Friday, October 27, 2017

Photo's Teen Challenge center Batumi, Georgia

Busy construction site in Batumi
Donations for follow-up project expansion men's rehab Berdychiv, Ukraine are coming in. We are quickly approaching the 2,000 euro mark. Super!

We have also been able to donate 5,000 euro towards the work of Teen Challenge in Armenia and 2,000 euro for the work of Brian Slater among the elderly and poor in Israel.

It is time for a quick update on the work at the Teen Challenge women's center in Batumi, Georgia.

Our Weissensee 2017 event was for the benefit of this project. During the summer months they have been working hard on the construction of this already beautiful home.

Kuanysh (left) moving the cement
Remember that almost everything is being done by staff and students of the Teen Challenge men's home in Tbilisi and that they depend on donations in order to continue the work. When the money runs low, the work stops ...

Kuanysh & Madina Akkuzov, directors of Teen Challenge in Georgia write:

"We have had a busy summer  together with Doug Boyle in Batumi. We did big progress on the building, we finished the inside of the 1st floor completely. Our missionary family with Lena are living there... learning Georgian. As we agreed we used your donation for doors and windows. This money was enough to put beautiful wooden doors with windows on 1st, 2nd and partially 3rd floor."

camping out on the porch
As you can see in the pictures, the men "camped out" on the porch during the work. The home will serve as a center for women who come out of human trafficking as well as a leadership training center to send out missionaries in that part of the world.

Beautiful doors
On behalf of all those involved in Batumi, thank you very much for your gifts. We do not know when the official opening of the center will be set, but we will keep you updated.

We (Jan and Marja) are planning to visit Georgia again (for the third time) at the end of December and will bring back the latest news.

It is so good to see that we can bridge the distance and support the work that is being done in Georgia. For the Teen Challenge men it must also be therapeutic to work on such a grand construction project. We are proud of them and grateful for their commitment.

Windows, doors, walls, paint...
Are you glad to read good news from far away lands and do you think it is important that your gifts are being spent well? Then please show us your support by making a donation today to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht.

With your help and prayers we are able to continue the support of such awesome projects, which often involves the work of Teen Challenge throughout Europe!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Follow-up project expansion men's rehab Berdychiv, Ukraine

Already twice as big and a new roof!
At the end of last year we raised funds for the expansion of the men's rehab house in Berdychiv which operates under the flag of Teen Challenge Ukraine. Our friend Sergey Romanenko is in charge of the home. The original plan was to build a 2nd floor on the existing house to provide more shelter.

Last July we were in Ukraine during the summer camp for people from rehab centers that Teen Challenge and the Messianic Community in Berdichev organize annually.

Current kitchen in the men's house
We had time to visit the rehabilitation homes for men and women in that area. As you can see in the picture a whole new section has been added to the existing house and the roof has been renewed as well.

For many people it is unthinkable that so many people live in one house. The bunk beds are crammed into a room and the kitchen is really too small to cook for such a group (usually about 10 men).

The plan is now to extend the kitchen by moving the shower room (which is now adjacent to the kitchen) to the new part of the house. They are making a wide door to connect the old and new section of the house.

New section under construction
All in all, there is still a lot of work to be done before everything is ready and habitable. Sergey Romanenko estimates that around 2,000 euro is needed to complete the construction work. Whether we want to help again?

Of course, we like to help again, especially since we have seen with our own eyes how much work already has been done and how much still needs to be done. It will all be beautiful in the end, we're sure about that. What's even more beautiful than the house itself, are the men who live there. Their stories are worth writing a book about...

Visiting the men's home!
Every human life counts and we are always happy to see how boys and men step out of the deep darkness of addiction, crime and hopelessness and receive a new beginning (didn't we all at some point?). This often results in a new beginning for their families as well.

Think about it,  the men are working on  the home they live in while being build up themselves. Are you ready to step alongside and  help again with a financial gift and/or prayer?

If so, send your gift 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 Ukraine, Berdychiv.

We will make sure that everything arrives at the destination and will indeed be used for the expansion of the rehab center.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Visit to Teen Challenge, Romania

Catalin & Oltita Baciu
Early September we visited the beautiful country of Romania at the invitation of Catalin & Oltita Baciu. They are the directors of Teen Challenge in that country and the pastors of Biserica 43, a young, fast-growing church in Bucharest.

Our contact with them was established many years ago when we were still living in Southern California. We met them there at a conference and heard about the work they started among the addicts and homeless. Up till this year we did not succeed in planning a visit ... but finally the time was right :)

Men's rehab center in Grădiştea
We stayed in the rehabilitation center for men in Grădiştea, a village outside Bucharest. This center has been established with support from Southern California. The men who live there all have a different background and all have their own story ... sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes difficult to imagine or comprehend, but through it all there is always God's love and grace.

With Stefan and Joseph

We had all the time to listen to the guys in the program and pray with them. We were very grateful for the help from young men such as Joseph (translation, percussion) and Stefan (guitar). We felt so in tune with them and they had the gift to (literally) touch the right tone which made prayer very effective. So precious.

A few years ago teen Challenge opened a women's home as well. During our visit they just moved to a new location, assisted by the men from Grădiştea. Behind some of these beautiful faces are stories of pain and suffering, but victory is often within reach.

Women's House of Joy
What a wonderful work to welcome ladies from all walks of life in this beautiful and warm home where they can slowly and safely recover and heal. The women who work in the house are often graduates themselves and they know the ins and outs of rehabilitation.

Street outreach is still the basis for any Teen Challenge program: seeking addicts and homeless people in their living environment, telling them that there is hope, that there is always hope! With Robert and Cristiana we hit the city back roads, talking to people in the parks, on the streets, in crack houses and alleys. Such a misery, but also ... such an encouragement to know that there are people going out to look for that one lost sheep, that one addicted prostitute and tell her about God's love
With street workers Robert and Cristina (right)

The street work bears fruit. From time to time someone makes a decision to go into rehabilitation. Every woman and man must get that chance!

In the church founded by Teen Challenge, Biserica 43, we were given time and opportunity to listen to people's stories and pray with them (until late in the night). It was a huge encouragement for us to see so many young people ... with passion and great enthusiasm!

Bible study with the men
It was no coincidence that in that same weekend a team from Southern California came for a visit. They were making a documentary about the work of Teen Challenge in Romania. We had such a great time together and really enjoyed tourist trips, tasty food and beautiful nature.

The work of Traveling Light is so much more than fundraising for certain projects. We get to be an encouragement and share God's love, grace and words with people. Also, by visiting different countries and programs we get a clear picture of the miracles God is doing throughout Europe, and we're happy to share that good news!

Check out this special video and see how the work in Romania started!