Knox Croatia Student Profile: Meet David Banskoliev
My name is David Banskoliev and I was born in Strumica, Macedonia. I grew up in Strumica with my parents and my younger brother, Philip. I was raised in a Christian home stemming from my great-grandfather. He was one of the first protestants in my region in Macedonia. I am very grateful and very proud to have been brought up in a Christ-centered family.
As a youth I spent some time at Bible camps learning about Christ. I later went on to work at similar Bible camps for the youth all over Europe and in America. It was a great opportunity for me and I really enjoyed it. God has gifted me in the area of working with children and it is a passion of mine.
In my last year of high school my brother fell ill from cancer. God healed him, but a few years later he fell ill again and passed away. Seeing the power of God’s healing hands with my brother, I decided to go into medicine. I wanted people to know that if medicine did not help, above all else there was God.
I was studying medicine in Bulgaria but could not continue due to some health concerns. I left Bulgaria and the medical field and began studying theology. I earned my Theology degree from the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Osijek, Croatia.
Transitioning from Medicine to Ministry
In October 2009, my friends Jovan and Josif called and asked me to come to visit them in their ministry at Lighthouse of Life in Zagreb. Within a month I was coming here every weekend to work in the church, and attending school during the week in Osijek.
Several months later, Andrew Vuksic asked me to join the staff of Gospel on the Go – and specifically work with the children – a gift God has graciously given me. I was also leading worship for the church, Lighthouse of Life.
Roma Village Ministry
In 2012, I felt called to reach out to the Roma gypsy population here in Zagreb. We attempted to start a program, but the Roma community rejected our efforts. We then heard of a whole population of Roma gypsy families that lived in the country, and through a local missionary found where that was. Another staff person and I went out and visited a small village, and knew we had found an open door to start a ministry there. We started visiting every Friday to play with the children and our founder began a short basic Bible study for men. Several men accepted Christ, and we could see the difference in their lives immediately. After a couple of months, we brought a few clothing items for the children and started feeding them lunch. In 2013 we started “Catch the Vision, Sponsor a Child” to raise support to help these impoverished Roma Gypsy children. We helped them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and educationally with different programs in each of these areas.
As the current Children’s Director, in addition to the ministry to the Roma villages (there are three now), I also oversee the ministry to three orphanage locations. We meet twice a week and have the same ‘balanced life’ approach to these children, a holistic outreach, and I run the children’s ministry at all of our church locations (in Zagreb and the villages) and for all of their children’s programs. In the Zagreb church we have a children’s program for special needs children and their parents twice a month, which I oversee. The other part of my job is to work with every mission team that comes to serve as they interact with the different children groups.
Knox Online–a perfect ministry partner
Because I was theology student at another school, I wasn’t convinced an on-line program would benefit me when Andrew said I should enroll with Knox. However, once I started at Knox as a student (in 2013) I was really surprised at what I was learning. The program, the method, and delivery is very effective.
I find I can learn much more, and it’s a lot easier, which helps me retain what is being taught. In addition to being a Knox student, because I am in full-time ministry, it’s important that my study is presented in the best way. I am applying what I learn every day – in a practical and effective way. Knox is the perfect partner for this ministry. I’m learning and doing at the same time, and it’s helping me personally grow in my knowledge of God and the Christian life. I have a bigger picture of God’s plan. Having a proper understanding of theology helps me live and teach naturally. I realize God is not complicated, but by His mercy we can live freely in Him.
Churches and ministries reflect the theology that their leaders have been taught. I’m happy to be a student at Knox so that I can feel confident in my knowledge of Scripture and Christ-centered theology, so that I can effectively share the gospel with those God brings into my life.
Like David, Knox would love to partner with you in your ministry training. Learn more today!