Light

Here is one day’s devotion from Timothy’s book Christmas Devotions.  We hope your Christmas season is meaningful and that you allow the light of the world to shine in you!

 

Then Jesus spoke out again, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

~Jesus, John 8:12

The darkness of sin filled the world but God promised a light that would one day pierce the darkness. Throughout history it was known that a glimpse of spiritual light could be found in Jerusalem. The temple of God was a destination for many in the ancient world as they sought the light of truth. Families would travel together seeking something meaningful, something true, something illuminating.

The birth of Jesus is described as the long promised light which shines in the darkness. About thirty-two years after his birth, Jesus proclaimed: “I am the light of the world.” His words were illuminated by his surroundings. He was likely standing in front of a huge candelabra in the most open part of the temple as a crowd of visitors were seeking Spiritual light. His words give all who hear a choice. If we follow him we will have the light of life, if we reject him we will remain in the terrible darkness of our sin.

My hope for you today is that you and your family will seek the light of the world together.

 

(If you would like to join us as we proclaim the Light in Ecuador click here.)

Gods of Travertine vs. God With Us

Timothy once wrote the following:

Before Time

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.”
~The Apostle John, John 1:1-5

The family of God was lost and broken but God had a plan. He looked at Jesus, His son who was as close to Him as His Word, and gave him a mission. The mission was to make it possible for God the Father to adopt sons and daughters into His divine family.
So, the Word of God become flesh and dwelt among us. He brought life and light, he brought a new reality, an opportunity to join the family of God. The little baby laid in a manger that first Christmas made a way for you to become a child of God!

~Excerpt from Christmas Devotions by Timothy Downing

Today we would like to add to those thoughts a testimony of how we have recently experienced being children of our loving God.

Throughout the journey along our mission path we have felt the very presence of God’s hand, active and alive, guiding, protecting, and encouraging us. Unlike the travertine gods of the world, our God is immanent in our lives. This testimony is one of immanency and timing. Often our timing and God’s timing do not align in the way we would prefer. In the beginning of our missionary journey we tried to liquidate one of our vehicles for living expences. Despite being a good work truck, it did not sell. In fact, it garnered only one inquiry all summer long. Eventually we parked the old truck beside our garage and forgot about it. Fast forward to this week. We had two major bills come due but we had no way to pay them. So we went to prayer. Now, it can be said that if you look for miracles you will always find them, of course the opposite is true, if you seek to dismiss miracles you almost always can. Our family tends to look for miracles. As we sat under the foreboding shadow of our bills we received a phone call about the truck. On the other end of the phone was a man asking; “you had a truck for sale in the springtime….you wouldn’t happen to still have that truck would you?” The next day we sold the truck for cash enough to pay our bills. Once again we saw the hand of God move on our behalf, once again we were encouraged in the knowledge that we are part of the Family of God, that we have a loving and engaged Heavenly Father. Once again our kids saw how God has worked in our lives.

Friends, God is inviting you to see how He is intimately involved in your life. This Christmas as you look to the baby in the manger remember, God is with us!

In His grip,

The Downings

Our trusty old F150 leaving our driveway for good.
Our trusty old F150 leaving our driveway for good.

To join our Support team please click here!

Our Long Goodbye

This holiday season has a different feel for us.  Behind the pleasant familiarity of the places we are visiting and the smiling faces of loved ones there lies a far off sense of loss.  If our funds are raised in time this will be the last holiday season that we will experience in familiar places while looking at familiar faces, at least for a while.  So, we eat a little slower, gaze a little longer and listen a little closer as we say our long goodbye.

We are grateful for all of the love our family and friends are bestowing on us.  We enjoy the time that they have chosen to give us.  Our prayer this season goes beyond our own experience to all who are keeping up on our mission path.  May you spend the time you need to over the holidays to make lasting memories.  May the hustle and bustle of the season not prevent you from enjoying the friends and family you are blessed with.

God Bless,
The Downings

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To Join our Living Link network click here!

