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.
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.

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.

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.

Damaris Otremba|| needs forum funding ::

Damaris Otremba|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Damaris Otremba is an artist and church planter.

When did you trust Christ?

I was brought up in an evangelical Christian family in Poland. My father, grandfather, and great grandfather were church planters in Poland and Syria. Jesus became my Savior when I was 6-years-old. When I was 14-years-old, I devoted my life to serving the Lord to reach lost people wherever He might call me.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

From ages 6-9 years old, I was in an Arabic Muslim school for the children of Middle Eastern diplomats, where I was put down for being a Christian. But my faith in Jesus Christ became firmer because of that. In high school, while attending a European Youth Conference, I committed to serving God as a full time missionary wherever He sends me. By God’s provision I spent eight years in the U.S. studying. I was on an athletic scholarship, playing basketball and volleyball for my college while getting trained for church planting. In my college years, the defining moments were short-term mission trips to Albania, Peru, and Syria. Another was when a dear friend was killed in an accident. In my adult life, the defining moment was when our first church plant failed and I had to learn many hard lessons. Later God asked us to give Him all that we own, which was another freeing lesson. More recently, I was diagnosed with an incurable thyroid cancer, but God healed me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is an inspiring and equipping time for me. I am able to meet people involved in similar ministries in Europe. We encourage each other and can share our experiences with one another. I am especially interested in learning more about how to minister to Muslims in Poland, especially to younger Muslims.

What is your ministry?

I am involved in three different ministries. First, I paint paintings to bring the message of Christ to non- believers and believers. I reach out to the artistic community in our town in the university to share the gospel of Christ and disciple them. Secondly, I am helping my husband in planting a new church (Holy Trinity Church). I disciple women in leadership, disciple youth, and help mentor couples in ministry. Finally, I am co-founding with my husband a ministry called Operation Genet, which is a gospel-centered, disciple-making and church-planting initiative, which helps other church planters in Poland.

What are your past leadership roles?

My past leadership role had to do with being the co-founder (with my husband) of a church in Poznan, Poland, called Genesis Christian Community. My ministry was coordinating visual arts for evangelistic events, including paintings, sculptures, multimedia, and so on. I also coordinated the ministries for women, youth, and children.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

One of the biggest challenges in my country is that the Polish people predominately consider themselves Christians by being born into the Roman Catholic Church. Some of them indeed are true believers, but very few. Most are nominally religious Catholics without an understanding of the Gospel of grace, without a saving faith, who do not know or read the Word of God. They perceive Christianity as a form of religion filled with rituals, not a relationship with God on a personal level. The younger population is becoming more and more secular and materialistic, yet they maintain a Catholic identity My country desperately needs intentional church planters that will disciple people life-on-life and grow multiplying churches.

Kulli Hansen|| needs forum funding ::

Kulli Hansen|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Estonia

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Kulli Hansen is the leader of the Estonian Artists Network.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus on January 4, 2012. Before that date my father had passed away and I had come through a difficult divorce process which left me alone with two children. During a moment of meditation I realized that I needed Jesus in my life. It was a very clear understanding which changed my life. I was baptized on July 1, 2012.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My Christian walk has been influenced by my church and my home group. I am fortunate to belong to a home group that has two pastors and other very inspirational people in it. The second important aspect in my Christian walk has been a chance to work with Christian artists. Organizing exhibitions in Salem church and arranging meetings between Estonian and Latvian artists have also been life-changing experiences.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My aim in participating in the Forum is to meet other Christian artists, build up new contacts, and gain a better understanding of what Christian artists in other countries are doing. I would like to start new international art projects, events or initiatives with new partners. I am also very sure that I will benefit from Bible studies and inspirational teaching.

What is your ministry?

The Estonian Christian Artists Network ARTEST was founded in September 2016 under the umbrella of the Estonian Alliance. It has an aim to bring together Estonian Christian artists from different artistic fields – visual arts, music, drama, literature and dance. It has a small but very inspired leadership team; its first task was to organize a conference in February of 2017. In the summer of 2017 we will host an international Christian arts festival .Leading a network of Christian artists is a new challenge for me. I see and believe that Christian artists have a broader mission in today’s world, but usually artists cannot organize themselves. My role as a leader is to build bridges, create contacts, and inspire artists to be more responsible and open to society.

What are your past leadership roles?

Most of my life I have been leading different kind of projects – art exhibitions, art festivals, and cultural conferences and events. I have also coordinated international projects which were financed by EU programs like Creative Europe, Youth or Erasmus. For more than 10 years I ran an art gallery and art shop. Today the art gallery does not exist anymore and I offer my services as a lecturer, consultant and business coach. For more than 5 years I worked as a Development Manager and business coach in a business incubator in Tartu helping young creative people to start and raise their enterprises. It was a very interesting period during which I worked with more than 40 companies and coached them in their development processes.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

In Estonia artists have a tremendous influence in society. When Christian artists are equipped and encouraged to use their gifts more effectively in society they will be listened to more and even more than some pastors.


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