Reinis Zarins|| needs YRM funding ::

Reinis Zarins|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Latvia

Occupation:
Concert Pianist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Artists

What is your ministry?

I am a concert pianist performing in Latvia and wider Europe, as well as the United States and Canada from time to time. My work mainly consists of preparing interpretations of existing music pieces and offering them in concerts. I perform mostly solo, and sometimes as a soloist with orchestras, in chamber ensembles or in multi-media projects with artists of different disciplines (actors, painters, dancers). The way my art currently intersects with my ministry is through the topics I pursue for my recitals and that I present during the spoken introductions I do during my recitals. Today, my calling as an artist seems to be building relationships with other musicians and artists — both Christian and non-Christian, as well as a more direct witness through public interviews on the radio, TV, and printed press, alongside opportunities to speak to my concert audiences through music and words.


What do you hope to gain from participating?

I expect to gain a stronger view of the importance of art for human life in general and for the church in particular. I hope to gain some tools for standing strong during our current cultural battles. I would like to learn to better appreciate art and music, since I usually look at it from inside and thus often miss its impact. I expect to hear of many intersections of faith and art, some of which might catalyze my own creativity towards new projects. I hope to be able to get to know the other artists more than superficially, and I truly hope to meet among them at least one practicing professional artist with whom I could create something new together.


What is your leadership role?

I am a concert pianist.


Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to develop a higher, though biblical, view of the arts than I currently hold. I would like to gain wisdom in dealing with the highly politicized areas of my work as a Christian while remaining in close contact with my unbelieving colleagues and audiences. I would like to be able to see new creative possibilities, to look more widely at the purpose of art and music in this world.


Egle Tamulyte|| needs YRM funding ::

Egle Tamulyte|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

I have been creative all my life. I have an MA in Graphic Art from Vilnius Academy of Arts. I have had more than 60 exhibitions all around the world. I work as an interdisciplinary artist. I have won multiple awards and scholarships. Since I became a newborn Christian, I have been incorporating God’s Word and truths into my art. I am trying to illustrate and evangelize in some new contemporary forms.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I need wisdom to navigate my ship through the storm. Jesus takes the wheel, but I want to learn how to make the best decisions as often as possible, especially when other people are looking up to me as a leader. I don’t want to be a bad leader. I hope to learn from others by hearing about their experiences and to find peace and strength to go through my life without constantly panicking that I’m doing something wrong.

What is your leadership role?

I have an art ministry. I raise theological and technological questions through my art. I have an official art creator status from Lithuania’s Minister of Culture. I live as a professional artist, selling canvases, drawing murals, doing artist’s research, and so on.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

You have to have courage to step out and admit you are Christian when our faith is so commonly ridiculed. Artists in general are very cruel and critical. I am looking for new forms through which to talk about the same old things without being banal. I would also like to get people who have no faith interested in finding out more by examining my work. I would like to approach people and share the Gospel in a creative and attractive manner. I want to use art to serve God. I want to find peace with myself, not rushing to judge myself for each action I take while creating. I need to learn to be more grateful and less of a perfectionist. I would also like create from a place of joy more often, rather than from darker emotions.

Janis Skulme|| needs YRM funding ::

Janis Skulme|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Latvia

Occupation:
Filmmaker

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

I make films and use filmmaking as an evangelism tool. I also produce content with Christian values. My current ministry is equipping individuals and churches with the skills of filmmaking. I instruct on how to use filmmaking to teach the Word of God and to do fundraising. I teach about filmmaking equipment, software, and basic filmmaking techniques. Filmmaking as such does not provide regular income, therefore I am working to create a filmmaking course from which people could benefit, but that will also speak about values and provide a steady income.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to learn more about how to maintain steady income as an artist while at the same time expressing my inner calling.

What is your leadership role?

I am learning how to expand the International Film School of Latvia network I lead and to improve the business and mission model. My calling is to help youth discover their talents and encourage them to learn and use filmmaking skills professionally for the Kingdom

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to develop a bigger network of people who have heart for teaching and have experience organizing the teaching in structured way.

Stefania Shaded|| needs YRM funding ::

Stefania Shaded|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts, Women’s Ministry

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor’s wife and am responsible for women’s ministry in our church as a women’s chaplain. I mentor two women who are responsible for leading Bible study groups. I disciple three young mothers. I organize outreach through art exhibitions. I have developed friendships with gallery owners in Poland and Czech Republic, who allow me to share the Gospel when I exhibit my paintings. I am leading art workshops once a week to reach new people for Christ. This gives me the opportunity to have one-on-one time with students and to study the Bible with them.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

For me it is important to have accountability. Two years ago, I was part of another Forum Year-Round Mentoring group for leaders; they held me accountable for painting 8 hours a week. This accountability helped me so much to make painting one of my priorities. Because of that accountability I grew in my skills. I want to grow more in working together with other artists on different projects. Most of the artists I know in my local context are either Catholic or atheists. I need to have other Christian friends who are artists.

What is your leadership role?

I am a mentor and women’s chaplain.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

So far, I have exhibited my paintings at the invitation of galleries or when others have organized exhibitions for me. I do not like to advertise myself. It is easier and more comfortable for me to suggest others for exhibition. I need help in this area of “self-promotion.” I have the gift of hospitality. I can cook and enjoy a larger group of people. I do not like write, remind, or organize. I need to work with someone else as a team. I am disciplined and systematic, but I am not good at delegation. I have a hard time holding others accountable for their work. I hope to grow in this area. I also hope to make new contacts with other artists and learn from their work and experience. I would be happy to mentor younger artists.

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.)?

Damaris Otremba|| needs YRM funding ::

Damaris Otremba|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts, Church Planting

What is your ministry?

I have been involved in the arts throughout my entire life. I grew up in a home full of artwork painted by my parents, so it was impossible not to have a passion for the arts. I studied painting and art at Belhaven University and completed a Masters in Art Education in Silesia. I have done many personal and group exhibitions. My passion from my youth has been creating paintings that will bring glory only to God and that will motivate and inspire others to think about Him. For over 20 years I have been creating art that can be used in the church for building up believers and outside of the church for reaching the unsaved. I also continually encourage other believing artists in Poland to use their talents for building up the church and for evangelism. I believe that my main calling as an artist is to bring God glory.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I want to be mentored and coached in serving God with my gifts in painting. I also want to build deeper friendships with like-minded people working in the arts. I also want to be mentored in how to one day start a ministry to Christian artists. I am also hoping that some of my doctrinal struggles regarding paintings of Jesus’ image in the church will be addressed, especially in the context of Roman Catholicism in Poland and Europe. I want to learn from other artists (especially visual artists) about how they use their talents to glorify God and serve Him.

What is your leadership role?

For the past 20 years my husband and I have been involved in church planting in Poland. We are also mentoring others to do the same.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am hoping to develop my knowledge of how to paint in the church and outside of the church in the context where I live and serve. I am also hoping to learn how to start a ministry that will encourage artists to minister in the church for building up the body of Christ and reaching the lost.

Sasa Nikolinovic|| unknown ::

Sasa Nikolinovic|| unknown ::

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Occupation:
Pastor, Artist

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring, Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

I am first and foremost a pastor of a local church. Apart from that, I have several responsibilities in the wider context of my denomination and the Evangelical Alliance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am also an artist. I am exhibiting in the church and in secular contexts; in doing so I am hoping to bring spiritual/sacred culture closer to secular culture. I am organizing art workshops in the local church building. I give talks about the arts using works of art as the starting point in a pre-evangelistic talk. I am also trying to bring together artists from the former Yugoslavia into one organized group. In doing so I hope to create space for exchanging ideas for the future projects.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

Many consider certain aspects of the arts in today’s culture as elitism that should be avoided at any cost in the church. I hope to learn how art and the artist in the context of Christianity can maintain a humble posture. I want to see how this humility is expressed in the real life of an artist in the church. I want to see what it looks like when an artist’s potential is maximized in the life of the local and wider church. In what ways can art and the life of the local church exist together? What are the limits? What potential problems do we need to be aware of? What are the experiences and practices of other artists in the context of the local church?

What is your leadership role?

I am the pastor of a local church and am involved in church planting.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am hoping to have inspiring fellowship with artists I have gotten to know and love over the last two to three years. I am looking forward to meeting some new artists and being enriched through their stories and experiences. I can profit the most in an environment where we talk openly and where ideas are presented and shared freely. I am also hoping to learn practical things from more experienced artists that will be applicable in the life of an artist and in the life of a minister of the Gospel. I would like to hear some honest criticism about my art and to receive guidance about where to go from here.

Madara Molnika-Skulme|| needs YRM funding ::

Madara Molnika-Skulme|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Latvia

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

I an artist myself. I design posters, business cards, flyers, advertisements, logos, and so on. I paint, draw, and do handicrafts such as sewing, knitting, and crocheting. I am extremely creative. I also help with ministry work and organizing conferences related to the arts. I help my husband, who is a film maker. We work on different film projects and from time to time help churches with film-related projects.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would love to settle more on one artistic medium or to learn how to focus my work on one people group or ministry.

What is your leadership role?

My husband and I mentor people who would like to get started in making videos or movies. We give them overall insights into the filmmaking process and help them to start with an idea and bring that idea to completion. We help churches and those new to filmmaking in how to do production and post-production work.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to connect with other artists. I want to learn what and how others are doing their ministries. I want to be inspired and motivated to be a better artist. I would like to learn more about how my talents could be used in ministry.

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.

Kulli Hansen|| needs YRM funding ::

Kulli Hansen|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Estonia

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

I am the leader of ARTEST+, an Estonian arts ministry. I work with artists; together we organize international partnerships with ministries from other countries. Our main partners are Bridgebuilders International from the United States and Partneri from Latvia; together we organize retreat camps and a festival called ImagiNATIONS for artists. My Estonian team organizes conferences for Christian artists and plans art exhibitions. I also host a radio program on Estonian Christian radio where I introduce Christian artists to the radio audience or invite pastors and other guests to talk about visual art and topics connected to understanding the arts.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I expect to receive inspiration, networking, new contacts, and ideas for cooperative projects. For me, it is also very important to think of the biblical value of the arts and to understand how Bible understands the arts and its importance in human life, both for artists themselves and for the church. Pastoral approaches to, and understanding of, the arts is important to me and helps me understand why I do the work I do.

What is your leadership role?

I am the art manager of the Estonian Christian Arts Ministry. I organize events where Christian artists can meet each other and network. I previously ran my own art gallery for 10 years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would love to organize a bigger international project on which all the participants of the mentoring program could work together. Sometimes large joint projects can attract artists of all ages and backgrounds. It is also often easier to find financing for bigger projects that are ambitious and bold, rather than to find funding for organizing smaller local events. Big international exhibitions and artistic challenges are often also more attractive to younger people. How can we attract younger artists? How can we be more visible and how can we give Christian visual arts and artists more significance?

Cristian Cazacu|| needs YRM funding ::

Cristian Cazacu|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Artist

Ministry Focus:
Fine Arts

What is your ministry?

I have been involved in music ministry for nearly thirty years, both in church/worship settings, and as a singer, songwriter, and performing artist. In the early days, I focused almost exclusively on playing in a worship team and leading worship in my local church. Later on, I began performing nationally with my pop/rock band called “Born Again.” In 2007, I began studying at Fuller Theological Seminary, pursuing an MA in Global Christian Worship. Since graduating in 2010, I have continued performing my music nationally, teaching worship seminars, and giving talks on the need for engaging the arts theologically and making the voice of the artists heard in Church and culture for the purposes of the Kingdom of the risen Christ.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

First and foremost, I hope to join a community of artist-saints. Second, I want to complete the long-desired mentoring journey with people who have walked this path before me. Third, I long for a cross-cultural experience and a learning process that unveils the beauty of God’s faithfulness through the arts in various cultures. Finally, I look forward to the one-on-one coaching sessions.

What is your leadership role?

As an artistic mentor, I feel the burden to impart from my experience and knowledge to those from the younger generations, in order to help them avoid some of the mistakes I made when there was no one to turn to for guidance. As a trainer, I am currently developing a curriculum for an online course on the need for a practical theology of worship.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

With a vision for the arts in Christian worship and witness at a national level, there are a lot of strategic, logistical, and administrative aspects that need to be considered in order to turn that vision into reality. I also feel the need to deepen my understanding of the arts theologically, but also how I articulate such an understanding in my context of ministry. Finally, since I want to also write songs in English, I feel the need to surround myself with English native speakers, artists in their own right, who can help me become a better lyricist.

Monika Shaded|| forum funded ::

Monika Shaded|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Education and/or Training

Monika Shaded is a doctoral student in painting and runs a group for student artists at her university.

When did you trust Christ?

The year 2004 was a turning point in my life. After breaking up with my fiancée, I became depressed and began suffering from anorexia. At the critical moment when I wanted to commit suicide, I cried out: God, if you exist, show me now. God answered. The amazing presence of God came to me. I experienced in that moment His love, joy, and forgiveness. This moment radically changed my life and I decided to follow Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The community of believers of which I was a part had a great impact on me. Alina Wieja, an important leader in Poland, had a big influence on me. In 2008, I finished a Christian counseling course through her foundation “Life and Mission”. For three years, I used this knowledge to provide socio-therapeutic classes for children from alcoholic families. I also used art in these classes. My first church community fell apart and it was very difficult time for me, but it was also a great opportunity for growth and trust in God. My husband and I are also missionaries with an organization called International Messenger. My work with this organization has had a big impact on me as well.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum has given me a lot of inspiration to serve through the arts. There is very little talk about art in God’s plan in Poland. I will be able to take some of the concepts and ideas presented by the speakers at the Forum and present them in Poland. Personally, the Forum was also a time when God told me to take on more leadership responsibility.

What is your ministry?

A year ago I recently returned to the University of Arts in Poznan after spending a few years taking care of our two young children. I am pursuing my doctorate of fine arts in the field of painting. I have also started a student group at the university for artists. I am also an active artist and regularly exhibit in different parts of Poland.

What are your past leadership roles?

From 2006-2008 I was a leader in the church of Effata. From 2008-2011 I led socio-therapeutic classes for children from alcoholic families. From 2008-2019 I was an assistant professor at the University of Arts in Poznan. From 2008-2018 I was a painting teacher in the National Museum in Poznan. From 2008-2011 I was a painting teacher at the Art High School in Poznan. From 2013-2016 I helped my husband organize evangelism camps for children.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Due to my work as a painter, I am able to be a witness for Christ in a secular environment and in areas where it might be difficult for other Christians to go.

Rainer Kurm|| forum funded ::

Rainer Kurm|| forum funded ::

Country:
Estonia

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

Rainer Kurm is an artist who is involved with the Artest + network of Christian artists in Latvia and Estonia.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus in 2004. I had many questions about God and the Bible. I had several colleagues and friends who were Christians. They answered my questions and helped lead me to saving faith in Christ Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I am an artist. I have spent the last few years working as part of a network for Christian artists in Estonia and Latvia. This group of believers is my community and they have helped me grow both as a Christian and as an artist.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Being at the Forum is so helpful because I have the opportunity to work with other Christians artists from the network of Christian artists in Estonia. I learn more about what it means to be a Christian artist. I get meet other Christian artists from all over Europe to see what they are working on and how they are using art to proclaim our creator in their own local contexts.

What is your ministry?

I am part of the Artest + network of artists in Estonia and Latvia. We organize festivals, art camps, and workshops for Christian artists in these countries. We also organize art exhibitions in galleries and museums. For example, we recently organized an exhibition with work by 20 different artists in a museum in Latvia centered on the theme of physical disability. Our goal is to glorify the creator with our work and to create spaces for Christian artists to be able to communicate the truth of the Gospel through their art.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have previously helped to organize art exhibits in Estonia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

God is a creator and He is a creative God. He has created us in His image to be creators. I believe that as artists we can reach out to secular people with our art who would otherwise never enter a church or consider God.

Attila Nagy|| forum funded ::

Attila Nagy|| forum funded ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Science and Technology

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Apologetics

Atilla Nagy co-leads the marriage ministry in his church alongside his wife, has a career in telecommunications, and is also a playwright who hopes to communicate Christian truths through his plays.

When did you trust Christ?

