Saturday, June 20, 2015

Welcome the DR Interns 2015

Cole, Jonnah, Jacob, Kelly and Win

We are so excited to have 5 new interns this summer!  We spent 5 days with them before our first team arrived and we could not be more thrilled with this family that the Lord has assembled together.  We are SOOOO blessed!  I'm looking forward to ministering along side them this summer.  Please be praying for their time with Makarios in the DR.  Here's a little bit about each one...

My name is Cole Bland. I was born and raised in Austin, TX. After 18 years spent in Austin I decided to venture out for once and I chose to attend Texas A&M University. I will be entering my senior year in the Fall majoring in Construction Science. I wanted to be a Makarios intern this summer because I have seen how God uses this country and the people here to change lives and I'm honored to be apart of that.
Fun fact about me: I went to the same school from Pre-K through 12 grade 

My name is Jonnah Baker and I am a recent college graduate from Cedarville University.  I will start work full-time this fall as a mechanical engineer at Cummins.  I enjoy zumba, soccer, music, art, and taking care of my pet turtle, Joe.  I'm excited to serve this summer with Makarios and hopefully long term in international missions in the future.  To God be the Glory.
Fun fact about me: I really want to get dreadlocks.

Jacob is on the left!
My name is Jacob Jordan. I am a senior Chemistry major at The University of Texas at Austin and currently serving as a DR Makarios Intern for the summer of 2015. I first heard about Makarios when I attended a short term mission trip to the DR with my church, The Austin Stone. While here, I felt moved by the way in which Makarios loved, served, and worked with the local communities as well as their devotion to remaining Gospel centered. I enjoyed my time with them so much that I began praying over possibly interning with them during the summer. One thing led to another and I ended up packing my bags, and coming back for another 2 months!
Fun fact about me: I love running and applesauce

My name is Kelly Brown and I'm from Spring Texas and currently attend the University of Texas in Austin. I'm studying bilingual early education and will graduate in two years. This is my first time with Makarios and am so grateful for this opportunity. I enjoy playing games, hiking, dancing, and exploring. I am excited to see what God has planned for this summer!
Fun Fact about me:  I was on Project Runway

My name is Win Porras and I am the soccer camp intern for the summer. I'm from Plano, Texas  and have been living in Austin for the past 5 years while attending The University of Texas. I recently graduated with my Masters in accounting and will be moving to Houston in the fall to start work with Deloitte in their Tax Practice. I wanted to be involved with Makarios this summer after working with the soccer camp last year on a short-term trip. I am excited to be part of such an awesome ministry and see how the Lord uses this time to do some awesome things!
Fun fact about me:  I have a secret love for, and consider myself an expert in identifying various plants, flowers, trees, and shrubberies.

Here's to a GREAT summer!  Thanks for joining us in the journey!

The Becks

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gracias Logos Prep!

We had a tremendous "End of the Year" and Logos Prep in Sugarland, Tx played a significant role in our week long festivities. Our partnership started with them when we first moved to the DR to work with Makarios.  My sister, Elizabeth, is a kindergarten teacher at Logos and for the past few years her classes have done chores to raise money for a water well, library books, and uniform shoes as well as written personal letters to the students in the kindergarten class at Makarios.  However, over this past year we have been encouraged as our partnership has grown.  

Mak Students with Letters from Students from
Logos Prep Kindergarten Classes
This past week, Greg Anderson, the director of Student Life at Logos Prep, led a team of 24 students and 5 adults to serve alongside us in the DR.  They were a huge blessing to us before they even stepped off the plane.  Logos Prep generously collected supplies for the Makarios School as well as the Mak House.  They loaded up10 supply bags and 4 storage trunks all weighing close to 50lbs!  We were blessed by their generosity!  In addition, Greg has been in communication with Laurie, our principal at Makarios, on ways their school can help train our teachers to make Makarios an excellent educational facility.  A beautiful partnership has formed between the 2 schools and Makarios, DR is grateful.

Making bags of rice and beans for our students
to take home over the 2 week break
This team hit the ground running!  We had a host of activities planned for them including teaching in the classrooms, manual labor, Vacation Bible School at the Mak House, village visits, bagging rice and beans for 150 students,  a Water Day for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders and Logos Prep came prepared with 2 water slides, super soakers and water games galore.  Their trip culminated with the end of school year production at the school!  They set up chairs, decorated, made and served 400 hotdogs+15 cakes, and cleaned up afterwards.  This was a blessing to our teachers and staff who are usually the ones who are doing prepping and cleaning.  This year, the teachers were able to attend the performance and focus on celebrating with their students on the last day of class while Logos Prep did all the "behind the scenes" work.

It was so fun to have Logos Prep here and an additional blessing was to serve alongside Stewart and Hallie, our niece and nephew.  They served with us in 2012 and have been back to visit us on several occasions, but it was fun to have them here on a team, serving alongside their classmates and friends.

