Would you join us in praying for the various components of Makarios this month? Muchas Gracias!
"In the morning, O Lord, you will hear my voice: in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." Psalm 5:3
Bella Lopez Martinez, Makarios Staff
It is a pleasure for me to be able to talk about what Makarios has been in my life.
And the answer to the question, "What has Makarios produced in your life?" is short and sweet: Blessing. But that would not be sufficient to leave it at that. Oh what God has done through Makarios! I knew of Makarios because my friend Marnelia was working there. She and I attend the same church and she was the one who introduced me to Makarios. At that time my husband nor I were working nor did we have a place to live. Someone lent us a room in their house for us and our two kids to live. I had no idea all that God had prepared for us.
I then decided to go to the Makarios School to ask if there was need for Christian people to work and to not make the story so long, they hired me as an assistant to the teachers. Then the following year they made me the head teacher of the classroom. It is in this moment that the big trials started. I had two miscarriages, I wasn't able to pay my bills at the hospital, but God had selected people to help me pay that debt. Then I broke my right hand and my knee also.
But Makarios was also with me in those moments. Though I have experienced hardships, I have also seen how the love of God has been there through all the people who were giving of themselves without complaint. I believe that without the help of God and without the help of these people who know how to love and help that I would not be in my 6th year of working with Makarios. Through the special people that God has here my husband works for Makarios and the blessing of Makarios has spanned the generations of my family. My family is verrrrrrrrrrry thankful to God for allowing us to be a part of this very special family. Makarios has taught me to not need to just understand God, but to obey God also.
I am working as an administrative assistant this year. My husband is a chaufferr for the school. My daughter is a student at Makarios. We are in charge of the worship at Makarios activities, but it isn't just what Makarios has given us physically, but spiritually we have learned by the example of the leaders who recognize God who is bigger than culture. We are a blessed family. We are a family that God has chosen to be a part of Makarios and we want to be a blessing to Makarios. God is faithful and good. My family is always praying for Makarios and for the people who support this ministry.
Makarios has incredible staff who love the Lord, the students and each other! If you have had the opportunity to interact with Makarios and have experienced the product of blessing as a result, would you send some encouragement and leave a comment? For more information on what Makarios is about, click here.
by Rachel Sawyer
A product as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary:
noun prod·uct \ˈprä-(ˌ)dəkt\
Simple Definition of product
What does it mean to be a <Product of Makarios>? We are not dealing with commodities, objects to be bought and sold. We are dealing with people, created in the image of God, His workmanship, crafted by His hand to walk in good works that He prepared ahead of time for each one to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). We aren't talking about a product, packaged for maximum appeal and marketed for maximum success, but a person, empowered by the knowledge of Christ's love for them, unleashed to their full potential, set forth for kingdom building - one household, family, community at a time.
What are we striving for that the process of being a part of Makarios would result in for our students and their families? How does the environment of Makarios shape the future for those we have been entrusted to for a season? These are some of the things that we intentionally strive for as a result:
As an organization dedicated to meeting the spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of impoverished people, we are continually striving to improve, evaluate and discern the imprint that we are leaving on those who serve with us and those we serve. With sincere and authentic hearts we commit to being intentional about creating an environment that produces servant hearted leaders that love the Lord, the world around them, and who ultimately hold the key to making an eternal difference in their spheres of influence. We ask for your prayers in this process.
Click here for more information about the mission and vision of Makarios.
by Wes Holloman, Associate Pastor - Sagemont Church, guest blogger
Life and ministry are so much more fun when you do it with others! I have seen that in my own life so many times! I love Walt Disney World, but experiencing it with my family makes it all the more MAGICAL. I love serving others, but there is NOTHING better than serving hand-in-hand with another person.
A few years ago, my family and I were privileged to have dinner with Jon and Rachel Sawyer and with some of our mutual friends. Rachel actually went to Baylor University with Kelli, my wife, and me (a LONG time ago), and we had a great time talking about old friends and fond memories of the “Good ‘ole Baylor Line.” Our conversation quickly switched to hearing their hearts for missions and for the people of the Dominican Republic. The stories of what the Lord was doing were just incredible. At that point, I knew partnering with Jon and Rachel was not just a thought, but this needed to become a reality.
After meeting with our missions team, Sagemont Church moved forward in making Makarios one of our major strategic mission partners. Of course, everything looks great on paper, but you never know what will happen in reality. We sent our first Sagemont Church student group, and I can’t BEGIN to tell you how the Lord used this mission trip to challenge and transform a group of students in the most incredible ways. Over the past several years, our church continues go back and partner with Makarios because of the life-changing experiences that happen when you serve on mission with those of the same mind and heart.
What has happened at our church because of our partnership with Makarios?
· Students have shared the Gospel for the first time.
· Students have been called to the ministry and to the mission field.
· Parents have seen total transformation in their kid’s lives (I was so privileged to go to the DR with my oldest daughter. She STILL talks about this mission trip and will be going back to the DR next month!).
· Students are stretched and taken out of their comfort zone to challenge and strengthen their relationship with Christ.
· We have made life-long friends with incredible people like Jon, Rachel, Doug and Margaret!
Being a partner with Makarios has absolutely changed our church family! You can accomplish so much more when you work with someone, and you can accomplish a hundred-fold when you partner with a team who want to accomplish the same goal…to tell others about the love and grace of Jesus! For this, Sagemont Church is forever grateful for Makarios and their leadership!
We can’t wait to see you all next month!
If you would like to walk hand-in-hand with Makarios by officially becoming one of our amazing partners, click here for more information. Partnering with us can also be sponsoring a child, a missionary kid, a teacher, a classroom, etc. or by giving to a particular area. We are thankful beyond measure for the many ways that churches, organizations and individuals come alongside us in meaningful and impactful ways!
Judie Hickey, guest blogger
How did this happen? In this month of Valentines and love, how did a beautiful, impoverished Caribbean island country grab part of my heart? How did I become a partner with the ministries and people of the Dominican Republic?
The first visit - It began innocently enough. Back in the late 1990s, my husband and I visited the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola to see our teacher daughter and to witness the work in which she was involved. Our visit didn’t take us to the beautiful tourist areas on the coast; instead, we got to experience a week of life in the town of Santiago. Little did we know that as the years went by the Dominican Republic would become more and more a part of our lives.
The School – In 2004, out of direction from the Lord and love for the people, a friend of our daughter began a mission program in some of the Dominican villages. (This program/organization was named Makarios which means “blessed” in ancient Greek.) She wanted to teach and demonstrate God’s love. Seeing a need for classroom education, nourishment, and health programs for the children of the country, the Makarios program expanded to a rudimentary school, which opened in 2007. When sponsorship funds were required for each child, the need reached our hearts and we partnered with Makarios to sponsor a precious little student. Surely the partnering would end here.
But no--- During several more visits to this island, the people of the DR have touched my heart. Despite possessing very little in earthly goods, Dominicans have reached out with friendliness. During our most recent stay on the island, we visited a small mountain village for a Christmas worship service. Even though we didn’t know the language, we found the service full of such joy, the music spirited, and the people ever so friendly. Following the service the people of this village shared heaping plates full of rice, beans and chicken with us. Such generosity, despite great poverty.
The children- Visiting the children in the towns or in the school makes one realize how precious the kiddos are. Imagine sitting alongside them in their classrooms, as I did, and seeing their proud faces as they read, sing, speak, and play. Their bright eyes sparkle; their hands reach out in affection; their smiles are infectious. Yes, there goes a little more of my heart.
Our family – In 2013, we saw our daughter, son-in-law, and three little grandchildren leave the U.S. to become missionaries in the Dominican Republic. It was with both joy and sadness to have them leave to serve the Lord in the Makarios ministry. Anyone who is a grandparent knows that part of his/her heart is with the grandkids. This family-connection touched us to be an even bigger partner in the Makarios ministry.
The word “partner” can be used as a noun or a verb. Let me use it in both ways. Makarios is a partner to us as we partner with the organization in student sponsorships, general giving, missionary support, and, of course, prayer. The portion of my heart that is part of the Dominican Republic is rejoicing in the Makarios partnership.
Desiring to dive into partnership that will leave a lasting and eternal impact? Click here for more information.