Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!

It hasn't been the most typical Christmas day for us but was relaxing and fun. One little boy was in tears last week when he realized that we wouldn't get snow here but didn't mention it today. He was probably distracted by the presents…and waffles, new movies to watch, a couple of visitors for dinner, and family on Skype from Canada.

The view from our new apartment
Happy birthday Jesus!
We're so glad you came!

We hope you enjoyed your day as much as we did! Goodnight!

Marcie Cooper

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby Alive


I just sent this picture to my mother-in-law because she wanted to share the story that goes with it to a group of kids at her church.

It's one of those stories that I thought about writing but never got around to. It's worth going back to though even if it's a few months old.

Ali, on the right, is my daughter's best friend. Her cousin, in the middle, lives with her most of the time. Another missionary had a team bring them each a Baby Alive doll and they absolutely loved them! All the other girls around wanted one too, including Heidi, on the left.

This summer, when we were back in Canada for several weeks, Ali and her dad, Chucho, came to visit us. Ali told Heidi, "If I go to Canada, I'll bring you back a Baby Alive doll." Heidi's mom shared with me that Heidi had been praying and asking for a Baby Alive doll for a long time but they just couldn't afford one. Toys like that are very expensive here, especially when people do not earn as much money as they do in Canada or the United States.

We looked at the price of Baby Alive dolls at Wal-Mart. Chucho didn't want to spend that much on a doll either. He bought some souvenirs for people at the dollar store and loved going to yard sales. Then, at another yard sale just a couple days before leaving, Ali came across a Baby Alive doll. It came with a bed, blanket, and clothes. When they asked how much it was they were told, "Twenty-five cents." Only a quarter? They bought it! When they brought it home and put new batteries in it, it worked! It walked and talked and did everything it was supposed to. Heidi was thrilled and her mom was so grateful. She told me that Heidi plays with it, sleeps with it and takes it everywhere she goes. It's just a little doll, but it was a huge answer to prayer!

What are you praying for? I'm still hoping for a real baby from China. It's nice to be reminded that God cares and can provide for us in ways beyond what we can ask or imagine!

Marcie Cooper

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. - Eph. 3:20-21

Sunday, November 3, 2013

School Photos


I just have to show you some pictures of the kids from our school.

Every year Paul sets up our camera in the school office to take pictures of all of the students. They have "Dia de Colores" or "Colour day" where they can wear whatever they like instead of their regular uniforms. They come dressed in their very best! 


I love looking through them and choosing the best picture of each child. I label them by name, sort them by classes, and send them off to be printed so the kids have copies to take them home to their families. Next, they'll go to our sponsorship people who will use them for projects that go to sponsors in the United States and Canada. 

(If you'd like become a child sponsor click here for Canada or here for the United States
We also have gift catalogues for Christmas: Canadian and American.)

It is often challenging, but we love working with these kids!

Marcie Cooper

Friday, September 20, 2013

Running Water


We went less than twenty-four hours without running water in our house. I misunderstood the man fixing our water tank and did not realize that we were only using the water in our tinaco (a plastic tank on our roof that uses gravity to give us water when there is no electricity.) I kept doing laundry and completely drained it.

We had jugs of drinking water which I used to wash dishes. Our cistern was full so we carried buckets of water from the backyard into the house to flush toilets and take baths. I even heated it on the stove so it wouldn't be cold. Still, I was frustrated!

Then I started thinking about all of the people in this country and around the world that do not have running water in their homes. At all! Not just for less than a day! People bathe in the river all the time. They do their laundry there. They carry buckets up hills and into their homes. And we complain when we're inconvenienced for a short time.

I'm thankful for the reminder of how blessed we are...and especially for running water that is now working again in my house!

Marcie Cooper

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School

Good morning!

After a very busy summer, our kids are back to school. I'm not sure if they really wanted to go or not but, in the end, they got dressed and ready with an extra couple minutes for picture taking.

We'll start homeschool in the afternoons next week.

Please pray for us and the school year ahead. 
1) For Paul to provide good leadership to the school
2) For staff unity and discipline
3) For students (ours included!) to grow in their faith and academics

Thank you!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Update


Since it's been a while since I've written, I thought I'd give you an update on our family and ministry here in the Dominican Republic.

1) Paul has kept busy as Director of ANIJA with hiring, scheduling and planning for the fall. We've also attended a couple more graduations.

First Grade Graduation
High School Graduation
Our school only goes through Grade 8 but students can continue to be sponsored through high school if they get good grades, are part of our high school club, and continue to attend church. 

2) I am relieved to be done planning Bible curriculum and doing training sessions for our summer program. I have been on antibiotics for two weeks for a painful cyst in my nose and haven't had a lot of energy. Prayers are appreciated!

3) Our three kids have probably been watching too many movies but have also been enjoying the summer.
Our bookworm has opted to attend the summer
program every morning at ANIJA. They're studying Oceania
and learning about Daniel and Esther.
Our little climber is still at it!
We build with blocks and trains EVERY day with this boy!
4) We have been quite discouraged by the Chinese adoption process. We haven't had any news from China for a couple months since, apparently, they've had some bugs in their new computer system. Please pray for us as we update our homestudy in Ontario again this summer. We just applied for International Police checks today so our paperwork has begun once again!

THANK YOU to those of you who are praying for us and supporting us financially. We cannot adequately express how much we appreciate you!

Marcie Cooper

Saturday, June 1, 2013

University Graduation

Hi! This afternoon we had the opportunity to attend the University Graduation of a number of our teachers. We have been to First Grade Graduations, Eighth Grade Graduations, and High School Graduations, but this was our first time for a University Graduation. It was a lot like any other graduation except that it rained through the entire ceremony. The tent we were under sprung a leak and left a big wet circle on Paul's shoulder! I wasn't in a good spot to take pictures but here are a couple that turned out:

Doris was our daughter's teacher in Grade 2
Melina (left) taught her in Kindergarten
Jessica (right) taught her this year
Many of our teachers start out as assistants then move into teaching roles while still working on their degrees. The percentage of people who actually attend university here in the Dominican Republic is extremely small and most that we have known have taken classes while working. Only 10-12% graduate from high school, let alone university. We are so proud of our graduates!

Marcie Cooper

Saturday, May 18, 2013

It's a Boy!


We were very excited this week to meet our newest little Dominican friend. In my last post, I promised to post pictures when he arrived. Here they are!

So alert at less than a day old!
Too cute to resist holding!
Proud Papa
Excited big sister
Sister, cousins, and friends
It was hard not to steal him!
Anyone who has met this family knows what special people they are. Alida grew up in our ministry and is now the Administrative Director at our school. Alberto (a.k.a. Chucho) is our Phys Ed teacher, soccer coach, and amazing mentor to kids from elementary school through university. Their daughter is every little girl's best friend, including ours. She will be a wonderful big sister and is already trying to teach baby A (named after his father) how to read.

I have to show you another baby too who just happened to visit the hospital while we were there.

Little cutie!
Her mom, Nany, also grew up in our program and is now one of our employees. She's on maternity leave right now although her three months are almost up. She's a great person to have on campus with her dynamic personality and genuine care for students' health and teeth. We have so many great staff members!

There are more cute babies around but I'll have to save some pictures for another day. I could just look at them forever....

Marcie Cooper

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Baby Shower


I have not been on top of things since I've had sick kids, a sick husband, and a cut finger.  Fortunately, most of us have now recovered. I have often thought about blogging about different experiences we have had over the past few weeks but haven't had enough energy to sit down and type. Tonight, we hosted a baby shower at our house and it was too fun too pass up writing about.

First, the house had to be decorated with balloons and baby clothes.

Then, guest arrived and the games began (around an hour late, I might add, but that's to be expected.)

ANIJA staff and volunteers
You cannot have a baby shower without the bottle-drinking competition!
And the winner is...
There was food, more games and, of course, cake and gifts.

Less than two weeks to go!
Men aren't really allowed but the Dad usually comes too :)
It always amazes me how much more the games are emphasized than the gifts here. Gifts are almost an afterthought and many times I've seen people leave before they are opened. Once cake is served, it is time to go.

Although I hardly sat down, we all had fun and enjoyed celebrating the new life soon to be born.

I'll have to share pictures of him once he arrives for those of you out there who are baby lovers (or Chucho and Alida fans.)


Marcie Cooper

P.S. One other interesting thought about baby showers...they have them no matter what baby it is, not just the first. They don't save things from one child to the next but give what they don't need to friends and family. Their generosity often amazes me!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

More about a Powerful God


I've been reading a great daily devotional called Voices of the Faithful: Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving Around the World. I didn't take it to Punta Cana so was trying to catch up by doing a couple of readings at once. It worked out that just as I was studying God's Power through Isaiah 40, I read two stories in a row about God's power in answering prayer. In the first story, two women in Africa stopped listening to a witch doctor and were blessed with pregnancies. In the second one, a missionary visiting a refugee camp in a remote area of Central Asia was asked to pray with a woman who was severely ill and blinded. The following day, two different organizations brought food and supplies. Two days later, the missionary returned to find the woman completely healed!

For more encouraging stories about God's work around the world, look up Voices of the Faithful. You won't be disappointed!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, April 8, 2013

Powerful God

Dear Friends,

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
Isaiah 40:28

We didn't quite go to the ends of the earth last week but drove six hours to the end of the island to spend a week with Paul's family in Punta Cana. It was beautiful!

After a couple days, it got really windy and I was reminded of God's power through the crashing waves.


 Isaiah 40 talks about God's power but doesn't stop there. He GIVES his power to the weak. Many of us know verse 31:

But they who wait for 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.

We continue to pray for strength for Paul's sister, Lisa, who has not been well but was finally given the OK to travel to visit us. It was great to spend time with a wonderful family!

Marcie Cooper

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Eternal God


At the end of every month, we watch for adoption news of referrals from China. I just saw a rumour today that they have matched SIX days of files. This is the most that they have matched since October. We are counting down the days until it is our turn although it looks like it will still be over a year to wait.

This week, my Bible study group is looking at the Eternal character of God. We are so finite in our counting of days but God is eternal. Listen to what these verses say:

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
(Psalm 90:1-2)

"I am the Alpha and Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." 
(Revelation 1:8)

What an encouragement! I'm out of internet time since we're on vacation for Semana Santa or "Holy Week." If you don't hear from me before then, have a Happy Easter!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, March 18, 2013

Creator God

Good morning!

How are you this morning? My four year old thinks there is a monster in his room and keeps coming to sleep with me in the night. I'm tired.

In the ladies' Bible Study that I've been leading, a lot of us have been tired and discouraged. We were looking for a short study to do in the next couple months and decided to focus on God's character. We need some encouragement and reminders of who God is who we are serving.

I began this morning looking at Colossians 1:15-23 and studying who God is as Creator. I decided to write out the whole passage. Do you ever do that? It helps me to slow down and really think about the words. 

Are you looking for a short Bible study to focus on who God is each day? Feel free to join us! All you need is a Bible and a journal. Here is this week's schedule:


Monday - Read the whole passage. Write it out if you like. Underline or write out things that jump out at you or that you'd like to study more.

Tuesday - Read the passage. Write down statements about who God is.

Wednesday - Read the passage and write out God's promises found in it.

Thursday - Read it again and note God's commands.

Friday - Read it one last time and write down a personal application.

Extra - Read Genesis 1.

Don't forget to pray as you study God's word. I love Psalm 119:18, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."

No matter what you're studying, may your eyes be opened to wonderful things in the Word of God today!

Marcie Cooper

*Note: Today's outline has been adapted from a Quench Bible study on 1 Peter that I did in the fall: ( It's a simple format but I highly recommend it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013



In the three and a half years that we have lived in our house here in the D.R., we have had a lot of different neighbours. The house next door has especially seemed to go through a lot of tenants. We enjoyed having single missionary girls in it for a while and have had some nice chats with the Seventh Day Adventists who recently moved into the lower level. For a while though, the upstairs apartment had a stream of residents whose behaviours were questionable. The last set of guys really made me nervous. I probably wouldn't even recognize them because of the wierd schedule they kept but I felt uncomfortable and started to pray that they would move. Within a couple of days they were gone and a "For Rent" sign was up.

Enter the Jehovah's Witnesses. I have to tell you that they are actually really nice people to have for neighbours. They are quiet, polite, and friendly. They don't cause trouble. They don't try to convert me because they know me and know that I won't accept their literature. They talk to me like a friend.  And I remember to pray for them.

One Jehovah's Witness told me they heard that there were a lot of people who spoke English in our town (although most are Christian missionaries) and decided to send English speakers and start an English service. I found out yesterday that two little girls from our school also have Jehovah's Witnesses for neighbours and have been going to church with them. When I told them they shouldn't one said, "I always wondered if they were real Christians. Any time I visit them they don't let me in."

Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." (Mark 9:37 NIV)

Those two little girls walk a long way to come visit us. I have to admit that I don't always feel like I want to welcome them in. But they are ten years old and no one is really looking after them. One is an orphan who was living with an aunt who then left her with someone else while she went to Haiti. The other lives in one room (total, not just one bedroom) with her entire family of six but her Mom is not always around. If we do not reach out to children like these, the wrong people will.

