DAN AND ROSEMARY KALLEMYN
We would like to introduce you to Dan and Rosemary Kallemyn. They are regular fixtures in the clinic at the Makarios School. They've served for many years in this capacity, either filling in for staff on furlough, or serving on medical mission trips. Both are registered nurses by profession, and their servant's hearts and willingness to jump in with a moment's notice have made them valuable Makarios partners in our mission to Love, Educate and Empower communities in the Dominican Republic. They spent this summer organizing and preparing the medical clinic for a brand new school year, and it's impeccable! We had a chance to sit down with them and chat about their experience with Makarios.
How many times have you been to Makarios in the Dominican Republic?
This was our sixth trip so far, and we have another one scheduled in October of this year. Most of those trips have been serving in the clinic, but the first couple were on medical mission teams.
How did you originally come to know about Makarios?
We were visiting our son's church, Faircreek Church in Ohio, and the pastor shared about a medical mission trip to Makarios. We had always wanted to do missions work, but could never manage it while we were still working. Now that we were retired, we jumped at the chance to find out more and talked to the pastor after service. A couple of conversations later and we were on the trip!
You've served with us regularly over the years...any thoughts on the growth you've seen?
Makarios is in a huge season of growth right now. When we first started coming down, Makarios was like that quaint little church in a small town. Everybody knew each other and it really felt like a family. Recently, there's been tremendous growth with the school expansion and the Family Empowerment ministry growing its programs and staff. It's comforting to know that it still feels like a family. The momentum really has traction and you can see the impact deepening in the communities we serve. That's allowing students and their families to become productive, followers of Christ...and that's been neat to watch.
Do you have any impactful stories you'd like to share?
So many really special things have happened, but recently a little boy from the community came in with some burns on his leg from a moto. He was probably six or seven years old and had a "Dominican Tattoo" (what they call leg burns from riding motos here) that had occurred a couple of days earlier. We examined his leg and by the looks of it, they were 2nd degree burns if not 3rd degree. It was a pretty nasty burn that hadn't been treated, so we washed it and bandaged him up. We had some antibiotics on hand and gave them to his mother with instructions for aftercare at home. That evening we were having dinner with one of our summer mission teams and we all prayed for him. A few days later, his leg was much better than we expected...much better! We can't say that God healed him for sure, but we also can't say that He didn't! We are thankful that we got play a part in helping this family.
What's one thing you miss about the DR when you head back home after trips here?
Relationships with the people. Since we've been down regularly over the last several years, we've been able to foster some really deep relationships with staff, students and their families. We've cherished watching them grow and develop over the years. It's hard to say goodbye each time, but we know we'll be back.
What would you say to another person, or couple, who is considering serving with Makarios in a similar fashion as you?
It's an excellent, rewarding opportunity to practice your skills and use your gifts. You get to see so many tangible results...and you get to see them quickly. Serving in a medical capacity, we have gotten to see progress happen over years. We love seeing the students and staff grow and change. Serving in any capacity with Makarios is such a rewarding experience and there are so many incredible things happening now, it just keeps getting better. It's really fun to see the entire organization working together so well and achieving so much. All you have to do is come down here one time to see firsthand why it's such a great opportunity. That's what we did, and we plan to keep it up as long as we can!
Dan and Rosemary have been such an incredible blessing to Makarios. We cherish their partnership and service over the years. They truly are part of what makes Makarios feel like a family. Please join us in praying for them; that their time at home would be restful and filling, and that they would feel our appreciation in so many ways.