By Richie Sparling, Outreach Coordinator
There is NEVER a shortage of excitement at Colegio Makarios, especially on the first day of a new school year! A big thank you to Richie Sparling for capturing these momemts from the first day of school last week! Please remember that some of these beautiful faces are still in need of sponsors! Follow the link below to learn more.
For more information on sponsorship and to see the children that still need sponsors, click here.
By Rachel Sawyer
Backwards is forwards in some cases. Let me explain. Last week Makarios posted that we needed 17 sponsors to come forward to sponsor 17 students. New sponsors have joined our team within the last week, BUT in the mean time we had more students inscribe for the 2014-15 school year at the last minute.
NOW there is MORE OPPORTUNITY for MORE PEOPLE to say "YES!" to what the Lord is doing here in the D.R. and to be a part of that in a vital way! This means more students will receive a quality, christian education and all of the things that go with that (medical check ups, dental, daily vitamins, 2 meals a day, discipleship, etc.) Hallelujah! Backwards is forwards because ultimately Makarios wants to impact as many lives as the Lord allows.
22 is the NEW 17!!!!
Will you prayerfully consider being a sponsor for one of the 22 students that still needs sponsors?
To start a conversation about how you can say "YES!" to hope and education for one of our students email sponsorship.makarios@gmail. To see the students who need sponsors, click here.
By Rachel Sawyer
The first day of school for 2014-15 for Colegio Makarios was yesterday! Here are some photos from day #1. Please keep the students, teachers and their families in your prayers.
Some Makarios students are still in need of sponsors and/or half sponsors! Would you consider partnering with us to bring hope and a quality christian education to these students? Click here for more information on sponsorship.
By Rachel Sawyer
Classrooms have been readied. Shoes, socks, underwear, pants and school shirts have been passed out. Teachers have gone through orientation. Parent meetings have happened.
In just a few days, Colegio Makarios will have it's first day of class on September 1, 2014. A van will go and pick up the students from the farthest village, Chichigua, and kids will cross the river from Pancho Mateo and wind through the maze that is Tamarindo to make their way to school. There will be hugging and smiling and singing and praising and reuniting and maybe some crying for the new three year olds, but mostly there will be rejoicing because God is good! He has continually met the needs and increased His provision for the kids, families, staff of Makarios. Makarios is HIS.
AND, there is opportunity knocking on the door of hearts that have been prepared for a time such as this: SEVENTEEN.
The number of children at Makarios who still need sponsors for this school year.
The number of smiles that could benefit from a christian education, medical and dental checkups, two meals a day, vitamins, and someone dedicated to covering them in prayer, etc.
The number of people that MAKARIOS needs to come forward to participate in student sponsorships. (However, more is more - so if 50 people come forward there will be the need to match the people!)
To gather inspiration from some of our current sponsors, go here and here. You will be glad you did!
Makarios sponsors are incredible and intentional and have a very special calling!
To learn more about sponsorship and to see the children who needs sponsors, click here. To initiate a conversation about sponsorship, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Wade Owens
Wade is the Missions Pastor at Sagemont Church in Houston, TX. Sagemont Church brings several short term mission teams a year and is a Makarios partner.
Life. Changing. Moments. Ever experienced one? You probably have. I have. God has a way of allowing us to come face to face with something that just about engulfs us…
One such instance stands out to me. It happened in the summer of 2001. I was having coffee (robust blend, just a little sugar, no cream! . . . just like Jesus would have enjoyed) with my wife and we were chatting about something that had been stirring in me for more than a year. I had been restless for some time and I knew God was pushing me towards something, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. I had an idea, but I didn’t want to force something and take unnecessary risks. But I couldn’t stop the stirring in my soul. We talked often about this, but on this occasion, it was as if God literally spoke to me right through her.
She asked me this question . . .
“Wade, what would you attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?”
Well, that was easy for me. I knew immediately what I would do. I didn’t hesitate. I almost instinctively answered, “I would surrender to full time ministry, become a pastor, and preach the best news the world has ever heard to anyone and everyone who will listen . . . and even those who won’t.”
Then, she looked me right in the eye and said, “Then be courageous. Lead us and go be a pastor.”
I knew in that moment that I had to trust the Lord and step out and follow him. I had no clue what it all meant. Seminary? Training? What about 5 years of experience? There were a thousand questions that flooded my mind. I was unsure about almost everything. However, I was certain that God placed a calling and a dream inside my heart, and God used Kim to ask the right question that propelled us to take a leap of faith.
So, enough about me, what about you? What would you attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?
Are you currently living out the answer to that question? Life is short friends. God placed us here to impact the world by living out His calling on our lives. God is calling you to experience a grand adventure making His name famous and advancing His kingdom.
Do not be held captive by fear. We serve a risen Savior who sits at the right hand of the most high God.
GOD > Your fear!!
You will not know every answer, know every what if, have every solution, and the journey will not be pain free. But! God said “I will never leave you or forsake you.” He is the One who goes before us. He holds the world in His hand.
Think about this . . . If the thing that you would attempt scare you, makes you have sleepless nights, makes you feel inadequate, screams at you that failure is a sure thing unless God gets involved . . . you might be on the brink of something epic. God has a history of showing Himself strong in the midst of our weakness.
