Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Project truck Teen Challenge Latvija

In April of this year, Jan paid a short visit to Teen Challenge in Latvija. Up to now we have not supported a project or program in this country, although we have been in contact with people from Teen Challenge for a number of years.

In 2004, the construction of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for men in Latvija began. Construction stagnated in 2007 and it took a number of years before things were picked up again.

Today the center is running well and recently a second center has been opened  and there are plans for a women's home. It is great to see how people, who once needed help themselves, now help others to get their lives back on track.

Nauris & Marina Gustsons
Nauris Gustsons is such a person. In 2011, his addiction had become so serious that it destroyed everything and everyone around him. He thought that maybe a psychologist could help him, but it was through a person who had been in the program that he ended up at Teen Callenge where he began to read the Bible for the first time in his life.

He accepted the love and grace of Jesus Christ and slowly but surely his life changed. When he had successfully completed the program, he attended a one-year Ministry school. Then he returned to the Teen Challenge center to work there, he is currently a full-time staff member.

A year later he married Marina, who was working at the Bible school. They now have a beautiful daughter: Flavia.

Actually, that is in short what rehabilitation (the action of restoring someone) is. Helping someone to become clean can happen in any center ... but then what? How to become useful in society? How to live a meaningful life? We believe and know that the answers are truly in faith based programs!

Students at the center

The two centers in Latvia receive support from several churches and they also try to generate funds through work projects: selling second-hand furniture and cutting down and selling firewood; great sustainability projects.

The students from the program ship the firewood to the local market to sell. They thereby use a truck that is already more than 25 years old.

Teen Challenge is currently saving for a larger and newer model truck with a little crane in the back. Around 20,000 euro will be needed to buy a newer model Mercedes truck. Are you willing to help them fulfill that dream? It will help them to continue their business and thus to run the program.

Jan (with Tom Bremer) visiting the center
Maybe trucks are not your thing, but helping people is 😀Then, please consider making a donation.

When in Europe you can donate to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U  make sure to mention LATVIJA.

When in the USA you can donate to: Eastern Europe Outreach Inc, make sure to mention: LATVIJA.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Report Teen Challenge summer camp Ukraine

Our great minisry team
Last week we (Jan and Marja) participated in the annual summer camp in Ukraine organized by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic community in Berdychiv.

We had a great time with about 230 men and women from various drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Talking, singing, dancing, praying, exercising, eating together ... you name it.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to our interpreters Darina, Julia, Olga, Sara, Victoria and Zhenya. We could not have done anything without them.

Jan gives a workshop
The camp was held for the 11th time this year, just outside the village of Raygorodok, about 20 minutes drive from Berdychiv. The camp is being organized for people who are currently in Christian drug and alcohol rehabs or have gone through a program or still need to go.

Traveling Light has been sponsoring the camp since 2012. This year, again, we did receive many donations from you for this purpose. Know that you have invested in human lives. THANK YOU!

Bible in hand :)
The theme for this week came from Psalm 118: 17, "I will live and not die!" A beautiful theme, especially if you've been on the verge of death, literally and/or spiritually. We taught several Bible studies based on this theme.

It is such a privilege to teach at the camp, the students are hungry and curious about God's word, they take notes, ask questions, share their stories and actively participate in all assignments!
New life!

In the afternoons and evenings everyone had the opportunity to come to us for counseling. We have had very special sessions in which many received God's love, mercy, forgiveness and healing. We are so grateful for the Holy Spirit, who is the REAL counselor.

It is also an enormous encouragement for us to see how God keeps changing people's lives! The stories are sometimes too bizarre for words. Twenty years of heavy addiction, homelessness, long prison sentences, no hope of recovery ... and then there is God 💙

Some people we remember from last year
We have celebrated throughout the week that there is NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ.

We were able to encourage and inspire so many people, it was wonderful to be given this opportunity. At the end of the week no one wanted to go home.

Oh yeah, we started every morning (before breakfast) with music and dance :) If you watch the video below, try to imagine in which situation these people were a year ago ... Many of them would no longer be alive, were it not that someone told them about Teen Challenge.

That is reason enough to continue the sponsoring of this kind of work.

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Work week Italy & project Casa Shalom

During last year's work week

Summer vacation is almost there. For Traveling Light it means ... preparing for the work week in Italy.

[If you want to know what a work week is like, you can read HERE about previous years.]

From Monday August 27 to Monday September 3rd, 2018 we will be in Comunita Brezzano in beautiful Tuscany.

We still have room for 1 or (max.) 2 strong men who want to join us. Please contact us if you want to come.

The theme for the coming work week is 'Hope for the future'.

Afternoon break
We also made a promise to Maria Meier, who runs Comunita Brezzano.

The bathrooms and showers in Casa Shalom (where we stay every year) have to be remodeled to bring everything up to code. They need around 1,500 euro to get this job done.

It would be nice to help her not only with wood cutting, but also with the maintenance of this beautiful Tuscan guest house.

And back to work...
Renting out Casa Shalom brings in funds to run this Christian therapeutic community, a small-scale rehab facility that is largely sponsored through donations. People with serious addiction and / or psychological problems can live and work here for an extended period of time.

They can find peace and get to know God.

Your cheerful gifts are always welcome at St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: CASA SHALOM.