Monday, August 4, 2014

MK Hugs


Photo by Mary Milec

A quick hug and I’m off on a new adventure. 
I can’t wait to get on the plane.
I wave good-bye, follow Daddy’s lead, 
Then walk through a funny machine.

The plane ride is long and new people await 
To greet with a hug or a kiss.
Don’t know who they are so I’ll hide if I can 
And hope and pray I’ll get missed.

Two years have gone by and I’m going to visit 
A place that I sometimes remember.
I hug my friends but promise that I 
Will be back soon enough next September.

It’s Grandma and Grandpa! I’m happy to see them 
And run to them fast as I can.
I see them on Skype but it’s just not the same 
To put arms all around a computer.

Who’s this strange person who wants a hug 
And remembers me from being little?
I’m not quite sure but maybe can manage 
To hug them just a little.

Time to go again and I’m happy and sad 
For soon I’ll give hugs to my friends;
But aunts and uncles must stay behind 
And cousins just don’t understand.

I’m back for a while and settling in 
When another MK has to leave. 
I’m holding her tight while her mom says, “Time’s up.” 
Don’t know if I’ll see her again.

The cycle continues. I go back and forth 
Between hugs of hellos and good-byes.
I’m hugging much longer though Mom says, “Let go.” 
I now know much more about time.

I have friends in two places and relatives scattered 
To love, and to hug when I can.
Reunions are joyous so travel I must 
Though it’s hard to leave loved ones again.

So if you’re hugged tighter and longer than normal, 
Just squeeze me a little bit more.
Parting is hard but more hugs will be given 
On the other side of the shore.

Marcie Cooper






Monday, June 23, 2014

Mangoes

Hello!

It's mango season in the Dominican Republic. Mangoes come in all different colours and sizes and our family (except for one picky eater) loves them! Our boys also love to play under the mango tree in front of our building. Here are some pictures:
Lots of mangoes
(the bottom one is from the tree by our house)
A little mango tree we saw on our vacation
A mango the size of a pineapple
"I can get it!"
"I want to fill my truck up with mangoes."
Boys and trucks under the mango tree
 Do you like mangoes? What's your favourite way to eat them? Fresh? Frozen? In fruit salad or a smoothie? Mango crisp, anyone? I like them all!

Marcie Cooper



Friday, June 13, 2014

Waiting

Waiting.

Sometimes it's hard to wait. It's hard for my kids to wait for birthdays, vacations and visits from grandparents. They can't wait for a trip to Canada. We wait for mail to come every two weeks and for missionaries to come back from being away. And we've been waiting to adopt a baby from China for a very long time. I first wrote about it on here in 2012. In 2013, I thought it would still be over a year of waiting but now, in 2014, it might still be another year. We wait for news from China that comes every few weeks or couple of months. It seems like forever in between. I check an adoption forum and Facebook group more often than I'd like to admit. I calculate the days in between referrals and average the amount of files processed to guess when we might get a call. Then I start to question if we're really supposed to be in this process after over seven YEARS of waiting and more to go. But every time I question it, something significant happens. Take this week, for example. I felt like I was waiting for a lot of things. I was waiting for replies to several e-mails and to hear about an appointment I was trying to book for our time in Canada. I was waiting for news from other missionaries and waiting to find out if we were approved for an adoption grant we had applied for. I was distracted and kept checking the computer every time I walked past it. I started to wonder if we were really supposed to keep going with our adoption. Then, last night, I went to prayer meeting at church. I debated whether or not to put our adoption on the list of prayer requests. I heard another lady share about her daughter getting into a private bilingual high school that cost way more than her family could afford. She was praying for scholarships. A humble mom was trusting that if God wanted her daughter to go there, He would provide the finances to make it possible. I added our adoption to the list and prayed that God would, once again, provide for our needs and make it clear that we were to continue. 

Today, I got a lot of e-mails. I got my appointment booked and heard from our missionary friends. But the most exciting e-mail was from ABBA Canada telling us that we're receiving a grant to help with our adoption agency expenses. It was an answer to prayer for us and for family and friends praying with us. Our wait for a baby (or toddler?) from China will continue but we trust that it is God's plan for our family and that His timing is perfect. Thanks so much for praying for us. 

Marcie Cooper 

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; 
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, 
They shall run and not be weary, 
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31





Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Director's Retreat

Hello!

When Paul took on the role of Director of ANIJA, he wondered how hard it could be. He would oversee directors of academics, administration, sponsorship and spiritual life. People were already in place running the bakery, AWANA, a homework program, and a youth club. No problem, right?

