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.
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.

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.

Phil Bartuska|| needs YRM funding ::

Phil Bartuska|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Austria

Occupation:
Church Planting

Ministry Focus:
Engaging Roman Catholicism

What is your ministry?

My ministry is as a church planter and a small group leader for youth and young adults. Also, I talk with people every week in cafes, shops, parks, and on the street.
Many people have been influenced in some way by the Catholic Church and religion (mostly secondhand through their grandparents or what they hear in the news).

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I hope that this would help me better engage Catholics with the Gospel and help me better understand the background and history of the people I work among. I want to learn more about the several main differences between Catholicism and evangelical Christianity.

What is your leadership role?

I serve as a church planter/missionary with the International Mission Board. I also am a leader in my church: Freikirche Döbling in Vienna.

Simon Bowket|| needs YRM funding ::

Simon Bowket|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Wales

Occupation:
Evangelism, Church Planting

Ministry Focus:
Organisational Development

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to grow in all areas of my ministry.

What is your leadership role?

I am a pioneer evangelist and church planter serving as Executive Director of Grace Rural Wales Partnership.

Oleksandr Savych|| needs YRM funding ::

Oleksandr Savych|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Pastoring, Church Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Revitalization

What is your ministry?

My ministry is to mentor my students to help them grow and develop their own churches.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to learn how to do an evaluation process and use instruments for that, and how to lead a leadership team during a time of transition. Additionally, I would like to learn how to help the church with the need of revitalisation and to achieve lasting changes in values and vision that are not just temporary.

What is your leadership role?

I’m director of Pastoral Leadership Program at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine. I have 85 students in this program right now.

Ted Szymczak|| needs YRM funding ::

Ted Szymczak|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
United States

Occupation:
Church Planting

Ministry Focus:
Disciple-Making Leaders

What is your ministry?

My ministry is in equipping young leaders to reach and disciple others.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to grow my skills in vision casting.

What is your leadership role?

I am a Church Planter Equipper with SEND International.

Lubica Piliesovska|| needs YRM funding ::

Lubica Piliesovska|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Church Planting

Ministry Focus:
Women in Organisational Leadership

What is your ministry?

I support church planters and serve the youth in our church.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to help our national team to be effective in finding potential church leaders, assessing their potential and making sure that no church planter would be left alone in ministry, and to be an effective tool for raising awareness about the need of church planting, as it is God’s command to do so in order for the lost people to be saved and brought into His Kingdom. I would also like to improve my time management skills.

What is your leadership role?

I currently serve in the National team for the support of church planting of the Baptist Union in Slovakia. In close cooperation with Free Evangelical Brethren Church, the team of assessors (who work under the National team) meets with potential church planters (usually married couples) in order to assess their potential for church planting. I am also a part of the team that serves younger teenagers in our local church.

Andi Dina|| needs YRM funding ::

Andi Dina|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Church Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoral Growth

What is your ministry?

I am leading a new organisation called IGNIS Ministry. IGNIS Ministry exists to encourage, resource, and equip local churches and church plant initiatives in all spiritual and organisational 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 do you hope to gain from participating?

In my country, 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. My vision is to give every Albanian in my generation the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to provide a path for every Christian to spiritual maturity. I want to learn how to conduct a good pastoral ministry, family life, and to reproduce healthy leaders / disciple / churches. I also need to get more experience, knowledge, capacity, growth and fundraising help.

What is your leadership role?

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. I am now leading an Albanian organisation trying to ignite evangelism and spiritual maturity for Christians.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dawid Werner|| needs forum funding ::

Dawid Werner|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Evangelism

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Dawid Werner is a regional coordinator for Josiah Venture.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust and follow Jesus as my personal savior when I was 16-years-old while attending a Christian camp in Oćwieka. The preacher was sharing about God’s love and forgiveness. Broken by a Holy Spirit, I went to the restroom and locked the door. I was weeping, confessing my sins, asking God for forgiveness, and thanking Him for His love and sacrifice.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After I made my decision to follow Jesus, I did not want to give up one particular sin for God. It was looking for value and acceptance in relationships with women. When I was 9 my mother has died. Through a relationship with four friends of mine who were sisters, God showed me who I am in Him. Those four sisters showed me how I should treat women in my life. Another defining moment was when I became a youth leader. It was a great motivation to me to get closer and closer to Jesus by serving others. I was equipped by our pastor. I became an elder. I grew in preaching and leading others spiritually. Five years ago I became a full time ministry worker. This was God’s confirmation of His calling for my life. Since then I have been growing in making disciples, equipping others, and leading and coordinating a team.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I will learn how to be a better disciple maker. I will be inspired by others to serve our God. I am also currently making a big decision about my future. I hope God will speak to me about that as well.

