Friends we want you to hear a perspective from Ecuador. We translated this from the writings of Marcelo Valle Guevara. Please allow these words to penetrate your heart. Our hope is that you understand the “Stay home, stay safe” orders from the perspective of those most hurt by them.
“Stay home,” says the artists, hugging his wife as their children run through the 400 square meter, (1312.34 square feet), mansion where they live.
“Stay home,” says the politician, as he chooses in which of his properties he will spend the quarantine, he knows that his salary will arrive intact and his bank accounts are full of money resulting from corruption.
“People do not understand,” says the woman with a privileged position, while they unload fruit and vegetable and the bags of food she bought online and paid with her credit card at her door.
On the sidelines, in the invisible neighborhoods, the 4×4 “houses”, wooden huts, plastics, and cardboard, where the cold is COLD and the HEAT embraces and burns and does not let you sleep.
Online classes, seriously! What world do they live in? There is no light, no computer, much less internet.
Are they blind? They do not see the reality of the world where there are millions of families and homes in which what is earned yesterday is today’s food. Where, if you didn’t work yesterday, there is no food today. Where sanitary measures are known, but are impossible to comply with because there is not one mask to cover mouths or antibacterial gel.
Fearful, trembling, and hungry, a father goes out into the street to seek to earn a penny to buy food, even though he knows that he might die.
People are just trying to live, resist, survive day by day.
The virus does not make us the same.
The virus highlights, even more, the intolerance, the apathy with which the privileged sector of this society looks at those who have the least.
“Stay at home“, to take care of each other.
Outside the danger is the virus, but inside the danger is hunger, your children’s faces, disappointment, uncertainty, hopelessness … thousands of people without work, without money, without food … there is nothing worse than seeing your family hungry…
It is easy to say “stay home” but at home death is slow, it comes from within and it is hunger!
If each one who has food to eat would give at least one meal to someone who doesn’t have food it would make a big difference!
–Marcelo Valle Guevara
Our hearts are heavy because we see the suffering here in Ecuador first hand. We see people who were once healthy now standing before us skin and bones. We see the hunger in children’s eyes and hopelessness in the eyes of their parents. We have extended our hands, shed tears, prayed and fasted and now we need your help. Please click here to be taken to our food campaign page. Every donation helps us feed hungry people here in Ecuador.
The Downing Family
Friends, in today’s podcast we explore the question: “How should Christians respond to our current pandemic?”
Love, The Downing family
Friends, today’s cultural insight is about poverty. After we recorded this podcast we were reminded of the following Scripture during a Holy Spirit inspired lesson given by William Vorrasi.
Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.
-1 Timothy 6:17-19
Love, The Downing Family
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
6 large ripe Nísperos, peeled with seeds removed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon grape-seed oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
Serve with remaining Níspero sauce on the side.
With love, The Downing Family
John Piper once said, “Churches and Pastors need a great big vision of a great big God.” Fortunately, we don’t have to search far for such a vision. We don’t need marketers to brainstorm our vision. We don’t need copywriters to make it slick or theologians to write systematic theologies about it. We just need to read the strait forward word of God to find our God-sized vision.
Today’s podcast begins a Sunday series taken from the pages of the book Disciple! We begin today with a close look at the importance of holding to the vision given in the Scripture.
Blessings, The Downing Family
Makes: 4 8 oz jars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
The Downing Family
Today we attended Palm Sunday services on line due to the Coronavirus lockdown. We have always loved this time of year. In the United States typically children would be employed to wave palm branches at the beginning of the service. Here in Ecuador, that practice has been outlawed due to environmental concerns.
Sometimes we miss pastoring. Timothy always loved preaching especially during this season of hope! Over the years he has had the opportunity to preach many Palm Sunday messages. One of our favorite Palm Sunday services was held at the Hillside Ave. Chruch of God. During the sermon, we considered the lowly donkey that carried our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that first Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-11). Timothy encouraged the church to “Be The Donkey!”
We want to encourage you today, Be The Donkey! It is commonly known that our job as believers is to be the hands and feet of Christ in this lost and dying world. In other words, we are to take Jesus to wherever He wants to go.
As the Donkey of Christ, we must understand three important truths.
First, we must always keep in mind that the crowds are not for us. People really do not want to see the Donkey but they desperately do want to see the Savior! Our job is to be the Donkey, not the Savior!
Second, as Donkeys, we are aware that our job is not to speak our own words or do our own ministry but to carry Christ’s words on our lips, to travel His path, and to carry out His ministry. Be the Donkey and carry Jesus to people, don’t offer your own braying!
The third truth that all Donkeys must understand is that Jesus may not want to go where we want to go. He may not want to go to where we feel safe or to where we prefer to spend our time. He may lead us into danger, or into the desert, or even into the furthest parts of the Earth! As Christ’s Donkeys, we do not set our own path, we don’t have the right to do something so audacious, we go where He leads us! Be the Donkey and follow Christ’s prodding!
Today and every day after will you join us in living life in a very specific way? Will you be the Donkey of Christ? We are His Donkey in Ecuador will you be His Donkey in your neighborhood? Will you commit to taking Jesus to where He wants to go? Remember He “Came to seek and to save that which was lost!” On our own, we can seek, but we can not save! What we can do is be the Donkey! Carry to the lost and dying world the only one who can save! Let us together be the Donkey of Christ and carry Him to whom He seeks!
With much love,The Downings
Friends we hope all is well with you. Here is a quarantine update from your missionaries in Ecuador.
Love The Downing Family
This recipe produces: 6 baked ripe plantains
This is an easy recipe for a taste of Ecuador. Baked ripe plantains stuffed with cheese are a common treat that all seven Downings suggest you try this dish at least once.
Click play to listen to this recipe!
6 slices of mozzarella
1-2 pats of melted butter
6 ripe plantains, whole
First. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Then. Peel the plantains, place them on a baking sheet and rub them with butter.
Then. Bake the plantains for 30 minutes, turn and bake for another 20 minutes. Both sides should be golden brown.
Then. Remove the plantains from the oven, make a cut (from end to end) and stuff them with the cheese slices. In a few minutes the cheese will melt
Enjoy. Serve warm.
Love, The Downings