A quick word to our supporters: Thank you so much for your partnership this year! We wish we could share with you in person our gratitude that you have joined us on this journey. We have always considered our effort in ministry a team effort and we are proud to be part of your team. Thank you for extending your reach into Ecuador. Thank you for allowing us to be your hands and feet here.
We have had a wonderful and productive year! Here are some highlights.
We spent the month of January in Ohio and Wisconsin as we spent time saying a long goodbye to family and friends, knowing that some of our goodbyes would be permanent at least until we reunite in heaven, other goodbyes were less permanent. Regardless of what type of goodbye we were saying, we were glad to have the opportunity to say it. As Christians we have the privilege of taking the long view, among Christians we can’t say goodbye we can say see you in heaven.
We arrived in Ecuador in February. At first we stayed in the Seminary as we searched for suitable rental for our family.
We also spent as much time with our predecessors and friends the Lamberts as possible (click here to check out their new ministry). We knew that our time was very short with them and we needed to have as many crucial conversations as possible. They walked us through our first National committee meeting.
During March we set up our residence, began work on registering our vehicle, and spent as much time being trained by the Lamberts as possible. It was like drinking out of a fire hose, refreshing but difficult to process.
In April we said goodbye to our friends the Lamberts. We began our first month alone. But God is faithful and we met two other missionary families who always make us feel renewed.
Our family also grew in April with the arrival of Adelena Ruth Downing. Two days after her birth we began our immigration process.
We hosted a leadership team from the Breiel Boulevard Church of God in May. We were honored to visit six churches and the Seminary as they explored ways that they could become involved in our ministry in a more hands on manner.
We continued to build relationships with our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters and to learn our ever-expanding missionary roles during the month of June. We also began an aggressive visitation schedule so that we could know and understand our pastors and their needs in the context of their ministries. We are very impressed with each Pastor, we could not ask for a better group of leaders to work with!
This year brought many firsts. One significant first happened in July. We had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with several baptisms from the church in Tonsupa. We spent that whole day celebrating with the church. We spent the remainder of the month preparing for another first, the annual Seminary intensive week.
The first full week of August was our annual Seminary intensive week. Timothy had taught at the Seminary for several years but this was the first year that he carried the title of Director. We are eternally grateful to the pastors and other leaders who made this year’s experience a great success!
In August we also experienced a wonderful time of unity and sportsmanship at the first annual Quito invitational Soccer tournament between our city churches. Our older kids even played!
September brought with it a new beginning for Ezequiel and Elias as they began classes. Their school is entirely taught in Spanish except for one English class (they seem to be excelling in their English class). Our other kids are homeschooled over the Internet.
During October we had the privilege of traveling to the Cuenca area and meeting the leadership of several churches who want to join our organization. They are wonderful people and we look forward to a bright future together.
In November we finally received our legal citizenship! We also began building some significant friendships with a group of missionaries over Thanksgiving dinner.
Our first Christmas outside of the U.S. went very well. We always thought that Christmas time as a Pastor was busy but our first year of service as Directors of the Children of Promise program in Ecuador was intense. We are satisfactorily exhausted.
We had wonderful and action packed year. We know this is just the beginning of many years of intense service. We are very happy to be where we are. We are very firm in our calling. Most of all we are very grateful for all of you who have believed in our mission and have partnered with us.
If you have not yet partnered with us and would like to join our support team we absolutely need your help! Costs and budgets keep rising. The fields are ripe for harvest but the workers are few. It is very important that we are able to continue on in His glorious mission. To join our support team please click here.
If you are already a supporter could you do us a special favor? Could you share our information with someone you know who might be willing to join our support team? We need your help in expanding our network. We have a unique problem, we need to find more supporters but living overseas provides some special challenges connecting with people back home. If you would be so kind to discuss us with a friend and give them an opportunity to join our team we would be supremely grateful.
Happy New Year!
Timothy, Angelita, Timothy 2, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, Adelena