Too many teens in Tijuana end up on drugs because they lose hope and never learn that Jesus came to give them “life to the fullest.” One of the best ways to save teenagers from a life of gangs and drugs is to love them as children. The AMA Teen Center (which stands for Alguien Me Ama, “Somebody Loves Me”) invites kids to hang out in a positive environment where they are nurtured with the love of Christ.
In addition to the lounge area, the completed facility will feature a sports court, a modest library, and a computer lab where kids can get help with homework and learn computer skills. These resources allow us the opportunity to introduce kids to Jesus and disciple them while meeting real needs.
How to Help
Though the center is operational, there is still much to do in terms of putting up walls, flooring, plumbing, painting, and roofing. Bring down a group of able-bodied workers and lend us a hand with construction! We also need to furnish the computer lab with desks, chairs, computers, and software licenses, as well as sponsors to cover monthly internet costs. The after-school program library needs shelving and books (Spanish only), let us know if you can donate towards these needs.
Every Saturday AMA hosts a free breakfast along with a Bible lesson, crafts, and time spent playing with local children. Ask us about how to sponsor a weekly breakfast or bring down a group to serve breakfast with us. The smiles on the kids’ faces will touch your heart. Your church group might consider sponsoring a Christmas Gift or Back to School event for 100 kids. Other needs include playground equipment such as soccer balls, basketball, volleyball, softballs, playground balls, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, etc.
Vacation Bible School
Every summer we host a Vacation Bible School at the AMA Teen Center. We typically have 100 local kids and youth ages 1-16 come out for the 4-day event. We have local volunteers come from the La Peña church and could always use more helping hands. Specific needs are daily craft kits, a daily snack, Bibles, and a sponsor for the closing meal on the last day of the VBS. Quantities for all needed items is 400 of each (100 kids x 4 days); please let us know if you can partner with us for this event.
Girl’s Abstinence Camp
We all too often see young girls married at a young age or having babies out of wedlock. Often these girls do know God but are hurting and they believe that finding “love” is the answer. To target this need we host an annual three-day abstinence camp for girls ages 13 through the late twenties. We started in 2005 with 91 girls; we now have over 300 campers each year. Most girls cannot afford the camp costs, if you would like to sponsor a camper with $60 let us know. There are many other giving opportunities during this event; please let us know if you would like more info.
Boy’s Abstinence Event
We also hold an annual one-day event for young men to challenge them to sexual purity. Sexual immorality leads to unwanted pregnancies and abortions, disease, destroys families, and above all damages our relationship with God. We believe there is an urgency to teach young men to live holiness and a life of sexual purity. The one-day event came about after local churches that already sent their girls to our camp and requested something similar for their boys. We started in 2011 with 100 young men ages 11 through their late twenties. Support this event by sponsoring a meal or participant giveaways.
Rene and Ana Cristina share a passion to win the youth of Tijuana for Christ. Rene is the son of pastors and Ana Cristina is the daughter of a missionary and pastor.
Rene and Ana currently pastor the youth at La Peña City Church. They act as directors for the AMA Teen Center and spearhead the annual abstinence events.
Married in 2003, they have two graceful daughters, Rebekah Joy and Rakehl Faith, and and a son, Jacob Matthew.