The First Ever AME Graduating Class
I had the pleasure of being selected as the patron by the first ever graduating class of the AME program, and I spoke at their graduation last Saturday.
You may remember that the AME (Adventurers in Evangelistic Missions) is based on the concept of the AIM program in Texas. In fact, AIM directors Kris Smith and Pat Sheaffer came from Lubbock for this first graduation. These young adults spent eight months in João Pessoa, classroom time and practical mission work. Then they move to selected congregations throughout South America (not just Brazil) and spend one year and two months helping these churches grow. Back to their home congregations, they will be an asset to God's Kingdom for the rest of their lives.
The five who graduated on this Saturday, Tais, Beliza, Ayane, Jackelayne, and Adeliton say that the AME experience has changed their lives forever. The growth in knowledge of God's Word, the experience of helping other members of Christ's body mature and the fact that they have left the nest and comfort of their homes and families has truly changed them and given them a new perspective of themselves and the world around them.
We thank God for Raniere Menezes and Diego dos Anjos who had vision, love and perseverance to see AME become a reality. We thank God for these young adults who have placed their trust and faith in God, giving up for a time college, jobs, and promising careers to obey God's plan for their lives. Now that it is over, they see the world through different lenses. It is not just a place to call home, but there is real desperation, death, and hopelessness in the world, and they now have God's answers of peace, life, and hope. God has increased our hope for this world through the desire and love that each AME student has shown by sharing our Lord's message with others.
· That we, as teachers, may be examples of Christ to each student, new and old;
· That the new students of 2015 will mature in their faith;
· That God will continue to raise up men and women willing to serve Him with their lives.