Vlada Stojanovic|| needs YRM funding ::

Vlada Stojanovic|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

My ministry is focused on bringing the gospel to the southern area of Serbia and the surrounding region by planting churches and supporting already existing churches. My heart is to see multi-ethnic churches raised up in the region. So far in Serbia there are either Roma or Serbian churches, but they do not mix. When these two come together in an inclusive way, it will be a wonderful picture of the freedom of the gospel, and we will see a much greater harvest. Also, since the people in our church are first generation Christians (except for our children), it is very important for us to teach them the basics of how to live out their faith and be exemplary in the community. Another area of my ministry is to equip Western churches to better understand cultural aspects of building the church.


What do you hope to gain from participating?

I would like to receive wisdom from mature leaders as they look from the outside at our situation and see possibilities for potential growth and improvement. In addition, this is an opportunity for a group of people to challenge and support each other and spur one another on. It will be good to be able to meet with people in similar situations and learn from each other. I also want to grow in my own walk with God in a personal way.


What is your leadership role?

My current role is overseeing our team at Good News Church and preaching and teaching within the church and our regional setting. I am also involved in supporting and strengthening Roma churches across the region. I spend time regularly with Roma leaders, praying, discussing, guiding, and simply being friends together. This sometimes involves practical help; for example, receiving food aid through the winter of 2020-21 meant that I had to help church leaders open bank accounts for their churches, fill out appropriate paperwork, and so on. Because we are a small church, I do not have the luxury of just focusing on preaching and teaching. I am also involved in the practical elements of local church life.


Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to grow in my effectiveness as a leader.


Favour Ojiemudia|| needs YRM funding ::

Favour Ojiemudia|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Lithuania. I also help oversee the Banner of Love Church in Kaunas, the Beloved House in Vilnius, and Beloved Church in Klaipedia. We sustain and support the spiritual growth and practical welfare of the church members through the word of God and weekend services. I am also the founder and president of “Beconnect,” an NGO that aims to serve vulnerable social groups and immigrants, and “Pathway Academy,” an international discipleship training program that is dedicated to raising up passionate followers of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

My current vision as a senior pastor is to build a network of churches. I am looking forward to exploring biblical principles and practices for local church life, leadership, and church planting. I want to have a renewal in my heart and spend more quality time with God. I want to be more consistent in sermon delivery. I want to understand pastoral mentoring and counseling and to be able to give godly counseling. I want to reach the younger generation. I want to gain strength in how to deal with discouragement.

What is your leadership role?

I am a senior pastor responsible for leading four associate pastors and ministers in sustaining the churches spiritual and mental health by the Sord of God. I teach and preach the Word, make disciples, identify and assess potential leaders, create systems for personal growth in existing leaders, and help meet the needs of the people. By the grace of God through communication and teaching, I am helping raise up a generation of passionate followers of Jesus Christ through my commitment to service by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to improve my leadership, to be better disciplined, and to better manage my time. I want to read and study well.

Bernard Mikulic|| needs YRM funding ::

Bernard Mikulic|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I was a pastor for 25 years. My wife and I moved from my hometown to the south of Herzegovina to a small city called Čapljina and we started a church there. It was always on my heart to go to new cities where there are no churches. Then we led and helped plant a church in Trebinje, Grude, and later in Croatia in Ploče and Korčula. Now I am leading a Bible Institute where we are helping to teach new leaders. At this moment we have students from Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I still oversee the churches where I was involved before. I am looking to be part of a church leadership team.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I am hoping to help other leaders with being more team-focused. In my area, the leadership structure is the pastor on the top, and the elders are underneath the pastor mainly to confirm the pastor’s leadership. I would like to learn more about how to put together a team that really functions as a team.

What is your leadership role?

I am the director of the Evangelical Bible Institute in Mostar. We want to develop leaders by teaching them, equipping them, encouraging them, and helping them to connect with other leaders. I also oversee churches in my area. I visit churches on a regular basis in Čapljina, Ploče, and Korčula to give them advice and help them through difficult situations. I am developing my relationship with pastors and churches in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Šibenik, Croatia. The Baptist Church in Šibenik does not currently have a pastor and they have been asking me to preach.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I feel that most churches are stuck and burned out. I can see their situations, but I do not know how to help them without an invitation. For many pastors in my context mentoring is not a developed concept. I want to be better at mentoring and leading.

Vasilica Croitor|| needs YRM funding ::

Vasilica Croitor|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor, a church planter, and a mission mobilizing leader in Romania. I moved to the Southeastern region of the country 24 years ago. We developed a vision for church planting that is being implemented in Constanta County and that is helping churches to focus on many villages and towns that do not have a church. I am also a writer and an editor. In 2010 I published a book on the relationship between the church and the State in the time of Communism and how that affects the church today. As I publisher, I have launched more than 200 book titles in the Romanian language.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

My desire is to gain a more in-depth understanding of our culture and find the most relevant methods for reaching out to our generation. Since the churches in Romania are very traditional and reluctant to change methods, it can be difficult to get them to try new things. Our churches have great potential, so we must work with them and through them, but it is a difficult process to get them mobilized. I am very confident that God has something powerful for our generation. I am praying to understand His plans and methods.

What is your leadership role?

I am the senior pastor of a network of churches. Together we reach out to Romanians, Gypsies, Turks, and other groups. Many of the people we minister to are in terrible poverty and lack education. We preach the Gospel and run social centers for the destitute. I also serve as the Executive Director of AREA (the Alliance for Spreading the Gospel at Home). This ministry is dedicated to bringing the work of evangelism and church planting back into the focus of the church in Romania. We realize that the passion for evangelism has diminished slowly since the 1989 Revolution, and the church needs to develop strategies to reach out.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to learn how to share Christ in new and fresh ways in our changing culture.

Misha Bakic|| needs YRM funding ::

Misha Bakic|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I am a deacon in the local church, serving the two pastors and the elders. I am also a youth leader and worship leader. My church serves a very poor Roma community, but large numbers of people have come to faith and joined the church over the last 30 years. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many problems for our people, but it has also caused many people to return to the church or to ask to join it. We are anticipating a significant increase in the size of the church when we can return to normality. For now, we are still facing many challenges.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I want to grow in leadership, character, and skills. I am particularly interested in being able to spend some quality time with Maurice Nightingale and Mike Betts, the leaders of the mentoring group. Our church is independent and so seeing how a wider movement functions in unity for mission will be very useful. I also want to understand more about the foundations of church life and what leaders can do to ensure that these remain healthy. Lastly, I am keen to grow in my faith in Jesus and to develop in my character as a disciple of Jesus, setting an example to others so I lead well in the long term.

What is your leadership role?

I am a deacon in the church, as well as a youth leader and worship leader. Because I can speak English, I also do a lot of relating to our friends in other countries, translating for the elders, and so on. I regularly lead worship at church meetings and provide leadership to our large youth ministry. Recently we recorded a worship song using our youth band and dancers. The Roma community suffers a lot of discrimination, so it has been amazing to be able to make some external friendships with believers from outside Serbia.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I have a call to leadership and want to grow and develop. My church is planting churches and I am supporting this work.

David Adjei|| needs YRM funding ::

David Adjei|| needs YRM funding ::

Country:
Bolivia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

What is your ministry?

I originally moved to Bolivia to work with a YWAM ministry focused on teenagers living on the streets. From there we planted the Fuente de Vida church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I am now the pastor of this church. We usually gather between 50 and 80 people on a Sunday morning, made up largely of people from a poor background, many of whom were homeless. It has been a real joy to see how God is using people from such backgrounds to reach out to others and to be involved in church leadership.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I am hoping to receive encouragement and advice. It will be life-giving to have people to bounce ideas off about church leadership and organization in general, but also with a view of planting a church plant from our main congregation. I planted the Fuente de Vida church with no personal experience of church leadership and this would be our first time planting something from there, so I’m keen to take advantage of any teaching and advice that I can get, as well as hopefully specific spirit-led wisdom for our situation.

What is your leadership role?

I lead a church which gathers usually between 50 to 80 people on a Sunday morning, although our bigger events have had over 120 people. I am involved in preaching, pastoral care, training leaders, and leading worship, as well as heading up our general leadership team. I always seem to have to spend much more time on administration and paperwork than I would like to, and especially since the pandemic started, I have been working more on getting us up to date with multimedia and technology: running our website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. I have also been working alongside a Church Mission Society missionary in income generation projects that he is setting up and that have so far benefited two of the families from our church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to become better at identifying, encouraging, training, and releasing other leaders. I would also like to grow in strategic planning and sharing our vision with others.

Ivan Staron|| forum funded ::

Ivan Staron|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

What is your ministry?

Since 2008, I have led the marriage ministry in Slovakia, which became a non-profit organization in 2013. I am also a member of the board of directors of Marriage Week, a civic organization. Our marriage ministry consists of three areas. The first is a national ministry where we organize motivational weekends for couples. These consist of seventeen lectures organized into 4 to 6 weekends per annum in four levels. In 2010 we were asked to expand and later established this ministry in the Czech Republic. The second aspect of our ministry is the Marriage Week campaign in Slovakia, where I and my wife are members of the national team from its beginning in Slovakia in 2010. Thirdly, we participate in local ministry. In 2017 our organization established a relational and family center in town where my wife and I live. We offer programs for individuals and couples.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my original decision to trust and follow Jesus at the age of 14 at a Baptist conference. I repented of my sin and invited the Lord Jesus Christ to be my Savior and the Lord of my life.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

In the first years of my faith walk, I was influenced by our pastor, who gave me strong pillars of biblical teaching and a love and respect for God’s word. In 2007 my wife and I experienced God ́s calling to do marriage ministry. I was the owner of a small leather and fur company, and God called me through His word to “sell everything you have …….then come back and follow me”. In this ministry, I was led by a pastor and the Intimate Encounters materials. We have been doing marriage ministry in Slovakia and Czech Republic for more than 10 years now. God has taught me to be vulnerable and honest with God, my wife, and my neighbors. In 2015 I was diagnosed with cancer and had the opportunity to know God differently, more personal way. For the last two years, God has invited me to plant a church in our town together with a pastor and a small group of believers.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

I expect that both my current marriage ministry, as well as the church plant, will benefit from my attending the European Leadership Forum through my learning new leading skills, making new connections, and receiving new inspiration.

What is your leadership role?

I have been leading my own company for eighteen years. For twenty years, I was the chairman of the elder board in my local church. For one year, I was on the board of directors for the Baptist accommodation facility.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Healthy marriages are becoming a challenge even in Christian communities. I believe marriage ministry is an important service the church can provide for its members. I also believe it could be an effective mission tool in secular society. People can see specifically how we experience God and His word in our marriage and family.

Ester Staron|| forum funded ::

Ester Staron|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry

Ministry Focus:
Discipleship

What is your ministry?

In 2008 I started work with marriage ministry in Slovakia. Beginning in 2013 I have been a member of the board of directors and a member of the board of directors of Marriage Week, a civic organization. Our team organizes motivational weekends (Intimate Encounters) for married couples in the spring and autumn for different denominations in Slovakia. We use tried and tested programs focused on gaining a better understanding of each other’s needs, which results in a new closeness. It is very helpful for improving a good marriage or rebuilding a troubled relationship. In 2009 we brought this ministry to the Czech Republic. Today there is a team of three couples that can organize and lecture at motivational weekends in all four levels. The most important goal is to lead couples to speak openly about their hurts and to be empathetic toward each other so that they can experience oneness in their marriage in all three areas – spirit, soul, and body.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my personal decision to trust and follow Jesus at the age of 11. I was reached through preaching about God ́s love and righteousness. I felt guilty and desperate for acceptance by God and prayed with the pastor and asked God to forgive my sin and for Jesus to come into my life as my Savior and Lord.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

My first steps with God were influenced by our pastor. He inspired me to love God and His word. At home raising little children I felt a deficiency in spiritual growth and found a devotional called “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers where I could go deeper in my relationship with God. During that time, I was also attracted to books by Larry Crabb and Neil T. Anderson to better understand myself and others. In 2005 I was deeply influenced by Intimate Life Ministries and Intimate Encounters by Dr. David and Tereza Ferguson. It influenced our marriage and renewed my relationship with my husband. In 2007 God invited us to end our business of 18 years and follow Him to start marriage ministry in Slovakia. It was a big step into an unknown future and an opportunity to know God as the God of the future. Difficulties with teenage children, the challenge of aging parents, and my husband’s cancer helped me to rely on God and believe that He is in control over my life and the lives of my dearest.

What do you hope to gain from participating?

Through the Forum I hope to be motivated and acquire new skills that would be beneficial for our marriage ministry and our work in church planting. Knowing new people could also be inspirational and beneficial.

What is your leadership role?

Together with my husband we led our own fur and leather company. I also established and led women ́s mission groups in our local church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Loving God and loving each other is the greatest command. These two relationships impact each other. Without a healthy relationship with my marital partner, our closest neighbor, I am not able to have a healthy relationship with God, and vise-versa. I feel the importance of working with couples and sharing with them God ́s principles for relationships and to experience the truth of the Bible in their marriage. Their marriage can bring glory to the Lord and bring healthy relationships to the church and to the world.

Adam Dulinski|| forum funded ::

Adam Dulinski|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Adam Dulinski is the senior pastor of a church he helped plant in Warsaw in 2017.

When did you trust Christ?

I was converted in my home when I was 7-years-old. I was brought up in evangelical family. But I can say I started a new chapter with God when I realized what it means to be free in Christ and began listening to His voice.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Three years after I got married there was a big crisis in my life. God used that period to give me understanding about what it means to be a new creation in His Kingdom.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope that the Forum will give me new perspective, new connections, new relationships, and new knowledge. I would like to have a wider perspective on what God is doing in Europe and other parts of the world. We are in the dynamics of a church that was planted three years ago. We have a vision of “Warsaw soaked with the Gospel through healthy local churches.” We want to plant other church fellowships. But we are also trying to build a vision of cooperation for churches in Warsaw to create a Gospel movement here.

What is your ministry?

I am the senior pastor of new fellowship in Warsaw planted in 2017. Together with my wife we are leading up to 120 people including, pastoring, teaching, preaching, evangelism, and administration. Mainly our church is made up of citizens of Warsaw, especially from the Bemowo district. We try to engage as much as we can in the local community with Gospel-centered ministry. Bemowo is a district of 120,000 people and is growing fast.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a youth pastor, discipleship pastor, missions pastor, and church planter, all at Christian Fellowship North in Warsaw over a period of 15 years.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

My wife and I helped plant a church in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. With a population of 1.8 million people and 3.1 million people in the greater metropolitan area, it is the 7th most-populous capital city in the European Union. Investing in Warsaw will have a great impact on Poland.

Kata Balog|| forum funded ::

Kata Balog|| forum funded ::

Country:
Hungary

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Other

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Worship

Kata Balog is a worship leader and works in children’s ministry.

When did you trust Christ?

I first heard the Gospel when I was 5 years old. I attended a church service with my mom, where I was taught about Jesus and what He has done for me. I felt a calling in my soul and I gave my life to Jesus at that time.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I had a good group of Bible teachers in my church and I learned a lot from them. As I was growing up I helped in children’s camps, at youth conferences, in small groups, and in my church’s youth ministry. When I was a university student I participated in an IFES group with two other students; I learned so much from the coordinators and the workers of IFES in Hungary. I visited churches depending on which city I lived in and I finally began to serve at Agora Church in Budapest. I could see the people there growing in Christ. Currently I am serving on the worship team and in the children’s ministry in the church.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I have learned so much more about God and about how to live as a member of the body of Christ because of the Forum. I have grown as a Christian. I have learned more about God and His work and His plan for my life and my church. I have built networks and relationships with others from other countries and have been able to share the outcomes with my church and with others from my country. The Forum is such a blessed week, where I meet new people who I can learn from and share with.

What is your ministry?

I was formerly in Wales and have returned to Hungary. Currently I am serving on the worship team in my church. I am also working with the children in the children’s ministry. In the last year I was also part of the leadership of our church while our pastor was on his sabbatical. I am making in steps in how to do church revitalization in my church and I am trying to find other dominations in my country who are open to start church revitalization ministry. I am planning to start a PhD program on this topic. Finally, I serve as a volunteer for the Hungarian National Forum.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a leader in my old church in the youth ministry, but I moved to a new city. I was a leader in our IFES group at the university for almost two years, where I helped with the weekly meetings. I was also a worship leader before moving to Wales to help plant a church with a couple of pastors from England.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I can see some of the problems in churches in Hungary that make the people frustrated. Many people are “religious,” but they are not really believers. I would like to help them find a way to change their thinking about Christianity, ministry, and theology. I would like to help people find Jesus so that their scars can be healed and they can become new.

Roman Balint|| forum funded ::

Roman Balint|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring/Church Planter

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Roman Balint is a church planter in Slovakia.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a believer in 2001, at the age of 16. After struggling with social anxiety and drug addiction, I met believers during an English camp in my hometown, through a Baptist church that partnered with American missionaries. After spending two weeks with them and hearing their testimonies, I gave my life to Jesus. I have been living a life of trust and faith in Him since that day.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The biggest impact on my Christian walk was being discipled by a mentor and several other believers. Being able to see their walk of faith along with the opportunity to ask questions of them helped me to grow greatly in my faith. Another defining moment was being called back to my hometown to plant a church where there was no Protestant church. God also called me and my wife to become foster parents. It has been five years since that day; we have grown a lot.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I anticipate that the Forum will help me grow in skills such as communication, vision casting, persuasively communicating the Gospel, and disciple-making. I am a church planter, so learning about church planting will also be incredibly beneficial for me.

What is your ministry?

I am a church planter in a small town of 12,000 people. I meet with 15-20 people on a weekly basis to disciple them and with others to share the Gospel. I regularly preach and lead two small groups. I also assist in my home church, where I also preach; the attendance there is about 100 people.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been the leader of several small groups, a youth leader, a teacher, and a vision leader in music ministry.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I believe the biggest commandment Jesus left us is to make disciples and to take the Gospel as far as we can. I am trying to build my life around that command.

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.

Elvis Karroqe|| forum funded ::

Elvis Karroqe|| forum funded ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry – Pastoring & Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

Elvis Karroqe is a prison chaplain and ministry leader in Albania.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 24 years old, I participated in a special event organized by a local church in my city. I confessed my sins and invited Jesus to be my Lord and savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One important moment in my development was when I was given responsibility as I committed to the local church. Serving in prison has been another important moment in my Christian walk.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Through the European Leadership Forum, I hope to gain another perspective on how ministry can be done, and to become a better equipped servant for the body of Christ.

What is your ministry?

I am currently serving as a prison chaplain in two different prisons in Albania. I also lead a children’s ministry in my church and am involved in church planting in a village in my area.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been involved in children’s and youth ministry and in leading church planting initiatives.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to continue to be involved Christian ministry long term. I also want to bring change and influence in church planting and ecclesiology.

Andrei Daniel Miraute|| forum funded ::

Andrei Daniel Miraute|| forum funded ::

Country:
Romania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Andrei Daniel Miraute is the pastor of the Baptist Church of Sofronea.

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 13-years-old, I watched a video made by Louie Giglio called “How Great Is Our God.”
The movie discusses astronomy, biology, and math, and shows how the universe is powerful evidence for the existence of God. I had always been fascinated by science and the depth of the universe, so when I understood how big the universe is, I came to realize how great the God who made it is, and how small I am compared to Him and to the universe. More than that, He loved me so much that He gave His Son for my sins. I understood the gravity of my sins and my need for God that day.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

The first such moment was when my parents got divorced. I was only a teenager and I was already following God. That was the moment when I understood the true need for a holy life. The second defining moment in my life was when I decided to study theology at Emanuel University. I had no money for tuition or for accommodation, but against all these obstacles I wanted to go there. My mother told me that she couldn’t afford it, but God provided and was gracious to me. That was when I understood how dependent I am on God.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I expect that by attending the European Leadership Forum I will gain the information and the tools I need to be a better teacher and to better shepherd the people in my church. I hope that I will grow in my ability to lead the people I am responsible for and that I will become more capable of making the best possible decisions for the congregation.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a 70-member church. We have a mission church on a farm. I am supervising an Awana group that interacts with non-Christian children from the village. I am leading a small mission group from our church to help a neighboring church in the Valley of Mures. I lead a small prayer group in Timisoara with young families from our church in Sofronea village.

What are your past leadership roles?

Besides being a pastor, I have led Bible study and prayer groups. I have led students in serving smaller churches in Bihor County, Romania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am young in the ministry and I understand that I have a lot of things to learn for the ministry that God has called me to serve. God’s willing, I will be in ministry for the rest of my life. I think it is good to invest in something that will last for a long time and in someone who wants to be more capable in what he is doing. This is what I want for the ministry: to develop the gifts that God has given to me and to serve as much as I can.

Ivo Sterba|| forum funded ::

Ivo Sterba|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

Ivo Sterba is an elder and youth pastor.

When did you trust Christ?

