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November 12, 2019 - No Comments!

Going South East

ZOE recently sent a team to the southeast region of Thailand. The purpose was two-fold. We were there to bring food boxes to communities and to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Our team ran 3 outreaches over the course of the week and reached more than 700 students. Children and communities in this area are especially at high risk and they had the opportunity to learn about the dangers and schemes of human traffickers. These were the first prevention outreaches that ZOE has done in Ubon, Thailand.

We continue to expand our work in our fight to end human trafficking. Our prevention team leader shared his thoughts on the future of work in Ubon. He said, “I hope we’ll have more opportunities to do outreaches there. There are so many children at risk.” They also used the time on ground to build relationships with officials and other organizations with the future in mind.

While our team was there, they were able to witness first hand how much the area was affected by the flooding. News articles say it’s the worst the area has seen in 17 years. Our Mercy Network team was able to support and help pastors that we partner with to supply food and necessities to those affected. One team member shared how seeing where people were living because of the flooding was quite difficult. But “knowing that the pastors we partner with were going to bring food boxes to these locations to help people…this is what impacted me the most on this trip.”

October 2, 2019 - No Comments!

ZOE’s Banyan Trees

If you’ve had the pleasure and privilege of getting to know any one of the Tani sisters, then you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say, I can only imagine what outstanding and amazing people their parents must’ve been. 

Their daughters: Carol - ZOE’s beloved Founder (since 2002) and missionary in Thailand for 14 years, Joy - who has been serving as a missionary in Japan for 26 years, Nora - an incredible supporter of ZOE’s work since the very beginning, and Lynne - also a missionary in Thailand for the past 14 years, are some of the most selfless and loving women on this earth! The caliber and love that these four ladies show in the way they live their lives, and how they put other people’s needs ahead of their own, is an inspiration to so many.

The following memoir, written by Lynne Ginoza, highlights the very place where these sisters were impacted and shaped into who they are today – their family. It highlights the love they each share for God, and expresses the great honor and respect they hold for the exceptional parents who raised them.

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Our parents, Howard and Aiko Tani, were our living examples of Jesus when all 4 of us were growing up. They were our heroes in our eyes – a big reason of who we are and why we do what we do. They lived their lives by intentionally loving and caring for people around them...taking in a pregnant unwed girl; taking in 4 little Vietnamese sisters for a year during the Vietnam refugee crisis; being youth group advisors; speaking endless words of encouragement, hope, and wisdom into a countless number of lives who needed to hear those words; becoming missionaries to Japan in their retirement years; and seeing them stand up for those who feel they didn’t have a voice. And even after their passing away, it’s amazing that we seem to continue to meet people who have a story to tell of how God used our parents to change and influence their lives. Our one regret is that they never got to see ZOE or hear about the amazing miracles that God has done for ZOE throughout these years. But even though they are in heaven now, we just know, they know. 

The Word of God says to honor your father and mother. So we decided as a family to honor our parents by buying and dedicating two banyan trees to plant at ZOE. When fully grown, these trees will be massive. It took awhile, but we finally found a perfect place for the trees. There is a little grassy knoll that overlooks our sports area at the ZOE campus, where a lonely playground set stands – it has never been really used by the ZOE kids because it stands directly in the sun with no shade – so it has always been too hot to play there. But now, with these massive trees planted nearby, we know that this will give the needed relief from the heat. They were strategically planted so that one tree would provide shade from the morning sun and the other one will provide shade from the afternoon sun. If ever you come to visit ZOE, you will see two magnificent trees that will stand in honor of the two amazing people who taught us how to love.

September 19, 2019 - No Comments!

Elephant Mascot

It's hard not to smile when you see a mascot. And ZOE's new elephant mascot is hard to ignore. Being introduced at schools to catch the attention of children during trafficking awareness and education outreaches, this guy certainly did his job well!

Some months ago the team from America, who just visited this month, wanted to do something special to help ZOE’s prevention efforts during their time here. Various ideas were discussed: brochures, making a beautiful backdrop with our hotline number on it, and more. And as the details for a backdrop were being thrown around, the idea came up - what about a mascot? It was agreed that having a mascot would be more effective and engaging for students and so the planning began.

After researching mascot vendors, someone was found who designed and produced high quality mascots. Two of ZOE’s Child Rescue Team went to try on many different animal mascots and then took a vote with the rest of the team for the choice of animal. Wanting to select an animal that represented Thailand, an elephant was agreed upon. The runner ups were a pig, tiger, and panda! Finally the cute elephant mascot arrived just two days prior to the August outreaches.  

Students held up signs with anti-trafficking messages and ZOE’s hotline number and had their photo taken with the mascot. It was very well received as the students enjoyed the mascot experience, having pictures taken, shaking hands, and even dancing with him. The only thing left to do now is to decide on a name for this lovable new addition to the ZOE team!