We welcome your cheerful gifts for the following CURRENT projects

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Project building Teen Challenge Belgium

Frédéric & Natacha
We receive requests for support from all over Europe. Sometimes it is about fundraising for a new kitchen or a roof  repair for a rehab center, sometimes it is a question whether we can come for a visit.

Last month we received an interesting request from our southern neighbors. Frédéric and Natacha Hensgens of Teen Challenge Belgium have been running a coffee house in Charleroi for years and since 2016 also the women's home Sela.

Open house at Maison Sela
We have visited them several times, last December we were there during the open house of Maison Sela!

Currently the possibility has opened up to purchase the Betel building. Betel is a global organization (similar to Teen Challenge) that is committed to heal broken lives. They have rehab centers around the world.

Betel now offers their residential center in Charleroi for sale at a very favorable price. They are going to relocate their activities to France where there are little to none Bible-based recovery centers.

It is a beautiful building (we have seen it) with space for at least 35 beds. The value is approximately € 445,000 but it is offered to Teen Challenge for € 236,000. A great investment opportunity.

The beauty of this building is that everything is 'up to code' as it is called: fire safety, rooms and sanitary facilities. A wonderful center for the expansion of Teen Challenge's work among the homeless and addicted in French-speaking Belgium.

The challenge is to raise the necessary funds by the end of September. 😁A large fundraising campaign has been started to make the purchase of the building possible. We have offered to promote the fundraiser in the Netherlands and beyond through this blog and social media.

We pray that Frédéric & Natacha will raise the money for this beautiful building with the help of God and people. Any gift (large or small) is welcome.

If you want to invest in the work of Teen Challenge in Belgium, donations are welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Make sure to mention: BELGIUM.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC BELGIUM or contact Frédéric & Natacha at info@teenchallenge.be

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Project Teen Challenge Macedonia

Jonathan & Valentina (in blue)
If you have been reading our blog posts for some time, you will know that we have various contacts and support various projects in Macedonia.

Teen Challenge also has activities there. Unfortunately there is no residential rehabilitation center, but Jonathan & Valentina Vlaisavljevic help people with life-threatening problems and sometimes send them to TC centers in the surrounding countries.

Last June, Traveling Light participated for the eighth time in the Balkan conference My Brother's Keeper. The conference was held in Macedonia, and Jan had the opportunity to catch up with Jonathan.

Living Free training
He still gives Living Free training in the various Balkan countries. The group training and discipleship courses are faith based and aim to help people prevent and/or overcome challenging issues.

The goal is to equip participants so that they can give the training themselves in their church or organization. Traveling Light has previously helped with funds for translating Living Free material for Croatia and Albania.

We sincerely hope that TC rehab centers will be opened in Macedonia as well as in Albania and other Balkan countries in the near future. There is a huge need and your prayers will be appreciated.

Training in session
Jonathan also said that there is a possibility to do prison work in Serbia. Think about it, 'Living Free' is quite a special topic when you are in jail, literally. But it will certainly prepare people for a healthy return into society and that is what "rehabilitation" actually means.

In October Europe Teen Challenge will be organizing a 'rehabilitation training' in Portugal. Topics such as core values in a rehab setting, borderlines between care, counselling and authoritarian control, medical issues in rehab, principles of rehab and discipleship will be discussed.
Various people from the Balkans will participate in this training. Cora will attend on behalf of Traveling Light. It is an investment for the future.

TC Macedonia asks for financial support for 1) further translation of Living Free training material, 2) for travel costs to the training in Portugal and 3) for renovation costs for their office (due to water damage after a flood).

When in Europe, donations are welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Make sure to mention: MACEDONIA.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC MACEDONIA.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Looking back at 2019 summer camp Ukraine

Jan is teaching Bible study class
"From strength to strength" (Psalm 84:6-8), that was the theme during the summer camp in Ukraine that is organized annually in the first week of July by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic congregation in Berdychiv.

The camp is meant for students (and their families) who were previously or are currently in Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers or who should go there. They come from all over the country! After years we were happy to see our friend Andrii Soloviov again, who lives near Sevastopol, in Crimea.

Praying with Andrii
Please, pray with us that Andrii will get his health back. He has been operated on a brain tumor and is currently undergoing treatments.

Grace of Giving
For the third consecutive year, Traveling Light was at the camp all week to encourage, teach, counsel, pray with people for deliverance and healing and of course to just have nice conversations and fellowship with each other.

We were able to sponsor the camp again this year with the nice amount of 3,000 euro. A good part of it came from our southern neighbor Belgium 😀 so in that sense it was an international project. Know that you have invested in human lives. THANK YOU!

