We welcome your cheerful gifts for the following CURRENT projects

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New season prison ministry

Krijn & Cora in front of the prison
Earlier this year we wrote about the prison ministry of Traveling Light. Board member Cora Donk, who also runs the secondhand shop, is involved in this ministry in the penitentiary prison in Dordrecht.

She serves as a volunteer in the interdenominational team that organizes the church services and she is also involved in giving the Alpha course.

With the new winter season ahead, we are thankful to announce that her husband Krijn Donk (who oversees our sports team) has signed up for prison ministry as well.

Together they will be involved in the church services in the prison in Dordrecht. In addition, they will also give the Alpha course in the penitentiary prison in Rotterdam, location Hoogvliet (formerly City Prison Rotterdam).

For the Alpha course that is coming up, we have bought a large stack of books. While going through these books, the men and women in prison will learn that there is a Heavenly Father who loves them and has a much better plan with their lives.

It is great that in addition to all the countries we visit and the dozens of projects we support, we can also be a blessing in our own country in different ways.

Changed lives. It keeps us going, because we believe it is always possible!

If you want to support this work, please do so. You can make your gifts payable to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.


This Friday night there will be Re-Store again (healing room). The door of our shop will be open to those who need a touch of God's love. There are people present to pray with you for healing, recovery and deliverance. Door open between 7:30 and 9:30 pm.

Tonight (Wednesday, September 12) the Discipleship course will start again in our shop. We will dive into the Bible to see what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in the world today. We meet every other week on Wednesday. Door opens at 7:30 pm.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Report work week Tuscany

The Italian editions of Marja's book are a blessing
We are looking back at a very special time in Italy. The weekend prior to the work week in Tuscany, we (Jan and Marja) visited the city of Genoa.

We took a tour of the sea aquarium and the old city center and on Sunday morning we spoke at Chiesa Ev. della Riconciliazione.

We have known Pastor Daniele Marzano for many years through our Teen Challenge network. With a team of volunteers he runs the street and coffee house in Genoa.

Team work
As we drove back and forth between Genoa and Recco (where we stayed with friends), we noticed how centrally located the bridge is that collapsed on Tuesday, August 14th. Wherever we went we passed it.

The disaster has had a huge impact on the city, somehow also for the better ... hands are being put together to help the hundreds of people who had to leave their houses (under the bridge).

On Monday we continued our journey towards Tuscany. We met the rest of the group in the medieval town of Massa Maritima. From there we drove together to the therapeutic community Comunita Brezzano.

Another great job done!
For the fifth year we organized a work week there.

With great enthusiasm we chopped a huge amount of wood, sawn it, split it and piled it up. In the evening we sat outside (by a campfire) to think and talk about our theme: Hope for the Future. The scripture we used for that was Romans 15:13.

We had a wonderful time together, a week in which we learned a lot from each other, not to mention from God himself who gave us the words through the Holy Spirit to pray for and with each other.

Sunday morning Bible study
Thank you Adrie, Anja, Henk, Jan, Marja, Teske and Ynse for a great job done. It was nice to spend a week together. Who knows what we are going to do next year ...

Donations for our projects are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

We are currently fundraising for project Teen Challenge rehab center in Lebanon.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Activities & news

Creative workshop at Sela home
After the summer break our secondhand shop Twinkeltje opened up again last Saturday. We had a great crowd and were happy to meet old friends as well as new comers.

The proceeds from sales in the months of August / September will go towards the work of Teen Challenge in Belgium, to the women's home Sela. There is a renovation / construction coming up, so they can use any extra help.

TC Belgium newsletter
In the last newsletter we received from Belgium, you can read more about the developments in the women's home and the opening of a new store with second-hand clothes!

This week Marja and Cora were guests at a women's event during the vacation tent week in the nearby town of Bleskensgraaf. About two hundred (!) women came to the evening.

Marja spoke about the source of living water that Jesus wants to give to everyone who believes in Him. Later that same evening all women made a mood board about the message, very creative!

Great women's event in our region
Of course we had a book table and information about Traveling Light and Twinkeltje. In addition to many positive and enthusiastic responses, we also received a nice donation for our current project. How wonderful to be able to bless each other, locally and far away!

This Sunday we we will be somewhere else, we speak in Chiesa Ev. della Riconciliazione in Genova, Italy. Everyone has seen images of the disaster that took place there, when a highway bridge collapsed. Would you please pray with us that we can share a message of hope and encouragement?

Cutting, sawing, stacking wood
From Genova we will drive on to Comunita Brezzano where we will stay in Casa Shalom for a week. Our group (7 people) will help chop wood and stack it for the winter. This is the fifth time we've organized such a work week.

