Vadym Biriukov|| needs YRM funding ::

Vadym Biriukov|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

What is your ministry?

I became involved in ministry with the teenagers of our church in 2012. We had fellowship meetings twice a month on Fridays at that time. Recently I was in contact with a young man who said that he still remembers some of the topics we discussed then and that he misses those days. We had a back-pack hiking trip to Crimea in 2013. There were 10 teens and 10 adults. We were studying the life of Daniel. Now we have meetings on Sundays after church. Recently I have begun meeting with more mature young people on Fridays.


What do you hope to gain from participating?

I want to meet with other youth leaders. I want to listen to their stories, struggles, victories, and visions so that we can share our experiences and benefit from them. I want to meet with experienced mentors. I want to listen to important topics in youth ministry. I want to learn about how to better interact with young people.


What is your leadership role?

I have been a deacon at a Baptist church since 2008. I am a preacher and sing in the choir. I led a small group but with the pandemic, we stopped getting together. I have also worked at Zaporizhzhya Bible Seminary since 2007. I have been on several short-term mission trips to Central Asia and the Caucasus region of Eurasia. I have been the dean of students at ZBS since 2011. I teach a course on evangelism, so it has been exciting to plan and run this course with our students. In 2018, I became the youth leader in our church. It has been a step-by-step process, but our youth ministry is reviving. Praise God!


Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to build a team doing active and creative youth ministry in our church. I also have an eye toward eventually passing the baton on to a younger leader.


Anna Gnatyshyna|| needs YRM funding ::

Anna Gnatyshyna|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

What is your ministry?

OneHope’s vision is to engage the younger generation with God’s Word. Our desire is to affect destinies, not just modify current circumstances. While many of our incredible partners strive to provide children around the world with much-needed tangible resources such as food, water, and clothing, we feel called to devote our resources to providing children and youth with the Gospel message. We believe God’s Word has the power to bring eternal changes in addition to a fulfilling life on Earth. Moreover, we are striving to be innovative and to speak with children through innovative technologies. Therefore, we invest lots of effort into digital evangelism.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

From the Year-Round Mentoring program, I expect to receive encouragement in my leadership role; new skills and detecting and changing old patterns and old thinking that prevents me from wise management of my resources (like time and energy); spiritual renewal in my walk with God, which will influence the way I do my ministry; mentoring and advice from both the speakers and from the other leaders in this mentoring track.

What is your leadership role?

I work in OneHope as the Ministry and Operations Coordinator for Eurasia. I work on developing and distributing evangelistic resources in the region. This includes cross-cultural communication and the ability to find common ground with partners so we can be united in reaching the same goal. My main area of focus is on the younger generation and ways of engaging them with God’s Word. I meet with people from various denominational and cultural backgrounds. We look for different creative and practical methods to interact and communicate with children. Besides that, I am a leader of Bible study groups in my church and do counseling.

Kseniia Bondarenko|| needs YRM funding ::

Kseniia Bondarenko|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

What is your ministry?

I am the Chair of the Board of an NGO called Forward United. Forward United is a partner with Christianity Explored and The Word One to One. We share thousands of books and train local teams to use these resources for His glory. Forward United seeks to reach the new generation of Ukrainians and help Christians and local churches to share unchanging biblical truth using new creative methods. We would like to grow nationwide. We want to have a representative in every region of the country. We would like to partner with every Bible seminary and train others in sharing the Good News to the rising generation. We are launching a YouTube channel and podcast that will share more about ongoing programs and tools that we recommend. We have a lot of Christians here in Ukraine who are afraid to share the Word with their close friends and relatives. Forward United is ready to help and equip with biblical resources. We also administrate ESL evangelism courses as a tool to reach more people for Christ in Ukraine. Together with Biblica Inc., we provide Bibles to the rising generation here in Ukraine and in Central Asia.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to learn more from other experienced Christian leaders. It is important to know how to lead in a new world. There are a lot of storms and Christians should be united in sharing the Good News for His glory. I expect to gain spiritual support, new tools, and ideas for Christian leadership in a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 world. I would like to learn tips for using my time wisely.

What is your leadership role?

I am the Chair of the Board of an NGO called Forward United. My team and I create, translate, and print resources that help Christians to share their faith with their non-Christian friends and relatives.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

It is easy to focus on the task instead of the goal. I would like to learn more about how to delegate and how to encourage others in what they can do for His glory. I would like to learn to listen more and to better plan for turbulent times.

