Mihaela Vieriu|| unknown ::

Mihaela Vieriu|| unknown ::

Country:
Romania
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other
Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors
Ministry Focus:
Counseling
Mihaela Vieriu is a Christian counselor with the Romanian Christian Counsellor’s Association.
When did you trust Christ?
I decided to trust and follow Jesus at the age of 18 while still attending college. I am very blessed to have been born in a Christian family.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
I attended a women’s conference in 2008 and the main speaker was author Linda Dillow, which had a big influence on me, as I felt a strong call to become involved in women’s ministry. In 2012 I was invited to attend the disciple-making courses of Priscilla School organized by Bible Education by Extension Romania and, in 2013, some counseling courses organized by the Association of Christian Counselors. I grew spiritually by taking these courses. I really want to improve my counseling skills, as there is a real need for counseling in the local churches in Romania.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
The European Forum has already helped me a lot. I would like to return because I need to continue developing my skills as a counselor. I need to know how to become a better counselor and how to overcome my fears as a beginner counselor. I need to learn from the experience of professionals. The Forum’s Counselors Network leaders always bring in memorable case studies and I am also allowed to bring in one difficult case study on which I am working.
What is your ministry?
I currently lead a group of Christian women from different churches in my town. For three years we have been studying Christian books like “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore and “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp. This year we organized the 3rd annual women’s conference in March on Women’s Day. I am also a Christian counselor and work for the Romanian Christian Counsellor’s Association.
What are your past leadership roles?
My leadership role was and still is to work with Christian women. I am very happy that non-Christian women have attended our group activities this year as well.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
The main reason for which people may want to invest in me is that they know Romania has a real need for counseling! Although there is little activity in the field of counseling, it is mostly due to a lack of trained people to do it. There is so much to be done in the local churches and there are many who do not offer counseling at all. I strongly believe people will understand the urgency of training passionate people to do God’s work.
Ester Jankovicova|| forum funded ::

Ester Jankovicova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

What is your ministry?

On a weekly basis, I do marriage counseling, personal coaching and mentoring, and lead a small group Bible study. Seasonally I teach at marriage enrichment weekends, womeńs conferences, and workshops, and I am a guest on Christian radio programs. Having lost two husbands to cancer (in 2014 and 2019) I have now started a grieving ministry as well.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my original decision to trust and follow Jesus at the age of 12. This was during a church meeting with a pastor from the United States. During Communism, in a crowded church, God spoke to my heart very clearly that I was a sinner and I needed to have a personal relationship with Him. Since then I have been in a life-long relationship with God, walking in His Spirit.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

During Communism, several lay church volunteers showed no fear for their faith, which clearly defined what and why they believed. My father was one of them. I saw their love and passion for the Lord. As a teenager, I wanted such faith. I also had several strong women who were my mentors and who trained me in inductive Bible study, spiritual disciplines, and spiritual growth.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I pray that God would build my personal faith and restore my body, soul and spirit. I need a season to receive instead of being focused on the people I serve. I will be refreshed and inspired in my ministry through God ́s Word and other people as they share their stories, lives, ministries, serving methods, and messages.

What is your leadership role?

As a pastor ́s wife for 28 years I was involved in many ministries, including children ́s ministry, youth ministry, choir, small group Bible studies, and holistic community projects, most of which were pioneered by my husband and me. I founded a women’s ministry in Slovakia based on the New Life in Christ concept. I founded a discipleship program for training female leaders. Four years ago, I founded and began to lead an evangelism and discipleship program for youth called Fusion (Josiah Venture ministries) in Bratislava. I started two Al-Anon groups and I have been part of them for 17 years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a pioneer. When I learn something, I actively search for ways to use what I have learned and to pass it on. I believe in discipleship. My ministry will benefit as I find inspiration and new ideas.

Daniela Sincic|| forum funded ::

Daniela Sincic|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Daniela Sincic works for Hana’s Hope, a non-profit organization that supports the families of children with disabilities.

When did you trust Christ?