Donations for our current project (project rehab center Lebanon) are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: NFD.

👶PS: We congratulate Garo and Gabriela Margossian in Beirut with the birth of their daughter Adelina Grace!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Project rehab center Lebanon

Garo & Gabriela Margossian
Our network continues to grow, as is shown by the projects we recently supported in Lithuania and Latvija. Particularly during the Europe Teen Challenge conferences we meet all kinds of people who feel called to share the love of God with the addicted, homeless and poor.

One such person is Garo Margossian from Lebanon, we have been in contact with him for a number of years.

Garo is the founder of  No For Drugs, a non-profit organization in Beirut that aims to bring awareness to the drug problem. They participate in awareness campaigns and programs, visit prisons and provide legal assistance.

For years, Garo had this dream to build a rehabilitation center in Lebanon. Preparations for this started as early as 2013. A piece of land outside the city was made available and drawings were made.

Artist impression by Maya Bechara & Majed Abou Fadel
Last year the construction of the center started. It is quite a big project as you can see in the pictures. A lot of work needs to be done before this wonderful facility will be put into use.

NFD is affiliated with Global Teen Challenge. A good move, because there is a lot to learn from each other. The drug scene is growing enormously in Lebanon, especially among young people (some users are only 11 years old!) Prevention work is therefore an important part of NFD's work.

Traveling Light encourages and supports such new initiatives on a regular basis. We would therefore like to make a contribution to the construction of this center in Lebanon and we will definitely visit Garo at some point in the near future!

Construction of the new rehab center
NFD depends on donations and Garo has assured us that even the smallest gift is a blessing and a gentle push to continue. Every time money comes in, construction can continue. How wonderful is it to invest in human lives in the Middle East?!

If you want to help, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: NFD.

Below you can view a short video about the construction work of the center.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Visit to Teen Challenge Lithuania

Teen Challenge women's home
Last weekend we (Jan and Marja) were visiting the country of Lithuania. At the end of May we presented project Teen Challenge women's home on this blog and we have now been able to transfer a donation of 6,000 euro for renovation of the roof.

By the way, that is only half of the amount calculated for this job. [Should anyone have a good idea to raise more funds ....]

We had an open invitation to come to Lithuania for years. Finally, the time was there. We received  a warm welcome from Edvardas & Rasa Kleinas, the directors of Teen Challenge Lithuania. They were our guides for the weekend :)
Edvardas & Rasa

We paid a visit to the women's center where we got a tour of the entire property.

There are currently 19 women and 6 children in this residential program. Actually, they are two houses. A large house (on the right, in the picture) where everyone sleeps, also the workers and volunteers, and a smaller house where the dining room, recreation room and the classroom are located.

Sharing testimonies
We met with the women and children, listened to their testimonies, shared a practical life lesson from the Bible and prayed with and for each other. Most women are here because of problems with alcohol and drugs, homelessness, crime and/or because they are tired of the street life.

For many it is the first place where they get to know God's love, mercy and forgiveness. Slowly but surely they receive hope for recovery!

Teen Challenge men's center
Later that day, after a scrumptious lunch, we went to visit the men's center. A beautiful farm where 19 men are currently in the program. We spent a lot of time with them, listened to their stories and prayed with each one of them. One man decided to invite Jesus Christ into his life, something he had not yet come to do.

The stories were intense, as always: alcohol, drugs, prison sentences, criminal activities etc. What a joy that there is a place where these men can recover, make a new start and be prepared for healthy participation in society.

Encouraging one another
The director of the center, Andrej Bersenovas, went through this very program 15 years (!) ago!

The men's center also offers help for boys who, at the age of 18, come out of orphanages and have no place to go. There are ideas to build a house for them on the property (perhaps a project we can support in the future).

Sunday morning we were invited to speak in Kauno Krikščionių Bažnyčia, a church with a big heart 💗for the work of Teen Challenge. Great to see the women and men from the rehabilitation centers here again.

Sunday morning service
We are grateful for the kindness and trust of pastor Rytis and Valda Berūkštis with whom we spoke extensively while enjoying excellent meals. We endorse the importance of good relationships with local churches.

You can view the Sunday morning service HERE.

Edvardas and Rasa also showed us around Kaunas and the capital Vilnius. Fantastic, such beautiful cities, well worth a visit!

Sharing God's love (+ Teen Challenge cards)
It is also a good time to pray for a spiritual revival in the Baltic states. From August 30 to September 2nd, Awakening Europe Baltija 2018 will take place in Riga (Latvija) ... and it is no coincidence that we also support a project there :)

The projects we support as a Traveling Light offer the opportunity to visit nations (at our own expense) and see what God is doing around Europe!

GIFTS (large and small) are always welcome and can be directed at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

We are grateful for your support.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Project news

Great to meet with Irina and her son
It is about time we share some project news from the various European nations with you again. We regularly receive e-mails, photos and newsletters with thanks for the donations, prayers and support.

Good to know that your gifts actually arrive at the designated places and are used for the intended goals!

During the summer camp in Ukraine we got to talk and pray with Irina. She recently joined the Teen Challenge team in Kiev. She told us about her time at Bertine House in Poltava, how the program had been a blessing and how she had experienced the love and grace of God at a dramatic low point in her life. We shared with her how our ice skating team did a fundraiser earlier this year for Bertine women's home. 💖Heartwarming to be face to face with someone who found new life there!

Happy Boris :)
In May of this year we sent a donation towards project Udruženje Restart in Serbia. We received a short video from Boris Štrbac in which he shows the office equipment purchases, made possible through your generous donations. Thank you so much!

Jan visited him briefly at the Restart office in Novi Sad in June, while in transit to Macedonia.

In April we sent a donation towards project garlic farm in Georgia. Last week we received a newsletter from CIC Mission in which Reza reports that they harvested the garlic and are now drying has some 9,000 kilo which will be sold as cloves and powder.

Reza during garlic harvest
Praise the Lord for this harvest, also for the spiritual harvest ... seven people were baptized in the front yard of the Iranian Bible School!

Oh yes, we also recently received a request to support the children's work at the Iranian Conference, which is being organized by 222 Ministries in the Netherlands, early August. We have done that before, namely in 2015 (click HERE for that blog post).

Do you have a heart for the Iranian children in The Netherlands, many of them refugees? Then, please send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention 222 Children's work.

They will need approximately 600 euro in order to purchase materials and some extra ice cream with this extremely warm weather 🌞

Current projects:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Project truck Teen Challenge Latvija

In April of this year, Jan paid a short visit to Teen Challenge in Latvija. Up to now we have not supported a project or program in this country, although we have been in contact with people from Teen Challenge for a number of years.

In 2004, the construction of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for men in Latvija began. Construction stagnated in 2007 and it took a number of years before things were picked up again.

Today the center is running well and recently a second center has been opened  and there are plans for a women's home. It is great to see how people, who once needed help themselves, now help others to get their lives back on track.

Nauris & Marina Gustsons
Nauris Gustsons is such a person. In 2011, his addiction had become so serious that it destroyed everything and everyone around him. He thought that maybe a psychologist could help him, but it was through a person who had been in the program that he ended up at Teen Callenge where he began to read the Bible for the first time in his life.

He accepted the love and grace of Jesus Christ and slowly but surely his life changed. When he had successfully completed the program, he attended a one-year Ministry school. Then he returned to the Teen Challenge center to work there, he is currently a full-time staff member.

A year later he married Marina, who was working at the Bible school. They now have a beautiful daughter: Flavia.

Actually, that is in short what rehabilitation (the action of restoring someone) is. Helping someone to become clean can happen in any center ... but then what? How to become useful in society? How to live a meaningful life? We believe and know that the answers are truly in faith based programs!

Students at the center

The two centers in Latvia receive support from several churches and they also try to generate funds through work projects: selling second-hand furniture and cutting down and selling firewood; great sustainability projects.

The students from the program ship the firewood to the local market to sell. They thereby use a truck that is already more than 25 years old.

Teen Challenge is currently saving for a larger and newer model truck with a little crane in the back. Around 20,000 euro will be needed to buy a newer model Mercedes truck. Are you willing to help them fulfill that dream? It will help them to continue their business and thus to run the program.

Jan (with Tom Bremer) visiting the center
Maybe trucks are not your thing, but helping people is 😀Then, please consider making a donation.

When in Europe you can donate to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U  make sure to mention LATVIJA.

When in the USA you can donate to: Eastern Europe Outreach Inc, make sure to mention: LATVIJA.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Report Teen Challenge summer camp Ukraine

Our great minisry team
Last week we (Jan and Marja) participated in the annual summer camp in Ukraine organized by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic community in Berdychiv.

We had a great time with about 230 men and women from various drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Talking, singing, dancing, praying, exercising, eating together ... you name it.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to our interpreters Darina, Julia, Olga, Sara, Victoria and Zhenya. We could not have done anything without them.

Jan gives a workshop
The camp was held for the 11th time this year, just outside the village of Raygorodok, about 20 minutes drive from Berdychiv. The camp is being organized for people who are currently in Christian drug and alcohol rehabs or have gone through a program or still need to go.

Traveling Light has been sponsoring the camp since 2012. This year, again, we did receive many donations from you for this purpose. Know that you have invested in human lives. THANK YOU!

Bible in hand :)
The theme for this week came from Psalm 118: 17, "I will live and not die!" A beautiful theme, especially if you've been on the verge of death, literally and/or spiritually. We taught several Bible studies based on this theme.

It is such a privilege to teach at the camp, the students are hungry and curious about God's word, they take notes, ask questions, share their stories and actively participate in all assignments!
New life!

In the afternoons and evenings everyone had the opportunity to come to us for counseling. We have had very special sessions in which many received God's love, mercy, forgiveness and healing. We are so grateful for the Holy Spirit, who is the REAL counselor.

It is also an enormous encouragement for us to see how God keeps changing people's lives! The stories are sometimes too bizarre for words. Twenty years of heavy addiction, homelessness, long prison sentences, no hope of recovery ... and then there is God 💙

Some people we remember from last year
We have celebrated throughout the week that there is NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ.

We were able to encourage and inspire so many people, it was wonderful to be given this opportunity. At the end of the week no one wanted to go home.

Oh yeah, we started every morning (before breakfast) with music and dance :) If you watch the video below, try to imagine in which situation these people were a year ago ... Many of them would no longer be alive, were it not that someone told them about Teen Challenge.

That is reason enough to continue the sponsoring of this kind of work.

Gifts are ALWAYS welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Work week Italy & project Casa Shalom

During last year's work week

Summer vacation is almost there. For Traveling Light it means ... preparing for the work week in Italy.

[If you want to know what a work week is like, you can read HERE about previous years.]

From Monday August 27 to Monday September 3rd, 2018 we will be in Comunita Brezzano in beautiful Tuscany.

We still have room for 1 or (max.) 2 strong men who want to join us. Please contact us if you want to come.

The theme for the coming work week is 'Hope for the future'.

Afternoon break
We also made a promise to Maria Meier, who runs Comunita Brezzano.

The bathrooms and showers in Casa Shalom (where we stay every year) have to be remodeled to bring everything up to code. They need around 1,500 euro to get this job done.

It would be nice to help her not only with wood cutting, but also with the maintenance of this beautiful Tuscan guest house.

And back to work...
Renting out Casa Shalom brings in funds to run this Christian therapeutic community, a small-scale rehab facility that is largely sponsored through donations. People with serious addiction and / or psychological problems can live and work here for an extended period of time.

They can find peace and get to know God.

Your cheerful gifts are always welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: CASA SHALOM.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Activities + travels

Last week, Traveling Light attended the 10th Roma Leaders conference in Ohrid, Macedonia. For Marja it was the third time she could be there.

Roma leaders from various countries and churches came together for education, prayer and encouragement. It is a great opportunity for us to hear what is happening in the Roma communities in the various countries.

AND... we get to meet up with our friends Sokrat & Lena Apostolovska. This lovely couple organizes these annual conferences and for many years they have been involved in children's work among the Roma in Skopje.

The proceeds of our secondhand shop Twinkeltje over the month of June will therefore go towards their work!

This Thursday we will organize a mission evening in Twinkeltje again. This time we have guests from the USA: Jeroen and Robin Honingh. They are on their way to Israel where they will spend three months volunteering wherever they can. We met them years ago in Israel in the soup kitchen of Brian Slater in Netanya. We had a click right away.

They will share about the how and why of their annual travels to Israel and how they manage to take three months off from work to volunteer in another country. It will be an inspiring evening. Door is open from 19:30 hrs and coffee and tea are brewing. WELCOME.

This coming weekend the ZIP festival will be held on the beach at Salmsteke/Lopik. Sunday afternoon Jan will be preaching. Take a blanket or chair to sit on and some food to share. We'll stay there till sun goes down!

Jan left for Slovenia last week Monday. Together with the staff and students of Teen Challenge he drove from there to Macedonia for the My Brother's Keeper conference. He attended for the 7th time!

It turned out that the conference (where some 350 men from the Balkans are present) was held near Ohrid ... but we did not see each other 😎 This conference is also a great opportunity for us to see, hear and experience what is going on spiritually in the Balkan countries.

It helps us to pray with more passion for the nations. Please join us in praying for a safe journey home for Jan. Thank you.

Current projects: