Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Looking back at 2019 summer camp Ukraine

Jan is teaching Bible study class
"From strength to strength" (Psalm 84:6-8), that was the theme during the summer camp in Ukraine that is organized annually in the first week of July by Teen Challenge and the Jewish Messianic congregation in Berdychiv.

The camp is meant for students (and their families) who were previously or are currently in Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers or who should go there. They come from all over the country! After years we were happy to see our friend Andrii Soloviov again, who lives near Sevastopol, in Crimea.

Praying with Andrii
Please, pray with us that Andrii will get his health back. He has been operated on a brain tumor and is currently undergoing treatments.

Grace of Giving
For the third consecutive year, Traveling Light was at the camp all week to encourage, teach, counsel, pray with people for deliverance and healing and of course to just have nice conversations and fellowship with each other.

We were able to sponsor the camp again this year with the nice amount of 3,000 euro. A good part of it came from our southern neighbor Belgium 😀 so in that sense it was an international project. Know that you have invested in human lives. THANK YOU!

The Korovai family
The man in the photo on the left came to us to thank us for the Russian edition of Marja's book 'Grace of Giving' which he received 2 years ago. It has totally changed his life and that of his family!

In previous years, we also prayed with couples to be cured from Hepatitis C and other drug-related illnesses that could stand in the way of healthy pregnancies. How nice to hear and see testimonials of answered prayers. Gena and Dinara Korovai received a healthy son! Back in 2013 we wrote about Gena, how God gave him new life! Now he is married and a good father.

Praying together in unity
It is such an enormous encouragement for us to see how God changes human lives! The stories are sometimes too bizarre for words. Twenty years of addiction, being homeless, long prison sentences, no hope of recovery ... and then there is God 💙

TC men's rehab home
It is and always remains great to see and experience how people get hope for the future, hope for their country and hope for their families. We have sung and danced a great deal (especially early in the morning before breakfast!) And we have seen that there is healing, restoration and deliverance in gratitude and joy.

Of course we visited Sergey Romanenko's men's rehab house, where construction for the new kitchen is in full swing, and also a new women's home (!). But more about that in another blog post.

With 4 of our interpreters
Throughout the week we enjoyed the assistance of a wonderful group of interpreters who tirelessly translated all conversations and prayers and words of the Holy Spirit. Without them we would not be able to do that.

On our video channel (which you can subscribe to!) we have published two videos that we would like to share with you. One from a man who was healed from 25 years of back pain (after an accident) and one from the dancing :)

Donations for all our awesome projects are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Greetings from the sea ports

On board a vessel in the port of Ghent
Earlier this year we wrote about the work of sea port evangelist Alexander Eberson. We are happy with the contact and recently we received a newsletter from him that is worth sharing in  part ... so encouraging!

A bit of personal background: "I studied Theology in Brussels, followed by clerical training and I was confirmed as a pastor. I served in three congregations. In my last congregation I enjoyed working a few days a week as a harbor chaplain in the sea port of Zeebrugge. "

"In the beginning of 2019 I started my work as a pastor in the sea ports of Terneuzen and Ghent (full-time). That's why we moved to Terneuzen as a family. My wife Tonja teaches at a Christian primary school in Axel and our daughter Hannah attends the school."

Always thankful faces
Alexander continues to write with enthusiasm about the visits to the ships: "During a ship visit in Terneuzen I was told by a number of sailors that one fellow crew member had turned 41 that day."

"After the ship visit I went to get him a birthday cake. I told them: 'God has not forgotten you!' The sailor who had his birthday had never experienced something like this."

Happy birthday
"On one of my ship visits in Ghent I gave away a large Bulgarian house Bible for the 22 Bulgarians on board. In addition, I also left a small Ukrainian Bible for the only Ukrainian crew member on the ship. The men liked this and were encouraged as a result. The Bibles were received with interest."

Alexander knows the importance of building a network, he has not only made contact with Traveling Light, but also with people from Book store Oasis, the Salvation Army and Dorcas. All people who have a heart for outreach in the sea ports of Terneuzen and Ghent.

And then some figures: In recent months, Alexander has given away 85 Bibles (Tagalog, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish), 50 bags with Easter eggs, 30 Pocket crosses, 15 Children's Bibles (English), 5 worship CDs, 2 DVDs (Ruth and John Gospel) , 5 DVDs Jesus movie, 15 knitted hats and 1 book 'Jesus, our destination'.