An ANIJA student at work
In reality, Paul is a school principal and more. Most of our three hundred plus students come from difficult backgrounds and living situations. Some of them really know how to cause trouble! The school is still growing and, the year after next, we'll have two classes per grade up to Grade 8. Paul has put a whole manual of policies and procedures into place and is still working on improving practices. With the help of the other directors, he manages over fifty staff. He also has to prepare for teams that come to help with construction and other projects. There's always something going on! It's a great ministry to be part of but it's also nice to take a break.

Last week-end, we went on a retreat for Kids Alive directors of schools, care centres, and children's homes here in the Dominican Republic. A few of them were missionaries like us but most were Dominicans. It was a great group of people!  

I was having camera trouble but managed to get a few pictures during free time. The slackline was my boys' favourite!






Now we're wrapping up the school year with just two more weeks of classes and then exams. Even Grade 1 students write exams! New sponsor students have been chosen for the fall and teachers will soon need to be placed. There are always challenges for directors! Please pray for Paul as he leads ANIJA and for our other site directors around the island. They have big jobs but also big rewards as we see children's lives changed.

Thank you!

Marcie Cooper




Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Column

Hello from the Dominican Republic!

Yes, we are still alive and well! I know that I need to give a few more updates on here but, in the meantime, here's a link to a column I was recently asked to write for the Trinity Western University Alumni Association. And a cute face of one of our students just for fun. Enjoy!


Marcie Cooper

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Missing Blanket

Hello!

You will be happy to know that we found the missing blanket!
Let me give you a little bit of history.


When we had our little girl, she was given more blankets than I can remember but didn't really get attached to any of them. She often liked to have something soft with her but it was usually whichever stuffed animal was newest.


I thought that our second born was really attached to his blanket. From the time he was very tiny, he loved knitted or crocheted blankets with holes to put his fingers through. I packed a couple of different ones when we moved to the Dominican Republic when he was a year old and he quickly decided which one he wanted. He went everywhere with that blanket but, after a while, could sleep without it if we couldn't find it.

Then came this boy.


He goes EVERYWHERE with his blanket. It's a hand-me-down from friends and we have no idea who made it or how we could ever get another one. He cries if we don't bring it to church and asks for it if we leave it behind when we run errands. One time it got left in a store and he had to go without it for a night. It took him FOREVER to get to sleep. He was not ready to give it up and neither was I.


So you can imagine my worry when we couldn't find blankie right before our first evening session on a missionary retreat this week-end. I thought he would stay awake and we could go home and get it after our session. (We only live about ten minutes from the camp.) But the session went late and somehow, with the help of his big brother and a wonderful babysitter, he fell asleep. We decided not to drive out late at night and hoped that he wouldn't wake up. It was all fine until five o'clock in the morning when he caused such a commotion that none of the rest of us could get any more sleep. We were sure that blankie was left at home and made an early run to get it (and sneak in a shower because the camp's water wasn't working.) We searched the house from top to bottom but it wasn't there. Had he dropped it when he played with the neighbours while waiting for us to pack up the car? We didn't see it anywhere. Had he left it somewhere outside when we first got to the camp? We returned but no one remembered seeing him with it there. Could it be on the top bunk where we forgot to check when we were home? We somehow got him to take a nap and then wore him out and prayed that he would make it through the night. He slept until 8:30 and we were much more awake for that morning's session!

When we drove home I noticed our overflowing garbage cans and complained, "Oh, they didn't pick up our garbage!" They often come on Fridays (occasionally Thursdays which I think is the actual assigned day) but there was a holiday this week so I was hoping they would come on the week-end. You never really know here. Then I noticed a small section of a tattered green blanket sticking out from under the lid. Blankie was in the garbage can! Good thing the garbage truck didn't come! We had one VERY happy little boy who could not stop checking the washing machine to see if it was done yet.


And our Linus is back!


Goodnight! I hope we will all have a great sleep tonight!

Marcie Cooper

P.S. Our sessions were part of a Peacemaker Seminar based on the book The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande. I highly recommend it especially for missionaries. Did you know that the number one reason for leaving the field is conflict with other missionaries? Please pray for us and for good relationships with our fellow workers!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Motorcycles

Hello!

I am always amazed at the things that we see on motorcycles here in the Dominican Republic. I'm too scared to drive one, let alone carry the things they do. Take a look!

Lawn mower
Bread box
Bread box with bread
Ends for brooms???
Grocery delivery
Pizza Delivery
Small stove
Dominican washing machine
And we have seen so many other things that we haven't been able to catch with a camera. I've started a new tab with an A-Z list. Have fun checking it out!

Marcie Cooper