Matthew Brima|| needs forum funding ::

Matthew Brima|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Sierra Leone
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Forum Network:
Politics and Society
Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training
Matthew Brima is the Executive Director of a marketplace ministry called Living Light.
When did you trust Christ?
I first heard the gospel from a United Nations Peacekeeper in my hometown during my country’s civil war. As a young man, I had found life to be meaningless especially after seeing many people killed in my presence. Even though I attended the daily Roman Catholic mass and wanted to priest, I struggled to understand God’s love in the midst of so much death and suffering. As I walked from church one morning in 1997, I met the Nigerian peacekeeper who explained the gospel to me. I decided to follow Jesus that day and I am grateful that I did.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
In 2003, while on a short-term mission trip a few hours away from the city, I was burdened to see a whole village with no Christians. The village was less than five hours away from the city with churches in every neighborhood. It was in that village that I received my call to ministry as a student. The image of the “unreached” has greatly impacted my Christian walk. In 2006, while working in a very lucrative job, the Lord called me to student ministry through IFES. That was a very challenging decision because I was coming from a poor family and many were looking up to me. It took me several nights of crying before the Lord, but I am grateful that I said yes! The opportunity to lead the student movement was a significant moment of growth for me. I was challenged by students and colleagues in my pastoral and leadership giftings.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
Marketplace ministry in Sierra Leone is still a new concept for many church leaders. I need to learn from others in the global church and develop relationships to support my work in Sierra Leone. The European Leadership Forum will provide the opportunity for training and networking that I need at this point.
What is your ministry?
I am presently pioneering Living Light, a marketplace ministry committed to walking alongside the church for the witness of Christ in the marketplace. I presently have an active ministry to members of the Sierra Leone Parliament. I am still in the discernment stage of recruiting other team members, but I am grateful that the Lord has provided an opportunity to minister to the presidency and lawmakers.
What are your past leadership roles?
I returned home after three years at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where I served as the lead student in the office of the chapel. I have served as General Secretary for the National Student ministry in Sierra Leone for 7 years, providing leadership for staff, students, and graduates. I have also served as an executive of the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone, an Evangelical body with a membership of over 50 denominations and para-church ministries.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
Sierra Leone is a majority Muslim country with high levels of poverty and corruption. For many decades, the church has struggled to influence society largely because we have not been effective in our witness, especially in the marketplace. The Lord provided the opportunity for me to be trained at Gordon-Conwell and has given me a network of global friends who are ready to walk with me. The Lord has also blessed me with open doors of ministry amongst my people, an opportunity that I seek to maximize.
Marija Maran Nocajac|| needs forum funding ::

Marija Maran Nocajac|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Marija Maran Nocajac is the founder and fundraising manager of a Christian NGO called Vredne ruke Vojvodjanke.

When did you trust Christ?

I come from an Orthodox family. As a child I went to church but I never had a real relationship with Him. My family was very dysfunctional. I never felt loved and accepted. When my father passed away in 2007, I was left to live with my mother who had cancer and my younger sister. My childhood vanished. I had to accept a new life and a harsh reality; I had to fight for my family any way I could. Many of those ways were not good and that got me into trouble with many people. As time passed, I became frustrated by the ungratefulness of my mother and sister because they did not appreciate what I did for them. That frustration led me to start drinking and spending time with people who were a bad influence. During this time my best friend became a drug addict and needed help. After he heard about a rehabilitation facility, he went there to get help and he had to spend two years there. His departure was another loss and I became angry. I withdrew inside myself. At the beginning of the year of 2013, I broke up the engagement with my betrothed and that was the turning point in my life; everything became pointless and I wanted to die. At the end of that same year I spent time with my best friend again and he was now a completely changed person. When I asked him what changed him, he said it was Jesus. Since I didn’t have anything in my life to hold onto, I decided to give Jesus a chance. It took me about six months to open up myself to Him. In the March of 2014, I gave my life to Christ and that was the best decision I ever made.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One the defining moments of my Christian walk was when I met my husband. Through him God has elevated me, brought back my faith in love, and showed me that I can love again. I am happy and I feel fulfilled in my marriage. God has made my wish come true; I feel loved and accepted.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to attend the European Leadership Forum because I am leading an organization. I need to learn how to be a better leader and how to lead as a Christian.

