Friday, August 18, 2017

Project Teen Challenge Armenia

Mkrtchyan family
The coolest things we do on this blog are: 1) introducing the people behind the projects, 2) supporting new initiatives, and 3) getting acquainted with a "new" country. Take a cup of coffee and read along .....

In the picture on the left you see Gagik & Lusine Mkrtchyan and their children. They live in Armenia and are the directors of the Teen Challenge rehabilitation center. This work was set up in 2014 by Doug & Anna Boyle (who are also behind the work of Teen Challenge in Kazakhstan and Georgia).

Teen Challenge communiy
It's really amazing what Gagik & Lusine are doing to make God's love known to people who have no hope. Gagik says:

"God does miracles. Our administrator Artush got in our program almost dead because of drugs and alcohol. He was living a criminal life, his father was a mafia guy. Artush got in jail because of murder. God miraculously changed his life in the TC Armenia program. Today he is humbly serving God."

Karate class
In the Teen Challenge center time is spent on prayer and Bible study, but also on sports. In addition, there is also a variety of work projects as part of the therapy. Building, carving, shoveling and digging, it helps the men to use their strength and skills in a good way.

With very little resources a lot of work is being done! The team organizes sports events and competitions and try to involve as many young people as possible. Football, karate, judo ... just name it and they do it. Gagik & Lusine also give Alpha courses to these young guys who often hang out in the streets.

Blessing from the church leaders
Teen Challenge Armenia is an interdenominational organization. Their team members come from different churches like the Armenian National Traditional church, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. They are happy to have the blessings of the bishops of these churches. There is power in unity.

The Mkrtchyan family also regularly visits needy families in the region. They offer prayer and food packages. Lusine also started a women's ministry.

"There are a lot of people who want  to  get into the TC Armenia program, but our resources are limited", says Gagik. Like most Teen Challenge programs in Eastern Europe, they are fully dependent on gifts.

Visiting families in need
Traveling Light would like to help them with a general gift for the work they do among addicts, young people and poor families. There is so much need, just think about food, shelter, utilities, transportation and evangelism materials... any kind of help or amount is welcome. Please, pray with us that we will succeed in planning a visit as well.

Armenia is a beautiful country, the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. A country with a rich history. Are you willing to help and give the Armenian people a hopeful future?

Gifts for this project are welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht. make sure to mention ARMENIA.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC ARMENIA.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Activities & project news

This Thursday evening August 17 we will organize a special  evening in our 2nd hand shop Twinkeltje, this time it will be all about Ukraine. We will have dear guests from Kiev, Sergey & Mariana Glushko. They are the directors of Teen Challenge Ukraine and they will share about the work among addicts and homeless people.

It is a very special honor for us to welcome them because the very first project of Traveling Light back in 2011 was the result of a meeting with this lovely couple!

Mariana & Sergey
Doors will be open at 19:30. We invite you for an inspiring, educational and enjoyable evening. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, to see pictures, to pray together and of course we will take up an offering to bless the work of Teen Challenge in Ukraine!

The proceeds of Twinkeltje over the month of August will also go to Teen Challenge Ukraine.

We received a newsletter from Jordan & Vesna Stoilovi in Macedonia. They are very happy with the financial help they received from us. The new location of coffee house The Bridge is officially open and it looks really amazing.

coffee house meeting
They have a weekly program now with different activities such as: women's meeting, Bible study, children's club, etc. We are very grateful that the outreaches in this city (where the population is mainly Muslim) are yielding fruit. People are interested and open to learn about the Bible and to get to know God better.

Nice interior
Again: THANK YOU on behalf of Jordan & Vesna and their team.

We received some beautiful stories and pictures from seafarer's evangelist Guus Peters. He has already made a lot of Filipino sailors happy with Christian literature, films and Tagalog Bibles! Thanks to your donations

Happy sailor!
It is great that we can help Guus again and again to accomplish his mission ... to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many sailors as possible.

Last June we decided to open up our 2nd hand shop Twinkeltje as 'healing room' on Tuesday night. We made a pot of coffee and tea and asked God to bring people in need of prayer for healing, restoration or deliverance. The name for our healing room is Re-Store ... a fun play on words in English :)

Tuesday August 22 we will open our doors again (Korenbloemstraat 20, Papendrecht). There are plenty of lovely people to pray with you.

Then some updates on current projects; we have been able to donate 5,000 euro for the expansion of the women's home in Belarus. This coming fall we will help them again with a second phase of this project.

Project restart Teen Challenge Croatia already brought in more than 1,000 euro, so that's going well. Thank you for the donations that keep coming in without interruption. It's amazing what we can do together to support many projects and help people throughout Europe.

Gifts are always welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

If you are in the USA and you want to donate for TC Croatia, please make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC CROATIA.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Project restart Teen Challenge, Croatia

Coffee with team Teen Challenge Croatia
We are excited about the fact that we now have contacts in Croatia. Most people will know this country as a favorite tourist destination, it's really beautiful!

But big cities, such as Split, are facing a considerate alcohol and drugs problem. That is why we are happy and thankful that a Teen Challenge coffee house will be opening soon.

Teen Challenge Croatia has a long history. In the nineties they operated two rehab centers (for men and women). In that time of war and post-war transition Croatia had an epidemic of addiction.

Croatia in Euope
Teen Challenge played a significant role in fighting this epidemic. Many young people have found the way of freedom. Due to several unforeseen circumstances Teen Challenge Croatia has not been active in the past ten years.

At the end of 2016, Hrvoje Sorić and Ico Matulić (among others) decided to start street work again. Both men have in the past experienced addiction. Hrvoje [pictured in the middle] was a heroine addict for fifteen years before God set him free. Ico [pictured on the right] was also addicted to heroine in his younger years.

Street work in Croatia
They both know the scene, the dangers and the desperation in the heart of an addict. In cooperation with the local evangelical churches and a team of now ten volunteers, they organize outreaches, share information and talk with people in the streets.

Their plan is to rent a small building where they can start a coffee house this fall. Ico's wife Jagoda is a social worker for the government and thus a valuable team member.

Coffee house location
Currently they are working hard on the translation of the Living Free curriculum in Croatian language. This is a series of group lessons used worldwide to help people become free from addictions and other life-controlling issues. The team wants to get started with a first group of students this fall. On their way to freedom!

We have said it often ... we are always glad to meet people who give heed to God's call to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. To extend a helping hand to people in need. We would like to support and help the new work of Teen Challenge Croatia. They will need approximately 2.200 euro for the translation and printing of the Living Free curriculum.

Gifts are welcome to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

When in the USA, you can make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC CROATIA.

Please, pray for the work of Teen Challenge in that country!