Friday, January 31, 2014

Marathon skating for rehab home Ukraine

Krijn up front, snow storm at the Weissensee
What a great and challenging event it was! We are so proud of Krijn Donk and Henk Swijnenburg, who both skated 200 km on the Weissensee in Austria to raise funds for Christian Rehab home Istochnick in Ukraine.

They were able to raise more than 2,000 euro. This money will be used for the new Teen Challenge rehabilitation home Istochnick in the south of the Ukraine. This new home will be able to house about 22 men who are ready to quit their addiction and start a new life.

New rehab home Istochnick
At the moment they need quite a sum of money to continue with the last stage of the construction project. Mainly for plumbing, heating, electrical installations, etc. etc. You can see the new home in the picture. Most of the work is being done by the men in the program. Yes, it's more than Bible study, group therapy and counseling, they do awesome work with their bare hands!

Krijn Donk finished the 200 km in 8:09 hrs and Henk Swijnenburg in 9:30 hrs. Both of them beat their results from last year! We are very thankful for all the people who helped to make this event successful. We received many heart warming notes and donations. Needless to day that Andre Solovyev, the director of the men's home, is also very thankful for your help.

Praying for their food, the men at the old rehab home
PS and more news:
  • Krijn Donk had a bad fall on the ice at km 175. He ended up with a shoulder injury. Please pray with us that he will recover soon. 
  • Winterproject RaskrsceTeen Challenge Serbia is going very well. We have already received 2,400 euro in donations.
  • MIB (Men on the Move) in Dordrecht decided to take up an offering for Teen Challenge Czech Republic. More about that in a next post.
  • Harbor evangelist Guus Peters needs  to order new Bibles and we want to help him with the funds. More about that in a next post.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Winter project Raskrsce Teen Challenge, Serbia

Men's home Novi Sad
Do you remember we presented project Raskrsce Teen Challenge, Serbia, back in 2012? We visited both the men's and women's home in Novi Sad and we were able to donate 4,500 euro for the work among the addicts, homeless and prostitutes in Serbia. This was made possible because of your quick responses to our plea for help.

Besides that, we were able to help them with a monthly gift  throughout 2012. We have stayed in contact with Sasa and Svetlana Ivanovic, the founders and directors. We met again at a European conference, of course we receive their news letters and we have been e-mailing back and forth.

Lovely dinner with Sasa and Svetlana
Recently we received a New Year's mail. Both centers are full, which is good news. Normally they have about 28 men and women, currently that number is up to 37! We have reasons to be thankful...

These are men and women that have decided to seriously seek help to end their addictions. In the Teen Challenge centers they will encounter the love of Christ and (often for the first time) learn about Biblical principles and truths.

Living room in the women's home
The word about the Christian rehabilitation program in residential centers gets out through Teen Challenge street outreach and prevention work at schools.

It is still difficult to find sufficient finances for the day-to-day operation of both centers. That is why we want to support the work again, in 2014. This time with a gift of 3,000 euro. We know for sure that will be a great encouragement to the staff, students and volunteers at the beginning of a new year.

If you have a heart for this work, please do not hesitate to send us your donation!
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 SERBIA

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Photo's new heater Teen Challenge Poland

The new wood heater
We at Traveling Light purposely choose to sponsor small scale, local projects. What are the advantages of working like that?

Well, the amount of money we collect for such projects is managable. The money will go directly to the projects and the money will be used for the projects as soon as possible. This gives clarity to the recipients as well as to the givers.

This past November we raised 7,000 euro for the purchase and installation of a new wood heater at the men's rehabilitation home of Teen Challenge in Lekini, Poland.

The men's home is located in a former military base and offers room to about fifty men who are willing to get rid of their addictions and start a new life. Their rehab is based on the love and grace of Jesus Christ and on biblical principles.

On their way to recovery
Together we made it possible for the men in Lekini to stay warm this winter and during many more winters to come; it can get really cold in Poland. The huge wood heater is connected to an extensive system of pipes through which warm water is being transported to the various buildings. Think of it as a form of city-heating.

Chopping wood and keeping the heater burning are some of the daily chores the men will be assigned to, as soon as they enter the program.

