Saturday, December 22, 2012

Project Fence Onyfrievka, Ukraine

Onyfrievka house

At the end of 2012 we would like to take you back to April 2011... Believing that God went before us, we announced our first project to you all: the rehabilitation home in Onyfrievka, Ukraine. That was a big step in faith, for we had no clue how the money would come in, if there were people willing to donate and how long it would take to raise 10.000 euro, but we did it! After donating the money, it took more than a year for the sales contract to be signed. We waited in expectation, knowing that all was going to be alright.

Home group
And now it is December 2012. This past week we received news and pictures from Onyfrievka (about 350 km from Kiev). This update was a very pleasant surprise for us because a lot of work is being done. The directors of the work, Yura and Ira, already have four (!) people at their rehabilitation program.Those people take an active part in church events (home group, seminars) and they also help with the renovation of the home. That is of course awesome news. 

New windows everywhere
Despite the cold winter weather much work is being done at the Onyfrievka house, so it won't take long before it will officially be opened as a Teen Challenge center. As you can see in the pictures, much material has been donated, such as beds, mattresses, water heater, windows and doors, firewood etc. Their biggest need at this moment is a fence around the house and the property.

Beds are already there
The fence will  be approximately 300 meters long and will serve as protection for the property, the people, the building materials and household items; for it is not unthinkable that things get stolen there... We believe this is a great moment to offer them some more of our help. Building the fence will be a pretty big and expensive job, but we have no doubt the materials and labor will be provided.

Fixing up the entrance room
They have estimated that the total cost for such a fence will be around 100.000 UAH, which is about 12,500 dollars. So, what do you all think? How much of the money needed, will Traveling Light be able to donate? We can't wait to find out. If you are inspired by the work that is being done in Ukraine to get the homeless and addicted off the street and into a home where they encounter the love and peace of Jesus... please, join and help us to bless them! All gifts, large or small, are welcome.

Bank account number 1185 82 275
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275
St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, The Netherlands
Make sure to mention: Fence Onyfrievka, Ukraine

PS: You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2,500 euro for Project Chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia

HOORAY! We have, again, a reason to throw a party. Well, as if December doesn't have enough parties :) In record time (one and a half week) you have donated 2,500 euro towards Project Chapel Teen Challenge, Slovakia.

We are amazed and without words. Well, sort of... (we gotta write this blog post, right?!) It is truly wonderful to receive such a heart warming response to our request for help. We received such kind emails and reactions from all over Europe concerning this project. Of course a project doesn't end with a gift, it's where it starts. From now on we will be in regular contact with the Teen Challenge team in Sered, so they can keep us updated on the building project and we can share stuff on this weblog. For now, the most practical thing to do, is praying that project chapel will not be hindered, by anything or anyone. And who knows we will be able to offer some more help in 2013.

Stanislav Kunak mailed us some more blueprints of the chapel. He wrote: "Sending you the final material for the chapel. Now we seek planning permission. If everything is okay, the start of construction is expected sometime in February or March 2013. I am very pleased with your interest in our work." Wow, spring time... that would be wonderful. He ended his email with: Thank you very much:)))))))))))))) I guess that needs no explanation.

Thank you all again for your faithful support and generosity. It is beyond our understanding what can be done when we pray and give each other a helping (financial) hand.

PS: For our next project we will go back to Onyfrievka, Oekraine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Update project Chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia

We received a warm e-mail from Stanislav and Alica Kunak from Slovakia. We would like to share part of it with you:

"We praise Lord Jesus for everything that you have written about and for what you are doing. We deeply appreciate your attitude, help and your service for God. The article is written in a very high standard. Thank you for dealing with our internal problems together with us, we are truly encouraged by this."

Blueprints of the chapel
Such an e-mail makes us very happy, and we hope it does the same to you. Encouraging people in their work and plans is something we just LOVE to do. We meet believers all over (Eastern) Europe and we often find that they are discouraged because of troubles, criticism, financial problems etc. Traveling Light wants to tell them: you are not alone, we'll be happy to help where we can! The Bible makes it clear: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Stanislav further writes: "Likewise we appreciate your active approach in the chapel building and your financial offering. We will use the 2500€ to purchase bricks and cement. I believe that the amount will be sufficient for building the main walls without the roof construction."

Many gifts have already come in, we still need 1,000 euro for project Chapel.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Project Chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia

Each new project at Traveling Light starts with introducing the people (the initiators) behind it. The small scale projects that we support in various countries are local initiatives, started by local people. It is our goal to encourage them, whether that is financially, practically or spiritually. In this way each project gets a face, a story... This time we would like to take you to Slovakia.

The Kunak family
In this picture you'll see Stanislav Kunak and his family. From left to right: Bibiana (the oldest daughter), Sabina (the middle daughter), Nina (the youngest daughter) and Alica (his wife). Stanislav is the director of Teen Challenge Slovakia. Yes, thank God there is Bible based care (childcare and rehab) in Slovakia!

During our visit, last month, to Slovakia we were able to take a look behind the scenes of the work of Teen Challenge in that country. We visited the children's home Compass. Alica is in charge of this house where about sixteen children in the age of 12-18 are living. The children have various behavioral problems and are often there because of a court order. We also visited the men's home Restart. Currently about twelve men are living in this home where they will hear and experience the love Jesus has for them. During the one-year program they will learn how to live free from addictions with the help of the Holy Spirit. On the same property there is the after care home Progress. This is the place where men, who have successfully finished the program, can live in preparation for their return into society.

Drawing of the chapel
Recently they started a project called Chapel. They are planning to build a small-scale construction, which will be used by the men for prayer and worship. They also desire to use it for other spiritual activities and events in order to reach the people in the neighborhood. The chapel will be a beacon of light in the area...

Traveling Light loves to shine a light in dark places, also in Sered, Slovakia. The good thing about this project is that the men in the program will help to build this chapel, so it is a practical work project as well. We would like to help them by raising 2,500 euro which we will donate towards the building of this chapel. Will you help us too?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2,500 euro for Teen Challenge Macedonia!

Picture time with Jonatan & Valentina
YES! The 2,500 euro for Project Heating System Teen Challenge Macedonia came in. Thank you so much for your support. Whether you gave for the tenth or the first time, whether it was ten or a thousand euro's... all gifts are warmly and gratefully received. Without YOU Traveling Light would not exist.

During this past Europe Teen Challenge meeting (in Slovakia) we had the opportunity to spend some time with Jonatan and Valentina. Please pray for them. As everyone else working in the ministry of Teen Challenge, they need encouragement! We would love to visit them in Skopje, as the heater burns of course :)  It is possible for us to find some good deals on Wizzair... so, who knows. We will keep you posted.

The next project will take us to Slovakia, to the city of Sered...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Europe Teen Challenge Fall Meeting, Hlohovec, Slovakia

We just came back from a visit to Slovakia. A while back we received, through Europe Teen Challenge, an invitation to attend the Fall Leadership Meeting in Hlohovec. A wonderful opportunity for us to meet the country directors from all over Europe in one weekend.

After care house, Gutes Land, Germany
We decided to drive all the way to Slovakia, so we could spend the night at Teen Challenge Gutes Land in Vilsbiburg, Germany. We were welcomed by three happy and grateful men, who currently live in the after care house, that we also gave a donation for. In the meantime they were able to find jobs (hallelujah) nearby, so they are gaining more and more responsibility. Wednesday night we were invited to share the Word with the twelve (!) guys that are currently in the program, a full house for sure. We also visited a company that imports and exports second hand citybuses. The owner turned out to be very friendly and willing to help us finding a bus for Teen Challenge Czech.

Teen Challenge Sered, Slovakia
While at the conference in Slovakia we visited the Teen Challenge children's home and men's home + re-entry house. Wonderful to see such work in action. During the weekend we were grateful for the opportunities to talk with many of the people behind our projects, such as Sasa & Svetlana (Serbia), Matjaz & Magdalena (Slovenia), Peter Ministr (Czech) and Jonatan & Valentina Vlaisavljevic (Macedonia). They send their greetings to all of you! We also met some new faces and were greatly encouraged to hear that in all corners of Europe new initiatives to share the gospel with the down and outcast are popping up. God is calling people everywhere to put their hands to the plow, no matter how small the work may seem. We heard of new plans in Malta, Finland, and Austria. Small scale projects that we just LOVE and that need a lot of encouragement.

