Lidija Usurel|| needs forum funding ::

Lidija Usurel|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania
Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent
Forum Network:
Media Communicators
Ministry Focus:
Counseling
Lidija Usurel is the Assistant Coordinator of the Education Department for the Estera Foundation and a PhD student.
When did you trust Christ?
I was raised by devoted Christian parents. At the age of 14, I understood that I needed a personal Savior, so I committed my life to Christ.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
I was a high school student when I started to understand God’s calling in my life. In a deep desire to help people, I felt prompted to study psychology in Novi Sad, Serbia, but soon I realized this knowledge requires theological underpinnings in order to efficiently and holistically deal with people’s needs. That was when I became involved in a prayer group, through which I met a couple of missionaries. Those missionaries directed and supported the course of my development in theology, first in Timisoara, Romania, and then in Osijek, Croatia. There were theologians, faculty professors, and prayer warriors without whom my endeavors towards becoming who I am today wouldn’t have happened.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
I am currently a PhD student and would love to learn more about issues that are of great interest to other doctoral students throughout Europe through the Forum’s Academic Network.
What is your ministry?
The primary goal of my current ministry in the Education Department of the Estera Foundation is to help young people maintain their physical, psychological, and spiritual personal hygiene by: providing information regarding the complexity of biological, psychological, social, and spiritual changes that occur in adolescence; offering them the skills for developing healthy relationships; empowering them for making good decisions; and assisting and counseling them in their struggles. My interest is also in developing a holistic, theologically-grounded, psychologically-attested, and contextually relevant approach to counseling.
What are your past leadership roles?
From 2002-2005, I was a Sunday school teacher at Elim Pentecostal Church in Timișoara, Romania. From 2005-2006, I was the youth leader at Church of God Pentecostal Church in Vršac, Serbia. From 2010-2013, I was Assistant in the Department of Christian Counseling at Evanđeoski Teološki Fakultet in Osijek, Croatia.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
In Romania, a country where about 9,000 babies are aborted every three days, the Estera Foundation is devoted not only to saving as many lives as possible, but also preventing irresponsible, promiscuous, and dangerous living among young people. The staff at Estera believes that through educating the younger generation to live responsible lives grounded in Christian ethics, we can bring perpetual value to society and reduce the effects of sin.
Raluca Sorhent|| needs forum funding ::

Raluca Sorhent|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Media Communicators

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Raluca Sorhent is involved in youth ministry in Romania.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in a Christian family and loved Jesus from childhood, but He was not the Lord of my life. When I was a teenager, I attended a conference where I decided to follow Jesus for the rest of my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

For ten years I served in a small church as a youth leader and on the worship team. That was a time when God shaped me and helped me grow into the woman I am now.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am convinced I will learn new skills and good strategies that will help me become a better leader. I will also make new Christian friends.

What is your ministry?

I lead a youth group of 15-20 people. We meet once a week at my home and have Bible study, worship time, pray, and enjoy a variety of activities. I meet with each of them one to one to help them to grow spiritually. I am also involved in youth leadership in my church by organizing youth camps and weekly youth meetings.

What are your past leadership roles?

I began with a small group of teenagers. We have weekly meetings for Bible study and to discuss their needs. I also organize different activities, including youth conferences and summer youth camps.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I think there are many individuals who have grown spiritually in a youth ministry. They can invest in the young generation through what I do. Young people will be the leaders of our country in a few years, so we need to make them into strong Christian leaders with a good foundation.

Henrietta Raina|| needs forum funding ::

Henrietta Raina|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Henrietta Raina is a youth worker in Romania

When did you trust Christ?

In 2010, when I was 11, I decided to follow Jesus. My dad is a pastor and that summer we were at a camp organized for pastors and families. Every morning there was a lecture for the kids. One day after the lecture we talked about the end of the world, how near it is and how many signs have begun to happen. I started to think about the end of the world seriously. For the first time in my life I realized that I wouldn’t go to heaven because I never really asked God to forgive my sins and to be His child. That evening I prayed with my father and decided to follow Jesus with all my heart.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

A few years after deciding to follow Jesus I took the next step and was baptized. At one point I realized I didn’t have a daily connection with God. I was asking Him for favors and promising to read the Bible and have a better connection with Him. However, the Holy Spirit revealed to me this kind of relationship with God wasn’t the right one. Slowly I begun to grow in my relationship with God. Another defining moment for me was when I understood from God that I must begin to study at the weekend Bible school here in Cluj-Napoca, where I attend university. This spring I realized how few things I really knew about God and theology. I wanted to form my own opinion and get a deeper understanding in order to explain to even non-Christians the deeper things about my God. During the summer God convinced me and gave me peace that this is the road which I should take, to go and study and know Him better.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to receive encouragement from the speakers, to receive new ideas from other participants, to learn to better serve God, and to be refreshed spiritually by the European Leadership Forum.

What is your ministry?

Currently I am serving in house group meetings and actively participating in Christian students’ meetings. I also lead the youth ministry in my local church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have led prayer meetings in a youth camp and have shared my testimony Christian student meetings.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to know God better, to understand Him deeply, and to serve Him better among young people.

Mate Kiss|| needs forum funding ::

Mate Kiss|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Mate Kiss is a youth ministry leader in Romania and the financial secretary of the Hungarian Baptist Youth Association.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born into a Christian family. However, I was a hypocrite. I tried to avoid meeting my school friends and church members at the same time. One weekend during an evangelism campaign I felt desperate. I thought if time passed my heart might harden unless I dedicated myself to the Lord right then. I went to my pastor and we prayed together, but my sins didn’t hurt. I was afraid of not being able to repent. After the final sermon of the event, I went to the pastor and told him about my struggles. As we prayed, the ice broke and I started to cry. I realized how much I hurt God with my evil deeds and my wicked nature. I asked for forgiveness and received it on that day, March 16, 2014. Jesus Christ became my personal Savior! Since then I’ve been identifying myself as a follower of Him!

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After my conversion four of my friends and the father of one of them began to meet regularly. We shared from the Bible and prayed together. We held each other accountable. I consider this group a significant anchor in my spiritual life. Following my baptism, I was elected as one of the leaders of the local youth group. One key moment in my Christian life was when I spoke to one of our elders stating I wanted to take ministry seriously, but I could not fight youthful desires alone. That man became my mentor and has been holding me accountable. I find security in this fellowship, and the relationship developed into a close friendship.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending the European Leadership will bring me a deeper understanding of Scripture on a theoretical and practical level. I will learn new methods in evangelism and build strong relationships. I will gain biblical wisdom in how to be a better manager.

What is your ministry?

I serve among Christian university students in Cluj-Napoca, who have left home to study and are now searching for a community where they have the chance to grow in faith. We organize youth evenings where we worship together, pray together, listen to biblical teachings, and get to know one another. As the financial secretary of the youth association I manage the money and am involved in organizing conferences, camps and other youth events for the youth from Hungarian Baptist churches.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was one of the leaders of the local youth group in the Hungarian Baptist Church in Satu Mare, Romania, between 2015-2017. Since February 2018 I am one of the leaders of the university student youth group in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, a community that meets weekly and tries to serve and evangelize the Hungarian youth coming to study in Cluj from all around the country. About 80-100 youth meet weekly. Since January 2019 I am the financial secretary of the Hungarian Baptist Youth Association from Romania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am relatively young, eager to learn, and I have a sincere desire to serve the Lord. I am one of the five leaders of the Youth Association, and I could share the things I learn at the Forum with many local youth group leaders I keep in contact with.

Stefan-Sorin Ilutan|| needs forum funding ::

Stefan-Sorin Ilutan|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Stefan-Sorin Ilutan is the pastor of Providența Baptist Church in Oradea.

When did you trust Christ?

I come from an Orthodox background. I grew up in a very religious, churchgoing family. I started going to the Baptist church in the city where I grew up after I applied to the Baptist high school for their computer specialization class. My understanding of Christ and His calling was gradual and, after attending a Christian camp, I decided to surrender my life to Jesus. I was the only evangelical Christian in my family, but by God’s grace, two years after my baptism my mother came to Christ during the Easter service. A year later my brother accepted Christ, and a year after that my father and grandparents became Christians.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first and most powerful influence in my Christian life was the pastor of the church I where started going. He discipled me in every spiritual discipline and was alongside me when I shared my calling to the ministry. The years I spent under his supervision really helped me understand and integrate my Christian walk into my daily life. Another important time in my life was when my family started to turn to Christ. I saw God’s immense power and mercy combined with the power of personal testimony. The professors I met at the Baptist Seminary in Bucharest were also an important influence; some of them have been my mentors for more than ten years now.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a wonderful experience. I have been so blessed through the seminars, the interaction with other leaders, and through the workshops. Not only have I gathered information, but I have established relationships and partnerships with brothers and sisters from across Europe who have the same goal of spreading the gospel in their communities. My church and my community have been blessed by the Forum.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of Providența Baptist Church in Oradea, a church of 250 members. My current focus, besides preaching, is on youth ministry and family groups. By practicing and teaching discipleship, the youth group in our church grew from two people when I first became the pastor to 50 currently. The church is situated in a part of the city where there are no other Baptist churches. The population of this area is around 50,000 people, most of them young families who have moved here from the countryside. I am also a theology teacher at the Emanuel Baptist High School in Oradea and a DMin student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas, United States. ism.

What are your past leadership roles?

I graduated from seminary in 2007 and was elected pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Năsăud (a city in central Romania). I continued studying while pastoring the church. I received my master’s degree in 2010 from Bucharest University. In 2009 I also became pastor of a newly planted church in a different neighborhood of the same city. In 2012 I moved to Oradea, in the western part of Romania, and was elected pastor at Providența Baptist Church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We have a great opportunity as a church to minister to young people and young families who have moved to the area. We are developing new leaders for discipleship, Bible studies, youth ministry, and social outreach.

Alina Balaceanu|| needs forum funding ::

Alina Balaceanu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
University Students

Alina Balaceanu is the leader of women’s groups at Emanuel University of Oradea in Romania.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was five-years-old the Holy Spirit convinced me of my total sinfulness, powerlessness, and desperate need of Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. At the time I attended the Holy Trinity Baptist Church in Bucharest, Romania with my family. The event happened during a week-long evangelism event at the church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I continued to grow in my relationship with God, going to Church, praying, and reading the Bible. At age 16 I was baptized and started to become involved in worship ministry, playing piano and singing in various choir groups. My spiritual life knew new heights as I began to understand biblical concepts such as God’s grace, providence, and sovereignty, while dedicating more and more time to fellowship, Bible study, prayer meetings, sharing the Gospel, and disciple-making. In my student years the Lord gave me the privilege of leading one of my colleagues to Christ and discipling her.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Communicating and interacting with both young and experienced leaders from various backgrounds and contexts would enlarge my perspectives, and provide me with encouragement and motivation. I hope to make important connections with other believers and find new opportunities for ministry.

What is your ministry?

By God’s grace I am now leading women’s student groups at Emanuel University of Oradea, which is part of a larger program called Beauty in Holiness that wishes to involve all the women students in study and ministry groups, focusing on spiritual growth and serving others. Our group consists mainly of music students and since the music section of the university has a very high percentage of girls, these groups have the potential of creating special bonds that will eventually impact the ministries of these students, and through it the university and the churches where these students are involved. Our focus is growing in faith through Bible study, memorizing Scripture, prayer, fellowship, and sharing the Gospel through evangelism.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have served as a worship leader and adult and children’s choir director. I have also been a women’s Bible study group leader at several youth camps in Romania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Women’s ministry in Romania is almost non-existent, but women represent the highest percentage in the church and Christian schools. There is a lack of knowledge when it comes to doctrine, theology, and discipleship, although there are clear commandments in Scripture directly addressing the responsibility of women teaching women. Biblical teaching and disciple-making among women in Romania would have a huge impact in the church and society, considering the key role women have in spiritually building their homes, educating children, and training and discipling young wives and mothers.

Daniel Pavlinak|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Pavlinak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Daniel Pavlinak serves with In-Life, an organization that disciples university students in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born into a Christian home with both parents active in ministry. I heard many stories of people coming to Christ and my parents were very clear in their guidance. I put my trust in Jesus as a young child. I understood I needed to be forgiven by God, that He loved me and sent His son Jesus to die for my sins. After realizing this, I asked Jesus to become my Lord and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was about 12, my rebellion against God began. I was not well accepted at school, so I found older friends and started drinking with them. The pressure of living two lives was slowly becoming unbearable. When I was 14, I agreed to study the Bible one-on-one with a young man volunteering in the ministry of my parents. I also started going to Christian student meetings and saw people who had real joy in their lives. God led me into reading the Bible, and I started studying and praying, asking God to show me a way to happiness and meaning. I also started playing the guitar and I played the songs I knew best – Christian hymns. God used all of this to change my heart and I decided to follow Him fully. I have been personally discipled which has had a tremendous impact on my life. I have been led not only to have a deeper understanding of God’s word but have also inspired by the example of other people’s lives. They were not afraid to get involved in my life and to help me to see God’s guidance and help.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect to be encouraged by biblical teaching and discover spiritual patterns in Jesus’ ministry. I think getting to know people from different ministries around Europe and spending some time in discussion will help me understand our culture deeper and thus communicate the Gospel in a relevant way. I also hope to develop relationships with other Christian leaders to be able to serve each other in partnerships in the future.

What is your ministry?

I currently serve full-time with In-Life, helping young men to know Jesus Christ and grow in their newly found faith. I lead the student’s core group. Within this group we primarily organize evangelism events, but the goal is also to help these students grow into future leaders.

What are your past leadership roles?

During the last year of university, I led the local student ministry of In-Life. I also became a manager of a small team at the Sony DADC company. I also led worship teams for multiple events.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

God is a personal God who wants a very personal relationship with each of us. However, our society concentrates more on doing things, rather than on building relationships. We try to grasp relationships in the same way we grasp business models and academic frameworks. But relationships are messy, as people are. I believe we, the church, have adopted the “doing” mindset and very few people receive Christ in Europe. Change can only begin through our relationships with Christ. By accepting God’s love, we are safe enough to step into relationships and “get dirty” with others’ lives.

Sarka Konickova|| needs forum funding ::

Sarka Konickova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Sarka Konickova is responsible for project development of Christianity Explored courses in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in an unbelieving family. My adolescence was a complicated time because my parents got divorced and my mother started suffering from a serious mental disorder. I was glad that I could leave our house to start studying at university and live my own life. In the second year of my Ph.D. studies my mother received the diagnosis that she might die. Around that same time my cousin’s husband got seriously ill as well. Due to all this my father came back to our town into what was a difficult social situation. I thought all of this would be the collapse of our family, and I didn’t feel prepared to stay alone with my cousin and her two small girls. Because I couldn’t do anything I started working too much, and I couldn’t finish all the loads of work that I had promised to do. I got ill, but in the same time, thanks to the recommendation of my best friend, Alzbeta, I started to attend a basic course on Christianity. For the first time I admitted that Jesus could be on my side.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I began to attend Christian festivals and conferences and I had to confess my sins and forgive my parents for not really caring about me when I was growing up. At one festival, I felt the presence of God. It was an absolutely amazing and life-changing experience. Alzbeta’s family is for me the model of a true believer’s. She and her parents helped me to resolve my family problems and recommended to me the church where I was eventually baptized and became a member. At the beginning of my time in church, I was involved in preparing programs as a member and I became one of the youth group leaders. Moreover, I attended a year-long program for the youth leaders in our church. I truly believe that it was God’s miracle that I could live a normal life, and I am thankful for His leading even when I was not a believer. He healed my soul.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I feel supported, energized, and refilled by the Holy Spirit. I highly appreciate the biblical teaching here. The quality is at a really high level and I am looking forward to applying it in my life and at my job. I also appreciate all the experienced mentors who answered my questions regarding organizational development and fundraising.

What is your ministry?

I am responsible for project development of Christianity Explored courses in Czech Republic. My main task is to contact pastors and inform them about these courses, which are not well known in Czech Republic, and to provide training for leaders of Christianity Explored groups. I am also responsible for the marketing processes in our organization. I also lead Christianity Explored and Discipleship Explored groups myself.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was involved in the student organization AIESEC, where I was responsible for talent management. As a volunteer I have been to Malaysia, where I was responsible for HIV education at university and secondary schools. I was a volunteer at a Christian festival called United.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I feel that my vocation is to work with young people, and I think I could do a lot by trying to change our educational system to provide more high-quality services. I would love to give back all His love, which He had for me, and help to grow a new young generation of believers. The Forum is one of the best events in our region and I always wish to learn from the best.

Samuel Rusnok|| needs forum funding ::

Samuel Rusnok|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—Seminary

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Samuel Rusnok is a youth group leader in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

The first time I heard about Jesus was when I was 8 years old. When I learned about Jesus, my sin, and my need for reconciliation with God, I gave my life to Jesus. This was the beginning of my faith journey.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was part of a youth group that pushed me closer to living with Jesus. This group was very important for me. Later I became a youth group leader and took on more responsibility. More recently I started to study theology in Bratislava, which has helped me to grow so much.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope I will see new ways of doing ministry among young people and that I will meet new people with similar situations in life.

What is your ministry?

I am a youth group leader. I also lead a Bible study for younger boys. I create the topics for our meetings. I see the importance in spending time with younger people and I try to lead them and help them with a life of faith.

What are your past leadership roles?

I am a youth group leader and member of the youth department in our church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Ministry with young people is the future of the church. I want to do it better and bring new ideas to our communities.

Daniel Jurco|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Jurco|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Daniel Jurco is a regional youth leader in the Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I gave my life to Jesus when I was 12. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was afraid I or a loved one would not wake up in the morning. I shared this with my mother, we prayed, and she led me to Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My father is a pastor, so serving in the church was always a part of my life and I couldn’t imagine living without it. At one point, I started questioning why I was doing this even though I served on a youth group team. After some time, the youth leader stepped down and his position needed to be filled. That was my time to start growing and I became the main youth group leader. The ministry pushes me to grow and learn.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the European Leadership Forum, I hope to learn something new, to grow in Jesus, to be inspired by other believers who have known the Lord longer, and to develop the skills I need to do His will better.

What is your ministry?

I lead the youth group in my local church. This is a group of high school students, from about age 15-19. We are trying to be a mission-oriented youth group. We are organizing English camps, outreach weekend retreats, and outreach Friday evenings.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a youth group leader for the past three years. Prior to being the leader, I was part of the youth leadership team for several years. I recently started a position as Regional Youth Leader for my church denomination.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I’m hungry! I want to serve the best I can, so I need information on how to be a better leader.

Zdenek Blazek|| needs forum funding ::

Zdenek Blazek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
University Students

Zdenek Blazek is Regional Director for Integrity Life, an organization that ministers to and disciple’s university students in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I accepted Christ in November of 1995.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

At a conference for students, I received full assurance of my salvation in Christ and decided to commit my life entirely to Him—no matter the cost. I began sharing the gospel with my roommates and served in student ministry. This was a difficult time because I lost many friends, as well as my job. Later, my team began organizing lectures and projects for students around the country. I began working with the Integrity Life ministry in 1999 with the ability to teach and serve others through the national and international ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum gives a wonderful opportunity to gain refreshing ideas, and receive important resources, such as training manuals and books. I have been able to meet people who work in similar ministries. The Forum enables me to meet strong and gifted Christian leaders and plan steps for changing Central Europe for Christ.

What is your ministry?

I am a Regional Director for Integrity Life. Our ministry is focused on university students. Our main goal is sharing the gospel in every university town in Czech Republic and Slovakia (and, we hope, across more of Europe in the future). In the last few years, we have started a new ministry with university alumni. This is a church planting movement with young professionals and their families. Integrity Life’s ministry is very organic and we can see the fruits. We are seeing newly born Christians and making new disciples every year.

What are your past leadership roles?

Before I was involved with Integrity Life I led Bible studies and helped organize lectures for students on apologetic topics.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Most university students in the Czech Republic—90% of students—have no background in Christianity. Some are interested in spiritual things. They claim they are atheists, but they are still looking. Only 5%-10% of students say they believe in God, but they have no personal relationship with Him. Only 3%-5% say they know Christians who are trustworthy. 95% do not know any trustworthy Christians. This is my context. Our ministry is growing now. Many students are like me—people who were saved from an atheistic background. After being saved, they serve in churches and work as Christians in businesses. Investing in students here has the potential to change the Czech Republic forever.

Lukaz Wysocki|| needs forum funding ::

Lukaz Wysocki|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Lukaz Wysocki leads and disciples men in Poland.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Roman Catholic home and as a teenager I was fed up with tradition and religion. Seeing no evidence of a living God I became an atheist. In the year 1999 I was 17 and at the end of high school. I went to a Christian camp and met followers of Christ. The testimony of their lives made me think about my life. At this camp I heard the Gospel and the testimonies of many teenagers. My attitude towards God started changing. Because of that experience I asked God to reveal Himself to me if he was real. He did that and I soon made Jesus the Lord of my life and decided to follow Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

A year after I became a believer, I started university. For five years I was involved in Campus Crusade’s (Cru) student ministry. During that time other students and staff had an impact on me. In the beginning I attended a Bible study and other group meetings. Then I was challenged to lead Bible study groups and to share my personal faith. Through that process I grew spiritually and become a volunteer leader of the Campus Crusade (Cru) ministry. After graduation in 2007 I joined Cru as a full-time missionary and have been serving among students now for nine years. For the last three years I have worked planting a church and that has also motivated my growth.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to build new relationships with people who serve God’s Kingdom. I hope to receive encouragement and to share experiences. I am looking to connect with mentors or more experienced brothers who could direct me and offer advice.

What is your ministry?

I am leading and developing a ministry in Poland for Christian men, regardless of denomination. I also help a local church (SCH Pabianice), where I am responsible for discipleship and men’s ministry. I serve about seventy men each year. In a local church, I teach and lead through Bible groups and individual meetings.

What are your past leadership roles?

During my university years I was a student ministry leader. When I became full-time staff with Cru, I was a team leader for three years and led many projects in that ministry.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

God called me to serve men in Poland. As I serve others, I am aware that I need to grow. I know there are many traps and dangers in the spiritual journey; having others come with me along that journey will help.

Edgaras Untulis|| needs forum funding ::

Edgaras Untulis|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Edgaras Untulis is a pastor in Plungé, Lithuania.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to trust and follow Jesus in March 1991.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After my decision to follow Jesus, I started to serve in the church, preach, and do other activities in Christian ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Participating in the Forum is so helpful for me because it gives me the chance to be closer to the pastors from all across Europe. Through the workshops, I can learn how ways of encouraging other believers to spread the name of the Lord in Lithuania. I will be able to use the knowledge I receive at the Forum to improve my pastoring and leadership skills. I will be able to use what I learn in my local church, and in my city and country. The Lord has opened up doors through the Forum! I want to attend to improve my relationship with Jesus.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor. As a pastor I cultivate everyday Bible reading and prayer life. Every Sunday I preach in our church and in other churches in the area. I organize prayer meetings, seminars, counseling, fellowship between church members, and evangelization events in my local community.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a pastor since 1995.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

With God’s help, I have been faithful in ministry for over 20 years.

