Jozef Budac|| forum funded ::

Jozef Budac|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers
Ministry Focus:
University Students
Jozef Budac is the director of the In-Life student ministry in Bratislava.
When did you trust Christ?
It was during the second half of the year 2008, which was my fourth year of university studies. I was really depressed at that time in my life. I didn’t have any direction in my life. I wanted to have good friendships and a relationship with a girl, but didn’t have those things, and I had lost all meaning in my life. I thought about taking my life because I could not find any reason to live. At my worst moment I stood on a railway track and waited for a train. But the train didn’t come. That evening I prayed to God: “If you can show me meaning for my life, it is yours. I don’t have any meaning for myself.” Within three months I had met people from the Integrity Life (now In-Life) student ministry. They shared the good news with me and showed me that God has meaning and purpose for my life, and that He can use me in this world for many good things. When I realized that this was the answer to my prayer, I decided to trust Jesus and follow Him wherever He might send me.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
The first such moment was when I met people from In-Life and they started to lead me to Christ. This helped me (and is still helping me) to build the foundations of my faith. The second such moment was when I moved from my apartment, where I lived with my friends who were unbelievers, to an apartment with believers from In-Life. In that first apartment were many ungodly, sinful influences. After I moved, my life changed and I started to become more involved in ministry. The third moment was my decision to leave Brno and join a group of five people who were moving to Bratislava to start a new In-Life ministry there. I had to leave many good things in Brno, but it was a great decision. I learned a lot. One of the big things was that I saw how God can use one person in the ministry, and when I am active, how big that impact can be.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
The Forum has helped me to gain good biblical knowledge and has taught me how to lead in ministry. Through the Forum I can become a better leader and become a better member of our ministry team.
What is your ministry?
In-Life’s ministry focuses on university students in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our ministry reached 10,000 students last year. I am the director of the In-Life ministry in Bratislava. I am responsible for leading the ministry here and also for leading a team of students. I give talks for believers and for unbelievers. I also disciple students involved in our ministry.
What are your past leadership roles?
I was a supervisor in my secular, programming job, where I was responsible for projects and a team of people. In the ministry of In-Life, I was one of five people responsible for students in the city of Brno.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
I believe that God is calling me to disciple others. He is continually bringing me in contact with young men who need to be mentored and taught. This is the desire of my heart. God gave me the vision of bringing up 100 leaders, who will themselves go on to disciple and lead others. I believe this could have a big impact on Slovakia.
Dusan Smudja|| forum funded ::

Dusan Smudja|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Other

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Dusan Smudja leads a sports ministry in Serbia.

When did you trust Christ?

I came in Serbia as a refugee in 1995 after the civil war in Croatia. My family and I went through a very hard time. We lost everything we had. As a teenager I heard the Gospel from an uncle who lives in San Diego and received Christ when a missionary who knew my uncle moved to my hometown and explained why I needed Christ. I had never heard this good news growing up in the Eastern Orthodox church. However, the Lord used different circumstances (the civil war, my uncle, and the missionary from the U.S.) to bring me close to Him. I may have lost many things during the civil war, but when I became a believer in 2003 and received new life, new hope, and a new spiritual family, I gained what I will never lose.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Even before I became a believer, I played sports. The Lord now uses this to bless others through the Christian soccer camps we hold. The impact of the missionary who led me to Christ is an example of a close relationship that helped me to grow in Christ. Attending seminary in Novi Sad, Serbia, helped me to mature in my faith as well.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum will help in my personal growth and development. I also hope to gain knowledge and practical skills in order to serve with more efficiency.

What is your ministry?

Our ministry is called Bridge United. I am the leader of this organization. We have two focuses. The first is doing evangelism through sports. The second is equipping leaders to do sports ministry and to plant new churches.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a soccer coach. I have worked for the Bible League as a ministry coordinator.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We are equipping leaders all over Serbia, which has only about 7,000-8,000 believers in the whole country. We form new partnerships through which we can invest even more to make His name known in this country where the young generation knows little about Christianity, so that they may gain a personal relationship with God.

Zdenek Blazek|| forum funded ::

Zdenek Blazek|| forum funded ::

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.

Tomas Matocha|| forum funded ::

Tomas Matocha|| forum funded ::

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.

Csilla Panzel|| forum funded ::

Csilla Panzel|| forum funded ::

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.

Miroslav Balala|| forum funded ::

Miroslav Balala|| forum funded ::

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.

Agron Zefi|| forum funded ::

Agron Zefi|| forum funded ::

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.

