Marching time! This year the Makarios School was honored to participate in the annual Independence Day Parade in Monte Llano. The parade consisted of students and staff of twelve local schools. Participating in this tradition is a BIG deal for our school, and this is the first year we have been invited.
Many of the schools displayed their banners and national flags while others danced and marched with small bands. Our students and staff braved the long walk with smiles and waves for all those watching the festivities. We held the flags of the Dominican Republic and the banner for Colegio Makarios with pride while marching along with drums played by several of our teachers. We even had two of our boys dressed as Juan Pablo Duarte, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic.
Overall, we all had a wonderful time being with our city on this special day. We are thankful for the invitation to participate and hope that this becomes an annual tradition for Colegio Makarios.
The 2014 annual Makarios staff retreat was nothing short of a fantastic time. The purpose of the retreat is to rest, spend time with the Lord, and bond as a whole staff. It is the only time of the year the Austin staff and Dominican Republic staff are all in one place, for the most part. The Austin staff flies down for the week and we all pile into some gua-guas and head to the beautiful mountain town, Jarabacoa, where the temperature is cooler and the air is fresher. Just as our leadership had prayed and planned, I rested, I spent time with the Lord, and I bonded. It’s not like I had deep, life changing conversations with each individual on our staff, but there is something to be said about spending a weekend away with a group of people that makes you feel like you’ve known someone forever. Or maybe it was the shared rafting experience of flying/falling down rapids in a boat full of laughing and screaming Makarianos who, for some, were one hundred percent terrified. Either way, bonding definitely happened amongst the Mak staff.
I can be sure that each person experienced something different that weekend and experienced God in his or her own way. For some it was restful. Honestly restful without the daily distractions or responsibilities their life back in Montellano demands from them every day. For others it may not have been as restful, as there were different responsibilities for different people, but instead maybe they were being blessed by the chance to see a new place, to be in fresh air surrounded by a thousand trees, to be fed three delicious meals each day at no cost, to cry after fits of laughter at who even remembers what, to be poured into by the amazing leadership team we have. Whatever it may have been, I have no doubt that God blessed each staff member in His own perfect way.
For me it was getting to sit/stand/snuggle alongside my Mak family and spend the nights and mornings worshipping our Lord and Savior. Haitian, Dominican, American, all worshipping and praying in our preferred language and all worshipping our same God, just like Psalm 86:9 describes. While I absolutely love worshipping in Spanish now, I still deeply miss worshipping at my Austin church the Austin Stone. So when Sharla informed us that she was bringing one of the worship residents from the Stone with her to come lead bilingual worship for the retreat I was PUMPED. How sweet is our God to give us the desires of our heart! One night in particular stood out to me. We were all piled into one of the lodges and were singing, “Set a Fire”, which consists of very simple lyrics that our Dominican Republic staff picked up pretty quickly. As I looked around the room at the mixture of wonderful people I get the pleasure of serving alongside and as the words “There is no place I’d rather be than here in Your Love” were being belted whole heartedly, I thought man if this isn’t a teeny slice of what Heaven will be like I don’t know what is! All I knew was as long as I am on this side of Heaven there was no place I’d rather have been in that moment than worshipping my Savior with my Makarios family.
Written by Kelly Case
Our students love showing off their smiles! And who better to show off to than a professional filming crew and a dental team. In February, Makarios was blessed to have Wellington and Ingrid Gonzalez at the school to film the many different aspects of the ministry. Wellington and Ingrid have been long time supporters and have a heart for Makarios which showed in all they did for the school during their time here. Ingrid and Wellington spent hours filming in order to provide videos that will help tell the whole mission behind our work. Our ministry will be able to use this footage in so many practical ways. We are truly blessed by their friendship and love. They also took time out of their busy schedules for laughter and hugs with the students and staff.
During this same time, the annual dental team arrived to treat our students and staff. This team worked very hard to provide good dental care for our students and staff. They were patient and gentle providing lots of love and support to everyone they saw. It was very exciting to hear the dentist say that he has never seen our students teeth look so good! Daily brushing of teeth and annual dental exams are showing in our smiles.
This year the Makarios School has added a new subject… art! With the guidance of our art teacher Profe Kelly and school librarian Profe Miranda, each grade at the Makarios School is able to attend art class during the week. It has been a joy to see our students embrace their ability to create and we love seeing their personalities show through their artwork.
From learning how to cut a zig-zag line to examining the features of the face, our students are able to enter the art room each week and explore. They are able to work on their problem solving skills, improve their motor learning skills, and ultimately, share their thoughts, imagination, and self through a visual language.
