“Valley of the Hammacks” April in El Salvador

San Salvador is known as the “valle de las hamacas” – the valley of the hammocks because of its frequent tremors. Last week the hammock got a real swing to it. The tremors started Sunday evening – small shakings that remind you of the “valley.” We were sitting in our conference room when a strong tremor hit. It wasn’t like the normal side to side shaking but a strong kick in the Earth that went straight up and down. It knocked over a twenty inch platter that was on top of the china cabinet. The platter hit the china cabinet with such force and noise that I must have jumped so hard that I caused another tremor all by myself. The platter stayed on top of the cabinet and didn’t fall – or break. We’ve left it lying down for now.

Monday saw a lot of little tremors all through the day – some thirty plus but nothing too bad. Monday evening we were on our way to Dollar City to buy some additional classroom materials for the little Montessori school out in the country. We would be delivering their shelves and Montessori lessons in the morning. We had parked and had climbed the two steps to enter the store. The security guard was opening the door for us when the next tremor hit. He bolted past us, as we also retreated from the door back to the parking lot but as we were making our “non-entrance” Barbara watched the aisle of glasses and plates cascade to the floor. There must have been twenty or thirty feet of broken glass in the aisle. Barbara’s desire for shopping quickly evaporated. “Let’s not go shopping,” she said. And we left! Now if I can only figure out how to cause a tremor in the states every time she wants to go to Stein Mart, Wal Mart or Price Mart I might be a happy rich camper!

When we got home the house was fine. I went into the kitchen and laughed and smiled. Before we had left I had moved some bottles on top of the kitchen cabinets back – just in case. I called Barbara to come and see. In the middle of the tiled kitchen floor sat one of the blue Mason jars I had moved back. It was lying on the kitchen floor six feet from its perch – and it wasn’t broken! Little reminders, little miracles of God’s protection. The next day Barbara was trying to clean up some dirt on the kitchen floor and the dirt wouldn’t move. She looked at it closely and discovered that the Mason jar’s metal rings had left a permanent indention – and reminder – of God’s protection.

In our almost four years here I don’t recall seeing the dragon flies we are seeing this year. Interesting creatures with their long tubular bodies and their really gossamer wings. Unfortunately, they get in the house and can’t find their way out again. The other night we were having dinner with some friends on the patio and a dragon fly landed on my place mat and sat there for the longest time. Our guests took pictures of our unique visitor as he (or she) kept stroking its head with its front legs. We eventually sent it on its way with a wave of the place mat. Amazing creatures – an amazing God.

Birds of Paradise! This morning, as usual, the birds began their worship songs to their Creator well before 4:30. Later in the morning there are flights of little green parents flying west overhead. In the evening, almost like clockwork, these same flights make their daily pilgrimage home flying back east. The first flight, fills the sky with their somewhat raucous calling at about five. The second flight about thirty minutes later. The last flight, not as many, the late commuters fly home about six telling us that the daylight is soon to go to dusk. Then night begins to settle in about 6:30.

San Marino Christian Montessori School. Another kind of earthquake happened Tuesday April 11th. We delivered the shelves, tables and Montessori lessons to San Marino Christian Montessori School. A great thanks to many of you who have supported this unique work. As many of you may recall the story of San Marino. This little country pastor wanted to start a Christian school and a missionary friend introduced her to us and Christian Montessori. Pastor Tomasita started her church under a tree, eventually buying property, building walls, putting on a roof and doors and windows. She had said she was willing to build a school building but when we visited we told her that she could put the school inside the 2000 sq. ft. church. That’s when Barbara, looking at the raw concrete floor, said we need to do something about this because we do so much work in Montessori on the floor. Your gracious support made a new tile floor materialize.

