Wycliffe welcomes opera singer!

Megan in Burkina Faso

There was a 2010 Discovery trip to Mali for folks interested in Ethnomusicology.  Megan applied for the team and then she let me know she couldn't go, she canceled.  It seems she was busy singing opera and living the busy life of a college student. 
The following year Discovery offered another Ethnomusic internship, this time in Burkina Faso and we wanted one intern who spoke some French.... 

Megan was accepted and went on this trip... and had a bit of a rough start as she put it at the time:

"In fact, while I arrived in Ouagadougou yesterday, Kember (her internship leader) did not. We were supposed to meet in Brussels for the last leg of the trip, but she never showed up, and I got on the plane by myself! I found out later that she had been delayed in Chicago. She arrives this evening.  It was a little scary, because I didn’t know who was supposed to pick us up (if anyone). I had the address for SIL (Societé Internationale Linguistique, what Wycliffe Bible Translators is called ‘on the ground’), but no CFA francs (the currency of the Communauté Financière Africaine). However, I made it through customs without problem and found my suitcase, and then waited for about half an hour until a missionary did come looking for me."


Megan in Burkina Faso with her "fans"

I remember Megan telling me when she returned from Burkina, that she loved 2 things which could never be done at the same time (singing opera and serving in missions).  Although it does seem unlikely, I am a big fan of hyphenated-careers, and I challenged Megan to consider it.


Let's fast forward a few years... Megan marries Peter who is now a 2nd grade school teacher, together they are busy with life and in September 2018 they expect baby number 3.  Megan is still singing and teaching piano among other interests and obviously being a wife and mom.

At this point in the story, do you think this family is a good prospect for recruiting into full time overseas missions???

Megan explains it this way:

"This fall we began to think again more seriously about how we might be involved in overseas missions, now that our family is more established. Since our short term involvement back when we were each single, we’ve always been excited about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators.  As we investigated, Peter became more and more interested in the literacy work that they do."

Peter and Megan became Wycliffe missionaries on 1st January 2018 and are expecting to move to South Africa to serve in literacy!

Megan & Peter with Wesley & Kalena
For you music fans:
The ensemble that Megan currently sings with just released their 2nd CD (buy or listen here).
Here's her singing bio:
Megan Larson Gardner, soprano, grew up in northern Alberta, where she received Royal Conservatory training in voice and piano. She attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she performed with the school’s top ensembles in thirteen different states. She also performed with her friends in the student-run Disney Choir! Megan has performed in operas in South Carolina and New Jersey, and has sung professionally in New York at both Trinity Episcopal Church (Wall Street) and Marble Collegiate Church. Her solo oratorio experience includes Poulenc’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, and Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri. After college she did an ethnomusicology internship in Burkina Faso, and continues to work on a music transcription project for the Fulani people of West Africa. She has worked as a church musician in a variety of settings and has taught in both public and private schools. Since moving to Seattle, she has developed an active piano studio, sung with Josh Groban, experimented with the ukulele, and joined the Dickens Carolers (and the 12th man). Megan also owns a Celtic harp.



Welcome to another Discovery alumni in Wycliffe!  


-Hooray-for-hypen-ated-careers-

Yay for the next generation of opera singing cross-cultural workers!






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