What is your ministry?

In the beginning, my ministry started from my desire to help my fellow Christian friends with the talents that God gave me so that their organizations would function better. I started an NGO that helps the work and ministry of many Christian organizations through fundraising and social media. The organization is a bridge between non-Christian and Christian organizations.

What are your past leadership roles?

Besides my current ministry, I am also part of “International Marriage Week” in Novi Sad, in which my role is fundraising and social networking for activities that are done within this ministry. Every year I successfully collect donations for a couple of Christian ministries like Week of Marriage, Hana Hope, and Focus. These donations come from more than one hundred sources that are non-Christian. These donors give wholeheartedly through my organization to other Christian projects.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

As a young believer and with the ministry that I have been given, I believe that I need to be surrounded with people of similar experience and knowledge so that I can learn from them.

Pavel Trifu|| needs forum funding ::

Pavel Trifu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Counseling

Pavel Trifu is the Chaplain of Diaconia Medical Center and a church elder, pastoral counselor, and youth leader.

When did you trust Christ?

On August 12, 2005, I became a follower of Jesus. After a month of fasting and prayer, I took a long walk on the Independence Boulevard in the town where I grew up and God convicted me of my sin. I realized that I desperately needed Jesus to save me. A couple of months later I was baptized and began to serve my Lord in the local church of Braila, Romania.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first important moment of my walk with Christ was when my faith was tested in 2005 when I moved to Spain to work, far away from my family, friends, and church. Even though I immediately become a member in a local church of Berga, where I was working, my faith was tested through the circumstances of life. The church I attended in Berga was very legalistic. After two years there I decided to move to a Spanish evangelical church in the same city. When I returned to Romania I attended and graduated from the two-year Bible College in Galați, where I also met my wife. After that I was hired as Chaplain of Diaconia Medical Center in Braila, and I attended and graduated from the Reformed Baptist Bible College in Braila. At that same time, I was blessed to be trained for two years by the Romanian Christian Counselors Association.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to be encouraged by the large number of European church leaders, to connect with some of them and to understand more how we, as the Romanian church movement, are part of the larger European evangelical family. I hope to get involved with the Christian counseling movement and to understand how I can become a better youth worker.

What is your ministry?

On the one hand, I am serving as the Chaplain of Diaconia Medical Center in Braila. I am working with the vulnerable people with spiritual and emotional needs. At Diaconia I am doing evangelism, Bible studies, and counseling. On the other hand, I am active in my local church as one of the elders, leading the youth department, pastoring the small groups, and pastoring the youth leaders and the youth group by counseling. I am involved in evangelism events and one-on-one discipleship.

What are your past leadership roles?

Between 2009-2012, I was involved as the youth leader of the Golgotha Pentecostal Church in Braila. In 2012, when I start attending the Emanuel Christian Church in Galati, I started to work as one of the youth leaders. In 2014, I was invited to be part of the Board of Elders of the church. For a year, between 2016-2017, I was leading the Village Pentecostal Church of Smardan in the county of Galati.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am a learner and I want to understand how my ministry can have a greater impact. I want to continue learning and am currently studying for my master’s degree. I believe education is one way we can have a significant impact on the culture.

Alessandro Piccirillo|| needs forum funding ::

Alessandro Piccirillo|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Government/Civil Service

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Alessandro Piccirillo is a co-pastor in his local church, and a panelist and editor for the Centre of Ethics and Bioethics Studies.

When did you trust Christ?

Born and raised in an evangelical family strongly committed to the local church, I came to give my life to Jesus when I was six, understanding how bad sin was and what was necessary to remove it and to be part of God’s family.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In my teens I started to question the very basis of my faith. I knew I was saved from eternal damnation, but was very reluctant about submitting my whole life to God. Basically my high school years were spent in an ambiguous condition before God, denying the revealed Creator yet clinging to the hope He really existed and worked in reality. After high school I entered the military, a period which was crucial. Having felt the depths of sin, loneliness and life’s senselessness, I resorted to the Psalms and was brought to understand God’s love in Christ. This brought me back to reconsider what I had been taught in church. I became all the more aware of the necessity of believing though not understanding everything at once, but trusting that the Lord would gradually reveal Himself to me through a life of discipleship and submission to His Word and to His work in my life. I soon rebuilt my life in the local church, pastored by the teaching of elders. I was baptized in December of 2003, married in 2008, and became a deacon in 2012.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect it to be beneficial for two reasons: networking and learning. Learning is always welcome, but networking, especially for Italian evangelicals, is crucial.

