Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In this world, you will have trouble

Dear friends,

John 16:33 says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world."

We don't have to look far to see trouble in our world. It is all around us whether in our personal experiences or seen on Facebook or the evening news. Here, tonight, there is an eight-year-old boy from ANIJA being cared for by nuns and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed while his mom is in jail for child abuse.  He has a splint on his finger and x-rays on his arm revealed a history of broken bones caused by physical abuse. He told Paul that he would rather go to a Kids Alive children's home than go back to live with his mom because she hurt him too many times. No wonder he had trouble behaving in my library class. Would you pray for this little boy tonight? Pray that he will sleep well and that the government would allow him to be placed in a Kids Alive home in the near future. And pray that his life and his mom's would be changed by the Lord who has overcome the world. Our hope is in Him.

Thank you!

Marcie Cooper

Update (February 3, 2016):
Prayers answered! We arrived back from Christmas holidays to find that this little boy had been placed in the care of our school's Social Services director. On Friday, he was moved to one of our Kids Alive children's homes--just in time to experience a Quinceañera, a huge birthday party for three girls turning fifteen. He will likely need some extra sponsors to help cover his 24-7 care. Please let us know if you're interested!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Meet Our Newest Students

Hello from the Dominican Republic!

School has been in session for over a month now and we have the cutest new pre-school students. I probably think that every year. I love the little ones! Will you pray for them, their classmates, and their teachers as they get used to being at ANIJA? Thank you! Here is a sneak peek at some of their school photos:

Over the next several months they should be entered into the system for sponsorship. Stay tuned!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, August 10, 2015

Life and Death

Dear Friends,

Paul is at the funeral of a fourteen year old boy today. A student who was about to enter Grade 8 next week at ANIJA. The son of Ark house parents. A friend of many. We received a distraught call from his dad as we were getting ready to head to church last night. We couldn't believe it.

Last week-end I followed on Facebook as fellow missionaries posted pictures of a close family friend, a twenty-year-old college student who had drowned in Lake Michigan. They attended her funeral on the week-end.

A couple of days ago I heard about a missionary in Santo Domingo who drowned trying to save some teenagers. I didn't know him but can't imagine being in the place of his wife or children.

Three people in a week. Young. Healthy. Full of life. One of our own students. It has been a long time since I have written a blog post. I certainly didn't plan on writing about death. But death is a reality that each of us must face. We hope it will come later rather than sooner but we just never know. We have to be ready for it at any moment. Are we?

So many children in our school tell us that they can get to heaven if they are good enough. But God's standard is perfect and we all fall short. We all need to rely on Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life and died in our place to forgive our sins. Through Him, and Him alone, we can have eternal life. He gives hope. He brings assurance that we will see loved ones again. He helps us through tragedies and difficulties in this life even when we don't understand them. He is faithful. And He is good. Through Him I can say with the apostle Paul, "for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). I hope you can too.


Marcie Cooper

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day!

I just had to make pie!

Maybe I'm just procrastinating instead of working on my paper for Dynamics of Biblical Change, a course I'm taking through CCEF. It's an amazing course, by the way. I'll get back to work after sharing a pi story with you…

When I was a teacher in Toronto, there was a little boy in my Junior Kindergarten class who had recently arrived from China and spoke hardly any English. It was his first time at the painting easel and he didn't seem to know what to paint. I tried to explain to him that he could paint whatever he wanted and left to work with other students. When I looked back he had painted huge colourful numbers: 3.141592653...I can't remember exactly where he stopped but he filled the page. He knew pi to more digits than I did! I wish I would have taken a picture. Apparently his grandfather worked with him for long hours in the public library. If he knew pi at four, I wonder what he is up to now that he is eleven.

Whether you are celebrating pi day or not, I hope you have a great week-end!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dominican Independence and Culture: Part 3

Hello again!

Here are a few final pictures from the preschool/kindergarten fair last week. They're a bit random but show some popular aspects of the current culture.

The staple food--rice and beans:
It's tempting to put little hands in those dishes!
The Tourist Zone (a couple of hours away from us):
At the beach
(They probably have never been there in real life)
The Botanical Zone:
National bird: Cigua Paloma
National Flower: Mahogany

We can't forget the national sport, baseball!

Ready to play
Paul actually spent part of Independence Day playing baseball in an Ark vs. ANIJA staff game. He also went to watch the ANIJA boys team play in the Copa Coca Cola soccer tournament. Our guys love soccer even more than baseball here!

I hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse into the Dominican culture over the past few days. Here are links to the first two parts in case you missed them.

Dominican Independence and Culture: Part 1
Dominican Independence and Culture: Part 2


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dominican Independence and Culture: Part 2


Here are some more pictures from the fair that our preschool and kindergarten students put on for Independence Day. These once take us back to the time of the Taínos, the indigenous people who were here long before the Spanish arrived on the island in 1492.

"First Inhabitants"
Casabe bread made from yuca (cassava)
Honey and root vegetables still popular today
Commonly used mortar and pestle
Taíno costumes
Visiting third graders
The Taínos eventually died out but remnants of their art and culture remain. Tourist areas are filled with paintings like these that copy their drawings.

Part 3 of the Independence Day fair will be coming on Monday. 
Have a great week-end!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Dominican Independence and Culture: Part 1

Hello and Happy Dominican Independence Day!

Today is the 27th of February and the day that Dominicans celebrate their independence from Haitian rule. Our preschool and kindergarten classes put on a fair this week in celebration of the holiday. Check out the Founding Fathers:

Our Duarte, Sánchez and Mella
Do they look like the originals?
Juan Pablo Duarte (top)
Francisco del Rosario Sánchez (bottom left)
and Matías Ramón Mella (bottom Right)
Some little girls dressed up in traditional costumes and other kids played popular instruments.

Gr. 6 student playing the drum
Gr. 3 student helping on the güira
Drums are fun!
I can play a maraca!
Other classes came to tour the displays, hear the music, and watch a short video.  My little JK said it was the best day of school ever!

Watching a cultural video
Playing with Dominican Pesos
There was much more to see but I'll save it for next time. Stop by later or sign up on the right to receive future posts by e-mail.

Enjoy your day!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas

Happy New Year!

We are thankful that we could spend the holidays with my family in the Bahamas on a little island called Green Turtle Cay. It's only accessible by boat and most people get around on golf carts.

We live on an island here in the Dominican Republic but it's nothing like this island. In Green Turtle Cay there are only about five hundred people and no natural fresh water. There are only a few shops and groceries are very expensive. It was relaxing though! We enjoyed boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and more!

Turtle watching was my favourite. I stayed away from the sharks.

We also enjoyed lots of time playing and snuggling with cousins.

and a New Year's Parade called Junkanoo.

The kids especially loved Sunday School and couldn't wait to go back.

Thank you, Mom and Dad! It was a great trip!