Saturday, February 4, 2023

Project updates

Back in November, we wrote about the work of Teen Challenge among the homeless and addicted in Albania and the need for new beds and mattresses, among other things. (You can read that post HERE).

This week we received a message from director Orges (Gesi) Hysenaj that the beds and mattresses arrived. The men now all sleep in a good bed and that is very nice!

Attached is a photo of the men in the program carrying the mattresses into the house.

As Traveling Light, we always try to show you (the donors) as much as possible how your donations are being used. Sometimes through our visits, sometimes by sharing photos and thank you notes.

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In January we wrote about the food parcels project in Serbia. You responded quite quickly to that, several donations came in and we were able to give them the nice gift of 3,000 euro.

Erika Sablyov of the team 'Ruka za Druga' ('Hand for a Friend') wrote to us this week:

"This Saturday we had a whole day of socializing with the homeless. It was extremely cold outside and more people came than we expected (about 30). All the food we prepared for them was served and eaten. On Saturday, they could bathe again, get their hair cut, get clean and warm clothes, and a hot meal with a salad. We bought medicine for two. We also showed a movie in the church hall."

On behalf of Erika and the team, thank you very much for your donations. For the time being, they can buy and distribute weekly food packages and also organize such special Saturdays!

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Last Tuesday, it was an exciting day for our ice skaters at the Weissensee. Krijn finished the 200 km and Henk (together with his son Kees) finished the 100 km. So, top performances by the men. We take our hats off!

With their sponsoring campaign they raised (so far) more than 7,000 euro for the work of Teen Challenge in Armenia. Donations are still coming in, so we will wait a little longer and then announce the final amount.

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The proceeds of Twinkeltje and De Schor in January (including specified donations) were 1,800 euro and that goes entirely to the work of Teen Challenge in Slovenija. For the month of February, we have chosen the work of Teen Challenge in Belgium. We (Jan and Marja) visited them last weekend. They work among the homeless and addicted in Charleroi!

Your donations are always welcome. You can send a gift in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention 'general' or otherwise which country or project.
  • 💳 Give by card

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Project 'Ruka za Druga', Serbia

It's been a while, but at the end of September/beginning of October of last year, Jan was in Novi Sad, Serbia during a Teen Challenge training.

We already wrote a post about his visit to Restart (the coffee house work among addicts).

During his stay, Jan slept in the drug and alcohol rehab center 'Centar Duga', which is led by pastor Dusan Beredji (known to us as Bera) of the Protestant Christian Fellowship.

While visiting he got into a conversation with Erika Sabljov of the church team 'Ruka za Druga', which means as much as 'Hand for a Friend'.

Every week, the team of volunteers receives about 30 homeless people for a meal, but they also distribute clothes, shoes, and blankets.

The homeless can shower and get coffee in the church and once a month a special day is organized for them.

In addition to those practical matters, people also come into contact with God's love this way.

Following conversations and prayers, some of the homeless/addicts have chosen to go to the rehabilitation center next door.

The team has also been able to help homeless elderly people find a place to live and, for example, place them in a nursing home.

The Ruka za Druga team would like to give out a food package per person each Friday, so that the homeless have food for at least a few days.

We would like to support them in their plans and work to reach, serve and help people, however hopeless their situation may seem, to find the way to the loving Heavenly Father.

Your donations for the work in Novi Sad are always welcome. You can send a gift in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention RUKA ZA DRUGA.
  • 💳 Give by card

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Weissensee 2023 fundraiser for Teen Challenge Armenia

Three years ago, our ice skating team raised a nice amount at the Weissensee in Austria for the new men's rehab center at Teen Challenge in Armenia.

Later this month, Krijn Donk (Papendrecht) and Henk Vlot (Oud-Alblas) are going to put on their ice skates again 💪in order to raise funds for the further completion of this rehabilitation center. The center offers a home to men who want to turn their backs on their addictions and other life-controlling problems while getting a chance to build a new life with God's help.

👉 Of course,  the ice skaters are hoping that you want to sponsor their athletic efforts again!

