This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Rafael Barahona, ‘Meno Acontecer’ editor, to retire ​

Photo: Current director of HPLE, Rafael Barahona (right), stands with incoming director, Marco Güete (left) and retired IBA director, Gilberto Flores (center).

Rafael Barahona, director of the Hispanic Pastoral and Leadership Education office of Mennonite Education Agency is retiring Oct. 31, 2015. Barahona began his work with HPLE in 2007 when the newly formed program was launched under MEA.

HPLE consists of a Bible institute, Instituto Bíblico Anabautista (IBA), a seminary, Seminario Bíblico Anabautista Hispano (SeBAH) and Meno Acontecer, a monthly Spanish e-newsletter.

Barahona served as writer, editor, translator and teacher working in multiple areas throughout the HPLE programs. Barahona was the primary writer and editor for Meno Acontecer which has over 800 subscribers.

One of his biggest accomplishments, Barahona said, was seeing the IBA curriculum updated to content written by Hispanic Anabaptists, which strengthened the program to become uniquely Anabaptist within a Hispanic cultural framework. As his time nears completion all but two course books have been updated to this new framework. Barahona also led a project to translate IBA courses from Spanish to English. Currently there are two books translated with others on the way.

“Interacting with the IBA centers and seeing the students thrive was one of my greatest joys while working with HPLE,” said Barahona. “It was wonderful to see the interest in the IBA and SeBAH programs grow and to see leaders trained in the Hispanic Mennonite Church.”

MEA is grateful to Barahona for the hard work and dedication he has shown in his work with HPLE,” said Carlos Romero, executive director of MEA. “His love for the church and his commitment to making Anabaptist Mennonite pastoral training opportunities accessible to present and future Hispanic Mennonite leaders guided his work. The impact of his work will continue for many years after his retirement. He will be missed.”

Following Barahona’s retirement, Marco Güete will serve as interim director of HPLE. Güete is currently half-time conference minister for Southeastern Mennonite Conference and will continue in this role in addition to the half-time position as director of HPLE.

Güete is a seasoned denominational leader, having served for the Commission of Home Ministries, as a Hispanic Minister Director, an overseas missionary and as associate conference minister for both Western District and South Central conference and as conference minister for Southeast Conference. Güete brings a strong familiarity with HPLE and its programs.

His vision created the IBA program over twenty-five years ago following which he served as the first director of IBA. He was also part of the committee that wrote the proposal for HPLE.

MEA is excited to welcome Marco Güete as the interim director of HPLE,” said Romero. “We look forward to having Güete join the MEA staff as he continues Barahona’s work of strengthening the church through the HPLE office.”

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