Being a teenager is tough today, with so many competing demands around their identities and lifestyles.
This is even more so for teenagers in lower income countries like Moldova, where the challenges of unemployment, higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse and family breakdown are exacerbated.
Examples of individuals who are ‘doing it differently’ are vital for teenagers, especially for girls and young women. Role models are essential but hard to find; those who are living out a Christian lifestyle with integrity and authenticity that others want to follow.
Emma (20) is one of those rare people.
She is lives in Cojușna, a village in Moldova about 20km outside Chișinău. She is a youth leader in her local church and passionate about her work with teenagers, encouraging them to be disciples of Jesus and helping them be role-models for others.
Emma knows only too well that being a teenager in Moldova is not easy and she talks about how they are all looking to ‘find themselves’ and work out who they are. She knows that we can only find our true identity in Jesus and spends time trying to demonstrate this to the young people she works with.
Innovista supports young people like Emma by providing leadership training and mentoring. Maricela, Innovista’s National Director in Moldova, has been a role model and mentor for Emma in the last few years and encouraged Emma to join the ‘Mindshift’ leadership training course. This is new Innovista training, designed specifically to address the challenges of a post-soviet style of leadership and to stimulate fresh ideas and innovation.
When Emma started her leadership journey with Innovista she was a member of her church worship team but as she became more aware of her strengths and her sense of vocation, she saw that she had a bigger role to play in helping teenagers find their place in God’s kingdom.
Today, Emma works with a group of 7 teenagers, most of whom are not from Christian families. They meet together each week and learn about a life following Jesus and how this impacts their relationships with others.
This kind of work is vital for teenagers in the towns and villages of Moldova. We need more ‘Emmas’ to come alongside young people at these critical times in their lives and authentically model the life-changing love of Jesus.
Please pray for Emma as she grows as a role-model for others and considers her own kingdom impact both in Moldova and as a missionary further afield.
Supporting leaders where they're needed most. Innovista identifies, equips and develops Christian leaders working in challenging locations.
Together with our partners, every year we mentor and train over 1500 leaders in the UK, Ireland, Ukraine, Central Asia, Moldova and beyond.
Our leaders are transforming their communities, leading churches, ministries, businesses and social action groups, and sharing their faith. Inspired by Jesus, we're helping to grow and build a better world.