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

Bolon De Verde, Fried Green Plantain Balls

Bolon de verde or fried green plantain balls

Yield: For 6-8 people

Bolon de verde are green plantain dumplings stuffed with cheese, chorizo or chicharrones and fried until crispy.

Ingredients

  • 4 green plantains, peeled and cut in medium sized chunks
  • 4-5 tbs butter or lard
  • 2 tbs oil, canola or sunflower
  • 1 tbs hot pepper or chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup grated cheese and/or 1 cup cooked chorizo or chicharrones
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter or lard over medium heat in large sauté pan
  2. Add the plantain chunks and cook for about 40 minutes or until they are very soft, turn them about every 10 minutes, they should be slightly golden but not too crispy.
  3. Sprinkle the cooked plantains with the chili powder, cumin and salt.
  4. Transfer the plantain pieces to a bowl, do this while they are still hot (but be careful not to burn yourself).
  5. Mash the plantains using a wood masher – or just a regular potato masher – until you obtain chunky dough like consistency.
  6. Form balls slightly smaller than the size of a tennis ball with the dough.
  7. Make a hole in the middle of each ball and fill it with the cheese or chorizo or chicharrones, gently press the filling into the hole, cover the filling and reshape it back into a ball shape.
  8. Heat the oil over high heat, add the stuffed plantain dumplings and fry them until they are golden and crispy on each side.
  9. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to drain the grease and serve immediately.

Love,

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Tim, Elias, Ezequiel, Timothy, Angelita, Esperanza and Adelena 

The Downing Family

P.S. As of October 12, 2019 Ecuador is experiencing wide spread protests. We encourage you to click here for more information.

Hear!

“Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face – whose mercy you have professed to obey – and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.

-William Booth

Friends, we must get serious about the mission of Christ. It is not a matter of being called into some form of missionary service it is a matter of hearing what our Lord has already said. He called all believers into his mission when he said “go.” He said his disciples will be his witnesses in every sphere of life. He called all believers to love God, and love our neighbor. If we love God how can we not love what He loves? If we love our neighbor as ourselves how can we ignor their cries for help?

May we stand in obedience to the Call! May we be who Christ called us to be!

Love,

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Tim, Adelena, Timothy, Angelita, Elias, Esperanza and Ezequiel 

The Downing Family

Throwback To A Wet Hike

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One of the pleasures of living in Ecuador is the availability of unique and wonderful hikes. This one was wet as we braved the rain to see some cascades.  

Santa Isabel

One of the ministries we are privileged to participate in is teaching seminary classes to developing Christians and church leaders. Such an opportunity presented itself by way of an invitation from Rev. Jovanny Mendieta and Rev. Jorge Palacios to teach some classes this past weekend at Santa Isabel. Rev. Patricio and Timothy along with Jason Jones joined the students and leaders of the Ark Church and several other congregations in the area of Santa Isabel for a weekend of wonderful fellowship and intensive classes.

In addition to the classes we were honored to participate in the baptism of Brother Marcelo. (Video courtesy of Jason Jones)

Timothy throughly enjoyed being in the baptism waters once again with Brother Palacios!

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Brother Patricio taught several wonderful classes. The students were blessed by his loving and thoughtful approach.
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Brother Patricio also brought a powerful and clear sermon during the evening service. We love to hear our brother preach!
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Brother Palacios taught and preached in a life-changing way. His love for the people is evident in word and deed.
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Our good friend Jason was a blessing not only to us but to our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters. His presence was a great encouragement to all!
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Brothers with the same heart!

Timothy loved teaching about biblical culture. This is what he was called to do. Nothing is quite as sweet as fulfilling one’s purpose!

As we continue our ministry in Ecuador we look forward to many more opportunities to reach, preach, and teach.

Love,

EDE2EA27-63A9-4BF4-88DE-EE1E608DBD44
Tim 2, Elias, Ezequiel, Timothy, Angelita, Esperanza, Adelena

The Downing Family

P.S. we usually post early in the morning but this post comes to you early evening because we are dealing with some interesting issues in Ecuador right now. To read our write up about the national crisis unfolding here click on this link. Thank you for your prayers!

 

 

Flexibility Is The Key

Friends here is a quick update and prayer request about the national crisis occurring in Ecuador. On October 3, 2019 protests erupted all over Ecuador due to the government  ending of costly gas subsidies. As of October 8th the protests are still going on and are expected to continue for several more days. (Video courtesy of Jason Jones)

 

The protests have included roadblocks, violence and destruction of property. Although most Ecuadorians are peaceful some have taken to the street with evil intent.

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We watch as a roadblock was constructed in front of our vehicle. Our brave driver asked permission to pass before the obstruction was finished and they let us through. The next roadblock would not let us through so we took a dirt road into the country to avoid the riots.
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We help deconstruct a roadblock that had no protesters guarding it.