Dominik Svitel|| needs forum funding ::

Dominik Svitel|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Dominik Svitel is a youth leader in Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in an orphanage beginning at age four. From age eight to fifteen I attended the Catholic church on Sundays. A group from the Mission to the World organization visited our orphanage and would spend time with us and invited us to their church. I have always been interested in God and really enjoyed hearing the Gospel clearly and boldly. Becoming a believer was more of a process for me and not a one-day event. It all happened between my 15th and 18th year.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Every year I look back and see God at work in me and my growing dependence on Him. One strong defining moment was the first time I preached. It is still a blessed moment. I have mentored a couple of men throughout the years and I’m very thankful I had an opportunity to influence their lives. During the summer we organize camps and see God’s work. I am inspired to see teenagers moved by the word and Spirit. Two teenagers became believers through my sharing the Gospel with them. And, last but not least, I enjoy seeing how God is taking care of my ministry. I have been with CRU for six years and I love to focus all my time for Gods’ kingdom.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to be inspired by what I hear and learn and by meeting new people. Hopefully I can make some connections to partner with other churches and organizations.

What is your ministry?

I am from Trnava, Slovakia, and I work for an organization called Athletes in Action. We develop sports potential in kids and teenagers in order to build platforms to share the Gospel.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have had a few leadership roles. I am currently part of a strategic team for the vision of our church and lead youth ministry for teenagers. Also, I am co-leading our home group. In the past I have organized camps and mission trips to other countries.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to gain as much as possible and take all the good opportunities for spiritual and ministry growth back to those I serve in my country.

Cleres Pacheco|| needs forum funding ::

Cleres Pacheco|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Cleres Pacheco is a pastor, teacher, and missionary.

When did you trust Christ?

I gave my heart to Jesus in 1990. I was living in a city that had many Christians. I kept hearing from them about Jesus and about the salvation one could freely receive through Him. Many of my neighbors were believers and I also worked with many believers. I decided to go to a youth service to see what all of this was about. At the service I was impacted by what the speaker said and by how the people there had let God change their lives. Something happened inside of me and I decided to give my life to Jesus. He was someone I could not resist. After my decision, the youth group took care of me and I started growing in God.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Four years after I became a Christian, I went to Bible College. My desire was and is to serve with the gifts that God has given to me. This one of the main reasons that we are where we are – To do what God told us to do. Over the years I have met many leaders who have served the Lord with joy for their entire lives. I have met many pastors and teachers who have been a great inspiration for me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I have been in the ministry for more than 20 years. Preaching and Bible teaching are my calling. Through the Forum I hope to learn from the experiences of other participants. I hope to learn more about what God is doing across Europe. I hope to find new ways to improve my ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am a preacher, pastor, and Bible teacher. I have a passion for the lost and want to show them the love of God. I pastor those who need Jesus and am mentoring a new generation who will change Europe and the world. I am currently the pastor of a church of about 70 people. I am pastoring them and doing discipleship. I also organize a youth festival every year that reaches about 7,000 young people.

What are your past leadership roles?

I planted a church in Brazil many years ago. I have been teaching the Bible since the beginning of my ministry. I have trained leaders in many countries. I have always been part of the leadership in every church that I have served in.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Over the years I have served God with passion. I have been in ministry for 16 years in Poland. God has been merciful and is blessing our work. My desire is to always be doing better and to always improve the gifts that God has given to me so that I can be more effective and can reach many more people.

Tomas Matocha|| needs forum funding ::

Tomas Matocha|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Tomas Matocha is an assistant pastor in Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian home but my first decision to trust and follow Jesus was made at a Christian summer camp when I was about 12 years old. When I was 22, following a period of internal unrest, I suddenly saw myself as utterly selfish and self-consumed. Then and there, in fear of any possible hidden compromise, I repented of all my sin and gave all of me – my skills, my ambitions, my life plans and dreams – to God. From then on, what God says goes since He deserves my complete obedience and devotion.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In December 2013, I experienced hunger for God and sought direction for my life. God answered and called me to be one of His servants to bring the Gospel to this generation. I applied to study evangelical theology at the University of Matej Bel in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. It was during my studies that I grew very close to the local Baptist church, and my wife and I ended up house-sharing with the local Baptist pastor. During the last year of my master’s program I had some doubts about becoming a pastor. After more than four months in the ministry, I clearly recognize this was the right decision. I have been growing in my relationship with God and fell in love with His church. Together with my wife, we see our place.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect the European Leadership Forum to benefit my ministry in two ways: tools and contacts. The training will introduce me to new methods of doing ministry. I am keen to learn new skills and improve the ones I have in order to improve my effectiveness. At the same time, I am always encouraged to see others striving for the same goal – advancing His kingdom. I would like to meet Christians who work and are interested in the same ministries I am, namely, preaching, Bible teaching, and church revitalization. I expect to establish not only contacts for future cooperation, but also relationships with my brothers and sisters so that we benefit from each other as members of Christ’s body.

What is your ministry?

As an assistant preacher, I preach two or three times a month. I lead a weekly Bible study, provide pastoral care for the members of our church, disciple one young man and a young couple considering marriage. I actively participate in leading weekly youth meetings.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have some leadership experience from my service in Royal Rangers, the ministry in the church I grew up in. That included helping prepare weekly meeting activities, games, devotions, etc., for children. I also participated in the preparation and execution of several summer camps. During my theology studies, I organized a group of younger fellow students to serve with music and preaching in a local prison.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By the grace of God, I demonstrated my devotion, diligence, and perseverance when I left my good-paying job and finished a summa cum laude, five-year-long, master’s program in evangelical theology. Despite many hardships along the way and with the support of my devoted wife and church family, I am now preparing to become an ordained pastor. Investing in my training will enable me to work more effectively and benefit the church.

Jana Mackova|| needs forum funding ::

Jana Mackova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Jana Mackova is the Operational Director for the Czech Evangelical Association.

When did you trust Christ?

As a child who grew up in church, my relationship with God was formed step by step. I made my conscious decision to follow Jesus at youth camp when I was a teenager. I was baptized and became a member of the church. God guided me through my childhood. I see my relationship with God as a lifelong process of asking God, from time to time, to go deeper or to choose the path of my relationship with Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first defining moment was my decision to follow Christ and join my church’s youth group afterwards. A second defining moment was my ministry as a youth leader and missionary among students. A third defining moment was studying practical theology through TCM International Institute. A fourth defining moment was having Christian friends with whom I could discuss God’s Word and model my own practical faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the Forum I hope to be encouraged and have the opportunity to learn new things. I hope to be able to share my own experiences with other participants and learn from the experiences of others.

What is your ministry?

I have been employed as an operational director of Czech Evangelical Association since January of 2020. My job and ministry are to lead the progress of the organization, to be an event manager for conferences, and to help churches for their growth, communication, and public outreach. I have also been teaching teenagers the Bible for the last year.

What are your past leadership roles?

Originally, I was a youth group leader and missionary among students. I served as an elder for 12 years in my church and for almost eight years had responsibility for economic affairs.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to serve God effectively to my full potential. I want to excel in ministry with the goal of seeing more people trust God. I also long to grow personally in my relationship with Him.

Zaneta Dvorackova|| needs forum funding ::

Zaneta Dvorackova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Zaneta Dvorackova is the Deputy Director for Prison Fellowship Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was a teenager, I met Christians who invited me to attend a youth group. I attended the youth group for two years before I decided to give my life to Jesus. When I was 17, I was baptized and started to serve in the local church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was deciding which university should I attend, God led me to go to Evangelical Biblical Seminary in Prague. Three years at this seminary were key in my spiritual life and in my direction for life. I studied theology and counseling. Another key moment in my life was when my husband decided to step into ministry as a pastor. Since then we have been serving among many people (kids, youth, adults, older people, and imprisoned people and their families). We have a heart for lost people, and we are praying that God may use us to spread the Gospel and gain people for Him.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum is a place of encouragement and personal spiritual development. The Forum is unique in its atmosphere and depth and gives you time to recharge. I hope to return to gain new information, inspiration, and encouragement for my future ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am the Deputy Director of Prison Fellowship Czech Republic. I serve families and especially children of incarcerated parents. I coordinate special projects for them, including an Angel Tree program at Christmas, a Day with My Child program during the year, and summer camps for the children of incarcerated parents. All projects are designed to support families, to help strengthen their bonds during incarceration, and to help them survive the time of separation and help with reunion after the incarcerated parent is released. We bring them God’s Word and show them God’s love, which can change their lives.

What are your past leadership roles?

I led a youth group for almost 10 years. I have been the leader of a home group in our church for women.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to grow in the Lord and to be more useful for His work. I want to improve my leadership skills.

Steponas Davidavicius|| needs forum funding ::

Steponas Davidavicius|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring & Church Planting

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children/Youth

Steponas Davidavicius is a youth camp leader and Bible teacher.

When did you trust Christ?

As long as I can remember, I have believed that there is a God. I grew up in a Christian home, and at age 13, at a Christian camp, I decided to get baptized and follow Christ. When I think about this decision now, I don’t think I fully understood what I was doing then. As time went by and I struggled to follow Christ, I always affirmed that decision and continued to seek Him and stay faithful.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The most impactful experiences happened in summer camps, where my parents served as leaders. I just followed in their footsteps until my teenage years. Summer camps have been important because they always inspired me to believe. I think I really grew in faith after my marriage because I always struggled with lust. After being married for a year-and-a-half, I could freely and easily seek Christ, and it was awesome. In recent years I led a weekly Bible study and became one of the main leaders in the summer camps. This responsibility helped me to lean on the Bible daily and explore it more deeply.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to be encouraged and equipped to do to a better job in ministry. I believe mentoring and building relationships with other youth leaders will help me be more effective in helping others grow spiritually, and it will give me practical ways to do so. I hope to develop clarity of vision that will move me forward in ministry.

What is your ministry?

My ministry responsibilities are leading a Bible study every week for teenagers, organizing and serving at a church summer camp, and also organizing a Gospel-centered camp for nonbelieving teenagers. This year I will start doing outreach to our local community by starting clubs with games and fun activities.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was camp leader for 5-6 years. I led a Bible study for three years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I hope to build a life-long ministry to reach the youth of the world. Being part of the European Leadership Forum and receiving mentoring will help me to become more effective as an evangelical youth leader.

Ilona Simon|| needs forum funding ::

Ilona Simon|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
University Students

llona Simon is an assistant lecturer at the University of Pécs in Hungary.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to follow Jesus Christ when I was 17-years-old while at a summer Bible Camp, which I attended on my grandmother’s advice. I was compelled by questions raised at the camp about the meaning of life as approached by the teachings of Christianity, as well by the power and various dimensions of the Christian faith. Above all, I received plenty of answers from God.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I began to study the Bible, my spiritual knowledge increased. At the beginning I read the Bible to gain immediate applications for my life. This changed after I learned the inductive Bible study method and I began to place the Word into context. As I have always had a community to belong to in churches and evangelical movements at the university, I have experienced how others have grown in faith, coped with different situations, and made their decisions. At the university I took part in a MEKDSZ group (which is the Hungarian version of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), where I helped in various areas of the ministry. Later I became the leader of the local MEKDSZ group. My strong belief in my salvation dates back to this period. Both consulting with other Christians and reading books contributed to my knowledge and faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The lectures and seminars held at the European Leadership Forum greatly contribute to my benefit. Being part of a group of participants with the same mentality and ways of thinking makes me enthusiastic and strengthens me. At the university I usually meet people with very different ways of thinking, mostly skeptics, Gnostics, or powerless Christians. It is highly encouraging to learn from Forum lecturers and to get to know other Forum participants. As a mathematician I have a calling to share scientific apologetics ideas at my university, and to contribute to the growing respect and appreciation of faith and religion.

What is your ministry?

I regard my teaching job as my ministry. I try to be a Christian math lecturer with integrity. I have a calling to impart knowledge about the real relationship between science and faith, and to diminish popular atheistic thoughts about the exclusiveness and power of science and its bias about the foolishness of faith. Currently I give lectures about the philosophy of science, which fulfills this purpose. My goal is to be an understanding and competent professor who is available to answer her students’ questions. As part of this ministry I strive to be a good researcher and to have a word in the world of science. In the church I host, and I am also in charge of, a faith-building home group.

What are your past leadership roles?

As a student I led a local IFES group at the University of Debrecen for a two-year period.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I hope that there are people who will find my aims and area of ministry essential. I believe that promoting my development could be their extended ministry at the University of Pécs in Hungary.

Erno Nagy|| needs forum funding ::

Erno Nagy|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Social Services

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Erno Nagy is the director of a Christian charity in Hungary.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family and attended a Baptist church. I heard the Gospel many times. Unfortunately, I feared death and my main goal was to avoid hell. I had no idea how to become a Christian until one day I heard a friend explaining the Gospel to a common friend, and it hit me. At that time, I put my faith on a healthy foundation and not on the fear of hell.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The church leader of the Brethren Church in my home city had a big impact on my life, as did the youth group in that church. Later I experienced an influencing and defining time at the Bible School in Wiedenest, and after that at the Akademie für Weltmission in Korntal. These schools were important not only for theological formation, but also in my personal faith. Eight or nine years ago I had a deep personal life crisis – it wasn’t an easy time, but it had a huge impact on my life. The counseling process was very helpful, and I decided to study counseling at the University in Budapest (which also had an intense impact in my life).

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

It is always a benefit to “stretch the mind” and discover new resources – not only for ongoing ministry but for my own spiritual health, too. Additionally, meeting people from different ministries is inspiring.

What is your ministry?

I have been leading the organization Biblia Centrum, a Christian charity, for almost 20 years. I also participate in church ministries: preaching, organizing conferences, youth ministry, marriage ministry, and counseling (equipping, small groups, marriage, singles).

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been the director of a Christian charity, Biblia Centrum, for 20 years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe it is important to continue growing in my spiritual life. It is my conviction that the effectiveness of my ministry will never be larger than my spiritual development. I desire to become better in the areas I currently serve in and to find effective help in areas where I am not as strong (i.e., organizing).

David de Lago|| needs forum funding ::

David de Lago|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Spain

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

David de Lago is a regional manager in Spain.

When did you trust Christ?

I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 14 years old. I was in church one Sunday when my pastor shared the Gospel and gave an altar call. I didn’t respond at that moment, but I understood that Jesus paid for every single sin in my life. That night when I was alone in my bed I prayed to God and accepted Jesus Christ’s payment for my sins.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I finished Bible College in Spain, I decided to move to Dallas to get an MA in Missiology and Church Planting. I saw God providing for my family the whole time. My faith at that time grew with tremendous power. It was a hard time, but I would do it again if God called me to take such a big step.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I think the European Leadership Forum will help me to obtain new ideas and connect with other brothers and sisters in Christian leadership in other countries.

What is your ministry?

I am the Regional Manager of SearchforJesus.net in Spain with Decision and Aso. I am also Decision’s Project Manager, where I lead evangelistic campaigns.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a youth leader for over five years and a worship leader in the church for over five years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Every year we reach more than 1,000 people with the Gospel in Spain and around the globe. We saw over 100 people come to Christ this year in Spain. We are young men and women with a passion to share the Good News with our generation.

Abhijeet Sasane|| needs forum funding ::

Abhijeet Sasane|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
India

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Abhijeet Sasane is a pastor and is the Auxiliary Secretary for the Bible Society of India for two Indian states.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born and brought up in a God-fearing Christian family. My parents deeply loved the Lord and were prompt in their services to God as good Christians in the Methodist Church. They were always good to me and trusted me. However, during my school days I fell in with the wrong crowd. By the time I was fifteen I was severely addicted to alcohol. I felt guilty about it but continued. My parents were greatly worried about me and continued to pray for me. One day, after my standard exams, my schoolteacher invited me to her house along with other friends of mine. Everyone was discussing their future plans, but I had nothing to say. While everyone was about to leave, she asked me to stay back. When everyone had gone, she put her hand on my shoulder, looked into my eyes and said, “Son, God loves you and Jesus died for you.” This simple statement had so much impact and conviction that I broke out in tears. I decided to surrender my life to this Jesus who had become real to me.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

As a pastor of the Methodist Church in India, I have had the privilege and opportunity to serve the marginalized, deprived, underprivileged and downtrodden in society from different religions and cultures. Locally, I have also served the visually impaired, widows, orphans, sex workers, and their children. This has had a great impact on me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I believe that there is always a scope to grow and learn no matter to what level one has reached. We must keep learning new tools and methodologies of evangelism and leadership to be more useful to the church at large.

What is your ministry?

As the Auxiliary Secretary of the Bible Society of India for two states, my role is extremely tedious and complex as I have to manage around 72 branches across Maharashtra and Goa. Even though I am an ordained Methodist pastor, I have an ecumenical approach and have preached in almost every denomination in the country. By God’s grace, I am recognized as a national leader not only by Christians but also by non-Christians.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a delegate at international gatherings and conferences where I could interact with leaders from different cultures across the globe. I have been preaching and teaching not only from the pulpit but also outside the four walls of the church building. Preaching has always been my passion. I have been involved in communicating the Gospel in the marketplace in the music and film industry, and among the corporate and the business class. Not only that, I had the privilege of representing the Christian community in India on national television channels many times. I was the Youth Director for the state of Maharashtra for six years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By the grace of God, I have opportunities to take the Gospel to people groups and arenas where others have limited or no access. Polishing and training a person who is already strategically placed for evangelism would help that person to be even more fruitful.

Krzysztof Wojcik|| needs forum funding ::

Krzysztof Wojcik|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland/amoteam_text]
Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring / Church Planting

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Krzysztof Wojcik is a pastor in Poland.

When did you trust Christ?

I trusted the Lord in 1983 in Lodz, Poland. I was eagerly looking for salvation in the Catholic Church, but in vain. I prayed for one year, however, the only prayer I knew was the Lord’s prayer. Then my cousin invited me to a Pentecostal church where I found the true way of Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In my early days I watched many abuses in the church. I asked the Lord to help me discern spiritual things and be an observer of His Word. I attended the Theological University in Warsaw. I moved to Gdynia where my theological education was badly received because people were afraid of theologians. It was a moment in my life when I wanted to leave, but the Lord called me to ministry and since then I have been a pastor.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I desire continuous development despite being in my 50s. I still have a lot to learn. I also desire to meet other pastors and Bible teachers from Poland and from elsewhere in Europe. Poland is still a very Catholic country and it is good to have fellowship with other believers.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a church. I help people in spiritual need through counseling. I help people understand God’s Word and provide answers to tough biblical questions. I preach and teach the Bible.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a teacher for the student organization Petra. In addition, I was in charge of the ICI correspondence Bible course in Poland, and a commuter teacher in the Bible school in Elbląg in northern Poland.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am passionate for the Gospel and ministry. I am committed to spreading the Gospel throughout Poland and all of Europe.

Brenda Uwubuntu|| needs forum funding ::

Brenda Uwubuntu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Rwanda/amoteam_text]
Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Brenda Uwubuntu is a fundraising training consultant in Rwanda.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 2005 through the influence of my parents, but only after I had not succeeded in my ordinary level national exams for school. I hated to fail, but I did. During that season of despair and feeling of inadequacy, I gave my life to Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My parents and local church helped disciple me; they have been an integral part of my Christian walk. Being paralyzed and bedridden for three years drew me into an intimate relationship with God. God healed me. He then called me to grow and impact whatever community He positions me in to serve Him.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I would like to connect with Christian knowledgeable leaders who bear the same calling. I will learn from their experiences and diversity and share the knowledge back home with fellow leaders. We will pray, encourage, and practically support each other in order to grow the impact of Jesus’ work on the earth.

What is your ministry?

I am a fundraising training consultant. I work with several ministries in sub-Saharan Africa. I assist and encourage them to grow their local support base. My vision is to see these ministries thrive and become financially sustainable and to proclaim Christ, long-term.

What are your past leadership roles?

As a minister to children and teens, the responsibility challenges and empowers me to study and apply the word of God in faith and be a key role model to these youngsters. As a Christian fundraising consultant and resource mobiliser, the role challenges me to trust God completely. I have understood that God has not called me to perfectionism, but to His service in trust and obedience. It equally challenges me to Think big, pray big, and believe big!

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My ministry involves the media, which means the transformation of millions of lives – millions! So many media ministries in sub-Saharan Africa have a great vision to do powerful things for the Lord. They face one major adversary – lack of finances to press forward in service. This is where I am called to step in and assist by walking alongside struggling ministries. I encourage them to rise up and raise friends and funds in their local context toward sustainability. I also need friends and co-workers, who will invest, support, and walk alongside me, as I walk alongside others.

Csilla Panzel|| needs forum funding ::

Csilla Panzel|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary/amoteam_text]
Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Csilla Panczel is an accountant for a ministry that works with children.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in a Christian home and decided to follow Jesus when I was 16. One evening I was in my room and God convicted me about choosing a direction for my life. I chose to give Him the authority over my life and to follow Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My dad and mom have had a huge impact on my life. Through my life they have constantly trusted God even in the toughest times. When my mom was diagnosed with an illness, both my parents trusted God, and were loving and kind. My grandparents, who have been married for more than 65 years, have also been a great example of faith to me. God has also shown me how to work in a secular workplace, how to love people and live the Gospel out.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I would like to meet people and I learn from other people who have more experience than me. For me it is also important that every guideline is based on the Bible, as this is what I can pass on to the people I serve. I hope to learn many important things in the Forum’s Bible Teachers and Preachers Network.

What is your ministry?

I am an accountant for a ministry that works with children. I also lead a Bible study group in my church. I also lead the Sunday school and teach children in the church. My passion is to see people growing in love for the Word of God and I want them to see how much they can gain from studying the Word.

What are your past leadership roles?

I started as a volunteer in at the foundation and led small groups for children in the camps. I later became a counselor for this organization.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Many people in Hungary have very strong stereotypes and fears about gypsies. Segregation is really a huge problem. People are judging others by their skin color or ethnic background. We want to raise awareness that Jesus can change such children’s lives and help them to live normal lives.

Lukas Juhascik|| needs forum funding ::

Lukas Juhascik|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Lukas Juhascik is a disciple making youth leader in the Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised as a Christian. My personal decision to follow Jesus was with my mom at the age of 5. However, the encounter with God that completely changed my life was at the age of 13 during prayer with my friend.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the most important moments in my Christian life include being baptized with the Holy Spirit, learning to spend time in personal Bible study, spending time in weekly prayer and worship meetings with a few close friends, learning from and being mentored by family and ministry leaders, and going through times of personal trials and pain.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to grow in my knowledge of God and in how to live by His Spirit. I hope to learn from inspirational teaching and to receive ministry skills and new connections with other Christian leaders from Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries.

What is your ministry?

My goal is to make disciples through preaching the Gospel and teaching God’s word. We have built a community where young people can experience an encounter with God and recognize His calling for their lives

What are your past leadership roles?

Since the age of 16 I have been part of the team of leaders in youth ministry in my local church. Since the age of 23 I have been the main youth leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a young leader and would like to avoid unnecessary mistakes. I would like to increase my vision and thinking about ministry. I am sure the European Leadership Forum will be of great help in shaping my future ministry.

Solomon Ebi Ekiyor|| needs forum funding ::

Solomon Ebi Ekiyor|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Solomon Ekiyor is a pastor in Ternopil, Ukraine.

When did you trust Christ?

