SANTA CLARITA, CA – ZOE may be my favorite word in koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament. It means “life.” Among other places, it appears in John 14:6 where Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and John 3:16 where He says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
It is appropriate, therefore, that ZOE International is all about life – how to live and how to love, how to reach, and how to rescue others. According to ZOE International’s website, the organization “seeks to bring life to others by offering them the hope of Jesus Christ and providing children who’ve been victimized by human trafficking true healing and restoration in the name of Jesus.”
Elsewhere it says, “Our vision and mission reflect our hope and calling from God, and we believe all things are possible with Him.”
ZOE’s ministry is focused primarily on Prevention of child trafficking, Rescue of child trafficking victims, and Restoring rescued children to the kind of life God wants for them.
How ZOE Lives
Before a person or a group of people can help effectively, they must love the Lord and possess certain fundamental character traits that come from walking close to Him. ZOE lists seven values necessary to successfully minister to and rescue children in the U.S., Thailand, Australia, Mexico, and Japan.
- Passion in our Pursuit of God (Daily worship, prayer, reading, seeking God)
- Passion in our purpose and calling (Submission, consecration to God’s will)
- Passion in our Pursuit of Justice (Rescuing souls, children from human trafficking)
- Seek to learn best practices (Research, learn the box)
- Seek Innovation (Creative thinking, think outside the box)
- Seek Continual Improvements (Develop, experiment, deploy)
- We praise and worship God continually (Give thanks always)
- We look for the good in every situation (Do not focus on the negative)
- We are content in every situation (While we trust in God’s abundance)
- Love God (Obey, worship, believe, serve)
- Love People (Be generous, encourage, comfort, serve)
- Love is the best way (never fails)
- Accept God’s estimate of us (We do not overestimate or underestimate ourselves)
- Believe the best of others (We do not think the worst of people)
- Consider others better than ourselves (Honor authority and respect others)
- Same in Private or Public (We consistently live in holiness)
- Authentic Christianity (We refuse to be hypocrites)
- Faithful (Honest, trustworthy, reliable, keep our word)
- Seek to find common ground (Focus on what we have in common)
- Seek a win/win scenario (Find a solution where everyone wins)
- Seek God for His ultimate wisdom (The final decision belongs to God)
How ZOE Teaches Others to Live
The ZOE ministries are established in regions where child trafficking is nearly a norm. A portion of their work is being present among at-risk children to prevent them from becoming victims. Teams also visit restaurant, hotel, and retail workers to train them to recognize potential trafficking situations.
When a trafficking victim has been identified, ZOE cooperates as part of the rescue team, following which the children are cared for in one of the ministry’s safe houses.
The restoration process prepares rescued children with essential life skills, including managing their feelings, perseverance, and problem-solving.
The thing that astounds me about ZOE International is that it was founded less than 20 years ago. Its original Children’s Homes were opened in Thailand in 2003 with 47 rescued children. Within a year, there were 60 children. Safe houses, children’s homes, and multipurpose facilities continue to be added as funds allow.
2017 saw the first ZOE students graduate from high school. The following year, 14 students graduated from the ZOE Ministry School that was opened in 2006. The ministry now operates a Leadership Training School, a Vocational Training Center, a Transitional Home for youth aged 18 and older, a School for Protected Children, and an Aftercare Center.
While all of this was happening in Thailand, outreaches were established in other countries, including a Child Rescue Center in Los Angeles.
By their own testimony, ZOE International is able to say that
“God has allowed us to pray with thousands of people to receive Christ! We have prevented, rescued, and protected hundreds of orphans and children from the atrocities of child trafficking. To God be the glory!”
Note: ZOE International works hand in hand with the governments of the countries and communities in which it serves to rescue and care for orphans and children affected by human trafficking.
To read more news on Human Trafficking on Missions Box, go here.