In 1991 I was an 18-year old from a Communist, atheistic family. My younger sister met a group of Christians and soon she became a Christian. She talked to me about Jesus and I went to church a few times. I got a Bible and read the New Testament. My mind was full of questions. I was suspicious of God’s existence. But after a month I recognized that I was a sinner. I repented, received Jesus as my savior, and was baptized. During this period my sister and I had problems with my mother and grandparents because of our beliefs.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

During my walk with Jesus there have been a lot of moments of growth. One miracle is the way that God freed me from my anger towards my father, who left our family when I was 6 years old. During the first few years of my being a Christian, God slowly helped me to forgive my father and showed me that I can call God my Heavenly Father. My friend and pastor’s wife helped me to go through the process of becoming free from my burdens. I learned to walk in a deep trust with God, depending on Him, not on myself during troubled times in my family.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I have been very thankful for the opportunity to listen to some very good lectures on the Forum’s website. In 2020 I had the opportunity to be part of the Forum’s network for pastoral counselors and that was really helpful. I hope participating in the Forum will help me in my personal relationship with God, and in learning and developing skills for serving sensitive groups of people.

What is your ministry?

I work for a non-profit organization called Hana’s Hope. Our mission is to support families with children with disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. In the beginning, I was one of the volunteers working with children. Then I officially joined the staff. We serve families, organize retreat camps, offer a support group for mothers, provide counseling to parents and family members, and provide childcare for children to give parents some free time. Our wish is to provide a welcoming environment for families, where we can share Christ’s love for them. We try to connect local churches and families and to help churches support families.

What are your past leadership roles?

For two years I was on the leadership team of our church’s Sunday school. Then I began helping with ministry to the teenagers in our church, where I was a team leader until the end of 2020. Until 2013 I was part of the scouting ministry Royal Rangers Serbia, Novi Sad. I was involved in preparing camps and Bible studies for children and teenagers.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Ministries for families with children with disabilities is not well-developed in Serbia and the Balkans. We have found so many burdened families who are stigmatized by society. When we see the smiles of a child and thankful tears in a mother’s eyes, our only wish to be even more available to them. Families need support, counseling, and they are open to Jesus and open to His help in their lives.

Jelena Hristov|| forum funded ::

Jelena Hristov|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Jelena Hristov is a translator in a Christian school and a counselor.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 14 years old, I came to a Protestant church for the first time in my life. Although I believed that God existed, I didn’t know much about Him, nor about Jesus Christ, since I came from an Orthodox background. I first came to a Christian music concert, and I liked the music and the lyrics which the artist sang. Soon after that, I started going to meetings for teenagers, and I liked those as well. There I heard the Gospel. With a leader of that ministry I prayed the sinner’s prayer, repented of my sins, and invited Jesus to come into my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the defining moments in my Christian walk were those teenagers’ meetings. There I met peers who showed me sincere love, understanding, and acceptance. I wasn’t very social back then (because I was bullied in elementary school), but after I started going to those meetings and to church services, I became more social, and I could be who I really am with my friends in church.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I would like to return to the Forum because I would like to grow more as a leader and as a person who likes to study and improve her knowledge about counseling. I will get to know people from different countries, areas of ministry, and especially my colleagues – psychologists and counsellors who will be able to share their knowledge and practical experience with me, so that I can learn more about Christian and pastoral counseling.

What is your ministry?

My current ministry is full-time ministry of translating in a Bible School, but I don’t think it will be my primary ministry for long. I believe that my ministry will involve Christian counseling primarily, and teaching integrated psychology to young people as well. Since I have come to know many students in the school, I have started some non-formal counseling with some of the girls. I want to listen to them, encourage and comfort them, teach them about God and Christian life, and be there for them in time of need.

What are your past leadership roles?

My past leadership roles mostly include my ministry with teenagers, youth and university students. I was involved in a leadership team for youth ministry in my church for almost 3 years. I was helping in organizing meetings and Bible studies. Connected with that, I was also a part of a team for organizing summer camps for teenagers and youth, which lasted for 6 years. During my years as a university student, I was a part of the IFES leadership team, and I was involved in organizing meetings for students, and lectures from famous Christian professors and Bible teachers on campus (like John Lennox and Michael Green).

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There is no Christian school where I can study counseling in Serbia. I would like study Christian counseling, whether in the United States, England, or Canada, because I know I need more education in theology first, and then more in counseling based on the Bible. If God will lead me in that way and provide that for me through faithful people, I would like to come back to my city or go to another one in Serbia, in order to practice in a church or secular setting.