All in all, this team was a JOY to host!  There is a deep sense of contentment when you serve alongside others who share the same vision for education and ministry, as well as their love for the Lord.  The students and leaders where a huge source of encouragement to us.  I am excited about this partnership and look forward to how God is going to use Makarios and Logos Prep to further His Kingdom.  “Not to us, but to God be the glory for the things He has done.”  Logos Prep…we can't thank you enough!  See you next year!

Here is the video we made for Logos Prep 2 years ago after the kindergarten classes donated money for a water well.

If you are interested in helping out financially with our ministry with Makarios, you can give a special or monthly donation by clicking here.

As always, thank you for joining us on this journey.  We are blessed!

Love from the DR,
The Becks

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Andrews and their Sponsorship Story

Mike, Nancy, Lizzy and Dominic Andrews with the 3 students they sponsor at Makarios

Meet Mike and Nancy Andrews.  They visited Makarios during Sponsorship Weekend in April with their 2 children, Lizzy and Dominic.  We had such a great time with them and appreciated their heart and all the ways they have loved, supported and encouraged Makarios.  We LOVED having them here and can't wait for them to return.  The weekend impacted their whole family and we wanted to share with you their experience.  Thank you to everyone who is a part of this journey...I hope you'll be encouraged by what God is doing as you read how God is working among us.
Love from the DR,
The Becks

"My grandmother gave me the nickname.  It means 'Little Head'," says Cakito responding to our question as to the origin of his name.  Whether or not he has a little head is debatable, but not the size of his heart. Cakito is a big part of the Makarios school, serving as chaplain and primary disciplinarian.  It wasn't that long ago he was one of its first students too.  He guides us through the streets of a Batey called Pancho Mateo, his place of residence and site of where Makarios originally first offered classes.  He shows us exactly where it once stood over a decade ago.    Nothing about the original building remains, but its influence is felt all around us.  On a nearby basketball court on one of the walls surrounding it is a painting of the Makarios logo.    Kids pass us by on the street as we walk and call out to Cakito. 
Tour of Pancho Mateo with Cakito
on the way to Son’s house
He answers back something encouraging, drawing a laugh or a smile from them. He is some of the first fruits of the original Makarios school, having been invested in for years, he is now returning that by pouring into others in the school and in his own community.  A fact that deeply impacted us and was echoed by Doug and Margaret Beck -- our host couple -- during our time there.  When you see and walk through the surrounding towns that are poverty stricken it's human nature to want to solve it.  Fix it.  Have some sort of plan for it.  Doug and Margaret emphasized that there are no easy answers.  It takes years and years of investing and pouring into the lives of young men and women until you eventually see young men and women like Cakito rise up.    It's what we needed to see and hear, but it was also something we didn't expect to see so close up and personal.  Then again, we didn't know what to expect on our first sponsor's trip.    

Our family had been talking about taking a trip to Makarios for some time. We felt that our youngest of 8 years, was finally at an age that a trip like this would be impactful – so when I saw the email announcing the Sponsor Trip, we signed up right away. We had no ideas or expectations about what this trip would be like, except that we would get to meet and hang out with the kids we sponsor. That after years of praying, writing letters, reading updates, we would finally get to MEET them, hug them, experience them. Our kids, ages 12 and 8, were very excited. After much prayer and planning the day finally arrived. With passports in hand, together as a family we left the USA and started a journey that would draw us closer to each other and closer to God.

Lizzy with beautiful Pancho Mateo girl
who walked up and just wanted to hold Lizzy’s hand
We met our hosts, Doug and Margaret Beck upon arriving at the Mak House. They were warm and friendly, genuinely delighted to have us there. Sometime that first evening they gave us an overview of what our trip would look like. It was obvious that each item on the schedule was carefully thought out with the purpose of getting to know and learning more about our sponsor kids as well as emphasizing through the testimony of others how much of an effect sponsorship means to the children. From time at Makarios, sharing lunch with the children, playing, ice cream, walking through and learning about the villages in which Makarios ministers, ending with a day of fun at the Mak House with the children and their families – it could not have been planned more perfectly. The greatest honor was the privilege of being invited into the homes of the kids we sponsor, meeting their parents, hanging out, talking, and praying for them.

 Lunch with the sponsor kids
And then there was the 4pm hour, the unexpected pleasure of the neighborhood kids knocking on the gate of the Mak House, wanting to come in and play. We came to truly look forward to this time of day and found joy in being able to laugh and play with the village kids and communicate with them in the universal language of “play.” This time of day at the Mak House was so impactful as it made us realize the far reaching ministry that Doug and Margaret have around them, making the Mak House much more than a place to stay. It really has become very much like a light on a hill in the local neighborhood.
Dominic leading prayer with the families before they left.
We haven't stopped thinking about our trip since we returned. The smiles and laughs of those children we met are still etched in our minds. The passion that Doug and Margaret have for their ministry was inspiring and contagious. The opening of our children's eyes and hearts to the reality of the world that exists outside the U.S. is a precious thing and a catalyst for deep and meaningful conversations and urgent prayers for those that are in great need. We have great memories from our trip, memories we believe will last a lifetime. 
We hope to all be back again to make more ...