We welcome your cheerful gifts for the following CURRENT projects

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Project green houses, Serbia

Green houses at Teen Challenge, Serbia
Some time ago we received a request from Sasa and Svetlana Ivanovic, the directors of Teen Challenge in Serbia... whether we wanted to raise some funds for the purchase of new plastic for the tomato green houses at the drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation center in Novi Sad.

The work of Teen Challenge in Novi Sad depends in part on donations, but also in part on the profits made of their tomato growing business.

Men's home in Novi Sad
Behind the men's center you can find several huge green houses that are covered with plastic. Every so many years the plastic has to be replaced. They are planning to do so (for at least four green houses) this coming January/February. After several years the plastic gets darker which prevents sunlight to come in and of course weather circumstances cause damage. In March 2015 thousands of tomato plants will begin to grow in these green houses.

The work in the green houses is therapy for the men in the program. They learn to work structurally and to take responsibility for the plants, the watering, the feeding, the picking etc. The fact that the tomato business brings in money to run the center, is often an extra drive to work hard and diligently.

Replacement of plastic is necessary
Of course we would like to help them with this practical investment. It takes about 600 euro for one green house to change the plastic covering. We would like to support Teen Challenge Serbia with this project by raising 2,400 euro, so they can totally renew four green houses.

If you love tomatoes ;) and the work of Teen Challenge, please help us out and make your gift payable to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention GREEN HOUSES.

On behalf of the staff and students in Serbia, thank you very much for your help!

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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December projects

Rehab home Berdychiv
Thanks to your fantastic response and generous gifts we were able to bless many people this December month. Read along:

The offering during the Christmas Eve service in our Church De Hoeksteen was held for our project Coffee house and Rehab homes Berdychiv in the Ukraine. We are happy to announce that we have been able to give a total donation of 3,000 euro towards the work among the addicts, homeless, prostitutes, lonely and elderly in Berdychiv.

Months away from home
We were able to sponsor Guus and Annemiek Peters with a gift for 70 Christmas goodie bags for the sailors in the ports of Belgium. Guus writes: "I had many good talks with the sailors during the distribution of the Christmas goodie bags. One in particular was with Sujith, a Hindu from india. he told me that he became a father 4 months ago and that he had not seen his daughter yet, because he has been on board of his ship for six months...
I told him dat I know someone Who did send His Son to us and then did not see Him for 33 years. The only contact between tehm was through prayer. Sujith asked me to explain more and I could share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him. I always find it so precious that I can do this, making use of a sailor's story. There is always something in the Bible to connect his story with. Sujith was very happy with the New Testament in his own Hindi language. Thank you very much for your help!"

Beit Hallel
We also received a thank you note of Voice of Judah Ministries in Ashdod, Israel. We were able to sponsor the work of Messianic congregation Beit Hallel with a gift. "Shalom!!! Confirming we have received your wire for 1,000 EUR. Thank you for your generous gift! Many Blessings." 

What a great way to end another blessed year! Thank you so much for your faithful, surprising, periodic, one-time, general, specific, small, large, lovely and special donations.

As we are meditating on Gods blessings in this previous year, we are at the same time looking forward to a new year. We already have several practical new projects lined up:

  • Plastic for green houses Teen Challenge, Serbia
  • Tractor parts for Communita Brezzano, Italy
  • Repairs Coffee House Teen Challenge, Belgium
  • Shelter for young girls in Moldava

We are looking forward to co-laboring with you all again. Please tell others about Traveling Light.

PS: click on the pictures for enlargement

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Project Coffee house & Rehab homes, Berdychiv

Pastor Sergey Romanenko in coffee house Berdychiv
It is already a year ago that we introduced pastor Sergey Romanenko and his work in Berdychiv, Ukraine on this blog. We raised 5,000 euro towards the purchase of a house for women and children. That was such a blessing for them!

Women's home Simcha is running fine, many women and children have found this place of refuge. Pastor Sergey is also running a coffee house in Berdychiv. For many poor, homeless and addicted people a visit to a coffee house is often the first step towards seeking help. Volunteer workers of the coffee house go out into the streets to seek people who need help and invite them to come over for a visit.

Women's home Simcha, Berdychiv
Such a visit is a big step towards recovery. For many it is the first time to come in contact with believers and to experience God's love for them. They have a chance to meet people who have been set free from addictions and destructing lifestyles and who have started a new life. In the coffee house visitors get food and drinks, there is time to talk, to make music and to listen to people giving a testimony about what God has done in their lives.