Tomasita started her training in August of 2015 riding in by bus two hours each way. Last year I was on my way to a meeting in the area. It takes a good hour to get to her church. As I passed by her community, God whispered that these children would never get this kind of opportunity out here in the country without the support of all the people who were making this school possible. A very humbling thought. Now comes the additional challenges for Tomsita and her helpers (and for us too) to translate what she has been learning into the reality of a functioning Christian Montessori program. Her training is far from over, our involvement also is far from over. We have begun by supplying the basic lessons. There are many more lessons to add – and experience has taught us to go slow (and not to bring the lessons out because everyone is tempted to use them before the class is ready.) We have wonderful schools in the states that are sharing gently used materials that will find a welcome home at San Marino. Much work still needed and much prayer needed too!

Change of seasons. Yesterday there was a teasing of rain – a thousand drops or two but nothing compared to what begins next month. In many ways you look forward to the rainy season (as long as you are not caught out in it without an umbrella – a very big umbrella.) The soft rains are great for sleeping, the hard rains make it almost impossible to talk on your phone but the rains transform the growing world into palates of multiple greens and splurges of color.

On the home front: We are getting ready to launch ten training centers across the US. Much of the ground work has been laid (the work of many years coming together.) Your prayers for this part of the work is greatly needed because the training of teachers means the blessing of children. It is a great spiritual work.

A Christian Montessori school in Georgia is closing and they would like to donate the whole school to us. We are in the midst of seeing how to make this happen. Getting everything ready for shipping – which means labeling every box with accurate contents is being discussed. Our shipping company here has given us a price of $3691 door to door. Pray about helping us bless another school here.

Used lap tops. If you have replaced your laptop and haven’t used your old one for a boat anchor they would be useful in the training center for watching dvd’s. Let us know.

We are gathering all of our paperwork to seek a residence certificate here. We are on 90 day tourist visas which means we have to leave every 90 days but that works out fine. We are leaving the end of June to do a conference in Denver. We will leave in October to do a conference and attend a Montessori convention. We leave again in Dec/Jan for our own international Christian Montessori conference and again in March for the AMS convention. Your prayers would be appreciated.
God bless you all and we can certainly your use your prayers.
Barbara and Edward Fidellow

Spiritual Entrepreneurship

Spiritual Entrepreneurship is a concept that defines the reality for Christian Montessori teachers. If you
begin defining an entrepreneur as someone who takes responsibility for an enterprise, continuing with someone who sees a vision of what could be and adding someone who creates a reality of what is not yet visible by meeting a need or filling a void and reaching a goal you then have a broad definition of an entrepreneur.

A “spiritual entrepreneur” adds to this definition: one, who as a type of apostle, evangelist or ambassador, creates or authors a spiritual dynamic where there was not one before.

The creation and continuation of a Christian Montessori environment fulfills this dual definition. By taking the inspiration from God’s own heart (that He revealed to Dr. Montessori) and creating a truly spiritual environment where we discover both God and His gloriously created universe we fulfill not only the definition of Spiritual Entrepreneurship but fulfill the calling of sharing the Gospel through Christian Montessori education.

The goal of this Spiritual Entrepreneur is to aid the transformation of learners into full-hearted believers who marvel not only at the mystery of God’s love but at the awe of His creation, whether it is the majesty of science, the beauty of art, the order of math or the wonder of how words express our thoughts and emotions.

The Spiritual Entrepreneur lives in a world of both time and eternity – preparing children for now and for their forever future.

Montessori and the Bending of Twigs

Montessori education is a work of bending twigs – not breaking, not crushing, not deforming but bending to achieve its best. This kind of action takes time and patience and understanding. What then is the difference between bending and forcing? In our case a lot of it depends on our understanding, attitude and motivation. The garden offers us a good analogy. Different plants offer different scenarios for growth and maturity. There are plants well suited for hanging baskets because it is in their nature to grow down. There are other plants that are great for wall climbing – again their nature. Ground covering plants are very different than hedges. And there are hedge plants that can be formed into unique shapes while others are utilitarian.