Last summer, Krijn and Cora Donk visited the center in Yerevan, Armenia. A special journey in itself, because they drove there in their own car! On the way, they climbed Mount Ararat.

Once in Yerevan, they saw with their own eyes how practical and spiritual help is being offered to men, in seemingly hopeless situations. Great to see how previous donations were spent to make the house habitable.

However, the house still needs to be completely finished, it could use a good kitchen, etc. That's often how it goes... the centers are already fully occupied while there is still a lot of work to be done.

To this end, Krijn and Henk want to raise the necessary funds. They will be ice skating long distances on January 31. Krijn will go for 200 km, Henk probably for 100 km.

It is possible to sponsor Krijn and Henk as a team or individually:

  • with an amount per kilometer,
  • with an amount for reaching the finish or
  • with a general amount

If you decide to participate, you can send an email stating the amount you want to give to krijncora@gmail.com.

Or you can send a donation directly:

  • to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention TC ARMENIA
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC ARMENIA

We eagerly await your response!

Gagik and Lusine Mkrtchyan are the directors of Teen Challenge in Armenia. They run rehabilitation centers where men with addiction problems can start a new life. They also have taken in orphans in their own home.

We (Jan and Marja) met with them again recently at the Teen Challenge conference in Italy, this past November.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Project updates and travels

Greetings to you all from the Teen Challenge drugs and alcohol rehabilitation Center 'Hope of Generation' in Zaporozhye, Ukraine.

As a result of the war situation, large parts of the country are often without power. Thanks to your quick response, we were able to send the center in Zaporozhye a gift of 1,000 euro for the purchase of a small generator and a few heaters.

Fortunately, they were able to purchase everything quickly and they can light and heat their space somewhat for now. You can read our initial message about this project HERE.

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We have also been able to send a gift of 2,000 euro to Sergey Romanenko's rehabilitation center in Berdichyv. We shared that story HERE. We understand that there is now a waiting period of several weeks before the generators and heaters can be delivered. The demand for these devices is huge.

We will keep you informed. In any case, they are very happy with your generosity. See the video here!

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At the end of November we participated in the Europe Teen Challenge fall leadership's  conference in northern Italy. Directors from about twenty countries were present. They all had the opportunity to give updates and there was also a lot of room to pray with and for each other.

For us, it is always a great opportunity to catch up with many. In the picture, we are with Sergey Glushko (TC Ukraine) and Gagik & Lusine Mkrtchyan (TC Armenia).

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After the conference, we visited Francesca Spataro (the Italian translator of Marja's books) who took us to her church, the Christian Evangelical Community Issacar, in Rivoli.

We received a warm welcome by the pastor. We were given a tour of the church building where homeless people and the elderly without family are housed and where there is also a food distribution point.

We also went to look at their new construction project, a multifunctional building, closer to the center of Rivoli. A year ago we wrote about this and made a donation of 5,000 euro. You can read that message HERE. Construction is progressing steadily. Every time money comes in, they go ahead.

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And just like that, almost a year has passed! Do you have it on your heart to end 2022 with an extra gift? Then don't hesitate any longer, we can use it, especially for the Christmas packages projects that we support every year! As you can see, everything always ends up in the right place.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and don't forget to mention project or country
  • 💳 Give by card

Friday, December 2, 2022

Israel, Twinkeltje, and Christmas packages

At the beginning of November we (Jan and Marja) were in Israel for a vacation. We took the opportunity to meet with Ilya and Janet Bantseev. They are the directors of Teen Challenge Siberia and recently moved to Israel.

They lived and worked in Russia for twenty-nine years and set up a wonderful work there, including drug and alcohol rehab centers, churches, children's work, etc. A few months ago, as a result of the war, they had to leave everything behind.

In Israel, they are now trying to find their way. There are a lot of Russians and Ukrainians who need help and are also open to the gospel. We had fellowship, prayed together, and visited a church service at King of kings in Jerusalem. An active international church that has embraced the Bantseev family. We were able to encourage each other, and that's what it's all about!

Of course, we also visited Brian Slater's food bank in Netanya. With his organization Abundant Bread of Salvation, he is busier than ever, especially with the new wave of refugees coming in.

