Posted by: atxanna | July 6, 2008

ROBIN- Answering His Call One Day at a Time

Robin, answering His call one day at a time

Robin, answering His call one day at a time

 

I say this with all affection (and a bit of an inside joke), but Robin is one of the whitest white-girls I know.  But she love, love, loves the Spanish-speaking culture.  Virtually from day one of college, she was determined to become fluent Spanish, despite the odds of her gringo-ness.  She was one of only 3 non-native Spanish-speaking student in her program, but that never deterred her.  She did all that she could to learn the language and press on to fulfill her dream of a job (any job) where she would get to speak Spanish. That is her passion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 23, a college grad, Robin got her first job as a 1st grade teacher to little 6 year old Spanish speakers on the east side of Austin in a poor neighborhood… she was thrilled.  But during spring break that year, she went with her church (Austin Stone Community Church) as a team leader with a group of college kids to the Dominican Republic.  Unbeknownst to her—this trip was the initial crack to a wide-opening door from God… an invitation to live among and serve the least of these in the DR. 

The DR is a 3rd world nation with lots of Haitian immigrants.  The Dominicans speak Spanish, the Haitians speak Creole.  The Haitians live in utter poverty there and desperately seek out work every day in the cane fields in order to provide even the most minimal necessities for their families.  The Haitians are degraded by the Dominicans who are very prejudice against the outsiders in their country.  Life for Haitians is a forgotten life.  They are overlooked by the government, used by the locals for labor, and left behind in education and the economy. 

The organization that Robin’s church partnered with for this trip was Makarios, a ministry that serves the Haitian population of the DR—promoting educational development.  During the trip, God placed a call on Robin’s heart.  By the time she got home, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would be moving to the DR full time.  Not 3 months later, she was packed and headed to the airport for a year-long contract with Makarios.  She’s worn many hats as a Makarios staffer, but bottom line: she’s speaking Spanish, she loving on kiddos, and she’s trying her best to make a difference for the Kingdom.

So what is it that Robin gets to see and do every day while living in the DR?  Officially, Robin is the principal for the Makarios school which serves 140 kids four days a week—providing them with one square meal a day (sometimes the only decent meal the kids get), teaching basic hygiene and life skills, giving them an education in Spanish (the language one must have to get a decent job in the DR), and teaching them about Jesus.  But there are many things not listed in Robin’s job description, yet they are just part of everyday life when you are working with these precious children… she acts as the disciplinarian of the rowdy children (her least favorite part because she just wants to love them, but they need structure), she treats their many, many illnesses and injuries (ranging from lice to burns, funguses to open wounds riddled with infection, rotting teeth to parasites), she makes home visits to check in on the families (also often sick with disease or starving for daily food), she clothes the naked (many of which show up to school as such even though they were sent home with clothes the day before), and she prays… a LOT.  To be faced with the never-ending needs of deprivation, crumbling home lives, and a country that provides few opportunities to succeed, mark all the Makarios staff with a burden for the least of these.   

I have known Robin for 4 years now and she is one of my closest friends.  But she would be the first to tell you, there is nothing extra-special about her call to ministry.  She is just a girl who loves Jesus, period.  She is still growing, still messing up, and still trying.  She is following His call on her life one day at a time.  She knows she won’t be in the DR forever, but she also knows He is yet not done using her there—so she stays on.  Until this season is complete. 

During Christmas break last year, while back in Austin for the first time in almost 6 months, a staffer from her church asked, “So Robin, did you always want to be a missionary?”  To which Robin replied, “I don’t consider myself a missionary.  I have a job.  And I am trying to live every day for Jesus.  The fact that it’s in another country doesn’t classify me a ‘missionary,’ in my mind.  Living missionally is what we’re all supposed to do—everyday.  That’s all I’m doing, to the best of my ability.”

One of my favorite posts from Robin’s blog is a post she wrote about understanding pain and hunger for the first time in her life—it is really impactful… check it out: http://robininks.blogspot.com/2008/02/pain-and-hunger.html

Also, if you are interested in hearing more about Makarios and their work in the DR, check out their website: http://www.makariosinternational.org/

 

Students on a field trip to the beach
Students on a field trip to the beach
A student showing Robin his rotting tooth (subsequently removed)
A student showing Robin his rotting tooth (subsequently removed)
The Makarios School where Robin works
The Makarios School where Robin works

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