Wednesday, December 16, 2020

More Christmas giving opportunities

We were able to give a nice donation towards the Christmas gifts for the sailors in the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen.

As is our custom in December, we will highlight several opportunities for you to be Santa. After all, it is better to give than to receive 😀

Last year we gave a donation towards Operation Christmas Joy, organized by 222 Ministries and Pearl of Persia. Again, this year they want to bring hope to Christian refugees from Iran in central Turkey and we have offered to raise some funds to help them out this Christmas.

222 Ministries is preparing packages for children containing warm clothes, shoes, and games. Unfortunately, no big party this year, but let's not leave them empty-handed.

Christmas packages are also being prepared in Moldova for distribution among the poor and elderly. A package for a family consists of 3 to 4 bags of coal for heating and about 12 kilos of food.

Our friends from Teen Challenge and Pilgrims will deliver the packages with their 51 year old Steyer truck. Last year they distributed 50 tons of coal and 450 food parcels. What a great gesture!

If you are still in doubt about who you want to bless with a special Christmas gift this year, one of these opportunities might be what you are looking for.

You can transfer any amount to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Please mention whether it is for CHRISTMAS JOY or for MOLDOVA, and we will make sure that all gifts will go there directly.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Project Mercy Center, Athens

It has been quite a few years since we supported the work of Elias and Efi Armenis in Greece with a donation.

They are the founders of Passage to Life in Athens, a christian organization dedicated to helping the poor, the homeless, and addicted and sharing the hope that only Jesus can give.

Their Mercy Center is open on various days of the week. In the building they serve hot meals, distribute clothing, offer Bible studies, counseling, advice, and prayers.

During the summer their team did street evangelism in various places, meetings were organized and food packages distributed.

Due to all the restrictions, they decided to move the meetings and activities to the roof of the building. A great solution, as long as it was summer of course 😁

Now that winter is approaching, they are looking for a strong and durable tent construction so that the meetings on the roof can continue.

As in many countries, it is not possible at the moment to organize indoor meetings with a group of people ... so they have taken everything outside.

Elias is currently raising funds to purchase a large tent so that the work can continue throughout the winter. The needs are growing in the streets of Athens. We are grateful for people like Elias and Efi and their team who continue to reach as many people as possible despite difficult circumstances,

If you have a heart for Greece (maybe you have been there on vacation) then you can support the street work in Athens by making a donation to NL91RABO0118582275  BIC: RABONL2U Traveling Light, Papendrecht, The Netherlands. make sure to mention ATHENS.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Christmas gifts for sailors

Christmas is still more than a month away, but preparations are already in full swing here and there to put together Christmas packages. This is so for companies, organizations, families, and seafarer's evangelist Alexander Eberson.

This year he plans to hand out a large number of Christmas packages again to the sailors in the ports of Terneuzen and Ghent. He writes in his newsletter:

The month of December is a very suitable time for me as a port evangelist to tell something about the birth of our Savior through the Christmas packages. This year I want to put together 300 Christmas packages for the sailors.

In the picture you can see what's in a package this year: a pair of socks, a shampoo, a notebook with a pen, a roll of mentos, a chocolate bar, a game, and a scarf. There is also a tract and a Christmas card in each package. Will you help again?

Of course, we will help. It is such a heartwarming idea to surprise the crew of ships from all over the world with a gift this Christmas! They are often far from home for an extended time and just letting them know that people are thinking about them, is great.

👉The price of each Christmas package is 6 euro. 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 hope for your quick response because we would prefer to make a donation to Alexander at the beginning of December so that he can go shopping.

Making others happy, will make you happy too! We look forward to your donations, thank you in advance.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Greetings from Mission Return in Belarus

Earlier this year, we were able to donate a wonderful gift of 5,000 euro to Mission Return (Teen Challenge) in Belarus to support one of the twelve (!) drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, the one in the Lyahovichi district.

There are 10 men in the center, some of whom are disabled. There are only a few small churches in the area that support them financially. So they made a plan to turn the center into a functioning dairy farm.

The money we sent was intended for the purchase of dairy cows, the renovation of an existing cowshed, and the purchase of a small milking machine, dairy refrigerator, and a machine for producing milk products. 👉 A few weeks ago we received photos and a report.

It is so nice to read how our donations were welcomed. They purchased three dairy cows. In the meantime, a calf has been born and two more calves are on the way! Yes, once there is a small beginning...

All the necessary machinery and a small generator have been acquired and at the moment they produce 800 liters of milk every month. A little less than half of that is being used to make sour cream and cottage cheese, which they sell to generate some income.

The other half is for personal use, of course. Just think about how much they will need to feed between 10 and 15 men every day.

It is great to read how the center is moving towards partial self-sufficiency. Taking care of the cows and making and selling the products are also part of the daily chores.

On behalf of director Michael Balakirev and the men in the program, thank you very much for this gift! It was an enormous help for them and they regard it as a blessing that funds have been collected for them in the Netherlands.

Please, pray for Belarus. For stability, peace, tranquility, and freedom to continue to do this Christian work.

By the way, another project in Belarus will be up on this blog soon. GIFTS (large and small) for all our projects are always welcome and can be directed at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Project insulation girl's home and church, Moldova

It has been two years already since we visited Johannes and Charlotte Petersen in Moldova.

They are the founders of Pilgrims International and have lived in Moldova for almost 25 years. Unfortunately, there has been no opportunity to visit them this year 😭

In addition to churches and rehab centers, Johannes and Charlotte also founded a girls' home, a safe place for girls who were in life-threatening situations (such as human trafficking).

In the past, we have been able to give financial gifts for the construction of the girl's home 'Pilgrim House'.

That work has now been expanded and since last year there is also a Pilgrim House 2. An apartment with room for more girls, situated in the same building where the church is located. When we were there, everything was still under construction.

Funds are currently being collected to insulate that building. Last winter (the first winter for the girls in Pilgrim House 2) there were problems with moisture and mold. External insulation with 100 mm fireproof polystyrene is the solution in this case., which will also help to keep the utility bill low.

At the same time, the facade will be reconstructed so that the church entrance can be moved to the front of the building (which is a bit friendlier of course). This will also be the entrance to the children's and youth clubs, a coffee house, and spaces where more activities can take place.

Work has already begun at the rear of the building. The work is being carried out by local contractors and hopefully this job will also provide a great opportunity to introduce them to the good news!

If you would like to help with a donation for this project, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. make sure to mention MOLDOVA.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Investing in human lives

This year we obviously travel less than in previous years, so we are more dependent on maintaining contacts via email and social media. We recently received photos and a long letter from our friends in Belarus.

We have supported the work of Mission Return several times over the past few years. One of their projects was the completion of the second floor of the women's shelter 'Overnight home'. Director Sergey Tsupa writes in his letter to Traveling Light:

"We sincerely thank you and all who financially participated in the major overhaul and improvement of the second floor. Due to your support, we were able to restore the walls, floors, windows, to buy bathroom accessories, and to install doors.

Previously, we only had one room for women who suffered from domestic violence. During the past four years, we were able to help 24 women and 22 children. Now that the second floor is finished, we have 5 rooms, so we can accept more women with children who suffer from hardships – people from vulnerable groups.

The new rooms are separated from the homeless shelter we operate in the same building, which satisfies a claim of the authorities concerning sanitary regulations and hygienic safety.

So, now we have already accepted 48 women. Some from prison, some without a home, some without documents, and some without a job, but all willing to change their lives. With God’s help, they were able to come back to full life, to find a job, to restore relations with their relatives, and even to start a family.

Tatiana (see picture) married Alexandr (who was in one of our rehabs). She is now a member of our local church, has found work and accommodation, and she got her child back.