Together with a few other volunteers we prepared and distributed food packages and we were also able to pray with various people. When all the work was done, we enjoyed a delicious meal and had time to catch up on current happenings.

The project for the month of December in Twinkeltje in de Schor is therefore the work of Brian Slater. All proceeds will go there. If you don't have the opportunity to visit our shop/coffee house, you can also make an specified donation if you want to support his work.

We saw a nice video come by on FB which Brian made the day we were there!

👉 Oh yeah, the Christmas packages projects 🎄 Donations are currently coming in, thanks for that. If you haven't considered it yet, don't hesitate any longer and make someone else happy today!

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and don't forget to mention project or country
  • 💳 Give by card

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Christmas packages 2022

Every year, Traveling Light supports a number of Christmas package projects from various organizations. It is a blessing to be able to give to people who are less fortunate because they are refugees, addicted, homeless or just far away from home. Surely, one of these projects has your heart!

Christmas bags for sailors

For port evangelist Alexander Eberson, the Christmas season is the opportunity to show seafarers in word and deed that God loves them as well. He wants to give a Christmas goodie bag to the sailors he visits in the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen. Each bag contains: a hat, a pair of socks, a game, a notebook with a pen, a roll of Mentos fruit, a bar of chocolate, a bottle of shower gel, a homemade Christmas card, and a Christmas devotional. A bag costs approx. € 6.00.

Operation Christmas Joy 

Operation Christmas Joy brings the joy of the birth of Jesus to children in need, many in refugee camps. Last year, more than 1500 children in seven countries, including Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, received a nice package! A package includes clothing, shoes and educational supplies, but also toys and sweets to give them that little bit extra. Whenever possible, the children are gathered for celebrations, this is also an opportunity for their families to hear the gospel firsthand. A Christmas package costs approx. € 75.

Winter packages Moldova

For the 18th time, our friends from Pilgrims and Teen Challenge are organizing their winter aid campaign. Last year they delivered 35 tons of coal and more than 400 food packages to the poor and widows. The food packages do meet an enormous need, each package contains about 12 to 13 kilos of food!

We have been sponsoring this project for many years and we will certainly do it again in 2022. If you want to stay warm this winter, give warmth to someone else! Give... and it will be given to you 😁

Bags of Love Athens

We don't always realize it, but in Athens many people live on the streets, including many refugees. The Passage to Live team takes care of them throughout the year with the distribution of food, but the 'Bags of love' project has been set up specifically for this winter.

They want to provide 1,000 people with a package containing a blanket, a woolen hat, socks, croissants and the gospel, all within the coming months. A package costs approx. €20.


Generator and heaters rehab Berdichev

And finally, and this is not a Christmas package but an emergency call, a request from our friends at Teen Challenge in Berdichev, Ukraine. The drug and alcohol rehab center is full, everything is running at full speed. As a result of the war however, they are often without electricity (and gas).

Just like the center in Zaporozhye (of which photos will be posted soon!) they would also like to purchase a good generator, fuel and a number of separate heaters to get through the winter. Shall we surprise them with a nice gift for that?

If you like to sponsor a Christmas package, you can

  • send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U, or 
  • 💳 Give by card 

Don't forget to mention for which project!

Friday, November 4, 2022

Project maintenance Teen Challenge rehab center, Albania

Kind regards from the Teen Challenge Rehabilitation Center in Albania. Director Gesi Hysenaj keeps us informed of the daily happenings through his newsletters.

It is encouraging to read how lives are changing in Albania because God intervenes, and people decide to leave their old lives behind and start a new life.

In September, they baptized one of their students. Sometimes, entire families come to faith because a son or father has changed.

In the residential program there is time for Bible study, personal studies and counseling, but also for work activities in and around the center.

The team is reaching the hopeless and addicted through street evangelism and coffee house work. It is also good to hear that more and more people know where to find Teen Challenge when in need of help.

They recently had some problems with a leaking roof and a request came in for (among other things) new mattresses.

In any case, support is always needed for running the center, because they rely almost entirely on donations.

By the way, later this month we hope to catch up with Gesi & Blerina again when we meet them at the Europe Teen Challenge fall conference in Italy.

