Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Visiting Izhod Teen Challenge, Slovenia

Marjan lived in the streets for 26 years, now he has a home
We are currently visiting with the team from Izhod Teen Challenge Slovenia. In 2010 they opened their first men's center in Nova Vas, the Dennis Griffith House. We love this place and have visited several times. At the moment there are four men in the residential program who used to live a life of addiction and crime. They live, work and learn there for a period of one year.

Praising the Lord in the morning!
Remember how we raised money to buy a chainsaw? Well, that gift has surely been a blessing! With the chainsaw they were able to do a lot of work, clearing woods, cutting trees and cleaning yards. They made enough money this way that they were able to buy another saw, and they can do even more work. They got so many requests to cut down trees that they have gathered enough wood for at least the next two coming winters (the heating system in the house works on wood). Besides this wood work they run a small moving company that brings in some money too. The guys hand out Bibles to every customer they work for.

This morning Jan spoke at the center during the morning devotion. We had a powerful time of prayer and confession. We made some photo's, had lunch together and talked some more with the guys. They proudly showed us the 25 chickens they have now. We are absolutely delighted to see how well this house is being managed and how the Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of these men!

Picking up the last parts for the bunk beds
Matjaz and Dejan work shifts as leaders and counselors. We had the opportunity to visit with Dejan's parents who live in the mountains about two hours away from the center. Dejan used to be addicted to heroin and was a student in the Teen Challenge program in Czech Republic. Now he is a leader here in Slovenia, his home country. His father has a woodwork shop, and there they made new beds for the guys in the Dennis Griffith House. Wow, we were amazed at the beautiful work.
Dorm room with new beds
TC Slovenia still needs to pay 650 euro's for the beds, which is really not much for such beautiful handy work. If anyone is interested in helping them to pay this off... don't hesitate. make your donation to
Rabo bank nr. 1185 82 275
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275
and make sure to mention BEDS FOR SLOVENIA.
For those of you in the USA, you can donate HERE.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Europe Teen Challenge Conference

Representing Teen Challenge Netherlands
We have been on the road for more than a week now and are currently staying with the team from Teen Challenge Slovenia. We just came back from the Europe Teen Challenge Conference in Rimini, Italy where more than 23 countries were present.

It was a great time for fellowship: to strengthen old friendships and establish new ones. We will write a report when we get back home. All we can say is that the response towards our ministry with Traveling Light was heart warming. Wow, we have no words to express the love and kindness we felt from the many people that came to our book table to talk and to donate for Serbia. It was awesome!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Annual conference Teen Challenge Ukraine, Kiev

A rainy Sunday in Kiev
We just came back from a truly blessed time in Kiev, Ukraine. Remember how you all gave generously to sponsor this conference? Because of your faithful support we were able to donate 2500 euro towards this event. Jerry Nance (director of Global Teen Challenge) spoke on vision, leadership & commitment!

More than 150 people from all over Ukraine, Russia and Kazachstan were able to attend this conference; all people who are in some way working and volunteering in rehabilitation centers, coffee houses, clinics, churches and other places where the addicted can begin a new life. Most of these workers were addicted in the past and are now helping others to become free!

Maksim & Jan

We were so glad to be greeted by  the big smile of Maksim who, just two days prior to our arrival, had his last treatment at the dentist. Wow, he was so happy and thankful for your gifts towards his new smile! It was such a joy to spend time with him!

Yura & Ira
We also met with Yura and Ira, a sweet couple from Onyfrievka. They will be the directors of the new to open men's center. This was our first project when we started with Traveling Light about a year ago. We raised 10.000 euro for the purchase of this building, the final papers will be signed within the next few weeks. A plan to renovate this house has been drawn as well as a rough calculation of the expected costs.

Praying with Andre
We also went to a Methadone clinic where Teen Challenge has a small office where people addicted to drugs can come in for coffee or tea and prayer. They will receive an invitation to come to the Coffee House on Wednesday evening and hopefully they will make decisions to go to one of the many Christian rehabilitation centers in Ukraine.

It was amazing to hear how many broken dreams lay underneath the broken lives... We were able to encourage many by telling them that there is hope, that Jesus Christ can set them free!

Rehabilitation home in Kiev
We were invited to speak in one of the rehabilitation centers, where 11 men live and study God's word. We even had the opportunity to pray with all of them individually, many received confirmation and encouragement from the Holy Spirit in regards of personal struggles and questions. Please pray for this men, that they will learn to walk in God's will and that they will be used for the glory of God!

Pizza party!
We also had a wonderful time at Kevin & Eunice Tyler's home (the directors of Teen Challenge Eurasia). They threw a pizza party for the whole gang and we had a great time of fellowship and friendship. We were able to hear many of the personal stories of the guys, unbelievable stories of pain and suffering, but also stories of hope... because they finally found new life in Jesus!

We were truly, truly blessed during this conference and during our time with Sergey & Mariana Glushko, they have such a heart for this work and together with their team they will make a difference in Ukraine.

They are super thankful for all your support, and so are we. Without you this would not have happened!

PS: The gifts thermometer for Serbia has risen to 2,000 euro. Super!