Alena Yasiuk|| needs YRM funding ::

Alena Yasiuk|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Belarus

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
University Students

What is your ministry?

I currently hold the position of development officer at International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Belarus. Our mission is to reach the students in every university across the country to share the gospel with them. We also equip Christian students to serve and share the good news with their friends. This year IFES is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Belarus. In these years, the ministry has touched the lives of thousands of students. Many of the former IFES students, volunteers, and staff members have become full time ministers at their local churches or even started church plants (my pastor included). We also target international students, many of them coming from predominately Muslim or Hindu countries. Studying in Belarus is one of the few opportunities for them to learn about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.


What do you hope to gain from participating?

I hope to gain wisdom from fellow colleagues, become more confident in my ministry, and expand my professional network.


What is your leadership role?

My primary responsibilities are keeping in touch with IFES partners and donors and raising funds for staff and our current projects. I am also in charge of the budget and solving any financial issues our ministry is experiencing. My job is to encourage and help staff members to raise financial support for themselves as well. I am also responsible for expanding the network of our partners in and out of country. Basically, I am a go-to person for all things finance and networking.


Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My biggest priority in my ministry is developing the network of partners and donors in the country. Unfortunately, most ministries and churches in Eastern Europe rely on financial support from first-world countries. We are grateful for the generous gifts of our brothers and sisters from better economic backgrounds; however, this situation is highly unsustainable. I strongly believe it is more beneficial for both Christian organizations and the church to have the ministry funded locally. I am trying to start a culture shift in this area.


Galina Repeko|| needs YRM funding ::

Galina Repeko|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Belarus

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

My friends and I created an arts community for Christians in Minsk nearly two years ago. This is a pioneering ministry in Belarus; we now have a team of 10 creative people from different mediums of art. The main goals of our community are learning different artistic mediums and to use different instruments and tools; discussing how we can impact our country through the arts; exploring what it means to be “Christian artist;” working on art projects together and encouraging each other in making personal projects. Our dream is to host a conference for Christian artists so that we can gather photographers, filmmakers, dancers, artists, actors, writers, and musicians together.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would be grateful to receive encouragement in my ministry. It would be incredible to make something together as a group with our own hands. I will be grateful to the organizers if we have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with speakers and mentors to discuss issues and get some advice, which will certainly be useful.

What is your leadership role?

I am an artist and the co-founder of a community of Christian artists. Our vision is that we can be useful instruments for sharing the Gospel through our talents.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Not all churches are supportive of the arts. They think that artists must not interact with this “dirty world” and they think that all art must have an evangelistic purpose. Secondly, this is still a new ministry in Belarus, so we need guidance in which direction to go. Thirdly, it is very difficult to find a balance between being “relevant” and having a Christian vision. Sometimes it is very difficult to find that “golden mean.” However, I am confident that you can be an artist for people without losing your identity in Christ. I am also very interested in the question of how our art community can work with churches. Is there a clear strategy for the arts ministry movement? And how can we bring together talented people from different spheres (like photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, actors, dancers, designers, etc.)?

Dzmitry Palianski|| forum funded ::

Dzmitry Palianski|| forum funded ::

Country:
Belarus

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Dzmitry Palianski is Secretary of the Missionary Committee of the United Pentecostal Church in Belarus.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 1995 when I was 23-years-old. I served as a police officer in Minsk. Once we arrested a group of young people who were having a meeting in a private apartment in Minsk. We found Bible in the home on a table. We threatened these people with a fine. But the young men were calm. Their faces had a smile and a deep peace was in their eyes. A few days later on the street I met one of them. I was afraid he would be ashamed of me. But he came up to me, smiled and said: “Sir, come to us. God loves you.”

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 2000, my pastor asked me to be a deacon in the church. I refused. At that time I held a position in the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Belarus. I was afraid that a position of leadership in the church could damage my career. God gave me no peace about this decision, and I struggled for a year. Finally I agreed to be an elder in the church. Immediately I realized this was the right decision.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My wife and I participated in the Eastern European Leadership Forum in Kiev in 2014. I was impressed with a level of teaching. We got some answers to our questions. But some questions remain. My expectations for the European Leadership Forum are to get answers to my remaining questions. I need encouragement and understanding of ministry, which we plan to do in Europe.

What is your ministry?

I am a former diplomat (Economic Counselor to the Embassy of Belarus in India). Since 2015 I have served as missionary in Montenegro with my wife. At that moment I am pastoring an evangelical church called “Salvation” in Budva, Montenegro. At the same time I am the Secretary of the Missionary Department of the United Pentecostal Church in Belarus.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was one of the first deacons and one of the founders of our local church. For a long time I was an assistant pastor. I took part in Christian seminars and educational programs. In 2012, I became a Bachelor of Theology. About two years I oversaw a small local Church in the Minsk district.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe that my life experience and education can be used with great potential in church planting, in training church leaders, and in helping to build relationships between the church and state authorities. It is a good investment to encourage us in our understanding to work between disparate Russian-speaking communities in the European Union. This is especially true in terms of the displacement of the Christian culture of the moral-cultural system of European society.

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.

Antoni Bokun|| forum funded ::

Antoni Bokun|| forum funded ::

Country:
Belarus

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Apologetics

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in a Roman Catholic family, but my parents did not visit the church because during the time of Communist rule in Minsk there was no Catholic church. In 1993 I met a group of young people in Catholic Holy Trinity Church in Minsk who studied the Bible every week. The leader of that group was a student from Poland named Jaroslaw Lukasik. In 1994 I was born again.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 1999, the Catholic cardinal of Minsk said that we must disband our congregation as we were more Protestant than Catholic. We became evangelicals at John the Forerunner Pentecostal Church. Since 1997, I have been working towards publishing the Bible in Belarusian, because although the first Bible in Belarusian was printed in 1517, to this day there is no commonly used text of Holy Scripture in Belarusian. I wrote the book “The Golden Age of Belarus” in 2001. This book is an analysis of the religious history of Belarus in the 16th century. I am also one of the organizers of the East European Leadership Forum, which is held annually in Kiev, Ukraine.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

In Belarus we need to communicate with Christian leaders from abroad, especially from Europe, to learn from them and to share what the Lord has revealed to us. The Forum increases my skills in apologetics and is a good opportunity to get inspired by Christian leaders from all over Europe.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor of a 100 member Pentecostal congregation in Minsk, Belarus – John the Forerunner Church. Our church works among students, intellectuals, and political activists. I took over the leadership in 2007 when the co-pastor Jaroslaw Lukasik was deported. Each year we serve about 500 students and young people from different universities. Our children’s ministry serves more than 2,000 children each year. Also this year our church organized 35 apologetics discussion clubs for students and 30 street evangelization events.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

In the age of Reformation the main part of the Belarusian elite were Protestant. But in the 17th century the “treason” of Reformation by the Belarusian elite caused a state of permanent crisis, from which the Belarusian nation has not recovered. In present times, evangelicals are the most dynamic and organized group in Belarusian society. But the great weakness of the church is a lack of educated Christian leaders because under Communist rule Christians were prohibited from attending university. A key problem for Belarusians is a lack of national identity. If the church provides a solution to this problem, the Christians can impact the making of the Belarusian nation.

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