Zoran Kavedzic|| forum funded ::

Zoran Kavedzic|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization
Forum Network:
Professional Counselors
Ministry Focus:
Counseling
Zoran Kavedzic is a premarital counselor for Operation Mobilization.
When did you trust Christ?
I made my decision to follow Jesus in 2002, based on long-term relationships with Christian friends and missionaries. I had met them throughout numerous projects that aimed to serve the poor and needy.
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
My mentor disciplined me spiritually from 2000 until 2006. That caused me to redefine and intensify my walk with Jesus. Working with the poor made me realize how limited my resources were to meet their needs, and how great the Lord is – He understands every person’s needs. I was challenged to trust in God’s wisdom and to follow His lead in spite of hard situations that I was facing. For example, losing a family member challenged me to understand more deeply the mystery of salvation and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
Why do you want to attend the Forum?
It has been a few years since I have been able to attend the European Leadership Forum. I value the sound teaching and opportunity to be part of the Forum’s Counselors Network. There are very few Christian counselors working in the Balkans. Having the opportunity to talk, learn, and grow together with other counselors who have a common love for Christ is something that I both desire and need to be more effective in ministry.
What is your ministry?
My passion is to glorify God and share His love through my life and ministry activities in the region of Herzegovina. I strive to use the talents and training I have to teach others about God’s truth. At this time this includes premarital counseling seminars and using social media as way to interact with and reach young adults concerning matters of dating and what marriage can and should be.
What are your past leadership roles?
I was one of the leaders of a house church in Zenica from 2003 – 2006. From 2000 – 2008, I was a regional coordinator for an international and local NGO.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
I see a need to keep improving my skills in Christian counseling, since the need for pre-marital counseling is growing in my city.
Jelena Cvetojevic|| forum funded ::

Jelena Cvetojevic|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Student

Forum Network:
Professional Counselors

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Jelena Cvetojevic works for Hana’s Hope, an organization that works with children with special needs.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family. My grandfather was the pastor of a Baptist church so it was normal for me to attend church. But in my childhood I was not really interested in going to church or getting to know Christ. When I turned 11, I realized that I needed God and that I needed a real relationship with Him. When I was 12, I got baptized. I knew I was a sinner at that point and I repented, but at such a young age I did not feel the weight of my sins. I understood that when I was around 18 when I began feeling the consequences of my teenage decisions. I decided to devote my life to getting to know the character of God and to serving Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I was blessed with wonderful people who took care of my spiritual formation while I was a baby Christian. I was always willing to share the struggles or questions I had about life and God and also to listen and try to apply what these wise people had to say. But the defining moments in my Christian walk were the ones I intimately shared with God. Those were the moments when He clearly spoke to me, like the moment when I forgave my father for not being part of my life at all. Forgiveness was a process I struggled with for years, but the relief of it was immediate. Another significant moment was when I was 16 and realized I needed to commit my future husband (who was not even in the picture yet) to the Lord. I was inspired to promise the Lord that I would marry a godly man and behave the way the Bible teaches. This led me to a wonderful friend who has been my husband now for two years. Another moment was when I gave up my desire for a career in the fashion industry to become a psychologist so that I can serve people.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Sometimes I find it difficult to talk to Christians who have a need to grow, learn, and develop. I think that meeting other Christians who are serving in their countries and who are willing to learn more about God will be a great encouragement. Through the Forum I will also be able to learn more about psychology from a Christian point of view, which will be a great help to me.

What is your ministry?

I have been involved with Hana’s Hope for years now. Our focus is on families with children with special needs. We spend time with and listen to these families, we play with the children, we have fun with them, and we free their parents up for a few hours or even days to have time for each other while we take care of their children.

What are your past leadership roles?

When I was a teenager I began serving in youth ministry. This led me to sports ministry, outdoor ministry, and organizing prayer group meetings. My roles included organizing events and logistics, administrative work, and hosting events. I love spending time with people, and all of these ministries were amazing, but through the years I realized I have a heart for children with disabilities and for ministries related to women, so that is my primary focus at the moment.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My aim is to do Christian counselling. At the time I am finishing my studies of psychology at a secular school, and I am starting a second year of theology. There are plenty of things that I am learning and activities that I am excited about, but I need help with my next steps and how to become a Christian counsellor.

Urska Meolic Kotnik|| forum funded ::

Urska Meolic Kotnik|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovenia

Occupation:
Student

Forum Network:
Professional Counselling

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training and Counselling

Urska Meolic Kotnik is finishing her master’s degree in psychology in order to become a Christian counsellor.


