Praying Together

  • We ask your prayers for thousands of families in Mexico, including Francelia’s, who are recovering from recent flooding. Pray for Francelia as she travels to Tabasco to be with her family during this time.
  • We pray for the people of the United States to unite under Jesus Christ, the only source and creator of true freedom and blessed lives.
  • This Thanksgiving season we are especially thankful for the purpose that God gives us all…the purpose of living lives that are redemptive and restorative as He makes all things new in Jesus Christ!
  • We thank the Lord that, in His divine providence, it appears He will be bringing an end to the Covid plague by way of the new vaccines.
  • We give thanks to God for using the pandemic to increase how we, as the Body of Christ, connect in practical ways through video conferencing and other technologies.  We have shared in previous posts how this is blessing the AMO trainings and children’s programs. It is also bringing leaders in the Church together like never before (see photo of US and Mexico leaders meeting and praying together earlier this week). Also, world-class teaching for Christian transformation of nations is easily available to us. As an example, fitting for this Thanksgiving season, you can join this conference.
  • As always, we are thankful for you and the many others who pray and support God’s work with funding through this ministry. For year-end giving, please, click here.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia McReynolds

US and Mexico leaders meeting to pray together.

Join Us this Thursday Evening Online

Dear Friends,

The Antioch Partners will have their annual One Night, Eternal Impact fundraiser, online, this Thursday, October 1st, from 7-8 pm. This year’s theme is “Partnership.” Francelia has been invited to be the main speaker, for which we are excited and grateful. Please, pray for her and watch.

We invite you to join us. Register here for free and receive a link to join the virtual event. There will be items from around the world available for auction, as well. Thanks for your support!

In Christ,

Chris

Francelia speaking with parents in Oaxaca, March 2020.

Summer Celebration Photos

We pray that you and your family are well and growing in the Lord in these troubled times.

It has been a productive summer despite the pandemic, thanks to God’s grace, mercy, and providence. Enjoy the screen shots at the end of this post from various AMO Programs across Mexico. Pray for the teachers, parents and children of these programs as they disciple the nation for Jesus Christ.

  • Since April, 164 adults from Mexico and a few from Texas have enrolled in the five-day AMO training online. Pray for new trainer Stephanie in Aguascalientes as she begins, next week, the first in-person training since the pandemic began.
  • Chrysalis International, creator of AMO Program, has certified 10 of our teachers as additional AMO Trainers for Mexico. We are now mentoring 23 trainers, to date.
  • 14 teachers have started AMO classes via Zoom teaching approximately 500 children (see photos).
  • The ministry has assisted First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio, Texas, in their distribution of relief funds to 40 families of pastors in Mexico who have been severely impacted by Covid 19.
  • Francelia McReynolds and Cristina Inchaustegui have teamed up to train 12 new AMO Trainers for Colombia via video conferencing.
  • We are thankful for Judith Diaz of Puebla for her assistance in mentoring new teachers and helping to supply them with the AMO materials they need to teach children.
  • Several festivals have taken place by the children by way of video conferencing. As children complete Classic Literature units in the AMO Program they celebrate what they have learned. The festivals follow as closely as possible to how they would be carried out in person. Preparations for plays, costumes, special meals, singing, decorations and more are all made at home by the children and their families. On the day of the festival everyone joins by video conference to celebrate!

We thank God for His provisions to keep the ministry going and growing. You can support the ministry by clicking here.

Please pray for Francelia as she will be speaking for The Antioch Partners annual fundraiser, October 1st. You can join us there online by registering here.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Blessings to you in Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Heidi Festival with children and their families

Student, Dafne, during the festival for the book “Joel: A Boy of Galilee”

Adyele pleased to receive her AMO materials

A feast in Tabasco to celebrate God’s principles as witnessed in the book “Heidi”

Family celebrating together their children’s learning of the bible

Certificates achieved after completing the Heidi study

Charlottes Web celebration in Merida, Yucatan

Family in Yucatan celebrating together in AMO Program

Family celebrating in Villahermosa during Joel festival

Covid mask as Yarmulke during Joel festival!

Student wearing her title of Generous during the Charlotte’s Web festival

Sisters in front of the mural they made in Tecomán, Colima, México

Sharing our art work from home

Screen shot of Chris and Francelia celebrating with the children during the Narnia festival

Students at home preparing for the festival

Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe preparations

Mr Beaver and hand-drawn mural of Narnia at home sharing with classmates online

Family celebrating Narnia in home

Ready for tea in Tabasco!