Sergey Marchuk|| needs YRM funding ::

Sergey Marchuk|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Education – Childhood and Adolescent

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

What is your ministry?

Aletheia Christian School was founded in 2017 following a new opportunity in our country. In 2015, Ukraine adopted a law allowing churches to legally establish Christian schools within their organization. We started our school with seven first graders and they met in our church building. Our church was the founder of the school. The school was called “Alethea” (αλήθεια), which in Greek means “Truth.” We want children to know the Truth, that is, Jesus Christ. The school has grown enough that it no longer fits in the church building. Now we have 51 students—70% of them are from Christian families and 30% from non-Christian families. We have 9 teachers plus administration and technical staff. Since the 2019 school year, we have been renting an additional building where we can accommodate two more classes.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I expect that the Year-Round Mentoring program will help me to become a leader of impact for the glory of God. I hope this YRM program will help me to strengthen my weaknesses in leadership. I want to learn more about how I can think strategically and apply these principles in my work. I believe that YRM can help me not only learn new principles but also help me with their practical application.

What is your leadership role?

I was the founder of the school on behalf of the church. I used to be a children’s minister. I have no experience in management or administrating a school. Therefore, I use every opportunity to improve my knowledge. Now I am the principal of the school. I manage the direction of the school, educational strategy, staff management, recruitment, and development, and support initiatives to improve the education system.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Despite all the progress made, Ukraine still has a long way to meet the global standards in education, economic development, and sustainability. I want to develop the ability to set the right priorities in my work. I want to learn more to develop the staff.

Vladimir Gorbenko|| needs YRM funding ::

Vladimir Gorbenko|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I live and serve in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. Zaporozhye is one of the three industrial centers in Ukraine with population of about 800,000. I serve as a senior pastor of a local city church that was started as a “college church” in 2002. I was part of the team of three other ministers that started this church within a Ukrainian Baptist Union denomination. I was a youth minister and then was asked to become a pastor in 2007. Today we are a church of 170 church members and about 200 people in weekly attendance. We purchased an old warehouse and renovated it into a church building.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I am hoping to grow to understand the process of church revitalization in a community of like-minded people. I would like to develop a program of church revitalization that would be relevant for churches in Eastern Europe. I am interested in developing the picture of a healthy church and working through critical issues of church revitalization and the process of leading a church through change.

What is your leadership role?

I serve as a senior pastor of Christ the Savior Baptist Church in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. I also work full time as an Academic Dean of Zaporozhye Bible Seminary. The seminary was started in 1994 by GEM missionaries and now has several bachelor and masters level programs. We have programs for full-time studies and extension programs. I also teach courses within the area of Biblical Studies, Hermeneutics, and some courses within Practical Theology. Being a senior pastor helps me to be more attentive to the needs of a local church, so even though I feel like I am sitting in two chairs, I also see benefits and am grateful for the church family and the team of ministers that support my role.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I sense a growing need for church revitalization in Ukraine and would like to be involved in mentoring existing and future leaders in this process. I would like to develop a church revitalization program that a church leadership team could use to become a healthier church.

Vitalii Klodnytskyi|| needs YRM funding ::

Vitalii Klodnytskyi|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I received a master’s degree in Bible and Theology from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kiev. I now teach in Bible colleges and seminaries on such subjects such as Homiletics, 1 Corinthians, and Bibliology. For five years, I was the leader of a musical group and participated in different evangelistic programs. In 2012, with a team of pastors, we started a new church. I am a member of the church’s leadership committee and a deacon. I also lead a home group and teach and preach in the church’s services. Through the home groups, we are counseling, discipling, and mentoring our members. As a rule, I am responsible for helping 20 people to grow and develop Christ-like character.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I realize how important it is to gain the experience of others and meet with Christian leaders from other countries and cultures. Likewise, I am an adherent of the Western style of management. I want to gain more knowledge and principles to implement them in our local organizations. It is also very important for me to expand my list of contacts and keep in touch with leaders from different countries.

What is your leadership role?

