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All Posts in Child Trafficking Restoration

March 20, 2020 - No Comments!

Seeing Changes of Character

“Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life” (WHO definition). 

Helping children develop essential life skills is a big part of the restoration process at ZOE. It takes us being very intentional! Swimming, doing chores, managing money, and using a computer are just some of the useful life skills we teach. But we also value teaching emotional skills such as problem solving, perseverance, managing feelings, and making connections. 

Recently some of our girls shared testimonies about how they had noticed within themselves that their emotional skills were increasing. 

We wanted to share a few of their testimonies with you. 

“From being aggressive and having a hot temper, I can now calm down faster and can control my emotions better.”  

I was lacking discipline in many areas but now I can take care of the duties assigned to me.”

Before I had no target now I have started setting goals, writing them down, and trying to hit them.” 

“I did not care about my outlook before. Now I have learned to dress properly. I do not want to go back to my old life and I now understand my value.”

ZOE helps children develop interpersonal skills by providing healthy and safe environments to interact with other people. Listening and speaking, as well as the ability to control and manage emotions, are essential parts of being in a family, and necessary for life. We are so encouraged when we see and hear the positive developments that are occurring in their lives through the process of restoration. 

February 24, 2020 - No Comments!

Little Kids Go to the ZOO

If you’re old like me, you might remember that Peter, Paul, and Mary song, “Going to the Zoo.”

Daddy's takin' us to the zoo tomorrow,
Zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow
Daddy's takin' us to the zoo tomorrow
And we can stay all day!

It was sung on school excursions, lengthy road trips, or during Music class. Looking back, it was one of those songs that seemed like it would never end! There was always another verse to sing and when you’d exhausted every animal, you could go right back to the start and sing, “Mommy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow…” and it would all start again!

For most people, going to the zoo is a magical experience. Seeing magnificent creatures up close that you don’t normally see, experiencing the thrill of feeding them, hearing their unique sounds and of course appreciating God’s creativity in all the distinctive features of the animals.

Recently the younger children from our ZOE families had the privilege of visiting the zoo. They were able to read the descriptions about each animal, and observe each creature great and small in various environments. Our children smiled at the unusual, laughed at the playful, and stared in awe at the mighty elephants, hippos, and giraffes.

What an amazing opportunity to teach them more about God the Creator, and marvel at His works! The spots, the stripes, the patterns – every design is a reflection of His creativity. He made each creature from the smallest to the largest.

There is so much to be learned from visiting the zoo, but one important lesson we want our children to take away is that God made something even more spectacular than the animals when He made them! Out of all the creatures, He made man “in the image of God.”  Our hope is that through this experience, yes, they will see how amazing each animal is, but that they would also have a fresh revelation of how special they are!

By Andrea Cross

February 20, 2020 - No Comments!

Newly Rescued Teen Girls Cry Being Able to Make Their Own Choices

By Ben Wood, Field Worker, Thailand

One day I was at the Child Rescue Center (CRC) for a meeting. Two girls had just arrived. They had only been at ZOE for about 30 minutes when they were taken to the ZOE "store" by one of our mothers. I was sitting at a distance and watched as both girls proceeded to sit down on the ground and cry. I didn't know what was happening.

After about a minute of being comforted, they stood up and went into the store. I was curious why they were crying and walked over and asked the mother what was happening.

She told me that it was okay. That their tears were happy tears. They were moved by our love for them and allowing them to take whatever they needed from our store. They also told her that they felt honored that they weren't being told what to do but instead they were given the power to make choices. 

At that moment, I was also moved to tears. I realized that our little store was more than just a room full of stuff but instead it was an opportunity for us to empower the children we rescue and to show them love as they start their restoration process.

February 11, 2020 - No Comments!

Everlasting Love

By Oratai Saisingtong, ZOE Thailand Director

It’s a ZOE tradition now that every New Year's eve, each person picks out a Bible verse to meditate on for the entire year. Some people might think, “It’s just one verse, it doesn’t mean much!” But, just as in past years, we know that God uses many opportunities to speak, and get the attention of our children. 

This year one of our children picked out this Bible verse: 
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." 

During our meeting, the boy told with excitement that he received this Bible verse. And, he was excited to realize that God spoke to him. He went on to explain that he had constantly said that no one loved him or cared for him. But, now he is confident that God loves him! 

It touched our hearts to see that God spoke right to his heart. God has entrusted these children to us but it is so encouraging when we see that they recognize His voice speaking to them!  
At times when children struggle, it is such a comfort to see God reassuring us that His covering is over these children. His love iseverlasting. He is faithful, and we are not doing this work alone!

January 21, 2020 - No Comments!

Theory to Practice

By Brandon Kim, Vocational Training Manager

As the goal of our vocational training program, we often talk about moving from “trit-sa-dii” (Thai word for “theory”) to “bpa-dti-bat” (Thai word for “practice”). To this end we have always looked for opportunities to gain experience in authentic settings outside the four walls of the classroom and extend learning to new arenas. So, we were overjoyed that three amazing organizations came alongside ZOE to support our students in this endeavor.