The nice thing about this project was that our supporter Meindert van der Wal put his own fundraiser idea into action. We received many individual gifts through his church Jong & Vrij in Hellevoetsluis. Thank you all so much for helping us out with this project.

The guys at work
It is fantastic to see and experience how much we can do if we put our hands together. We have really encouraged the men at Teen Challenge, Lekini. They are sending their warm greetings. Our positive response to their need means a lot to them, their families and friends.

We hope you will help us again in 2014 to support more of these small scale, practical projects. Together we can shine our light in all corners of Europe!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

200 km ice skating for Traveling Light

At the end of this month the 26th annual Marathon Ice Skating event at the WeissenSee will be organized. That means skating 200 km on natural ice in the cold Austrian winter weather.

Last year our friend and volunteer Krijn Donk finished this extreme ice skating event in good time, about 8 hrs. and 45 minutes. He did it as a fundraiser for Traveling Light and was able to collect almost 1,500 euro's. We donated the amount to the work of Sokrat & Lena Apostolovski among the Roma children in Skopje, Macedonia.

Krijn Donk, last year at Weissensee
This year Krijn wants to do it again for a good cause. Another friend, Henk Swijnenburg from Bleskensgraaf, wants to join him in this effort. We are very happy with this super team! The two men want to bring in funds for the new rehab home Istochnick in Ukraine.

New rehab home Istochnick, Ukraine
The construction of this new rehab home is almost finished. The house will offer room for about twenty men who are willing to quit their addiction. The program is part of Teen Challenge Ukraine. This means the men will not only get help to end their addiction, but that they will encounter the love and grace of Jesus Christ as well. THIS will be the foundation of their new life. And you know what is the best thing? The changed lives of these men have great, positive impact on their families, it is like a dominoes effect.

At the moment they need quite a sum of money to continue with the last stage of the construction project. Mainly for plumbing, heating, electrical installations, etc. etc. The men are doing the work themselves. It would be fantastic if we could raise money through this ice skating event to help them.

The men at work
You can sponsor Krijn and/or Henk as follows:
  • with an amount per kilometer
  • with an amount for finishing the race
  • with a general amount,
  • with any amount for beating last year's time, or
  • with whatever idea you can come up with
If you want to sponsor them, please send an email with the amount you want to donate to or send your gift directly to NL91RABO0118582275 Traveling Light. Make sure to designate it: WEISSENSEE.

We will keep you updated on this weblog and our Facebook page. This is going to be so exciting! Who wants to join us in the fun?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Project Outreach Athens

Praying with guys from the street
We wish you all a happy and healthy New Year! We are excited to start off 2014 with a project in a country where we haven't planted the Traveling Light flag yet: Greece.

The last few years nothing but negative news about Greece has been spewed by the media. But that is a one-sided view. Of course positive and inspiring things are happening in Greece and Traveling Light wants to shine light on the good news. Two years ago we met Elias Armenis at a Teen Challenge conference. He is the founder of Passage to Life, a interdenominational ministry in Athens that seeks to help the poor, homeless and addicted and share with them the love, grace and hope that only Jesus can give.

Mercy Center
They have a shelter, the Mercy Center, where they receive the poor and addicted people. They offer warm meals and give out clothes, also to the many refugees from Afghanistan and surrounding countries. We might not realize this, but Greece also struggles with a big amount of refugees and illegals flocking the country.

Besides Bible studies, they offer counseling, advice and prayer. This past summer Passage to Life celebrated 30 years of ministry. 30 years in which they have reached out to many addicted and hopeless people who are today truly free, having their own families, living a drug free life, and serving others.

30-year celebration
In June they organized a huge rally that ended with an evangelistic gathering in the center of Athens, many people came to this event. Jesus said two thousand years ago:  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. And this is what is happening in Greece!

The beautiful thing about the work of Passage to Life is that it is often done by former addicts who volunteer now to help and reach out to others. Yes, also in Greece light is shining in dark places. We would love to support the good work they are doing with a gift of 2,000 euro. At the beginning of yet another new year we want to encourage them to keep up the good work. The darker it gets in the world, the brighter our light will shine!

You can encourage the street outreach in Athens by sending your gift to
NL91RABO0118582275  BIC: RABONL2U Traveling Light, Papendrecht, The Netherlands