Daniel Pavlinak|| forum funded ::

Daniel Pavlinak|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders
Ministry Focus:
Discipleship
Daniel Pavlinak serves with In-Life, an organization that disciples university students in Czech Republic and Slovakia.
When did you trust Christ?
I was born into a Christian home with both parents active in ministry. I heard many stories of people coming to Christ and my parents were very clear in their guidance. I put my trust in Jesus as a young child. I understood I needed to be forgiven by God, that He loved me and sent His son Jesus to die for my sins. After realizing this, I asked Jesus to become my Lord and Savior.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
When I was about 12, my rebellion against God began. I was not well accepted at school, so I found older friends and started drinking with them. The pressure of living two lives was slowly becoming unbearable. When I was 14, I agreed to study the Bible one-on-one with a young man volunteering in the ministry of my parents. I also started going to Christian student meetings and saw people who had real joy in their lives. God led me into reading the Bible, and I started studying and praying, asking God to show me a way to happiness and meaning. I also started playing the guitar and I played the songs I knew best – Christian hymns. God used all of this to change my heart and I decided to follow Him fully. I have been personally discipled which has had a tremendous impact on my life. I have been led not only to have a deeper understanding of God’s word but have also inspired by the example of other people’s lives. They were not afraid to get involved in my life and to help me to see God’s guidance and help.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
I expect to be encouraged by biblical teaching and discover spiritual patterns in Jesus’ ministry. I think getting to know people from different ministries around Europe and spending some time in discussion will help me understand our culture deeper and thus communicate the Gospel in a relevant way. I also hope to develop relationships with other Christian leaders to be able to serve each other in partnerships in the future.
What is your ministry?
I currently serve full-time with In-Life, helping young men to know Jesus Christ and grow in their newly found faith. I lead the student’s core group. Within this group we primarily organize evangelism events, but the goal is also to help these students grow into future leaders.
What are your past leadership roles?
During the last year of university, I led the local student ministry of In-Life. I also became a manager of a small team at the Sony DADC company. I also led worship teams for multiple events.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
God is a personal God who wants a very personal relationship with each of us. However, our society concentrates more on doing things, rather than on building relationships. We try to grasp relationships in the same way we grasp business models and academic frameworks. But relationships are messy, as people are. I believe we, the church, have adopted the “doing” mindset and very few people receive Christ in Europe. Change can only begin through our relationships with Christ. By accepting God’s love, we are safe enough to step into relationships and “get dirty” with others’ lives.
Sarka Konickova|| forum funded ::

Sarka Konickova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

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

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

What are your past leadership roles?

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

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Sigita Linkyte|| forum funded ::

Sigita Linkyte|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Sigita Linkyte is a youth minister in her local church.

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

What are your past leadership roles?

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

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Ester Pucalkova|| forum funded ::

Ester Pucalkova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Ester Pucalkova is a youth leader and church elder.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 17 years old, I took part in a conference for women organized by an organization called Josiah Venture. During a time of prayer God led me to pray together with my cousin. We started to pray about a bad situation from the past, to confess and ask for forgiveness. Later the next year I prayed at home. I recognized myself as a sinner and started to confess my sins. After that I truly felt peace with God and a sense of deep forgiveness came over my heart. A few months later I was baptized.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My mother and grandfather have been examples of true and living Christianity for me since my childhood. Since I was a teenager I have taken part in Christian festivals, youth groups, and so on, which formed me a lot, especially through teachings and prayer. Many books by C.S. Lewis and other authors have also shaped me. Finally, God led me to volunteer for a month in Germany. There He taught me to hear His voice, to stay in His presence, and to seek His will.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect the Forum will give me new inspiration for ministry, as well as practical skills. I would like to learn more about youth ministry and to learn from other leaders. I want to learn how to bring young people closer to God.

What is your ministry?

