A Peek Into Makarios' Austin Office
Those sweet, smiling faces in the pictures that melt your heart- talk about daily motivation. In our Austin office, the walls are covered with beautiful reminders (thank you Esther Havens) of why we do what we do, and why we do it to the best of our ability. While our school is in the Dominican Republic along with our teachers, students, and staff members, a few of us work and live in Austin. We strive to invite as many people as possible into the ministry that is Makarios. The DR staff and the Austin staff may be miles apart, but we are family. We work together in casting vision, and in making that vision a reality.
In the Austin office, you will find people planning mission trips, booking flights, buying insurance for travelers, interviewing potential staff, launching fundraising campaigns, collaborating with interns, guiding missionaries who are fundraising, keeping finances in order, Skyping with DR staff leaders (sometimes a hilariously broken connection), recruiting teachers, and meeting with people who are interested in serving with Makarios. We get to offer churches an opportunity to serve towards something we deeply believe in, and be the bridge between communities in the United States and communities in the Dominican Republic. We are here in part to maintain those relationships and communicate the resource needs of the DR as well as the relational needs. It’s a life-giving and chaotic environment full of collaboration and respect. We encourage each other, pray over each other, serve each other, laugh together, and challenge one another to grow. It’s messy at times. Life usually is. Many issues come up that make us look around and realize that none of us have the answer. Praise God for those moments, where we recognize our desperation for God, and the urgency to lean into Him for all decisions. This desperation is a call to humility. Humility does not produce boundaries, but is a reminder that we serve a limitless God- humility allows us to dream big and set big goals. After all, we have seen Makarios flourish over the years by the grace of God, and because of people’s willingness to be obedient.
It is an honor to serve an organization that cares so intentionally for people. To know that our kids have opportunities they may never have had without a conviction followed by obedience. Lives are being changed, education offered, and we are all invited to be part of it!
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Yet, some of us read the word ‘go’ and our hearts drop. We don’t feel encouraged, but we should. We feel like we are lacking in purpose- but we shouldn’t. We ask ourselves: what do we do when we’re not ‘called to the nations’ right now?
Two things have been made very clear since joining the Makarios family:
1. No job is too small. We are all parts of the same body, working together interdependently. This is true both in the office, and in the broader organization. If dishes need to be washed, we wash them. If a card needs to be mailed, we mail it. If a fundraising campaign needs to be launched, we will launch it. Any and all of these tasks can become the responsibility of an intern, a trip planner, or the executive director himself. This mentality becomes essential in cultivating a culture of service. Every task we complete, is in the service of someone whether they are sitting next to us or across the ocean. In the Austin office, we have the privilege of knowing that on the receiving end of our work, there are missionaries in the Dominican Republic who are able to better focus on what they have been called to do. It’s not a lack of purpose, it’s just a different one.
2. You have to be where you are. We have to look around and recognize that while we are serving people through our work, there’s a reason we are not serving alongside our DR staff. We have community here, and the second we think about all the things we could be doing abroad, is the second we cease to be present. We look around for who to serve and how to love. Sometimes that means making friends with the homeless man walking into the office. Sometimes it means initiating “Taco Truck Tuesday” and inviting friends to support Maria in her taco stand. The important thing is not how far we extend geographically, but how far we extend relationally.
The truth is that whether any of us have been overseas before or not, we are working in this particular office for a reason. We have to accept peace in the fact that we have not been ‘called to the nations’ in this particular season of our lives. We are, however, called to Jesus.
No matter where we are, our mission is clear: we are to love, educate, and empower.