Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Travel and project updates

About a month ago, we wrote on this news blog that we had plans to go to Comunita Brezzano in Italy for a work week in April.

Well, we will go this week with a group of volunteers and help to level the path to Casa Shalom (which is located on top of a mountain).

In 2013 we stayed at Casa Shalom for the first time, with a group, and since then we have returned almost every year.

Casa Shalom is a family home that lives up to its name. A wonderful place for a retreat, group meeting, or prayer week. We will definitely enjoy it and report back soon!

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After that week in Italy, we will go to the Europe Teen Challenge conference in the first week of May, this time being held in Warsaw, Poland.

This annual conference is always a great opportunity for us to meet staff, students, and volunteers from the various Teen Challenge rehab programs all over Europe.

Ron Brown will be the main speaker in Warsaw. We know him from California! We also saw Marja's name on the program 😀

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We are currently raising funds for the Teen Challenge rehabilitation center in Slovenija. We wrote about this in our previous post. We will undoubtedly meet in Warsaw. The photo is from a recent graduation ceremony, showing guys who have beaten their addictions and successfully finished the program.

Earlier this month the men went to a conference in Sarajevo, they made a video of it which is fun to watch!

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The project of the month in Twinkeltje and Atelier de Schor is the work of Brian Slater and Abundant Bread of Salvation in Israel. So, that's where the total revenue from the stores will go at the end of the month.

They need our support now more than ever. You can also transfer a specified donation, but make sure to include ISRAEL.

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We can always use your donations to support all these wonderful projects and programs. You can send a donation in different ways:
  • 💛Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention which project or country
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉You can also donate directly via our website!
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC SLOVENIJA.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Project support for Teen Challenge Slovenija

The Teen Challenge drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Slovenija was one of the first projects we supported as Traveling Light.

In 2010, the house (then still a rental) opened its doors and soon there were three men in the program, ready to start a new life.

In 2011, a few months after the launch of  Traveling Light, we posted an appeal on our blog to raise funds for the purchase of a chainsaw.

And wow, a lot has happened since then. The purchase of that one chainsaw ultimately resulted in a professional company that cuts and prunes trees. A form of income for running the center.

Nowadays, between 8 and 18 men stay in the center at a time. Often for a year, sometimes longer. In 2021, plans were made to renovate and expand the existing center so that even more men with life-threatening problems could find a place there.

Applying for permits and the right papers is a long-term process. Raising the necessary funds, in addition to the daily activities, was (and still is) a challenge. About a year ago, the news came that 70% of their monthly support (coming from the USA) would be stopped.

Despite the bureaucratic and financial setbacks, the entire team of staff and volunteers sees the hand of God in their work every day. Lives are changed, marriages are restored, families are reunited, men complete the program with good results. It's always worth it!

Last June, Jan visited (by motorcycle) and was so encouraged (as always) by the testimonies of the men!

We would really like to help Teen Challenge Slovenija with a donation for the daily running of the center. We hope you will join us 💓 You can send a donation in different ways:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention TC SLOVENIJA.
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉You can also donate directly via our website!
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC SLOVENIJA.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Project farm rehab 'Centar Duga', Serbia

It has already been a year since we were able to send a donation to the food parcel project 'Ruka za Druga' (which means 'Hand for a Friend'), part of the Protestant Christian Fellowship in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Pastor Dusan Beredji (known to us as Bera) regularly sends news items about his church's homeless project and also about the drug and alcohol rehab center 'Centar Duga'.

What started 15 years ago as a small shelter to help addicts, has over the years expanded to a center with 30 beds!

Men with life-threatening problems can go there for a long-term rehabilitation program.

The rehab center is largely self-sufficient thanks to a moving van service, a chicken farm, and vegetable greenhouses. They also gladly receive donations.

Bera would like to see the farm expanded with more greenhouses and chicken coops and a pigsty.

The farm has multiple objectives:

  • It enables a reduction in food costs for the beneficiaries - by improving their nutrition and through the sale of surplus products.
  • It contributes to the path of self-sustainability, which is the goal, by reducing overall costs.
  • It serves as a therapeutic work component for the center's beneficiaries.
  • It provides beneficiaries with a sense of self-worth, as their work contributes to the center's operations.
  • Beneficiaries acquire new skills that can benefit them in their future lives.

We would like to help them with a donation to expand the farm, to build new greenhouses, buy seeds and plants, etc. etc. If you also want to help....

Your donations for the work in Novi Sad 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 CENTAR DUGA.

💳 Give by card

👉You can also donate directly through our website!

We really like these kinds of practical projects. Jan has visited the center and has seen with his own eyes how they run the center on a daily basis, and how lives are being changed there, every day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Project refugee housing Teen Challenge Armenia

In recent years we have supported the work of Teen Challenge in Armenia on different occasions. Directors Gagik & Lusine Mkrtchyan run a drug and alcohol rehab center there.

In addition to their own five children, they have taken in ten orphans and are active in humanitarian work among the poor, widows, and orphans.

Last year they started a new initiative. During the Europe Teen Challenge conference in Milan last November, we had time to catch up with the Mkrtchyans. They have taken in several refugees from both Ukraine and Russia on a piece of land where they have built a small home.

These people have been living there for a while now. In addition to helping them with recovery from addictions, Gagik & Lusine also share the gospel. A real eye-opener for the guests. If we have the peace of Christ in our hearts, we can live in peace with each other. Yes, even as neighbors.

The residents work the land, look after each other, help Gagik where necessary, and will build a second floor on the existing house (!) so that even more refugees can be accommodated.

We would like to encourage them with a gift that can be used to purchase building materials. If you want to join us in raising funds for them, you can send your donation in different ways:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and make sure to mention TC ARMENIA.
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉You can also donate directly via our website!
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC ARMENIA.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Ice skating fundraiser brings in 8,800 euro for TC women's home Romania

A shout-out to our ice skaters! Both Albert and Krijn completed the 200 km ride on the Weissensee last week.

We can all look back with thankful hearts to their fundraiser that brought in eighty-eight hundred euros for the Teen Challenge women's rehab home 'House of Joy' in Romania.

The center offers a safe place for women who struggle with addictions, homelessness, prostitution etc. and it offers the opportunity to start a new life!

Albert van de Graaf and Krijn Donk rode the grueling tour on the Weissensee in Austria on January 26 and 30 respectively. The 200 km ice skating tour wasn't an easy task, both skaters encountered a lot of hardships during the day due to falls and deteriorating ice as a result of temperatures just above zero.

After several hours, the ice turned into a slush in which the skaters found themselves stuck. Cracks were no longer visible and that, in addition to fatigue, was the reason for the many falls. Both men really wanted to finish the tour and not disappoint their sponsors and they eventually reached the finish line in one piece!

The support for their campaign was overwhelming and the amount of 8,800 euros will entirely benefit the Teen Challenge women's center 'House of Joy' in Romania.

Funds are needed for maintenance and expansion work, such as installing outdoor lighting, creating additional parking spaces for visitors and workers, expanding sanitary facilities, and completing the classroom and studio in the backyard.

On behalf of Traveling Light, the skaters would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to this successful fundraiser. We will keep you informed about the work on the women's house through this blog.

By the way, donations are always welcome, for we have many projects on our waiting list that need sponsoring. 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.

💳 Give by card

👉You can also donate directly via our website!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Project updates and activities

Kind regards from our Teen Challenge friends in Berdychiv, Ukraine.

On November 3rd, we wrote a message about the daily happenings in the various rehab centers there (you can read that message HERE).

We were able to send them a nice gift of 5,000 euros that will be used, among other things, for repairs and maintenance of the houses. Something that had been planned for some time, was repairs and renovation of the boiler room.

Thanks to your generous donations, they have been able to purchase materials and work can resume (always a useful part of the rehabilitation process, by the way).

Just before the end of the year, we were able to transfer another gift of 5,000 euros (THANK YOU!!!). This time for the purchase of a house that will serve as a home for staff, visitors, and volunteers. More news about that soon!

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Also warm greetings from Moldova. Our friends from Pilgrims and Teen Challenge organized their winter aid campaign for the 19th time.

The fuel and food packages meet a huge need, each package contains approximately 12 to 13 kilos of food!

The men set off again with the Steyer truck to distribute the packages. Thanks to your donations, we were able to bless them with a gift of 3,000 euros for this project. Thank you.

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We also received a newsletter and photos from Port Evangelist Alexander Eberson. We were also able to transfer a nice gift of 2,000 euros to his organization Living Water.

Especially during December, he visited many sailors on seafaring vessels in the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen... the men are often away from home for a long time. He handed out Christmas packages, was allowed to pray with crew members, read the Bible, and had many conversations.

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On Wednesday, January 24th, we will organize another mission evening in Twinkeltje. We are looking forward to have a visitor from Lithuania... a Dutchman, that will be. Willem Vandijk will tell his story of how he ended up from Holland in Ireland and later on in Lithuania, where he founded the Vilties Inkaras (Anchor of Hope) non-profit foundation.

It promises to be an inspiring evening. We look forward to your arrival. Entry from 7:30 PM. WELCOME!

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Project coffeehouse work Teen Challenge Albania is still a current project for fundraising and of course the Weissensee fundraiser for the women's house in Romania is up and running. So, you see, plenty to do and give away 😁.

PS: Click on the photos if you want to see larger ones!

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.
  • 💳 Give by card

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Weissensee fundraiser for Teen Challenge women's home, Romania

It's January again, the month of our most exciting fundraising campaign of the year.

Albert van de Graaf (Bleskensgraaf) and Krijn Donk (Papendrecht) have signed up for speed ice skating on respectively January 30 and 26,  on the Weissensee in Austria. They are planning to go for 200 km!

The skaters want to raise money with their performance for a great project: House of Joy, the Teen Challenge rehabilitation center for women with life controlling problems, just outside Bucharest in Romania.

👉They obviously hope that you will sponsor their fundraising campaign.

House of Joy opened up in 2015 (we visited in 2017). The home can accommodate nine women and four 'interns', which are women who have completed the rehabilitation program and stay on as volunteers to help.

The women who come to Teen Challenge have often struggled with life-threatening problems, such as drug and alcohol addiction, prostitution, crime, homelessness, and physical and psychological challenges, for a long time.

In House of Joy they not only find a safe place to live, but for many, it is also the first time they are introduced to the love and grace 💗of Jesus Christ.

House of Joy continues to exist thanks to donations from loyal donors. Funds for daily operations are always needed, but several things have been on their wish list for a while.

Practical things in and around the house, that benefit living and working conditions, such as:

  • the construction of two official parking spaces at the house (for the workers)
  • the renewal and expansion of sanitary facilities
  • installing outdoor lighting and
  • finishing the rooftops of the two container units in the back yard that serve as classroom and studio, and a canopy and seating area all around.

Albert and Krijn want to raise the necessary funds to make these home improvements a reality. It is possible to sponsor them individually with an amount per kilometer, with an amount for reaching the finish, or with a general amount

👉If you decide to participate, send an email stating the amount you want to give to krijncora@gmail.com. We then keep track of the pledges, which is always exciting!

You can also send a donation directly:

  • to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U. Make sure to mention TC ROMANIA
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC ROMANIA

🠈Georgiana Dragan-Moldoveanu is the director of House of Joy. Georgiana grew up in a violent environment, with an alcoholic father. Although she was an incredibly smart student, as a teenager she started to look for love and acceptance in the wrong places. At the age of 20 she started to use heroin.

From being an incredible student with a career ahead, she ended up sleeping on the streets, stealing, begging, and even selling her body for money. In 2009, she ended up in detox, completely hopeless, to the point of having her leg amputated due to heroin injections. That was the moment she cried out to God for help. 

After she regained her life and went through a rehab program, God planted in her heart a strong desire to help other women going through the pain of addiction, trauma, and abuse. In 2014, she was blessed to marry the love of her life, Mihai, a former rocker who had an interest in satanism.

WE BELIEVE AND INVEST IN CHANGED LIVES! WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Project coffee house work Teen Challenge Albania

👉First of all, we would like to wish you all a blessed 2024. Hopefully, it will be another year in which we can support many projects together that change people's lives.

Thank you very much for the recent gifts we received. We were able to transfer 5,000 euros to Teen Challenge Ukraine for the purchase of a house near the women's home in Berdychiv!

We also mentioned the work of Teen Challenge in Albania in the previous news blog. We stay informed about life in the rehabilitation center in Albania through newsletters and social media messages.

Director Gesi Hysenaj writes; 'The center is full and we are grateful for the men. Our coffee house in Tirana is also busy.' A coffee house is often the first place where addicts hear that help is available, that addiction does not have the last word.

By having conversations, sharing testimonies, and offering a listening ear, it is possible to reach men who are seeking true freedom from their life-controlling problems. This is true for anyone seeking help, whether they have a Muslim, Atheist, or Orthodox background.

The point is that they are coming into contact with the love and grace of Jesus Christ, often for the first time.

Addicts and the homeless are also reached through street evangelism. It is also nice to hear that many people have now found Teen Challenge and are asking for help.

This year, Gesi would like to see the men in the program become more involved in the coffee house work. They can address those still stuck in addiction like no other.

We would like to support them at the beginning of this new year with a donation for the coffee house work (rental building, coffee/tea, books, Bibles, and other materials). In any case, support is always needed to run the center, because almost everything is paid for by donations.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so in different ways:

  • Send a donation to St. Traveling Light, Papendrecht IBAN: NL91RABO0118582275 BIC: RABONL2U and don't forget to mention TC ALBANIA
  • 💳 Give by card
  • 👉When in the USA, make your tax-deductible gift payable to EEO Inc. Make sure to mention TC ALBANIA.

Thank you again for your help!