ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Education Agency) – The Director of Mennonite Education Agency's (MEA) Hispanic Ministries, Marco Güete, and his wife Sandra walked 157 miles of El Camino de Santiago in Spain over the course of 11 days to fundraise for MEA's Anabaptist Biblical Institute (Instituto Bíblico Anabautista – IBA). The walk raised over $18,000 for IBA scholarships.
According to Güete, most IBA students are bi-vocational and pay their own way at great personal sacrifice. Keeping the program affordable is a priority, and fundraising by the program staff is necessary. "I am walking to ensure that Hispanic leaders, men and women from all ages, in all congregations and communities, have access to the valuable Anabaptist Biblical and theological resources through IBA to help navigate the Christian journey," Güete said prior to his departure.
This was Güete's second trek along El Camino to raise funds for IBA. In September 2019, he walked 164 miles from Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, to Burgos, Spain, and raised around $16,000. This time, Güete's wife joined him for most of the journey from Burgos to Foncebadón. Donations are still coming in, but so far their efforts have raised $18,389.
The couple walked around 15 miles each day and stayed at local hostels. They paid their own way so that all of the donors' gifts would benefit students. Michael Danner, MEA's Executive Director and CEO, commended the Güetes for their commitment to Hispanic Ministries and the church.
"I'm grateful to Marco and his commitment to Hispanic Ministries. His creativity and hard work make IBA affordable, accessible, and effective. The impact of this program is seen in all the ministry accomplished through IBA graduates across the church."
IBA was formed in 1988 when Güete and a group of Hispanic pastors identified the need to provide leaders and emerging leaders in the Mennonite Hispanic churches with a strong theological and Biblical foundation. They imagined Hispanic Anabaptist Biblical institutes in Hispanic churches and communities across the country.
Since its inception, thousands of students have studied through IBA, and many have graduated from the program with certificates or diplomas. Most graduates are serving Hispanic churches today as leaders and pastors. Volunteer teachers and tutors lead the students through the program at study centers, which are hosted in local churches. A virtual study center is being launched next month.
Contributions to IBA can be made at MennoniteEducation.org or Paypal.me/MennoniteEd. Checks can be made payable to Mennonite Education Agency, 3145 Benham Avenue. Suite 2, Elkhart, IN 46517, memo: El Camino / IBA.
Mennonite Education Agency is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, and partners with Anabaptist Mennonite educational institutions and programs to provide resources, networking, and support to school administrators, faculty, and staff. As the education agency of Mennonite Church USA, MEA ties church and school together in a complementary and cooperative way to ensure students receive a high-quality education from a distinctive Anabaptist Mennonite perspective.