Thursday, May 18, 2017

European spring tour 2017 (2)

Winiarczykowka house
On to Poland we went! This part of the trip was a 700 km drive from Potsdam to southern Poland. We had promised to visit Teen Challenge Winiarczykowka.

We have mentioned this special home quite often on this blog. It is a former border post where now homeless elderly people are offered a safe and warm place. Currently, more than 20 men are living there.

Catching up and praying
We received a very warm welcome. Four men had even given up their own beds for the night, so we could sleep! Janusz and Bogusia Gornicki cooked a delicious meal for us and with Kaja's help (our interpreter) we were able to listen to their wishes, dreams and ideas, talk about daily needs and happenings and, of course, pray very personally for them.

Wow, their gratitude towards Traveling Light for all the times we were able to help with a gift is huge, almost embarrassing really. We could make them happy again with the news that the month of April in our second hand shop Twinkelje has brought in almost 1,300 euro, an amount that goes entirely to their work in Winiarczykowka.

Praying together is powerful
They immediately came up with list of things they wanted to use that money for, including buying a few new couches for the chapel and setting up a mud room for all work wear and shoes.

The next day, Jan spoke during the morning chapel time and we had the opportunity to pray with almost everyone, often for the recovery of physical conditions. In the picture you will see Jim & Lynda in action.

Through people from the Hoeksteen church in Etten-Leur we received reading glasses to give away and boxes of vegetable seeds. They were very happy with these gifts! Thank you very much for that.

Super nice storage room
We were furthermore given a tour of the house, the vegetable garden, the new greenhouse and the place where the new purification plant was placed. We also saw the new storage room, they were able to purchase the professional storage racks thanks to a gift from Traveling Light.

Chapel time
Such a visit (although short) is an encouragement for the workers, the volunteers (trainee and interpreter) and the men who live there since they rarely receive international visitors. It is certainly an encouragement for us as well.

How wonderful to see that all gifts are spent so well. We just love to share that with you all.

Well, on to Slovakia!

PS: Click on the pictures for an enlargement

Gifts (large and small) for the various projects are always welcome! St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Friday, May 12, 2017

European spring tour 2017 (1)

German, English and Dutch prayer partners
Traveling Light offers threefold support and encouragement to existing Christian organizations and communities in Europe and the Mediterranean: practical, financial and spiritual.

The fundraising is clear, you can read all about it on this blog. We give practical help for example during the work weeks we organize in Italy. But spiritual encouragement, what exactly does that mean?

To give you a little bit more insight, we will share some highlights about our recent trip throughout Europe on this blog. We visited five countries, drove 4200 km and ended at the European Teen Challenge conference in Rimini, Italy.

Prayer for the Franceschin family
Together with our friends Jim and Lynda Hayes we first drove to Potsdam, Germany. We have good contacts with the Nehemiah Gemeinde there. We participated in a 24-hour prayer event during which we prayed with believers from various churches. We received clear words (of knowledge, wisdom and prophecy) from the Holy Spirit while praying/singing. Words that were a huge encouragement to the local church. On Sunday Marja preached an inspiring message during the morning service.

El Rastro, a very hip and happening shop
We also visited Casa Bet-El, a drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation center for men on the outskirts of Berlin. Vito and Anna Katrin Franceschin are the leaders there and last year they invited us to come and visit. What a wonderful work these lovely people do! We felt privileged to pray for them personally and prophetically.

Christian, Jan and Anna Katrin
Part of the cost of running the rehabilitation center is paid through the profits from their second hand store El Rastro... which we visited as well. The men in the program pimp old furniture which they sell in the store, such a great job!

All visits, speaking engagements, meals and overnight stays in Germany are arranged by our friend Christian Zedler, whom we affectionately call 'our manager' :) The hospitality and enthusiasm with which we are being received over and over again is absolutely wonderful. It greatly encourages us.

On to Poland!

PS: We travel on our own expenses. All donations for Traveling Light go towards the projects, not to us.

Gifts (large and small) for the various projects are always welcome! St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sponsoring summer camp Teen Challenge, Ukraine

As we announced earlier, the next project we want to ask your attention for is the sponsoring of the summer camp in Ukraine which is being organized each year by Teen Challenge Ukraine and the Jewish Messianic congregation of Pastor Sergey Romanenko. They are expecting more than two hundred participants in Berdychiv this year.

And hooray, this year we (Jan and Marja) will go to the Ukraine and participate in the summer camp.

The camp will be organized for men and women who are (or have been) in drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation centers all over Ukraine. But also volunteers, workers, leaders, pastors, church members, children and family members are welcome. A mid week camping out, playing games, laughing, Bible study, music, food and friendship.

The camp will be held from July 3-7, 2017 and it costs about 25 euro per person to participate. Many people do not have the financial means to pay for this camp. Due to the war and financial crisis monthly income has dropped below 200 euro. Go figure...

If we want to help again? Yes! Of course we will help. Making people happy by enabling them to go to the camp is something we love to do. We trust you will come alongside and sponsor a brother or sister in the Ukraine.

If you have it on your heart to help, please send 25 euro (or a multiplication thereof) to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: SUMMER CAMP UKRAINE.

Sponsoring the summer camp is a very direct and practical way to support believers in the Ukraine from where you are!

Photo's: Victoria Moore

Other current projects:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

More Tagalog Bibles needed!

Guus & Annemiek on board handing out Christmas gifts
Dear friends, just a quick note on behalf of seafarer's evangelist Guus Peters. Do you remember that we gave him a gift last September for the purchase of 100 Tagalog Bibles? Well, the Bibles are in great demand among the Philippine sailors, so Guus needs to restock.

Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines and Guus has many contacts with Filipino seafarers. He writes:

The gift of Life!
"Just in the past two weeks I met a captain that gave Bible studies on board and wanted a couple of Bibles. Furthermore, a young Filipino guy who wanted a King James Version (KJV) and a man who had just lost his little child (only one and a half years old) and sought comfort in God's Word."

We support the work among the seafarers and we always enjoy reading the newsletters that Guus & Annemiek send out. Guus is like a father to the sailors who are often away from home for months at the time and he regularly has valuable conversations with them about God and the Bible.

Books, Bibles, DVD's
The Bibles cost EUR 8,50 and Guus wants to order at least one hundred copies; so do the math.

If you have a heart for spreading the good news ... to the ends of the earth, make a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention BIBLES.

We will make sure the money goes to Guus ASAP!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Funds put to work at Comunita Brezzano, Italy

It's so wonderful and rewarding to receive thankful notes and messages from people we have supported. Of course we want to share as much as possible with you all. Donations well spent, that makes everyone happy!

Approximately one year ago we brought project roof repair Casa NuovaItaly to your attention. The old Tuscan house is part of Comunita Brezzano, a Christian residential therapeutic community where people with psychological or addiction problems are welcome to stay and get to know God (better).

A portion of the roof of the men's house had to be replaced. Traveling Light was able to give a donation of 4,000 euros, a good start of the 20,000 euros needed to get the whole job done. It then took nearly a year before all municipal permits and paperwork were given. But finally.... this work is in progress. Maria Meier, who runs the community, writes:

"We want to thank you again very much, because thanks to your gift we can finally have our professional contractor Massimo D'Aquila start on the roof. We received the authorization of Comune di Montieri. Everyone is happy and we are moving forward. We are also pleased that three men are currently n in therapy. With Boris in charge, Casa Nuova is pretty full! "

During the work week we organized there last year (for the 3rd time) we removed old solar panels from one of the roofs. They are being replaced with new panels now as well.

We are thinking about organizing a work week again, from August 28 - September 4. If you want to join us, please let us know. These weeks are life changing!

