Smelting

Have Asians rejected Christ? Not really. In most cases they have rejected only the trappings of Western culture that have fastened themselves onto the Gospel.

K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions

The work of missionaries is particularly essential to the Church. Not simply becuase every Christian is commanded into missions through the great commission in some way but becuase of the inheritant smelting of the Gospel message as it travels into new cultures. We who are missionaries can not afford to give a Gospel wrapped up in our home culture no matter how wonderful our home culture might be. We dare not give even aspects of our home culture in place of the Gospel or perhaps more commonly in addition to the Gospel. It is impartive that we separate the trappings of our culture and deliver only the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only His message contain the Words of Life!

The words of Christ reach people in every culture, they even fundamentally change cultures but only when we give the words of Christ unwrapped from the message of our culture.

Friend, if you are a believer in Christ you are a believer because you heard the words of Christ. Let us carefully read the Bible and consistently breathe the Words of life into our lost and dying world!

May we do the hard work of objectivity looking at the Gospel and then at our culture and follow the Gospel when the two diverge. May we give Jesus only!

With much love, AE4CC7DA-43B8-4EB7-BAB4-3FE9CA162129The Downings

Where

Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.

Charles Spurgeon

Missionary. What do you think of when you hear the word missionary? Missions, primarily, is not about men and women giving their lives away for a moral or humanitarian cause. Rather, missions are primarily about the proclamation of a specific message with a specific content. We see this message written large in every sermon recorded in the book of Acts. The redemption of the world through the death and resurrection of our incarnate God, Jesus Christ. 

If you tell someone of the love, salvation and redemption of Jesus Christ you are speaking missionary words. If you proclaim “God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish but Have everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him” you are proclaiming the missionary message. 

But where should you proclaim your missionary message? Jesus actually gives us clear instructions as to where we are to be missionaries. 

In Acts Chapter one Jesus tells his original disciples that they would be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. In other words where they lived, where they were comfortable, across cultural lines and to the furthest parts of the earth. 

We, His current disciples are called likewise. Although we tend to think of only the furthest parts of the earth as being the realm of missionaries, the truth is that all Christians are responsible for each area of witness. We must take care to witness in each of the realms that Christ sent His disciples. 

May we loudly proclaim the missionary message to all whom we meet. May we go in person, and where we cannot go in person may we go in purse!

With much love,09c1071c-468b-42a1-a9eb-8f1a3f66360a The Downings

Concentric Waves

The primacy of missions is written in large letters across the pages of the whole Bible. All the apostles gave themselves to missions, and only the sword could cut short their path to the uttermost part of the earth.

George W. Peters

Like concentric waves of water when a stone is thrown into a placid pond the Gospel of Jesus Christ travels from its origin to the uttermost parts of the earth! In the Church there is much discussion about evangelism and discipleship. Which should be our main focus, which should be primary? In reality we miss the mark when we argue about such things. Love is primary! When we love properly we Evangelize those who need it and we disciple those who need it. 

When we love like Christ loved we focus on the needs of those around us not on the false argument over the theological supremacy of missions or discipleship. 

In reality missions and discipleship walk hand in hand to the ends of the earth. They are two theologies that can not be separated. One can not be elevated over the other. After all Jesus said Go and make disciples! 

May we love like Christ loves, may we see with his eyes and may we meet the needs of those we encounter.

With much love, ff7ede2e-fa12-4cbb-9c20-5456d1070373the Downings

Friends, we invite you to click here to find out more about partnership with us. 

Cultural Insight: Idioms

One way to gain insight into a culture is by understanding the idioms they use. In this cultural insight we explore Ecuadorian idioms.

With much love, C7277E17-6D98-457E-AFCC-1E3289BD0CA8the Downings

I Will Praise Him, Hallelujah!

Click play to hear today’s podcast!

Oh, I praise the Lord who bought me, hallelujah!

I’m a happy pilgrim bound for glory land;

I am singing, and I hope to sing forever,

When before His throne eternal I shall stand. 

Refrain:

I will praise Him, hallelujah!

