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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Activities + travels

Last week, Traveling Light attended the 10th Roma Leaders conference in Ohrid, Macedonia. For Marja it was the third time she could be there.

Roma leaders from various countries and churches came together for education, prayer and encouragement. It is a great opportunity for us to hear what is happening in the Roma communities in the various countries.

AND... we get to meet up with our friends Sokrat & Lena Apostolovska. This lovely couple organizes these annual conferences and for many years they have been involved in children's work among the Roma in Skopje.

The proceeds of our secondhand shop Twinkeltje over the month of June will therefore go towards their work!

This Thursday we will organize a mission evening in Twinkeltje again. This time we have guests from the USA: Jeroen and Robin Honingh. They are on their way to Israel where they will spend three months volunteering wherever they can. We met them years ago in Israel in the soup kitchen of Brian Slater in Netanya. We had a click right away.

They will share about the how and why of their annual travels to Israel and how they manage to take three months off from work to volunteer in another country. It will be an inspiring evening. Door is open from 19:30 hrs and coffee and tea are brewing. WELCOME.

This coming weekend the ZIP festival will be held on the beach at Salmsteke/Lopik. Sunday afternoon Jan will be preaching. Take a blanket or chair to sit on and some food to share. We'll stay there till sun goes down!


Jan left for Slovenia last week Monday. Together with the staff and students of Teen Challenge he drove from there to Macedonia for the My Brother's Keeper conference. He attended for the 7th time!

It turned out that the conference (where some 350 men from the Balkans are present) was held near Ohrid ... but we did not see each other 😎 This conference is also a great opportunity for us to see, hear and experience what is going on spiritually in the Balkan countries.

It helps us to pray with more passion for the nations. Please join us in praying for a safe journey home for Jan. Thank you.
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Current projects:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sponsoring Teen Challenge summer camp, Ukraine

Morning ritual :)
As in previous years, we want to sponsor the annual summer camp in Ukraine which is being organized by Teen Challenge Ukraine and the Jewish Messianic congregation in Berdychiv.

The camp is a special time for men and women who are (or have been) in drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation centers all over Ukraine. But also volunteers, workers, leaders, pastors, church members, children and family members are welcome.

They are expecting around 200 participants this year.

A mid week camping out, playing games, laughing, Bible study, music, food, prayer and friendship is a very special time for the participants. For many it will be the first time they go on a summer trip like this, especially if they have lived in the streets or been in prison.

Jan teaches Biblestudy
Last year we (Jan and Marja) participated in the camp, from peeling potatoes to giving Bible studies to praying for and with people.

We had a fantastic time. This year we have been invited again to come and share some Bible studies. The camp will be held from July 9-13, 2018 and it costs about 25 euro per person to attend this summer camp.

Many people do not have the financial means to pay for this camp. So, we promised to help again.  We know and have seen and experienced that this week can be life changing for many people!

If you have it on your heart to help, please send 25 euro (or a multiplication thereof) to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: SUMMER CAMP.

Enthusiastic students
Sponsoring the summer camp is a very direct and practical way to give heed to the Biblical calling:

Go and make disciples of all nations...
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Current projects:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Road trip Germany and Poland (2)

The gate Wroclaw
From Berlin (see our previous post) we drove to Wroclaw in Poland. A beautiful city with a colorful historic center and lots of students: about 120,000! Last October we visited The Gate, the youth work of Teen Challenge in Wroclaw.

The Gate is run by young people from local churches and is known among students as an 'alternative club' because of the alcohol-free zone. The club offers opportunity to talk about the more serious things in life.

The Gate organizes worship evenings, mini concerts and workshops, as well as meetings on the university campuses and they are active during festivals and theme weeks.
Book signing
Every week a growing group of students comes together. For some, a visit to The Gate is the first introduction to the Christian faith.

The Tuesday night we were there, it was a full house, how wonderful! We had many interesting conversations, there was music, singing, prayer and we were invited to share bits and pieces  of our life stories. We were able to give away many copies of Łaska dawania, the Polish edition of Marja's book Grace of Giving.