Our church is a relatively new one and we have been trying to build a more Western church hierarchy and structure. As part of the church’s leadership team, I work to guide the church. I am also a co-founder of a media project called InstalGod.Tv. We have several hired people and use many volunteers on the team. Over the course of six years, we have gained more than 30,000 subscribers and 30 million views of our studio channel’s. At beginning of 2020, we started a Christian organization called Some4life in which I am one of the coordinators. Our role is to help each organization to grow and present its needs.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to learn more about how to hire the right team members, how to resolve conflict situations, and how to build our organization’s structure correctly.

Yurii Marchuk|| needs YRM funding ::

Yurii Marchuk|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Animator

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

My main ministry in the church is leading the small groups and discipleship groups. I also play guitar in the worship band and preach. Starting next semester, I will be teaching “Introduction to Old Testament” and “Hermeneutics” at the seminary where I studied. I am co-writing a book with one of the professors there. I believe that we as Christians have to represent God in all we do, but I work for a non-Christian organization. I would like to create Christian content.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I expect to be part of a group of creative people who love God and know how to share Christ in creative ways. It would be great to meet new people and make new friends who are also passionate about learning how to use their talents to make God known. Through these relationships we can all learn from each other and help and support each other to grow in what we are doing. This program will be inspiring and will help me to grow deeper in a theology of the arts.

What is your leadership role?

I am an artist, illustrator, and animator by profession. I am also learning to write scripts because I believe this could be used to win more people for Christ.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Most of the time the arts are only represented by music ministry in Ukrainian churches. But I want it to be more than this. There are Christian people who have been illustrating different books or magazines for children, but you would not be able to find animated movies by Christians in Ukraine. I believe that this can be a creative way to reach people, through storytelling, cartoons, and comics; unfortunately, this is not popular in Ukraine and not many people understand the power of this opportunity. Most Christians haven’t even realized that such a medium could be used to share the gospel. I am interested in learning more about the experiences of Christian writers from other countries who write for non-Christian audiences. Two great examples for me have been C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Solomon Ebi Ekiyor|| forum funded ::

Solomon Ebi Ekiyor|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Solomon Ekiyor is a pastor in Ternopil, Ukraine.

When did you trust Christ?

I gave my life to Jesus at a New Year’s Day service on January 1, 2002, at the Church of God Mission in Patani, Nigeria.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

On November 15, 2000, at a Christian meeting on campus, in my final year studying Chemical Engineering, a female pastor prophesied I was going to be a missionary and that the Lord was going to use me. This encounter defined and guided my path. The impact of my theological training gave and prepared me for a fresh walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Lastly, the various challenges I have encountered in life and the mission field demonstrated how the Lord helped, delivered, encouraged, and gave me victory, which greatly increased my faith and trust in Him alone.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum will impact me with updated knowledge and skills for effective cross-cultural missions to reach native Europeans and give me a much-needed network of mentorship and biblical resources. It will also broaden my understanding of how to overcome various ministry challenges and the opportunities they provide.

What is your ministry?

I coordinate mission activities in Europe for the Fellowship of Christian Students International. As director, I coordinate leadership training and church planting activities. I also preach during church services. In addition, I offer pastoral care to the congregants. Presently, our ministry reaches about 5,000 international students in Ukraine, Georgia, and Romania. We have also been able to reach approximately 12,000 Ukrainians through our various ministry platforms. Our goal is to reach more through new ministry strategies we hope to acquire from the Forum.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been an evangelism coordinator and the president of Christian Youth Fellowship, as well as the curate and the youth chaplain of the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew. I have also been chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, LGA.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

There are thousands of international students from Africa, Asia, and South America studying in European universities who have not received Jesus Christ as their Lord. The Lord has given us great success, especially in Ukraine and Georgia. We have seen a good number of Africans, Indians, and Arabs come to the Lord through our ministry. We have a goal within the next three years of extending and reaching out to international students in Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Poland, and Hungry. We have a structure, partnerships, personnel, and volunteers. The Lord is also opening more ministry doors to reach native Europeans in the above-mentioned countries.

Vadym Biriukov|| forum funded ::

Vadym Biriukov|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
OEducation—University

Forum Network:
Youth Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

Vadym Biriukov is the dean of students at Zaporozhye Bible College.

When did you trust Christ?

