Monday, December 30, 2013

Year end gift for coffeehouse in Tetovo, Macedonia

Jordan & Vesna
Do you remember Jordan Stoilov? In 2013 we visited him twice in his coffeehouse The Bridge, a meeting place in the center of Tetovo, Macedonia. Visitors are welcome to sip coffee, read books, join a Bible study or just talk. The population in Tetovo is predominantly from Albanian descent and about 83% of the people are Muslim. 

Years ago Jordan was addicted to heroin, but he entered the Teen Challenge program where he learned that God loved him and had a better plan for his life. He started a new life and later went to Bible school at YWAM.

He is happily married now with Vesna and together they have a son: Jakov. Jordan wants to let his light shine in his city and reach people who do not know the love of God.

At coffee house The Bridge
Traveling Light was among those who helped him financially to set up a play ground for children in the neighborhood. Because of this play ground he has been able to establish good relationships with the parents of these children. Since last September a group of Albanese men is visiting the coffee house regularly. Two of them are interested to learn more about God and the Bible, the others not so much. But, all of them want to learn English! That is a great way to build friendships and to get to know these men better.

Last year's shoe box event 
We recently received a special gift of 1,000 euro that we would like to donate towards his work in coffee house The Bridge. Jordan wants to purchase a laptop/computer that can be used to follow English lessons online. Other visitors will also be able to use the internet. He furthermore needs some supplies, such as cups, books, playing games, reading material etc. Next month he will also hand out 200 shoe boxes with toys in two kinder gardens in Tetovo. This is a great way to connect with parents and workers in the kinder gardens. 

In February we hope to visit Macedonia again and we will certainly go and see Jordan.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas goodie bags for sailors

During the past Christmas days Guus and Annemiek Peters went to the ports of Gent, Terneuzen and Antwerp to deliver their Christmas goodie bags for the sailors.

The photo shows the big smiles (click on the picture for an enlargement), the men were very happy with their gifts! We are thankful that Traveling Light was able to sponsor 60 Christmas goodie bags.

Shared joy is double joy... well, the picture tells it all, right?! Thank you very much for your support and encouraging comments regarding this special December project. Next week we will visit Guus and Annemiek and hear their stories first  hand.
Keep an eye on this weblog and/or our Facebook page.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Project children's clothes Syria

Syrian children
The year is almost over, but we would like to highlight a special project that we are running in the Netherlands right now. It is the collection of clothing for children in Syria.

We don't need to explain how terrible the situation in that country and in the various refugee camps is. We came in contact with Adnan Khayat, who was born in Syria. He rented a 20 ft container that needs to be filled up with clothes, shoes, jackets, children's clothes. sleeping bags, blankets, diapers, toys etc. As soon as the container is filled he will ship it to Syria. He will then fly to the area and, with the help of friends and family who are living there, distribute everything.

Adnan Khayat
It is getting really cold in Syria and the surrounding countries and Adnan really hopes to get the container filled before the end of the year, so he can ship it as soon as possible. This is very direct, practical help. We certainly want to encourage and help him in his efforts. All clothing is welcome, but we mostly need children's winter clothing and shoes.

We have asked our supporters in Holland to check their closets, garages and attics in search for clothing. Although this specific project is for our local supporters only, there might be some things you can do in your country. Ask around, ask your church, go online, find ways to help the people in Syria. If you cannot find anything, organize it!

Let your light shine!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Project dental work Theo

HOORAY! The 5,000 euro needed for project women's home Berdichev, Ukraine came in. Fantastisc, this happened really fast. Thank you very much for all your support. We will have pictures soon! We have a wide variety of projects lined up, so let's move on...

If you have been a reader of this weblog for some time, you may have noticed that every now and then we have projects to help individual people on their road to recovery. Especially when their past has been a mess. We have helped formerly addicted people to pay for dental help and study expenses. Why do we do that as a non-profit? Because Jesus has an eye for the individual. He used to pick people from a crowd (no matter what their background was) and showed His love and grace to them.

We will stay in the Netherlands this time. We would like for you all to meet Theo. Please read below how a visit to a Christmas Eve service changed his life!

