Dimitra Geraki|| forum funded ::

Dimitra Geraki|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece
Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent
Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors
Ministry Focus:
Discipleship
Dimitra Geraki is a women’s minister in Greece.
When did you trust Christ?
I made my decision to trust Jesus as my Savior back in 1983 during a Christian conference in Germany. I visited the conference with my aunt, who was a Christian. While listening to a sermon I realized that what had been offered to me by God was a huge present and I couldn’t just keep on living my life without accepting it. The speaker addressed those of us who had not yet surrendered to Jesus, explaining the atonement through Jesus’ sacrifice and asking how long it would take until we would finally say “yes” to Him. I prayed aloud asking Christ to come into my life and save me. That was the beginning of my spiritual journey with Jesus.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
When I came back home to Greece after my conversion, my mother, who had been raised in a Christian home but did not have a personal relationship with Jesus, was indifferent when I talked to her about my experience. But my father reacted in a violent way when I told him that from then on, I would attend an evangelical church that was near our house. Being only 16 and still living with my family, I had to face threats that he would burn my Bible if I kept reading it and that he would even come to the church I attended to tell the pastor and the elders that I was acting against his will! This was a hard time for me, but it was also an opportunity to dig deeper in my relationship with Jesus. I kept praying and eventually my mother stood by me and this gradually made my dad calm down and let me go on with my spiritual life.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
I look forward to participating in the European Leadership Forum and its sessions on counseling so that I can be better qualified to understand myself and the characteristics of my personality as I walk in faith, as well as help and support the other women of my church and of the churches of the Koinonia of Evangelical Churches in Greece, whom I serve within the scope of my ministry. I also believe that sharing thoughts and experiences with my fellow Christians from other countries, concerning for instance issues and problems that women face in marriage and personal relationships will be beneficial not only for my sisters in my country but also for Greek women in general, whom we try to lead to Christ.
What is your ministry?
I am in charge of the women’s ministry of the Koinonia of Evangelical Churches in Greece. Our aim is to help Christian women grow spiritually and at the same time reach out to those women around us who have not yet trusted Jesus as their savior. We also feel a burden in our hearts for women of minority groups in Greece, such as the Muslim women in Thrace in the northern part of Greece.
What are your past leadership roles?
In the past, I led women’s Bible studies in my church and organized the curriculum of the Sunday school classes of my church. For the past five years I have been working with elderly people in a Christian nursing home, supporting and helping them in their battle against dementia.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
I believe that the Forum will be really beneficial for my ministry. Greece in its vast majority is an Orthodox country with the Greek people being totally alienated from biblical truth. The Forum will definitely equip me to work alongside my fellow Christians for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom in my country.
Athanasios Papatheodorou|| needs forum funding ::

Athanasios Papatheodorou|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Health/Medicine

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Athanasios Papatheodorou is a medical doctor and church elder.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in a Greek evangelical family. Since 98% of Greeks belong to the Orthodox Church, evangelicals are labeled heretics and are not welcomed in schools or in local communities. When I grew up and enrolled in university, I decided to live my life on my own terms. After messing up my life when I was 21-years-old, Jesus said to me, “Don’t further harden your heart. Repent and I will accept you.” I knelt in my room and I surrendered my life to Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After I became a Christian, I started reading a lot and discovering my new faith. I joined a youth group and became involved in church life. I started helping in children’s summer camps organized by my church. I participated in International Fellowship of Evangelical Students-affiliated Bible study groups. I was involved in working with and organizing church youth groups and youth conferences. After several years I was appointed as an elder in my church, a position that I still serve in today. Besides these things, raising children and the Greek economic crisis have been important parts of my spiritual development.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the European Leadership Forum, I hope to meet other leaders. I hope we can exchange experiences and practical advice on pastoring church members, on church discipline issues, on evangelism, and on church planting. I also hope to find many useful books in the Forum’s bookstore.

What is your ministry?

I am one of the three elders in my church: Marousi Evangelical Church. I am involved in preaching and teaching in the church. I also pastor, mentor, and counsel church members. I am involved in the development of the church. I work regularly at a downtown ministry for the homeless and refugees, where I serve as a counselor and medical doctor.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously a member of the board of the youth committee of Evangelical churches. I organized three national youth conferences. I served as a youth group leader in my church. I have also given public apologetic speeches in evangelistic expeditions in Greece and its islands, and for university campus Bible study groups.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

In Greece we have many immigrants from Muslim and other closed countries that urgently must be evangelized. We currently are expanding our church outreach programs, working among Muslim refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran. Our goal is to form a new church for new converts from those refugees in the downtown Athens area. Multiple issues have to be met, from practical everyday issues to language lessons to counseling for family and marital issues and, of course, Bible teaching.

