All Posts in awareness

July 3, 2020 - No Comments!

Good Food

You may have heard it said, “Good food is not fast, and fast food is not good.” 

Our family started down a different dietary path about 5 years ago when one of our children had some health and wellness concerns. We were curious to see whether eliminating certain foods would make any difference. What happened actually amazed us … but that’s a whole different story. Since that time, I have been on a steep learning curve to adapt recipes, substitute ingredients and create new ways of doing things with our family’s meals. In the beginning, I felt completely overwhelmed, but now I can cook from a place of increased confidence, experiment with new ingredients, and actually enjoy the experience. 

There’s something very satisfying about cooking from scratch and knowing exactly what we’re eating. It might sound like I love to cook, but it’s more than that. I love to nourish. I love to make sure that my family not only leaves the table full, but that they’re full of good food that will sustain, energise, fight off infection and help them to grow. But most importantly my goal, each time we gather around the table, is that we also nourish our spirits. We do this through being grateful, sharing devotions together, reflecting on the loving kindness of God and by spurring each other on towards love and good deeds. When the time comes for my children to leave our home, my desire is that they’ll not only know how to cook amazing, nutritious meals themselves, but that they’ll be spiritually healthy and strong as well. 

One of our goals in Australia is to raise awareness about child trafficking. Although this can be a dark topic, I love how ordinary people like you and I can use our skills, talents and interests to bring about conversations and change. Just like the right foods can heal and turn a life around, at ZOE we get to see hopeless situations, broken lives and lost children experience new life in an amazing way! I’m going to be using my interest in cooking to highlight the monthly need for food as well as to share stories of hope and life - the taste of ZOE!

Food For Thought! 

    • Join our ZFA Prayer nights on Monday evenings (email Brett for details) 
    • Cook one of our ‘Taste of ZOE’ recipes, share it on social media, #atasteofZOE and tag us
    • Watch and share videos, blog posts and social media feeds. (here and here)
    • Order a Taste of ZOE cookbook and pass it on to a friend. (email Sharon
    • Have a Taste of ZOE potluck dinner, watch one of ZOE’s videos from youtube and have a discussion about it. (YouTube)
    • Petition for ZOE’s Year 9 or 10 curriculum to be used in your school. (click here)
    • Parent of a teen? Watch the free online Chapel video with your child. 
    • Person of faith? Pray for ZOE’s work in Prevention, Rescue and Restoration. (join a prayer group or get a prayer guide)

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.