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.