The Life of Maestra Megan

Adventures in the life of a Costa Rican Missionary

Are you ready? February 6, 2016

It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served?

my utmost  Gulp.  It feels like I am blindsided every time I open up this year’s devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.  Oswald Chambers, how could you know?  Especially since you died a hundred years ago.

 

I am a missionary, in my 10th year of working with many unwanted, unloved, and disadvantaged children and families in a slum outside San Jose, Costa Rica.  People look at me and tell me “you do amazing work” all the time.  It’s easy to let such comments go to my head.

 

I also struggle–as a single woman in a foreign land–with a sense of belonging.  Most of the time I feel like I definitely don’t fit in, or that others don’t allow a place for me in their world.  So, being noticed gives me a somewhat fleeting significance.

 

This is not what God wants for me.  He does not want me to turn heads, receive accolades, or to be remembered over a lifetime. He wants me to serve him… rejoicing even as I am entirely used up.  (Philippians 2:17)

 

I guarantee I am not going to get this right most days, but I am ready for a change this year.  Here’s my subsequent conversation with God….borrow it if you’d like.  I know He would like to hear from you.

 

 

“Father God, forgive me.  You know how self-centered I am, and how much I want to be noticed by others and told “well done.” Change me, Lord, from the inside out.  Teach me the way of your suffering servant.  Teach me to pour myself out to YOU, not to others around me.  Fill me with joy, whatever menial task I face, and most especially when no one takes notice of me.  Make me willing to be utterly forgettable, if it means that you receive the glory.”

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ESL routines May 28, 2014

Classes are going very well, I am so pleased with the progress the children have made. 

Every morning we begin with our circle routine (calendar events, weather, songs), and every student takes a turn saying two simple sentences.  Some examples: My name is _________. I am a ________ (boy/girl). These are my ________ (feet/ears/knees).  I like the color ________ .  This is a red shirt.

 

I usually teach a general lesson–new vocabulary or review the material we have covered–in a large group.  My volunteers are good sports, since I often use them as props (Where is Teacher Daniel’s nose?  Teacher Natalia, do you have brothers?).  I am especially thankful for two graphic design majors from the Universidad de Costa Rica who have perked up our flipchart with amazing drawings. 

 

After we have learned the subject matter, I send them off to work in small groups…filling in the blanks, label the body parts, practice writing sentences, reading comprehension among other things.  I am so blessed with great volunteers, and praise God, I can send a volunteer teacher to work with a group of 3-7 children.  The children’s writing and speaking abilities have improved rapidly!

 

After worksheets, it’s game time!  And when we’ve spent most of our energy, we sit down on rugs to listen to the Bible story.  This year we are reading through the life of Jesus–in English only.  It’s always a challenge to tell the story in such a way for them to understand the deep truths of what Jesus did and taught, but I trust God to fill in the blanks in their young minds.  I see the kids truly are following the stories, for they can answer the questions (English only) and they also comment afterwards (in Spanish) about what they learned.

 

Then comes listening practice, dialogues, or interactive demonstrations such as big/small items hiding in a pillowcase, stations to practice the 5 senses, name the classroom objects…And class usually ends with a fun activity, such as puzzles, a simple craft, board games or reading books. 

 

Teacher Megan says “CLASS IS FINISHED,”  to dismiss the class after an hour and a half.  (I have two groups back to back)Sometimes I have to say it two or three times, as many of the students wish they could stay all day.  It is common for me to walk around the room, shooing them out the door! 

 

After several months, I no longer hear any student say “Adios”, but “Bye, Teacher!”  “Thank you.” “Goodbye.”  “See you later.” and “See you Monday.”    I am so proud.

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