Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Project women's home Berdychiv, Ukraine

HOORAY! We have reached our goal of 7,000 euro for project heater Teen Challenge Poland. Fantastic! Thank you very much everyone who gave and prayed. This past weekend we met with Tim Urbaniak from Poland, at the Europe Teen Challenge Fall meeting in the UK. He told us that the new heater will be installed in the first week of December. Photo's will follow soon.

Pastor Sergey Romanenko and his family
Now, we would like to introduce you to pastor Sergey Romanenko and his family. He is the pastor of a Jewish Messianic congregation in Berdychiv, Ukraine. He is very much involved in the work among the addicted, homeless and poor in the Ukraine.

It is his dream to open up a rehabilitation home where women and their children can live and grow towards wholeness. Many addicted women in Ukraine refuse to enter a rehabilitation program because they cannot take their kids with them. Their children will have to stay with family or in orphanages.

This will be a safe home for women and children
This is really sad, because the separation of mother and child is a hindrance to (emotional) healing. Quite often the addicted women have lived in the streets, have been abused and prostituted. Their child is often the only valuable thing they have and cling to.

This past August we talked about the need for family rehab homes, when we were visiting Ukraine. It turned out pastor Sergey already had a house in mind that he wanted to purchase... They already had some money saved towards the purchase of property or at least towards the making of a down payment.

The kitchen needs renovation
It just broke his heart to see all these women walk away from the change to start a new life, out of fear of losing their child. It is therefore his dream to open many homes for women and children. In faith he went to the local bank for a loan... he did not want to miss out on this house. We believe with him that this will be the first of many homes to be opened throughout Ukraine.

It was his wish to start with the renovating of the house as quick as possible, so women will be able to move in soon. Well, together with a team of volunteers he has started to work in and around the house. We do not doubt for a moment that this will become a safe and warm place where women and their children can live and encounter the love of Jesus Christ on their way to restoration and well being.

Pastor Sergey needs 5,000 euro to officially purchase this house. Traveling Light would love to help him with this. We cannot think of a better and more joyful investment.

Will you help us?
All donations (large or small) are welcome.

Europe supporters, you can send your gifts to Rabo bank nr. NL91RABO0118582275 t.n.v. Traveling Light. BIC: RABONL2U

USA supporters, you can send your tax-deductible gift to Eastern Europe Outreach, make sure to mention BERDYCHIV, UKRAINE

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Expanding our network in Israel

Always finding something to repair
As we wrote in our previous post, we celebrated our vacation in Israel. We have used some of our time there to visit several people and programs on behalf of Traveling Light.

We visited the Teen Challenge women's home in the south. Jan was able to do some practical (read: technical) work at Polly's home, who is the director of the program: fixing the washing machine, fixing faucets, repairing the shutters etc. We were happy to be able to do something in return of her hospitality.

The two Mondays we were in Israel we volunteered in the soup kitchen and clothes distribution center in Netanya. We worked with volunteers from all over the world as we served meals, handed out bread and clothes. We had the privilege of praying with an older Jewish lady who wanted peace in her heart. We explained to her that only Yeshua can give the peace that surpasses all understanding.

No baskets, but boxes full of bread
We also had a wonderful meeting with a Palestinian family in Jerusalem. What a loving couple! The man grew up in a Muslim family from East Jerusalem and his wife in an Arab Christian family from Bethlehem. They came to faith in Yeshua and talked about Him and the Word with such love and respect. Together they are blessed with five children.

For security reasons we will not post pictures or names, but please pray that the Lord will be their provider and protection. We will write some more about them in the near future.

With Brian Slater at Beit-Asaph in Netanya
We were also invited to visit a high-tech company that, besides many other products, makes audio players programmed with the Word of God. The little gadgets work on solar power and/or battery power. The spoken Word can go out in thousands of languages and dialects to people who cannot read, who are blind or those that find it difficult to read. We will write some more about this in the future. We are very glad with all the new connections we made, we truly believe that the Lord sets them up!

Good news: we only need 975 euro to reach the goal for our current project heater Teen Challenge Poland. Who wants to help us with this last portion?

