The legacy of the late Fred Stoesz, urban missionary with the MB conference, continues to grow. June 21, five students formed the first graduating class of EdenB, a Spanish-language sister school to Winnipeg’s School of Urban Leadership, both started at Stoesz’s initiative.
Following The Urban Ministry Institute curriculum of modular education through evening classes, and drawing on the local expertise of teachers such as Braeside Evangelical Mennonite pastor Angel Infantes and Steinbach Bible College professor Ernie Koop, trains Spanish-speakers in their heart language to serve their churches.
Though his students, originating from all over South and Central America, all speak Spanish, “they don’t necessarily speak the same language,” says director Jose Luis Moraga. It’s a “rainbow” school; each country of origin produces a distinct culture.
Through four or more years of studying together to complete the 16 course modules, students learn to set aside rivalry. “It’s beautiful to see how they grow up not just in knowledge but faith, family, church relationships,” says Moraga. “Staying in the same room once a week for 4 years provides an environment to know each other, hear each other, respect each other’s opinions,” he says.
“EdenB provides a safe place to cross those barriers,” he says.
Bible-school trained in Chile and continuing his theological education at Canadian Mennonite University’s MA program, Moraga was appointed director in spring 2013. His personal mission is “to promote the school not as competition with church but for the church, to serve the church. We want to hear your need and figure out – in partnership – how to cooperate to meet it.”