Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cross and the switchblade in Albania

Coffee house Tirana, Albania
The work of Teen Challenge among the homeless and drug addicts often begins in so-called coffee houses. Coffee houses are meeting places where once a week or several times a week the door opens for people who need a chat, prayer and coffee, of course :)

How do people know where to find a coffee house? Well, simply because Teen Challenge teams hand out flyers and invitations on the street and at methadone clinics for example. Starting a coffee house is like planting a seed that will bring change to a nation ...

Blerina & Orges Hysenaj
Orges & Blerina Hysenaj live in Tirana and last year they started a coffee house in Albania. We were able to be of service with a financial gift for the start-up, a visit and through maintaining regular contact.

Orges now has quite a group of interested men who visit his coffee house, most of them are in serious addictions. Yet, Orges gives Bible studies and has conversations with the men about Jesus and His love for mankind. One day he expects to open up a Teen Challenge rehab center in his country!

One way to get in touch and seriously talk with addicts is still the book 'The Cross and the switchblade' by David Wilkerson (the founder of Teen Challenge). The book has been translated into more than 30 languages ​​and millions of copies have been sold.

The books are distributed throughout the world and used to reach the homeless and drug addicts with the good news that another life is possible if you choose to live with Jesus Christ!

The book is currently being translated into the Albanian language and Orges wants to print 2,500 copies for distribution. We want to help him to pay for the costs of translation and printing of the book. We know that the message will bring hope and a chance for a new life will to many Albanians.

Do you believe in changed lives? Do you have a heart for the nations of Europe? Then send your donation to  St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. and do not forget to mention ALBANIA.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Project news and activities

Teen Challenge women's home Kazakhstan
At the end of yet another great year, we can do nothing else but thank you all very much!

We were able to support a wide variety of small-scale projects. In recent months for example we donated to several Teen Challenge drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centers in countries such as Kazakhstan, Poland and Ukraine. We will share some photo's of the work in these centers soon!

Girl's home in Moldova
We are also very pleased with your enthusiastic response to our new store Twinkeltje. We receive a lot of donations, we are selling well and the workshops we have organized so far are quite popular. Come visit us on a Saturday afternoon in the Korenbloemstraat 20 Papendrecht.

Each month the proceeds from the sales are for a specific project. In December is is the girl 's home in Moldova. A safe and loving place for girls who have been victims of human trafficking.

new Teen Challenge women's home in Batumi, Georgia

It's coming up again... Early January we will start with the PR for the Weissensee 2017 event. The ice skaters have been in training for months. The project for which our volunteers will skate the grueling 200 km in Austria is the new Teen Challenge women's home in Batumi, Georgia (still under construction). They will be needing about 4,000 euro for the purchase of windows and doors.

Project Christmas gifts for sailors taken on by seafarer's evangelist Guus Peters is up and running. We have already received sponsoring for forty goody bags. For eight euro you can bless a sailor with a warm sweater, some sweets and a DVD.

ALL donations, big and small are welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention which project your gift is for.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Winter Fair for a good cause

Coziest store in town
This past September we opened up Twinkeltje (Dutch for 'shop'), a unique store in Papendrecht where we sell nice 2nd hand stuff. Board member Cora Donk is the owner of the place.

Together with a group of faithful volunteers she has very creatively decorated Twinkeltje. It is cozy, hip and happening! Everyone is welcome, not just to shop, but also for a cup of coffee and something sweet from the oven.

Every Saturday afternoon during the month of December we are holding a warm and welcoming winter fair. The store is beautifully decorated, there are lots of Christmas goodies for sale.

You can come in for soup, cookies, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Or maybe you want to play a game, read a book, do some coloring or simply have fellowship with others. Everything is possible!

Especially in this dark winter month, people need comfort and warmth. The beauty is that we also can share the warmth with people who need it even more. 

You are welcome
Every month a specific project of Traveling Light will be highlighted. The total sales proceeds during December will be for the girl's shelter in Moldova.

We invite you to come and look around and shop for a good cause!

See you soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Greetings from Teen Challenge women's home, Kazakhstan

Teen Challenge women's home 'House of Mercy' Almaty
It's been several weeks since we finished the fundraising for project Teen Challenge women's home in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The proceeds of the sales in our newly opened second-hand store during the month of September also went entirely to this project. All in all the 4,500 euro towards this project came in really fast.

