It was a privilege once again to return to Serbia to conduct another Horizons LIVE (II) in Novi Sad a few weeks ago. It has been rewarding to see the impact that Zlatko and Jarmila Sebesta are continuing to have in their church. They work so hard for so little “monetary” reward, yet the impact of their young lives on the young people and camps in Serbia will be long lasting.
This particular Horizons Live focused on development skills and looking at faith development of children and youth. More than one youth leader came to me and told me how much it impacted them to have this insight into the lives of faith of young people.
Pray for Serbia challenging work with youth and developing leaders.
One of the benefits of working within the EBF over the past almost 15 years has been watching young leaders rising up from the ranks of youth work across Europe. There are now several who are in positions of influence and leadership within their Baptist unions and local churches, taking the next generation of young believers to new levels of faith.
Five years ago (2011), I was privileged to introduce Filip Grujic (Croatia) and Sven Joonatan Silbak (Estonia) at our Acadia/EBF Youth Leaders Institute in the Czech
Republic. They became fast friends and as time has gone on, it has been great to see how God has grown these young men into leaders within their respective unions. Filip is currently finishing his MTh in Theology and is pastoring at the main Baptist Church in Zagreb and giving leadership with the Union Youth work “OMV.”
Joonatan, has been recently appointed as the new youth director for the Estonian Baptist union and has been an influential leader/pastor in the 3D church movement taking place in Estonia.
What gives me great satisfaction is seeing how God is taking these young people and placing them into roles of influence.
Now each of these young men are newly married and sharing their lives and ministry with their spouses and they have even kept in touch in recent years and visited each other!
These training events we offer in the EBF are vital… as I look at the number of times we have brought people into contact and the “cross pollinating” that goes on between friends and nations, it really does make it all so worthwhile.
Jonathan told me today as I was reflecting on this story, “the Acadia/EBF event changed many things for me and it was kind of like a push to grow in leadership and be more confident in the calling (to ministry)”
This May we will be offering the Acadia/EBF Youth Leaders Institute again May 22-26th, 2017. Pray that we will be able to enable and equip the next generation of young leaders that are coming up across Canada, Europe, Middle East and Central Asia.
About Jeff & Deann Carter
Jeff and Deann serve with CBM in Europe, based in the Czech Republic where Jeff is Youth Ministry Training Coordinator and Advisor for the European Baptist Federation (EBF), an organization comprised of Baptist federations and unions from across 51 countries. He is also a faculty lecturer at the International Baptist Theological Seminary. Deann has served in several pastoral roles, was Chaplain at Mount Allison University, pastor of visitation/youth at Moncton First Baptist Church, Pastoral Care Director at Spencers nursing home and part-time chaplain at two hospitals prior to joining Jeff in international missions work.