What is your ministry?

I am a regional coordinator for Josiah Venture. I help develop relationships between Josiah Venture Poland and local churches in the region. I support youth leaders by equipping and empowering them to be better disciple makers.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was formerly the coordinator of youth ministry in my local church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The main reason is the fruit we can see in our ministry. Every year we organize more camps, and we see more kids making decisions to trust and follow Jesus. Every year we see more believers getting involved in ministry. We see churches being refreshed and awakened by what happens with the youth in their communities. By God’s grace we can see the fruit of what we do.

Mykola Sychev|| needs forum funding ::

Mykola Sychev|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Mykola Sychev is a pastor and the Executive Secretary of the Association of the Missionary Churches of Ukraine.

When did you trust Christ?

I attended a Baptist church in my childhood. When I was 16-years-old I stopped attending the church. I studied at Kiev University and I was far away from the Lord. When I was 24-years-old I started to attend the church again and I had a good relationship with some Christian friends. In June of 1989 at a church service I answered the altar call and was reconciled with the Lord. A few months later in 1989 I was baptized.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I think that my conversion was impacted by the prayers of my mother and my closest friends. I saw their lifestyles and realized that they had something I was lacking. In my early Christian walk I was surrounded by a few good spiritual leaders and through their mentoring and care for me they helped my faith to grow. I went on to lead a youth group at the church, to plant a church, to oversee churches, and so forth. Two years of my study at the Southern Cross Bible College helped very much as well. At the school I received good teaching. There were many great teachers, and a number of good pastors and speakers. Many other daily situations have also helped me to grow. For example, my older son was healed from cancer.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The vision of our missionary association is to see the Gospel spread through Ukraine and to the ends of the Earth. We want to combine the efforts of the church for missionary vision and for the effective spreading of the Kingdom of God by opening new churches and reaching other nations and cultures. We want to spread the vision for this ministry, build relationships based on a common call, mobilize churches to carry out the mission, coordinate our efforts, and share resources to fulfill this calling. The European Leadership Forum helps me to get to know what the Lord is doing worldwide, allows me to learn from other mature leaders, and helps me build new relationships on the basis of common vision. It further helps me to build and develop my team at the church and the long-term direction of the missionary association.

What is your ministry?

I am leading a church and am actively involved in church planting and missionary work in Ukraine, Russia, and Central Asia. We planted a church in Russia, sent missionary teams to Russia, and support missionaries in Central Asia. At the Missionary Association we are trying to make a bridge between strong and missional-minded churches, to be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission. There are over 40 churches and Christian organizations in our association.

What are your past leadership roles?

I started my ministry as youth pastor. Then I planted a church. Then I began ministering as superintendent of our region of over thirty churches.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

If I give you some reasons why individuals might want to invest in my training I will be promoting myself. Reading the answers of the former five questions might help individuals to make a decision whether to invest or not. What we are doing is important for Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

Zefjan Nikolla|| needs forum funding ::

Zefjan Nikolla|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry-Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Education, Pastoring and/or Teaching

Zefjan Nikolla is the Director of IFES (the European equivalent of InterVarsity) in Albania (BSKSH) and pastors Emanuel Reformed Church in Tirana.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust and follow Jesus in October of 1991. I was a freshman at university when that happened. I joined an International Fellowship of Evangelical Students group that was studying the Gospel of Mark and had many questions about the existence of God, pain and suffering, and more. In one of the Bible studies I opened my heart to Christ having realized my need for a Savior and the fact that Christ died for my sin. Until then I was an agnostic even though my Catholic parents who secretly believed in Jesus tried to teach me about God and the Christian faith. However, it was not until I found satisfactory answers to my deepest life questions in 1991 that I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My life has not been the same since. I have been encouraged by my participation in the IFES group in Albania and in the local church that I pastor. Other important factors have been my personal Bible reading and study, many Christian brothers and sisters in my life and good Christian literature.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

