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.