AMO was first introduced to the Dominican Republic (DR) in 2008 in Santo Domingo. Since then it has gained momentum and spread to various parts of the country through partnerships with several different organizations such as Food for the Hungry, World Vision, Vision Trust, Buckner, and Esperanza International among others. There have been 17 trainings in the DR and about 850 people trained. Edify began working alongside AMO in early 2011. Edify supports AMO teacher training and follow-up sessions through partnerships with Esperanza International and ASPIRE, both of whom are Christian microfinance organizations in the DR.
To date Edify has helped host 7 AMO trainings for teachers at low-cost private schools in the DR with more than 250 people trained:
Edify believes that follow-up after an AMO training is the key to successful implementation. Both of Edify’s partner organizations are working with us to walk alongside school directors and teachers. A school is visited anywhere from 3-6 times within a year after attending training, based on the school’s need. Each of our partner organizations has experienced, AMO-certified teachers who are responsible for visiting schools, answering questions, thinking through issues and providing support to the schools that have been trained.
Measuring transformation is a blessing as well as a challenge. Edify can track the number of trainings held, and number of teachers trained, but expressing transformation in a more vibrant way is better done by sharing the words of those who have been transformed. Here is what we have been hearing from the directors and teachers:
“I thought this was going to be a training about how to be a better teacher and nothing more. But today is the first day and already I see that it is so much more than that; this is edifying.”
“We have had a school for 40 years and have seen God work in amazing ways. We have been blessed. But AMO is different and I know we will see even more good come out of our school if we implement AMO.”
“For me the experience and knowledge I have received from AMO have been remarkable and I recommend you continue imparting this knowledge to every part of our country. The DR needs AMO.”
“For me it was a time of reflection and change in my spiritual life.”
“Now I hope to help my students rediscover the wonder of God through each class.”
“This week I have learned to value God more as an essential part of all aspects of my life.”
“This training has given me new strategies to implement in the classroom.”
“This past week has been one of the best in my life.”
“This training has given me a new view of Christian education, I believe that you all have been an answer from God.”
“I hope that the Lord gives me the wisdom and capacity to leave behind my old educational paradigms and begin to focus on nurturing the heart, starting with myself first.”
“I can only say that you should continue moving forward, working for the kingdom of God, what I have experienced this week has changed my method of working in Christian education, I understand now that there is only one true education, Christian education.”
“90% of my work will change as a result of this course.”
“Since this course there has been a ‘before and after’ in my life. I have changed.”
“I know now that it is necessary to have your mind, strategy, and teaching reengineered; I acknowledge that the Holy Spirit has transformed my heart through this program.”
“This training has been the best of any I have attended because without a doubt the Holy Spirit took control of the whole training; he worked in all areas of my life. Never have I seen anything like this.”
“I give thanks to God for having chosen me before the foundations of the world to be here today, God made me see things in his way, not mine. He changed my heart and I am a new person ready to work for the kingdom of God.”
“This has been a training that has significantly changed my life in many facets: as a mom, wife, friend, and co-worker.”
“I now want to use the Bible as my principal tool in class planning.”
“This is an answer to many years of prayer. Sometimes Christian education classes just fill an hour of class. But AMO is something else; it is something to nurture the needs of the children.”
Parents of an AMO student in Santo Domingo shared that they were in the process of rating their daugther’s school with her and the Ministry of Education. One of the questions in the survey asked this student to describe her school. The little girl spoke of the building, her friends at school, and a special class she goes to that teaches her about God. She said her school is special because it has an AMO class. She told her mom that she could not leave this school to go to any other school because she belongs to a special group of AMO students.
The partnership between Edify and AMO has been a blessing for both organizations. We acknowledge that we are partaking in the work of God, that the Holy Spirit is in control of transforming hearts, and that we want to continue spreading the love and teaching of Jesus Christ. From what we have seen in the past year, we know AMO is an excellent curriculum. We have also learned that it is more than just a curriculum, it encourages teachers to change the way they think and the way they view the world. AMO works from the inside out, emphasizing that your heart must be transformed and then you will be able to take part in the transformative work of the Holy Spirit in others. Edify plans to continue partnering with AMO in the years to come, imparting trainings and follow-up sessions with low-cost Christian schools in the Dominican Republic. We want to express our gratitude to those who have supported us in this journey. Edify has been immensely blessed by your support. On behalf of the many teachers and students who have also been blessed, we want to say thank you!