The purpose of this trip is to experience the power of God through ZOE’s work of empowering orphans spiritually, physically, and socially. Team members are ambassadors for this ministry from the time we board our first flight until our return to the United States (and beyond). Your words and actions are noticed by local people as we move about the country.
We ask/require that team members:
- Abstain from using any alcohol or tobacco products while on the trip.
- Avoid discussing sensitive topics such as politics (US or international), sexuality, genocide, and other topics you feel may be emotive. To attempt discussing such topics across cultures usually takes a much greater understanding than we will acquire on such a short trip.
- Accept the leadership of our program staff and team leaders at all times.
- Not bring money, gifts, or ANY other items to give directly to children or other individuals you may encounter. This undermines the scope and purpose of ZOE’s empowerment program and can have unintended, sometimes dangerous consequences for the children. We are there to connect with them, encourage them, and receive what they have to offer. Our gift to them on the trip is our presence, respect, and emotional support.
Before, during, and after the trip, all correspondence, ideas, requests, or other suggestions must go through ZOE’s U.S. office. This is to protect the time of our program staff. As you will see on the trip our ratio of staff members to orphans is roughly one to one thousand, and so we try and shield them from too many requests from America. This policy includes mail, email, or video conferencing correspondence directly with orphans to avoid the giving of cash or gifts which would undermine the empowerment model.
Taking photos of ZOE orphans and their projects is encouraged. Taking photos in public places such as markets must be approved by program staff. Taking photos of airports, government buildings, police, or military personnel is to be avoided in any country.
Next to our time with the children in the empowerment program, the most important part of our work begins when we arrive home to tell their stories and raise awareness and funding for future ZOE work. We ask that you make yourself available to speak with churches, groups, and individuals about what you have seen, and facilitate others getting involved in this ministry. ZOE staff will assist you with presentation materials and are often able to help present ZOE’s model to groups you identify.
Clothing Note: ZOE asks that all dress during the mission trip be modest. Skirts should cover the knees while sitting. Tops should not be low cut. Women can wear slacks and/or capri pants in most places. If we are to travel in an area requiring skirts for women, we will let you know in advance. During Sunday worship women should dress nicely with slacks, a skirt or dress, and men slacks, button down shirts and ties. Men and women should refrain from wearing shorts anywhere except on the hotel property. This is simply to respect the local customs for modest dress. The climate is temperate and so this should not be a burden.