All Posts in Everyday Heroes

August 24, 2016 - Comments Off on Compelled to do something -by Jessica Welsh

Compelled to do something -by Jessica Welsh

The stories that were shared about human trafficking during my brief time at ZOE absolutely broke my heart. I was overwhelmed with righteous anger and felt compelled to do something about it.

Micah 6:8 says
Micah 6-8Living in the western world, the majority of our society, are blissfully unaware of the horrors that take place everyday.
 

In organizing the trivia night I wanted to not only raise much needed funds for ZOE, I wanted to raise awareness.

Trivia night

You can't listen to the children's stories and remain the same person you were before.

The work ZOE does for these children is absolutely incredible. They rescue them out of slavery and darkness, into a place of love and freedom. I am reminded of the verse from Matthew 25:40 which states, "The King will reply 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
It was an absolute honour to organise an event like this. I would do it all again in a heart beat. I pray that the people who attended the evening will be touched and inspired to continue to raise awareness and to help make our world a place without slavery.

A place filled with love, compassion and freedom.

- Jessica Welsh -

______________________

Proceeds from the night run by GBAB were given to ZOE Foundation Australia and Baan Op Un

Thank you Jess Welsh and your incredible team and also to everyone who donated auction items, prizes and to all who came to the trivia night.

August 19, 2016 - Comments Off on I’m gonna come and help you

I’m gonna come and help you

What began as a 40 minute session was extended well past an hour as the students in year 5 & 6 continued to seek answers to their questions.

Their hearts had been touched, the injustice they felt for kids their age was evident.

They needed to know why it was happening and they needed an answer…today!

This is often what is so hard for all of us to grapple with as we work to fight slavery. We sit and have the questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’ has this happened. Then, given the enormity of the task, we can feel it is too big to solve, so we shift our focus onto other ‘more solvable’ matters.

But what happened amongst this group of students is that the questions started to shift, as they wanted to know what they could do ‘right now’ to help.

As we ended the session, their teacher, Miss Lucas asked the children to write their personal reflections of what they had learned about.

Immediately a student approached me with a serious question. He asked if I would keep doing ‘this’ for a while. Though unsure of the reason for his question, I answered "Yes, my plan is to continue for some time." He then asked if it would be 'years', to which I also answered "yes, I plan to continue this for many years." Satisfied with the response he said, "Good, 'cause once I finish school, I’m gonna come and help you."

 

The reports from Miss Lucas continued into the next day and the weeks to come. Some kids raised awareness through telling friends and family while others did fundraising by buying or selling ZOE colouring books. She wrote:

"You have definitely inspired our students.  The kids have been continuing to learn about the issue of human trafficking at school and have explored further the different perspectives of those involved in the trafficking and those trying to stop it, reflecting on the teachings of Jesus and Scripture and learning about human dignity." - Miss Lucas

...To be honest Miss Lucas, your students have inspired me!

Note from student

Reflection about slavery

 

August 11, 2016 - Comments Off on Making a SPLASH!

Making a SPLASH!

A couple of years ago Emily and Alice Lawes visited ZOE as part of the Maranatha Mission Awareness Team, so this year, when Alice and her husband Wayne heard about the new pool at ZOE, they decided to send us some really cool things!!!

A huge thank you to Wayne, Alice and the team from Fastlane Aquatics and the suppliers who have given ZOE some kick boards, goggles, swim rings and arm bands!

As ZOE don't show the faces of any children in media these pics don't quite capture the fun ...

... but take our word for it, these kids are smiling from ear to ear!

Swimming

July 29, 2016 - Comments Off on What does it take to help somebody?

What does it take to help somebody?

Few people can respond as fast as this group of amazing students from Waverley Christian College!!!

After hearing about ZOE and their work to combat the trafficking of children at a recent Chapel service the Student Representative Council got together and were spurred into action.

They arranged a meeting with the Deputy Head of Secondary and organised a free dress day with the proceeds going to ZOE!

 

Many people ask ZOE:

"What can I do to help?"

I think that this group of students have answered that question for all of us.

When they heard about someone who needed help they ...

"Took Immediate Action"

We are inspired by you guys at Waverley Christian College, you have shown us how we can all #DoOneThing

One thing

 

May 30, 2016 - Comments Off on Colour for a Cause!

Colour for a Cause!

Hands are so amazing aren’t they? The fact that they can do so many different things as well as communicate so much about how we’re feeling.

They can show others when we’re nervous, tired, appreciative, mad, hurting, thoughtful… and so many other emotions!

They can also do so many things too.  They help us to swim, hug, cook, drive, write… this list goes on and on!!

Our hands also tell others information about us like whether we are married or single, our taste in jewelry, our age group and whether or not we bite our nails!

Have you ever considered that your hands could also help fight child trafficking?

We know that most of you don’t have too much time on your “hands” but we’ve found a way that you can help without having to feel like time is slipping through your fingers.

We have produced an intricate colouring book called “Your Beautiful Hands Can” and in the right “hands,” this book can do amazing things!

On one “hand” you can be having fun and doing something relaxing but on the other “hand” you will be helping kids in Thailand.

“But I’ve never tried my ‘hand’ at coloring or doodling,” I hear you say.

