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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Report summer camp Ukraine

Our fabulous and pretty interpreters
We promised to write a short report of our visit to Ukraine earlier this month. We were invited to participate in the annual summer camp organized by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic Congregation Yahad from Berdychiv.

About 250 men and women from various rehab centers were present, a number of foreign guests (including us) and five special ladies: our interpreters.
Lunch time

The camp was held just outside the village of Raygorodok (Zhytomyr region), about 20 minutes drive from Berdychiv. We've had such a great time together, actually it's not possible to describe it, it would be worth a television documentary.

The camp is organized specifically for men and women who are currently in rehab centers, recently finished a program or should be entering a program soon.  They are all so hungry for God's truth, love and mercy.

Enthusiastic students
Every morning we started with peeling potatoes and cutting cabbage, after which there was a time of music and dance and then breakfast. Every morning the guests could choose which teaching/workshop they wanted to attend. We had the opportunity to teach on the following themes during the week: God's will and His plan for your life, relationship with the Holy Spirit, and new life, old habits. We received a lot of grateful and enthusiastic responses to our simple, practical teachings

Ministry time
In the afternoon there was time for sports, playing and creativity. In the evening there was always a variety of programs, but for sure a lot of music and dancing. Throughout the day, until late in the evenings we had the opportunity to pray with people, listen to their stories and questions and minister God's love.

In prayer, we received many words of knowledge, wisdom and prophecy from the Holy Spirit, which was absolutely great! If you see how it encourages and builds up people, you just know: this is what God's  Spirit wants to do through people!

Greetings from the women's home
Our friend Sergey Romanenko took us to see the women's home, which was purchased in 2014 with help of Traveling Light.

We also got a tour of the men's home, where they are currently building an addition (also thanks to your gifts).

We visited a small Jewish museum and the Carmelite Monastery in Berdychiv.

Handing out Russian editions of 'Grace of Giving'
Our friends Henk & Adrie Swijnenburg were also in Ukraine during this time to visit some friends. They drove their car and brought a big box of books (Russian edition of Marja's book Grace of Giving) to the camp.

We were able to give away many books. In the meantime, we have received several thankful messages through FB and email from people we prayed with or who are reading the book.

Celebrating rebirth
The gratitude we experienced throughout the week was truly overwhelming. It is fruit of the investments we all make. Without your gifts and prayers, Traveling Light could not exist.

The man next to Marja (see picture on the left) responded to Jan's invitation to give his life to Jesus. With that decision he turned away from a life of addiction, homelessness, crime and hopelessness. If the whole trip had been for him alone, it was very much worth it!

Dear friends, we are so very happy to share GOOD news from Ukraine. Changed lives, a growing church, people who  have hope for their country. Our encouragement and prayers are vital!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Gifts are ALWAYS welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

PS:
- The thermometer for project expansion women's home Belarus  has risen to 5,000 euro!
- The next project will be for Teen Challenge in Croatia
- In addition, we will soon post about a trip Brian Slater from Israel is planning.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Project expansion women's home, Belarus (3)

My name is Sergey. I’m 39 years old and I was born in Belarus (one of the countries of the former USSR) in an orthodox family where I actually never heard about God. When freedom came to our country Christian booklets sometimes got to my hands. It was interesting to me to read about God.

One day I watched a feature film on TV and one of the heroes in that movie read a passage from the Bible – from the Sermon on the Mount. When I heard the words “but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” tears appeared in my eyes – I could not see such love in this world!

I understood that those were the words from the Bible. And I decided to find a copy and to read in it (I did not even have a small part of the Bible yet). I found and bought the Gospel of John and the Revelation of John and started to read. I repented before the Lord at home and started to pray regularly and considered myself a Christian. But I was alone and did not tell anyone about my faith. Sometimes I would read the words 'brothers and sisters' in the booklets and I also prayed the Lord’s prayer “our Father in heaven…' and I noticed that it was written 'our Father…', not 'my Father…' and I understood there should be other Christians with whom I should pray.

Women's crisis center
I wanted to find an orthodox priest to talk about this but then I decided that it was better to pray and ask 'Lord, where are my brothers and sisters?' Several days after that I was passing a small Christian library in the center of our city and at that time a man from this library talked to me and offered me a booklet. I said that I had it. He offered me another one and I answered that I had it as well. Then he said “look, you will not be saved by books”. I went home and a thought came to me: 'this man offered Christian literature, maybe he is the brother that I’m looking for?' I went back to him the next day to talk and he invited me to a church service.

Renovation 2nd floor is necessary
I visited the church and at the end of service I gave my life to Jesus. When I came out of the church I knew I had found what I was looking for. At that time I was almost 16 years old at and very happy to be in God’s family. Through all these years I have never regretted giving my life to Jesus. After some time, when I already served in a rehabilitation center, the Lord told me that He would send me to the people whom the world does not bless but curse. Several years later I was sent to serve with homeless people.

The Lord blessed me with a sweet wife and 4 children. I praise Him for everything He has done in my life and for everything He will do in the future. Glory be to Him!    

Sergey is coordinator in the Baranovichi center and he is also our interpreter and guide. Because of him we can stay in good contact with our friends in Belarus. The donation thermometer for project expansion women's home has risen to 4,000 euro. yeah!

Gifts are still welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: BELARUS.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Activities and project news

Photo: Oles Sh
We have just returned from Ukraine after a very special week. About 250 men and women from various rehabilitation centers were present at the annual summer camp organized by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic Congregation in Berdychiv.

Traveling Light has been able to sponsor the whole event with a wonderful donation of 3,000 euro. We will write a bit more about our experiences in the next blog post. We had the opportunity to teach on a few topics. In addition, we prayed with many, many people and shared words of knowledge, wisdom and prophecy. It was amazing! Thank you for your prayers and donations.

Hard working volunteers
The month of June was pretty quiet in our second hand shop Twinkeltje but very valuable because of all the meaningful conversations we had. On the last day of the month some of our faithful volunteers catered at an anniversary party and we received a generous donation for their work.

So, we were able to donate 1,000 euro for the work of Radko & Nevin Kratsov among the Roma in Bulgaria. The shop is closed for the month of July due to vacations.

Bible study during work week
From August 28 to September 4 we will again organize a work week in Tuscany. There is still room for up to 2 people maximum. Please contact us if you want to join.

You can view our agenda for the 2nd half of 2017 HERE and if you have some time on your hands, please take a look at our renewed website and share all that positive news with someone else. The support of all these practical, small scale projects is only possible because of you.

HAPPY SUMMER!

PS: Gifts are always welcome. You can send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.