April 15, 2021 - No Comments!

A Taste of ZOE

Written by Andrea Cross

On a cold Melbourne night in July 2019, my husband and I met Margaret at a ZOE prayer night. She offered to write a curriculum for churches to use in their kid’s ministry programs to encourage them to pray for children in slavery and those who have been rescued.

Since early 2020 when the planning began, the curriculum has been massaged and reviewed by several people, scripts written to match the content, and short videos recorded to enhance the learning experience. Finally now, after many months, the curriculum is ready to be released and provided free to churches, families and schools. 

Despite the fact that it’s written for children, as one of the people who has been working on the curriculum, it has spoken to me too and reminded me many times of God's character and promises. 

For example, many familiar Bible stories start with hopeless situations (Moses, Daniel, David and Goliath, Jonah, Noah). But just as Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things together for our good, it’s important that we read and remember such stories. They change our thinking. They train our thoughts to be hope-filled. When we believe in God, we know that a situation that seems hopeless is not the end of the story! Our God is always good. When we invite God into our story, everything changes for good.

Working in the arena of child trafficking, the tasks that lay before us can oftentimes seem unachievable. Though there are days when we encounter ‘impossible’ situations that seem hopeless or too big, this curriculum reminded me again that God will anoint our work and give us ways to see problems through a different lens. It’s so wonderful that each theme in this prayer curriculum teaches children to see the world as God does, where no problem is too great and no child is out of His reach. It reminds children to ask God for ‘faith eyes’ to see things the way He sees them. Things that might seem impossible to us, are possible through His mighty power working through us!

There are 7 lessons included in this curriculum:

  • What is 'Hope' Like?
  • Eyes to See
  • We are Family
  • Finding a Way
  • God’s Treasure Hunt
  • Protection
  • Together is Better

And each lesson includes:

  • Warm-up (game or activity)
  • Group Time
  • Video
  • Reflection time/Talking with God
  • Small Group Time
  • Take Home Sheet
  • Comic Strip
  • Parent's Connect
  • Equipment List

The curriculum embraces topics such as trusting in God. Trusting in God means putting all our faith in His perfect love and letting go of all our fears. God has a plan. There is nothing God cannot do. It reminds children that they are a child of God and that He loves them. He walks with them. He encourages them. He protects them. He has a wonderful plan for them in this world.

It also covers how as God’s children they can ask God to give them Heaven’s ideas and plans to solve every need or problem here on earth. God wants them to see problems through His eyes of wisdom and understanding. He wants them to see challenges the way He sees them.

One of the most impactful lessons though is the one about the power in the words we speak and how our words create life or death! It encourages children to pray "No!” to the injustice of child slavery and poverty and declare it is not okay! And pray “Yes!” to life, declaring God’s promises over the children trapped in slavery. 

If you or your church would like a free copy of this curriculum, please contact us at info@goZOE.org.au and we will gladly share this free resource with you. 

For more info CLICK HERE

January 11, 2021 - No Comments!

What We Want For 2021

Happy New Year to all our wonderful ZOE supporters. If you’re a first time visitor to this blog - welcome! 

After some time to relax and regroup, our team is refreshed and ready to take on 2021 with more passion, determination and hope than ever before. 

So what do we want for the New Year?

We want to be part of the generation who ended child trafficking! 

We want our love for people to increase so that it’s what drives us to fight slavery and bring life for our fellow human beings - men, women & children.

We want to truly believe that nothing is impossible and one person can make a difference. 

We want to live in a way that shows that if bondage, slavery and oppression are not okay with God, then they’re not okay with us.

We want hearts that continue to break for the lost, the vulnerable, the marginalised, the ones who need people to be fighting for them and those without freedom.

We want to be bold and brave to speak up against injustice.

We want to choose love. Every time. 

We want to stand in solidarity with those who face challenges that we may never fully understand and with people we may never meet.

We want to keep advocating, keep learning and keep praying.

We want to show that love, awareness and support do make a difference. 

We want you to join us this year to help prevent trafficking through awareness, education and advocacy.  

It's 2021 and we’re excited to see what's in store... more children rescued, more love given, more hope, more restoration, more healing and more new LIFE!

- ZOE Australia Team

 

November 13, 2020 - No Comments!

A Christmas Like No Other

- Reclaiming LIFE

This is the perfect time to do things differently and reclaim what might have been lost throughout 2020: generosity, joy, peace, certainty, hope, freedom and LIFE.” 

Each year, the additional expenses that creep in at Christmas time create pressure for many people. This ‘commercialised-pressure’ that squeezes already-tight family budgets, has been further intensified this year by the ongoing world-wide pandemic. 

Covid-19 has changed many aspects of our lives. We have had to adopt new habits, new priorities and new ways throughout the year, and these will undoubtedly influence how we respond during the Christmas season. 

While in previous years, festivities centred around social gatherings and bustling shopping streets, this year provides a chance for us to reflect and reclaim what Christmas is actually all about. 

Many people have shared that during isolation and lockdown, they developed an appetite to ‘do’ better and ‘be’ better this year. New hobbies and habits were formed and relationships were explored in different, and inventive ways. 

Shouldn’t we then also stop before Christmas comes and think about what’s been lost in the past, what’s really important now, and how our actions can influence others at this time of the year? 

Let’s open our hearts for what God wants to do new and fresh in our lives this Christmas, and throughout 2021. 

What would reclaiming Christmas look like for you?

Maybe, just like Mary and Joseph, it would mean remembering to trust in God especially when faced with unforeseen challenges. 

Maybe, like the shepherds, whose lives were transformed when they understood what Jesus’ birth meant - we could have that ripple effect on the people around us.

Maybe it could look like being generous by sharing God’s love with neighbours and our community.

Maybe it would mean taking time to pause and reflect on the miracle that is God-among-us. 

Maybe it means sharing the gift of ourselves with the lonely and those in our circle of family and friends who’d gain more from the gift of our ‘presence’ rather than an off-the-shelf present.

Maybe it’s about getting back to basics and celebrating the LIFE of Christ in a simple yet meaningful way.

As you look back on 2020 maybe you didn’t experience much joy. 

-You felt tired.

-You felt depressed.

-You experienced loss.

-You had personal tragedy and difficulties that filled you with grief and sorrow, frustration.

God looks at you.  He sees your life. You are valuable. You are worthy of Him sending his one and only son. God can give you strength, help, and victory in this season.

“This is the perfect time to do things differently and reclaim what might have been lost throughout 2020: generosity, joy, peace, certainty, hope, freedom and LIFE.” This will be a Christmas like no other as we unite to reclaim God’s dream for this world to experience His abundant (zoe) LIFE .