Sam Leonor (USA)
Our main speaker Sam Leonor loves his work as Chaplain to the students and faculty of La Sierra University.
His ministry is marked by a call to radical faith in Jesus. He loves finding ways to engage culture deeply for the sake of the Gospel. He has devoted his ministry to helping young adults bloom into a faith that is growing, full of love and mission oriented.
His hobbies include making music, eating good food, and having good conversations with family and friends. Sam was raised in Central America where his parents were part of developing church and health care missions. He has degrees from Southern Adventist University and Andrews University.
He is married to Shelley Campbell. They have two children, Alexandra (born in 2000), and a son, Micah (born in 2003).
Sam’s workshops: Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in Main auditorium
Neville Neveling (USA)
Neville Neveling has been living in Namibia for the last 31 years. He was involved in broadcasting working for the South West African Broadcasting Corporation and later the Namibian Broadcasting Company in the Religious Department. He actively worked to promote the message of the Blessed Hope to this vast country.
Neville has also been involved in the church and especially with Evangelism as that was one of his favourite activities. Since 2017 he has been involved with Total Member Involvement (TMI) and developed a communications program to reach people on their cellphones.
Neville’s workshops: ”Cell Phone Evangelizing” (Part 1 & 2) – Sabbath 14:30 in LK24 & 17:00 in LK19
Melissa Myklebust (NOR)
Melissa Myklebust works as the associate youth director in Norway. She loves everything that is fun and exciting, the outdoors and music.
Melissa thinks that the greatest advantage with her work is that she gets to share Jesus in so many different ways, talking about Jesus together with so many awesome people, and she loves that. She is passionate about how we can make Jesus relevant in today’s postmodern, complex world.
Melissa’s workshops: ”Faith and Life and God’s Will” – Sabbath 8:30 in Cabinet 1 & 12:00 in LK19
Anna Tegebo (SWE)
Anna Tegebo has always loved to work with young people and longs for the youth to find a personal relationship with God and also find their place in God’s work.
She has worked as a pastor and in a church plant for several years before working as the Youth director in Sweden together with a great team. Anna strongly believes that belonging to a small group in church can make a big difference in both one’s own spiritual growth as well as in church growth.
Anna’s & Linda’s workshops: ”Creating Small Communities in Your Church” – Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in LK27
Linda Schwatz (SWE)
Linda Schwartz has worked as a registered nurse for several years and has a passion to help people in need. She has always loved being a part of youth ministry and started working for the church as the associate youth director last year.
Linda’s friends have called her the energizer bunny who never stops laughing. When asked how she views the Christian life Linda quotes the poem “You are writing a gospel, a chapter by day, by deeds that you do, by words that you say. Men read what you write, whether they are faithless or true. So what is the gospel according to you?”
Linda’s & Anna’s workshops: ”Creating Small Communities in Your Church” – Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in LK27
Krõõt Lõbus (EST)
Krõõt Lõbus is a fresh graduate from Newbold College and the new enthusiastic Youth Director for the Estonian SDA church. Although she had contact with the Adventist faith since birth, her journey with God as a Christian started on her 20th birthday and she has never regretted the decision.
Krõõt still remembers the feelings she got when she first studied the Bible for herself and actually understood it. The wonder and excitement of new discoveries fill Krõõt’s heart every time she sits down to study passages that should already be familiar to her.
Krõõt’s workshops: ”How to Pray and Read the Bible” – Sabbath 12:00 in LK20 & Sunday 8:30 in Cabinet 1
Kai Lempinen serves as a Chaplain at Tampere Christian School and is a father of three. Kai is Finnish by nationality but he has lived in four different countries. He loves getting to know new people and cultures.
Previously he worked for the Finnish Defence Forces but now he is happy to work with young students and talk about religion and issues of life. Kai loves history, culture, languages and discussion over a cup of tea.
