Sunday, June 13, 2010

Penny wants ice cream

Our puppy, Penny, isn't much of a barker. In fact, when Joey (my parents' dog) and Laci Wiener bark at the neighbors together, she usually runs the other way in fear. Boldness isn't her forte. But there is one exception to this lack of vocal expression: her calls to the ice cream truck. Penny howls like a madman at the ice cream truck which comes by probably everyday, yet we have never caught her in the act on camera...until now. You can see just a few seconds of her asking for ice cream before she catches us in the window:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Remember the Alamo

Ladies night.

This story is about our ladies night two weeks ago. First of all, the "Makarianas" got a text message from Garrett Boon one weekend saying, "The guys would like to make dinner for the ladies on Monday. There will be entertainment."


I love eating dinner, so of course, I was down. Little did we know, this would be a dinner extravaganza! Garrett even ended up taking of the entire day of work in preparation for this event. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but the Alamo Drafthouse is pretty much one of my favorite places. Movie + food?! Yes, please.

No detail was lost to these guys. The Makarios boys are currently: Garrett, Miguel, Jody, and Riley. The men created the Alamo Drafthouse in our own Makarios house! The tables were set up (complete with flowers) pointing toward the projector on the wall. There were even previews consisting of clips from: So you think you can Dance, Best of Friends moments, and Pride and Prejudice! THEN, the ladies voted on the main viewing event, and we ended up watching When Harry met Sally.

I forgot about the menu-- phenomenal, by the way. Riley created an Alamo Drafthouse style menu complete with catchy food names. Check out the pics. We had: deviled eggs, potato salad, ribs, beer grilled chicken, no-bake cookies, and popcorn. It was GREAT! The best part of it all was that the guys even washed every single dish we used. What the?!?!

Thanks, guys. It was an awesome night.


Some peeps I love

This is Ashley, or if you're a Dominican person making her a card, "Hachili." I have been her teacher's aide this semester. I'm not sure if you know, but she is the I moved into the Makarios house in January with Kendall, and we promptly moved into the room with Ash. She recently wrote a super-sweet blog dedicated to me, and I feel horrible for not being able to adequately express the blessing she has been to me this year. Ashley is the chica who actually persuaded me to get out of my comfort zone and teach some lessons to our class! If it weren't for her, Marileidi never would have learned that our souls go to the jungle after we die. She is also one of the best popcorn seasoners this world has ever seen.

Anyway, love you boo. I am so thankful for your friendship, prayers, and words of truth. I can't believe you're staying another year! I am obviously planning my next visit as we speak, OR just planning to never leave you. One of those two.

Gustavito. This is Gustavo Adolfo Garcia de la Cruz. He is a love in my life. I somehow grew to love this kiddo. A little back story: when Ashley arrived in August, Gustavo and his mom had recently moved out of his dad's house which is right next to the Makarios school. He still sees his dad semi-frequently while at school or when he needs a haircut, but for the most part he stays with his mom and little sister. I believe his mom and dad aren't on great terms.

Anyway, Gustavo had a little bit of a rough time earlier in the year when I arrived. He is a great kid and very smart, but he is aggressive and has trouble controlling his anger. If someone takes something from him, he would rather pummel them than tell the teacher. After a lot of prayer and talking about a meeting with his mom, Gustavo's behavior transformed for the better. It was a total God thing. This kid has been great. He is still super-competitive and has his faults, but he has been a great student.

Fast forward to summer vacation (a.k.a. now). We are only seeing the kids every other week for literacy camp, but this week a group came to have field days for the kiddos. I invited Gustavo to our field day in his neighborhood. He came and played some futbol americana with me, but later he told me "I don't want to play anymore because you don't throw it to me first." Then, about 3-4 times I had to pull him off of kids because he was getting into fights. We have some 5-year-olds here that fight like grown men in the movies. He seriously was taking swings... Anyway, I tried to talk to him some, and he was angry to the point of tears. It seems like he is just completely acting on impulse. I have started to realize that I am actually leaving this place, and I won't get to see Gustavo anymore. I know he took some steps forward during this school year, but I am so fearful for the beginning of next year. He is going to start off as a total nightmare after such a long break... It's sad to know that I won't be here to see him and love him and try my darndest to show him who Jesus is. I am so blessed that there are others behind me who are staying to do that very thing, but I'm sad that I won't be a part of it. He's my #1 little guy. Please be praying for Gustavo that in the midst of all this, he will see truth and steadfast love and grow into a great man of God.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pray for Yoslena (y Cara)

Hey everyone, this blog is on the heavy side, but it's here to charge you to pray. I am copying this entry from my friend/coworker Cara's blog about her friend Yoslena. As a little introduction, you should know that Cara has invested a lot of time building relationships with people in the DR who are outcasts even in their own village. On more than one occasion she has been asked by people who call themselves Christians why she spends time with some people she continues to invest in. That being said, here is the most recent part of Yoslena's story:

