Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marathon sponsor run for Teen Challenge Castanheira, Portugal

Jan Visser
As we announced last week, our long time friend Jan Visser is planning to run his very first marathon ever on April 13, 2014, in the city of Rotterdam. Yep, it is his way of celebrating his 50th birthday :) and he wants to make it even better by running for a good cause. Well, Traveling Light has plenty of good causes that need support.

We discussed the possibilities and decided that all proceeds from his sponsor marathon run will go to the work of Teen Challenge in Portugal, and well specifically to the rehabilitation center in Castanheira do Ribatejo, just outside Lisbon. They need funds to renovate the men's shower room.
Center Castanheira do Ribatejo

This past January we visited the beautiful Teen Challenge center in Castanheira which offers room for 10-15 men who are struggling with life-controlling problems. They can start a year long recovery and rehabilitation program here and for many of them it will be the first time to learn more about Jesus and the Bible. The program offers daily devotions, groups studies, bible studies and groups and individual counseling sessions.

Men at work in the wood shop
With the help of God they will get their lives back on track, sometimes after years and years of being addicted, homeless or depressed. The workers and volunteers of Teen Challenges live in the center as well. There is also a huge garden, a mini farm, a wood shop and greenery. The men can do all kinds of work and in this way practice and develop their skills.

The shower room in the center needs work desperately in order to meet European standards for sanitary services. Just look at the picture below. Nelson Rato, the director of Teen Challenge Castanheira, really wants to renovate these showers, but there is a lack of funds for material. Most, if not all, of the work they will do themselves.
plenty of showers like this...
So, back to the marathon sponsor run... it is possible to sponsor Jan Visser by:
  • pledging an amount for finishing the marathon,
  • pledging an amount per kilometer completed, or
  • pledging an amount, no matter what the results are....
Send an email to Traveling Light if you want to sponsor Jan Visser and help Teen Challenge Portugal, or send us your donation now!
EUROPE: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U
USA: Eastern Europe Outreach, make sure to mention: TC Portugal, Castanheira

- Project Tamimi family in Jerusalem is still going
- Project jewelry Israel is still going
- Coming up: Poland, Slovakia and.....?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NLdoet, volunteers day in The Netherlands

Where would we be without volunteers?
This past Saturday we participated with some of our volunteers in NLdoet. This is an annual event organized by the Orange Foundation and thousands of organisations in the Netherlands. NLdoet is the biggest volunteer event of the year.

NLdoet wants to put volunteer work in the spot light and encourages every citizen of Holland to come into action. We at Traveling Light are active all over Europe, but this weekend we decided it would be good to shine our light in our own home town :)

At nine in the morning we were escorted to the location where we were going to prune and cut some willow trees, in order to help the Nature- and birdwatch Alblasserwaard. This was nothing but HARD WORK. The branches we had to cut and saw off were huge, and it took a lot of effort and power to move the branches to designated areas where a truck came to pick 'm up. It was very good and useful to come and work together like this!

And, as promised, the year report 2013 is available online. Sorry, it is only available in Dutch, but maybe you can run Google Translate over it :) It is just so awesome to see how many projects we were able to sponsor and how many countries we visited. The financial report shows that many, many gifts came in in this past year and that we were able to give away almost 50,000 euro to all kinds of small scale, locale projects throughout Europe and the Mediterranean area. A large chunk of it went to Teen Challenge centers.

Thank you very much! With your help 2014 will be a blessed year as well. Please, tell others about Traveling Light and keep sending your gifts.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

News items & prayer

We received a kind email from Guus Peters in Terneuzen thanking Traveling Light for the 800 euro we donated, result of your gifts, for project Bibles for sailors. He writes: "You are helping us in a great way. It is often difficult to find sufficient funds to purchase the materials we hand out... Attached is a picture of Rean, he is a shy guy (just 20 years old) from the Philippines on his first trip, and he is really home sick. He still needs to work for seven months. He is a Christian and was very happy with the New Testament Bible in English/Tagalog that he received, thanks to you all. We are very thankful." Let's pray Rean will receive power and joy!

We have already received more than 1,000 euro for project Tamimi family in Jerusalem. We have not set a certain amount to help them financially. The purchase of a good family car/taxi will cost several thousands of euro's and we hope to be able to help them with a big chunk towards that purchase. It is good to take care of our Arab brothers and sisters in the Middle East, to encourage and pray for them. You can make your gifts payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U

Project jewelry from Israel kicked off last week, already three necklaces have found their way to happy owners. Just for clarity: you don't buy these necklaces, you get one for your gift of 50 euro. All proceeds will go to the women's home Ark in the Negev in Arad. Please pray that abused and addicted women will find their way to the women's home.

Sports: our friend Jan Visser turned 50 last month. A great moment to run his first ever marathon... well, that's what he is planning to do. On April 13th he will participate in the Rotterdam Marathon. 
He wants to make it a fundraiser run for Traveling Light and  raise money for the Teen Challenge men's home in Castanheira do Ribatejo in Portugal (we visited the home in January). We pray that Jan will stay in good health and that he will be able to raise a generous sum for the work in Castanheiro. Please, keep an eye on this blog for more news.

In February we visited Macedonia. We spoke in several churches and home groups and went to see the Roma families and the Saraj church in Skopje. It was such a time of encouragement! We are hearing more and more stories of God's Spirit moving among the Roma people in Europe. Let's pray for the wonderful (and difficult) work Sokrat & Lena are doing among them.

We are almost finished with the 2013 year report. The report is only available in Dutch, sorry :) But we can tell you we have booked great results last year, nothing but good news :) The year report will appear on our website.

Isn't it wonderful to see what we can do in Europe when we work together? THANK YOU SO MUCH. And please, pray for the Ukraine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Project jewelry from Israel

As we announced in our previous blog post, we are currently fundraising for project Tamimi family in Israel. Most believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are having a difficult time there, whether they have a Jewish, Arab or Palestinian background. Let's help and encourage them!

Another project in Israel that we are sponsoring is Ark in the Negev, the women's home of Teen Challenge in Arad. We were visiting the women's home again this last November and the director Polly showed us some of the jewelry the ladies and a group of volunteers are making and selling.

The proceeds of the sales bring in some money for the day-to-day operation of the women's home. We took ten of those necklaces back to Holland with the following sponsoring idea: for a gift of 50 euro (or more) you will receive a beautiful necklace! The necklaces are made with semi-precious stones and come in all colors and shapes (click on the picture for a larger view).

Ten necklaces = ten x fifty euro = 500 euro. Well, that would be a wonderful donation towards the work in Arad, don't you think? Within Europe you can send your gift to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U
Make sure to mention: JEWELRY ISRAEL

This makes GIVING fun, doesn't it? God just LOVES cheerful givers!

PS: Please make sure we have your home address (email us).