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Johny & Rosadite Philippe

Johny and Rosadite

Johny and Rosadite Philippe are a native Haitian couple introduced to Glenwood by Bruce and Cindy McMartin during the McMartin's time at STEP seminary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Johny and Rosadite founded a church and started CENV (now EMNV) in a town north of Port-au-Prince called Merger de Sibert. Johny and Rosadite have transitioned from EMNV to other ministries in Haiti, including church planting.

Background of the Merger de Sibert Ministry

In August of 1996, a friend of Johny and Rosadite Philippe who worked for Compassion International approached them about the possibility of them working in a very difficult area. This friend had studied the lives of several families of Merger de Sibert, and his heart was broken by the situation he found them living in. He was looking for volunteers willing to begin a ministry among these people. Johny and Rosadite’s first reaction was to visit the area -- which they did the following month. The desperate economic and spiritual situation of those in Merger touched their hearts too, but they concluded that they couldn’t begin a ministry in Merger without also some appropriate social aid. Since they had no means to provide this aid, they believed it was unrealistic for them to begin a ministry in Merger.

Several months later, an individual contacted them promising support from someone in the USA if they decided to begin a ministry in Merger. Johny and Rosadite visited Merger again and even though they had never imagined beginning and pastoring a church, they felt a strong desire to do so among the people of Merger. They prayed and sought counsel from close friends and began planning their first meeting for April 1997. They were also promised financial help from a Haitian pastor.

They continued to pray, and God directed them to seek counsel from their pastor. He encouraged them to invite the youth of the area to join them in a Bible study and to begin working with the children in the community. This is exactly what Johny and Rosadite did. They were well received by the community and told that they were welcome to begin some activities with the youth and children.

The beginning of any new ministry is not without its difficulties and discouragements, and it was no different for Johny and Rosadite. Opposition did arise; transportation to and from Merger for them was very difficult and time consuming; the aid from the USA and the Haitian pastor never materialized; there were satanic attacks; they were held up at gun point, their vehicle stolen, and even kidnapped. Johny and Rosadite were abandoned by others who had promised help, and they realized they must depend solely on God for the future of this ministry.

By July 1997, six of the youth, who were participating in the Bible studies, accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. They said to Johny, “Pastor, if you don’t have the firm conviction to continue in this ministry with us here at Merger, don’t waste our time. There have been many others who have come to Merger, but after a bit of time, they leave.” By August, Johny and Rosadite were beginning to have doubts whether they could successfully continue at Merger and if this was where God really wanted them. But God clearly showed them through a situation with the youth that Merger was where He had called them. They gave their bodies and souls totally to God for the ministry of Merger believing that it was His ministry and that He would provide all that was necessary for its continuation.

And so it started with a group of youth and children meeting in an empty room, meeting in the yard of one of the mothers of some of the kids, and meeting under a small, unstable, thatched structure. Today the church meets in a cement block building with a tin roof with over 100 adults and children attending. Johny has trained and discipled a number of the youth who are involved in the leadership of the church. In 2010, two of these young men, Nesly and Samuel, completed a 4-year seminary program studying the Bible and theology and Samuel is currently the pastor of the Merger church and teaches at the school.

The School Begins and Grows

Adding to the already desperate living conditions and degradation of the family in the community of Merger was the alarming number of young children who had never attended school. Because of this, the leadership of the church deemed it necessary to start an elementary school.The school began in 2005, meeting in the single room church building and functioning under very limited conditions due to the low economic level of the families whose children attend the school. The school quickly grew and began making an impact on the community. In 2009, Glenwood started the Merger Student Sponsorship Program, by which individuals, families, or groups could select a student and contribute 20.00/mo towards his/her education. This regular financial support added some stability to the funding of the school and allowed them to consistently pay the teachers. In 2011 the contribution amount was raised to 30.00/mo in order to provide food for the students and the teachers. During the nine years that Glenwood has administrated the sponsorship program, the school has grown from ninety students to the current enrollment of 250 in preschool through ninth grade. We have also helped build a retaining wall and classroom buildings on the school campus. 

Glenwood’s objective in the sponsorship program is to help EMNV succeed in its vision of providing the children of Merger solid Christian academic teaching in order to help them develop into self-sufficient, responsible citizens who are disciples of Jesus Christ.