What would you attempt for God if you knew you could not fail?
You’re not waiting on Him. He’s waiting on you. Do you need to make a move, come visit the DR, bring a team to the DR, MOVE to the DR, share Christ with someone in your neighborhood, change careers, become a pastor?
What is it that burns in your heart and draws you to Him?
Can you imagine what your life, the DR, and even the world would be like if all of us allowed that question to drive the vision for our lives?
For more information about ways that you can get involved with what the Lord is doing in the D.R. through Makarios, click here. God is BIG.
What better way to finish the summer than with a group from Austin Ridge? This group had to endure some sad moments like saying goodbye to two of our staff members and the embarkment of our interns, but they still managed to have a blast! They helped us throw a water party for the last day of school and got to witness our kids' soccer championship. Check it out!
The Prichett family joined a team from the Austin Stone this summer to come on a mission trip as a family. This was their first time participating in an international mission trip. This article is written by Rachel, 16, and represents the thoughts of the whole Prichett family.
After returning from our mission trip to Makarios, I wouldn’t call my team of 22 anything but a family. But what made this trip different for me is that my group also included my actual, literal family – Thomas (14), Rachel (16)(that’s me), Susan (Mom), and Steve (Dad). From packing to landing in a foreign country, the support provided by going as a family was invaluable for all of us. I think that knowing we had our family to fall back on helped give us the security to branch out more immediately, whether to locals, staff, or our other group members.
For Thomas and me, one of the biggest benefits of going as a family was, well, going. It’s fair to say that sending your teenaged kids off to a developing country with near-strangers is not at the top of any parent’s to-do list. Going with your teens allows joy rather than worry. According to Mom and Dad, “As parents, it brought joy to watch our kids interact with the local children, and to grow as human beings, both spiritually and emotionally”. Not to mention, going with our parents eliminated a lot of pre-trip anxiety for Thomas and me.
The trip was also powerful for Mom and Dad as a married couple. They’ve said that anytime you do something spiritual together, it bonds you as husband and wife. An especially powerful experience was the interaction with a village teenage girl with cerebral palsy. After having had similar experiences with Mom’s sisters back in the States, Mom and Dad were able to connect and experience something deep in a way they had before as a couple. Because of their past together they were able to bring something special to the D.R. and connect in an unusual way.
Our shared experience, however, was not nearly as vital while on the trip as it was upon our return. For me (Rachel), reverse culture-shock had hit hard before I even got off the plane. It didn’t help at all when I had to say goodbye to my newly-formed mission family at the airport. However, I’m lucky to have gone home with three of them, and to see them every day. We all shared the same wonderful, powerful experience. It brought us together rather than putting an impassable wall between us, as going alone may well have done. We’ve all tried many times to explain our experience to others, but it’s simply impossible to do it justice. It’s so nice to have an immediate family that understands, because they were all there. We’re still talking about the mission trip, and will be for a while. It gave us a unique spiritual experience that has invaluably bonded us as a family.
Makarios hosts short term mission teams year round, representing various people groups from youth groups to family groups to medical and dental teams to mixed adult and youth groups. For more information on how you can join us for a short term trip, click here.
The youth from Austin Stone have been coming to serve with us for quite a few years now, and we love hosting them! Each year we are amazed at how willing they are to serve and to give up part of their summer to honor The Lord abroad. Check out to see how they spent their week here:
By Kinzie Milare, recent group member from Fellowship Round Rock, Austin, Tx. Kinzie just graduated from high school and will be attending Texas Tech in the fall. This was her first overseas mission trip.
People go on mission trips for many reasons; however, the common factor is always to serve. My intent for going to the Dominican Republic was exactly that: to serve. I received so much more than I contributed. Playing with the children and sharing their genuine delight and joy, or the satisfaction of knowing you contributed to the Makarios house and school is enriching. However, the most rewarding thing I experienced was God’s presence and spiritual fulfillment.
I entered the mission trip entirely blind. I thought I at least had a loose mental map of expectations, but I never could have predicted the way God would move while there. The Christian community, the loving teachers, the amazing host family (shout out to Doug and Margaret who made the MAK House an amazing, positive place to live), and honesty of the children made the trip an unforgettable experience. The complete trust that the teachers, interns, and staff had in the Lord was truly inspirational.
Throughout the week, amazing relationships were formed with other teens, who also went on this mission trip. The most important was the strengthening of my personal relationship with God. It did not occur immediately and it required a few tears with complete sacrifice, but I realized that God was and is in complete control. This message was revealed to me throughout the week and was laid on my heart to share as a devotional. As I shared, I truly felt Him working through me and using me as an instrument for His word. It was an encouraging, uplifting and overwhelming experience. I know I never would have encountered this wonder without the community and loving atmosphere of the Makarios house.
I am so incredibly grateful for the privilege of visiting the Dominican Republic and staying at the Makarios house, but more importantly, the enrichment and sharing of God’s grace and love. I can’t wait for the opportunity to visit again, and pour out more of what God had for me.
Truly in God’s Love,
We love hearing from our group members after their time serving with Makarios and we always look forward to the energy and excitement that short term teams bring. For more information on bringing a short term team to serve alongside Makarios and take in the beauty of the Dominican culture, click here.
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!