Archives for May 2020

May 30, 2020 - No Comments!

Why There is No ‘Rest’ in Restoration!

No ‘rest’ in restoration? Let's explore that...

At ZOE, there is an active team of people whose mission and purpose it is to see child trafficking survivors come to full healing and wellness. This core group of ‘restorers’ includes parents, staff, tutors, mentors, school teachers, social workers, counsellors, music teachers, older siblings and friends. It is their relentless love and acceptance that helps children begin a journey of reclaiming what was lost, and starting a new life; not just repaired, but recreated!  

As a Christian organisation we believe that God's heart is for restoration. And we like to focus on the biblical meaning of the word ‘restoration’ which is to “receive back more than has been lost to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition.” 

At ZOE we see this first-hand - lives genuinely improved beyond measure. 

Unlike the regular dictionary meaning of "restoration" which is to return something back to its original condition, the biblical definition of the word has greater connotations that go above and beyond the typical everyday usage. Repeatedly throughout the Bible, God blesses people for their faith and hardships by making up for their losses and giving them more than they previously had before. (reference.com)

This month in Australia, we are focusing on Restoration … without rest! What does that mean?

Don’t worry, our staff and fieldworkers will still get to sleep at night and take their day off, but we will not stop fighting. We continue to be positioned with a willingness to do things that are hard. We will not rest from championing for families ... for healing... for rescued lives. Restoration takes effort. It takes never giving up when it’s difficult. Never letting go when there’s resistance. It takes persistence and passion for something, even in the face of challenges. Why? 

Why will we never rest from ‘restoration’? Because it matters! 

Every smile, every tear, every victory, every struggle for each and every precious life we see transformed is important. It means everything to them. 

How can you help?

This month, as tax time approaches, we ask that you would consider taking a stand for RESTORATION. We’d love for you to partner with us as we continue to help child survivors receive healing and new life within a loving family and community.

Will you say #norest with us this June?  

May 27, 2020 - No Comments!

STEPS TO KEEPING KIDS SAFE ONLINE

Just like other environments where you allow your children to play (like the park, school or at a friend's house) the internet can be a really enjoyable space to explore, learn and compete. Left unsupervised though, there are also many dangers that children need help to navigate.

Always remain actively involved in your children’s digital and day-to-day lives and communicate openly. If your child is using devices for school, has a mobile phone, or uses gaming systems; it’s time to have a conversation with them about internet safety.

In order to support your child through their online experiences, there are several tips that we think are worth remembering to help protect your child!

  • Keep connected. It’s so important your child feels safe and connected to family members. The more connected and safe they feel with family, the more comfortable they will be to discuss issues, including issues they encounter online. In contrast, the more disconnected they feel from parents/family, things have potential to start becoming secretive, and they may seek affirmation, connection, and relationships outside of the home for that connection.
  • Have open conversations with your child about the dangers of the internet and how to practice online safety. Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T to help you!
  • Work together with your child to establish internet guidelines. Don’t just give a list of “don’t do this or that,” have a conversation with your child, teaching them why. You may consider signing a contract with your child about the agreed upon rules for online use. We suggest covering these topics:

-What apps/sites can be visited? What apps and/or sites are off limits?
-Where can they use their devices? Should they limit their internet use to general spaces?
-Who needs to be present when they use the internet? Do they need parental supervision?
-When and for how long can they be on their device? Do they need to limit screen time to certain hours/times of day

  • Make the most of parental controls to help monitor and protect online activity. Regularly check posts, messages, texts, etc.

To parents who are just starting out on this journey with your kids, one ZOE staff member shared, “Even though I have been working in this area for years, I recall that when we started this process, it was quite overwhelming. It takes time for you to establish guidelines, find software that helps show their activity, and time for you to monitor and check-in with your child… No matter what software you use, it is not set and forget! Initially we used the free version of Qustodio to help us set up simple daily time time limits. Apple also has great parental control software.”

  • If you notice behavior changes in your child, such as isolating themselves, becoming secretive about their phone, or wanting to spend more time in their room with a device, ask your child what’s going on, without judgement or punishment.
  • If you discover your child has been interacting with a potentially dangerous person or content, don’t panic! Be a safe place for your child. Break off contact — stop talking and stop replying. Criminal activity, including explicit photos or text messages, should be saved and taken to the police for investigation. Report any illegal activity to law enforcement. 

As in all areas of parenting, be aware and be vigilant so that each online experience your children have is fun, and safe!

May 14, 2020 - No Comments!

CHAPEL

Are you a secondary school chaplain, Christian Studies teacher, youth leader or parent of a teenager?  Are you looking for fresh ways to help develop the spiritual growth of the young people you’re investing in?

ZOE wants to help you! We have created a relevant and thought-provoking online lesson to engage your teenagers.

We understand that with the current restrictions you haven’t been able to meet as you normally would, so we've made an online chapel service for you!

Though there’s no music or singing, there is a powerful message that explores God's heart for the marginalised, and an encouragement for a personal response to the issue of modern slavery.

We want young people, Australia-wide, to continue to be able to learn and grow right in their own homes. We trust that this engaging mix of video footage, speakers, and a call to action, is a tool that will equip you in this time of “online” connection.

We have also developed a fillable ‘Student Response’ sheet to give you the option of receiving feedback from your students and any follow-up questions or thoughts that they might have.  

If you'd like to download these FREE innovative resources, please contact our Development and Advocacy Coordinator, Brett, at brett@gozoe.org.au.