The Life of Maestra Megan

Adventures in the life of a Costa Rican Missionary

The man who got even with God February 12, 2015

¨Do not be too easily shocked—vindictiveness is close to virtue, very close, just as hate is close to love. I know well that they are opposites, and yet the closest thing to love is hate, and closest to sterling justice and heroic retribution is vindictiveness.

When the lily first puts its head above the ground, you cannot tell it from an onion. When a boy in his early years shows stubbornness, you cannot tell whether he will become a man of strong determination or a bully. So, too, with “Getting even,” it can make a man a murderer or a glory to Jesus Christ! We all have that little mean streak in us. We all like to “get even,” and that is precisely why this life of John Green Hanning must be written—to show us what we can do with that urge.¨

Without a Kindle or tablet, in order to satisfy my insatiable reading needs, I go to a small lending library here in San Jose.  Every time, I pull books off the shelf, look at the cover art, read the summary on back, leaf through the pages….in order to handpick the dozen books that will be my companions for the next month or two.  I found this GEM of a book in November.

I know I have such a mean streak, even as I am supposed to be holy and set apart for God, and a missionary no less–sharing the love of Jesus with others!  This man’s story reminds me, once again, that no matter if resentment resides deep inside of me, a life lived for Jesus Christ means I will continually lay down my desire for revenge at the cross.  God’s glory MUST increase, and mine MUST decrease.

John Green Hanning’s story is one of many over the centuries–Abraham, Moses, David, Job, Hosea, Daniel, St. Stephen, St. Paul, Sta. Teresa de Avila, David Livingstone, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, in addition to many people who I’ve actually met!!   The Bible says that these people are all witnesses to my faith journey.

As I head into a brand new school year, with growing responsibilities, I want to remember that since I’m surrounded by such a crowd of witnesses cheering me on, I can boldly throw off everything that hinders me, throw off the sinful impulses that entangle me daily, and run with perseverence the race marked out for me.

Please join me in this prayer request–not only for myself, but for the hundreds of children, teens and families that I interact with on a weekly basis in La Carpio.

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February 10, 2015

A new year for all the students in our Sunday Bible school

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CFCI education building in Carpio, San Jose, Costa Rica

 

Costa Rica has the highest literacy rate in Central America, and tourist guides frequently boast of its free education for all…yet nothing here is truly free, and there are thousands of impoverished families who are at this moment choosing to educate or feed their children.

Free education for all—but you must send your children in approved uniform and footwear.  They will not be accepted otherwise.  Free education–but the list of supplies is staggering… It fills an entire page—from preschool on up, parents are required to provide the supplies, and generic brand items are often rejected.  Not only do children have to purchase notebooks, pencils, markers, scissors, etc., they are to bring to school toilet paper, toothpaste, whiteboard markers, masking tape, paper towels etc. for the classroom.  And 150 colones each week (= 25 cents) for photocopies.  Plus monthly fees.  And the initial registration fee (that schools are not supposed to charge but do).  The transportation costs are enormous ($20-$30 month) when you realize that many families in Carpio are living on a few dollars a month…so parents are forced to send their child to the overcrowded local Finca La Caja for 2.5 hours of schooling per day—no English, art, music, computers, physical education or any other extras.

This free education available to all….often costs $200 per child to start of the academic year.  Parents must choose: food, or school. Or, “with 5 children under 11 years old, which ones can we afford to send this year?” Some children take off their uniforms and shoes at noon and pass them to siblings who then get dressed to go their afternoon learning…

Christ For the City programs offer hope in the midst of such injustice.  Tutoring classes in reading, writing, math and English are held twice a week, to coach elementary school children in reading, writing and mathematics.  (The $1 monthly fee is waived if families are unable to pay.)   Kids clubs, sports programs and craft times are held at no cost.  The clinic offers medical attention to all for $4 a visit, including medications. A recent medical fair provided free health care for over 450 patients.  Adults are learning sewing, carpentry and baking skills to generate future income. Licensed psychologists offer free counseling.  Young men and women are studying to complete their high school diploma at Life Institute, more Bible studies are springing up, I could go on and on!

The Bible tells us that “those who delight in the law of the Lord are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. “  Praise the Lord, who continues to prosper the Christ For the City programs in La Carpio.  I also thank you for your continued prayers and support.

If you’d like to invest in this important ministry, you can donate online at https://christforthecityinternational.cloverdonations.com/missionary/ and look for my name,  or mail to the address below.  Feel free to contact me with any questions—I would love to share more about specific needs!

