Saturday, October 13, 2012

At Risk No More...5 Initiatives

At Risk No More and AMG International
We are excited to announce that as of September 1st, At Risk No More® is officially part of AMG International’s ministry in Guatemala. This merger will help both organizations make a greater Kingdom impact with at-risk children in Guatemala. At Risk No More has been focusing on rescuing and discipling homeless youth from Guatemala's streets.  The team is very gifted, passionate and above all, called by God to serve at-risk children and youth.  We couldn't be more excited and thankful to God for how he has gone before us to make this happen!

5 At Risk No More Initiatives 
We wanted to let you know what we have been up to as well as several new focus areas as a result of joining AMG.  Our 5 main initiatives are:  Child Protection and Restoration, Street Ministry, Networks and Alliances, Church-based Foster Care, and Discipleship.  

Child Protection and Restoration  
AMG has strengthened its approach by focusing on child protection and restoration these last two years for the 8,000 children that attend our schools daily.  Many children in the impoverished areas where AMG works are sexually and physically abused on a daily basis. The rates of abuse in these areas is staggering, demanding a strong response in the work of prevention, detection, intervention and restoration.  Karla Salazar (pictured above with little girl, social worker), heads up our Protection and Restoration Program along with our two psychologists (Luki and Yolanda) as well as Raul, our youth and family counselor.   The team attends to the 8 Guatemala City Schools each day helping to rescue and restore lives.  We are excited to extend these services to youth rescued from the street and to our 20 rural schools.  We hope to raise the funds necessary for this soon!

Street Ministry 
We have named Hector and Emma as Coordinators of Monitor and Rescue of Street children and youth.  They are constantly on the streets, identifying new youth on the streets.  They build trusting relationships with the end goal of sharing the hope, healing and restoration of Christ.  Once youth make the hard choice of leaving the streets, our partner rehabilitation center provides them with the help they need.
Networks and Alliances
As many of you may remember, we have been active with the “partnership network” in bringing together like-minded organizations to discuss the realities of at-risk youth.  Gary de Leon has been doing a great job facilitating round table discussions with over 20 active members, including key government officials.  Together, with the other organizations, we are winning a voice with the government with the goal of improving the rights of children at-risk. 

Church-based Foster Care
Rachel de Leon, wife of Gary de Leon, who earned a masters degree in social work, has a desire to see Guatemalan Christian families awaken to the need for substitute families.  In Guatemala, where this sort of charity is not common, our partnerships with churches will be key.  Rachel, Gary and Chad all recently participated in a training event in Costa Rica, learning from a ministry already working successfully in this area.  Please pray for the church here in Guatemala to awaken to this need. 

Discipleship has always been a key focus of both ministries.  We believe that there is no lasting transformation without Christ.  He is the answer.  Hector and Lidia are dedicated to walking alongside children and youth, sharing the hope of Jesus.  We have been developing material in order to multiply our efforts  and empower others to do one-on-one discipleship.  AMG is thrilled to have this level of passion and giftedness, strengthening our efforts in discipling not only youth on the streets, but also those at-risk within our 28 schoolsl
1 John 3:16-18  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”  Desmond Tutu
We believe this with all our hearts and for this reason, we are here in Guatemala, fighting for the rights and restoration of children and youth.  Will you partner with us in this effort to bring hope, healing and justice to Guatemala?  We need your prayers and your financial support. There is so much to be done with so little resources available.  Click on the 'Donate' button above to give.