A Peek Into Makarios' Austin Office
Those sweet, smiling faces in the pictures that melt your heart- talk about daily motivation. In our Austin office, the walls are covered with beautiful reminders (thank you Esther Havens) of why we do what we do, and why we do it to the best of our ability. While our school is in the Dominican Republic along with our teachers, students, and staff members, a few of us work and live in Austin. We strive to invite as many people as possible into the ministry that is Makarios. The DR staff and the Austin staff may be miles apart, but we are family. We work together in casting vision, and in making that vision a reality.
In the Austin office, you will find people planning mission trips, booking flights, buying insurance for travelers, interviewing potential staff, launching fundraising campaigns, collaborating with interns, guiding missionaries who are fundraising, keeping finances in order, Skyping with DR staff leaders (sometimes a hilariously broken connection), recruiting teachers, and meeting with people who are interested in serving with Makarios. We get to offer churches an opportunity to serve towards something we deeply believe in, and be the bridge between communities in the United States and communities in the Dominican Republic. We are here in part to maintain those relationships and communicate the resource needs of the DR as well as the relational needs. It’s a life-giving and chaotic environment full of collaboration and respect. We encourage each other, pray over each other, serve each other, laugh together, and challenge one another to grow. It’s messy at times. Life usually is. Many issues come up that make us look around and realize that none of us have the answer. Praise God for those moments, where we recognize our desperation for God, and the urgency to lean into Him for all decisions. This desperation is a call to humility. Humility does not produce boundaries, but is a reminder that we serve a limitless God- humility allows us to dream big and set big goals. After all, we have seen Makarios flourish over the years by the grace of God, and because of people’s willingness to be obedient.
It is an honor to serve an organization that cares so intentionally for people. To know that our kids have opportunities they may never have had without a conviction followed by obedience. Lives are being changed, education offered, and we are all invited to be part of it!
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Yet, some of us read the word ‘go’ and our hearts drop. We don’t feel encouraged, but we should. We feel like we are lacking in purpose- but we shouldn’t. We ask ourselves: what do we do when we’re not ‘called to the nations’ right now?
Two things have been made very clear since joining the Makarios family:
1. No job is too small. We are all parts of the same body, working together interdependently. This is true both in the office, and in the broader organization. If dishes need to be washed, we wash them. If a card needs to be mailed, we mail it. If a fundraising campaign needs to be launched, we will launch it. Any and all of these tasks can become the responsibility of an intern, a trip planner, or the executive director himself. This mentality becomes essential in cultivating a culture of service. Every task we complete, is in the service of someone whether they are sitting next to us or across the ocean. In the Austin office, we have the privilege of knowing that on the receiving end of our work, there are missionaries in the Dominican Republic who are able to better focus on what they have been called to do. It’s not a lack of purpose, it’s just a different one.
2. You have to be where you are. We have to look around and recognize that while we are serving people through our work, there’s a reason we are not serving alongside our DR staff. We have community here, and the second we think about all the things we could be doing abroad, is the second we cease to be present. We look around for who to serve and how to love. Sometimes that means making friends with the homeless man walking into the office. Sometimes it means initiating “Taco Truck Tuesday” and inviting friends to support Maria in her taco stand. The important thing is not how far we extend geographically, but how far we extend relationally.
The truth is that whether any of us have been overseas before or not, we are working in this particular office for a reason. We have to accept peace in the fact that we have not been ‘called to the nations’ in this particular season of our lives. We are, however, called to Jesus.
No matter where we are, our mission is clear: we are to love, educate, and empower.
by Rachel Sawyer
"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." 1 Corinthians 12:27
Spoon cannons were created, imitations were presented, balloons were tossed over the MAK house and caught with sheets, an amazing speaker brought the word, ministering happened, the Lord was worshipped in multiple languages, island excursions were filled with laughter, wrestling, water sliding, and sea creature shows, a vision was cast and mission statement revisited.
