Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photo's Gutes Land, Germany

Teen Challenge Gutes Land
As promised some photo's of the building project at Teen Challenge Gutes Land in Germany.

When we first visited the center we were in awe, because of the beauty of the buildings that are literally hundreds of years old. The Teen Challenge staff and students all live there.

after care house
The farm is located in the beautiful countryside of South Eastern Germany (nearby Munich). There are several men in the program right now and they are learning that 'once an addict, always an addict' is not true! Jesus can set people totally free from a life of bondage!

Finishing the inside
A few years ago they started building a small house on the premises, meant to be used as an after care house, where men who have finished the program can live in preparation for their return into society, but still be under the protection of Teen Challenge. Due to lack of finances and all kind of other issues the work was never finished. Currently they have a contractor working on the house and it starts to look great, as you can see in the pictures. The total cost for this building project will be around 20.000 euro and we offered them our help in paying part of the bill by raising 5.000 euro. We want to see this house finished!

basic rooms
As in most places the work of Teen Challenge can only continue thanks to gifts from churches, individuals and organisations, like the one we recently started :) It is just wonderful to be able to encourage staff and students at Gutes Land: 'you are not alone, we are standing behind you. Keep going, do not give up.'

We can only do it if you decide to help us! Thank you for your support and faithfulness. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sponsoring TC Ukrainian Annual Conference 2012

The gifts for our current project Teen Challenge Gutes Land in Germany keep coming in and the gifts thermometer has risen to almost 3,000 euro, which is super! Please, keep up the good work until we reach our goal of 5,000 euro. We have asked Dirk Hellmann to send us some pics of the after care house that they are building. More about that next time.

In the meantime we received a request from Teen Challenge Ukraine to help them with their annual conference which is coming up April 5-7 2012. What exactly is an annual conference? Well, working with the poor, lost, homeless and addicted is not a nine to five job and surely not an easy one, although very rewarding. It is necessary to train, equip and encourage the workers  on a regular basis. Most workers with Teen Challenge have been through the program themselves at some point and are what we call experience experts. No matter how dedicated, excited and passionate they are about their work, there will always be times of disappointment and discouragement. That is why regular training and attending conferences is required. The theme for this conference is vision - leadership - commitment and the main speaker will be Jerry Nance, president of Global Teen Challenge.

So, how do we wish to help them with Traveling Light? Well, first of all we have been invited to attend the conference, so we're currently shopping for a good deal on airline tickets :) It will be a great chance to meet many people from TC Ukraine and to learn more about their work. And second of all: the cost to attend the annual conference is $45 per person (or 35 euro). If you wish to sponsor someone so he or she can attend the conference that would be a great help, often they do not have the finances available or they will need it for transportation. We hope to give at least 30 people a chance to go, which is $1,350 or somewhere around 1,000 euro. 
So, what do you think? Let's warm their hearts during this incredible cold and harsh winter and GIVE!

The fun part and challenge of this project is that Jan has promised to cut off his pony tail if we reach the 1,000 euro mark. 

PS: For our supporters in the USA, you can give your tax deductible gift here. Make sure you mention TC Ukraine conference and send us an email, so we can start to count! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New board member

Photo: Krijn Donk
We are happy and delighted to introduce our new board member Martin de Haas to you. He agreed to join us and will be our official treasurer. We have signed and sent in all the official paperwork and as of February 1st 2012 Martin is our new board member.

Martin has worked for several years as the treasurer of International Agape Ministries and we have come to know him as an honest, upright and kind person. We have no doubt he will be able to help, guide and support us in the work. In the picture you can see Martin with his wife Annet.

Annet is super creative and is always full of good and colorful ideas. One of her hobbies is designing and making her own greeting cards. She is going to make some special cards for Traveling Light which we will be sending out as encouragement to our contacts. Most of the communication with the people behind the projects is through Email, Skype and Facebook, but nothing beats a handmade and hand written card received at the right moment :)

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
[1 Peter 4:10]

Monday, February 6, 2012

Visit Veelerveen, Groningen

Saturday night praise & worship
This weekend we visited the Teen Challenge center, De Spetse Hoeve, in Veelerveen, Groningen, all the way in the north eastern corner of Holland. Every first Saturday evening of each month they organize a church service at the center that is open to the public. These evenings are a time for worship and prayer and the men in the program are invited to share their testimony. We had never been to a service at de Spetse Hoeve, so we were happy to finally be there.

Ice and snow at the IJsselmeer
Furthermore we were able to spend some fun and valuable time with Stephan and Marianne Barendse, the directors of Teen Challenge Netherlands. It was so good to talk and share homemade meals together. They were really encouraged by our visit, and we were glad to hear that of course :) On our way back home we drove over the Aflsuitdijk and it looked like we were on the North Pole or something, wow, so much ice and snow!

PS: Stephan proudly showed us all the new fire extinguishers they purchased with the money from the gifts you gave last October.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Money for dental work Maksim comes in!

We have collected a few great international news stories for you, let us start with the one that will make you all smile:

  • Last week we sent out a call for help in order to collect 400 euro. The money will go to Teen Challenge Ukraine and will be used to pay for some dental work for Maksim Demkin. It was such a joy to see how you all responded, in a few days the money came in. Soon, we hope to be able to post a photo of a bright smiling Maksim. Thank you everyone for a great job.
  • In the meantime the gifts thermometer for our project Gutes Land, Germany kept rising too and has come to 2.000 euro. We desire to help them finance the construction of an after care home at their grounds. It will open a possibility for men who have finished the Teen Challenge program, to temporarely live independently, yet still under the protection of the program. This step will prepare them to go back into the 'world'. We love this idea.
  • This weekend we will go and visit Teen Challenge De Spetse Hoeve in Groningen. It is time to catch up on things with Stephan and Marianne Barendse and see how we can help them in 2012. It is freezing cold in Holland at the moment and we might have a chance to go ice skating... More on this visit and some photo's next week.
  • We have more great news to share: Traveling Light has a new board member. We are honored and delighted that Martin de Haas has agreed to be our new treasurer. So, Jan will be the chairman, Marja the secretary and Martin the treasurer. We will introduce him in a next post.