Teen Challenge

You are currently browsing articles tagged Teen Challenge.

The fireworks on the Fourth were in celebration of our nation’s independence, but the smiles on our faces and the general frivolity that you can see in the photos above are in response to a different stimulus—we’ve received final clearance to return to Mexico!

That’s right, on July 7th, we received word of reaching our monthly commitment goal, and on July 8th, one year and one day from our arrival in the States, we received our email from Assemblies of God World Missions stating: “We are very pleased to notify you of your final clearance… You are to be commended for your faithful diligence and persistence. Praise God for His provision!”

Indeed, we praise God for His provision, and we thank all of you who have helped to make this moment possible. Each of you is appreciated, because we know that without you, none of what we do would be possible.

We now set our sights on Mexico and our upcoming four-year term. We’re excited to collaborate with the Lord and the Mexican Assemblies of God to realize the vision of the Yucatán peninsula full of churches, diverse in class, status, education, and language, but united in their love for the Lord and one another. We’re committed to a mission of inspiring pastors and christian workers to see the need all around them, equipping them with the spiritual and practical tools that they need to reach their communities, and partnering with these individuals throughout the process, implementing with intentionality the plan that the Lord gives us for each community that we reach, town by town, municipality by municipality and state by state, until the vision becomes a reality.

We’re especially excited about the partnerships that we’ve cultivated with Teen Challenge, Sustain Hope, Network 211, and now AGCHE, ministries that are helping us implement holistic methods to preach and model the whole Gospel, methods we’re sure to utilize.

For now, though, the transition begins in earnest. We’re already out of the house that we had called our home for the past year as we prepare our bags for the flight to Mérida on August 4th. Another task on the list is selling our vehicles.

As we close, we’d like to ask for your continued prayers and support, both in this transitional time and in the term that awaits us. Your perseverance in this area is crucial to keeping us on the field and effective for the next four years and beyond!

Tags: , , ,

Living Free Post Small

We’re so glad to have hosted Gregg Fischer last month for Living Free training in Mérida and Valladolid, Yucatán. In the two sessions, 53 people from 20 different churches received small group training to minister to people with life-controlling issues like drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and depression. The participants not only received the training, they also were given free access, thanks to Living Free, to all of the materials necessary to begin these small groups.

For the hurting people of the Yucatán, living free is now a possibility within reach!

What do you think?

  • Should the church be more involved in this type of outreach?
  • Have you had experience with helping people with life-controlling issues? Share it with us.

For photos of the Living Free training, both here in the Yucatán and in Guadalajara, Mexico, take a look at Gregg Fischer’s photo album.

Tags: ,


Recently, a study was done here to determine the biggest problems facing the Yucatecan society. What were they?  Drug and alcohol abuse and violent gang activity, two dangers that go hand in hand. According to those interviewed, almost 7 out of 10 felt threatened by the consumption of drugs and alcohol in the streets. Furthermore, the presence of violent gangs was felt 13% more acutely here in the Yucatan than it was nationally. Clearly, Yucatan’s problems with controlled substances have given many cause for alarm.

Still, Yucatan’s substance abuse problem presents us with an opportunity to provide a solution, and to provide that solution through the local church. Think of it, raising up centers all across the state where those looking to find a way out could find real help. Certainly, there are risks involved, but the benefits are compelling: not only would those using drugs and alcohol be helped, but society as a whole would be able to breathe a sigh of relief, and esteem for the church and its life-changing message would grow.
This is the precise reason that we’re moving to the next level in order to help our churches to begin an outreach to those with life controlling habits. We’ve already been working to resource and train the directors of two Assemblies of God rehabilitation centers. Now we’re looking to network and coach our ministers to be first responders as we battle with this all too present evil.

On November 22nd, Gregg Fischer, from Global Teen Challenge, will be with us to kick off a series of seminars based on Living Free materials designed to help pastors and leaders set up small groups where those trapped in the cycle of substance abuse can find help. Our desire, then, is to connect these leaders with our rehab directors and staff who can insure that they receive the follow-up, encouragement, and direction that they need to maximize the potential of these groups and lend a hand when necessary.  Interest has been high and the response has been encouraging, but we need your help for these seminars to reach their full potential. We need your prayers!

Would you pray for us?

  • Pray that we reach our goal of training at least 50 pastors and leaders.
  • Pray for the timely and inexpensive printing of the materials that we need in order to teach.
  • Pray for our travel throughout the district as we participate in the teaching of these seminars.
  • Pray for my ability to accurately and fluently translate the material being presented.
  • Pray for a desire on the part of our pastors to implement this ministry in their church and a clear vision for how they might go about making it a reality.

Thanks again for standing with us!



I just wanted to post a quick update, especially for those who have been faithfully supporting our initiatives during this second half of our term in Mexico. Thanks to you, we now have an official, Teen Challenge certified, rehabilitation center director resident in the Yucatán.

This April, because of your generosity, we were able help send Andrés Vera, pastor and director of “Nuevo Amanecer” rehabilitation center in Tekax, Yucatán to Mexico City to be a part of a month-long intensive training seminar covering the Teen Challenge program. While there, he not only studied the program, he had hands-on experience as he lived and worked among those being served by the Mexico City Teen Challenge Center. He’s come back both ready to implement the program and train others who are desire to help those locked in the vicious cycle of substance abuse.

What’s even more exciting, Andrés’ training included certification in the Living Free small groups program designed to help families of substance abusers. These materials give pastors the tools to effectively reach out to families stricken by substance abuse, providing analysis and options for resident care as well as the ability to intervene even before resident care becomes a necessity. We’re hoping to provide these materials district-wide so that more churches are able to work to remove the obstacle that substance abuse so often presents to the gospel.

Thank you for being a part!


Want to learn about the Yucateco Rhythm and why it needs to pick up the pace? Hit the link here or click on the picture to find out! While you’re there, don’t miss the rest of our latest quarterly update from the field!

Our online newsletter is viewable as a PDF document. If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed, you may download it here.

Tags: , , , ,

If you remember some months ago, I had the chance to host Duane Henders of Global Teen Challenge. The goal of his visit was to open the doors to a possible affiliation so that pastors and churches would have the resources and programs to be able to reach out to drug addicts and alcoholics, offering them effective solutions to their spiritual needs and physical conditions. This week, we’ve made tremendous progress in realizing that goal.

Gamaliel Cerda and his wife Alejandra, directors of “Reto a la Juventud” (Teen Challenge) in Mexico City have been with us since Monday, visiting the two fledgling rehabilitation centers, currently functioning as ministries of Assemblies of God churches, and speaking to the pastors to spread the vision of Teen Challenge here in the Yucatan. Conversations are also in progress to adopt these centers as branches of “Reto a la Juventud.” If these conversations go forward, it would mean that these two centers would be able to count on the 33 years of experience that Gamaliel and Alejandra have in this ministry as well as assessment, training, and the administration to get their programs in line with the standards of Global Teen Challenge.

These developments are huge steps forward in the dream to provide hope to people trapped in addictions and reasons to be thankful. Pray that these conversations move forward and that the ministry of “Reto a la Juventud” Yucatan will soon be a reality here in Southeastern Mexico.


As our thoughts turn to the birth of our Savior, we are reminded that God sent His Son into the world to seek and save that which was lost. What a privilege we have to be used by Him as He carries out His work in Mexico. Take a look at our online newsletter to see just a glimpse of what He is doing among us. Click here or on the picture to read our latest update!

Our online newsletter is viewable as a PDF document. If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed, you may download it here.

Tags: , , , , ,