By Margaret and Doug Beck
One of the ways we can see how God is moving during short term trips is by hearing first hand from those who have stayed in the Mak House. We tell every team who comes to serve that we want to create an environment in the MAK House where they can encounter God in new and fresh ways. On the bookshelf in the main room of the MAK House, we proudly display our guest books from the past 11 years! Reading through those books gives us a beautiful display of what God has been doing in the Dominican Republic through Makarios. What an awesome privilege it is to serve alongside others from all over the United States. Such a beautiful representation of the body of Christ working together to make His Name great. I hope you’ll be encouraged as you read just a few excerpts taken from the Mak House guest book.
“We had a great time during our stay at the Mak House. We have felt totally blessed during our time here through the strengthening of our marriage, aligning our thoughts and dreams with one another, serving and being touched by God’s children in what had felt previously like another world… Thank You…”
“Thank you for everything this week. Your hospitality and servant hearts were a blessing to me and the whole team. Thanks for sharing your home, your stories, your gifts, and your passion for the people here with us. It was a joy to serve alongside you this week, and God used it to teach me so much…”
“Thank you so much for your sincere hospitality. The setting y’all set at the house made our group interactions feel like a family effort…”
“Thank you thank you for the work Makarios is doing for the Dominican people and thank you for letting me be a part of it. I know I will never look at the world, relationships, and poverty with
the same eyes…”
“Muchas Gracias for everything- from debriefing us and giving us helpful tips, to the great meals, to the wonderful fellowship, to allowing us to see and understand the greater vision of Makaios and to seeing God’s agape love in action…”
“Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and fun-loving personalities. Our team is so thankful for the ways you have shared your lives with us and so openly and easily were so accepting and fun. God moved in crazy ways…and I can’t wait to see the crazy and unfathomable things God is going to do!”
“Thank you for your incredible generosity this week and for investing so much of your time and hearts into our group. Your marriage and your love for Jesus is so incredible to be around and to learn from. I appreciate your kindness and willingness to serve here for the sake of the gospel.”
“Thank you so much for letting us come and make the MakHouse our second home…”
“To everyone that gets the privilege to go on this amazing trip, we are all family here. No matter where we’ve come from or what we’ve been through, we have the Mak House, this place, and these kids who will keep us connected forever. There is so much love to be given and received…”
“Thank you for making the Mak House an oasis of peace for our group…”
“I have been so encouraged seeing the ministry Makarios has here. Not simply providing education for children in need, but serving them and meeting the deepest needs they have…And, not giving in a way that is most fun and instant gratification, but in a way that addresses the issues at hand...”
Makarios loves each and every person that has stayed at the MakHouse and are so encouraged by their stories and their experiences here. The Lord is doing big things in the Dominican Republic, and the Mak House is only one of the places where He is moving. We hope that reading through these excerpts have given you a peek into the works that God is doing through the ministry of Makarios and we pray that they encourage you as much as they encourage us.
By Doug and Margaret Beck
One of the things God has blessed us with here at Makarios is a mission house to host our teams who
come to bless the ministry. The Mak House, as its known, is located 5 or 10 minutes from the Makarios school and has hosted over 1500 people in its 6 year existence. That’s a lot of beds made, toilets fixed, gates locked and floors swept! Thankfully, God has blessed us in an even bigger way with a wonderful group of fellow workers who take care and help us maintain the Mak House on a daily basis.
One of our dearest friends here is Lucia, who together with her son Abram form our housekeeping
crew. They are in charge of keeping the house clean and they do their work with excellence. On a
typical week, there are 30 or 40 people in the house, and Lucia and Abram are at the house daily to
clean sheets, make beds, mop floors and keep things in order- all with smiles on their faces! Often Lucia will cook a dinner or two for our groups in addition to her duties during the day. Margaret often says to Lucia “If you leave Makarios, I’m leaving too!” which speaks to how important she is to us and our ministry here. Lucia is an excellent seamstress and enjoys making clothing and accessories when not at work. Abram enjoys listening to music and making jewelry, and his jewelry is always a popular item at the Mak Store. Lucia and Abram are not the only family members who work for Makarios. Lucia’s sister, son, daughter-in- law, and sister-in- law all work for the ministry too, so their family is a huge part of our family as well.
To keep things safe during the night, we have our friends Miguel and Josue who serve as our
“Watchies”. In the Dominican Republic “watchies” are essentially security guards who keep an eye on
things at a house or business. They work between 8pm and 6am and are in charge of making sure our
groups stay safe during their time at the house. Miguel might be the hardest working man we’ve ever
met; oftentimes he comes to the house in his off time just to check on us or to do some odd job at the house. He also loves to bring sugar cane and coconuts to the groups and can usually be heard listening to the Bible on CD while he is working. We are thankful for Josue who diligently works at the Mak House, too. He can be seen walking around the house making his rounds at all hours of the night. It is also a blessing to hear him singing a praise song as he is working. Josue is a soft-spoken individual with akind smile and gentle demeanor. He loves theology and reading/studying Scripture and does his job very well.
As you might guess with so many people coming through our doors, things tend to break or wear down at the Mak House. For that we have Emanuel, or “Chorro” as he is called, to help us out. Chorro’s main job is the Maintenance Director at the Makarios school, but he is also in charge of repairing and taking care of the many working parts of the ministry house. We’ve often called upon him very late at night or during the early morning hours to take care of a maintenance emergency, and he always comes to help with a big grin and a friendly greeting. Chorro and his family live right across the street from us, so at least his commute to the house is quick! He loves basketball and riding and fixing motorcycles.
