We welcome your cheerful gifts for the following CURRENT projects

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Project tools for Teen Challenge Belgium

Last September Teen Challenge Belgium purchased the building of the Betel in Charleroi and opened up a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for men with life-controlling problems.

Traveling Light was one of the first supporters to donate a substantial amount for the purchase of that building. We went to visit them in December, during their Christmas fair and open house.

It is a beautiful building with a very large garden. It needs no explanation that such a building requires maintenance and repairs continually. Frédéric and Natacha Hensgens are the directors and they placed a request on Facebook for work tools. They are looking for GOOD quality work tools, new or second-hand, it doesn't matter. We promised to share their request on this blog.

If you have tools that you do not use, we are happy to collect them, everything is welcome. 👉But again: only good quality, no Chinese junk, please.

Their wish list includes: screwdriver set, level, small grinder, jumping saw, sander, coping saw, circular saw, scale, small chainsaw, pneumatic nailers etc.) Well, you can come up with the rest.

If you prefer to give a financial gift, please do so. We will send them a donation that they can use to purchase tools they may further need.

Gifts for the purchase of tools are welcome and can be directed at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: BELGIUM.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Project news

Happy with the truck
It has been a while, but halfway 2018 we sent a gift to Teen Challenge in Latvija for the purchase of a truck with a crane for the transportation of wood. They needed quite a sum, but they finally got all the funds together.

The barn that needs to be fixed
We recently received some photos. Great to see how donations are being used in a practical way. The cutting, transportation and sale of firewood helps the rehab center to be self-supportive. Thank you again for your help.

We are currently raising money for Mission Return in Belarus.

The drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in the Lyahovichi district needs about 5,000 euro to purchase 3 dairy cows, a small milking machine, dairy refrigeration, and machine for making milk products and the refurbishing of an existing cowshed. See our message HERE.

Work in progress
If you want to help, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention COWS.

In the fall of 2019 we sent a donation to Carmen Ullersma for the installation of a heating system in a daycare center for the elderly in Moldova. The work is in progress and it is looking good, hopefully the center can be opened soon.

Carmen sent a few photos so you can see how for yourself how your gifts are being put to work.

Furniture for TC Albania
And then, we also sent a donation to Teen Challenge in Albania. The first Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Tirana will be opening soon.

The house has been thoroughly renovated with the help of many volunteers. Hope for Albania donated furniture!

Many people and organizations have been blessed by your generosity!

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

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Update fundraiser for Teen Challenge Armenia

Krijn (black and orange) in action
Last Tuesday Krijn Donk and Henk Swijnenburg showed up at the start of the 200 km long ice skating tour at the Weissensee in Austria. Their goal was to raise funds for Teen Challenge in Armenia.

Unfortunately temperatures were just above freezing that day and there was a lot of water on the ice. The skaters did their utmost to prevent falling down on the wet ice, because further skating with wet clothing can lead to hypothermia.

Krijn reported that he had fallen three times, the last time just 700 meters before the finish, after which he got a severe cramp in his calf. Yet, he was able to finish the tour in an astonishing time of 7:38 hours, with an average speed of 26:15 km per hour. Unfortunately, Henk had to stop the fight against the weather and ice conditions after 150 km, after more than eight hours of skating.

Krijn and Henk at the end of a long day...
Although the lack of good quality ice and freezing temperatures were disappointing, the fundraising campaign certainly was a success. The two men raised 8,200 euro so far with their action, an amount that will go entirely to the work of Teen Challenge among the homeless, addicted and desperate in Armenia.

"A good sum has been raised for Armenia," said Krijn. "Such a good cause is a great incentive to skate the 200 km and suffer through the pain. The assistance and care that we receive from Adrie Swijnenburg is indispensable!"

We contacted Gagik and Lusine Mkrtchyan from Teen Challenge Armenia. They were completely taken by surprise to hear about the funds coming their way. "With that gift, we might be able to buy a piece of property with a larger house (where electricity and sanitary facilities are already present). There is a property for sale close to where we are currently working. We did not dare to dream that this could be a possibility."

