OUR ELDERS

 

We are very grateful for this wonderful group of elders who all serve us in various ways with their wisdom and care for the people and teams in Central Europe.

al_caroline
AL & CAROLYNE AKIMOFF

We both started in YWAM as teenagers in 1964 /1966 in YWAM. We currently lead YWAM Slavic Ministries in Salem, Oregon. We still spend around half the year on the road, mostly in Eastern and Central Europe.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?
In 1973 we started YWAM Slavic Ministries as a ministry to reach out to that part of the world in discipleship and evangelism. Doors quickly opened all over Central Europe, particularly Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia. We trained teams and sent them out of our base in Austria.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?
We continue to have a heart for Central Europe and particularly seeing new bases and ministries raised up. Our hearts are into apostolic pioneering and we want to see more training and releasing in that area.

What would you like to offer to our region?
We hope that our years of experience, relationships and love for these countries can be translated into encouragement, help and training for a whole new generation to be released all over Central Europe.


SHANIE KNUTSEN


LISA WHITAKER 

I live in New Jersey and have been with YWAM since 1992.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?

In 1995 I moved to Budapest, Hungary to work with Maureen Menard giving leadership to the first Collaborative DTS Project focused on the Balkans, Central Asia and Turkey. From 1998-2007 I helped to lead DTSs in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have been involved in pioneering new DTSs, teaching in schools, doing staff training and being involved with church planting.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?

My heart for Central Europe is to see the DTSs serve one another and offer quality schools to the peoples of Central Europe as well as those outside of the region who have a heart to come to the DTSs there. I would also like to see YWAM’s relationship with the local church – both Protestant and Catholic be strengthened.

What would you like to offer to our region?

I want to be a support to those ministering in the region and to continue relationship with both staff and locals that I have had over the years. I am open to teaching, doing staff training, connecting with local groups, helping with retreats and/or serving in ways that will strengthen staff.


ROY JONES

I live at YWAM Restenäs, Sweden and have been in YWAM for over 20 years.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?

The teams of YWAM CE are very much on my heart; I am connected relationally and spiritually with the area.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?

I admire the dedication and commitment of the YWAM-ers in the region, praying often for the growth of teams and for effective ministries in Central Europe.

What would you like to offer to our region?

I am available as a prayer partner and for occasional visits to listen and encourage.


MIKE OMAN

I live in Northern Ireland and am with YWAM since 35 years.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?
Initially through YWAM Western Europe and all-Europe leadership gatherings. Now relationally with YWAM CE leaders.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?
I long to see YWAM CE become all it has the potential to become under the Lordship of Jesus. To become a movement that is known for hosting the Presence of God; a movement that is “of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” – to see His Kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in Heaven. I believe that pursuing intimacy with the Father and living according to His Word will release YWAM CE into its destiny.

What would you like to offer to our region?
I am able to offer involvement in regional staff and leadership gatherings and some investment in national gatherings as well. Hopefully I can be a Dad to a new generation of leaders.


ANDREAS NORDLI

I live in Norway and have been with YWAM since 1994.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?
I worked with YWAM Romania for almost 10 years, and have been involved on a relational basis in Romania and other countries in the region since I stepped out of our roles in 2007.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?
My dream is that YWAM can play a part in seeing young people trained to serve God in the region and to be sent out as long term missionaries to unreached people groups.

What would you like to offer to our region?
Every second year, I lead a school called School of Pioneering and Leadership, being held at the base where I work, Grimerud, Norway. Several of the pioneering teams in the region have been at this school, and I think this school provides both relationships and tools needed in order to succeed to build a long-term, sustainable ministry. Beside this, I can offer advice and input wherever needed. I also love to teach in DTSes, staff retreats, and staff conferences.

REINHARD & BIRGIT HÄMMERLE

We live in Germany and are 27/28 years with YWAM.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?

Ministry in the region since 1988; Bible training & mentoring with local churches since 1991; pioneering base in Medias/Romania from 2000-2003; national leadership team Romania 1995-2004

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?

Reinhard: My main experience and heart in the area is for Romania & Moldavia, but I have been ministering and travelling to most countries in the region. I especially want to see more missionaries from the area sent in the Middle East.

Birgit: Like Paul, I‘d like to “strengthen the brothers (and sisters)” and pray with them and for them. Sensitive issues can be shared with me and will be treated confidentially and in prayer. Maybe

sometimes the prophetic may show up, too.

What would you like to offer to our region?

Reinhard: Mentoring of leaders, teaching, help define & clarify vision, values, structures & roles especially with pioneering ministries,mediation in situations of disagreements & conflict, crisis preparation & intervention, networking.

Birgit: Mediating, giving or renewing vision, hospitality. Also teaching on fundraising/writing/newsletters, as I have a writer‘s training. I‘d like to help connect Romanian YWAM-ers with the Middle East for ministry and teach on cultural differences, Islam and similar issues. 


JOHN & HELEN HESS

We live in Krakow Poland and have been with Youth with a Mission for over 32 years.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?

Relationally.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?

Our passion is seeing families being released into ministries together with their kids, working together including singles and older people. God really emphasizes this in Poland. We organize family missions trips, family camps, short term missions trips in the area always with the multi- generational aspect.


JIM ISOM 

We live now in Louisville, USA near to our grandchildren and are since 1993 with YWAM.

How are you connected with YWAM CE?
I and my wife Judy have been involved teaching in YWAM CE since about 1993 and were living there since 1999. We were stationed in Budapest for about 10 plus years and served on the board for the Sighisoara, Romania base.

What is on your heart for YWAM CE?
Our hearts are to train leaders “How to Disciple Students from Difficult Backgrounds” in our schools and bases. We have had a heart and passion for this region since before coming into YWAM in September 1990 and continue to feel strongly about what God is doing in the region.

What would you like to offer to our region?
My heart yearns in prayer for our workers and am praying as I know the needs. We are available to be “on the ground” as needed. Thanks for allowing us to serve.