Some plants grow from bulbs, others from seeds, others can grow from cuttings each offer a unique starting point – much like our children. Some flowers grow singly others grow in bunches. How do your children work best – by themselves or in a group?

There are flowering bushes while other bushes remain green. There are plants that exhibit every leaf shape of the botany cabinet. Sound like your environment? We have come to experience and expect that most plants are green – and many are. And those green plants exhibit a palette of green that is a bouquet all by itself. But then you come to experience plants with variegated leaves – multi colored. And then you encounter the plants that have yellow leaves (not dead yellow) and then there are the scarlet leaved plants and the deep purple hues each of these force us to consider something other than our expectation of only green-leaved plants.

Then there are the plants that produce berries – edible and non-edible, trees for shade and for a nutty harvest. Plants that produce quickly in a season – tomato plants and others that wait for the fall harvest. An apple tree is not a single season producer but requires time (and pruning) for it to offer a full harvest. Bending and pruning are not the same as breaking for there is a purposeful intentionality in the actions and not random destruction.

A hallmark of Montessori is the bending of independence towards self-discipline. The continued correct use of independence creates an inner discipline which gives results that are not attained by external force. The positive bent becomes a set of productive outcomes.

The classroom offers new vistas as we experience children as unique as our garden. The discovery – the delight in the variation is a continual feast of joy and amazement along with a profound sense of our part in the “bending of twigs.”

New Year’s “Revolutions”

It is time for “Revolutions” not resolutions.

Political revolutions are usually sparked by some small insignificant action. Peaceful revolutions also are sparked by small actions. The industrial revolution did not start off to revolutionize but to effect some small change in daily life. Trains sparked a revolution. Henry Ford helped spark another revolution in transportation as did the Wright brothers. All these revolutions started long before most of us were born. But we are now living in the revolutions of computers, internet, cell phones, medicine, commerce and culture that begin to change everything.
You are a “revolutionary” educator – peacefully overturning millenniums of education. Political revolutions are fueled by power. Economic revolutions are fueled by profit. Educational revolutions are fueled by idealism and Christian revolutions are fueled by love.

Christian Montessori is an ideal drawn from God’s own heart. A complete transformation of both student and teacher just as God intends. A Montessori education without Christ is good for “time”. A Montessori education with Christ is good for eternity. Wherever your school is located it is an outpost, a lighthouse, a beacon – a reality of what can be. It is an idealistic vision (but very real) of what education can be.

The Christian Montessori Fellowship (CMF) exists to encourage, network, train and offer support to the great work you are doing. The fellowship offers conferences, seminars, books, training, newsletters and parent education support. You are not alone in your journey.
We invite you to join the fellowship to help you be the best school possible. But we also invite you to join the fellowship to help fund and support a Christian Montessori revolution all over the world. This revolution for CMF continues in El Salvador – the country named for Our Savior. El Salvador is small but the doors are being opened with the Ministry of Education, other governmental agencies that work with children, non-profit organizations, factories and schools.

When Christian Montessori succeeds in this small country the results will be amazing. It will become not only a model for what is to come but living proof – to the whole world – that Christian Montessori is the revolutionary education that can transform the hearts and minds of children and adults. This will be idealism that really works.

Please join and support this revolution.
Here are seven ways.
1. Take a membership in CMF. $35 Membership includes an index to 14 years of newsletters that are a treasure of encouragement and wisdom; a directory of Christian Montessori schools (so you know that you are not the only one.) Discounts to seminars and conferences.
2. Make a donation to the work of Christian Montessori.
3. Sign up to be a monthly supporter: $10, $25, $50, $100 or more. This allows for planning and implementation of strategies and goals.
4. Partner to support sister schools as they are developed.
5. Attend the International Christian Montessori conference to be refreshed and inspired. San Antonio, TX January 13 – 15, 2017
6. Support the accreditation of Christian Montessori. This is a major project that requires, not only funds, but time and energy to bring it about. A necessary step in our work with governments and non-profits.
7. Pray. Pray for open doors, pray for energy, pray for wisdom, pray for finances. Pray!
Memberships are available at www.crossmountainpress.com Donations also may be made through the same website or sent to Christian Montessori Fellowship 24165 IH 10 W. Ste. 217-117 San Antonio, TX 78257 210-698-1911
Dr. Montessori told her biographer, on numerous occasions, that she felt that God had given her this method in order to advance the kingdom of God. Help us advance this “revolution” of love.
God bless.
Barbara and Edward Fidellow
San Salvador, El Salvador

“Turn these Stones into Bread.”

Familiar words – the first temptation of Christ in the wilderness. When you are hungry even stones can look like bread but there is more to the story than just the temptation of physical food. It has a lot to do with the stones. Satan picked the stones because the history of bread and stones have a unique relationship – not physically but spiritually.

A number of Biblical stories involve stones. Jacob used a stone for a pillow (talk about hard!) He then has a fantastic vision from God. When he wakes up he “turns” the stone into a pillar – a type of altar of remembrance. “Here it is that I met God.” The stone becomes a type of spiritual food to nourish and sustain the spiritual man on his journey.

When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground they picked up twelve stones to set up an altar to honor, commemorate and remember the mighty deliverance of God. Spiritual food. Often after unique deliverances stones were set up as altars with the admonition that in future days when the children asked, “What do these stones mean?” they would be given the spiritual nurture, the spiritual sustaining that comes from the stones – turned into spiritual bread.

When David goes out to meet Goliath, you might think that he would have considered putting a few stones in his pouch – just to be ready. But on the way to the battle he stoops down to pick up five smooth stones. (I’ve often wondered why he picked up five – some say it was because Goliath had four brothers.) Why is he stooping down, stopping on the way to the battle to pick up stones? It is not like stones need to be “fresh”, like we like our bread. Could it be about the story yet to come how God will meet the need when the need is needed? Again, stones become spiritual bread. Ironically, these stones (well, one at least) became the “stepping-stone” for David to go from shepherd boy to warrior – on his way to King.

Stones, they are everywhere. We get them in our shoes. We trip over them. They break our windshields. Mostly, they give us problems. They are problems! God knows! But He calls us – not like Satan in the temptation – but as our heavenly Lord to turn our stones into bread – spiritual bread. When our difficulties – our stones – become past tense, it is then that we can look back and see how God has used many of our struggles to change us, transform us, conform us, redeem us and use us. It is then that we turn our stones into bread – spiritual bread.

Who and what are your stones? Difficult students, recalcitrant teachers, impossible parents, rules and regulations, finances, emotions, guilt or health. When we begin to thank Him for His confidence in us (yes, He does have tremendous confidence in us) that He is sure we (Him and us) can make it through whatever is in front of us – then the stones become bread – spiritual bread. Bon Appetit!

“Some Great Thing”

One of my favorite Bible stories is the drama of Naaman the leper. The drama is filled with a unique cast of actors. Naaman was a valiant warrior. The list of his accomplishments was great but it ends with one telling line – he was a leper.

The little maid of Israel who was captured and sold as a slave never forgot her God. In the midst of her less than ideal situation she exercises great grace and compassion. She tells her mistress if only captain Naaman would go to Israel the prophet would cure him. There is no mention of take me with you, set me free (poor me) but a genuine love and concern for someone else.

Naaman goes to his king. The king writes a letter to the king of Israel. “Here is Naaman. Cure him.” There is a sense of loyalty that the king of Aram has for his commander. Naaman brings the letter to the king of Israel. Panic! “Who am I to cure him? Aram just seeks a quarrel.” The man who is king over God’s people (the God of the people he is over) frets himself.

Elisha the prophet hears about Naaman and says to the king, “Send him to me so that all may know that there is a prophet of the Almighty in Israel.” I am sure that the very human king, Joram, lets out a big sigh – “Great! It will now be the prophet’s problem.” Power, position, prestige do nothing for Joram because without faith he is worse off than the lowliest shepherd.

Naaman is happily on his way. He arrives at the prophet’s house with all of his entourage. He is used to command, to being obeyed, to deference. His servant announces his presence and out comes a messenger. Naaman waits, wondering where is the prophet? Then the messenger speaks the words of the prophet to Naaman. “Go wash in the Jordan seven times and you will be cleansed.”

Why didn’t the prophet come out? Elisha did not fulfill the expectations of Naaman. Why do God’s servants sometimes not fulfill the expectations of others? Elisha was God’s servant not Naaman’s. It wasn’t about the prophet but about God.

Now we have Naaman sputtering with anger and indignation. “I thought the prophet would at least come out – wave his arms around or something. I have better rivers at home to wash in.” And he was leaving. Fortunately, for Naaman, he knew how to pick wise servants. “My father,” they began “If the prophet had told you to do ‘some great thing’ would you not have done it?”

So, this is our Montessori question. If God had asked you to do some great thing would you have not done it? Now, here is our irony. God has asked us to do “some great thing.” It presents itself every day in the environment – the shepherding of life changing transformation.

Naaman dips in the Jordan. He is physically transformed. He goes back to the prophet. When his gifts are not accepted or needed, he then asks for something. “Since there is nothing I can give for this transformation grant me two mules worth of dirt so I might make sacrifice and pray to the God of Israel.” This is his spiritual transformation. I am not sure how the next part of the narrative works. (As purists and perfectionists we have trouble with less than perfection and purity which is a good reminder for the classroom – to look for excellence rather than perfection.)

Naaman says, “I ask for forgiveness when I will have to go to the temple of Rimmon with the king, to lend my arm and support. May the Lord forgive your servant. I know who is the God of all creation.”

I am always challenged by the alluring call of doing “some great thing” when I already have “some great thing” in front of me – in the classroom. We are already dong “some great thing” to the great pleasure of our Heavenly Father.

Have you ever just wanted to die?

Teaching is one of the most emotionally challenging callings and if you are called you don’t know how to quit so that leaves you the alternative “I’d just rather die” which would relieve you of the guilt of quitting but leaves you so emotionally vulnerable. It is not much comfort to know that you are not alone in these feelings. These feelings seem to accompany many of God’s servants. Of all people who “should not” feel this way are God’s servants. The irony is that the “should not” has no bearing on reality.
The reality is that sometimes the emotions, the circumstances, the imagination become so overwhelming we long for escape. Sometimes that feeling is fleeting, sometimes it is a long term companion. The Bible has a number of personalities who share these overwhelming emotions.
Jonah might not be the best example because he was running from God. “Throw me overboard. Let me die” Even after he was rescued by God, he still wanted to die. Jeremiah is another example who was so overwhelmed by his mission and his emotions that he wished he hadn’t been born.
But the story that strikes me the hardest, the most difficult to wrap my mind around, is the story of Elijah. There he is standing on the mountaintop mocking the prophets of Baal. Full of confidence, faith and power declaring for Jehovah. Pouring water on the altar, pouring water on the wood. Pouring more water and more – no accidental spark of fire is going to be the calling card of Jehovah. And then! I don’t think you can say all hell breaks loose but what breaks loose makes hell tremble – the fire of God, the power, the majesty, the terror. There is nothing left of the sacrifice, nothing left of the altar – the water, the rocks – God envelops all. And there stands Elijah! The prophets of Baal were defeated. God has shown His power. And Elijah full of God’s power races the chariot. From mountaintop to mountaintop Elijah is God’s champion.
Was the height so tall that the fall was so expected?
Next, we have Elijah in fear for his life – and wishing to die. I am not sure we would call anyone in his state of mind good company but it is a reminder, that as alone and as desperate that we may feel, we are not the only one who has walked this path. It may not be much comfort as we go through our own dark nights but we realize that each of our Biblical examples came out on the other side. There must be something in the experience of despairing for our life that makes life on the other side have a different quality. How we hold on to that life, or let it go, may be the whole reason for the experience of despair.
It is a mystery. One that forces us to cling so tightly to God when we are so absolutely sure He is not with us as we go through the silence and the despair. And yet there is always that gentle whisper of God that tells us, “I will not leave you or forsake you.”


It is not your first failures or your latest success that define you but it is the accumulation of experiences that become the gems from which you weave the necklace of your life. Sometimes the failures shine and sparkle more brightly than the successes because from them you learn lessons of incalculable value. Sometimes our successes come so easily because they are built on our God-given talents that we have little perspective on their magnitude. People watching you operate in your gifts – whatever they are, singing, dancing, writing, business, speaking, teaching … – are awed by the performance because it may be at a level beyond their abilities or dreams. And yet you take this gift for granted, not in a negative sense but in the same sense that the fish looks at water, or the eagle the sky. It is a given of your existence.

The challenge for talented people (and each of us have absolutely different talents) is to use the gift to build beyond the easy, to push, to learn, to change, to transform, to create the work of art that is “our” life. We can treat our ocean-going vessels as rowboats keeping near the shore or we can unfurl the sails and let the winds of our talent take us to far-a-way places and amazing adventures. Every journey into the unknown has its own dangers whether it’s storms or rocks (or in the days of sailing no winds where you just sit and wait – I think that would be called patience!)

There is something worse than failure – it is knowing that you haven’t pushed the boundaries of your talents. It is that you took this amazing gift and buried it. We have made failure the boogey man of life without explain to our children that failure is often the foundation and stepping stones to success.

History is full of stories of success built upon failure – Edison and the light bulb, the life of Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill. Failure does not define you but what you do after failure frames the definition of your success. Ironically, it is failure (or the possibility) that gives zest to life. When my children were young and were learning to play board games losing would bring them to tears and frustration. (They are like their parents who like to win.) So, we would start over. I would let them go first. They would roll the dice and I would announce that they were the winner. They looked at me strange. “Let’s play again.” And we would repeat the same scenario. After doing that several times I would ask “Is this fun?” Of course they said “No.” (I also could read their minds –“You’re crazy Dad.”) “So, is it just winning or playing that’s fun?”

That is the question each of us must ask ourselves – is it just winning or playing that’s fun? Don’t get me wrong winning is wonderful and losing sucks but you can’t win meaningfully unless you are in the arena. Great artists (and you are the great artist of your life because no one can paint it like you or compose your songs) use their talents as a base from which to build being personally driven to greater heights and depths.

The world makes fame and beauty and money the determination of success but when you are sick or lonely or hurting isn’t it the nurse, the pastor or the teacher who embodies what real success is? Being there, using their gifts to comfort and bless others. As a Christian Montessori teacher our success is rarely measured in time but will only be revealed in eternity. God asks if you are willing to let Him determine the definition of your life’s success.

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

The Montessori answer to the quandary of the Arameans

Arameans? Don’t you mean Armenians? How about Argentinians? Austrians? Australians? No, Arameans! But they lived 875 B.C. That’s 2750 years B.M.M. (Before Maria Montessori.) Our very ancient quandary has answers in our Montessori roots. The Arameans were neighbors in the vicinity of the Kingdom of Israel in ancient Palestine. As kingdoms were wont to do they went to war with each other. God delivered Israel from Ben-Hadad and the Arameans but the next year Ben-Hadad returned again with just as large an army as the previous year. I Kings 20:23 shares this conversation. “Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.”
The Aramenas, like many educators, make the mistake of believing God is only God of the hills (translation: He is only God of “spiritual” things.) Montessori starts from a very Biblical base (after all, God gave Montessori the inspiration and insight) that all things are inter-related. Colossians 1:16-17, “All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” In Montessori we build on foundations that come from multiple disciplines – one thing builds on another, almost seamlessly.
We all have had teachers (or maybe even ourselves) who saw no interconnectedness of one discipline with another. A sort of God of the hills attitude. However, we are blessed to be able (and encouraged) to make all the connections of learning and life. Math is an example of order and logic – two of the great attributes of God. We muddy it up when we insist on children memorizing times tables or algebra equations without sharing with them the beauty of its construction or its use. My favorite story from our Montessori friend Betty Golightly, A little boy comes out to the playground and tells Mrs. Golightly excitedly, “Do you know that 2 plus 3 is the same as 3 plus 2?” We have a treasure in Montessori math.
How can you teach science without the wonder of creation? Just look at the botany cabinet with its variety of shapes and forms. Shame on us when we make it a lesson of only learning the names instead of highlighting the absolute creativity that God put into nature. Chemistry, zoology, astronomy all contain seeds (and forests) of wonder. Do we avail ourselves of the opportunity to point to the Creator and remark on the artistry that is contained everywhere we look. Art is an expression of man’s reflection of a beauty-loving god. Music contains both science and art, aesthetics, logic and pleasure.
If we teach history as dates and places without the context of men’s hopes and dreams we rob history of its power to show God at work in our everyday lives. History is what we had for breakfast this morning (some things are more important than others – unless you missed breakfast this morning – then that is important.) Where you live is part of history, how mom and dad met is a significant part of history (otherwise you wouldn’t be here.) Education, jobs, grandma and grandpa, family, church are all significant parts of a personal history. As you mature, your view of history expands and you see your life as part of a greater reality.
In traditional education we kill language. We rob it of its beauty and power by dissecting it to find nouns and verbs without ever putting it back together to make poetry and prose. We give children no sense of the power of words to bless (and curse) to encourage, inspire, inform and illuminate. Language is the expression of the thoughts of men’s minds and hearts. Language often leads to action. The ultimate

Blessing the children of El Salvador

A fantastic opportunity to bless little children in El Salvador.
This is the first time that we have had a project that we want you to consider being directly involved.
We have been introduced to a little country pastor who wants to start a Christian Montessori school. Her church is about an hour outside of San Salvador. She started her church under a tree. God helped her buy property, then pour a floor, build walls put on a roof and doors and windows. She told us that she was willing to build a school building. When we went out to visit her church we were amazed. We expected maybe a small room as her church. Her building is over 2000 sq. feet. We told her that she didn’t need to build a new building for the school because we could put it right in the church itself.
Now for those of you who know how much work we do in Montessori on the floor you will appreciate the observation Barbara made – we need a tile floor instead of this rough concrete. Many of you have classrooms or church groups who want to help. So we are dividing the floor into 2000 tiles at a dollar each. This is a tremendous way to bless these children and to bless the faith of Pastor Tomasita. (She rides the bus in for training each week for two hours and then two hours home. The other day in class my husband asked her what she has gained from the class. “So many things. I even share them with my people in the church. I feel like Alice in Wonderland seeing so many beautiful things I’ve never seen before in my life with all these materials and all of this training.”
We have already been blessed with people wanting to share materials for “Christian Montessori School of San Marino.” Our friends at Montessori Services, Montessori Outlet among others have shared materials for the classroom. Other friends are volunteering to send gently used materials. It is a great big undertaking but the impact will be even bigger. Additional money’s raised will be used for tables, chairs, shelves, training and the myriad of things needed to complete a Montessori classroom.
If you would like to take part, or have a Sunday school class, Montessori classroom or church that might like to participate let us know. Donations may be sent to Christian Montessori Fellowship 24165 IH 10 W. Ste 217-117 San Antonio, TX 78257 or made online at www.crossmountainpress.com

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of blessing the children of El Salvador.
Barbara and Edward Fidellow