What is your ministry?

I am a co-pastor in my local church, and a supporting preacher in a church in a neighboring city. I am involved in the Centre of Ethics and Bioethics Studies in Padua as an editor and panelist. I am involved with the Italian Evangelical Alliance (formally the EEA), as well as with YLGen (Lausanne Movement).

What are your past leadership roles?

Previous to my role as a co-pastor I was a deacon and lay preacher in my local church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I do consider myself a man saved by God and privileged in serving Him in small ways as well as bigger ways, ways that pass my immediate God-given faculties. This is why I need training and networking.

Cristina Olariu|| needs forum funding ::

Cristina Olariu|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Cristina Olariu is the director of a Christian FM radio station.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family and I always thought that I was a good and godly person. But then I joined a prayer group and I realized what a sinner I really was. I repented to God and I decided to follow Him. I was conscious of my sin and my need for salvation, which led me to make that decision.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I had a good job, but God called me to work in Christian radio. It was a hard decision to resign from my job when working in radio was a volunteer position. I was married, and we had a small child and two elderly people living in our home as well. My husband and I decided that it was more important to listen to God and that He would provide for us. After one month, I was offered a part-time job in Christian television and someone I did not even know offered to cover my expenses for school. After my second year of study, I had gained a scholarship and God provided for us. This was one of the most important lessons of my life: if we follow the core calling of God, despite giving up personal security, God will take care of everything.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

From the Forum I have received inspiration, encouragement, and direction. I have met extraordinary people and have returned to my home full of ideas and energy. The Forum has helped me to see exactly the next steps that I should take in the ministry to which I have been called.

What is your ministry?

I lead a team of 7 employees and 220-400 volunteers (depending on the period of the year). Our mission is to broadcast the Gospel to all Romanians. Our vision is to explain the message of Christ in a crystal-clear way so that anyone who hears can make a decision for God. In the same way, we want to offer support and news for the existing Christian community in Timisoara and also develop Christians to work in the media in the future. We have a YouTube channel where we have received more than one million views. We organize different social events like sharing the Gospel in hospitals and at pro-life events.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been leading the Radio Voice of the Gospel in Timisoara for five years. I have been in other leadership roles in camps and conferences, but radio is the core method through which God has taught me leadership.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

We can still share the Gospel openly and freely in Romania. We are the only Christian radio station to broadcast FM in a town where many students come every year for universities and where many churches need a platform to work together as one community. I am committed to sharing the Gospel. Being better equipped means being more efficient.

Driton Krasniqi|| needs forum funding ::

Driton Krasniqi|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Kosovo

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Driton Krasniqi is the national director for Scripture Union in Kosovo.

When did you trust Christ?

I was brought up in a Christian home. During my teenage years I fully committed my life to following Jesus and I was baptized in water.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I obtained a degree in Biblical Studies from the International Bible Training Institute (UK) and a Master of Theology (MTh) from the University of Wales in Bangor, where I wrote my dissertation on the history of Protestantism in Kosovo since the 18th century. This was a great learning process for me and I have been able to share many of the things I have learned as a pastor and Organisational leader. But probably the most defining moment was when pastors and other leaders in Kosovo voted me to be the leader of the Kosovo Evangelical Alliance. Being in such a position of leadership impacted my Christian walk and helped me to grow as a leader.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has improved my personal growth and helped me to connect with other Christian leaders from Europe and beyond. The evangelical church in my country is small; 95 percent of the population is Muslim, 2 percent is Roman Catholic, and nearly 2 percent more is Eastern Orthodox. To be able to connect with so many godly people from Europe is a breath of fresh air.

What is your ministry?

