Preparations and registrations are well on the way at this time for the 1999-2019 ROM (Renewing Our Minds) Celebration Gathering, to take place in Ohrid, Macedonia, 29thJuly to 5thAugust, 2019. This leadership and reconciliation gathering, under the banner “20 Years of Empowering Ambassadors for a Better World,” will summarize the first 20 years of contribution the ROM mission has made to the development of the Southeast European and international young leaders.
The Renewing Our Minds project was born in Croatia in 1999, in the aftermath of the nineties post-Yugoslavian war that called for the education of young generations of leaders in the areas of peace building, reconciliation, and leadership development through service, modeled by the person of Jesus. The organizers believed that the teachings and example of Jesus would equip the young, emerging leaders of the Balkans and the world the best for leadership in the challenging environments and circumstances.
In the period of twenty years over 1000 people from over 60 countries have benefited directly from the ROM ministry either as participants, team members, speakers or mentors. ROM has also contributed to the creation or several international organizations that focus too on equipping young leaders for the leadership of service, and has refreshed the visions of a number of already existing ministries or initiatives with new ideas and incentives of how to serve more efficiently their communities. ROM has also highly contributed to the personal transformation of many young leaders who took part in its programs and projects.
This summer we are inviting the ROM alumni, as well as those who have contributed to ROM over the past 20 years as speakers, mentors, facilitators, and in various other ways to come together in Ohrid, Macedonia and become a part of a reenergizing sharing, empowering and thanksgiving experience. Our desire is to learn from a mutual experience of the past 20 years, and thus set a stage for a new season of ROM ministry. This milestone ROM anniversary gathering in Ohrid will also be the important occasion when the leadership baton will be passed from the hands of the current ROM director Tihomir Kukolja from Croatia to the hands of its new director, Bojan Ruvarac from Serbia.
The 1999-2019 ROM Celebration Gathering will also highlight the service of two organizations that have made the ministry of ROM possible in the past 20 years; the Croatian based organization Life Center International, under which leadership and guidance ROM was born in 1999, and Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation, the Seattle based organization that has provided ROM with the needed governance and support since 2010. Both organizations played the most significant role in providing leadership and ministry platform for the service of the Renewing Our Minds movement, as well as the mission and vision guidance under its mission statement: “Developing leaders transformed by the person of Jesus in a divided world”, inspired by the words of Jesus: “Whatever you did to the least of those, you did for me!” Matthew 25:40.
At the moment of the writing of this update 140 people have confirmed by registering that they are planning to attend, and the number of participants who are planning to join us in Macedonia is expected to grow in the coming weeks. Above everything else this important regathering of ROM alumni will be a special occasion of praise and thanksgiving lifted to our Lord Jesus for His blessings, guidance and provisions that He has bestowed upon the ROM ministry and its leaders over the past 20 years. Our special honor will be to have among us at this important anniversary gathering Allen Belton, ROM mentor, speaker and adviser who has faithfully served ROM and enriched the lives of many young leaders since the early days of ROM, namely since 2001.
If you are one of those who would like to attend the 1999-2019 ROM Celebration Gathering in Macedonia, but are leaving your registration for the last minute, our advice to you would be to register immediately, without hesitation. At this time, we are not able to guarantee that we will be able to accept any new registration received after the end of May. So, decide today to join our big family of visionaries, caring leaders, reconcilers and peacemakers for the feast of friendship, thanksgiving, sharing and vision casting.
Tihomir Kukolja, Renewing Our Minds, Director