Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Great ending of 2019

Alexander (right) hands out the packages
At the end of yet another year, we are looking back with gratitude. We have been able to support many projects thanks to your donations. Of course, our 2019 annual report will contain a (financial) overview of all these projects. We'll let you know when it comes out.

We received a newsletter and photos from port evangelist Alexander Eberson. The sailors were super happy with the Christmas packages. 💙Thank you all!

The proceeds of our shop Twinkeltje over December were 1,100 euro. We hereby want to give a big thank you to Chantal de Jong who gave workshops in atelier café De Schor, the proceeds of which went to Traveling Light. The entire amount went to the youth coffee house in Raygorodok, Ukraine.

We were also able to donate 3,000 euro for the Christmas packages for Iranian children in refugee camps in Turkey. That donation went through 222 Ministries and Pearl of Persia.

For now, we want to wish you all the best for 2020. Keep an eye on this blog, because at the beginning of January we will announce the project for the Weissensee fundraiser 2020.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sponsor a Christmas package

A real Christmas celebration for children
Many people will receive Christmas gifts or a Christmas package this month, but it is much more fun to give one (or more) away! Traveling Light offers the opportunity to make people happy with a Christmas package.

We have chosen two completely different initiatives, but the idea behind them is the same ... letting people know that they are not forgotten and that Jesus came to earth for us all!

Last year's Operation Christmas Joy
Operation Christmas Joy is an initiative of 222 Ministries and Pearl of Persia. This month they want to bring hope to the forgotten Christian refugees in central Turkey. Many of these Christians have become refugees as a result of conflicts and/or have been persecuted for their faith. Living in Turkey, they receive no support and they have no right to work.

With their Christmas campaign for children, 222 ministries wants to meet practical needs (warm clothing) and bring an atmosphere of joy and celebration to victims of persecution and war.

That face tells a story
The care that their teams have shown to the children in the past has encouraged many parents to rebuild their broken communities.

Last year, the Christmas Joy initiative reached more than 1500 children in 20 cities in Turkey. Packages were handed out with toys and warm clothing (temperatures can drop below -25 ° C). There was a Christmas message and also a party where children had the chance to have fun.

The price of a package is 35 euro. You can transfer that amount or a multiple thereof to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention 222 CHRISTMAS.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Alexander (left) on board of a vessel
And then a bit closer to home ... Seafarer's evangelist Alexander Eberson plans to hand out some three hundred Christmas packages to the sailors in the ports of Terneuzen and Ghent. He wrote us:

"The month of December is a good month to evangelize. The sailors are very open for the good news around Christmas time, when they are far from home. Every year around Christmas I make the crew of different vessels happy with a Christmas gift. "
Christmas package

The price of a package is 6 euro. The sailors will receive a warm hat and socks, shower gel, candy, the Gospel of John and a notebook. You can transfer that amount or a multiple thereof to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention SAILORS CHRISTMAS.

We look forward to your gifts this month! Thank you so much.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Project Restart Coffee house, Serbia

Boris gives drugs prevention lessons
It has been a while, but early September we received a message from Udruženje (foundation) Restart in Serbia. A Christian organization that works among homeless people and (former) addicts and supports them in their return to society.

With a team of volunteers, initiator Boris Štrbac is committed to helping people on their way to start a new life. They do this through outreach, drugs prevention lessons at schools and prison work.

They recently received from the City of Novi Sad the acknowledgment that Restart is an organization of public and social value, which is great.

Discussion with municipality officials
They have also been chosen to be partners in a European project which revolves around post-penalty support, reintegration into society and employment of teenagers leaving correctional educational center Kruševac (prison for youngsters). The team had to do a training for this.

About a year ago the team started a social enterprise "Restart Home Service" for cleaning, washing furniture and moving. It would be nice if some of these young people could actually come and be employed there.

Reintegration of young people
For long, Boris had the desire to move to a larger location. The office of Restart is very small. His prayer has been answered! The municipality pointed him to a beautiful location where there is enough space to also start a coffee house.

Renovation of the space is now in full swing. A lot has already been done, but funds are still urgently needed for electrical installations, kitchen, flooring, paint, furniture, new doors, etc. Volunteers from the church are helping to get everything in order, it is truly a joint effort. About 2500 euro is needed to make the building ready for use.