Our Project Coffee Bus Czech Republic turns out to be a bit more complicated than we first expected. There is a law in Czech Republic that says buses older than eight years cannot be imported. We will further discuss with Peter Ministr what to do now. Maybe we can purchase a smaller passenger van or a camper, although there seem to be age restrictions for these vehicles too. Please pray with us that we will be able to somehow help them set up this mobile coffee house to be used for outreach purposes.

Prayer for TC Macedonia
Our Project Heating System Macedonia is going well... we have almost reached our goal. The Teen Challenge house in the city of Skopje is currently heated using electricity. This is not very economical. Most of the houses in Macedonia are heated with the help of a wood burner that transfers heat throughout the house. As soon as we are able to donate the 2,500 euro needed for this project, a contractor will come to put in a new heating system. We are confident this will take place before winter starts.

We are so thankful, and we see it as an honor to deliver donations, prayers and greetings wherever we go!

Friday, November 16, 2012

News items & prayer

We have gathered some news items and prayer requests and, as we often twitter: it's all good news at Traveling Light :)
  • In a very short time we have received  more than 1,000 euro for our Project Heating System Teen Challenge Macedonia. so that project is going very well. Please pray that the outreach work in Macedonia will bear much fruit!
  • Womy Equipment Supplies in Holland has a beautiful M.A.N. bus (1996) for sale that we would like to purchase for our Project Coffee Bus Teen Challenge Czech. Jan will go there next week to take some pictures and get some more information. We want to bless Teen Challenge Czech Republic with this bus. Please pray that we will be able to get a good deal and that there will be enough money to get the paperwork and insurance done and to fill it up with diesel.
  • Next week we will drive to Hlohovec in Slovakia. We will visit the Teen Challenge Fall Meeting, where many European directors will gather. It is a great opportunity for us to meet many people all at once.
  • On the way to Slovakia we will visit Teen Challenge Gutes Land in Germany, where we are always welcome to spend the night. There are currently three men living in the after care house that Traveling Light donated some money for earlier this year. Please pray for a safe journey.
  • A while back we received a thank you note from pastor Gerard Lewerenz from Fels in der Brandung Evangelical Church in Ludwigslust, Germany. His writing is a great encouragement for us and we hope you will experience this as well: "Greetings from Ludwigslust... I will let you, and your whole team, know that we are really, really thankful for all the things the Lord did through you in the lives of our people, your teaching and the worship touched all people during the whole weekend. It was a spirit filled and life changing weekend conference. Thank you so much for all the things you did, for all the love and energy you put into this weekend. We will never forget this incredible time."

We often emphasize that our projects are small-scale, but at the same time we can see that the area of influence Traveling Light has, is growing and expanding. You can certainly help us too, by sharing this weblog with others or by telling them about our Facebook page.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
[1 Corinthians 15:58]

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Project Heating System Teen Challenge Macedonia

Jonatan Vlaisavljevic, Director TC Macedonia 

The next project we would like to sponsor brings us, again, to a former Yugoslavian country: Macedonia. During the Europe Teen Challenge conference last April we met Jonatan Vlaisavljevic... yeah, try to pronounce that last name without hesitating.

Jonatan is the director of Teen Challenge Macedonia. Teen Challenge is a worldwide organisation of non-profit, faith-based drug and alcohol recovery programs (More info on Wikepedia)

Jonatan lives with his family in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. The house they live in has three floors: on the first floor is the Teen Challenge office, on the second floor their living quarters and the third floor can be used for re-entry purposes; that is for students who have completed a Teen Challenge program and are getting ready to get back into society. Currently, there is no residential program due to heavy financial crisis. However, they are still going full speed with what they have: Turning Point Ministry, day program, church services, teaching, evangelism etc. This way they can reach people who need help and often have never heard of the HOPE they can have in Jesus Christ. In Macedonia most people are either Muslim or belong to the Orthodox Church.

House/office/re-entry in Skopje
With the European winter fast approaching they need wood for their current heating system, but also a new heater, boiler and water drain system. The estimated cost will be around 2,500 euro. We love to offer help  by taking on these extra costs. We want to do this as an encouragement to Teen Challenge Macedonia, inspiring them to continue their much needed work among their country men. Do you want to help them too?

We are very happy to be in contact with a Christian community in Macedonia, a country that has a rich biblical history and significance. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:1-2, And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

P: We are planning to go to the Teen Challenge European Fall Meeting in Slovakia, where we will have a chance to catch up with Jonatan on the latest happenings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

5,000 euro for coffee bus Teen Challenge Czech!