Before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I was desperately searching for real friends. I thought I had found them. We were a basketball team playing for the amateur championship in our city. But we had a falling out, and I was bitterly disappointed. One day I was at a store complaining about my disappointment. I was astonished by how a lady talked to me. She was a believer; she spared her time for me and was really kind as I explained my disappointment in the people who I thought were my friends. Through that sister God spoke to my heart. I wanted to know the God that she knew. That day radically changed my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Just after my repentance, I started working at the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant. That plant is one of the world’s largest producers of manganese alloys. I prayed to God for protection during each shift. For me, those months were a defining moment of my trust in God. I had two very close brushes with serious injury where my hands could have been completely crushed. After that, I had no doubt in the One I came to in repentance and to whom I had dedicated my whole life. Eventually, I left my job and was enrolled in Zaporozhye Bible College. I studied there for four years. It was a constant experience of growth through my teachers and their lectures, through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other students.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

As a dean of students and a leader of a youth group, I expect to improve my skills of teaching, leadership, and mentoring. I like the word mentoring because it involves close relationships and leadership by your own example. I want to learn from experienced speakers and implement that knowledge in our culture. Hopefully during the Forum, someone can show me how to be a better mentor.

What is your ministry?

At our church, I have been the Sunday school director since 2008. I have been working with our church’s youth group since last year. I am interested in working with youth in order to set biblical goals for them to achieve. At my job, I am a dean of students at Zaporozhye Bible College. The college is involved in missionary work. I lead some of these short-term mission groups. I am so delighted to watch our students grow in maturity during these trips.

What are your past leadership roles?

During my time of education at ZBC, I was a director of AWANA clubs for a couple of years. We had a team of about eight people. For me, it was difficult to manage the team. I had a feeling that I was sitting in the wrong chair. But it was a great opportunity to learn about what it means to be a leader.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Jesus Christ expects me to bear fruit, and I want to be of service in His Kingdom. I am dedicated to my job and ministry and want to improve as a mentor and leader. Investing in me will also hopefully influence many more people. I want to pass the applied knowledge on to those who I mentor.

Mariia Tyshchenko|| forum funded ::

Mariia Tyshchenko|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Media Communicators

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Mariia Tyshchenko is the project manager for an NGO that seeks to build a multifunctional complex shared by different Christian ministries and churches.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in the Christian family that loved God and His Word. One evening when I was a teenager, I had an unusual spiritual experience where I felt the strong thirst for the Bible. I couldn`t ignore it, so I started reading. After that, I started reading the Bible regularly and felt it filling me spiritually. After a few weeks of this I made my decision to follow Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My childhood was full of stories about Soviet Christianity. I knew of many people who were Christians despite immense danger and persecution. When I was older I was mentored by a camp counselor, who had a great impact on me. She helped me take part in a gap year with the Ukrainian Leadership Academy. That was a fruitful time for me, but I was also challenged by Orthodox Christians, agnostics, and atheists. Some students were following the Christians traditions, but didn’t commit their hearts to Christ. During the 10-month program I initiated prayer meetings with other believers. We had supported each other through prayer and Bible study. I had many doubts about my faith during this time, but God was stronger than any other philosophy I encountered.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am part of a movement of renewing biblical churches. We are a people of God working to build His kingdom in Ukraine. Through the Forum I have met many people and received many contacts. I have gained ideas for how to develop our vision. It was also a time for personal renewal and recovery from the day to day demands of ministry.

What is your ministry?

My current ministry is a project coordinator for a Lemberg Hall project. We are a coalition of four Christian ministries and Hosanna church. We have an ambitious goal to build a multifunctional complex with facilities for multiple ministries. Lemberg Hall will include a sports hall for floorball ministry, classes for a Christian school, a conference hall for large events such as a Global Leadership Forum in Kiev, and open space for “Hebron,” a project that trains Ukrainian orphans in IT skills. I am working as a communicator between organizations, building a contact network, organizing team meetings, and looking for other partners.

What are your past leadership roles?

My last leadership role was related to motivational speaker Nick Vujicic visiting Kiev in 2018. I was involved in the organizing process of this event, which 15,000 people attended. As a part of the Organisational team, I had an amazing experience to set the strategy for the event and to lead the administrative work.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to be fruitful in my Christian life. I am thankful for deep roots in my faith from older Christians and my seminary education. The example of dedicated Christian leaders has inspired me to look for God’s face and to praise Him. My studies have had an impact on my spiritual walk with God. The fruit of my education comes from my teachers taking time to invest in me as a Christian and person. I am always trying to look for new ways to continue my discipleship.

Vadym Proshak|| forum funded ::

Vadym Proshak|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vadym Proshak is a pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in a Christian family. At the age of 20 I made my personal commitment to Jesus. Prior to making my decision, I decided to read the Bible in its entirety. Through my reading I realized that I needed to submit myself to the Lordship of God in my life. I confessed my sins and God made me a new person.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 1994, I entered Zaporizhzhia Bible College (ZBCS). My education there gave me a sound theological foundation for my faith. I graduated from the college with a bachelor’s degree. After I graduated, I became involved in church planting. I was later a youth pastor and worked as a part-time teacher at ZBCS. Practical work has really shaped me in my ministry skills. From 2001–2003, I studied theology at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Amsterdam. This was a time of a significant growth in my teaching skills, my knowledge, and my personal obedience to God. Since that time I have taught Apologetics, Evangelism, and other courses at ZBCS. At the same time I pastored a church for five years. I have always had good examples of solid Christian brothers and sisters around me that have helped me to grow spiritually and personally.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Attending seminars at the European Leadership Forum helps me to grow in my knowledge of several key areas, including evangelism and apologetics. I am also pastoring a church. We are active in evangelism and social work in our city. We want to influence our society with the Word of God and to work on changing our surroundings. We run different programs that aim to prevent recurrent crime and the spread of AIDS. We work with orphans and ex-prisoners. I feel the need to have some fresh experiences and ideas, and to make new contacts with other believers. I am looking forward to what I can gain from the Forum in these areas.

What is your ministry?

I am pastoring a mid-sized church of 200 members that is active in youth and teenage ministry and work with addicted, homeless, internationally-displaced people, and prisoners. I am a member of the Pastors’ Counsel of the Baptist Union in Zaporizhzhya region. It is the leadership of the Union at the regional level. I teach at pastors’ conferences six times a year. I am also involved in training youth leaders.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a teacher at the theological seminary for many years, teaching Apologetics, Philosophy, and Evangelism. For seven years I was a Dean of Students, where I helped students with spiritual formation and outreach activities. For five years I was a pastor. I was involved in planting the first church where I was a pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I love the Lord and want to minister for Him to the fullest of my abilities. I will appreciate any financial help in participating at the Forum. It will enrich my ministry and benefit the people I am ministering to.

Vitalii Klodnytskyi|| forum funded ::

Vitalii Klodnytskyi|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Vitalii Klodnytskyi is the director of Media Studio InstalGod, a Bible seminary teacher, and a deacon and lay preacher.

When did you trust Christ?

I had visited church with my parents ever since I was a child. My father was a deacon and later became the pastor. God worked on my heart and, at the age of 16, my personal meeting with Christ took place. I realized my sinfulness and repented during a service of our local church. I have fully devoted myself to God since that time. A year after becoming a Christian, I decided to attend seminary.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After I became a Christian I began a period of intense reading and study of the Bible. This got me thinking more and more about the meaning and purpose of my life. My cousin, who was the regional youth leader, invited me to attend Bible seminary. I studied there for three years; it changed my life completely. The seminary team helped me to find my life goals and encouraged me to study for my master’s degree in Bible and theology. The people I met during my studies were a great influence on me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I am the coordinator of the Christian organization and want to be an effective leader. I want to grow in leadership qualities, to know how to develop the organization, to know how set new goals and achieve them. I want to learn about modern methods of Christian leadership. When the leader gets better, everything gets better. The European Leadership Forum helps me to be a better leader and makes me aware of the common challenges facing Christianity in this part of the world. Meeting new acquaintances and contacts and finding new resources for our ministry is another important aspect of the Forum for me.

What is your ministry?

I am the director of Media Studio InstalGod, which is engaged in creating a YouTube channel with Christian content. I am a teacher in a Bible seminary. I am also a deacon, preacher, and teacher, so I am responsible for the strategic development of the local church. In my combined areas of ministry, I am responsible for the strategic coordination of up to 100 volunteers.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was previously the leader of a student group.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Thanks to God’s mercy, our media ministry has received millions of views. We would like to continue improving and being faithful to God.

