“Never underestimate the power of a shoe.”
– Giuseppe Zanotti
September 17, 2019
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words but I say one word is worth far more than a thousand pictures to convey the work that God is accomplishing through ZOE International in Chiang Mai, Thailand. That one word is GO!
September 16, 2019
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 31, 2019
In the midst of our ZOE children receiving the love, care, attention, and counseling they need, giving of themselves in service brings about a special kind of healing in their hearts.
We tend to think that NEED = inability to give. But isn’t it in giving when we receive true healing in our hearts?
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.”
The teachers and students at ZOE Learning Center go out once a week to serve the surrounding community. Sometimes it’s doing chores and cleaning for the sick/disabled. Sometimes it’s just spending time with a lonely elderly woman. Whatever the activity is, it opens the door for the students to give. In the midst of their own needs, they can look up and see the needs of those around them.
Last month, teachers and students went to visit Grandma Bua, a 90-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, who’s hard of hearing. The students enthusiastically sang songs and prayed over grandma, bringing joy to her elderly bones. It’s easy to see that these moments fill our children with joy.
Sometimes the greatest joy we receive is bringing joy to others.
August 30, 2019
Imagine for a moment, planting a seed in the ground and having to wait 150 years just to see it grow only 4 inches. This is what happens in Canada on cliff sides in the Great Lakes area when a white cedar tree is planted. Along it is the slowest growing tree, once it is fully grown, it can actually reach up to 50 feet high!
All the work of planting and nurturing something that you will never see the full results of seems crazy but that’s what we do a lot of times as we care for and disciple the children and teens at ZOE.
When we think about discipleship, our main goal is to teach them about who God is, how much God loves them, and how they can be the change that their city, country, and the world needs.
Like the white cedar tree though, it’s a slow process. Sometimes we think we see the seeds we planted start to break through the surface and begin to sprout, and other times we just keep praying for the seeds that are still in the ground – even though we cannot yet see any signs of growth.
Some of our kids are on fire for God. We see on a weekly basis how they are passionate about praying for their families and friends to get saved.
In other children, who we do not yet see any signs of growth, we do not let ourselves get discouraged. We choose to give them more nourishment just like a plant or a tree would need.
We teach them different lessons from the Bible or just about life in general. We pray with them weekly. Some of the ZOE staff are also part of our mentors group throughout the week, so they spend more 1-1 time with the kids. We select up to 12 kids every month to participate in a school outreach where we do dramas, dances, and songs, and present the gospel message in small groups. We also select some kids to volunteer at a children’s home in the city. This year we are sponsoring a school and village to bless them for Christmas.
Everything we do with the kids and youth through discipleship is about ongoing planting and watering of the “seeds.” We never know which ones will grow into tall strong trees. Our job is to keep praying that every single one of them takes that step in faith.
Discipleship is an ongoing job. It usually involves a lot of sacrifice, and intentionality. It also means that as leaders, we must live out what we are hoping for them to become. We must continue to nourish ourselves to be tall, mature trees thriving in life so that they will also desire what they see on display through our words, actions, and lives.
May 29, 2019
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
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
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!”