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All Posts in Events

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 26, 2019 - No Comments!

On the Field: Self-Care

Last month, eight of the ZOE missionary women spent time away at a women’s conference. The retreat was planned around the theme of “joy” and the sessions, speakers, worship, and workshops were all linked to the theme in some way.

Over the years, I have seen many married couples and families arrive in Thailand full of joy and energy to serve overseas, but within two to three years, they have returned back home oftentimes discouraged, disappointed, and exhausted.

At ZOE, our missionary care team do a wonderful job trying to support our families, couples, and singles on the field, but there is also an onus on each individual to maintain their own self-care. The statistics relating to missionaries are actually quite startling.

Did you know?

80% of missionaries burn out and don’t finish their term.
46% of missionaries have been diagnosed with a psychological issue.
87% of those with a psychological issue are diagnosed with depression.(Source: freerainint.org)

Keeping in mind the high statistics of missionaries who do not thrive living cross culturally, I am all too familiar with the transitional environment in which we live and work, having seen countless friends outside of ZOE and coworkers “go home.”

By setting aside time this past weekend to receive teaching, have fellowship as well as take moments of quiet reflection and meditation, I am personally taking one step to care for myself in a way that I know helps me to thrive.  

Taking breaks is so important and yet is often one of the first things that gets overlooked. Even small breaks like stopping for a coffee, lunch breaks (leaving your desk), having a Sabbath, going out of town every so often and taking vacations - actually help us to get more done! 

Sometimes, missionaries find that their time is taken up trying to meet the demands of supporters, board members, in-country directors, nationals, governmental red tape, their families, etc. all while trying to serve people who have been marginalized, have suffered abuse and violence, or are in poverty.

They feel guilty for taking breaks and try to get “more” time by cutting out the very things that would actually be beneficial to their well-being. This may lead to less and less engagement in times of intentional prayer, meditation, reading the Word, time with friends/spouse/children, exercise, sleep, hobbies, and other outside interests. (missionarycare.com)

I will finish with an excerpt taken from missionary blogger Mari Hernandez-Tuten’s post entitled, “Just Take the Vacation.”

Our vacation was not sinful...We are not being unwise stewards of our money by taking a vacation...We personally used our own funds for this trip. In fact, we are doing something wonderful for our ministry by taking a vacation. Who wants burned out missionaries on the field? Who wants missionary families on the brink of divorce because they can’t say no to ministry needs?...No one does!…So, if you’re a missionary and you’re reading this and you feel guilty about taking a vacation please hear me out – Take the vacation! Don’t go somewhere else only to include some ‘work’ engagements so you feel better about your vacation. Just go and rest with your family or by yourself.”

A word of gratitude!
If you’re a person who has supported a missionary, encouraged them to take time off, have respite or go on a vacation...or maybe you’ve even given a specific donation to be used for self-care. Thank you!

November 14, 2019 - No Comments!

Walk For Freedom: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai recently had its first official Walk for Freedom!

ZOE was a part of the Anti-Trafficking Expo which took place after the walk. Attendants could find out about the work being done across Thailand to tackle the issue of human trafficking.

"Walk for Freedom is a global fundraising and awareness event, rallying tens of thousands of people, taking millions of steps, in hundreds of cities all over the world. We walk to disrupt the existence of slavery, shaking its very foundation with each step.

It’s an outward expression of A21’s inward desire to see slavery abolished everywhere—in our cities, in our communities, and in our world. One step at a time and one dollar at a time, we fundraise and walk to see a world without slavery.

ZOE's table at Walk for Freedom Chiang Mai

Last year, we showed up in 475 locations in 50 countries, reaching 70 million people through social media. Each step mattered. Each step made a difference." - A21

What an honor to be working alongside others in the fight to see trafficking ended. It was so encouraging that so many people turned up to walk - raising awareness and making a difference!  

September 20, 2019 - No Comments!

Aus Geography Curriculum

In September, ZOE Australia updated their Year 10 Geographies of Human Wellbeing curriculum in order to give it out for free to teachers at the annual GTAV (Geography Teachers Association of Victoria) conference – held at the Exhibition Centre in Melbourne.

Sharon (ZOE Australia Office Manager) and Andrea (Thailand field worker) were both so happy with the result of handing the curriculum to 100 different Geography teachers from schools all over the state, as well as hearing many positive comments from teachers who were already using it in their schools.

The lesson plans are based on a case study of a Burmese girl who was forced to work in a begging ring. Students follow her story from her kidnap in Myanmar through her experiences in Thailand and her eventual repatriation with her family. This is based on an actual case although some of the details have been changed to protect the girl’s identity.

