Thursday, August 23, 2018

Activities & news

Creative workshop at Sela home
After the summer break our secondhand shop Twinkeltje opened up again last Saturday. We had a great crowd and were happy to meet old friends as well as new comers.

The proceeds from sales in the months of August / September will go towards the work of Teen Challenge in Belgium, to the women's home Sela. There is a renovation / construction coming up, so they can use any extra help.

TC Belgium newsletter
In the last newsletter we received from Belgium, you can read more about the developments in the women's home and the opening of a new store with second-hand clothes!

This week Marja and Cora were guests at a women's event during the vacation tent week in the nearby town of Bleskensgraaf. About two hundred (!) women came to the evening.

Marja spoke about the source of living water that Jesus wants to give to everyone who believes in Him. Later that same evening all women made a mood board about the message, very creative!

Great women's event in our region
Of course we had a book table and information about Traveling Light and Twinkeltje. In addition to many positive and enthusiastic responses, we also received a nice donation for our current project. How wonderful to be able to bless each other, locally and far away!

This Sunday we we will be somewhere else, we speak in Chiesa Ev. della Riconciliazione in Genova, Italy. Everyone has seen images of the disaster that took place there, when a highway bridge collapsed. Would you please pray with us that we can share a message of hope and encouragement?

Cutting, sawing, stacking wood
From Genova we will drive on to Comunita Brezzano where we will stay in Casa Shalom for a week. Our group (7 people) will help chop wood and stack it for the winter. This is the fifth time we've organized such a work week.

Donations for our current project (project rehab center Lebanon) are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: NFD.

👶PS: We congratulate Garo and Gabriela Margossian in Beirut with the birth of their daughter Adelina Grace!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Project rehab center Lebanon

Garo & Gabriela Margossian
Our network continues to grow, as is shown by the projects we recently supported in Lithuania and Latvija. Particularly during the Europe Teen Challenge conferences we meet all kinds of people who feel called to share the love of God with the addicted, homeless and poor.

One such person is Garo Margossian from Lebanon, we have been in contact with him for a number of years.

Garo is the founder of  No For Drugs, a non-profit organization in Beirut that aims to bring awareness to the drug problem. They participate in awareness campaigns and programs, visit prisons and provide legal assistance.

For years, Garo had this dream to build a rehabilitation center in Lebanon. Preparations for this started as early as 2013. A piece of land outside the city was made available and drawings were made.

Artist impression by Maya Bechara & Majed Abou Fadel
Last year the construction of the center started. It is quite a big project as you can see in the pictures. A lot of work needs to be done before this wonderful facility will be put into use.

NFD is affiliated with Global Teen Challenge. A good move, because there is a lot to learn from each other. The drug scene is growing enormously in Lebanon, especially among young people (some users are only 11 years old!) Prevention work is therefore an important part of NFD's work.

Traveling Light encourages and supports such new initiatives on a regular basis. We would therefore like to make a contribution to the construction of this center in Lebanon and we will definitely visit Garo at some point in the near future!

Construction of the new rehab center
NFD depends on donations and Garo has assured us that even the smallest gift is a blessing and a gentle push to continue. Every time money comes in, construction can continue. How wonderful is it to invest in human lives in the Middle East?!

If you want to help, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: NFD.

Below you can view a short video about the construction work of the center.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Visit to Teen Challenge Lithuania

Teen Challenge women's home
Last weekend we (Jan and Marja) were visiting the country of Lithuania. At the end of May we presented project Teen Challenge women's home on this blog and we have now been able to transfer a donation of 6,000 euro for renovation of the roof.

By the way, that is only half of the amount calculated for this job. [Should anyone have a good idea to raise more funds ....]

We had an open invitation to come to Lithuania for years. Finally, the time was there. We received  a warm welcome from Edvardas & Rasa Kleinas, the directors of Teen Challenge Lithuania. They were our guides for the weekend :)
Edvardas & Rasa

We paid a visit to the women's center where we got a tour of the entire property.

