Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Project sponsoring annual Teen Challenge conference, Ukraine

The 500 euro for project Code Red in Amsterdam is almost in, so we want to share our next project with you.

Like last year (remember when Jan cut his pony tail and we raised 2,500 euro?) we would love to sponsor the annual Teen Challenge conference in the Ukraine, which will be held in Kiev, August 22-24, 2013. Maybe it is a good idea to share a little bit about the why's and how's of such a conference.

Working with the poor, homeless and addicted is not a regular job and certainly not an easy job. But, none the less a job with great rewards. Many people who are working and volunteering in this field in Ukraine have a similar background; they were either homeless, addicted, poor or somehow lost in hopelessness. But, no matter how passionate and dedicated they are, there will always be times of discouragement and trouble. Attending training seminars and conferences is a must in order to stay fresh and inspired.

Prayer during the 2012 conference
The theme for the upcoming conference is Freedom in Christ and the main speakers are Stephan Barendse (director of Teen Challenge Netherlands) and yours truly (Jan and Marja Verschoor-Meijers). They are expecting people from all over Ukraine and probably also from surrounding countries like Kazakhstan, Georgia and Belarus. We will share practical Bible based lessons on freedom. What is Biblical freedom and most of all, how do we maintain our freedom? We will cover all area's of life: mental soundness, emotional balance, social adjustment, physical wellness and spiritual growth.

Happy and thankful faces at the 2012 conference
Sometimes we take it for granted that we have an abundance in spiritual education, conferences, seminars, books, teachings, studies... you name it. There are still many countries where they crave the spiritual abundance we have. We are happy to be able to share of that abundance with the people in Ukraine.

It costs about 35 euro's for a person to attend this conference. Many workers / volunteers do not have sufficient finances to pay for this or they need the money for travel (as many will come from far away). If you desire to sponsor someone to come to this conference, you can do so by giving a donation of 35 euro (any other amount is welcome too!). We hope to be able to pay for at least 30 people, which means we need about 1,000 euro. What do you think, can we do it?
(If you're in the USA and want to donate, you can do so here, make sure to mention UKRAINE.)

PS: if you click on the photo's they become bigger for better viewing

Saturday, July 27, 2013

HOORAY, 2,500 euro for project chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia!

The Teen Challenge men are working hard
HOORAY! As the result of a quick and effective Facebook post we received the last gifts for follow-up project chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia. In just a few weeks the wonderful amount of 2,500 euro (3,300 dollars) came in for this project. Thank you all who gave towards this, your enthusiasm and generosity is appreciated very much.

As you can see in this picture the construction of the David Wilkerson Memorial Chapel at the grounds of the men's rehabilitation home, continues. How awesome that these men can work on a physical house, while the Lord is working on their inner souls. He forgives their iniquities, softens their hearts and heals their wounds from the past. This house of prayer will be a living monument of God's unending love for people in need. He is able to restore and renew broken lives, no matter how deep they have ended up in the gutters of addiction and shame. It is such an honor to be part of this through our finances, through personal contacts and visits (we've been there twice already). As soon as we have new pictures we will share them on this weblog!

For all of us it is true: Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain [Psalm 127:1]

May we remind you of Project Code Red in Amsterdam, we want to sponsor this outreach event in the red light district with a gift of 500 euro. Elaine MacKay mailed us, on behalf of Victory Home, this week with the following: "I really see the faithfulness and favor of God in this. We continue to pray for financial breakthrough in sponsoring... In the meantime we are almost daily on the streets, reaching out to the women. We do see an enormous open-heartedness, many women (prostitutes) give their lives [to God] when we tell them the Good News. We can see the hopelessness and emptiness in their faces...
I want to thank you for your willingness to participate in our efforts, we appreciate this very much!"
Your gifts (large or small) for this practical and loving outreach event in the red light district in Amsterdam are welcome. Within Europe make gifts payable to:
Rabo bank nr. 1185 82 275
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

We want to use this time to announce some of our upcoming projects. We have many plans for the next couple of months. We hope you will join us in our efforts to make this an exciting, challenging and encouraging time!
  • Sponsoring of the annual Teen Challenge conference in Kiev, Ukraine. 30 euro's will help someone (from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazachstan or Georgia) to attend this powerful and uplifting conference.
  • The purchase of a tractor lawn mower for the Teen Challenge men's home de Spetse Hoeve in Groningen, The Netherlands. Costs: 1,000 euro.
  • A very practical project at Teen Challenge Poland.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

News items & prayer

At the women's home, sharing love
Well, it may be vacation time here and there, but Traveling Light has plenty of new stuff going on! We just returned from a short trip to Poland. We were invited to join the celebration of 25 years Teen Challenge in that country. We visited two locations: the rehab men's center in Lekini and the women's home in Broczynie. Wonderful to see what a great work is happening there. We will write more about it soon, because we have a good and practical project coming up there. Please pray for an increase in supporters, so we will be able to accept more small scale projects all over Europe.

