Monday, May 30, 2011

Open House Teen Challenge, Groningen

Spetse Hoeve
Saturday May 28th 2011, we headed to the most North Eastern part of Holland, to visit De Spetse Hoeve, a residential drugs and alcohol rehabilitation program under the flag of Teen Challenge Netherlands. De Spetse Hoeve is a very old farm in the middle of the beautiful Dutch country side. Last summer we volunteered there on a regular basis to help out the new leadership.

Information about Ukraine project
Two family members who wanted to learn something more about the work of Teen Challenge came with us. We were welcomed by the smell of BBQ chicken and hamburgers :) We met many old friends and also some of the new men currently in the program. As everywhere else in the world Teen Challenge offers help, counseling and discipleship programs to (wo)men with addictions. The greatest surprise of that day was a big sign at the entrance that said (believe it or not): today's offering will go to the Onyfrievka project in Ukraine. "That is 'our' project" we exclaimed surprised. How wonderful that others have decided to help Sergey & Mariana in Ukraine to reach their next goal! We were so encouraged, together we will reach the 10.000 mark soon.

broken pieces at the cross
All visitors were invited to tour the farmhouse and the premises, where 7 men are currently following the 12 step program. With the help of faithful volunteers Teen Challenge built a new prayer house which was officially opened and dedicated on this day. The men were asked to lay down the broken pieces of their life at the cross, as you can see in the picture. It was an emotional moment for many, as one of the students had passed away recently, loosing his struggle with drugs but winning the one with God!

The day ended with a service in the barn, amidst the hay and farm equipment. Some men gave their testimonies, which is always the moment for us volunteers and supporters to be reminded why we have a love for this kind of work. Nothing is more awesome, nothing a bigger miracle than a changed life. The step from darkness into the light is only one small step, but the results are huge. From severe addictions to a life in freedom, thanks to Jesus Christ and the work of dedicated staff and volunteers. It is absolutely moving to be a witness of such power of God displayed among people.
happy family of God

There are many small projects in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea that deserve a helping hand, but sometimes we don't have to go that far. In our own country Holland we are blessed to have a Teen Challenge ministry that we can support and encourage. We can only pray the work will expand.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Newspaper article

Half a page...
This week our local news paper carried a story about our new non-profit and our first project in the Ukraine. It even had a huge photo of the two of us, ouch! Well, we are very happy with this press coverage, especially since we are still in the birthing stage of this new endeavor.

We are currently working on a FAQ section, you'll be able to find it at the top of this weblog. We will try to tackle most of the common questions people are asking us. So, feel free to send u an e-mail or leave a comment at the bottom of any post if you have anything helpful, useful or downright funny to say.

Sergey Glushko
The donation level for the Teen Challenge Onyfrievka project in Ukraine is slowly rising, we are approaching the 3000 euro mark here in Holland, which is absolutely awesome. We have not reached our goal yet, but we believe it can be done!

The director of Teen Challenge Ukraine, Sergey, told us that he is in regular contact with the owner of the house, who will hopefully hold it until all the money has been raised. Yes, it takes faith and prayer and perseverance. Yes, it is good to know the words of Jesus, everything is possible for him who believes. (Mark 9:23).

For USA donations CLICK HERE. Make sure to mention Onyfrievka, which makes a great spelling exercise by the way :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Onyfrievka Project

room for at least 20 men
Where in the world is the Ukraine?
As we posted earlier on this weblog, the first project we want to financially support is the purchase of a building/house in Onyfrievka, Ukraine. This property will be used for the establishing of a Teen Challenge rehabilitation center for former addicts. Worldwide more than 1100 such centers can be found in over 85 countries. Each center takes care of their own fundraising, some generate income through work projects while others are being supported by local churches and families. Although circumstances differ from country to country, each center relies on the goodwill of donors and supporters. The other day someone asked us why we choose a project so far away. Where in the world is the Ukraine?