When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus when I visited an IFES student conference in Warsaw in 2014. I wasn’t a believer at the beginning because of the bad experiences I had had with the Roman Catholic Church when I was younger. I first came into contact with God again when I met my future husband and my journey started from there, but it was at that conference that God’s Spirit touched my heart during the worship service. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to follow Him.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In my childhood I learned about God from my grandmother, but she died in my teenage years. The next encounter was with my future husband. Then our current pastor and the IFES organization helped us on our journey of getting to know God better and learning what it means to truly follow Him. There were other faithful people who helped us along the way, but we are continuing to get to know God more.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending the European Leadership Forum helps me personally grow in my faith in God. Secondly, I am training to become a counsellor, so it will be very helpful for me to make connections in the field of Christian counselling. At the Forum I will be able to listen to many experienced speakers and gain a lot of important knowledge in order to help other people. I know that there are many psychologists and psychotherapists attending the Forum. I hope to share the information with others in Slovenia in order to equip different churches in Slovenia for this type of ministry. Such knowledge can also be used as an evangelistic tool. Finally, I believe that I will meet new people, connect with them, and have opportunities to bless them.

What is your ministry?

I am finishing up my master’s studies in psychology and hope to become a Christian counsellor. Besides this, my husband and I are leading our church’s youth ministry, which serves young people and teenagers from ages 11-18. I also go on hospitality visits, particularly to elderly people in the church community. I also help with the IFES student group in Maribor where I live; I help to organize lectures and workshops on different topics. I recently traveled to Belgrade to train in trauma healing, and I have been leading workshops in our church on that topic. I also help IFES in Slovenia to manage their Facebook page and Instagram account.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have led the IFES student group in Maribor and given lectures about addiction, forgiveness, and happiness. I have organized summer clubs for children and helped IFES organize its Reformation festival in Maribor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There are many reasons. One reason is because there is a lack of Christian psychologists and counsellors in Slovenia, and there aren’t many secular psychologists either. Currently a person may have to wait one or two years if he or she wants to see a trained counsellor or psychologist. Because of that, counselling is a great opportunity for the gospel in my country. Christian counsellors have a real chance to help people and to equip churches to help people.

Stefana-Ioana Racorean|| forum funded ::

Stefana-Ioana Racorean|| forum funded ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Health/Medicine

Forum Network:
Professional Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Counselling

Stefana-Ioana Racorean is a marriage and family counsellor, who works for a non-profit organization.

When did you trust Christ?

My first contact with Christianity was when I began to attend a Christian high school. The Bible study that was part of the curriculum helped me to understand what God had done for me and the importance of having a personal relationship with Him. My time at the school greatly influenced my faith. I was baptized after I gave my life to Jesus during high school.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Coming from a family where religion was not important, it was a strange thing that I ended up going to a Christian high school. After attending a strong church for almost 10 years, I finished my studies and went into the profession of psychology. Every day I see ways in which God has shaped me to know how to integrate my professional work with my faith. I work not only in therapy and counselling, but I am also involved in research on the Psychology of Religion and counselling training in my organization.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

When I attended the Forum for the first time I was at the very beginning of my career as a psychologist. I was working in a Christian organization that was doing professional training in systemic family therapy. I became part of the training team, being in a position of leadership, without knowing how to lead, or being a mature leader myself. I was also teaching family psychotherapy, trying to build on values and integrate Christian thinking with a professional perspective on psychology when I was only learning about integrating the two from books. The Forum helped me mature as a Christian and offered me knowledge, support, and mentoring that helped me mature as a leader. The Forum put me in contact with Christian psychologists with whom I learned how to be a Christian psychologist and how to help colleagues integrate faith in their professions. The Forum is the best mixture of Christian and professional growth I have ever encountered.

What is your ministry?

I am a marriage and family therapist currently working in a Christian non-profit called Preventis Association. We serve a population that deals with substance use and abuse. We offer counselling to clients dealing with these issues and their families. We also have two prevention programs, one offering lessons on drug use and abuse in schools and throughout the community and another mentoring program for at-risk youth. I also have a small counselling practice on the side, seeing a variety of clients.

What are your past leadership roles?

Prior to my work as therapist, I was a training director.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I may be very optimistic about my ministry, but I am also very young. To better do God’s work and fulfill my calling as a Christian, I need to be in contact with other experienced professionals, such as all those who come together at the Forum. I am eager to learn new things and develop what I already know because I know that my Christian walk and my ministry will always continue to be a process of learning and growth.

Demo|| forum funded ::

Demo|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Forum Network:
Professional Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

When did you trust Christ?

A few years ago I met some missionaries from the United States who witnessed to me about God, salvation, and their faith. At that time I was in the third year of my studies at university. In 2006 I became a member of an evangelical church and was baptized. From that time I have made the decision to follow and trust Jesus daily, because I understand that He is my Savior and Lord, and that I am part of His body on the earth.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 2010 I made an important decision to study at a Bible school, which was organized by a local evangelical church called “Almaz.” This Bible school gave me a fundamental knowledge about who God is and how to read and understand the Bible. I can confidently say that studying at this school helped me to grow in my faith, in seeking the truth, and in worshiping our Lord. Watching one of the other leaders who I work with inspires me. He is a great man of God and as I see the way he lives his life, I grow in trusting God even more.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is the place where I meet followers of Christ, have unity with them, and learn how to follow Christ wholeheartedly. The Forum gives me the opportunity to learn and gain resources about leadership development. I learn from experienced teachers how to communicate the Gospel lovingly and persuasively in my community as we lead the apologetic discussion meetings for students. I also can be mentored by experienced leaders in order to grow spiritually and professionally. In addition, this is a great chance to network with people all over Europe and America and learn new strategies for how to reach my country, Ukraine, for Christ. I also see how God is connecting Christian leaders who have visited the Forum through our invitation. More and more of these leaders are becoming open to the mission and values of the Eastern European Leadership Forum in Kiev, Ukraine.

What is your ministry?

I am working as an administrator with the Eastern European Leadership Forum (EELF) in Kyiv, Ukraine. I am responsible for the coordination of the work of other team members, contact and correspondence with the EELF speakers, registration of the participants, and other administrative tasks. I work on the website of the EELF, where I am responsible for updating the content.

What are your past leadership roles?

During 2006-2007 I was involved with an international organization, AIESEC, where several other people and I organized a project for orphans in two local orphanages. I was also a team leader and a translator at Christian summer camps in Ukraine, as well as abroad (in England in the summer of 2007).

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Our ministry is developing step by step and we use every opportunity to invest in our team and our leaders. I believe that I need to grow our ministry on biblical principles. The Forum is a place where I can learn how to do this. For example, learning how to start a biblical, God-honoring organization was of great help in starting such an organization in Ukraine.

Anna Bondarchuk|| forum funded ::

Anna Bondarchuk|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Health/Medicine

Forum Network:
Professional Counsellors

Ministry Focus:
Counselling

When did you trust Christ?

I made the decision to follow Jesus when I was 10-years-old after the death of my brother. I was looking for safety and comfort in God. He became my best friend and became my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the things that have helped define my walk with Christ include: close friends in my church who loved God and people and who helped me to personally grow; individual counselling for me and process groups that I was part of as a student, as they allowed me to get to know God in a different way and to get even closer to Him; studying in the REALIS Counselling Program, which reassured me that my calling to counselling ministry was from God; studying at Bible College; a crisis in my marriage that showed me how to be dependent on God and to trust in His unconditional love.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum’s Counsellors Network is equipping counsellors with skills and information to be more effective in ministry. It is very impressive how deep and beneficial this information is for my ministry.

What is your ministry?

I am a counsellor. I meet with clients each week to work on their issues, like depression, marital conflicts, parental conflicts, sexual abuse, childhood trauma, and so on. Our counselling center works with the schools in Kiev that the children of expatriates attend. We have an opportunity to do counselling with the children and their families. I work with 15-20 people per week, both in group sessions and individually. Our clients are very different: ministers, other church leaders, missionaries, unbelievers, men and women, and all different age groups. We do peer supervision when needed among counsellors of our center. I am now preparing a group for volunteers to prevent burn-out and to equip them with knowledge about stress and trauma.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a leader of several small groups in the church. I was a part of a team that planted a new church in Ukraine. My husband and I were also leaders of a family ministry in our church, training couples to lead small groups, and do mentoring and evangelism. I helped to organize an Inner Healing Conference for a broad audience in Kiev, and also a seminar on Sexuality for Counsellors in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2013.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The topics at the European Leadership Forum are very relevant to the issues clients come to our counselling center with. My time at the Forum will also be very valuable for my professional growth. Counselling is the direction God has given for my life. This is the area of ministry I want to grow in the most.


Close Menu