The Iglesia Cristiana Anabautista Menonita de Ecuador congregational leaders and Ecuador Partnership visitors enjoy a spiritual retreat together February 3 - 4, 2024. Photo by Lilia Aranguren.
By Jane Morrow
Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Ecuador Partnership gathering embodies a commitment to understanding and supporting the vibrant tapestry of Mennonite churches in Ecuador. Below are the partner organizations and the individuals that represented them:

Central Plains Mennonite Conference (CPMC)

  • Joel Beachy, Pastor and CPMC Partnership Coordinator
  • Nathan Luitjens, Executive Conference Minister

Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (Colombia Mennonite Church, IMCOL)

  • Lilia Paola Aranguren Caballero, Missions Committee Member
  • Oscar Herrera, Missions Committee Coordinator

Mennonite Mission Network (Mission Network)

The representatives united for a common purpose: to listen, learn and uplift the ministries of their partners across Ecuador. This work transcends geographical boundaries, fostering connections that encourage Colombian, Ecuadorian, and North American communities including:

Recently, the partnership has also fostered relationships with Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana (Ecuadorian Evangelical Mennonite Church, IEME), a conference founded by Rosedale International, as Anabaptists in Ecuador unite for mutual support and ministry together.

From January 26 - February 7, the cohort traveled from the historic city of Riobamba to the bustling streets of Quito, each offering unique insights into the challenges and triumphs of Ecuadorian churches.

On Sunday, in Riobamba, they attended Columna de Verdad (Column of Truth) intercultural church in the morning and Horeb Mennonite Church, a Kichwa congregation, in the evening. Discussions revolved around nurturing young leaders and addressing resource gaps for educating youth and adults.


Pastor Ramón Guevara preaches under in the open tent where the Columna de Verdad church meets. Photo by Linda Shelly.

 

The women’s choir at the Horeb Mennonite Church in Riobamba, Ecuador, shares traditional Kichwa worship music.

The following four days in Quito shed light on grassroots initiatives aimed at empowering local communities.

A tutoring program, coordinated by Delicia and Alba Silva, provides academic support to young students, coupled with lessons on resilience and faith. A shipping container is being converted into a classroom, intended as a new venue for the afterschool program.


Delicia Bravo uses a science experiment to help children in Jardines del Inca think about faith and resilience. Photo by Linda Shelly.

Quito Mennonite Church distributes Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) supplies underscoring the vital role of humanitarian aid to refugee families. Families must apply to receive aid, with distributions occurring twice monthly to 60 new families, as well as families with recurring needs.


Ecuadorian refugee program staff and partnership visitors prepare packets for 60 families who had not previously received assistance. Photo by Peter Wigginton.

In addition to distributing supply kits, Alba Silva, Alexandra Meneses and Daniela Sanchez teach courses on empowering women in the home to seek ways out of domestic violence, to encourage equality in the home, and to find ways to start small businesses to add income to the household.


Friday morning, the cohort met with FEINE President Edgar Sáez and youth, women, and children's leader Nancy Pilatuña, to learn about FEINE's projects for the coming year. Collaborative efforts with Mission Network on Faith and Business courses, Faith and Politics, and Church Planting are underway, a response to Indigenous partners' expressed need for education and training.

See Peacebuilding efforts continue in Ecuador

Over the weekend, the partnership helped facilitate a retreat for ICAME leaders, reflecting on Ezekiel 37:1-14 and considering personal, communal, and church rejuvenation. Following the service, Nathan Luitjens delivered a sermon on Acts 16:6-15 at Quito Mennonite Church, sparking engaging discussions among attendees.

ICAME leadership faces challenges in meeting stringent legal government requirements mandated for church boards, diverting energy from visionary projects. However, the general leadership exudes enthusiasm for expansion and outreach, which encourages the partnership in seeking ways to walk together.

Later, they journeyed to southern Quito to meet Indigenous church leaders from Camino de Salvación (Way of Salvation), sharing a meal and participating in commissioning newly installed elders.

The journey concluded with visits to churches along Ecuador’s coast, initially established by Rosedale International. Conversations with pastors and leaders underscored a keen desire for local engagement and resources in Spanish language for church planting, discipleship, Christian education, peacemaking and more.


Fabian Buenaventura, IEME church president, talks with photographer Linda Shelly (not shown) about Anabaptist education resources while Pepe Giler, Peter Wigginton and Egdy Zambrano discuss the Pacificadores (Peacemakers) class.