 

Please send your check written to “Christ For the City International” (make a note that it is for “Megan Crow”)
CFCI
PO Box 390395
Omaha, NE 68139 USA

 

 

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A little fun in the midst of a school day

 

 

 

Go into the world…….. December 31, 2014

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I just got a New Years greeting from missionaries in Papua New Guinea….soon they will be rolling in from friends in Russia, Egypt, Spain……..More than 500,000 people have left their own comfort zone in order to bring love, mercy and salvation to another country.  Please remember them in your prayers today and into the new year.  I also challenge you to show your support for these servants by giving financially to their project or mission.  

Full-time service implies great sacrifice.  These ordinary people have obeyed the call of an extraordinary God, and stepped out in faith to work where few have gone before, yet most missionaries only receive half of the funds they need to live on.   Think of someone you know overseas…maybe they are fighting for clean water, education, health care, job training, church planting, university outreach.  Won’t you step up and join them in that work?  Your $25–$50–$100 a month will surely extend their ministry by one more year. 

 

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WE LOVE ENGLISH! December 8, 2014

We hosted an English Night to end the school year and celebrate with the families.  50 students were present that night (out of 70 total), and the benches were packed with mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings.    For most parents, it was the first time they were watching their children speak in English!

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I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!  The kids sang this and many of their other favorite songs.  They did such a fantastic job, I am convinced they could’ve done it without the teachers and cue cards.

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Rachel is my quietest 2nd grader, but she was quick to offer to read her presentation in front of all the parents.

These 3rd graders memorized their presentation in English!

These 3rd graders memorized their presentation in English!

Arwing's pronunciation was perfect!

Arwing’s pronunciation was perfect!

Tayler and Edgar are top 6th grade students.  If they work hard, they will be bilingual in the future.

Tayler and Edgar are top 6th grade students. If they work hard, they will be bilingual in the future.

Can you feel the love tonight?  I asked the students to give me a hug before they left.  I meant they could come up one by one.  Instead, they all surrounded me at once!!

Even better, was when the parents lined up and each one took a moment to thank me personally for working with their son or daughter, and to assure me their student would be signed up next year.  I pray that these parent-teacher relationships continue to strengthen over time. IMG_3433

To ensure continued success with English in Carpio, we need investors like you!  Would you like to sponsor a promising young student?

Just $5 a month will open up the future for these kids! You can donate online at https://christforthecityinternational.cloverdonations.com/missionary/    (specify for Megan Crow)

 

Full of enthusiasm! November 24, 2014

Three days left of English, I can hardly believe it.  The kids had one last assignment:  to fill in their personal information and read the entire paragraph to the class.  At the beginning of the year, I had to beg and plead with most kids to stand up in front of their classmates at all, much less in English.  Speaking in a loud firm voice and making eye contact were unheard of.   But last week the kids astonished me.  They were so eager, waving their hands in the air and begging me to call on them.  Just about everyone read clearly and slowly, without any shred of personal embarrassment.  And when I asked for 1-2 volunteers to read in front of the parents at the upcoming English Night, a majority of the kids in every class jumped up immediately!   I am so proud of my students, and praising God for the changes He has brought about in each of these precious lives.

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Adventures in English language immersion November 18, 2014

Does immersion really work for language learning? You tell me!  Here are a couple of interactions from today’s 3rd grade class:

Denisie: “Teacher, qué es boy?”
Megan: Isaac is a boy.
Denise: “Oh! Yo hubiera puesto boy!” (and promptly fills in girl)

Denisie bumps and pushes her benchmate out of the way. I prompt her, “Excuse me.” About thirty minutes later, I am sitting next to Denisie on the bench. She turns to me and says, “Excuse me.” I was so proud of her for saying it that I stood up as fast as I could!

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Evaluating English August 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticameg @ 6:17 pm

We are two thirds of the way through the school year! So I recently gave the kids an evaluation of their speaking, reading and writing abilities in English. Here are some of the more interesting responses to the oral questions:

 

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

  • have sisters three. brothers zero.

    brother. sister no.

    yes

    one brother y zero sister

    I have two brothers and three sisters

    two hermanos

    one brothers and no sister

 

What is your grandfather’s name?

  • grandfather

    yes

    no

    grandfather Don Manuel

    grandfather’s name is Adrian

  • What is your favorite activity?

    play soccer (16 children answered this)

    My favorite activity is play soccer

**bonus points to the three students who answered differently: “swimming”, “study”, and the enigmatic “restaurant”

 

What furniture is in your bedroom?

  • yes

    bed, closet

    mediano

    one

    shower? (shakes his head) bed, cabinet

    bad (bed), closet, rug

    lamp, book

 

My kids did a fantastic job!! They were such troopers about taking a “evaluation” that looked an awful lot like an exam. The lollipops helped…as did playing soccer when we were finished!

 

 
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