I will praise Him more and more:

If I had ten thousand lives in which to praise Him

I could not enough my blessed Lord adore. 

I will praise Him for salvation, hallelujah!

Richest treasure human spirits ever found;

Once I wandered far away, was sad and lonely,

But I’m dwelling now where pleasures e’er abound. [Refrain]

Oh, I’ll never cease to praise Him, hallelujah!

For He gives me peace abounding every day;

He redeemed me from my sins and fully cleansed me,

And I find His service sweeter all the way.

[Refrain]

I will praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah!

I will praise Him for His mercies unto me;

Then I’ll praise Him with the angels in the morning,

When the face of my dear Savior I shall see. [Refrain]

Oh, I praise Him for the strength He daily gives me,

I am running now to gain that heav’nly prize;

Soon with joy I’ll reach the goal of life immortal,

And go sweeping through the gates of paradise. [Refrain]

Daniel Otis Teasley
With much love, The Downings

Click here for Sister Kreps playlist of hymns on YouTube!

Peace

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

John 20:21

We are sent with a purpose and mission far greater than we ever plan or imagine. Jesus sends us on a mission which echoes his own. But missionary work is not reserved for a few pioneering Christians, Jesus sends all of His followers on His mission. It is true that not all of us move to distant lands, learn new languages and inter into new cultures but all of us are sent. We are sent into the mission of Christ and with Peace we reach the world around us. 

Some question why many missionaries go to places from which they are unlikely to return. We go because we have peace. Peace in life, peace in death, peace in eternity, peace in calling. We go because we are clearly called into a specific mission. This calling paired with the Peace that Jesus gives overshadows danger, problems, roadblocks and everything else that might keep the missionary from the mission. Like a moth drawn to a flame a firmly called missionary must work within their Divine calling. Calling matters more than finances, perpetration, missionary organizations, safety, health and the like. It is a grace of God that along with mission, He also give peace so that we may focus on our calling, not on anything else that demands our attention. 

May we go forward in the certitude of a clear calling and a profound sense of Divine peace. 

With much love,    The Downings

We incourage you to click here and read our mission.

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.

With love, C47AEA7E-E7FD-42F2-9652-93969FBCCB5AThe Downings

A Child Of God

In the year of 1907 B. E. Warren pend these beautiful words that remind us not only who we are but whose we are!

Praise the Lord! my heart with His love is beaming,
I am a child of God;
Heaven’s golden light over me is streaming,
I am a child of God.

Refrain:

I am a child of God,

I am a child of God;

I have washed my robes in the cleansing fountain,

I am a child of God.

Let the saints rejoice with my raptured spirit,

I am a child of God;

I will testify that the world may hear it,

I am a child of God. [Refrain]

Let a holy life tell the gospel story,

I am a child of God;

How He fills the soul with His grace and glory,

I am a child of God. [Refrain]

Saved from sin today, every band is riven,

I am a child of God;

Through the tests of life I have peace from heaven,

I am a child of God. [Refrain]

B. E. Warren

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

The Chief End

Missions are the chief end of the Church… the chief end of the ministry ought to be to equip the Church for this. Each congregation is meant to be a training class.

Andrew Murray

Our missionary effort is simply a reflection of Christ’s incarceration. His incarnation is a reflection of the Father’s love for our sin-sick world. Just as Christ was sent as a wounded healer so are we. Not only is each ministry to equip the Church for this heavenly commission but each of us have the privilege of becoming the incarnation of our Father’s love right where we live or wherever we travel! 

The most natural thing for a Christian to do is to be on mission for Christ. The most natural think for a Congregation to do is the equip each believer to be on this mission. 

The Scripture instructs us to “Go” and that powerful command is not modified in any way. We are not to ‘go’ if… if we are happy, if we are sad, if we are passionate, if we are rich, or poor, or “called or equipped, we are to Go, and as we are going we are to give the good news of Jesus Christ!

May we go without self-imposed limits and, may we go fully equipped by our local Churches! 

With much love,AE4CC7DA-43B8-4EB7-BAB4-3FE9CA162129 The Downings

Have you read our story yet? If not we invite you to click here!

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