We will keep you informed of the developments via this blog. We would like to thank everyone who has, in any way, contributed to this fundraiser. If you have not yet transferred your pledge or given a gift, please do so as soon as possible at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U stating: WEISSENSEE.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Project cows for Mission Return, Belarus

Staff and students at Lyahovichi center
Our Weissensee fundraiser is in full swing. So, we take this opportunity to announce the following project, this time in Belarus.

In the past we have supported Mission Return (Teen Challenge Belarus) several times with donations for various projects. We also catch up with each other during the annual Europe Teen Challenge conferences.

We recently received an email from Michael Balakirev with a project proposal. Michael is the director of Mission Return and we know him personally.

Big farm house
Mission Return has 12 drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers at various locations in Belarus. On average, around 150 men and women live and work in these centers, receiving new life. Most houses are fairly self-sufficient, for example because they have livestock and land and make artistic products.

In the Lyahovichi district, however, there is a center that could use some help. They currently have 10 residents, some of whom are disabled. There are only a few small churches in the area that support them financially.

They have pigs, chickens and sheep
Now, they have made a plan to turn the center into a working farm. The question for Traveling Light is whether we want to help with funds for:
  • 3 dairy cows
  • refurbishing an existing cowshed
  • a small milking machine, dairy refrigeration, and machine for making milk products
A total of 5,000 euro is needed to get this all going. Well, we wouldn't be Dutch if we were not excited about such a project 😄. We want to help them, especially because we have seen with our own eyes what a great job they are doing in Belarus among addicts and homeless people.

Do you want to help? Then, please send your GIFT (large or small) to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. make sure to mention COWS.

This way you can shine your light in Belarus! How beautiful is that?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Activities and project news

The center in Yerevan is already in use
The Weissensee fundraiser 2020 for Teen Challenge Armenia has kicked off. If you want to sponsor the ice skaters, read HERE how you can become a part of this great effort to bring hope to the hopeless!

We hope and pray we can raise a solid donation for the renovation of the recently opened drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Yerevan.

Full house at Winiarczykowka, Poland
This month, the proceeds in Twinkeltje will go towards the work of Teen Challenge Winiarczykowka, Poland. This center, located in a former border post, offers a safe home to the elderly. So come visit us in Twinkeltje on Saturday (Korenbloemstraat 20, Papendrecht) for a cup of coffee or a nice bowl of soup and who knows, maybe we have something nice for you in the store.

Last weekend we had Maria Meier from Italy visiting us. She runs Comunita Brezzano, a Christian therapeutic community in Tuscany. On Friday we organized a mission night in Twinkeltje.

Mission night Italy in Twinkeltje
We had a nice dinner together, then Maria shared her heart. We showed pictures of our most recent visit (workweek 2019), we prayed and sang many songs together. It was a very encouraging evening. The offering we collected turned out to be 1200 euro (!), which will all go toward Comunita Brezzano. Thank you, on behalf of Maria.

This coming Friday night we are hosting Prayer for the Nations (every third Friday of the month) in Twinkeltje. We always pray for the nations of Europe, for Israel and the Middle East, for current projects and we share news. This Friday we will have Marek Deicmanis from Latvia visiting. So come and join us! Coffee and tea will be ready from 19:30 hours.

The next project is in ... Belarus, more about that soon..

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Weissensee 2020 fundraiser for Teen Challenge Armenia

Adrie, Henk and Krijn
It's January again, the month of our most exciting fundraiser of the year! On Tuesday, January 28 the Traveling Light skating team is planning to skate the 200 km tour on the Weissensee in Austria again.

Krijn Donk (Papendrecht), Henk Swijnenburg (Bleskensgraaf) and Adrie Swijnenburg (support & care) want to raise money for Teen Challenge Armenia and well for the renovation of a second men's center.

Gagik & Lusine
Gagik and Lusine Mkrtchyan are the directors of Teen Challenge in Armenia. They run a center where men with drugs and alcohol addictions have a chance to start a new life. (We supported them back in 2017 (read here) with a gift for the daily operations of the center.)

Much work to be done!
The center is actually always full and last year they started a second center in an old house on a large piece of farmland. The acreage that belongs to the farm makes it a good location for a rehab center, animals can be kept and crops can be grown.

The farm in Yerevan is very primitive, there is no running water, electricity or sanitary provisions. However, the need is so big that several men are already living and working there, some of them are not that young anymore.

The farm offers many opportunities for work/therapy
A substantial amount is needed to renovate the house and outbuildings. We believe that with your help it can become a beautiful center where many men can find a safe place to live and work and ... to have an encounter with God!

You can sponsor Krijn and Henk as a team or individually:
  • with a donation per kilometer,
  • with a donation to finish,
  • with a general donation, or
  • with a donation according to your own idea (for example for breaking a pr or last year's time result)

👉If you decide to participate, please send an e-mail with your pledge and encouraging words to krijncora@gmail.com.

Of course, you can send your donation right now if you like 😁St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U.

What do you think, will personal records be broken?

We are looking forward again to your heart-warming reactions and we wish the skating team lots of success and perseverance.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Great ending of 2019

Alexander (right) hands out the packages
At the end of yet another year, we are looking back with gratitude. We have been able to support many projects thanks to your donations. Of course, our 2019 annual report will contain a (financial) overview of all these projects. We'll let you know when it comes out.

We received a newsletter and photos from port evangelist Alexander Eberson. The sailors were super happy with the Christmas packages. 💙Thank you all!

The proceeds of our shop Twinkeltje over December were 1,100 euro. We hereby want to give a big thank you to Chantal de Jong who gave workshops in atelier café De Schor, the proceeds of which went to Traveling Light. The entire amount went to the youth coffee house in Raygorodok, Ukraine.

We were also able to donate 3,000 euro for the Christmas packages for Iranian children in refugee camps in Turkey. That donation went through 222 Ministries and Pearl of Persia.

For now, we want to wish you all the best for 2020. Keep an eye on this blog, because at the beginning of January we will announce the project for the Weissensee fundraiser 2020.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sponsor a Christmas package

A real Christmas celebration for children
Many people will receive Christmas gifts or a Christmas package this month, but it is much more fun to give one (or more) away! Traveling Light offers the opportunity to make people happy with a Christmas package.

We have chosen two completely different initiatives, but the idea behind them is the same ... letting people know that they are not forgotten and that Jesus came to earth for us all!

Last year's Operation Christmas Joy
Operation Christmas Joy is an initiative of 222 Ministries and Pearl of Persia. This month they want to bring hope to the forgotten Christian refugees in central Turkey. Many of these Christians have become refugees as a result of conflicts and/or have been persecuted for their faith. Living in Turkey, they receive no support and they have no right to work.

With their Christmas campaign for children, 222 ministries wants to meet practical needs (warm clothing) and bring an atmosphere of joy and celebration to victims of persecution and war.

That face tells a story
The care that their teams have shown to the children in the past has encouraged many parents to rebuild their broken communities.

Last year, the Christmas Joy initiative reached more than 1500 children in 20 cities in Turkey. Packages were handed out with toys and warm clothing (temperatures can drop below -25 ° C). There was a Christmas message and also a party where children had the chance to have fun.

The price of a package is 35 euro. You can transfer that amount or a multiple thereof to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention 222 CHRISTMAS.

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Alexander (left) on board of a vessel
And then a bit closer to home ... Seafarer's evangelist Alexander Eberson plans to hand out some three hundred Christmas packages to the sailors in the ports of Terneuzen and Ghent. He wrote us:

"The month of December is a good month to evangelize. The sailors are very open for the good news around Christmas time, when they are far from home. Every year around Christmas I make the crew of different vessels happy with a Christmas gift. "
Christmas package

The price of a package is 6 euro. The sailors will receive a warm hat and socks, shower gel, candy, the Gospel of John and a notebook. You can transfer that amount or a multiple thereof to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention SAILORS CHRISTMAS.

