Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving & Hill Country Christian the DR!

We had a special treat this Thanksgiving as we welcomed Hill Country Christian School of Austin back to the DR.  This group has blessed Makarios over the years, bringing groups down to serve since 2004.  This team of 17 helped in various ways- acting out the story of Noah for our students,
organizing supplies at the school, transplanting banana trees, playing with kids at recess, and even serving at the first Mak House wedding of our friend  and co-worker Benjamin.  The group worked from morning to night for the wedding, helping prepare tables, decorations, flowers, plants and more for this outside ceremony in the Mak House backyard.  The Lord blessed us with no rain and a great time was had by all, including funny moments that we will remember for a long time.

But perhaps the biggest way this team blessed us was by cooking a Thanksgiving feast for our American missionaries!   Being overseas during big holidays and missing out on some things we are used to doing can be difficult at times, and this team literally brought Thanksgiving to us in the DR.  They transported a cooler full of things like Cool-Whip, chocolate chips, yeast for rolls, pecans  and other foods that we can’t find here easily and labored in the kitchen for hours upon hours to
serve us a fine holiday meal.  Turkey, stuffing, Dominican sweet potatoes, homemade rolls and several pies were some of the items on the menu.  It was a taste of home for us in more ways than one and reminded us of the many ways God has blessed us, no matter where we call home.  Thank you Hill Country from the bottom of our hearts (and stomachs)!

And, as always, thank you for joining us in the journey.

Love, The Becks

Friday, November 14, 2014

Our October Teams

After spending a few weeks in the States visiting friends and family, and 2 weeks in Guatemala for language school, we returned to the DR and hit the ground running...

Cedarville University- October 14-19

 Cedarville University boasts as graduates our very own Sharla Megilligan, founder of Makarios as well as our medical staff of Darren and Becky Young.  The students at CU are working to raise money for Makarios and this group of 10 came to check out the ministry first-hand to better inform their classmates of the needs and value in partnering with us for the Gospel.  If these students represent CU, then it is a fine school, as we were incredibly blessed by them.

The team spent time with Makarios kids at the school and in their villages and got to participate in an outreach in one of the villages that our chaplain Cakito organized.  Joining with adults and youth in Pancho Mateo, the group helped clean, repaint and fortify the local basketball court where many community activities take place.  Then, at the end of the week, group members shared their testimonies of how God has changed their lives leading into a Gospel presentation led by Cakito.  It was a joy for the team be able to join in on the ministry happening in Pancho Mateo…thank you Cedarville!  We look forward to having them back in May when they return for a week long trip.  A special shout out goes to Scott Huck for the pics!  To see more pics of this week, you can go to Scott Huck's Page

Medical Team- October 25- November 1
Our medical team from Ohio made their annual trip to the school in late October to provide service for all of our kids and staff.  This 6 member team saw about 275 children and adults in 4 days, working tirelessly to bless our students and their families with expert medical care.  The cafeteria was turned into a doctor’s clinic for the week, and each student’s family was invited to come and get checked out by the team free of charge.  The team leader Julia, who has come on the medical trip for the past 4 years was encouraged because each time she returns she sees the kids in better health overall, which means the kids are growing up healthier and stronger than they were a few years ago.  It was a blessing to watch them play and interact with the kids during their breaks.

This team was a joy for Margaret and I to host as well.  Five of the members were on their first Makarios trip but adapted easily to the different conditions and surroundings.  We even provided them (unintentionally) with some on-again off-again electricity to give them the full Makarios experience.  Margaret and I enjoyed getting to know them and being able to provide a way they could use their God-given skills and compassion to serve our school in this unique way.  Thanks medical team!

And again, we are grateful for all of those who join us in the journey...

The Becks

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer of 2014 Recap

Sit back and grab your favorite beverage as we attempt to take you through our past few months.  Wow, what a ride it has been!

The summer started off by welcoming our 5 summer interns.  Kaylee, Chris, Clark, Jennifer and Rhett came to serve Makarios in various different ways:  at the school, with our doctor, at our soccer camp and with our group ministry. 
Our Interns!
 These college students had life-changing summers and were a blessing to us and the kids here at Makarios!  The interns had barely arrived on DR soil when our first summer group arrived. 

