All Posts in New Year

January 3, 2020 - No Comments!

Beautiful Stories of Healing & Hope

ZOE is a place where beautiful stories of rescue, hope, life, and love can easily be found.

With permission to share, we think this powerful testimony of one girl’s journey from rescue to healing, will bring renewed hope for the future and great expectations, to all who read it. Please continue to uphold all ZOE’s rescued children in your prayers as they embrace new seasons, new beginnings, and the New Year.

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It’s hard for me to tell my story. Before I came to live at ZOE my life was not good. Many times I felt like I wanted to get out, but I never could. I felt trapped. I knew that children shouldn’t be doing what I was doing but whenever I got a small amount of money, it gave me what I needed to survive. For a while, that little bit of money numbed my pain.

To survive, I tried to block out anyone who would show me real love. I no longer cared how anyone else felt. I just focused on the money, but deep down I was not happy. I felt like my life had no value, so I would just keep doing the same things. I was ashamed, broken and lonely.

Coming to ZOE really changed my life. I learned that I am VALUABLE in God’s sight. It was strange at first because I wasn’t used to people being kind and caring. I was welcomed into a warm and loving family and the longer I stayed, the more I grew to love the ZOE staff and the mothers so much. They helped me learn many new things. For the first time I saw and understood what real love looks like. I learned about forgiving and sharing. I learned that my life is important… that I am important.

It is hard to explain how different I feel and how much I love God. I understand how much He loves me and I am trying to change the way I had thought about myself and now I have new thoughts about the future.

There are many things that I want to thank God for. God does more than I ever think He can. Even just the other day, I was worried because I thought I would need to leave ZOE and go somewhere else, but I wasn’t ready to leave and I was scared. I kept praying to God. I did not want to go but I knew I would be ok because I knew that God would be with me. When one of the ZOE staff came and reassured me that I could continue to live at ZOE, I knew God had answered my prayers.

I will now be able to finish my grade level at the ZOE Learning Center and then in the future I want to study Business Administration. I would like to become an expert in English. These are the new thoughts I have about my future.

I know that sometimes I still make mistakes. I know it will take time to change, but I want to try. Thank you God for rescuing me!

January 1, 2020 - No Comments!

SELF Integrity

Did you know that studies reveal that as small as 8% percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions?

Why is it so hard to achieve the goals we set, whether they are big or small?

Some say, it’s not the goal but the process that’s the problem. Other’s say that you won’t create change until you’re really ready. Some people say that the goal needs to be specific. So what is it? Mind over matter? Timing? Preparation? The process? Motivation?

I hear the word ‘integrity’ talked about a lot. It’s one of ZOE’s core values and something that all of us are tested on daily. It’s doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it.

Our “yes” means “yes” and our “no” means “no.”
People can rely on us, because honesty, truth, and God’s principles are what we live by.

We are the same in front of people and behind closed doors in secret.

Recently I heard something that made a lot of sense to me. It was the idea that we often show integrity towards other people, but not ourselves.

Think about it. Have you ever tried to achieve a personal goal and failed? Multiple times right? You said to yourself, “Starting tomorrow I’m going to…” Why is it that we find it easier to honour the promises we make to other people more than those we make to ourselves?

The speaker went on to say that our self integrity and our dignity are closely linked. When we make a commitment to ourselves and fail, our dignity takes a hit. After committing to things over and over - it’s easy to see how our dignity (the way we feel about ourselves, our confidence, self love etc.) starts plummeting. Our self-esteem suffers, and keeps deteriorating gradually, when we don’t practise self integrity.

We all have personal values but when we don’t act in accordance with our values; when we break a commitment to ourselves; or go back on a promise we made, it’s not demonstrating self integrity.

Living with integrity means...
behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values.
-Barbara De Angelis

We set our goals in accordance with our values. So if I value being fit, I might commit to run every day, go to the gym 3-5 per week or walk around my neighbourhood each night. Maybe you value being healthy so you set a goal to eat healthy and lose weight. You value parenting in a respectful way, so you vow to stop yelling at your kids. You want to be a good steward with your finances, so you commit to saving money. You value a tidy home, so you promise to put your belongings away as soon as you’re done using them... There are many more examples!

But when you don’t go to the gym and you continue to eat fast food or you keep yelling at your kids and your home is a mess; it feels like you’ve failed again. How do you get back up?

One commitment at a time.

The way forward is by creating a path of small successes or developing micro habits. To build self integrity we need to start with one small commitment to ourselves. Only after we have successfully kept that one should we make another one.

Commit to making your bed every day, washing the dishes as soon as dinner’s done, walking the dog for 5 minutes a day...whatever it is, but start to build back trust in yourself. Do what you say you’ll do! No matter what! And don’t say you'll do something that you’re not able to do because the goal is to succeed when you practise self integrity. Following through on even the smallest commitments builds mental strength. It proves that if you deem something important and it becomes your priority.

After a while, when you feel good about the small challenges you’ve made, your self-esteem will start to improve and you will develop the muscle of self-trust instead of self-sabotage. Only when you can trust yourself and you show self integrity in the small things, can you begin to commit to the bigger goals you have until finally you’re actually doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it.

Have you said, “I want to help end child trafficking”?

How about just re-sharing ZOE’s social media posts? Once you’ve been doing that for a few weeks, think about something else that you can realistically commit to doing. Many people say that they want to achieve a really big goal but they aren't prepared to take the small, achievable steps required to build towards their end goal. Start by honouring your small commitments and see what’s possible!