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All Posts in Children’s Homes

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/

May 4, 2018 - No Comments!

Not So Flashy

by Marji Iacovetti

Obtaining accreditation for a nonprofit organization is a daunting task. The process can take 80 personnel hours each week for 18 months. It is also a new legal requirement for organizations that provide residential care for youth in California…so ZOE is beginning theaccreditation journey.

We purchased manuals that describe more than 1,200 standards surveyors will use to rate ZOE during a site visit to our Southern California facilities. Two of our staff members flew to Florida to attend a 3-day accreditation conference. ZOE is also contracting with a specialist who is helping us draft several dozen procedural documents.

Earning accreditation is challenging and costly. When donors think of compelling causes to support, few think about ensuring compliance to hundreds of detailed standards.

In truth though, dollars (and hours) ZOE will spend earning accreditation will bring a solid return on investment. The process will help us to gather useful data, measure our effectiveness, identify needs for improvement, avoid waste, and move forward strategically. It will equip us to serve well.

Accreditation is all about providing excellent care and ZOE is deeply committed to doing that very thing. If you feel drawn to provide financial support for a not-so-flashy but truly meaningful project, please call ZOE’s U.S. office at 661.255.7963.

April 30, 2018 - No Comments!

What’s with NextGen camps at ZOE?

By Abigail Jennerson

For all of us on the NextGen team here at ZOE - 4 missionaries and 7 Thai staff - April is a whirlwind. That’s because all of our ZOE kids are home on school break!!! As we finish out April 2018, I look back on the past two months of prepping and events - exhausted, filled up, proud, excited, closer to our youth and Jesus.

We have two objectives when it comes to NextGen camps here at ZOE: The first goal is to help our children encounter God - whatever that may look like. We want them to know and experience the relentless love of God.The second goal is to give our kids and youth NEW memories. Out with the old, in with the new. We want to begin building and making new memories that are filled with a whole lot of love, joy, laughter, fun and friendship - all in hopes to contrast and replace the old memories that would likely be described with the opposite adjectives.

All of our “camps” at ZOE through the month of April fall into one or both of these categories.

This year some of our new memories involved playing in waterfalls, going to the mall to watch a movie and eat ice cream, driving 4 hours in the back of trucks during Songkran (Thailand’s New Year’s festival - a nationwide water fight - AMAZING!), staying up all night watching movies, eating snacks, dancing crazy, learning/doing hair and makeup, and many hours just hanging out together, having a ball!

Encountering God this year for our youth looked like staying at a retreat center hearing teachings from multiple speakers about God’s trustworthiness. It looked like going to a camp with 1000 other youth from around northern Thailand to sit in five 2-hour sessions a day (that’s a story for another time! WOWZA!), and countless hours in worship - indoor, outdoor, loud and dancing, quiet and calm. Our kids had a week long camp at ZOE learning about the Great Commission and meeting the needs of people around us. Theyeven spent two days doing service projects in our local village!

We finished off with a busy week of English classes, life skills and purity - each of which give our kids tangible and necessary skills and experiences as they grow up and get ready to leave ZOE and face the world.

Every year we try and do something new and exciting, and this year was no different... Our kids and youth came each day with excitement and anticipation for what the day could hold! We all made new memories, no doubt! And when we came expectant to hear from God, He spoke!

I haven’t stopped thinking about it...I am reminiscing on the goodness of our God and all He accomplished this last month. Thank you, Lord!

January 15, 2018 - No Comments!

Prayer is POWERFUL

By Vickie McCoy – Director of Aftercare – Los Angeles

We needed a new well since the current well did not have permit papers, due to how old it is.  Our water design firm received three bids and we were happy the local company where our home will be built had the lowest quote.  You don’t know how far they will have to dig before hitting water.  I was hearing that we could have to drill as low as 1,200 ft. or as high as 500 ft.  The cost difference was tremendous. 

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April 3, 2017 - No Comments!