Dumitrita Militaru|| forum funded ::

Dumitrita Militaru|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Humanitarian Aid

Dumitrita Militaru works for Hellenic Ministries as part of its Mercy Ministries team.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was a child, my grandmother became a believer and took me to church. As a child I continued to attend church and to believe in what God’s Word teaches. I was baptized when I was 16.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My first year attending Romanian Bible University when I was 18 was very impactful. During this time, I received God’s calling to serve as a missionary during a missiology class. This was also when I started to learn about God’s redemptive plans for the world and my place in them. In this season I met people who have had a great influence in my life, including pastors, a missionary leader who became my mentor, and some of my best friends who have encouraged me on my journey.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

We have been working on restructuring our entire organization over the last 2-3 years, as it has grown very much; we are redefining our vision and mission. The Forum has encouraged me to keep faithful to the big dreams that God is placing on my heart. I will return home from the Forum enriched and ready to bless our leadership team and, consequently, our entire ministry with what I learn. Our team is setting the foundations for a leadership training program in Greece that targets both Persian-speaking brothers and sisters and foreigners who want to train in order to go and serve in Muslim countries and bring the gospel there.

What is your ministry?

I serve with Hellenic Ministries as part of the Mercy Ministries team. Mercy Ministries is a branch of Hellenic Ministries that is designed to be Christ’s love in action with a specific focus on serving refugees. Displaced and homeless, persecuted and needy, refugees from North Africa all the way to Central Asia (predominantly Persian-speaking ethnic groups from Afghanistan and Iran) have found themselves in Greece. Through Mercy Ministries these Muslim refugees hear the Gospel proclaimed clearly through the preaching of the Word in their native tongue and see it though acts of kindness.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was our church’s young singles home group leader. I was the coordinator for a volunteer program at Touched Romania, an NGO in Bucharest that focuses on working with abandoned children and women at risk. For several years I was part of the core 10-person team that organized youth ministry camps in Romania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We are currently experiencing a one of a kind moment in Christian history; millions of Muslim refugees from the most strict and unreached places on the planet are coming to Europe, escaping violent and restrictive contexts. Our ministry believes this is a great opportunity that the church should not miss. The church can use this time to impact these refugees with love, truth, and hope. This is a type of work that might feel momentary because of its intense rhythm and need for immediate response; it’s impact, however, can last. We are working to impact a whole generation of Muslim people from Central Africa with Christ’s truth and love.

Emmanouil Tzamtzis|| forum funded ::

Emmanouil Tzamtzis|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Emmanouil Tzamtzis is the Executive Secretary of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Greece.

When did you trust Christ?

By the grace of God, I was born in a Christian family in Kavala (ancient Neapolis). I was brought up in the local church listening to the word of God. When I was around six-years-old, my sister challenged me with the Gospel. Two years later, I closed the door of my room, knelt down and prayed, asking Jesus into my life. I remember filling with joy and professing faith a few days later at a youth conference. I was eight-years-old. At the age of 14, during another church conference, I also recall the need I felt to give up everything and dedicate my whole life to God. That was another signpost in my spiritual life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

He, in His providence, brought people into my life who stamped my life with Him. One particular group of missionaries regularly visited my city and cultivated within me the value of mission and the spread of the message of God’s grace. Other brothers stood for me as a spiritual parents and shepherded me in my path of God. The example of my parents, who for 15 years served my grandmother in my home, was another great influence on me. They showed me how to serve the needs of others and how God can transform this into a blessing for His glory.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum is so helpful for me because I learn and will continue to learn how to be a suffering leader, a persevering leader, a reconciling leader, and a wounded leader. It is an opportunity to grow an learn more about discipleship, as I strongly believe in multiplying the church in this way and I see the value of it in our context.

What is your ministry?

At the moment I am working for the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Greece, which is a fellowship of 9 churches, as Executive Secretary. Furthermore, I am serving Maroussi Church as the secretary of the elders council. I am also involved in the preaching team of my church.

What are your past leadership roles?

From the early years of my studies, I have been actively involved in student ministry as a member of the student council of the Association of Christian Evangelical Students (ETHOS-SXEF/IFES GREECE). In this ministry I remained active for three years and through that I realized the depth of God’s Word and its impact on my life.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My role in my ministry could be important for the future of the church in Greece. My role in the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in Greece as Executive Secretary is important and challenging for the effort of homogenization of the churches, rebuilding where it is necessary, and the implementation of the mission of our fellowship. I feel that I need networking, mentoring, and to be equipped for that role to accomplish the mission that God has given to me.

