Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo project passenger van Spetse Hoeve

We owe you a picture of the passenger van that men's rehabilitation center the Spetse Hoeve  (Teen Challenge Netherlands) purchased, thanks to your generous donations. Here it is!

Last year we raised 3,500 euro for project passenger van the Spetse Hoeve in the Netherlands. At first we started looking for a nine passenger van, but the prices were simply not within the budget. Finally they decided on this seven passenger Volkswagen in mint condition. A beauty, isn't it?

The goal of Teen Challenge Netherlands is to win people (not just addicts) for Jesus Christ and to help them to integrate with a local church. This goal is four-part:
  • Reaching un-churched youth with the gospel
  • Reaching people with life controlling problems (such as addictions)
  • Reaching people where they are; building bridges between the street life and the churches
  • Discipling (young) people in their desire to follow Jesus
Teen Challenge Netherlands has a men's rehabilitation home, the Spetse Hoeve, in Veerleveen  (Groningen) that offers space for 15 students/clients. Currently there are plans to open a women's home in the province of North-Holland.

On June 15th there will be another Open House at the Spetse Hoeve. So, if you are living not too far from there, you're very welcome to come and have a look at the work of Teen Challenge Netherlands.

If you know of any people struggling with addiction or having a desire to start youth ministry in their church, please send them the link to the Teen Challenge website. It contains a huge amount of information.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Background information project Casa Shalom, Italy

Communal kitchen in Maria's house

As promised some photo's and a bit of background information about the people behind project casa Shalom in Italy. We are currently raising 5,000 euro for this Christian Therapeutic Community in the hills of Tuscany. The money will be used for the renovation and upgrading of several buildings. The community can only exist thanks to donations and the sale of produce.

This past February we visited Comunita Brezzano (as it is officially named) upon request of Maria Meier. She is the director of the work and the people. Her long time staff member and helper is Boris, a Jewish tailor from Odessa.

Staff member Boris
Boris grew up in the Ukraine, became addicted to heroine en finally decided to make aliyah to Israel. But his problems came along, it didn't take him long to find heroin in Israel. He ended up in deep trouble and asked for asylum in Canada. Again, he tried to escape his problems.

Canada did send him back to Israel and there he came in contact with messianic believers and he got to know the Jewish Messiah. Through a pastor he ended up at Maria's place in Italy where he slowly received healing of his addiction, hurts and wounds.

Living room in casa Nuova
He has been living and working there for ten years now. He works the land, prunes the trees, sheers the sheep and lives in Casa Nuova where he is like a father to the new guys that come in.

Angelo was such a guy coming in. He was totally strung out on drugs and alcohol. His addiction was not only destroying him, but also his young family. He came to Maria through the mission-work of Cristo é la Risposta. Angelo grew up in Southern Italy, in Naples, and later moved to Tuscany.

Thank God for a place like Comunita Brezzano, where he felt welcome. Through many trials and errors he is finally walking the road with God and he made a new start with his wife and children. He works part time for Maria in the community and he is an expert woodworker and carpenter.

At this moment Maria houses an abused woman from Macedonia and, again, a man from Israel. We mention this, just to show you that everyone with life controlling problems who is willing to change is welcome in Comunita Brezzano. A place where they will encounter the love of the heavenly Father.

Casa Shalom
Such small scale work often seems a drop in the ocean, yet... we met with the mother of Andrea (her only child) and to her Comunita Brezzano was an answered prayer. She got her son, who was lost, back! And that touches our heart deeply. 

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...
[Mattew 25:35]

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Photo's project playground Tetovo, Macedonia

Material and man power
Traveling Light loves to sponsor small scale projects. We believe and know that with relatively little money effective and useful work can be done. The projects are well defined, the responsibility manageable and there is no overhead; all money goes to the projects. That is exactly what supporters need to hear, right?

Jordan looking so happy and proud
This past week a group of volunteers worked very hard to set up a playground in the city of Tetovo, Macedonia. We were able to help them with a gift of 1,000 euro. Jordan Stoilov initiated this project and he hopes that this kind of practical work will help in building better relationships with the inhabitants of the city. The majority of the people are Muslims of Albanian descent. The unemployment rate is sky high and the overall mood is grim. He shines his light!

The children can't wait
The photo's clearly show that the kids in the neighborhood could hardly wait for the playground to be finished. They hung around all day waiting for the guys to finish. At the Facebook page of The Bridge (the coffee house that Jordan opened last year) you can find many more photo's. Besides the establishing of a playground the team also renovated the steps that lead up to the bridge over the river. So, this part of town is going to look nicer and nicer.

