Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Project summer camp Ukraine 2012

Bible studies for new believers
Greetings from Sergey and Mariana Glushko from Teen Challenge Ukraine. Last month, when we were at their house in Kiev, they asked us if we were willing to help them raise finances for their summer camp 2012.

Each year they organize a summer camp for people from rehabilitation centers all over Ukraine. Staff and students alike will be able to enjoy a week of fun, camping, friendship, Bible study, games and music. The cost to go on this summer camp is about 20 euro (or $25) per person, for the whole week! 
Games and fun!
We looked at the photo's from last year's camp and were touched... what an opportunity for men and women from all walks of life to come together and experience fellowship. Most of them have never been on vacation, have never been to a summer camp and have never played games. Of course we want to help!

The camp is for people who are in drugs and alcohol rehabilitation, who have already, seriously decided to start a new life. This summer camp will be the time of their life. For 20 euro (25 dollar) you can send one person to the upcoming summer camp. Just imagine how much joy that will bring! If you want to help, please send in your gift as soon as possible, the camp will be from June 25-29 2012.

Feeding more than 170 people
You can send your donation to
Rabo bank nr. 1185 82 275 St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, the Netherlands
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

For those of you in the USA, you can donate HERE.

Make sure to mention: Ukraine summer camp

You can read more on the Facebook page.
By the way, make sure to watch this short video about last year's camp. It is spoken in Russian, sorry, no translation available. But just looking at the film will give you a pretty good idea about this camp. Click on the little red video picture for the film to start.

We just LOVE this initiative! We hope you love it too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Project Passenger Van for the Spetse Hoeve

Residential program the Spetse Hoeve, Groningen
For our next project we will stay in Holland. You probably remember we donated 2,500 euro last year for a new fire safety installation at the Spetse Hoeve in Groningen, The Netherlands. The Spetse Hoeve is a men's rehabilitation home from Teen Challenge. At that time you overwhelmed us with gifts, so we are not hesitant to ask again :)

At the moment the guys at the Spetse Hoeve have some financial challenges. First of all they discovered termites in the farm, it will cost a few thousand euro's to get rid of these insects. Second, they are in dire need of a new (second hand) nine person passenger van. Jan is helping them to find one online, we expect the cost to be around 7,000 euro. That money is simply not available, so we decided to give 'm an helping hand. We want  to raise 3,500 euro towards the purchase of this van. We hope and pray you will help us!
Jan at work on one of the vans

Check out the website of the Spetse Hoeve and see if you can use Google translate if you want to learn more about the work on the farm. Men from all kind of backgrounds and situations are living and working there, while they overcome their addictions. Most of all: they will get to know the love of the Heavenly Father! The change in their lives has a powerful and healing effect on their families as well, which is awesome of course.

If you like to give towards this project, please send your donation to:
Traveling Light, Papendrecht, the Netherlands
Rabo bank nr. 1185 82 275
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

4,500 euro for Raskrsce Teen Challenge, Serbia!

11 women are living in this beautiful home
Hooray, hooray! The 4,500 euro for Raskrsce Teen Challenge, Serbia came in. We are delighted and honored to be able to support this ministry in Serbia. They are currently struggling financially, and with this gift we want to help them to pay off some of the bills. In the meantime they are looking for sponsors and for new ways to generate some income.

Living room in the women's house
Besides the donations for this one time gift we still receive emails from people (from different countries!) who want to be a temporary sponsor on a monthly basis. Originally we had the plan to look for 50 sponsors donating $100 a month. But it turned out this amount is too high for many people. Some want to help with 30, 50 or 70 dollars, which is awesome of course! So, we have decided that every amount for monthly sponsorship is welcome. After all it is not for us to decide how much you will give, that's between the Lord and yourselves :)

So, the teller on the top of this weblog is gone, we will keep you updated through this blog on what's going on. And who knows, we will get more than 50 sponsors. Send us an email if you still want to help. We will collect the donations and send Raskrsce Teen Challenge a monthly gift as long as support keeps coming in. THANK YOU all for your support and prayers! You can make your prayers practical by printing a map of Serbia, of the Novi Sad area, and ask the Lord for our Christian family to expand! 

PS: We still need 650 euro for the new beds in the men's home in Slovenia, we'll post some more on that soon. Our next project will be Teen Challenge Netherlands, they are in desperate need of a 9 passenger van. More on that in our next post. The coming days we will be at the Transformation Conference in Ludwigslust, Germany, where we will give workshops on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. A report will follow when we get back.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Visit to Gutes Land, Germany

Bright colors in the after care house
We owe you a few photo's from our recent visit to Teen Challenge Gutes Land, Germany. From Novi Sad, Serbia, it was almost 1000 km to Vilsbiburg... a beautiful drive past Budapest and Vienna into Germany.

