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Monday, December 28, 2015

People, projects, programs...

Go into the world...
On this blog we often write about projects and programs, but ultimately it is always about people. The people behind the projects. The people in the programs. The people of the initiatives and ideas. The people we want to encourage.

We try as much as possible to build good relationships with them ... As a matter of fact, every project is essentially the beginning or the continuation of a friendship!

With Miki & Suzana Kamberovic
Sometimes we do not have to travel far to maintain those relationships, sometimes we just meet each other on Dutch soil :) This happened several times in recent months ...

In October we had an inspiring meeting with Miki & Suzana Kamberovic from Serbia. They are the leaders of a Roma church and school. We talked, shared ideas, prayed together and agreed to help them with a winter project. We donated a portion of the proceeds of the winter fair for the purchase of a good heater in their new kids' club.

With Boris & Jelena Strbac
A few weeks later we had a pleasant meeting with Boris and Jelena Strbac, also from Serbia. They are the founders of Restart, a non-profit organization dedicated to reach addicts and the homeless. They were in the Netherlands to attend a church conference and drove all the way in the beautiful Citroën they purchased with the help of Traveling Light.

We asked them about their greatest joy, their biggest frustration and their most difficult challenge. That lead to a very interesting conversation. At the end of the evening we prayed together in the Citroën!

With Janet van Boxtel
Janet van Boxtel (Embrace) from Hungary was also in the Netherlands for a few days. We went to her ministry presentation in Wemeldinge. She told about the work among the homeless and poor in Hungary and also about the difficult, but beautiful contacts with the many refugees.

We prayed together, we laughed and talked. We could tell that spending some time with her Dutch friends and supporters encouraged her. On December 23rd they organized a meal for 300 homeless people in Hungary. A very special event!

With Maria Meier
Last week we drove to Aachen (well, that is Germany, but close to the Netherlands alright) for a meeting with Maria Meier from Comunita Brezzano in Italy. We have known Maria for some years now. She leads a therapeutic residential community in Tuscany. In 2013 and 2014 we organized a work week in Tuscany with a group of youngsters from our church.

At the beginning of 2016 you will see Maria again on this blog. We will help her to fundraise for roof repairs on one of the old Tuscan houses.

Meeting up with people, inspiring and encouraging them ... perhaps the most important aspects of the work of Traveling Light, even more so than the money we obtain through fundraising.

There are many small-scale initiatives (read: charities) all over Europe. From time to time the people running those programs and non-profits feel somewhat alone in their struggles. That is exactly why, in addition to offering financial support, we invest in friendships.

[Click on the photos to enlarge.]

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