Here is a video taken from the gate of a hotel we were staying at in Santa Isabel. Notice the men with clubs and rocks intending to do damage to the car they had stopped. The occupants looked very frightened. (Video courtesy of Jason Jones)

For today’s Together Tuesday project will you pray with us for peace in Ecuador? Pray for safety among the brothers here. And that we the church will be a brilliant shining light in this dark time. The light of Christ can and will outshine the dull glow of burning protest fires!

Love,

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Tim 2, Angelita, Elias, Adelena, Timothy, Esperanza, and Ezequiel

The Downing Family

Click here to learn more about our ministry in Ecuador!

El Guagua Auca

Folklore and legends are in important part of understanding a culture. Folklore sometimes communicates deep or difficult cultual reality. Listen to the legend of the Baby of Aura a see what you can learn about Ecuadorian culture.

The folklore of the crying child is one of the legends that have been passed down from generation to generation, which tells how a newborn child died without being baptized. Many say they have seen or heard this baby at night.

On uninhabited roads, enigmatic forests, cemeteries, solitary churches, and clear streams, a baby appears in the middle of the road crying. Wise travelers avoid the baby and ignore it’s cries. Others naively seek to help the child who was thrown away by a heartless mother, but they do so to their own parallel. The baby is actually a demon who kills his would be rescuer.

What does this story tell you about Ecuador?

Love,55A3EE90-5ABB-41DC-AA0A-2BB319B220FB The Downing Family

Back To The Blessed Old Bible

To understand this hymn we first must understand that the term “Babel” refers to a place of confusion. Especially confusion induced by mankind’s struggle to dominate God. The Biblical background is found in the days following Noah’s flood. The people of earth thought that they should organize a plan of safety, they would build a tower so that they could climb out of the flood waters of God’s judgment if necessary. God confused the language of mankind in response.

The early call of the Church of God was to come out of Babel, leave the confusion of man made creeds, sectarian divisions and the denominational struggle to organize God’s work as though they owned the work.

A similar term used by the early Church of God was “Babylon.” Where as the term “Babel” spoke of spiritual confusion, “Babylon” spoke of false religion. In the parlance of the Church of God, Babylon refers to the man made denominational systems as opposed to the Divinely organized “Body of Christ” which no man dare organize.

With this definition of Babel in mind, let’s listen to the podcast.

Back to the blessed old Bible,
Back to the city of God;
Back to the oneness of heaven,
Back where the faithful have trod.
Back from the land of confusion,
Passing the wrecks and the creeds;
Back to the light of the morning,
Jesus our Captain leads.

Refrain:
Back to the blessed old Bible,
Back to the light of its word;
Be on our banners forever:
“Holiness unto the Lord.”

Back to the blessed old Bible,
Saints of Jehovah, rejoice;
Jesus is calling His people
Back to the land of their choice.
Often our fathers have sought it
While we in Babel abode,
Now we have found the fair city—
Church of the living God. [Refrain]

Back to the blessed old Bible,
Leaving confusion and strife;
Fleeing from Babel to Zion,
Back to the joy of our life.
Over the mountains we wandered,
Looking in vain for the right;
Now in the evening we’ve found it:
Truth of the gospel light. [Refrain]

Back to the blessed old Bible,
Back at the Master’s call,
Back to the words of our Savior,
Loving, obeying them all.
Never in sects to be scattered,
Never again to do wrong;
Unity, holiness, heaven,
Ever shall be our song. [Refrain]

-Daniel Otis Teasley

Love, E59C874B-52D9-4D16-904B-520002EB214BThe Downing Family

Chicha De Piña

Spiced pineapple drink

Serves 8-10 people

Chicha de piña is a spiced pineapple drink made by simmering the pineapple skins and core with spices and hard brown sugar.  Seven out of seven members of the Downing family recommend this simple drink.

Ingredients

  • Assorted spices: cinnamon sticks, allspice peppers, cloves, anise
  • The skins and core of 1 pineapple, well washed
  • ¾ lb of panela (unrefined sugar) or brown sugar, whole or in chunks – more or less to taste
  • 10-12 cups of water

Instructions

First.  Combine all of the ingredients in large saucepan or pot

Then.  Bring to a boil and simmer partially covered for at about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy.  You can drink it immediately or let it rest refrigerated to allow the spices and pineapple flavor to concentrate.

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

If you enjoyed this recipe podcast we encourage you to click here and check out this one!

Liberation

Missions is not a recruitment project for God’s labor force. It is a liberation project from the heavy burdens and hard yokes of other gods.

-John Piper

The terrible yoke of other gods is evident in this lost and dying world. Some gods have even transcended religion. Convenience, epicurean appetites, and envy are all modern deities that hold sway over vast numbers of people. 

Preaching salvation is not a sales pitch to get people come to church, it is a calling to be the church. Alter calls are not the feel good end to a worship service they are calls to action. The missionary calling is to seek and save those who are lost. 

May we enthusiastically participate in the Divine liberation project. May the world turn to the easy yoke and light burden of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Love, A14C34AA-9727-4C5E-81F9-84819F516F65The Downing Family

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