Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Project Homeless Honeymoon

Jim & Lynda Hayes
Traveling Light is blessed with sporty, generous, creative, and loving supporters and volunteers, who keep coming up with new ideas to raise funds for the small scale projects we support throughout Europe. Such people are Jim and Lynda Hayes...

At the end of September they will celebrate their 30th (!) marriage anniversary and they want to do so in a very special way. No, not by giving a big party, buying more stuff or going on vacation, but by spending a homeless weekend on the streets of Amsterdam... (yeah, really!)

30 years ago
Jim & Lynda have a heart for the poor, homeless and addicted. By spending a weekend in Amsterdam without taking money, extra clothes or a sleeping bag, they hope to be able to identify with the life of a homeless person. They hope to get a feeling of what it means not to have a bed, a hot shower, and a refrigerator full of food at hand.

With this action they want to raise funds for the Teen Challenge Izhod rehabilitation home in Slovenia. About 8-12 men are living and working in that house (which Jim & Lynda visited on several occasions), mostly men who struggled with addictions and often know more about street life than about healthy family life.

Slovenia visit in April 2014
Getting off of drugs and alcohol does not take that long, but the phase that follows does! The men in the program receive a lot of love, grace, patience and prayer and often hear for the first time that God loves them and that He has a better plan for their lives.

Each life is so precious and we are very thankful for all the people who are giving their time and energy to help these men, to rescue what was lost, to bring light into dark situations.

If you want to encourage Jim & Lynda (and thus support the work in Slovenia) you can do so by sponsoring their homeless honeymoon. All proceeds will go to Teen Challenge Slovenia.

You can send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: HONEYMOON.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Project minivan Restart, Serbia

The projects Traveling Light supports and the contacts we are always making, are part of a growing network. For the next project we will 'take' you to Serbia again. If you go to the side bar on the right and scroll down to keywords, you can click on 'Serbia' and find out what we have done there in the past.

Boris & Jelena Strbac
In the picture you see Boris and Jelena Strbac with their daughter. They are the founders of Restart, a non profit organization with the mission to raise awareness about the dangers of addiction and to help addicts and former addicts and their families. The are trying to motivate people to go into one of the rehabilitation centers in Serbia or surrounding countries. Boris & Jelena have good contacts with the various rehab centers and over the past three years they were able to send more than fifty people (!) on their way to recovery.

Boris & Jelena know what they are talking about. As a young teenage kid Boris started to use marijuana, extacy, lsd, pills and at last heroin. Heroin took complete control over his life, even after he met Jelena. For ten years they were heroin addicts together, until 2008 when they went to the Teen Challenge rehab center in Serbia. They received deliverance through Gods love and power!

Part of the team at the restart office
In 2011, after they came out of the program, they established Restart, a ministry form the Holy Trinity Church in Novi Sad, where Boris is pastor. With a team of volunteers they go into the streets of Novi Sad and Subotica to make contact with the homeless and addicted. They also give prevention classes in elementary and high schools.

A while back Boris contacted us and asked if Traveling Light was able to help them with the purchase of a minivan. His own car ended up at the junk yard and currently they have no means of transportation. This past June, Jan met with Boris at My Brother's Keeper Conference in Bosnia and he promised that we would help them.

Restart logo
Between 3,000 and 4,000 euro is needed to purchase a good and reliable second hand minivan in Serbia; a Citroën Berlingo, VW Sharan, Opel Zaphira or something similar. Traveling Light is aware of the huge need in the streets of Serbia and we are thankful for people like Boris and Jelena who have given their lives now to help people in darkness, to share the gospel and to motivate people to change the direction of their life.

If you have a heart for street work, outreach, drugs prevention and evangelism, then you will love this project. Please send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and be part of the change that Europe so desperately needs!

When we sow in fertile ground, we can expect a fruitful harvest!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Photo's port of Gent, Belgium

Haha, he who has ears...
A few weeks ago we announced project fruit & vegetables for sailors.

Seafarer's Evangelist Guus Peters asked Traveling Light to come alongside with financial help, so that he could buy fresh food for the Ukrainian sailors aboard two sea ships that are being held in the port of Gent, Belgium, for several months now.

Your reactions came in fast and they were heartwarming. We were able to help Guus with a gift of 870 euro!

Happy faces
Guus visits the port of Gent and the sailors a few times a week now, to bring fresh fruit & vegetables. A 82 year old man from his town came with a few boxes of groceries as well. Isn't if wonderful to see how people come into action? In the meantime the kitchen area is overflowing with good food!

In the pictures (click for a larger picture) you can see how happy the men are with this help. And we are happy with our supporters. Small scale, practical help, quick action, direct contact... that works best.

Abundance on board
Let us pray the sailors will be allowed to set sail soon and return to their families. The situation in the Ukraine is very unstable and dangerous, and they long to be with their families.

Thank you very much everyone!

  • We received about 1,000 euro for project study grant Andrii Soloviov. If you still want to send in your gift, you can do so to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2
  • We owe you a few pictures from the trip our church youth made to La Rocca, Italy
  • From September 1-8 we are organizing a work week to Casa Shalom in Tuscany. There is still room, so if you want to come: email us.
  • For a next project we will go to Serbia again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jewels of the Ark

In many countries the Teen Challenge rehabilitation centers for people with life-controlling problems (such as drugs- and alcohol addiction) run small businesses in order to generate some income for daily living. The small businesses are work projects where the students can practice their skills and develop their talents. In Slovenia they have a moving business, in Serbia green houses with tomatoes, in Slovakia they breed dogs and in the women's home in Israel they make jewelry.

This creative work project is called Jewels of the Ark.

Students (as we call the men and women in the programs) often stay for a year (or longer) and participate in Bible studies, group counseling sessions and individual counseling. Each center has a weekly schedule showing who will do the cooking, the dishes, the cleaning and the gardening. In the afternoon there is time to participate in the work projects. Yes, it is community living, and that is not always easy. Especially when people were used to doing their own thing (no rules, no boundaries) for a long time.

A few months ago we announced project jewelry from Israel. For a gift of 50 euro or more supporters of Traveling Light received a beautiful necklace made by the women and volunteers in rehabilitation home Ark in the Negev. Recently we were able to donate 550 euro towards the home and... we still have some necklaces in stock.

Jewels of the Ark now has a great Facebook page where you can view their jewelry. It is possible to order a necklace through their FB page or the website. This is a great way to support the work among the desperate women in Israel. They are learning the craft of jewelry making and from the sales the day-to-day living expenses in the house can be paid. This gives them all a healthy feeling of confidence.

The wonderful thing about the Ark is, that all Israeli's are welcome, whether Jew or Arab! Let us pray for this small scale work and for peace in the hearts of all people in Israel.

Donations we receive for Israel will go to Ark in the Negev, unless otherwise specified, for example Brian Slater or Beit Hallel.