Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Project updates and travels

Foundation of the kitchen
Earlier this year we gave a donation for the construction of a church kitchen in Georgia. The work has finally started.

Pastor Temuri Muzashvili of the Evangelical Faith Church in Navazi sent us drawings and some pictures of the initial phase of construction. In the picture on the left you can clearly see that the kitchen will be added to the side of the church building. The foundation has now been laid.

Floor plan kitchen
When we visited in January, Temuri shared his plans with us and we were immediately excited. The church distributes monthly food parcels to the poorest families in the village. The idea is to cook meals in the new kitchen and have meals together. In other words, a beautiful meeting place will be added. We will keep you informed.

We are already in the first week of a new month which means we have announced a new project for  our secondhand shop Twinkeltje. The proceeds will go to the work of Teen Challenge in Croatia. Last year a restart was made with street outreach, drug prevention work and coffee house work. We helped them with a donation for the translation of the Living Free curriculum.

Team Teen Challenge Croatia
They can certainly use funds for the rent of the coffee house, where they also have training and counseling sessions. So come and visit us in Twinkeltje this month if you want to help.

Specified gifts are always welcome of course. Please use IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Do not forget to mention: CROATIA and perhaps you can also pray specifically for that country!

This week we will be attending the fall leaders meeting of Europe Teen Challenge which will take place in Ciudad Real in Spain. We will be guests at Casa Betel. An organization we know from our visits to Berlin.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Project Teen Challenge study material, Slovenia

Teen Challenge Slovenia
Last June, Jan visited the Teen Challenge drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Slovenia. It is always great to see how men enter that home, usually from totally hopeless situations, and receive new life.

It is important to come to a point of surrender, that is step 1 in every recovery program ... acknowledge that you have no power over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. And then there is our loving God and Father! In most cases the men change so much when they get to know Him, that you do won't hardly recognize them πŸ˜€

Study material TC Slovenia
In addition to Bible study, work and household duties, the men also follow individual and group lessons, the so-called Teen Challenge curriculum. The lessons cover all kinds of topics, such as dealing with anger and disappointments, but also about how to live as a Christian in daily life (relationships, marriage, work, etc.).

There is a huge amount of (Teen Challenge) teaching material available in the English language, and that material is being translated bit by bit. The question for Traveling Light is, whether we can help with part of the costs for translation and printing. Of course, we just LOVE to come alongside. It is so important (for every Christian, for that matter) that good education is available!

Group studies at TC Slovenia
Teen Challenge in Slovenia was the first program we visited, even before Traveling Light was founded in 2011. We have a special bond with the staff and students.

Do you want to help us help them? They still need about 1,500 euro to cover the costs.

Please, send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: SLOVENIA.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Project news

Orges Hysenaj at the TC coffee house
Your gifts for project Radio Peace in Slovakia are coming in, thank you. Always nice to see that you react enthusiastically to our calls for action!

The proceeds of our secondhand shop Twinkeltje over the month of October will go to the work of Teen Challenge in Albania. So come and visit us or send a specified gift if you want to support that work.

We have highlighted the work of Orges & Blerina Hysenaj among the homeless and addicted in Tirana several times on this blog. In his latest newsletter Orges reports that three (!) new coffee houses have been opened, in Vlore, Elbasan and Cerrik. How wonderful is this?! At these locations addicts can come for a conversation, for coffee and a touch of God's love.

This is all the work of volunteers, but of course funds are needed for the rental of these locations and the purchase of materials. A suitable building for a Teen Challenge rehabilitation home in Albania has not yet been found, but that will certainly be the next step.

The children in Bertine House
Earlier this year, the Weissensee fundraiser brought in a beautiful sum for Bertine House in Ukraine. Last month they celebrated the 10th anniversary of Bertine House. What a blessing this house is for many mothers and children! A safe place, a place to grow, heal and recover.

You can show your support by liking the Bertine House FB page! Furthermore, financial support remains necessary to continue this work. We will keep you updated on this blog on any upcoming actions to help them. Of course your ideas are very much welcome!

In our own country there is also lots of action :) just look at the calendar of Twinkeltje. Furthermore, on October 15 we started with a study series about the person and the work of the Holy Spirit in De Hoeksteen church in Etten-Leur. Last Monday evening Marja and Cora kicked off because Jan is in Africa for his work.

This Friday night we will be hosting Prayer for the Nations again! You can start such a prayer event in your own town or country!

Donations and prayers for all those beautiful, special projects are always welcome. Please, send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Project Radio Peace, Slovakia

At the book presentation, Peter in the middle
In March of this year we (Jan and Marja) were in Slovakia for the presentation of the Slovak edition of Marja's book 'Grace of Giving'. Radio recordings were made during that presentation and this is how we came into contact with Dr. Peter Kamenec.

Peter and his wife Zuzana and son TomΓ‘Ε‘ live in Vranov nad TopΔΎou, in eastern Slovakia. Peter grew up in a state orphanage (during communism) and was adopted at the age of five. God did not play any role in his life. He felt unwanted, rejected and abandoned.

"God and religion was for old women," he reasoned. After a wild student life in Bratislava, where alcohol abuse lead him to a state of utter desperation, he finally came to faith at the age of 30 with the help of his best friend.

Peter is the founder of internet Radio Pokoj, or radio 'peace'. With a team of volunteers he runs a Christian internet radio station. They broadcast music, sermons, lectures, interviews and background stories. The radio station is not connected to any specific church denomination, and that is quite special. It aims to preach the gospel through music, word and poetry.