Another Exciting Announcement!

32% Keep the momentum going!

Last week our family celebrated what seemed to us to be an impossible achievement.  We had reached 25% of our Living Link partnership budget.  To put this into perspective we had spoken at various churches since Last Easter every Sunday, (with the exception of four), in order to reach 25% of our budget.  Today we are ecstatic to announce another major milestone in our effort to serve Christ in Ecuador.  But first some significant statistics with a common number, a clue to our big announcement.

32% of the world’s population are Christians.

32% of Americans think that the rise of Isis signals the end times.

32% of Muslims living in the UK believe it is righteous to kill in the name of Islam.

32% of American households hold to a budget.

32% of Americans are nonreligious.

32% of Ecuadorian women living in the USA are single mothers.

32% of Ecuadorians make their living farming.

And we are now at 32% of our Living Link partnership budget!

Why is this such big news for us?  For several reasons.  When we reached 25% of our budget the long held dream of serving Christ in Ecuador began to materialize.  Now that we are at 32% we are beginning to make lists of possessions we need to liquidate before we leave.   (Anyone want to buy an old house or old pickup truck?)  Another reason for our exuberance has to do with benchmarks.  As a Church of God missionary, we are given benchmarks to meet as we raise our funds.  Our first benchmark is coming up early next year.  We are within striking distance of meeting our looming February benchmark of raising 50% of our budget.  We are excited about where we are but we desperately need your help to get to where we need to be.  Have you considered partnering with us?  How about an end of the year gift?  Together we can serve Christ both here and to the “ends of the earth!”

A quick and easy way to partner with us is to visit the Church of God missions website by clicking here.  Another way to partner with us is by calling Debbie Taylor at 1-800-848-2464 ext. 2185, she will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Thank you and God bless,

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The Downings

 

 

Exciting Announcement!

There is one question that we are often asked that is hard for us to answer. Wherever we go people ask “How is the fundraising going?” On one hand we have no idea, after all we have never tried to raise the kind of funds that are required to move our family and establish a ministry in a far off land. On the other hand we are given regular updates that include the percent of our budget that has been raised so far.

We are excited to announce that through our living link partnership network we have made 25% of our budget! The pie chart represents ¼ of our need met!

Actual pie charts are the best kind of pie charts!
Actual pie charts are the best kind of pie charts!

We are honored that so many people believe in us and the ministry we are called into. Let’s keep the momentum going. If you have not joined us yet now is the time. If you know others whose hearts align with ours the upcoming holidays provide the perfect opportunity to introduce them to us.

Together we can make a lasting mark!

To join us click here or call Debbie Taylor at (800) 848-2464 #2129. We look forward to partnering with you!

Tent Making

In our recent travels we have encountered many concerned bothers and sisters who ask this pressing question; “How are you supporting your family as you raise funds for your mission?”  To be honest that question is now pressing us a bit.  Ever since we stepped away from paid Pastoral ministry (shortly before Easter last year) God has taken care of us through His people.  One way he has done so is by opening up opportunities for us to speak in various churches all across the fruited plain.  We have a policy, if we are invited we will come!  If you want us to come to your church or small group you can request us by calling 1-800-848-2464 ext. 2129.  Another way that we earn funds for our family is by selling the books that Timothy has written. If you are looking for a good book and a good way to help us in our day to day living expenses check out these links.

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Devotions-Rev-Timothy-Downing/dp/1493616315/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381188&sr=8-13&keywords=timothy+Downing
Christmas Devotions (Paperback)

http://www.amazon.com/Elucidate-Simple-Doctrine-Timothy-Downing/dp/1480093459/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381664&sr=8-8&keywords=timothy+Downing

Elucidate (Paperback, Kindle)

http://www.amazon.com/Gospels-Rev-Timothy-Downing/dp/147768753X/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381981&sr=8-18&keywords=timothy+Downing

