On occassion, ZOE has interns from the local Masters College in Santa Clarita who assist us with varying projects around the US office. The interships are for class credit. This semester, we happily welcomed on board Lynlee Kumamoto from Masters. Lynlee was able to intern at the ZOE Children’s Home in Thailand this past summer with a group from her school. This group was stellar! They assisted our Thai staff with anything and everything. Many lives were changed. We were so grateful to have them and now Lynlee.
Name: Lynlee Kumamoto
How did you find out about ZOE?
This past summer I was able to go on a missions trip with my school and they actually partnered with ZOE, sending a team of 12 of us over to the ZOE Home in Thailand, so that was how I first heard about the organization.
What made you want to volunteer?
After spending 2 months over in Thailand, I absolutely fell in love with all of the people and with the ministry that they have established. Also, God has just given me such a passion for the fight against human trafficking, so it is my goal to do whatever I can to help out.
How long have you volunteered at ZOE?
It has been about 3 months now.
What type of tasks do you do at ZOE?
Right now I am finishing up a project for the short-term teams that go over to Thailand – compiling a book of ideas for their children’s programs that they put together. In addition to this, I just help out with anything that needs to be completed that day.
Tell us about your overall experience in the office?
I have loved every minute of it. Being able to come into the office and work with these women is always so encouraging and such a reminder of God’s love to me. I have enjoyed participating in each of the projects and being able to help out in this way.
Have you learned anything new while volunteering?
I have really been challenged to look out for the needs of others more. The women that I work with here in the office do an exceptional job at this and I have been learning so much from just watching them. They are all very careful to encourage and build up one another in Christ and that is something that I have been able to grow in more since being here. Also, I have just been so reminded of how important it is to have a global mindset, thinking about things that are going on around the world and praying for the Lord to work in miraculous ways to further the gospel, and doing so myself!
Thank you Lynlee for all your hard work and dedication. It has been simply a pleasure having you in the USA office and will miss you dearly when the semester is over.
On November 10th, about 750 walkers, children and adults, gathered at Newhall Park in Newhall, CA for the first ZOE Rescue Walk. The event was a milestone and a huge success! People came from all over Southern California to take part in this Walk to bring awareness to human trafficking. We saw many familiar faces amongst the sea of people. There will be more updates and photos to follow but we wanted to share a newletter with you a highlight written by one of our Walk participants.
Click on the Link Below
This month, Chick-fil-A in Santa Clarita will bring awareness to child trafficking and ZOE, a Santa Clarita based non-profit organization in the fight against trafficking. For the entire month, when customers drive by the restaurant’s window or step inside, signage and posters highlighting ZOE and child trafficking awareness will be visible.
For almost a decade, ZOE has been caring for orphans as well as combatting child trafficking on the frontlines in Thailand. Through proven best practices, they have actively rescued children from begging rings, forced labor, and sex trafficking. Once rescued, ZOE Children’s Homes provides a family environment, full 24-hour care, and a life of wholeness and restoration for these children. Over the years, ZOE has gained generous support from partnering churches, businesses, and individuals throughout Santa Clarita. Chick-fil-A, a generous support to many organizations in the community, is an example of one such business lending a hand and offering support.
Chick-fil-A and ZOE will offer two special nights to the community this month. On Tuesday, October 9th, come out to Chick-fil-A at the Valencia Town Center for a special “Kids Night” with Hero the Frog, ZOE’s official kids’ program mascot. Kids will have the chance to meet Hero and fun activities will be available for the kids. Later in the month, on October, 18th, Chick-fil-A will donate 10% of sales purchases to ZOE.
On November 10th, Saturday, ZOE will host its first ever “Rescue Walk” to raise funds and awareness. Chick-fil-A will be a part of this event by making lunch available for participants. This special event is open to the public and will be enjoyable for all ages. ZOE is grateful for the support of the community this month, especially Chick-fil-A and continues to encourage community members to work to end human trafficking in our generation. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 661-255-7963.