I gave my life to Jesus at a New Year’s Day service on January 1, 2002, at the Church of God Mission in Patani, Nigeria.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

On November 15, 2000, at a Christian meeting on campus, in my final year studying Chemical Engineering, a female pastor prophesied I was going to be a missionary and that the Lord was going to use me. This encounter defined and guided my path. The impact of my theological training gave and prepared me for a fresh walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Lastly, the various challenges I have encountered in life and the mission field demonstrated how the Lord helped, delivered, encouraged, and gave me victory, which greatly increased my faith and trust in Him alone.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum will impact me with updated knowledge and skills for effective cross-cultural missions to reach native Europeans and give me a much-needed network of mentorship and biblical resources. It will also broaden my understanding of how to overcome various ministry challenges and the opportunities they provide.

What is your ministry?

I coordinate mission activities in Europe for the Fellowship of Christian Students International. As director, I coordinate leadership training and church planting activities. I also preach during church services. In addition, I offer pastoral care to the congregants. Presently, our ministry reaches about 5,000 international students in Ukraine, Georgia, and Romania. We have also been able to reach approximately 12,000 Ukrainians through our various ministry platforms. Our goal is to reach more through new ministry strategies we hope to acquire from the Forum.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been an evangelism coordinator and the president of Christian Youth Fellowship, as well as the curate and the youth chaplain of the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew. I have also been chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, LGA.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There are thousands of international students from Africa, Asia, and South America studying in European universities who have not received Jesus Christ as their Lord. The Lord has given us great success, especially in Ukraine and Georgia. We have seen a good number of Africans, Indians, and Arabs come to the Lord through our ministry. We have a goal within the next three years of extending and reaching out to international students in Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Poland, and Hungry. We have a structure, partnerships, personnel, and volunteers. The Lord is also opening more ministry doors to reach native Europeans in the above-mentioned countries.

Jan Brtnicek|| needs forum funding ::

Jan Brtnicek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Jan Brtnicek is a youth leader in the Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

My parents were struggling with alcohol and my older brother with drugs. My brother accepted Jesus and Jesus cleansed and saved him. Then my brother told me about Jesus. I could see what Jesus did in my brother’s life. It took about two years, but I finally decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The overall defining moment of my Christian life was at a Slovak Christian festival called CampFest, which is arranged by Youth for Christ Slovakia. I worked as a volunteer there for several years, first starting in sanitary facilities, then in the kitchen. I learned a lot about God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and myself during these weeks each year. Modern worship, expanding my personal relationship with Jesus, spending time in prayer, practically working together to prepare the festival, meeting great Christians, all of it was so awesome. God was really showing me His love and mercy and that I was missing a lot when I was not with Him. It was the most important place where my faith grew and where others impacted me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum was recommended to me by our deputy bishop of my church. I am a student of theology and I am preparing to be a pastor in our church. Since I am going to be leader, I need to learn to be a good leader. I am leading the youth group in our church and helping to lead the all youth groups in our denomination. I would like to learn to be more responsible and to use better my time. I believe that taking part in the Forum will help me to be a better leader now and in future. I am expecting to receive great inspiration for my ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am studying for my master’s degree in theology and preparing to be a pastor. The main part of my ministry now is in our local church in Bohumín. I have been the youth pastor there for 2 years now. I lead worship once a month. I play organ accompanying the Sunday service twice a month. I also take care of the money in our local church and I am one of the presbyters (elders).

What are your past leadership roles?

One of my past leadership roles was in the Christian festival CampFest mentioned earlier. I was the leader of one team of Czech and Slovak kitchen volunteers. I was also a coordinator of European Volunteering Service in an NGO for nearly three years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to serve God the best I can, now as youth leader and as a pastor in the future. I believe that I can learn a great deal from the European Leadership Forum.

Andi Dina|| needs forum funding ::

Andi Dina|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring & Church Planting

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Andi Dina is a church planter from Tirana, Albania.

When did you trust Christ?

In 2002, I was studying economics at the University of Tirana when a friend gave me a New Testament. At the time I was living a worldly life, and coming from a Muslim family, I didn’t have any interest in faith and God. My grades and family relationships were falling apart. I had become and alcoholic, and I was about to leave everything to join an organized network of Albanian drug dealers in Germany. Christ got me with His grace and love in my darkest day. I read my first Bible verse ever, which was Romans 14:17: “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit.” This was exactly what I was trying to find by my eating and drinking—wasting my life. I prayed to the Lord to show Himself so I could believe and live for him. He heard my prayer and changed everything. Soon, I joined a local church, where my faith journey started. After 17 years I can testify to the redemption of Christ in my life. He saved my soul and gave me a beautiful family, and a vision to serve him all my life. He changed my destination from a criminal network to a church planting network!

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I fell in love with the local church in Tirana from the first days of my salvation. After graduating, I started to work with the prison ministry and it was a beautiful experience. The next experience was with the Evangelical Alliance, where I worked for almost 4 years. I worked as project coordinator and loved to do work for the local churches. Next came a children’s ministry that included churches not only in Albania, but also in the Balkan countries. I worked for 4 years in the Balkans region, growing my love for the local churches. In 2015, we felt a deeper calling for church planting and strengthening.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a great gift for me to learn more, to know new people, to feel encouraged as part of the larger family of Christ’s church in Europe, to receive mentoring, to obtain good theology, to exchange and receive new experiences, and to network and meet new possible partners.

What is your ministry?

I am leading a new organization called IGNIS Ministry. IGNIS Ministry exists to encourage, resource, and equip local churches and church plant initiatives in all spiritual and organizational matters, to accomplish their mission to be light and salt in the Albanian society. I also lead a new church in Tirana, Albania, named “Light Church.”

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a chaplain at Prison Fellowship Albania, a project manager at EA of Albania, regional coordinator in the Balkans for One Hope Ministry, a church planting team leader in two church planting projects, a cheer leader for 15 years, and a church planter with Acts 29.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Because there is still a big need for theological training, ministry training, and opportunities to come and pray together—to learn from and help each other, especially where the need is bigger.

Ervin Geraj|| needs forum funding ::

Ervin Geraj|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring & Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Ervin Geraj is a pastor in Albania.

When did you trust Christ?

I received my first Bible and started to read it in the year 2000 when I was 10 years old. Through reading the Bible I understood the story of God and the salvation that comes through Jesus and His death on the cross. I believed in Him and have been part of the church since then.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The local church has been the main sustainer of my faith journey. My brother and sister are also believers and we have a good growing relationship.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the European Leadership Forum, I expect to gain more information and a better understanding of church planting and youth ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor. I preach and teach on Sunday in our new church plant in Tirana. I am also involved in evangelism of young people and in the social help ministry for affected earthquake families. I influence around 30 students and young people through evangelism and discipleship.

What are your past leadership roles?

I am part of the church’s leadership team and one of the preaching and teaching leaders.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to reach more people and disciple them. I want to help plant churches in Albania and the Tirana region.

Elvis Karroqe|| needs forum funding ::

Elvis Karroqe|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring & Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Elvis Karroqe is a prison chaplain and ministry leader in Albania.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 24 years old, I participated in a special event organized by a local church in my city. I confessed my sins and invited Jesus to be my Lord and savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One important moment in my development was when I was given responsibility as I committed to the local church. Serving in prison has been another important moment in my Christian walk.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the European Leadership Forum, I hope to gain another perspective on how ministry can be done, and to become a better equipped servant for the body of Christ.

What is your ministry?

I am currently serving as a prison chaplain in two different prisons in Albania. I also lead a children’s ministry in my church and am involved in church planting in a village in my area.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been involved in children’s and youth ministry and in leading church planting initiatives.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to continue to be involved Christian ministry long term. I also want to bring change and influence in church planting and ecclesiology.

Arber Jaupllari|| needs forum funding ::

Arber Jaupllari|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring & Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Arber Jaupllari is a prison chaplain and church planter in Albania.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian while serving a prison sentence in 2016.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The story of Joseph has been instrumental for me. Learning how Joseph forgave his brothers after they sold him into slavery transformed me. If Joseph could forgive that, I could forgive others as well, and I could receive forgiveness as well.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am a church planter. I think that I will learn a lot about how to plant churches in my context through the Forum.

What is your ministry?

I visit two prisons four days a week to minister to the men who are there serving prison time. I also work for the Ignis Ministry in Albania, which plants churches in the capital city of Tirana, and every week go with my pastor to the village for church planting.

What are your past leadership roles?

In the past I have been a church elder, Bible study leader, and small group leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to grow in church planting and leadership. Albania needs to plant more churches and to make disciples. There are not many believers here.

Sara Stikovic|| needs forum funding ::

Sara Stikovic|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovenia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Evangelism

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Sara Stikovic is a youth leader in Slovenia.

When did you trust Christ?

Growing up, I was curious and eager to learn about God but coming from a family of nonbelievers we never talked about the God of the Bible. I believed there was something more but felt lost and wondered if He wanted me. I came to accept the fact that I was just supposed to live my life without God. A couple of years later, a friend I knew started talking about Jesus and I heard and understood that the Lord did want me, and that I needed Him. I started reading the Bible and realized I did not want to walk through life by myself. Later I attended a summer camp run by Christians. One evening, after our camp leaders shared the Gospel with us, my friend just walked up to me and asked, “Are you ready?” and I just nodded. It was that evening when I prayed to the Lord and asked Christ to be the Lord of my life. I was 16 years old and decided to follow Christ at that evangelistic camp organized by Josiah Venture and Ljubljana Evangelical Church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One important part of my spiritual development was discussing Bible passages with the friend who helped lead me to the Lord. Also, because my parents and family did not support my decision to follow Jesus there have been many conflicts with them. I was forbidden to attend to church, youth groups, and other Christian events. This made me grow in trusting the Lord, standing firm, and holding onto my beliefs even when mocked or rejected.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to learn new ideas on how to approach ministry and creative ways to minister to people. I especially want to learn how to start a ministry from scratch.

What is your ministry?

I co-lead a youth group called Fusion. This is a relational ministry that uses music as a tool to reach young people. This youth ministry is part of our local church; we reach 20 – 25 junior and high school students, a vast majority of them nonbelievers. On worship nights about 250 Christians from all of the Slovenia Bible studies attend. I also lead Bible studies for high schoolers, college students, and members of our church, and help organize country wide worship nights every three months.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have helped with organizing youth evangelistic camps and Bible studies.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There are many in my hometown Ljubljana that still do not know the Lord. In fact, although the nation has a rich Christian history, so many people have never even heard the Gospel. I want to be equipped to go and proclaim the good news to those still lost and searching.

Sara Kominek|| needs forum funding ::

Sara Kominek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Sara Kominek is an EXIT Tour Director for Josiah Venture.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian home and made the decision to invite Jesus into my heart as a seven-year-old. However, when I was 14, I made a choice that Christianity was not only our family’s faith, but my faith. I have been following Jesus ever since.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was 16, our church was missing a youth leader and together with two friends my age, we stepped up and became the leaders. Then Josiah Venture missionaries from the United States started attending our church. They opened their home to the youth and mentored us, showing us what true discipleship is about. At the age of 24 I decided to take a bold step; I followed God’s calling and left my career to become a full-time missionary in my own country.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My local church does not invest much into me. I hope that during the Forum I will be trained and stretched. I also would love the opportunity to meet people with similar passions. I want to share about what I have been learning, learn from the experiences of others, and renew my heart where it needs it.

What is your ministry?

I am a team leader whose goal is to enable Polish churches to reach out to public schools with high-quality prevention programs based on Christian values. Our lectures to students cover topics like addiction, self-worth, bullying, Internet pornography, and depression. We have a Christian rock/rap band that performs short gigs. Throughout the week we visit several schools and local churches to organize afternoon youth clubs. At the end of the week the band plays a concert where we share the Gospel and hand out Bibles. Each school year we do six weeks of EXIT Tours, reaching 5,000-6,000 teenagers.

What are your past leadership roles?

For the last five years I have been a country director for EXIT, our ministry within Josiah Venture. I oversee a team of three people and 20+ volunteers from different countries and denominations.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I was once myself a young youth leader mentored by American missionaries and that made a huge difference for me. Now I want to be that person for the youth leaders I work with as a Josiah Venture missionary. I want to grow in order to invest in them. I have been blessed and want to be a blessing to others.

Stanislava Ivanova|| needs forum funding ::

Stanislava Ivanova|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
University Students

Stanislava Ivanova is the operations director for Agape Bulgaria (Cru).

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in March 2004 with the help of friends who were ministers at Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) in Bulgaria. In 2001, while I was in the second year of my studies, I met a student who invited me to a discussion on campus. I didn’t know anything about the people, but I went because the topic of the discussion seemed interesting to me. What struck me from the first moment was their lovely attitude, the way they came and met me, and also the good relationships between them. I started to visit the various activities they offered. For the first time in my life I felt really understood and accepted. For three years I did not change my position and the people almost stopped believing that I would change. Then one of them came to me one day and said that he wanted to talk. He told me that I would never have 100% evidence for the existence of God, but that I still had more evidence that proved His existence than for anything else. He said that I should make a step of faith. I understood that I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain, so I prayed with him and gave my life to Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the most important moments was a time in my life when I had several problems all at once – I had a health problem, I had problems in my job, and I had personal problems. What I experienced was that God helped me and moved me out of all of that step by step. I just had to hang on to Him. For example, my doctor told me that I had a non-malignant tumor in my head and I had to have an MRI examination so that they could see if the tumor was small or big. If it was large, I would need surgery. If it was small, they could treat me with medicine. When I shared this with my church, the pastor anointed me and the people prayed for me. I went to have the MRI. The test results showed that there was nothing. When I went back to my original doctor, he didn’t believe it and didn’t know what to say. I don’t think that it was a matter of a bad diagnosis, but a matter of Christ’s power.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the Forum I hope to develop ministry partnerships and best practices for evangelism. I want to make sure that I stay on the right track.

What is your ministry?

I am part of the national leadership team for Cru. I take part in all activities of our ministry among the students and high school students, including evangelism, discipleship, and organizing events. I also take part in the worship band of my church and in the leadership of the church. I have also been part of the team for the Bulgarian Leadership Forum.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was appointed for the leadership of the youth organization of my church denomination.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My vision and heart are in evangelism, discipleship, and counseling. Evangelism because only 1% of Bulgarian population are evangelical Christians, disciple making because many of the converted people have left the churches in Bulgaria due to the lack of growth and development, and especially in counseling because there is a huge need and a lack of Christian counselors in Bulgaria.

Dimitra Geraki|| needs forum funding ::

Dimitra Geraki|| needs forum funding ::

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.

Bostjan Cifer|| needs forum funding ::

Bostjan Cifer|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovenia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Bostjan Cifer is the pastor of a church in Slovenia.

When did you trust Christ?

Twelve years ago, God saved me from my drug addiction. I attended a Bible study group for drug addicts. One evening God spoke to me clearly through His Word and when I got home, I asked God to give me a new life and to save me from my addiction. Since that day I have lived free from addiction.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I have attended Theological Biblical Academy, IFES conferences, and have had good personal relationships with Christian leaders. All of these things have had an important influence on my walk with the Lord.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I live in a small country with a very small percentage of evangelical believers. We lack biblical counselors. I also pastoring a church and I want to grow in that area of ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am pastoring a Baptist church in Maribor, a university city and the second biggest city in Slovenia. I preach in our church, lead Bible study groups, and work with students together with IFES Slovenia. We are also working on developing vision and strategy in our church, so I am involved in that process. One of our goals is to develop maturity in the members of the body and to prepare them for the work of service.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have worked with drug addicts and youth in the church. I led a men’s Bible study group in the church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a young pastor and, for me, pastoring a church is a great challenge and something I do not have a lot of experience with. I see a lack of organizational skills in myself and for that reason I think it is important for me to learn more and receive training.

Lukas Bayer|| needs forum funding ::

Lukas Bayer|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Lukas Bayer serves as a youth group leader in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I did not grow up in a Christian family, but my friend attended a youth group in a nearby church and invited me to attend with him. Through that youth group, I got to know a little bit about Christianity, but I didn’t believe it. One night I started to think about the creation of the world. I concluded it is irrational to think the universe came into existence by chance or that it was created by many gods. The only plausible possibility seemed to be that the world was created by one God and that that God is worthy to be followed. I decided I would pray to the God I learned about in youth group to see if that religion worked. God answered my prayers and freed me from addiction, which confirmed to me that Christianity was the true religion. At that time, I didn’t understand Jesus ́significance. Then I attended an English Camp. During an event called Labyrinth we had to visit a few stations and complete some tasks there. At one station there were Bible verses we had to read and think about. These verses were about Jesus, His sacrifice for our sins, and so on. During that event I felt God ́s presence and understood the significance of Jesus and His sacrifice.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The thing that changed my Christian life most was studying at the University of Mateja Bela in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, and being in constant fellowship with other Christians. This helped to shape my theology and my conduct in life. I also had many opportunities to serve in this school; my preaching improved and I developed leadership skills by leading small groups and worship. Two other events changed my life and helped me grow. First, while traveling by train I talked with a friend who asked me if I read my Bible regularly. I answered that I only read it sometimes. We talked about that topic for a little longer and that day I decided to read the Word every day. That brief conversation had lasting results. A second major moment was when I broke up with my girlfriend who I thought I would marry. I felt awful. I had doubts about myself and was confused. However, God used this to show me He has everything firmly in His hands. He knew that this breakup would happen, and it was in His plan from the beginning. I learned He always has everything under control, from the entire universe down to the details of my life. Therefore, I can trust Him in every situation.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum will help me become a better preacher and ministry leader. More importantly, I think that participating in the Forum will help me in the future as I prepare to become a pastor.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of our youth group of 20-30 people, most of whom are university students. At times young professionals visit and we also invite high school students. Most are born-again believers, but at this moment there are three people who are not born again who attend the youth group.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was one of the team members that served in children’s ministry in our church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to continue to serve in my current youth group, but I hope to become the pastor of a church. I have much to learn. Since I study theology, I have a foundation, but I believe I could use more practical training.

Jonathan Rosa|| needs forum funding ::

Jonathan Rosa|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Spain

Occupation:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Engaging Roman Catholicism

What is your ministry?

We are currently serving in Málaga. Our vision is to see Spaniards meet Jesus and work together to find expressions of church (more aptly micro-church) that are dynamic, misional, movemental, and that multiply. We look to live here in Málaga long term.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I have lots of questions about Catholicism that I hope to address by attending this YRM group.

What is your leadership role?

During my University years at Wheaton College I felt the call to full-time missions and changed my major from Engineering to Christian ministry. Since then I have served as a high school chaplain in the Cayman Islands, led a Christian gap year program in New Zealand, and am now here in Spain.

John Komla Ansah|| needs forum funding ::

John Komla Ansah|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ghana

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
University Students

John Komla Ansah is the National Director of Navigators Ghana.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a follower of Jesus in 1994. I had just lost my mother who I was very close with. After her death I asked many questions about life after death. I had been attending church all along. But on a particular Wednesday when the Scripture Union group met, I decided enough was enough and surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ and confessed Him as my Lord.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The defining moment of my Christian life was when I discovered the Navigators ministry after high school in 1996. I was discipled for five years by two different people. The first person was a high school senior who lived in my community and the second was a professor at the University of Cape Coast. Practical rural missions in Ghana also changed my life, as God used that experience to teach me about how many need the Savior.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to be effective and fruitful in my new role as National Director of the Navigators Ghana. I believe the European Leadership Forum will create this learning environment. I am currently the team leader for the Lausanne Ghana Issachar Initiative which was recently launched in Ghana. We envision the Forum example for Ghana and Africa. I know this Forum will help us to learn from our European team leaders.

What is your ministry?

I am currently discipling and mentoring senior high school students, university students, recent university graduates, and national team members in my role as the National Director of the Navigators in Ghana. I mentor, train emerging leaders, cast vision, and engage in team building.

What are your past leadership roles?

I led the community discipleship group of the Navigators, led Scripture Union patrons, and was a student mentorship program leader. I was a National Training Coordinator, the Navigators National Missions Coordinator for the Ashanti region, and was an area ministry director and national leadership team member.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am actively discipling and mentoring students from Ghana who are on three continents studying for various degrees. My prayer is that they will be established in Christ to share and lead others to faith in Jesus Christ. As I lead the Navigators ministry, I have a need for an environment to learn from other godly leaders around the world. An investment in me will enable this. Finally, I lead the Lausanne Ghana Issachar Initiative Team to ensure godly influence is spread throughout Africa. An investment in me is an investment in the spread of the Gospel in Africa and beyond.

Matthew Brima|| needs forum funding ::

Matthew Brima|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Sierra Leone

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Matthew Brima is the Executive Director of a marketplace ministry called Living Light.

When did you trust Christ?

I first heard the gospel from a United Nations Peacekeeper in my hometown during my country’s civil war. As a young man, I had found life to be meaningless especially after seeing many people killed in my presence. Even though I attended the daily Roman Catholic mass and wanted to priest, I struggled to understand God’s love in the midst of so much death and suffering. As I walked from church one morning in 1997, I met the Nigerian peacekeeper who explained the gospel to me. I decided to follow Jesus that day and I am grateful that I did.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 2003, while on a short-term mission trip a few hours away from the city, I was burdened to see a whole village with no Christians. The village was less than five hours away from the city with churches in every neighborhood. It was in that village that I received my call to ministry as a student. The image of the “unreached” has greatly impacted my Christian walk. In 2006, while working in a very lucrative job, the Lord called me to student ministry through IFES. That was a very challenging decision because I was coming from a poor family and many were looking up to me. It took me several nights of crying before the Lord, but I am grateful that I said yes! The opportunity to lead the student movement was a significant moment of growth for me. I was challenged by students and colleagues in my pastoral and leadership giftings.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Marketplace ministry in Sierra Leone is still a new concept for many church leaders. I need to learn from others in the global church and develop relationships to support my work in Sierra Leone. The European Leadership Forum will provide the opportunity for training and networking that I need at this point.

What is your ministry?

I am presently pioneering Living Light, a marketplace ministry committed to walking alongside the church for the witness of Christ in the marketplace. I presently have an active ministry to members of the Sierra Leone Parliament. I am still in the discernment stage of recruiting other team members, but I am grateful that the Lord has provided an opportunity to minister to the presidency and lawmakers.

What are your past leadership roles?

I returned home after three years at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where I served as the lead student in the office of the chapel. I have served as General Secretary for the National Student ministry in Sierra Leone for 7 years, providing leadership for staff, students, and graduates. I have also served as an executive of the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone, an Evangelical body with a membership of over 50 denominations and para-church ministries.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Sierra Leone is a majority Muslim country with high levels of poverty and corruption. For many decades, the church has struggled to influence society largely because we have not been effective in our witness, especially in the marketplace. The Lord provided the opportunity for me to be trained at Gordon-Conwell and has given me a network of global friends who are ready to walk with me. The Lord has also blessed me with open doors of ministry amongst my people, an opportunity that I seek to maximize.

