It’s natural to want to bring gifts when you visit friends, but we don’t do this on ZOE trips, for several reasons:
- If not everybody gets the same thing, it can cause strains in the community.
- If not every visiting ZOE group gives the same thing, it can cause disappointment.
- The obligation to reciprocate might be a burden.
- We don’t really do the kind of ministry where we give people things (the seed grants notwithstanding).
- The ZOE families are proud of their ability to host us, and if we come in with some big gift that overshadows what they have to offer us, it’s kind of raining on their parade.
However… it’s perfectly okay to bring small (tiny) mementos of our visit, and we’ve made a postcard to give our families, so they can have something tangible.
Here is what it looks like: The postcard. (I particularly like the Bible verse.)