Mykola Sychev|| forum funded ::

Mykola Sychev|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Mykola Sychev is a pastor and the Executive Secretary of the Association of the Missionary Churches of Ukraine.

When did you trust Christ?

I attended a Baptist church in my childhood. When I was 16-years-old I stopped attending the church. I studied at Kiev University and I was far away from the Lord. When I was 24-years-old I started to attend the church again and I had a good relationship with some Christian friends. In June of 1989 at a church service I answered the altar call and was reconciled with the Lord. A few months later in 1989 I was baptized.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I think that my conversion was impacted by the prayers of my mother and my closest friends. I saw their lifestyles and realized that they had something I was lacking. In my early Christian walk I was surrounded by a few good spiritual leaders and through their mentoring and care for me they helped my faith to grow. I went on to lead a youth group at the church, to plant a church, to oversee churches, and so forth. Two years of my study at the Southern Cross Bible College helped very much as well. At the school I received good teaching. There were many great teachers, and a number of good pastors and speakers. Many other daily situations have also helped me to grow. For example, my older son was healed from cancer.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The vision of our missionary association is to see the Gospel spread through Ukraine and to the ends of the Earth. We want to combine the efforts of the church for missionary vision and for the effective spreading of the Kingdom of God by opening new churches and reaching other nations and cultures. We want to spread the vision for this ministry, build relationships based on a common call, mobilize churches to carry out the mission, coordinate our efforts, and share resources to fulfill this calling. The European Leadership Forum helps me to get to know what the Lord is doing worldwide, allows me to learn from other mature leaders, and helps me build new relationships on the basis of common vision. It further helps me to build and develop my team at the church and the long-term direction of the missionary association.

What is your ministry?

I am leading a church and am actively involved in church planting and missionary work in Ukraine, Russia, and Central Asia. We planted a church in Russia, sent missionary teams to Russia, and support missionaries in Central Asia. At the Missionary Association we are trying to make a bridge between strong and missional-minded churches, to be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission. There are over 40 churches and Christian organizations in our association.

What are your past leadership roles?

I started my ministry as youth pastor. Then I planted a church. Then I began ministering as superintendent of our region of over thirty churches.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

If I give you some reasons why individuals might want to invest in my training I will be promoting myself. Reading the answers of the former five questions might help individuals to make a decision whether to invest or not. What we are doing is important for Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

Jaroslaw Lukasik|| forum funded ::

Jaroslaw Lukasik|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Academic

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Jaroslaw Lukasik is the director of the Eastern European Leadership Forum, an event similar to the European Leadership Forum that is targeted to Russian-speaking Christians in Eastern Europe.

When did you trust Christ?

I trusted in Christ in 1987 at a youth camp.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the strongest defining moments for me occurred when I heard God’s call to preach the Gospel in the Soviet Union. Several teachers also helped me at various other stages of my life.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I first attended the European Leadership Forum in 2009. I received good teaching regarding how the Spirit speaks to the church today. I also received beautiful and deep messages that I have used in my work in Eastern Europe. I want to build Christian networks and I have met Christian leaders at the Forum who I have invited to visit our locations in Belarus and Ukraine. Some of them have been able to help us with seminars, conferences, and round tables on apologetics during our autumn and spring conferences. I am thankful for this knowledge and these relationships.

What is your ministry?

I am the director of the Eastern European Leadership Forum, an event similar to the European Leadership Forum that is targeted to Russian-speaking Christians of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, and other Eastern European countries. I teach theology courses at seminaries in Ukraine. I am a regular speaker in various churches and conferences in Ukraine. I am an initiator of the “Christians for Ukraine” initiative.

What are your past leadership roles?

I planted a church in Minsk, Belarus, in which almost all the members were young, highly educated people. After 13 years, I was deported (like many other missionaries and Catholic priests) and I moved my family to Kiev, Ukraine. In 2001, several of us started the New Reformation Movement, which served to create unity among the evangelical churches and denominations, assisting Protestant churches in Eastern Europe in their activities in society, and spreading the Christian worldview into various spheres of society.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I’m very open to what the Lord wants to do in my life and ministry through His servants. We are trying to host regular house meetings near Kiev with young people, working with them for evangelism and integrating a biblical worldview into their everyday lives. I especially want that worldview in the people of Belarus and Ukraine.

