Saturday, June 28, 2014

Project Teen Challenge Tbilisi, Georgia

Over the past few years Traveling Light has established contacts, built friendships and supported projects in fifteen (!) nations. This fantastic growth and expansion has been made possible through your prayers and donations. Today we want to invite you to a new country on our list: Georgia.

Blair & Althea Greive
Georgia is situated at the frontier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. So, whom have we connected with in that area? We are pleased to introduce Blair & Althea Greive. This dear couple has international roots: Blair was born in Australia and Althea in South Africa. We met Blair at a conference in Prague in 2013 and with Althea we had a great time at a conference in Italy, last April.

Together with their two sons they moved to Kazakhstan in 2003 where they worked at a Teen Challenge center home for years. After going back to Australia for a while they moved to Tbilisi, Georgia in 2013 where a new adventure started. They are running a rehab home for men with addictions and other life controlling problems.

It is always inspiring and encouraging to meet young people who are willing to settle in a country that is 'unknown' to them, and to offer a helping hand, to be a shining light...

Teen Challenge center Tbilisi, Georgia
Blair and Althea are already feeling at home in Tbilisi. They are thankful for the men they were able to help last year. It is very encouraging to see how men, through the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, receive new life after many years of addiction, crime and homelessness. When they are reunited with their families it brings even more joy.

Blair and Althea recognize there is a huge need in this nation and they have a desire to expand their work. Giorgi, one of the guys that has graduated their program, wants to stay on as a worker. An extra helping hand means that more men can be welcomed in the rehab home.

The men's center
The work in Tbilisi is small scale and very direct: getting people off of the streets, sharing God's love with them, taking time to talk and pray, feeding and sheltering them. Helping people to be healed and restored. Such great work!

Traveling Light wants to encourage Blair & Althea to expand their work. A worker receives 300 Lari per month (124 euro). There are currently no funds to pay someone. We would love to help them and raise 2,200 euro which will make it possible to hire Giorgi for at least the next one and a half year. In this way we are investing in human lives, yes, even in the far corners of Europe. Will you join our effort?

PS: In a next blog post we will share Giorgi's story.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Visit to Teen Challenge Winiarczykowka, Poland

Sharing the joy!
A few weeks ago we (Jan and Marja) visited Janusz & Bogusia Gornicki in Poland. At the end of 2010 they opened a rehabilitation and crisis center for addicted and homeless (elderly) people in the south of Poland.

A wonderful story of grace and restoration when you realize Janusz came into Teen Challenge years ago as an addict and went through the recovery program in Lekini. He met his wife Bogusia and together with their two small children they moved south. Little Jacob was just one week (!) old when they started this adventure.

The center is at the Polish/Slovak border
And now, only a few years later, the center in Winiarczykowka is fully operating. About 10-12 men/women live there and daily receive prayer, counseling, encouragement, a warm bed, food and clothing. This center is special because it also houses elderly people who were homeless and/or totally alone. 

It is so encouraging to see how Janusz and Bogusia, their staff and volunteers give love to people who came in hopeless, helpless and lonely. This is the life and lessons of Jesus in practical day-to-day life. No theology needed...

Visiting the beautiful city of Krakow
We were received with such hospitality and warmness, that it overwhelmed us. We really had time to share Gods word, to pray and talk with people en to make the men laugh :) And yes, we made a visit to the historic city of Krakow and also a beautiful hike through the surrounding countryside.

We were able, thanks to your donations, to transfer 4,000 euros for project sewage treatment plant. Please pray with them for a fast release of paperwork and necessary permits and for favor with the local government agencies and officials AND for the rest of the funds to come in.

Folkloric patterns
Bogusia helps the men and women in the center to discover and develop their creative talents. They make and sell all kinds of cool and colorful gadgets at local markets and in churches to help raise the necessary funds  to run the center.

Especially and exclusively for the supporters of Traveling Light Bogusia and her crew made book marks with local folkloric designs and patterns as a way of saying thanks for your prayers and financial support. Send us an email and we will send you one of these handmade articles.

This is exactly the kind of small scale work that Traveling Light loves to support and endorse. It is direct, practical help and loving care for people who are helpless, lonely and homeless. Extending grace to those that have been rejected by society and are regarded as hopeless cases. We have great admiration for this work!
Happy gang in Winiarczykowka

Thank you very much everyone.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Follow-up project chapel Teen Challenge Slovakia

Traditional wooden beams for the roof
This past April we visited Teen Challenge Slovakia again, this time together with volunteers Jim & Lynda Hayes from our church De Hoeksteen. We visited the men's drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation center in Sered and the children's home in Hlohovec, where children and teenagers are living who can no longer live at home.

Last year we were able to help Teen Challenge twice with a donation towards the construction of the David Wilkerson Memorial chapel at the grounds of the men's home in Sered. It is very inspiring to see how this building is taking shape. Every euro is being used twice :)

Part of the work is being done by the men in the program. Some of them have never worked in construction before and they are excited to see this happening, while recovering from drugs- and alcohol addiction. They are building their spiritual house (as our bodies are the temple of God) as well as a physical house of prayer.

The Teen Challenge men are helping
In the meantime the roof construction is being completed, all in traditional architectural style. The construction of the chapel has drawn the attention of the people in the neighborhood and even of the mayor of Sered, who comes by regularly for a visit and coffee.  The chapel will be used by the men in the Teen Challenge center for regular prayer-and church services and other activities of a spiritual nature. It will also provide ministry for the people in the surrounding area.

We are very happy with the way director Stanislav Kunak is managing this project. That is why we would like to help again with a gift of 2,000 euro. There is still a lot of work to be done before the outside of the chapel is finished and then the work on the inside will start (floors, ceilings, window, doors, electricity etc.)

It's going to be beautiful!
If you love such small scale building projects, executed by local craftsmen and the men who are in the Teen Challenge program, you can show support by sending a donation to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U

We are looking forward to your support!

PS: we always travel on our own expense, all donations go towards the projects.