After several visits (sometimes even after only one!) some people make the decision to turn around and to enter a rehabilitation home where they often stay a year or even longer.

Coffee house in Berdychiv
Pastor Sergey and his team are doing a marvelous work in Berdychiv. They really take care of the down and out and lonely... they are letting their light shine in dark corners of the Ukraine.

There are several needs at the moment: renovation work in the rehab homes, car repairs and expansion of the coffeehouse work.

We like to share good news from Ukraine! Human lives being changed, for eternity! There is no better investment to make.

You can send your donation towards the work in Berdychiv to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: COFFEE HOUSE

PS: See sidebar on the right for an overview of our December projects.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Project Voice of Judah, Israel

Toys for children in hospital
For many people December is the month of giving (well, we think that's every month!) We remember how God gave His Son Jesus Christ to mankind... and more and more people realize that, in response to that great gift of love, it is so much better to give than to receive.

Each year we have seen an increase in donations during the month of December. And to keep the generosity ball rolling, the organizations, churches, ministries and projects we give to are being generous wherever they are. That is awesome!

Visiting the elderly
We would like to give a special love gift of 1,000 euro to the Voice of Judah in Ashdod, Israel. This organization proclaims the Good News to the people of Israel, reaches out a helping hand to feed and clothe the poor, plants and cultivates congregations, and raises up a generation of servant leaders. Pastor Israel Pochtar started the Messianic congregation Beit Hallel in 2005.

They are very active in their city and surrounding area. Their activities include: street outreach, humanitarian aid, gospel outreach tours, pro-life ministry, visiting hospitals and the elderly. They also organize Alpha courses and conferences for Hebrew, Russian and Arab speaking people. The voice of Judah is active in many spiritual and social areas of life.

The Voice of Judah is a group of believers that shines her light in Israel. We want to encourage them to keep doing so, despite the political unrest and ongoing violence.

If you have a heart for Israel, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention ISRAEL.

Pastor Israel Pochtar will be coming to the Hoeksteen Church in Etten-Leur this January 2015. If you want to hear more about the work and life in Israel, please come.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas gifts for sailors

Guus with his sailors
As we did last year, we want to help seafarer's evangelist Guus Peters with his Christmas gifts project again. For many years Guus has been working among sailors in the ports of Terneuzen, Gent and Antwerp, sharing with them the good news about Jesus Christ. 

Each year Guus and Annemiek Peters head down to the cold and windy ports on December 25th and 26th to hand out Christmas goody bags to the sailors. A small token of love, but with a huge impact in the hearts of these men, who are often far from home for months at the time and feel lonely... missing their families.

Each year this project is made possible because of gifts from people like you! For 8,50 euro you can sponsor a Christmas gift. This year the men will receive a warm sweater, a hand knitted beanie, a booklet (in their own language) and some sweets.

If you would like to bless the sailors this Christmas, send your donation of 8,50 euro (or a multiple) to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention SAILORS as we have several projects come up in December.

Let your light shine light in a dark world!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving from the Ukraine

Happy student at Moscow University
This past summer we were able to help Andrii Soloviov with a donation towards his study. Andrii is the director of rehab center Istochnick (Sevastopol area). Together with his wife they are running a home where people with addiction problems can find recovery and new life.

In 1998 Andrii went through a Christian rehab program himself and he came to know the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Since then he has given his life to help the ones still living in darkness. He lets his light shine in a very practical way in Crimea.

Istochnick home
Andrii had a desire to study Organizational psychology and human resource management at the University in Kiev. However, after several interviews he got the news that he was not accepted. This was a big disappointment for him. On top of that we received word that the money we transferred did not arrive. Not a nice situation.

We have sent several emails back and forth and kept encouraging Andrii not to give up. And God is good! The money arrived safely and Andrii did get accepted at Moscow State University in Sevastopol (much closer to home). He writes: 

We are so proud of Andrii
"Dear friends! I am thankful for the help organized by Traveling Light! I am expecting that this study will be a good opportunity to create an effective system of training leaders in the ministry of Teen Challenge Ukraine, who can respond to current challenges in the work with addicted people. 

During this past year it has become quite difficult to sort out what is real and what it not. Crimea was annexed by Russia, there is military operation going on in the South-West of Ukraine and also in the media there is a massive information war ... In this dark reality of our current time your help became for me as a lighthouse in the night, reminding me that God and His people remain real in any circumstances. May the Lord richly bless you!"

Andrii and Sergey
On behalf of Andrii and Teen Challenge Ukraine we want to thank you very much for your support.

