Passion of Parents

(See photos at bottom of page)

In our visits, the past two months, to churches and households along the way from Mexico City to Mérida, Yucatán, the unmistakable common interest we saw was a heartfelt desire by parents for their children to live out God’s truth, beauty, and goodness. Time and again, parents responded passionately to the call to devote more time in the home (and at church) for teaching their children biblical principles and Christian character.

Geography in our Bible study! ~ Campeche

Geography in Bible study! ~ Campeche

As Francelia taught and preached, parents were called to look at their nation. A nation’s health reflects the health of its families.* Some wept. Many prayed on bended knees for God’s guidance and forgiveness. In a time when many blame the government, the president, or an endless list of other things, the parents we met expressed a desire to make their nation healthier by beginning with their own families. The AMO® Program is helping parents do just that.

The program is being embraced by churches and parents in a growing number of places across Mexico, but there are challenges, of course. It is not a simple thing to change traditional patterns of how we “do education” in the church. And it’s a challenge to include intentional Christian education in the home with the many distractions of modern life. And, of course, the enemy, Satan, does not sit quietly by when families determine to follow God in every area of their lives. However, people are responding with determination.

Parents calling on God's restoration of families. ~ Orizaba, Veracruz

Parents praying for God’s restoration of families ~ Orizaba, Veracruz

In response, we’ve added an additional AMO Apprenticeship to our 2015 schedule for Comalcalco, Tabasco, to take place just before the apprenticeship in Puebla, next month. Leaders and parents in Comalcalco, and surrounding communities, responded with such resolve to be trained that we felt we had to do something, soon.

The vision for wholistic biblical Christian education is expanding to, more and more, families and churches and your prayers are part of that. A new determination to obey Christ’s command to make disciples is taking hold and prayers of protection are needed. Everywhere we go in Mexico, people are encouraged and thankful to hear that they have brothers and sisters in the United States who are praying for them.

  • We ask for your prayers for the many families and churches who are receiving God’s vision for building healthy culture for families and the nation — one child, one parent, one family, one church, one community, at a time.
  • Continue to pray for the ongoing AMO Trainer of Teachers course to produce more AMO trainers in various Latin American countries, including Mexico. Pray for those from Mexico, now in month three of the nine-month course – Gloria Viveros, Elizabeth Bermúdez, Elizabeth “Ely” Aguirre, and Esther Suárez. These women are very busy serving their families, the church, and in other areas, in addition to studying AMO. If you would like to help underwrite their studies with a financial gift(s), please, contact Elizabeth Youmans at eyoumans@chrysalisinternational.org
  • Concerning the United States, we join with all of you in praying for God’s will to be done concerning the many difficulties facing the nation.
  • We thank God for our many wonderful hosts along the way, these past two months, who shared with us their excellent meals, wonderful homes, gracious prayer and exemplary love of Christ!
  • We give thanks to God that the violence in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Guerrero, meant to block elections earlier this month, did not spread much further.

Below, we’ve added photos to tell a little more of the story of these past two months.  Thanks, to each of you, for your continued prayers and support.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia Chavez McReynolds

P.S. If you are involved in some aspect of biblical Christian education/discipleship, or support those who are, we invite you to attend the fourth annual MeXED gathering. MeXED stands for Christian education and discipleship in Mexico. The event will take place at Seminario Teológico Presbiteriano del Sureste near Villahermosa, Tabasco, September 22-24, 2015. Please, contact us for more information. You can call us at (830)719-5812 or email us at mexico@amoprogram.com

*As the Family Goes, So Goes the Nation, is a book by Elizabeth Youmans, Jill Thrift, Scott Allen, 2014

Zoila telling God's story to the little ones using AMO's "Wellspring of Wonder" ~ Villahermosa, Tabasco

Zoila telling God’s story to the little ones using the AMO “Wellspring of Wonder” ~ Villahermosa, Tabasco

A "packed house" responding to the AMO Workshop ~ Campeche

A “packed house” responding to the AMO Workshop ~ Campeche

Father of FIVE pastors, 101 year old, Marcelino Coyoc Dzul, joins Francelia in exhorting parents and leaders to a greater commitment to Christian education in the home and the church ~ Campeche

Father of FIVE pastors, 101 year old, Marcelino Coyoc Dzul, joins Francelia in exhorting parents and leaders to a greater commitment to biblical Christian education in the home and the church ~ Monte de los Olivos Church, Campeche, Campeche

Families in Comalcalco praying for God's guidance and restoration

Families in Comalcalco, Tabasco, praying for God’s guidance and restoration

Women of the church planning the education of the children. ~ Arca de Salvación, Villahermosa, Tab.