This unit examines the different concepts and measures of human wellbeing, and the causes of global differences in these measures between countries. Students explore spatial differences in wellbeing within and between countries, and evaluate the differences from a variety of perspectives.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in also obtaining this FREE curriculum for your class or school, please email Sharon at info@zoefoundation.org.au to make sure you have access to our latest updated version!

“Geography, when well taught, allows students to understand their world, and especially how the human and physical environments interact. It is this understanding that will allow them to see and shape their future – to find ways to come to grips with future challenges.”
(An excerpt from Tim Costello's Inspirational Address at the GTAV Annual Conference)

September 16, 2019 - No Comments!

Pen for the Prime Minister

This summer, ZOE Thailand was presented an award by Thailand's Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha for being an Outstanding Organization in the Prevention and Combating of Human Trafficking.  

When we found out that we would be having the momentous opportunity to receive an award directly from the Prime Minister, we thought "what could we give him to show our gratitude?"

Something handmade, something crafted with care and attention to detail with a personalized touch...

Over the years, many students have received instruction in the basics of woodworking and out of that group some have shown innate inclination and rare talent. In particular, one boy heard about this opportunity to build something for the Prime Minister and enthusiastically volunteered. After two evenings of crafting, experimenting, and perfecting, he assembled a beautiful piece of art that we could proudly hand to the man who leads this country.

We are so very proud of this young man who used his talent and skills to create this special gift.  

By Brandon Kim

August 22, 2019 - No Comments!

Staff Training & Development

The Thai employees are one of ZOE’s best-kept secrets. They really are inestimable in terms of the value that they provide.

By working together to display God’s love, they have formed a strong foundation for much of ZOE’s work. Built on their inward strength, commitment, and the emotional connections they have developed with the children in ZOE’s care, lives continue to be restored and transformed.

ZOE views ongoing teaching, training, and development as important, in fact, essential! Aside from the regular teaching and training that occurs weekly at staff meetings, this past quarter, ZOE staff were presented with professional development in the areas of:

·       ADHD

·       Bipolar

·       Dangers of social media

·       Children’s Homes/Foster Care networking

·       Google drive

ZOE wants to attract the best staff. With ongoing training and support, we will hopefully retain the great Thai employees we already have, as well as appeal to others who share the same passion to “Reach Every Person” and “Rescue Every Child!”

August 19, 2019 - No Comments!

You Hold the Key

ZOE Australia

On their recent trip to Australia, David and Andrea Cross, focused on the theme, “You Hold the Key” as they shared about ZOE’s work.
“We had two main goals going into the trip,” they shared.

1. Prayer for ZOE’s work.  
Understanding the power of prayer, David and Andrea hosted four prayer nights, which saw people from various churches, denominations, and geographical areas, joining their faith and believing for breakthroughs in ZOE’s work in Australia and globally. 

Everyone at ZOE needs protection, wisdom, and discernment as the work 
expands into new nations and continues the fight against child trafficking.

There were several answers to prayers that were seen almost immediately. But importantly, seeds were planted on those nights, which will, one day, bear much fruit in the lives of children who are right now being rescued.

2. Raising finances.
In Australia, the financial year comes to an end on June 30th, so a campaign was set up to raise finances to go towards RESCUE. 
ZOE’s Child Rescue Team's desire is to not only rescue children, but to also empower families and communities to properly safeguard and love their children. 

“You hold the key to unlock the door to freedom, hope, and love for a child who is trapped in slavery right now.
Unlock that door by giving towards RESCUE.” (Facebook campaign)

It was so exciting to see that in the month of June alone, over $34,000 was raised in Australia to specifically go towards the area of RESCUE! Those who gave in June received not only the blessing of being a giver but also the gift of a charming "You Hold the Key" leather key chain made by local Thai artisans. 

Entrust
Throughout the trip, many relationships with ZOE donors were strengthened. 
David and Andrea were encouraged to hear about Entrust’s projects in 15 different nations and, in turn, be able to share with them about how their support is helping to shape children’s lives in Thailand.
Entrust Foundation’s passion is to serve the poor and oppressed. 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.  

Payton Capital/Payton Foundation
David was grateful to be asked to share about ZOE’s work at Payton’s Gala Night on July 27th with James Morrison (world class musician, composer, conductor). Held at the Arts Centre Melbourne, David was honored to communicate with those who have given either as a Payton Capital client, or via donation directly to their Foundation. Payton Capital also gives 20% of its dividends to the Foundation each quarter to help fund projects that transform the lives of vulnerable people in both Australia and overseas. Payton Foundation is committed to supporting ZOE’s Vocational Training Program and Learning Center.
Rating it as one of the “best trips back,” David and Andrea were blown away by people’s gifts of time, support, prayers, and donations. 