On the right a photo of Andrii together with Teen Challenge director in Ukraine, Sergey Glushko. This past year they were separated by politics and war as Crimea was annexed by Russia. However, Sergey writes:

Politics can separate us, but CHRIST unites us.

New beds in the dorm
PS: There is still money needed to finish the Istochnick home inside and out (although men and women are living there now), so specified gifts are always welcome! We hope to visit Andrii and his team in the future.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Offering practical help in Israel

Volunteering in the soup kitchen
Offering practical help, financial support and spiritual encouragement to ministries in need within Europe & the Mediterranean area... That's what it says on the website and weblogs of Traveling Light. let's call it threefold help :)

(Click on the photo's for an enlargement)

Brian & Jan in orange :)
This past few weeks we were in Israel (also to take some vacation) and we were able to offer a helping hand in the soup kitchen of the Beit Asaph congregation in Netanya. It is always a joy to serve there.

Lunch with all the volunteers
You can check out the weblog of initiator Brian Slater if you want to keep an eye on what's going on there from week tot week. Each Monday it is a special time for the elderly and single mothers in Netanya as they gather for a good meal and clothes distribution. Brian is always looking for volunteers, especially on a long term basis.

Celebrating Polly's birthday
On Tuesdays there is dry food distribution in Netanya which is also being managed by Brian Slater. Again, volunteers show up each week to help bag the foods, hand it out to the recipients and pray for people when requested. Very rewarding work!

We also visited the women's shelter Ark in the Negev in Arad. There is always some technical work to do for Jan and we furthermore were able to encourage some people through prayer. We also celebrated the birthday of director Polly Sigulim together.

The situation in Israel is growing more and more vicious, so please keep praying that God's plan will be revealed!

Video clip of the soup kitchen!



PS: The donations thermometer for our current project Bertine House in Ukraine has risen above 4,000 euro and we believe much more can (and needs to) come in for the women and children who had the flee the war in Donetsk.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Citroën C5 for Restart, Serbia

Happy and thankful faces at team Restart
Recently we were able to donate 3,500 euro to Restart in Serbia. Restart is a non-profit organization with the mission to raise awareness about the dangers of addiction and to help addicts and former addicts and their families. 

Boris & Jelena Strbac are the founders of Restart (click here for more information on this project). They had a need for a van/car for their work. They give drugs prevention lessons at schools and do street work among the homeless and addicted. As a result of your generous donations they were able to purchase a Citroën C5! Boris writes:

Making good use of the car
"We are sending you a picture of part of our team in front of our office and we are sending you the picture of a young guy who was taken to rehabilitation center in Slovenia with our new car. The car is really good, and we are very happy with it. We have covered all the expenses, registration and insurance etc. Our God is amazing! God bless you and thank you for your giving hearts..."

Boris wants the Restart logo on the doors of the car as well! We are very happy for Boris, Jelena and their team. After several (technical) emails about cars and prizes and choosing the right one... it is good to see this result.

Traveling Light supports small scale projects, initiated by local people. We have direct contacts and our gifts are being used for the projects mentioned.

A HEARTFELT THANKS to all who donated, also on behalf of the Restart team.

We hope to visit the Restart team and the Holy Trinity Church in Novi Sad the next time we are in Serbia, so we can further build on our friendship.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Update project Bertine House, Ukraine

Jan & Erik at the start
What a beautiful day it was: October 26th, 2014! And what a great results at the marathon of Etten-Leur. Sadly enough André couldn't run because he did not feel well, but Thomas, Erik and Jan made up for it :)

With their kilometers they raised funds to help women and children who had to flee the Teen Challenge Bertine House in Donetsk, Ukraine, some weeks ago. Bertine House is a christian rehabilitation home for women coming out of addiction and prostitution. Together with their children they find there a safe place where they receive true love and often for the first time hear about Jesus.

The women, children and workers are currently living in a rented flat in the city of Poltava, and the most important thing is to get them through the winter. But they are at the same time looking for a big house where they can all live together and where the children have enough room to play outside.  And... new women are always coming in, especially during the cold winter.

Thomas at the finish
We have raised more than 3,000 euro so far for this project and gifts are still very welcome!