Kai’s & Eliisa’s workshops: ”Ask about relationships!” – Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in LK24 (in English) & Sabbath 14:30 in Small Auditorium (in Finnish)
Eliisa ”Ellu” Saarinen from Vesilahti is a logotherapy counselor, future logo therapist and experienced employee of SDA church for 20 years in the ministries of children, youth, families and couples.
Long ago Ellu devoted to be single. It didn’t take long until God led Harri, Ellu’s current husband into her life. They have been married for 16 years and in the relationship Ellu has had the opportunity to train controlling her short temper. What a blessing to have such a patient husband, she says.
Eliisa’s & Kai’s workshops: ”Ask about relationships!” – Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in LK24 (in English) & Sabbath 14:30 in Small Auditorium (in Finnish)
Markku Heinänen is a pastor and a medical missionary from Mikkeli known for his adventures around the world. At the moment he is establishing a center that offers coaching for lifestyle changes.
Coaching is targeted for those who doctors have already given up with and they are coached with scientifically explored methods that emphasize the importance of people’s spiritual needs besides the more commonly spoken physical, mental and social needs.
Markku’s workshops: ”Sanctuary and God’s Plan of Salvation” – Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in LK25
Grace of God has offered Ansku a wide variety of mind expanding opportunities as an unqualified high school teacher in Micronesia, a youth director in Finland, a Harvard student and a worker in a safe house and homeless church in America, a pastor in Jyväskylä, a wife for 27 and a mother for 18 years.
God continues his mind expanding activities, which is a blessing, since the need is still great.
Ansku’s workshops (in Finnish): ”Basic Tools for Working Through Disagreements in Relationships” – Sabbath 12:00 & 17:00 in Small auditorium
Leena Poikonen is a Cognitive Psychotherapist and an Occupational Therapist from Tampere. Her first experience of God’s existence was at about age 4, when she wondered why human beings have hands. Leena says she is happy if she can get to use her hands in a purposeful way during her lifetime according to God’s guidance.
She finds the power and company of God as her most foundational resource in life. Currently she is exploring how to embrace the fulness of God in a meaningful way in therapeutic work and how it might affect one’s health mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.
Leena’s workshops (in Finnish): ”Forced Happiness” – Sabbath 8:30 in Cabinet 2 & 12:00 in LK23
Jetro Perho is a masseur, plumbing student, member of Finnish SDA board, and a servant of God from Jyväskylä. He has also served in the youth ministry for two years.
Jetro finds it important to rely on God’s will and guidance when evangelizing, as well as surrendering to God and the involvement of the Holy Spirit. He thinks, that the best way to share the gospel is through personal encounters. Jetro wishes to have peaceful and human-centric life, but on the other hand he thirsts for powerful guidance by the Holy Spirit.
Jetro’s workshops (in Finnish): ”Surrendering to Jesus” – Sabbath 12:00 in LK26 & Sunday 8:30 in Cabinet 2 & ”Faith and Science Hand in Hand” – Sabbath 17:00 in LK26
Kimmo is an experienced pastor, who has seen the world, but for the past two decades has settled to serve as the pastor of Aitolahti church at Tampere.
When asked about what addresses him the most in the Bible, Kimmo answers with Jesus’ words: ”This is my command: Love one another.” What does that mean? How do I love my neighbor concretely in practice? What does that to me? If we loved each other, what would that change in my own life, in the church and in the society?
Kimmo’s workshop (in Finnish): ”Am I an Adventist or a Christian?” – Sabbath 17:00 in LK23
Finnish SDA Board Representatives
The new board of Finnish SDA Church was elected last April. The Board is represented in NYC19 by Aimo Helminen (president), Harri Saarinen (financial director) and Anne Vrcelj (general secretary). Participants of their workshops have the opportunity to ask anything about the present state and the future of our church and discuss the emerging topics face to face with the authorities.
Board Representative’s workshop (in Finnish): ”Board’s Question Time” – Sabbath 12:00 in LK21