Gorgeous sunshine, white sandy beaches, and crystal waters.
Is this what you think of the Caribbean?
The IFES team in the region want you to know that this isn’t the whole story. It may be paradise to some but for so many more it’s a mission field.
The IFES Caribbean (CARIFES) team supports 19 national movements, operating in three languages (English, French and Dutch), ranging from those in the earliest stages of pioneering to the established movements upwards of 70 years old. They are doing great work to support and connect the national movements, who are reaching out to young people in schools and universities.
There are many challenges to ministry in the region. Travel between islands is expensive, which makes it difficult to plan in-person gatherings. Economic problems often mean that unemployment is high. Young people can get caught up in drug trafficking as an easy way to make money. For the national movements, one of the biggest problems is a shortage of leadership. Only six national movements have a general secretary as well as a Board of Trustees. In many movements, the ministry depends heavily on the crucial role of “sponsors”, schoolteachers who volunteer to run a Christian group within their schools. But sponsors are often the only support, and they need refreshing and resourcing.
Will you stand with faithful brothers and sisters in the Caribbean to see their ministry thriving into the future?
What do the regional team do?
To meet this challenge, the regional team are creating the CARIFES Academy, expanding their existing staff and student leadership training. This will provide both theological and practical training for student ministry, in the hope of training up more staff workers to coordinate the work. “We want to be more ambitious”, says Marc Pulvar, Regional Secretary. “We challenge ourselves to put our trust in God.”
The team are also investing in communications, so they will be better able to share and connect. Karina and Nicolas have joined the team to create a new website, prayer bulletin, and newsletter. They are working to build new connections and share more updates between the national movements and beyond.
Jean-Davy Frair joined the team at the beginning of last year to pioneer and support ministry in the Francophone parts of the region. Marc hopes that in the future, he might be joined by a first-language Dutch speaker, who can help the team make resources available in Dutch and focus directly on supporting the Dutch-speaking territories.
Could you help the team reach students in the Caribbean?
Your prayers and your financial support are so valuable. If you’re able to show your support to students in the Caribbean, you can make a gift here.