Preparation for the Hurricane
As many of you already know, our Makarios communities on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic are expected to be hit hard by Hurricane Irma. In light of those who were affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, I want to give you an update on how we are preparing in the DR for the hurricane and also ask for your prayers.
School las been cancelled for the week, and the school building is prepared for potential flooding. The Makarios House will be a safe place for anyone who needs it, including our staff and families from our communities. We have encouraged those who are able, to evacuate to the middle of the island. We are stocking up on water, food, batteries, etc.. to weather the storm.
After the hurricane passes, depending on the severity of the damage and potential flooding, we will communicate any needs to help get the school and families back on their feet. Please pray that the damage is minimal and more importantly that our students, staff, and families are safe. We trust that God will care for us during this time and comfort those in need.
Thank You for your prayer and support during this time,
There’s a power in written encouragement, it begs to not be forgotten. Sending encouragement to someone has never been easier than it is today, and yet, it can be so rare to see that personalized envelope in the mailbox. So we thought we’d give you 3 reasons to let the Holy Spirit move through your pen. Send encouragement to someone you love, letters are a perfect tool to love, educate, and empower.
1. LETTERS REMIND PEOPLE WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Paul talked about what matters- Jesus’ love and grace for us. Sometimes people who got Paul’s letters were in rough places, they had forgotten their purpose and their creator. Being unable to see beyond circumstances makes it hard to imagine change or experience freedom in Christ..I Each word received from Paul reminded the readers that a world exists outside their own. Paul never complained about his life, he let his life illuminate the truth of God. Paul reminded his friends that his life of following Christ was hard too, but that life held more than his current struggle. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 corinth 4:8-10
2. LETTERS REMIND PEOPLE WHO THEY ARE
Letters serve as a physical reminder that someone is valued and loved, and give them ability to go back to the words when they need to be reminded. Paul’s letters to Timothy reminded him that he was strong and capable of doing much, despite his young age. Letters marinate their readers in the truth of who they are. Letters allow people to savor your encouragements over and over.I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith (2 Tim 1:4b-5a).
3. LETTERS LIFT PEOPLE UP
Paul’s letters catapulted his people to go do the work of Christ. Only when we sit in truth can we take action and love like Jesus. Reading letters allows the reader to hold onto truth, to keep kind words in their pockets before setting out. Paul used encouraging words to tell his friends to get out there! Paul told his people that, “since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrew 12:1 Paul used words to empower people, so that when they set his letter down they were ready to live the life God intended for them. Letters inspire change in others and breaks chains that hold people back from reaching their dreams. Wherever we are, we can love others through putting our words on a page. You can doodle a silly picture and leave it on a co workers desk. You can jot down a memory to send to an old friend. If you’re supporting a missionary through Makarios or another sending organization, sit down and write a letter. Your words matter. Don’t hold back from loving people today.
We are so proud of the Makarios family. We have so many wonderful students, local staff, and missionaries. Each of them worth encouraging. If you are a sponsor or are supporting a missionary, consider writing them a letter. We would love to receive encouragement from you!
1801 E 51st Street Ste 365-300
Austin, TX 78723
Write your sponsor student, local staff, or class online HERE.
To celebrate the beginning of the school year, we are reflecting on what makes us LOVE teachers so much. A teacher can change the direction of a child’s life. We have some incredible teachers at the Makarios school, and we know a few around the world. We have chosen 8 words to pray over the teachers we know and love this year. If you know a teacher, would you join us in praying for teachers everywhere?
Here’s what we’re praying for:
Every day takes creativity from teachers, and that is not always easy.
Caring teachers send out a message to kids that their needs are known and heard.
When kids are difficult, or just a lot to handle, passion drives teachers to continue to pursue students.
Teachers who listen detect when kids are having a bad day, or when a concept is not making sense.
Teachers who embrace fun and create an atmosphere of laughter help kids experience the adventure of learning!
Inspiring teachers encourage kids to go beyond and dream big!
Teachers who lead don’t just talk about a concept, they guide kids into a life of learning, loving, and changing the world.
Teachers who love their students give them a glimpse of the way God loves them.
You celebrated with us in December when a few of our teachers reached their goal of graduating from University! We have been so encouraged by their determination, and the grace they displayed as they balanced school, teaching, and taking care of their families.
We thought we would follow up with two of our teachers and hear from them as they reminisce on the experience of University, the people that made it possible, and all that has happened since!
On graduation day I felt so happy and thankful because I was able to achieve my goal and dream to become a teacher.
God showed me His love, faithfulness, and that He is my hope and refuge during University.
Since graduation, my life is much calmer. I have time to dedicate to my family. My plans now are to continue studying because I would love to be a teacher for Gestation de Centro (an education service center). I would like to take special classes to help students who struggle with reading- this is a great passion of mine.
God showed me His faithful during University because it was really difficult to attend with a newborn baby. God helped with with this and showed me His provision through my mother, who was a great help to me. She cared for my baby when I needed to attend class or study. I thank God every day for my mother who allowed me to achieve my hope and dream of being a certified teacher.
Every day I give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to serve as a teacher in a school as special as Makarios. I am here with the purpose to give the best of myself to my students, to education with love and to share the good news of Jesus Christ to my students and their families.