Bravo Aguilar and Wigginton have worked on developing relationships by including these churches in Anabaptist gatherings in Ecuador, including a recent peacebuilding conference. Online learning in courses like Enviados (Sent) and Pacificadores also gives the people in all three conferences an opportunity to get to know each other and envision ways of greater collaboration.

See Mennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journey

Despite recent violence and upheaval in the country, Ecuador's Anabaptist and Mennonite churches remain resilient, inspiring their North American counterparts to deepen their engagement in church planting and community outreach, facilitated by ongoing learning from their Ecuadorian partners.


El peregrinaje de colaboración y renovación de la Coparticipación del Ecuador

Por Jane Morrow

El compromiso por comprender y apoyar el vigoroso y pujante entretejido de iglesias menonitas en el Ecuador se hizo tangible en la reunión de la Coparticipación del Ecuador. A continuación presentamos las organizaciones coparticipantes y las personas que las representaron:

Conferencia Menonita Central Plains (CPMC),

  • Joel Beachy, pastor y coordinador CPMC de la Coparticipación
  • Nathan Luitjens, ministro ejecutivo de la Conferencia

Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (IMCOL)

  • Lilia Paola Aranguren Caballero, miembro de la comisión de misiones
  • Oscar Herrera, coordinador de la comisión de misiones

Red Menonita de Misión

Las y los representantes se unieron con un propósito en común: escuchar, aprender y fortalecer los ministerios de sus coparticipantes en todo el Ecuador. Este trabajo trasciende los límites geográficos y estimula los vínculos que animan a las comunidades de Colombia, Ecuador y los Estados Unidos que incluyen a:

Recientemente, la coparticipación también ha incentivado la vinculación con la Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana (IEME), una conferencia fundada por Rosedale International, como anabautistas en el Ecuador unidos para apoyarse mutuamente y ministrar juntos.

Entre el 26 de enero y el 7 de febrero, el grupo viajó desde la histórica ciudad de Riobamba a las bulliciosas calles de Quito, cada una de las cuales ofrece su mirada propia respecto a los desafíos y logros de las iglesias ecuatorianas.

El domingo, en Riobamba, el grupo asistió a la iglesia intercultural Columna de Verdad a la mañana, y a la noche a la Iglesia Menonita Horeb, una congregación kichwa. Las conversaciones giraron en torno a temas como la capacitación.


El pastor Ramón Guevara predica en la carpa abierta donde se reúne la iglesia Columna de la Verdad. Foto de Linda Shelly.

 

El coro de mujeres de la Iglesia Menonita Horeb en Riobamba, Ecuador, comparte la música tradicional de adoración Kichwa.

Los siguientes cuatro días en Quito echaron luz sobre las iniciativas de base dirigidas al empoderamiento de las comunidades locales.

Un programa de tutorías, coordinado por Delicia y Alba Silva, ofrece apoyo académico a niñas y niños, acompañado por clases sobre resiliencia y fe. Se está transformando un contenedor en aula, con la intención de utilizarlo como un nuevo espacio para el programa extra escolar.

Delicia Bravo Aguilar utiliza un experimento científico para ayudar a los niños de Jardines del Inca a pensar en la fe y la resiliencia. Foto de Linda Shelly.

La Iglesia Menonita de Quito distribuye suministros del Comité Menonita Central (MCC), lo cual resalta el rol vital de la ayuda humanitaria a las familias de refugiados. Las familias se deben anotar para recibir la ayuda; las entregas se realizan dos veces por mes a sesenta familias nuevas, además de las familias con necesidades recurrentes.

El personal del programa ecuatoriano para refugiados y los visitantes de la asociación preparan paquetes para 60 familias que no habían recibido asistencia anteriormente. Foto de Peter Wigginton.

Además de la entrega de estas bolsas de suministros, Alba Silva, Alexandra Meneses y Daniela Sánchez brindan talleres para empoderar a las mujeres en su búsqueda de maneras de escapar de la violencia doméstica, incentivar la igualdad en el hogar y encontrar formas de iniciar pequeños emprendimientos que incrementen los ingresos familiares.