ETC annual board meeting
We had the privilege of supporting The Gate earlier this year by sending a donation and it was great fun to visit them again. We would like to continue our encouragement.

The next morning we walked around the historic city center and then we left for Krakow to participate in the annual Europe Teen Challenge conference.

Every year, staff, students, volunteers and interested parties from around 30 countries come to the conference. Most are involved in Christian rehabilitation work. Traveling Light also attends the annual board meeting.

With Janusz and Bogusia
We come together for encouragement, fellowship, sharing stories, strengthening the various friendships and praying with and for each other.

For Janusz & Bogusia of Teen Challenge Winiarczykowka we collected 1,300 euro in our secondhand shop Twinkeltje in April. Well, that's a way to make people happy 😁

Gesi from TC Albania
Gesi Hysenaj, from Teen Challenge Albania, handed us a copy of 'The Cross iand the switchblade' in Albanian language. Wonderful, Traveling Light has co-sponsored the translation and publishing of this edition. It is the first time in history that this life changing book is available in Albania.

Well, we could share for hours about all the beautiful encounters and the gratitude we receive for you (the donors)! At such a conference we see and hear how all donations have been used and how the support and encouragement from the Netherlands is appreciated.

THANK YOU!

👉We are currently collecting funds for Teen Challenge's women's home in Lithuania. We have planned a short visit beginning of August. Please, send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: LITHUANIA.

When in the USA you can donate to: Eastern Europe Outreach Inc, make sure to mention: LITHUANIA.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Road trip Germany and Poland (1)

Posing in front of the moving van of Casa Bet-El
Just like last year, we made a tour of Europe in early May with Jim & Lynda Hayes. On our way to Krakow in Poland, where the Europe Teen Challenge conference was held, we visited several people and places ... and each and every one of them was so special.

Last year we visited Casa Bet-El (nice website by the way) in Berlin, Germany for the first time. Casa Bet-El is a christian rehab for men with addiction problems.

The A-team :)
We were very impressed by the wonderful (and difficult) work that Vito and Anna Katrin Franceschin and their team are doing there. We kept in touch and were invited to spend a few days with them.

Community living means doing life together: eating and cleaning up, barbecuing and exercising. But also praying with and for each other. Of course there were some technical problems for Jan to solve. He doesn't go anywhere without his  toolbox!

During breakfast Vito shared how God saved him years ago from a life of drug use, trafficking and crime. Quite a bizarre story and at the same time the motivational factor to do this work (Vito and Anna Kathrin live from donations).

Lunch at Casa Bet-El
We furthermore had the opportunity to teach from the Bible and to have many personal conversations with the staff and men in the program. We had a powerful evening of worship in which God's Spirit was present with deliverance, healing, restoration and comfort.

Casa Bet-El has revenue from El Rastro, a second-hand store in Berlin, and from a moving business. With the truck (see the photo above) staff and residents go around town to pick up stuff, move furniture and clean out homes.

By the way, the truck needs to be replaced with a new one. If you are called to help with that, donations are always welcome. Make sure to designate your gift CASA BETEL. We will make sure your gift gets to them!

Jan shares encouraging words with the Nehemiah Gemeinde
This visit was a huge encouragement for all of us. As always, we go out to give (funds, love, time, fellowship, words of the Spirit etc.) and we end up receiving blessings in return.

On Sunday afternoon we were also guests at the Nehemiah Gemeinde in Potsdam. We have known them for years and it is always good to see old acquaintances and meet new people in this church.

Jan shared an encouraging word and we were blessed with a generous gift for one of the projects of Traveling Light.

Tuesday morning we left for Wroclaw, Poland. More about that in the next blog!

Gifts (large and small) for the various projects are always welcome! St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

PS: Click on the photos for an enlargement.

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Current project: TEEN CHALLENGE LITHUANIA