So… we’re going (went) on a trip.  To Kenya in 2015 and 2017, and Rwanda in 2019.  With ZOE.  To visit orphans.


We are John and Erika Lusk, members of University United Methodist Church, in Chapel Hill, NC.  (“United Methodist Church” is a mouthful.  Henceforth: “UMC”.)

In 2019, our Rwandan partners are here: The members of our 2018-2020 group in Rwanda

In 2015:

(This is older info I’m keeping, for “historical” reasons.)

We are travelling with Erika’s parents, Carol and Austin Watson.  Carol is actually representing ZOE, as our trip leader, and they are both members of Hendersonville UMC (in North Carolina).

We are also travelling with four members of another congregation, Mt. Horeb UMC, in Lexington, SC, and a new ZOE employee and a friend of hers.

The Kids in Our (2015) Working Group

The list of the heads of families was posted in this blog post: Our ZOE families (who we are going meet)


ZOE is a three-year empowerment (development) program for orphans.  It:

  • starts with families headed by food-insecure orphans aged 13-21;
  • forms them into “working groups” of 30 or so families in the local area, for mutual support and accountability;
  • trains them in basic hygiene, agriculture and business practices, and their legal rights;
  • gives them basic equipment to stay healthy (blankets, mosquito nets, cooking utensils, water jugs) after they have earned it by taking classes on its proper use;
  • makes micro-grants to them to allow them to plant quickly-maturing food crops;
  • trains them in a simple vocation;
  • makes micro-loans to them to allow them to invest in the capital necessary for a business.

After three years, about 90% of them have transitioned from food insecurity to small, self-sustaining businesses, and they “graduate”.

2019 Trip to Rwanda

Where: https://uumczoe.blog/2019/06/08/where-were-going-in-rwanda/

2015 Trip to Kenya


Background Reading

ZOE Kenya Travel Packet (PDF) — Includes some excellent reading on the challenges ZOE children face and ZOE’s approach to those challenges.

More Info

ZOE operates in Meru and Tharaka County. There are Wikipedia pages (with maps) for each county:

Trip Notes

This post (Trip Blog Posts in Chronological Order) is a string of posts from the blog in chronological order, since the original posts went up in semi-random order.

Blog Notes

Comments on this blog may require moderation, so if you make a comment and it doesn’t appear right away, that might be why.

1 thought on “About

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s