Happy greetings to all of you
The Christians are happy with his visits, because sometimes they feel lonely on board and are in need of conversation and prayer, and the non-Christians or people from other faiths really value the visits and the personal attention.

If you want to help Alexander to buy Bibles and other materials, you can make your gift payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention SAILORS.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Project Embrace, Hungary

Always cool when Michel plays guitar
On several occasions we have shared about the work that Michel & Janet van Boxtel and their children are doing in Hungary. They are the founders of Embrace, an organisation that works among the poorest of the poor.

We regularly receive their newsletters and on their Facebook page you can read how their church for homeless people (Korál Mission Church) is growing and flourishing. Last year they shared about their work during a mission night in Twinkeltje.

Last year in Twinkeltje
Janet says: “Starting a church was never on our minds or hearts, but God had a different idea. People started asking for it, which resulted in a service every two weeks and as of January this year every week. The church services with lunch are always special."

Between 15 and 25 people show up each week. They know that Michel and Janet care for them and love them unconditionally. Michel and Janet visit them where they "live", hand out food and blankets, help them with doctor's appointments or refer to detox or rehab.

Recent baptisms
"These are just the practical things," Janet said, "we see and experience that the greatest gift we give them is personal attention. People are going from being invisible to being seen and that is a huge difference. They feel the love that God has placed in our hearts for them."

Visiing the homeless
Most of their church visitors have multiple problems. They struggle with addictions, have trauma and/or have psychological problems. Yet, recently they had the privilege to baptize seven people!

For Embrace, the summer period usually means ... visits from the Netherlands. This summer they are expecting two youth groups that will help with the renovation of houses (where families live that Janet supports as a social worker) and with the organization of an English camp for students from Tapiobicske and Nagykata. Reservation for 2020 have come in already.

During camp in 2018
In the meantime, all other projects are continuing, such as the construction of tiny houses for the homeless, renovating and expanding the Embrace mission home where guests can stay, building a greenhouse and the education project 'be cool, stay at school' in Tiszakeresceny where children receive extra attention and are being motivated to do their best at school. Janet teaches about health, hygiene and social skills.

A few years ago, the Boxtel family emigrated to Hungary to roll up their sleeves and to give hope to the hopeless. We are grateful for the lives that are changing in Hungary because Michel and Janet (with their children) have said ... we are going into the world to share God's love!

Gifts for the work of Michel & Janet are more than welcome. Within Europe make gifts payable to: St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention: HUNGARY.

For more about their work, please check out their FACEBOOK page or their WEBSITE.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Switzerland added to our network

During work week 2018
We promised to write a short report about our recent visit to Switzerland. At the end of May we (Jan and Marja) drove to Zurich.

We had received an invitation to be present at the annual meeting of Comunita Brezzano. We have supported this ministry for years through our work weeks in their therapeutic community in Italy and also with financial donations for the construction and maintenance of the shelter homes that our good friend Maria Meier is running there.

The wonderful thing was that we were asked to give a presentation about the work of Traveling Light. How cool is that? We are happy to travel for that reason alone.

Members of the Comunita Brezzano Foundation
We were warmly welcomed by Corina Schmidt who works among the homeless and addicted in Zurich. We stayed at her home the first night and enjoyed a delicious sabbath meal together. Sharing life, sharing meals... a great way to get to know each other 😊

The annual meeting was a party in itself, because everyone had brought good food ... organic and vegetarian! We gave a presentation about the projects we support in the various countries of Europe and 👉we were able to share a lot about the work of Teen Challenge and everything God is doing in countries all over Europe.

prayer room
Our book table
Our story was a huge encouragement for the Swiss ... to know that, no matter how small your organization is, we are all part of something much bigger! Every human life that changes counts.

They even did an offering for Traveling Light and collected almost 1500 euro, which of course fully benefits the various projects we support.

We were then invited by Werner & Heidi Dellapiazza to go home with them for the rest of the weekend. We talked a lot, shared meals, walked, prayed, even played games. Quite delightful, especially when you consider that we had never met these people before. We felt connected right away.

Looking over Buchs with Werner and Heidi
Werner and Heidi lead prayer movements in Switzerland. In their house there is also a 24-hour prayer room where everyone can go (the door is always open) to seek silence and to pray for Israel. It was very inspiring for us to see and hear that in Switzerland people are seriously working out their faith and that they have a heart for the nations.

PS: At the end of August we will go to Italy again for a work week. If you want to come along, please contact us.

Donations for all our awesome projects are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.