Peter at work
When we were in Bratislava, we were also interviewed for a radio program, of course with an interpreter. To be able to broadcast certain music and programs, licenses are required. A lot of work needs to be translated from English as well. To be able to finance all that, Peter founded a non-profit organisation: Cum Mandato Eius. This non-profit is behind the radio station.

We promised him support from the Netherlands for this initiative. It is so necessary to broadcast a different message between all secular media, the message of the Good News that God loves people.

Set-up for internet radio
Those who have read this blog a bit longer know that we are happy to support evangelism outreaches. Whether it is study material for Living Free, Bibles in various languages, study books for prisoners or editions of the Cross and the Switchblade ... we are happy to help spread the Gospel through the various media outlets.

If you have a heart for the spreading of God's word in Slovakia, please, send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: RADIO.

Meanwhile, translators and editors are working hard on the Slovak edition of Marja's book 'Spirit of Truth', which will be published soon. We might be in Peter's radio programming again!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Visit to Teen Challenge, Moldova

Visiting the recently opened rehab home
Last week we (Jan and Marja) had the privilege of visiting the country of Moldova. We were staying in the town of Riscani with Johannes and Charlotte Petersen. They are a Danish couple and the founders of Pilgrims International.

This extraordinary couple has been living in Moldova for more than 22 years ... in a trailer!

They provide humanitarian aid, planted various churches and helped with setting up Teen Challenge drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. In 2015, the girls' home Pilgrim House was opened.

In front of the new dairy kitchen in Falesti
Immediately after our arrival at the airport, we visited the recently opened rehab home for men in Soceleni, just outside the capital Chisinau. It is a very old country house, which has served as a decor in several movies. The house was donated by a mother of one of the boys who went through the existing Teen Challenge program and got a new life!

There is room for a few bunk beds, a small kitchen and the toilet is outside. Yes, it's pretty primitive, but what a great safe place for men who want to change their lives. It made us so happy to see the work of Teen Challenge expand. The guys live mostly from what the land and animals yield. We tasted fresh goat milk!

Filling the store rooms with produce
The next day we visited the Teen Challenge men's and women's home in Falesti. In the past we have given them a gift for the purchase of dairy cows, we counted four cows now! They have also built a small dairy kitchen where they make cheese.

We prayed with the women who were there. One girl was only nineteen and very worried about her court case coming up. Another woman had worked temporarily in the Netherlands, but her drugs and alcohol abuse had almost destroyed her.

"Fortunately, I had a good employer," she said. "He paid for my trip back home."

Church in Falesti
We prayed that the time at Teen Challenge will bring her healing and hope for the future.

On Sunday we spoke in the charismatic church in Falesti. It was a wonderful, enthusiastic service in which there was plenty of time to pray with and for each other.

We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at the home of Ivan & Ilona Velinchuk (Teen Challenge director). What a warm welcome and what a delicious food, everything tasted so good!

Sharing a meal with the Teen Challenge family
We then went back to Riscani, where we spoke in the church that was also founded by Johannes & Charlotte. Many young people here, beautiful music and (again) great food.

In the same building where the church is located, they are currently working hard on a new to open center for girls. It will be a place where they can live in safety and learn some useful skills.

Charlotte, who is always full of ideas, recently opened a little shop with secondhand clothes in Riscani. She was inspired by our pictures of Twinkeltje on Facebook and our enthusiastic stories πŸ˜‰She showed us around. How nice to inspire and encourage each other this way.

Church in Riscani
We could tell you a lot more, but let's keep some stories for our Prayer for the Nations on October 19th. It was certainly a very interesting visit and we had such great conversations with Johannes and Charlotte about their work in Moldova and the future of the country.

Everyone showed a lot of gratitude for the support they receive from Traveling Light for various projects. We extend that thanksgiving to you all.

In the secondhand shop
There is so much more to supporting good causes than just giving money. We want to build sustainable relationships, we pray for one another and we bring hope for the future of each country.

Donations and prayers for all those beautiful, special projects are always welcome. Please, send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Project Teen Challenge Netherlands

Visiting Life Store at Teen Challenge Netherlands
Earlier this year we visited the Teen Challenge Life Center in Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands.

Various services and activities in the area of ​​care and welfare come together in this beautiful building. Life Center houses it all: Life Care (care and counseling rooms), Life House (shelter and support for people who are in trouble), Life CafΓ© (meeting place and community center) and Life Store (secondhand shop).

We received an extensive tour of the building, we watched a film about Teen Challenge and of course we brainstormed about activities, campaigns and fundraising activities.
Life CafΓ©, a great meeting place

Part of the work of Teen Challenge Netherlands is called The Gate, which are youth centers connected to local churches. This outreach work focuses on prevention ... reaching teenagers with the gospel before they get into trouble because of drugs and alcohol. A much, much needed ministry.

Through meetings and personal conversations, but also through films, flyers and books, people are reached daily with a message of hope.

Teen Challenge Netherlands is currently working on a special edition of the world-famous book The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. These books will be ideal as hand-outs and conversation starters. 

We would like to help them with a donation for the printing costs and publication of this book; on the condition that we get a box for our coffee house / shop  of course πŸ˜€

Life Magazine 1958
We had this project application on our desk for a while (yes, we have a waiting list) and earlier this week director Stephan Barendse called us with the announcement that the book is almost ready to go to print.

So, if you have it on your heart to help, please do so! Send your gift to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. make sure to mention TC Netherlands.

Teen Challenge Netherlands will celebrate 50 years in 2019!

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.

πŸ‘ΆPS: 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.