Adyi sharing her talents with the rest of the children

Maestra Socorro in Comalcalco leading her class festival via Zoom as they complete the classic “Heidi”

New Leaders Added

One of the strengths of the AMO Program is the care taken in preparing new leaders. A nine-month training period is just the beginning of long-term collaboration with others who have special callings to raise the standards of Christian education in their nation. Biblical Christian ideas and methods are learned for inspiring the next generations.

Despite the pandemic, five new trainers from Mexico have recently been certified by Chrysalis International. Adriana, Lilia, Laura, Stephanie, and Pastor Ananias are the latest newly certified AMO Trainers for Mexico. A total of ten additional trainers have now been added this year.

These five teamed up to train thirty-six individuals by way of video conferencing. Everyone was blessed and the training was a great success. This practicum served as their final requirement for trainer certification.

We ask you to pray for these vital new leaders as they apply their training in the various places God has put them:

  • Adriana specializes in working with indigenous groups and works throughout central and northern Mexico.
  • Lilia and her husband pastor and teach in Oaxaca.
  • Laura homeschools and teaches children in impoverished neighborhoods through her church in Jalisco.
  • Stephanie is a teacher and leader in a Christian school founded by her family in Aguascalientes.
  • Ananias is pastor at one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the State of Mexico.

We are blessed to walk with all twenty-three AMO Trainers in Mexico, especially, in these extraordinary times.

Thank you, for your continued prayers and support.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Future AMO Teachers of children listen to, reflect on, discuss and practice what is taught throughout the week.

High School Students and Children

High School students joined us recently to help with our online AMO classes for children. In their study of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the children were able to hear the story in Spanish and English throughout the week. The daily vocabulary words and biblical principles expressed in the story were also taught by the students in English.

Caleb, seven years old from Veracruz exclaimed, “I always dreamed of having English speakers teach me English!” Caleb’s mother expressed her appreciation, as did the other parents. Many of these parents, seeing firsthand how the classes work and how their children respond, are enrolling in the online video AMO Training.

We ask your prayers for God’s wisdom on how to take even better advantage of technology in these days of pandemic and beyond. Having young people interacting together, each from their homes in different nations, promises so many possibilities.  We are thankful to the leaders and students at First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio who dedicated their time to teach the children and inspire their learning.

Chris and Francelia McReynolds

https://www.theantiochpartners.org/mcreynolds

High School students inspiring children

Added Benefits

Discipling our future leaders – children – requires close relationships where trust and inspiration grow. The “pandemic option” leaves us interacting with postage-stamp sized images of each other. Will video conferencing work? Will inspiration and the desire to learn still grow? Our AMO teachers are finding out it does work, and with added benefits.

Children now join AMO classes from places where no programs exist locally. Parent involvement has skyrocketed as they print out materials for their children and listen in on their child’s classes. Meeting with parents to encourage them has become more practical. Due to this, almost a hundred parents have enrolled in the AMO video training-for-teachers in just the past three months and similar growth is happening in other countries, as well. More and more, AMO teachers are restarting their programs.

Often, a third of Francelia’s class is made up of AMO teachers who are tuning in to watch how it is done. The nature of AMO is highly relational. Those who are intimidated by the screen and might be tempted to simply present information to the children, fail. When they see Francelia’s determination to take time to interact with each child, they get it, and off they go to begin their own online classes.

What about the many children who have no internet access? That number is rapidly getting smaller. Some children are joining class via smartphones. And according to statistics, half of the people in Mexico now have cellular phones with internet access.

Also, we continue discipling new AMO Trainers. We ask your prayers for our next group to be certified by Chrysalis International as AMO Trainers in Mexico. As you remember, their nine-month training was online and now their practicum – which has always been in person – will also occur online in a live virtual classroom of parents eager to learn. Pray for Ananies, Laura, Stephanie, Lili, and Adriana who will all complete their certifications in August.

We thank God for giving His Church ways, not to merely survive, but to thrive in the midst of crisis! Thank you, for your prayers and support.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Francelia teaching children online.

Children from four nations in the same classroom!

