“I had been a Christian for 15 years, faithfully attended church, Sunday School class and I served in many areas. Yes, I did all those things, but I didn’t even read my Bible or hardly ever prayed. Everyone thought I was doing such a great job for the Lord. But I felt so fake.
I began to want to be real with God and know Him in a deeper way. What I felt I needed was discipleship, not a program. Someone to invest in me, to hold me accountable, to encourage me not to give up, help me learn while studying God’s Word. This is surprisingly hard to find in our churches today. I am truly blessed by Stefan & Ellie who have invested their lives to show me how to become an authentic person.
We have been meeting weekly for five years. The whole process of discipleship has been very natural and simple. We meet weekly to share our lives, God’s Word; we read and discuss insightful books. We also eat a lot of ice cream together! God has done wonderful things in my life since I began this journey in 2010. I really want to read His word and spend time with Him. I have become real with others, and relationships have changed for the better. The most amazing thing of all is that I feel equipped to disciple others now while I continue to be discipled. Not only that but recently God has sent disciples to me and it is such a blessing to be able to invest in them this same way and help others grow in Christ-likeness.”
Karen, North Myrtle Beach, SC
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“In 2009 I was promoted to lead the college students outreach ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International in Bulgaria. Despite my long missionary experience I felt very unconfident. Moving to the capital and leading a whole team, some of whom were former leaders on different levels of our mission organization, as well as the high position and responsibility were quite a challenge for me and my wife. I felt a strong need for a mentor, a spiritual guide, or a friend with whom to be able to share and from whom to seek advice. Stefan and Ellie were the only people who made themselves available and were ready to listen and discuss. They were the first ones who began encouraging me and helping me gain more confidence. With time, their role kept increasing in my development as a leader. Stefan worked alongside of me in order to provide guidance in planning and strategizing. I will never forget our long conversations on evangelism and discipleship. They became a huge inspiration for me and for some of the people on my ministry team in Bulgaria. Stefan also assisted me in organizing our national prayer retreats and conferences. With time our meetings became a weekly habit and by using Skype we were able to continue meeting as if the distance between two continents did not exist. These meetings became for me not only an opportunity to release the pressure from my daily work and to be able to take a look at the organization from the outside but also to receive invaluable feedback and counsel offered in a very friendly but honest manner. With her female perspective Ellie played an important role in the development of my understanding of the difficulties we were encountering in our team with regards to male-female interactions. What I also found very important was Stefan’s input on theological questions related to our team and ministry.
In such a short paragraph I can hardly list all the ways in which Stefan and Ellie have supported me as a national director of our ministry. Their contribution has not been only through their consulting work. My wife and I have found inspiration from their own example of hospitality, diligence in their seminary studies, committed ministry in and outside of the church, their readiness to use every opportunity to share the gospel with the unbelieving international students in the US and, most of all, the fact that they do not only talk about discipleship but they are actually making disciples following Jesus’ own example.
I am extremely thankful to God for his work in our lives and for using Stefan and Ellie in such significant ways in this process. They have become a significant part of our ministry.”
Emil, Former National Director of the Student Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ in Bulgaria