Friday, March 24, 2017

Hug A Dentist Today!

We had the privilege of hosting the Dental Team again this year.  Dr. Bud Neeley and Dr. Laurie Bradley (Barton Oaks Dental),  and Dr. Josh Tomasik (Tomasik Family Dental) are amazing dentists from the Austin area who always bring an incredible team to minister to our students and staff.  This was our 5th year to host this team, but Dr. Bud has been offering his dental services to the Makarios Family since almost the beginning.  One thing that is extra special about this team is that they have many returning members each year, so it’s like hosting a little reunion of friends every time they come.  They have quickly become treasured friends and are such a blessing to us personally. 
This year, Doug and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary by getting our teeth cleaned.  You know what they say, “A couple who flosses together stays together.”

Here’s a video that they put together about their week here. 
Thank You, Dental Team! 
We appreciate all that you do to keep the Makarios Family and School healthy! 
See you next year.

Video Credit:  Daisy Tabarez

We love you guys and appreciate your prayers, love and encouragement from afar.  Thanks for joining us in the journey!
Love from the DR,
The Becks

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Back In the DR!

Home, Sweet, Home!  
After being in the States for 4 months, I (Margaret) received a clean bill of health and we finally returned to the DR on January 6th! Hallelujah!

This picture makes me so happy.  It symbolizes so many things that I love here.
The people, the culture, God's creation!
I couldn't help but try to capture this moment as I went up to get Silvia's laundry.

It has been great to be back.  The day after we returned, we began doing what we love- HOSTING!  We've had people in our home since the day after we got here... and it's been awesome! Cole & Win (former summer interns) and Stewart (our nephew) and Sharla (founder of Makarios) were in town for a wedding and it was fun to have people back in the house.  
Cole & Win with us at the wedding
As soon as we dropped them off at the airport, we picked up Silvia who has been staying with us for over a week.  She has been a complete joy to have in our home and she will be here until Thursday. 

The Dental Team arrived on Saturday, and they've been busy doing what they do best- providing excellent dental care to our students, staff, and community members.  Stay tuned for another post with details about their time here!
Cole, Win, and Stewart- Looking like tourists!
Me and Silvia

We are grateful for a new year and new beginnings!  Thanks for your love, prayers, and support, not only throughout our journey in the DR but especially during this past year.  And we especially want to thank everyone who prayed for my health and gave towards our medical needs.  We are truly blessed...and grateful!

The Becks

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Friday, October 14, 2016

An Update from the States

We are grateful for a quiet place
to rest while in the States.
"My soul finds rest in God alone."
Psalm 62
As many of you might already know, we have returned to the States to address some of the health issues Margaret has been facing since last January, and we thought it was time for an update.  We continue to be encouraged by the news we are receiving from the doctors regarding Margaret’s health, although she is not out of the woods yet.  Margaret continues to improve and is having more good days than bad, so we are thankful.  She will have more tests in November, and will see her endocrinologist and infectious disease doctors in November and December.  Depending on the reports we receive from her doctors, and the condition of her health, we are tentatively planning on returning to the DR in January, but we will wait to make that decision until we have more info.  Thank you for all who have prayed for us.  Even in the midst of this season, we are constantly saying to each other, “The Lord has been so good to us,” or, “The Lord has protected us,” or “The Lord continues to provide for us.”  So, although this season is not ideal, we are grateful for the countless ways we see the Lord’s kindness and goodness. 

We are also thankful for the Lehrs who are continuing the Lord’s work in the DR in our absence. They are hosting teams in the Mak House and are holding down the fort while we are away. Having them in the DR has given us great peace as we work on our health issues in the US.

Before we sign off, we wanted to share with you some insights from Elise.  Elise is a senior at Cedar Ridge High School and has been to the DR several times with Fellowship Round Rock.  May you be encouraged by what the Lord taught her this summer.  Elise, thank you for sharing your experience with us!

Elise in Pancho Mateo
"Each year, I have flown into the Santiago airport thinking about the impact I will make when I get there. And each year I leave reminded about the impact the Dominican Republic has on me.

