The Life of Maestra Megan

Adventures in the life of a Costa Rican Missionary

February 10, 2015

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

IMG_0382

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

 

 

DSC_6669

A little fun in the midst of a school day

 

 

 

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

For-every-100k-facebook

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. 

 

(more…)

 

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!

IMG_3375

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.

IMG_3382

IMG_3391

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.

IMG_3139thankyoufromboysIMG_3291IMG_3111IMG_3112IMG_3272teachingaaron

 

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!

2ndgraders 3rdgraderscraft teachingaaron thankyoufromboysIMG_2822 IMG_2815

 

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!

 

I thank my God for Dani… July 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — ticameg @ 5:50 pm

I know a very cool family in west Michigan—with 4 beautiful daughters. We taught Sunday School together, Sue became my hairdresser, the girls made me bracelets and they invited me to family nights. From the moment I was accepted by Christ For the City as a missionary in Costa Rica, this family was cheering me on and praying for me regularly.

Two years later, these friends added financial giving to their prayer and encouragement. They are not a family with a lot of extra income, and I never specifically asked them, but one day they quietly began to give money to support my ministry in La Carpio.

Five years of monthly support have gone by, and to my surprise, one of the 4 girls (now in college) contacted me about volunteering in Costa Rica. I gave her some information and asked her to think and pray about it for a time. (To be honest, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.)

Before I knew it, Dani was here to work one month in La Carpio as a Christ For the City volunteer. I certainly have received a lot of short-term CFCI volunteers in my eight years as a missionary, but none have been personal friends. So this was a big first for me–the first individual to hear about CFCI/Costa Rica through my visits and emails, who then chose to come work alongside me in La Carpio.


It was the most fantastic month! Dani not only experienced Carpio and my kiddos, but my everyday life: teaching English, singing and playing silly games, reading Bible stories to the kids, preparing crafts, supervising volunteers, spending time at home and running errands in San José. She saw me when I was fresh in the morning, when I struggled to accomplish things on time, when I beamed with pride at students who improved their grades in school, when I was too tired to speak, when I blocked out the pain to give the kids my all, and when I limped through the city streets on my way home from morning classes.

And through it all, she loved me. No matter what I looked like, spoke or did, she loved me: an unconditional, joy-filled, intentional love. She saw the world through my eyes and gave me the exact words of encouragement I needed. She gave me dark chocolate, a button bracelet and a calla lily made from duct tape–all favorite things of mine. We talked about the profound and the ordinary, and sometimes we just laughed and laughed. She hugged me every single day–several times a day, and coaxed smiles out of me when I didn’t think I had any. For that, and so much more—I am grateful beyond words.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: