The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Phyllis

You may know that for many years the Congregation has supported ZOE , a non-profit organization with a unique approach for empowering orphans in various locations across the globe. ZOE originally stood for the Zimbabwe Orphan Endeavor. In 2006, ZOE expanded and was transformed into the model being utilized today. The name ZOE now stands for the Greek word for life.

The ZOE model works with a group of children to move beyond poverty and charity in a three-year period. Their website states, “Indigenous leaders and vulnerable children are empowered to develop sustainable solutions rather than being the recipients of handouts. Young people are developed into leaders and entire communities are transformed in the process.” 

Visits from sponsoring churches and organizations are part of the three-year plan. This trip is not to provide hands-on work with the children or to simply be a time of observation. It is described as a family reunion. The children and sponsors get to know each other through conversations, presentations, and worshipping together. Pastor Carol and Jane Fellows took part in such a visit in Zimbabwe last spring.

Traditionally, the Congregation has supported one ZOE group at a time, for a three-year commitment. Upon hearing the report of Pastor Carol and Jane’s trip last spring, one congregant said, “Let’s sponsor two groups!” We now have an opportunity to do just that. Through donations to the newly established Empowerment Initiative, a second ZOE group can be funded – but only with your support. Please consider giving beyond your usual contribution to this special initiative. You will not only be supporting children around the world, but enabling them to thrive and sustain themselves throughout their lives.