What is your ministry?
Our ministry empowers churches and nonprofit Christian organizations in Eastern Europe to fulfill their calling from God. We are helping with resources, leadership materials, coaching, and other means of help. The ministry was founded 50 years ago and started smuggling Bibles; during the years, we created relationships with local ministries, leaders, and pastors, and now we are serving them. We are encouraging local generosity forlocal&long term sustainability without non-healthy dependence on "western" resources. Our most extensive program is the summer camp program; we empower local leaders to run missional camps with at least 30% of kids from the unchurched background and at least 50% locally funded. Last year we had 6189 kids at the camps. We serve in Czech, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Belarus, Serbia, and Bosnia.
When did you trust Christ?
I grew up in a Christian family, but when I was 13, I started drinking and was in a bad group of friends. Our church wasn't a youth program, so my friends were mostly unbelievers. My parents asked me if I wanted to attend a Christian summer camp, and I said yes. The camp was a national camp for the whole denomination, so I didn ́t have friends from my city. As a result, I acted as a Christian at camp but returned to my old ways as soon as I returned home. It took me six years of attending the camps to realize how desperately I need Christ and the total transformation of my heart and confess from my relationship with alcohol, smoking, and pornography. On that day, I decided to be sober- 6 years have passed, and I am still sober. I moved to a city where I made friends at the camps and started attending church and being involved. Now it is incredible to do Christian camps all around Europe and make sure they have follow-up and all-year-round clubs/youth ministries that I was missing.
What do you hope to gain from participating?
I expect to grow as a leader and learn from others, as I experienced during my week at the Forum. I want to make our partners successful and, as a result, to have more local ministries and churches thriving and spreading the Gospel, but that has to start with me and our ministry. In the following year/years, I expect difficulty/ "speedbumps" in transiting into the ministry leadership and want to be in a network of leaders. Furthermore, I seek a mentor to lift me closer to God and be a better servant and steward of the mission that God gave to us.
What is your leadership role or what were your past leadership roles?
I am the VP/CFO of the organization. The organization has had one leader for the past 50 years. I am now selected as interim leader and the possible successor of the organization. My role is to develop partnerships in Central and Eastern Europe, helping them with local fundraising, board governance, and helping with leadership materials. Moreover, I lead other team members responsible for donor relations, accounting, and administrative tasks to run the organization transparently. Then I prepare financial documents, responsible for cash flow, budgeting, helping with grant applications we receive from our partners, and helping with grant applications to get funding from foundations.