Edgaras Untulis|| forum funded ::

Edgaras Untulis|| forum funded ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Edgaras Untulis is a pastor in Plungé, Lithuania.

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a pastor since 1995.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Zaneta Dvorackova|| forum funded ::

Zaneta Dvorackova|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

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

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

What are your past leadership roles?

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

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Erno Nagy|| forum funded ::

Erno Nagy|| forum funded ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Social Services

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

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

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

What are your past leadership roles?

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

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Dimitra Geraki|| forum funded ::

Dimitra Geraki|| forum funded ::

Country:
Greece

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Dimitra Geraki is a women’s minister in Greece.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust Jesus as my Savior back in 1983 during a Christian conference in Germany. I visited the conference with my aunt, who was a Christian. While listening to a sermon I realized that what had been offered to me by God was a huge present and I couldn’t just keep on living my life without accepting it. The speaker addressed those of us who had not yet surrendered to Jesus, explaining the atonement through Jesus’ sacrifice and asking how long it would take until we would finally say “yes” to Him. I prayed aloud asking Christ to come into my life and save me. That was the beginning of my spiritual journey with Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I came back home to Greece after my conversion, my mother, who had been raised in a Christian home but did not have a personal relationship with Jesus, was indifferent when I talked to her about my experience. But my father reacted in a violent way when I told him that from then on, I would attend an evangelical church that was near our house. Being only 16 and still living with my family, I had to face threats that he would burn my Bible if I kept reading it and that he would even come to the church I attended to tell the pastor and the elders that I was acting against his will! This was a hard time for me, but it was also an opportunity to dig deeper in my relationship with Jesus. I kept praying and eventually my mother stood by me and this gradually made my dad calm down and let me go on with my spiritual life.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I look forward to participating in the European Leadership Forum and its sessions on counseling so that I can be better qualified to understand myself and the characteristics of my personality as I walk in faith, as well as help and support the other women of my church and of the churches of the Koinonia of Evangelical Churches in Greece, whom I serve within the scope of my ministry. I also believe that sharing thoughts and experiences with my fellow Christians from other countries, concerning for instance issues and problems that women face in marriage and personal relationships will be beneficial not only for my sisters in my country but also for Greek women in general, whom we try to lead to Christ.

What is your ministry?

I am in charge of the women’s ministry of the Koinonia of Evangelical Churches in Greece. Our aim is to help Christian women grow spiritually and at the same time reach out to those women around us who have not yet trusted Jesus as their savior. We also feel a burden in our hearts for women of minority groups in Greece, such as the Muslim women in Thrace in the northern part of Greece.

What are your past leadership roles?

In the past, I led women’s Bible studies in my church and organized the curriculum of the Sunday school classes of my church. For the past five years I have been working with elderly people in a Christian nursing home, supporting and helping them in their battle against dementia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe that the Forum will be really beneficial for my ministry. Greece in its vast majority is an Orthodox country with the Greek people being totally alienated from biblical truth. The Forum will definitely equip me to work alongside my fellow Christians for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom in my country.

Zsolt Biro|| forum funded ::

Zsolt Biro|| forum funded ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Zsolt Biro is a Bible teacher for Grace Ministries Hungary.

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

What are your past leadership roles?

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

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Agata Tolloczko|| forum funded ::

Agata Tolloczko|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Agata Tolloczko helps organize English clubs, does street evangelism, and is studying to be a missionary.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in a Catholic family. Our relationship with God was comparable to that of most of Polish families – based on religion and tradition. We were focused on what people thought about us and keeping up appearances, not on God. I understood God as an institution, not as someone real. Thank God that He gave me much an older sister who was interested in the real God and who was searching for Him. She introduced me to Jesus and taught me about Him. During a summer camp I felt real, genuine contact with God and I came to understand my need for Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The defining moments of my Christian walk have been my baptism, learning how to make disciples with a more mature Christian friend, attending systematic Bible study meetings, sharing an apartment with a good Christian friend, and moving to Ukraine to be a student at missionary school in Odessa.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending the European Leadership Forum will be an unbelievable benefit to my ministry. After I finish missionary school, I would like to start a discipleship ministry among women in Poland related to sharing the Gospel with them, preaching about the identity and value of women in Christ, and helping them become mature Christians. The workshops and Network on discipleship will be of enormous help to me as I prepare for this journey.

What is your ministry?

