We welcome your cheerful gifts for the following CURRENT projects

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Project daycare for the elderly, Moldova

Carmen has a heart for the elderly
It happens quite often that people stumble upon the work and ministry of Traveling Light through a Google search. This summer we received an email from Carmen Ullersma. She is from the Netherlands, but has been living and working in Ukraine and Moldova for years.

Whether we were interested in supporting the realization of a daycare for the elderly in Moldova ...

Fortunately, Carmen was in the Netherlands recently, because her parents were celebrating their 50th anniversary. So, we made an appointment to meet and have coffee.

Carmen comes from a family where missionary travels are the heart of daily life; she was raised with a love for nations and peoples. "I am committed to express in a living and tangible way the commandments that Jesus called the greatest: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength, and "love your neighbor as yourself'," says Carmen.

This will be the daycare center
Carmen has a nursing degree and studied Theology at the Free University in Amsterdam. In the summer of 2009 she attended the Harvest School of Iris Ministries in Pemba, Mozambique. She has been working in Moldova since October 2013.

There, she came in contact with a retired nurse, Liuba, who has been doing volunteer work for years in the village of Costești and finances this from her own small pension. The idea of ​​starting a daycare for the elderly was born. "During my work in the villages among the poorest people I discovered that there is a shortage of care for the elderly. In Moldova, life is not easy for the elderly who live in the villages."

In the villages around Costești (a village in the Rîșcani district) the elderly do not have running water at home. That means that they also have no shower, toilet or washing machine. The day center will offer the opportunity to shower, wash clothes in a washing machine and meals will also be provided. "We want to bring the elderly and children from Costești into contact with each other and do creative activities a few times a week in the day center."
Multi functional room

Carmen has good contacts with the local authorities and the mayor who also has a heart for this project. The project is supported by the locals as well. Liuba takes care of children in the local library after school and offers all kinds of creative activities there. When the day center is finished they want to combine this!

Carmen is always looking for people who want to support the project. Fortunately, there are a number of churches in the Netherlands who stand behind her work. However, she was still looking for a sponsor for the purchase and installation of the heating system 😁

A youth group from a local church in the Netherlands came this summer
It will probably be a large pellet stove that heats a boiler to which radiators are connected. Everything will be purchased and installed locally. It is estimated that such a system costs more than 6,000 euro, including installation (you also understand why most people have no heating!).

We have promised that we will do our best to come up with a significant part of that sum so that the center can be opened up before winter. By the way, it is the intention to pick up the elderly people who live in remote areas with a van or minibus (sponsors are still needed for this).

If you have a heart for the elderly, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: DAYCARE MOLDOVA.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Project news

New addition (kitchen area) men's rehab

We have supported many projects in recent months, so here are a few updates, in order to show you where your donations were put to work 😁

The proceeds from our shop Twinkeltje over the month of September were 1,000 euro's and we donated that to Teen Challenge Ukraine as an addition to the kitchen extension project in Berdychiv, (we went there for a visit early July).

A lot of work has been done there on the new kitchen, an extension to the existing house, as you can see in the photo. This gift will hopefully help to finish the project as much as possible before winter sets in.

Visit to women's home in Slienava
We have also been able to transfer a donation of 4,000 euro to Teen Challenge Lithuania for the completion of the women's home in Slienava. With those funds they can continue with the construction work on the inside: floors, walls, rooms, electricity, plumbing etc. (we were there for a visit end of July).

It is still a huge job, but we are confident that it will all work out before the winter, and that more funds will come in at Teen Challenge Lithuania through various channels.

Traveling Light was one of the first organizations to send a gift (10,000 euro!) to Teen Challenge Belgium for the purchase of a building that they are already using (since September 1st) as a residential rehab center. We are happy, thankful and excited to announce that Teen Challenge will be buying the building!

With their campaign, they raised 150,000 euro up to and including September 30th. So, not yet the entire amount required, but apparently enough to close the deal. Thank you very much everyone who contributed to this and please consider giving a donation if you haven't done so already.

And, yes there is more, we have also been able to donate 3,000 euro to the phase 2 Teen Challenge men's home project in Falesti, Moldova. A team from the Czech Republic arrived there last week to further help with the construction of the second floor.
Construction 2nd floor men's home Falesti

The men send their greetings.

The support of all these great and practical projects is only possible thanks to your donations, which are always welcome by the way, at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Let us never give up encouraging one another.

And as we often say: keep the giving going!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Roma Ministry International, Bulgaria

The Kratsov family
We have been in contact with Radko Kratsov from Bulgaria for a number of years. Together with his wife Nevin and in cooperation with YWAM Sliven he has been active on many fronts within the Roma community, which stretches all across south eastern Europe.

We know them personally from the Roma conferences in Macedonia.

We regularly receive their newsletters and on several occasions the monthly proceeds from Twinkeltje have gone towards the work of Roma Ministry International.

Talks in the neighborhood
One million Roma live in Bulgaria alone. In his work with YWAM, Pastor Radko focuses on the spiritual development of the Roma population. He knows from experience that receiving God's love is the beginning of a new life ... for everyone!

His personal story can be seen in this very interesting documentary.

He gives discipleship and leadership training in Bulgaria and surrounding countries and helps Roma people to develop a Biblical perspective in all areas of ​​life: relationships, work, health, finances etc.

Some of the upcoming activities include:
  • Plans to start a DTS (discipleship training school of YWAM) in 2020 for Roma youth.
  • In October Radko will travel to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina for an international Roma conference.
  • Outreach, evangelism, summer camps
  • In November Radko will travel to Kherson in Ukraine to conduct seminars for Roma leaders.
'A wonderful opportunity', he wrote in an email to us, it has been years since I was in Ukraine, and it's the first time I have the opportunity to give leadership training there.'

The Bible teaches us that people perish due to a lack of knowledge and vision and it instructs us to go and teach the nations. Radko and his family have responded to this. We would like to support them with prayer and a gift for travel expenses.
Roma flag

If you would like to help to bring a positive change among the Roma people, then make your gift payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: ROMA BULGARIA.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Phase 2 project Teen Challenge men's home, Moldova

Team work in Moldova, last June
Back in June we wrote about the construction work in Moldova. Our annual Weissensee fundraiser, which always takes place in January, brought in a nice amount for the expansion of the Teen Challenge rehabilitation home in Falesti. The house offers a residential program for men who struggle with life controlling problems.

A team of men from the Teen Challenge program in Czech Republic traveled to Moldova to help with the construction work, they did an awesome job.

An entire floor was built on the existing house. As with many construction projects which are paid for by donations, the job is divided into different phases. Phase 2 is about ready to begin.

During phase 1 of the construction project
On October 1st a team from Czech Republic will travel to Moldova again to help with the insulation of the roof, the finishing of three rooms and a classroom and the installation of all electricity.

The plan is to install the plumbing and heating in a third phase. All depending on the gifts that come in for this construction project.

Plans for phase 2
We have promised to raise funds for phase 2 and come up with at least portion of the required amount. It would be nice if we could send them 3,000 euro so that the work can commence on October 1st, as planned.

If you want to help (again), you can send your precious gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: TC MOLDOVA.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Visit to Teen Challenge Emsland, Germany

Communal meals
A few weeks ago we visited Teen Challenge Emsland in Germany. We were invited to give a weekend seminar with the theme: the Father heart of God.

The men's rehabilitation home is a wonderful place (a real farm) where men with life-controlling problems can come to rest and recover. And although it is only a few hours drive from Papendrecht, we had never visited them before.

Bettina Ratering
Hopefully we have now made up for that 😎

Bettina Ratering and her husband Martin are the directors of the program and we know them from conferences. Because they were on vacation at the time we visited, we were welcomed by staf member Amadeus Schmidgall.

We were first given a tour of the beautiful property. Currently they are converting the building in the picture below into a beautiful new residential center. The men in the program are helping out with the construction work.
Teen Challenge Emsland

The great thing about visiting Teen Challenge centers is that we always eat together. Most conversations arise around the table. Every day more people joined: volunteers, staff members and visitors to the seminar.

Work in progress
We spoke about God as Father in various sessions and expressed His heart's desire, to see sons and daughters grow up, using many Bible sections.

Of course we were given time to pray and speak with people individually. Also, in one of the sessions we listened to God's heart, to the words that the Spirit gave. Those words ministered to all who were present and resulted in recovery and healing!

Father heart session
On Sunday morning we spoke at Christ Church in Dörpen where we were welcomed very warmly. After the service we had many nice conversations and meetings, especially with immigrants.

The mission of Traveling Light is threefold, we offer practical help (such as the work week in Italy), financial support and spiritual encouragement to Christian organizations and communities within Europe.

Deep conversations in a casual setting
It is extremely encouraging for us to see that in so many places in Europe there are beautiful, small-scale initiatives to help people get to know God and find the way to recovery and a healthy participation in society.

GIFTS (large and small) are always welcome and can be directed at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

[click on the photos for an enlargement]

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Phase 2 project Teen Challenge women's home, Lithuania

Visiting the women's home in Slienava
Last year we were able to give a nice donation towards the replacement and raising of the roof of the Teen Challenge women's home in Lithuania.

We have been in regular contact with directors Edvardas & Rasa Kleinas and this last July we visited them for the second time.

The existing roof construction has since been replaced by a whole new construction that makes the house much higher, creating a huge space on the second floor.

New roof construction
It has been quite a job to close the roof, insulate everything, lay new beams and a floor and replace all windows. The women and children have temporary shelter in the smaller house on the same property. The time has come to install electricity and plumbing and finish off the various rooms.

We shared a devotion with the women and ministered to them personally. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and went on to visit the Teen Challenge men's home where we also did a Bible study and took time to pray with several of the men in the program for healing and restoration.

Ministering at the Teen Challenge men's home
In that same weekend we visited the city of Rukla, where unemployment is very high. Rukla used to have a large Russian army base that provided jobs for many residents. After the fall of communism, unemployment grew drastically, as well as increasing alcohol and drug abuse and crime. It seems very hard for the people to get out of that negative rut.

The kids club in Rukla
A group of volunteers from Kauno Krikščionių Bažnyčia, the church in Kaunas, has started a kids club in Rukla. What a fantastic job they are doing there. The children came running in. They sang songs together, learned a Bible verse, played games, enjoyed arts and crafts and ate pizza.

A number of children then took us into the neighborhood, they wanted to show us where they lived. They thought it was a cool to have foreign visitors. There were people everywhere who were drunk or high ... some being parents of these children.

Into the neighborhood...
Sunday we spoke in the church in Kaunas, you can listen to the message here. After the church service we talked and prayed with people for hours, with the patient help of our interpreters!

We are looking back at a very special visit. We talked with many people, seen a lot, heard a lot and above all received lots of gratitude from everyone involved, for the help and support that Traveling Light offers.

It is so rewarding to see that donations are well spent, that lives are changing and that people have hope for their city and country!

Preaching at Kaunas church
It would be nice if the women's house could be used before winter arrives. They still need funds for the house to be finished.

GIFTS (large and small) are always welcome and can be directed at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

When in the USA you can make a donation to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC LITHUANIA. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mission night and #charleroichallenge

This past Saturday our shop/coffee house Twinkeltje opened its doors again after a summer break of four weeks. You are all very welcome again on Saturday afternoons for a nice chat and tasty coffee. On the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Friday evenings of every month we organize prayer meetings, always very encouraging and constructive.

Please, mark your calendars: Wednesday, September 18th, we are organizing another Mission night, this time with guests from the USA; Jeroen & Robin Honingh. Every year they travel to israel to do volunteer work for three months. We first met them at Brian Slater's soup kitchen in Netanya. Last year they were also guests in Twinkeltje. Everyone is very welcome, the door open at 7:30 pm. There will be an offering for their work.

Last week we wrote about Teen Challenge in Belgium and the opportunity they have to buy a beautiful rehabilitation center. We came up with a nice promotion for this project last weekend, which we called the #charleroichallenge.

👉If ten people each donated one hundred euro before Tuesday evening, August 20, 6:00 pm, Jan would double that amount. We put the challenge on Facebook's and in no time we received generous donations. In just a few days we raised 1,000 euro, to which Jan will ad another 1,000. You can do the math 😄

We also challenged people to start their very own #charleroichallenge ... find ten people who each want to give one hundred euro and then double that amount. Brother Erik Slobben (who also visited the Teen Challenge coffee house in Charleroi) accepted the challenge. We are curiously waiting for the results.

Gifts are still welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Make sure to mention: BELGIUM.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC BELGIUM or contact Frédéric & Natacha at info@teenchallenge.be if you want to help them with the purchase of this property.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Project building Teen Challenge Belgium

Frédéric & Natacha
We receive requests for support from all over Europe. Sometimes it is about fundraising for a new kitchen or a roof  repair for a rehab center, sometimes it is a question whether we can come for a visit.

Last month we received an interesting request from our southern neighbors. Frédéric and Natacha Hensgens of Teen Challenge Belgium have been running a coffee house in Charleroi for years and since 2016 also the women's home Sela.

Open house at Maison Sela
We have visited them several times, last December we were there during the open house of Maison Sela!

Currently the possibility has opened up to purchase the Betel building. Betel is a global organization (similar to Teen Challenge) that is committed to heal broken lives. They have rehab centers around the world.

Betel now offers their residential center in Charleroi for sale at a very favorable price. They are going to relocate their activities to France where there are little to none Bible-based recovery centers.

It is a beautiful building (we have seen it) with space for at least 35 beds. The value is approximately € 445,000 but it is offered to Teen Challenge for € 236,000. A great investment opportunity.

The beauty of this building is that everything is 'up to code' as it is called: fire safety, rooms and sanitary facilities. A wonderful center for the expansion of Teen Challenge's work among the homeless and addicted in French-speaking Belgium.

The challenge is to raise the necessary funds by the end of September. 😁A large fundraising campaign has been started to make the purchase of the building possible. We have offered to promote the fundraiser in the Netherlands and beyond through this blog and social media.

We pray that Frédéric & Natacha will raise the money for this beautiful building with the help of God and people. Any gift (large or small) is welcome.

If you want to invest in the work of Teen Challenge in Belgium, donations are welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Make sure to mention: BELGIUM.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC BELGIUM or contact Frédéric & Natacha at info@teenchallenge.be

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Project Teen Challenge Macedonia

Jonathan & Valentina (in blue)
If you have been reading our blog posts for some time, you will know that we have various contacts and support various projects in Macedonia.

Teen Challenge also has activities there. Unfortunately there is no residential rehabilitation center, but Jonathan & Valentina Vlaisavljevic help people with life-threatening problems and sometimes send them to TC centers in the surrounding countries.

Last June, Traveling Light participated for the eighth time in the Balkan conference My Brother's Keeper. The conference was held in Macedonia, and Jan had the opportunity to catch up with Jonathan.

Living Free training
He still gives Living Free training in the various Balkan countries. The group training and discipleship courses are faith based and aim to help people prevent and/or overcome challenging issues.

The goal is to equip participants so that they can give the training themselves in their church or organization. Traveling Light has previously helped with funds for translating Living Free material for Croatia and Albania.

We sincerely hope that TC rehab centers will be opened in Macedonia as well as in Albania and other Balkan countries in the near future. There is a huge need and your prayers will be appreciated.

Training in session
Jonathan also said that there is a possibility to do prison work in Serbia. Think about it, 'Living Free' is quite a special topic when you are in jail, literally. But it will certainly prepare people for a healthy return into society and that is what "rehabilitation" actually means.

In October Europe Teen Challenge will be organizing a 'rehabilitation training' in Portugal. Topics such as core values in a rehab setting, borderlines between care, counselling and authoritarian control, medical issues in rehab, principles of rehab and discipleship will be discussed.
Various people from the Balkans will participate in this training. Cora will attend on behalf of Traveling Light. It is an investment for the future.

TC Macedonia asks for financial support for 1) further translation of Living Free training material, 2) for travel costs to the training in Portugal and 3) for renovation costs for their office (due to water damage after a flood).

When in Europe, donations are welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. Make sure to mention: MACEDONIA.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC MACEDONIA.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Looking back at 2019 summer camp Ukraine

Jan is teaching Bible study class
"From strength to strength" (Psalm 84:6-8), that was the theme during the summer camp in Ukraine that is organized annually in the first week of July by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic congregation in Berdychiv.

The camp is meant for students (and their families) who were previously or are currently in Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers or who should go there. They come from all over the country! After years we were happy to see our friend Andrii Soloviov again, who lives near Sevastopol, in Crimea.

Praying with Andrii
Please, pray with us that Andrii will get his health back. He has been operated on a brain tumor and is currently undergoing treatments.

Grace of Giving
For the third consecutive year, Traveling Light was at the camp all week to encourage, teach, counsel, pray with people for deliverance and healing and of course to just have nice conversations and fellowship with each other.

We were able to sponsor the camp again this year with the nice amount of 3,000 euro. A good part of it came from our southern neighbor Belgium 😀 so in that sense it was an international project. Know that you have invested in human lives. THANK YOU!

The Korovai family
The man in the photo on the left came to us to thank us for the Russian edition of Marja's book 'Grace of Giving' which he received 2 years ago. It has totally changed his life and that of his family!

In previous years, we also prayed with couples to be cured from Hepatitis C and other drug-related illnesses that could stand in the way of healthy pregnancies. How nice to hear and see testimonials of answered prayers. Gena and Dinara Korovai received a healthy son! Back in 2013 we wrote about Gena, how God gave him new life! Now he is married and a good father.

Praying together in unity
It is such an enormous encouragement for us to see how God changes human lives! The stories are sometimes too bizarre for words. Twenty years of addiction, being homeless, long prison sentences, no hope of recovery ... and then there is God 💙

TC men's rehab home
It is and always remains great to see and experience how people get hope for the future, hope for their country and hope for their families. We have sung and danced a great deal (especially early in the morning before breakfast!) And we have seen that there is healing, restoration and deliverance in gratitude and joy.

Of course we visited Sergey Romanenko's men's rehab house, where construction for the new kitchen is in full swing, and also a new women's home (!). But more about that in another blog post.

With 4 of our interpreters
Throughout the week we enjoyed the assistance of a wonderful group of interpreters who tirelessly translated all conversations and prayers and words of the Holy Spirit. Without them we would not be able to do that.

On our video channel (which you can subscribe to!) we have published two videos that we would like to share with you. One from a man who was healed from 25 years of back pain (after an accident) and one from the dancing :)

Donations for all our awesome projects are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Greetings from the sea ports

On board a vessel in the port of Ghent
Earlier this year we wrote about the work of sea port evangelist Alexander Eberson. We are happy with the contact and recently we received a newsletter from him that is worth sharing in  part ... so encouraging!

A bit of personal background: "I studied Theology in Brussels, followed by clerical training and I was confirmed as a pastor. I served in three congregations. In my last congregation I enjoyed working a few days a week as a harbor chaplain in the sea port of Zeebrugge. "

"In the beginning of 2019 I started my work as a pastor in the sea ports of Terneuzen and Ghent (full-time). That's why we moved to Terneuzen as a family. My wife Tonja teaches at a Christian primary school in Axel and our daughter Hannah attends the school."

Always thankful faces
Alexander continues to write with enthusiasm about the visits to the ships: "During a ship visit in Terneuzen I was told by a number of sailors that one fellow crew member had turned 41 that day."

"After the ship visit I went to get him a birthday cake. I told them: 'God has not forgotten you!' The sailor who had his birthday had never experienced something like this."

Happy birthday
"On one of my ship visits in Ghent I gave away a large Bulgarian house Bible for the 22 Bulgarians on board. In addition, I also left a small Ukrainian Bible for the only Ukrainian crew member on the ship. The men liked this and were encouraged as a result. The Bibles were received with interest."

Alexander knows the importance of building a network, he has not only made contact with Traveling Light, but also with people from Book store Oasis, the Salvation Army and Dorcas. All people who have a heart for outreach in the sea ports of Terneuzen and Ghent.

And then some figures: In recent months, Alexander has given away 85 Bibles (Tagalog, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish), 50 bags with Easter eggs, 30 Pocket crosses, 15 Children's Bibles (English), 5 worship CDs, 2 DVDs (Ruth and John Gospel) , 5 DVDs Jesus movie, 15 knitted hats and 1 book 'Jesus, our destination'.

Happy greetings to all of you
The Christians are happy with his visits, because sometimes they feel lonely on board and are in need of conversation and prayer, and the non-Christians or people from other faiths really value the visits and the personal attention.

If you want to help Alexander to buy Bibles and other materials, you can make your gift payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention SAILORS.