We were welcomed warmly in Gutes Land. Sunday morning we went to church in Landshut. In the afternoon Meike showed us the new after care house that they are currently building and we took some photo's. At the moment there are three men in the program who are almost ready to graduate. They are preparing to take the next step: independent living, but still having the safety of Teen Challenge nearby. The guys already picked their rooms :) The 5.000 euro we were able to donate is being used to further complete the construction of this house. The men are really looking forward to have their own beautiful room in a safe environment!
Professional workmanship

In the evening we had time to talk and catch up on the latest happenings. We played board games with the men, Jan went for a run with Dirk and later that night we took some time to pray with each other and bless each other. As always we noticed how demanding, yet rewarding, the work in a rehabilitation home can be. Both staff and students need encouragement, all the time. We are always happy to bring some!

Monday morning, before we were heading back home to Holland, Jan shared a word from the Bible and we had the chance to pray with each man personally. That was very special, because we prayed in different languages: German, English, Dutch. They were short and simple prayers. But you know, sometimes we don't need a
Bible study under the sun!
lot of words, sometimes a hug says it all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Queensday Fundraiser

Happy faces at the Traveling Light booth
Every year on April 30th Holland celebrates the birthday of Queen Beatrix with all kinds of festivities. Every city and town has a free market, kind of like a yard sale, where people can buy and sell stuff.

Our friend and faithful supporter Cora Donk had the idea to have a sale for the benefit of Traveling Light. While we were traveling and visiting various projects in Southern Europe, she brought together a team of family, friends and neighbors to help her. As you can see in the pictures it was a beautiful and colorful day; orange is the color of our royal family. Red, white and blue the colors of our flag.
Erica behind the booth

Together they raised 330 euro for Traveling Light and it needs no further explanation that we are really thankful for such supporters. They talked to hundreds of people, handed out flyers, received donations and sold most of the second hand goods in their booth. We really want to thank:
  • Cora Donk for organizing this event,
  • Ton Swart, for printing flyers
  • Erica Swart for running the booth all day
  • Catharina & Zita for lending us a clothes rack
  • Krijn Donk for raising the amount to 400 euro!
  • Everyone for donating stuff and for visiting the booth
All the proceeds will go towards our current project: Raskrsce Teen Challenge, Serbia. For various reasons they got behind on paying some of the bills and we offered to help them to pay the utility bills of the men's and women's center, so the centers can stay open.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Visiting Serbia

At the women's home in Novi Sad
We had a great time in Slovenia!. We both had the opportunity to share a morning devotion with the guys in the rehabilitation center and to pray with each one of them; staff and students. It is at moments like these that we can truly sense what Traveling Light is all about: encouraging one another to keep the faith!

Beautiful women, free from drugs, restored by Jesus!
Thursday morning at six o'clock we quietly left and went on our way to Serbia. Saying goodbye is always difficult, especially after we all had such a good time and great fellowship together. Anyway, we took the freeway towards the border with Croatia where we had coffee and a sandwich, they even stamped our pass ports :) A few hours later we entered the country of Serbia, and without navigation or phone we easily found our way to the office of Raskrsce Teen Challenge Serbia, where the directors Sasa & Svetlana Ivanovic greeted us warmly. After lunch we visited the men's and women's rehabilitation homes and in the evening Jan shared his heart and God's Word at the men's center and so did I at the women's home. It is our goal to bring words of encouragement and joy, as we share truth from God's word.

Overlooking the Danube from the fortress
Friday we were able to spend the day with Sasa & Svetlana, we had time to talk, to pray with one another and to see part of Novi Sad, the city where they grew up and live now. Novi Sad is a beautiful city located on the Danube. An enormous restored fortress overlooks the city and the river, as well as the rebuilt bridges that were destroyed earlier, during the Kosovo war in 1999. We had a very interesting, sweet and useful time together. We quickly discovered that Sasa & Svetlana needed a lot of prayer, love and encouragement (personally and for their work). Our visit was only a minimal attempt to let them know that they are not alone, that people from all over Europe and the USA are praying for them and that light will shine again!

Broken lives healed and restored! Hallelujah!
Friday night Jan spoke in the church in Novi Sad, and oh, what a response from the people! It was incredible to see how many are sincerely longing to follow God's call for their life. We believe God is raising up men and women in Serbia who will spread the gospel of peace throughout the Balkans. We also realize this is not going to happen without a battle. Wars, communism, different religions and poverty have ruled over this area for a long time by oppressing and suppressing the people. It is of great (strategic) significance that with the help of huge support from the USA, Teen Challenge Serbia has been established and continues to do their work.

Received new life, new hope, new purpose!
As far as we know there is not much European support for our Christian brothers and sisters in Serbia, so we are delighted that through Traveling Light we can plant little seeds of hope! Thank you, everyone who has stepped up for Serbia. We still need 1,000 euro to reach our goal of 4,500 euro, which will go to the payment of utility bills in both centers. We have also received several pledges from people in the Netherlands and from Teen Challenge centers AND individual people from all over Europe for temporarily monthly sponsorship, we will give an update on that in an upcoming post.

Sunny day in Novi Sad with Sasa & Svetlana
We cannot even find words to describe how thankful we are that we were finally able to visit Serbia. Although we have met with Sasa & Svetlana before, we now have a better feel of the city, the centers and the church there! Please continue to pray and give as you are directed.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails!

(1 Corinthians 13:6-8)