I help to organize evangelistic English Clubs for students. I do street evangelism. I am also studying in a missionary school and will have a six-month internship with a discipleship ministry. I continue to lead a Bible study small group and I am involved in discipleship.

What are your past leadership roles?

My friend and I led a weekly Bible study group in our apartment for a few years. Moreover, I have started my education at a missionary school in Ukraine and I will be involved in many ministries there.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

By investing in my training and my ministry individuals will help me with developing individual and group discipleship among women, and in helping me develop a biblically-based approach to use in helping women become disciples of Christ and reaching more women who will be future disciples.

Klara Kisgeci Dudas|| forum funded ::

Klara Kisgeci Dudas|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

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

When did you trust Christ?

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

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

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

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

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

What is your ministry?

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

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

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

Giuseppina Giaccio|| forum funded ::

Giuseppina Giaccio|| forum funded ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Giuseppina Giaccio is the pastoral care and discipleship coordinator in her local church.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my original decision to follow Jesus 18 years ago after a friend shared the Gospel with me. Prior to that, I professed atheism. I went through a long process of reading the Bible for two years. Then I surrendered my heart to Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

There are four defining moments in my Christian walk that have impacted my life. The first time was when I had just become a Christian and I started to share my faith with family and friends. The second was about four years later when my 20-year-old sister got cancer. The third was when the Lord moved me to a new city and called me to serve Him in a new way. The final moment was when I met my husband.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum equips Christian leaders. In my case, my desire is to do pastoral care in the church, so I want to learn how to do so more effectively.

What is your ministry?

My vision is to create a culture of mutual support that influences every part of the healthy growth of the church community. I am working in my church as the pastoral care and discipleship coordinator. My mission is to support and restore the spiritual health of people who are in the midst of the circumstances of suffering, distress, or dependence, so that they can be freed, encouraged, and healed by the Word of God through the support of the community. I am also intentional in building relationships based on the knowledge of Jesus for the construction of a solid identity both as an individual and as part of the community. This ministry places itself at the base of the culture of mutual support and, therefore, develops the responsibility and privilege of supporting each other. I have created discipleship-mentoring-coaching groups, which are instruments of mutual nurturing, encouragement, and support. Leadership development is often a result of this process.

What are your past leadership roles?

I served in my first church as a leader for teenagers, and I organized camps for them. Then in my current church I was a small group facilitator and mentor for young adults and women.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I live in Rome, Italy. There is a huge need for disciples of Jesus Christ to impact the city and the country.

Jelena Sivulka|| forum funded ::

Jelena Sivulka|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Health/Medicine

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Counselling

Jelena Sivulka is the founder of Hana’s Hope, a non-profit organization that cares for families with disabilities.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 18, I heard the Gospel for the first time in my life at the Calvary Chapel Outreach. After a few days, I prayed to receive Christ into my heart.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My family was against anything that had to do with the church, Jesus, or Christianity in general. Thus, to go to church was a constant battle at home. I was involved in youth ministry, IFES-student ministry, and all of that helped me grow and develop as a Christian during this difficult time. Also, I was disciple by my pastor’s wife and she helped me in my Christian walk.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum helps me to connect with other Christians in my field. It helps me to learn more and to receive professional supervision from people who have a greater knowledge of the counselling field. Through the Forum we are able to share problems and dilemmas, and are able to encourage one another. While getting a degree in counselling at a secular university it was the Forum that helped me to learn more about Christian counselling and about how to integrate psychology and Christianity. The Forum is the only place for me to share my heart with other professional people who love God and who are involved in ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am the founder and director of Hana’s Hope NGO. Our organization serves, educates, and cares for families and individuals affected with disabilities. I am writer and speaker, passionately sharing the importance of pain and suffering in our spiritual walk. I am one of the founders of the Christian Counsellors association in Serbia, speaking, organizing different events, and caring for counsellors. I host a radio show once a month with messages of hope.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am planning to stay in ministry, but at the same time I have come to conclusion that I need to learn more, and need encouragement. I started taking classes in Novi Sad at the Theological seminary, but that has not been enough. We need highly educated workers in the country of Serbia.