The Korovai family
The man in the photo on the left came to us to thank us for the Russian edition of Marja's book 'Grace of Giving' which he received 2 years ago. It has totally changed his life and that of his family!

In previous years, we also prayed with couples to be cured from Hepatitis C and other drug-related illnesses that could stand in the way of healthy pregnancies. How nice to hear and see testimonials of answered prayers. Gena and Dinara Korovai received a healthy son! Back in 2013 we wrote about Gena, how God gave him new life! Now he is married and a good father.

Praying together in unity
It is such an enormous encouragement for us to see how God changes human lives! The stories are sometimes too bizarre for words. Twenty years of addiction, being homeless, long prison sentences, no hope of recovery ... and then there is God 💙

TC men's rehab home
It is and always remains great to see and experience how people get hope for the future, hope for their country and hope for their families. We have sung and danced a great deal (especially early in the morning before breakfast!) And we have seen that there is healing, restoration and deliverance in gratitude and joy.

Of course we visited Sergey Romanenko's men's rehab house, where construction for the new kitchen is in full swing, and also a new women's home (!). But more about that in another blog post.

With 4 of our interpreters
Throughout the week we enjoyed the assistance of a wonderful group of interpreters who tirelessly translated all conversations and prayers and words of the Holy Spirit. Without them we would not be able to do that.

On our video channel (which you can subscribe to!) we have published two videos that we would like to share with you. One from a man who was healed from 25 years of back pain (after an accident) and one from the dancing :)

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Greetings from the sea ports

On board a vessel in the port of Ghent
Earlier this year we wrote about the work of sea port evangelist Alexander Eberson. We are happy with the contact and recently we received a newsletter from him that is worth sharing in  part ... so encouraging!

A bit of personal background: "I studied Theology in Brussels, followed by clerical training and I was confirmed as a pastor. I served in three congregations. In my last congregation I enjoyed working a few days a week as a harbor chaplain in the sea port of Zeebrugge. "

"In the beginning of 2019 I started my work as a pastor in the sea ports of Terneuzen and Ghent (full-time). That's why we moved to Terneuzen as a family. My wife Tonja teaches at a Christian primary school in Axel and our daughter Hannah attends the school."

Always thankful faces
Alexander continues to write with enthusiasm about the visits to the ships: "During a ship visit in Terneuzen I was told by a number of sailors that one fellow crew member had turned 41 that day."

"After the ship visit I went to get him a birthday cake. I told them: 'God has not forgotten you!' The sailor who had his birthday had never experienced something like this."

Happy birthday
"On one of my ship visits in Ghent I gave away a large Bulgarian house Bible for the 22 Bulgarians on board. In addition, I also left a small Ukrainian Bible for the only Ukrainian crew member on the ship. The men liked this and were encouraged as a result. The Bibles were received with interest."

Alexander knows the importance of building a network, he has not only made contact with Traveling Light, but also with people from Book store Oasis, the Salvation Army and Dorcas. All people who have a heart for outreach in the sea ports of Terneuzen and Ghent.

And then some figures: In recent months, Alexander has given away 85 Bibles (Tagalog, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish), 50 bags with Easter eggs, 30 Pocket crosses, 15 Children's Bibles (English), 5 worship CDs, 2 DVDs (Ruth and John Gospel) , 5 DVDs Jesus movie, 15 knitted hats and 1 book 'Jesus, our destination'.

Happy greetings to all of you
The Christians are happy with his visits, because sometimes they feel lonely on board and are in need of conversation and prayer, and the non-Christians or people from other faiths really value the visits and the personal attention.

If you want to help Alexander to buy Bibles and other materials, you can make your gift payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention SAILORS.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Project Embrace, Hungary

Always cool when Michel plays guitar
On several occasions we have shared about the work that Michel & Janet van Boxtel and their children are doing in Hungary. They are the founders of Embrace, an organisation that works among the poorest of the poor.

We regularly receive their newsletters and on their Facebook page you can read how their church for homeless people (Korál Mission Church) is growing and flourishing. Last year they shared about their work during a mission night in Twinkeltje.

Last year in Twinkeltje
Janet says: “Starting a church was never on our minds or hearts, but God had a different idea. People started asking for it, which resulted in a service every two weeks and as of January this year every week. The church services with lunch are always special."

Between 15 and 25 people show up each week. They know that Michel and Janet care for them and love them unconditionally. Michel and Janet visit them where they "live", hand out food and blankets, help them with doctor's appointments or refer to detox or rehab.

Recent baptisms
"These are just the practical things," Janet said, "we see and experience that the greatest gift we give them is personal attention. People are going from being invisible to being seen and that is a huge difference. They feel the love that God has placed in our hearts for them."