At work in the new location
👉We have noticed that the opening of coffee houses is on the rise. We see that in various countries and also in our own Twinkeltje. It is a nice way of getting in touch with people and having conversations. The coffee houses are also used for all kinds of activities, from Bible studies to workshops to film events and common meals.

Traveling Light wants to help realize the coffee house in Novi Sad. We have an invitation to attend the opening when the time comes 😁

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

Monday, November 18, 2019

Our visit to Israel

Good atmosphere in the soup kitchen
In October we (Jan and Marja) enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Israel. But it was so much more than just vacation!

We helped Brian Slater from Abundant Bread of Salvation in his foodbank in Netanya. We unloaded pallets of products and placed everything on the shelves, we assembled food packages and served meals in the soup kitchen. Always fun to be there and give a helping hand!

Catching up with Polly
The proceeds from our shop Twinkeltje over November will go towards the work of Brian Slater. So come and shop for a good cause!

Also, take a look at this great VIDEO!

We had coffee and lunch with Polly Sigulim in Arad. The Teen Challenge women's home she directed for several years had to close due to several circumstances. But Polly still offers a safe place for women, now in her own home.

Because there is quite a bit of opposition from the Jewish orthodox community in Arad, she stays a bit under the radar so to speak. It was good to catch up and pray with and for each other. All in all, an encouraging visit.

Such honor to meet these Holocaust survivors
Together with Jeroen & Robin Honigh (from Milk & Honey Ministries in the USA) we visited Beit Joles, a home for the elderly in Haifa. Many Jewish people with a Dutch background live there. It was very precious to have time and conversation with these Holocaust survivors (often well in their eighties and nineties).

They enjoyed speaking Dutch with us and in the course of the afternoon, more residents joined our table. They shared stories of their hiding places during WW II with the help of the books Righteous among the Nations. They invited us to come again...

We also had a nice lunch and caught up with Amadeus Schmidgall, who used to be a staff member at Teen Challenge Emsland in Germany and now lives in Jerusalem.

With Mirka and Milan in Jerusalem
When we arrived in the old city that morning, we had an unexpected meeting with Milan & Mirka Antalik, whom we know from our trips to Slovakia. Milan arranges the book presentations and speaking engagements of Marja's Slovak books.

Such joyful meetings, and great to see how the Traveling Light network connects nations!

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

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Stolpersteine placed in Dordrecht

In memory of the Breemer family
On May 5th of this year, we wrote a blog post about our intention to sponsor seven Stolpersteine ​​(stumbling stones) in Dordrecht.

Today, November 7, 2019, we gathered together in Dordrecht where the local Stolpersteine organization took care of the placing of fifteen copper memorial stones.

Traveling Light sponsored seven stones in front of the addresses Singel 116 and 160 in memory of the Breemer and Monasch families who used to live there and were killed in concentration camps Sobibor and Auschwitz.

reading of the kaddisj
Last week we were in Israel visiting a retirement home in Haifa where many Dutch Jews live who actually did survive the Second World War. The conversations with them were so special. There was still great gratitude towards the families who had offered them a hiding place.

From our speech:

Speech on behalf of Traveling Light
...We cannot understand why people were being killed for being who they were. For being Jewish. Is that a reason to drag people out of their houses, facing death?

Is a person's background, race or faith a license to hate? We do not want to remain silent about that injustice. Our drive to stand up for peace, freedom and justice stems from our belief in the most famous Jew of all time, namely Jesus from Nazareth.

For us, it is a calling to bless the Jewish people, certainly in a time of rising anti-Semitism, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and, here in my [Marja] hometown of Dordrecht, to contribute to the message that must continue to go out to all subsequent generations: this should never happen again!
In memory of the Monasch family

Individually and as a non profit foundation, we have a 💗for peoples and nations and wherever we go we bring a message of peace and reconciliation made possible by our Jewish Lord Jesus Christ!

GIFTS (large and small) go directly to the projects and are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Project Teen Challenge rehab home, Albania

Renovation in progress
Blrina & Gesi Hysenaj
In the past years, we have written several blog posts about the work of Orges (Gesi) & Blerina Hysenaj among the homeless and addicted in Albania. Gesi is director of Teen Challenge Albania.

