Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Alena Yasiuk is the Fundraising Manager for IFES Belarus.
When did you trust Christ?
I have believed in God since my early childhood. I prayed and read my children’s Bible regularly; however, I had no contact with any believers and had no idea what following Jesus actually meant. At the age of 13, I went to a Christian camp, where I learned the Gospel and accepted Jesus as my Savior. I got baptized at 16 and have been walking with God ever since.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
The earliest pivotal moment for me was at age 9. I clearly remember crying my eyes out, curled in my bed at night, having realized that I was a sinner and would go to hell. I didn’t know what to do about it; I just knew I deserved eternal punishment. Thankfully, a few years later, I learned the truth of God’s forgiveness and received the gift of eternal life. Another defining moment was a chain of dramatic events, including family deaths and illnesses and some of my unwise dysfunctional patterns. I found myself burned out, physically and mentally exhausted, clinically depressed, with no will to live. It was a wake-up call that helped me reevaluate my understanding of who God is and what He means by calling me to live abundantly. I’ve been on a healing and learning journey for a couple of years.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
As a person with little experience in fundraising for a Christian ministry, I am looking forward to learning more about this ministry’s aspects, especially the theology of fundraising. Many of my fellow team members struggle to ask for financial support and feel guilty, inadequate, and even incapable of providing for themselves. I would appreciate some deeper insight into how to start the paradigm shift in this particular area and encourage them to see fundraising as an act of faith.
What is your ministry?
I have just started my job at IFES Belarus as a Fundraising Manager. My main goal is to expand a national network of donors to allow the Belarusian church community to be a more significant part of the student ministry. Unfortunately, the reality in Eurasia is that most ministries have to depend on international donations. I believe there are opportunities to grow in stewardship.
What are your past leadership roles?
I have been a co-founder and editor of a couple of faith-based media projects. Currently, I am also co-running a Christian arts community.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
I have personally struggled with raising funds for my ministry and failed multiple times. I had to come to terms with the fact that my inability to ask and receive financial support for my ministry stems from guilt and fear. I was recently challenged to let God be Lord over this particular area in my life. Fundraising is still new to me, so I am excited to learn as much as I can and will be grateful for an opportunity to gain wisdom from fellow Christians.