We are very proud of the men that ran for this cause and we are also thankful for the special t-shirts we received from Erik. For the sports fanatics among you... here are the official results:

Thomas van Dartel: 5 km in 23:29
Erik Slobben: 21 km in 2:05:07
Jan Verschoor: 21 km in 1:49:03

If you have a heart for the women and children of Bertine House, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U

We all have a choice: either we repeat the bad news we hear on tv or we decide to help share the good news!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Project Bertine House

Magne & Olga Gulbrandsen and their kids
We announced it a few weeks ago: runners in action for Bertine House in Poltava, Ukraine. We are currently raising funds to help women and children who had to flee Donetsk.

Bertine House was founded in 2008 by Magne and Olga Gulbrandsen. A beautiful home in Donetsk where women and children can live in safety. The women often have a background of addiction, prostitution and/or abuse and at Bertine House they finally get a chance to start a new life.

Magne was born in Norway. When he was 9 he began stealing and at 14 he started smoking hashish, using amphetamines, ecstasy and later heroin. As a result of this life he spent seven years in prison. Finally he went to a christian rehabilitation center, the beginning of a totally new life! Later he graduated from Bible school.

Women and children of Bertine House
He married Olga and together they now have four children. One day they were visiting a women's prison in the Ukraine when God spoke to Magne: "help these women so they can be reconciled with their children..."And that's how the idea for Bertine House started.

Recently the women and children who used to live in the home in Donetsk had to flee the area because of the war going on there (see previous blog post). They had to leave everything behind and found temporary shelter in a house in Poltava (halfway between Donetsk and Kiev), with poor sanitary conditions (toilet outside). With the winter right around the corner, they had to look for a better place to live.

Let the children come to me... 
So, now they are renting a flat where they have at least a shower and bathroom inside! But in the meantime they keep looking for a large house (to buy or rent) that can be transformed into a women's and children home again. They have their eyes on one... which costs 120.000 dollar... (with the possibility that the owner wants to go down in price).

On October 26 the marathon of Etten-Leur will be held. Four runners have offered to run their miles for Bertine House. Thomas van Dartel (5 km), Erik Slobben (21 km), André van Slooten (21 km) en Jan Verschoor (21 km) will run to help these women and children find a good and safe home!

You can sponsor them by giving a donation per kilometer and/or per person or by donating a certain amount for finishing the race or by giving a general amount. Everything helps!

ALL donations are welcome. Send your gifts to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: BERTINE.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Anniversary adventure

Happy with a sandwich
Two weeks ago Jim and Lynda Hayes left by train for Amsterdam. They 'celebrated' their 30th marriage anniversary by spending a whole weekend homeless on the streets. With project homeless honeymoon they wanted to raise awareness about the work of Teen Challenge in Slovenia.

It didn't take long for them to discover that finding food was not the problem. There are many churches and charities in Amsterdam doing fabulous work. Jim & Lynda were also surprised to find out how easy it was to collect some money for survival!

Lynda trying to sleep
The biggest problem was to find a place to sleep. Under bridges, in front of the train station, in shop doorways, behind large flower pots... they were moved on several times.

After three restless and emotional challenging days and nights they were so worn out and tired that they fell asleep on the train back home, and nearly missed their station :) Jim & Lynda were shocked to see the street life after two o'clock at night among the addicts, homeless and illegals. 'It is not too difficult to gather food and money', said Jim, 'but what people really need is a new life through Jesus Christ.'

And that is exactly what Teen Challenge wants to offer: practical help (shelter, care, detox etc.) and spiritual help (a possibility to experience the love and grace of Jesus). Getting 'clean' can happen in any regular clinic, but staying 'clean' is only possible with the help of God.

Visiting Dennis Griffith house in Slovenia
Jim & Lynda raised 3,328 euro (so far) with their homeless honeymoon and funds are still coming in. We expect to be able to give a donation of 3,500 euro to the Dennis Griffith rehabilitation home (watch the video!) in Nova Vas, Slovenia. Part of the money will be used for the purchase of safety gear (do you remember project chain saw back in 2011?) because the men are getting more and more jobs cutting trees.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Jim & Lynda who went on this adventure and of course to everyone who sponsored them by giving a donation. The team in Nova Vas will be very, very happy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Project winter fuel Winiarczykowka, Poland

Winiarczykowka gang :)
This past summer we gave a donation for a new sewage treatment plant to the rehabilitation and crisis home of Teen Challenge in Winiarczykowka, Poland.

In the meantime all necessary documents and permissions have been obtained and some inspections have taken place (read: lots of paper work and official dealings). Now they're waiting for the go-ahead sign, so the contractor can begin the digging.

Work shop in the basement
During our visit in June we were shown around the whole house. Yes, we even got to look in the basement, where there is a small workshop with tools and also the heating system. Contrary to most houses in eastern Europe, Winiarczykowka is not being heated with wood, but with oil.