As a result of attending the Forum I have seen many changes in my ministry. The Forum has better equipped me in becoming a more effective leader in my church and organization. The Forum has inspired me with new ideas for ministry. The Forum has given me a number of helpful friends and partners for ministry. I want to return to the Forum because I believe it provides a great opportunity to grow, dialogue, and partner with other Christians and Christian ministries in order to see the Gospel proclaimed in Albania.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church in Tirana. I am the National Director of BSKSH, which is the IFES movement in Albania. I also lead various national initiatives in evangelism, the Langham Preaching in Albania, and I am part of the leadership team of the Global Leadership Summit in Albania. For a number of years I have also promoted the European Leadership Forum and I am currently the national coordinator of the Forum for Albania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Albania is still a mission field and needs trained leaders for the task of evangelism and discipleship. I am committed to long-term, full-time ministry in my country both with the IFES movement and the local church. I believe together we can do more than each one of us on our own. Thus, partnership and cooperation are key to the development of the Gospel work on our continent.

Ramunas Jukna|| needs forum funding ::

Ramunas Jukna|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Ramunas Jukna is a local church pastor and counselor.

When did you trust Christ?

I was 13 years old when I first heard the Gospel. I was at a movie theater and watched the “Jesus” movie. I was deeply touched. But it was not until three years after that that I met some evangelicals who invited me to follow Jesus. I did so on June 18, 1994.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

First was my decision to become a Christian in 1994. After that, I attended a Bible School from 1997-1998. In 1999 I married my wife, Vilma. She is my supporter and helper in daily life and ministry. In the spring of 2000 I became the leader of the youth group in my church. I became a pastor in 2004. After two years I began studying theology at Evangelical Bible Institute, which was very helpful for my ministry. In 2015, I was in the United States at Dallas Theological Seminary for three weeks for an intensive pastoral training. There, I was renewed and encouraged, and God opened up to me a bigger view of my mission and calling.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I need to learn more and need to be connected, updated and inspired in the ministry. I think that the Forum is the best place for that. I would like to invite more pastors, elders and leaders from our fellowship of churches to participate in the Forum because we need to be renewed.

What is your ministry?

I am serving in our local church as a pastor. I preach and teach the Word of God. I write articles for websites and the newspaper. I counsel people. I lead a home group for leaders. I preach in different churches in my country. I go on short-term mission trips to the Philippines with the charity organization Hope Centres, during which we work with street children and their parents.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have ministered in these roles: leader of a youth group, pastor of a local church, and as a youth pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Evangelicals in my country are a small minority. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to learn theology, to receive training, or to connect with other leaders of evangelical movements and churches in Europe. I think that I need to update my biblical knowledge, to hear about the experiences of others, and to become connected to other leaders here in Europe.

Leonardo Cerasino|| needs forum funding ::

Leonardo Cerasino|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Leonardo Cerasino is the pastor and founder of a church in Parma, Italy.

When did you trust Christ?

I put my trust in Christ on March 4, 1989, in the city of Viterbo, Italy. I was in a military area and was thinking about how somebody had told me, just a few days before, about her personal relationship with Jesus. It was then that I started to pray alone and as a result really began to feel God’s presence. After that day I began studying the New Testament and since then have been growing in my relationship with Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the most crucial moments was in 1990 when I decided not to follow my dream of becoming an officer in the military. Though I wanted this, I knew that God was calling me in a different direction. That was a major decision in my life, but I knew it was in obedience to God’s will and he has shown me so much through this decision.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Italy is a very secular country, and as a result I often feel isolated from what else is happening with other Christians across Europe. The Forum has been an incredibly valuable experience as it has connected me with other leaders across Europe and allowed me to see what God is doing all over Europe. It is also a valuable place for me to develop my skills as a leader and teacher so I can best serve those in my church and at Progetto Archippo. Finally, we are planting a new church, so the training and mentoring I receive in the Forum’s Church Planters Network will be invaluable as we are involved in this process.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a church in Parma, Italy. My wife and I founded this church in 2003 and the church has grown to over 250 members. In addition to leading this church, I organize groups within the church, develop leaders, and teach others. I am also the Vice President and Founder of Progetto Archippo, a formation school in Parma. I am able to teach and lead at this school as well and make it my ministry to do so with the love of Christ.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Through the support of others, I can be better equipped to be a leader in my church and to serve others through my ministry. Additionally, my ministry is building leaders of the future and attending the Forum is a significant factor in helping develop these leaders.