Yurii Marchuk|| forum funded ::

Yurii Marchuk|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Media/Communication

Forum Network:
Disciple-Making Leaders

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Yurii Marchuk is a graphic designer, lay preacher, and biblical counselor.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in a Christian family and my parents taught me to love God and His Word. I considered myself a Christian because I read the Bible and went to church. But I started to understand that I was not able to live the life that God wanted from me and for me. When I was 10-years-old, my dad was reading the Bible to our family. He read the first chapter from the Gospel of John. After reading verse 12, my dad asked me if I was part of God’s family. I realized that it didn’t matter what I did or did not do, the only question was whether I believed in Jesus Christ or not. That very day I invited Christ into my heart and life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My parents and my grandma had a big influence on my Christian life. When I was teenager, a family friend from Germany visited us. He was an older man, and he studied the Bible a lot. He motivated me to want to study the Bible deeply. Another defining moment of my Christian walk was a mission trip to Russia, because I was able to see their needs. My teachers in seminary also had a good influence on me, not only with their teaching, but also by being good examples of the Christian life, filled with humility and wisdom. Studying Biblical Counseling at Kiev Theology Seminary helped me deeply understand how God through His Word changes our hearts, and how this helps us to grow in our spiritual lives.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The European Leadership Forum is a good encouragement for my service. At the Forum I learn more about how to serve more effectively. I also meet people who share their experiences of serving, and I hope to make contacts with other believers for future cooperation.

What is your ministry?

In our church I am one of the preachers and I teach a class for new believers. I also mentor many of the new believers because I want to help them grow and become Christian Leaders. I am also the worship leader for our youth and I help with some of the church’s audio, visual, and media needs.

What are your past leadership roles?

There was a period in my life when I was the leader of Campus Crusade for Christ ministry in my town. I was also a small group leader, Sunday school teacher, and taught in several children’s camps.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

If I want to serve people, first of all I must grow spiritual in faith. I must also constantly study how I can better serve people. I can see how God is using me to influence new believers and youth. But my biggest joy is to see how God changes specific people. For now, my desire is to develop biblical counseling in our church. We have many people who need counseling in Ukraine, but not enough biblical counselors. I want to not only grow in this ministry, but be able to encourage another people to go to study and serve as biblical counselors.

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.

Viktoriia Hrytsenko|| forum funded ::

Viktoriia Hrytsenko|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Academic

Ministry Focus:
University Students

Viktoriia Grytsenko is a lecturer at Kiev Bible Institute.

When did you trust Christ?

I have been a Christian for about 25 years. I was born in the Soviet Union in a non-Christian family. My father worked for the Communist party. My father and mother did not have a harmonious marriage. At that time my father was offered a bigger apartment provided that he had a larger family. So my twin sister and I were born as the product of our parents’ desire to have better accommodations (and, of course, by God’s providence!) Our father left us when I was 3-years-old. My parents got divorced. And when I was 7 a tragedy happened in my mother’s family. Her brother, her father, and her mother all died during one year. Searching for peace, my mom started visiting an Orthodox church, and she took us with her to the church. But I did not like it because I did not understand the language. I did not like the liturgy. I wanted to understand the God I believed in. Somehow I always knew that God existed. One day we visited a Christian crusade and my mom bought a book called “Peace with God” by Billy Graham. About that time she bought the Bible in an Orthodox church as well. By reading these books I realized I was a sinner and I confessed my sins, accepting Jesus as my Savior. I was about 13-years-old.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I came to know and believe in God I did not attend an evangelical Christian church because I did not even know there were any such churches! In those times we watched Kenneth Copeland’s programs broadcasting in Ukraine in the 1990s. We also received some of their brochures by mail. At the end of one of these TV programs we prayed to find a church congregation of true believers. After several months in 1995 God brought our family to a good evangelical church. I have been attending the church and growing spiritually since then.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to find new connections, inspiration, and to share common vision and ideas with fellow academics.

What is your ministry?

I am working on some projects related to evangelism and apologetics, especially among students. Apart from that I work as a lector at Kiev Bible Institute and I am invited to give lectures and hold trainings at various Bible seminaries all over the country.

What are your past leadership roles?

Several years ago I was also a home groups coordinator. I have also been a Sunday school teacher.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

When I was a home group coordinator eight years ago (before I had children) there were 10-15 home groups in our church. Now there are only five. I think this happened because of lack of coordination and a lack of care for the home group leaders. So I hope to help restore this work, with God’s help. When it comes to the ministry with students, as a professor in a secular university I believe I can be their mentor and bring at least some of them to Christ.

Valeriia Chornobai|| forum funded ::

Valeriia Chornobai|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Education—University

Forum Network:
Academic

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 1991 during the time of Communism in the Soviet Union. I had no Bible to read, no Christian friends, no church to go to, no Christian television or radio to listen to – all of those things were forbidden. But I had a dream. In that dream I got to hell and saw the devil, who was laughing at me. And then I saw someone who looked like Jesus who said to me, “Worship me.” I said “no” because I was frightened and didn’t know what the word ”worship” meant. He repeated again, “Worship me.” Then I woke up knowing that God existed, that He loved me, and that He would forgive my sins. So I repented and asked Jesus to save me.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In 1999, a team from our church visited an event called “Stoneleigh Bible Week.” The intensive Bible study that week had a big impact on me and led me to realize that my calling in life was to be a teacher.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect to be inspired to serve the Lord in my country and to find ways of meeting the challenges in Ukraine. I expect to meet and learn from the other leader’s experiences. I teach at the college level, so it is important for me to see how other Christians are serving in academia.

What is your ministry?

My ministry is to serve as a teacher of ethics and sociology at Dnipropetrovsk Bible College, Kiev Bible Institute, and Kiev Theological Seminary. I am working on my PhD thesis. I am also in charge of all Bible education programs in my church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I previously worked as a pastor’s assistant for my church. My role was to do administrative jobs in church, helping organize church projects and events, and representing church in the local government and agencies.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am part of a team of leaders who have dedicated their lives to growing a generation of new Christian leaders in Ukraine, deeply rooted in the Bible, in truth, and grace.

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.

Kseniia Bondarenko|| forum funded ::

Kseniia Bondarenko|| forum funded ::

Country:
Ukraine

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Leaders of Christian Organizations

Ministry Focus:
Humanitarian Aid

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 17 years old, I had a lot of questions about the meaning of life. I knew about Jesus but didn’t understand that He could become my friend. So I started to pray and invited Him into my life. I wanted Him to put all things in His order. I went to a pastor at a local Baptist church and asked to join a small group Bible study. My mother and sister were attending that same group. I found joy and was surrounded by His love. Jesus Christ become real whether I was at my job, at church, or at home. He never left me. Two years later I decided to take one more step: I was baptized and became a member of Zhitomir Baptist Christmas Church.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I prayed a lot for God to give me good mentors who were true followers of Jesus Christ. That is how I met the director of Life Center, who had an enormous impact on my spiritual life. She shared a lot with me about the power of prayer and how we can trust God in the very hard moments of our lives. My dean at the seminary also shared his wonderful testimony of how he became Christian by reading Communist articles with short pieces of Scripture. So he taught me that the Bible has the mighty power to bring people to know Jesus more fully. When I heard his story I started to memorize the Bible.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My previous attendance at the Forum helped me to develop relationships with other Forum participants. I had a chance to learn a lot from them. I was able to use the media and to arrange fundraising events with the help of the curriculum and knowledge I received. I would like to continue my education and development, and am looking forward to meeting new friends and to sharing experiences with others. I would love to know more about different mission strategies and methods in order to be able to reach more people for Jesus.

What is your ministry?

Mission to Ukraine exists to serve two of the most marginalized groups in Ukraine: the disabled and the unborn. Headquartered in Zhitomir, our team is passionate about transforming the lives of those who are the most overlooked in Ukrainian society. Through crisis pregnancy counseling services and a rehabilitation center that offers a wide array of medical, social, psychological, educational and therapeutic services, we are able to meet our community’s most pressing needs – both physical and spiritual. Our mission is to honor life with the love of Christ. We serve women experiencing crisis pregnancies and children with disabilities while influencing society on their behalf.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a camp program coordinator at Zhitomir Christmas Church. I also helped with administration of the Michael Gott International Association in my country.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

It is important for my personal and ministry growth and development. I pray God will open new opportunities and doors in my country. I believe that God will continue to use me in reaching His Kingdom. Because I combine my work at MTU, service in my Church, and study at Bible seminary, it will be a tremendous help to have sponsorship for the Forum.

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