Episode 19: Presence

No one, I am convinced, will follow Jesus very long without tribulation. It is His way of demonstrating His presence.

-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions

We hear the words of Christ echo throughout the corridors of history:  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

We follow the one who has all authority in heaven and Earth and who has promised that he is with us always! 

As we walk with Christ through the good and bad in life we walk with confidence that he is with us. In the good times we delight in his blessings, when tribulation defines our path we rest assured that his presence makes all things bearable. 

Although we constantly give thanks to him in the good times, we draw close to him during hardships of life. 

When we look forward in life we often see only confusion, a path not clear, full of terrifying obstacles. When we pause and look back we see exactly how Christ lead us through difficult situations in the past. Likewise, when we face tribulation, we can take courage that he has always made his presence known in the past and will certainly walk with us in every situation, even to the end of the age. 

May we be filled with a clear sense of His companionship today! May our tribulation be defined not by our suffering but by His presence. 

Have you heard our cultural insight about food? If not, click here!

with love,AE4CC7DA-43B8-4EB7-BAB4-3FE9CA162129 The Downings

Throwback To a Visit To Cuenca

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Early along our mission path Timothy, Patricio and Irma visited the Church of God near Cuenca. This is a happy picture of Pastor Patricio and Irma. Timothy has fond memories of this trip. Patricio and Irma must have been so frustrated with Timothy’s horrible Spanish! He is better now but those early days were troublesome.

Have you heard our podcast yet? Our Friday posts always focus on pithy short shareable missions thoughts. Click here to check it out!

With much love,

The Downings

 

Ministry Story: Cobblestone Less Traveled

We invite you on a journey into the countryside of Cayambe. We will have to leave the smooth road and the small Pueblos and use the cobblestone less traveled. Imagine, we drive along the bumpy road past the eucalyptus trees, and alongside a small rio. We encounter several large rose plantations every once in a while catching a glimpse of the beautiful plants with tall straight stems reaching up to the Equatorial sun. After a while we cross the rio and begin our ascent up a steep and winding road. We pass the ancient aqueduct build by the Incas and still in use today. We eventually we pass the tree line and see picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Our 4×4 finally claws its way over the crest of the mountain. In the valley that unfolds below we see a large church building, that is our destination.

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The views are always picturesque. 

 

It is breathtaking, as we step out of our vehicle, partly because the temperature is 20 degrees cooler on the mountain as compared to the valley. But perhaps the real reason is our breath has been stolen by the altitude. The Cangahua congregation that we were visiting worships at an elevation of 10,768 feet above sea level. To put it into perspective we are well above the tallest peak in the Appalachian mountains, Mount Mitchell which has an elevation of 6,684 feet.

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The church building is always a welcome sight!

 

We had been invited to an evangelistic outreach event held by the Mt. of Olives church in Cangahua, Ecuador.

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The church is always welcoming. 

 

Cangahua is the oldest rural district in the Cayambe canton. It is located in the wasteland between the inactive Pambamarca volcano, and the active Cayambe volcano. The church building sets nearly on the Equator. 636D324D-86F0-4E5E-84F3-4D635A32E3B6

Our brothers and sisters are serving Christ in a largely indigenous community with rural values. In the community there are also many who still celebrate the Sun or Inti Raymi. Each June 29 and 30th the Sun is celebrated in the city square. 

Pastor Luis and the church very much love the community and are brilliant lights for the Gospel among the 16,000 people within the church’s reach.

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Pastor Luis and his youngest daughter. 

 

The outreach service we were invited to began at 7:00 pm and ended at 1:15 am. It was full of great singing, powerful preaching and wonderful fellowship.

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We love hearing the ladies sing!

 

Pastor Luis is an excellent preacher and tought homiletics at our seminary but instead of preaching to the assembled crowd he invited a lady pastor from a sister congregation to give the message. She preached the best sermon over 1 John 4 that I have ever heard. 

 

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Our Sister Preaching, God is Love!

God is moving in Cangahua and has invited whomsoever will to believe in His Son and enter into eternal life!

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The harvest is plentiful!
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Breakfast the next day was coffee, bread, vegetables, potatoes, chicken, and Cuy! All very delicious. 

With much love,AE4CC7DA-43B8-4EB7-BAB4-3FE9CA162129 The Downings

Have you heard our ministry story about our visit to Santa Elena? If not, we invite you to click here! 

Together Tuesday: The Todds

Our friends and fellow missionaries Jonathan and Beth Todd serve Christ in Brazil. We love them, support them and believe in their ministry.  099ACC54-4662-4E41-8BF3-49D0EA4EE495

Here is what our friends wrote on Facebook recently: “We have our visas, we have our plane tickets, and we are returning to Brazil on February 25! As we are getting ready to fly out, we find ourselves in the position that we are in need of more financial partners so that we can continue to serve in Brazil.”

Would you prayerfully consider being a part of this ministry? If so, please follow this link  and learn more. 

Together we can make a difference!

With much love, The Downings

 

Cultural Insight: Rumicucho

 

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Pucara de Rumicucho sits on a hilltop nearly a mile north of the Equator.
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The tactical advantage of Rumicucho is clear. The best way to Quito is through the valley that this ancient fort overlooks.
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Addy and Daddy enjoying a day at Rumicucho. 

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

Reach, Teach, Baptize

This photo was taken during a baptism service that the Zabala church held in Pacto. It was animated by our daughter Esperanza.

Jesus said to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

With much love,

The Downings

 

The Roads We Travel

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A country road we often travel as we visit our friends who live high above the city of Cayambe. 

The poet Robert Frost famously wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

We agree.

With much love,

The Downings

 

Episode 18: Realizations

 

Most Christians would like to send their recruits to Bible college for five years. I would like to send them to hell for five minutes. That would do more than anything else to prepare them for a lifetime of compassionate ministry. -William Booth

There are three very important realizations that each follower of Christ has. The first is when we realize just who we are in contrast to our Holy God. This is when we realize our sinfulness and desperate need for Salvation. We usually have this realization just before we become Christians. The second realization is the ghastly reality that there is a Hell and the natural human condition leads us there. At this realization we are usually driven to make sure our friends and family know of Christ’s salvation. The third realization is that we are called to do something about the horrible reality that multitudes of people step out of this lost and dying world each day without seeking salvation from the consequences of their sin. These multitudes have no hope. They will spend Eternity in Hell. 

The hope that each Christian experiences when we begin following is the very same hope that we are to proclaim to the world! Every Christian is called to make known the Good News! Every Christian can take motivation from the ghastly reality of Hell, the sad destiny of mankind and the hope that only the Words of Jesus can offer! 

May we be quick to realize that the very hope that we hold dear is the only hope for the multitudes of lost and dying souls. May we be even quicker to share the hope that we have! 

With much love, C7277E17-6D98-457E-AFCC-1E3289BD0CA8The Downings

Throwback To a Last Time

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We fondly remember the last time that we saw Uncle Logan and Aunt Hazel. During our time of transition from language training in Coastal Rica to arriving in Ecuador we spent a month in the U.S. We ran around fundraising, gathering fresh documents that we would need for our residency in Ecuador, and purchasing a few items that are not available in Ecuador. We also had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. We are grateful that Uncle Logan and Aunt Hazel made time to spend an afternoon with us. We did not know it at the time but this would be the last time we would see them on this side of Heaven. Both have passed away over the past three months. We regret that we could not physically attend the remembrance service for either, but we certainly mourned from afar. It has been said that a missionary leaves their family for a short time so that other people can be with their families for an Eternity. Eternity is the key. We know that we are all passing through this life. We should enjoy, help, love, and live life to the fullest but our hope goes beyond this life into Eternity. 

With much love,

The Downings