Visiing the homeless
Most of their church visitors have multiple problems. They struggle with addictions, have trauma and/or have psychological problems. Yet, recently they had the privilege to baptize seven people!

For Embrace, the summer period usually means ... visits from the Netherlands. This summer they are expecting two youth groups that will help with the renovation of houses (where families live that Janet supports as a social worker) and with the organization of an English camp for students from Tapiobicske and Nagykata. Reservation for 2020 have come in already.

During camp in 2018
In the meantime, all other projects are continuing, such as the construction of tiny houses for the homeless, renovating and expanding the Embrace mission home where guests can stay, building a greenhouse and the education project 'be cool, stay at school' in Tiszakeresceny where children receive extra attention and are being motivated to do their best at school. Janet teaches about health, hygiene and social skills.

A few years ago, the Boxtel family emigrated to Hungary to roll up their sleeves and to give hope to the hopeless. We are grateful for the lives that are changing in Hungary because Michel and Janet (with their children) have said ... we are going into the world to share God's love!

Gifts for the work of Michel & Janet are more than welcome. Within Europe make gifts payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: HUNGARY.

For more about their work, please check out their FACEBOOK page or their WEBSITE.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Switzerland added to our network

During work week 2018
We promised to write a short report about our recent visit to Switzerland. At the end of May we (Jan and Marja) drove to Zurich.

We had received an invitation to be present at the annual meeting of Comunita Brezzano. We have supported this ministry for years through our work weeks in their therapeutic community in Italy and also with financial donations for the construction and maintenance of the shelter homes that our good friend Maria Meier is running there.

The wonderful thing was that we were asked to give a presentation about the work of Traveling Light. How cool is that? We are happy to travel for that reason alone.

Members of the Comunita Brezzano Foundation
We were warmly welcomed by Corina Schmidt who works among the homeless and addicted in Zurich. We stayed at her home the first night and enjoyed a delicious sabbath meal together. Sharing life, sharing meals... a great way to get to know each other 😊

The annual meeting was a party in itself, because everyone had brought good food ... organic and vegetarian! We gave a presentation about the projects we support in the various countries of Europe and 👉we were able to share a lot about the work of Teen Challenge and everything God is doing in countries all over Europe.

prayer room
Our book table
Our story was a huge encouragement for the Swiss ... to know that, no matter how small your organization is, we are all part of something much bigger! Every human life that changes counts.

They even did an offering for Traveling Light and collected almost 1500 euro, which of course fully benefits the various projects we support.

We were then invited by Werner & Heidi Dellapiazza to go home with them for the rest of the weekend. We talked a lot, shared meals, walked, prayed, even played games. Quite delightful, especially when you consider that we had never met these people before. We felt connected right away.

Looking over Buchs with Werner and Heidi
Werner and Heidi lead prayer movements in Switzerland. In their house there is also a 24-hour prayer room where everyone can go (the door is always open) to seek silence and to pray for Israel. It was very inspiring for us to see and hear that in Switzerland people are seriously working out their faith and that they have a heart for the nations.

PS: At the end of August we will go to Italy again for a work week. If you want to come along, please contact us.

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

Friday, June 28, 2019

Building project Teen Challenge Moldova

construction men's center Falesti
Earlier this year, our Weissensee fundraiser brought in the nice amount of 9,000 euro, purposed for the expansion of the Teen Challenge men's rehabilitation center in Falesti,  Moldova.

The house offers a Christian rehab and discipleship program for men with life controlling problems.

Construction work is now in full swing and they sent us some photos to share with you all. It is wonderful to know that the donated amount is indeed being used for the construction work: to realize a 2nd floor on the existing house. Which simply means there will be room for more beds and therefore more men will be able to get help.

Starting to look like something...
As we wrote earlier, a team of men from the Teen Challenge program in the Czech Republic drove to Moldova to help. What a great servanthood mentality, an example for all.

In every Teen Challenge program there are men who have a background in construction work, and such a project as this is a great opportunity to roll up sleeves and work together.
New room!

Again, we would like to thank all donors, and of course our ice skating team, for your generosity. A great fundraiser with a fabulous result!

The team in Moldova sends their greetings.

They worked really hard this week and we are really proud to see the work of their hands prosper. It gives us great joy to be part of the]is life changing ministry. God is good!

What can we say? Wow!
Donations for all our awesome projects are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

We are currently fundraising for Teen Challenge in Albania, where such a beautiful center must also be opened!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Project Teen Challenge Albania

Gesi and Jan
As promised, a short report about our recent visit to Albania. Last month, Jan spent a few days with Orges Hysenaj (Gesi) in Tirana.

