just how Moses felt. I really felt I had little to offer in the way of practical help and was confused about why I had agreed to go on this mission trip in the first place. But David’s retelling of Moses’ commission made me ask the same question that Moses had been asked: what was in my hand that I could use to help?

My skills are as a writer. I have written or contributed to about forty books that are used by teachers and students throughout Australia in their study of history and geography. Each day tens of thousands of high school children read what I have written. I knew before David had finished speaking that this is why God had brought me to Thailand. This is what is in my hand! All I had to do was to convince David.

Fortunately God put me on a work party at ZOE for the next few days and David and I found ourselves working side by side as bricklayers. Over many laughs and questionable bricklaying we eventually worked out that we were the answer to each other’s prayers. God had brought a writer and a missionary together.

Six months later, the curriculum was written, published online, presented at a teachers’ conference in Melbourne and was already being used in Australian schools to educate the next generation about child trafficking and the awesome work that ZOE is doing in Thailand. So now I ask you the same question that God asked Moses: “What is that in YOUR hand?

March 11, 2019 - No Comments!

Longing for Home

ZOE International
By Lori-Ann Tsang

I’ve been contemplating the concept of “home” lately. What are ways we try to make a place feel more like home? In thinking about the structure and physical building itself, unless you are an architect or a builder, your first chance at this happens after the structure has been built and is completed. We bring in furniture, plants, rugs, shelves, and other personal belongings to help us feel at home.  

Long before any plans were drawn up or the first brick was laid for our ZOE home in Thailand, our leaders, planning team, and architects began thinking about this concept of “home.” They knew the building itself would need to be unique and special because of its purpose. It would be place where children rescued from human trafficking could feel safe, secure, and loved…a place they could call home.

The inside is beautiful and very livable!! I love the layout and the building very much. I want a house like this of my own, someday!"

~ Recently rescued youth about ZOE Thailand’s Child Rescue Center

So much planning, prayer, and preparation goes into the building of every structure on each ZOE campus. It is done with love and care, knowing that it will have a far-reaching impact on the precious children who come through the doors.

This reminds me that we have a perfect home being prepared for us. One that is beyond our wildest dreams. “... looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10, NIV).

Find out more about our newest HOME being built in LA: https://gozoe.org/our-work/los-angeles/

February 5, 2019 - No Comments!

Dumpster Diving

By Andrea Cross

Every week in Australia, 17.5 million steel cans are recycled. That is enough to build 900 cars!

Going through the rubbish to find steel cans is not what many of us think of when we picture ways to stop child trafficking but one Aussie man cares so much about the kids at ZOE, and seeing slavery ended, that he even digs through dumpsters to find cans that he can exchange for cash to raise money to send to Thailand.

And as if recycling cans wasn’t noble enough, Tony and his wife Margaret have also organized dinner auctions, barbeques at local markets, sold glow sticks at festivals, and even sold their chicken’s eggs all to help ZOE’s work in preventing, rescuing, and restoring children’s lives.

His daughter Rachael has also given profits she made from selling property, donated thousands of dollars to ZOE, and visited the children’s home several times.

Whether it be cutting 20 kg of onions, selling eggs at their workplaces, or “dumpster diving” (as Tony calls it), this family sure knows how to use every opportunity they have to be an inspiration and make a difference in the world.

Thank you Tony, Margaret, and Rachael! The way you choose to live your lives and the sacrifices you make to help the kids at ZOE, motivates all of us to do more and think about ways that we can use our time, resources, and money to be a change in the world.

December 10, 2018 - No Comments!

I Can Wash These Clothes

by Andrea Cross

As my family and I left Thailand to travel to Australia this past July, I realized that it was not just people in Thailand but all over the world, who sat clinging to news reports of the ongoing rescue of 12 young boys who were lost and stuck in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai.

Even in Australia, the story was being followed on every radio and television station and it felt like, across the globe, everyone’s thoughts and prayers were focused on bringing those boys out to safety.

During the cave rescue mission, sadness and shock set in when the news came that Petty Officer Saman Gunan, former Thai navy diver, lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave and died. He will be forever remembered and honored for his heroic efforts in the rescue mission.

There were many other heroes too, who the world may not remember or even know their names but who, behind the scenes, did their “one thing” to help.

Rawinmart Luelert is a name you might not recognize. I stumbled upon her story quite by chance. Rawinmart has a factory with 14 washing machines and 15 dryers, and a business, which provides laundry services for hotels in her area. When her friend showed her photos of the rescue workers wearing dirty uniforms, she knew there was a way that she could help. Collecting the uniforms of rescue workers every night at 9pm, she gathered a team and worked for 10 straight days, returning the uniforms at 4am after cleaning them at her laundry.

She shared her appreciation for her employees, volunteers, and friends who helped her work through the night to get the job done. One man, Suwan Kankeaw, who helped to wash the uniforms of the US Navy divers said,

“I don’t have the ability to get the kids out
directly, but what I can do is wash these clothes.”

As I read about Rawinmart and Suwan’s stories along with other volunteers who for 12 days prepared 400 boxes of food for lunch and dinner each day… Or who provided foot massages or haircuts for the rescue team… the stories of these people stuck in my mind.