Each winter the enormous tank needs to be filled again, which costs several thousand euro's. Money that comes in through donations and fundraising. Traveling Light has a warm heart for the work of Teen Challenge in Poland, so we would like to encourage them with a gift towards the purchase of this fuel.

oil heater
Janusz en Bogusia Gornicki (the directors of the center) have opened their doors for elderly people as well, mostly the lonely and weak. It is important to offer them, not just a safe place, but also a warm place to live! The winters in Poland are very cold and on the streets or in a poorly heated house they would not survive.

It would be great if we could bless them with a heart warming gift of 1,000 euro.

When in EUROPE, you can send your gift to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U
When in USA, you can send your gift to: Eastern Europe Outreach, make sure to mention: TC Poland Winiarczykowka

Thank you very much!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Runners in action for Bertine House, Ukraine

Crazy, sportive, good and fun activities in order to raise funds for small scale, practical projects... that's exactly what we LOVE to do at Traveling Light.

On October 26th the marathon of Etten-Leur will take place in The Netherlands and some wonderful brothers from our church have decided to run as a fundraiser for Bertine House in Ukraine.

Bertine House is a rehabilitation home for mothers and their children in Donetsk, founded by Magne & Olga Gulbrandsen. We know them from several conferences. Bertine House is a beautiful and big house with plenty of room to play.

Bertine House in Donetsk
A few weeks ago the women and children had to leave their home in Donetsk due to the current war situation in that area. They were happy to find temporary shelter in a home in Poltova (which is about halfway between Donetsk and Kiev).

They are now desperately looking for a decent place to live in Poltava, a place big enough for everyone (women, children, staff and volunteers). The current house in Poltava does not have proper sanitary services for so many people and does not have enough room for everyone.

Bertine House gang :)
We love to help them by raising funds which will be used to buy or rent a good house! The children are often traumatized because they grew up with addicted moms (thank God they are clean now) and the current war situation adds even more to that.

Gotta be creative
We want to see the children (and their mothers) in a safe environment. This is a practical project with direct contacts, the money will go straight to the project, nothing will stay behind. Also, Bertine House is part of Teen Challenge Ukraine, which we have good contacts with.

Temporary home
Thomas van Dartel (5 km), Erik Slobben (21 km), André van Slooten (21 km) en Jan Verschoor (21 km) will run to give these women and children a home. You can sponsor them by giving a donation per kilometer and/or per person or by donating a certain amount for finishing the race or by giving a general amount. Everything helps!
ALL donations are welcome. Send your gifts to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: BERTINE.

They really need a good and safe place to live. Will you help us to make it possible to find that place?

PS: Click on the pictures for an enlargement

Saturday, September 20, 2014

News-n-stuff

Restart drugs prevention work at schools
Four weeks ago we announced project minivan Restart, Serbia on this weblog. Restart is a non profit organization with the mission to raise awareness about the dangers of addiction and to help addicts and former addicts and their families.They are in need of a minivan for their outreach and prevention work.

The founders Boris & Jelena were heroine addicts for many years until they came to know the love and grace of Jesus Christ in the Teen Challenge program in Serbia. The doctors gave them no hope to become pregnant. But with God all things are possible! They have a healthy baby girl!

In the previous weeks about 3,000 euro came in towards this project. Thank you very much for your quick and generous response. We would love to donate 3,500 euro for the purchase of a minivan. We trust the last bit will come in soon. Boris is looking out for a suitable vehicle.

Jim & Lynda Hayes
Next Friday Jim & Lynda Hayes will be heading for Amsterdam for project Homeless Honeymoon. They will be roaming the streets for a few days, as many homeless people do, and raise awareness about the work among the poor and addicted.

The proceeds of their fundraiser will go towards the work of Teen Challenge in Slovenia. We have already received more than 1,200 euro! You can still sponsor Jim & Lynda by sending your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: HONEYMOON.

The telephone keeps ringing and emails and FB messages keep coming in at Traveling Light. We have direct and personal contact with the people behind all of our projects. We currently have some projects lined up for next month, for example:
  • Half marathon Etten-Leur fundraiser for Bertina House in Donetsk, Ukraine. The women and children in this Teen Challenge rehabilitation home had to leave everything behind, because of the war. They are looking for a new home in a safer location. Big need!
  • Project winter fuel for Teen Challenge rehabilitation and crisis center Winiarczykowka in Poland.
  • Project Beit Hallel Messianic congregation in Ashdod, Israel. In October they will start an Alpha course again!
Women & children Bertina House
And these are only a few of the upcoming projects. As always: small scale, direct, practical and personal help. Without your prayers and financial support we would not be able to take on so many projects. Keep an eye on this blog and/or our Facebook Page.