Easter – Unstoppable

As Covid-19 highlights our vulnerable nature in this fallen world, Jesus Christ establishes our invincible – unstoppable – nature. Tomorrow we will celebrate Easter with much deeper gratitude for the power of salvation and transformation by God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

As His body, we are being “pushed out of the nest” in many ways. Never before has the Church harnessed technology to such a degree as now for worship, fellowship, education and evangelization. This might be the greatest ever blessing-in-disguise for discipling the nations for Jesus Christ.

In Oaxaca this past month, Veronica had worked hard to prepare herself and to invite others to attend her practicum. She would become the fifth AMO Trainer to be certified in Oaxaca, Mexico – a place where school closings are “old hat.”

Several people who pre registered had cancelled due to the virus threat and we were concerned that her hard work would be in vain. However, a brave group did meet, and we had an extraordinary, albeit surreal, week of being inspired and taught by God’s Word and watching as the world began to shut down.

Veronica was able to complete an excellent practicum and we are blessed to have her as a new AMO Trainer in Mexico! Please, pray for her and her family who serve so powerfully in Oaxaca. Pray for their protection and for God’s guidance in the weeks to come.

The long drive from Oaxaca back to Texas was eerily peaceful with little traffic as people began isolating at home. Now back in Texas we have had video conferences with various ones discussing the ministry and what to do. The Lord put on Francelia’s heart a burden for the children stuck in their homes.

After initial brainstorming with Elizabeth Youmans and Cristina Inchaustegui, we got to work setting up our spare bedroom as an AMO classroom for video conferencing with the children. As she broadcast an invitation to parents in the AMO network through Facebook, thirty responded within the first hour.

Now, children from Peru, Columbia, United States and mostly Mexico have begun meeting each morning with Francelia using Zoom. It has been working great.  Francelia and the children are able to interact well and they are engaged and excited!

Other AMO Trainers in Tabasco, Oaxaca, Yucatán and Mexico City have since started their own virtual classes. Importantly, the parents of the children are being encouraged to take the five-day AMO Training by video. In God’s providence Chrysalis International video-recorded Francelia three years ago and now has the full training available online.

As an image of our Lord’s death and victorious resurrection, the Church – worldwide – cannot be stopped, no matter what the threat. In Christ, we all march onward in His victory. Happy Easter!

Praying with you,

Chris and Francelia

The group trained in Oaxaca March 2020

Children signed in for their AMO class

Francelia in the AMO classroom set up for video

Video shot of AMO class online

TABASCO

Tabasco, the “Garden of Eden in Mexico.” The tropical forests, abundant fruits and large rivers are impressive. While God’s creation is in constant growth and renewal, the crown of creation needs help.

Here are just a few of the stories about help that we have heard this month. These from Lilibeth R. who piloted the “Discipulado AMO” class at her church in Villahermosa, Tabasco.

~ Eleven-year-old Samuel fell from the second floor of a building, leaving him unconscious. His mother called on the church for prayer. God worked a miracle and the next evening he was awake and in recovery. For three weeks Samuel insisted that he would return in time for the closing celebration of “Pilgrim’s Progress.” The children prayed for him. A dinner theater was planned, and Samuel was to play the Evangelist. Out of the hospital and just a week before the play, his mother called to ask, again, for prayers for Samuel. He had now contracted Dengue! Surely his role would now go to the understudy – his little sister. To everyone’s disbelief Samuel recovered in time. Praise to God overflowed from his classmates and the church.

~ Ari’s (not the child’s real name) mother shared with his teacher how thankful she was to God for Ari’s improvement and eagerness to attend classes. It turns out that he had spent the past year with a psychiatrist and in these last months since attending AMO there has been no need to continue his consultations. Ari’s teacher then remembered that upon entering the program Ari had told her that he hated his father and wanted nothing to do with him. She spoke with him and prayed with him and taught him that he needed to forgive his father and pray for him because his father also needed to know God. The following week Ari said that he had forgiven his father and was now praying for him. He seemed relieved. His mother and all the teachers then prayed together and gave thanks to God for the healing work in Ari’s heart.

~ Leo would balk at attending any kind of classes. Now he awakes his parents early to avoid arriving late to his Discipulado AMO. “He is excited and happy to go” says his mother. “¡Ya el Leo berrinchudo no existe!” (Now the temper-tantrum-Leo no longer exists!”) she said with amazement.

Pray for the growing team of AMO Trainers here who are helping to make testimonies like these possible. Five more trainers have been certified in Tabasco since January: Lili, Socorro, Yesenia, Nora and Elizabeth. Please, pray for them as they now begin training more parents and teachers.

Finally, we join everyone in prayer regarding the Coronavirus. A wise doctor noted that the primary antiviral we should always have in place is good diet and exercise.

Thank you, for your prayers.

Blessings to each of you,

Chris and Francelia

Seated L to R, Nora, Yesenia, Francelia, Chris, and Lili with training class at Manantial Church.

Training at Nueva Jerusalén, Villahermosa, Tabasco.

Nora, Yesenia, and Lili receiving their well earned certifications as AMO Trainers.

Francelia introducing new trainers in Tabasco, Elizabeth (L) and Socorro (R)

 

 

Comalapa Chiapas

Today, here in Comalapa, Chiapas, the day started crisp and cool – green mountains all around. This small town near Mexico’s border with Guatemala is generally peaceful. For most people the nightlife is an evening in the town plaza for ice cream or a tamale and atole de cacahuate – a drink made from peanuts. Farming and ranching uphold the economy. The dark side is evident in the advertisements for witchcraft and stories of occasional drug cartel murders. One man, an alcoholic, roams the street where the AMO Training is taking place at Bethel Church.

After years of addiction, the man can barely walk. He asked to listen to the training. As he focused on God’s eternal truths about how he was uniquely created for God’s purposes he was visibly impacted, nodding in agreement. I couldn’t help but think if he had only heard God’s vision for life years ago – perhaps as a child – maybe he and his family would be healthy today.

Pray for the team here that is being trained. May they be empowered, protected and determined in the work ahead.

Pray for Doribel, the missionary here who invited us. She is a dynamic leader serving churches and the local seminary. Pray for her complete healing as she recovers from serious illness that threatened her life months ago.

Pray also for next week’s training in Tabasco. We will have exciting news on the new trainers who will be completing their certifications in the coming weeks.

And God bless your new year! We thank you for being with us in your prayers and financial support.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Training in Comalapa, Chiapas

Giving Thanks!

We are very thankful for all that the Lord has provided this year – so much of it by way of your prayers and support. We pray for God’s blessings upon you and your family as we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Things have gone well since our last post. The training in Xonacatlán, State of Mexico, was attended by 74 people – all from Divino Salvador church. Laura, a doctor in public education who attended the training, said she had never been so inspired and now wants to become an AMO Trainer. Francisco, a 22-year-old psychology student, exclaimed during the training that he now senses a calling in Christian education! Pray for this church as they implement the program and discern plans for founding a Christian school using AMO Program as its core.

Afterward, in Mérida, Yucatán, MeXED and San Pablo Presbyterian Seminary hosted Dr. Mark Beliles, author of National Transformation: Strategic Discipleship from the Church to the Nations. Along with our trainers and many others from the seminary and area churches, we were inspired by Mark’s teaching. Using a biblical framework for churches to work from, Christian leaders in all areas of society bring health and hope that transforms nations. Christian leadership in education is, of course, crucial.

From Mérida, Mark continued to Oaxaca where he was received by our partners at Nueva Vida Church. He presented to pastors, AMO Trainers and government leaders in that city teaching them biblical ideas for government.  He then travelled to Cuernavaca, Morelos, where we caught up with him after our stop in Orizaba, Veracruz.

We visited Orizaba to encourage parents and leaders there who implemented AMO earlier this year. They continue to inspire us with their commitment and perseverance. Pray for the teachers there as they work to help parents have a greater biblical understand and practice of their role in the education of their children.

Once in Cuernavaca, Mark introduced us to church leaders at Communidad Cristiana, a very large church. The leaders embraced the vision and teaching that Mark shared and they are now interested in hosting AMO trainings. Please, pray for God’s wisdom for us in those plans.

Finally, our future AMO Trainers are finishing up their 9-month online course with Dr. Elizabeth Youmans and Francelia has scheduled each of the practicums for those in Mexico. Pray for Dr. Elizabeth Youmans as she finalizes the course and for the Trainers as they begin this new and important chapter in discipling their nation for Jesus Christ.

Thank you, again, for your important role in this ministry. Happy Thanksgiving!

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Gift from Xonacatlán group, national leaders in stuffed toy production.

AMO Teachers in Xonacatlán