Gesi is the director of Teen Challenge Albania and an excellent travel guide and planner ... unbelievable how many activities he can fit in just a few days 😁

We have written about the work of Gesi among the addicted in Tirana on several other occasions. He visits methadone clinics, has started several coffee houses where addicts are welcome for a conversation, coffee and a touch of God's love. He gives Bible studies and courses and has been seriously searching for a building or house that can be turned into a rehabilitation center. As for now, there is no Christian rehab in Albania.

Coffee house TC Albania
A few of the men, whom he has taken under his wings, have already gone to rehab centers in other countries (Romania and Slovenia), but the language barrier makes it really hard.

Unfortunately, real estate prices in Albania are quite high, but Gesi is not discouraged by that. Nevertheless, a substantial investment is needed ...

Gesi took Jan to the methadone clinic, among other things. Jan was given the opportunity and time (by the doctor and nurses!) to tell the staff and clients what brought him to Albania and what his connection with Teen Challenge was ... how wonderful!

The meeting in the coffee house in Elbasan was also very special, more than fifteen men showed up and together they sang songs and shared a hope filled word from the Bible.

Dutch bicycles in Tirana
On Friday night, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association hosted a big dinner event to which Gesi was invited, and so Jan came along. This summer, for the first time in the country's history, a major evangelistic campaign will be held in Tirana. During the dinner, the organization of this event was discussed with the hundreds of volunteers who will participate. A good prayer point: spiritual revival in Albania.

Last year we donated two bicycles to Gesi and they certainly came in handy now! The men spent the entire weekend cycling. They also visited a number of real estate properties that are listed for sale. Watching, praying, talking, thinking and above all listening to God's guiding voice.

Good exercise!
We fully support the work of Teen Challenge in Albania. Gesi has shared Jesus with many desperate people and given them hope for a better future. We are standing with him in faith that the opening of a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation center will be happening soon.

Do you believe that Albania can change? Then please pray and/or send a gift to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht and make sure to mention ALBANIA.

👉When in the USA you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC ALBANIA.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Twinkeltje, Sweden, Italy and Moldova

Jan, Teus and Cora
We love it when people get creative and come up with ideas to sponsor what we do. Friend and family member Teus Donk decided to participate in a 10 km run in our town and raise funds to support the daily operations of our shop/coffee house Twinkeltje.

It was a very successful campaign. Together with his daughter, Teus ran the 10 km in an excellent time. He raised 1,000 euro. Last Saturday he handed the check to Traveling light board member Cora, who runs the shop.

With that money we can continue to receive people with hospitality and free coffee and tea. All sponsors, thank you! Come visit us.

Community meals
Talking about Twinkeltje ... Last week we had visitors from Sweden, Christian Alderblad (director of Teen Challenge) and his family were our guests for a week. We had a great time together.

During the mission night on Wednesday June 5th, Christian shared about Englahaket, the shop/coffee house that they recently opened in their city Örebro. The offering that evening was more than 1,000 euro which will also go towards the Teen Challenge coffee house work in Sweden. Thank you all very much!

Work week Italy 2018
From August 26 to September 2 we will again travel to Italy for a work week in Comunita Brezzano. Do you enjoy hard work (chopping wood, sawing and stacking) and good fellowship? Please contact us.

Every year we enjoy being in beautiful Tuscany.

Construction work in the Teen Challenge Men's Rehabilitation Center in Falesti, Moldova will start next week. The Weissensee fundraiser brought in 9,000 euro (!) for this purpose earlier this year. They will be adding a second floor to the existing center.

A team from the Teen Challenge program in Czech Republic will go to Moldova to help with the construction. They have promised to send photos so we can follow along 😀

We still owe you a report of Jan's visit to Albania and our recent visit to Switzerland.

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

We are currently fundraising for project summer camp Teen Challenge Ukraine.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Sponsoring summer camp Teen Challenge Ukraine

Last year during summer camp
As in previous years, we want to sponsor the annual summer camp in Ukraine which is being organized by Teen Challenge Ukraine and the Jewish Messianic congregation in Berdychiv.

The camp is a special time for men and women who are (or have been) in drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation centers all over Ukraine. But also volunteers, workers, children and family members are welcome.
They are expecting around 230 participants this year.

A mid week camping out, playing games, laughing, Bible study, music, food, prayer and friendship is a very special time for the participants. For many it will be the first time they go on a summer trip like this, especially if they have lived in the streets or been in prison.

Outdoors class room :)
We (Jan and Marja) have been invited again to participate in the camp, to give Bible studies, encourage and minister to people. The camp will be held from July 1-5, 2019 and it costs about 25 euro per person to attend this summer camp.

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.

Sponsoring the summer camp is a very direct and practical way to give heed to the Biblical calling to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe people as well as nations can and will change!