Many Churches by now have heard about ZOE—which started out in 2004 helping to feed starving children in Zimbabwe. Over the years, ZOE has transitioned into a holistic ministry which focuses on helping orphans become self-sufficient in a three-year period of time. ZOE does this phenomenal work by finding 45- 60 orphans in a community, which is not hard in parts of Africa where AIDS, war, and terrorism has killed many parents. ZOE forms a Working Group which acts like a family. There are some adult advisors, but the children and youth make all of their decisions. They elect leaders. They decide whose entrepreneurial ideas will be supported. They decide how to find food for the group and how to better themselves in nutrition, how to be safe and secure, and how to have a future that has hope.
ZOE raises funds to support the Working Group for three years. These funds provide tools and seeds. They provide roofing materials for children to help them build their own homes. They provide training in agriculture, tailoring, or any number of possible vocations.
Through the cooperative work of ZOE and the NC Conference Missions Team, churches throughout the NC Conference are working together to support a working group that we want to form in Liberia. Normally a church or donor would be asked to provide $22,500 over the three year cycle. For many churches, that goal would not even be considered to be possible. But if a number of churches worked together, that goal becomes doable. The NC Conference Missions Team will match dollar for dollar all contributions up to $500 from a particular church. The local church becomes a full partner along with the rest of the churches who are supporting this ministry. ZOE and the missions team will help churches be connected with this New Working group. Churches will learn the names of the children who are in the program so that they can be prayed for. They will be kept up to date on the progress of their group. And, at some point in time, opportunities will be given to persons from the congregations to take a trip to visit with and learn from the orphans that are becoming self-sufficient.
To be a part of this partnership, please contact the Rev. Bill Haddock at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 910.262.3831. Please do not send money to ZOE for this program without contacting Bill first. On a short personal note, Bill and his wife Jean had the privilege of spending time with working groups in Rwanda. The program works!!!!