As we think about the team that the Lord has assembled, we are reminded of Colossians 3:23:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” Lucia, Abram, Chorro,
Miguel and Josue are wonderful examples of modeling this Biblical truth. We truthfully could not do what God has called us to do without these friends and fellow workers. Most of their work is behind the scenes, but we know the hard work and love that they put into every little detail in order to help make Makarios a better organization as we serve God together.
Have you been blessed by watching one or all of these "hands and feet" in action during your stay at the MAK house? If so, leave a comment telling what you love about these hardworking, loving people!
After several days of orientation in Austin, today is the day that the Makarios summer interns land on the ground in the D.R. , and we could not be more excited to have them here! The summer interns will be an integral part of the Makarios team during one of the busiest times of the year in which short term teams from our partner churches will also be on the ground with us each week, soccer camp will be in full swing and the school will be cultivating hearts and minds during the summer session. We are elated to have 7 sets of fresh eyes, willing and able bodies to share in the labor, and God seeking individuals that we can pour into as well, giving them not just a flavorful taste but a hearty bite of the Makarios mission. Without further delay, let us introduce and welcome our summer interns!
I've been on three previous one week trips to the DR with Makarios when I was in high school. So, I've only been for a total of three weeks, but those three weeks profoundly impacted my life and my goals. During those three weeks I spent my time with the work crew building driveways and tool sheds, and through that I gained a real passion for physically helping people. Naturally, the DR also gave me a real passion for travel and cultures that are foreign to my own. Those things, along with my affinity for science and Makarios' undying desire to weave God and His good news into every part of its ministry, has led me to pursue a career in medicine with hopes of taking it, and Christ, abroad. So, this summer internship means a lot more to me than just a cool summer abroad. It's a real chance to give back to a people and a place that have influenced me to help people physically and spiritually around the world.
I just completed my sophomore year at Baylor University and will be a junior in the Fall of 2016. In Waco, I work as an intern with the youth ministry at Highland Baptist Church. I have been on three week-long mission trips with Makarios before. Those trips made a huge impact on my personal relationship with God. While there, I built strong relationships with Makarios staff members and kids which led me to feeling called to apply for an internship with Makarios. I applied to this internship because I am passionate about the calling to carry the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, and because I believe in what Makarios is doing. I love that Makarios puts Christ first, focuses primarily on spiritual needs of people rather than just their physical needs, and empowers individuals within the community to make a difference, all for God’s glory. All that being said, I am beyond excited to be serving alongside Makarios this summer!
I actually heard about Makarios for the first time in January. I’ve had a desire in my
heart to experience long-term mission work at some point before I graduate college.
I began to search for different ministries and stumbled upon Makarios on Austin
Ridge and Austin Stone’s website. From there, I contacted Makarios and started
interviewing. As much prayer and thought went into the process I realized more and
more that God was opening doors.
I want to intern at Makarios for three main reasons. First, because of my God-given
desire to further His Kingdom in the hope that the people of the Dominican Republic
would have LIFE and know the One that created them. Secondly, I didn’t want my
summer to be about me. I wanted my eyes off of myself and instead on others.
Lastly, I desire to be challenged and pushed completely out of my comfort zone. I
think I experience the greatest growth when I am in desperate need for the Lord and
am relying on Him fully.
I am incredibly excited for this summer at Makarios. I know He is going to strip me
of much and teach me endless lessons. I can’t wait to watch Him move.
I will be returning to the DR for the second time this summer. During my first visit last January I was baptized on the beach by my youth pastor from the Fellowship. Ever since then the Lord has made a special place in my heart for the DR. This summer I am looking forward to loving on sweet kids and pursuing Jesus with everything that I have. My prayer for my time in the Dominican is that I would focus on being deeply dependent on The Lord more than any other thing in this world.
Hello! My name is Elysa Wolf, and I grew up in Austin, TX, and just finished my freshman year at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I am studying Bio-Chemistry with a minor in Integrative Biotechnology. I am also swimming with the Calvin Knights Swim Team. My roots with Makarios began with the Austin Stone Church Youth as I had the privilege of serving through week long Mission Trips to the Dominican Republic in the summers of 2013, 2014, and 2015. God developed a special place in my heart for the children and communities that Makarios serves, and it gives me great joy to have this opportunity to continue to serve alongside Makarios with this wonderful team. My prayer is that God will draw me near to Him and show me how to best serve the people in the Dominican Republic as well as the groups who will be joining us throughout the summer. I look forward to seeing the amazing work that God has planned and have already been praying for an open heart to all that God desires to teach me!
I am beyond excited to be spending my summer in the Dominican Republic. In fact, this will be
the first time in my life where I will be abroad for an extended period of time. Currently, I am an
incoming sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin studying Business Honors and Finance. I first
heard about this opportunity from an older member of my fraternity and immediately felt led to pursue it. I am most excited about the opportunity to learn more about the Lord and who He has created me tobe through serving the people of the Dominican Republic. I am looking forward to helping the Makarios staff run the soccer camp and encouraging the Makarios students to seek the Lord. Overall, I am counting down the days til I am in the Dominican – Hasta Pronto!
Hi! I am a rising sophomore at UT, studying Business and Plan II. Outside of the classroom, I'm involved in Cru and my sorority, Tri Delta. When I first heard about Makarios and its mission in the D.R., I was so excited! In high school I was involved in a mentorship program that worked with at-risk youth and since then, I've become increasingly passionate about education! I've witnessed the opportunities and change education can bring to peoples' lives. I'm excited to work for an organization that shares this passion. Ultimately though, I'm most excited about the Gospel driven work of Makarios. I can't wait to share Christ and the incomparable hope and joy He offers with kids. What Christ offers is and will always be infinitely greater!
Welcome to the D.R. and to the Makarios family Summer Interns! We can't wait to serve alongside you sharing the love of Christ in all that we do!