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February 27, 2019 - No Comments!

Lessons from Thailand

ZOE Thailand

By Gaye Obenchain, January 2019 USA Joint Short Term Team Member

Every year, two short term teams come to ZOE Thailand from the United States. We are privileged to have so many wonderful people over the years from all over the U.S. come to see first hand what God is doing through ZOE.

Gaye Obenchain, came to Thailand for the second time this past January.  

“On my first trip, I was so impressed by ZOE’s heart and intentional mission to spread the good news of Jesus. When I returned this year, I was even more impressed. Their focus has not changed...it still is all about Jesus. Yes, they rescue. Yes, they restore.  Yes, they educate. But all for the purpose of making sure that everyone has a chance to hear the Gospel. Their servant hearts, their humility, their joy, their hope is all about Jesus and it is evident in the faces and the worship of the kids, the missionaries, and the entire staff that sacrifice to make this place a reality.

As our team came alongside to serve, there were so many opportunities to see Christ at work. The outreach to the village had its moments of discomfort but it only served to remind us that it is all about Him. The work day gave us the advantage of getting dirty and realizing that by allowing Christ to plant good things in us, it will keep the good soil from eroding away, that sometimes we need to be power-washed to get rid of the mold that can grow in the rainy season, that ditches need to be dug to drain off the excess and dead branches need to be pruned to make way for new growth.

Teaching English lessons, participating in the cultural exchange, even our day off put us in places of seeing the beauty of Jesus at work as we experienced new people, places, and ways of living.

Upon returning to the U.S., I am praying that what I have seen and experienced on this wonderful trip will help me to remember that it truly is about Jesus and that in any, and every circumstance, someone is waiting to hear about Him.”

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.

www.roadofjustice.com

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!

May 19, 2014 - No Comments!

ZOE's Mercy Network

Written by missionaries, David & Ester Yu

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." John 6:35

ZOE’s Mercy Network Program aims to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of villages and communities by sharing the love of Christ with them through the distribution of much needed food and through the message of the gospel. Through this program, ZOE establishes relationships with village pastors and networks with them, providing pastoral trainings and care, food, and supplies. The boxes of food that ZOE shares with these pastors are an important means for them to connect with those in their communities.

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Pastor Wep and Missionary David delivering supplies to a partnering pastor

In addition to providing boxes of food, ZOE also helps pastors network with and encourage one another through various trainings. ZOE’s Mercy Network team travels near and far to help empower pastors and their communities become self-sustaining, income-producing, and spiritually healthy. We continue to research best sustainable farming practices in both agricultural and fish farming industries. It is especially significant to network with these communities, as some of them are targets for child trafficking.

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Missionaries Les and David delivering a rice husker that can help produce income

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A training for partnering pastors

Even though these pastors have little in material resources, it's encouraging to see how much they want to give in the abundance of what Christ has given to them. Please pray that God would provide for the needs of the pastors and their communities and sustain them so they can persevere in the midst of hardship.

June 10, 2013 - 2 comments

Mercy Network

The task of reaching the unreached in Thailand is no small one.  Not only are there cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai that are hustling and bustling with people, but there are also countless villages that have a limited access to the gospel.  In response to this problem, ZOE along with other organizations and individuals has created a network that seeks to enable local pastors and empower communities.

The philosophy is to equip the local pastors so they can perform their calling with greater efficiency.  One of the ways the local pastors can build relationship with their village is through food distribution.  Rather than giving the food out in impersonal lines, he will visit homes one-by-one and give to families in the community who are in particular need.  This generosity opens doors and builds opportunities for the pastors to share the love of Christ with his neighbors.
A pastor of Dong Dtao village, is fulfilling his calling by organizing children outreach services, highlighting the transformation of fellow believers in the community, and giving boxes of food to those who need it the most.  In only two years the village’s church has grown from 30 to 170 attendees!  This is a clear example of God’s faithfulness.

ZOE’s Food Distribution Program has been honored to help put the boxes of food together for so many communities and pastors.  This tool helps open the door, and we are humbled by God’s power to change the hearts of so many people once the Good News of Jesus has been shared.