Recently at ZOE, the Next Gen team, who lead our children and youth, carefully planned their camp theme “Out of the Darkness”. It paralleled the events surrounding the flooded cave rescue with the message of God’s love and how He comes after us and rescue us from darkness and brings us into His marvelous light.

There were some powerful testimonies of children who chose to follow Jesus for the first time and others who recommitted to live out their faith boldly.  

At ZOE, not all of us directly rescue children from slavery. There are so many people working in many different teams with a range of tasks, but each of us has an area that we use our skills in to support the work of rescue and make a difference.

Just like Suwan, who knew he wasn’t the one to get the boys out directly, we can take encouragement from him and so many of the other lesser-known heroes, by discovering what we CAN do – and then start making a difference!

August 22, 2018 - 2 comments

Partnering and Impacting

On a recent trip to Australia, ZOE founders Michael and Carol Hart along with ZOE missionaries, David and Andrea Cross, had the privilege of teaming up with the Entrust Foundation to host an awareness dinner about ZOE’s work in Thailand as well as internationally.

Entrust Foundation’s passion is to serve the poor and oppressed in partnership with donors and project implementers. They support individuals and communities living in tough places and see themselves as the link between donors who wish to make a difference and trusted local partners working to change lives.  The Entrust Foundation works in 15 nations with people of all cultures, genders and religious beliefs, to enable long-term change through co-operatively funding community development projects in some of the toughest places on earth.

The Entrust Foundation gives towards ZOE’s prevention program in South East Asia and helps to fund ZOE prevention campaigns in schools as well as outreaches in transient and vulnerable areas such as Thai migrant and refugee camps.

There were so many positive comments throughout the evening as well as words of encouragement about the work going on at ZOE.  The thing that stood out the most though was how impacted the wait staff working at the venue were. They stopped what they were doing and listened so intently as Michael, Carol and David shared. We trust that the message was just as impacting for them too.

It was obvious that not only the guests but that every single person in the room that night got to hear about ZOE’s work walked away excited and determined to see child trafficking eradicated as well as more aware of what can be done to make that happen.

September 8, 2014 - 1 comment.

ZOE Missionaries | The Cross Family

What was it that caused business owner David Cross and his wife, Andrea, plus their three young children to pack up their comfortable life in Australia and move to Northern Thailand?  Was it the lure of more money … or the promise of a better life?

No. The inspiration for this young family to set off overseas in January 2010 was the conviction that they needed to do something to help children in circumstances where they could not help themselves.

[quote width="" align="left"]“When we heard the statistics about children, the same ages as our own being trafficked, we felt compelled to act. Now when we sit with these wonderful kids, each of the statistics suddenly has a face.  It’s a face that is covered with a big smile, and their smiles are now a part of our every day.”[/quote]

Before coming to ZOE, David and Andrea always had a passion for helping children. Married in 1999, they spent most of their early married life either volunteering as foster carers (caregivers) or as buddies on ‘Life Gets Better Camps’ for children who have gone through major grief (such as divorce or a death in their immediate family). These voluntary roles were fitted in, and around, their full schedules of family life and business.

davidcrossDavid is the Co-Founder of ZOE Foundation Australia and Manager of Child Protection and Communications at ZOE Children’s Homes in Thailand.

Managing Child Protection, David works to ensure that all the children at ZOE are continually looked after and protected in the best possible way.  He trains staff, volunteers, visitors and the children, on an ongoing basis, about relevant safety and protection issues. He also oversees the implementation of projects and programs funded by ZOE Foundation Australia to assist in the task of combatting human trafficking.

Though there have been several challenging times throughout their time in Thailand, they have seen God show up in amazing ways through the protection of their family, healing and answered prayers.  The support they have received from their family, friends and even people whom they don’t know personally has impacted them deeply and has been a very humbling experience.

The Cross family has grown to love living in Thailand.  Their children who were 1, 3 and 4 years old when they left Australia have now all lived more of their lives in Thailand than not, and it has very much become their home.  While language learning has been slow and difficult, the Cross children study Thai for one hour every day at the international school that they attend.  They have many close Thai friends.

The culture, the food and the varied experiences that the Cross’ have had as a family such as serving together, visiting villages, tasting different foods and even the opportunity to occasionally ride elephants, have all been an added bonus to the true joy of seeing first hand the young lives that are being healed and transformed through the love and care that they receive at ZOE Children’s Homes.

andreacrossAndrea is a trained primary school teacher and also enjoys writing.  While she still views her biggest and most important role as being ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ in her own family, she is committed to being a positive influence, role model and hope in the lives of others, through displaying God’s promises of a life of joy and peace.  She enjoys using her skills to help at both ZOE and her children’s school.

crossfamilyWorking as volunteers, the Cross family’s “salary” is primarily based on the donations of those who feel led to support their work in Thailand.  If you would like to be a part of their financial support team, you can give on a monthly or a one-time basis.  Prayer is also a huge need and one that the Cross Family would greatly appreciate.

You can keep track of the Cross family on their blog.