Board Member – Joyce Zick
May 19, 2023
Our May leader feature focuses on Board Member Joyce Zick! Joyce has served as a board member of the Verity’s Village Board of Directors since the beginning and was on board with Beverly’s heart and mission before Verity’s Village came to fruition. She currently works hard to bring life to women on the mission’s field, and in her spare time, she works to bring hope to parents with a life-limiting diagnosis. Joyce, thank you so much for allowing us to ask you a few questions about yourself!
Our written interview included below focuses on each leader’s life, family, and motivation for being a part of Verity’s Village, as well as a few fun facts about their lives.
Joyce, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am first and foremost a wife, a mom, and now a grandma. These are my most precious “titles.” I am also, along with my husband, a missionary in the country of Italy. We are followers of Jesus Christ, and our lives center around our relationship with Him and doing His will. We currently serve women who are trapped in forced sexual exploitation and seek to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking in Italy.
Can you tell us about your family?
Herb was a naval officer, so we were a military family for 22 years. During this time we raised our five incredible children, and I was privileged to homeschool them through high school. I absolutely loved this time in our life. After Herb retired he worked for the government in Naples, Italy. It was during this time that we were called into full time ministry serving women caught in human trafficking.
What is something funny that no one would guess about you?
The last time I rode a rollercoaster was in Knott’s Berry Farm, and I kept up a steady stream of “our children are going to be orphans” for the entire ride.
What is your favorite drink?
Hot cup of tea on a winter day – such as turmeric, Calming, or lavender
What is your favorite board game?
I hate board games. I like card games, and my daughter-in-law introduced us to Farkle. I love Farkle!
What are your top 3 favorite podcasts?
Just Think Podcast, Podcast Italiano by Davide, and Storia d’Italia
How long have you served Verity’s Village?
I have been honored to be on the board since the formal inception of Verity’s Village. In some ways I feel like I have been a part of this ministry even while Verity was still growing inside Beverly’s womb. During this time of uncertainty, when Beverly and Ted were unsure if Verity would survive, Beverly created these beautiful cards to give to anyone who asked about the pregnancy. They explained Verity’s condition, how valuable her life was, and how much she was loved. When she wrote the book for her other children, “Our Baby Will Be Different” to help explain to them the differences that Verity would have and the possibility that she would not live long, I was a frequent sounding board and was so fortunate to see the book come to fruition.
Why did you join with Verity’s Village mission?
Being a part of the board was a natural next step. Like I shared earlier I have seen from the very beginning the power of Verity’s life as her parents shared with everyone just how valuable she was, and of course still is, to their entire family. Their example has been an encouragement to others and Beverly’s experiences, her research and her natural advocacy tendencies impacted others in similar situations even before the ministry had a name. It was important to me to support in whatever way I could as this ministry got off the ground and to lend my voice to support families whose children have a life limiting diagnosis. My prayer is that they will choose life for their little ones. I feel strongly that we should honor the life that they have, whether that life has minutes or years. If the child dies in utero, or years later, that child has value, and it honors the parents and children to allow the child to be born. To think that destroying the child in the womb doesn’t leave long term consequences for the mother and child, is contrary to what we know to be true. Joining with Verity’s Village is the opportunity to honor a life even if it doesn’t match our current culture’s view of “perfect”.
Years ago, long before I knew Beverly, I read the story of a woman whose baby had a diagnosis of Trisomy 13. She and her husband chose to continue with the pregnancy, and they named their unborn son Peter. She shared many of the emotions she experienced, but one that touched me deeply was the fear she had that he would be so deformed at birth that she would find him repulsive. The hospital where she gave birth had prepared a special room for her and her husband to stay together with their little boy. They knew that if he survived birth he wouldn’t have long to live. She expressed that as she held her little boy she only saw his beauty. She was given the opportunity to see him with the eyes God had for him. Peter was their 8th child and not only did they honor the value of his short time on earth, but their own lives were deeply impacted.
I was impressed as a young woman by this story, and it cemented in my mind and heart as a young believer that all life is created by God and all life has value. When we found that Verity had Trisomy 18, I told Beverly, “She is going to make a huge impact, and she was given to you for a reason.”
What is the most important thing you have done with Verity’s Village?
Share the ministry. Share the story of Verity’s life and the impact that Beverly and Ted’s vision has had on other families whose children have received a life limiting diagnosis in the womb. I have also been fortunate to share the ministry with young mothers whose children either had a life-limiting diagnosis or a Trisomy diagnosis that wasn’t discovered until after the child was born. Both of these women were deeply encouraged through Verity’s Village. I also presented Verity’s Village to a military Bible study here in Naples, Italy which resulted in several new financial supporters. I find it critically important to encourage others to choose life for their unborn children even if that child will be born with special needs or may not survive long after birth. I have never heard one story of regret from a family who chose life.
Thank you, Joyce, for sharing about your life, your family, and your passion for Verity’s Village!
Follow Verity’s Village on Facebook and Instagram for more information and education on the various diagnoses parents face and their stories of hope.
Interested in learning more both Verity’s Village and our mission? Visit our home page here.