A popular coffee house near the center of town agreed to train two youth in the areas of food preparation and service, and has continued to allow them to intern there three times a week through January. A beauty shop owner has opened her doors to teach one student hairdressing and manicure techniques, and a well-known language school has accepted three of our students into an intensive 10-week English course. 

In addition, we believe that quality time spent together with successful Thai Christian business owners will be invaluable in widening and extending their view of “work.” One student already asked after the first day if she can continue training after she leaves ZOE! Well one thing we know for sure is that God has a great plan and purpose for them that they are only just beginning to discover!

November 26, 2019 - No Comments!

A World Without Orphans

"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! 

November 22, 2019 - No Comments!

One Child Reflects on Being Raised At ZOE

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.

November 12, 2019 - No Comments!

A Survivor’s Story: Peace

When I was little, I remember one day a Christian family invited us to go to church. We went, and I loved it, but my father did not want me to believe in God so he prohibited me from going back again.

When I was rescued and came to live at ZOE, I was amazed to hear about God for a second time.

I prayed that I would be able to see my family again one day, but I began feeling angry with God that my prayer was not being answered. I also started to doubt if God was even real.

After some time of feeling angry, about my prayer not being answered, a lady came to tell me that she could take me to go visit my siblings. I was so excited but I felt guilty for getting angry at God.

At ZOE, I continue to learn more about God, and read the Bible. When I have problems or questions, God answers me through the words that I read.

I praise God that he gives me the patience that I need to be at ZOE at this time. I know that God is in control of everything. When I surrender my family to God, peace returns to my heart again. Stress and worries about my family are no longer obstacles for me in daily life as I learn to trust in Him.

November 11, 2019 - No Comments!

The Gift of a “Work in Progress”

Our ZOE buildings are meant to be white, which is challenging because the soil on the land where our ZOE buildings are is a deep, rich orange color. Often times it gets onto our clothes, cars, and shoes and it’s really hard to keep things clean.

As I arrived at work this past week, I noticed that there have been a couple of guys painting around the front entrance to the building.

Sometimes as I go to my office, I’ve needed to go a different way, or walk around their tools but mostly, while the work is being done, I’ve been thinking that it all just looks like a bit of a mess.

It’s not only the buildings at ZOE that need maintenance though; my life, those I work with, the parents, and of course the children themselves – are all a work-in-progress and sometimes, everywhere I look there is much work to be done. It all just seems like a bit of a mess.

I don’t often feel like I do a very good job at seeing a mess and just heading straight into it. I am continually amazed at the ZOE staff and parents though, who commit wholeheartedly to seeing lives transformed and throwing themselves in 100% to see the hard work being done.

I’m so thankful that God gives us discernment and sensitivity to the needs around us so that at those times when we just want to walk around, go a different way, or avoid the chaos, He helps us to enter in and “be” with others in the same way that He is with us.

We are loved and accepted, yes, but loved way too much for Him to just let us remain in our pain, shame, guilt, and in our past. He takes those deep, rich orange stains and paints them as white as snow. And every time we find another stain, He does it again – a beautiful reminder of our God who forgives us and gives us a new life and a pure heart. What a wonderful gift!

November 5, 2019 - No Comments!

Where Are They Now?

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit ZOE in Thailand, you most likely still have a memory or two of some of the children’s faces that made an impression on you. Maybe they shared a testimony during a Friday night service, sat on your mat at a family BBQ dinner, or even prayed for you. Moments like those seem to stay etched in our memories for a long time. But perhaps, as the years have passed by, and your trip to Thailand became more distant, you have had the thought, “I wonder where they are now.”

As you’re probably aware, the children who grew up in ZOE families did not “age out.” When they reached adulthood, we ensured that they transitioned from their family into the next stage of life with lots of support. We structure the transition to independent living to accommodate each individual’s needs whether that be student accommodation at university, helping them to find employment, or just staying in contact and supporting them in a multitude of small ways.

ZOE’s transitional program includes a drop-in center in the city, where young adults can find mature grownups whom they know and trust, to help them when they need it - with anything from wise council, a meal, or a shoulder to cry on after a hard day.

Once a week, at the city center, life group meetings are held. This past month, on any given Saturday there have been between 20 to 40 young adults in attendance. Many former ZOE children come and bring their friends. Each week, more of them are coming to know Jesus.  There were 21 young people who became Christians this past month. 

It’s hard to believe, but some of the children who grew up at ZOE are actually married now, and have children of their own. It is always beautiful to see these new mothers and fathers, passing their babies to the parents from ZOE who cared for them growing up. Often times at church, and other events, it feels like a giant family reunion as the ZOE moms and dads experience both the joys of “grand parenting,” and staying connected with the children whom they have helped to raise. Our ZOE parents and staff do such an amazing job supporting, advocating, and being available for these young people when they need it.

Where are they now? Each of the children who have grown up and left ZOE has been supported into their season of adulthood. They are working, studying, parenting, and seeking to understand themselves better. They are connecting with others on a deeper level and continually discovering who they are.