Camp at ZOE

Here at ZOE we have two major school breaks a year. One in October and the other in March-May. This year we are running three different week long camps simultaneously for our children, pre-teens and teens. By separating them into three different age groups, we can develop more age appropriate lessons and activities.  Needless to say, it is a whirlwind at ZOE!  Wherever you look there are activities going on non-stop. From games on the lawn to excursions to various locations, the coordination is simply AWESOME! Between Thai staff, missionaries and our Leadership Training Program students, everyone is going all out!
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April 17, 2014 - No Comments!

Believing the Best | ZCHLA

We have been sharing a lot about the home ZOE will open in Los Angeles.  Most of our communications have involved the children we will serve.  But we also think about the many staff members who will take care of these precious little ones.

Our ZOE staff will be extremely important to the opening and operation of our home.  We are praying even now – asking the Lord to call those who are to be part of this great journey.  We are praying for staff members who will love unconditionally and share their talents and gifts with the children. We are asking God to bring people who will be encouraging not only to the children, but also to one another. We are asking for staff who will believe the best about their colleagues and about the children. We are asking for people who will fight for the kids to become all that God intended them to become.

ZOE means “Life” in Greek. Our hopes and prayers are that the kids at ZOE Children’s Homes Los Angeles (ZCHLA) will experience new life. We are also anticipating that those who work at the home will also encounter a renewed vision and purpose for their own lives.

Will you pray with us for our future staff as well as for our current ZCHLA team? Truly, prayer is one of the pillars that will support our home and the important work we are called to carry out.

January 23, 2014 - No Comments!

Australian Team’s Amazing Building Project

ZOE is always looking for opportunities to put short-term teams to use. Normally there is a bedroom that needs painting or weeds that can be pulled.  Recently however, we have been in need of a more specialized building project. An Australian team from Thailand Mission Awareness Tour stepped up to the challenge.  For one week this group of Aussies worked full-time to convert unused space beneath one of the decks at ZOE into a large storage room.

There is only one problem.  The room looks so good that a simple storage room seems like such a waste!  There has been talk of it being used as an additional classroom or even an exercise room, but whatever its purposed for, the Australian team has outdone themselves and blessed ZOE much more than we ever expected.  With only a few coffee breaks, they worked with incredible speed, diligence, and focus.  The room began to take shape after the first day, and within a week they had completely finished.

We want to lift up a special thank you to Thailand Mission Awareness Tour for giving so generously of your time and talents.  We are exceedingly grateful, and we pray that God returns your generosity with exponentially greater blessings.

December 26, 2013 - No Comments!

A Look Back at 2013

[quote width="" align="none"]"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." | Mahatma Gandhi[/quote]

If we were writing a book, the chapter about 2013 would be full of tragedy and triumph, challenges and victories and multiple words of praise to God for His rescue and redemption.  We have been blessed and amazed as we witnessed over and over again the transforming power of the love of God touch the children who have come to ZOE.  Trafficked children who have been rescued by ZOE may not necessarily remain at ZOE long term. Every case and every child is different.  The best interest of the child is always given the utmost importance and sometimes the best is for the child to be in the care of biological or extended families and in some cases this past year, our ZOE Rescue Team has had the joy of reuniting children with their loved ones.  In other cases, the best for the child was to remain at ZOE where they are loved and cared for by an amazing staff of dedicated people.

ZOE has grown in many ways this past year. We have welcomed new staff members both in the USA and in Thailand.  We have witnessed staff members getting married and starting their own families. Our boys’ home was completed and additional property was purchased that will be used for our self-sustaining agriculture efforts and basic vocational training. Our ZOE family has also expanded as many have joined us in the fight to end the trafficking of children.  By some standards of measurement our army may be considered small but we see it as mighty force of people united by a passion to bring the love and life of God to the most vulnerable in our society; children.  “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.”  | Psalm 82:3

We look back on 2013 with gratitude to a faithful God who has guided us and provided for us every step of the way. We are thankful for the lives that have been changed and the privilege of being able to play a small part in that.   With great anticipation we look forward to 2014 and all that God has in store for us, the children we serve, and the people He has called us to reach.