Esteban Lozano|| forum funded ::

Esteban Lozano|| forum funded ::

Country:
Spain

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Esteban Lozano is the director’s assistant and scriptwriter for an evangelical television program in Spain.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in a Christian family. I grew up hearing stories from the Bible, and I believed them intellectually. But it was not until I was 18-years-old that I came to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I went through some problems at that time that brought me to a saving relationship with Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the defining moments was when I was at university when I was 18-years-old. I had a relationship with a girl, but it ended. That brought a lot of pain into my life. Through that period of my life, God taught me to rely on Him, no matter what. He taught me that everything is under His control and that I can rest in Him because of His perfect guidance. Since that time, whenever I struggle, I remember how Christ brought me to peace when I most needed it.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum encourages and strengthens me to go on with my ministry. Through the Forum I have also gotten to know other believers who are involved in mass media work; we have been able to learn from each other and help each other.

What is your ministry?

I work as a scriptwriter for an evangelical television program that is broadcast every Sunday on Spanish public television. I began doing this work 11 years ago and I gain more responsibility every year. I am also an elder in my local church, where I preach once a month and lead a Bible study group with my wife.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a youth group leader at my local church in Madrid for 10 years, and a Bible teacher in Christian youth camps.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Our program, “Good News TV,” is a very useful tool to bring the Christian message to Spanish society. It is important that our show is as good as possible. Therefore, training and resources are important.

Petr Lupton|| forum funded ::

Petr Lupton|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Counselling

Petr Lupton is involved in men’s ministry, pre-marital counselling, and leading a small group.

When did you trust Christ?

I accepted Jesus in the summer of 2004 at English Camp. I was 15 years old and it was my first contact with Christians. I was deeply touched by the testimonies of the team leaders from the Czech Republic and the USA. I dedicated myself to Christ at camp and was baptized 9 months later.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The most defining moment of my walk with Christ is probably my decision to study theology. Throughout my studies I saw myself grow closer to Christ in incredible ways. I was constantly amazed by my theological studies and was blessed to have the opportunity to learn so much about God and his love. Another moment was when I volunteered at the Ashburnham Christian Conference Center in England for a summer. It was a valuable growing experience for me to be challenged and mentored by others who share my passion for Christ. My pastor and mentor have also played significant roles in my walk with Christ and have been a continuous encouragement with my faith.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a great place for me to learn how to be more effective in my ministry. I am starting to work with men and also my and I are doing pre-marital counselling for couples, and I would like to learn more about these area, so that I can help others.

What is your ministry?

I work with men, especially in the area of moral purity. My ministry is based on the book The Purity War by Jim Cecy, who is also my mentor. I meet with men on regular basis in small groups or one-on-one meetings and I try to help them in their struggles with purity. I also organize seminars on the topics of moral purity, similar to what Jim Cecy does. Besides that, I have been responsible for teaching a small group that is hoping to plant a church in the future.

What are your past leadership roles?

Previously I was a theology student. I also helped with youth group, leading Bible classes, visiting rehabilitation centers for the elderly, and visiting rehabilitation centers for those who have been imprisoned. In addition, I preached in various churches and was involved in a leadership team for an English Camp.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My vision is to someday train other people in theology and how to use it in their lives, especially in the Czech Republic. It is the second most atheistic country in Europe so there is also great potential for the gospel to be spread. Being able to connect with Christian leaders from other countries will provide me with “fresh” perspectives on leadership. It would be a great opportunity to gain wisdom and knowledge of leaders from all over the world in order to help me in my ministry in the Czech Republic.

Jadwiga Markiewicz|| forum funded ::

Jadwiga Markiewicz|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Jadwiga Markiewicz works for Matthew 28 Ministries, and leads a discipleship program for women called Metamorphosis.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Christ in 1981 when I was a student through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ in Poland.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

During the last three years of my university studies, after I made my decision for Christ, I was involved in the Campus Crusade student ministry. I attended Bible study meetings and large student meetings. I was discipled by Campus Crusade staff, and was challenged to serve God full time. When I finish my studies I joined the Campus Crusade staff in 1983.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a great time of learning, encouragement, vision casting, and inspiration for my ministry. It is a good opportunity to make new connections and exchange experiences. It is wonderful time of rest in God’s arms.

What is your ministry?

I help women from different Polish cities and different churches to grow in their relationship with Christ to be disciples of Christ. I help them grow in God’s Word and apply His Word to their everyday lives. I help teach them how to share the Gospel and to help others to know Christ. A year ago I started our “Metamorphosis” program, which disciples 20 women, many of whom are themselves leaders for women in their cities and churches.

What are your past leadership roles?

In my ministry I have been a small group leader, the leader of a women’s teaching team, and was responsible for training new staff. Now I am our women’s forum leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My heart is for evangelism and discipleship among women, so they can know God personally and live as free people in Christ, spreading His fragrance. If the lives of women change, they will tell others about Jesus, and make a difference for Christ in our country.

Zsuzsanna Onasoga|| forum funded ::

Zsuzsanna Onasoga|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Social Services

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Counselling

Zsuzsanna Onasoga is a counsellor in her church and is involved in women’s ministry and church planting.

When did you trust Christ?

In 1991 my friend invited me to a home Bible study and it was there that I decided to follow Christ in a personal relationship. My decision was the result of years of searching and desiring to “reach” God. I had always expected God to just find me. But He was there all along waiting for me to finally put down my pride and trust in Him!

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I went to Bible school for a year (from 1993-1994) and that time really helped me to settle some issues and grow rapidly. There were other situations like being a foster parent, working with poor people, being the pastor’s wife, and going through difficult time of loss and insecurity that helped me to better know God.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a very valuable experience, as it allows me to meet people who are experienced in the field of counselling. I can learn from professional counsellors, as well as build networks so I can keep growing even while I am not at the Forum. I also hope to act as a supporter to others who are there and may need my help in certain areas.

What is your ministry?

I am involved in women’s ministry in our local church, at our new church plant, and in two home studies for women in nearby towns. I also counsel these women as they have need. I minister as a counsellor in our church, mostly working with families. During the summer I help at children’s camps as a counsellor for kids and parents. I often speak at women’s conferences.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was motivated to continue my studies and become a certified counsellor in the Mental Health Department at Semmelweis University. This was a two-year course for people with a theological background.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to use my knowledge for the good of others. There are not many counsellors in Serbia with a Christian background and the need is great. I can see how God uses me daily as I talk with individuals and I would like to develop so that I can be an even more effective servant of God.

Alena Kazlouskaya|| forum funded ::

Alena Kazlouskaya|| forum funded ::

Country:
Belarus

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Pastoral Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Alena Kazlouskaya is the editor of a Christian newspaper.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was about 12-13 years old, I read a book about Jesus. It was non-Christian book, in fact an anti-Christian book. I saw that the author was silly and that Christ was real. After reading the book I prayed to God for the first time. Then I started to look for a good church where I could hear the teachings of Christ. I also found a New Testament and started to read it at home. It was like a great hunger. After finding a church, I asked Christ to be my Lord and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

God often spoke to me through the Bible and there I found the answers to my questions. My pastor’s sermons helped me to know God much better as well. My father died in 1993, so God become my Father. He saved my family from a big crisis after my father’s death. There were hard times when the USSR broke up, and many people lost their jobs and savings. God helped us to survive that time. God answered my prayers. He showed that the spiritual world is real and that He is near all the time. He also healed me from two illnesses and my mother from a tumor. As a Christian journalist, I have met many people who have had God’s miracles in their lives.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I hope to encounter new viewpoints, and that the experience of other attendees and speakers will be useful for our ministry. I expect to meet new people who can be our partners. The ideas I can get at the Forum can enrich and change our ministry, giving us a more global vision and a deeper understanding. It can help us to connect with the body of Christ across Europe.

What is your ministry?

For 20 years I have worked as a writer and editor for a Christian newspaper called “Kolokol-The Bell.” I write the articles for each issue of the newspaper. For unbelievers we write articles about salvation (telling the Good News in understandable, modern way), Christian apologetics, and stories of people who have received help from God. We write articles for believers about the Christian life and practical application of God’s word in different areas of life. More than 20 million Russian-speaking people have received the Good News of Jesus Christ through our media ministry.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was the leader of a home group. I have also served as a teacher in my church, both in Sunday school and for our teenagers.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

“Kolokol-The Bell” is only independent Christian newspaper in Belarus. Our monthly circulation is about 2,000 people, including people in prisons and nursing homes, and those in the government in our cities. Christians and churches use “Kolokol” for spreading Christian faith and values. Thousands of people know about Christ through our ministry. By investing in this ministry, you invest in preaching the Gospel in the society.


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