Assuero Bruno|| needs forum funding ::

Assuero Bruno|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Christian Ministry— Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

When did you trust Christ?

I was 16-years-old when my personal relationship with Jesus started. It occurred during a conference, when I could hear the voice of the Lord calling me, changing me, and enabling me to walk in His way!

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was born in a Christian family. Therefore, I grew up in a church environment and with a Christian education, experiencing the blessing of the Lord since my childhood. I can remember many of the pastors who led our local church before my father was appointed, and I can remember the lecturers and pastors I got to know during my time at Bible College. They all greatly impacted my life! Another important experience was when I was in Albania as a missionary. When I returned to my home city, in 2000, I found a very small church that needed to be encouraged and rebuilt.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to be inspired, to connect with other believers, to confront my own weaknesses, and to start future collaborations.

What is your ministry?

At a local level, my wife and I are working as church planters. We also run a food bank to serve our community. We further work to develop unity among existing churches. At a national level, we are working to train emerging evangelists and emerging young leaders.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a youth leader since my teenage years. When I moved in Rome, in 1995-1998, I interned as an assistant pastor. During my time in Albania, in 1999, I was a missionary assistant, which included preaching, teaching, and doing discipleship. When I moved back in my home city, in 2000, I found a very small church, so I started preaching the Gospel and discipling people there. In 2010 I was asked to be the Italian National Motivator for Mission-Net. I then worked for the Italian Evangelical Alliance, where I connected youth leaders, provided new models of partnerships, connected church leaders and youth leaders, and facilitated expressions of unity.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am following a vision from the Lord that may be of great impact for future leaders of the church.

Jose Calvo|| needs forum funding ::

Jose Calvo|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 15-years-old I attended a Christian youth camp and realized how much God loved me in spite of my sin and rebellion. I decided in that moment that I wanted to trust Jesus’ sacrifice and follow His plan for my life. I started to serve in church as an usher and helping with cleaning the church building. Eventually I started to help the pastor with some of his office work and to play in the worship band

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was 18-years-old I moved from Mallorca, Spain to Zilina, Slovakia through a European volunteering program. I helped in the local church and got involved in their youth ministry. After that I started to study theology in Slovakia and, as time went by and my language knowledge got better, I became more and more involved in youth leadership and teaching. Both youth leaders in this local church have been really helpful in my development and have been great mentors in my growing in service, faith, and obedience to God’s calling.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a great source of encouragement; I am able to talk to many leaders, pastors, and missionaries from all around Europe and to share experiences, both good and bad. The talks and workshops were also very good to learn more about our faith in practical ways. Finally, the Forum has helped me develop new relationships and networks with leaders in our country and in nearby nations.

What is your ministry?

At the moment I’m transitioning from being youth pastor to becoming an associate pastor of our church as part of a 2-year training program. At the end of the program I will be an ordained pastor. In this new role as associate pastor, I will still help with youth ministry. I will also coach new leaders and volunteers and teach in the church at Sunday gatherings and in our church’s new Bible school.

What are your past leadership roles?

In 2013 I moved to Slovakia and started to serve in the local youth ministry. In 2015 I did a 1-year internship in the church, working mostly with youth leadership and community groups. In 2016 I became the youth leader of our local youth ministry.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

When I was 18-years-old I moved from Spain to Slovakia answering God’s calling to serve him. After a year of volunteering I felt God call me to stay and continue to be part of this local church, where I continue serve. I started studying theology and preparing for full-time ministry. Last year I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and I continue to pursue my Master’s degree despite the language barrier. I love seeing people come to see Christ as the Lord of all creation and following Him as His disciples. I would love to be more effective in this service.


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