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.
We invite you on a journey into the countryside of Cayambe. We will have to leave the smooth road and the small Pueblos and use the cobblestone less traveled. Imagine, we drive along the bumpy road past the eucalyptus trees, and alongside a small rio. We encounter several large rose plantations every once in a while catching a glimpse of the beautiful plants with tall straight stems reaching up to the Equatorial sun. After a while we cross the rio and begin our ascent up a steep and winding road. We pass the ancient aqueduct build by the Incas and still in use today. We eventually we pass the tree line and see picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Our 4×4 finally claws its way over the crest of the mountain. In the valley that unfolds below we see a large church building, that is our destination.
It is breathtaking, as we step out of our vehicle, partly because the temperature is 20 degrees cooler on the mountain as compared to the valley. But perhaps the real reason is our breath has been stolen by the altitude. The Cangahua congregation that we were visiting worships at an elevation of 10,768 feet above sea level. To put it into perspective we are well above the tallest peak in the Appalachian mountains, Mount Mitchell which has an elevation of 6,684 feet.
We had been invited to an evangelistic outreach event held by the Mt. of Olives church in Cangahua, Ecuador.
Cangahua is the oldest rural district in the Cayambe canton. It is located in the wasteland between the inactive Pambamarca volcano, and the active Cayambe volcano. The church building sets nearly on the Equator.
Our brothers and sisters are serving Christ in a largely indigenous community with rural values. In the community there are also many who still celebrate the Sun or Inti Raymi. Each June 29 and 30th the Sun is celebrated in the city square.
Pastor Luis and the church very much love the community and are brilliant lights for the Gospel among the 16,000 people within the church’s reach.
The outreach service we were invited to began at 7:00 pm and ended at 1:15 am. It was full of great singing, powerful preaching and wonderful fellowship.
Pastor Luis is an excellent preacher and tought homiletics at our seminary but instead of preaching to the assembled crowd he invited a lady pastor from a sister congregation to give the message. She preached the best sermon over 1 John 4 that I have ever heard.
God is moving in Cangahua and has invited whomsoever will to believe in His Son and enter into eternal life!
Baptisms are amazing. Not only are they a significant event and act of obedience for the believers involved but they are also a significant testimony for all who witness the public event.
We were honored to be invited to the Mount of Olives’ recent baptism service. They held it at a National Park named Bosque Protector Jerusalem. We met under the shade of some trees near a public swimming pool.
The atmosphere of this service struck us as very appropriate. We sang and heard the Word of God proclaimed to the background noises of families enjoying themselves at the park. From time to time a curious onlooker would stop what they were doing and hear a song, or listen to the preaching. After we worshiped together we turned our attention to the pool which was already quite busy with aquatic activity.
As we entered the refreshing water, families ceased their diversions and watched intently as we baptized six new believers.
Timothy was overjoyed when he was asked to help with the baptisms. Pastor Luis baptized the new believers and Timothy gave each a private word of encouragement.
After the baptisms we lingered in the pool a little longer for prayer.
When we said “Amen” the pool filled up with activity once again!
Those who simply came to the park intending nothing more than a fun day in the sun received something greater. They received the testimony of the new believers who were baptized. They received the Gospel in action. It makes us want to abandon our buildings and hold public worship every week!
With much love, The Downings
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This week we had the honor of going to one of Ecuador’s beautiful national parks. We went to Jerusalem Bosque Protector near the Capital city of Quito. We loved the beauty and tranquility but we enjoyed the reason for our visit even more. The Mount of Olives Congregation located in Cangahua high up the Cayambe volcano invited us to thier Baptism service. The rivers of Cayambe are very cold but the national park had a public swimming pool that was perfect for the occasion.
The Church arrived in two busses and a few other vehicles. Our family arrived with the president of our National Committee and his wife.
We had a wonderful poolside worship service which seemed to draw the attention of the other guests. Baptisms are about witnessing!
Fourteen people were baptized!
After the service we had wonderful fellowship with our brothers and sisters! They fed us well!
Our family is beyond blessed to be working with so many lovely people in Eacudor!
With much love,Timothy, Angelita, Tim, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, and Adalena
Bautismos en Jerusalén
Esta semana tuvimos el honor de ir a uno de los hermosos parques nacionales de Ecuador. Fuimos a Jerusalén Bosque Protector cerca de la ciudad capital de Quito. Nos encantó la belleza y la tranquilidad, pero disfrutamos aún más el motivo de nuestra visita. La Congregación del Monte de los Olivos ubicada en Cangahua en lo alto del volcán Cayambe nos invitó a su servicio de Bautismo. Los ríos de Cayambe son muy fríos, pero el parque nacional tenía una piscina pública que era perfecta para la ocasión.
La Iglesia llegó en dos autobuses y algunos otros vehículos. Nuestra familia llegó con el presidente de nuestro Comité Nacional y su esposa.
Tuvimos un maravilloso servicio de adoración junto a la piscina que parecía llamar la atención de los otros huéspedes. ¡Los bautismos son sobre testificar!
¡Catorce personas fueron bautizadas!
¡Después del servicio tuvimos una maravillosa comunión con nuestros hermanos y hermanas! ¡Nos alimentaron bien!
¡Nuestra familia está más que bendecida de estar trabajando con tanta gente encantadora en Ecuador!
Con mucho Amor, Timothy, Angelita, Tim, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, y Adalena
Living as missionaries in Ecuador, we often forget that what may be a common experience for us now might be somewhat of an adventure for you. With that in mind we want to share with you our weekend experiences. This weekend we began our concerted effort to visit all of our churches located outside of the city of Quito. To visit each church will require a little bit of travel, and we hope to be able to share quite a few interesting photos.
The first non-Quito church we choose to visit as a family was the one that Timothy knew the way to. Most churches on our visit list are in places unknown to us.
Part one: Where we stayed
In the future we hope to be able to visit the Cangahua congregation without first staying overnight in a hotel. With a two month old baby and the lack of sleep that she brings we decided it was safer to stay near the church than to try to travel early in the morning in order to make the morning service.
We stayed in one of the oldest buildings in Ecuador, a place called Guachala.
Part two: Where we worshiped
The Cangahua Church of God is located high above the pueblo of Cangahua on Mt. Cayambe. Part of our family had visited before but this was the first time that both Angelita and Adelena were able to attend with the family. Face time with each church is very important because although we meet with each pastor at the monthly pastors’ meeting we have yet to meet over half of our Children of Promise participants (please click on the link to learn more about this part of our ministry).
Part three: A treat for the kids
On our way home we stopped at a public park in the city of Cayambe. We try to involve our children in as much of what we do as possible. We also try to avail ourselves of any opportunity to pour into the lives of our kids.
Thank you for taking this adventure with us! Regardless if you pray for us regularly, read and share our updates, or support us financially we are proud to be part of your life. And we are honored that you are part of our lives. We love serving Christ in Ecuador and we love that you are on the journey with us!