Argyris Petrou|| forum funded ::

Argyris Petrou|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Scientists

Ministry Focus:
Education

Argyris Petrou is a pastor, author, and national evangelical leader as well as a faculty member at the Greek Bible Institute in Athens. He describes himself simply as a missionary whose calling is writing in order to make God’s Word accessible in various situations.

When did you trust Christ?

I repented of my sins and came to Christ as a young boy. I heard the teaching of Jesus in an evangelistic meeting and asked Christ into my heart.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My third son had open-heart surgery on his first birthday, and this was a very scary time for our family. But Christ was there and He watched over us. More recently, I was thought to have lymphoma. This was another very scary time, but Christ was with me then as well.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a blessing, a time of refreshment and inspiration, not only because of the excellent content but because I am spiritually challenged. I also contact other people in ministry, and I can call them in to help me and network with them.

What is your ministry?

I am a teacher in the Greek Bible Institute, where I teach the New Testament, theology, evangelism, and apologetics. I am also a pastor as well as the president of the Greek Evangelical Alliance, and I speak in various locations to many different kinds of people. In addition, I write a lot – more than 150 magazine articles as well as four books.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

As I said, Greece needs spiritual revival, and many young people are not talking about their faith. We need to train young people in God’s Word at the Greek Bible Institute so they will be better able to influence Greek society for Christ.

Anthoula Intzigianni|| forum funded ::

Anthoula Intzigianni|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Social Services

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Anthoula Intzigianni is the hospitality and program coordinator for Community House Damaris, an organization that works with human trafficking victims.

When did you trust Christ?

I had heard about Jesus from a young age, but I didn’t know Him personally until the age of 18. At that time He spoke to me through my reading of the Bible and through some people in my church. I surrendered to Him and I have been walking with Him ever since.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

A defining moment in my life was the three years I spent attending Bible school. I grew up so much during those years, personally and spiritually. I came to know the Lord more. I learned how to trust Him and abandon my life in His hands. During my final year in Bible school God called me to work with trafficked women.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My attending the European Leadership Forum will strengthen the impact our organization has in the lives of at-risk women and their children. The knowledge and experience I receive will make us more effective in assisting women in the process of rehabilitation because these women’s lives have been shaped by what they have gone through.

What is your ministry?

I work for an organization that provides a safe house for trafficked women and that offers them a program for recovery and for being trained for a new life. I am a house mother and a program coordinator. As a house mother I live with women who are victims of human trafficking and help them to feel safe. I help them learn life skills and how to live with others. As the program coordinator Ι organize the daily program of the classes we provide.

What are your past leadership roles?

For 14 years I worked as a kindergarten teacher. I was responsible for the Sunday school program in our church for many years. I also organized camps for children for several years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By supporting me you are investing not only in my training, but also in the lives of trafficked women and their children. Our organization is unique because, although there are other ministries that work with refugees, many of them do not address the long-term needs of refugee women seeking an escape from cycles of abuse and trauma.

Ourania Ioakeimidou|| needs forum funding ::

Ourania Ioakeimidou|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organisations

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Ourania Ioakeimidou is the day program facilitator for Community House Damaris.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to follow Jesus at the age of 13. I attended a Christian summer camp and I realized there what Jesus had done for me. I felt His calling to follow Him and I gave my heart to Him. Since then, I am His follower.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I grew up in a Christian family. My parents have always been an example to me. But the person who really affected my faith is a lady from our church. She has been my spiritual mother. I always take her advice on spiritual matters and challenges that I face. In addition, in 2008 I had my first brain surgery when I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. This experience has been a great opportunity for me to trust Jesus that He leads my life and holds everything in His hands. Last year in September I underwent a second surgery in Hannover, Germany. Jesus took care of everything. I didn’t have a health insurance because I was unemployed. God took care of everything. I was called me to work in the ministry, which also gave me health insurance, which meant that I could have the surgery. Everything went fine and I am really grateful to my heavenly Father!

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum will qualify me to run our ministry program better and help me to be more effective in meeting our participants’ needs. Human resources management is of great importance for an organization.

What is your ministry?

Community House Damaris where I serve is a non-profit organization that works with victims of human trafficking. Currently I serve as the facilitator of the day program of our ministry. I teach classes, do communication for our organization, and provide computer training and other job training for those in our program.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a camp counselor and summer camp teacher for about 8 years now. I have also been a Sunday school teacher for teenagers for many years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Because I teach children and teenagers the Word of God and these people deserve a trained person to help them. Furthermore, in our ministry we need people to lead the program and meet the needs of those escaping human trafficking. Our participants are young mothers with their babies. Individuals will help in saving lives and offering these girls a future.

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