Natalia is now also married. She completed the rehabilitation program, was set free by God's power and grace and is now affiliated with the church in the Svetlogorsk region. The women often take up volunteer work in the 'Overnight home' and /or the church. 

The women in our center have the possibility to hear the Word of God, to come to the Lord with repentance, to accept His love, to believe in His forgiveness, to turn their backs to sin, and to live the holy life. They do not only get spiritual help but also food, night lodging, clothes, and other things.

Our goal is to promote the restoration of the whole personality - to become mentally healthy, emotionally balanced, socially adapted, spiritually alive, and to become a part of a local church, society, and a family."

What an encouraging message from Belarus! Too important not to share. Your donations are not just money you give away. No, they are investments in human lives. How awesome is that!

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

👉Please pray for Belarus and the work of Mission return.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Project Streha home Teen Challenge Albania

About a year ago, we wrote about the Teen Challenge drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that was due to open its doors in Albania. The center has now been running for several months and the first students are living there.

The house has been thoroughly renovated and refurbished and in the picture you can see how beautiful it has become.

Two weeks after the official opening of the house back in March, Albania faced a lockdown (as did many other countries) and no students could be admitted. In June the first guest was allowed to finally enter. Blessings!

Orges Hysenaj
, the director and founder of Teen Challenge Albania, oversees four coffee houses in the country, where homeless and addicted people are welcome and often have a first encounter with the Bible and God's love.

If they desire so, they can sign up for the residential program (which consists of individual and group lessons, Bible studies, and practical work in and around the house). They must make the decision to really want a new beginning in  life.

Teen Challenge's work in Albania can continue thanks to donations. Traveling Light would like to bless them this autumn with a donation for running this center (think of food, gas, light, rent, materials, transportation, etc.).

Will you help us again? If you have a heart for Albania and want to 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.

THANK YOU for your gifts and prayers!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Laptops for Teen Challenge Ukraine

As you probably know by now, each month the proceeds from our coffeehouse/shop Twinkeltje and the retro/vintage shop in Atelier-Café De Schor are going towards a Traveling Light project.

The proceeds from July went to the work of Teen Challenge among drug addicts and homeless people in Ukraine to buy 2 laptops for the Simcha women's home in Berdichev and one for the Freedom rehabilitation home in Kovel.

The laptops have now been purchased and put into use. The men and women in the program can now take online classes, church services, and Bible studies, when travel is not available.

For many of them, it is the first time they are coming in contact with the gospel, often after years of addiction. In addition to daily Bible studies, counseling, and group lessons are part of the program.

Thanks to you it is possible for them to stay connected online with others, especially with the coming winter just around the corner. The pictures show how happy they are with the laptops.

This month, the proceeds of our stores will go to the work of Radko Kratsov among the Roma community in Bulgaria. We always have a practical and manageable goal for our donations ... and personal contacts of course.

Come and visit us on Friday in De Schor or on Saturday afternoon in Twinkeltje. Twinkeltje's door is currently open for prayer every evening from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. We participate in the 10 days of prayer and fasting as part of The Return (to God).

Donations are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Our next project is Teen Challenge Albania.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Travels in Italy

For the past 7 or 8 years we have organized workweeks in Italy. With a group of volunteers we would stay in Casa Shalom, the guesthouse of Comunita Brezzano.

Unfortunately, we did not succeed in getting a group together this year. Nevertheless, we (Jan and Marja) decided to go to Italy and visit a number of people within our network. Perhaps, encouragement is more needed than ever before!

We first went to visit Francesca Spataro who translates Marja's books into Italian. We listened, talked, laughed, and prayed together. Very nice. Nel mio Nome is now available online through the distributor as well as in Italian bookstores. 

Then, we drove on to Comunita Brezzano in beautiful Tuscany, where we spent some delightful days. We did some small jobs, but mainly talked with and listened to our friend Maria Meier who runs the community.

The Italians went through a lot this year and many conversations are about the pain their nation is experiencing.