We were blessed to have Grace Bible Student Ministry out of Dallas come for their first visit to Makarios.  They were instrumental in helping us prepare for summer school.  We were thankful for all the painting and cleaning that they accomplished, not to mention the amazing Vacation Bible School that they did at the Mak House.   They did a tremendous job teaching the feeding of the 5000- the kids were captivated through it all!  The team was incredibly creative and organized.  It was a thrill to watch.
Margaret walking through the village
with some kids

Next, we welcomed back the youth ministry at Fellowship Round Rock.  It was such a blessing to have old friends return to do ministry together.  Some of our personal highlights included life changing experiences for some of the teenagers on the trip followed up by 4 baptisms on the last day.  We are never surprised at how the Lord uses these short term trips- both to bless those at Makarios as well as those who come on the trips.  Fellowship Round Rock has been such a blessing to us for the past 2 years.
One of our team members was using her nursing skills
to bandage up a playground injury!

Before our third team arrived, we hosted a “10th Anniversary Party” for Makarios.  Former staff from the United States, Mexico, and the current DR staff celebrated all that the Lord has accomplished over the past 10 years.  It was a blessing to hear testimonies from employees- both old and new- and rejoice in what God has done and IS doing through Makarios.
Thankful for these friendships!
New Friendships!

Austin Stone Community Church brought a family team that ended up being a team consisting of high school students, college students, young adults, a couple and one family.  It was a beautiful representation of the body of Christ.  You can read HERE a powerful blog entry written by the daughter who came with her family.  It was awesome to see the Lord bring together 21 strangers to serve in a foreign country and see them leave as a each other and to us.

 Next, the Austin Stone Youth Ministry paid us a visit.  Many of the students had come last summer to serve and we were thrilled to have them back in 2014.  These guys and girls did some intense work in the hot DR sun as part of their service, helping us get our 5th grade classroom ready .  We look forward to seeing them again next summer!

Our final group of the summer was from Austin Ridge Bible Church.  This team helped us run our final week of soccer camp and generously supplied medals and trophies for the almost 50 kids that participated in the camp.  Austin Ridge was a great way to end our summer- they were a joy to host and a tremendous blessing to us and our staff. 
Hard at Work!
So, that’s what we’ve been up to.  In September, we will be in the States visiting friends and family and hoping to rest a little before returning back to the DR.

We feel so blessed to serve with Makarios and are thankful for all of those who have come on a trip, supported us, prayed for us, and encouraged us...each of these areas are essential.  

And again, thank you for joining us in the journey!

Soccer Camp!

Margaret & Doug

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blessed Beyond Measure with Sagemont Church

"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."  2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Teaching Daniel and the Lion's Den

As I think about the trials that this team encountered even BEFORE they arrived in the Dominican Republic, this verse in 2 Corinthians comes to mind...they were certainly hard pressed and perplexed...I don't know about being persecuted, but their week had a rough start- beginning in Miami where they missed their connecting flight due to weather and had to spend the night IN the Miami Airport!  But, to God be the glory because in their weakness, they displayed that the all-surpassing power was from God.  While their overnight stay in the Miami Airport was less than comfortable, God gave them several opportunities to bond as a team, learn more about God, and minister to others in the wee hours of the night/morning.  Especially to a dear woman from the Dominican Republic who had recently lost her husband and was stranded at the airport, too.  Sagemont took her under their wing and ministered to this precious widow, just as the Bible commands us to do.  I know that this woman was impacted, but so were those who came to her aid.  Often our mission trip begins even before we get on the plane.  To God be the Glory!

Eventually, this amazing team of 16 arrived, but unfortunately, NOT ONE of their 30 bags accompanied them.
These lovely ladies made a bracelet
for Regina AND her doll!  See the JOY!
 Not one.  But, was this team was not about to be shaken, struck down, or destroyed!  No Sir!  This team had an incredible attitude.  We told them that it was obvious that God was going to do amazing things through them and we felt privileged to be along for the ride!  And boy, were we right!  Every time we turned around this team was loving, serving, encouraging, and ministering to others.  They brought a group of individuals who had a wide variety of strengths and gifts and it was a blessing to see the body of Christ in action!  The ages of team members ranged from a 15 year old high school girl to a 78 year old man!  The entire team was GREAT!  