Dorin Dumitrascu|| forum funded ::

Dorin Dumitrascu|| forum funded ::

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|| forum funded ::

Petry Groza|| forum funded ::

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.

Viktorija Navikaite|| forum funded ::

Viktorija Navikaite|| forum funded ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth, Worship

Viktorija Navikaite is a youth leader and works as the coordinator of a project that matches volunteers with organizations for the European Union in Lithuania.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family, so faith was a part of my life from the childhood. But I made the personal decision to accept Jesus as my savior when I was 13-years-old while I was attending a Christian camp for teenagers. I was baptized that same year.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

During the first years of my university studies I began attending a new church in a new city. I knew that church and the pastor quite well because I grew up in the same denomination in my previous city. It seemed as if God had prepared a place for me in the church. I joined the leadership team of the church’s youth department and got involved in the life of the church in general. It was a huge step for me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum is so beneficial for me because I can learn so much. The seminars and sessions give me amazing information and practical tips and show me how I can put that knowledge into practice. I can not only listen, but I can ask questions and have my questions answered. I can hear stories from others about how they deal with ministry challenges. All of these things equip me and I can go on to help others in my church and in the youth ministry. I want God’s name to be more widely known in Lithuania and for more people to become disciples of Christ.

What is your ministry?

I am the youth leader of our church. I also lead a weekly small group. As a youth leader I am responsible for encouraging, equipping, teaching, discipling, mentoring, and serving the youth. I work as the coordinator of a European Union volunteering project for young people from age 17-30. I help organizations select volunteers, form partnerships with hosting organizations, and sometimes help with trainings for various projects.

What are your past leadership roles?

In the past I have helped in different children’s camps. Three year in a row I was participated in a youth conference where I led small groups.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I think that individuals may want to invest in my training because I will go with an open heart and mind and will afterwards put my knowledge into practice. My reason for attending the Forum is to be equipped and to be refreshed with new ideas. Youth ministry is no less important than other ministries. It’s really important to serve the youth because they are the generation who will begin leading the church.

Tomas Sklars|| forum funded ::

Tomas Sklars|| forum funded ::

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.

Petr Boldis|| forum funded ::

Petr Boldis|| forum funded ::

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.

Tamas Schauermann|| forum funded ::

Tamas Schauermann|| forum funded ::

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.

Marek Tomasovic|| forum funded ::

Marek Tomasovic|| forum funded ::

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.

Diana Vaskeliene|| forum funded ::

Diana Vaskeliene|| forum funded ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Diana Vaskeliene is an assistant pastor and the leader of small group leaders.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in the autumn of 1991. One of my university friends started talking to me about Jesus. She brought me some books about the Christian faith and I started reading them. I also started reading the Bible and finally decided to give my heart to Jesus. I did that while praying at home. Then I began to attend the church The Word of Faith and a home group.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I am happy I had good friends who were also my home group leaders. They impacted my faith most. Later I had to decide to stay in our church when our previous pastor was made redundant.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to get more knowledge and practice in the field of pastoring and leadership. I need more training in mentoring, I need skills for that. I would like to have my own mentor

What is your ministry?

I am the assistant pastor in our church. I am mainly responsible for the home groups in our church. I am also a preacher. I am a member of the board of our church.

What are your past leadership roles?

First I was a teacher in the Bible school for children in our church. Then I was the leader of a home group. After that I became a leader for other leaders of several home groups.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I will do my best to invest my new knowledge and practice in other ministers and lay people in our church.

Darius Sirvys|| forum funded ::

Darius Sirvys|| forum funded ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Darius Sirvys is a pastor, dean at a Bible college, and a theology teacher.

When did you trust Christ?

While studying at the university in 1992 I started searching for the meaning of life and started raising questions about faith. I came to the Word of Faith Church and heard the Gospel. However, an inner battle started in my heart between the desire to live for myself and the desire to find the right way of life. Even though I said “no” to the church, God continued to tug at me. Finally I gave in to Jesus. I accepted God’s love and repented of my sins.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Things that have helped me to grow include practical ministry, theological studies, and my pastoral responsibilities.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum helps to broaden my horizons. It is very important source of biblical wisdom and encouragement for my Christian life and pastoral ministry. It gives me the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other Christians and will be able to improve my Bible preaching skills. I am also able to invite speakers from the Forum back to Lithuania to train leaders in my own context.

What is your ministry?