     We visited Makarios the last week of soccer camp, meaning that at the end of the week, there would be a competitive soccer game between two of the four teams. Watching the game is always bright and lively, exciting and celebratory. Each boy playing on the field has a blast, and every fan watching has equally as much fun. The sun’s rays are constantly on the back of our necks, exhausting our group, but never stopping the boys from playing at their full potential. Since it is the championship game, the boys receive medals and trophies at an award ceremony that takes place directly after the game. As the game comes to an end, the blue team celebrates their victory and both teams rehydrate. I slowly walked back to the school, drenched in more sweat than I’ve ever been before. I took a seat on the cold, cement floor in the back of the school cafeteria. The boys shuffled in excitedly and took their seats, eager to receive their awards. Parents, siblings, and friends of the soccer players scrambled in as well and found a chair. The room buzzed with small talk, victory cheers, and an overwhelming amount of joy. However, in that moment, I felt drained. I was unable to notice how evident the Lord’s glory was shining in that cafeteria. I sat in the back, hoping no one would approach me to try and start a meaningful conversation.
Elise and Her Sweet Little Friend
Glancing around the room, I noticed the sweet face of one of the boys’ sisters, about eight years old, sitting in the lap of my friend. We made eye contact, and she lifted herself off my friend and scooted next to me. She grasped my hair and braided it gently. Then she plopped down on my lap. She began to make silly faces at my friend and I, causing us to laugh hysterically. She hugged me then rested her head on my shoulder. My heart softened. Of course the Lord knew exactly what I needed in that moment. I was so oblivious of the obvious joy around me, so He sent that little bundle of joy my way. Her love and compassion for me when I stopped pursuing the mission I was there for was such a sweet reminder of the constant love and compassion God has for me when I forget to pursue Him. I’m so thankful for a God who extends such grace toward a sinner such as I."

May you be blessed!  We love you and thank you for joining us in the journey!

With Love,
The Becks

Monday, July 11, 2016

Health Update

This picture was taken in March, just a few weeks before I got sick
To say that April, May and June have been eventful would be an understatement. 

After several months of not feeling well, I (Margaret) had a crisis situation and ended up in the hospital in the Dominican Republic at the end of April.  I immediately flew to the States and saw an internist and endocrinologist to determine what was going on in my body.  After 4 weeks of testing, I was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease and remained in the States to recover for a total of 7 weeks. 

Fortunately, I am back in the DR, but my fatigue is still very present.  The doctors have told me that over time, the fatigue will diminish and I’ll start to feel better.  Through all of this, God has taught us so much.  I’m so thankful for His provision.  Doug and I have been the only host couple for the last 4 years, but just before I got sick, another host family reported to the DR and were able to smoothly jump right in and help Doug while I was away.  Their help has been tremendous, but the gift of their friendship has been irreplaceable!  We count our blessings for the Lehrs!

I’ve also seen the beauty of the body of Christ!  While in the States, I had friends (and some strangers) making phone calls to doctors’ offices to help me get appointments ASAP; others brought by meals; many reached out; some sent notes of encouragement; some offered their services for free and the list goes on and on…it was a beautiful example of God’s love in tangible ways.

Whoa!  Look at my face!  This was taken 2 days
before I went to the hospital in April
And finally, through my sickness and uncertainty, 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 has been etched in my brain and I have never been more convinced in God’s sovereignty and care for me.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  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 Corinthians 4:7-10

There is hope in the gospel, and we are thankful for that Truth. 

Thank you to many of you who have prayed for us, encouraged us, supported us, emailed us, etc.  We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we have received from friends both near and far.  Thank You!

The Lehr Family and Interns
We are right in the midst of our busy season hosting summer teams, but are thankful to be sharing the load with the Lehrs.  Please be praying for all of us as we host and minister to the teams coming this summer.  We also have 7 interns who have been ROCK STARS!  Please pray for them, too as they minister to teams, to us and the Lehrs.

Even though we have health insurance in the States, our recent out-of-pocket medical bills have been significant. If you’d like to help with some of our current and medical expenses, you can click HERE to give. All gifts are tax deductible.
This picture was taken in May...
There is still considerable swelling in my face.

Another way you can help is by purchasing Young Living Essential Oils.  A friend who has Addison’s gave me some Ningxia Red from Young Living to help with my fatigue and I’ve found that this, and some other essential oils have helped with some of my symptoms.  If you have ever considered using essential oils, and if you order them using my member #, it will help me purchase what I need.  Contact me if interested.

Despite all the recent struggles, God has been faithful to us as we continue to serve here in the DR.  Thank you for your part in our life and ministry.  As we often say, “Life is Never Boring.”  Oh, What a journey! 

Love from the DR,
The Becks

I hope these pics of my face will keep you entertained and in prayer for me! While it is definitely still better, it still looks like I just got my wisdom teeth out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Monthly Snapshots

Well Friends, we are LONG overdue for an update!  So, instead of giving you a play-by-play, we will give you a monthly rundown via pictures!

This is the precious couple we lived with while we were
students at a language school in Mexico.
Eduardo and Lorena were like our second family. 
Our time in language school proved to be very fruitful
in our continued language study.

We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in the States with our 2 families for the first time since we moved to the DR almost 4 years ago.  It was also a joy to celebrate Margaret's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary!

We loved the 2 teams we hosted in January and appreciate their years of friendship with us and partnership with Makarios.  When we host Fellowship Round Rock and the Dental Team led by Dr. Bud from Austin, it's like hosting our family.  They beautifully served the communities, in the same way they have year after year.  They were such a blessing to us and Makarios.

Miguel (our watchie at the Mak House) with his twin, Miguelina.  Several months ago, he told us that he had a twin sister who he had not seen for over 20 years!  So, in February, we offered to take him to visit his sister and it was AWESOME!

We also enjoyed celebrating birthdays in February.  Two of our neighborhood children (who we are especially close with) celebrated birthdays in February.  So, we baked cakes and celebrated with neighborhood kids.  It was SO FUN!

We hosted 2 AMAZING teams during the Spring Break Weeks.  First, we had Cedarville University from Ohio and then we had 37 youth from Sagemont Church in Houston.  They worked so hard and we had a ball in the process!


We have been busy preparing for the Summer Interns!  We will have 7 college students who will be joining us for the summer.  We have been coordinating calendars, schedules, and job responsibilities- it's going to be an AWESOME summer!

At the end of April, we had a Sponsor Trip.  Here's a pic of the sponsor kids enjoying the Sponsor Water Party at the end of the week.

These are amazing sponsors who participated in our Sponsor Week!
This is a special week when sponsors can personally interact with the Makarios student who they sponsor.
We LOVE our Sponsors!!!

As you can see, it's been a fruitful few months.  Pray for us as we enter into the summer months.  Logos Prep from Sugarland will be visiting us in 2 weeks, then the interns arrive, and our summer teams come soon afterwards!  Ready or Not!!!

We'd also appreciate prayers for Margaret's health. She has not felt well since January and is currently in the States for medical treatment.  We still have a lot of unanswered questions, so your prayers are appreciated!

And Again...thank you for joining on this journey!  The Lord has been gracious to us, and we are thankful for YOU!

"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil..."  Hebrews 6:19

The Becks

Photo Credit for March pics:  Rachel Sawyer.  THANKS, Rachel!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Teams #6 Crosspointe Church in Austin, TX and Sagemont in Houston, TX!

Our Final Summer Teams!

A Craft from VBS

Summer 2015 ended with a bang! We had two churches- Sagemont from Houston and Crosspointe from Austin- join us for our final week of group ministry this summer.

The Sagemont women and the team from Crosspointe combined efforts to help us finish out the playground at school, projects at the Mak House and conducted 2 VBS activities for our neighborhood children. These teams worked diligently to help us finish strong! Both teams did an incredible job teaching and coordinating VBS at the Mak House for approximately 40 (or more!) children each day. The kids loved the crafts they made and both teams had a creative approach in teaching God’s Word. The children who live around the Mak House do not attend the Makarios school, so we are always encouraged when teams reach out to those who live in our community.

the Sagemont men led an outreach in Chichigua for the men in that community centered around the film Courageous. It was a huge success as older men as well as younger guys showed up to hear the message that was preached over the course of four evenings. 
                                                           For the final night of this outreach, the families of the
Making the Tool Boxes for the Outreach
men were invited to come for dinner and worship. 
The purpose of the outreach was to empower the men to use godly tools to be good husbands, dads, and men. To illustrate this, Sagemont built 40 toolboxes and filled them with tools they can use to find work. 
Completed Tool Box

These were given to the men who attended the outreach all 4 nights. The pastor in Chichigua will follow up the men who participated in the outreach and we are excited to see the fruit from this week. We’ve already heard one encouraging story from one of our young students. He told his teacher at Makarios that his dad had been staying at home at night which was something that he had not done in a long time.
On the final night of the Men's Outreach, the men who
attended all 4 nights received a certificate, and
each wife received a rose.

