Imagine a child ripped from its mother’s arms or stolen from behind her back, never to be reunited again. Even worse, to then be sold off as property and left helpless. This is the nature of human trafficking and ZOE International is taking a stand against it. Tenth grader Ellyanna Edwards traveled to Thailand to work with ZOE International and their ministry to victims of human trafficking. The home provides shelter, food and a future for over sixty girls. It is not only a safe haven but a place to learn valuable skills so that they can enter the work force and provide a life for themselves. Ellyanna, who has had a heart for missions, felt led to go this summer and share the gospel of hope.
Ellyanna traveled to Thailand with her dad, Jonathan and a Zoe Team comprised of members from all across the US, and spent ten Christ-filled days working with the ministry in Chang Mai. Her goal was to bring Jesus to the hurting and God used her mightily. “It will change the way you view your faith. Evangelism becomes so real and you realize the need to share the gospel and the drastic need of Jesus people have,” Ellyanna reflected. The students, the girls in particular, took to Ellyanna and shared their heartbreaking stories with her. God used her to build relationships with those there in a short amount of time. Ellyanna said the hardest part was leaving and that one girl in particular asked her to promise to come back. Ellyanna spoke of her desire to share Jesus as much as she could, “Centered around this traumatic thing that happens very often to girls in Thailand…when you hear of what they have experienced you want to give them Jesus.”
ZOE International is opening a home for victims of human trafficking later this year in Agua Dulce. “Being there really impacted me and made me think about how much it happens (human trafficking) there and in America,” said Ellyanna. She hopes to make an impact at the new location as well. Ellyanna has attended Santa Clarita Christian School since 3rd grade and has been involved in soccer for the school. She was blessed by the opportunity to reach this group of youth and be a comfort to them.
It is inspiring to see our students being the hands and feet of Jesus and setting out to the corners of the world to bring the gospel. SCCS student Anne Trujillo also visited Zoe International last year and was impacted by the hope the children in the children’s home had in Jesus, even getting to participate in a church service the children held while she was there. If you would like more information on how you can get involved visit Zoe.