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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Work week Italy

Beautiful place to chill
The mission of Traveling Light is three fold: to offer financial support, spiritual encouragement and also practical help. Sometimes that happens all at the same time :) as with our project Casa Shalom in Italy. This July we donated 5,000 euro to this therapeutic community in Tuscany and last week we went there with a group of nine people to work and to give Bible studies.

Team work week Italy
It was the first work week we organized as Traveling Light. We (Jan and Marja) drove in our car to Pisa. Along the way we visited the lady who translates my books into Italian and we were also invited to speak at an evangelical church in Genoa. Monday afternoon September 2nd we arrived at Pisa airport, meeting with Alen Grasinar. Alen is a Teen Challenge graduate from Slovenia. He overcame his heroine addiction and just finished the program and wanted to join us for this work week. He drove all the way from Ljublijana.

Lots of chainsaw work to be done
We picked up six other volunteers who flew in from Holland. Nine people + luggage + guitar + groceries in two cars.... needless to say we had a blast! We rented Casa Shalom for a week, a beautiful old Tuscan house in the mountains, only accessible through an unpaved winding road several miles long. We had a wonderful and intense week together. Every day the seven men disappeared into the woods to cut trees, saw blocks and split them into smaller parts.

Practical help
The guys worked like horses and they must have cut more than 5 m3 of wood which they stacked in the cellars of the women's and men's home. A huge job done, which really surprised and pleased the directors. They were very much impressed with the fact that our guys were willing to unconditionally sacrifice their time, money and labor to help Comunita Brezzano. We also picked kilo's and kilo's of raspberries. Maria makes jam and juice which she sells elsewhere.

Each evening at eight o'clock we would all gather at the peaceful patio for Bible study and talks. The directors (Maria and Boris) and the three men that are currently there for rehabilitation joined us. They were very thankful and enjoyed the time, attention and fun that we shared with them as a group.

Great bbq with the whole gang
We can really say that we were able to shine our light in the lives of these people. They asked us when we would come again :) As a group we also learned from each other. We hope to organize more trips like this in the future.

A big thank you to Alen, Andreas, Frank, Geert-Jan, Menno, Sjanna and Teun (aka Antonio) for their unlimited energy, humor and enthousiasm. The theme for this week was Giving it all. And that's what we all did. What we do for others, we do for the Lord!

The photo's of this work week can be viewed by clicking on this LINK.