“Even for ourselves, this trip reinforced that we actually do all hold a key to unlocking freedom. Some people may not be able to contribute finances, but ‘prayer’ is one key to opening doors and a good reminder that there is always something that we can do.” – Andrea Cross

June 14, 2019 - No Comments!

Lead Like Jesus

ZOE Thailand

Lead like Jesus!  That should be the goal of every Christian because, whether or not we are in an “official” leadership role, we’re all leaders.  Leadership happens anytime we influence the thinking, behavior, or development of another person – something we all do!

But where to begin?  Obviously, to lead like Jesus, one must study His approach.  And the only approach to leadership that Jesus validates for his followers is serving!

Thankfully, the folks at Lead Like Jesus have developed a teaching guide to help others lead more like Jesus.  The guide examines and explains four crucial areas of leadership: “Your Heart: Why you lead,” “Your Head: What you think,” “Your Hands: What you do,” and “Your Habits: How you stay on track.”

That’s where Lifeshape comes in! A nonprofit founded in 2003 by John and Trudy Cathy White, daughter of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, Lifeshape’s mission is to engage others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to break the cycle of spiritual poverty.  ZOE was blessed in June with a visit by Lifeshape to help our missionaries, staff, and students learn to lead like Jesus!

The team, headed by Steve Collins who has participated in almost 20 Lifeshape projects, spent a full week teaching the course three times to the ZOE family.  Steve was especially impressed with our ZOE Leadership Training students! He said they were already engaged in many of the spiritual disciplines taught by the course.  Steve said ZOE’s “sense of community is a healthy dynamic in terms of becoming a servant leader because there is already a desire to create supportive relationships” here.

The Lifeshape team included Jonna Blount who has been with Chick-fil-A for four and a half years and Herb and Marla Davis.  Marla has been a Chick-fil-A franchisee since 1996, operating two stores and consulting at a third. Marla has taken part in 11 Lifeshape projects to date while Herb has been on half a dozen!

ZOE is very appreciative of Chick-fil-A, Lifeshape, and the wonderful men and women who have so generously given of their time and treasure to come all the way to Thailand to teach us how to lead like Jesus!  They certainly are leading by example!

May 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Freedom to Choose

ZOE Thailand

On Easter Sunday, one of the most sacred days for Christians, something happens throughout churches all over the world.  Although the decision to be baptized in water can happen any day or time, people often choose this day, to profess their faith and symbolize their new life following God. Baptism on Easter Sunday is particularly significant because it’s the day Jesus Christ returned to life.

In expression of their faith, several ZOE children were baptized at their local church on Easter Sunday.

Before getting baptized, one girl had a chance to talk with her birth mother about her decision. She said that she would like to be a Christian and get baptized and her mother supported her choice.

This girl first heard about God when she was young. A Christian friend had invited her to church many years ago.

On Sunday when she was baptized, she said she felt "new" and hopes to be guided by God forever.


May 1, 2019 - No Comments!

Double Impact

ZOE United States

Impact = to have a strong effect on someone or something.

“Impact” is a great word for the month of April for ZOE. We had a “Double the Impact” campaign where gifts would be doubled up to $50,000. We had close to $49,000 come in and an amazing couple who loves God, is kingdom-minded and generous--hearted is donating the full $50,000 matching promise! This campaign will yield close to $99,000. This came at the right time for ZOE as we are expanding our work rapidly in Los Angeles and resources are needed to support the expansion. We are finishing grading the land to prepare to build our first home servicing Los Angeles. Additionally, we have been asked to serve not just one but two large service areas of Los Angeles County in the First Responder’s Protocol which means ZOE will be on scene within 90 minutes of law enforcement rescuing or identifying a child or youth trafficking victim in these areas. Once on scene, we will begin the process of care and restoration of these precious youth and will aid and follow their first months of healing and transition.

What excites us more than the dollars that came in, is the fact that God is propelling His work through generous partners of ZOE. We see everyone who gives as true ministry partners and part of our ZOE family. Each partner is making an impact. Each gift is making an impact. And each partner has a part in all that God does through the work of ZOE.

God is on the move! He is opening doors of opportunity for kids and youth who need it the most. When Jesus came to earth, paid the ultimate price and rose from the grave He made the greatest impact the world has ever seen. The world has never been the same. 2000 years later, He is still touching lives. He is doing this through the ministry of ZOE. He is doing it through strategic partnerships that are making a difference…making an impact in Los Angeles and beyond.