This is being noticed by inhabitants as well as the city council. Please pray with us for more open doors for Jordan to do his outreach work.
Next month Jan and one of our volunteers (Krijn Donk) will fly to Macedonia for a few days, they will certainly visit Jordan.

Repairing the steps to the bridge
Thank you very much for your gifts. It is awesome to see how fast this project became a reality. If you know any people, churches or businesses who would like to sponsor projects like this, please tell them about Traveling Light... we are always welcoming new supporters.

Spread the news!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Project Casa Shalom, Italy

Maria Meier

We are happy to introduce you to Maria Meier, a widow of German descent, who has lived in Italy for years. This past February we visited her in the mountains of Tuscany and we were very much impressed with the work she does. She gave up her life to help those in need. Her house is truly a refuge!

Maria helps people with life controlling problems, whether addictions, mental, social or psychological disorders. It is possible to come to this Christian therapeutic community (Comunita Brezzano, a Swiss non-profit) for a short or long term stay and work on the land. The sheep, chickens, olive trees, vegetable garden, grape vines and maintenance of the houses and grounds provide enough work to stay busy. The group is small, most of the time no more than 3 or 4 people.

This community is a member of the Evangelical Alliance in Italy and the Association of Christian Life Support in Switzerland. They are also connected with the Messianic movement. Maria has a big heart for the Jewish people and she regularly receives people in need, from Israel, into her community. When we visited many languages were spoken (Italian, German, English, Hebrew and Russian).

Marmalade kitchen
The rehabilitation work in this community, three homes, is being financed through donations. Maria lives with her two grown children in one house. This is also the communal kitchen and the place where she shelters troubled women. Next to this house a new small building is being constructed: a marmalade kitchen. The sale of biological jam brings in some money, but the production has to comply with European Hygiene standards. So, a separate work and bottling kitchen is being erected.

Casa Shalom
Another home is Casa Nuova, a little bit further up in the mountains. Staff member Boris lives and works there and shelters men with various problems. The third house is called Casa Shalom. This house is even higher on a hill and it is rented out as a guesthouse to families and church groups. This brings in some income as well. All three houses are old, authentic Tuscan homes, beautiful of course, but always in need of maintenance, renovation and upgrading according to European safety standards.

Currently they are working on finishing the marmalade kitchen and on upgrading Casa Shalom. Quite a financial burden. We believe it will bless and encourage Maria when we help her with a gift of 5,000 euro. Are you willing to help too?

PS: In one of the following blog posts we will share some more photo's and testimonies.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

News & prayer

It is time again for some news, updates and prayer points. Read along and, please, tell others about us. Share, Like, Tweet and Favor our blog posts. With your help we can do so much more.

Jordan Stoilov
Hooray! The 1,000 euro for Project Playground Tetovo, Macedonia, came in. This means Jordan Stoilov can continue to plan this event (with the help of the evangelical church in Shtip). We will keep email contact with him and as soon as there is any news or pictures we will share it on this weblog. Please pray for Jordan that he may experience the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. And in the meantime: thank you all for your gifts. Oh yes; Jan and one of our volunteers (Krijn Donk) are planning to visit Jordan some time in June.

Waiting for the sun :)
The flea market sales on April 30th (Queens, or should I now say Kingsday in the Netherlands) were good for a total of 625 euro, all for Traveling Light. Awesome! It was a wonderful day, lots of fun, and thanks to a group of faithful and hard working volunteers we were able to sell lots of stuff and tell many people about the work of Traveling Light. Please, continue to pray for new supporters.

At Teen Challenge Sered, Slovakia
Last week we made a short trip around Europe. After the Europe Teen Challenge conference in Prague we visited Teen Challenge Slovakia. They are working hard on constructing the prayer chapel, which will be named the David Wilkerson Memorial Chapel. Did you all know that David's mother was born in Slovakia? What a tribute. She probably never expected the calling of her son to turn into a worldwide network of christian rehabilitation programs... yes, even in her country of birth Slovakia! We'll show some more pictures on this blog soon.

Comunita Brezzano, Italy
Our next project will be in Italy. We will share a bit about the work of Maria Meier, a widow who lives in Comunita Brezzano, where she offers a home and help for people with life threatening problems, especially people from Israel.We visited her last February and we were impressed with the hard work and love she shows the people that the Lord sends her. She offers amazing practical help. Well.... more about that in our next post.

If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight..... [Isaiah 58:10, The Message]