I became a Christian back in early 1990s when I was in high school. I was invited to a weekend retreat where I heard the Gospel message proclaimed for the very first time. I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus right then and there. I started attending the local youth group in my hometown.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the defining moments in my Christian life was with a youth pastor from a church in Český Těšín. This youth leader inspired me a lot as a leader and a true and humble servant of Christ. Thanks to him I started to study, understand, and come to know the meanings of Biblical texts. I learned new ways of reaching out to young people with the Gospel. I learned to grow in faith. He recommended different books, conferences, and training programs to me.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I hope to meet with people who have experience with revitalizing churches. I am part of an aging church, so revitalizing our church is part of my ministry. I would like to learn how to proceed. I want to learn new ways of how to reach out to young people and gain new inspiration for the ministry. The Forum will also be a great chance for networking. I would also like to make use of the mentoring program that the Forum offers.

What is your ministry?

I am trying to revitalize the church and to reach out to young people in Bohumín through summer English camps and other youth activities. I also lead a bi-monthly small group in our church focused on evangelism. Furthermore, I want to develop relationships and build bridges with our non-believing friends who also have children and who we meet at different events for kids in our hometown.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was a youth group leader in the 1990s in our church. A few years back I took up youth ministry doing various outreach activities like playing softball with kids, watching English movies, running English camps, and leading an Alpha course.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I am from a small church and haven’t had many opportunities to attend a conferences and trainings like this before. I take it as a great opportunity for me to learn, grow in faith, and further develop my ministry.

Iwona Pietrzak|| forum funded ::

Iwona Pietrzak|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Education—Childhood and Adolescent

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Worship

Iwona Pietrzak is a worship leader and an art teacher in the Christian school she started with her husband.

When did you trust Christ?

I was raised in traditional Catholic home and family. When I was 18 years old, I started to think about the meaning of life. Around that same time my older brother became a born again Christian and he started to tell me about having a real relationship with God. It was very easy to see how much my brother’s life had changed. As a result of all this, I started to read the Gospel of Matthew from the beginning. When I got to the 6th chapter, God touched my heart so strongly that I was completely changed from the inside out. I repented of my sins and became a born again Christian.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I became a Christian I had different moments in my life that were defining moments. These include my baptism in 1989, becoming a worship leader in 1990, marrying my husband in 1997, attending Bible school in 1999, the birth of our twin boys in 2003, moving from the city of Warsaw to Poznan in faith in 2006, and returning to Warsaw in 2017 to start a Christian school with my husband.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum has given me a better understanding of art, God, and God in art. I am so encouraged because the Forum gives me the opportunity to learn from other leaders, get to know them, share our lives and experiences, and pray for each other.

What is your ministry?

Today I am a worship leader. I write worship songs and lead worship teams in two churches. I lead a discipleship group for women. My husband and I started a Christian school called King David’s School, where I am an art teacher. My husband and I also organize a small discipleship conference for our church.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have been a worship leader since 1990. I have been a discipleship group leader since 2003.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I would like to grow in the area of reaching people with the gospel through art. I believe this is a great way to reach people because non-Christians are more open to thinking about spiritual things when they are presented in an artistic way.

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.

Vladimir Borin|| forum funded ::

Vladimir Borin|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vladimir Borin is a pastor and Bible teacher.

When did you trust Christ?

I grew up in an Eastern Orthodox home and I spent some time living in the United States. During that time I met a number of Mormons and I really liked some of the social values that they demonstrated in their lives, but I knew in my heart that their beliefs were far from my childhood belief in God. After I returned to Bulgaria at the end of 2006 I continued to live and believe as I had always done. In 2011 I met a number of missionaries, including Daniel Patterson. We met weekly to study the Bible, and Daniel asked me to translate for an “Introducing God” evangelism course. As we went through the course it confirmed in my heart that, firstly, there was a God, and secondly, that Jesus was the author and king of my life, and that I could have life in Him forever if I repented and believed in His life, death, and resurrection. So I did! The good news that I had life in Christ was the news that I wanted to share. So I began sharing my beliefs with my family, close friends, and wider acquaintances.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

Some of the defining moments in my life include: meeting Daniel Patterson and studying the Bible with him; the evangelism course group that I was part of and went on to co-lead; my realization and passion for evangelism; and the ongoing work that I have done with unbelievers in the sense that it challenges me to defend what I believe.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

To be at the Forum is a chance to meet people who are doing similar things in their countries. It helps me to learn from them and I can also help others with my skills. I am encouraged by hearing other people’s stories. I want to say “thank you” by doing whatever I can to use the knowledge I receive in my own local church.

What is your ministry?

I have an organization in Bulgaria called Epaphras Link – Gospel, Faith, and Culture. We run several small Bible teaching groups and a church. I work also for an organization called Bulgarian Child, Inc. We have a learning center for children who live in orphanages. I teach there and lead Bible studies.

What are your past leadership roles?

Earlier in my ministry I co-led an evangelism course and co-lead Bible study group in a village.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I think that with training I can help a lot of people to find Jesus and live lives as Christians. I think people should invest in me because I have a burden for my culture and my country to not only be liberated from things that do not matter and that are temporary, but be freed by the gospel to experience true value.

