Education—Childhood and Adolescent
Jelena Hristov is a translator in a Christian school and a counselor.
When did you trust Christ?
When I was 14 years old, I came to a Protestant church for the first time in my life. Although I believed that God existed, I didn’t know much about Him, nor about Jesus Christ, since I came from an Orthodox background. I first came to a Christian music concert, and I liked the music and the lyrics which the artist sang. Soon after that, I started going to meetings for teenagers, and I liked those as well. There I heard the Gospel. With a leader of that ministry I prayed the sinner’s prayer, repented of my sins, and invited Jesus to come into my life.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
Some of the defining moments in my Christian walk were those teenagers’ meetings. There I met peers who showed me sincere love, understanding, and acceptance. I wasn’t very social back then (because I was bullied in elementary school), but after I started going to those meetings and to church services, I became more social, and I could be who I really am with my friends in church.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
I would like to return to the Forum because I would like to grow more as a leader and as a person who likes to study and improve her knowledge about counseling. I will get to know people from different countries, areas of ministry, and especially my colleagues – psychologists and counsellors who will be able to share their knowledge and practical experience with me, so that I can learn more about Christian and pastoral counseling.
What is your ministry?
My current ministry is full-time ministry of translating in a Bible School, but I don’t think it will be my primary ministry for long. I believe that my ministry will involve Christian counseling primarily, and teaching integrated psychology to young people as well. Since I have come to know many students in the school, I have started some non-formal counseling with some of the girls. I want to listen to them, encourage and comfort them, teach them about God and Christian life, and be there for them in time of need.
What are your past leadership roles?
My past leadership roles mostly include my ministry with teenagers, youth and university students. I was involved in a leadership team for youth ministry in my church for almost 3 years. I was helping in organizing meetings and Bible studies. Connected with that, I was also a part of a team for organizing summer camps for teenagers and youth, which lasted for 6 years. During my years as a university student, I was a part of the IFES leadership team, and I was involved in organizing meetings for students, and lectures from famous Christian professors and Bible teachers on campus (like John Lennox and Michael Green).
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
There is no Christian school where I can study counseling in Serbia. I would like study Christian counseling, whether in the United States, England, or Canada, because I know I need more education in theology first, and then more in counseling based on the Bible. If God will lead me in that way and provide that for me through faithful people, I would like to come back to my city or go to another one in Serbia, in order to practice in a church or secular setting.