ZOE Ministry (Advance #982023, Lane 4), founded by Rev. Greg Jenks in 2004 as a mission of the North Carolina Conference, celebrates 10 years of helping orphans in Africa. What began as a relief ministry, was transformed from 2007-2010 into an orphan empowerment program, after Rev. Jenks was introduced to a successful empowerment model operating in Rwanda. ZOE’s mission is to demonstrate God’s love by empowering orphans and vulnerable children to overcome extreme poverty and provide for themselves in sustainable ways. Since 2007, the lives of 30,000 such children have been transformed.
In 2013, Rev. Gaston Warner became Executive Director of ZOE, and ZOE qualified as a 501(C)3 tax-exempt organization. NC Conference continues to have a close official partnership with ZOE, including ZOE Board representation.
In 2014, ZOE plans to serve more children than ever. On-going programs operate in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. ZOE continues to need additional funding in 2014 to support orphans identified and ready to begin the program.
Sponsors are needed for 12 more working groups in Kenya, 5 in Zimbabwe, 9 in Rwanda, and 3 in Malawi. Each group includes 20-25 orphan heads of household. A sponsorship is a commitment to provide $7,500 a year for each of 3 years.
ZOE is a holistic Christian ministry focused on empowering orphans and vulnerable children to be able to provide for themselves and younger siblings.
ZOE utilizes a peer group-based structure, facilitated by an adult mentor and ZOE social worker. Over a three year period, a group of orphans and vulnerable children learn the skills they need to make a living, set goals for themselves, manage finances, find adequate food and housing, prevent disease, protect their rights, make social connections, and work cooperatively with others in the community. ZOE also tries to instill in the children that God loves them and they have reason for hope. For children who remain with ZOE for the whole three years, the success rate is over 85 percent (University of TX study). ZOE graduates support themselves and younger siblings in trades such as farming, carpentry, barbering/beautician, seamstress, one-stop kiosks, motorcycle repair, and cell phone charging.
Widespread interest in ZOE from organizations in other countries has led to new pilot programs, fully underwritten financially, in Liberia, Guatemala, and India. The Guatemala pilot will attempt to apply the ZOE model to vulnerable children in the Latin American context. The India pilot will test the ZOE model on the Indian subcontinent.
Churches and individuals may support ZOE through gifts of all sizes. For more information about how you may partner with ZOE, visit the ZOE web site. The Resource Link takes you to downloadable videos, Mission Moment material for children, devotional material for children and adults, and the ZOE Blessing Mission Project Activity Guide.
For questions about ZOE or to request further information, email ZOE at firstname.lastname@example.org. ZOE may be reached by phone at 1-800-951-0234 or 919-779-7272.