Expanding Vision in the Yucatán

“In my many years as a teacher in Christian education, I’ve never been presented a vision so complete as to how we should teach,” wrote one participant evaluating the recent AMO® Apprenticeship in Mérida, Yucatán, México. Each evening, for two weeks, parents, seminary students, and church leaders met at El Divino Salvador Presbyterian church, downtown, to listen, discuss, experience and practice a “new” kind of education. Education based on biblical Christian principles that have blessed families and individuals throughout the ages. Principles derived from God’s individuality, Christian self-government, stewardship, Christian character, the arts, and more.

Omar and Zugeilly Hau Yah, a young couple who attended the apprenticeship, are now implementing this education with their children, at home. Other’s will begin teaching in their churches and some will use what they learned as they enter pastoral or mission service. We were pleased to have five students join us from San Pablo Seminary, in Mérida.

Children of Gethsemani Church in Mérida, Yucatán

Children of Gethsemani Church in Mérida, Yucatán

Pastor Aldo Chalé and, wife, Rubí Hernández, lead Gethsemane Presbyterian church, across town. Leaders at Gethsemane were the first to implement AMO in Mérida. “We’ve seen good progress in the children in terms of their participation and Christian self-government” says Rubí. “They really enjoy their classes,” she added.

Two Presbyteries in Yucatán were represented by pastors who took the training. They have requested that we return in 2016 with a plan to invite all the churches of their presbyteries.

We are very excited by what we see God doing in the Yucatán Peninsula and how He is stirring in the hearts of parents and leaders for renewal in wholistic biblical Christian education for families and the churches. Please, pray for the vision to spread throughout the Peninsula.

We are very thankful for your prayers and support.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Additional Points for Prayer:

  • Please, pray for this newly trained group as they implement their programs.
  • Pray for God to raise up an AMO Trainer for the Yucatán.
  • Continue to pray for our four Mexican AMO Trainer candidates – Ely, Elizabeth, Gloria and Esther – who are in their third month of the nine month course to become trainers.
  • Please, pray for our safety as we continue our travels through southeast Mexico, teaching and visiting programs. Pray, especially, for Francelia’s voice as she teaches for many hours.
  • We join everyone in praying for flooding to cease and for the recovery for those who’ve suffered from the storms in Mexico and the United States.
Participants enjoying the AMO Apprenticeship in Mérida 2015

Participants enjoying the AMO Apprenticeship in Mérida 2015

Group AMO Merida

The wonderful group in Mérida, Yucatán

 

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Prayers for Recovery

(Español abajo)

Tornado destruction in Cd. Acuña across the border from Del Rio, Texas

Destruction in Cd. Acuña across the border from Del Rio, Texas

Dear Friends,

If you are being affected by the storms sweeping Mexico and the United States, we would like to pray for your specific needs. Please, contact us at mexico@amoprogram.com and let us know.

We ask for your prayers for citizens of Cd. Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, hard hit by tornadoes Monday morning. So far, there have been 14 deaths and 300 injured. Also, pray for families in the Huastecas region where there has been severe flooding. Huitzitzilingo, where we held the AMO training last October, was especially hard hit, according to our friend, Susie Frerichs Hernandez, who lives in the area.

We pray for the families of the 17 people who died in Texas and Oklahoma and for those still missing.

Blessings of safety to each of you,

Chris and Francelia

Estimados hermanos/as,

Si ustedes están afectados por las tormentas que han pasado por México y Estados Unidos, queremos orar específicamente por sus necesidades. Contáctenos, por favor, por mexico@amoprogram.com.

Les pedimos sus oraciones para los ciudadanos de Cd. Acuña, Coahuila quienes sufrieron el tornado el día lunes. 14 personas han perdida sus vidas y alrededor de 300 están heridas. También oren por la región de las Huastecas donde hubo muchas inundaciones. Huitzitzilingo donde realizamos la capacitación de AMO el mes de octubre pasado, fue, especialmente dañado según Susie Frerichs de Hernandez quien vive en el area.

