Population: 408,000 (2012)
Official language: French
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Groupe Biblique Universitaire de Martinique (GBU)
Martinique, the ‘island of flowers’, has an aging population. General strikes in 2009 negatively affected the economic and social life of this overseas department of France. Although Martinique is Christian in name, committed Christians face secular opposition in some places.
9 high schools, 12 professional colleges, 2 universities
GBU groups in 9 high schools, 5 colleges and both universities
15 volunteers and about 20 supporters
active graduate and high school ministry
largest group on Schoelcher campus – 20 students
smallest in Victor Schoelcher high school – 2 students
Student ministry in Martinique has been active for 30 years. Today it is led by a dozen of volunteers who have embraced the vision of reaching students and through them changing society for Christ. At their various meetings (camps or days of fasting and prayer) there are a minimum of 100 young people attending. The movement also has a good working relationship with local churches.
GBU Martinique is aware of the need for fundraising; if there were resources to fund staff and an office to use as a base for the ministry, they feel they would be able to develop at a faster rate.
View from the inside
Miguel Pavilla is the Board Chair of GBU Martinique. He says, ‘I was born in a Christian family. But my encounter with student ministry changed my life - I started to take the gospel seriously and with friends I formed a Bible study group and persevered in my faith. My late father was also involved in my ministry. I am convinced that the gospel is so important for our young people - we must pass on to them a love of it.’
Miguel is also inspired by the biblical example of ‘characters such as Samuel and Timothy, who show us that we can be young and be at the service of the Lord.’
for more Christian students to be passionate and committed, and to catch the vision of changing their campuses and society;
for efficient projects and actions;
for stronger partnerships with churches, organisations and authorities;
for funds to support more staff and a premises from which to base the ministry.