Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Help Is On The Way

This picture was taken from our roof by Esther Havens.
Grateful for a reminder of God's Promises.

A team of 8 men from Austin and 2 other couples arrived just in time to bring some strong hands and encouragement our way.  God knew exactly what we would need and He provided.  This amazing team of men and women arrived on Saturday, the day after the flood.  They accomplished so much in a short amount of time.  With their help, we were able to clean the cafeteria and first floor classrooms, repair a section of the cinderblock wall that the force of the water had caused to give way , shoveled over 3-4 truckloads of rock, dirt, and gravel to enable the road leading up to the school to be passable, and added laughter to our home.  The students were able to attend class for 2 hours on Thursday and were able to eat breakfast, take their vitamins, brush their teeth, go to chapel, and receive a sack lunch to take home.  Monday, November 19,  was their first full day back to school.  We still have so much to do before the school is back and functioning properly, but we are on the road to recovery. Please keep us and this community in your prayers.

The Flood

This was taken as the school.  
You can see the flood water level on the columns.
 It was 3-4 feet high
The last 2 people from the Medical Team left on Friday, November 9  and later that night, we experienced a terrible flood that affected many of our students, staff, community and school.  We received a call around 11:00pm from Josh, our Director in the DR, to come immediately to the school and “bring the truck.”  We were there within minutes, but it was too late.  The road was already blocked off and the flood waters were waist deep.  There was also a rescue taking place right before our very eyes.  Josh, Sarah & Yomo (2 teachers) had all gone to check on the school.  When they saw how high the water was and how quickly it was rising, Josh told us to meet him at Yomo’s house.  Yomo’s lives near the river and they were afraid that her house might be affected by the rising water.  We winded our way through the narrow streets and driving rain and finally arrived at her home but it was already under water.  The water was so high and rushing so quickly that Margaret had to stay at the truck while Josh, Doug, Andy and Sarah went to help Yomo’s family save what they could from her home.  They were not able to stay long because of the rising water.  When we got back into our truck, we saw that we had missed a call from a teacher who lives in our neighborhood.  His house had rising water, too.  So, we headed over there.  Again, we were not able to reach their home because of the rising water.  In order to get to his home, Doug and Josh had to cross the river that was now rushing through streets.  Once they got there they helped put some of their belongings under a tarp on higher ground and then brought Lucia (who works at the Mak House) and the children back across the river to our truck.  They all spent the remaining of the night with us.  The water rose so quickly with little to no warning.  The flash flood was a result of heavy rain in the mountains that raced without any discretion, taking out everything in its path through our little town.  The next morning when we arrived at the school, we couldn’t believe the destruction to the school and the surrounding villages.

We didn't have our camera to document the damage, but here are some pics from some of our staff as well as Esther Havens.

Our cafeteria became a stopping place for items recovered from the classrooms.
There was a pile for the "good" the "bad" and the "ugly."

Our Kindergarten Classroom.
Dena, the teacher, said it looked like a scene from the Titanic
Sifting through books in the library

The destruction of a local home

This is how high the flood waters came in his home

Cleaning up the flood at the school
Books taken out of our new library
A neighbor who lives near the school.  She told Esther she
was thankful to God to be alive.

Medical Team Update- Long Overdue!

So much has happened since our last post...

Here's a snapshot of the Medical Team...they were INCREDIBLE and so much fun to have in our home!

We were so blessed to have an amazing Medical Team join us from October 27 until November 4.  During the period of 4 short days, they were able to see over 470 students and families of Makarios as well as others from Tamarindo, Chichigua and Pancho Mateo.  It was awesome!  They treated so many physical ailments and were even given the privilege of seeing someone receiving the ultimate healing.  One dear woman gave her life to Christ after visiting with one of the PA’s.  Here are a few pics to capture their time here:
Three different stations were set up for patients in the Makarios Cafeteria

Families from a neighboring village, Chichigua outside
the "makeshift" clinic waiting to be seen

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Doctors are coming!...The Doctors are coming!

Our first group of the school year comes this weekend!  They are a group of about 15 doctors and nurses (mostly from Ohio) who will come to the Makarios school to see and treat the kids and their families.  They will also spend some time in the 3 villages we serve treating those in need of medical care.  Our job will be the pick them up at the airport, house them, feed them and get them where they need to go during their stay in the D.R.  Margaret has her work cut out for her cooking for so many and Paco will get  some good D.R. driving in as he takes the team to their various locations.  We are looking forward to hosting this group and would appreciate your prayers.

Two Makarios children taking a bath at their home
We continue to enjoy life here.  God has blessed us in so many ways by allowing us to live where we do and use the gifts He’s given us.  We see new things every day, and continue to meet locals who are incredibly helpful and friendly to us. 

Our Spanish is improving every day,  and although we’ve had a few humorous miscommunications we continue to press on in our language learning.

Thanks for joining us in the journey- we appreciate your love and support.  We will leave you with a few pictures from our life here in the DR

The Becks
Paco and our watchie, Miguel.  He's become a good friend

Our drinking water being delivered
Chichigua, one of the villages Makarios serves 
A view down our street

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our First Month in the D.R.