Theo grew up in a broken home and as a result of all the trouble became very violent at a young age. He was taken away from his home and placed under government care. During this time he was abused and raped and when he finally turned 18, he was looking forward to starting his own life. He was looking for happiness. When his girlfriend died in a motorcycle crash his life went down hill. As he says: "I did everything God didn't want me to do."

He got into a new relationship and married. When their daughter was born, he began to believe in happiness again. But his violent past got a hold of him and after a while he ended up in prison. His marriage fell apart and he lost contact with his daughter. When she turned 18 she contacted him again, a small light in the darkness of his life. But there was just too much pain and reproach and their relationship did not work out. Theo decided that happiness was not meant for him.

During this time he got invited to a Christmas Eve church service in The Hoeksteen Church in Etten-Leur. Theo had visited the night mass in his town, but had never been in an evangelical church. After that night he decided to visit The Hoeksteen more regularly. For the first time in his life he experienced peace (which is much more valuable than happiness). He has been coming to our church for quite some time now and slowly he is letting God heal his inner wounds.

One day we asked him whether we could help him to heal his outer 'wounds'. Theo's teeth (or, what was left of it) were a mess. God looks at the heart, but human beings will mostly look at the outside when meeting for the first time... So it was decided that Theo would go to our sister-in-law, who is a wonderful and highly experienced dentist. She has done a great job giving him advice and soon he will be able to smile again :) Traveling Light is honored to pay that part of the bill not covered by his insurance. We will need about 600 euro.

To us, this is practical Christianity: helping someone to get back on their feet and live a dignified life.
All gifts, large or small, are welcome on Rabo bank nr.
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

Monday, December 9, 2013

Short film Onyfrievka project

orphanage (left) & rehab home
It was April 2011... We just registered Traveling Light as an official non-profit organisation. Our first project was a huge faith project: we needed 10.000 euro for the purchase of a building in Onyfrievka, Ukraine. Why huge?

Because no one knew about our organisation yet, there were no supporters, there was only an empty bank account. We had no money to advertise, no budget for flyers or a good website. It all started with this weblog and the faith that God was on our side. Wow, so much has happened since that April in 2011. We are very thankful for all our contacts, projects and supporters

Please, watch the video below. It shows the orphanage in Onyfrievka (which already existed) and the new rehabilitation home that has been divided in a men's and women's section. The video also shows the new fence around the property (another project we raised funds for) and the students at work. Wonderful, such a blessing to see that all donations have been put into practice. This past August we visited the place and we were very pleased to see it all so well taken care of. This is how we want to continue in 2014.

Currently we are fundraising again for the purchase of a home in the Ukraine, this time it will be a rehab home for women and their children in Berdychiv. We have received a large donation which has really sped things up, we still need 900 euro. Will you help us?

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

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas goodie bags for sailors

Guus & Annemiek Peters
Apart from our latest project women's home Berdichev, Ukraine, we would like to announce a special December project...

In the picture you'll see Guus and Annemiek Peters. For years they have been working among sailors in the ports of Terneuzen, Gent and Antwerp, sharing with them the good news about Jesus Christ. We will write some more on this weblog about their work and passion in the near future. For now you can read all about their ministry on their website 

Guus has written about his encounters with some of these seafarers in his book Navigating to the Muslim heart. We have taken some copies of the Arabic version to Israel to give away.

Each year Guus and Annemiek head down to the cold and windy ports on December 25th and 26th (yeah, when we're all celebrating at home) and there they hand out Christmas goody bags to the sailors. A small token of love, but with a huge impact in the hearts of these men, who are often far from home and lonely.

Guus and 'his' sailors
Many of the sailors are from the Philippines. Guus is like a father and friend to many of these men and he has tried to be in contact with most of them after the typhoon wrecked their country. You can imagine that, this year, a Christmas gift will be very special for them. A light in the darkness.

For 8,50 euro you can sponsor a Christmas goody bag. This year the men will receive a warm fleece sweater, a hand made beanie, a Jesus DVD, a book (in their own language) and soap.

Contents of this year's Christmas goodie bags
If you would like to bless these sailors this Christmas, send your donation of 8,50 euro (or a multiple) to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht,
IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275

Make sure to mention: SAILORS

What a wonderful and practical way to shine light in a dark world...