The coffee bus at Teen Challenge IRELAND

HOORAY! At the beginning of each month it is always fun to see new funds coming in, At Traveling Light we love the excitement of counting the blessings you've sent us... and yes, the 5,000 euro for project coffee bus Teen Challenge Czech Republic is in!

We are looking to purchase a second hand city bus in excellent condition that we will donate to Teen Challenge Czech Republic. The bus will be transformed into a mobile coffee house. Actually, Teen Challenge Ireland has such a bus and that inspired and motivated Petr Ministr (the director of TC Czech) to obtain one as well. The bus will be used for outreach purposes: to reach people on the street with coffee, warm soup and a meaningful conversation. A coffee bus is basically the same as a coffee house, but it has wheels! It is a place where the homeless, the drug addicts and the prostitutes are welcome for coffee and where they can hear the good news that Jesus wants to set them FREE! By moving the bus from place to place, more desperate people can be reached.

We are still looking for a good bus and currently we do have an option to purchase one. We will keep you informed.

This project does not end with the purchase of a bus, of course,

  • We need to take care of all customs forms and paper work
  • the tank needs to be filled with diesel
  • we need to drive it to the Czech Republic
  • and the guys at Teen Challenge, Prague, will have to convert the bus into a coffee house

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped us to raise funds for this project! To be continued....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fun support

You know what makes us very happy? Supporters that come up with surprising and creative ways to raise funds for Traveling Light. It is both inspiring and encouraging to see how gifts come our way.

Last weekend we were in Vriescheloo, which is all the way in the North-eastern corner of Holland, close to Veelerveen (Teen Challenge Netherlands). We combined a visit to Teen Challenge with a speaking engagement I (Marja) had at a women's function in that town. One of the ladies, Marrie Smit, had made some very beautiful flower arrangements which were auctioned off at the end of the day. The proceeds went to... Traveling Light. Isn't that awesome?

And another surprise...
This week we received an email from friends. They had set up a soccer-pool for the big game Feijenoord-Ajax. Somehow, no one was able to predict the outcome of the game, and they decided to give all the money to Traveling Light. Isn't that cool, or what? Thank you all very much.

Coming up:
  • update on our project coffeebus TC Czech
  • planned trip to Slowakia
  • introducing TC Macedonia

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Historic meetings in Israel

The new salon in the women's home
Traveling Light loves to be there when new ideas are being born, when projects are getting launched and when old dreams are being revived. It is at such moments that we have an opportunity to encourage, bless and inspire and often give a financial gift. In doing so we sow seeds in fertile ground and in due time we will see the fruit! Never forget that your gifts are so much more than money; they help to change lives, to build the Kingdom of God and to write history.

So it was with the women's home in Arad, Israel. Director of Teen Challenge Israel, Polly Sigulim, walked around with the dream for a women's home for years, but it took a long time before it came to pass. About three years ago she visited us in our home in Southern California and she shared her dream with us. When we heard her story we knew it would become a reality, one day. This past weekend we looked back at our meeting then, and realized... a lot has happened since she shared her dream with us.

Back porch with playground for kids
About a year ago the Ark in the Negev officially opened. A beautiful home where women (and their children) with life controlling problems are welcome to stay. Not for a few days, but for twelve months. The first year has been difficult for Polly and her staff and volunteers. Several women came and went, but they couldn't make the commitment to stick to the program. Some women even left the program after several months, to go back to their street life. Why? No one knows. But we DO know that God will send the right people at the right time and that the door at the Ark is open.
A gift from the USA made it possible to open up a real beauty salon at the Ark where the women can learn to become a hair dresser. Volunteer Barbara is a certified teacher.

New lounge set & bird cage!
Last year we were able to donate 1,500 euro for the purchase of a lounge set and the repair of the porch cover. No earth shaking gift, maybe not even worth mentioning; but we can say that the money has been used wisely and reaches much further than we can ever imagine. Last weekend we were seated on the new chairs, in the shade, and met with the pastor of a Messianic congregation and a group of Christian Arabs from Nazareth. Together with Polly they are working on a project to improve education among Bedouin tribes in the Negev area. We will share more about this in the near future. When we heard them talk and when we prayed together, we just knew it... something new is being born here. The Holy Spirit is moving and gathering His workers from among all peoples and nations to begin a work that will make history. Dear friends, this is so exciting! This is exactly what we love to be a part of, and through your gifts and prayers you can be part of it too.

Practical help & spiritual encouragement go hand in hand
Jan did several small repairs around the house and on the cars. In the meantime I brainstormed with Polly about some creative ideas that could bring in some money for the Ark. No doubt we will be able to take on a project or two for the Ark. So, keep an eye on this blog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

News items & prayer

Enjoying the shade

Shalom! Greetings from Israel. We are enjoying a shady afternoon on the porch in kibutz Metzer where we are staying with our friends Nahum & Nomi. We can't think of a more enjoyable place right now for relaxation and a little work ;) From here, we just love to share the following news and prayer items with you:
Prayer meeting with Brian & the volunteers
  • Yesterday we spent the whole day at the food bank in Netanya, Israel, where we volunteered with Brian Slater. Last year we were able to donate 3,000 euro for the set up of this new food bank. Remember Mara, the little blond 5-year old who baked and sold muffins for this project? Now, we have seen with our own eyes how the new food bank operates, thanks to Brian's hard word, the help of many volunteers and the gifts you provided. The people were lining up outside long before the food bank opened. Brian lets 5 people in at the same time, after they show their welfare ID cards. Then he talks with each person, blesses and comforts them and shares a joke. He truly makes everyone feel comfortable and loved. He uses many languages: Hebrew, Russian, English, Yiddish. Spanish etc. In the meantime we packed hundreds of bags with dry foods and had time to talk with the people, hug them and even pray with Aleksander, who was very said and missed his wife who passed away recently. In the evening we prayed with the whole team for the work being done among these, often poor and lonely, people of Netanya. The group of volunteers that day came from Holland, USA, Uzbekistan, Romania, Cuba  and Norway. Next week we will go and help in the soup kitchen.
  • During the 3rd quarter of 2012 we were able to donate (as in the 2nd quarter) more than 1,500 euro towards our project Stepping up 4 Serbia, wow! That is awesome. We recently received a newsletter from Teen Challenge Serbia with two testimonies of changed lives. The work goes on, despite the difficult times. The directors Sasa & Svetlana Ivanovic are very thankful for the help they are getting from Traveling Light. "We feel we can finally see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. God has not forgotten us...", Sasa wrote in a recent email. We hope to meet up with them again at the end of November, during the Teen Challenge Fall leaderships Conference in Slowakia.
  • The 5,000 euro for our project Coffee Bus TC Czech Republic is almost in. We have set our eyes on several really GOOD second hand buses, which are must cheaper when purchased in Germany. We are looking for contacts in Germany who can handle the necessary paper work to export such a bus to Czech Republic.
  • For our next project we will take you to Macedonia! A country (region) with a strong biblical history. Nowadays a third of the population is muslim and two third Macedonian orthodox. Evangelical christians make up 0,5% of the population. Needless to say this is fertile ground for sharing the good news. We will share more about this, soon!
Practical things to pray for: a spiritual breakthrough at Teen Challenge Serbia, protection for Brian and his family, the purchase of a good bus for TC Czech, wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit in choosing our next projects, more supporters for Traveling Light!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shared joy is double joy

Marjan showing his new teeth

Now, this is definitely something that makes us really happy... and we hope it will do the same for you! Marjan shows his brand new teeth.

Do you remember that a few months ago we asked for your help, on behalf of one of the graduates in Teen Challenge, Slovenia? Project Teeth for Marjan is one of those things we just LOVE to do at Traveling Light: paying attention to individual people. After a bizarre life of addiction, homelessness and crime Marjan ended up at the doorstep of Teen Challenge, more dead than alive. Eighteen months he stayed in the program at the Dennis Griffith house in Nova Vas, Slovenia where he learned to live, to hope and to dream all over again.

So proud, so happy...
After his graduation from the program, Teen Challenge helped him to go back to work. It was his desire to go to the dentist for some major dental work. Well, we can say that appointment has changed him to the point where we hardly recognized him (look at the old picture one more time to see the difference). In this simple manner we have been able to help someone, who has been rescued from the pit by God, restore his dignity. Part of the bill has been paid by the other men in the program (YEAH!) and the rest, we were able to donate thanks to your gifts. A HEARTFELT THANKS to all of you, on behalf of Marjan.

Helping one person on a world wide scale of pain and suffering... does that make a difference? Yes, it does! Just imagine him being your son, brother,husband, friend or father...

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents [Luke 15:10] 

Monday, September 24, 2012

On the road again...

Awesome worship team from our hometown Papendrecht
It was in early spring that pastor Gerhard Lewerenz invited us to come and speak at a weekend conference in his church Fels in der Brandung, in Ludwigslust, Germany. We were free to choose a theme. It was not the first time we received such a request from him :)

As a Non-profit organisation we have a three-fold mission: to offer financial support, practical help and/or spiritual encouragement. Organizing Bible based workshops and seminars is definitely part of 'spiritual encouragement'. This time we left with a team of seven enthousiastic people from our home town Papendrecht for the 8-hour trip to Ludwigslust, in North Eastern Germany.  We choose FREEDOM as the theme for this conference. The scripture we used throughout the weekend was Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Sharing meals in the tent
'Standing firm' is not always as easy as it sounds. Not for new Believers (and there are always many in Ludwigslust) nor for mature Christians. Receiving freedom through faith in Jesus Christ is a promise, but maintaining that freedom is our responsibility. We had the opportunity to pray with many people, young and old, and many were healed from diseases and afflictions, but also delivered from negative thoughts, fear and worries. This was so awesome! And yes, the group of men from Afghanistan and Iran were there again. It was so wonderful to see them listen intensively to our Bible teaching.

Tyler (USA) was a great help with the sound system
Our worship team turned out to be such a blessing! Wow, we laughed, we danced, we sang until our throats were dry. It was a wonderful uplifting weekend, not just for all the visitors, but for us as well. We were encouraged and inspired... happy and thankful to see so many people hungry for God. What a blessing to be able to travel to the far corners of Europe and share the good news. Thank you for all your faithful prayers, because of that this trip went very well and the response of the people was great!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Update project coffee bus

The No-Bucks bus in Ireland
A few weeks ago we announced our new project: the purchase of a second hand city bus in good condition that will be used by Teen Challenge Czech Republic. For starters we are raising 5,000 euro towards this project.

The bus will be converted into a mobile coffee house. It is a great need they have at the moment, as they have lost their place for a coffee house in Prague. The director Petr Ministr wrote us:

"We would be very happy to have a moving coffee house, something like the "No Bucks coffee" TC Ireland uses. Our goal is to reach lost people in other parts of Czech republic. At the moment we have a stable team that works on the streets and is composed of workers, students from TC and volunteers from  churches. They do outreach ministry 3-4 times a week... We would like them to bring hope to those that are lost, by going and doing outreach ministry 2 days a week in various cities...."

sad situations
So far, about 2,100 euro came in. Thank you everyone, who gave towards this project. We have many people on the look out for a reliable bus, WE NEED A GOOD DEAL! This is for a very special work; the bus will provide a safe place for poor and homeless people, drugs- and alcohol addicts and prostitutes to go to and have some coffee, to have someone to talk to, to warm up and get clothed.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
[Matthew 25:34-36]

Monday, September 10, 2012

Open House Teen Challenge Netherlands

Cora Donk behind the book stand
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to attend an open house. Last Saturday we left early for the three hour drive to the Spetse Hoeve, Groningen, the men's home of Teen Challenge Netherlands. Some of Traveling Light's faithful supporters came along for this special day.

Teen Challenge graduates
It gave them, and many other visitors and supporters, a chance to see the men's home and it's surroundings. We enjoyed fresh coffee and homemade pies and a fantastic BBQ. It is not everyday that we have lamb sausage with couscous!

In the afternoon there was a church service in the barn where a band played on a wagon and we were seated among the tractors and hay stacks. There was time for testimonies from former students, some of them went through the program more than 10 years ago and are still clean today! Also a group of graduates received their diploma this Saturday. How awesome to hear their stories, from a life of destruction to a life with God!

Beautiful day at the men's center
We just love the work of Teen Challenge worldwide. Broken lives are being restored, wounds are being healed and new hope for the future is being ignited.

If you know of someone who desperately needs help with life controlling issues (such as addictions) and is WILLING to get help, please make sure to check if there is a Teen Challenge center in your country or area and let that person make the phone call that can save his or her life!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Special gift for Izhod Teen Challenge, Slovenia

Matjaz & Magdalena Horjak, directors of TC Slovenia
We love it when gifts keep coming in for our current project coffee bus Czech Republic AND also for other projects and people we love. This week we received a 500 euro gift for Izhod Teen Challenge, Slovenia.

We have transferred the money towards the work with the down and out, addicted and homeless people in Slovenia. As you all may know we have visited the men's home in Nova Vas on several occasions and we just LOVE what is happening there. A small group of men is able to live and work in the Dennis Griffith home. And while in the program they get introduced to the love of God the Father, the grace of Jesus Christ and the friendship with the Holy Spirit. That turns out to be life changing... for most of them that is the beginning of new life and new hope.

What a blessing to be able to bless them :)
Thank you.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Special gift for Israel

A few weeks ago we were able to donate 1775 euro for the soup kitchen in Netanya. But that is certainly not the last thing we want to do for Israel.

We received a special 500 euro gift for a project in Israel. Together with the generous giver we decided to donate the money to the women's home, Ark in the Negev, in Israel. Maybe you remember that we visited the women's home last year and were able to bless them with a donation. The women's home offers a safe place for women (and their children) who struggle with addictions and life controlling problems. While living in the Ark they hear about the good news that God loves them and that healing and salvation is possible through Yeshua.

We are very thankful for the work that is being done in Israel and we love to support this project!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

News from the Ukraine

Future Onyfrievka men's home
Many of you will remember our very first project: raising funds for the purchase of a building in Onyfrievka, Ukraine which would be used for a men's rehab home.

There was 10.000 euro needed to purchase the building, not a large amount, but to us it was enormous. We had never done such a thing! But the gifts started coming in and in a short time we were able to donate the money to the Ukraine. But then... the real challenge began.

There were some problems with the paper work. It took months and months to get the official paperwork in order. In the meantime we kept praying that everything would work out fine and we did not worry about it. Last week we received news from Sergey & Mariana Glushko in Kiev that all the necessary papers are there and the building can be purchased. Hooray!

Now, we would really love to go and visit the place...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New board member Traveling Light

Cora Donk

We have several news items and announcements for you, so let's start with the one closest to home...

We are happy to introduce our new board member Cora Donk. Remember her from the Queensday fundraiser? She was the one organizing that event while we were traveling somewhere in Southern Europe. She brought together a group of volunteers to help her with the yard sale, she had some flyers printed and spoke to everyone who had ears to listen. Cora is someone who does more than thinking, she knows how to act, and that is just what we need.

We have known Cora for more than thirty years and over the last ten years we have organized many events together, in the church we attended. Besides her organisational talent, she is also a fervent prayer partner... she knows how to ask boldy :) Together with her husband Krijn Donk they have a heart for Traveling Light.

The work of Traveling Light is growing, which is awesome. This means more projects, more donations, more contatcs. It is good to share those responsibilities with people who are willing to think and pray with us.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Project coffee bus Teen Challenge Czech Republic

Petr Ministr
There are people who just love to help others, whenever something needs to be done... they always show up. Petr Ministr is such a person, he is the national director of Teen Challenge Czech Republic. We visited the residential center in Prague a few years ago, a place where many men have come to know the love and grace of Jesus and have been set free from a life of addiction. Teen Challenge Czech Republic also cares for women and children, has inner city out-reach projects and a ministry institute.

Teen Challenge residential center in Prague
On the picture to the left you can see the beautiful center in Prague, a centuries-old farm building that has been renovated with the help of volunteers from all over the world.
Quite regularly Petr takes a group of men on a short mission trip. Last winter, for example, they went to Israel where they built a protective fence around the women's center and did some other jobs as well. Our question for Petr, a few months back, was: and how can we help you?

It didn't take him long to reply... "We would like to have a bus for outreach purposes, so we can reach people on the street with coffee, warm soup and a meaningful conversation." Petr said he was inspired by the NoBucks bus, as it travels around Ireland. A coffee bus is basically the same as a coffee house, but it has wheels! It is a place where the homeless, the drug addicts and the prostitutes are welcome for coffee and where they can hear the good news that Jesus wants to set them FREE! By moving the bus from place to place, more desperate people can be reached.

All right, all right, maybe not that old...
Traveling Light wants to find such a bus for Teen Challenge Czech Republic. We want to raise at least 5,000 euro for the purchase of  such a bus. We are currently looking for a good, reliable second hand city bus which can be converted to a coffee bus. As Jan is a mechanic, he will be able to make sure the bus is safe and in good condition. His plan is to drive the bus to Czech Republic, which is a whole other adventure in itself. More about the logistics of this project in a future post...

Wouldn't it be great to join forces and bless Teen Challenge Czech Republic with a coffee bus? It would be such a practical gift, something they will be able to use for years to come. And what would be greater for Traveling Light then to donate a vehicle that will be used to bring people out of darkness into the light?!

We pray and hope you will join us in blessing Petr and his team. Your gifts (large and small) are greatly appreciated. You can send your gift to:

Rabo bank nr. 1185 82 275 St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, The Netherlands
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1,500 euro for soup kitchen Israel comes in!

Food distribution in Netanya
Hooray! Thanks to your generosity and prayers we are able to make many people happy this week, and that is something we just LOVE to do at Traveling Light.

The 1,500 euro for the soup kitchen in Netanya, Israel came in! Yes, that fast :) Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who gave towards this project. It is just amazing what we can do together in such a simple way. The money will be used for the purchase of promotional t-shirts for the soup kitchen. The t-shirts will be sold as souvenirs to volunteers, visitors and supporters and that will bring in some extra cash. Cash that is necessary to keep the soup kitchen and food bank running, as more and more people are making use of this service. Part of the money will also be used for the organizing of a special dinner to honor a group of Holocaust survivors. In October we will be visiting Israel again and we will share an update and photo's.

Jan and Marjan
Besides that, we have donated 280 euro towards dental work for one of the guys in the Teen Challenge program in Slovenia. What a blessing that will be for Marjan, who has lived without front teeth for years.  We will share his new smile as soon as we have a picture available. His dentist appointment is later on this month.... so, please be patient :)

Isn't it fun and rewarding to bless other people this way? We can only hope you are enjoying this as much as we do.

The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself
[Proverbs 11:25]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

News & prayer

The guys at the men's center in Novi Sad, Serbia

Many people are enjoying a good vacation right now. Even in Holland the sun finally came through! Summer or not, the work at Traveling Light keeps going. We would like to share some refreshing news items with you:

  • Did you know that, apart from the gift of 4,500 euro, we donated more than 1,500 euro to Teen Challenge Serbia during the 2nd quarter of 2012 through our project Stepping up 4 Serbia. We recently received a long e-mail from Sasa Ivanovic, the director, here's a snippet: "Thank you for your gift of 4.500 Euro's, it came in last moment, but right moment (God is never late :)), so we could pay our heating and electricity bills. This was so important for TC Serbia ministry because there was great threat that our centers were cut off from heating and electricity and, of course, we wouldn't be able to continue this important ministry. I want to thank TRAVELING LIGHT and all good people and supporters who helped TC Serbia to continue its work and keep 21 boys and 9 girls who are currently in both of our centers, Men's and Women's, where they are receiving help, love and care, discipleship and training that hopefully one day they become Christ disciples who will be another Traveling light in country of Serbia sharing great message of the Gospel of Jesus..." Gifts are still pouring in for Serbia, so we will continue to support them on a monthly basis. Please pray for the staff and students there and for more support from churches, businesses and individuals in Serbia.
  • Did you know that we are receiving general gifts from Teen Challenge centers all over Europe? As you may remember at some point we helped Teen Challenge Slovenia with finances so they could buy a chainsaw. Now they can make some money chopping down trees. How awesome to see that they have blessed Traveling Light with a gift! This reminds us of the first believers in the book of Acts. They shared their belongings/income and if someone was in need they would help him. If you never invest your money in the lives of others, how are you going to get a return in due time??
  • Talking about money, did you know that we were able to give away nearly 20,000 euro in the first seven months of 2012? How wonderful is that?! Thank you very much for your generosity. Let's pray that more and more supporters will join our efforts.
  • We still need 120 euro for the dental work on Marjan's teeth (Teen Challenge Slovenia). If you want to see him smile, please give a small gift today.
  • We have a Facebook page, it is mainly in Dutch, because most of our supporters are in Holland (and that is changing rapidly!!), but if you hit the LIKE button we will make it a bi-langual page :)