I am the full time pastor of an evangelical church in Vilnius and a teacher at a church-established private Christian gymnasium. At the same time I am the dean and a teacher at Evangelical Bible Institute and a member of the pastoral board of fellowship of evangelical churches of Lithuania. My responsibilities are to preach and teach the Bible, to provide pastoral care and leading, and to organize various Christian events and activities.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a home group leader, supervisor of home group leaders, freelance assistant pastor at the local church, and supervisor of the Vilnius region of churches.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

As a pastor, I am responsible for pastoring about 300 Christians. I need to grow and improve my skills to communicate God’s Word in a biblical, credible, and engaging way. I need training to be able to deepen maturity in believers, as well as address the challenges.

Nick Lica|| forum funded ::

Nick Lica|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Nick Lica is the pastor of a Baptist church in Czech Republic.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in a Christian family and attended church all of my life growing up. I read the Bible from my first class in school. My mother influenced me spiritually and impacted my life. I developed my relationship with Jesus through my adolescence, and when I was 18 years old I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior and was baptized. My only wish in life was to serve God.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the defining moments in my life include: three years of Bible college in Olomouc, where my faith in God was formed for ministry; 10 years of theological study at TCM Haus Edelweiss Austria; personal Bible study; and relationships with mentors and friends.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to attend the Forum to be encouraged, to develop my skills and experience, to learn practical ways to revitalize churches, and to receive practical tools.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor of Karlovy Vary Baptist Church. We are a very small church, so I am responsible for many tasks, including preaching, teaching, and pastoral counseling. My passion for ministry is to see the church grow both spiritually and numerically.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the pastor of a Baptist church in Vikyrovice for 11 years. I have been the pastor of my current church since 2010.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a pastor who loves the church. I want to see it grow. I have been involved in full-time ministry since 1999. I hope to lead my church and other churches through the revitalization process.

Edi Markaj|| forum funded ::

Edi Markaj|| forum funded ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Student

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Edi Markaj is a youth leader and lay preacher.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in April of 1999. After I had had a number of discussions with Christian friends about the truth of the Bible, I decided to read it. I read the New Testament several times, and God illuminated my mind and my heart to understand that I am a great sinner and Jesus Christ is a great savior. I realized that salvation is not by deeds but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I believed that Jesus is God in the flesh who died on the cross, taking my place and paying the cost of my sin. I asked Him to forgive me and to make me a new creature in Him. He is doing that faithfully.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was only 20-years-old, one year after my conversion, many of the mature believers in my church immigrated, so I was asked to preach in the church meetings. I read the New Testament 12 times in one year, once per month. This helped me to grow in my faith. I am currently in my fourth year of studying theology at the Italian Biblical Evangelical Institute, which has totally transformed totally my approach to the Bible and my approach to ministry as well.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has been the most transformational event of my personal Christian life and my ministry approach. This is the main reason I want to return. I have no doubt that the next European Leadership Forum will bring me to yet another level of commitment, knowledge, and ministry experience.

What is your ministry?

My main ministry is leading the youth group of my local church. I am responsible about their biblical formation and discipleship, and I evangelize the youth that attend our meetings but who are not yet born again. I am one of the three members of the church’s leadership group and one of the main preachers in my local church. I volunteer with IFES, working with high school youth, students, and post-graduate students in my town. I am leading the development program of World Vision for the most vulnerable children and youth in my district.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the manager for the institute for public health in my district for five years. I have led three different World Vision teams in Albania. I am part of the leadership group of my church in Lezha.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Investment in me would also be a good investment in the future of the Albanian church’s leadership. I am investing in 20 youth in my town, helping them to grow spiritually. My passion and my vision are to serve my church and I am putting all of my efforts into that.

Istan Horvath|| forum funded ::

Istan Horvath|| forum funded ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Istvan Horvath is the General Secretary of the Hungarian Evangelical Alliance.

When did you trust Christ?

I was 19 when I met Jesus Christ. Until that time I believed that God is existed, but I thought He was very distant from me and that I couldn’t know Him personally. But then I had an experience where I felt His presence and love. I prayed to God and received His forgiveness and His peace.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I have had many joyful experiences in my life. I have also had a lot of trouble in my Christian life. But through every experience I have received the peace of God. After I became a Christian I stepped out of the Catholic Church and founded a little independent church. Sometimes our church was under pressure (mainly during the time of Communism) but God gave us His grace and the church grew. Later, problems started among us in the leadership of the church and we had some serious controversies and divisions. But God was with me through it all.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am a teacher and preacher in my church. I hope that through the Forum I can receive excellent, practical teaching that I can apply to my ministry. I want to talk with more experienced leaders and learn from them.

What is your ministry?