Julius Coomson|| needs forum funding ::

Julius Coomson|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ghana

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Julius Coomson is a pastor of Legon Interdenominational Church, which is located on the campus of the University of Ghana.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Catholic home where I was taught to attend mass every Sunday. I did this religiously but all the while I was empty within. This continued until my first year in the university where I heard the gospel faithfully preached. I realized I was a great sinner, but Jesus was a great savior. I responded to an altar call and made the finished work of Christ on the cross my own. I invited Jesus by faith to come and live in my heart. I have not looked back since.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The defining moment for my faith was after I got saved. I was introduced to a faithful minister of the gospel who was discipling students on my university campus. He taught me the basics of the Christian faith, such as reading the scriptures, having a quiet time, and how to pray and evangelize effectively. That created a solid foundation for my Christian walk. I thank God I was discipled.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to meet other gospel-centered ministers at the Forum, from whom I can learn new ideas for ministry. I believe as we meet, learn from, and pray for each other that I will be renewed for effective ministry upon my return. In addition, I hope to meet people who have been in ministry for a long time and who can mentor me. Furthermore, I expect to be exposed to new resources which may not be available in my context.

What is your ministry?

I am currently an associate pastor of a 1,500-member congregation located on the University of Ghana campus. I provide pastoral care and help train leaders for our church’s Bible study and ministry leadership needs. In addition, I run discipleship sessions for students on the university campus.

What are your past leadership roles?

By God’s grace I have held various leadership roles. In high school I was the Head Prefect for my school. I had the leadership responsibility of serving as a link between about 900 students and the school authorities. In the university I served as a hall president for the University Christian Fellowship (a member of IFES). I was responsible for the spiritual growth of about 2,000 university students. After university I obtained theological training and served as a Bible instructor for a Bible school on the University of Ghana campus. In addition, I pioneered a discipleship program for university students and by God’s grace over 2,500 students have been discipled through this initiative. I was later employed by a church to serve as the Outreach and Ministry Director. I was responsible for developing outreach training to help the members of the church become effective in reaching out to others through evangelism.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My ministry is impacting and shaping lives greatly for God’s glory. There are many groups who are working hard to lead these young students astray, but by God’s grace my ministry is strategically being used by God to preserve these precious lives. Simply put, investing in my training will reach a lot more people for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Albert Ghobrial|| needs forum funding ::

Albert Ghobrial|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Egypt

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Media Communicators

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Albert Ghobrial is a Digital Media Production Manager for the Bible Society of Egypt.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian on August 13, 1990. I was 16 years old on the first day I started to follow Christ and live for Him. I grew up in a traditional Christian family and came to know my savior in a church youth conference. My life has changed from that day on. I am grateful for His saving grace and love!

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Throughout my journey God’s grace has carried me. His guidance at every step is something that I can never forget; it built my faith muscles day by day. God has been gracious enough to use me in different media ministries. The days I graduated, married, met my son and daughter, and the day when my mother left to be with the Lord have all been important moments in my walk with the Lord. I have also been influenced by the times the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes and heart to understand the scriptures. I have also been influenced by listening to podcasts or reading books by authors like Timothy Keller, Ravi Zacharias, John Piper, and John Macarthur.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I have heard a lot of very positive things from people who have attended the European Leadership Forum. I expect that worshipping, praying, sharing, and learning with other leaders in the body of Christ will impact my work and inspire me to be a better leader.

What is your ministry?

As a Digital Media Production Manager, I am responsible for the digital presence and impact of the Bible Society of Egypt. My work scope covers social media, websites, apps, audio and video production, digital distribution of the Bible, and other ways we can make the word of God accessible to everyone.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously the director of Trans World Radio Egypt and the Director of SAT-7 Egypt (a Christian satellite television station). I have spent more than 15 years serving God in Christian media in Egypt.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The Bible Society of Egypt’s mission is to proclaim the Word of God, helping people to have it, read it, and live it. This will have a great impact on the people of Egypt and in our region.

Maria Kamran|| needs forum funding ::

Maria Kamran|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Pakistan

Occupation:
Business

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Gift Kabwe is the pastor of RhemaFaith Church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a follower of Jesus when I was a teenager after I repented of my sins. My life has been through many twists and turn since my birth, but one thing I have experienced is that no matter what, the Lord has always been there for me. I trust Him through my life experiences and follow him with strong faith and love. He never leaves me no matter how bad I am.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Having a Christian mentor and friends who are counselors helped me to grow stronger in faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum would be an amazing chance for me to learn new leadership skills which will help me reach out to the unreachable in more efficient ways. Moreover, it would help my faith grow stronger. I would be able to learn new things and to network with other believers to create more opportunities.

What is your ministry?

My husband and I are Christ’s ambassadors. We work in the Pakistani community to uplift faith by evangelizing in the workplace and at common gatherings of friends. We run a company called Explore Pakistan and arrange trips and share our Christian faith with people. I have also launched a YouTube channel which helps the country’s Christian community learn Christian teaching from the Bible. My husband and I work with Christian youth to mentor and disciple them. I also work as a motivational speaker.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have worked with young women, training them to have leadership and management skills.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Pakistan really need leaders who are bold. I have a desire to work within communities. Pakistan is a Muslim country. Christians here face a lot of persecution every day, both emotionally and physically. That is one reason our youth are far from church and professionals are busy in just earning money to support their families. I have a heart for creating opportunities for people and to telling them the good news of Jesus Christ. People have a lot of talents and ways of using them for Jesus, but there are few people who can guide them and hold their hand to take the first step. I want to be the hand that helps them to take the first step.

Lungfa Maikarfi|| needs forum funding ::

Lungfa Maikarfi|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Nigeria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Lungfa Maikarfi is the country coordinator for the Lausanne Movement’s Younger Leaders Generation.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to invite Jesus Christ into my life as Savior and Lord in 1996 at a Fellowship of Christian Students interschool rally held at my high school. Being born again was a landmark event in my life in which I saw God’s love as the only antidote for my life’s helpless and hopeless state because of my sins.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My mother has made a lasting impact in my life; she devoted the evening moments to teach us from the Bible and taught us how to memorize scripture. The new life I found in Christ brought joy and grace into my life to walk with Him and serve Him. The convert class I joined made a lasting impact in my life as I learned the spiritual disciplines of personal prayer and fasting, Bible study, and worship. In the course of my life’s journey, I have met leaders who have impacted my life and some of whom are still making an impact on my life.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

By the grace of God, attending the Forum will give me the opportunity of connecting with, listening to, and learning from experienced leaders. This will be of immense impact on my growth and impact as a younger leader. I will be inspired to stand where I have felt frustrated to quit because of the opportunity to learn from leaders who have passed through similar encounters as I mine; there won’t be a need to “reinvent the wheel” but to learn from others’ godly experience and discoveries.

What is your ministry?

In my role in the Lausanne Movement, I coordinate the Younger Leaders Generation (YLGen) in Nigeria to translate and pass on the impact of YLG 2016 and the vision of the movement to younger leaders. I host gatherings in Nigeria to impact and connect younger leaders with older leaders for effective mentoring and ministry impact. I oversee the planning and hosting of YLGen gatherings; we are currently planning to host the Nigeria Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering (NYLG) in 2020. I am the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Alive for Africa Purposeful Empowerment Initiative, a ministry committed to engaging communities using the CHE strategy to transform lives and communities. I am currently overseeing the four communities in FCT-Abuja and Nasarawa state of Nigeria. Three of these communities are made up of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of the incessant Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria.

What are your past leadership roles?

While in the university I was the head of my department’s computer lab interns. I also served as the class representative for my set until graduation. These leadership roles in the university afforded to me the opportunity to serve my colleagues and staff of the department in a godly way. I have served in the Missions Supporters League as the ICT Officer and Partnership Development Officer. I have served with Eternity Ministries, Abuja as Partnership Coordinator and Assistant Head for the Abuja Center.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I have the strong conviction that any investment in my training and ministry will translate into impacting positively on my ministry expressions in my leadership roles and spheres of influence. I will be better equipped to serve in my leadership roles by understanding different contexts of leadership and experiences of leaders from other nations to help me in coordinating YLGen Nigeria.

Gifty Anti Okyere|| needs forum funding ::

Gifty Anti Okyere|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ghana

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Academic

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Gifty Anti Okyere is a youth leader, university lecturer, and a Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering delegation leader.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born into a Christian family and grew up attending the Church of Pentecost. I attended the children’s ministry service every Sunday morning from age two until age thirteen when I transferred to the teenage class. On February 5, 1995, I publicly affirmed my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ by accepting Him as my Lord and personal Savior. Subsequently I was baptized by immersion in June 1996.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My mom was a dedicated Christian who really impacted my faith in so many ways. She taught my siblings and I to pray and gave us Bible reading assignments to help us fall in love with scripture. Growing up, my involvement in Christian groups on my secondary and university campuses sharpened the Holy Spirit giftings in me. I was able to demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my actions and behaviors on campus. The Lausanne Movement has also impacted my Christian faith so much. As a leader of the Ghanaian delegation to the 2016 Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta, my Ministry was totally changed and I saw the need to identify the hand of God in every situation I find myself in.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum will benefit my ministry greatly because I will be equipped and resourced to share the gospel and to evangelize my nation. Also, my selected Network group will provide me with specialized training and mentorship in my specific ministry and calling.

What is your ministry?

I am in charge of the mobilization of the women and youth in my church, as well as the training and empowerment of children. I am a university lecturer and provide pastoral care to my students. I was recently part of the Lausanne Global Workplace Forum in Manila.

What are your past leadership roles?

In 2004, whiles a student at the university, I was appointed a member of the Greater Accra Sectorial Committee of the Inter-Tertiary Institutions, a position I held even after I completed my university studies until 2011 when my husband was called to full time ministry. In 2011, I was appointed a member of the Chiefs and Queens Conference Committee of Pentecost Men’s Ministry (PEMEM). I was a Mathematics/ICT/Hostel Tutor of the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College in Tema-Ghana for six years. As a hostel tutor, I was in charge of providing pastoral care for the students of whom 50% were Foreigners and also orphans. By the grace of God, I was able to impact the students positively and also won many for Christ. In 2016, I led the Ghana delegation to the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta. Also, in 2017, I served as a member of the Coordinating Team for the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The potential of youth, children, and women are undoubtable. Youth are very innovative with many giftings and talents. Investing in and impacting youth, children, and women will go a long way towards impacting lives for God’s Kingdom.

Beryl Atieno Omondi|| needs forum funding ::

Beryl Atieno Omondi|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Kenya

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Worship

Beryl Atieno Omondi is the worship leader of Outreach Community Church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 2009 during a home Bible study in my uncle’s home. They had a Bible study every night. Being that I was the only one from my family with such an opportunity to learn more about Christ, I decided to give my life to Christ and bring the light of God to my family, too.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My uncle and my aunty are my mentors and my spiritual parents. They have had a very great impact on my walk with Christ. In 2017, my mother gave her life to Christ and this made me to seek God more and more for His Goodness.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect to learn more from the people I meet, both through the life experiences and also from the teaching I receive from experienced teachers and preachers.

What is your ministry?

My current ministry is worship ministry. I am the worship leader of Outreach Community Church. I have seen God changing my life and the lives of others through worship. I have come to see that this is my life purpose. I am dedicated to growing before the Lord and helping shepherd others to Him in worship.

What are your past leadership roles?

My past leadership role was high school ministry. After giving my life to Christ, I could not keep the good news to myself. I began preaching the Word of God to my fellow students who were not born again at that time. I was also the leader of the Christian Union at my university.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By investing in me you are also investing in the lives of everyone who I minister to.

Josue Alanis Anaya|| needs forum funding ::

Josue Alanis Anaya|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Mexico

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Josue Alanis Anaya is the regional director for MoveIn in Latin America.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family. When I was 11 years old, my dad had a talk with me. He told me, “Well Josue, you have heard about Jesus since you were a child. So what do you think about all this? Would you like to follow Him?” That day I repented of my sins, made a commitment to the Lord, and started following Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was a student, I got involved in IFES Mexico. During those years I read a lot of Scripture and that changed my Christian life. At an IFES conference in 2011 I had a good talk with a retired staff from Intervarsity. He used to be on staff with IFES Mexico. He challenged my life with one phrase: “It is worthy to invest in the lives of students.” At that time God put it on my heart to become a staff member of IFES. My living in El Salvador in a poor urban neighborhood allowed me to learn how to live out my faith in a context of violence where I was able to see God working in miraculous ways.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being part of the European Leadership Forum will benefit our ministry by helping us to learn from others and what are they doing in Europe. I would like to establish strategic ministry partnerships and relationships with key leaders in the European region and send our people (as tentmakers) to serve in Europe with the poor. I will meet other leaders and I will be able to learn from them, but I will also be able to give my point of view. At the Forum I will have the chance to meet experienced leaders who can mentor me in my role as leader in my region.

What is your ministry?

I am the regional director for MoveIn in Latin America. I am responsible for mobilizing MoveIn teams in all of Latin America while also working on consolidating a regional leadership team. In practice that means that I live in a poor neighborhood and do the work of a MoveIn, but I also travel all over Latin America to connect with churches and other ministries to form new teams and leadership in each country in the region. I am in charge of coaching new members of the leadership team and walking with them in their journey to develop the ministry in their country or region.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a youth leader since I was 20 years old. I used to do everything alone and I didn’t have a team. But I have learned that without a team you can’t really do much. In IFES Mexico I was part of the National Student Committee for 2 years; that was an opportunity to learn how to work with people that are from different regions of the country. In El Salvador I was an IFES staff for 3 years. I had some conflict with other staff members in the beginning due to cultural differences, but we got the chance to work through our problems and we became best friends.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

As I am working to form other leaders in my region, having people around that can help me in this work will help me to maximize the impact in other leaders and in more people.

Monika Shaded|| needs forum funding ::

Monika Shaded|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Monika Shaded is a doctoral student in painting and runs a group for student artists at her university.

When did you trust Christ?

The year 2004 was a turning point in my life. After breaking up with my fiancée, I became depressed and began suffering from anorexia. At the critical moment when I wanted to commit suicide, I cried out: God, if you exist, show me now. God answered. The amazing presence of God came to me. I experienced in that moment His love, joy, and forgiveness. This moment radically changed my life and I decided to follow Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The community of believers of which I was a part had a great impact on me. Alina Wieja, an important leader in Poland, had a big influence on me. In 2008, I finished a Christian counseling course through her foundation “Life and Mission”. For three years, I used this knowledge to provide socio-therapeutic classes for children from alcoholic families. I also used art in these classes. My first church community fell apart and it was very difficult time for me, but it was also a great opportunity for growth and trust in God. My husband and I are also missionaries with an organization called International Messenger. My work with this organization has had a big impact on me as well.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum has given me a lot of inspiration to serve through the arts. There is very little talk about art in God’s plan in Poland. I will be able to take some of the concepts and ideas presented by the speakers at the Forum and present them in Poland. Personally, the Forum was also a time when God told me to take on more leadership responsibility.

What is your ministry?

A year ago I recently returned to the University of Arts in Poznan after spending a few years taking care of our two young children. I am pursuing my doctorate of fine arts in the field of painting. I have also started a student group at the university for artists. I am also an active artist and regularly exhibit in different parts of Poland.

What are your past leadership roles?

From 2006-2008 I was a leader in the church of Effata. From 2008-2011 I led socio-therapeutic classes for children from alcoholic families. From 2008-2019 I was an assistant professor at the University of Arts in Poznan. From 2008-2018 I was a painting teacher in the National Museum in Poznan. From 2008-2011 I was a painting teacher at the Art High School in Poznan. From 2013-2016 I helped my husband organize evangelism camps for children.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Due to my work as a painter, I am able to be a witness for Christ in a secular environment and in areas where it might be difficult for other Christians to go.

Miroslav Balala|| needs forum funding ::

Miroslav Balala|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Evangelism

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Miroslav Balala is a youth pastor and co-leads an outreach program and camps for high school students.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to become a follower of Jesus during the winter of 2010. Up until that time I had thought that my attempts to live a good life according to my moral standards would be enough to ensure me a “place in heaven.” But in September of 2010 I met a group of young Christians in Žilina, the town I was born in. I was shocked by the love I saw in their community. I started spending more time with them and I started to read the Bible with them during youth group meetings. Several people from the youth group spent many hours with me discussing God, kindly responding to my questions, and showing me love I had never felt in any other community. After the gospel soaked into my life, I understood that all my attempts to live a moral life fell short because I was isolated from God. I could only be rescued by trusting Jesus and inviting Him into my life as my Savior and Lord.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the most defining moments of my Christian walk was when a youth pastor in Žilina invited me to be part of a youth group team in 2011. I was also asked to co-lead a small group, in which I helped with Bible teaching, led the discussions, and spent time with high school students. The youth pastor guided me and mentored me from the beginning of my Christian walk. He continued to be my mentor as I grew in Christ. Two other important and challenging moments were when I became a husband and later when I became a leader of a youth group in Levice.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect that I will be able to grow in my ability to teach and preach the Bible to the young people I serve so that I can help them see who God is in a way they will understand. I want to grow in understanding the Bible and to preach it more faithfully and with better clarity. I am currently part of a year-long mentoring program for Bible teachers and preachers as well, so I would like to grow even more in my understanding and communicating the Bible during the Forum.

What is your ministry?

Since 2017, I have been a youth pastor for high school students. Throughout the school year I also co-lead Fusion, an outreach project focused on relationships using music as a tool. I also co-lead KECY camps (a summer music/sports outreach camp for high school students).

What are your past leadership roles?

From 2011-2016, I was a member of a youth group team in Žilina and I led worship for three years. Then, after getting married and moving to Levice in the summer of 2016, I became a youth pastor. I also led worship in Levice for two years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe that the Lord called me to His mission among the young people in Levice. He has given me a passion to learn and understand His Word deeply and to teach young people to understand it, too. I would love to grow in these areas. I believe that in the end the Lord is the one who is glorified and magnified through this.

Zsolt Biro|| needs forum funding ::

Zsolt Biro|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Zsolt Biro is a Bible teacher for Grace Ministries Hungary.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian more than 20 years ago. I started to attend a Reformed church and began having conversations with the pastor. He gave me a book called “Why I Am a Christian,” written by Ole Kristian Hallesby. I read this book in parallel with the Bible itself. I wanted to know God and I wanted to have the same experiences that Ole Kristian Hallesby described in his book. One morning while I read from the Gospels, it was like my eyes were opened. I understood everything: why Jesus came, what the cross means, and that I needed to make a decision. I prayed and gave my whole life to my Creator that day.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

As I began to grow as a Christian, I became a leader, too. First, I taught I Sunday school. Then I taught in the church youth group. Later, I became one of the elders of my church. These were big steps in my faith and Christian walk. Now I am a teacher with Grace Ministries Hungary, where I try to serve my Lord in the nation of Hungary.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Christian ministries are not really supported by churches in my country. It is very difficult to get relevant information about leadership, financial stewardship, and so forth. It would be a great step for my ministry to receive this kind of teaching and training through the European Leadership Forum. I think the biggest current need that I have in my organization is for me to develop personal leadership skills.

What is your ministry?

I work in several different ministries. The first is Grace Ministries Hungary, where I am a Bible teacher and disciple men in the Christian faith. I also organize an international evangelism conference called Balatonnet that serves around 1,200 people. I also run a Christian media ministry called Gospel Café where we try to reach as many people as we can through the media, including social media platforms, television, and book publishing.

What are your past leadership roles?

First, I taught Sunday school. Then I taught in a youth group. Next, I became an elder in my local church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Eastern Europe is in a very bad situation and my country is worse than average. Most people have not encountered the real Christian faith. We have to destroy those walls and show people the real Christian faith. Our mission is to show people the real Christian faith, heal them, and build them up as disciples of Christ.

Szymon Chaciak|| needs forum funding ::

Szymon Chaciak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Media Communicators

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Szymon Chaciak is a film producer with Polish Baptist TV.

When did you trust Christ?

In 2007 I gave my life to Jesus and in 2008 I was baptized. My mother-in-law invited me to an Alpha course; after the course I decided that if what the teachers said was true, I wanted to take a chance and follow Christ. During the Alpha course, God freed me from various addictions and the process of changing my heart began. During this time, I experienced God’s personal closeness and various miracles. This confirmed for me that this was the best decision of my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first important moment was the Alpha course through which I became a Christian. Some other important moments include: being mentored by my first pastor; eight years of attending the David’s Army Church with many important experiences, including receiving teaching about family, marriage, and finances; and two operations that I underwent (I was paralyzed from the waist down and had to learn to walk again). God’s grace has guided me all this time.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I believe that God has called me to serve Him through the media so as to reach both wider and more specific groups of people with the Gospel message. Working with the camera and with new forms of media is a passion for me. I have already gained some experience and have several films with over 1 million views on social media. I finished film school and I want to work in film all the time. I believe that we Christians can be an antidote and light to society.

What is your ministry?

I am the leader of media service in my local church. We organize the live stream every Sunday. I am also the director of Polish Baptist TV. We record television programs, reporting, and documentary films. The average coverage of our Sunday broadcasts is about 1,000 people, while some of our programs have 70,000 views. Seventy percent of our viewers are age 25-44 and about 80% are men.

What are your past leadership roles?

At my previous church I led a home group of a dozen or so people. I was also a member of the church council for two years. I am currently the president of two companies, one in Poland and the other in England. Both companies deal in film production, commercials, documentaries, and television programs. I have run my business for over 15 years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am open to new experiences, new ideas, and new knowledge. The media is a great mission field for the Gospel.

Cristina Dobos|| needs forum funding ::

Cristina Dobos|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Social Services

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Cristina Dobos is a prevention coordinator for an organization that works to prevent human trafficking.

When did you trust Christ?

All of my life I wondered what would happen to me after I died. I wondered if there was more to this life than what I have seen and experienced. In 2012, my wondering led me to Jesus and I decided to follow Him. Back then I was doing outreach to prostitutes in Romania and my heart was moved when I saw all the girls on the streets. I knew and felt that there is something more for them and they weren’t born for such a life. I realized that God had touched my heart and I decided to dedicate my life to serving and helping people in need. I realized that I wanted to follow Jesus and that the Holy Spirit was my only guide. Reading the Bible, I realized that all my unanswered questions now had answers in Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Working with women in vulnerable situations and with people who are addicted to drugs has helped me to keep my faith and grow in it. Getting to see Jesus save women and change their lives forever has been a humbling experience. My job requires me to trust in Jesus even when situations look bleak or like they will not have a happy ending. I believe that God is in control of every human life and of every situation.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to make new connections with other Christian leaders and learn from their experiences. I want to learn how to be a better leader and how to better manage situations and groups of individuals. I hope the European Leadership Forum will provide a new perspective on doing ministry and that I will improve my skills so that I can better serve others.

What is your ministry?

I work for ELiberare, an organization in Romania that works to combat human trafficking. We do this in a variety of ways, such as by increasing awareness of the problem, providing trainings on how to prevent human trafficking, providing external assistance to help restore those who have been impacted, and by advocating and lobbying for victims in the political arena. I am personally a prevention coordinator for the organization. I am involved with the logistics for our campaign events and help with administrative aspects of the organization. I coordinate some of our campaigns and training events.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been involved with young adult ministry in my church. Before I became a Christian, I led volunteers in outreaches to women who were involved in prostitution.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Human trafficking is a serious crime that occurs all across Europe. However, Romania is one of the main sources of men, women, and children who become exploited as victims of human trafficking in Europe. Because human trafficking is such a complex phenomenon, we need to influence as many social factors as possible to have an effect.

Marija Maran Nocajac|| needs forum funding ::

Marija Maran Nocajac|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Marija Maran Nocajac is the founder and fundraising manager of a Christian NGO called Vredne ruke Vojvodjanke.