Dawid Werner|| forum funded ::

Dawid Werner|| forum funded ::

Country:
Poland

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Evangelism

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Ministry Administration and Service

Dawid Werner is a regional coordinator for Josiah Venture.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust and follow Jesus as my personal savior when I was 16-years-old while attending a Christian camp in Oćwieka. The preacher was sharing about God’s love and forgiveness. Broken by a Holy Spirit, I went to the restroom and locked the door. I was weeping, confessing my sins, asking God for forgiveness, and thanking Him for His love and sacrifice.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After I made my decision to follow Jesus, I did not want to give up one particular sin for God. It was looking for value and acceptance in relationships with women. When I was 9 my mother has died. Through a relationship with four friends of mine who were sisters, God showed me who I am in Him. Those four sisters showed me how I should treat women in my life. Another defining moment was when I became a youth leader. It was a great motivation to me to get closer and closer to Jesus by serving others. I was equipped by our pastor. I became an elder. I grew in preaching and leading others spiritually. Five years ago I became a full time ministry worker. This was God’s confirmation of His calling for my life. Since then I have been growing in making disciples, equipping others, and leading and coordinating a team.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

At the Forum I will learn how to be a better disciple maker. I will be inspired by others to serve our God. I am also currently making a big decision about my future. I hope God will speak to me about that as well.

What is your ministry?

I am a regional coordinator for Josiah Venture. I help develop relationships between Josiah Venture Poland and local churches in the region. I support youth leaders by equipping and empowering them to be better disciple makers.

What are your past leadership roles?

I was formerly the coordinator of youth ministry in my local church.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

The main reason is the fruit we can see in our ministry. Every year we organize more camps, and we see more kids making decisions to trust and follow Jesus. Every year we see more believers getting involved in ministry. We see churches being refreshed and awakened by what happens with the youth in their communities. By God’s grace we can see the fruit of what we do.

Vladimir Raichinov|| forum funded ::

Vladimir Raichinov|| forum funded ::

Country:
Bulgaria

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Vladmir Raichinov is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the vice president of the Bulgarian Evangelical Society.

When did you trust Christ?

The year was 1990. As a high school student I met a group of international missionaries who shared their faith with me. I joined a Bible study group with them, and several months later made my decision to repent and accept Christ as my Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

After my conversion, I learned that the group I was attending had a very unhealthy theology. I made a choice to look for a church. After a half-year study of different denominations and church traditions, I joined First Baptist Church, Sofia. A defining time for me was that immediately someone started mentoring me. As a result, several years later the church invited me to take over its youth ministry. Getting involved with youth work was probably been the major life changing moment in these past 20-plus years since I became Christ’s follower. It has changed me from introvert to a public speaker, from an insecure youth to a devoted husband and man.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is an open opportunity for interaction with Christian leaders from all across the continent. I have been blessed on a very practical level in past years. I feel that God is prompting me to continue exploring those opportunities to learn, exchange experiences, and widen our mutual perspective on how He is working on the continent.

What is your ministry?

I serve as pastor at First Baptist Church, Sofia, Bulgaria. I am involved with preaching, worship leading, interpretation, Organisational and logistic responsibilities, and maintenance of the Web and social media platforms of my church, as well as the Bulgarian Baptist Union. Professionally, I am a translator of literature, both Christian and non-Christian. I also serve as an interpreter at conferences, forums and for TV programs. I also am presiding over what we call Bulgarian Evangelical Society, an organization formed by Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists in Bulgaria. We publish a non-denominational Christian newspaper called “Zornitsa” (“Morning Star”). I am part of the editorial team. I am also the vice president of the Bulgarian Evangelical Society.

What are your past leadership roles?

In my church, at different times, I have been responsible for leading the teenage ministry, worship ministry, youth group, Bible study home groups, and interdenominational activities. On a national level, I have served as youth worker for more than 15 years. Also, for three years between 2002 and 2004, I was Editor in Chief for the national Baptist magazine in Bulgaria, called “Vitania” (“Bethany”).

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Having served as a youth leader and pastor for a decade and a half, I feel I need to make yet another step in my development as a spiritual worker. I am committed to serve God with my life.

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.

Zefjan Nikolla|| forum funded ::

Zefjan Nikolla|| forum funded ::

Country:
Albania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry-Christian Organization

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Education, Pastoring and/or Teaching

Zefjan Nikolla is the Director of IFES (the European equivalent of InterVarsity) in Albania (BSKSH) and pastors Emanuel Reformed Church in Tirana.

When did you trust Christ?

I made my decision to trust and follow Jesus in October of 1991. I was a freshman at university when that happened. I joined an International Fellowship of Evangelical Students group that was studying the Gospel of Mark and had many questions about the existence of God, pain and suffering, and more. In one of the Bible studies I opened my heart to Christ having realized my need for a Savior and the fact that Christ died for my sin. Until then I was an agnostic even though my Catholic parents who secretly believed in Jesus tried to teach me about God and the Christian faith. However, it was not until I found satisfactory answers to my deepest life questions in 1991 that I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My life has not been the same since. I have been encouraged by my participation in the IFES group in Albania and in the local church that I pastor. Other important factors have been my personal Bible reading and study, many Christian brothers and sisters in my life and good Christian literature.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

As a result of attending the Forum I have seen many changes in my ministry. The Forum has better equipped me in becoming a more effective leader in my church and organization. The Forum has inspired me with new ideas for ministry. The Forum has given me a number of helpful friends and partners for ministry. I want to return to the Forum because I believe it provides a great opportunity to grow, dialogue, and partner with other Christians and Christian ministries in order to see the Gospel proclaimed in Albania.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church in Tirana. I am the National Director of BSKSH, which is the IFES movement in Albania. I also lead various national initiatives in evangelism, the Langham Preaching in Albania, and I am part of the leadership team of the Global Leadership Summit in Albania. For a number of years I have also promoted the European Leadership Forum and I am currently the national coordinator of the Forum for Albania.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Albania is still a mission field and needs trained leaders for the task of evangelism and discipleship. I am committed to long-term, full-time ministry in my country both with the IFES movement and the local church. I believe together we can do more than each one of us on our own. Thus, partnership and cooperation are key to the development of the Gospel work on our continent.