PS: Are you working at a Teen Challenge center somewhere in Europe and do you have a need? Please, consider giving a gift to help TC Poland, it will set the wheels in motion for your ministry as well!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hair cuts for a cause

René van Alphen
What in the world is Traveling Light up to, this time? Haha, well, we like a joke and we like practical thinking and acting. Hair dresser René van Alpen (Rene Professional) loves to be practical as well, so it's no wonder we get along pretty good!

Do you remember how René (from hair salon Acoli Elite in Breda) cut off Jan's ponytail last year, and how that raised 2,500 euro for the sponsoring of the annual Teen Challenge conference in the Ukraine? That was a great fundraiser.

This time René had another idea. He donated five heads for the salon in the Ark in the Negev, the women's home of Teen Challenge in Israel.

Polly, director of the Ark
The salon is being managed by volunteers. They teach the women in the program (who often lived on the streets for a long time) how to be a hair dresser. The heads they use for practicing purposes are quite expensive, so we were happy to take the heads René donated and bring 'm to Israel on our current trip over there.

Polly, the director of the Ark, was pleasantly surprised, as you can see in the picture. She placed the heads (for a while, at least) on the jewelry table... Jewelry made by volunteers and ladies in the program. Sales help to keep the house open.
We have an idea to help Polly with the jewelry, so keep an eye on this blog.

One of the volunteers currently working in the Ark is Pia Bakker from The Netherlands. She did a DTS training at YWAM and is now volunteering for three months in Israel.
Showing off the new heads

She offered to cut Jan's hair and while doing so she explained everything she did to one of the women in the program. Pia did her work with much love and passion. We just LOVE to see that in young people!

It is really an encouragement for us to see a young girl like Pia stepping out in faith and offering her time and talents as a volunteer, towards women who have been living a hard life on the streets.

Volunteer Pia Bakker
Well, it is clear that offering practical help can be very rewarding and fun. We get to meet interesting people and we can always find a way to encourage them!

Personal attention, small scale projects, direct help, building relationships... these are all key words that describe the ministry of Traveling Light.

We are currently fundraising for our project heater Teen Challenge Poland. The new heater will keep the men's rehabilitation center in Lekini warm during winter!
If you love what we do, please help us to move forward and send your donation to RABO bank number 1185 82 275 St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht. IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U

Monday, November 4, 2013

For God so loved...

Sharing the good news with  the poor and helpless
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son... An offer beyond our understanding, especially because we (now that it is our turn) don't always love the people in the world. Often we speak (or think) words of judgement and critique: it's their own fault, wrong choices, bunch of criminals etc. etc. But God... how does He look at people?

Mobile contact center Teen Challenge Czech
It is not always easy to look at people through the eyes of God, and yet... this is what we need and want to learn. That is why at Traveling Light we support the work among the last, least and lost in society: the addicts, the alcoholics, the homeless and prostitutes. Humans beings like this man you see on the picture above, which was taken in Czech Republic.

Do you remember we helped Teen Challenge Czech Republic to purchase a coffee bus? Last week we received a news letter from our friends in Czech Republic with some photo's. The coffee bus (now called: the mobile contact center) regularly visits (once a week) the second largest city in Czech, Brno and newly, also Teplice, known for it's red-light district.

God knows him by name
The outreach team of Teen Challenge Czech is determined to find the least, the lost and the broken... they do find them in the strangest places. Like Petr, they found him during their street outreach in the underground channels of Brno. They would never have thought that in a distant corner there lies a man, who is ready to die in hopelessness. Through the Holy Spirit, they were able to find Petr and share the good news about Jesus with him. The following week he visited the mobile contact center and decided to come to the rehab program that night.

Sharing soup and the good news in the bus
Through this coffee bus ministry a number of people have already decided to enter the Teen Challenge program. So, you see that the gifts we donate reach people beyond our imagination. Every person that comes to the mobile contact center and receives soup, coffee, attention and love, is a person that God knows by name. A person He loves with a desperate and passionate love. Who knows, they are the future preachers, pastors, business men and artists of their nation! When they make the choice to go into one of the rehab centers, we celebrate! Petr has made that choice. That is the fruit of your generosity and prayers. 

And so we move on with our small scale, local projects. Jesus once said: I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent... We rejoice with heaven, because it is clear that every human life counts!

PS: the teller for the heater in the rehabilitation center at Teen Challenge Poland stands at 5,100 5,400 euro. We still need 1,600 euro.