All Posts in Missionaries

October 1, 2018 - No Comments!

Freedom Frees Others

by Abigail Jennerson

Sometimes people ask me what compelled us to move to Thailand to work with ZOE… They ask how we gained this passion to see an end to human trafficking…

After meeting with a woman named Rosi Orozco, I finally have my answer.

I wanted to share about the unique experience my husband and I had with Rosi Orozco. We had the privilege of meeting with Rosi to interview her about trafficking in Mexico. She is a human rights activist in Latin America, with her main focus being human trafficking.

This woman is friends with top political leaders, making amazing strides in policy and restoration. She had just gotten back from a trip to meet with the pope. She is no joke. And so inspiring!

Rosi inspired me to continue fighting for the victims of human trafficking, and to continue fighting in humility.  She brought everyone in our meeting to tears with her powerful words.

When the interview came to a quiet moment, the pastor asking the interview questions tried to thank and compliment Rosi for everything she does for human trafficking victims in Latin America, to which she quickly interrupted him with, “No! We are just blessed. It is just justice.”

Which then led into the greatest monologue I’ve ever had the privilege of hearing. And my answer to anyone who wonders why we decided to move across the world to fight human trafficking:
“The people around us, the victims of human trafficking, have experienced injustice, on top of injustice, on top of injustice. It’s so terrible what they have lived. When we give, we are just doing an act of justice. We are not good people, we are not generous...We are just...just…

From a home where my parents are now 60 years married, a lot of love, I lived in the United States, I lived in Europe, I have everything a person could dream. So when I stand beside [a trafficking victim], I realize that not one of us chose where to be born. So why do I believe I am better or being “generous” to her? It is only justice!

If you were a bank, receiving the deposits of love, of generosity, of blessing, and you feel you are good because you give a check with money? No. They were an empty bank that received zero, and after that they took away their dignity. So, it’s not an act of goodness...no we are not special. We are just conscious of how responsible we are living in this world with so much.”

She said it all! Everything I feel, everything I have wanted to say but never knew how to say!

I grew up in a wonderfully loving family, parents 30+ years married, a loving church community, an amazing husband. So when I stood next to victims of such abuse, neglect and injustice, I knew that all the blessings, all the protection of God on my life, were for the very purpose of helping others experience freedom and blessing!

Friends, we––me, you, ZOE––give because it is our responsibility.
We give because we were given SO much.
We give because we are blessed.

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ––Nelson Mandela

June 25, 2018 - No Comments!

Missionary Quarterly Meeting

by Andrea Cross

Once each quarter, the missionaries in Thailand get together for a day to worship together, have devotions and hear testimonies about what God is doing throughout all the different departments, areas and countries that ZOE is involved in.

It’s a highlight for most of us because so often we are focused on one or two areas of the ministry and these meetings give everyone a chance to hear updates, praise points and developments. They are also a chance to pray for needs, be encouraged and have a few laughs (and sometimes we shed a couple of tears too).

This quarter I was wondering if our meeting would be cancelled because so many of the missionaries are back in their home countries right now but I was excited to hear that it was going ahead.

Once again, there was a wonderful spirit of worship, a great devotion lead by Ben Wood and a praise update given by Lynne Ginoza. The surprise of the day though was that after watching a very encouraging movie called ‘Greater’ and fellowshipping over lunch, Brandon Kim had some super fun, team building games for us all to play.

We had a guys verses girls, Family Feud competition which the women won as well as gamecalled BFF – where Dave Cross and Jessica Dodd came out champions!  What an amazing blessing it is to be in a team who pray, praise, worship, cry and laugh together.

I look forward to the next quarter where we can gather once more and celebrate all that God is doing in and through this wonderful team here in Thailand.



June 20, 2018 - No Comments!

How far would you go?

by Lori-Ann Tsang

Are you familiar with the song by The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be?” It’s a catchy tune and the chorus goes…

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

It’s a song about what a man would do for love of a woman. In many ways, what our Road of Justice team chose to do was for love as well. But it was out of love for God and for the children who are in need of rescuing.

As Simpson and I supported our ROJ team for two weeks as they biked through Colorado and part of Utah, I was constantly amazed at their fierce determination, perseverance and strength.

We had the easy job of supporting them and making sure they were safe, hydrated and fed. They were doing all the heavy lifting… biking 70-100 miles a day in all kinds of weather and climbing thousands of feet in elevation. They are an inspiration.

Each day was a lesson in endurance, obedience and willfully choosing to keep pedaling. Why would anyone choose to bike 3700 miles over the course of 64 days? Obedience. God gave them a vision and a purpose to raise awareness of human trafficking and to raise funds for ZOE International that saves children who have been or may be trafficked. This was their call, their reason, their purpose. This was why they endure and continue to pedal on.

In the short time we were with them, they climbed 6000 feet a day at least 3 times. They biked up hill against 25-30 mile winds for many miles. They sat out a hail storm that covered a once green field in white pellets of ice. They climbed the Rockies to an elevation of 11,312 feet and crossed the continental divide. Even as I write this they continue on toward the West Coast and the completion of their journey. They have been biking through record high heat of 100+ degrees farhenheit and hot desert winds.

They will finish their ride on Saturday, June 23rd in Santa Monica, California.

As we have cheered them on and supported them, I

have had to ask myself “What would I do?” “Would I bike 3700 miles?” Many of us can’t or don’t have the capacity or ability to do this. But I have to ask myself, what can I do? What can YOU do? What is God asking of you?

Please pray for our team as they make their way west. Please prayerfully consider joining us in our fight to end human trafficking. I hope you are inspired and encouraged by our team. I know I am.


June 6, 2018 - No Comments!

The Real Enemy

by Yuri Yamamoto

We at ZOE Japan, often go out to the downtown streets to pray for the city, people, and children. We believe that prayer is the first thing we always have to start with if we want to change something, especially to end human trafficking. Human trafficking exists in Japan, as well as in other countries. We know as a fact that not everyone willingly chooses to work in the red light district.

One of the nights during our prayer walk, God brought to me one middle-aged man who was sitting down in front of a train station. As we talked, he slowly shared his life story with me.  His mother is very ill and always in the hospital, his liver is in a critical condition that he could die at any moment, he does not have any friends that he can talk to, and amongst all of his struggles, has AIDS. He shared that it was because of his past lifestyle of many unsafe sexual relationships and having gone to many brothels in the past.

He said, “I will die alone like an animal. There is no hope or joy in my life.” Listening to how miserable he feels about life really broke my heart. I felt the urgency to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. I told him how Jesus came to die on the cross to forgive him and to wash his sins away. He refused at first saying, “No! I have done too many sinful things that shouldn’t be forgiven.” He also rejected my offer to pray for him. So I continued listening to him and shared God’s words about how much God loves him and wants him back.

After talking with him for a while, he started trusting me more and allowed me to pray for him. After my prayer, he had a BIG smile on his face and said “It is impressive how you prayed for every little detail that I shared with you tonight. I hadn’t had a conversation with anyone in forever!” He thanked me numerous times and told me he would go see his mother in the hospital the next day and tell her about the things I shared with him.

How wonderful it is to pray for people like him and see the change in his heart! Meeting him reminded me that our real enemy of exploitation is not people, but the one who blinded this man’s eyes and kept him captive for many years.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12

Please join us in prayer for many people like him and ZOE Japan missionaries as we continue to go out and share the love to Jesus as well as the Good News! We want to see the change and be God’s instrument to bring true freedom to this country!

March 14, 2016 - No Comments!

It Doesn’t Take A Rocket Scientist…

With each military satellite safely launched and maneuvered into orbit, Rob Tang and his engineering team would beam with pride at another successful mission. At the peak of an exciting and challenging aerospace engineering career, Rob was living the American dream. He worked in an exciting field with brilliant co-workers, and enjoyed job security and satisfaction that others would envy.

