By Rachel Sawyer, featuring some of our amazing sponsors: Kaylee Howard, Colt & Daphne McCarthy, Brittany Ewald and Alex Scaro
Makarios means "blessed" in ancient greek, and that is just what we are, blessed, to have the amazing sponsors that we do! It doesn't take but a moment of being around them to know that they are passionately dedicated to the children that they each sponsor. In talking with each of them, there are some defining characteristics that this group brings to the table, and I dare say that these characteristics are common to all of our sponsors.
Let's dive deeper into the hearts of our sponsors! What makes them so special?
Makarios sponsors are INTENTIONAL.
Kaylee Howard, a recent college graduate, and her sister, Alexa, began sponsoring a child in May.
"I came on a trip to Makarios in January 2014 and I fell in absolute love with this place! I wanted to sponsor a child. The second I saw his picture I was sold and said yes!"
Daphne and Colt McCarthy, sponsors for 3 years, recount their thought process in sponsoring a child.
"We asked if there were any children with "special needs" who might require a larger monthly sponsorship. Wilner was suggested as he has some medical needs that require medical insurance, regular medications and doctor visits. We agreed and his medical needs have been added to our monthly sponsorship fees. It has been a joy to provide this additional resource for Wilner."
Brittany Ewald, sponsor of siblings for two years, remembers what motivated her to become a sponsor, "I saw the need first hand and knew how great of an organization I was giving to. It has been 100% wort it."
While he was on a mission trip just a few weeks ago, Alex Scaro talked with the Makarios Sponsorship coordinator, learned more about sponsorship and set out to find a child to sponsor.
"After hearing about sponsorship from Becky I decided to try and meet some of the children that I had seen on the website (in need of sponsors). I was speaking with Becky when Imani came up and told me that one of her students had asked for me to come eat lunch with him. That child just happened to be Ricardo and I also recognized that he was one of the children that needed a sponsor. We ate lunch together that day and spent some time with each other at recess. I really enjoyed the time I spent with him that day and since he had sought me out I decided he was going to be the child I would sponsor."
Makarios Sponsors are INVESTED.
The investment for sponsors goes well beyond the money that they sacrificially and generously give each month, and is much more about developing a long term relationship.
Brittany talks about the time she was able to spend with her sponsor children this summer and what it meant to her.
"This year was my third year to go and the kids were in school so I got to see them every day. It was AWESOME! I was able to build more of a relationship with them instead of just a quick hi/bye kind of thing. They remembered me and it was such a blessing for me to be able to spend quality time with them. I got to hug and kiss them and tell them how much I love them and play games. I taught Elizabel how to take a picture with my camera without having her fingers in the picture. We also played frisbee and Luigi finally learned how to throw it as well as Elizabel. You see, it's not the money I'm investing in them, it's my emotion, my heart, my love. I think about them all the time and pray for them. I love them as if they were my own kids."
Daphne and Colt suggest that there is a wonderful, underside - of - the - tapestry principle at work through sponsorship:
"Our family gets the privilege of shepherding another child. We have our own child that lives with us, and eats with us and we pray for her constantly. To sponsor Wilner has been a privilege of providing these things in other ways. Yes, we send financial support to ensure that this child is safe, educated and fed. However, we get to pray for this child everyday, just as we pray for our own. It's a privilege we may not be able to fully understand this side of heaven. It's beautiful and filled with hope, that God is a gracious Father, providing everything we need . . . . even prayer from our family in Austin, TX, for a boy in a small village in Chichigua. It's a perfectly woven plan that continually reveals more of God every day."
Kaylee describes the potential outcome of her investment:
"Sometimes God calls us to give blindly even if we never get to see the effect that the giving will have, but sometimes, like with Alexa and I, we will get to know this little boy and hopefully we will get to see him grow up and be loved, educated and hopefully go back and make a difference in other people's lives sharing God's love."
Makarios sponsors are HONORED TO GIVE.
"I love knowing that I have some portion of my money every month being used by the Lord. This is something that I get to see carried out and put to use, first hand. I know that these kids need it so much more than I do. I feel honored to be able to be their sponsor, " says Brittany.
Kaylee describes her experience being a sponsor in a unique way, "God has spoiled me through sponsoring Jeriel and I can't even begin to be grateful enough. For me, I fell in love with the idea that this little boy who so quickly stole my heart will grow up with an education that will strive to point him to the only thing that matters, Jesus Christ. I can't believe God has invited me to be a part of that in such a small way."
Makarios sponsors are CHEERFUL GIVERS.
Kaylee discusses how her sacrifice pales in comparison to what her sponsored child gains: "Sponsoring is such a JOY. It is money that I can easily give up in order for this boy that I adore to get opportunities he would not have gotten without Makarios. I am so grateful that God has blessed me so much more than I could have ever imagined with my sweet, sweet, crazy, sweet Jeriel!" Kaylee
"Sponsoring Wilner has been a tremendous joy. We feel he is an extension of our family and we would do anything to pray for or provide for him," says Daphne and Colt.
Makarios sponsors are BLESSED.
Brittany talks about the root of the blessing, an opportunity to partner with God in what He is doing in the D.R. through Makarios.
"I encourage anyone and everyone who loves the Lord to sponsor a child. Not that you should do it just to gain something, but I will say I have received so much more of a blessing out of it that what I have put in. You will be blessed. You will have a purpose and an important part in God's work, and that is something that makes me smile every day."
Kaylee, a Makarios intern this summer, had the opportunity to not only meet and spend time with her sponsor child this summer, but also with his whole family, as his parents are teachers at Makarios. However, she did not know that when she signed up to sponsor him! When Kaylee arrived at the beginning of the summer as a Makarios intern, she had no idea what kind of suprise was in store for her concerning her sponsored child:
"During the first welcome dinner of the summer, Bella and Aldo, teachers at Makarios, came to welcome the first team. While talking with Bella, she was pointing to the prayer wall at the MAK house at which pictures were her children. When she pointed to Jeriel, my heart was so full. Ever since then, what started as blindly giving to a sweet boy whose picture I fell in love with, turned into his family loving me so well. From daily conversations at the school, to sweet visits to their house with the interns, to a day at the beach with Jeriel, but to form a realtionship with his mother, father, sister and their baby boy that is due soon too!?"
Kaylee goes onto to say: "I thought that I would simpy get to bless a child here by helping provide for him. But I was wrong. This family has blessed me way more than I could ever imagine. God has overwhelmingly spoiled me by letting me freely give what isn't even mine."
Daphne and Colt describe how broken hearts are a blessing.
"These children are in need, and Makarios is there to meet this need. They just need your prayers and financial partnership to make it happen. We all play a role in the kingdom of God and the body of Christ. Some will be on the front lines, like Makarios; teaching, feeding and ministering directly to these children. Others, like our family, are called to pray and provide resources to enable Makarios' ministry to be both fruitful and effective. We are beyond blessed to be a part of this ministry and the Lord has used it to draw us closer to Him and break our hearts for His people in new and exciting ways."
Makarios sponsors TRUST GOD.
Daphne and Colt discuss both the difficulty and the beauty of sponsorship.
"It is very difficult for us to pray for Wilner daily and not get to see his sweet face. However, it is teaching us so much about God's sovereignty and how He can be trusted to provide exactly what Wilner needs, whe he needs it. We cannot "fix" Wilner : where he lives, his health, etc. But we can trust that God will provide and that He is using us as an instrument of his grace to pray and sponsor Wilner. The D.R. is where he has Wilner, the U.S. is where he has our family. We must trust that this is a perfectly designed plan, and the distance between us is still God's goodness to us, even if it's difficult."
Kaylee knows that God has called her to partner but also that He is able to provide without her:
"However, it is also good to remember that Jeriel doesn't NEED my money. If I were to stop sponsoring him today, God would find another way to provide for Jeriel. But God let's me give monthly in order to be apart of God's work in Jeriel's life. I am so grateful that God has blessed me so much more than I could have ever imagined with my sweet, sweet, crazy, sweet Jeriel!"
Makarios sponsors are CHANGED and AGENTS OF CHANGE.
Alex says, "I love Makarios and all the people who are serving with them. It's organizations like this that are changing the world and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of it."
Daphne and Colt describe what sponsorship has done for them.
"God has changed our hearts through a small boy, an ocean away, to love Him and trust Him more. Sponsorship is about extending the testimony of our lives and what grace God has hand on us. One day, God willing, Wilner's testimony through his time at Makarios will be the same: God's greace met him there, provided for him there and brought him to know his Heavenly Father there. Sponsorship is a good thing. It's a very, very, very good thing. I pray that God moves many hearts towards sponsorship. It will transform your relationship with the Lord and your partnership in His Gospel."
Are you being called to be intentional, invested, a cheerful giver, God's parnter and/or changed? Are you being called to sponsor a child? Click here to begin blessing a life today, including yours!