I am the leader of Scripture Union in the country of Kosovo. Scripture Union is a global movement in over 120 countries around the world actively introducing children, young people, and families to Jesus and helping them to meet God through the Bible and prayer. As the leader for my country, I find ways to share the gospel and provide resources in ways that are appropriate to my own context. I am also a DMin candidate with the School of Antioch in Iowa in the United States.

What are your past leadership roles?

I served as the president of the Kosovo Evangelical Alliance (KPEC) from 2011-2017. I served as pastor of the Fellowship of the Lord’s People Church in Prishtina from 1997-2007. I have been in leadership or advisory roles for several charities, including the Kosovar-Finnish partnership House of Hope Foundation, the international NGO World Vision, and the Kosova Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF). As a representative of the Kosova Protestant church, I have also worked at peacemaking and inter-faith dialogue within the religious spectrum of Kosovo.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe one of distinctives of a leader is that he always wants to grow into a better leader as he leads others. As a leader in the Kosovo evangelical community, I need to learn more from others and hear from other proven leaders on how they have overcome various leadership challenges.

Las Newman|| needs forum funding ::

Las Newman|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Jamaica

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Las Newman is the Lausanne Global Associate Director for Regions.

When did you trust Christ?

I came to know Jesus as my savior as a young man.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I spent many years in campus ministry with International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, which developed my hunger and passion for evangelism and Christian leadership. I also graduated from Tyndale University College, Toronto, and the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I received a PhD in Mission Studies from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies/University of Wales.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I have been invited to attend the European Leadership Forum to co-lead its international guest program.

What is your ministry?

I am the Lausanne Global Associate Director for Regions. I coordinate Lausanne’s 12 regional directors. I am a member of the Board of the International Fellowship of Mission as Transformation (INFEMIT) and member of the INFEMIT Networking Team.

What are your past leadership roles?

I previously served as Lausanne Regional Director for the Caribbean. I also organized and hosted the first Lausanne Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel in Jamaica in 2012, and helped produce the Jamaica Statement on Creation Care: A Call to Action and publish the book Creation Care and the Gospel: Reconsidering the Mission of the Church (2016). Previously I was Associate General Secretary for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) in Oxford, England, as well as President of the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to contribute to a sustained evangelistic vision for a local church.

Marija Egic|| needs forum funding ::

Marija Egic|| needs forum funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Politics and Society

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

When did you trust Christ?

I met some people who visited refugees from the war-torn former Yugoslavia in 1995. They talked about God in a completely new way and I was intrigued by their message. They invited me to church and what I heard really made me think. A few days later I spoke with the pastor’s wife, prayed with her, and gave my life to Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Because I speak German and English I have had the opportunity to translate for many different C Ministry Administration and Service. This has given me the opportunity to meet some interesting people who faithfully serve God. Last year I joined the Community Health Evangelism team in Serbia (CHE/REZ Serbia). In the work here God has taught me a lot about His love and grace. Another constant inspiration and encouragement in my walk with God is my pastor. He constantly encourages all of us to grow spiritually, and to discover our spiritual gifts and our passions that will show us our place and how we can serve God and others.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to learn how to help others to launch sustainable projects and their own small businesses. I have the desire but I also have a lack of knowledge. I hope the Forum will help me in this area.

What is your ministry?

I am a member of the Board of CHE / REZ Serbia. Our goal is to reach poor and marginalized people in our society through a holistic approach to help them lead a healthy and productive life. Together with my husband I joined a team that works with married couples because we understand that this is a very important segment of life that is under constant attack. We want to help all who are in need and to see happy and devoted spouses and happy strong families. We are working with three couples at the moment. Two of these couples are Christians and one is not. I am also a leader of a women’s Bible study group.

What are your past leadership roles?

In the church I was the hostess for a Bible study and prayer group for five years. I was in the parents’ council four years and in the teachers’ council for two years. I was the head of training of my company for four years and a team leader for three years before that. Currently I am the CEO of the company I work for.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am very committed to seeing progress in the growth of the church that I attend, in the city where I live, and in the lives of the people near me. I believe that society is strong and healthy only if it has strong and healthy marriages and families. I want to help young people to lead successful and devoted lives and to have Christ-centered marriages.


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