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October 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Finally, Something to Get Excited About!

Missionary Teaches Student Excitement

Being the Vocational Training Director at ZOE, I have plenty of opportunity to interact with teen boys and girls, and I am thankful for my time with them. It is certainly a change of pace for them, as many are used to traditional education like math, science, history, and language study. Instead of pushing a pencil all day or reading books, they get to use their hands. They get to learn by doing.

One student in particular has blossomed. Before, it was hard to figure him out. No one really knew what his dreams or goals were, as he stoically participated in whatever was put in front of him. Nothing seemed to excite him. Recently, I began to see a change in his attitude and demeanor, and I had the chance to sit down and talk with him.

I asked how he liked the construction class, and I expected the same answer I’d received from the other students, “It’s a lot of hard work.” I was mentally preparing myself to respond, as the class was only a few hours a day, and if the students were to continue in the construction career path, much harder work would be in store for them. I thought about tactfully saying something like, “It’s only going to get harder” or “This is preparing you for more difficult work.” However, he interrupted my line of thought with a response I did not expect.

“I love it,” he blurted a bit louder than he meant to.

I was shocked by his enthusiasm, but I thought back to his performance over the preceding months and it made sense. He has been the first to respond to duties and lessons and, rather than preferring to sit and watch others, he would jump up to practice his new skills.

We continued to talk over the next few minutes, but one thing became clear. Whether he would eventually work in construction or not, he had finally found something he was excited about and this excitement was teaching him how to work hard and devote himself to a goal. I am very excited to see him progress over the next few terms, and I know that he has begun to put himself on a path toward success.

It is the heart of a missionary to make God known to those around them. This story is one of many that play out every day at ZOE as our missionaries love, direct, and teach our ZOE children. Think about supporting one of our missionaries, as they pour into the lives of the child trafficking survivors at ZOE.

October 7, 2015 - No Comments!

Living Humbly for a Cause

ZOE Missionaries Help Victims of Child Trafficking

"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."  -  Mr. Antolini, Catcher in the Rye

This quotation makes me think of ZOE’s many amazing missionaries. Our missionaries are men and women with professional experience in law enforcement, banking, business, rocket science, teaching, social work, and administration in a state government department. These are people who were effective in their careers. They experienced success and carried influence.

In the midst of their success, they chose to change their professional trajectories. They chose to live humbly in the service of children unseen or discarded by others.

These gifted men and women have chosen to live humbly. As a result, victims of child trafficking are experiencing safety, love, family, education, and vocational training. They are experiencing God’s love. The impact of these humble lives is truly magnificent.

I am deeply grateful for the missionaries at ZOE. I also suspect that, in truth, they were never more successful than they are today.

December 15, 2014 - No Comments!

Meet The Boyer Family | Missionaries in Thailand

In 2006 when the pastor of their church in Hawaii asked them to take a scouting trip to check out ZOE Children’s Homes in Thailand, the Boyers were “too busy.”  Ron was working for Hawaii’s governor and Cissy was selling real estate and homeschooling their two kids, and both were active as church leaders.  But their pastor was insistent and – unbeknownst to the Boyers – so was God!  So they went ...

It was during that 10-day reconnaissance trip that Drake, then 12, along with his 10-year old sister Elli, walked up to Ron and Cissy and pronounced:  “Dad, Mom.  Elli and I have decided that we should move to Thailand and help ‘uncle and auntie’ save the kids!”