Well this book would also make a lovely gift for someone or can be used as a fundraising activity for youth groups, churches and schools.

We’ll leave it in your “hands” to think creatively about the many other ways that this book can assist with the business at “hand” which is rescuing and caring for children.

I personally will not sit on my hands, or twiddle my thumbs, waiting for the right time.  The issue of modern day slavery is already out of “hand”!!!

The time is NOW!

Wouldn’t it feel great to say that you had a “hand” in helping to fight child trafficking?

I say, let’s use whatever we have at “hand” and make slavery disappear forever.     

Will you lend a “hand”? 

 

Click here to order your copy today!

 

Minimum order 3 books.

Free postage for 50 or more books!

 

May 6, 2016 - Comments Off on Are We Rich?

Are We Rich?

A few nights ago over dinner, one of our children asked us, “Are we rich?”

This led to a long discussion whereby we turned some questions back to them, “Do you go to school?” “Do you always have enough to eat?” “Do we have a house to live in?” “Do you know about God?”

At the end of the conversation, it was concluded by us all that, “Yes! We are rich.”

Recently it came to my attention that an Australian lady by the name of Jenny had made a donation to ZOE.

After reading an email that she sent to us, her words struck me.

“…the reason I give 100% of the profits is because here in Australia we are so blessed and have so much 'stuff'.

While my husband and I are not rich in Western terms we are when compared to the majority of the world.”

I’m sure you’ve heard it said…

If you have food in your fridge

I’m always encouraged by hearing stories about Everyday Heroes. Everyday Heroes are just ordinary people using their interests, hobbies and skills to make a difference in the world and help someone that (in this case) they’ve never even met.

Thanks Jenny for making cards, bonbons, various gift boxes and other paper crafts to sell at Christmas time and then giving all the proceeds to ZOE

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

~OSCAR WILDE

November 15, 2015 - Comments Off on The day ZOE changed my life

The day ZOE changed my life

My first contact with ZOE was in 2013 when I met David Cross while on a mission trip to Chiang Mai with my son’s school, Maranatha Christian School. David told the group the story of Moses, the first man to try and abolish slavery. In Exodus 4 Moses, confused and overwhelmed, tries to convince God that he has nothing to offer that can help to free the Israelites from slavery but God asks him “What is that in your hand?”

I knew just how Moses felt. I really felt I had little to offer in the way of practical help and was confused about why I had agreed to go on this mission trip in the first place. But David’s retelling of Moses’ commission made me ask the same question that Moses had been asked: what was in my hand that I could use to help?

My skills are as a writer. I have written or contributed to about forty books that are used by teachers and students throughout Australia in their study of history and geography. Each day tens of thousands of high school children read what I have written. I knew before David had finished speaking that this is why God had brought me to Thailand. This is what is in my hand! All I had to do was to convince David.

Fortunately God put me on a work party at ZOE for the next few days and David and I found ourselves working side by side as bricklayers. Over many laughs and questionable bricklaying we eventually worked out that we were the answer to each other’s prayers. God had bought a writer and a missionary together.

Six months later, the curriculum was written, published online, presented at a teachers’ conference in Melbourne and was already being used in Australian schools to educate the next generation about child trafficking and the awesome work that ZOE is doing in Thailand. So now I ask you the same question that God asked Moses: “What is that in YOUR hand?”

Written by Mark Easton

September 22, 2015 - Comments Off on Walking for a cause!

Walking for a cause!

As part the Mary MacKillop Catholic College Annual Walkathon Appeal, 600 students braved the weather on a cool August day and set off to walk a distance of 10km along part of the South Gippsland Rail trail. The objective was to raise $16,000 to donate to a variety of causes that do not normally receive government funding or sponsorship. It was done to replicate and carry on the work of our patron St. Mary MacKillop who, with her Sisters of Saint Joseph, braved all kinds of weather and circumstances to bring education to the most disadvantaged children of the bush communities of Australia in the 19th Century. Including a few others, ZOE Foundation Australia was our charity of choice.

We started the day appropriately as Mary MacKillop would have liked, by celebrating the Eucharist as a College. Our Justice Captains then took the whole school for some fun games and merriment. Years 7, 8, 11 and 12 walked first from Koonwarra and were followed by Years 9 and 10. Many teachers and parents were positioned at strategic sites along the walk to provide safety, reassurance and some valuable encouragement.The walk itself took about two hours per student and many staff joined in as well. All students were served refreshments and were able to make a gold coin donation for a hot chocolate after the walk had been completed.

The active support of the walkathon by students, families and staff was outstanding. Everyone is to be thanked for their involvement and efforts to raise the required total. The College community can be proud of its achievement – not only did we reach our target but surpassed it by a further $2500. Undoubtedly, the funds raised will make a real difference towards achieving justice and dignity for those most in need, like the children rescued by the ZOE Foundation from a life of endless servitude and exploitation. We were able to present Daniela from the ZOE Foundation with a cheque for $4,750 which will most certainly be put to good use. We look forward to a continued relationship ZOE Foundation supporting the rewarding work that they do.

Written by Peter Charles - teacher at Mary MacKillop Catholic College