I am a leader of a youth group in Brno, the second largest city in Czech Republic. We are trying to connect new people through alpha courses, special events, and regular meetings. I am a member of the “department for youth groups” in our church, with focusing on the South Moravia region in Czech Republic to provide connection, teaching, and encouragement for other youth group leaders in this region.

What are your past leadership roles?

From 2003-2013, I was a leader of services for children in our church. From 2005-2014, I was a member of a Czech team that organized English camps in our church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My ministry can affect young Christians from the entire Czech Republic. As students and temporal members of our youth group, young people can see, experience, and learn new things, which they can later apply in their own ministry or work in churches and in their future lives. Brno is the second largest city in Czech Republic, with a large group of people who know only a little about Jesus Christ. With our youth group we would like to focus on young people at universities and start some missionary activities there.

Andreas Schoger|| forum funded ::

Andreas Schoger|| forum funded ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Andreas Schoger is the pastor of a church in Romania.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in a non-Christian family, and because of problems regarding the health of my brother my mother came to church. I was 16-years-old when I decided to follow Jesus. It was in 1998 when God convicted me of my sin and I gave my life to Him. I was convicted during that summer when a missionary came to our church and preached the Gospel.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The moment when God called me to serve the Lord with the Gospel. The moment when I was discipled by some great men of God. The moment when I got to attend Emanuel University of Oradea. The moment when I got married. The moment when I was ordained.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I will be exposed at great speakers. I will develop my relationships with other leaders from Europe. I will be able to buy great books. I will set apart my activities for a week and I will invest in my own spiritual development.

What is your ministry?

I am a full time pastor. I preach on a regular basis (four times a week), I lead the youth group, I visit the church members, I evangelize the members of our community, and I officiate baptisms and weddings and funerals.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was involved in the Gideon International Ministry. I was the youth leader in my home church. I was involved in a group Bible study in our church. I was involved as the leader of Campus Crusade for Christ at my university.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a leader and work as a full time pastor. I am in my thirties and still have, Lord willing, a long pastoral career ahead. I like to read and attend conferences so I have a teachable attitude.

Natalia Luptakova|| forum funded ::

Natalia Luptakova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Natalia Luptakova is the National Director of the Scripture Union of Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my public decision as a child of 11 years of age during an evangelistic meeting in my church. I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my personal Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The most important thing for me is growing together with my husband in faith, through all of life’s ups and down. We had a period of time without children and this time was given to us as a time for serving others through publishing ministry. The way I was connected with the Scripture Union ministry was really special to me and I understand it as God’s calling to me for full time ministry to kids and young people. Going through illness and my husband´s unemployment were moments I felt God´s presence and assurance that He provides, and that He acts in His time and in His way.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

When working with young people, you need to be on the cutting edge. You need to be aware of new trends that will come and to be prepared for them. I believe that the Forum is a place to hear, to be enriched, and to be encouraged for ministry among young people. I want to connect with people who are struggling with the same questions as me and who strive for close relationships with God.

What is your ministry?

The focus of Scripture Union’s ministry is to encourage people to be engaged with the Bible. We are doing this through Toddlers and Mum group, kid’s clubs, training volunteers, camps, and literature. Our main focus now is to encourage parents to read the Bible with their kids. Through publishing a book called “Big Bible Challenge” and having a website for the book, we are providing resources, training, and workshops on how to read the Bible with kids. A very important part of our ministry is regular training for young volunteers from age 15. Each year we have new applicants for training and volunteering in summer activities.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was part of a team in my church working with teenagers. For about 15 years I have developed Toddlers and Mum groups, produced written materials, trained others, and planted new groups in my area. I also led a small team writing curriculum for religious education for a Christian school.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There is a whole new generation of young people who are asking questions, a lot of them coming from formal Christian families and they are hungry to hear about Truth. And I feel I need help in helping them. There is always space to grow, and sometimes I forget to invest in myself when caring about others and helping them grow. On the other hand, maybe there will be someone who could benefit from my experience.


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