Episode 27: The Divorce

It is one of the great tragedies of church history – the divorce between the church and her mission. Today few churches even know that the divorce occurred, making it even more painful. The separation has persisted so long that it seems normal.

-Tom Julien

 

The church is the active body of Christ in this world! The builder of the Church is God the Father, it is empowered or quickened by the Holy Spirit, and its movement, its mission is given by Christ who is the head!

But When the Church separates itself from the Mission or worse yet divorces itself from the mission it is a sad state of affairs indeed.

History is replete with cycles of the church embracing the mission of Christ and the church divorcing itself from the mission of Christ. In the Epochs of time in which there is a divorce between the church and her mission para-church organizations arise. These organizations try to carry out the mission of Christ but the mission of Christ was never intended to be carried out by any organization, only the church. Para-church organizations succeed from time to time but the real home of the mission of Christ is within the body of Christ.

If it is true that there has been a divorce between the church and her Mission today and that most churches do not even know that the divorce accord occurred it is up to this generation to refocus the body of Christ upon its head, Jesus Christ, and to engage in his mission.

May we be the generation who seeks his face. May we be the generation who passionately embraces his mission.

With much love,C7277E17-6D98-457E-AFCC-1E3289BD0CA8 The Downings

Throwback To A New Skill

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When we moved to Ecuador we stayed at the Seminary until we found a good house to rent. During our time there we naturally needed to laundry some of our clothes. Since we did not have a washing machine at that time we taught the boys a new skill. 

With much love,

The Downings

Did you know every Monday we post a new Cultural Insight podcast? We invite you to click here and explore Ecuador’s Culture with us! 

Ministry Story: Holy Week

What do old Roman military funeral rituals and people in purple robes and pointed hats have to do with Easter? Listen to today’s Ministry Story and find out!B6A131F7-7A42-45D8-B469-55A4B183D483

 

 

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Click here if you want to learn more about Catholic Syncretism!

Happy Easter, E485775C-AFF2-40F9-B51B-573DD3A6D020The Downings

Together Tuesday: Sending Well Part Two

You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.

-3 John 6-8

What kind of support do missionaries need? How can we send missionaries well? Last week we spoke about moral support  (we invite you to click here to listen or share last week’s podcast).

This week we discuss logistical support. What are some of the small things you can do to support your missionary in this way? We have big and small answers to that question.

Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you.

-1 Thes 3:1

With much love,6EF7E090-4274-4931-9223-67A638494696 The Downings

Cultural Insight: Syncretism

What do the Inca, the Conquistadores, the cult of Pachamama and Mariolatry have in common? Find out by listening to today’s Cultural Insight podcast.

 

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Rumicucho is one of the “high places” the Conquistadors destroyed.

with much love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEthe Downings

What is the church? Click here to find out!

What Is The Church?

The Bible clearly names the Church “the body of Christ.” A broken, divided body is a body that needs help but a united body is one that can offer help to those who are lost and dying in this sin-sick world! Click play on the podcast below to learn more.

 

With much love,1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCE The Downings

Click here to learn more about our ministry in Ecuador!

Fanesca (Ecuadorian Easter Soup)

A while back we spoke about understanding Culture through language (you can listen to that podcast by clicking here). Today we invite you to begin understanding Ecuador through food. Today’s podcast begins a Saturday series called “Cooking With The Downings.” Each Saturday you will be invited to experience a different Ecuadorian recipe and join us as we explore the gastronomy of our beloved Ecuador.

Today’s episode of Cooking With The Downings is a bit work intensive but it is worth it to get a taste of Easter on the Equator. Fanesca is a popular soup served during Easter celebrations. To listen to our thoughts about it click play on the podcast below.

 

Fanesca (Ecuadorian Easter Soup) Recipe.

Serves: 25 people

This recipe serves a lot of people because Easter Soup is made for a very special occasion.  It is made for the traditional family get together’s held on Easter Sunday.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs dried salt cod
  • 12 ½ cups of milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 6 cups of diced fresh zucchini
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 ½ cups of shredded cabbage
  • 4 cups of cooked and peeled fava beans
  • 4 cups of cooked corn kernels
  • 3 cups of cooked peas
  • 2 cups of cooked lima beans
  • 2 cups of cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 cups of peeled lupini beans
  • 2 cups of tender cooked rice
  • 8 tbs butter
  • 1 ½ tsp of achiote
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 10 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs of ground cumin
  • 1 tbs of dry oregano
  • 1 tsp of ground pepper
  • 2 cups of roasted peanuts
  • 12 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of feta cheese
  • ½ bunch of finely chopped cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Queso fresco
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

First.  Soak the salt cod in water for 24 hours, changing the water every 6-8 hours, at the end cut the cod into medium-sized pieces.

Then.  Barely cover the diced butternut squash and zucchini and cook until tender, drain the water and place them in a blender and make a puree.

Then.  Boil the shredded cabbage for 3 minutes, drain and add the cabbage to the squash puree.

Then.  In a large pot, Heat the butter over medium heat to make a flavor base for the soup, add the achiote, onions, garlic, cumin, pepper and oregano and cook until the onions are tender.

Then.  Add the cooked rice to the flavor base and mash it with a potato masher to make a thick puree.

Then.  Mix in the squash and cabbage puree.

Then.  Add 4 cups of milk and the fava beans, green peas, corn, lima beans and cannellini beans, stir and simmer for 15 minutes, stir frequently and avoid the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

At The Same Time.  Bring 6 cups of milk to boil, add the cod, and boil for 10 minutes.

Then.  Add the milk and cod to the soup.

Then.  Blend 2 cups of milk with the roasted peanuts, and pour into the soup, cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Then.  10 minutes before serving, add the lupini beans, the heavy cream and the cheeses, stir to help the cheeses dissolve.  Add chopped cilantro and stir well.

Enjoy.  Serve with sliced avocado and traditional Ecuadorian side dishes.  

Are you thinking of attempting this recipe? We would love to read your comments about your experience.

With much love, 5D25BBA3-9B30-40D8-B7E0-9ADF863B022CThe Dowings

Did you like this podcast? If so, click here for a less intense recipe for Pan de Yuca!

Episode 26: Living Committed

God is reaching the lost not through programs but through individuals whose lives are so committed to Him that He uses them as vessels to anoint a lost world.

-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions

 

Good programs and great vision draw the attention of many Christians. And as followers of Christ we do help the poor as described in Matthew 25, not because we are commissioned to but because something changes in our very nature when we become followers of Christ. But our divinely originated empathy for the downtrodden is no replacement for our divinely anointed mission. 

God changes the world not through programs but through presence. Jesus gave us the ultimate example. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He preformed many miracles and taught the multitudes all great programs. But his lasting impact was carried forth by the eleven people who he successfully discipled. 

May we be like Christ. May we live lives so committed to God that He uses us as vessels to anoint a lost and dying world. 

With much love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Click here for this week’s Together Tuesday!

Throwback To A Good Meal

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To celebrate our first Christmas in Ecuador we slow roasted a suckling pig. We stuffed the pig with mangoes and apples, salted it and cooked it for a day. We served it with homemade macaroni and cheese, sweet cooked carrots, green beans, and grilled potatoes with gravy. Unfortunately everyone except Timothy came down with the flu before dinner. Despite his best effort, Timothy couldn’t eat the whole thing!

With love,

The Downings

Have you heard our Cultural Insight about food? If not click here!

Ministry Story: Celebrate

April is a month of celebration! Adelena turns two this month, the Santa Clara and El Carmen churches celebrate their Aniversarios and Resurrection Sunday is here! Today’s podcast speaks of celebration.

 

With much love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEthe Downings