El viernes a la mañana, el grupo se reunió con el presidente de FEINE, Edgar Sáez, y con Nancy Pilatuña, líder de jóvenes, mujeres y niños, a fin de conocer los proyectos de FEINE para el próximo año. Junto con la Red de Misión hay esfuerzos colaborativos en marcha para dictar cursos de Fe y negocios, Fe y política, y Plantación de iglesias, como respuesta a la necesidad planteada por los coparticipantes indígenas de contar con educación y capacitación.

Ver Continúan los esfuerzos por construir la paz en Ecuador

Durante el fin de semana, la coparticipación ayudó a facilitar un retiro para líderes de ICAME para reflexionar sobre Ezequiel 37:1-14 y considerar el rejuvenecimiento personal, comunitario y de la iglesia. Después del culto, Nathan Luitjens compartió un sermón sobre Hechos 16:6-15 en la Iglesia Menonita de Quito, que originó conversaciones interesantes entre los asistentes.

Los líderes de ICAME actualmente se ven desafiados a cumplir estrictas regulaciones legales del gobierno requeridas a los consejos de las iglesias, lo cual desvía su energía de los proyectos con visión de futuro. Sin embargo, entre ellos abunda el entusiasmo respecto a su crecimiento y alcance, lo cual anima a la coparticipación a buscar maneras de caminar juntos.

Luego viajaron al sur de Quito para encontrarse con los líderes de las iglesias indígenas de Camino de Salvación, donde compartieron una comida y se encomendó a ancianos recientemente nombrados.

El peregrinaje concluyó con la visita a iglesias inicialmente establecidas por Rosedale International a lo largo de la costa del Ecuador. En las conversaciones, sus pastores y líderes manifestaron su fuerte deseo de involucramiento local y de disponer de recursos en español sobre plantación de iglesias, discipulado, educación cristiana, construcción de la paz, entre otros temas.


Fabián Buenaventura, presidente de la iglesia IEME, habla con la fotógrafa Linda Shelly sobre los recursos educativos anabautistas, mientras que Pepe Giler, Peter Wigginton y Egdy Zambrano hablan sobre la clase de Pacificadores.

Bravo Aguilar y Wigginton han trabajado intensamente para desarrollar el vínculo con estas iglesias al incluirlas en encuentros de anabautistas en el Ecuador, como lo fue una reciente conferencia sobre construcción de la paz. La capacitación virtual mediante cursos como Enviados y Pacificadores también les da a las personas de las tres conferencias la oportunidad de conocerse y visualizar formas de mayor colaboración.

A pesar de la violencia y los levantamientos recientes en el país, las iglesias anabautistas y menonitas del Ecuador permanecen resilientes y de inspiración para sus contrapartes de América del Norte a profundizar su compromiso con la plantación de iglesias y su llegada a las comunidades, facilitado por el continuo aprendizaje de los coparticipantes ecuatorianos.


 

 

 Related articles

 

 