We count on your support!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Veggies and spiritual food

Happy sailors with their new Bibles
Below you will find a thank you note from seafarer's  evangelist Guus Peters, which shows that practical help will result in spiritual blessings.

"Again, thank you very much for your generous donation towards the sailors on board of the ships that are being held in the port of Gent, Belgium.

There is good news: seventeen of the twenty-two crew members have been able to go home with their salaries. Christian Roos from ITF (International Transport Workers Federation), which is the international union of seafarers, has done a great job. There are five more man still on board of the two ships. The owner of the ships has been put under a lot of pressure, also to provide food for the men.

I want to thank you very much on behalf of the sailors and my dear colleague Ann van der Sijpt from Stella Maris in Gent for your fantastic help.

There is also spiritual fruit: Three of the sailors wanted to know more about the gospel and I was able to explain several things and handed them Bibles in the Russian language."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Work week Italy 2014

Working hard and always smiling
As we did last year, Traveling Light again organized a work week in Italy. Offering practical help with a group of volunteers in Communita Brezzano, a Christian Therapeutic community in beautiful Tuscany.

[click on the pictures for an enlargement]

Camfire
Communita Brezzano consists of three old Tuscan homes in the mountains. Maria Meier (a German widow who has been in charge of the community for many years) lives in one of the houses and receives women with emotional, psychological or addiction problems.

Her long-time helper Boris lives in one of the other houses and receives men with similar problems. The third house, Casa Shalom, is being rented out as vacation or groups home, which brings in some income to keep the work going. We rented Casa Shalom for a week.

pizza from the wood oven
Each day the guys disappeared into the woods to cut trees and chop wood. They did a tremendous amount of work and stacked enough wood for the upcoming winter in the cellar of the men's home. A very labor intensive job, that would cost Boris weeks and weeks to accomplish.

All three houses are being heated through wood heaters, and so they need a huge supply to survive the cold months. Thanks to the help of David, Jan, Menno, Nick and Teun this job was done in several days. Thumbs up for our faithful volunteers!

The theme for this week was 'spiritual warfare', we did Bible studies on this subject every night. Those were precious evenings, sitting together talking, praying, discussing, and singing songs. Teun brought his guitar and was leading the group each night in worship. He did an awesome job!

Sunday brunch with Maria and Boris
Thank you very much David, Menno, Nick and Teun for your endless energy, humor and enthusiasm. Together we were able to let our light shine in Italy and it is our prayer that our time given will bring forth much fruit in the lives of the people there, as well as in our own lives.

It is indeed so much better to give than to receive.

Check out our photo album on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Project Homeless Honeymoon

Jim & Lynda Hayes
Traveling Light is blessed with sporty, generous, creative, and loving supporters and volunteers, who keep coming up with new ideas to raise funds for the small scale projects we support throughout Europe. Such people are Jim and Lynda Hayes...

At the end of September they will celebrate their 30th (!) marriage anniversary and they want to do so in a very special way. No, not by giving a big party, buying more stuff or going on vacation, but by spending a homeless weekend on the streets of Amsterdam... (yeah, really!)

30 years ago
Jim & Lynda have a heart for the poor, homeless and addicted. By spending a weekend in Amsterdam without taking money, extra clothes or a sleeping bag, they hope to be able to identify with the life of a homeless person. They hope to get a feeling of what it means not to have a bed, a hot shower, and a refrigerator full of food at hand.

With this action they want to raise funds for the Teen Challenge Izhod rehabilitation home in Slovenia. About 8-12 men are living and working in that house (which Jim & Lynda visited on several occasions), mostly men who struggled with addictions and often know more about street life than about healthy family life.

Slovenia visit in April 2014
Getting off of drugs and alcohol does not take that long, but the phase that follows does! The men in the program receive a lot of love, grace, patience and prayer and often hear for the first time that God loves them and that He has a better plan for their lives.

Each life is so precious and we are very thankful for all the people who are giving their time and energy to help these men, to rescue what was lost, to bring light into dark situations.

If you want to encourage Jim & Lynda (and thus support the work in Slovenia) you can do so by sponsoring their homeless honeymoon. All proceeds will go to Teen Challenge Slovenia.

You can send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: HONEYMOON.