Now, where does all of this beautiful artwork go? The walls of our cafeteria, where our students may see their artwork each morning they arrive to school. Our school’s cafeteria has become the “giant refrigerator” to display our student’s creations. Every week or so, brave Profe Kelly climbs a ladder in the cafeteria and hangs our student’s artwork up on the walls for all to see. It has been an incredible way to non-verbally communicate to our students, “ we are proud of you and of who you are”.
We are thankful for the addition of an art program within the Makarios School and the way our students are being a reflection of the Lord, our creator.
Through the giving hearts of our-sponsors, our teachers are able to do what they love, teach and care for our students. Along with providing our teachers with the opportunity to teach, part of our sponsor's monthly gift allows members of our staff to attend a local university. A number of our teachers are education majors and in their studies, they have learned the importance of creating a positive learning environment for children in their preliminary years. With this being said, what better way to teach and learn than through games and laughter! Above is a video of our Pre-K 3 class learning through a game created by their teachers, Profe Bella and Profe Katherine. Enjoy!
Thank you to the sponsors of our teachers for walking alongside our staff so that they may bless the students of Makarios. We currently have members of our staff who are in need of sponsorship.
For more information, please email email@example.com
We are excited to share with you that there are big and positive changes happening within the Makarios School. Currently, the Makarios School is moving towards the process of accreditation according to the regulations under the Dominican Ministry of Education. We have made the decision to move in this direction because we are confident that it is the best decision for our students and the future students of Makarios. To be an accredited school will help ensure that the education of our students is acknowledged by the Dominican government and other academic institutions within the Dominican Republic. This process is a big step for the Makarios School, from the adoption of a new curriculum to the rearrangement of our students in relation to the public school rosters (many of our students attend the Makarios School in the morning and then public school in the afternoon). We thank the Lord for His guidance during this time.
In addition, we are thankful for our new school house located next door! Our fifth grade students are beyond excited as well and it has won the title of the fifth grade casita (little house in Spanish). The history of Makarios is truly humbling and we know that all is by the grace of His hands. We are blessed.
At the end of October, Makarios was blessed with the opportunity to host a medical team from the states. This group was comprised of 4 medical providers (2 MDs, PA, NP), an optometrist, RNs and other ancillary staff. There were 13 people in total from Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia. They brought much needed medications and other supplies for the week-long clinic as well as supplies to be used throughout the school year (a huge blessing).
Makarios has been hosting a medical team since the fall of 2007 when my family and I brought the first team. Since 2007, we have continued these trips and this year we had the pleasure of being the medical team host family. It was great being on this side and we hope to continue these trips to improve the health of the Makarios students and their families.
It was an exciting week to say the least. There is a great need for medical and eye care here in the Dominican Republic and within the span of four days, the medical team saw about 550 patients! The cafeteria was transformed into a 4 room hospital and through the use of this space, various health conditions were attended to. The team cared for all of the students within the school, their families, the Makarios staff and their families, members from the local church (Templo Biblico), and the surrounding community. Along with working within the school, the team spent two half days outside of the school, visiting one of the villages (Pancho Mateo) and we able to see where our students and their families live. Rex (our one eye doctor) was a very busy man during the trip. He checked the eyes of all of the students in the school (115 or so) and hundreds of others. It was awesome to see some of the elderly come out with glasses and immediately pull out their Bibles to see if they could read the word. To see the smiles on their faces when they could see what they were reading was priceless! They also spent a morning in Chichigua seeing anyone who wanted to be seen there. The highlight was having one of the student’s moms come to know Christ because of this team. She was having depression and other problems and with the help of a great translator she lead her to the Lord.
This week was a huge blessing to the community of Makarios as well as those near or associated with this wonderful organization. Thank you so much Medical Team 2013! We are excited for the preparation for next year!
Darren Young PA-C, MPAS
Makarios International Director of Health
Preschool is a time for learning colors, shapes, & numbers. It's a time for singing songs, coloring and having lots of recess time. It's a time for little ones to become accustomed to the daily routine of school.
Our Pre K-3 and Pre K- 4 classes are doing just that! They've had a great time playing with each other during recess, feeding our school bunnies, dressing up for the Dominican holiday "Dia de la raza" and just overall enjoying the Makarios school. Take a look a few recent photos & short video of our preschool students enjoying themselves at the Mak school!
We had a beautiful start to our 2013-2014 Makarios school year!
Thank you Lord for blessing us so.
Here are some resources as mentioned during Cedarville chapel on humanitarian aid and missions. Please contact us for more resources or with any questions.