Albuquerque Service Adventure shared a southwest blend of faith and friendship for 25 yearsService Adventurehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5072/Albuquerque-Service-Adventure-shared-faith-and-communityAlbuquerque Service Adventure shared a southwest blend of faith and friendship for 25 yearsGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476New Mexico
Ecuador Partnership's journey of collaboration and renewalInternational Servicehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5067/Ecuador-Partnership-journeyEcuador Partnership's journey of collaboration and renewalGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
How can I be a peace witness in time of war?Peace witnesshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4681/How-can-I-be-a-peace-witness-in-time-of-warHow can I be a peace witness in time of war?GP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Ana Alicia Hinojosa assumes role as Senior Executive for Ventures at Mennonite Mission NetworkPress Releasehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5069/Ana-Alicia-Hinojosa-assumes-role-as-Senior-Executive-for-VenturesAna Alicia Hinojosa assumes role as Senior Executive for Ventures at Mennonite Mission NetworkGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journeyPeacebuildinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5066/Mennonites-unite-in-Ecuador’s-peace-journeyMennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journeyGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Quito
Peer mediators gain self-esteem while working for community peacePeace camphttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5062/Peer-mediators-gain-self-esteem-while-working-for-community-peacePeer mediators gain self-esteem while working for community peaceGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Cape Town
Lois Buckwalter discerned a new way of doing mission among the Toba-Qom peopleObituaryhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5059/Lois-Buckwalter-discerned-a-new-way-of-doing-mission-among-the-Toba-Qom-peopleLois Buckwalter discerned a new way of doing mission among the Toba-Qom peopleGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Strengthening bonds: A gathering for Anabaptist theological educationTheological consultationhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5049/gathering-for-Anabaptist-theological-educationStrengthening bonds: A gathering for Anabaptist theological educationGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Mexico City
Dreams of the boy become mission of the manRetirementhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5048/Dreams-of-the-boyDreams of the boy become mission of the manGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Movement of Anabaptist Women Doing Theology from Latin America commemorates 20 years of ministry with publicationMissio Deihttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5045/Women-Doing-Theology-from-Latin-AmericaMovement of Anabaptist Women Doing Theology from Latin America commemorates 20 years of ministry with publicationGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Mennonite medical ministry changing in Taiwan even as Christ’s love remains the sameNewshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5040/Mennonite-medical-ministry-changing-in-TaiwanMennonite medical ministry changing in Taiwan even as Christ’s love remains the sameGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Benin Bible Institute renews a 20-year partnership with Indiana congregationBenin Bible Institutehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5038/Benin-Bible-Institute-renews-a-20-year-partnership-with-Indiana-congregationBenin Bible Institute renews a 20-year partnership with Indiana congregationGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Cotonou
A family’s two-way mission unites them in Christ with brothers and sisters in EcuadorCallinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5036/A-family-two-way-mission-unites-them-in-Christ-with-brothers-and-sisters-in-EcuadorA family’s two-way mission unites them in Christ with brothers and sisters in EcuadorGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Murid-Mennonite encounter in France focused on peacePeacebuildinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5035/Murid-Mennonite-encounter-in-France-focused-on-peaceMurid-Mennonite encounter in France focused on peaceGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Paris
Resilience helps mission worker navigate detoursInternationalhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5033/Resilience-helps-mission-worker-navigate-detoursResilience helps mission worker navigate detoursGP0|#52c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1;L0|#052c46992-a072-4af3-b006-834f7e8b9cb1|News;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Bammental

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5067/Ecuador-Partnership-journey

Jane Morrow is Content Marketing Team Lead for Mission Network.

 Related

 

 

Albuquerque Service Adventure shared a southwest blend of faith and friendship for 25 yearshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5072/Albuquerque-Service-Adventure-shared-faith-and-communityAlbuquerque Service Adventure shared a southwest blend of faith and friendship for 25 years
Ecuador Partnership's journey of collaboration and renewalhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5067/Ecuador-Partnership-journeyEcuador Partnership's journey of collaboration and renewal
How can I be a peace witness in time of war?https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4681/How-can-I-be-a-peace-witness-in-time-of-warHow can I be a peace witness in time of war?
Ana Alicia Hinojosa assumes role as Senior Executive for Ventures at Mennonite Mission Networkhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5069/Ana-Alicia-Hinojosa-assumes-role-as-Senior-Executive-for-VenturesAna Alicia Hinojosa assumes role as Senior Executive for Ventures at Mennonite Mission Network
Mennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journeyhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5066/Mennonites-unite-in-Ecuador’s-peace-journeyMennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journey
Peer mediators gain self-esteem while working for community peacehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5062/Peer-mediators-gain-self-esteem-while-working-for-community-peacePeer mediators gain self-esteem while working for community peace



 

 

Albuquerque Service Adventure shared a southwest blend of faith and friendship for 25 yearshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5072/Albuquerque-Service-Adventure-shared-faith-and-communityAlbuquerque Service Adventure shared a southwest blend of faith and friendship for 25 yearsService Adventure
Here with purpose: Sibonokuhle Ncubehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5070/Here-with-purpose-Sibonokuhle-NcubeHere with purpose: Sibonokuhle NcubeQ&A
How can I be a peace witness in time of war?https://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4681/How-can-I-be-a-peace-witness-in-time-of-warHow can I be a peace witness in time of war?Peace witness
Ana Alicia Hinojosa assumes role as Senior Executive for Ventures at Mennonite Mission Networkhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5069/Ana-Alicia-Hinojosa-assumes-role-as-Senior-Executive-for-VenturesAna Alicia Hinojosa assumes role as Senior Executive for Ventures at Mennonite Mission NetworkPress Release
Privilege shapes our response to the migrant crisishttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5068/Privilege-shapes-our-response-to-the-migrant-crisisPrivilege shapes our response to the migrant crisisMigration
Mennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journeyhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/5066/Mennonites-unite-in-Ecuador’s-peace-journeyMennonites unite in Ecuador’s peace journeyPeacebuilding