Sergey teaches Bible study
Well, it is a European country north east of Romania... does that help? :) When we started this non profit, we wanted to support small projects in countries where the local people have decided to put their hands to the plow and change the social, economic and personal circumstances of individuals and families... and eventually towns and regions! We would love to inspire and motivate them to keep up the good work. As a result of our traveling we already have useful contacts in Holland, Sweden, Germany, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania and Israel, and yet our heart was captured by Sergey & Mariana from Ukraine. Teen Challenge Ukraine was established in 2008 and currently Sergey & Mariana are the national directors. Within a few years time six centers and seven coffee houses have been opened! Sergey was a drug addict himself but Jesus Christ has set set him free from a destructive lifestyle. He now has the desire to help others! And it works, we have personally seen it work like this in many countries. People like Sergey have a drive, a passion and a love for their fellow men. There is no lack of enthusiasm...

Bible in many languages
Many Teen Challenge centers have started with a coffee house, a place where addicts can come for a cup of coffee and a listening ear. Often this is the place where many people hear the good news of Jesus Christ for the first time: they can be FREE! When addicts decide they want to start a new life they can enter a residential program (if one is available in that country). In the Ukraine, as in many other countries, there is no lack of addicts...

Street work
So, what is lacking? Finances and encouragement. When we heard Sergey's story and saw the pictures of the house he would love to purchase we were sold out: 12,500 dollars for a place where an additional 20 or 30 men can live, work and study. Can you imagine how many lives, how many futures and how many families will be positively affected when these men have a safe place to stay and grow in their new found faith? It is a lot of money if you don't own anything, it is nothing if we decide to collect it as a team. Yes, the house will need an extreme make-over in order to make it into a home, but that is the next step :) We seriously want to do our best to help this young couple to reach their next goal. Sergey e-mails me a few times a week, asking for updates. I can't wait to tell him we are on our way...

For our friends in the USA who asked us if they can make a contribution: YES! It is certainly possible to give a tax deductible donation. Please e-mail us at when you do. Click here to donate!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back from Germany

Oh happy day...
A great blessing for all!
As we mentioned in our previous post, we got on the BMW bike and rode to Ludwigslust, Germany last weekend. Pastor Gerhard from Fels in der Brandung had organized a weekend conference. The theme was the Kingdom of God. We can all look back at a great and useful weekend! The teaching and work shops we gave were received with gladness and interest and it really helped many people to understand the Kingdom better as well as the role we have as believers! Saturday night we all practiced what we had learned: to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. Some people received healing, others words of knowledge and wisdom! It was a great blessing, thanks also the the awesome music of Chris and Hendrik! Wow, can these men play, or what!!

Great home made food!
It was great to see old friends and make new ones! We met so many kind and loving people. The church is small (about 40 or 50 people came) so we were able to share our meals together in a tent that was set up for that reason. This was awesome, because it gave us the chance to talk with many people. There was also time reserved to wander around the beautiful castle and gardens in Ludwigslust.

Small churches in this part of Germany often have a difficult time, they experience resistance and criticism. Pastor Gerhard's church burned down a few years ago as a result of neo-nazi's throwing molotov cocktails inside; since 2008 the services are being held in an industrial building. Pastor Gerhard always helps troubled youth and allows them to do their community service at his church/office. Many lives have been changed here!

Ludwigslust is beautiful
We were also happy to receive invitations to do Kingdom Conferences in Sweden and other places in Germany! This way we get to travel and shine our light in different places. Offering spiritual encouragement through sound Biblical teaching and prayer is certainly one of our goals! The first weekend of June we will be traveling to North Eastern Germany again, we will give some work shops at another conference in Kuckuck, Prignitz.

PS: A quick update on our Ukraine project, the donation thermometer has risen to 2000 euro's here in Holland!!! That is awesome. For those in the USA who desire to support this project, you can give your tax deductible gift here! Offering financial support is one of our goals too! We believe it can be done!