When did you trust Christ?

I come from an Orthodox family. As a child I went to church but I never had a real relationship with Him. My family was very dysfunctional. I never felt loved and accepted. When my father passed away in 2007, I was left to live with my mother who had cancer and my younger sister. My childhood vanished. I had to accept a new life and a harsh reality; I had to fight for my family any way I could. Many of those ways were not good and that got me into trouble with many people. As time passed, I became frustrated by the ungratefulness of my mother and sister because they did not appreciate what I did for them. That frustration led me to start drinking and spending time with people who were a bad influence. During this time my best friend became a drug addict and needed help. After he heard about a rehabilitation facility, he went there to get help and he had to spend two years there. His departure was another loss and I became angry. I withdrew inside myself. At the beginning of the year of 2013, I broke up the engagement with my betrothed and that was the turning point in my life; everything became pointless and I wanted to die. At the end of that same year I spent time with my best friend again and he was now a completely changed person. When I asked him what changed him, he said it was Jesus. Since I didn’t have anything in my life to hold onto, I decided to give Jesus a chance. It took me about six months to open up myself to Him. In the March of 2014, I gave my life to Christ and that was the best decision I ever made.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One the defining moments of my Christian walk was when I met my husband. Through him God has elevated me, brought back my faith in love, and showed me that I can love again. I am happy and I feel fulfilled in my marriage. God has made my wish come true; I feel loved and accepted.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to attend the European Leadership Forum because I am leading an organization. I need to learn how to be a better leader and how to lead as a Christian.

What is your ministry?

In the beginning, my ministry started from my desire to help my fellow Christian friends with the talents that God gave me so that their organizations would function better. I started an NGO that helps the work and ministry of many Christian organizations through fundraising and social media. The organization is a bridge between non-Christian and Christian organizations.

What are your past leadership roles?

Besides my current ministry, I am also part of “International Marriage Week” in Novi Sad, in which my role is fundraising and social networking for activities that are done within this ministry. Every year I successfully collect donations for a couple of Christian ministries like Week of Marriage, Hana Hope, and Focus. These donations come from more than one hundred sources that are non-Christian. These donors give wholeheartedly through my organization to other Christian projects.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

As a young believer and with the ministry that I have been given, I believe that I need to be surrounded with people of similar experience and knowledge so that I can learn from them.

Adrian Marusak|| needs forum funding ::

Adrian Marusak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Evangelism

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Adrian Marusak is the leader of KECY English Immersion Camps in Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

In 2012 I attended a KECY English Immersion Camp thinking it would be a fun thing to do in the summer. At that camp I heard the Gospel for the first time. I didn’t immediately believe, but it raised a lot of questions for me. One thing I was sure about was that the love the people at the camp showed towards me was really different from what I knew from other Christians I had met. I thought that if there really was some kind of God who loved us, then those people surely knew Him. A few months later, I attended a winter camp that was run by the same group. At that second camp I finally trusted Christ. Later I started to realize more and more how good God is and what it actually means to trust in Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After my decision to follow Jesus, I started to meet together in a small group led by one of the leaders from the church. We studied the Bible more deeply and learned about discipleship. This had a huge impact on my walk with Christ. I would also say that situations that were extremely hard in the moment have been the times that God has used to make me grow the most, whether it was losing a great friend or struggling through seasons of doubt.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to learn how to be a better leader and also to meet people from other parts of Europe leading similar ministries. I believe that when the leader gets better the whole organization gets better, so I think anything I grow in can have a direct impact on the entire ministry I am part of.

What is your ministry?

I lead KECY English Immersion camps. These are the same camps that led me to the Lord. The camp process starts with one camp week during the summer where our main purpose is to get to know the students more and to share the Gospel with them. Then throughout the summer we are doing “follow ups” with them to immerse them in youth groups and other student activities. During the school year we go deeper with the students through youth groups and small groups.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been the leader of a worship team responsible for doing worship evenings a few times a year and also playing songs at Sunday services. I also led worship in KECY camps.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I have really seen God change lives through the ministry I am part of, including my own life. That is the reason why I keep being part of this ministry and why I love doing it. However, I am still a young leader, so there are many areas where I have room to grow.

Andrei Daniel Miraute|| needs forum funding ::

Andrei Daniel Miraute|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Andrei Daniel Miraute is the pastor of the Baptist Church of Sofronea.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 13-years-old, I watched a video made by Louie Giglio called “How Great Is Our God.”
The movie discusses astronomy, biology, and math, and shows how the universe is powerful evidence for the existence of God. I had always been fascinated by science and the depth of the universe, so when I understood how big the universe is, I came to realize how great the God who made it is, and how small I am compared to Him and to the universe. More than that, He loved me so much that He gave His Son for my sins. I understood the gravity of my sins and my need for God that day.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first such moment was when my parents got divorced. I was only a teenager and I was already following God. That was the moment when I understood the true need for a holy life. The second defining moment in my life was when I decided to study theology at Emanuel University. I had no money for tuition or for accommodation, but against all these obstacles I wanted to go there. My mother told me that she couldn’t afford it, but God provided and was gracious to me. That was when I understood how dependent I am on God.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect that by attending the European Leadership Forum I will gain the information and the tools I need to be a better teacher and to better shepherd the people in my church. I hope that I will grow in my ability to lead the people I am responsible for and that I will become more capable of making the best possible decisions for the congregation.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a 70-member church. We have a mission church on a farm. I am supervising an Awana group that interacts with non-Christian children from the village. I am leading a small mission group from our church to help a neighboring church in the Valley of Mures. I lead a small prayer group in Timisoara with young families from our church in Sofronea village.

What are your past leadership roles?

Besides being a pastor, I have led Bible study and prayer groups. I have led students in serving smaller churches in Bihor County, Romania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am young in the ministry and I understand that I have a lot of things to learn for the ministry that God has called me to serve. God’s willing, I will be in ministry for the rest of my life. I think it is good to invest in something that will last for a long time and in someone who wants to be more capable in what he is doing. This is what I want for the ministry: to develop the gifts that God has given to me and to serve as much as I can.

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.

Ivo Sterba|| needs forum funding ::

Ivo Sterba|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Ivo Sterba is an elder and youth pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian back in early 1990s when I was in high school. I was invited to a weekend retreat where I heard the Gospel message proclaimed for the very first time. I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus right then and there. I started attending the local youth group in my hometown.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the defining moments in my Christian life was with a youth pastor from a church in Český Těšín. This youth leader inspired me a lot as a leader and a true and humble servant of Christ. Thanks to him I started to study, understand, and come to know the meanings of Biblical texts. I learned new ways of reaching out to young people with the Gospel. I learned to grow in faith. He recommended different books, conferences, and training programs to me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to meet with people who have experience with revitalizing churches. I am part of an aging church, so revitalizing our church is part of my ministry. I would like to learn how to proceed. I want to learn new ways of how to reach out to young people and gain new inspiration for the ministry. The Forum will also be a great chance for networking. I would also like to make use of the mentoring program that the Forum offers.

What is your ministry?

I am trying to revitalize the church and to reach out to young people in Bohumín through summer English camps and other youth activities. I also lead a bi-monthly small group in our church focused on evangelism. Furthermore, I want to develop relationships and build bridges with our non-believing friends who also have children and who we meet at different events for kids in our hometown.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a youth group leader in the 1990s in our church. A few years back I took up youth ministry doing various outreach activities like playing softball with kids, watching English movies, running English camps, and leading an Alpha course.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am from a small church and haven’t had many opportunities to attend a conferences and trainings like this before. I take it as a great opportunity for me to learn, grow in faith, and further develop my ministry.

Pawel Pilatowski|| needs forum funding ::

Pawel Pilatowski|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Pawel Pilatowski is a pastor and the principal of the John the Baptist Primary School.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to follow Jesus in 2004. A close friend of mine who was a Christian had a brain tumor. I really wanted to pray for her healing, but when I knelt down, I was so convicted about my own sin that for hours I confessed my sins and begged God to take over my life because I couldn’t live my life on my own. God answered this prayer, freed me from my addictions, and during the next few days healed the person I prayed for. Since then I look for God’s will and serve Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

About a year after I met Christ, I connected to a missionary from Christian Missionary Fellowship International, Cameroon, who helped me grow in my prayer life and fasting, as well as gain a more radical approach towards sin. A few years later I moved to Warsaw, where I served in a church in a poor neighborhood. I worked with the leaders and the addicted people in the neighborhood, who were going through rehab. In Warsaw I met a pastor and missionary group from Norway who served in many different ways. Through their ministry God dealt with many wounds from my dysfunctional family that I had been carrying since my childhood. At the same time God engaged me in the ministry. I went on to move to Toruń, where God led me to organize meetings for Christians who were outside the church. The goal of those meetings was to help those people to return to Christian fellowship and be a blessing. At that time, I met my wife. My marriage is a great lesson of humility and patience. God led my wife and I to move to the town of Garwolin to support a small church there.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I would love to gain knowledge of ministry development and to make contact with people who may be able to help me grow in my Christian education ministry. I want to build relationships with Christians in various countries who are devoted to Christian education.

What is your ministry?

I am a preacher and elder in Społeczność Chrześcijańska w Garwolinie, a small church in Garwolin. I do evangelism, preach, and provide counseling. At the same time, I am employed as head of administration for a Christian school and kindergarten in Warsaw. God has put in my heart a vision for establishing a Christian school in the city of Torun. I believe the ministry that God is starting may touch hundreds and thousands of Poles because of its influence on future generations through Christian education. Throughout the years of the schools’ operation hundreds of its graduates will impact their local communities.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the leader of a support group for addicted people. I was a leader and interpreter for meetings for Christians outside the church in Torun.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Christian education ministry is an investment in the structure of future society. There is a great need for Christianity to continue its impact on nations and local communities. Christian education gives an opportunity to prepare future generations so that their main goal will be following Jesus. I have already invested in my own education so I can meet legal requirements to run a school in Poland. I have also gained experience and spiritual formation during my work in a Christian school.

Vacilius Santos|| needs forum funding ::

Vacilius Santos|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Portugal

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vacilius Santos is a pastor and missionary in Portugal.

When did you trust Christ?

I decided follow Jesus in 1990. I grew up in an evangelical home, but it was not until years later that I understood the Gospel and gave my whole heart to Him. I have come to trust God in the face of fear. He has helped me to become a courageous preacher.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The church and my family are two special places where my faith has grown. Within the church, I have been a pastor for nearly 20 years. This has come with many challenges and I have had to rely on God and to trust Him. As a family, I have a wife and three children. They are constantly helping me to understand how to be the man God wants me to be. Being on the mission field has also helped me to develop and to trust God financially.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to attend the European Leadership Forum to gain a better understanding of what is happening here in Europe. It will be a great opportunity to make ministry friends. There are not many evangelicals in Portugal, so it will be wonderful to meet other believers from other nations.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor, so I help to lead both our congregation and also other pastors. I preach the Gospel. I serve married couples by providing training and offering counseling.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a pastor for almost 20 years. Part of this time I have been a missionary, so my family has had to trust God for our day to day needs.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The experiences that God has given me are very interesting to share and may be able to help others. My current mission is focused on being a pastor and leader. I live in Portugal, a country which desperately needs a revival of faith. Churches in Portugal are dying and need healthy connections.

Ivaylo Syarov|| needs forum funding ::

Ivaylo Syarov|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Organizational Development

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Ivaylo Syarov is the pastor of a Baptist church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian on December 31, 1990. After two years of struggling with spiritual questions I put my life in the hands of Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the most important moments in my spiritual development include: my initiation into missionary work in small villages when I had no financial support, my training at the Logos academy, the mentorship I received from my pastor, and the religious and political challenges of being an evangelical Christian in a country that is mostly Eastern Orthodox and Sunni Muslim.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I hope to encounter new ideas, opportunities, and partners for the Gospel. I need to renew the vision and implementation of our ministry. I hope to meet new challenges and find solutions to our ministry problems.

What is your ministry?

I serve as a pastor in a Baptist church. I am currently working on building leaders – both in the local church and a small group of leaders in different denominations. We have had the opportunity in the last three years to start Bible study groups with people who are Catholic. My goal is to train a new generation of church leaders to continue ministry in the church. My task is to help and support the mission of the church, to equip people for ministry, and to encourage them. I have also completed my doctoral program in church history semester and will soon defend my thesis.

What are your past leadership roles?

As a board member of the Baptist Union I helped with the financial and Organisational aspects of the organization. As chairman of the New Man publishing house I helped to continue the organization’s mission of promoting biblical and historical Christianity. As a trainer of small group leaders I helped to build small Bible study groups.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am dedicated to building up the next generation of Christian leaders in Bulgaria, leaders who are theologically sound and devoted to ministry.

Dora Szabados|| needs forum funding ::

Dora Szabados|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Health/Medicine

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Dora Szabados is the director of women’s ministry for Evangelical Christian Church Veszprem and a pastoral counselor.

When did you trust Christ?

In 1988 when I was almost 16, I went to a Christian camp where only girls were together and an old lady taught the Bible to us. One night she taught about the prodigal son and God put His hand on my sins and showed me how wretched I was. I asked for a personal conversation with this old woman and just cried and cried for an hour over my sins. Then we prayed together. I told Jesus everything I had said to the old woman. Since then the Lord has been taking care of me and changing my heart. I am very thankful to Him!

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The old woman who prayed with me to accept Christ was a big influence on me. A woman from our church whose life was very difficult also influenced me because the way she loved the Lord was so intimate. Other defining moments were when I got married, when I had my children, and when my husband became a pastor.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to become more competent in discipling younger Christians in the church. I also want to support my husband’s apologetic ministry and to be encouraged by other evangelical leaders.

What is your ministry?

I am the leader of the women’s ministry in our church. I hold a meeting for all the women in our church every month. Right now we are also studying a book together, which is developing relationships between the women. I regularly meet with women in the church who are in need of pastoral counseling. I also lead the worship on piano in the church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have previously been involved in teaching pre-adolescent children at our church and organizing the entire ministry for them.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

First, I am involved in the counseling ministry of my church— both as a pastor’s wife and as someone who is interested (and hopefully gifted) in counseling. I would like to learn more about the biblical foundations of counseling. Secondly, I would like to support my husband as the Forum National Leader for Hungary, and therefore have a more personal experience of the Forum myself.

Vadym Biriukov|| needs forum funding ::

Vadym Biriukov|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
OEducation—University

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Vadym Biriukov is the dean of students at Zaporozhye Bible College.

When did you trust Christ?

Before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I was desperately searching for real friends. I thought I had found them. We were a basketball team playing for the amateur championship in our city. But we had a falling out, and I was bitterly disappointed. One day I was at a store complaining about my disappointment. I was astonished by how a lady talked to me. She was a believer; she spared her time for me and was really kind as I explained my disappointment in the people who I thought were my friends. Through that sister God spoke to my heart. I wanted to know the God that she knew. That day radically changed my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Just after my repentance, I started working at the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant. That plant is one of the world’s largest producers of manganese alloys. I prayed to God for protection during each shift. For me, those months were a defining moment of my trust in God. I had two very close brushes with serious injury where my hands could have been completely crushed. After that, I had no doubt in the One I came to in repentance and to whom I had dedicated my whole life. Eventually, I left my job and was enrolled in Zaporozhye Bible College. I studied there for four years. It was a constant experience of growth through my teachers and their lectures, through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other students.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

As a dean of students and a leader of a youth group, I expect to improve my skills of teaching, leadership, and mentoring. I like the word mentoring because it involves close relationships and leadership by your own example. I want to learn from experienced speakers and implement that knowledge in our culture. Hopefully during the Forum, someone can show me how to be a better mentor.

What is your ministry?

At our church, I have been the Sunday school director since 2008. I have been working with our church’s youth group since last year. I am interested in working with youth in order to set biblical goals for them to achieve. At my job, I am a dean of students at Zaporozhye Bible College. The college is involved in missionary work. I lead some of these short-term mission groups. I am so delighted to watch our students grow in maturity during these trips.

What are your past leadership roles?

During my time of education at ZBC, I was a director of AWANA clubs for a couple of years. We had a team of about eight people. For me, it was difficult to manage the team. I had a feeling that I was sitting in the wrong chair. But it was a great opportunity to learn about what it means to be a leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Jesus Christ expects me to bear fruit, and I want to be of service in His Kingdom. I am dedicated to my job and ministry and want to improve as a mentor and leader. Investing in me will also hopefully influence many more people. I want to pass the applied knowledge on to those who I mentor.

Pavel Trifu|| needs forum funding ::

Pavel Trifu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Pavel Trifu is the Chaplain of Diaconia Medical Center and a church elder, pastoral counselor, and youth leader.

When did you trust Christ?

On August 12, 2005, I became a follower of Jesus. After a month of fasting and prayer, I took a long walk on the Independence Boulevard in the town where I grew up and God convicted me of my sin. I realized that I desperately needed Jesus to save me. A couple of months later I was baptized and began to serve my Lord in the local church of Braila, Romania.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first important moment of my walk with Christ was when my faith was tested in 2005 when I moved to Spain to work, far away from my family, friends, and church. Even though I immediately become a member in a local church of Berga, where I was working, my faith was tested through the circumstances of life. The church I attended in Berga was very legalistic. After two years there I decided to move to a Spanish evangelical church in the same city. When I returned to Romania I attended and graduated from the two-year Bible College in Galați, where I also met my wife. After that I was hired as Chaplain of Diaconia Medical Center in Braila, and I attended and graduated from the Reformed Baptist Bible College in Braila. At that same time, I was blessed to be trained for two years by the Romanian Christian Counselors Association.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to be encouraged by the large number of European church leaders, to connect with some of them and to understand more how we, as the Romanian church movement, are part of the larger European evangelical family. I hope to get involved with the Christian counseling movement and to understand how I can become a better youth worker.

What is your ministry?

On the one hand, I am serving as the Chaplain of Diaconia Medical Center in Braila. I am working with the vulnerable people with spiritual and emotional needs. At Diaconia I am doing evangelism, Bible studies, and counseling. On the other hand, I am active in my local church as one of the elders, leading the youth department, pastoring the small groups, and pastoring the youth leaders and the youth group by counseling. I am involved in evangelism events and one-on-one discipleship.

What are your past leadership roles?

Between 2009-2012, I was involved as the youth leader of the Golgotha Pentecostal Church in Braila. In 2012, when I start attending the Emanuel Christian Church in Galati, I started to work as one of the youth leaders. In 2014, I was invited to be part of the Board of Elders of the church. For a year, between 2016-2017, I was leading the Village Pentecostal Church of Smardan in the county of Galati.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a learner and I want to understand how my ministry can have a greater impact. I want to continue learning and am currently studying for my master’s degree. I believe education is one way we can have a significant impact on the culture.

Agron Zefi|| needs forum funding ::

Agron Zefi|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Agron Zefi is the leader of the youth ministry in his local church and is a lay preacher.

When did you trust Christ?

I converted to Christianity in 1996 when I was teenager. I was invited to attend a Christian conference and the preacher talked about sin and how awful sin is to God. It was as if the whole message was meant for me because I was such a sinner. Afterwards God showed me from his Word that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the only way to be forgiven and to receive spiritual rebirth. During that same conference I bowed my head and accepted in prayer that I was a sinner and I was worthy of God’s eternal wrath. I accepted that Christ took my place and asked Him to be my Savior. I asked Him to forgive me and to give me a new life as He promised in His word.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

There have been many specific people and many specific moments that have defined my progress as a Christian. These include reading my Bible, long and deep discipleship meetings with my pastor, attending two years of theological school, the preaching in my church, and participating in the youth ministry in my church.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

It is a special blessing to participate in the Forum. I benefit from the preaching and from teaching tools and techniques that I learn there. I hope that through these experiences I will be better equipped for my ministry. By being part of the Forum, I am also renewed spiritually, become more motivated for the work ahead, am inspired by the Word of God, and receive new energy for my ministry journey.

What is your ministry?

I am the leader of the youth ministry in my church. I teach young people the Bible, mentor and disciple them, and encourage them. I am also one of three men who preach the Bible every Sunday in our church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have led the children’s ministry in my church for five years. This has been a period of transformation.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a person who wants to serve and to bless others in the same way that I have been blessed. I am teachable, humble, and faithful to my teachers and to my Lord.

Nana Yaw Offei Awuku|| needs forum funding ::

Nana Yaw Offei Awuku|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ghana

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organisations

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Nana Yaw is the Global Associate Director, Generations for the Lausanne Movement.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in January of 1986 as a high school student at a Scripture Union evangelistic rally. It was abundantly clear to me that day that I needed to trust in Jesus as my savior and Lord.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Leadership transitions have marked key milestones in my life. I was trained as a chemical engineer, but had had no idea that the Lord was going to lead me to full time ministry for a lifetime. I began as a full-time staff with the Scripture Union as a young graduate, which led to national responsibility, and then to regional responsibility, and finally to a global call to serve. Each milestone has called for a fresh surrender of life to Christ for His grace. Young people have impacted me most, impacting me at every step to be more authentic in my personal life and leadership.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum gives me a unique opportunity to interact with European leaders. Through the Forum I can understand discipleship movements in the European context and missional efforts at discipling a new generation of European younger leaders to evangelize the new post-Christian Europe for God’s global mission.

What is your ministry?

In November of 2017, I was appointed as the director for a global new Younger Leaders Generation (YLGen) initiative by the Lausanne Movement. YLGen directly involves over 800 younger leaders and 250 mentors from some 150 countries globally.

What are your past leadership roles?

I previously served with the Scripture Union in Ghana as Director for Field Ministries with responsibility for ministry strategy development and staff training in leading evangelism and discipleship work in some 1,500 high schools. Over the past 20 years, I have served primarily in leadership roles relating to training in evangelism and discipleship with the Scripture Union in Ghana.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My current life and leadership focuses on discipling younger leaders for global mission. This will remain the direction of my ministry for the next 10 years or more.

Alessandro Piccirillo|| needs forum funding ::

Alessandro Piccirillo|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Government/Civil Service

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Alessandro Piccirillo is a co-pastor in his local church, and a panelist and editor for the Centre of Ethics and Bioethics Studies.

When did you trust Christ?

Born and raised in an evangelical family strongly committed to the local church, I came to give my life to Jesus when I was six, understanding how bad sin was and what was necessary to remove it and to be part of God’s family.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In my teens I started to question the very basis of my faith. I knew I was saved from eternal damnation, but was very reluctant about submitting my whole life to God. Basically my high school years were spent in an ambiguous condition before God, denying the revealed Creator yet clinging to the hope He really existed and worked in reality. After high school I entered the military, a period which was crucial. Having felt the depths of sin, loneliness and life’s senselessness, I resorted to the Psalms and was brought to understand God’s love in Christ. This brought me back to reconsider what I had been taught in church. I became all the more aware of the necessity of believing though not understanding everything at once, but trusting that the Lord would gradually reveal Himself to me through a life of discipleship and submission to His Word and to His work in my life. I soon rebuilt my life in the local church, pastored by the teaching of elders. I was baptized in December of 2003, married in 2008, and became a deacon in 2012.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect it to be beneficial for two reasons: networking and learning. Learning is always welcome, but networking, especially for Italian evangelicals, is crucial.

What is your ministry?