The Gospels (Paperback, Kindle, English, Spanish)

http://www.amazon.com/Writings-Paul-Rev-Timothy-Downing/dp/1478233982/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381981&sr=8-21&keywords=timothy+Downing

The Writings of Paul (Paperback, Kindle)

http://www.amazon.com/Listening-Gods-voice-exercise-reading/dp/1477618619/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381907&sr=8-17&keywords=timothy+Downing

Listening to God’s Voice (Paperback, Kindle, English, Spanish)

http://www.amazon.com/Truth-can-Rev-Timothy-Downing/dp/147922488X/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381981&sr=8-22&keywords=timothy+Downing

Truth We Can See (Paperback, Kindle)

http://www.amazon.com/Cancion-corazon-Spanish-Timothy-Downing/dp/1477576029/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1415381621&sr=8-16&keywords=timothy+Downing

Una Cancion En Mi Corazon (Paperback)

Of Whirlwinds And Silence

The beautiful notes of life often crescendo ever so slightly over time to become a cacophony.  This happens before you know it.  Recently our mission path has been filled with many melodious tunes.  We were honored to speak at Alliance First Church in Northeast Ohio, then back home for a few days filled with phone calls, emails and book editing, then back to Northeast Ohio, then back to preach at the Kettering First Church of God, then back home for a few days of phone calls, emails and meetings, then to the Ohio general assembly, then to Middletown, then to Cincinnati, then to speak at the Dupont First church of God in Northwest Ohio, then back home for a few days of phone calls and emails.  And if that run on sentence seemed long, so did living it!  In addition to the many high notes on our mission path there was the normal melody of a family of six.  Ballet practice, homeschooling, weddings, dinner with friends, an hour at the park just to name a few. The path sometimes gets long and noisy along the way but there is a reprieve, a quiet time, a time to be still and listen to the “melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above.”

One early morning as I watched the sun rise through the window of my car I had one of those quiet times.  I was reminded of a familiar scripture.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Look, the Lord is ready to pass by.”

A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”

-1 Kings 19:11-13 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The rush and roar of a whirlwind is powerful and can move many obstacles it its way.  The raw power of an Earthquake fundamentally reshapes the face of the ground.  The crackling  of a fire purifies and destroys.  But somehow in the cacophony of life the still small voice restores.  I am honored to experience the whirlwind, earthquake and fire but I am privileged to know the answer to the question that is asked of me in God’s soft whisper.  Why are you here?

I am here because I have heard the sound that recognized the pain in me, “I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now.”  I heard a voice that know me better than I know myself.  I heard a anthem that addressed the the question of origin, morality, meaning and destiny.  I have heard the only song that makes sense.  Now I am compelled to share it.

Please continue to pray for our family as we enjoy the mission path before us and as we build our living link network of supporting partners. We will continue to pray for you.  Let’s together seek to hear the soft whisper of God in contrast to the clamor of our lives.

In His Grip, Timothy

Check out a recent video of Esperanza getting a little board along the way.

*note that no songs were harmed in the writing of this post but both, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and Bittersweet Symphony were quoted.

Home

“Where we love is home- home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

 

Over the course of the last few months our feet have trod on some very familiar ground.  More importantly our hearts have been reunited with people we love.  Last month we had the privilege of spending some time in Angelita’s home town of Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Our hearts were made merry as we spoke with many family members and friends about our mission and how they could be a part of it.  We also expanded our hearts as we met new friends from Milwaukee and Racine.

When we returned to New Carlisle from Kenosha, we were only at our house for a short time when we found ourselves among the believers at the New Song Church of God. Now we feel at home in Fairborn, Ohio.

The next weekend we traveled to another place that has captured our hearts, Northeast Ohio.  We felt like we were home at the Simon Road Church of God.  Our hearts were encouraged by the hospitality of the Howards and the Bakers.

Over the next few weeks we stayed close to our home in New Carlisle.  This allowed Timothy to visit several churches in and around his hometown of Middletown, Ohio.  On one recent evening he was honored to sit at a table with people from his home church and speak about our mission.  Looking around the table he realized that he had been on at least one mission trip with half of the people in the room. And our son Tim had been on a recent mission trip with most of the other half.  Once again our hearts swelled with love, with home.

Ever since we began traveling along our mission path the concept of home has become much more focused.  Our hearts are encouraged at the mere sight of our friends and family no matter where they live.  At the same time we have a growing sense of a new home, a home filled with beautiful people who are called by Spanish names.  A home filled with experiences considered foreign in places like Middletown and Kenosha.

As Ecuador looms large on the horizon we take solace in a simple truth. Our feet may leave the place of our childhood but our hearts never will.  And in a grand mystery, as our feet tread on unfamiliar ground, we keep finding ourselves at home in new places.      

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Grampa Garcia and Mijo. This feels like home!

 

Five Easy Ways to Support in a Way Your Missionary Will Love

It is good to have an advocate!  A friendly face in the room, a supporter can make a huge difference in the way a message is received by a crowd.  In eternal terms you and I can stand before God in his throne room of grace solely because Jesus is our advocate.  In spiritual terms we are called to be an advocate, to stand in the gap, for a lost and dying world.  In physical terms we are to advocate for the chained and downtrodden, for it is among the “least of these” that we glimpse the glorious face of our Savior.  We live and move secure in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our advocate.

Recently Timothy was speaking with a pastor about partnering with our ministry.  During the conversation an advocate for our ministry interjected the importance of churches providing financial  support.  That one interjection turned the conversation and we now are proud partners with the pastor and his church.

This is a call to all of our supporters, those of you who believe in our ministry and want to help us in our search for living link partners (living link partners are monthly financial  supporters). We want to engage you as our advocates.  Here are five ways you can advocate for us.

One. Pray! Please advocate for us before our loving God.  He knows who He has prepared to partner with us as we follow His calling in our lives.  Please continue to pray for His guidance.

Two. Share! It comes quite natural to us to share what we like with others.  Our social networks are full of recommendations for favorite restaurants, recipes, movies, music, and sports teams.  We ask that you share our posts, pictures, information and news with your social network.  Your voice is powerful; please introduce us to your listeners.  If you are wondering what to start sharing here are a couple good links:  ourmissionpath.com/about/   Our video

Three. Write! Would you consider drafting a letter of introduction and sending it to some of your friends?  A letter from a friend is always read.  We ask that you include why you support us and our contact information.  Again your voice is powerful!

Four. Host!  Please consider hosting a get together for us.  Invite your friends and have us share with them the mission God has laid on our hearts.  If you will provide the venue and your friends we will provide refreshments and good conversation.

Five. Partner! We ask that you become a living link partner with us.  We are asking you who believe in us and in the mission we are on to advocate for us financially.  No amount is too big or small.  We simply ask that you let God lead you, then go to this link: Support the Downings  and partner with us in God’s glorious work!

We thank you for your advocacy in advance and we can’t wait to see what happens through your voice!

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Thank You!

 

Mile Markers

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Last week we put over 2000 miles on the mission-mobile on our trip to Kansas.  We passed many mile markers, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

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The mission-mobile turned 144,444.4 (and more) on this trip!

The first part of the week was spent in the Wichita, Kansas City area where we were the guests of the Carter family.  We enjoyed meeting new friends and sharing over dinner with the Hope Community Church of Andover.  If you are in the Wichita area you should check out this wonderful group of believers.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAwelcome2hope.org

The rest of our time was spent in Liberal, Kansas meeting with Rev. Rafael Bermudez and his leadership team.  Then we had the privilege of sharing with the Iglesia de Dios Manantial de Vida about how they can make an impact for Christ both in Liberal and in Ecuador.

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We are constantly amazed by God’s provision and His planning.  We are so grateful for the Churches and individuals who have partnered with us to accomplish the work that God has set before us.  If you would like to become one of our partners please click here.  We can do so much more together  than we can alone!

 

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