Women of the church carefully planning the education of their children ~ Arca de Salvación, Villahermosa, Tabasco

AMO Apprenticeship graduates ~ Mérida, Yucatán

AMO Apprenticeship graduates ~ Mérida, Yucatán

Participants enjoying the AMO Apprenticeship in Mérida 2015

Participants enjoying the AMO Apprenticeship in Mérida, 2015

San Pablo Seminary students in the AMO Apprenticeship ~ Mérida, Yucatán

San Pablo Seminary students in the AMO Apprenticeship ~ Mérida, Yucatán

Our gracious hosts Ismael and Rosa Maria May Pech and, next to Ismael, his sister Teresa ~ Mérida, Yucatán

Our gracious hosts Ismael and Rosa Maria May Pech and, next to Ismael, his sister Teresa. The family pet “Whiskey” never misses a photo-op! ~ Mérida, Yucatán

Our wonderful hosts, familia Dzib, of Campeche

Our wonderful hosts in Campeche, the Dzib family.

Our wonderful host family in Cunduacan, Tabasco, the  Castillo family.

Our generous host family in Cunduacan, Tabasco – Diana, Israel, Paula, and Marifer Castillo de La Cruz.

Benjamin and Socorro, our wonderful hosts in Comalcalco, and Francelia and Chris

Benjamin and Socorro Alejandro (left) our marvelous hosts in Comalcalco, Tabasco with us, Francelia and Chris

Sunset in the Mayan community of Dzilbache, Campeche.

Sunset in the Mayan community of Dzilbache, Campeche.

 

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Campeche Efforts and Prayers for Election Chaos

San Francisco de Campeche, the state capital of Campeche, was our next stop after the AMO Apprenticeship in Mérida, Yucatán. We spent the last week of May visiting church leaders, teaching at congregational activities, and encouraging those who had received AMO training in the past. Many are inspired and determined.

Geography lessons as we study the Bible

Geography lessons as we study the Bible

Minerva Chan Lopez has been working hard implementing AMO since she was trained in 2013. It has been difficult. As leaders of her small church diverted resources, and focus, to adult programs for a plan to build up the church, Minerva and her helpers soldiered on in teaching the children without much support – morally or materially. With our visit, we were able to help the congregation gain a greater vision for the children and to invite them to our AMO workshop later in the week. The pastor and several members attended and became inspired and determined to help. Minerva is now receiving greater support for the children and plans are for more church members to be trained in AMO.

Minerva (seated left), Francelia and other women of the church preoccupied for the education of the children

Minerva (seated left), Francelia and other women of the church discussing the education of their children

 

At the largest Presbyterian church in the city, Monte de los Olivos, the leaders wanted to improve their education plan. Catechism and Creeds and Confessions made up, in its entirety, their multi-year curriculum. The material was heavy for teachers and students, alike, and leaders questioned the fruit of their efforts. After many hours of discussion with leaders and a conference with parents, plans are being made to add the AMO curriculum. Children will be nurtured with biblical principles for everyday life, reasoning skills for bible study, higher vocabulary, Godly imagination and a love for learning. Catechism will continue to be taught and Creeds and Confessions will be an extension of AMO’s Christian History unit.

We are very encouraged by the vision and desire of our Brothers and Sisters in Campeche and are excited to walk with them in their long-term efforts.

Thank you, for your prayers for our travel.

In Christ,

Chris and Francelia

We ask you to pray for:

  • Church leaders in Campeche (and throughout Mexico) as they discern God’s leading in equipping future generations to disciple their families and communities for Christ’s transformation of their nation.
  • Minerva as she teaches her young disciples and continues sharing the vision of wholistic biblical Christian education with the parents and her congregation. There is great potential to reach hundreds of children and their families, by even the smallest of churches, when everyone has the same vision and commitment. Pray for us as we help with that.
  • Pray for mid-term elections in Mexico this Sunday. Three candidates in Oaxaca, Guerrero and the state of Mexico, have been killed, so far. Radical, violent, Teacher’s Union groups have destroyed election offices and ballots in Oaxaca and elsewhere vowing to block elections as they continue in their protest of the 2013 Education Reforms. These reforms require testing in order to be employed instead of inheriting or purchasing teaching positions, as in the past. Pray for authorities to follow through and enforce the reforms rather than give in to threats or bribes.
Historic Campeche, on the Gulf coast, was fortified against pirate raiders. It's protective gates are useful to illustrate how AMO helps parents protect and nurture their children's upbrining.

Historic Campeche, on the Gulf coast, was fortified against pirate raiders. It’s protective gates are useful for illustrating how AMO empowers parents against ungodly attacks and influences on their children, helping them to fulfill God’s purpose and potential for their lives.