He visits methadone clinics, has started several coffee houses where addicts are welcome for a conversation, coffee and a touch of God's love.

Gesi gives Bible studies and courses and has been seriously searching for a building or house that can be turned into a men's rehab center.

And yes, the time has finally come! Recently, Teen Challenge has signed a 5 year lease contract for a house and Gesi started working with a number of volunteers to renovate the property.

Beautiful location for a TC center
👉 The renovation of an old and broken down house is a beautiful parallel with broken human lives that are slowly being restored by God.

In the pictures you can see how hard they are working to make this house ready for use. Your donations (large and small) are welcome at this start-up stage to renovate the house and to buy furniture and such.

The Teen Challenge home will be the first Christian residential center for people with drug and alcohol addictions in Albania!

Serious renovation work
We find it incredibly exciting that in the coming months a men's rehab center will be opened, finally! An answered prayer.

It will be nice!!
Funds are urgently needed for the renovation, but also for beds, furniture, lighting, heating ... well, you name it.

If you have a heart for Albania and want to help bring hope to the hopeless you can send a gift to IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht and make sure to mention ALBANIA.

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

We will keep you informed about the progress!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Project support PLUS

At work with the wood splitter
In one of are previous blog posts we wrote about the many projects that we have supported in recent months. But at Traveling Light we do so much more than just fundraising!

Let's go back to the end of August ... For the sixth time we went to Italy for a work week in therapeutic community Comunita Brezzano. Chopping, sawing and stacking firewood for the cold winter months. It is not only a nice job, but also very useful. The evenings were pleasant on the grape-covered terrace of Casa Shalom, where we discussed our theme for the week: 'the voice of the Shepherd'.

Morning devotion at TC Kazakhstan
In September we visited Teen Challenge in Almaty, Kazakhstan. We will tell more about that later because a number of projects, that we may be able to support, emerged from that visit.

We stayed in the juvenile home. We visited the men's rehab center where Jan shared a word for the morning devotion and after that we visited the women's home where currently 20 women and 20 children are staying. We had time to pray and prophesy over each woman that was present that afternoon. It was such a sweet atmosphere of the Father's love. On Sunday we spoke together in a church and we had some time to see the beautiful nature around Almaty.

Israel night at Twinkeltje
In September we organized another Mission night in Twinkeltje, this time with guests from the USA; Jeroen & Robin Honingh. Each year they volunteer in Israel for three months and they have lots of stories to tell. We were able to encourage each other!

The Israel evening in Twinkeltje was also a success. We had a nice display of products from Israel  and many  people came to shop and to have fellowship around the table, filled with delicious snacks.

Visit to Lisbon during the Training Week
From October 10-17, board member Cora Donk (owner and director of coffee house/secondhand shop Twinkeltje) participated in a Rehab Training at Europe Teen Challenge in Fanhoes, Portugal. During this training all the ins and outs of faith-based drugs and alcohol rehabilitation were discussed. Participants came from various European countries, so the week-long training was also a great networking opportunity for her.

And as if that is not enough 😁
  • The Alpha prison courses started again in September. Cora and Krijn are involved in this.
  • Saturday November 2nd, we are hosting a WORSHIP night in the basement of Atelier Café De Schor, Bosch 6 in Papendrecht. Coffee and tea are available from 19:30,  prayers will start at 20:00 hrs.

GIFTS (large and small) go directly to the projects and are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Project daycare for the elderly, Moldova

Carmen has a heart for the elderly
It happens quite often that people stumble upon the work and ministry of Traveling Light through a Google search. This summer we received an email from Carmen Ullersma. She is from the Netherlands, but has been living and working in Ukraine and Moldova for years.

Whether we were interested in supporting the realization of a daycare for the elderly in Moldova ...

Fortunately, Carmen was in the Netherlands recently, because her parents were celebrating their 50th anniversary. So, we made an appointment to meet and have coffee.

Carmen comes from a family where missionary travels are the heart of daily life; she was raised with a love for nations and peoples. "I am committed to express in a living and tangible way the commandments that Jesus called the greatest: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength, and "love your neighbor as yourself'," says Carmen.