I was 24, just married, when my wife persuaded me to attend the preparatory course for confirmation at her church. My life was gradually changed during that year and finally, at the confirmation ceremony, I could confirm my faith in Jesus Christ with my heart, my soul, and my mind.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The defining moments have included my confirmation, during which my older son was baptized. I have learned about God’s promises with respect to our children (Psalm 127:3; Judges 13:7-8; James 1:17). I felt an immense growth during the months when I worked on a drama for which the main characters were two martyrs of the faith: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Zsigmond Varga. It has been a blessed journey for me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My heart is filled with joy that I can attend the European Leadership Forum. My first Forum was one of the most influential weeks of my life. The event gives me tremendous help in my ministry. I have received a lot of ideas and resources for my ministry. I met people who are dealing with similar issues as us; we are able to encourage and support one another. I am a playwright. My dream is to write a play which I can stage as an apologetic situation or a debate about our struggle in the human condition. During the Forum, I can learn a lot about apologetics and can meet people who might want to help me get the play written and published and staged.

What is your ministry?

In our congregation, my wife and I are co-organizers of the marriage ministry. This includes presentations and discussions about biblical marriage. We are beginning preparation of a new series based on FamilyLife’s Art of Marriage material. In addition to my professional career in telecommunications, I am also a playwright. I see a great amount of dramatic potential in apologetics.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I can see two reasons why individuals may want to invest in my ministry. First, marriage is under pressure and I would like to be better equipped for persuasively sharing the biblical view of marriage with the couples who attend our church events. Secondly, as a playwright, I have a calling to share the gospel. This is important because European culture has become totally post-Christian.

Sasa Nikolinovic|| forum funded ::

Sasa Nikolinovic|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Sasa Nikolinovic is the pastor of the Sarajevo Evangelical Church.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian in 1991 after years of searching and questioning the meaning of life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first defining moment was the first time I went to church. I experienced God’s presence and that changed the direction of my life forever. Being in the army during the war in Bosnia after I became a believer was a tremendous experience and a true moment of growth for me. My baptism and the call to full-time ministry in 1995 were further defining moments. In 2001, I received the invitation to take over the leadership of the church at which I am pastor.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is an oasis where I can find all the needed resources and inspiration for ministry in my country. The Forum helps me to maximize the talents God has given to me for His glory.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a church that meets in two locations in Sarajevo. My ministry is focused around preaching, teaching, counseling, building new leaders, and making disciples. I am involved in a summer camps ministry for our church denomination and in the organization of one of the two major youth conferences in my country. I am also involved with the FEUER network for student evangelists, which has had a major university outreach in recent years.

What are your past leadership roles?

I served as an elder of the Sarajevo Evangelical Church from 1995-2001, and have been serving as senior pastor since 2001. I have served as chairman on several boards in our denomination, most notably on the summer camps board, which is one of the most important activities of our denomination. Through this ministry we are doing evangelism and discipleship programs for kids, teenagers, youth, and adults. I am also currently the Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in Bosnia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Bosnia is one of the two least evangelized countries in Europe. There are around 5 million people and not more than 1,000 born again Christians. Along with the people with whom I work, I have a deep love for our country and want to see every person reached for Christ. Christian hope is the only hope for this tormented country that still needs to recover from the Bosnian war for independence. I live in Sarajevo, the capital city. There are about 325,000 people here and the population is 90% Muslim. As you can imagine, it is not always easy to reach out and proclaim the Good News. But still, Sarajevo is a city that God wants to reach and there are plenty of opportunities for doing that.

Damaris Otremba|| forum funded ::

Damaris Otremba|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Damaris Otremba is an artist and church planter.

When did you trust Christ?

I was brought up in an evangelical Christian family in Poland. My father, grandfather, and great grandfather were church planters in Poland and Syria. Jesus became my Savior when I was 6-years-old. When I was 14-years-old, I devoted my life to serving the Lord to reach lost people wherever He might call me.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

From ages 6-9 years old, I was in an Arabic Muslim school for the children of Middle Eastern diplomats, where I was put down for being a Christian. But my faith in Jesus Christ became firmer because of that. In high school, while attending a European Youth Conference, I committed to serving God as a full time missionary wherever He sends me. By God’s provision I spent eight years in the U.S. studying. I was on an athletic scholarship, playing basketball and volleyball for my college while getting trained for church planting. In my college years, the defining moments were short-term mission trips to Albania, Peru, and Syria. Another was when a dear friend was killed in an accident. In my adult life, the defining moment was when our first church plant failed and I had to learn many hard lessons. Later God asked us to give Him all that we own, which was another freeing lesson. More recently, I was diagnosed with an incurable thyroid cancer, but God healed me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is an inspiring and equipping time for me. I am able to meet people involved in similar ministries in Europe. We encourage each other and can share our experiences with one another. I am especially interested in learning more about how to minister to Muslims in Poland, especially to younger Muslims.

What is your ministry?

I am involved in three different ministries. First, I paint paintings to bring the message of Christ to non- believers and believers. I reach out to the artistic community in our town in the university to share the gospel of Christ and disciple them. Secondly, I am helping my husband in planting a new church (Holy Trinity Church). I disciple women in leadership, disciple youth, and help mentor couples in ministry. Finally, I am co-founding with my husband a ministry called Operation Genet, which is a gospel-centered, disciple-making and church-planting initiative, which helps other church planters in Poland.

What are your past leadership roles?

My past leadership role had to do with being the co-founder (with my husband) of a church in Poznan, Poland, called Genesis Christian Community. My ministry was coordinating visual arts for evangelistic events, including paintings, sculptures, multimedia, and so on. I also coordinated the ministries for women, youth, and children.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

One of the biggest challenges in my country is that the Polish people predominately consider themselves Christians by being born into the Roman Catholic Church. Some of them indeed are true believers, but very few. Most are nominally religious Catholics without an understanding of the Gospel of grace, without a saving faith, who do not know or read the Word of God. They perceive Christianity as a form of religion filled with rituals, not a relationship with God on a personal level. The younger population is becoming more and more secular and materialistic, yet they maintain a Catholic identity My country desperately needs intentional church planters that will disciple people life-on-life and grow multiplying churches.

Kulli Hansen|| forum funded ::

Kulli Hansen|| forum funded ::

Country:
Estonia

Occupation:
Fine Arts

Forum Network:
Artists

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Kulli Hansen is the leader of the Estonian Artists Network.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to follow Jesus on January 4, 2012. Before that date my father had passed away and I had come through a difficult divorce process which left me alone with two children. During a moment of meditation I realized that I needed Jesus in my life. It was a very clear understanding which changed my life. I was baptized on July 1, 2012.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My Christian walk has been influenced by my church and my home group. I am fortunate to belong to a home group that has two pastors and other very inspirational people in it. The second important aspect in my Christian walk has been a chance to work with Christian artists. Organizing exhibitions in Salem church and arranging meetings between Estonian and Latvian artists have also been life-changing experiences.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

My aim in participating in the Forum is to meet other Christian artists, build up new contacts, and gain a better understanding of what Christian artists in other countries are doing. I would like to start new international art projects, events or initiatives with new partners. I am also very sure that I will benefit from Bible studies and inspirational teaching.

What is your ministry?

The Estonian Christian Artists Network ARTEST was founded in September 2016 under the umbrella of the Estonian Alliance. It has an aim to bring together Estonian Christian artists from different artistic fields – visual arts, music, drama, literature and dance. It has a small but very inspired leadership team; its first task was to organize a conference in February of 2017. In the summer of 2017 we will host an international Christian arts festival .Leading a network of Christian artists is a new challenge for me. I see and believe that Christian artists have a broader mission in today’s world, but usually artists cannot organize themselves. My role as a leader is to build bridges, create contacts, and inspire artists to be more responsible and open to society.

What are your past leadership roles?

Most of my life I have been leading different kind of projects – art exhibitions, art festivals, and cultural conferences and events. I have also coordinated international projects which were financed by EU programs like Creative Europe, Youth or Erasmus. For more than 10 years I ran an art gallery and art shop. Today the art gallery does not exist anymore and I offer my services as a lecturer, consultant and business coach. For more than 5 years I worked as a Development Manager and business coach in a business incubator in Tartu helping young creative people to start and raise their enterprises. It was a very interesting period during which I worked with more than 40 companies and coached them in their development processes.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

In Estonia artists have a tremendous influence in society. When Christian artists are equipped and encouraged to use their gifts more effectively in society they will be listened to more and even more than some pastors.


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