It is a privilege that we can maintain personal contact with the people behind all the projects we support.


If you would like to make a donation, you can do so in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and mention TC ALBANIA
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC ALBANIA

Thank you again for your help!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Project heating TC rehab center in Zaporozhye, Ukraine

Zaporozhye is located in the southeast of Ukraine and there is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center (and church) called  'Hope of Generation'.

This Teen Challenge center is home to both women and men who have sought help for their addiction problems.

As a result of the war, refugees from the region now also live in the house, including a number of children. There are currently ten students in the program, but they can accommodate a total of fifty people.

That's quite a lot, especially when you consider that they often have to spend time together in the basement. The fact that the work continues is a miracle in itself!

Tatiana Kochieva (Tanya) is in charge of the daily operations at the center. She herself spent sixteen(!) years in prisons as a result of her criminal history. But God radically changed her life and now she helps others, how beautiful is that?

With winter approaching and frequent power outages, there is an urgent need for a generator, fuel, and some heaters.

We are in contact with Sergey Glushko regarding this project and we have promised to do our best to raise a nice amount for the center in Zaporozhye.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and mention TC UKRAINE ZAPOROZYHE
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC UKRAINE ZAPOROZHYE

The sooner we can transfer a gift, the better!

In the Netherlands we may grumble about the high energy prices (and there is certainly something to be said for that), but frequently being without electricity or gas is even crazier!

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Project Restart Detox Clinic

From September 29th to October 3rd, Jan visited Serbia. He attended a Teen Challenge and Living Free training seminar that covered topics such as rehabilitation, relapse, and addiction.

The training was given in Novi Sad in the church of Pastor Dusan Beredji Bera who runs a men's rehab center, where Jan also received great hospitality and a bed to sleep in! He visited New Life women's rehab home and the coffee house of Restart, an organization that we have been supporting for a long time.

With a team of volunteers, founder Boris Štrbac is committed to helping people start a new life, free of addictions and other life-controlling problems.

They do this through outreach, drug prevention lessons at schools, and a mentoring program for ex-prisoners.

During the visit to the coffee house, Jan spoke with visitors and also had the opportunity to pray with people for restoration and healing and the courage to take steps toward recovery. The photo on the right shows the new expansion that Restart was able to build in 2021 thanks to a gift from Traveling Light.

There are currently plans to open a Restart Detox Clinic and support center. Boris is in contact with the city council about this, in particular about finding a suitable location.

Many addicts are hesitant to sign up for a long-term rehab program, often because they are still working and have a family and can therefore continue to function more or less. Detoxing, a discipleship program and therapy can help this group.

Most of the work Restart is doing can be carried out thanks to donations. Boris asks for prayers and funds to open a detox clinic. As Traveling Light, we would like to contribute to the lives that are about to change in Novi Sad!

Your donations are always welcome. You can send a gift in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention RESTART
  • 💳 Give by card

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Baptisms, Alpha, and travels

We can look back on a wonderful baptism fest that we organized on Wednesday September 21. We had the privilege of baptizing five people.

The weather was exceptionally nice and to get a bit of an impression of the event you can watch the video trailer here! We are extremely grateful for the choices that were made.

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From September 29 to October 3, Jan will visit Serbia. He participates in a Teen Challenge and Living Free training seminar where topics such as rehabilitation, relapse, and addiction will be discussed. The training will be given in Novi Sad and he will also visit the Restart coffee house there, for which we plan to raise funds again soon.

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A few weeks ago we started another Alpha course in Twinkeltje on Monday evenings. We have six participants!

It is wonderful to sit around the table with a new group of people who have an interest in God and the Bible. We have great conversations together!

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The proceeds from Twinkeltje and De Schor this month will go to the work of the Embrace among the homeless and the poorest in Hungary. Krijn and Cora visited there during their vacation in August.

In October, the proceeds will go to the work of Radko and Nevin Kratsov among the Roma community in  Bulgaria. So come and visit us in Twinkeltje on Saturday or Monday afternoons.

Your donations are always welcome. You can send a gift in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U
  • 💳 Give by card