Our Amazing Makarios Staff and Teachers
Such exciting things are going on in the D.R!  The Fall semester is officially in full swing as Makarios kicked off another school year on September 19.  As we drove through the streets of Montellano on our way to school, we were so encouraged to see students dressed in their Makarios uniforms and excited about their first day of school.  The day went amazingly well and was better than what was expected!  The students were full of excitement but well behaved throughout the day.  If you want more of an “inside look,” check out our video.

We are continuing to get acquainted with our new neighborhood.  We love taking walks and meeting the neighbors while practicing our Spanish.  This culture is very “community oriented” and you can find people gathered around visiting at any time of day.  Everyone is so kind and eager to make us feel at home in this country.  It has been fun for us to have a home that has become quite the place to hangout after school.  At any given day, we can have up to 25  kiddos playing basketball, baseball, climbing fruit trees, or just running around in our yard.  We love it and hope to influence these kids for Christ.

And finally, last Saturday, we hosted a party for the Makarios staff and their families – about 45 people in all!  It was fun to fellowship with the American, Dominican, and Haitian staff and show them our appreciation for all their hard work and dedication to this ministry.  One thing about this culture, they know how to have a good time! 

We have so many highlights, in fact every day is filled with them.  But, here are just a few:

Margaret’s Highlights:  Hearing the kids at our gate yelling, “Paco” to see if we are home and able to play.  Also, I love driving down our street and seeing Samuel, who is 2 years old, running out saying, “Adios Paco!” Another highlight was hosting the All Staff Dinner and Game Night as well as Brunch with the ladies.  Such a great time of fellowship.

Doug’s Highlights- Playing baseball in the backyard with the neighborhood kids and being at Makarios and seeing the excitement on the first day of school.

Thank you for your love and support.  

We Are Blessed,
Margaret & Paco

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our First Week

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here almost a full week.  Hurricane Isaac delayed our arrival by 2 days, but we got here just in time for our orientation with Makarios.  On our first night in the DR, we were greeted with a Welcome Party given by the Dominican, Haitian and American staff.  We spent the next 2 days at orientation getting to know each other and learning more about Makarios’ mission.  We capped off the week by having fun with the staff at a local water park. 

Back at our new home, we are getting adjusted to our life here and we absolutely love it.  We’ve ventured out of our neighborhood to go shopping for groceries and to go to church.   This might not sound like an accomplishment until you witness the driving here.  Let’s just say that there aren’t many road rules being followed. 

Another big change that has occurred since we arrived on the island is Doug’s name.  We “officially” changed his name to PACO.  We felt like this was necessary because of the confused looks we got when people heard Doug’s name.  One guy started barking and another said, “You are moving with your DOG?”  We quickly realized that “Doug” doesn’t translate well. 

One last change we thought we’d mention is our new pet.  When we moved into our new place, we inherited a rooster named Lovey.  (That’s him on the left.)  He is good company and he makes sure that we don’t oversleep in the mornings.  We are hoping to get 3 hens in the Fall. 

We love the nights here.  You can see a million stars and the sunsets are amazing.  Also, our neighborhood is very active...from our home we can hear the Pentecostal church competing with the roosters crowing, the crowd cheering at the basketball tournament, dogs barking, horns honking, the guy driving the banana truck saying something through a megaphone, and other random neighbors' music...so different from what we are used to...and we love it! :-)  

Thank you for your partnership, prayers and encouragement.

Margaret & Paco

Friday, August 24, 2012

Adios Amigos!

In less than 48 hours, we will be boarding the plane in Houston to head to our new home in the Dominican Republic.  We have packed our bags are are ready to go.  We are keeping a close eye on our friend Hurricane Isaac. He might determine some of our travel plans.
Our last month has been a great way to prepare for our new life and responsibilities in the DR. We wrapped up our training in Colorado Springs at MTI on August 17.  We are thankful for the things we learned and feel more equipped to enter into a new culture for the cause of Christ.

After 3 great weeks in Colorado we said our “goodbyes” and headed to Albuquerque to spend some time with Doug’s family where we took in a ball game, played countless hours of games, and just enjoyed spending time with Steve, Brandy and the kids. 
Currently, we are in Lake Jackson visiting with Margaret’s family, tying up loose ends and enjoying time with her parents and grandparents. Sleeping late, practicing Rosetta Stone, and playing games have been on the agenda.  Tonight the Williams’ family will join us in Lake Jackson and we are looking forward to our time with them before they take us to the airport on Saturday.

We fly out at 6am on Sunday morning (weather permitting) and should arrive in the DR at 2:00pm EST.  Thank you for your prayers and support to help us get us to this place.  We are grateful for the emails, notes of encouragement, texts, and voicemails.  We have made progress with our financial support but are still looking for those who are interested in partnering with us on a monthly basis.  If interested, click on the GIVE tab above.

Please continue to pray for us as we go.  For more specific requests, please visit our PRAYER page.

With great excitement and anticipation…
The Becks

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mission Training International

A picture of us at Mission Training International in Colorado
Well, our journey has officially begun!  We arrived in Colorado Springs on Monday, July 30 to begin our 3 week training before heading to the Dominican Republic on August 26. It has been so encouraging to be with 40 other missionaries from several different sending organizations going to the far reaches of the world. We already feel like this training will be extremely beneficial as we begin our ministry in a foreign country.

Please pray for us as we continue to prepare to leave and serve the Lord in the D.R.  

Feel free to check back for updates.  This will be our primary way of communicating with others while we are serving overseas.

With Love,
The Becks