Kernani Cheny is a bi-vocational pastor serving GCI’s congregation in Martinique, a French island between Saint Lucia and Dominica. Martinique is referred to as “a little bit of France in the French Caribbean Islands.” Kernani says that his first name is from his father, derived from the Hebrew word “hanini,” which is used three times in Scripture. It means “God is gracious.”
Kernani, who is now 40 years old, grew up attending GCI with his parents. “I grew up in Fort-de-France, the Martinique capital. After graduating from a university in France with a bachelor’s degree in electronics and robotics, I returned to Martinique and began teaching technology and computer science in a secondary school. I also served as the manager of a vocational training center in socio-cultural activities. It was an interesting experience: training people who work with children and teens. This job gave me opportunity to travel and to work on pedagogy and education with many people around the world.”
In 2000, Kernani married Juliette. “We don’t have children but God gave us love for all children.” In 2007, Kernani was commissioned with Charles Voyer to be the pastoral team for his congregation. At the time, Kernani was involved with the teens and young adults. He notes that Juliette’s personal ministy is in encouraging people.
When asked what he enjoys most about being a pastor, Kernani said, “GCI Martinique is a warm and wonderful church. I’m thankful to God for the diversity of experiences with children, teens, young and elderly people. I enjoy especially the brotherhood in the congregation.” About GCI, Kerani said that he loves that it really is an international family.
Kernani’s most memorable times in ministry have been at retreats with teens. When asked about his passion, Kernani said that one passion is pedagogy—the art and science of teaching. “But my greatest passion is teaching about Jesus—a message that is simple, deep, relational and transformational.”
Kernani says he feels closest to God, “during the night when I watch the stars in the sky—it’s so amazing and beautiful. I feel the majesty and the intimacy of God.”