Marja also wrote the first (draft) chapters for a new book in the series about the Ten Commandments in the 21st century.

Years ago, Traveling Light made a donation for the completion of the jam kitchen in the Comunita. Maria is always inventing new recipes: fig and grape jam with cashew nuts. The jam is mainly sold in Switzerland.

And finally, we spent time on the east coast of Italy with Roberta Rapezzi (see picture below). We have known her for years from the Teen Challenge conferences where she is always working as an interpreter. She is a proofreader of Marja's Italian books. It was very good to meet and spend time together.

We realized again, more than ever, that the 💓 of Traveling Light is a spiritual ministry. Meet people, keep in touch, talk, listen, pray, and above all encourage ... whenever and wherever!

And yes, financial support of course. After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Donations are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. We are currently raising funds for Teen Challenge in Austria.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Project Teen Challenge Austria

It is always a special moment when we can announce a project in a 'new' country. Up until now, we have not supported a project in Austria, although we have been in contact with Mirko and Maria Mitrovic for years. They are the directors of Teen Challenge (Reset) in Austria.

Mirko is originally from Serbia, where he went through the Teen Challenge program to deal with his addictions. A program where he also first experienced the love and grace of God.

He now lives with Maria and their two children in Vienna. Teen Challenge does not have a residential rehab center in Austria, so Mirko sends addicts and/or homeless people who agree to get help, to programs in neighboring countries.

They do have a weekly coffee house breakfast meeting in Vienna where people can come for fellowship and wholesome talk and where they sometimes hear words from the Bible for the very first time in their lives.

In addition to the meetings in the coffee house, they have street outreach. There are more people with life controlling issues in Vienna than we can imagine. Mirko brings hope by sharing his own testimony.

Furthermore, drug and alcohol prevention classes are given in schools and by invitation, they present the work of Teen Challenge in various churches. There are also 'Reset' outreach teams in the cities of Amstetten and Graz.

Mirko is currently looking for a facility for Teen Challenge, where a coffee house can be opened, counseling sessions can be given and other meetings will be organized.

We wholeheartedly support the work of the 'Reset' team and would also like to do our bit to bring HOPE to the homeless and addicts in Austria.

Jesus said: Go into the world and make disciples of all nations. This can be done by reaching people, one by one, with a message of hope, forgiveness, and life!

If you have a heart for this work, you can send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: TC AUSTRIA

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

Monday, July 27, 2020

Project Nes Farm Teen Challenge, Czech Republic

It has been quite a few years since we supported a project of Teen Challenge Czech Republic. Some of you may remember the coffee bus for outreach purposes among the homeless and addicted.

It has also been a few years since we visited the center, but fortunately, we can keep in touch via emails and social media.
The faith based center for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Poštovice currently houses 15 men and 4 women. Two of the women will soon get their children back into care and they will have them in the program. That is very nice!

The men's rehabilitation home is just outside the city of Prague in a beautiful 12th century, former monastery. One of the buildings on the premises has been converted into a women's home.

Teen Challenge recently started the project 'Nes Farm'. In one of the big barns on the premises, they started a product line, processing crops, fruit, and veggies  from their own land. On their FB page you can see photos of the various natural products.

Water and sewerage has been brought to the barn (a big job), and the roof needs to be renovated. The students do the work on and around the land and all kinds of Nes Farm products are now being added. In this way the residents learn new skils and eventually income will be provided to run the center.
It is really great how they work together as a community on all these products. Remember, that they are all people with a sad story on how they took a detour in life with costly consequences. But...  the sunny side is, they have also taken the opportunity to have a new beginning in life.

Jirka and Gabriela Zavadzka are the directors there. They did not have a recent photo, so here's one from a few years back 😀 We always like to introduce the people behind the projects. We have met them at conferences and other meetings.

Any help is very welcome at the moment: a visit, prayers, finances, etc. We hope to visit them later this summer. In any case, we can make them happy now with a gift to continue their beautiful, hopeful work.

You can send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: TC Czech.

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

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Visit to Switzerland

Just like last year, we received an invitation to come to Zurich for the annual meeting of Comunita Brezzano. In addition, also for leading a brainstorm meeting and for conducting a seminar about the theme 'identity'. A full weekend.

Of course, it was also an opportunity to share meals together and to catch up on life, in short: to strengthen the friendships!

We have supported this ministry for years, through our workweeks in their therapeutic community in Italy and also with financial donations for the construction and maintenance of the rehab homes that our good friend Maria Meier is running there.

For the first time in months, we were on the road again throughout Europe, exciting and nice. The meetings were held in the Evangelical Methodist Church in Zurich, where there was sufficient room for everyone.

We generated ideas about the future of Comunita Brezzano as a non-profit organization, about the possibilities of rehab homes, street work and discipleship in Switzerland and about alternative ways to use guest house Casa Shalom in Tuscany.

It was an inspiring weekend, everyone went home encouraged!

Unfortunately, we (Jan and Marja) received a message early Sunday morning that mother Verschoor had passed away and so we had to drive home earlier than planned.

At the end of August, we will visit Maria Meier in Italy.

Donations are always welcome at St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. We are currently raising funds for Teen Challenge in the Republic of Georgia.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Project Teen Challenge Georgia

We are currently raising money for the expansion of the CIC Mission Training Center in Georgia.

The proceeds from our shop Twinkeltje over the month of June were also for a project in Georgia, namely the work of Teen Challenge among the homeless and addicted. The total was 1,400 euro (yeah!).

Of course, that amount will go entirely to the intended goal, but we would like to double it (at least). Teen Challenge in Tbilisi has a number of projects that we could help with.

For example finances for the further construction of the international training center, the conversion of a van into a coffee bus, and the start-up of a production line for making plastic and aluminum windows and doors.

Yes yes, they are always full of good ideas. Physical work is also a daytime activity for the men in the program, while street work is the way to get in touch with other needy people, and setting up businesses helps to generate income so that a higher degree of self-sufficiency can be achieved.

We have visited Teen Challenge in Georgia a number of times and have seen for ourselves the impact of the program, the Bible studies, the activities, and the fellowship among the men. They know they are loved and forgiven!

Livan (see photo), for example, got a new life and a shirt from Traveling Light 😁

If you want to participate in doubling the 1,400 euro from Twinkeltje, please send your gift to St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and do not forget to mention: TC Georgia.

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

Monday, June 22, 2020

Project expansion CIC Mission training center, Georgia

We have written several times on our blog about the work of CIC Mission in Georgia.

Their training center, a Bible school and vocational school in one, is full of (new) believers from (especially) Iran and Azerbaijan. Work is currently underway to expand the facilities, including a women's  dorm.

The CIC Mission farm offers employment to students and people from the village and provides partial income to run the school. A lot of work is being done and people in the area have noticed! See also our message about the farm that we wrote last year.

Reza and Tamarika Nadirashvili live near the center with their daughter Sara Elizabeth. We got to know Reza (founder of CIC Mission) and his family years ago, during a visit to Georgia.

Funds are currently being collected for the expansion of the school (and in particular for the women's dormitory). A certain amount is needed for the construction of the dormitory and another amount for the furnishing (beds, tables, chairs), washing machine, lighting, and heating. We have received a specified list, but we assume that you all understand it costs to build.

A few years ago we sent a donation for the construction of a cow shed and the purchase of good dairy cows from the Netherlands. It is about time we will go there and say hi 😀

The vision of CIC Mission is equal to the one we have at Traveling Light: Go, and make disciples of all nations. It is their desire to see to it that every Iranian and Persian person has heard about the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to finish the task of the Great Commission among these people groups.

You can (indirectly) help to disciple the nations by sending a gift to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U, make sure to mention WOMEN's DORM.
USA supporters: CIC Mission is considered an approved 501c3 by the US government, so tax-deductible receipts can be provided.