Several people have asked us, "What is it that you and Dave will actually be doing at ZOE?"
I love it when people have questions. It may take a while for me to answer them but I do get there eventually, so keep them coming!
I thought in this blog entry that I'd spend a little time trying to explain what our job descriptions look like (as far as we can tell at the moment) and also outline a little about our fundraising aims.
We just met with the founder of ZOE on Monday night. Carol Hart is so inspirational. I could just sit and listen to her speak for hours without getting one bit tired of hearing all her ideas and dreams.
Although on a very steep learning curve, David is extremely excited about his new role.
While, he will have some interaction with the ZOE business, vocational, and bible school, his main focus is the children's home.
His first project is the upcoming 4-weeklong children’s camp. ZOE runs two camps each year to provide a program for the children and teenagers during their school holiday break.
Considering the short amount of time left to plan for camp, he’s really hit the ground running!
Thankfully he’s working right alongside Jessica, the phenomenal children's worker here, who you may recall lived with us for our first few weeks in Thailand and now house sits next door.
The 4-week program caters for 43 children and involves; bible story telling, sports, craft, games, day outings and basically a whole lot of fun.
This camp is shaping up to be the most dynamic camp ZOE have put together to date. We’ll have more to share with you about this later!
Jessica and Dave are completing the planning this week and tomorrow they’re presenting the vision for the camp to all of ZOE (everyone except the kids). I can't say too much now, as it will ruin the surprise!
Next week they will begin making the props and purchasing all the materials for the games and craft. They will also commence training up the staff that will be working in each of the activity centers.
Dave feels so fortunate to be involved in camp so soon after commencing as it is giving him a great opportunity to get to know the children, house parents, staff and current students at the school.
He is also getting insight in to how the children's home runs (meal times, school routine, transportations schedules, health check ups, special activities etc). This will be paramount when camp's over and he begins working more closely with the day-to-day running of the children's home.
He will be involved in the training, equipping and empowerment of the current child care staff and house parents.
ZOE are planning to expand and replicate the children's homes throughout Thailand, Burma and in other regions of South East Asia (and wherever human trafficking exists) so David will be involved in the documentation of the existing systems and making improvements to the current operations.
As the ZOE family grows from 50 to 500 children, so will the role and there are many new initiatives that will commence later in the year, so we’ll report on them as they begin...
So whilst I am officially a "stay-at-home-mum", there are quite a few areas that I will be having some input in that fit in really well with our children's schedules and my home duties.
My most important job remains as my highest priority and that's to support Dave in his role as well as be the best mum that I can to our three young children.
Some of the other areas that I have already, or will possibly, help out with include:
The Design Team- this is the team that is currently choosing the colours for the new children's home building exterior and interior as well as making decisions about fixtures and fittings.
The Craft Team- ideas for children's craft and how to implement them.
Missionary/Staff Events- this includes women's social nights out, family nights with the team, planning of staff retreats/ social events etc.
Blog team- Writing blog entries for the official ZOE blog including updates on events in relation to the children's home, reporting on specific stories or special projects etc.
As well as these, I'll be being included in various meetings and discussions involving childcare, holiday program planning etc.
I've had some great times with Dave and Jessica brainstorming ideas for the upcoming camp and how to execute some of the designs and decorating themes. As I said, I'll report more about camp in a later blog, but it's going to be FUN!
In regards to fundraising, Carol emphasized to us, that even more importantly than doing our jobs, is our responsibility to fundraise enough money to stay here in Thailand.
If we're not here, then we're not able to do our jobs!
As you probably realised from reading our blog, all of the overseas staff here have voluntary positions... so we don't get paid! This concept has probably been more challenging for us to deal with than the actual move itself was. We are not used to having to ask others to financially support us.
We are going to begin thinking of some ideas over the next couple of weeks of how to do this more proactively. We may have to approach some media avenues in Australia as well as businesses/churches etc.
Thankfully we have already had a few generous donations which has brought us to achieving about 10% of what we have budgeted we'll need to live here. Some people have donated funds to specific items like our car, school fees, cooking items etc whilst others have given either a once off donation or a monthly donation towards our general living expenses.
We are happy to speak in churches or at events to promote the human trafficking issue and we'll soon have some current resources to do this more effectively (there's been a film crew here the past few days getting footage together and the bits we saw looked awesome).
As we begin to make a plan, you may be wondering how you could possibly help. Please email us if you have any ideas that come to mind on this topic. Maybe you could forward our blog address to someone you know in a business position looking for a cause. Or possibly you are linked to a church or company that is showing an interest in the human trafficking topic at the moment and needs someone working in the field to come and speak later in the year. We are open to all your suggestions!
Please understand that our heart is not to drain our friends and family of their money. That is NOT what we want to do at all, so please do not take this as a cry for help. Whilst all financial gifts have been received gratefully, we only want those who feel that placed on their heart to give of their finances.
We would love the word to get out though that we're here in Thailand and that we've started with ZOE and that we're passionate about making a difference in the lives of little children who deserve the best that we can give.
Thanks for your support. Just by reading our blog and keeping up with our journey, you're an encouragement to us... and we really appreciate you.