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All Posts in Thailand

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 29, 2019 - No Comments!

Food and Football

ZOE Thailand
CHF - Mercy Network

ZOE Thailand continues to partner with Children’s Hunger Fund to bring food and support to communities in different parts of Thailand.  Recently on a trip to Isaan, Thailand, which sits southeast of Chiang Mai, our team was able to distribute 800 boxes of food and met with and encouraged the pastors in this area.

One of our team shares that the most meaningful part of the trip is being able to listen to the testimonies of the pastors who are using these food boxes.  

We hear story after story of how the boxes are not only providing food for families but that through this they are able to build relationships of trust.  This then leads to many conversations about faith and God. People are becoming believers because of the gospel and because they see God’s love and mercy in action through receiving these food boxes.

In Ubon, one pastor had the idea to do a community outreach football (soccer) event.  Many people were able to hear about Jesus and one family came to faith and is now attending his church.

Please pray for our team as they continue traveling to different parts of Thailand to continue the important work of REACHING EVERY PERSON.  Please pray for the pastors and community leaders we work with as they continue to love and care for those around them.

May 29, 2019 - No Comments!

It’s Not JUST Swimming

ZOE Thailand

What’s better than jumping into a cold swimming pool when the temperature rises on a sweltering Thai summer’s day?  Being able to swim!

By knowing how to swim, it means that the children at ZOE Thailand can enjoy the wonderful sensation of being in the pool – in a safe and pleasurable way. The sensory experience of being in water is both relaxing and enjoyable.

Research says that there are huge physical benefits to swimming. Learning to swim is both a full-body cardiovascular and respiratory workout! At ZOE we love to see the children’s stamina, flexibility and muscle strength develop.

There are many other advantages to knowing how to swim, such as building concentration, becoming physically stronger and developing coordination. It also encourages an active and healthy lifestyle.

At ZOE we never underestimate the social aspect of swimming either. Playing together in the water helps to form bonds based on trust and fun. For children recently rescued from negative situations, socialization skills can be enhanced through various water games and activities.

During swimming lessons, children take pride in each individual achievement and work towards achieving new goals.  As their abilities and confidence increase, children are able to overcome fear and celebrate their successes with their friends, family and their swimming teacher!                      

At ZOE, it’s not JUST swimming!

*** ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not show children's faces. Faces shown in photos are Thai staff or Leadership School Students . ***

May 27, 2019 - No Comments!

Aussie Aussie Aussie

ZOE Australia/ZOE Thailand

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi” are not words I hear cheered very often since moving to Thailand, but during English class this past week, an Australian guest was just the excuse we needed to incorporate some joyful chanting and help make him feel right at home.

Jason Pater is a chartered accountant with a heart for those in need. He is also Payton Foundation’s CEO.  Jason, who was visiting ZOE this week, represents many who have given either as a Payton Capital client or via donation directly to the Foundation. Payton Capital 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. With the help of many generous Australians, Payton Foundation is committed to supporting  ZOE’s Vocational Training Program and Learning Center.

With Jason’s visit this week, the vocational students had the opportunity to show their appreciation for Payton’s ongoing assistance as well as find out more about Australia. They looked at the four largest cities, and learnt about some of the native animals, sports and occupations.  Class ended with a game that incorporated tasting popular Aussie snacks like honey crackles, ANZAC biscuits, Vegemite and fairy bread and most importantly learning how to correctly proclaim, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!”

May 17, 2019 - No Comments!

Class in Session

ZOE Thailand

Do you remember your first week at college, a new school OR at a new job? Do you recall all that energy, anxiety, expectation and myriad of emotions and thoughts coursing through your brain and body?

This month our newest ZOE Leadership Training (ZLT) Class embarked on their 2-year journey with us. The energy was palpable as they gathered together for the first time in one large room with the ZLT students who are one year ahead of them. There were so many smiles and such nervous excitement. We are so thankful to have them here.

This first week was full of introductions, getting to know one another, and three full days of orientation. These Leadership students were given a crash course in all things ZOE, including a history of ZOE, an overview of their curriculum and schedule, a full tour of our grounds, and our Child Protection Policy.

We are looking forward to journeying with them in the next two years and excited to see them grow in their knowledge, wisdom and leadership.

ZOE Leadership Training is about “EMPOWERING WORLD CLASS LEADERS FOR SUCCESS IN LIFE AND MINISTRY.”

*** ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not show children's faces. Faces shown in photos are Thai staff or Leadership School Students . ***

May 16, 2019 - No Comments!

It’s Electrifying

ZOE Thailand

Many of us can change a light bulb, install a new outlet cover OR even install a new light fixture. But when it comes to the wiring behind that electrical panel, there is that fear in the back of our minds that if we mess up there is a good chance we will have a shocking experience! Our solution is to dial the nearest electrician. So imagine the challenge our students took on recently when they studied electrical circuits.

The main teaching component was taught at ZOE where they built a basic household circuit. Students were given instructions and hands-on practice for measuring and cutting wire and also learned about fuses, meters, and circuit breakers. For their final exam, students had to demonstrate their technical skills by reading a schematic diagram and accurately constructing a complete electrical system. We are so proud to see that all our students passed and believe that the analytical and troubleshooting strategies they developed in this process will extend to areas of life far beyond flowing electrons!

ZOE’s Vocational Program is designed to give children "real life" experiences to equip them for their future.

May 9, 2019 - No Comments!

Ready for the Rain

ZOE Thailand

In this season, it is 100-plus degrees almost daily, and the reservoir we pass each day on our way to ZOE is at the lowest we have ever seen it. “When is rainy season going to start?” I think to myself.  We sure could use some rain.

Recently, one of our young men started working installing rain gutters. He loves working outdoors and has been training with our vocational program for a few years now. He and his work crew are preparing homes and businesses for the upcoming rainy season. They are fabricating and then installing gutters so that when the rain comes, the rainwater can be channeled correctly to catchments or away from the buildings’ exterior walls and foundations preventing damage.

The work he is doing now is not unlike the work he has done to prepare himself to be at a place where he can successfully work alongside others in a vocation of his choosing. He worked hard, learning and growing in his skill sets. So when this opportunity came, he was ready for it.

Are you ready for the rain?
“The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands…” Deuteronomy 28:12

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 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Make A Joyful Noise

ZOE Thailand

Having active children at home during the school holidays can be noisy - believe me I know! But recently during the Thai summer break, there was more than just the usual noise of kids playing, relaxing, and enjoying their time at home when we offered optional English classes based around the theme “Make a Joyful Noise.” The week-long program had the children learning English in groups based around the lyrics from worship songs and ending with a fun English karaoke competition on Friday afternoon.

Life is filled with “noise,” often times distracting us from our daily tasks: the phone ringing, social media notifications, arguments, construction sites, or even people talking loudly as they pass by. But joyful noises like laughter and singing, shouts of praise, clapping, as well as music, playing instruments, and dancing - these are wonderful noises that bring both pleasure and joy.

I know, from the group that I taught, that bringing music into the English classroom was a wonderful and different way to learn new vocabulary. The lively sounds of music and singing, mixed in with the laughter of playing games and practicing speaking, were all joyful noises that I’m sure I will remember for a long time.  

May 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Parents’ Night Off

ZOE Thailand

Ever felt drained by the demands of parenting? I know I have. It can be easy to give every last bit of energy to your children and neglect the other important relationships in your life, or even taking care of yourself.

It’s really hard to find the balance between keeping your marriage strong, building external friendships, and having family time. Many parents become so focused on their children’s needs that they fail to recognize that their own marriage, personal time, or friendships are deteriorating.  

Whilst it’s true, children thrive when they receive lots of love from their mothers and fathers but parents also need to set aside time to recharge and focus on their other relationships like their marriages and friendships. This is why we regularly have a team of people to help organize parents’ nights off for the ZOE parents. Some of the team cook dinner for the parents, while the rest of them help to oversee activities for the kids to ensure that our hardworking parents regularly get a well-deserved break.

*** ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not show children's faces. Faces shown in photos are Thai staff . ***