(from Cara's blog)

i start this to say that i don’t discuss anyone’s personal life as a means of exploitation. i only feel the need to talk about this because it is about someone i love and would imagine that if you’re reading this you care as well. this blog serves as a place for me to talk about my life and to keep me connected with the people that care to know what God has been doing with me here in the dominican republic.

yoslena, poor, confused, illiterate, hard, rough, child… some of you know that i recently found out that she was pregnant. she just had her 16th birthday. i’d been trying to help her figure out the pregnancy thing and make sure that she was healthy. it’s like a war… taking a girl from the batey, trying to show her that she can amount to something more than what is around her, looking for God’s beauty in it. i admit this has been a year of defeat for me with yoslena. each time i see her following in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother and older sister, and most other women she has to look up to, i feel as though i could have done more. that i’ve failed. all i hope is for better things for yoslena.

i found out today that through a series of events, which are still unclear to me, that yoslena had lost the baby at five months. her older sister, yordi, had taken her to the hospital and they induced labor. yoslena is okay… she still seems really weak and i believe is still feeling pain that is possibly due to her kidney stones. ashley and i went to her house immediately when we found out. we were greeted with lots of… “cara is coming to see yoslena, and cara, yoslena had the baby.” more than anything i feel for her and what she has to go through with peoples’ comments. she was sitting in her house, a heated pot of flies and sweat, so i invited her over for a bit so that she could rest at our house without having crowds of people around her.

i don’t know what i think. my heart just continues to break for her. the worst part about it is that i believe she lost the baby due to a friend of the “father” beating her up. apparently he had hit and kicked her in the back.

all i can think of right now is that i desire fruit for her life. ashley gave her an apple today. it symbolizes something that could happen in her life. yoslena can be fruitful. God can make anything beautiful. i just pray that He starts to prune away all of the bad in her life, all of the evil, all of the hurt, everything that tells her she isn’t worthy. pray for her.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flor de mi Amor

The whole story starts with a phone call. This is Anne Boon. She and Garrett are the "Directors of Operations" here in the DR. (Please note: there is no good explanation for this picture other than that it was a slow afternoon and we busted out the camera). Somehow (and I'm still not sure how), Dave called the Makarios house and goes, "Is this Anne Boon?" After having no idea who she was talking to for a while, Dave told her who it was. Well, that little booger worked out some little deal with Anne to get me some awesome flowers! Basically, he told her wanted to order some flowers for me. Having the knowledge of the nation, Anne decided to nix that idea since Dominican flower shops all make pretty ugly funeral-type arrangements all the time, but you can buy really great flowers to arrange yourself. They worked out some deal, and Anne was able to print the note Dave wrote me and Make a beautiful bouquet! What good taste she has! AND what a lovely love I have!

Friday, May 29, 2009

What is lacking? Colossians 1:24

I don't know about you guys, but I read God's word and accept it as the truth, but sometimes, I have no idea what something means! This year, I have been reading a lot of Colossians, and I love it, but one verse that trips me up:

Colossians 1:24
24Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. (NIV)

*And KJV, for good measure:
24Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

Now, what is lacking? I certainly don't think that Christ's sacrifice was lacking in any way for my salvation, so then what does it mean? Well ta-da! Dr. Sam Storms wrote a little summary of some possibilities for this. Also, I believe John Piper is a wise man of God, so I liked that his commentary was present in the essay. It all makes a little more sense now...

"The fifth option has been defended by John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, 2003). "Paul's sufferings," he explains, "complete Christ's afflictions not by adding anything to their worth, but by extending them to the people they were meant to save. What is lacking in the afflictions of Christ is not that they are deficient in worth, as though they could not sufficiently cover the sins of all who believe. What is lacking is that the infinite value of Christ's afflictions is not known and trusted in the world. . . . So the afflictions of Christ are 'lacking' in the sense that they are not seen and known and loved among the nations. They must be carried by the ministers of the Word. And those ministers of the Word 'complete' [or 'fill up'] what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ by extending them to others" (268).

What is lacking, then, in Christ's afflictions is not propitiation but presentation. In other words, the sufferings of Jesus fully satisfied the wrath of God, but there is lacking "a personal presentation by Christ Himself to the nations of the world. God's answer to this lack is to call the people of Christ (people like Paul) to make a personal presentation of the afflictions of Christ to the world. In doing this, we 'fill up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.' We finish what they were designed for, a personal presentation to the people who do not know about their infinite worth" (269).

The amazing think about this text is how Paul envisions himself (and others) filling up this lack. It is in his "flesh"! In other words, "God intends for the afflictions of Christ to be presented to the world through the afflictions of His people. . . . Our calling is to make the afflictions of Christ real for people by the afflictions we experience in bringing them the message of salvation. Since Christ is no longer on the earth, He wants His body, the church, to reveal His suffering in its suffering" (269-70)."

(The entire article is here: ).