Tamara Reshe
This week we received pictures of the construction work in the dorms, which is now in full swing. They are working hard on the insulation of the walls, which is not a luxury because winter has already set in over there!

Tamara Reshe, the director of the women's house, asked us to send you greetings from the women who are very happy with the renovation of their dormitory.

Isn't it wonderful to help provide a safe and warm place for these women and young mothers with their babies, a place where they can rest and recover? Sometimes they have lived on the streets or went from place to place without finding a true home.

Ready to go...
It is also great to see the donation we gave them being put to work almost immediately and in a very practical way, improving the living conditions of women and girls. Gifts well spent... that makes us all happy.

Traveling Light wants to continue to support practical, small-scale projects which are (most of the time) set up by the locals. And, last but not least, to build long term relationships.

There you go!
Only with your help can we do it. Thank you for your gifts, prayers and visits to our store.

We are currently raising funds for the expansion of the Teen Challenge men's rehabilitation center in Berdychiv, Ukraine (donation thermometer has already risen above 3,000 euro, yeah!).

Any amount, large or small, is still welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Project 2nd floor Teen Challenge men's rehab Berdychiv, Ukraine

Sergey & Irina Romanenko
Thanks to the sales in our newly opened second hand shop during this month of October, a generous gift from RegioPraise in Etten-Leur and your loving response, the 5,000 euro needed for project bedroom sinks Teen Challenge Łękinia, Poland came in. Hooray! Great to see how we can quickly join together to support such a practical project. And we happily move on :)

Pastor Sergey Romanenko from Berdychiv is no stranger to this blog. He is the founder and leader of a Messianic congregation and a men's and women's rehabilitation center in Ukraine.

Expansion men's rehab
We were able to help him fund several projects, such as the purchase of the women's house, the expansion of the work in the coffee houses and the construction of an animal barn. The summer camps that are organized annually are also sponsored by Traveling Light.

Some time ago we received a request from him to raise funds for the expansion of the men's rehabilitation house in Berdychiv, which operates under the flag of Teen Challenge Ukraine. For several years he has had plans to build a second floor on the existing house, so they can have more beds and help more people.

Coffee house
Through the coffee house outreach the addicted, homeless and desperate come in contact with the gospel. Friendships are being built and when people decide to turn away from a life of drugs and alcohol addiction, they go into rehabilitation. Once they experience the grace, love and healing touch of Jesus Christ, lives are changed forever.

The rehabilitation program takes a year, sometimes longer. We have already seen many lives changed which is very, very encouraging. Lives are saved, relationships restored and families reunited. We would love to see a bigger number of beds available, so even more lives can be saved!

New life!
They will need about 5,000 euro for this huge construction job. Pastor Sergey has been in contact with a number of contractors and workers who are willing to help. Will you help as well?

Please your gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention MEN's REHAB BERDYCHIV. This will also be the project in our second hand shop during the month of November.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

News + prayer points

New kitchen
The awesome thing of supporting small-scale projects is the direct contact with the people involved. We regularly receive emails with words of gratitude and of course lots of pictures. Look how practical gifts were used recently.

Storage room
In July, we placed project renovation kitchen Winiarczykowka, Poland on this blog. They have worked hard in the past few months to meet all government requirements.

The kitchen was upgraded, bath and washrooms redone and the pantry is equipped with nice storage racks. Residents, staff and volunteers can now enjoy even more living, working and rehabilitating in a safe and clean environment, partly a result of your generous donations. Thank you very much.

Later that month, we announced project Campaign Nick Vujicic, Slovenia. Pastor Steve Telzerow mailed a detailed report of the event where thousands of students were present and thousands more followed it on television.

Nick and interpreter Barbara Telzerow
It was an honor for them to work with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport and many new friendships were made. Nick's prayer with and for the President of Slovenia was a special moment. Let's pray many will get to know the Lord in Slovenia. Pastor Steve writes in his newsletter:

Grateful for volunteers
"We are very grateful for the participation of so many that made this broadcast and event possible. I want to say a special thanks to Stichting Traveling Light, Josiah Venture (Društvo Več), Beltway Park Church, Christ Community Church in Harrisburg PA, HarvestNet in Ephrata PA, Gosport Church England... "

Last month, we asked for help on behalf of seafarer's evangelist Guus Peters in project Tagalog Bibles. Thanks to your quick response the Bibles could be purchased and Guus has already been handing out the first copies on the ships.