Graduation day made me feel completely happy. I felt that it was a huge step in preparing me to be the teacher I want to be.
Throughout my time in University, God taught me patience the power of hope. He showed me time and time again that He would provide a way for me to attend and He helped me through so much. This made me even more thankful for all that He has done for me.
I am much less busy now that University is over. I have time to spend with my family and in the community my mother lives in.
God helped me by not only providing for the materials and money to attend University, but he also gave me protection. Every Saturday I would leave my home at 6 am and walk to the main highway (about a mile) in the dark. He protected me during these times.
Now I hope to practice all of the things I learned in University on a daily basis in my classroom. My hope is to eventually teach social studies in the upper grade levels.
These past 5 months have been crucial for me and the team that are putting together this beautiful program. I had been told by a friend of mine that starting something new it’s never easy but it's worth its reward if we maintain our hope, which ultimately guides us in our course.
Our greatest challenge is also the most significant part our work. It hasn’t been trying to define the “What” or the content of our program. That, in fact has, been pretty easy. In our desire to honor God and let Him guide our journey, as individuals and as a group, we have been reflecting on the “why” behind our schedules, meetings and future activities.
The Family Empowerment program vision is this:
To have families transformed by the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and parents that are ethical leaders, capable of influencing their communities.
We believe this is a Kingdom vision - Its greater than our capacities, but God certainly can do more than that. We desire God’s presence to be near. We pray that God will transform our families and us.
WHO ARE THE FAMILIES THAT WE ARE WORKING WITH?
There are 89 families already involved in our school program and those that are being added every year from the 3 different communities.
Pancho Mateo: 34 Families | 48 Kids
Chichigua: 12 Families |26 Kids
Tamarindo: 36 Families | 51 Kids
16.5% live with Grandparents
70% of our Families are Dominican
40% of our families have have no commitment with any church or any religious affiliation.
14% of our mothers cannot read at all.
Most of our families prayer request are related to Employment, Housing, Parenting, Spiritual Strength and Family Stability
It’s my intention to share with you some basic truths or beliefs that are guiding us and that are very aligned with the mission of Makarios.
These are the reasons why we wake up everyday and find hope in the midst of such a challenging job.
I am talking about the map that will help us when we face trials.. I am referring to something that is greater than the things we do, beyond the people we work with and their realities, the engine that pushes our lives for His purpose.
The greatest reason we do the work we do is because we love Jesus. . We have talked about this. And one the Bible verses that summarizes best is
1 John 4:10 WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.
The Family Empowerment Program is driven by three truths:
1) God’s overwhelming love for us and our response to that Love Help us to be aware of our urgent need for Him.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus encouraged people to seek God’s Kingdom before anything else.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. But, if we did not pay attention to what he said on verse 24 we wouldn’t understand why He is saying that. 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. No one can love two masters that are opposite in nature and essence. In another way, if we ever decide to chase our own interest and passions- that’s exactly when we would have failed in makings things for God’s glory and surely our expressions of love for Him would be empty.
In my relationship with some of my closest Christian brothers within our organization we tend to use words like ‘’pecador’’ (sinner) or ‘’miserable’’ (Miserable) For some of those who have heard us call one another those names, it has been shocking. What? What? Did you just call him sinner? Did he just call you ‘’sinner’’? It’s funny to me when people react that way. The reality is that we really are sinners but it the context that we use the words is to remind us of our need for Him. It also reflects the closeness of in our relationship. This is something I love about being in a personal community that is encouraging to one another, even if it takes to kick to the behind at times.
We can not wait to share this with our families! And We pray that God will send others to join us in this.
2) God’s overwhelming way of loving us is often described as the Kingdom He is preparing- If we love Him we will want to be part of that.
In cultures like mine Jesus’s teaching about the Kingdom is mistakenly and sadly often taught and misunderstood as something to wait for. Something that does not really affect your life now. It gives you hope but it’s not practical. Obviously Jesus teaching, his public ministry and His message tell us a different story. He promised His Kingdom is going to be established but it definitely has implications for our lives now.
Matthew 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Showing that the closeness and implications of this Kingdom for those who want to be part. This Kingdom requires a radical and holistic change in our lives. This is why the Hope that Jesus offered me has an inevitably effect in my marriage, my finances, my relationships, my time, my resources, etc.
3. God’s overwhelming love for us forces us to joyfully talk about Him, to be a channel to proclaim his Name.
In the New Testament I find a notorious contrast of two type of men. Those who said they love God but did not really mean it (Matthew 15:8-9). And those like the apostle Paul who found his most inner joy in God, living for Him and Proclaiming his name.
1 Timothy 2:3-73 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
We as the Family Empowerment Program and I personally are honored to be a channel so that the Name of Jesus continues to be known. We hope you can be a part of this from where you are.
HOW ARE WE SPENDING OUR TIME CURRENTLY?
WHAT DO WE WANT TO OFFER OUR PARENTS?
● Mentorship: Finances, Marriage, Stewardship
● Adult Education
● Health Education
● Spiritual Development
● Parenting, Vocational Training and More.
HOW CAN YOU PRAY FOR US?
Please Stay tuned! We would love to continue to share news with and connect you to the work God is doing through this program.
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