We look forward to your gifts this month! Thank you so much.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Project Restart Coffee house, Serbia

Boris gives drugs prevention lessons
It has been a while, but early September we received a message from Udruženje (foundation) Restart in Serbia. A Christian organization that works among homeless people and (former) addicts and supports them in their return to society.

With a team of volunteers, initiator Boris Štrbac is committed to helping people on their way to start a new life. They do this through outreach, drugs prevention lessons at schools and prison work.

They recently received from the City of Novi Sad the acknowledgment that Restart is an organization of public and social value, which is great.

Discussion with municipality officials
They have also been chosen to be partners in a European project which revolves around post-penalty support, reintegration into society and employment of teenagers leaving correctional educational center Kruševac (prison for youngsters). The team had to do a training for this.

About a year ago the team started a social enterprise "Restart Home Service" for cleaning, washing furniture and moving. It would be nice if some of these young people could actually come and be employed there.

Reintegration of young people
For long, Boris had the desire to move to a larger location. The office of Restart is very small. His prayer has been answered! The municipality pointed him to a beautiful location where there is enough space to also start a coffee house.

Renovation of the space is now in full swing. A lot has already been done, but funds are still urgently needed for electrical installations, kitchen, flooring, paint, furniture, new doors, etc. Volunteers from the church are helping to get everything in order, it is truly a joint effort. About 2500 euro is needed to make the building ready for use.

At work in the new location
👉We have noticed that the opening of coffee houses is on the rise. We see that in various countries and also in our own Twinkeltje. It is a nice way of getting in touch with people and having conversations. The coffee houses are also used for all kinds of activities, from Bible studies to workshops to film events and common meals.

Traveling Light wants to help realize the coffee house in Novi Sad. We have an invitation to attend the opening when the time comes 😁

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

Monday, November 18, 2019

Our visit to Israel

Good atmosphere in the soup kitchen
In October we (Jan and Marja) enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Israel. But it was so much more than just vacation!

We helped Brian Slater from Abundant Bread of Salvation in his foodbank in Netanya. We unloaded pallets of products and placed everything on the shelves, we assembled food packages and served meals in the soup kitchen. Always fun to be there and give a helping hand!

Catching up with Polly
The proceeds from our shop Twinkeltje over November will go towards the work of Brian Slater. So come and shop for a good cause!

Also, take a look at this great VIDEO!

We had coffee and lunch with Polly Sigulim in Arad. The Teen Challenge women's home she directed for several years had to close due to several circumstances. But Polly still offers a safe place for women, now in her own home.

Because there is quite a bit of opposition from the Jewish orthodox community in Arad, she stays a bit under the radar so to speak. It was good to catch up and pray with and for each other. All in all, an encouraging visit.

Such honor to meet these Holocaust survivors
Together with Jeroen & Robin Honigh (from Milk & Honey Ministries in the USA) we visited Beit Joles, a home for the elderly in Haifa. Many Jewish people with a Dutch background live there. It was very precious to have time and conversation with these Holocaust survivors (often well in their eighties and nineties).

They enjoyed speaking Dutch with us and in the course of the afternoon, more residents joined our table. They shared stories of their hiding places during WW II with the help of the books Righteous among the Nations. They invited us to come again...

We also had a nice lunch and caught up with Amadeus Schmidgall, who used to be a staff member at Teen Challenge Emsland in Germany and now lives in Jerusalem.

With Mirka and Milan in Jerusalem
When we arrived in the old city that morning, we had an unexpected meeting with Milan & Mirka Antalik, whom we know from our trips to Slovakia. Milan arranges the book presentations and speaking engagements of Marja's Slovak books.

Such joyful meetings, and great to see how the Traveling Light network connects nations!

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