“Ye have not, because ye ask not.”
So often we don’t ask because we think it’s just “too much” to expect or to believe for. And we miss out.
But last November, ZOE asked! We wrote a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand in Bangkok, inviting her to visit our children’s home the next time she visited Chiang Mai.
On a recent beautiful September day, our letter was answered in person by a visit to the ZOE Children’s Home by Ambassador Kristie Kenney. The ZOE family was privileged to play host to the Ambassador and her team which included Mr. Ken Foster, Consul General of the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai, and Vice Consul Paul Neville.
Ambassador Kinney proved to be a most charming guest. Her openness, down-to-earth nature and friendliness were a big hit with all of us. The children and young adults, especially, were delighted by their interaction with her. The Ambassador kicked off her shoes and joined the kids for a time of laughter, hugs, and high fives.
She displayed a keen knowledge of the subject of human trafficking and her questions about ZOE and our operations were insightful and discerning. Ambassador Kinney addressed the entire ZOE family before she left, presenting us with several lovely gifts and, in return, receiving a framed picture of one of our beautiful children. The Ambassador surprised all of us when she spoke to the assembled group in fluent Thai!
It was a special thrill for the Americans at ZOE to meet the Ambassador. Currently, there are 35 Americans affiliated with ZOE living in Thailand. ZOE and the Americans working here value the effective partnerships we have developed with U.S. government agencies. We look forward to continuing and expanding our work in areas of common interest including combating human trafficking, helping to build resilient communities, and promoting the friendship of our two great nations.
It was wonderful to host Ambassador Kinney. And her visit was a good reminder that “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
Volunteering as a ZOE Table Bearer for the 2012 Global Human Trafficking Conference was a great experience. What made it great was meeting and connecting with so many wonderful people. First of all there were my fellow volunteers Sharon, Vicki, Shirley and Nicole. Sharon had the new ZOE Cookbooks so I was able to get a few. Vicki recently moved to Arizona and came up for the weekend to help out, so it was great to spend time with her and with Lauren, Marji and Betsy from the ZOE office. Betsy spoke on two panel discussions. She did an awesome job. It was inspiring to hear and see her up there with like-minded people from fellow organizations that are working to end human trafficking and turn victims into survivors.
What a great bunch of people! Our hosts, Jocelyn and Peter White of Slavery No More, introduced the daily sessions, speakers and testimonials. Peter got a bit chocked up at one point. Their compassion and hope that modern day slavery can be eliminated in our generation rings through. This is something that we hear from our ZOE Founders, Carol and Michael Hart – that we can see an end to it in our generation. It was wonderful to hear the good reports from so many organizations that are working on the frontlines toward this goal, whether they are doing prevention, intervention, aftercare – or like ZOE, doing all three.
Our booth was next to Treasures www.Iamatreasure.com. They reach out to workers in the sex industry and train people how to do so. On one panel a discussion about perpetrators (dare we say – consumers) came up. Treasures founder, Harmony Dust, shared about a new men’s program run by men volunteers who teach other men to value and respect women. Prevention.
It was great to help the ZOE Staff network. A Representative from A21 came by our table. They do good rescue work and have safe houses in Europe. (Intervention and Aftercare). They were glad to know what ZOE is doing in Thailand. Collaboration and partnership were key themes of the conference.
We came back from lunch and found a note on the ZOE table saying, “ I took a sweatshirt” with a name and organization so we could go to her booth and collect the 35$. What honesty and integrity! The air conditioning was very cold, so I can understand why she wanted it that bad. That’s one way to sell shirts!! For me personally, I couldn’t decide between the two women’s designed t-shirts, and I was taking so long, so I got both!
On my break, I visited the other tables. At met Eric of Finding Freedom. They are based in Bangkok and know about ZOE’s work in Northern Thailand. I bought a bracelet made by Jeit. Her dream to open a house for helping others is printed and contained in the charm. When I wear it I will remember the conference and to pray for those who need to be rescued and for those that are working to help them.