Population: 280,000 (2013)
Official language: English
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Inter-School & Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IS/IVCF)
Barbados, despite its small size, is one of the more prosperous and developed of the Caribbean islands. Materialism and religious pluralism, alongside economic prosperity, exert a steady influence on the Barbadian culture. Although many Barbadians profess the Christian faith, there is often little evidence of transformed lives.
- 6 tertiary institutions, 3 groups
- 3 full-time staff, 1 responsible for tertiary groups
- active school ministry; 15 high schools, 60 primary schools
- largest student group - UWI Cave Hill group (around 60 members)
- smallest group - Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic group (10-12 members)
For a number of years, IS/IVCF has struggled because of a lack of good governance. In 2011 an excellent team came together as the newly elected board of IS/IVCF Barbados. The movement praises God for the way in which he has answered their prayers and given them hope for a bright future of sustained development through the passionate commitment of the current board and staff.
The board now gives impetus to the work, setting a great example for students to take initiative and find ways to effectively engage their campus with the gospel. The main challenge is a lack of support from churches and graduates.
View from the inside
Mario King is a former IS/IVCF Barbados staff worker. He is inspired by the fact that ‘this movement, founded over 50 years ago, that has faced countless trials and challenges, is still standing today and shows great promise for the future. This gives me confidence that God’s hand is upon this work and his favour is with us.’
Titus 2:11-13 challenges Mario in his ministry: ‘For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’
Please pray for:
- guidance for the board and staff as they lead and also steward resources;
- boldness as the students proclaim Christ to their peers, and for hearts to be receptive to the message of truth;
- the strengthening of the local church through the work of IS/IVCF;
- new partnerships – with volunteers, churches, donors and others in ministry.