Last week we had the privilege of serving four churches with the AMO® Program in the southern part of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, in the city of Juchitán. Very uniquely – in Mexico, the land of machismo – Juchitán has a culture of matriarchy among the Zapotec people here. Many of the indigenous women rule their families and the commerce in local markets. Both machismo and matriarchy are distortions of God’s plan for families, so families suffer under both schemes. Many boys here are raised to “become women.” These men, who dress and act like women, are called ‘muxes’ and are prized by the matriarchs. Many here are oppressed and enslaved by Satan’s corrupting work. Some estimate that about one-third of the men in the area are homosexual. The churches here are equipping themselves with AMO to reach out to these families with God’s truth and liberty in Christ.
Another tragedy that we witnessed first-hand, is “La Bestia” or “The Beast.” These are freight trains used by thousands of people each month to travel through Mexico from Central America to the United States. These trains derail almost monthly resulting in death or injury to the people clinging to it. We saw six children, approximately 4-15 years of age, with two adults climbing to the top of one train (see photo). A local resident explained that the adults were human traffickers and that the authorities were prohibited from removing people from the train. We pray for the safety of the children and long to reach the families of such children with AMO in their hometowns.
After the five-day AMO apprenticeship, we assisted one of our students, Guadalupe, as she began her first AMO Program in El Morro, a community near Juchitán. She expected 20-25 children but almost 50 arrived! Guadalupe explained that the churches in the community have nothing for the children. Confirming this, we saw churches with sanctuaries but no space for classrooms. We are confident the AMO apprenticeship week served to plant seeds for a new vision for Christian education in this area where discipleship is, sorely, lacking.
On Wednesday night, we were invited to teach on a local Christian radio show. Francelia taught for an hour on the Christian View of the Child, which is one of the key lessons in AMO. She also emphasized, to the estimated audience of 8000, the importance for parents to teach their children God’s Word in the home.
We ask you to pray for Juchitán, and for the many families in disarray throughout Latin America who feel compelled to risk their lives and leave their homes in search of a better life. Pray for the ongoing expansion of AMO throughout Latin America. We know that money doesn’t bring liberty…Jesus Christ and His way of life does. Please, pray for this ministry which is helping families flourish in God’s plan right where they live.
We pray for God’s blessings upon each of you and wish you a Merry Christmas! We thank each of you who prays for us and we thank those of you who send financial support which makes this ministry possible. Let’s work together in 2015 to help more families find what they are searching for…Christ’s Advent!
~ Chris and Francelia McReynolds