This will be the daycare center
Carmen has a nursing degree and studied Theology at the Free University in Amsterdam. In the summer of 2009 she attended the Harvest School of Iris Ministries in Pemba, Mozambique. She has been working in Moldova since October 2013.

There, she came in contact with a retired nurse, Liuba, who has been doing volunteer work for years in the village of Costești and finances this from her own small pension. The idea of ​​starting a daycare for the elderly was born. "During my work in the villages among the poorest people I discovered that there is a shortage of care for the elderly. In Moldova, life is not easy for the elderly who live in the villages."

In the villages around Costești (a village in the Rîșcani district) the elderly do not have running water at home. That means that they also have no shower, toilet or washing machine. The day center will offer the opportunity to shower, wash clothes in a washing machine and meals will also be provided. "We want to bring the elderly and children from Costești into contact with each other and do creative activities a few times a week in the day center."
Multi functional room

Carmen has good contacts with the local authorities and the mayor who also has a heart for this project. The project is supported by the locals as well. Liuba takes care of children in the local library after school and offers all kinds of creative activities there. When the day center is finished they want to combine this!

Carmen is always looking for people who want to support the project. Fortunately, there are a number of churches in the Netherlands who stand behind her work. However, she was still looking for a sponsor for the purchase and installation of the heating system 😁

A youth group from a local church in the Netherlands came this summer
It will probably be a large pellet stove that heats a boiler to which radiators are connected. Everything will be purchased and installed locally. It is estimated that such a system costs more than 6,000 euro, including installation (you also understand why most people have no heating!).

We have promised that we will do our best to come up with a significant part of that sum so that the center can be opened up before winter. By the way, it is the intention to pick up the elderly people who live in remote areas with a van or minibus (sponsors are still needed for this).

If you have a heart for the elderly, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: DAYCARE MOLDOVA.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Project news

New addition (kitchen area) men's rehab

We have supported many projects in recent months, so here are a few updates, in order to show you where your donations were put to work 😁

The proceeds from our shop Twinkeltje over the month of September were 1,000 euro's and we donated that to Teen Challenge Ukraine as an addition to the kitchen extension project in Berdychiv, (we went there for a visit early July).

A lot of work has been done there on the new kitchen, an extension to the existing house, as you can see in the photo. This gift will hopefully help to finish the project as much as possible before winter sets in.

Visit to women's home in Slienava
We have also been able to transfer a donation of 4,000 euro to Teen Challenge Lithuania for the completion of the women's home in Slienava. With those funds they can continue with the construction work on the inside: floors, walls, rooms, electricity, plumbing etc. (we were there for a visit end of July).

It is still a huge job, but we are confident that it will all work out before the winter, and that more funds will come in at Teen Challenge Lithuania through various channels.

Traveling Light was one of the first organizations to send a gift (10,000 euro!) to Teen Challenge Belgium for the purchase of a building that they are already using (since September 1st) as a residential rehab center. We are happy, thankful and excited to announce that Teen Challenge will be buying the building!

With their campaign, they raised 150,000 euro up to and including September 30th. So, not yet the entire amount required, but apparently enough to close the deal. Thank you very much everyone who contributed to this and please consider giving a donation if you haven't done so already.

And, yes there is more, we have also been able to donate 3,000 euro to the phase 2 Teen Challenge men's home project in Falesti, Moldova. A team from the Czech Republic arrived there last week to further help with the construction of the second floor.
Construction 2nd floor men's home Falesti

The men send their greetings.

The support of all these great and practical projects is only possible thanks to your donations, which are always welcome by the way, at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Let us never give up encouraging one another.

And as we often say: keep the giving going!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Roma Ministry International, Bulgaria

The Kratsov family
We have been in contact with Radko Kratsov from Bulgaria for a number of years. Together with his wife Nevin and in cooperation with YWAM Sliven he has been active on many fronts within the Roma community, which stretches all across south eastern Europe.

We know them personally from the Roma conferences in Macedonia.

We regularly receive their newsletters and on several occasions the monthly proceeds from Twinkeltje have gone towards the work of Roma Ministry International.

