The Life of Maestra Megan

Adventures in the life of a Costa Rican Missionary

In Ten Minutes… (or, Shame on the Church) July 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticameg @ 11:28 pm

“I just learned more from you in 10 minutes,

than in all my years in CCD [in the Roman Catholic church],” Vinnie blurted out…

Vincenzo and his brother Michael are part of a 20 person team down from Westchester County, New York.  For almost 9 years now, the Somers school district has been raising funds for our programs in La Carpio…and it has been a privilege to partner with them and see their enthusiasm for serving others.

Yet it is a unique team, in that only the two leaders are believers in Christ.   Usually the conversations look like this:  the New Yorkers keep saying that we are “angels” or “wonderful people”, and talk about the importance of helping others less fortunate than themselves.  And we respond that we are simply God’s servants, working where He calls us.  Whether or not we can actually help people rise out of poverty, we are motivated by God’s love to reach out to all–even enemies–and share the message of Christ’s death on the cross.

Sitting around our steaks, I was enjoying “regular conversation” with 6 recent high school and college graduates…when Vinnie started asking more and more questions about my faith, about God, about the Bible.  I tried to answer honestly and directly, admitted that I could not explain everything, but that it comes down to this:

10 out of 10 people die.  One death, and after that comes judgment.  (Hebrews 9:27)  Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of meeting God’s perfect standard. (Romans 3:23)  To those who trust they have lived a good life, I offer this:  the person who keeps all of God’s laws except one, is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (James 2:10)  And those who have broken God’s law (sinned) even just once in their entire lives will go to hell. (Matt 7:21-23 among others)  Which leaves us in a tough position:  we are ALL going to hell??? Since we ALL fall short???  Exactly. Only God is perfect.

So God sent Himself–His only precious son, Jesus Christ.  And when God-as-man died on the cross, his very perfection became the ONE, THE ONLY SACRIFICE NECESSARY.  Nothing but the cross, once for all humankind. (Hebrews 9:28)

And whoever believes that Jesus was God and accepts that Jesus’ death wipes away all your sins, without any work necessary on your part, is sealed unto God, as His child forever.  (John 3:16, 1 John 2:12)  Nothing on this earth can then separate you from God, nor keep you from the promise of eternal life.

Back to Vinnie’s comment, “I just learned more from you in 10 minutes, than in all my years in CCD.” 

To that, I say shame on the Church.  Yes, shame on the Roman Catholic Church.  And on the Baptist Church.  The United Methodist Church.  The Episcopalian Church.  The Assemblies of God.  The Lutheran church. Greek Orthodox.  And every other church that professes the Bible as the true word of God and Jesus Christ as Redeemer of our sins, yet fails when its community does not fully understand the salvation plan so clearly laid out in the Bible’s pages.

Jesus told his followers (which also includes us): Go, announce to all that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Make disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey all the commands I have given you.  (Matthew 10:7, 28:19)  The gospel means good news, people!! Get out there and start sharing this good news–the same way you promote a book, or a movie, or an NFL team…

“Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about.  I am compelled by God to do it.  How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!  If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment.  But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust.” (1 Corinthians 9:16-17)

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All glory to God! July 18, 2012

Filed under: Prayer Requests — ticameg @ 8:36 pm

God can do anything, you know—

far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us,

his Spirit deeply and gently within us.  (Ephesians 3:20-21, The Message translation)

Yesterday was the most amazing day. Unforgettable.

  • A few hours at the immigration office in the morning made my temporary residency official, and now I have a Costa Rican ID card!
  • I found out that a friend went in for a C-section, and PRAISE GOD, at 28 weeks and 4 days, she delivered QUADRUPLETS!  While the babies are teensy and will be in the NNICU for a long while, all are doing well so far. Congrats to Andy and Becky on this monumental event, their family just grew from 3 to 7 in an instant!!
  • I received an unexpected, posthumous gift from a special lady who was one of my faithful donors.  Quite simply, it was a reminder that God does extraordinary things with people, when they store up their treasures in heaven.
  • In a phone call with one of my best friends, I learned that she is pregnant!  What joy for a woman who has been longing for a family for 12 years.  I’m so happy for the two of them!!

You would have thought that yesterday was enough. But no, God kept rolling blessings my way.  I left the house already in great pain and wondering how I was going to handle travelling on 3 buses, buy a farewell present for a volunteer, teach English for two hours, followed immediately by the weekly devotional with the teens, followed almost immediately by a children’s Bible club with 30 children in which I would have to start a new attendance list for the new semester, lead songs, tell the Bible story, and direct the craft. And then travel on 3 buses back home in the middle of rush hour.

Needless to say, I couldn’t do it. PRAISE GOD, HE CAN. The morning buses and errand went smoothly, I arrived at the gate to find another missionary waiting to greet me and spend time hearing about my life, and who insisted upon praying with me to start off the day right.   I went inside with plenty of time before class, my two volunteer assistants were ready to go, English class went off without a hitch.  20 teenagers learned today what sincere repentance and confession involves, and how gracious God is to throw our sins far far away.  Jeffry (one of our teen leaders from the Carpio community) offered to help in club, and he did a great job leading the kids in songs.  The children paid attention to the Bible lesson and were reminded that they are to be Christ’s messengers in their homes, neighborhoods, schools.  The craft was simple, fun, creative.  And the 3 bus rides home weren’t so bad.

Like I said–God does FAR MORE than anything I could ever imagine…May you experience the extravagance of Christ’s love in your lives this week….may you “live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”

 

July 17, 2012

Filed under: Prayer Requests — ticameg @ 6:55 pm
Tags: , ,

God totally blew me away today.

Really, I don’t have words for this.

It would be like saying, “Dear God, I could really use an afternoon at the local park to rest and play and enjoy your creation.”  And then God answers your prayer by providing you with an all expense paid 2 week vacation in the Caribbean.

WOW.  Why do I ever, ever for a minute believe that God is not going to give me the best?  He just answered my prayer in less than 24 hours, in a way I never dreamed of.  Thank you, O God…Help me to rest in you for all things.

Psalm 112

1 Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.

2 Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.

3 They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.

4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

5 Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.

6 Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered.

7They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.

8 They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.

9 They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.

10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

 

 
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