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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Visit to Slovakia

Sunday service at Faith Baptist Church Bratislava
A few weeks ago we promised to write a short report on this blog about our visit to Slovakia, back in April.

Marja's book "Spirit of Truth" has been published in Slovak language and we were invited to the presentation. It was a very exciting and hopeful weekend.

We spoke about the theme 'truth' during a youth evening in the Faith Baptist Church in Bratislava. Around forty (!) young people were present and we discussed common lies and Biblical truth.

Later that weekend Marja spoke in the same church during the Sunday morning service about the attack on truth, just like in the time of Jesus.

Of course we visited the Teen Challenge drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Sered and we spoke in the David Wilkerson Chapel about the importance of knowing the truth and about the lies that often keep people imprisoned for years.

Teen Challenge chapel Sered
"You always remain a user," "you need drugs or alcohol," "you will never be anything." Lies the enemy whispers. We prayed very personally with the men in the program and then used a meal together.

Radio Pokoj was present throughout the weekend to make recordings of our speeches and also to conduct a number of interviews. We supported Radio Pokoj last year with a gift, so it was really nice to work together again.

Lutheran church in Vrbovce
We also had coffee with Pastor Miroslav Hvozdara of the Lutheran church in Vrbovce, a small town on the border with the Czech Republic, about 100 km north of Bratislava. He works among homeless people and addicts, fantastic what this man is doing. We encouraged him and prayed together.

Not so far from there we went to look at a beautiful property that could perhaps become a second Teen Challenge location. We ended up praying together on the floor, asking for wisdom, insight and provision.

Prayer time
Well, sometimes people ask us what we do when we are traveling ๐Ÿ˜€ We never know  beforehand, but it is always exciting! The focus is always on prayer and encouragement for people working in the Kingdom of God, throughout Europe. (We travel on our own expenses, your donations will always go towards the projects.)

  • Wednesday, June 5th we will host another MISSION NIGHT in Twinkeltje. We have Teen Challenge Sweden visiting us . They will share about the coffee house/secondhand shop that they have recently opened there! Evening starts at half past seven with coffee and tea.
  • Financial donations for all our awesome projects are always welcome at IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Changed lives in Belarus

In April we visited the Europe Teen Challenge conference in Zeewolde (Netherlands) where about 450 people from more than 40 countries were present. For us such conferences are always a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the people behind the projects we support.

For example, we sat around the table with the staff of Mission Return from Belarus. We have helped them several times with finances for the expansion and renovation of an old school building in Baranovichi in which a shelter for homeless people, classrooms for people in rehabilitation and a crisis shelter for women are located.

Renovation and building work is still going on at the 2nd floor in the left wing. The women's shelter, also known as the 'Overnight Home' is on the first floor.

Since the opening (2016) 16 women and 18 children have found safety and a new start through the shelter.

One of these women is Anna (29). She was addicted to alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes and had sexual disorders in her life. Anna has 4 children from her first two marriages and is now married for the third time. Her ex husbands took her children away from her through the court. They mocked her when she was drunk and put it on the internet.

Anna was very depressed and started looking for a way out. She understood that she would soon lose her children and asked around for help. She was advised to seek help from Christians. Deep in her depression Anna came to the crisis relief center early this year and immediately agreed to go to the rehabilitation program in Kukovo.

There, Anna received prayer, she repented and received freedom from her addictions. She is now visiting a church and has found work. Thanks to the prayers, she has also been reunited with 3 of her children.

Anna's story is one of the many stories we heard. How wonderful that there is a place for first contacts, a place that helps women to move on to one of the Christian rehabilitation centers elsewhere in the country and get free! Those first encounters and conversations, that first sign of hope ... it is often the beginning of change.

The proceeds from our secondhand store / coffeehouse Twinkeltje over March went towards the work of Mission return in Belarus.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Your cheerful donations for all our awesome projects are always welcome at IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Project Stolpersteine Dordrecht

Entrance Auschwitz
On May 2 it was Yom Hasjoa (Holocaust Memorial Day). An international day on which the destruction of six million European Jews during the Second World War is being remembered.

May 4th is national remembrance day in The Netherlands. The message is the same all over the world: never again!

It has been four years since we wrote a message about the Stolpersteine ​​in Berlin, the bronze plates / stumbling blocks in the sidewalk bearing the names of Jewish people who lived there and died in concentration camps.

A Stolperstein
More than 70,000 stones have now been placed throughout Europe. In the Netherlands, the first 'stumbling block' was installed on November 29, 2007 in Borne.

Traveling Light wanted to sponsor 7 Stolpersteine ​​and in doing so commemorate the Holocaust victims. Due to changes in the organization, our order was delayed again and again.

We recently came into contact with the Stolpersteine ​​Dordrecht foundation and we have agreed to sponsor 7 Stolpersteine ​​in the city of Dordrecht (Marja's city of birth).

So, closer to home. The organization in Berlin also figured it was more logical to sponsor stolpersteine in our own country. Later this summer the stones will be installed in the streets of Dordrecht in memory of families who were taken and died during the Holocaust.

Names of Dutch Jewish people murdered in Auschwitz
We were in Auschwitz last year, which made a very deep impression.

Individually and as a non profit foundation, we have a ๐Ÿ’—for peoples and nations and wherever we go we bring a message of peace and reconciliation made possible by our Jewish Lord Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Events and meetings

Enthusiastic team
We have had a number of special events and meetings in recent weeks which we would like to share with you.

On Wednesday, April 17, we participated in a local event, raising funds for non profits such as sport clubs and ngo's. For every 2,5 km you run or walk, a local business pays your organisation 1,50 euro. A great way to team up and bring in funds for our projects!

We ran no less than 62 rounds together and raised 93 euro. It was a great evening, very nice to be on the move together. Thanks everyone!

Thursday evening, April 18, we watched The Passion with a number of people in Twinkeltje, on a big screen. We all loved it! There was someone from the neighborhood who did not know the Easter story yet and was very touched ...

Seder meal in our secondhand shop / coffee house
On Friday, April 19, we celebrated the Jewish Seder meal with a group of  Traveling Light friends and volunteers.

We took turns reading the Haggadah and saying the prayers. Just like last year, Good Friday coincided with the start of Pesach and that made the evening very special.

Communion meal with our volunteers
Friday evening, April 26, we held our annual inspiration evening for our volunteers. We came together for a good meal, to catch up and encourage each other with stories and testimonies.

Doing life together, meeting as often as we can and inspiring each other ... we just love that kind of fellowship!

And yes, then came Saturday April 27 of course, the free market during King's Day. It was an happening as usual and we sold lots of secondhand stuff: 330 euro.

That amount brought the proceeds for the month of April in Twinkeltje to more than 1,100 euro! An amount that will fully benefit the work of Teen Challenge in Slovakia... we  were there in April as well, but more about that in another blog post ๐Ÿ˜

In the meantime, gifts are pouring in for the kitchen in Berdychiv. Very nice!

๐Ÿ‘‰ Your happy donations are always welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.