Category: Ministry Story

Ministry Story: Prayer

Have you ever thought about the powerful impact your prayers have? Prayer is the life line of the missionary. When you partner with us in prayer you are truly walking along side of us through thick and thin.

Will you join the prayer community that was spoken about in this podcast? Your prayers can have eternal impact! We invite you to partner with us in this important way! Just Click here to join our prayer vine.

With much love and prayers, 1D9AE994-DBCF-4306-B3B5-871C03069AB0The Downings

Ministry Story: Heavy Hearts

We eagerly await the day when all things are made new! Today’s ministry story happened during the first year of our ministry here. We invite you to journey with us through this difficult ministry encounter. Be prepared to be touched by this sad story.

 

With much love, ff7ede2e-fa12-4cbb-9c20-5456d1070373The 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! 

Ministry Story: Santa Elena

 

The rain was pounding on the windshield as our Toyota rolled to a stop. It was the kind of rain that gave promises of ending soon. If we had arrived a couple of minutes later we would have been able to walk into the home without getting soaked. We paused for a moment hoping the rain would cease but we were drawn to the faces filled with expectation crowding in the doorway. We opened the doors of the SUV and made a run for it. The sensation of cool rain alighting on our skin was drowned out by the wonderful smell of Pollo Seco cooking from inside the home.

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The home in which we worshiped.

When we entered the Santa Elena home we were quickly made comfortable and handed a delicious plate of food. We had a great time of fellowship as we discussed this new work that is nearly a year old. 

Last year the pastors of the Carapungo Church in Quito responded to a burden that they had for the people of Santa Elena, a small town near Nanegelito. They Evangelized the area and a lady opened her home so that the new group of believers could meet. The Carapungo Church sends their pastors every other Saturday to develop the work. From time to time the entire church goes for a special service. Each visit takes a day. They begin traveling at 8:00 in the morning and return to Quito at 8:00 in the evening. 

Pastor Orlando spoke in glowing terms of the growth and potential of this new work. After we shared a meal we walked the neighborhood and dreamt about reaching each family in the area and what it would take to build a permeate church building.

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This small lot with a building on it would only cost $2000 for the Church to purchase.

After our walk the church gathered to worship through song and the hearing the Word of God. Brother Orlando preached an excellent sermon and invited the new believers to be baptized. The Carapungo Church is planing a baptism service and they want the new work to be involved too.

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Worshiping with the Santa Elena Church plant.

The Church in Ecuador keeps growing under the leadership of the Holy Spirit! We are honored to walk alongside of our friends here and we are Joyful for your support! Your encouragement, prayers and donations keep us in Ecuador! Thank you for helping us stay on our mission path. 

With much love, ff7ede2e-fa12-4cbb-9c20-5456d1070373The Downings

Ministry Story: La Pradera

 

We had two wonderful experiences recently.

We had the joy of worshiping with a new church plant in La Pradera. The church is a work born of the heart of the Rodriguez sisters, some of our pioneering church planters in the Ecuadorian Church of God. This dedicated family definitely has a missionary vision for their country. They have tirelessly worked to establish the gospel in several places.

La Pradera is a new neighborhood north of the El Caldron section of Quito. The church is located on the street named Jesús del Gran Poder (Jesus of Grand Power), an apt name for a church address. Please pray with us as this new work shines the Gospel light in this neighborhood. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

We were impressed that this work included the children in every aspect of the service. The church was very warm and welcoming.

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A lovely time of worship.

Timothy had the honor of preaching over a section in 1John. By an act of the Holy Spirit one of the church leaders read a section of Proverbs during the opening of the worship service that prepared everyone’s heart for the sermon God had given to Timothy.

After church we had the opportunity to travel across town and eat with brother Alejandro Choez and his family. Brother Choez used to serve as the pastor at the Santa Clara Church. Pastor Choez and the Santa Clara Church played a significant role in forming our thoughts and feelings about Ecuador. One of Timothy’s first mission trips to Ecuador was to the Santa Clara church. He joined with a church group from Greenville Tennessee lead by Sister Roma Lee and helped with a construction project on the lower level of the church building. It was a great encouragement to relive some of our shared memories.

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Brother Alejandro and family.

One of the great joys of ministry in Ecuador is the encouragement we both give and receive as we walk alongside our brothers and sisters here on the Equator

with much love, ff7ede2e-fa12-4cbb-9c20-5456d1070373The Downings

If you would like to donate to the building project in Pisambilla mentioned in this podcast we invite you to click here and find out more. 

Ministry Story: Jonatan

We recently had the joy of attending the graduation dinner for our friend Jonatan.

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Our friend Jonatan

Jonatan was a Child Of Promise. He grew up in the Santa Clara Church and his family has been active in that ministry for many years. Somewhere we even have an old photograph (non-digital) of a young Timothy and Jonatan’s father taken during one of Timothy’s youthful visits.

Thanks to the love and encouragement of his Family, Church, former missionary and Children of Promise director Karen Lambert and of course his Sponsor he has now earned an engineering degree and has even invented a machine that makes fertilizer pellets!

Jonatan is a sharp young man, a very hard worker and has a bright future ahead of him.

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We ate, sung and danced in celebration! (Well there was dancing but your missionaries just moved awkwardly during a Mariachi song)

Jonatan’s Children of Promise sponsor is unique because they continued their encouragement and financial support well beyond their original commitment. Sometimes when you connect through COP you make life long friendships!

Angelita and I love how Jonatan’s story has turned out so far and we look forward to walking alongside all of our Children of Promise on whatever adventures may come!

With love,52faba8e-f3dd-4c56-bebd-2531e775874c The Downings

Have you read about our mission yet? If not, please click here!

 

Ministry Story: Quevedo

 

The humidity was thick but the joy was palpable as we walked through the doors of the Quevedo church.

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The building that houses the Quevedo Church!

Quevedo is one of the most important agricultural centers of Ecuador and is the geographical point where all major roads in the region (including the Pan-American highway) intersect. The area surrounding Quevedo mainly produce bananas, corn, rice, and soybeans. The soils in the region generate excellent harvests year-round. Many banana producers complement their banana plantations with fields that produce corn, soy and rice during the rainy season.

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We had the privilege of traveling with Brother Patricio and Sister Irma (The President and First Lady of the National Committee of the Church of God in Ecuador) to encourage the believers in Quevedo.

The church in Quevedo if full of friendly faces and dedicated believers. They are firmly planted in the thriving agriculture community. They are a light in a dark place as well. We could not help but notice a large number of brothels and night clubs in the area.

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What a wonderful group of believers!

 

Please pray for our brothers and sisters as they shine the light in the darkness and witness for Christ.

With much love,ff7ede2e-fa12-4cbb-9c20-5456d1070373 The Downings

Your generosity keeps us going! Will you join our network partners? We are seeking individuals who will commit to a small monthly donation. 

 

Ministry Story: Gloria’s Baby (Podcast)

We  recently had the joy of  dedicating a baby. Here is the podcast about the event. If you would like to read about it, see photos and watch a video from this event please click here. 

With much love, 9033a23f-eac4-4238-a8d1-e91b4dbfb724The Downings

Ministry Story: Gloria’s Baby

Recently we had the joy of visiting the church of Pisambilla for a baby dedication.

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Pisambilla is a Church of God located high up on Mt. Cayambe. The church is between buildings right now. We are currently meeting in a carve out in the hillside. If you would like to donate to their building project please click here! 

 

Timothy was invited to dedicate Samara the daughter of Gloria, one of his seminary students. Gloria is also the daughter of Pastor Carlos.

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It was an absolute honor to speak into the lives of Samara, Gloria, the family and the church!

Here is a short podcast about this wonderful experience.

In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read: “Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You must love  the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and gates.”

This scripture is very important especially as we think about how to raise a child in a manner dedicated to God.

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We love our children! Naturally we want to raise them in a way that passes on our faith.

 

Deuteronomy teaches us that God is unique, the only one worthy of worship! The scripture teaches us that our attitude toward God is to be one of love. Love through thought (intellect, creativity), Love through body and spirit (our whole being), and Love through work (strength).

This is a Quechua hymn called Cuya Tayta Diolla. We love hearing our brothers and sisters sing in this beautiful language!

The scripture then instructs us that this truth is to be taught to our children. We are to teach our children to love God as we sit in our house.  This means that our home must be a home focused on God’s truth. Both naturally and intentionally we raise our kids in an atmosphere of faith at home.

We see Pastor Carlos raising his children in a home filed with faith. We know that Gloria will raise Samara in the same atmosphere.

We are to instruct our children in the ways of faith as we walk along the road. Notice the contrast between the home and the road. At home we are supposed to be protected, safe, and free to be most ourself. The message of faith in the home is unified. The road is different. In the road we encounter the dangers of life, difficult people, and confusing thoughts. The road is where our faith is tested. The Scripture says that we are to teach our children in this challenging atmosphere as well. We are to guide them through the troubles in the life. We are to walk with them on the paths they choose to walk. We are to teach our children in the safety of our homes and also in the vulnerability of the road.

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The road may be where our faith is proven but ideally the home is where our faith begins.

 

This Scripture then goes on to speak of another instance in which we are to instruct our children in the way of faith. We are to remind our children as we lie down and as we get up. This means that our day is to be spent in a manner that brings our kids into a living relationship with God our Father. In every situation during the day we have a choice, we can either act and react in a way that brings our kids into a deeper relationship with God or in a way that drives our kids away from the loving arms of our Savior. A measured and Christ entered response to life’s daily issues teaches our children the way of faith. We must try to act and react in godly ways to all of life’s problems both extraordinary and mundane.

We often rise to the occasion when the extraordinary occurs but consistency in the mundane is what prepares us for the extraordinary.

This Scripture then goes on to tell us to make physical reminders of the truth. That’s because we are both a physical and spiritual creation. Sometimes we need to make physical reminders of spiritual truths. We should find a physical reminder of our faith. We should connect the spiritual truth that we teach our children with physical reminders of that truth. This is what Jesus did when he taught. 

This Scripture concludes with the instruction to write the truth on your door and gate. Door frames and gates are the part of the home that the community sees. What the Bible is teaching is that we are to be a witness to the community. As parents we have a lot of influence on our children the community we live in also shapes our children’s thoughts and actions. This is why we take every opportunity to share our faith with our neighbors. Our witness is to shine inside and outside of our homes, our witness should help shape the spiritual atmosphere in which our children will grow up. 877de699-eebb-46c1-b2fe-65069555e35a

What does your community see from the outside looking in?

Jesus quotes these verses and joins them with Leviticus 19:18 in Matthew 22:37-40.  

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Jesus  said to him, “‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind .’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself .’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Loved ones, the same Jesus Christ who invited The children to come to him invites us to live in Divine love. Allow me to encourage you, love God, love others, live accordingly so that Our Children can see and believe. 

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Our kids need to see so that they can believe!

With much love,ef59575f-e5ac-4bae-9fe9-06477aae1fc4 The Downings

If you liked this ministry story we encourage you to click here and enjoy a recent visit we had with the Roldos Church!