Happy with the good news
He sent us this photo. We like to see happy faces! Again, thank you for your generous gifts.

Last week Jan attended the Europe Teen Challenge Fall Meeting in Norway on behalf of Traveling Light. For us it is always a good time to speak leaders from many countries. 

Europe Teen Challenge family
Traveling Light received a lot of positive feedback from all over Europe. Please continue to pray for our work, so we can continue to bless those who need it most!

PS: We already received more than 3,000 euro for project bedroom sinks Teen Challenge Łękinia, Poland. So we are well on our way to reach our goal. Fantastic! If you would like to help, please send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention LEKINIA.

If you are viewing this blog online, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Project bedroom sinks Teen Challenge Łękinia, Poland

Teen Challenge men's center in Łękinia
A new month, time for a new project! We were able to help harbor evangelist Guus Peters with 100 Tagalog Bibles and the Teen Challenge women's home in Kazakhstan with a nice donation (4,500 euro) for the renovation of the dormitories.

Thank you all for your generosity and for coming to our thrift store in September ... we were able to collect 1,150 euro in sales, which all went to the women's house!

And now our next project. Do you remember our stories about the Teen Challenge men's rehab center in Łękinia, Poland? The former army barracks where about 50 men are staying who have decided to break with drug and alcohol addiction. The grace, forgiveness and love of God are now ruling in this place.

Former army base, now rehab center
Recently a new law was introduced in Poland stating that not only hospitals, but every treatment center must have a sink in each room. We are talking about 25 rooms in both the men's center and the historic women's center and all that work needs to be done this year.

Women's home Broczyna
The Teen Challenge women's home in Broczyna is a beautiful historic building, but that means that all pipes must be put inside the walls and floors, which makes the work more costly.

The Teen Challenge work among the homeless, alcohol and drug addicts and prostitutes is largely dependent on donations. This usually works fine... until a situation like this comes up, then extra funds need to be raised.

Sinks, pipes, connecting elements, renovating of floors and walls, plastering and paintwork... It will be quite the job which, according to the estimate director Zbyszek Urbaniak sent us, will cost about 5,000 euro. Whether we want to come alongside and help fundraising? Yes of course!

It's so inspiring to see what is happening in both centers. Lives that were completely destroyed, are being changed by the power of God's Spirit. Restoration, healing and deliverance takes place. A new chance, a new future. The picture on the right shows more than a thousand words can tell.

Will you help us again? If so, please make a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention LEKINIA.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Project Tagalog Bibles

Guus on board a ship
Donations for Project Teen Challenge women's home in Kazakhstan, are coming in nicely. During the month of September the proceeds of our recently opened 2nd hand shop Twinkeltje will also go towards this project.

We hope, that with your help, we will reach the target amount of 4,500 euro by the end of this month.

In between projects we received a request from seafarer's evangelist Guus Peters.

He urgently needs at least one hundred Tagalog Bibles. Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines. These Bibles are eight euros each; so do the math.

As we have done several times before, we would like to help him with the purchase of these Bibles. Guus uses them in Bible study sessions on board the seafaring vessels and hands them out to the sailors upon request.

If you have a heart for spreading the good news ... to the ends of the earth, make a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention BIBLES.

We will ask Guus to send us some pictures after replenishing the stock!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Work week Italy 2016

Italy group 2016
We all returned safe and sound from a wonderful work week in Italy, which we organized for the third year.

With a small group of volunteers we stayed at Casa Shalom for a week. It is one of the houses in the Christian therapeutic community Comunita Brezzano in beautiful Tuscany.

Massa Marittima
We all worked very hard, sawing, chopping, cutting and stacking firewood to replenish their supply for the winter. The three houses in the residential community are being heated by wood stoves, and this requires quite some wood before winter begins.

With the help of Adrie, Anja, Arno, David, Henk Jan, Johan, Marja and Michael the job was done.

hard work with a smile!
The theme for the week was more than conquerors and each night we did a Bible study on that topic. It was a good combination of fun and seriousness... a day at the beach, a visit to the medieval town of Massa Marittima, and praying, talking, and singing together. We got to know each other better each day and also to function as a group.

We can truly say that all of us gained some new insights about gaining and keeping the victory!