And so they did! The Boyers became ZOE missionaries and moved to Thailand full-time in December 2010 and have been loving it ever since.  Drake and Elli enjoyed living in Thailand and flourished at the international school where they participated in varsity sports, student government, and community outreaches while also earning academic honors.  They have since left Thailand to study at Wheaton College in Illinois where Drake is a junior majoring in chemistry and Elli a freshman leaning toward international relations. cissyboyer

And the empty-nesters?  Against all odds, they are somehow surviving without their kids telling them what to do!  Cissy is busier than ever at ZOE using all those hours saved from doing extra loads of laundry to teach the ZOE kids gymnastics, running her sports conditioning program for the ZOE family, heading up ZOE’s English department, teaching in the business school, managing the ZOE store, and overseeing the kitchen which serves 450 meal servings a day.  Ron keeps busy working on policies, grant-writing, and donor fulfillment but gets out from behind his desk from time to time to teach in Bible school, English class, and a course in leadership.  Both are active members of a local Thai church where Cissy teaches children’s church and Ron is privileged to preach on occasion.  Both are diligently striving to learn to read and speak Thai in order to better serve God among the beautiful people of Thailand.

Of course the Boyers miss their friends and family in Hawaii – and the food – and the weather!  But in a very real sense, the Boyers have come to realize that going on the mission field has greatly increased their ohana – their family.  As Cissy puts it:

“Our work with ZOE to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves has truly expanded our family.  From the many friends in the USA who partner with us, to the 11 missionary families and the wonderful Thai staff at ZOE, and especially all the children who live at ZOE Children’s Homes, we are surrounded by love on all sides!”

Though they have seen and heard many heartbreaking accounts involving the children they work with at ZOE and the children whom ZOE is working to rescue, the Boyers are constantly renewed by experiencing the power of God’s Spirit to rescue, restore, heal, and bring new life in even the darkest of circumstances.  And they have been blessed beyond measure by witnessing the “childlike” faith of their Thai co-laborers at ZOE:  a faith that relies on the Word of God to be true and that believes that what God says He will do, He will do!boyer

Please pray for each of the Boyers – Ron, Cissy, Drake, and Elli – that their own faith will mature into that highest of levels – childlike – and that their lives would be an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 

December 10, 2014 - No Comments!

From the Heart of A Missionary | "Running Away"

Children Running Away From Home

written by Andrea Cross

My son sat on the top bunk sobbing. “You’re so mean, Mum. I’m running away.”

The words stung, but I knew the temporary anger at not being given his way would soon subside and, after pausing for a second to be sure that the tone of my voice was calm, I gently offered to help him pack.

Offer refused.

I left the room remembering other such occasions when similar heated conversations had taken place when I was a child. The backyard at night had seemed so much bigger than it really was and the darkness so much less inviting than daylight to a small kid with nothing much in her backpack but a few soft toys.

As I walked away to let my son take care of his “packing,” I reflected on a time many years ago when we had a particularly angry girl staying with us through the foster care program that we were a part of. How she’d thrown everything she could find down the stairs from the upstairs landing. How her mouth had been literally foaming, as she spat out words that revealed a heart that had been broken and mistreated too many times. I gathered her younger sisters and my own two children into one room, as I silently prayed and quietly slipped away to call our agency while keeping one eye on her as she ventured down our street.

And now here I was with my own young son, as he expressed his frustrations and disappointments in a way that made sense to him.

Escape. Run away. Go.

As parents, many of us can share stories about our children’s attempts at running away and, most of the time, I imagine that most kids make it about 10 strides away from the safety net of home and come running back into your arms. 

For some children though, the decision to run is one that can be costly, dangerous and frightening. Would you please keep praying for the newly rescued children at ZOE (in particular the teenage boys)? Would you also join us in faith for the provision of the money to start building the custom-designed safe house? We desperately want to see these precious children safely through these hard times, as they adjust to a life that involves being loved and cared for. Sadly, this is something they may have never experienced before.

After 10 minutes had passed, and I was sure that my son’s packing must be almost complete, I slipped a tray of food and a drink through the bedroom door and quietly snuck away.

Sure enough, a few minutes later with a sheepish smile and solemn apology, my boy had returned to my loving arms.

As parents, we know there will always be something to correct, a lesson to be learned or a rule to be taught, but when a child returns home, like a long lost son, there is a beautiful feeling of unconditional love and acceptance that is exchanged and momentarily all else fades to insignificance.

As our ZOE parents say, “Though the road ahead will probably be rough, we are still so glad when a child returns home!!”