Thank you to those of you who are praying for us. Please pray for our relationships with our neighbours and that they may truly come to know Christ as their Saviour. And pray for God's love and energy for the children He has placed in our path.

Thank you!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Hello and Happy Independence Day from the Dominican Republic!

 Dominican children proudly sang and danced this morning at the park in the middle of town. A group of our students laid flowers in front of the statue of Juan Pablo Duarte, the hero who led the way in freeing Dominicans from Haitian rule 169 years ago on February 27, 1844.

We are enjoying a day off of school and even postponed homeschool. Unfortunately, it's just not a good day to run out of gas for the stove so our cookie dough will have to wait until tomorrow. Baking cookies was probably not a typical way to spend the holiday anyways. Time to go outside and enjoy the sun!

Enjoy your day!

Marcie Cooper

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Simple Sunday School


Our little church has a big heart for kids. There is a van that picks them up for for church and AWANA and there are teachers that want them to learn about the Lord. The older kids have Bible lessons every Sunday and I am excited that now the little ones do too.

Several months ago, I started helping out with the nursery which actually went up to age four. There was a schedule but no one ever followed it because workers weren't consistent. I was hardly even in there on my actual turn because I had been in there the previous week when the helper did not show up. So I came up with a new plan. I made a list of names of people willing to help and a blank schedule for each Sunday. Then I wrote in the names of people who ACTUALLY helped each Sunday so I could keep track and not ask the same person two weeks in a row. It seems to be working although attendance is down and workers are not always present (or are helping with the older kids.) While I love teaching little ones, I sometimes find it tiring after being with my own all the time. Please pray for growth and consistent attendance among our workers. And kids! Most weeks there are five or six kids but sometimes there can be ten or twelve. Most of them are three or four years old and I found that most "teachers" were just letting them play the whole time. I felt like they needed more.

I love The Beginner's Bible and have been reading it daily with one of my children or another since our daughter was a toddler. I found it in Spanish (La Biblia Para Principiantes) and began reading a story to the children each Sunday. It was easy to find colouring pages to go with the stories (e.g., or and all I had to do was pass it off to whoever was teaching that week. That has become my simple Sunday School.

Please pray that the children would learn to love the Bible and that their parents would also come to church and learn about Jesus.

Thank you!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, February 11, 2013


Dear Friends,

I just finished sending out our latest prayer letter where we shared some of our ups and downs over the past couple months. There are always challenges. Discipline problems and tough relationships and financial needs. Seeing students and former students making poor choices and reaping the consequences. Lately though, we have had our share of accidents and deaths. One little boy in our daughter's class is still unable to walk or talk after being hit by a jeep. It's hard.

But there are joys too. We work with children who are at risk as a result of poverty, broken families, and lack of education. We feed them, educate them, and share Christ's love with them. And, for the third year in a row, we (actually my husband and staff but I'm the one who gets to write about it) get to take a group of Grade 8 students on a mission trip to a area where the children are poorer than they are. As part of the interview process, the students are asked to explain their faith. Paul has been clarifying that we cannot get to heaven by good works or going to church or attending a Christian school. Having a Christian family does not necessarily mean that you are a Christian. We each need to believe in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins. In the past week, three students have decided to put their faith in Jesus. We pray that they will grow and serve Him on the short mission trip and beyond.

A few weeks ago, a friend who we have been praying for for over three years also made a profession of faith. She and her boyfriend, who we have worked with for almost 9 years, were just married. We are thrilled! This is what makes working here worthwhile. Thank you to all of you who pray for us and support us so we can be here. We appreciate you!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, February 4, 2013



I'm finding blogging (and actually accomplishing much of anything these days) difficult with a two year old who isn't ready to lose his afternoon nap but doesn't really want to go to bed at night. Eventually this tends to happen:

We're working on him but I really wanted to show you the strawberries I got today. Did you know that strawberries grow in the Dominican Republic? Some of our friends went farther up the mountain to where they are grown and are half the price of what we pay here. I couldn't resist having them pick some up for me. 


I disinfected them like we do with all of our fruits and vegetables here because of impure water and parasites. For a while, I was using bleach but then I discovered "the blue bottle" which still smells like bleach but makes me think it's a bit less toxic since that's its intended purpose.

Strawberries are my favourite! I had lots of plans for them but they are disappearing too fast. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

What is your favourite thing to do with strawberries?

Marcie Cooper