by Harvey Moriyama
It all started back in August of 2010 - when Pastor Victor, Pastor Kenny, George Lo and I went on a Vision trip to Thailand. We were able to learn about several missionary efforts in the country. The ministry that seemed to resonate the most was ZOE International. ZOE runs a children’s home and their specialty resides in the area of prevention, rescue and after care of potentially trafficked children.
In 2011, we sent an Exploration team to ZOE. The purpose was to see specifically what the Lord was calling us to do with ZOE. It was a tremendous opportunity to learn first-hand what can be done to spread the gospel and help prevent human trafficking in Thailand. Although, it was a wonderful experience, we felt the Lord was leading us to do something different. As a result of the trip, the team felt led to the develop an on-going relationship with the ZOE ministry school students.
In 2013, ZOE requested if we could assist with a Kids camp program. This type of an opportunity was reflective of the relationship that we were developing with ZOE. The Kid’s camp was very similar to a VBS program for their children that were on school break. The team that we sent conducted various games, crafts and lessons. Helping ZOE staffers with their Kids camp was an excellent fit for our Evergreen short term missionaries.
Through our developing relationship with ZOE, we also learned that there were many children that were in need of financial and prayer support. By supporting and sponsoring a child helped free up funds for ZOE to continue work in other areas like village outreaches and street evangelism. Praise God that many Evergreeners have generously sponsored several ZOE children over the years.
The Thailand mobilization team has been praying over the entire work in this country for many years. Now that the Wells Around the World ministry has completed their first project of providing 60 water filters to the Philippines, another water project opportunity has opened up for Thailand. Going all the way back to the original vision trip in 2010, there was another ministry that was doing great work there. It is called Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP). Headed up by Michael and Becky Mann, they have constructed many village water filtration and sanitation systems, developed farming and even a school in one of the hill tribe villages.
In April of 2015, Evergreen will have an opportunity to co-labor with ZOE and ITDP to construct a water filtration system in a village. This project will consist of trenching, running piping from a water source and the fabrication of a concrete water filter tank. We will be sending a smaller group while ZOE will be sending several ministry school students and staffers to help on the project.
This trip appears to bring together key elements from the vision and exploration trips. It’s the combining of water projects we witnessed in the vision trip with the ministry school students we felt led to work with at ZOE after the exploration trip. This project will serve as an opportunity to introduce the ministry school students at ZOE to something they haven’t experienced before. This could potentially become a regular part of their curriculum and we may be able to sponsor a select group of senior students every two years to learn from Michael and Becky Mann and their staff.
It is our hope to develop a long-term relationship in a village and continue to develop our friendship with ZOE via their ministry school students. We envision their students as the future in reaching the hill tribes in Thailand with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.