It was a jam-packed 8 days to say the least. Included in our final week, in no particular order, were: significant flight delays, severe migraines, seesaws made from tires, lost luggage, sharing the Gospel with 40 kids, an emergency appendectomy, repairing toilets, building 40 tool boxes, taking our 45 soccer camp kids to the beach, painting our iron gates, flat tires, family emergencies back home, wonderful worship from our Dominican staff…and the best part is that God was glorified through it all!

Repairing Toilets
The Soccer Camp at the Beach!

On a personal note…during this final week, we had a huge answer to prayer! Our beloved friend and watchie (security guard) Miguel became a new believer in Christ! After years of praying for him, he recognized his need for a Savior and that he was not good enough to reach Heaven on his own. Late one night, in the carport, Miguel put his trust in Jesus for the first time. He has always been a dear friend and the hardest of workers, and now we share the common bond of Christ. Thank you to all who have prayed and/or talked with him in the past about our Lord! We have already seen significant changes in his life and can’t wait to see his impact for the Gospel in our community.

Thank You, Team Crosspointe and Team Sagemont.  You were an amazing blessing and we are thankful for your service to the saints!

What an amazing summer!  Not to us, but to God be the glory.

Thanks for joining us on this journey. 

We are Blessed,
Doug & Margaret

The Crosspointe Team!

The Sagemont Team!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reflections From A Hospital Bed

A Rainbow Outside the Hospital on the Day We Were Leaving!
A Reminder of God's Promises!
There's a first time for everything. After serving in the DR for 3 years, and hosting 1000 people at the MAK House, we had our first trip to the hospital with a team member. I knew this day would happen eventually, and I'm thankful for the outcome. Once again, the Lord put us in a situation where we had to completely depend on Him for wisdom- and we are grateful.

Meet Nicole Cox- a precious 16 year old from Austin. On her first night in the DR, we rushed her to the hospital because of severe abdominal pain. After blood work, scans, and a sonogram the evidence was clear...she needed to have an emergency appendectomy. The doctor's words were not what we were expecting, nor was it what Nicole or her parents (who were in the States) wanted, but she was not in any condition to be flown home and she needed surgery immediately.

I'm so thankful for the body of Christ! We had 2 churches staying with us during this week and God provided exactly what we needed. The teams were amazing and stepped in to fill in the gaps. We had a nurse (Jenny) from the other church who helped with Nicole's care as well as a translator (Claudia) who was a huge help at the hospital and provided a great sense of comfort to us all!  Jeanette, from Nicole's team, took great care of her and was a blessing to me (personally) at the hospital. We had friends (thank you Ryan and Courtney!) and amazing interns helping us host the teams while I was away, and we had friends from the DR (Perla & Jody) come to the hospital from 1am-3am to translate for us to make sure we weren't missing anything. God is so good!

I'm thankful that God does not waste the pain. Just a few days after Nicole was released from the hospital, this is what she wrote:

August 6, 2015
I would say that mission trips, as well as most other things in life, never go as planned...Even when the past 3 months were spent to do just that- plan.  My idea for this trip turned into something I absolutely never imagined.  I started off the first day with a home sickness pain in my side, which later that pain turned into an infection in my appendix.  My first day in the Dominican Republic also turned into my first surgery.  I couldn't find a good reason why God would fly me all this way to sit in a hospital bed.  After I realized all the support I had in a place with no family, and doctors who spoke little to no English, I knew God was showing me how important it is to give to someone in need, even if all you can do is sit by them and talk, or watch Judge Judy (Margaret!) I've come back to the Mak House to finish out the rest of my trip.  I can't do much, but I know all you need to give in a place filled with this much love is your best.  I can't thank Margaret and Doug enough for creating such an amazing environment.  This place really showed me that family isn't about blood, but it's about the unconditional love you share in the most simple of things, you do them together as a family, a big Mak House family.
-Nicole Cox

Me, Nicole, and Jeanette