They brought team building activities to do with our staff, Vacation Bible School to do with children who live near the MAK House, completed many items on our "to do" list, painted, constructed bunk beds, and the list goes on and on.  It was a joy to hear the students share about Daniel and the Lion's Den and lessons they learned earlier in the day about obeying God.  We also were appreciative of all the supplies they brought for the school and Mak House, including 200 new dresses for young girls at the school and in the community.
Daniel and King Darius

We are thankful for our new friends in Christ and are eternally grateful for the ways they blessed the Makarios Community.  Our hearts are full and grateful.  Oh, and by the way, they did get their luggage...all but one bag that the airlines is still searching for! :-)

What an amazing week we experienced.  Thank you, Sagemont!  Thankful for the ways God works in the midst of our strengths AND our weaknesses.  
Not to us, but to God be the Glory! 

Thanks for joining us on the Journey.
Love from the DR,

The Becks

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Stoller Group- Few in Numbers but MIGHTY in Service!

Mixing concrete for the shed in the background 
What a great week we had with the Stoller family.  We were blessed to have a multigenerational team consisting of a son, father and grandfather.  Win and his family came on a trip during the summer of 2012 and returned again this time with his son, Pete (affectionately known as "Pedro) and his father, Herb who was lovingly called "Abuelo" by the locals.  (Abuelo means grandfather.).

Constructing and installing screens in our kitchen windows!

This crew jumped right in and were eager to help with whatever we needed.  They helped with the mixing of concrete for our shed that our previous group started, they made screens for the kitchen windows, they led chapel, they started working on developing a design for our office layout at the school, and they played their hearts out with the kids at school and in our neighborhood.

Making bracelets

Every child who attends Makarios is sponsored by individuals or families who live in the States.  One of the perks of being on the front lines is seeing sponsors connect and develop relationships with the students they sponsor.  Over the past 2 years, Win and his family have had the privilege of supporting Alesandro, one of the students at Makarios. One afternoon, they were able to spend a few hours visiting with his family in his home and then they took Alesandro to get ice cream.  What a rich blessing to witness these connections!  It was great to see the Stoller family love on Alesandro and encourage him to do well in school and to walk with Jesus.
Visiting Alessandro and his family in their home

Herb and Pete teaching in chapel
They concluded their week by teaching the neighborhood kids the story when Jesus called his disciples to follow him and be fishers of men.  Herb created 4 drawings that illustrated the story while Pete read from a Spanish Bible.  They brought supplies so that the children could make a fishing pole and paper fish to take home as a reminder of the story.  It was so creative and the the kids LOVED it!  It is our hearts desire that these children grow up to love God and to be fishers of men!
Add caption

This group was such a blessing to our staff, students, neighborhood, and to us personally.  Thank you, Stoller Family for the countless ways you ministered to Makarios!

And, thank you for joining us on the journey.

Love from the DR,
The Beck's

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPRING BREAK! Hill Country Christian School, Austin, Tx

What happens when 43 high school students and chaperones descend upon the little town of Montellano?  Greatness!  We were so blessed again by Robin Inks and the folks from Hill Country Christian School of Austin.  For the past several years, they have been giving up their Spring Break to come and serve with us at Makarios.

The group split into several different teams during the week- we had some teaching ESL at school, some helping build a maintenance shed at our ministry house, some playing with kids during recess, some helping in the library and art classes, some conducting Vacation Bible School activities at our house for
neighborhood kids, and some helping at the school in whatever way possible.  The connection that this group makes with the kids and staff at Makarios is unique because they have been coming for many years and have built relationships over that time. 

Outside of school/work duties, the group made time to take some of the kids to the beach for a treat, had some intense baseball, basketball and soccer games in the villages, and even took a dip in a “pond” near the village of Chichigua.

The group praying before breaking ground on the shed

Many thanks to Robin and all the folks at HCCSA for blessing us with their gifts and servants’ hearts!  We love you and look forward to seeing you next year!

Thank you for joining us in the journey.

Love from the DR,

The Becks