ZOE Advocate and supporter Melissa Harrell wrote a story inspired by her 2012 Trip of Hope with ZOE to Kenya. Then, talented painter Amy Burkhardt Fetzer joined her to illustrate this beautiful children’s tale. The book is entitled Elizabeth and Stella Meet ZOE, and we invite you to read more about it below and place an order for your copy today. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to ZOE to help children around the world achieve their dreams.
From Elizabeth and Stella Meet ZOE
Two girls….Two continents…One generous act of kindness… Elizabeth lives in America and is counting the days until her birthday! She is especially hoping for one special present. Meanwhile, Stella lives in Kenya with her brother and sister and they are trying to find life and hope after the death of their parents. Readers will go on a journey through beautiful watercolor illustrations to learn more about the daily lives of Elizabeth and Stella. As the story unfolds, the girls are introduced to a special ministry called ZOE. Each girl in her own way is impacted by this empowerment movement that helps orphans learn how to take care of themselves. This inspiring story will introduce readers to generosity in a way they can understand and champion them to take action in their own world.
In our world there are so many differences: some children like different foods, or have different hair, or speak different languages. This is a story about Elizabeth and Stella, two girls who both have hopes and fears, but one lives in the U.S. with her family and the other is an orphan in Africa. They become sisters, not in having the same mommy or daddy, but because they start to care for each other, even though they have never met.
ZOE is a ministry that helps children who have no parents, or who are living a very hard life without enough food to eat, or hope that tomorrow may be better. ZOE does not just give these children things, but helps them make a new family and friends where they can help each other.
God has given each of us so many things, and has asked only that we share those things with each other. In this story, Elizabeth and Stella have learned to share in a special way. You can share too!
—Gaston Warner, ZOE Executive Director
About the Author:
Melissa Harrell is a wife, mother of three, and a family therapist. Her days are filled with all the “stuff” that makes up American life. Herding kids, carpool, work, laundry, cooking, finding everyone’s lost items, and in general just a constant feeling of always being behind! In 2012, she had the opportunity to travel to Kenya to visit a group of orphans her church sponsors through ZOE. It was during this visit that she encountered a young orphan named Stella who showed her the most beautiful example of sacrificial love she had ever witnessed. After returning home she felt an incredible burden to share the story of how these children with almost insurmountable challenges had triumphed through Christ into self-sufficient, amazing young people. As a mother and therapist she also wanted to empower children that they are never too young to make a difference and that no act is too small. She lives with her husband, three children, and two rascally cats in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
About the Illustrator:
Amy Burkhardt Fetzer is a painter & mixed media artist who is in love with every detail of God’s amazing creation. She is ever thankful for the chance to make works which may show the truth and beauty in how He works among us. She earned her BFA in 1993 from Binghamton University. She and her husband, Brian, are raising their three children in Raleigh, North Carolina where they enjoy playing soccer together while their dog, Jane, waits patiently with a tennis ball in her mouth and their cat, Mater, keeps the couch warm.