Category "Church Partners"

Witnessing Jesus in the Midst of Human Trafficking Investigations: A Testimony from Brad Ortenzi

February 28, 2024

During a recent church service at Petra in PA, ZOE’s USA Eastern Regional Director, Brad Ortenzi, had the privilege of sharing some insights gleaned from his experiences with ZOE International and on the heart of God: A Warrior Rescuer, Tender Father.

“I’m often asked what I’ve learned about Jesus through my involvement in child trafficking investigations. My answer remains consistent: Jesus has revealed to me a duality of His nature, manifesting as a fierce Warrior to rescue and a tender Daddy to restore. This revelation has been evident to me from the very beginning of my journey in this work. I’ve witnessed the transformative power of Jesus as He intervenes in the lives of trafficking victims, both rescuing them from their plight and tenderly restoring their spirits.

In CS Lewis’s book, The Chronicles of Narnia, there’s a memorable scene where Lucy observes Aslan walking away from a celebration. Feeling sad, she asks if he will come back. Mr. Tumnus assures her, stating that while Aslan is not a tame lion, he is good. This duality of Jesus—a gentle, loving nature combined with fierce strength—is beautifully exemplified in the work of ZOE International, an organization dedicated to rescuing children from trafficking and sharing the gospel.” 

One of the most emotionally moving moments of the service was when Brad reflected on real-life trafficking investigations that he was part of. He recounted an undercover operation in Thailand, where they awaited the delivery of two young boys to a client at a hotel. The team could feel the tension as they prayed for a successful outcome. Witnessing firsthand the rescue of these boys and their restoration at ZOE’s Children Home was a testament to Jesus’ unwavering commitment to rescue and restore the oppressed.

Other stories Brad shared from Thailand further highlighted Jesus’ tender care for the rescued children. Through corporate prayer sessions at ZOE Thailand, the ZOE team witnessed the transformative power of His love as children found healing and acceptance in God’s loving embrace. Each of their journeys from shame and brokenness to wholeness and joy serve as a powerful reminder of Jesus’ tender compassion and desire to restore hearts that are brokenhearted.

Near the end, Brad encouraged listeners that as followers of Christ, we are called to be His hands and feet in combating human trafficking. While every person has their role to play, the church has a unique responsibility to lead the charge. 

“The journey of combating human trafficking has taught me invaluable lessons about the character of Jesus. His duality as a fierce Warrior and a tender Daddy is evident in every rescue and restoration. As we continue to fight against this injustice, let us draw strength from the knowledge that Jesus is with us, leading the way with His unwavering love and compassion.”

Do you want to learn more about ZOE’s work on the East Coast? Click here! Or interested in having a ZOE leader come speak at your church or event? Fill out our Request a Speaker form and we’ll be in touch!

Transforming Lives: A Night of Worship and Hope with Jordan Feliz at In His Presence Church

February 26, 2024

Recently, In His Presence Church in Woodland Hills, CA held a worship night concert featuring American Christian musician, Jordan Feliz and ZOE’s work worldwide was highlighted as a ministry partner. This event was more than just a night of music—it was a soul-stirring experience filled with Spirit-led worship and a powerful message of hope!

Prior to the worship time, ZOE International’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Hart, took to the stage to share how the invitation from God to rescue children began right in In His Presence Church. He recounted how God had called him and his wife, Carol, over 22 years ago to start ZOE International when a local missionary came to the church and shared about child sexual exploitation in Thailand. 

“We heard from a missionary that was visiting, that you could buy a little boy or a little girl off of a menu for the night,” shared Michael. “That just broke our hearts. We had heard about all kinds of exploitation of children, but that word human trafficking was new on the scene. We really crawled into God’s heart and prayed and asked him, ‘What can we do?.’ We heard God say, ‘I hear their cries and I need your life.’”

 

 

 

As Michael shared stories of redemption and restoration, tears filled the eyes of many in the audience. It was a stark reminder of the harsh realities faced by millions of children around the world and the urgent need to rescue them. But amidst the darkness, there was also hope—the hope that comes from knowing that God is at work, transforming lives and bringing light to the darkest places.

Michael also highlighted ZOE’s new initiative, the $10 to End campaign, and encouraged attendees to sign up to give just $10 a month to this important work. 

Before and after the concert, ZOE had a booth set-up where concert-goers could learn more about and support ZOE’s mission. It was heartwarming to see the generosity of those in attendance as they gave to support ZOE’s efforts in combating child trafficking and spreading the love of Christ.

On Saturday evening, several girls from our ZOE Home for Youth were able to attend.

“Thank you so much for being a part of this weekend,” said Dennis Dodd, In His Presence Church Praise and Worship Leader. “It was truly an honor to have ZOE there and to share both nights. We love ZOE and all of you and appreciate you so much.”

A special thanks to In His Presence Church for hosting us and for everyone who supported ZOE! To learn more about our new initiative, $10 to End, click HERE!

ZOE International Joins Hands with Donors to Combat Child Trafficking Through Church Partnerships

September 29, 2023

Saturday, May 27 – Kurume Shalom Church

At ZOE International, we believe that the Body of Christ brings the solutions to every crisis on Earth. Our work spans various countries, and our invaluable church partnerships are at the heart of it all. Together, we labor to spread the gospel and safeguard the vulnerable from the clutches of child trafficking while tirelessly working toward the restoration of those who have endured its horrors.

Sunday, May 28 – Fukuoka Harvest Church

Recently, the dedicated members of ZOE Japan were graciously welcomed to Machida Central Church’s international service, where they shared ZOE’s mission. Daniel and Hiromi eloquently shed light on the distressing trends of child trafficking and provided a perspective rooted in scripture. They emphasized that God hates slavery and beckons us to champion righteousness and be the unwavering voice for those who have been silenced.

The journey continued with visits to Mustard Seed Christian Church, Kurume Shalom Church, and Fukuoka Harvest Church in Kyushu. We extend our deepest gratitude to New Hope Leeward Hawaii for their unyielding partnership and for introducing our team to other churches in Kyushu. We sincerely hope that the seeds sown during these encounters will ignite like wildfire, fortifying the next generation against the deceitful clutches of traffickers. Together, we forge ahead, unwavering in our commitment to safeguarding the vulnerable and proclaiming the message of hope and liberation.