Missionary from Mexico prepares to work in Angola thanks to ICOMB
By Karla Braun with files from ICOMB
Through the Global Scholarship Fund, the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) is helping the global Mennonite Brethren family foster a heart for mission to the world, from the world.
The Global Scholarship Fund grants annual funds to students primarily from the Global South who are nominated by their national ICOMB church.
One of this year’s recipients is Yadira Ocampo, a young leader from the Mexican MB conference who began studies in theology at Paraguay’s Instituto Bíblico Asunción this fall.
A graduate from the University of Guadalajara with nutritionist certification, Ocampo is pursuing training to follow her call to mission work in Angola with her husband, Mathias Epp.
Before embarking on her studies, Ocampo spoke at great length with the pastor and elders at her church and with other pastors in the Mexico conference. “They prayed with me as we discerned and affirmed my call to mission, and they encouraged me to pursue further training,” says Ocampo.
She credits her pastor and other mentors for modelling servanthood, a lesson with application for her studies. “The more you learn about God’s Word, the more you are able and willing to serve,” she says, “and the less you expect others to serve you.”
“Yadira has shown leadership in several areas in her local church,” says MB Mission long-term worker Trever Godard. She has led through worship ministry, youth discipleship and by starting an outreach in a poor area of Guadalajara where she coordinated ministry through sports, health training and Bible studies.
Financial support from the GSF helps Ocampo take her theological training in her mother tongue (Spanish) at a Mennonite Brethren institution.
“To be a recipient of a scholarship has been an answer to many prayers that we have had since we felt God’s call to start our preparation for the mission field,” says Ocampo. “When I first started to plan my move from Mexico to Paraguay, everything seemed impossible, but little by little things started to fall into place and doors were opened.”
Ocampo was one of 10 students from seven countries to receive support from the Global Scholarship Fund. Four schools in Congo, Angola and India also received funds. A total of $35,000 was distributed for the 2014-15 school year.
In granting scholarships, ICOMB gives priority to students and schools in areas of the Mennonite Brethren world where there is less local funding available. The scholarship is funded from interest generated by endowments held at MB Foundation. MB Mission administers and transfers the funds on behalf of ICOMB. ICOMB is a global fellowship of Mennonite Brethren conferences; MB Mission is the global mission agency of North American Mennonite Brethren.
—Karla Braun is the associate editor of MB Herald, the English-language publication of the Canadian Conference of MB Churches.
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