Casa Shalom
We received a long thank you letter from Maria Meier in Italy on behalf of Comunita Brezzano, as a response to our gift of 5,000 euro. She writes: 'We want to thank you from all our heart for your generosity and love to us - even if we did not know each other personally. But Marja and Jan described our community and social work in Tuscany marvelous to you, we must add no more... We want to say that your offers are a great help for us to finish and bring two projects forward. Both projects have to do with our production and with self-financing our work: the marmalade kitchen and Casa Shalom....' In the first week of September we are planning to go to Italy with a group of five young volunteers to help Maria with work on the land and around the community. We will stay in Casa Shalom and make many pictures of course. Please pray for that this trip will be fruitful.

Artist impression of interior prayer chapel
The construction of the prayer chapel in Sered, Slovakia keeps going, as do the gifts that come in towards this project. We still need 500 euro's to reach our goal of 2,500 euro. it is very encouraging to see how you are all responding to this. Thank you so much. Here is an artists impression of the roof construction on the inside of the chapel. It is so great to realize that we can be part of this house of prayer, all work is being done by the students who are in the Teen Challenge program. Please pray that the men who come to faith here will let their light shine in all corners of their country!

And then there is project Code Red in Amsterdam. We would love to support this event organized by Victory Home and Victory Outreach to reach abused, mistreated, homeless and addicted women with the love of Christ, with a gift of 500 euro. Your gifts are certainly appreciated and welcome.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. [Mark 12:30-31]

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Project Code Red, Amsterdam

Besides our follow-up project chapel Teen Challenge, Slovakia (for which we already have received more than 1,000 euro over the past few days!) we would like to ask your attention for project Code Red, Amsterdam.

Outreach in six major cities
Project Code Red is a two-day outreach event organized by Victory Outreach. They specifically want to reach women (homeless, addicts, prostitutes, abused) in six big cities: Tijuana, Chicago, Oakland, Capetown, Van-couver and Amsterdam. In the Netherlands this event  is being organized by Victory Outreach Amsterdam and Victory Home, a christian rehabilitation home for men and women in Amsterdam.

During this event volunteer women from all over Europe will come to Amsterdam to reach out to homeless, addicted and abused women. Through this outreach, Victory Home wants to show them that someone cares and is concerned about their living situation and future.

On August 5th and 6th mobile beauty parlors and hair salons will be set up on different locations in Amsterdam where women are welcome for a beauty treatment. In the afternoon they can enjoy a catered lunch as well as a wonderful dinner in the evening. During the dinner there will be a theater play. All women will receive a goody bag at the end of the day. If or when a woman decides she wants to change her life, Victory Home can offer them professional help and a place to stay where they will be assisted in making a new beginning.

We think this is a great and loving initiative and we would like to sponsor this event with a gift of 500 euro. Will you help us? This event is being organized by volunteers and will only take place if enough donations come in. The money is needed for food, drinks, location rent, goody bags, make-up etc. etc. If you have a heart for abused and mistreated women please send your gift to

St. Traveling Light
Rabo bank nr. 1185 82 275
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275
Make sure to mention CODE RED

Maybe you can share this blog post with your church/group/family or business partner and see if you can sponsor them as well.
If you need more information for the event in Amsterdam, please call or email  Elaine Mackay of Victory Home, email: e.mackay@voamsterdam.net

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Follow-up project Chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia

Preparing the foundation
Towards the end of 2012 we announced Project Chapel Teen Challenge, Slovakia. We were able to donate 2,500 euro to Teen Challenge so they could make a start with the preparations and construction of the David Wilkerson Chapel on the gounds of the men's rehabilitation home in Sered. When the building permits came in and the snow melted, they started with the foundation of the building.

The Teen Challenge Slovakia men
The cool thing about this building project is the fact that the labor is being done by men who are in the program.

Men that used to be bound by addiction, problems, criminal behavior and an overall sense of hopelessness. Now, they are actively participating in the construction of a prayer house that will be a blessing to themselves, to all the future men in the program and to the people in the neighborhood (who are really curious)! A small sanctuary where they can come and cry out to God, say their prayers, sing a song or just be silent....

Building the outer walls
It is very encouraging and inspiring to see how hard they are working. The biggest and most difficult job so far was the digging (by hand) of the 80 cm deep foundation and the pouring of a concrete floor. The men did everything, even the bar bending.We are so proud. For some of them this is the first time they really do something constructive with their hands and of course this gives a sense of satisfaction and healthy pride... Look at what we are doing with our bare hands. Such living proof that all things are possible with God. Yes, ex-drugs- and alcohol addicts building a prayer chapel, how awesome is that! Let's pray that their light will shine until the out-most corners of Slovakia. That they may be a blessing for their nation.

It starts to look like a building!
Teen Challenge Slovakia can be trusted with their finances. Traveling Light received an orderly list (and receipts) of all the materials purchased with the money we donated at the beginning of this year. We would love to follow up on this project and raise another 2,500 euro for them. That money will be used for the purchase of further building materials, for example for the roof construction.

We are so excited to be able to support the construction and realization of the David Wilkerson Chapel in Slovakia. We hope you want to be a part of it too.

If you have a heart for Teen Challenge and such building projects, please send your gift to
Rabobank nr. 1185
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

By clicking on this Facebooklink you can see more photo's of this project.