I lead the ministry of the Hungarian Evangelical Alliance as the general secretary. I lead a Bus4Life ministry through Operation Mobilization Hungary. We serve in the schools with a Pro Life program and among marginalized people (for example among prostitutes). I lead some other ministry trips, mainly with foreign mission teams and in various evangelistic summer camps. I also serve in ministry groups that work with the blind, with Roma people, and with people who have recently divorced. Finally, I am part of the leadership in our church; I preach regularly and am part of the praise and worship team.

What are your past leadership roles?

In 2000, I joined a local Baptist church where I became an elder, a home group leader, and a mentor for a church leader in an independent church. Prior to that, I was a pastor in our underground church from 1982-1999.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

If I learn more, I can share more with other leaders in my country.

Gabriela Gazova|| forum funded ::

Gabriela Gazova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—University Evangelism

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
University Students

Gabriela Gazova is part of Integrity Life, an organization that ministers to and disciples university students.

When did you trust Christ?

It happened 14 years ago in my room after some two years of attending an evangelical church. I realized that the life I had been living before was just a pretense. I had been trying to do good works without realizing that change had to come from the inside. In my room, that day in the summer, the Holy Spirit compelled me to read the first epistle of John and He showed me my sin. I saw the need to repent since there was no way I could keep living the “good life” on my own.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After I became a Christian my heart changed. I was able to forgive people who I had hated or disliked for various reasons. After I became a Christian I also made many new believing friends who showed what love and grace is in their willingness to forgive me. They have shown me that my value does not come from what I do or think or how smart I am, but from God’s love toward me. Finally, I have been involved in the ministry of Integrity Life for more than a decade. God has used this ministry to show me that discipleship is crucial in reaching the world with the Gospel. I have been able to learn a lot of practical things there as well, like how to speak in public, how to prepare a devotional, how to lead other people, and so on.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

There are many inspirational speakers at the European Leadership Forum. I hope to have the opportunity to meet speakers who could come to speak at our events for university students. I hope to be trained better in youth work. I also want to encourage others in Eastern Europe by what God has been doing in our ministry.

What is your ministry?

We work with university students in the Czech Republic and now in Slovakia, where I serve. We evangelize and disciple the students using various activities – lectures on topics like time management, the creative arts, the credibility of the Bible, healthy boundaries in relationships, and others. Our aim is for every university city in Czech Republic, Slovakia, and on to have a ministry on campus that would bring the Gospel to the students and disciple them.

What are your past leadership roles?

While I was living in Prague and Brno, I led girls in discipleship small groups. I was responsible for the media promotion of the ministry on Facebook and our website, and was in charge of prayer meetings.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I have been with my current ministry for more than 10 years. I am faithful to the call that I believe was placed in my heart. I love the ministry and what God has been doing through it. God, in His grace and to my joy, has been using me in bringing his lost children to Him and has given me gifts (such as easily becoming friends with young people, public speaking, and a thirst for knowledge) which, I believe, are an important part of drawing others to Christ through our ministry. I am very grateful that there are people who consider supporting somebody who would not be able to afford this conference. I know from my colleagues that it is always a time where they gather a lot of new and interesting information, make new contacts, and find encouragement and ideas for ministry for the future. I would like to be inspired firsthand in this way as well.

Daniel Harcar|| forum funded ::

Daniel Harcar|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Bible Teachers and Preachers

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Daniel Harcar is a national leader in Slovakia in a youth ministry organization called Josiah Venture.

When did you trust Christ?

I come from a non-Christian family and I became a believer through English camps in Slovakia 10 ago.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to keep learning about how to lead ministry on a national level. There are not many opportunities to do that in Slovakia.

What is your ministry?

I am serving through Josiah Venture in Slovakia. Josiah Venture is an organization that equips young leaders throughout Central and Eastern Europe to fulfill Christ’s commission through the local church. I serve by leading in this ministry at the national level. My role is to lead key leaders from over 10 different churches and train them to lead camps with the goal of sharing Gospel with unbelieving students. Over the years I have discipled multiple leaders who are now serving in their churches and leading youth groups. In the summer of 2017 we held 11 camps and had 360 students attend who heard the Gospel and were invited to become part of the local church in their town. Before these summer camps I prepared multiple training events for key church leaders and for over 100 of their team members.

What are your past leadership roles?

Before I took on my current role I was a staff worker in Josiah Venture.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I come from a non-Christian family and from post-Communist country, where my parents were not able to learn about faith in Christ. My mom became a believer through my ministry and that is an awesome sign that the whole country is changing, not just the younger generation. I am praying to see revival in Slovakia in every generation.


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