También oremos por las familias de los 17 personas quienes murieron en las tormentas en Texas y Oklahoma y por las personas que todavía no han aparecido.

Bendiciones de seguridad para cada uno de ustedes,

Chris y Francelia

Opportunity to Serve in Oaxaca

Dear Friends,

Here is an opportunity for you, or someone you know, to serve children in need in Oaxaca. Our friends at Foundation For His Ministry (FFHM) serve a great need there. Please, see Laura’s appeal, below.

“I hope that AMO trainings continue to go well for you all. I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that we here at Foundation For His Ministry are in urgent need of staff. Come June/July, we will be needing houseparents, cooks, elementary teachers, and more. If there is anyone you know or come across who might be interested in serving here at the children’s home in Oaxaca, please let me know. Thanks so much in advance…Laura Rodriguez – FFHM”

FFHM staff and volunteers have participated in our AMO Apprenticeships on various occasions. Please, pray for these children andFFHM the work of FFHM. If you would like more information about serving, please, contact Laura Rodriguez at rodriguezlauram@gmail.com.

In Christ,

Chris McReynolds

New Jerusalem is Getting Serious

Leaders at “Nueva Jerusalen” Presbyterian Church in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, are determined to reach the youth of their church and community with the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. In their well-organized campaign, Operation Rescue, youths are encouraged to enroll in classes at the church designed to nurture their God-given gifts and talents. Bible, theatre arts, literature, and music are the first classes being offered, with more to come. Sessions on restoration and biblical counseling are also starting.

Joaquin Barrientos, one of the older leaders at the church, has a youthful heart and a vision for the future. Six months ago, he and his team of young leaders invited Francelia to speak to the youth at their kick-off event this month. “There are so many, young and old, who have drifted away from the Faith. We have to do something to get them back” says Joaquin.

Youth dedicating their lives to Jesus Christ in Villahermosa

Youth in Villahermosa responding to the call to follow Jesus Christ with their whole lives

One hundred-thirty youths listened intently as Francelia taught the basic biblical principles and ideas that we teach through AMO®. Grabbing their attention, were principles such as ‘God’s individuality is reflected in each of us,’ and ‘Christ governing within us is the only way to experience true liberty.” At the end of the morning the youths were invited to devote, or re-devote, their lives to Jesus Christ. Almost all responded by coming forward to pray!

Reaching the youth in Tabasco

After a very nice lunch, the youths were then introduced to the teachers who would lead the class of their interest each Sunday for weeks to come. The emphasis in these classes is that God is Lord of every part of our lives, including the society we live in and, because of that, we can flourish and fulfill the purposes and potential God has for each of us as we follow Him. Married couples are also part of Operation Rescue.

Couples from the community and area churches were invited to a formal dinner. This included a wonderful singing duo and presentation by Francelia on many of the same biblical principles that were presented to the youth. One of the teachings that provoked special interest was on the divided mind. That we all struggle with a divided mind or, live as if some areas of our lives and society are not important to God, cripples us. “This has been very challenging and helpful for us, we really need more courses like this in the church” commented one young couple.

In response to the leaders and participants, we are facilitating a September conference at Nueva Jerusalen by our friend in ministry, José Gonzalez. José is the author of Machismo and Matriarchy: Toxic roots that blight the Latin American culture. He specializes in helping couples apply God’s wisdom and purpose in marriage. Also, we are planning an AMO Apprenticeship for parents and teachers here in 2016.

Gethsemani Church AMO Program in Mérida, Yucatán

Gethsemani Church AMO Program in Mérida, Yucatán

Points for Prayers:

  • Pray for the children and youth of this community, and those throughout México. Pray for inspired education and Godly guidance amidst the sea of humanist, socialist, materialist, etc., teachings and influences in schools, society, and entertainment media.