Once a year the Makarios staff enjoy a funfilled, action packed, worshipful time of fellowship at a staff retreat which refuels, renews and re-energizes us as we love, learn and serve the Lord together. This is an important part of healthy maintanence of the body of staff that are serving with Makarios. These times of silliness and seriousness of worshipping and waling (with laughter usually) are like a unifying glue that bind us together and helps us in part to remember why we are here when the times are tough.
The DNA of Makarios is the GOSPEL. And to that end, we love, encourage, pray and challenge one another. AND, sometimes people get thrown into the ocean. Lots of people - of the male species.
We had such a great time together and we missed our staff that were not with us (shout out to the Majcher family who is in the states training and fundraising!) Though Laurie Majchercita did make an appearance.
Retreat allows us to worship together, pray together, play together, enjoy together and to see and appreciate all the different gifts that the Lord has given us as a staff. It helps us to remember that we aren't just body parts, but that we are part of the body of Christ that the Lord has assembled for this time. HE is good.
Guest Blog by Jacob Jordan
This past January, I had the opportunity to partner with Makarios in a week long mission trip in which
we sought to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support to the families of Montellano, Dominican
Republic (DR). While we served Makarios in many ways, leading a Vacation Bible School at the local church
and providing physical labor at the Makarios School, this was not what impacted me most. What impacted me
most was the servants’ hearts in which the Makarios staff served their communities.
When I first signed up to go on this trip, I expected to encounter an impoverished people in need of
physical and spiritual healing. What I did not expect to find was a group of people so full of God’s love that they
had no choice but to pour it out onto those around them. From day 1, it was clear that the staff of Makarios was
a group of men and women who truly sought to serve the Lord with all of their being. Their impact was evident
not just within their communities but within myself as well. As I witnessed their genuine unabashed love of
Jesus wash over the people, it became clear to me that my own heart was not in the right place. So often, I had
viewed my work for God as an obligation, something to be done out of duty or burden. This attitude had
pervaded its way into every corner of life, from school work to relationships with friends and family. Using the
Makarios staff, the Lord quickly convicted me of this and softened my heart to the needs of those around me,
making it a true joy to serve.
One example in particular that I can remember in which a Makarios staff member acted out of love was
during our Vacation Bible School camp in the village of Tamarindo. Before camp had started, we were asked to
walk the streets with a Mak staff member and invite families out to the camp. I, along with a couple others,
joined camp coordinator Tomy Alcantara. We continued from house to house inviting children to church until we
reached a man selling supplies out of small shop. Tomy engaged with the man for several minutes before we
left the building. Afterwards, I asked him what he had said. He told me that the Lord had blessed him with a
great opportunity to serve. The man he spoke with leads a small boys’ soccer team and had been looking for a
spiritual leader to lead the boys in truth and guidance. Tomy immediately jumped onto the opportunity, and
agreed to meet with them at their next practice. That day Tomy showed me that one man’s willingness to live in
submission to God can bring truth and love to whole team of boys, the impact of which will never be fully
While the people of Makarios are in need of grace themselves, it is clear to me that they have been
made new in the image of God, washed clean by the blood of Christ, and given their entire beings to the
service of Christ’s kingdom. The love they work with is contagious and continues to affect both myself and the
Dominican community in untold ways. I pray that Makarios continues to find hope and strength in Jesus, relying
on Him when the task ahead seems too much and praising His name when He unveils the fruit of our labor. It is
through Christ that all things are possible.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a
clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and
if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have,
and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
Recently, we had to say good-bye to one of our close friends and co-worker, Chelsea Frazier, as she is going on to focus on her new family of 3 (#davystrong) and other endeavors that the Lord is calling her to. Her dedication and work ethic is as inspiring as her faith and passion for Jesus. We are thankful and blessed by the work and energy she put into this ministry.
Chelsea, you mean so much to us and have blessed all of our lives immensely. Here are some words from the Mak family.