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Monday, May 29, 2017

European spring tour 2017 (3)

'Once I was blind, now I see...'
From Winiarczykowka in Poland to the Teen Challenge center in Sered, Slovakia is a beautiful drive through mountain scenery. We really enjoyed it.

The men's rehab center in Sered accommodates around 15-20 men who suffered from addiction or other life-threatening problems. We were a bit late for lunch, but they still offered us a large bowl of soup and homemade apple strudel .... how delicious!

Library in the chapel
The men in the program take care of the cooking, the garden, the cleaning, the animals and all other daily activities. And so they learn to use their talents in a good way.

Jan gave an encouraging message in the afternoon at the David Wilkerson Memorial Chapel (Traveling Light is one of the sponsors of this beautiful building). The worship was lead by two men from the program, it sounded heavenly. Those guys can really sing! After the service, we climbed the tower to check out the library.

Director Stanislav Kunak handed us the Slovak edition of the book 'The Cross and the Switchblade'. We felt so honored to see the name of Traveling Light in the back of book among the sponsors who helped to publish this book.

The proceeds of our second-hand shop over the month of January went towards this project. The story in this book has touched and changed thousands of lives and is still doing so, worldwide!

Bringing comfort and hope
We had the opportunity to pray with the mother of Milan, who worked faithfully at Teen Challenge for years and died suddenly last year. She misses her son enormously and feels sad quite often. She had a picture of Milan and us in her purse which was taken during one of our previous visits.

During dinner at an excellent local restaurant we became acquainted with Zuzana, who will translate my book Grace of Giving into the Slovak language (!). We also had a great and inspirational conversation with a local businessman who has been called to publish evangelical books in the Slovak language and will pick up this project. Yes, networking is something we love to do as well :)

Early birds
We slept in the house of Milan's sister and we had the opportunity to minister in prayer to the girls living there. The next morning we had a full house at breakfast as pastor Lubor & Danielle of the evangelical church in Galanta came along and we encouraged them in personal prayer... resulting in these smiling faces.

On to Slovenia!

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.

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.