Southeast Texas ministry uses wildlife to help struggling children – Port Arthur News
Southeast Texas ministry uses wildlife to help struggling children
Posted 12:22 am Saturday, August 27, 2022
Several weeks ago, Chester Moore’s daughter received an Amber Alert on her phone.
“Every time my daughter gets an Amber Alert, she runs in and tells me we need to pray for that child.”
And the well-known outdoor journalist does.
“I love wildlife, but the two most important things, apart from my family, are Christ and the children,” she said. “That is my priority.”
With that priority in mind, Moore and his wife created a ministry in Orange that uses wildlife to help children with critical illnesses, those who have suffered certain tragedies and victims of human trafficking.
And six weeks ago, a familiar face visited the facility in Orange.
“I kept thinking that I knew this kid from somewhere,” he said. “She was the Amber Alert that we had prayed for before.”
Moore spoke in Port Arthur this week about his ministry, starting with how he got involved with wildlife.
“I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad. My dad would take me to Pleasure Island, and we would sit on the rocks on the south levee…and hopefully catch a big alligator,” he said. “We have an area with incredible outdoor resources. We really do. The Gulf of Mexico is very close to us, and the fishing that comes from the Gulf of Mexico and Sabine Lake to the Neches River, the Sabine River, is excellent.”
At age 19, after winning an award for a column he had written, Southeast Texas began his career in journalism.
“I am a very motivated person. I entered the office of orange leader to speak to the editor, and he said, ‘I earned this writing about hunting. Can I write a column outdoors? And he says: ‘We have an outdoor column.’
“’You have a column on birding. That’s not an outdoor column.’”
Moore was hired to write for free, eventually making it a full-time career, and is currently the editor-in-chief of Texas Fish and Game Magazine.
“It was a niche that I was able to fill here because I see the outdoors a little differently than a lot of people,” he said. “But that’s really the key in life. Find out what God made you to do. So I’ve been lucky enough to do this.”
But, he said, there is something more important to him.
Ten years ago, Moore and his wife founded Kingdom Zoo Wildlife, a nonprofit zoological facility with 35 species of exotic animals.
“Our mission is to bring the love of Christ to suffering children through wildlife, which is why we work with children in the foster system,” he said. “We go to group homes like Girls Haven. Let’s go to Boys Haven. We work individually with families. We work with children who have terminal illnesses, loss of parents and siblings.”
And they recently added victims of human trafficking to the list, which ultimately led to the encounter with the Amber Alert boy.
“It happens to all of us, something tragic happens,” he said. “And for whatever reason, let’s say the tragedy happened on March 3, 2022, in our minds it will never be better than March 2, 2022. But if you can take a moment and let them know that great things can still happen to them. . , that’s really the ticket for what we’re trying to do.”
The ministry’s flagship program is called Wild Wishes, where they grant wildlife-related wishes for children in need.
Two weeks ago they completed 176.
To learn more about Kingdom Zoo Wildlife or to help donate to their cause, visit kingdomzoo.com.