 

 

December 23, 2013 - No Comments!

More on ZOE Los Angeles (ZCHLA)

ZOE International Applies for Group Home Licensing

We believe God has called ZOE International to open a specialized home for human trafficking victims in Los Angeles County—a home that will be a place of safety, healing, and unconditional love. Shelter for survivors of human trafficking is one of the most commonly cited needs by individuals contacting the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. We can be a shelter for not only their physical needs, but for the deep emotional and spiritual needs as well.ZOE Children's Homes Los Angeles

A very important step in opening the home is receiving licensing to be a group home. In order to receive this license, we need to submit what is called a Group Home Program Statement. This is a formal document that explains to the state how we intend to take care of the children in our care. It is a key piece of the licensing application and where we are on our journey to open this group home.

This Program Statement is like nothing I have ever seen. It is very long because of the detailed questions we must answer as to how we will care for the kids in our home. Some of the questions asked are: What are the purpose, methods, and goals of the program? How will children be transported to medical appointments, school, and activities? What will the childrens schedule be like? What will their meal plans be? What will the house rules be? What methods of discipline will be used?

Imagine having to write out how you plan to run your home and raise your children, and then be held to this standard. Oh and this plan has to be OK for all the children. You can’t change it because it works for half of the kids, but not the others. If you want to change later, you have to submit addendums and wait for approval.

We are in the final stages of working on the Program Statement. Soon, we will give it to our Los Angeles advisory board members, so they can read it over and give input. Then, we can become a foster care placement resource through Los Angeles County.ZOE Children's Homes Los Angeles

We are committed to our home being a safe place where human trafficking victims can receive healing and become everything God intended them to become. Please pray for us as we finalize this step in the process of getting our Los Angeles home open. If you want to stay updated on ZOE Children's Homes Los Angeles and other ZOE news, enter your email on the right side of this post to receive blog posts in your email box.

September 12, 2013 - 1 comment.

At ZOE, Children Are Safe

ZOE houseparent & kids“I sleep peacefully through the night now for the first time in years. I don’t cry anymore and I have no fear.”

These are words uttered by a child who should not even have to think about such things. Yet before many of the children at ZOE were rescued, safety was not something they could take for granted.

What is the value of safety? For most of us, the definition of what safety looks like is very different from the above quote. Sometimes our safety lies in holding onto false securities; the areas of our lives that replace wholehearted abandon to God such as pride, food, our loved ones, money and even ministry. We cling to things for a variety of reasons rather than giving complete control to God. There are also those places of deceptive safety where we hide from things that would bring about the plan of God in our lives and how He wants to impact the lives of others through us. This is false safety - fear. We may play it safe by not stepping out and praying for someone to be healed. We may refrain from preaching the gospel, or doing something for the Lord He has placed on our heart to accomplish with Him.

The other area of safety is probably the one we most often think of, our physical safety. Often we can take this basic need for granted if we are not careful. Sometimes we may forget the value of a shelter, our comforts, our homes, having our family and friends and the security and love they afford us. Even going about our day and having the freedom to live our lives and make our own decisions is something other people, often children, may never experience. Having the assurance of a shelter from darkness both physically and spiritually is a gift.Knowing the love of the Father and having Him cover you with His wings is the safest place to be of all.

This safe place is something ZOE desires for all children to experience and is one of the first things that a child is told when they arrive at ZOE:  You are loved and you are safe!  Over and over again as you read the ZOE stories of rescue you read these words; “they are safe”, “she is safe at ZOE”, “children live happily and safely”.

At ZOE, children are safe.

The Lord is our trustworthy refuge, our shelter who lifts us high above the enemy. He wants us to know the safety of intimate fellowship with Him. It is here where the fatherless are wrapped and embraced in the arms of the Father. We are ever conscious of His love and acceptance as His child.

In the arms of our Father, we are all safe.

Written by ZOE Supporter Jennifer Barnett