I am a co-pastor in my local church, and a supporting preacher in a church in a neighboring city. I am involved in the Centre of Ethics and Bioethics Studies in Padua as an editor and panelist. I am involved with the Italian Evangelical Alliance (formally the EEA), as well as with YLGen (Lausanne Movement).

What are your past leadership roles?

Previous to my role as a co-pastor I was a deacon and lay preacher in my local church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I do consider myself a man saved by God and privileged in serving Him in small ways as well as bigger ways, ways that pass my immediate God-given faculties. This is why I need training and networking.

Vadym Proshak|| needs forum funding ::

Vadym Proshak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vadym Proshak is a pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family. At the age of 20 I made my personal commitment to Jesus. Prior to making my decision, I decided to read the Bible in its entirety. Through my reading I realized that I needed to submit myself to the Lordship of God in my life. I confessed my sins and God made me a new person.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 1994, I entered Zaporizhzhia Bible College (ZBCS). My education there gave me a sound theological foundation for my faith. I graduated from the college with a bachelor’s degree. After I graduated, I became involved in church planting. I was later a youth pastor and worked as a part-time teacher at ZBCS. Practical work has really shaped me in my ministry skills. From 2001–2003, I studied theology at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Amsterdam. This was a time of a significant growth in my teaching skills, my knowledge, and my personal obedience to God. Since that time I have taught Apologetics, Evangelism, and other courses at ZBCS. At the same time I pastored a church for five years. I have always had good examples of solid Christian brothers and sisters around me that have helped me to grow spiritually and personally.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending seminars at the European Leadership Forum helps me to grow in my knowledge of several key areas, including evangelism and apologetics. I am also pastoring a church. We are active in evangelism and social work in our city. We want to influence our society with the Word of God and to work on changing our surroundings. We run different programs that aim to prevent recurrent crime and the spread of AIDS. We work with orphans and ex-prisoners. I feel the need to have some fresh experiences and ideas, and to make new contacts with other believers. I am looking forward to what I can gain from the Forum in these areas.

What is your ministry?

I am pastoring a mid-sized church of 200 members that is active in youth and teenage ministry and work with addicted, homeless, internationally-displaced people, and prisoners. I am a member of the Pastors’ Counsel of the Baptist Union in Zaporizhzhya region. It is the leadership of the Union at the regional level. I teach at pastors’ conferences six times a year. I am also involved in training youth leaders.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a teacher at the theological seminary for many years, teaching Apologetics, Philosophy, and Evangelism. For seven years I was a Dean of Students, where I helped students with spiritual formation and outreach activities. For five years I was a pastor. I was involved in planting the first church where I was a pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I love the Lord and want to minister for Him to the fullest of my abilities. I will appreciate any financial help in participating at the Forum. It will enrich my ministry and benefit the people I am ministering to.

Iwona Pietrzak|| needs forum funding ::

Iwona Pietrzak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Worship

Iwona Pietrzak is a worship leader and an art teacher in the Christian school she started with her husband.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in traditional Catholic home and family. When I was 18 years old, I started to think about the meaning of life. Around that same time my older brother became a born again Christian and he started to tell me about having a real relationship with God. It was very easy to see how much my brother’s life had changed. As a result of all this, I started to read the Gospel of Matthew from the beginning. When I got to the 6th chapter, God touched my heart so strongly that I was completely changed from the inside out. I repented of my sins and became a born again Christian.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I became a Christian I had different moments in my life that were defining moments. These include my baptism in 1989, becoming a worship leader in 1990, marrying my husband in 1997, attending Bible school in 1999, the birth of our twin boys in 2003, moving from the city of Warsaw to Poznan in faith in 2006, and returning to Warsaw in 2017 to start a Christian school with my husband.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has given me a better understanding of art, God, and God in art. I am so encouraged because the Forum gives me the opportunity to learn from other leaders, get to know them, share our lives and experiences, and pray for each other.

What is your ministry?

Today I am a worship leader. I write worship songs and lead worship teams in two churches. I lead a discipleship group for women. My husband and I started a Christian school called King David’s School, where I am an art teacher. My husband and I also organize a small discipleship conference for our church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a worship leader since 1990. I have been a discipleship group leader since 2003.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to grow in the area of reaching people with the gospel through art. I believe this is a great way to reach people because non-Christians are more open to thinking about spiritual things when they are presented in an artistic way.

Arben Bushgjokaj|| needs forum funding ::

Arben Bushgjokaj|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Arben Bushgjokaj is a pastor in Shkoder, Albania.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust Christ in 1993. I was in high school and reading religious literature, and I wanted to know more about God. I was very devout in my Roman Catholic religion, but it was not helping me with my sins. I felt empty and hopeless. Then, I was invited by a friend to a special meeting held by Christians for people who wanted to know more about God and study the Bible. That marked the start of my journey to find the truth I so desired. A few months later, I was convicted by the Spirit of God and His Word. I admitted that I was a sinner and surrendered to Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My journey in the faith of Christ has been very dynamic—full of defining moments. I encounter challenges and experience the grace of God every day. Some particular moments I would mention are: getting married, being ordained as a pastor, becoming a father (4 times), and many more that have added color and taste to my life. I surrender myself to Christ every day to live for his glory and to see people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I benefit from the Forum in two ways. First, the Forum teaches me so much. This is something that should never cease to happen. I learn from the lectures and speeches, from the seminars and other sessions, and from other people’s experiences. Second, I connect with other pastors and leaders. I know that this is a great opportunity to connect with people from other parts of Europe—both to learn from them and to share with them from my experience.

What is your ministry?

My ministry as a church pastor consists mainly of two aspects. First, I teach and preach the Word of God. I have dedicated my life to teaching the church I serve, so that every member is equipped to live a life that is giving God the glory and to do the work for which God has called them. Second, I engage in prayer and pastoral care. I spend a lot of my time praying for and with people, listening to them when they share about their daily and weekly experiences, and trying to guide, encourage, and advise them in the way of the truth. I also dedicate time on a regular basis to developing leaders (or potential leaders) within the church. This is a great blessing, as we have a good number of people who are very committed and humbly serving the Lord in our church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I served as youth leader for about 4 years (1996-2000). I also served as co-leader of the children’s ministry from 1995-1999. I have been a pastor in our church since 2001.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

First, to help me grow and become a better leader. Second, to help me help other people in my church and develop areas for growth. Third, to help me connect with other leaders from the area. And finally, to help me obtain resources and connections that I would not have otherwise.

Giuseppe Palermo|| needs forum funding ::

Giuseppe Palermo|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Giuseppe Palermo is a church planter and leads several short-term mission trips in Italy each year.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust the Lord at the age of 13 at a Christian summer camp. However, until the age of 19 I was not consistent, and did not have a real grasp of what it meant to follow Jesus. After more study and guidance from other Christians in my life, I recommitted my life to the Lord and the change was evident to all. Since then life with Christ has been much more real.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I think the most important thing for me was the training I received at London Theological Seminary. Studying God’s Word and being trained and taught by great men of God was life changing for me. I appreciated the quality time spent with these people, which enabled me to have a much deeper understanding and knowledge of the Word of God, and how to live it out practically on a day-to-day basis.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The teaching at the European Leadership Forum is amazing and a great blessing. The Forum has lots of resources, fellowship, and interaction with other people involved in different ministries throughout Europe. There is good networking and I have received great deal of helpful information for my ministry in Italy. I want to return to the Forum to meet other Christian leaders from all over the world. I want to learn from them and have fellowship with them. I also want to see if there are any opportunities to partner in ministry and to learn how to better pray for my brothers and sisters more effectively.

What is your ministry?

I work among students and am involved with another missionary family in church planting here in Milan. We started off with some small home Bible studies and now rent a building every Sunday to meet and worship together. I am also part of a mission network called Italian Ministries. I am one of the founders of this network and also part of the board. I lead four short term mission trips each year.

What are your past leadership roles?

I spent ten years as part of the eldership of a church that started the church plant Bergamo Free Independent Evangelical Church. During that time I worked with a national mission organization called Operation Mobilization.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My only goal is to reach out to others with the Gospel, to share Christ, and to be involved in telling others the Good News. I also have a heart to help the local church by training and helping young people to preach and teach. There is an urgent need here in Italy and my burden is great, so any investment is greatly appreciated.

Vasilica Croitor|| needs forum funding ::

Vasilica Croitor|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Vasilica Croitor is the senior pastor of Bethlehem Church and the secretary of the Romanian Foreign Mission Agency.

When did you trust Christ?

I got saved in 1990 while in my hometown. I was impacted by the Gospel through my family and the youth group at our church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 1991 I joined a team of young evangelists and started doing street evangelism. Next I attended a Bible school that was very much oriented towards practical evangelistic activities. From 1993-1997 I studied theology in Bucharest and became friends with a teacher of missions who influenced my life in many ways. In 1996 I took an intensive course in Islam and since then I started to work in the area of Romania that has many Muslims. Since 1997 I have served as the pastor of a church in a town that is the headquarters of Islam for Romania.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I believe that the resources offered by the Forum are very necessary for helping to meet the needs that European churches are facing.

What is your ministry?

I am the senior pastor of Bethlehem Church in the city of Medgidia, a city with a large Muslim population. I am the overseer for the Southeastern Region of the Pentecostal Church of Romania. I am the secretary of the Romanian Foreign Mission Agency. We have 60+ full time missionaries in other countries. I oversee the Pentecostal Churches in the Southeast of Romania.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the founder and the director of a Christian Library in my home town. I started a publishing and printing ministry.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We are developing a plan to plant 100 new churches in our country. We need all the help we can get in this endeavor.

Dorin Dumitrascu|| needs forum funding ::

Dorin Dumitrascu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Students

Dorin Dumitrascu is a full time minister at a church, where he leads worship and youth ministry. He also works with a non-profit organization that works with students.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my original decision to trust and follow Jesus when I was 16-years-old. I was part of a small Bible study group. When we studied the words of 1 John 5:12-13 — “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” — the result was that I knelt in our family living room and I prayed for the first time that Jesus would become my God! Even though I grew up in a Christian family and I knew the Word of God, it was not until that moment that I was born again.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My family — both my parents and my brothers and sisters — have had a huge influence on my spiritual growth. Being part of a small group in the church also had a great impact on my life. My older brother, Mihai, became my mentor and helped me develop spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible daily and daily prayer. I have served in the church since 1996 as a worship leader and youth minister, where I have faced many circumstances and challenges that have help me grow in my faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am involved in student ministry. I need to know how to respond properly to the unbelieving students I work with. Attending the European Leadership Forum helps train me to better answer these and other difficult questions that arise from the postmodern world. The Forum challenges me to develop a better understanding of the contemporary methods of reaching unbelievers in relevant ways. It is an excellent resource for my ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am part of the pastoral team in our local church. My roles in the church are coordinating the music team, leading youth leaders, and leading the ProVeritas Association (for pre-evangelism). My main focus is on working among high school and university students. My goal is to reach as many as possible with the Gospel through educational programs.

What are your past leadership roles?

Since 1996, I have led the worship teams in two churches. I also work with youth. Since September of 2010, I have worked full time in our local church, Biserica Crstina Emanuel Galati.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am determined to participate at the European Leadership Forum in order to be better equipped for the student work in our city. I consider that there are many things to be learned at the Forum, things that will help prepare me to answer postmodern questions that students have about faith in Christ. As Francis Schaeffer wrote in his “Trilogy,” the church has to address a contemporary world rather than addressing a world that no longer exists.

Petry Groza|| needs forum funding ::

Petry Groza|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Petry Grova is the president of a Christian organization called the Regen Foundation.

When did you trust Christ?

In 1996 we had an evangelistic event in our town where a few evangelists from the U.S. came and preached about how people could be saved. That was the moment when I made the decision to follow Christ for the rest of my life. And it has been quite a journey ever since.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I began my journey by being broken by God. He destroyed my dreams of becoming a rich, successful, famous person. He brought the right people and the right circumstances into my life to challenge me to strive for more. One such moment was when the Lord introduced me to my wife, who is my biggest supporter. Another defining moment was when a professor from a seminary in the U.S. came to Romania and was the main speaker at a pastor’s conference that I organized.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I anticipate that I will receive spiritual food, will have the opportunity to network with other leaders, and will receive answers to questions I don’t have answers for yet.

What is your ministry?

In the last few years God has directed me towards the role of leading a Christian organization. Together with a group of young believers I formed the Regen Foundation, where I serve as the president. I lead a group of two full time paid staff and around 10 volunteers. Our vision is to see people regenerated in all aspects of life. The vision statement of the Regen Foundation is to see men, women and children regenerated spiritually, economically, and socially, so that they can become change agents in a deprived world. We run homework clubs in 5 locations around our town of Fagaras. Over 200 children and youth come to receive help. We teach them the Bible and also give them academic help. We are also involved in taking them to camps where we share the Gospel. Recently we have been involved in social and medical programs, all with the main purpose of showing God’s love in practical ways and building relationships in a culture that is hostile to evangelicals.

What are your past leadership roles?

I served in my local church for more than five years as a youth leader. I was also the worship leader for more than eight years for the youth group. I continue to lead the church in worship. I am also a choir director. I worked for eight years as a project manager, translator, and evangelist for a ministry called the Romanian Chapel Project, part of the American IMB. I was charged with organizing many short term mission teams. In the last few years God has entrusted me with investing in the lives of many young people. I have been part of a group of people that organized youth conferences called History Makers. Over 150 youth have been part of these conferences.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I know God has given me the potential for leading others to know Christ. My desire is to always strive for more and to be more like Jesus. I need to learn from people who have gone before me. I always want to grow; therefore I need someone to teach me and to support me in my growth.

Zoran Kavedzic|| needs forum funding ::

Zoran Kavedzic|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Professional Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Zoran Kavedzic is a premarital counselor for Operation Mobilization.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus in 2002, based on long-term relationships with Christian friends and missionaries. I had met them throughout numerous projects that aimed to serve the poor and needy.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My mentor disciplined me spiritually from 2000 until 2006. That caused me to redefine and intensify my walk with Jesus. Working with the poor made me realize how limited my resources were to meet their needs, and how great the Lord is – He understands every person’s needs. I was challenged to trust in God’s wisdom and to follow His lead in spite of hard situations that I was facing. For example, losing a family member challenged me to understand more deeply the mystery of salvation and eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

It has been a few years since I have been able to attend the European Leadership Forum. I value the sound teaching and opportunity to be part of the Forum’s Counselors Network. There are very few Christian counselors working in the Balkans. Having the opportunity to talk, learn, and grow together with other counselors who have a common love for Christ is something that I both desire and need to be more effective in ministry.

What is your ministry?

My passion is to glorify God and share His love through my life and ministry activities in the region of Herzegovina. I strive to use the talents and training I have to teach others about God’s truth. At this time this includes premarital counseling seminars and using social media as way to interact with and reach young adults concerning matters of dating and what marriage can and should be.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was one of the leaders of a house church in Zenica from 2003 – 2006. From 2000 – 2008, I was a regional coordinator for an international and local NGO.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I see a need to keep improving my skills in Christian counseling, since the need for pre-marital counseling is growing in my city.

Klara Kisgeci Dudas|| needs forum funding ::

Klara Kisgeci Dudas|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Klara Kisgeci Dudas is the president of Christian Medical Fellowship in Serbia.

When did you trust Christ?

My parents were believers and I had the opportunity to learn about God, but I did not understand the Scriptures, especially grace and faith. I did not follow my parents’ steps of faith, and I had many painful and difficult experiences in my life. I was without hope. Ano Domini for me was in 1992. Several months before I became a Christian, my husband was converted. It was a real challenge for me to try to understand the Bible again. I had many questions. “Read! The Lord will come to you!” an old teacher told me. A long process started in my mind. I made a decision to trust and follow Jesus, when I felt in my heart that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The conference of ICMDA (International Christian Medical and Dental Association) in Hungary, in 1996; Balatonaliga was an amazing point in my spiritual life. For the first time I heard about dualism, pluralism, medical ethics, bioethics, holistic care, care for the care-givers, how to find hope, and many more topics. I found the focus of my life: Jesus!

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I need quality teaching, advice related to the strategy of work, and networking with other leaders at the Forum. It is a privilege to be a part of the Forum, and to share experiences. The Forum helps me in getting the bigger picture of how God is working. I exceedingly appreciate the experiences of others, testimonies, worship time, new revelations, and encouragement for the work of Christian Medical Fellowship in Serbia. We do not have good materials and resources and the Forum supplies us both physically and spiritually to continue this ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am the president of Christian Medical Association in Serbia. Our aim is to connect Christian medical workers (doctors, dentists, pharmacists, paramedics, medical nurses, medical technicians), medical students, and other healthcare workers who believe and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in the spirit of Holy Scriptures. We want to offer these Christian professionals help, support, and encouragement so that through work in their own particular field they can become aware of the importance of their own spiritual life, and we want to encourage them to be an example in their everyday life and work. In this way I mentor and coach new leaders; promote community integral health, which integrates evangelism, discipleship, development, and multiplication; and lead a Bible Discover group for non-believers, cultural Christians, and Muslims. I am a retired dentist.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My ministry in Serbia is growing and I am serving God’s people through the field of medicine. These medical professionals are essential in any society, and we strive to help these professionals work not for themselves, but to work for Christ. The Forum is a great learning and growth opportunity that will also help my ministry work as a more effective servant of Christ!

Sigita Linkyte|| needs forum funding ::

Sigita Linkyte|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Sigita Linkyte is a youth minister in her local church.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus when I was 16-year-old. The church that my family attended started Alpha courses for young people and I was invited to join them. I learned so much about Jesus and the Bible and why they are the truth. During a weekend away with my group from the course, I was convicted by the Holy Spirit. I realized that I need Him as my savior. I had committed so many sins, but I knew that He would still forgive me and that He still loved me. This changed me. I wanted to get to know Jesus better and help others to get to know Him also.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of my closest friends died not long after I decided to follow Jesus. It caused me so much pain. But I felt that Jesus was always near me and that He was now my closest friend. Without Him I would have been completely crushed. Another important moment was when I had to move to another city to study. I was alone and away from my family and friends. But God was faithful and never left me. He comforted me and brought peace to my heart. After a couple of weeks in my new city I found a group of Christians from various churches who gathered once in a week to share about their lives and to worship God. This had great impact on me. I found that other Christians could be like family members even if I had just met them. While studying I had a mentor (from the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students organization). She helped me to deepen and strengthen my faith. Together we read a book written by John Stott called Contemporary Christian. And now I am serving in my local church as the youth minister. By studying God’s Word with children and teenagers, by seeing how they grow in faith, I also understand more of who God is. It is also a big challenge for me to serve them and lead them. But with prayer and by studying God’s Word I find that He is faithful.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has really blessed me with the fellowship and encouragement I have received there. The time spent in the presence of God has shown me what I am doing wrong as a leader and how I should change that. But step by step I am willing to change and entrust to God what I am doing.

What is your ministry?

Once in a week our youth group gathers together to study the Bible, share our insights, and to worship and pray together. I also meet personally with some of the girls to study the Bible together. I mentor them and disciple them so that they will be mature Christians who can serve others and serve themselves.

What are your past leadership roles?

In addition to the youth group, I organize events like worship nights. I serve youth in our church’s summer camp.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Our city is a big mission field. We are a small church, but we want to reach people outside of it. I am young and I believe that I can lead the youth in our church and reach teens outside of the church. I find it easy to make new connections, to get to know a person better and lead them to the Christ.

Samuel Mitrofan|| needs forum funding ::

Samuel Mitrofan|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Evangelism

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Samuel Mitrofan is the chairman of the board of EE Romania, an organization that trains churches for evangelism.

When did you trust Christ?

I met Jesus as a young boy. I grew up in a Christian home with two parents who were believers. They took me to church every week. One week I heard the sermon and decided to give my life to Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to encounter new ideas and new strategies for evangelism, mentoring, and training. I want to meet new believers from my context and also those working in similar ministries in other countries. I want to form new partnerships. The Forum is a great opportunity to see a wonderful piece of Heaven. Good fellowship and meaningful relationships are plentiful here. I am so grateful for your help.

What is your ministry?

I am the chairman of the board of EE Romania. Our goal is to train churches and organizations for the work of evangelism, both in theory and in practical ways. We do this by helping churches to discover their evangelists. Then we equip those evangelists with the tools that will allow them to train and equip others. We help to create powerful evangelistic teams that gradually can equip all the believers in those churches. These churches are then ready to share the gospel with their communities and the world. We have worked with hundreds of churches and organizations in Romania and Eastern Europe.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously the European Director for Capital Ministries. I was also a consultant for the Romanian Parliament.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Evangelism is incredibly important, but most Christians don’t really know how to engage nonbelievers with the gospel. We want to train churches to train Christians in how to do evangelism.

Cristina Olariu|| needs forum funding ::

Cristina Olariu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Cristina Olariu is the director of a Christian FM radio station.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family and I always thought that I was a good and godly person. But then I joined a prayer group and I realized what a sinner I really was. I repented to God and I decided to follow Him. I was conscious of my sin and my need for salvation, which led me to make that decision.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I had a good job, but God called me to work in Christian radio. It was a hard decision to resign from my job when working in radio was a volunteer position. I was married, and we had a small child and two elderly people living in our home as well. My husband and I decided that it was more important to listen to God and that He would provide for us. After one month, I was offered a part-time job in Christian television and someone I did not even know offered to cover my expenses for school. After my second year of study, I had gained a scholarship and God provided for us. This was one of the most important lessons of my life: if we follow the core calling of God, despite giving up personal security, God will take care of everything.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

From the Forum I have received inspiration, encouragement, and direction. I have met extraordinary people and have returned to my home full of ideas and energy. The Forum has helped me to see exactly the next steps that I should take in the ministry to which I have been called.

What is your ministry?

I lead a team of 7 employees and 220-400 volunteers (depending on the period of the year). Our mission is to broadcast the Gospel to all Romanians. Our vision is to explain the message of Christ in a crystal-clear way so that anyone who hears can make a decision for God. In the same way, we want to offer support and news for the existing Christian community in Timisoara and also develop Christians to work in the media in the future. We have a YouTube channel where we have received more than one million views. We organize different social events like sharing the Gospel in hospitals and at pro-life events.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been leading the Radio Voice of the Gospel in Timisoara for five years. I have been in other leadership roles in camps and conferences, but radio is the core method through which God has taught me leadership.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We can still share the Gospel openly and freely in Romania. We are the only Christian radio station to broadcast FM in a town where many students come every year for universities and where many churches need a platform to work together as one community. I am committed to sharing the Gospel. Being better equipped means being more efficient.

Andrzej Kempczynski|| needs forum funding ::

Andrzej Kempczynski|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Andrzej Kempczynski is a church planter in Poland.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a small town where there is no evangelical church. When I was in my last year of secondary school, I had older friends who had moved to Warsaw for university, coming home on the weekends. One Friday, one of my friends visited me and told me that he had become a born-again believer. Another Friday, another friend visited me and told me that he had become a born-again believer. Then another Friday, another friend came and also told me about his conversion. They all, like me, had been Roman Catholic. Two of them were nominal and one was devout, so that made me think about Christianity. Although I was Roman Catholic, I rather thought of myself as an atheist. I had questions, and they provided the answers. Eventually, I wanted to become a born-again believer too. On November 30, 1993, I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I joined my friends’ church once I moved to Warsaw to continue my education. Because there were splits in the church, I decided to change churches. My other friends invited me to a new Baptist church in Warsaw. I decided to stay there, but I did not know anything about Baptists apart from stereotypes. I started looking for information on the internet about Baptists, and I found information about Charles Spurgeon, the most famous Baptist preacher. That was the defining moment of my Christian walk. I started reading his sermons, and after a very poor ‘diet’ at my previous church, it was like a three-course meal. Spurgeon used expressions I did not understand, so I started researching more and reading books about these issues. At the same time I started to be hungry for theology and wanted to grow in understanding, so I went to the Warsaw Baptist Theological Seminary. During seminary, the conviction in my heart grew that I should think about full-time church ministry. Because I did not think I had enough preparation, together with my wife, we decided to leave Poland for the United Kingdom (UK) to study at London Seminary (formerly London Theological Seminary). We spent almost 4 years in the UK, and were subsequently sent to Poland as church planters.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

It will help me to focus on the subject of my interest. I am thinking about reaching young people, and to that end, I think it would be helpful to focus on apologetics. It is not my strong suit, but if I learn a bit more I could impact the young people in our town.

What is your ministry?

We are involved in church planting. That means I have to do a bit of everything. I am an evangelist, and that includes street evangelism as well as writing tracts. I am also a pastor and prepare sermons.

What are your past leadership roles?

This is my first leadership role.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We are the only evangelical church in our town of almost 53,000 people. We are also the only evangelical church in our county of almost 110,000 people. If there is a way we can reach these people with the gospel, we would like to do it. We are a small group, but we would like to see people converted to biblical Christianity. What I would learn at the Forum would also benefit our church, and equip my brothers and sister to talk to their unbelieving friends on a different level.

Vladimir Borin|| needs forum funding ::

Vladimir Borin|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vladimir Borin is a pastor and Bible teacher.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in an Eastern Orthodox home and I spent some time living in the United States. During that time I met a number of Mormons and I really liked some of the social values that they demonstrated in their lives, but I knew in my heart that their beliefs were far from my childhood belief in God. After I returned to Bulgaria at the end of 2006 I continued to live and believe as I had always done. In 2011 I met a number of missionaries, including Daniel Patterson. We met weekly to study the Bible, and Daniel asked me to translate for an “Introducing God” evangelism course. As we went through the course it confirmed in my heart that, firstly, there was a God, and secondly, that Jesus was the author and king of my life, and that I could have life in Him forever if I repented and believed in His life, death, and resurrection. So I did! The good news that I had life in Christ was the news that I wanted to share. So I began sharing my beliefs with my family, close friends, and wider acquaintances.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the defining moments in my life include: meeting Daniel Patterson and studying the Bible with him; the evangelism course group that I was part of and went on to co-lead; my realization and passion for evangelism; and the ongoing work that I have done with unbelievers in the sense that it challenges me to defend what I believe.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

To be at the Forum is a chance to meet people who are doing similar things in their countries. It helps me to learn from them and I can also help others with my skills. I am encouraged by hearing other people’s stories. I want to say “thank you” by doing whatever I can to use the knowledge I receive in my own local church.

What is your ministry?

I have an organization in Bulgaria called Epaphras Link – Gospel, Faith, and Culture. We run several small Bible teaching groups and a church. I work also for an organization called Bulgarian Child, Inc. We have a learning center for children who live in orphanages. I teach there and lead Bible studies.

What are your past leadership roles?

Earlier in my ministry I co-led an evangelism course and co-lead Bible study group in a village.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I think that with training I can help a lot of people to find Jesus and live lives as Christians. I think people should invest in me because I have a burden for my culture and my country to not only be liberated from things that do not matter and that are temporary, but be freed by the gospel to experience true value.

Daniel Fodorean|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Fodorean|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Revitalization

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Daniel Fodorean is an Assistant Professor at the Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest and the pastor of Nova Vita Baptist Church in Constanta.

When did you trust Christ?

I grow up in a Christian family under the Communist regime. At 12-years-old during a church service I realized that my life cannot be saved without a Savior. I received Jesus as my Savior and from that moment I have had joy and peace in my heart. I return home and I told to my parents that I was a follower of Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was 16-years-old, a few months after I was baptized, my pastor asked me to lead the church service. I was scared, but I lead the time of prayer. The next week, the pastor asked me to prepare a short messge for the Thursday evening service. My home church had 400 members. When I started speaking my knee trembled. But that evening brought me the confirmation that I should go to seminary to prepare for going into ministry.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to have a better understanding of the status of evangelicals in Europe and a better understanding of the ministry opportunities in Europe. I want to learn more about education and leadership from other theologians and leaders of Christian organizations. I want to represent my ministry, the Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest, among leaders in Europe.

What is your ministry?

Currently, I am the teacher-pastor of Nova Vita Baptist Church, Constanta. Beyond pastoral ministry, I am an Assistant Professor of Applied Theology at Baptist Theological Institute of Bucharest, President of Antioch Center/Executive Director of European Leader Formation, and Principal of Champions for Life Primary School.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was pastor of Golgotha Baptist Church, Constanta, Romania, for almost 20 years and I served as one of the founders and the president of Constanta Baptist Association for eleven years. I served as the vice president of Constanta Baptist Association for four years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Our mission as an organization is to help the church to be revitalizing. I am teaching applied ecclesiology courses at our seminary and my course includes this topic. I want to understand more about this topic and how others see this topic.

Duncan Olumbe|| needs forum funding ::

Duncan Olumbe|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Kenya

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Organisational Development

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Duncan Olumbe is National Director of Community Health Evangelism for the Full Gospel Churches of Kenya.

When did you trust Christ?

I made a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in March 1984 during my first year in secondary school. This decision came about because of the witness of fellow students who were born-again members of the school’s Christian Union. Even though I grew up in a nominal Roman Catholic family, it was at this point that I fully recognized that I was a sinner and needed the saving grace of Christ. Growing up in salvation after this initial decision was not easy as I was the first member of my family to make such a commitment.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I joined the Full Gospel Church, the then local pastor and his wife took me under their wings and brought me up in faith just like one of their children. Though now retired, I deeply appreciate their impact in my life. In my high school and college years I was actively involved in the Christian Unions which greatly enhanced my leadership skills and my desire to serve the Lord “full-time”. Immediately after university graduation, I volunteered to serve with the Kenyan evangelical student movement (under IFES). This greatly clarified my call to ministry. Also during this time at a student missions conference I fully dedicated my life to serving God for the rest of my life in cross-cultural missions.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

It is such a privilege to be at the Forum and to be part of the Forum’s Year-Round Mentoring in Disciple-Making. I have learned a lot about how to lead an effective discipleship ministry. It is also so refreshing to worship the Lord and to get to meet brothers and sisters from all over the world. I believe the new connections I make will be a huge blessing to my ministry back home.

What is your ministry?

My current ministry involves oversight of the implementation of Community Health Evangelism as a church-planting model within the Full Gospel Church in Kenya. We are primarily targeting poor, marginalized, and unreached people groups on how best to reach them with the Gospel using holistic missions – meeting both physical and spiritual needs. It is a grassroots community-based approach to development with special emphasis on public health, farming, water and sanitation, and environmental conservation.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have served as the Executive Director of Mission Together Africa, which sought to mobilize the East African Church into active involvement in God’s mission. My role included setting up the organization from scratch and leading it to be a key player in the global mission circles. This involved networking and bringing together all the mission players in the country so that we could serve God’s mission better as a united force.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I sense that God has placed me in a position of significant leadership influence both locally and internationally. Also, as I will soon turn 50-years-old, I sense that God is calling me to impact the next generation of leaders under me. As such, I believe those who may want to invest in my training and ministry will have significant impact not only in my life but in the lives of those that I lead and serve.

Petr Boldis|| needs forum funding ::

Petr Boldis|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Petr Boldis is a deacon and discipleship group leader in his local church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 2000 during after a showing on the Jesus film in Czech Republic. After the movie, I met with some American missionaries who led me to accept Jesus Christ as my savior. They also helped me take the first few steps of following Jesus after I became a Christian.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Firstly, the testimony and discipleship I was provided by the missionaries who led me to the Lord were invaluable. They helped me take my first baby steps in the Christian faith. Secondly, I have experienced challenging times when God has been my only hope and when he has purified my internal motives. Finally, participating in different ministries in the church has helped me to learn and grow.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum provides me with encouragement in my ministry. I am able to learn new things and network with other Christians from my country and in my field of ministry. The Forum allows me to experience growth.

What is your ministry?

I am currently a deacon in my local church. I help shepherd and serve those who are in the church community and their families. Approximately 200 people attend our church. Many come from challenging life backgrounds and they are not able to easily cope with typical life situations. Many come from dysfunctional homes or backgrounds. Others have experienced difficult life situations such as long-term illnesses or deaths in their immediate family. One of the challenges I see is how to help people in difficult life circumstances. I also lead discipleship groups for men ages 20-45.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously the youth group leader for my church. I was responsible for leading, mentoring, discipling, and teaching the Bible to the young people of my church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am constantly growing and helping other spiritual leaders to grow. Our church wants to serve other Christians and make disciples who multiply.

Titus Pastean|| needs forum funding ::

Titus Pastean|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Titus Pastean is one of the pastors of a Baptist Church in Timisoara.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a committed Christian family. My father was a Baptist minister. In 1987, as I was graduating from the 8th grade, I was going through some rough times and I started asking questions about God. One day after having read my Bible and having listened to sermons, one sermon spoke to me personally and I made the decision to follow Jesus right then.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One important moment was when I left to go to Baptist Theological Seminary in Bucharest, about 400 miles from home. I went to study to be a pastor and that strengthened my relationship with Christ—assuring me that it was okay to be alone as long as I was following God’s plan. A painful moment was my parents’ divorce when I was 20. A significant moment was entering the ministry in 1996. I became assistant pastor of Golgotha Baptist Church in Arad.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending the European Leadership Forum is a great blessing. It has enlarged and enriched my perspective on ministry as a result of the interaction with a broad group of leaders from other countries and cultures. This has helped me raise the number of people (disciples and leaders) in which I invest, the quality of my messages and talks, the capacity to face change and to make changes, and my ability to organize my work to understand and improve my leadership. Because of the Forum, I have been able to gain resources that I could find nowhere else!

What is your ministry?

I am one of the pastors of a Baptist Church in Timisoara (Vox Domini), a church focused on university ministry. I am also a co-founder and member of an interdenominational Romanian Christian organization called BIG-Impact, a movement of churches with global impact. I also teach in a non-formal program called ATS (Advanced Theological Studies), a program in partnership with Dallas Theological Seminary.

What are your past leadership roles?

In 2001, I became the youth pastor at Maranatha Baptist Church, where I served until 2004. I subsequently became youth minister at Vox Domini.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By investing in me, you will also be investing in many leaders in Romania. Together, we can change Romania for Christ.

Tomas Henzel|| needs forum funding ::

Tomas Henzel|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Health/Medicine

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Tomas Henzel is a medical doctor, pastor, and church planter.

When did you trust Christ?

In 1997 during a church evangelism conference I realized that I am a sinner and needed to personally accept Christ as my Savior, even though I had grown up in a Christian home. At that time, I entrusted my whole life to Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Growing up in a Christian home certainly had a role in defining my walk with Christ. Being a part of a student discipleship group formed by my youth minister also had a profound impact on my faith. Another incredibly important defining moment for me was the year I spent as a missionary in Tanzania, from 2003-2004. During this time, I helped in a medical center and led a boy’s group in a church plant.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum has definitely been a great help and encouragement for me. I want to be faithful as a Christian leader. The Forum has shown me how to do this. In Slovakia we very much lack the understanding that as Christians we are responsible for our society and culture. The Forum has given me insights into how to reflect the character of Christ to our culture. The Forum helped me, for example, to organize the first ever Slovakian mission youth conference. The possibilities for the fruitfulness of such things are endless. Without the support, help, and resources from the Forum, I would not have been able to put together something that seemed so vast. I believe, however, that it will change the future of Slovakia.

What is your ministry?

I am a church planter in Bratislava since the summer of 2018 after planting a church in Nitra. I work as a bi-vocational pastor and medical doctor. I lead a national church planting network called PLANt.sk.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously a youth leader in my church, responsible for 30 teenagers aged 16-18. In addition to weekly meetings I organized small group Bible studies and summer evangelistic camps and mission activities. I also traveled to other Slovakian churches and spoke to the youth about the role of missions in their lives.

In addition to working with youth, I also use medical school as an opportunity to witness and evangelize. I am currently part of a Christian Medical Group that encourages and supports one another as we are Christians in a secular field.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I’m grateful to all who make it possible for me to come to this encouraging, supportive, mission-focused event. Thank you for giving generously to minister to me in this way. You have given me an example of the certainty that all one has is God’s. May you find satisfaction in God’s house.

Tamas Schauermann|| needs forum funding ::

Tamas Schauermann|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Tamas Schauermann teaches hermeneutics and is a member of the steering committees of the Hungarian Evangelical Forum and Langham Preaching Hungary.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family, attending Sunday school, youth group, and high school student ministry. I gave my life to Christ at a young age. During high school, an interdenominational student group was formed and later turned into the student mission at the local university; I was involved in this work from the time I was 17 all through my university years. As I became more committed to evangelism at my university, I had to sort out a lot of areas in my life and just let God take control. Through my involvement in student ministry, I learned a lot and experienced what it means to find God’s best intention with my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Growing up in a Christian home, I was able to look to my parents as examples of how to live a godly life. However, it was a question that I would continually struggle with throughout my Christian walk. Right before I joined IFES’s year-team in London, I was faced with the question of whether I really believed what I had come to know through my upbringing, due to a friendly conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness. While I didn’t completely throw out my faith, I did search hard to try to find good reasons for what I believed. Ironically, I was a missionary all during this time. However, God slowly re-convinced me of His power and presence. He used different conferences, books, and leaders in the British and Hungarian student movement to do this.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has been an extraordinary opportunity for me to speak to people, ask questions, and encounter new ideas from the widest possible range of European and North American Christian leaders. I have been able to use the resources and training provided in my everyday ministry. I am grateful for this opportunity, and would love to find new ways of building up a movement in my own country that would provide a healthier attitude towards Bible exposition, evangelism, and disciple making.

What is your ministry?

I am currently self-employed, working with clients in the area of graphic design, career coaching, team building, and Organisational development. I also teach hermeneutics in a small independent Bible school, lead Bible studies, preach on different occasions, and lecture on issues related to education and the biblical worldview. I am on the steering committee of the Hungarian Evangelical Forum (ELF Hungary) and of Langham Preaching Hungary.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My whole ministry has been a great response to the trust, invested interest, time, and resources I received from others. I have always been puzzled as to why people feel that it is worth giving me scholarships, discounts on books, private conversations, etc. I am so thankful, but I don’t know why they do so. All I know is that I try to do the same with others. I try to invest into the training of others at least as much as others have invested in me. I always try to pay forward the trust I receive.

Driton Krasniqi|| needs forum funding ::

Driton Krasniqi|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Kosovo

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Driton Krasniqi is the national director for Scripture Union in Kosovo.

When did you trust Christ?

I was brought up in a Christian home. During my teenage years I fully committed my life to following Jesus and I was baptized in water.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I obtained a degree in Biblical Studies from the International Bible Training Institute (UK) and a Master of Theology (MTh) from the University of Wales in Bangor, where I wrote my dissertation on the history of Protestantism in Kosovo since the 18th century. This was a great learning process for me and I have been able to share many of the things I have learned as a pastor and Organisational leader. But probably the most defining moment was when pastors and other leaders in Kosovo voted me to be the leader of the Kosovo Evangelical Alliance. Being in such a position of leadership impacted my Christian walk and helped me to grow as a leader.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has improved my personal growth and helped me to connect with other Christian leaders from Europe and beyond. The evangelical church in my country is small; 95 percent of the population is Muslim, 2 percent is Roman Catholic, and nearly 2 percent more is Eastern Orthodox. To be able to connect with so many godly people from Europe is a breath of fresh air.

What is your ministry?

I am the leader of Scripture Union in the country of Kosovo. Scripture Union is a global movement in over 120 countries around the world actively introducing children, young people, and families to Jesus and helping them to meet God through the Bible and prayer. As the leader for my country, I find ways to share the gospel and provide resources in ways that are appropriate to my own context. I am also a DMin candidate with the School of Antioch in Iowa in the United States.

What are your past leadership roles?

I served as the president of the Kosovo Evangelical Alliance (KPEC) from 2011-2017. I served as pastor of the Fellowship of the Lord’s People Church in Prishtina from 1997-2007. I have been in leadership or advisory roles for several charities, including the Kosovar-Finnish partnership House of Hope Foundation, the international NGO World Vision, and the Kosova Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF). As a representative of the Kosova Protestant church, I have also worked at peacemaking and inter-faith dialogue within the religious spectrum of Kosovo.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe one of distinctives of a leader is that he always wants to grow into a better leader as he leads others. As a leader in the Kosovo evangelical community, I need to learn more from others and hear from other proven leaders on how they have overcome various leadership challenges.

Tomas Sklars|| needs forum funding ::

Tomas Sklars|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Tomas Sklars works for INSIDE, a ministry that disciples youth. He is also a small group leader and youth group leader.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 2011. It was at my first weekend camp. Previous to this I had attended a confirmation class and taken religion classes at Lutheran middle and high school. However, this was the time when all the knowledge I had accumulated over the years started to make sense. I was touched Revelation 3:15 and I realized it made no sense for me to just believe in the existence of God. I had to make a choice whether I wanted to live for Him. I decided to enter into a relationship with Christ and go all in for the Lord.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

During my first year as a Christian, I grew a lot in my youth group. Leaders invested in me through a small group focuses on apologetics, which helped me to understand why I believed what I did. Slowly, I started to get involved in other things, like a youth group at my school. Later, I was invited to join the leadership team of my own youth group. During those years I led two English camps, studied theology and youth ministry at Zilinska Univerzita, and started to serve in the INSIDE ministry, which I lead today as a full-time youth ministry coordinator for Bratislava region. All these opportunities formed my walk with Christ.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I love learning new things and throughout my life I have learned how much impact in inspiring conference can have. At the Forum I have had some amazing opportunities to meet a lot of new people, which I believe will open up doors for future cooperation. Being part of a network on church planting, I will hopefully also be able to start conversations in my church about how we might plant more churches in the future. I am also a youth group leader in my local church, which I have led since 2013. Besides this, I lead two small groups and teach religion in local elementary schools.

What is your ministry?

The INSIDE ministry is a regional ministry focused on bringing the gospel message to youth and helping them grow in their faith. We prepare missional activities – weekend camps, summer camp, and one-day activities like sports days. We create a network of volunteers serving in local churches and cooperate with them on a regional level. We also equip volunteers to be able to serve better.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have previously been an English camp leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe that I am a fast learner and I am not afraid to try new things and new adventures in ministry, which might further increase the impact of this investment. I believe the ministry I am part of has a huge impact on the lives of teenagers and the lives of local churches.

Rainer Kurm|| needs forum funding ::

Rainer Kurm|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Estonia

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Rainer Kurm is an artist who is involved with the Artest + network of Christian artists in Latvia and Estonia.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus in 2004. I had many questions about God and the Bible. I had several colleagues and friends who were Christians. They answered my questions and helped lead me to saving faith in Christ Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I am an artist. I have spent the last few years working as part of a network for Christian artists in Estonia and Latvia. This group of believers is my community and they have helped me grow both as a Christian and as an artist.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum is so helpful because I have the opportunity to work with other Christians artists from the network of Christian artists in Estonia. I learn more about what it means to be a Christian artist. I get meet other Christian artists from all over Europe to see what they are working on and how they are using art to proclaim our creator in their own local contexts.

What is your ministry?

I am part of the Artest + network of artists in Estonia and Latvia. We organize festivals, art camps, and workshops for Christian artists in these countries. We also organize art exhibitions in galleries and museums. For example, we recently organized an exhibition with work by 20 different artists in a museum in Latvia centered on the theme of physical disability. Our goal is to glorify the creator with our work and to create spaces for Christian artists to be able to communicate the truth of the Gospel through their art.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have previously helped to organize art exhibits in Estonia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

God is a creator and He is a creative God. He has created us in His image to be creators. I believe that as artists we can reach out to secular people with our art who would otherwise never enter a church or consider God.

Norbert Pawlak|| needs forum funding ::

Norbert Pawlak|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Worship

Norbert Pawlak is a deacon, music minister, and home group leader.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 1986 during Sunday school at my church. I knew that I was a sinner who needed to repent. I gave my life to Jesus that day. Five years later I was baptized in water. I love God and want to follow Him until the end of my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The biggest influence in my life has been my parents. I saw tremendous changes in the lives of my parents after they became Christians. They taught me and discipled me and I grew to spiritual maturity because of them.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am so happy and thrilled to be part of the Forum. The Forum is an excellent idea and I am strongly amazed by the knowledge and scholarship I receive from so many experienced men and women of God. For me, it is an honor, privilege, and unexplainable blessing from God.

What is your ministry?

I am a deacon in my local church. I am involved in music ministry and international home group leadership. For 15 years my wife Anna and I have done outreach ministry through a gospel choir (outside the church). I am also involved in children’s ministry and teaching in our church.

What are your past leadership roles?

My whole ministry has mostly revolved around music ministry in one way or another. However, I co-pastored a small church for three years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I strongly believe that my ministry brings a lot of fruit among young people looking for a personal relationship with the Lord. After the testimonies and fruits of many years of ministry, I see that God has stayed behind it.

Iosif Mititelu|| needs forum funding ::

Iosif Mititelu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Business

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth, Worship

Iosif Mititelu is a youth leader and worship leader.

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to follow Jesus in the summer of 2010 while attending a Christian camp. It was there that I understood that it was not enough for me to go to church on Sunday or to have grown up in a Christian family. I needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus and to received God’s free gift of salvation through Christ’s death on the cross. That night, I prayed for God to forgive me of my sins so that I could be a disciple of Jesus and serve Him and my generation with all that I have.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After graduating high school, I attended a Bible school where I was constantly surrounded by other Christians and was able to study the Bible in depth. I did not have a good financial situation, but God surprised me and helped to pay my bills and provided me with food. I even had enough money to be able to travel to a small church in a village near the city to support my brothers and sisters on Sunday. Through these experiences I learned to be dependent by God. By His grace this was a firm foundation for my life as a Christian.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am relatively young. I need to grow as a leader, as a servant, and as a helper. The Forum for me is a gift from God. The Forum has encouraged me to keep going with mentoring and with personal discipleship. Through the Forum I have also made new friends from Albania, Egypt, and Cyprus.

What is your ministry?

I am a worship leader and youth leader. I organize youth meetings and Bible study meetings. I also help to lead a summer outreach camp.

What are your past leadership roles?

My current roles are my first leadership roles.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Serving God and serving people is the most noble thing. In this culture of consumption, we are investing less and less in things that last. Investing in young leaders is an investment in the kingdom of Heaven.

Dragan Radanovic|| needs forum funding ::

Dragan Radanovic|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Dragan Radanovic is a church elder and worship leader.

When did you trust Christ?

