Monday, August 31, 2015

Project heart for Hungary

The VanBoxtel family
We were able to give a nice donation towards the summer activities among the Roma children in Macedonia and the required amount for the barn in Berdychiv in Ukraine has almost come in, we're still a few hundred euro's short. So, we feel free to present a new project.

Let's introduce Michel & Janet van Boxtel with their children Jonathan and Elisa. Michel & Janet are the founders of the non-profit organization Embrace. Their mission is to help the poorest people of Hungary. They work from a Christian perspective and the conviction that every human being should feel loved and accepted.

Michel attracts young audiences with his guitar
We have been in contact with them for a while through email and last year Michel & Janet came to visit us to share their plans. We saw passion in this young couple and a desire to share God's love to people who live in the poorest areas of Europe. We promised to help them, first with encouragement, later with finances.

Embrace center
After several visits to this eastern European country during previous years, the family decided this past July to leave the luxury and comfort of a life in the Netherlands behind and to live in Hungary. They are thankful to have their home church in Goes standing behind them. Michel & Janet now rent a house, which will also serve as a multi-functional center.

They will open a distribution point for clothing and supplies, a guest room, a classroom for English lessons and Bible study, a soup kitchen / coffee house and much more :)

It is obvious that funds are needed in order to realize these plans. We have seen a passion in Michel & Janet to be active and creative for God and a willingness to reach people who would otherwise remain in a desperate situation. They are not afraid to take on the adventure with God... and such people make us happy :)

Funds are needed for furnishing and decorating the home, for kitchen equipment, for rent, for study materials etc. etc. Michel & Janet have a heart for Hungary. We hope that you have a heart for people like them and that you want to help us in giving them a good start.

Please, send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention EMBRACE HUNGARY

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Visiting Teen Challenge Georgia

Changed lives change lives!
Last month, we traveled to the republic of Georgia. We were there to visit the team of Teen Challenge  and they gave us a very warm welcome!

Georgia is a beautiful country with a rich history, culture and breathtaking scenery! Together with neighboring country Armenia they are the only Orthodox Christian country among islamic countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The Teen Challenge men's home
A few years ago a Teen Challenge rehabilitation center for men was established. Men with addiction problems are coming from all neighboring countries to Teen Challenge for help.

Meanwhile Teen Challenge also purchased a property where a women's house will be opened! There's still a lot of money needed for this ...

Open air church 
TC workers Kuanysh and Madina showed us around and took us to some beautiful spots near the capital Tbilisi. We have talked a lot about God's work in this country and the opportunities to be a blessing to the neighboring countries where the love of Jesus is not so well known.

The church service was held in the open air in a beautiful place in the mountains. Giorgi had brought his guitar, we shared a message and then there was a delicious picnic.

Church picnic with lots of new believers
We met so many kind and loving people, we heard stories, we prayed together and were able to encourage many people. It's so wonderful to see that family members of the guys in the Teen Challenge program now also get curious about the love of God: they see the change in their son, brother, husband ...

We came also in contact with the young Iranian pastor R. He now lives in Georgia and has set up CIC Mission there.

Jan gives Bible study at the men's center
CIC Mission is a non-profit that aims to share the love of God with the people from Iran and Azerbaijan. With a small team of volunteers pastor R. starts house churches all over the region! More on that in one of our upcoming blogs.

Also with Teen Challenge directors Blair & Althea we had a good time, useful discussions, powerful prayers and they showed us beautiful spots in the area as well. It was a great encouragement for us to see how a LIVING community of believers is growing in Georgia!

We are happy to be able to help them. On behalf of staff and students of Teen Challenge Georgia, THANK YOU for your donations for project study materials.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Photo's Balkan conference, Bosnia

Thousands of kilometers on the road
For the fourth year in a row Jan participated, on behalf of Traveling Light, in the My Brother's Keeper conference that was held this past June in Bosnia.

It is an annual inter-denominational conference for men (many spiritual leaders, pastors etc.) from all Balkan nations. It is very useful for us to learn more about the (historical) problems these nations are dealing with. Of course being among so many people from different nations enlarges our network as well.

Camping, Bible studies, prayer...
As in other years a volunteer joined Jan on this trip: Hans Bos, from our Hoeksteen church in Etten-Leur. Together they first drove to Slovenia where we have good contacts and always a place to sleep :)

The next day they left for Bosnia. There where a few hundred men from all former Yugoslavian countries present at the conference

Haha, let's call it the united nations of  the Balkan
Such a conference offers us the opportunity to understand a little bit more about the emotional, spiritual and social problems these men are dealing with and often keep them from being free. Meeting each other, building relationships, listening, talking, asking questions, praying... it all helps to learn to understand each other better, despite the past, and to look forward to a hopeful future.

On their way back to Holland Jan and Hans stopped by at Gutes Land in Germany. Staff and students at the Teen Challenge rehabilitation program there are always eager to hear a positive and encouraging word.

Sharing a meal at Gutes Land
That is the beautiful thing about such a long journey: everywhere we go, we are able to shine our light, to share an encouraging word, to pray with or just simply listen to people. The Traveling Light journeys are life changing, for us and for the people we visit!

We are currently fundraising for two projects: 1) work among Roma children in Macedonia and 2) construction of an animal barn at Teen Challenge Berdychiv, Ukraine.

We would be very happy with your donations, because we are receiving more and more requests for help. Please send your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Project animal barn Berdychiv

Beginning of the new barn
As we wrote earlier: summer is pretty busy at Traveling Light, we have many awesome summer projects!

Donations for Teen Challenge Moldova came in, which will enable them to purchase a good Frysian milk cow. Thank you all! The money for project children's work materials during the Iranian conference in Holland is almost in, so that is running good as well.

Working together as one
At the beginning of this year we gave a donation towards the work of pastor Sergey & Irina Romanenko in Berdychiv, Ukraine (see this blog post). We then showed a picture where a new barn was planned. The barn will house all the animals in winter and it will be located at the property of the Teen Challenge rehabilitation centers, men's home and women's home.

Meanwhile they have started with the foundation, but because of lack of funds the work has been slow. 'We really want to continue the work', pastor Sergey writes. 'We now have all these guys available that know how to do construction.'

The men that are currently in the Teen Challenge rehab program enjoy doing work projects. It is very encouraging and motivating for them to work on something useful with their hands. They also participate in Bible studies and group/personal counseling sessions on their way to a better life.

The barn will be finished!
They still need about 2,000 euro for materials to finish the barn before winter. It is going to be a pretty big barn as you can see in the picture on the left. Money is needed for bricks, mortar, wooden beams, roof construction, doors, windows etc.

Pastor Sergey and the guys would be forever grateful for your help. Each donation supports the work of pastor Sergey among the homeless, poor and addicted. Of course by giving you encourage the guys as well!

Please, send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention BARN BERDYCHIV.

When in the USA, send your tax-deductible gift to Eastern Europe Outreach, make sure to mention TC UKRAINE, BERDYCHIV.