Ramunas Jukna|| forum funded ::

Ramunas Jukna|| forum funded ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Ramunas Jukna is a local church pastor and counselor.

When did you trust Christ?

I was 13 years old when I first heard the Gospel. I was at a movie theater and watched the “Jesus” movie. I was deeply touched. But it was not until three years after that that I met some evangelicals who invited me to follow Jesus. I did so on June 18, 1994.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

First was my decision to become a Christian in 1994. After that, I attended a Bible School from 1997-1998. In 1999 I married my wife, Vilma. She is my supporter and helper in daily life and ministry. In the spring of 2000 I became the leader of the youth group in my church. I became a pastor in 2004. After two years I began studying theology at Evangelical Bible Institute, which was very helpful for my ministry. In 2015, I was in the United States at Dallas Theological Seminary for three weeks for an intensive pastoral training. There, I was renewed and encouraged, and God opened up to me a bigger view of my mission and calling.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I need to learn more and need to be connected, updated and inspired in the ministry. I think that the Forum is the best place for that. I would like to invite more pastors, elders and leaders from our fellowship of churches to participate in the Forum because we need to be renewed.

What is your ministry?

I am serving in our local church as a pastor. I preach and teach the Word of God. I write articles for websites and the newspaper. I counsel people. I lead a home group for leaders. I preach in different churches in my country. I go on short-term mission trips to the Philippines with the charity organization Hope Centres, during which we work with street children and their parents.

What are your past leadership roles?

I have ministered in these roles: leader of a youth group, pastor of a local church, and as a youth pastor.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Evangelicals in my country are a small minority. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to learn theology, to receive training, or to connect with other leaders of evangelical movements and churches in Europe. I think that I need to update my biblical knowledge, to hear about the experiences of others, and to become connected to other leaders here in Europe.

Jurgita Kucinskiene|| forum funded ::

Jurgita Kucinskiene|| forum funded ::

Country:
Lithuania

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Jurgita Kucinskiene is the pastor of a church in Lithuania.

When did you trust Christ?

I was born in a Roman Catholic family. On January 4, 1992, I went to a newly founded church in my city. During the prayer time that day I experienced the closeness of Jesus. I prayed to be reborn and repented of my sins. It was a radical conversion. My life started to change. Since then I have followed Jesus.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the defining moments in my life was during a difficult time in my marriage. During that time I did not let go of the hand of Jesus. I was forced to seek answers, to pray, to repent, and thus to grow in Christ.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum will provide me with tools to help broken families. It will help me to connect with other believers from across Europe.

What is your ministry?

I am a pastor. I preach not only in the local church, but also in other Lithuanian cities. I advise people in the church, organize activities, and minister in the church and outside it.

What are your past leadership roles?

For as far back as I can remember, I have always been willing to take on responsibility. In 2005 I was appointed to the leadership team of the local church in which I was reborn. In 2012 I was ordained as a pastor at the same church. For a year I led a home for disabled adults.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to become a more effective minister. I believe the Forum can help me to do that.

Leonardo Cerasino|| forum funded ::

Leonardo Cerasino|| forum funded ::

Country:
Italy

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Pastoring and/or Bible Teaching

Leonardo Cerasino is the pastor and founder of a church in Parma, Italy.

When did you trust Christ?

I put my trust in Christ on March 4, 1989, in the city of Viterbo, Italy. I was in a military area and was thinking about how somebody had told me, just a few days before, about her personal relationship with Jesus. It was then that I started to pray alone and as a result really began to feel God’s presence. After that day I began studying the New Testament and since then have been growing in my relationship with Christ.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

One of the most crucial moments was in 1990 when I decided not to follow my dream of becoming an officer in the military. Though I wanted this, I knew that God was calling me in a different direction. That was a major decision in my life, but I knew it was in obedience to God’s will and he has shown me so much through this decision.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

Italy is a very secular country, and as a result I often feel isolated from what else is happening with other Christians across Europe. The Forum has been an incredibly valuable experience as it has connected me with other leaders across Europe and allowed me to see what God is doing all over Europe. It is also a valuable place for me to develop my skills as a leader and teacher so I can best serve those in my church and at Progetto Archippo. Finally, we are planting a new church, so the training and mentoring I receive in the Forum’s Church Planters Network will be invaluable as we are involved in this process.

What is your ministry?

I am the pastor of a church in Parma, Italy. My wife and I founded this church in 2003 and the church has grown to over 250 members. In addition to leading this church, I organize groups within the church, develop leaders, and teach others. I am also the Vice President and Founder of Progetto Archippo, a formation school in Parma. I am able to teach and lead at this school as well and make it my ministry to do so with the love of Christ.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

Through the support of others, I can be better equipped to be a leader in my church and to serve others through my ministry. Additionally, my ministry is building leaders of the future and attending the Forum is a significant factor in helping develop these leaders.

Michal Bares|| forum funded ::

Michal Bares|| forum funded ::

Country:
Czech Republic

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Church Planting

When did you trust Christ?

I worked for a Christian company in Prague. My boss was a Christian and he told me about Christianity. After listening to him talk, I realized that I wanted to be a Christian as well, but I did not know how to become one. At this time, my wife and I were studying at university and she attended a Christian student ministry meeting. Because of that we were visited by Christians who told us about Jesus and what He had done for us. I began to read the New Testament and attended a Bible study on the Gospel of John. Finally I accepted Jesus into my heart after attending an Integrity Life meeting.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

I began serving in student ministry. I joined a discipleship group and started attending a prayer meeting. I started to teach some Bible studies myself. Then I accepted an offer to be a full time, one year staff member in a university student ministry. A growing desire for church planting led me to Lighthouse Church, which has a focus on planting healthy new churches. I accepted an offer to work in that church, first for half a year, and later for three years, preparing to be a church planter in a new church plant. I have seen the most growth in myself when I have taken responsibility and undergone discipleship.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I want to participate in the Forum so that I can take a brief step back to plan for ministry and pray, so that I can be inspired and encouraged.

What is your ministry?

I am responsible for events and management in the local church and help with our church planting network. I develop missional communities and make disciples and small groups.

What are your past leadership roles?

I worked in student ministry for one year in Prague. We planned ministry, made disciples who made other disciples, evangelized, shared the Gospel with university students, and hosted English camps and winter camps for new students which were in contact with us. I was involved in preparing student conferences and student weekends.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to help make new leaders and encourage those who are leading, but to do that I need training myself.

Snezana Broceta|| forum funded ::

Snezana Broceta|| forum funded ::

Country:
Serbia

Occupation:
Medical Doctor

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Evangelism

When did you trust Christ?

I made a decision to follow Christ in 1992, when I was a teenager. I come from an Orthodox background, but my family was atheistic. My sister became a believer after she met evangelical Christians, and she shared her faith with me. After some time, I prayed to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior.

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was a teenager and young Christian, my parents were against my going to an evangelical church, and my sister and I almost had to leave home due to our beliefs. The rest of my family are still unbelievers, but we are still family. My church family and co-workers at IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) were a great encouragement to me, and I learned much through their discipleship and Bible studies. Personal friendships with mature Christians have also helped me grow in my own walk with Christ.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

I would like to attend the Forum again because I can receive personal encouragement as a leader, further development and mentoring, and be able to access the latest resources. Most of all, to get to know God more!

What is your ministry?

I lead a Bible study group for women in business. My husband and I also lead a small group in another town in order to equip local Christians to do the same. For the past two years I have done some medical mission work inn my town. I am a board member of Serbian Christian Medical Fellowship. I am also a speaker and a doctor at one of the Scripture Union camps in my country. I am currently mentoring two women leaders and I hope they grow to be effective leaders. I am also a general physician.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

I want to learn more about being an effective evangelist among intellectuals. Investing in local believers is worthwhile because of the ministry accomplishments that their support would make possible. For us, these believers are all full-time physicians, as well as volunteers in ministry.

Jose Calvo|| forum funded ::

Jose Calvo|| forum funded ::

Country:
Slovakia

Occupation:
Christian Ministry—Pastoring/Church Planting

Forum Network:
Church Life, Leadership, and Planting

Ministry Focus:
Children and/or Youth

When did you trust Christ?

When I was 15-years-old I attended a Christian youth camp and realized how much God loved me in spite of my sin and rebellion. I decided in that moment that I wanted to trust Jesus’ sacrifice and follow His plan for my life. I started to serve in church as an usher and helping with cleaning the church building. Eventually I started to help the pastor with some of his office work and to play in the worship band

What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?

When I was 18-years-old I moved from Mallorca, Spain to Zilina, Slovakia through a European volunteering program. I helped in the local church and got involved in their youth ministry. After that I started to study theology in Slovakia and, as time went by and my language knowledge got better, I became more and more involved in youth leadership and teaching. Both youth leaders in this local church have been really helpful in my development and have been great mentors in my growing in service, faith, and obedience to God’s calling.

Why do you want to attend the Forum?

The Forum is a great source of encouragement; I am able to talk to many leaders, pastors, and missionaries from all around Europe and to share experiences, both good and bad. The talks and workshops were also very good to learn more about our faith in practical ways. Finally, the Forum has helped me develop new relationships and networks with leaders in our country and in nearby nations.

What is your ministry?

At the moment I’m transitioning from being youth pastor to becoming an associate pastor of our church as part of a 2-year training program. At the end of the program I will be an ordained pastor. In this new role as associate pastor, I will still help with youth ministry. I will also coach new leaders and volunteers and teach in the church at Sunday gatherings and in our church’s new Bible school.

What are your past leadership roles?

In 2013 I moved to Slovakia and started to serve in the local youth ministry. In 2015 I did a 1-year internship in the church, working mostly with youth leadership and community groups. In 2016 I became the youth leader of our local youth ministry.

Why should someone invest in your ministry?

When I was 18-years-old I moved from Spain to Slovakia answering God’s calling to serve him. After a year of volunteering I felt God call me to stay and continue to be part of this local church, where I continue serve. I started studying theology and preparing for full-time ministry. Last year I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and I continue to pursue my Master’s degree despite the language barrier. I love seeing people come to see Christ as the Lord of all creation and following Him as His disciples. I would love to be more effective in this service.


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