Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving from the Ukraine

Happy student at Moscow University
This past summer we were able to help Andrii Soloviov with a donation towards his study. Andrii is the director of rehab center Istochnick (Sevastopol area). Together with his wife they are running a home where people with addiction problems can find recovery and new life.

In 1998 Andrii went through a Christian rehab program himself and he came to know the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Since then he has given his life to help the ones still living in darkness. He lets his light shine in a very practical way in Crimea.

Istochnick home
Andrii had a desire to study Organizational psychology and human resource management at the University in Kiev. However, after several interviews he got the news that he was not accepted. This was a big disappointment for him. On top of that we received word that the money we transferred did not arrive. Not a nice situation.

We have sent several emails back and forth and kept encouraging Andrii not to give up. And God is good! The money arrived safely and Andrii did get accepted at Moscow State University in Sevastopol (much closer to home). He writes: 

We are so proud of Andrii
"Dear friends! I am thankful for the help organized by Traveling Light! I am expecting that this study will be a good opportunity to create an effective system of training leaders in the ministry of Teen Challenge Ukraine, who can respond to current challenges in the work with addicted people. 

During this past year it has become quite difficult to sort out what is real and what it not. Crimea was annexed by Russia, there is military operation going on in the South-West of Ukraine and also in the media there is a massive information war ... In this dark reality of our current time your help became for me as a lighthouse in the night, reminding me that God and His people remain real in any circumstances. May the Lord richly bless you!"

Andrii and Sergey
On behalf of Andrii and Teen Challenge Ukraine we want to thank you very much for your support.

On the right a photo of Andrii together with Teen Challenge director in Ukraine, Sergey Glushko. This past year they were separated by politics and war as Crimea was annexed by Russia. However, Sergey writes:

Politics can separate us, but CHRIST unites us.

New beds in the dorm
PS: There is still money needed to finish the Istochnick home inside and out (although men and women are living there now), so specified gifts are always welcome! We hope to visit Andrii and his team in the future.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Offering practical help in Israel

Volunteering in the soup kitchen
Offering practical help, financial support and spiritual encouragement to ministries in need within Europe & the Mediterranean area... That's what it says on the website and weblogs of Traveling Light. let's call it threefold help :)

(Click on the photo's for an enlargement)

Brian & Jan in orange :)
This past few weeks we were in Israel (also to take some vacation) and we were able to offer a helping hand in the soup kitchen of the Beit Asaph congregation in Netanya. It is always a joy to serve there.

Lunch with all the volunteers
You can check out the weblog of initiator Brian Slater if you want to keep an eye on what's going on there from week tot week. Each Monday it is a special time for the elderly and single mothers in Netanya as they gather for a good meal and clothes distribution. Brian is always looking for volunteers, especially on a long term basis.

Celebrating Polly's birthday
On Tuesdays there is dry food distribution in Netanya which is also being managed by Brian Slater. Again, volunteers show up each week to help bag the foods, hand it out to the recipients and pray for people when requested. Very rewarding work!

We also visited the women's shelter Ark in the Negev in Arad. There is always some technical work to do for Jan and we furthermore were able to encourage some people through prayer. We also celebrated the birthday of director Polly Sigulim together.

The situation in Israel is growing more and more vicious, so please keep praying that God's plan will be revealed!

Video clip of the soup kitchen!

PS: The donations thermometer for our current project Bertine House in Ukraine has risen above 4,000 euro and we believe much more can (and needs to) come in for the women and children who had the flee the war in Donetsk.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Citroën C5 for Restart, Serbia

Happy and thankful faces at team Restart
Recently we were able to donate 3,500 euro to Restart in Serbia. Restart is 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. 

Boris & Jelena Strbac are the founders of Restart (click here for more information on this project). They had a need for a van/car for their work. They give drugs prevention lessons at schools and do street work among the homeless and addicted. As a result of your generous donations they were able to purchase a Citroën C5! Boris writes:

Making good use of the car
"We are sending you a picture of part of our team in front of our office and we are sending you the picture of a young guy who was taken to rehabilitation center in Slovenia with our new car. The car is really good, and we are very happy with it. We have covered all the expenses, registration and insurance etc. Our God is amazing! God bless you and thank you for your giving hearts..."

Boris wants the Restart logo on the doors of the car as well! We are very happy for Boris, Jelena and their team. After several (technical) emails about cars and prizes and choosing the right one... it is good to see this result.

Traveling Light supports small scale projects, initiated by local people. We have direct contacts and our gifts are being used for the projects mentioned.

A HEARTFELT THANKS to all who donated, also on behalf of the Restart team.

We hope to visit the Restart team and the Holy Trinity Church in Novi Sad the next time we are in Serbia, so we can further build on our friendship.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Update project Bertine House, Ukraine

Jan & Erik at the start
What a beautiful day it was: October 26th, 2014! And what a great results at the marathon of Etten-Leur. Sadly enough André couldn't run because he did not feel well, but Thomas, Erik and Jan made up for it :)

With their kilometers they raised funds to help women and children who had to flee the Teen Challenge Bertine House in Donetsk, Ukraine, some weeks ago. Bertine House is a christian rehabilitation home for women coming out of addiction and prostitution. Together with their children they find there a safe place where they receive true love and often for the first time hear about Jesus.

The women, children and workers are currently living in a rented flat in the city of Poltava, and the most important thing is to get them through the winter. But they are at the same time looking for a big house where they can all live together and where the children have enough room to play outside.  And... new women are always coming in, especially during the cold winter.

Thomas at the finish
We have raised more than 3,000 euro so far for this project and gifts are still very welcome!

We are very proud of the men that ran for this cause and we are also thankful for the special t-shirts we received from Erik. For the sports fanatics among you... here are the official results:

Thomas van Dartel: 5 km in 23:29
Erik Slobben: 21 km in 2:05:07
Jan Verschoor: 21 km in 1:49:03

If you have a heart for the women and children of Bertine House, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U

We all have a choice: either we repeat the bad news we hear on tv or we decide to help share the good news!