A friend of mine witnessed to me. After a few years I came to a dead end in my life. My relationship with my parents and others, studying… everything was just falling apart. I also drank a lot at the time. So I prayed and in just three days my situation completely changed. There were so many coincidences that I knew it must have been God. So I gave my life to Him. That was in February 1990.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of these moments in my life include being discipled in my local church in 1990; being part of a musical evangelistic band in Skopje, Macedonia in from 1993-1995; getting married in 1996; the birth of my first child is 1999; studying at the seminary while working from 2000-2004; entering full-time ministry as an assistant pastor from 2005-2009; burnout and leaving the ministry in 2009; the birth of our second child is born in 2010; and re-entering full-time ministry as a church planter in 2012.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has been a real blessing to me because it helps me to effectively apply knowledge in our ever-changing context. It also helps me to think outside of my personal box in order that God’s kingdom may expand in my heart, my family, my church, and my country.

What is your ministry?

The vision of our church is based on Biblical preaching, team leadership, transparency and accountability of everyone, especially the leaders, investing in all church members (especially potential leaders), serving the needs of our neighbors as a community church, and contextualizing the Gospel without compromising it. We also put a heavy emphasis on Christian counselling and pastoral care. I am trying to support and facilitate this vision.

What are your past leadership roles?

From 2001-2004, I was a student pastor at Novi Sad Theological Seminary. From 2005-2009, I was an assistant pastor at Christ the Saviour Church in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We feel the call to serve those in the need according to the calling we have. We see our church as a seedbed. We don’t want to keep our experiences, knowledge and gifts for ourselves. We want to train others who will train others.

Attila Nagy|| needs forum funding ::

Attila Nagy|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Science and Technology

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Apologetics

Atilla Nagy co-leads the marriage ministry in his church alongside his wife, has a career in telecommunications, and is also a playwright who hopes to communicate Christian truths through his plays.

When did you trust Christ?

I was 24, just married, when my wife persuaded me to attend the preparatory course for confirmation at her church. My life was gradually changed during that year and finally, at the confirmation ceremony, I could confirm my faith in Jesus Christ with my heart, my soul, and my mind.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The defining moments have included my confirmation, during which my older son was baptized. I have learned about God’s promises with respect to our children (Psalm 127:3; Judges 13:7-8; James 1:17). I felt an immense growth during the months when I worked on a drama for which the main characters were two martyrs of the faith: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Zsigmond Varga. It has been a blessed journey for me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My heart is filled with joy that I can attend the European Leadership Forum. My first Forum was one of the most influential weeks of my life. The event gives me tremendous help in my ministry. I have received a lot of ideas and resources for my ministry. I met people who are dealing with similar issues as us; we are able to encourage and support one another. I am a playwright. My dream is to write a play which I can stage as an apologetic situation or a debate about our struggle in the human condition. During the Forum, I can learn a lot about apologetics and can meet people who might want to help me get the play written and published and staged.

What is your ministry?

In our congregation, my wife and I are co-organizers of the marriage ministry. This includes presentations and discussions about biblical marriage. We are beginning preparation of a new series based on FamilyLife’s Art of Marriage material. In addition to my professional career in telecommunications, I am also a playwright. I see a great amount of dramatic potential in apologetics.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I can see two reasons why individuals may want to invest in my ministry. First, marriage is under pressure and I would like to be better equipped for persuasively sharing the biblical view of marriage with the couples who attend our church events. Secondly, as a playwright, I have a calling to share the gospel. This is important because European culture has become totally post-Christian.

Peter Gyori|| needs forum funding ::

Peter Gyori|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Peter Gyori is a pastor and trains other pastors in his region.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family. I am in the 10th generation of a line of pastors. Probably the most influential factor for me becoming a Christian was the way my family, my parents and grandparents lived their life. Their Christianity was genuine, natural, joyful, committed, sacrificial, and faithful. It was great to grow up in a family like that despite the fact that it was in the hostile, Communist era. Of course, I had to find Jesus for myself. In my early teens I was confronted with a troubling question: it is OK to know a lot about the Bible and Jesus, but what does He mean to me personally? That question stuck deep in my heart. Later someone challenged my faith and advised me to thoroughly investigate all the elements of my faith and Christian practice. I honestly did that. Finally I ended up saying: I don’t want to live a Christian life simply because I was taught so, but because I want Jesus as my God and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My grandfather and his father-in-law were important figures in the revivals in Hungary in the 1920s, the 1940s and 1950s. My parents served Jesus in many different ways under the Communist regime. For example, they distributed smuggled Christian literature and contemporary Christian music. At that time it was fun and adventure. Later I understood what it really meant. Growing up in such a home had a great influence on me. It was an important turning point when I got received the call to be a pastor. Later I struggled with and survived cancer. Of course my pastoral ministry, post-graduate theological studies, and marriage have also a great importance in my Christian growth.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum is a great learning and fellowship experience. Through the Forum I have been able to engage in new connections. The book store is also very helpful. I was able to pray with other leaders for the evangelization of Europe. It is funny to say, but I was also able to get to know other believers from my own country! I hope to be able to return and do all of that again.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a church congregation with different kinds of ministry areas. I train other pastors in my region and so I am a pastor of pastors.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been entrusted with leadership roles in many different situations ever since my youth: leading in camps, leading youth, and so on. When I became a pastor I was basically “re-planted” in a fairly large town, in an urban setting.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

In my country – as probably in most of the Western countries – we experience that the “traditional churches” have either lost their faithfulness to the word of God or their ability to impact the larger culture. We face a flood of secularism in a spiritually weakened country. Regaining our land for Christ is important. We need to train the next generation of leaders and plant new churches.

Petra Ratkovics|| needs forum funding ::

Petra Ratkovics|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Petra Ratkovics is a speaker and PhD student.

When did you trust Christ?

After a few years of Bible class in primary school, I went to my church’s summer camp for the first time. During the camp, I became close with members of the youth group and we chatted every night. I was amazed to see their love for God and for each other, and to hear their testimonies really got to my heart. I had heard of salvation and the meaning of the cross, but I never really understood it. But then one evening after worship the preacher spoke of Calvary and Jesus’s love. For the first time I understood God’s great love for me. I decided to follow and trust Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My parents divorced shortly after my conversion. That event made me depend on the only sure thing in my life: Jesus. After starting my university studies, I discovered more of the freedom I have in Christ. I got to know more believers from different walks of life. While writing my first research paper I was faced with questions about my trust in God and His plan for me; after a long struggle, I found a deeper and more mature trust in Jesus.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum is a great opportunity to connect with other academics and to understand and see more of the academic life. The Forum also deepens my relationship with God through Bible teaching and through Christian community. The Forum has opened up a number of opportunities I was previously unaware of. I have made meaningful connections with others and it has strengthened my devotion to Christ and to God’s supreme authority. It has also provided me with useful materials that I will almost certainly use in my future ministry.

What is your ministry?

I give lectures on different topics related to apologetics and Christianity. For example, I have given talks about the reliability of the Old Testament, the reliability of the New Testament, and on homosexuality. I am also a PhD student at Karoli Gaspar University, studying the book of Jeremiah and the Greek Jeremiah-text (Septuagint). Currently I am working as a TA for one of my professors and as a substitute for another professor. I am also writing a paper that will hopefully benefit the theology students and other students. I lead a youth group and a small group.

What are your past leadership roles?

For the last 5-8 years, I have been leading small groups at various conferences and camps. I have been leading a youth group for two years. I spent the last year in a church working as an assistant pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

If I see God’s calling, I’m driven. I want to give my best and all that I am. I would return or pass on any investment in me to others.

Krzysztof Kacprowicz|| needs forum funding ::

Krzysztof Kacprowicz|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Media Communicators

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Krzysztof Kacprowicz is the national director of Youth for Christ Poland.

When did you trust Christ?

I was 12-years-old when my uncle told me about Jesus and asked me if I wanted to give my life to Jesus. After a few conversations with my uncle, I decided to repent of my sins and give my heart to Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was 16-years-old when I was baptized in water. Not long after my baptism, I began to feel a calling to ministry. During that time, after talking about it with my mentor, I decided that I wanted to go to the Baptist seminary. Another defining moment in my life was when some friends and I started Life Church in Warsaw. Another important moment was when I felt that my ministry in Life Church was going to end; I prayed for the next step and was led to become the national director of Youth for Christ (YFC) Poland.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum is so helpful because everything for me is so new. I have just started my journey as the national director of Youth for Christ. The Forum is helping me to improve my management and leadership skills. It extends my boundaries about service among young people. I am able to meet people from whom I will be able to learn how to better serve the young generation. Networking.

What is your ministry?

I manage the work of people involved in YFC Poland projects. I support and develop the leaders of our projects and our community center. I am building cooperation with other organizations. I manage and raise the finances of the entire YFC Poland organization.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was one of the youth leaders in the church where I attended when I was a teenager – Evangelical Church of Poland. I was one of the leaders of Life Church Warsaw.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

God put me in the position of being the national director of a ministry. I have only been in the role for a year, but I want to develop YFC Poland so that we can reach more young people and invest in more young leaders. I want to learn from more experienced people. I know that a lot depends on my decisions and I want to learn how to make them wisely.

Daniel Bolek|| needs forum funding ::

Daniel Bolek|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Science and Technology

Forum Network:
Evangelism

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Daniel Bolek is the leader his church’s youth group and an IT developer.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up surrounded by Christians who lived their lives according to Scripture. This was a very important gift that helped me to make my own decision to follow Christ. During my childhood, I had many opportunities to hear the testimonies of people who had totally submitted their lives to Christ and who were radically changed. This gave me food for thought as a young boy. I was constantly asking myself, “Who is this Jesus, that in his name there are so many miracles happening – sick people are healed, broken lives of alcohol and drug addicts are changed, and those who suffer mentally or physically have hope and joy in their lives?” I did not understand it, but I knew that I needed to have Jesus in my heart as well. At the age of 14, I decided to submit my life to Jesus during an evangelical conference held in our church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the most defining moments of my Christian walk was a gift from God, a miracle, which happened to me during a youth conference held in one of our neighboring churches. I was very sick on that day (sore throat and rhinitis), but I decided to go on conference anyway. I was very moved by a preaching and during the pastor’s final prayer, I re-submitted my life to Christ and I said to Jesus, “I don’t need anything else, but just You!” In that moment, my sore throat and rhinitis was gone. I didn’t ask God for it; it was a gift. I was so shocked that I went to the bathroom, where I cried and gave glory to God. However, the story did not end there. In the following days and weeks, I realized that I was also set free from my addiction, which I had been fighting for two years prior to the conference.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

As we are building new generation of youth group from scratch in the second largest city of Czech Republic, it brings many challenges to us and raises the need of solid skills related to this ministry. God has sent the Forum into my life at exactly the right time. I am building a new youth group from scratch, so it is important to start with a good, healthy foundation. The Forum connects me with other youth leaders in Europe and those relationships will be very fruitful for our ministries. I have the opportunity to speak with many interesting and gifted Christians who serve the Lord in many areas. This is so encouraging! The Forum is a unique opportunity to build a new generation of European leaders and I am thankful to be a part of it.

What is your ministry?

My main ministry is youth leadership. I lead the youth group of my church in Brno, the second largest city in Czech Republic, where I moved during my studies. We are building a new generation youth group in our church from scratch.

What are your past leadership roles?

During my final year of high school and first two years university studies, I was a youth leader in our local church in a small town. There were five people in our leadership team and our youth group consisted of approx. 20 young people.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I see the ministry of youth leadership as very important one. There are many challenges and I strongly appreciate when someone is willing to invest in the training and mentoring of young people who will be the future leaders of our churches.

Eris Cango|| needs forum funding ::

Eris Cango|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Eris Cango is a pastor and church planter.

When did you trust Christ?

I first heard about Jesus while watching “The Jesus Film.” I felt something stirring inside of me after the movie and I became curious about God. A few months later I went to a Christian event and heard some of the same songs I had heard when I saw “The Jesus Film.” I began attending church not long after. I was 12-years-old at the time. I trusted in the Lord and gave my life to Jesus on February 12, 1995. One year later I was baptized.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One day in 1995 during a baptism service at church the presence of God was so powerful that my heart was full of joy for a long time afterwards. I was just a child, but I felt God so near. I decided that I should be baptized myself. In my baptism God came into my life. I saw my deep need for Him. I laid down for more than 2 hours crying before the Lord and felt completely new. I was 13 at that time.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I will gain so many things through the Forum and I will be able to share those things with people at home. My church is very mission-oriented; we plan to plant 2-3 congregations in the villages around us and, hopefully, outside of Albania as well. I want to be more equipped to plant churches. The teaching and seminars at the Forum will also be useful. I am studying for a master’s degree in theology right now, so the Forum will help me in that area as well.

What is your ministry?

I am the main pastor of Emanuel Church in Kamez. I am also responsible for a church in Kamez and another congregation in a village near us. Along with our eldership team, I am responsible for the teaching and discipleship training. Our church also runs a non-profit organization and I coordinate that. Because of my past experience I was also doing administrative work for the church, but I am passing that on to others one step at a time.

What are your past leadership roles?

I previously served in the church’s worship group and was responsible for the sound system. I have served with teenagers and youth. I was part of the church’s eldership team before I was the pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I have fully given my life to ministry. I am 35-years-old and eager to learn more and equip myself for ministry. My team and I need this international experience so that we can move forward and expand our ministry. I am investing in studying theology and want to go deeper in the Word of God so that I may invest back in the church. I hope that the whole community will be blessed and influenced.

Urska Meolic Kotnik|| needs forum funding ::

Urska Meolic Kotnik|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovenia

Occupation:
Student

Forum Network:
Professional Counselling

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training and Counselling

Urska Meolic Kotnik is finishing her master’s degree in psychology in order to become a Christian counsellor.


When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus when I visited an IFES student conference in Warsaw in 2014. I wasn’t a believer at the beginning because of the bad experiences I had had with the Roman Catholic Church when I was younger. I first came into contact with God again when I met my future husband and my journey started from there, but it was at that conference that God’s Spirit touched my heart during the worship service. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to follow Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In my childhood I learned about God from my grandmother, but she died in my teenage years. The next encounter was with my future husband. Then our current pastor and the IFES organization helped us on our journey of getting to know God better and learning what it means to truly follow Him. There were other faithful people who helped us along the way, but we are continuing to get to know God more.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending the European Leadership Forum helps me personally grow in my faith in God. Secondly, I am training to become a counsellor, so it will be very helpful for me to make connections in the field of Christian counselling. At the Forum I will be able to listen to many experienced speakers and gain a lot of important knowledge in order to help other people. I know that there are many psychologists and psychotherapists attending the Forum. I hope to share the information with others in Slovenia in order to equip different churches in Slovenia for this type of ministry. Such knowledge can also be used as an evangelistic tool. Finally, I believe that I will meet new people, connect with them, and have opportunities to bless them.

What is your ministry?

I am finishing up my master’s studies in psychology and hope to become a Christian counsellor. Besides this, my husband and I are leading our church’s youth ministry, which serves young people and teenagers from ages 11-18. I also go on hospitality visits, particularly to elderly people in the church community. I also help with the IFES student group in Maribor where I live; I help to organize lectures and workshops on different topics. I recently traveled to Belgrade to train in trauma healing, and I have been leading workshops in our church on that topic. I also help IFES in Slovenia to manage their Facebook page and Instagram account.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have led the IFES student group in Maribor and given lectures about addiction, forgiveness, and happiness. I have organized summer clubs for children and helped IFES organize its Reformation festival in Maribor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There are many reasons. One reason is because there is a lack of Christian psychologists and counsellors in Slovenia, and there aren’t many secular psychologists either. Currently a person may have to wait one or two years if he or she wants to see a trained counsellor or psychologist. Because of that, counselling is a great opportunity for the gospel in my country. Christian counsellors have a real chance to help people and to equip churches to help people.

Jelena Cvetojevic|| needs forum funding ::

Jelena Cvetojevic|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Student

Forum Network:
Professional Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Jelena Cvetojevic works for Hana’s Hope, an organization that works with children with special needs.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family. My grandfather was the pastor of a Baptist church so it was normal for me to attend church. But in my childhood I was not really interested in going to church or getting to know Christ. When I turned 11, I realized that I needed God and that I needed a real relationship with Him. When I was 12, I got baptized. I knew I was a sinner at that point and I repented, but at such a young age I did not feel the weight of my sins. I understood that when I was around 18 when I began feeling the consequences of my teenage decisions. I decided to devote my life to getting to know the character of God and to serving Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was blessed with wonderful people who took care of my spiritual formation while I was a baby Christian. I was always willing to share the struggles or questions I had about life and God and also to listen and try to apply what these wise people had to say. But the defining moments in my Christian walk were the ones I intimately shared with God. Those were the moments when He clearly spoke to me, like the moment when I forgave my father for not being part of my life at all. Forgiveness was a process I struggled with for years, but the relief of it was immediate. Another significant moment was when I was 16 and realized I needed to commit my future husband (who was not even in the picture yet) to the Lord. I was inspired to promise the Lord that I would marry a godly man and behave the way the Bible teaches. This led me to a wonderful friend who has been my husband now for two years. Another moment was when I gave up my desire for a career in the fashion industry to become a psychologist so that I can serve people.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Sometimes I find it difficult to talk to Christians who have a need to grow, learn, and develop. I think that meeting other Christians who are serving in their countries and who are willing to learn more about God will be a great encouragement. Through the Forum I will also be able to learn more about psychology from a Christian point of view, which will be a great help to me.

What is your ministry?

I have been involved with Hana’s Hope for years now. Our focus is on families with children with special needs. We spend time with and listen to these families, we play with the children, we have fun with them, and we free their parents up for a few hours or even days to have time for each other while we take care of their children.

What are your past leadership roles?

When I was a teenager I began serving in youth ministry. This led me to sports ministry, outdoor ministry, and organizing prayer group meetings. My roles included organizing events and logistics, administrative work, and hosting events. I love spending time with people, and all of these ministries were amazing, but through the years I realized I have a heart for children with disabilities and for ministries related to women, so that is my primary focus at the moment.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My aim is to do Christian counselling. At the time I am finishing my studies of psychology at a secular school, and I am starting a second year of theology. There are plenty of things that I am learning and activities that I am excited about, but I need help with my next steps and how to become a Christian counsellor.

Adam Szabados|| needs forum funding ::

Adam Szabados|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Adam Szabados has been the pastor of a church in Veszprém since 1999. He also has a popular blog on Christianity which has a million views every year.

When did you trust Christ?

I was brought up in the church, so I heard the Gospel from my early childhood. But it was in a Hungarian Fellowship of Evangelical Students camp that the grace of God conquered my resistance. I was 16 years old and I felt very guilty for my lifestyle. The Holy Spirit enabled me to give my entire life, will, mind, and heart to Almighty God. After that I knew from experience that Jesus is alive.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I married my wife, Dóra, in 1996 and we decided to live in Veszprém and began to attend a church plant in the town. In 1999 I became the pastor of that church. A year later the church became an independent evangelical church. My years as a pastor of the church have been testing times for me, but also very rewarding. Times of loneliness and the burden of responsibility taught me to depend on God and about the incomprehensible covenantal love of Christ.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

When I came to the Forum the first time in 2004, I was a pastor who was isolated in the ministry and I was surrounded by many people who were drifting away from the faith. It was a very discouraging situation. And I had no idea there were so many other Christian leaders like me who either were struggling like me or had already found a larger fellowship or a pool of resources that they could rebuild their convictions. When I came to the Forum, I was just shocked by what I experienced.

The Lord has used the Forum in my life in unexpected ways. The Forum is helpful to me in so many ways. It is a blessing to meet other Christian leaders and to just encourage one another. We have lovely fellowship at our dinner tables, where we receive mutual encouragement from one another. It has been a great blessing to be able to meet speakers and participants who have such wonderful hearts.

What is your ministry?

I pastor an evangelical church. I have been a pastor for more than 20 years. I lead the work of the Hungarian Evangelical Forum, which is a direct fruit of the European Leadership Forum. I also write for a website which communicates the truthfulness of the Gospel to Hungarians, which has turned out to be an unexpected success. I am working on a PhD now in New Testament, which involves also teaching Greek and some other subjects at a university in Budapest. I also sometimes speak at conferences and other events.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to thank you for your generosity and the support that I received from you so that I could participate in the Forum. Thank you for your financial support. May God bless you and give you a hundredfold return in spiritual riches! The Forum is a wonderful opportunity to be in the mainstream of European evangelical thinking and networking.

“I don’t see anything in Europe that would have a more powerful effect on the continent as far as the Gospel is concerned than the European Leadership Forum.”


Olexandr Tarasenko|| needs forum funding ::

Olexandr Tarasenko|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Theologians

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Olexandr Tarasenko is a pastor, missionary, writer, and doctoral student.

When did you trust Christ?

I first read the New Testament and Psalms in 1989. One year later, I confessed my sins and was baptized in a small Baptist community in Ukraine.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My missions work on the building site of our church and the growth of our small Baptist community here in Karlovy Vary has been defining in my Christian walk. My study of theology in Russia and the birth of our first baby after 14 years of marriage and prayer also impacted my faith greatly.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Every rural pastor or scholar needs to receive encouragement by hearing others’ experience and wisdom. I would like to hear how other leaders have seen fruit in their ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a small Baptist community for Russian-speaking emigrants in Czech Republic, and an author of two monographs and many articles in popular Christian magazines. Besides this I am a doctoral student in the theology program at Charles University in Prague.

What are your past leadership roles?

I currently am a pastor, but I also serve Christ and others as a missionary, writer, and student.

Marek Tomasovic|| needs forum funding ::

Marek Tomasovic|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Marek Tomasovic is an assistant pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

It was at a Christian camp in the summer of 2007. I was praying and, for the first time, I felt like God is really there and listening to me. And I felt His presence right there next to me. That was the beginning of my relationship with Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I think that the way that others impacted my faith was through their own relationship with Jesus and me seeing their lives and their living faith. And then of course situations in my life where God was working and teaching me lessons (like when I gave up a job so I could do ministry and God miraculously took care of me financially). Or when I was struggling with a sin that I was not able to defeat but He was still there waiting for me to come and to restore my soul and give me more strength to keep fighting and I finally won the fight (He taught me that He is faithful and He is still there for me despite what I have done). And one of the biggest things I see is that God was taking care of me long before I became a Christian and preparing me to accept Him when the time came.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has always been a place for me where I find encouragement, gain new skills, find new resources, and make new friends from the fellow servants in the ministry. It is hard to overstate the impact the Forum has had on my life and my ministry over the last few years. To be able to experience it again, to make new friends, find encouragement, gain new resources, and meet people who are passionate and hopeful about the Gospel in Europe – it’s something I just want to be a part of.

What is your ministry?

My main current ministry focus is towards preaching and leading. Together with my wife and other single man we lead one of three missional communities in our church, which provides more of discipling and counselling opportunities. Since the spring of 2016, I’ve been part of the church staff as an assistant pastor in training. Besides this, I am involved and the wider youth ministry of my denomination where I am one of the main speakers and seminar teachers. A few times I’ve had the privilege to speak at Josiah Venture’s National Youth Conference in Slovakia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Being able to have fellowship with Christians from all around Europe is an invaluable aid. Being able to talk with different people and hear their opinions and ideas to my situation (and vice versa) is a rare and great thing.

Ben Uhrin|| needs forum funding ::

Ben Uhrin|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia