Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Travel updates and lots of thanksgiving

In June and July, we were not only able to send in donations to various projects, but we also traveled quite a lot.

Visiting, showing your face, listening, praying with people, speaking words of encouragement and prophecy, teaching... you name it. It's all part of the traveling work we do on behalf of our non-profit Traveling Light (hence the name!).

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At the beginning of June, we were guests at the 25th anniversary of the Teen Challenge men's center in Sluknov, Czech Republic. Very nice to be there and even nicer that we were approached by several men from the program about the Bible study sessions we gave there in January. One man came running to tell us that his shattered wrist (which he had been unable to use for years) had been healed after we prayed for it. Praise the Lord!

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When we returned home, Jan got on his motorbike and drove to Teen Challenge Slovenija. The next day they went from there with 2 vans and 12 men from the rehab program to the 'My Brother's Keeper' conference in Montenegro.

Hundreds of men from all the Balkan countries gathered there. Those of you who have ever joined Jan for such a conference know that these are very blessed gatherings with lots of prayer, music, liberation, and healing. This time again dozens of men gave their lives to Jesus. Also a number of men from the TC program in Slovenija. Praise the Lord!

After the conference, Jan stayed an extra day in the TC center in Slovenija to teach the Bible a, pray with the men, and speak into their lives. This picture (click on it to enlarge) says more than a thousand words, right?! đź’“

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On the way back home, Jan visited Dirk & Meike Hellmann, they have been directors of the Teen Challenge rehab center Gutes Land in Germany for many years. We have visited them regularly over the years.

Dirk has been struggling with cancer for a long time, he also had a bone marrow transplant and was not doing well. Jan was able to encourage them both, prayed with Dirk, and even went swimming with him (which he really wanted). He visibly improved. Praise the Lord!

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At the beginning of July, we were among the guests of honor at the celebration of 35 years of Teen Challenge in Poland. What a party it was! The celebration took place on the grounds of the men's rehab center in Lekinia, which we have visited several times in the past. There were many visitors, including officials from the city and many former students.

TC Poland has several rehab houses for men and women, a network of 50(!) coffee houses, church plants, and much more. On behalf of Traveling Light we accepted a beautiful glass plaque as an appreciation for the many years of help and support.

Again, it was so encouraging that people came to us who recognized us from previous visits, who remembered what we taught about years ago, or who just wanted to tell us that prayers had been answered. Here too, a lot of gratitude for the work of Traveling Light. Praise the Lord!

On Sunday, 14 men and women were baptized in a nearby lake. What testimonials we have heard!

Only God can restore broken lives, reunite families, save marriages, heal disease, and break addictions.

Among the international guests in Poland were also Stephan & Marianne Barendse from Teen Challenge Netherlands. Good to spend some time together again.

Actually, we visited them in Heerhugowaard at the beginning of June. TC Netherlands is once again going through a difficult time. The Cyan thrift store has closed (they had to leave due to zoning plans in the municipality) and the care department of Life House has also closed (because that was largely paid for by the proceeds of the store).

Prayer is needed on how to proceed.

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Meanwhile, our dear friends, volunteers, and loyal donors Piet & Anneke Stehouwer were vacationing in Croatia and they decided to visit the new Teen Challenge coffee house in Solin, for which we recently collected funds (read here).

They had a blessed meeting with TC director Ico Matulic and the man who runs the coffee house. These kinds of visits and meetings are so important and valuable, believe it or not.

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Both the financial support and the personal visits are the heart of our work. None of this would be possible without your help.

Your donations are always welcome. You can send a gift in different ways, please take note:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention 'general' or otherwise which country or project.
  • đź’ł Give by card

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Project coffee house Belgrade Teen Challenge Serbia

It is just wonderful to see how coffee houses are springing up in the Balkans. It is still (or again) a great way to reach people who are in need of help and a touch from the Lord.

It is easy for people to come in for a cup of coffee and tell their stories, ask questions about the possibility to enter a rehab program, or to hear more about God. Recently, we were able to help Teen Challenge Croatia with a gift for their coffee house ministry and we also want to send support for the newly opened Teen Challenge Coffee House in Belgrade, Serbia.

Belgrade is the Capitol of the Republic of Serbia. It has approximately 2.5 million inhabitants. There are about 80,000 hard drug addicts officially registered in Serbia. It should be added to all that that 500,000 people in Serbia, which has a population of 7 million, are addicted to alcohol. These are official statistics, the actual figures are much higher.

The team members at Teen Challenge Serbia know from personal experience that a way out of addiction is possible. Actually, the only real way to get out of addiction is to accept Jesus Christ by faith and start a new life as His disciples.

All of the team members belong to Lifegate Belgrade church led by Djordje and Dragana Todorović - Gvozdenović, they were among the first students to graduate from the Teen Challenge Serbia program at the time, many years ago. 

In a coffee house setting, addicts will be able to hear the Gospel in an informal atmosphere, be motivated to go to the Teen Challenge residential programs, or accept a Living Free program in the Coffee House.

Although the church provides the space for the coffee house meetings, they still need some finances for furniture, refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits) study materials, etc.

If you have a heart for the broken and hurting people and a heart for the nations of Europe, sow a seed into the work of Teen Challenge in Serbia. You can give in several ways. Please direct your gift at:

  • St. Traveling Light in Papendrecht, IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and don't forget to mention: TC SERBIA
  • đź’ł Give by card
  • 👉When in the USA it is also possible to make a tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention: TC SERBIA.