We were able to let our light shine in Italy and it is our prayer that it will have a great and positive effect on the lives of the people there as well as on us as a group!

It is so much more fun to give than to receive.

See our photo album on Facebook.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Project Teen Challenge women's home, Kazakhstan

House of Mercy, Almaty
Recently we visited Teen Challenge Kazakhstan. They gave us a warm and very hospitable welcome in the boys home in Almaty and of course the first thing we had to do was to admire the new kitchen. A project that was funded through the Weisssensee action 2016. Wow, they did an awesome job!

We visited several Teen Challenge programs, all founded in the mid-nineties by Doug & Anna Boyle. They came as missionary workers from Australia to Kazakhstan. The women's home House of Mercy is fruit of their labor ...

Tamara Reshe
Tamara Reshe is the director of House of Mercy and has been working there for 20 years. The house is divided into a drug and alcohol rehab with ten beds. They have plans to extend it to twenty beds. The other half of the house is a shelter for homeless women / girls with their children. We counted thirty-five beds there...

Tamara gave us an extensive tour of the house and showed us how they were able to place all new double-glazed windows recently, with the help of the Assemblies of God missions fund (not a luxury in a country where the winters can be bitterly cold).

Sleeping room at the shelter
There are, however, many more practical projects waiting to be done... as soon as funds come in. The bedrooms need to be insulated, especially where the babies and children are sleeping, the floors and ceilings need repair work and some doors must be replaced.

They have made a project proposal and budget quote. House of Mercy needs about 4.500 euro to get the sleeping rooms done. Traveling Light promised to help with fundraising.

We have seen with our own eyes how staff and volunteers take care of these needy women and children with a passion and love that is unsurpassed. Especially the young girls with babies would not survive otherwise, they who would probably die in the streets.

Kitchen in House of Mercy
Let's not make the gospel too complicated... taking care of widows, orphans, the poor and homeless, that makes God's love visible on earth. Whether you live in the Netherlands or Kazakhstan.

If you want to join us in supporting this Teen Challenge program, please make your donation payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: Womens home KAZAKHSTAN.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Grand Opening 't Winkeltje

Great meeting place & shop in one
Last April our friends and board members Krijn & Cora Donk purchased a nice real estate property (corner store + 2 garage boxes) in our town Papendrecht. Krijn will use the garage boxes for his business and Cora had the idea to open a shop with 2nd hand stuff for the benefit of Traveling Light projects. A great idea of course!

't Winkeltje (Dutch for 'the shop') already serves as a wonderful place for our prayer meetings and also as the departure point for cycling lessons given to migrant women. Of course we will organize much more in the coming months to bring neighborhood residents, volunteers and supporters of Traveling Light together.

Grand Opening Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saturday, September 3rd we will finally (after much construction and interior work) open the doors of 't Winkeltje for the public. We will celebrate open house from 12:00 to 17:00 hours. Come on over and see for yourself how beautiful everything has become. We'll be serving coffee, tea and cake of course!

Lots of beautiful stuff
We are planning to open 't Winkeltje on Saturday afternoons, for starters. But we expect to be able to add a weekday or two to it. Keep an eye on this blog for more news. We already have a busy Facebook page. The awesome thing is that all proceeds from sales will fully benefit our projects!

Shopping - fun - community - charity ...

it all comes together in 't Winkeltje ... We hope to see you there!

Korenbloemstraat 20 - PAPENDRECHT

Friday, August 5, 2016

Action L@ND

We have just returned from a short trip to Kazakhstan where we visited various Teen Challenge crisis and rehabilitation centers. We will share more about it (and show some pictures of course) in our next blog post. We were able to donate 2,000 euros towards project renovation kitchen Winiarczykowka in Poland. Thank you very much. Funds are also coming in for project campaign Nick Vujicic in Slovenia, so we'll keep that open a little longer.

Earlier this year we started action L@ND, an idea that came out of  our prayer gatherings (Prayer for the Nations) which we are holding every month. L@ND stands for 'love a nation dearly'.

fact sheet
Action L@ND calls families, home groups, prayer groups, churches, businesses and organizations to 'adopt' a country in Europe and to pray specifically for that country. We make sure you will receive a fact sheet about the country you have chosen. This fact sheet will be a reminder to pray specifically for a country (the government, economy, churches, your holiday address, etc.) and for a local Christian initiative run by people we are in contact with. In this way you can zoom in and make you prayers more personal.

