Monday, October 31, 2011

Visit Netanya, Israel

During our stay in Israel we not only visited the women's home in Arad, but the new food pantry in Netanya as well. We also volunteered at the existing soup kitchen in Netanya, which takes place every Monday at Beit-Asaph Congregation. When they open their doors many people (some elderly, some single moms, some low income) can come in for a free hot meal, groceries and clothes. Below are some pics we took:
Collecting donated food for the soup kitchen
Lunch with Brian Slater and the volunteers of that day
Sorting, folding and displaying 2-hand clothes
New, to be opened, food pantry in Netanya
Presenting the cheque from Traveling Light
Many thanks, also from Brian Slater, for giving generously for this project. Oh yes, there is another cool photo we want to share with you... in the soup kitchen and food pantry there is always a book table with bibles and other mateial. Since it is forbidden in Israel to evangelize to Jewish/Muslim people, there is a sign at the book table that says 'free to take'. In that way material is not being hand out, but people take it home by choice and that is okay! We found some beautiful bibles there, like this one:
Old and New Testament in Hebrew and Arabic!
While Jan served the people their meal, I had the opportunity to pray with several older people for physical ailments. So much joy was released that two elderly ladies started to shout and sing. It was awesome, God is so good!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Project Spetse Hoeve, Groningen

In the first months since the founding of our non profit organisation, we have been able to financially, practically and/or spiritually support projects/churches in Ukraine, Germany, Israel and Slovenia. It is our goal to stay in contact with the people behind these projects as much as we can.

Stephan & Marianne Barendse
The next project we would like to introduce to you is one in our own country, Holland! As some of you may know, we have good contacts with Stephan and Marianne Barendse from the Spetse Hoeve. A home where men with all kinds of life controlling problems are welcome. The Spetse Hoeve operates under the flag of Teen Challenge and they offer personal as well as group studies and work projects. Stephan & Marianne exchanged their city life in the heart of Amsterdam for a life in rural Groningen, the north eastern corner of Holland. We greatly admire their choice and courage. The Spetse Hoeve has a wood workshop, a vegetable garden, a green house, a  second hand store and a bicycle repair shop.

Teen Challenge Spetse Hoeve
While we were in Israel we had a pleasant talk via Skype with Stephan, the director of Teen Challenge Netherlands, and a few things surfaced that are of interest for our organisation. After a recent visit from the fire department the Spetse Hoeve received a list of things to do in order to keep up with the current regulations. They will need to purchase new fire extinguishers, fire alarms, camera's and cables, an AID and some other emergency equipment. A hefty bill of 6000 euro's! The day Stephan contacted us through Skype was a good day, because they had just received a 3500 euro gift from World Challenge. So... where does that put us? We believe we can raise the other 2,500 euro needed to pay this fire safety bill. We hope you will believe with us.

Is there a better investment than the investment in human lives? What it it were your brother, son, father or husband who needed the help of a rehabilitation program like Teen Challenge? Every life is important, every life counts, every life is valuable. Men's lives will be forever changed in the Spetse Hoeve, and so their families will be forever changed. There is no greater joy!

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
[Matthew 6:19-21]

Friday, October 21, 2011

2,250 euro for Teen Challenge, Slovenia!

It's time to celebrate again here at Traveling Light. Oh, how we love to bring good news: the 2,250 euro (3,000 dollars) for Teen Challenge Izhod, Slovenia came in, thanks to your generosity.

The money will mainly be used to purchase a good chainsaw as well as heating fuel for the coming winter. It is just awesome that we are able to help our friends in Slovenia in this simple and practical way. Let's pray that this coming winter there will be homeless and addicted men who decide to seriously turn away from the lifestyle that is slowly destroying their future and that they will enter through the doors of Teen Challenge.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made this possible!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visit to Arad, Israel

Women's home Ark of the Negev
While on vacation in Israel, we visited the women's home, Ark in the Negev, In Arad, Israel. Our organisation has been able to donate 1,500 euro's (7,500 NIS) towards this project in Israel and we were honored to visit the house last weekend.

Arad is a desert town, high above the Dead Sea, not too far from Be'er Sheeva. The house is tucked away in a quiet street overlooking the Negev desert. We met with several of the volunteers who are living there at the moment and who will be functioning as house mothers once the first guests will arrive. How wonderful it is to be able to provide a safe house for women and children!

New patio furniture
We were shown around the house, which looks cute as a button. All walls are freshly painted, the rooms clean and orderly with new beds and furniture (a gift from Operation Blessing, the 700 club). Others donated a washing machine and some potted plants for the front yard. 

We shared a wonderful meal together and talked and talked.... We also prayed together for the future of this house and everyone who will enter through the doors. And you know what was so great about the meal we had? Here we were, Jew, Arab and Christian, all with different backgrounds, but united in the name of Jesus!

PS: the gifts thermometer for Teen Challenge Izhod, Slovenia has risen to 2,100 euro's!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Update on Slovenia project

Last Monday we announced our new project: Teen Challenge Izhod, Slovenia. We will be raising 3,000 dollars (or approx. 2,250 euro's)  for the men's center in Nova Vas. They will need this for heating fuel and the purchase of a chain saw (600 euro's).

The gifts thermometer rose this week from zero to 1,300 euro's, which is awesome! We transferred the money for the chain saw, so they can get to work, chopping trees,  before winter comes. Thanks everyone, for helping others, your gifts are greatly appreciated.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
[2 Corinthians 9:7]

Monday, October 3, 2011

Project Teen Challenge Izhod, Slovenia

MS 280-L
You may wonder... what in the world is a chain saw doing on this weblog?

Well, you may remember our friends Matjaz & Magdalena Horjak in Slovenia. We have written about their work among the drugs addicts in Slovenia on this weblog and we have visited them on several occasions. After years of preparation and waiting they opened the Dennis Griffith House in Nova Vas, Slovenia, a rental home where men who sincerely want to break their destructive habits can come and enter a year long program, as offered worldwide through Teen Challenge. There are currently three men in the program and Matjaz has been blessed with full time staff member Dejan & Renata Berginc!

The Horjak family
Recently we asked them if they could give us a list of current needs. As many other Teen Challenge programs they largely depend on donations as well as on any income they can make through operating small businesses. In Slovenia the men have a moving company and quite regularly they are asked to remove trees from people's property. In order to do this they have an immediate need for a good chain saw. Matjaz emailed me the page from a tools catalogue to show us the one they want to buy. They will need 3,000 dollars for the coming winter, which is about 2250 euros. Part is for heating fuel and about 600 euro's is for the chain saw.

This is a project Traveling Light would like to take on. Why? Because lives are being changed here, forever! Because we just love small projects like this where people are really working hard to make a difference in this world!

Who wants to join us in raising the needed funds?

For those in the USA, you can donate HERE, make sure to select TC Slovenia at step 2!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

1500 euro for women's home Arad, Israel

Hooray! We're happy again here at Traveling Light. We're happy because we can bring you good news. The 1,500 euro's for Ark in the Negev, a women's home in Arad, Israel, came in.

A heartfelt thanks for everyone who donated for this cause. How awesome that we can support and help Polly Sigulim this way, from Holland. The home was officially opened September 20th and the money we are going to send will be used for the purchase of sturdy deck furniture and much needed repairs of the patio cover.

Polly had the dream to open a home for abused women in Israel for years and now her dream has come true. Within a few weeks we are hoping to visit the new home. We will then post a report and some photo's on this weblog!

In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit!
Isaiah 27:6