By Emily Spencer, Austin Intern
Let’s just start off by saying that my experience here in the Makarios office has
absolutely exceeded my wildest expectations in the best way possible.
Have you ever had an idea of what something would be like only to realize you couldn’t
be more wrong?
Well, I certainly have and this experience was one of them.
Nonprofit organizations seem to be everywhere and appear as though they are all seeking
to combat and alleviated the same negative conditions this world holds. Ignorantly
enough, I made the mistake of assuming the hearts of the people behind each of these
organizations were generally all the same as well.
This summer I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the height, the depth, the width,
and the length of the love being pouring out on the children of the Dominican Republic
through the work being done by the staff behind the scenes at Makarios. They serve
Makarios as unto the Lord with open hearts fully abandoned to the greatest call Jesus
gave His followers before He went to be with His Father, “Go and make disciples of all
The purity of heart and the integrity in which they perform their roles in the
office seeps into every crack and crevasse of the organization as a whole. I am honored to
serve alongside these courageous men and women who have surrendered to the Lord by
laying down the opinions of man and the standards for which the world calls us to live.
We are God’s instruments, created for His glory, made in the image and likeness of Him
causing us to believe we were made for so much more than what we can fathom on our
own. Makarios has welcomed the voice of God into their daily work to give them the
direction, wisdom, and guidance they need in order to move them forward as a family.
They acknowledge that we as God’s people must walk by faith and not by sight as we
live each day clinging to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Here in the office, reaching out a hand to the ‘least of these’ looks like administrative
details, a list of things to do, making phone calls, filing papers, and scheduling trips. This
may not seem like the frontlines of the mission field but here at Makarios it is declared
worthy and considered an honorary role given by the Lord who is well pleased with ALL
the work being doing for His glory. As today is called today, we as the children of God,
must choose to make His name great in every aspect of our lives no matter how big or
small we might think they seem.
Our interns are AWESOME! Interested in becoming a Makarios intern either in the Austin office or in the D.R.? Click Here.
by Richie Sparling, Outreach Coordinator
Photos by Rachel Sawyer
It has been almost 8 years ago that I prepared for the first time to speak in front of a group of people in connection with my job. Those people were Junior Highers and I was the newly hired JH Youth Pastor. The nervousness of that night was unique. I was not a very polished public speaker, but with time and practice I would eventually find a rhythm and comfort in front of people. I guess more than anything else, the newness of it all and my desire that it would be good; a good night, a good message, a good beginning to my new phase of life, weighed heavily on my shoulders and I could feel that pit in my stomach that you get only when you are nervous about something really important to you.
Fast-forward to the present and the feeling that I haven't experienced in 8 years is welling up inside of me, reminding me of that first message so long ago. Things have certainly changed; one area in particular is that I can now stand in front of a group of people to deliver a message without my hands shaking. Public speaking no longer makes me nervous, but yet I'm nervous. Nervous because of the desire to have this night go well. It's not just that I poured time and energy into this meeting, or that responsibility falls on my shoulders, but that the meeting is the beginning of something so crucial to our ministry in the Dominican Republic: empowering and partnering with the parents of our students for their children's future.
My challenge to the parents for the night is three-fold:
1. Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3) and are to be protected (Matt 18:6).
2. The Parent has the primary role in the development of their child (Prov 22:6; 29:15).
3. These Parents are not alone: there is a community around them to support them including Makarios and the local church.
My final challenge to them was that statistics demonstrate that parents who are involved in their child's education, specifically at home, are more successful, and that the number one influence in a child's spiritual life is spiritual conversations in the home. What this means for these parents is that they need to not just embrace the help given to them but own it! Get involved in their child's education and know what's being taught. Not just place them in a place to be spiritually challenged but to model that in their own lives!
I could sense that these words were having an impact on the audience. The Holy Spirit was working in the hearts of the parents. The impact was evident in their response. I invited each of them to visit the classrooms of their children, talk with the teachers, discover what they are learning and what they can be doing in the home. I asked them to lead the charge of change in their children's lives and they jumped to it! Their are not words to describe the emotions of seeing parents grilling teachers on what's happing in the classroom, of seeing our teachers having prepared and welcoming these parents into the classroom and more importantly into the partnership of educating.
It has been an amazing beginning, but at this point that is all that it is: a beginning. The first step has been taken in creating regular parent trainings, now it's time to faithfully work that the Lord may use our efforts to his glory and that the families of the students of Makarios are complete in Jesus Christ. Please pray for the work as it continues.
Have a heart for outreach? Join us in empowering families in our local communities by supporting our outreach efforts by giving towards outreach. Click here , select "General Fund" and put "outreach" in the notes. Gracias!
What is your favorite resource for parent training? Leave a comment!