|By Gary Wornica
I just returned from an exciting teaching assignment with the
“Facultad” in the beautiful city of Merida in the Yucatan peninsula
After class, the local director of “Instituto Bíblico Bethel”
proudly displayed his Mayan heritage to the visiting professors
during a trip to the ancient ruins of Uxmal.
After we established some mutual respect, he spoke so well about
the pioneer missionaries who founded the Bible Institute many years
ago. Then he surprised me! He confidently asserted that even though
he deeply admired their sacrifice and commitment to ministerial
training, he felt that the pioneer missionaries had committed one
major mistake in their missionary strategy.
What was that missionary mistake? The director shared about the
beginning of “Bethel”. When he was a student during those first
years at the Bible Institute in Merida he didn´t have to pay even
one peso for 2 years of study! At the end of every school year the
missionary took his photo and asked him to sign a letter of thanks
to a stateside supporter who covered one hundred per cent of the
cost of his ministerial training. Then he explained that when the
pioneer missionaries left the area the Bible Institute had a very
difficult time continuing because the area churches, ministers and
prospective students were not accustomed to paying for ministerial
I´m glad that the Bible school did indeed survive!
Do you think that the pioneer missionaries made a mistake by
not asking the national church to participate in the cost of
What would you have done differently if you had pioneered
“Instituto Bíblico Bethel” many years ago?
Gary Wornica with “Facultad” class in
Bethel Bible Institute in Merida, Mexico
Mayan ruins in Uxmal, Mexico
Facultad Class in Merida, Mexico