PS: Gifts for our current project Bibles and cows are still welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and don't forget to mention: COWS. We are close to the 4,000 euro mark.
Our next project will be the sponsoring of the summer camp in the Ukraine.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Greetings from Belarus

Back in the fall of 2015 we visited several rehabilitation centers and shelters of Teen Challenge in Belarus. Миссия «Возвращение» is the name for the rehabilitation work, which means 'Mission Return.

One of these centers is located in an old kindergarten school which had been standing empty for seventeen years. They have worked hard to make the building habitable and livable for various groups.

The center has been in operation for quite some time now. There is a homeless shelter, a rehabilitation program for men and a crisis center for women. Thanks to a gift of Traveling Light they were able to step-by-step install a professional kitchen (tiled walls and floors, cabinets and all appliances).

We received a nice email and photos from the director, he writes:

"We are preparing meals in the new kitchen with new equipment! God not only blessed us with the equipment, He also blessed us with people who work there. The Lord spoke through a dream to a sister (Nina) from the church (she is a former professional cook) that she should come to the Center to prepare breakfasts during the next three years. Also, the Lord put it on the hearts of some other sisters from the church to come and prepare meals and to bake rolls. All of them do it voluntarily

Since the Center was opened, more than four hundred people came to ask for help. Many of them in addiction, with poor health, without documents, without work, and quite many of them are invalid. To all of them the Bread of Life as well as physical bread was offered. Through this project 'Kitchen' we see that God cares for these lost people...

During the last year the Lord also sent us women (the work with them started in January 2016) and we are able to serve many of them. The place of the overnight home is often overcrowded – 16 beds and up to 24 people – people are sleeping in the corridors and on the floor, but the Lord miraculously helped us and gave the possibility to fix new rooms so we can soon expand the overnight home."

Fundraising, distributing the gifts, but also letting you know how the story unfolds... We believe that is good stewardship. We will try as much as possible to keep you informed about ongoing projects.

We are happy and thankful that we will soon be able to offer the Russian edition of Marja's book Grace of Giving to our friends in Belarus. A book to give away, a book with a beautiful and powerful message of generosity that will surely touch the hearts of the men and women in the centers. We believe it is possible ... "Go into the world and make disciples of all nations ..." The books are tools for this purpose!

PS: Gifts for our current Project bibles and cows are still welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Activities and project news

This week Sokrat and Lena Apostolovski from Macedonia will be visiting us. They will be flying into the Netherlands and are planning to buy a good second-hand 9-passenger van (with Jan's technical assistance) and drive it back. They could really use a good vehicle for the transportation of the Roma children to and from Saraj church, kids club, school, etc.

Saturday we are organizing a special mission evening with Sokrat and Lena in our second-hand shop tWinkeltje. They will tell about their work among the Roma people and of course show some pictures. You are welcome to join us for an inspiring evening. The coffee is ready at 7:30 pm. The proceeds over the month of March in our second-hand shop will also benefit the work Sokrat & Lena are doing in Macedonia.

Proceeds of sales and workshops in February were also good for 1,000 euro. We were able to give that as a donation to Michael and Janet van Boxtel. They are the founders of the non-profit organization Embrace. Michael an Janet and their children work among the poorest in Hungary. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

Bible school under construction + baptismal font outside
Dear friends, project Bibles and cows had a good start, we already received 2,000 euro in donations and we would really like to be able to double it!

A very special piece of news is that Marja's book Grace of Giving has been translated into Farsi and will be printed soon. It will be a great tool at the Bible school and a powerful handout. Will you please pray for the completion of the school, the distribution of the books and also for protection of believers in that region?

This week we received messages and photos from Italy and Belarus, more about that soon. We will also ask for photos of the work at the woman's center in Batumi, Georgia. Once we have some news, we'll write a blog post about it.

We will gladly continue to support all these wonderful projects, but we can only do so with your help. Within Europe make gifts payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

USA supporters can give a tax deductible donation for project Bibles and cows by clicking HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Project Bibles and cows, Eurasia

Surveying the farm land
Contrary to the mainstream media, we love to share the good things that are happening in the countries of Europe. God loves every tribe and nation and His love is being spread like never before.

Wherever we travel, we meet people who have heard and obeyed the call of Jesus to ‘go into the world and make disciples of all nations….’

One of the many people we are in contact with in ‘Eurasia’ is pastor R. He is the founder of CIC Mission and is currently busy building an Iranian training center where men and women will study the Bible and learn a vocation at the same time. Let’s call it a practical mission school :) The school will be opening this year and one of the ways he and his team of volunteers are planning to support themselves is through farming.

The training school 
Not far from this school the team has purchased a piece of land where they recently planted two hectares of garlic, which was quite a big job with many people involved. The enthusiasm about the farm project already has a positive effect on the local Muslim community. Think about it, the tool to provide for the mission costs becomes a mission and outreach tool in itself!

But that is not all, on this piece of land a barn is being constructed. The plan is to have cows for milk and bulls for breeding. This will help to run the training center but also the poor community in that area where good milk cows are quite rare. They want to buy 2 Jersey (or Holstein) bulls and 3 Jersey (or Holstein) milk cows. Traveling Light wants to help by raising funds to get this farm started!

You can (indirectly) help to disciple the nations by sending a gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U, make sure to mention COWS.
USA supporters: CIC Mission is considered an approved 501c3 by the US government, so tax deductible receipts can be provided. 

To protect the people involved we do not mention any names, country or city. We know you will understand.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Project update from Kazakhstan

Dorm room at 'House of Mercy'
Last year November we were able to send a nice donation to the Teen Challenge women's home in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The money was needed for insolation of the dorm rooms ...

Walls, doors, ceilings and floors ... everything is looking clean and new.

Washing up...
This week we received some pictures and a short video in which director Tamara Rishe extends her gratitude. Well, that's the beauty of the small-scale projects we support as Traveling Light; donations well spent by people with compassion for the broken-hearted!

It's great to see how happy they all are with the gift we were able to send from the Netherlands. A small gesture for us, a great blessing for them.

The proceeds of our 2nd-hand shop Twinkeltje (September 2016) were also part of this gift. So, we say it one more time, thank you for your help. Keep an eye on this blog to see how you can be involved in such practical projects.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ [Galatians 6:2].

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Project news

Crochet workshop in Twinkeltje
Our 2nd-hand shop Twinkeltje has quickly become the talk of the town, and not only in Papendrecht :) We enjoy a good number of customers, visits and a nice and warm atmosphere where people feel free to tell their stories. Every month, the proceeds of the sales and of the workshops are designated for a particular project.

In January, more than 1,000 euro came in which we will donate to the work of Teen Challenge in Slovakia. We have good contacts with director Stanislav Kunak who runs the men's rehabilitation center in Sered.

Conversation with board members Senior Association
On January 19th Marja was invited to give a presentation about Traveling Light at the local chapter of the Christian Senior Association in Papendrecht. The room was packed and the response was one of both excitement and surprise ....

"Wow, we did not know this. Is all of this really happening in our town of Papendrecht?

We are extremely grateful for invitations to come and tell more about the work of our non-profit. The gift we received that afternoon will go towards the work of Teen Challenge in Albania.

In action on the Weissensee, Austria
Our skating team has returned from the Weissensee. We will soon publish a blog post about their performances and the final outcome of the sponsor event for the Teen Challenge women's home in Batumi, Georgia.

If you have made a pledge (or still want to give), please send your donation as soon as possible to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Make sure to mention WEISSENSEE.

Soup kitchen Hungary
The proceeds of Twinkeltje over the month of February will be for Michael and Janet van Boxtel who work among the poorest in Hungary. So come and visit us on Saturday afternoons and shop for a good cause, the coffee is always ready!

The new project on this blog will be about cows, a Bible school and a rehab center! You can subscribe to our blog by entering your email address in the space provided in the right column or by sending an email to