Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Conference Ludwigslust, Germany

Fels in der Brandung
We just came back from a great weekend in Ludwigslust, Germany. Pastor Gerhard from Fels in der Brandung, a small and active evangelical church in the North Eastern corner of Germany, had invited us to come and speak at his church. We gladly accepted his invitation to come and encourage the believers in Ludwigslust and surrounding areas. The last few times we visited were as much a blessing for us as for them! So, we packed the camper and headed east.

Family of God
We picked as theme for this conference: Building Better Relationships. We spoke on the importance and relevance of a relationship with Jesus, who came to communicate grace and truth, with the Holy Spirit who communicates power and with the Father who communicates love. Except for these spiritual relationships, we also spoke about natural relationships, as in husband and wife. Saturday afternoon we watched the movie Fireproof, a very powerful movie when it comes to the marriage relationship. It was subtitled in German, so most people were able to understand what it was all about.

Relaxing and fun afternoon stroll
We were super blessed with a sunny and warm autumn weekend. We took time for a long walk through the castle gardens, an absolute beautiful place to visit! It gave us time to enjoy the outdoors, to stretch our legs and to talk with many people who attended the conference. Pastor Gerhard has a way of inviting people from all over the place, and this time we were blessed to have among us a group of men from Afghanistan and Iran, currently seeking asylum in Germany. They attended the whole conference and heard the message of grace, love and salvation. What an honor to have them in our midst!
New friends from Afghanistan

We were also very happy to have spiritual and practical support from our home town, Papendrecht. Matthijs Goedegebuure came with us and took care of all the praise and worship sessions. Wow, can he sing or what? His songs brought many people to tears, especially when he dug up some old favorites like The old rugged cross and Don Franciso's  He's alive. Piet & Anneke Stehouwer came as well, their presence is always the icing on the cake as their love and kindness is evident in everything they do.

Powerful praise & worship
Sunday afternoon we headed to the Evangelisch Freikirchliche Gmeinde in Putlitz, a small baptist church about an hour away. Jan had the honor to speak there as well. After the service we were invited for a traditional kaffee & kuche fest! Wow, what a hospitality, what a kindness and love and what a great delight for our taste buds :)

We can look back at a great weekend, many people were touched by the love of our heavenly Father. The international fellowship was awesome and the kindness and love with which we were received and welcomed was again outstanding. All the ladies that took care of the food are such a blessing, they made us feel right at home. Special thanks are in place for our translators, we just LOVE working with Julie, Christoph and Thomas! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update Womens Home Arad, Israel

Arad, Israel
Today we received an email from Polly Sigulim in Israel that we would like to (partially) share with you all.

Dear Friends, Shalom from ARAD! 
We are thrilled to finally be able to announce to those who have stood with us in Prayer and encouragement that the ''ARK IN THE NEGEV'' is actually OPEN! We are ready to receive our first 'trainees' ! The 'ARK IN THE NEGEV' is a home style, live-in center for Israeli women who are in need of spiritual guidance, disciplining and practical vocational training. This Is a life changing, 'learning program' based on the WHOLE Bible and it's principles. We are happy to invite ALL who wish to join us in blessing this Home, to a 'Dedication to the Lord' evening. We will have an Open House, with a Pot Blessing Dinner and we invite all who come to bring either food or drink. Please join us in celebrating the birth of this new program and adventure that the Lord has put together. For those who wish to bring a 'house warming gift' an indoor house plant would add much and be wonderful for that final 'perfect touch'.

Yes! Things are moving and slowly taking shape. We pray and hope to be able to present Polly and her staff with a gift as well. The gifts thermometer is steadily rising, we have received 1.000 euro's already, so we need 500 more in order to reach the desired goal. The best thing is that within a few more weeks we will be able to see the house for ourselves when we visit Israel.

PS: Please, click on the link below for an interesting article and film about Polly's work in Israel.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ark in the Negev project

Well, today we transferred the 3.000 euro's for the soup kitchen in Netanya, Israel. With that done, the project didn't come to an end, it's just getting started. We will continue to follow Brian Slater's efforts, who manages the soup kitchens in  Israel. He is ALWAYS in dire need for volunteers, so if you're thinking about visiting Israel, make sure to sign up for a couple of days or weeks of volunteer work. You can email us about details.

The next project we would like to sponsor is also in Israel. May we introduce to you Polly Sigulim. Jan met Polly in 2009 during a seminar in Israel and later that year we both met her during Spiritual Emphasize in Riverside CA, an annual event organized by Teen Challenge Southern California. She then stayed with us in Ventura for a week or so and during that time she shared her dream with us: the opening of a home for battered and abused women in Israel. A safe place for women from all backgrounds (Jewish, Arab, Bedouin, Russian etc.) where they can experience the love of Yeshua (Jesus).

Polly grew up in the USA but has lived in Israel for more than 20 years. She became a widow at a young age and was left with the care for her three small children. She also took in many foster children. Now that her children are adults she really wants to give meaning to her life by helping others in need. We believe in Polly's dream and are happy that now we are able to help her 'officially'. A few weeks ago she e-mailed us that she finally was able to rent a house that would serve as a womens' home. Yes, we are so happy and excited that Polly's plans are beginning to take shape. We asked her for immediate needs and she told us she is getting a lot of help from all over, even from the 700club, which is awesome. However, they still need money to fix the roof of the porch and to purchase patio furniture, so they can have a livingroom outside. Arad is in the Negev desert, so it's always warm. They will need 1,500 euro's for this.

We think that is just the right amount for Traveling Light. We will start fundraising this week for this small scale project that will have a huge impact on the lives of women, mothers, & children in the land of Israel. We are hoping to visit the new home next month.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Money for soup kitchen Netanya comes in!

Hooray, we are celebrating again here at Traveling Light (something we just love to do). Thanks to our faithful partners we were able to raise 3.000 euro's for the new soup kitchen in Netanya, Israel. Yes!

We wrote a beautiful check which we will symbolically present to Brian Slater when we visit him in Israel next month. The money will be transferred through internet banking, so Brian can use it as soon as possible for the new soup kitchen. Again, we were delightfully surprised at the gifts that came in like a life giving stream from all over the place. We even received a gift from the prayergroup at Church of the Living Christ in Ojai, CA. Thank you ladies, we love you and God loves the cheerful giver :)

We hope you all enjoy reading about the projects we want to sponsor. It is almost like we are zooming in at a tiny speck on this globe where people are working hard to make this world a better place. We just LOVE to send them support and encouragement from Holland. Next week we will introduce you to Polly Sigulim, the lady behind the Ark of the Negev project, a house for battered women in Arad, Israel.

As for now we like to wish everyone a great weekend and leave you with a blessing from the Book of Proverbs (11:25):

A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.