Just as a side-note…On a visit this weekend to a local art exhibit of six different artists, the majority of the fifty-plus paintings explicitly depicted satanism and death. Also, in the hit movie Avengers, now in theatres in Mexico, one of the heroes is ridiculed for calling attention to his partner’s use of vulgar language. This may pale in comparison to most of the lies and vulgarity flowing out of Hollywood but, it’s interesting to note how — in an instant — millions of children and youths receive a lesson that vulgar language is not to be criticized. Young people are up against poor education, deceptive media, drug gangs, corruption and many other challenges. The children need our prayers and most energetic and inspired support.

  • Pray for parents and church leaders everywhere, to seek God’s wisdom and strength for living as disciples of Jesus Christ, in every area of life, and for passing that Faith on to the next generations.

Thank you, for your prayers and support.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

Embracing Transformation in Education

Damariz

Children from the neighborhood learning vocabulary and biblical principles with Damariz

Teachers in Cunduacán, Tabasco, are working hard to transform Christian education for their students and families in these hot and humid coastal lands of southeast Mexico. Since December, when the teachers trained with us, they’ve been busy implementing the AMO Program. Their plans are ambitious. Not only do they want AMO for children, but also for youth, adults, new believers, and non-believers. The challenges and triumphs have been, and continue to be, many.

As we visited the area for a few days last week, Priscilla Torres, Director of Christian Education at Jesus, La Luz del Mundo church, told us that their students are benefitting, wonderfully, from their AMO classes. Children have improved their reading and Christian self-government skills. Interest in education at the church has increased. Many families, eager to participate, have become punctual in arriving — a true rarity!

In addition, adults express new-found hope in biblical Christian principles that they had never contemplated before. The youths are being challenged to reason and engage their Christian faith and not simply go along with pop-culture and social pressures. One working couple, professionals, decided to cut back on the hours they work to devote more time to the education of their children. All these triumphs and more have not come easy.

The church has twelve mission churches in Cunduacán and the surrounding communities. While a dozen of its teachers have trained with us, there are still more than sixty who have not had the AMO training. Also, some of the leaders do not have the vision. This has made implementing the program a challenge.

Families responding to Francelia’s call for renewed efforts for inspired education at church and in the home.

Many do not understand the objectives of AMO – to bring every area of our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, principally, through inspired wholistic biblical Christian education. Families and their churches are challenged to begin retaking dominion of their children’s education. For most, the study of classic literature, government, history, vocabulary, geography, art, and more, is foreign to church classrooms. AMO provides a way to change that and the small group in Cunudacán wants to share that with others.

Damariz Coyoc Rivero disciples forty-five children and their families from neighbourhoods around Monte de los Olivos, one of the mission churches of Jesus La Luz del Mundo. These families do not attend any church and Damariz is on fire for the education of these children. “One of my students,” says Damariz of seven-year old, Ismael, “could not read and had no interesting in learning. He is from a very dysfunctional family and was very discouraged. After a month of being with the other children in their joy and engagement in the class, he has begun trying to read. He pays special attention during our class of Proverbs and he has been encouraged since we studied the word potential and that God has given him great potential.” (Key-word studies are an important part of AMO.)

Points for Prayer:

  • Please, pray for the families in Cunduacán and surrounding communities that they continue receiving education that inspires and equips them in the wonderful purpose and potential that God has for each of their lives.
  • Pray for the congregations, the families, teachers and leaders, that they continue to understand AMO more completely and embrace the call to wholistic biblical Christian education for the transformation of families, communities and the nation.
  • Pray for AMO México as we continue to walk with those in Cunduacán and provide additional training for them and many others throughout Mexico.
  • Please, also continue to pray for the more than twenty AMO teachers from various countries in Latin America who are currently taking the AMO Trainer of Teachers (TOT) course so they can become qualified to train more teachers for AMO. Pray for Ely, Elizabeth, Gloria and Esther, our Mexican TOT students. Pray for their instructors and for everyone’s computer and internet connection needs during this nine-month online course.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia