ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Education Agency) – Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) Director of Hispanic Ministries Marco Güete is training to walk 253 kilometers (157 miles) of El Camino de Santiago in Spain, all to benefit MEA's Anabaptist Bible Institute (Instituto Bíblico Anabautista – IBA).
This journey has been 36 years in the making.
In 1988, Güete and a group of Hispanic pastors envisioned an Anabaptist Biblical Institute in every Hispanic church or community. "We saw the need and felt called to train members and leaders of the Mennonite Hispanic churches with Biblical and theological, non-formal, academic formation," Güete recalled.
The group founded Instituto Bíblico Anabautista, known as IBA, and thousands of students have studied through IBA since. Many have graduated with certificates or diplomas and are serving Hispanic churches today as leaders and pastors. Local congregations host study centers, and volunteer tutors and teachers lead the groups.
Affordability is a priority for the program, and fundraising is critical to keep tuition costs low. Said Güete, "I am walking El Camino 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 is training to complete his journey in around 15 days and is seeking sponsors to raise $40,000 to support the program and provide scholarships. "Our El Camino walk is powered by the love of the Holy Spirit and built on the commitment and support of individuals and congregations, he said."
Online donations 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.