Throwback To An Exciting Seminary Week

This is one of the two classrooms we used for Seminary classes in 2018. This classroom had more distractions but a better breeze. We can’t wait for This year’s seminary to begin! August can’t come soon enough!

Blessings,

The Downing Family

Wall Builders Part Two

Friends last week we shared some photos of a fallen wall at the Santa Clara church in Quito. We asked you to pray about the situation. Sometimes, walls fall, roofs leak, ceilings crack, and floors get damaged. These issues tend to get worse over time, especially when preventative maintenance budgets get eliminated. This is unfortunately the case with the Churches we serve.

A Little History. 

A long time ago now God spoke to a wonderful Christian Sister by the name of Roma Lee. He called her into a missionary effort through short term mission trips. Many of you who are reading this post have experienced missions on a Roma Lee trip. We have traveled with Roma Lee and the time we spent with her has changed the course of our lives.

When Roma Lee was alive she would take any (legitimate missions) excuse to bring a group to Latin America. She proclaimed the Gospel, trained leaders, fed the hungry, visited the sick, provided clothing, and built many a worship space. In the Country of Ecuador several of our Churches are happily meeting in buildings that Roma Lee and her missions teams helped to construct. Timothy had accompanied Roma Lee on many a construction work-camps working here in Ecuador.

In the past the global missionary effort of the Church of God supported such endeavors by collecting and making available a general construction fund to the Missionaries who served here. Roma Lee and her groups would fund much of the construction and provide help with labor. The Church here would provide hospitality and sweat equity. And through an organization named Global Missions, funds were collected and dispersed for ongoing projects and maintenance. This partnership was fruitful for many years.

So, What Happened? 

Sometimes ministries need to change, other times leaders like to change things for their own reasons. We are not sure of the legitimately of the change in our previous sending organization, but we lived through it. It should be noted that we certainty are not criticizing the changes that were made, after all we were not called to lead the organization we are busy focusing on our own calling. Time will tell the need for the changes “For a tree is known by its fruit.”

One of the changes we lived through was one of funding policy. By the time we arrived in Ecuador the organization we were with changed their approach to project funding. Construction funds were only available to us in a focused and limited way. In other words when we inherited this ministry we did not inherit the ability to raise funds for it in meaningful ways. Because of this change we have not had the ability to help our churches with routine maintenance. They have not had the funds to provide the needed maintenance themselves. Consequently, we have seen several minor problems in infrastructure become major problems.

Seeing the need but having no way to meet the need was frustrating to us. This is one of the reasons we left our original sending organization.

What Now?

We have asked each pastor that we work with to inform us on the infrastructure needs of their church. Once we get a good grasp on the need we will begin to plan with each church and find a way to help.

What Can You Do? 

As we gather information we ask that you pray. Please pray for our churches as they struggle financially in a county with limited resources. Please pray that God will begin calling churches and individuals to help with this much needed ministry. And please pray that God will provide us with funds when the time is right.

Blessings,DCD6B322-ED28-48C6-8E32-833138D89702 The Downing Family

Cultural Insight: Rosca De Reyes

Today’s cultural insight is a particularly delicious cultural experience. Every January 6, it is customary to meet with family and friends to eat the sweet Rosca de Reyes bread. Throughout Ecuador there are customs surrounding this delicious sweet bread, which is eaten to celebrate the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus.

According to tradition, the Rosca contains a surprise. Often marzipan figures made by a Quito artisan will be placed in every loaf. It is customary that whoever finds the surprise in their piece of Rosca must buy next year’s sweet bread.

We appreciate most of the traditions and customs of Ecuador, we love participating in this custom!

Blessings, EDE2EA27-63A9-4BF4-88DE-EE1E608DBD44The Downing Family

If you enjoyed this cultural insight podcast click here for more!

If you would like to read or listen to some great Ecuadorian recipes click here!

Remember To Go, Remember Where To Go!

This Sunday as you prepare to go to church allow us to give you a friendly reminder that Church is not the only place that the followers of Christ should go!

Jesus said: “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.”  -Matthew 28:18-20

Blessings, EC1A5CAC-7F20-48F3-A3F3-85DBEA4E3DF9The Downing Family

 

 

Cuy Chaqtado (Fried Guinea Pig)

Cuy Chaqtado

Fried Guinea Pig (Ayacucho-style)

Guinea Pig is an Ecuadorian delicacy. It is taboo in other parts of the world. Seven out of seven Downings enjoy a well prepared Cuy.

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Elias enjoying some delicious Cuy (guinea pig).

Ingredients:

1 guinea pig, de-haired, gutted, and cleaned

1/2 c. flour

1/4 – 1/2 t. ground cumin

salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 c. oil

Instructions:

First: Pat dry the skin of the guinea pig and rub in the cumin, salt, and pepper.

Then: Preheat oil.

After that: Dust the carcass with the flour and place it on its back in the oil make sure to turn it and cook both sides.

Alternately, the guinea pig can be cut and fried in quarters instead of whole.

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Esperanza with her lunch.

Serve with boiled potato or fried yuca, and a salad of cut tomatoes and slivered onions bathed in lime juice and a bit of salt.

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Adelena didn’t even try to eat this one!

We enjoy experiencing Ecuador one bite at a time! Click here to read about what we do when we are not eating.

Blessings,570ACD81-BC89-403F-ACE2-F1361F0C35BBThe Downing Family

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 Very Young Angelita

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We recently came across this beautiful photo of Angelita when she was in high school. We are blessed by the wonderful treasures we found during a recent visit to the United States!

 

Missions And Relationships

What does a missionary heart look like? Listen to this interview with Rev. Bob Burns and find out!

Friends we would like to develop a relationship with you! Check out this link to find out more about us. Then write us so we can know more about you!

Love, B8BE1E92-F232-4D80-A144-845F8A9C78BDThe Downing Family

Wall Builders

 

Pastor Pol said that it felt like an earthquake when the security wall fell in the back corner of the church property. When he investigated the aftermath he was very surprised to find the wall laying in a pile of rubbish.

Our hearts broke as Pastor Pol told of how they had already been robbed because of the missing wall.

We are asking that you pray for Pol and his family along with our brothers and sisters in the Santa Clara church as they struggle to come up with a solution for this immediate problem. Next week we will tell you how you can help.

Love,

The Downing Family

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