Talks in the neighborhood
One million Roma live in Bulgaria alone. In his work with YWAM, Pastor Radko focuses on the spiritual development of the Roma population. He knows from experience that receiving God's love is the beginning of a new life ... for everyone!

His personal story can be seen in this very interesting documentary.

He gives discipleship and leadership training in Bulgaria and surrounding countries and helps Roma people to develop a Biblical perspective in all areas of ​​life: relationships, work, health, finances etc.

Some of the upcoming activities include:
  • Plans to start a DTS (discipleship training school of YWAM) in 2020 for Roma youth.
  • In October Radko will travel to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina for an international Roma conference.
  • Outreach, evangelism, summer camps
  • In November Radko will travel to Kherson in Ukraine to conduct seminars for Roma leaders.
'A wonderful opportunity', he wrote in an email to us, it has been years since I was in Ukraine, and it's the first time I have the opportunity to give leadership training there.'

The Bible teaches us that people perish due to a lack of knowledge and vision and it instructs us to go and teach the nations. Radko and his family have responded to this. We would like to support them with prayer and a gift for travel expenses.
Roma flag

If you would like to help to bring a positive change among the Roma people, then make your gift payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention: ROMA BULGARIA.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Phase 2 project Teen Challenge men's home, Moldova

Team work in Moldova, last June
Back in June we wrote about the construction work in Moldova. Our annual Weissensee fundraiser, which always takes place in January, brought in a nice amount for the expansion of the Teen Challenge rehabilitation home in Falesti. The house offers a residential program for men who struggle with life controlling problems.

A team of men from the Teen Challenge program in Czech Republic traveled to Moldova to help with the construction work, they did an awesome job.

An entire floor was built on the existing house. As with many construction projects which are paid for by donations, the job is divided into different phases. Phase 2 is about ready to begin.

During phase 1 of the construction project
On October 1st a team from Czech Republic will travel to Moldova again to help with the insulation of the roof, the finishing of three rooms and a classroom and the installation of all electricity.

The plan is to install the plumbing and heating in a third phase. All depending on the gifts that come in for this construction project.

Plans for phase 2
We have promised to raise funds for phase 2 and come up with at least portion of the required amount. It would be nice if we could send them 3,000 euro so that the work can commence on October 1st, as planned.

If you want to help (again), you can send your precious gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: TC MOLDOVA.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Visit to Teen Challenge Emsland, Germany

Communal meals
A few weeks ago we visited Teen Challenge Emsland in Germany. We were invited to give a weekend seminar with the theme: the Father heart of God.

The men's rehabilitation home is a wonderful place (a real farm) where men with life-controlling problems can come to rest and recover. And although it is only a few hours drive from Papendrecht, we had never visited them before.

Bettina Ratering
Hopefully we have now made up for that 😎

Bettina Ratering and her husband Martin are the directors of the program and we know them from conferences. Because they were on vacation at the time we visited, we were welcomed by staf member Amadeus Schmidgall.

We were first given a tour of the beautiful property. Currently they are converting the building in the picture below into a beautiful new residential center. The men in the program are helping out with the construction work.
Teen Challenge Emsland

The great thing about visiting Teen Challenge centers is that we always eat together. Most conversations arise around the table. Every day more people joined: volunteers, staff members and visitors to the seminar.

Work in progress
We spoke about God as Father in various sessions and expressed His heart's desire, to see sons and daughters grow up, using many Bible sections.

Of course we were given time to pray and speak with people individually. Also, in one of the sessions we listened to God's heart, to the words that the Spirit gave. Those words ministered to all who were present and resulted in recovery and healing!

Father heart session
On Sunday morning we spoke at Christ Church in Dörpen where we were welcomed very warmly. After the service we had many nice conversations and meetings, especially with immigrants.

The mission of Traveling Light is threefold, we offer practical help (such as the work week in Italy), financial support and spiritual encouragement to Christian organizations and communities within Europe.

Deep conversations in a casual setting
It is extremely encouraging for us to see that in so many places in Europe there are beautiful, small-scale initiatives to help people get to know God and find the way to recovery and a healthy participation in society.

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

[click on the photos for an enlargement]