We hope that a network of prayer teams will emerge from Action L@ND and that together we will be able to cover Europe with focused prayer. We have no doubt focused prayer will develop a heart for mission and make it possible to see beyond our own world.

Praying for Europe in Intl. House of Prayer, Berlin
Some time ago we gave an inspiring presentation about action L@ND in Christian Church De Hoeksteen in Etten-Leur. The attendees were very enthusiastic about this approach and we hope that many more will follow and embrace a particular country. We are always happy to share our vision and give more information if you desire so!

Our prayers are a huge encouragement, so we hear from our contacts; a network covering over thirty countries. Send us an email or contact our FB page if you want to join!

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples (Psalm 96: 3).

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Project Campaign Nick Vujicic, Slovenia

Nick in one of his 'love without limits' campaigns
The increasing chaos and violence in Europe evokes many emotions in all of us. We are often left with the question why these things happen, and maybe also with the question how we can prevent such things. On a larger scale it sometimes seems our prayers do not have that much effect... but that is exactly why it is so important to zoom in.

We are witnessing again and again how people's lives are changing for eternity. How criminal behavior changes into servanthood, how addiction must make room for freedom, how hatred turns into love. Time and again we can see that God changes people, when they are open to it and give Him permission. We know that radical change because of God's love is possible at an individual level, and that is exactly why we also believe in the transformation of towns, cities and countries!

My Brother's Keeper conference 2016
In Slovenia the 'My Brother's Keeper' conference was held last month, already for the 7th time in a row. More than 400 men, from countries that previously were at war with each other and hated each other, came together to seek unity, forgiveness and reconciliation. If that can happen, then everything can!

Pastor Steve Telzerow of International Christian Fellowship (ICF) in Ljubljana is one of the organizers behind these conferences. But there's more ... he's also very much involved in the organization of a major campaign with Nick Vujicic which will take place in Koper on 28 September 2016.

Nick will be joined by athletes and artists for a live program that will promote social values and challenge cultural problems such as bullying, discrimination, and teenage suicide in public schools. 3,500 students will be present and it will be mandatory for the remaining 80,000+ students to watch via the live broadcast. It is even possible to broadcast the event on national television. Why is this important?

People do not get violent or have destructive thoughts from one day to the other, it often starts at a young age and grows slowly. Nick will speak from his own life and faith experience and can always count on a huge positive response.

It takes quite an amount of money to organize this event and the live broadcast thereof. Several crowdfunding campaigns have been started and we will certainly do our best to help as well. We will do so out of our heart for the nations and based on the belief that love will conquer all!

All gifts, large or small, are welcome! Make your donation payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: STAND STRONG. Of course you can also give directly through GoFundMe, which is also fast, fun and safe.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Project renovation kitchen Winiarczykowka, Poland

Greetings from Teen Challenge Winiarczykowka
A while ago we received a message from our Teen Challenge friends in Southern Poland. They had a visit from a government inspector. They received notice that they had to adapt the kitchen to modern requirements and to the number of residents, in order to keep the center open.

The kitchen was closed immediately until further notice. Well, what do you do with 17 residents and a number of staff members depending on that kitchen for the daily preparation of food?

The team and residents of Teen Challenge Winiarczykowka in Southern Poland are no strangers to Traveling Light. We have visited the residential home several times. We also have been able to help them quite a number of times with several projects, thanks to your generosity.

The center (which houses some men with addiction problems, but mostly elderly people that are not receiving care elsewhere) is run by volunteers and can only exist thanks to donations.

There is no fund for unexpected expenses like the renovation of a kitchen area. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to immediately come to the rescue in such distress. And besides that, we have a lot of projects on our waiting list.

Anyway, after much talk, paper work and prayers, they have begun the renovation and remodeling of the kitchen. It is quite a project. In order to make the kitchen large enough two rooms must be merged, the laundry room must be moved, and an additional bathroom will be constructed at street level for the disabled residents.

Creative fundraising has taken on another level. The team is selling handmade items at markets and fairs and they have been contacting churches and donors for help. We would like to see this frantic episode come to a peaceful ending with government and residents being satisfied. So, we must help!

If you have a heart for renovations and/or care for the elderly :-) then please send your donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275, BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention KITCHEN WINIARCZYKOWKA.