There are currently 19 women and 6 children in this residential program. Actually, they are two houses. A large house (on the right, in the picture) where everyone sleeps, also the workers and volunteers, and a smaller house where the dining room, recreation room and the classroom are located.

Sharing testimonies
We met with the women and children, listened to their testimonies, shared a practical life lesson from the Bible and prayed with and for each other. Most women are here because of problems with alcohol and drugs, homelessness, crime and/or because they are tired of the street life.

For many it is the first place where they get to know God's love, mercy and forgiveness. Slowly but surely they receive hope for recovery!

Teen Challenge men's center
Later that day, after a scrumptious lunch, we went to visit the men's center. A beautiful farm where 19 men are currently in the program. We spent a lot of time with them, listened to their stories and prayed with each one of them. One man decided to invite Jesus Christ into his life, something he had not yet come to do.

The stories were intense, as always: alcohol, drugs, prison sentences, criminal activities etc. What a joy that there is a place where these men can recover, make a new start and be prepared for healthy participation in society.

Encouraging one another
The director of the center, Andrej Bersenovas, went through this very program 15 years (!) ago!

The men's center also offers help for boys who, at the age of 18, come out of orphanages and have no place to go. There are ideas to build a house for them on the property (perhaps a project we can support in the future).

Sunday morning we were invited to speak in Kauno Krikščionių Bažnyčia, a church with a big heart 💗for the work of Teen Challenge. Great to see the women and men from the rehabilitation centers here again.

Sunday morning service
We are grateful for the kindness and trust of pastor Rytis and Valda Berūkštis with whom we spoke extensively while enjoying excellent meals. We endorse the importance of good relationships with local churches.

You can view the Sunday morning service HERE.

Edvardas and Rasa also showed us around Kaunas and the capital Vilnius. Fantastic, such beautiful cities, well worth a visit!

Sharing God's love (+ Teen Challenge cards)
It is also a good time to pray for a spiritual revival in the Baltic states. From August 30 to September 2nd, Awakening Europe Baltija 2018 will take place in Riga (Latvija) ... and it is no coincidence that we also support a project there :)

The projects we support as a Traveling Light offer the opportunity to visit nations (at our own expense) and see what God is doing around Europe!

GIFTS (large and small) are always welcome and can be directed at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

We are grateful for your support.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Project news

Great to meet with Irina and her son
It is about time we share some project news from the various European nations with you again. We regularly receive e-mails, photos and newsletters with thanks for the donations, prayers and support.

Good to know that your gifts actually arrive at the designated places and are used for the intended goals!

During the summer camp in Ukraine we got to talk and pray with Irina. She recently joined the Teen Challenge team in Kiev. She told us about her time at Bertine House in Poltava, how the program had been a blessing and how she had experienced the love and grace of God at a dramatic low point in her life. We shared with her how our ice skating team did a fundraiser earlier this year for Bertine women's home. 💖Heartwarming to be face to face with someone who found new life there!

Happy Boris :)
In May of this year we sent a donation towards project Udruženje Restart in Serbia. We received a short video from Boris Štrbac in which he shows the office equipment purchases, made possible through your generous donations. Thank you so much!

Jan visited him briefly at the Restart office in Novi Sad in June, while in transit to Macedonia.

In April we sent a donation towards project garlic farm in Georgia. Last week we received a newsletter from CIC Mission in which Reza reports that they harvested the garlic and are now drying has some 9,000 kilo which will be sold as cloves and powder.

Reza during garlic harvest
Praise the Lord for this harvest, also for the spiritual harvest ... seven people were baptized in the front yard of the Iranian Bible School!

Oh yes, we also recently received a request to support the children's work at the Iranian Conference, which is being organized by 222 Ministries in the Netherlands, early August. We have done that before, namely in 2015 (click HERE for that blog post).

Do you have a heart for the Iranian children in The Netherlands, many of them refugees? Then, please send your donation  to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention 222 Children's work.

They will need approximately 600 euro in order to purchase materials and some extra ice cream with this extremely warm weather 🌞

Current projects: