Throwback To A Boy, A Missionary And A Butterfly

Before we moved to Ecuador our family visited Ecuador.  During our visit Jon and Karen Lambert took us to the butterfly garden in Mindo. Ezequiel is our little naturalist so this special experience is still spoken about frequently.  We cherish the memories captured in this snapshot of Karen, Ezequiel and a few butterflies!


The Downing Family

Danny And Mayra

First click play on today’s podcast,

Then click here to find out more!

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


Our churches are wonderful! Each one is unique in the challenges they face and the people that they reach. The Tonsupa Church is located near the town of Tonsupa in the Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.

Sister Delia speaking to the church in Tonsupa.

Right now the province of Esmeraldas is experiencing much drug related violence. The church courageously ministers in the face of this violence. There is also a large number of brothels in and near Tonsupa. The church faithfully serves Christ in this difficult environment.

The people make their living on the sea, in the tourism industry, or by farming. They work hard, and enjoy newness of life in Christ!

Will you join us in praying for our brothers and sisters here? Please pray for them as they shine the light of Christ in this difficult place. Together we can make a difference!

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Matthew 9:35-38

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


Have you ever considered how important food was in the ministry of Jesus? We see that the context of many of Christ’s interactions involved food. What does our Holy God incarnate have in common with sinners? Food. And the good news is that the table of Christ is always expanding!

In this cultural insight we explore the difference between North American cuisine and that of Ecuador. We just scratch the surface of this topic but we are willing to do the in-depth research to dive deeper on an upcoming episode!

Esperanza loves eating Cuy!
We enjoy many great pastries and fruit!
Some beloved Sisters preparing a church meal.


Mote sucio, corn and mango juice, a perfect meal!

Love, 7470B221-7298-4AA2-B801-F37A1F03A285The Downing Family

Psalm One

Psalm one is a wisdom psalm and the author tells his audience to reject the lifestyle of the wicked and to be loyal to God. The psalmist contrasts the destiny of the wicked with that of the righteous, emphasizing that the wicked are destroyed while the godly prosper under the Lord’s protection.

“How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers!    

Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the LORD’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night. 

He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts.

Not so with the wicked! Instead they are like wind-driven chaff.

For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment, nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly.

Certainly the LORD guards the way of the godly, but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.”

-Psalm One

Love, 55A3EE90-5ABB-41DC-AA0A-2BB319B220FBThe Downing Family

Caldo De Pata

Caldo de pata (cow feet soup)

Serves:10 people

This traditional Latin American comfort soup is somewhat of an acquired taste.  Still life is full of adventure and this soup is worth a try, at least once. Seven out of Seven Downings recommend this unique dish.    



  • The broth:
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 lbs cow feet, washed well and cut in large pieces
  • 14 cups water
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 5 cilantro sprigs
  • 5 parsley sprigs
  • 20 oz yucca


  • Cow feet soup:
  • ½ diced white onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground achiote
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cups canned hominy
  • ½ bunch finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 bunch finely chopped green onions
  • 4 tbs unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt and pepper 


The broth:

First.  Put the cow feet in a large pot, add the crushed garlic, chopped red onions, cilantro and parsley sprigs, cumin, salt, pepper, and the water.

Then.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.

Then.  Add the yucca and cook 30 minutes.

Then.  Remove from the heat and let cool, and strain the broth and save broth for later. Remove some of the grease as it raises to the surface of the broth and set aside.

Then.  Remove the strings from the yuca and cut into medium size pieces.

Then.  Cut the cow feet in small bite size pieces, and remove the bones.


The soup:

First.  Make a flavor base for the soup using the grease from the boiled cow foot broth: heat it over medium heat in a pot, and add the chopped onions, garlic, oregano, achiote, cumin, salt and pepper

Then.  Mix the peanut butter with the milk and add it to the flavor base then stir until the peanut butter dissolves

Then.  Add the broth and  remaining ingredients 

Then.  Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.

Enjoy.  Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro and chopped green onions.

Love,A14C34AA-9727-4C5E-81F9-84819F516F65 The Downing Family

Episode 40: Fishers Of Men

“Jesus said: Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. If you are not fishing, you are not following.”

-Rev. Robert Lee Fry

What does it mean to be to be a follower of Jesus? It means a complete realignment of our lives. Aligning with His love, His mission, His actions. 

When we follow Jesus our hearts must conform to His heart. When we follow Him we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and that love overflows into the lives of our neighbors. When we live with our love locked on the true center of God instead of the false center of self we begin to exhibit a Holy life and a divine motivation. 

This love with no contrary affections cleaving our heart in twain, draws us into the mission of Jesus. If we are following Christ we will naturally be rubbing shoulders with notorious sinners, just as He did. After all Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost! We follow Him into His mission. 

When we conform to His love and embrace His mission we adopt His actions. It is through the words and actions of those who follow Jesus that a lost and dying world sees a glimpse of hope. When we follow Him we become fishers of men. 

May we be followers of Jesus. May be fishers of men!

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

Friends, we encourage you to click here to learn more about our ministry in Ecuador.

Throwback To A First Day Of School

As we look forward to beginning another school year we can’t help but look back on a past first day of school. This is a photo of the Downing kid’s first day of school when we were in Costa Rica learning Spanish.

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

Traditions & Eternal Value

Sometimes we are guilty of throwing away tradition in favor of all things new. Other times we elevate our traditions way beyond their value. It can easily seem like some traditions become idols.

Can we hold our traditions and still offer something of eternal value? Absolutely, today’s ministry story is about a church that is doing just that. Click play to be introduced to the Mount of Olives congregation. A Church of God located in the foothills of the Cayambe volcano.


Love,C47AEA7E-E7FD-42F2-9652-93969FBCCB5AThe Downing Family

Friends we need your help! Will you become our ministry partners by making a monthly donation to us through our Mission Quest donation portal? Click here to learn more!

Together Tuesday: The Power Of Prayer

Friends, earlier this year we asked you to pray for little Jonah, the son of our fellow missionaries, Jonathan and Beth Todd. Today we want to share the answer to your prayers. Below is an excerpt from the Todd’s latest newsletter. As you read it remember that Together Our Prayers Make A Difference! (Click Here to see the original post asking for prayer). 

“We arrived back in the United States on June 7 to begin our home assignment. The next week we took our children to their pediatrician here in the US for well-child checkups. It was then that we learned that Jonah had a very loud heart murmur. That same day found us sitting in the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Clinic. Some diagnostic testing revealed that Jonah had a very large ventricle septal defect (VSD) and an atrial septal defect (ASD) that would require surgery sooner rather than later. We started asking for people to pray and for doors to open to a quick resolution so that Jonah could be on the road to recovery.

A mere 15 days later found us at University of Kentucky for Jonah to undergo open heart surgery. We were blessed beyond measure to have pastors and friends from around Kentucky to come sit with us during Jonah’s surgery. The surgery went better even than the surgeon had told us to expect, and Jonah only spent three nights total in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU and then he was sent home. It has now been about 10 weeks since Jonah’s initial diagnosis, and he is doing better than ever. At his recent checkup, the cardiologist said everything looks great and they foresee no need for any more surgeries. He now just needs to see a cardiologist once a year for a checkup. God is good! We are grateful beyond words for all of the prayers and support you have given us during this time.”

Thank you for praying for our friends!

Love,A14C34AA-9727-4C5E-81F9-84819F516F65 The Downing Family

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