We welcome your cheerful gifts for the following CURRENT projects

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Visit to Teen Challenge, Romania

Catalin & Oltita Baciu
Early September we visited the beautiful country of Romania at the invitation of Catalin & Oltita Baciu. They are the directors of Teen Challenge in that country and the pastors of Biserica 43, a young, fast-growing church in Bucharest.

Our contact with them was established many years ago when we were still living in Southern California. We met them there at a conference and heard about the work they started among the addicts and homeless. Up till this year we did not succeed in planning a visit ... but finally the time was right :)

Men's rehab center in Grădiştea
We stayed in the rehabilitation center for men in Grădiştea, a village outside Bucharest. This center has been established with support from Southern California. The men who live there all have a different background and all have their own story ... sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes difficult to imagine or comprehend, but through it all there is always God's love and grace.

With Stefan and Joseph

We had all the time to listen to the guys in the program and pray with them. We were very grateful for the help from young men such as Joseph (translation, percussion) and Stefan (guitar). We felt so in tune with them and they had the gift to (literally) touch the right tone which made prayer very effective. So precious.

A few years ago teen Challenge opened a women's home as well. During our visit they just moved to a new location, assisted by the men from Grădiştea. Behind some of these beautiful faces are stories of pain and suffering, but victory is often within reach.

Women's House of Joy
What a wonderful work to welcome ladies from all walks of life in this beautiful and warm home where they can slowly and safely recover and heal. The women who work in the house are often graduates themselves and they know the ins and outs of rehabilitation.

Street outreach is still the basis for any Teen Challenge program: seeking addicts and homeless people in their living environment, telling them that there is hope, that there is always hope! With Robert and Cristiana we hit the city back roads, talking to people in the parks, on the streets, in crack houses and alleys. Such a misery, but also ... such an encouragement to know that there are people going out to look for that one lost sheep, that one addicted prostitute and tell her about God's love
With street workers Robert and Cristina (right)

The street work bears fruit. From time to time someone makes a decision to go into rehabilitation. Every woman and man must get that chance!

In the church founded by Teen Challenge, Biserica 43, we were given time and opportunity to listen to people's stories and pray with them (until late in the night). It was a huge encouragement for us to see so many young people ... with passion and great enthusiasm!

Bible study with the men
It was no coincidence that in that same weekend a team from Southern California came for a visit. They were making a documentary about the work of Teen Challenge in Romania. We had such a great time together and really enjoyed tourist trips, tasty food and beautiful nature.

The work of Traveling Light is so much more than fundraising for certain projects. We get to be an encouragement and share God's love, grace and words with people. Also, by visiting different countries and programs we get a clear picture of the miracles God is doing throughout Europe, and we're happy to share that good news!

Check out this special video and see how the work in Romania started!

No comments: