OUR RESPONSE: AUSTRALIA
Regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, school closures, and the current movement restrictions, ZOE Australia’s work in ”preventing,” ”educating,” and ”bringing awareness to” trafficking continues. All of our staff in Australia and field workers, living in Thailand, are well. Although it has affected the movement of our team, and restricted school, church, and small group visits, each staff member is working from home, staying in contact with each other via video calls, and collaborating on projects in preparation for the future.
Our new curriculum continues to be developed so that, once schools resume, we will have more resources to offer teachers for free. Our Development and Advocacy Coordinator Brett Gottle, is available to meet people via video call to discuss the curriculum, programs, and toolkits we have available. Our social media channels will remain uplifting and focused on updating followers about ZOE’s work in both Australia and Thailand. These pages are a way of connecting ZOE supporters to the ongoing work of prevention, rescue, and restoration.
Above all, we believe that God has everything under control. We pray for protection for all our Australian church, school, and individual supporters. We pray for the multitudes of people affected by a sudden loss of income. We are thankful that we have still been able to help rescue children in Thailand recently and that they are now settling into their new families. For additional information on the current state of Thailand where our field workers David and Andrea Cross live, please refer to the Thai update.
OUR RESPONSE: THAILAND
In Thailand, COVID-19 is affecting everyone as our country continues its lock-down measures. Our ZOE families are doing well and remain healthy and positive. Our dedicated parents lovingly support the children in their care, teaching them to live by faith yet also be responsible to society and others.
We had been proactive about the health and safety of our families before the COVID-19 even became a pandemic. We had already started preventative measures by deep cleaning and disinfecting, screening visitors, as well as daily taking the temperature of all our children, staff, volunteers, and guests. Our families have also been educated on wearing masks, social distancing, etc. We trust God for our protection, but we must also do our part. We are so thankful to God that one of our mothers recently graduated from Public Health! Her role is to continue screening everyone, monitor good hygiene practices, and implement prevention measures.
Also recently, our boys moved off ZOE’s main property and are experiencing life as smaller family units. They are learning how to cook as families and make daily living decisions, bonding with their ZOE parents. It is a new and exciting time for them.
Last week, we heard about a child who was in immediate danger and we were able to accept her and bring her into the safety of a ZOE family. She is a delight and expressed how thankful she was to be rescued. Our rescue and restoration work continues!
On the downside, there have been many disappointments this month like:
-children who were scheduled to visit their relatives during the school break, but can no longer go because of the restrictions and the risk.
-graduation ceremonies being cancelled at school this year.
-many of our leadership students/interns not being able to return home because of the many travel restrictions.
-staff and volunteers needing to work from home
-many other events, camp programs, and fun activities that can no longer take place.
Despite these disappointments though, our ZOE families have remained in high spirits, focusing their attention on the needs of others, and doing what they can to help people in our community. Some of our girls have even been sewing fabric masks so that we can give them away to those who do not have any.
There are many more stories of what God is doing through ZOE at this time in Thailand. We continue to trust Him for all our needs and look for ways to love the children in our care and support our local community.