Tag: Christmas

A Children Of Promise Christmas

 

One of the ministries we are honored to be a part of is the Children of Promise sponsorship program. We help facilitate the relationship between our Children and their sponsors (padrinos). Currently that is over ninety relationships!

This year we celebrated Christmas with several churches and their Children of Promise. We wish we could have celebrated with all of our COP churches. We represented the padrinos at each celebration. What the kids wanted to say to their supporters, they said to us. It was an honor. We also gave greetings and presents on behalf of the padrinos.

One of the pure joys we experienced this Christmas was the reply to a simple question that we asked each child. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Each child, no matter their age had a goal that they were working toward! What happens when the same question is asked of a child not in our program? The results vary but most kids here do not have a plan, but most kids here don’t have a padrino who mentors and encourages them through their correspondence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Are you already a padrino? Do you recognize your Child of Promise? Would you like to become a padrino? We invite you to click here for more information. Please make sure to select a child from Ecuador!

With much love,1D9AE994-DBCF-4306-B3B5-871C03069AB0 The Downings

We invite you to begin the new year in partnership with us! A small ongoing donation makes a huge difference in our lives and in the lives of those we serve! 

 

Christmas Reflection: Room

And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
~Doctor Luke, Luke 2:7

On the very first Christmas there was no room given to Christ. Unfortunately many today still seem to have no room for Jesus in their hearts. This is unfortunate because everyone has a hole in their heart that only Continue reading “Christmas Reflection: Room”

Christmas Devotions: Jealousy

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he became enraged. He sent men to kill all the children in Bethlehem and throughout the surrounding region from the age of two and under, according to the time he had learned from the wise men.
~The Apostle Matthew, Matthew 2:16

King Herod was Jealous of Jesus. His goal was to keep the power that he had as king and Jesus was a threat to that goal. The wise men describe Jesus as the Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Jealousy”

Christmas Devotions: Sacrifice

Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”
~Simeon, Luke 2:34-35

Mary, the mother of Jesus was blessed among women but she also carried a certain sadness since the birth of Jesus. The truth is when God calls us into a significant ministry, that ministry always Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Sacrifice”

Christmas Devotions: Egypt

After Herod had died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.”
~Angel of the Lord, Matthew 2:19-20

A wise man once said, “God’s Word tends to outlive its pallbearers.” A true work of God will outlive all its enemies. God was determined to provide a way to bring lost and hurting people into Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Egypt”

Christmas Devotions: Dream

After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to look for the child to kill him.” Then he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and went to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died. In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
~Angel of the Lord, Matthew 2:13-15

An angel of God spoke to Joseph in a dream warning him about danger. We could learn a lot from Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Dream”

Christmas Devotions: Shepherds

When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said.
~Shepherds, Luke 2:15-18

Scum of the earth! The people who worked as shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem during the time of the first Christmas were considered to be the lowest of the low. They had a reputation for being dishonest and crude. They were the sort of people who should be avoided. Yet, when the Holy God of all creation announced the birth of His Son it was to these Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Shepherds”

Christmas Devotions: Angels

Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”
~Angels, Luke 2:8-14

The voices of God’s angels were the first to carry the good news of salvation to the ears of God’s lost creation. The good news brings great joy and peace to all who believe.

After the Angelic voices faded into the memory of the shepherds the responsibility of the message was given to Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Angels”

Christmas Devotions: Wise

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, “Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
~Wise Men, Matthew 2:1-2

What God did, He did not do in secret. When God sent His Son to become flesh and fulfill His promise He sent ripples throughout the world. The wise men who came to worship Jesus were Astrologers, they were actively practicing a forbidden and false Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Wise”

Christmas Devotions: Simeon

Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So Simeon, directed by the Spirit, came into the temple courts, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, Simeon took him in his arms and blessed God, saying, “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
~Doctor Luke and Simeon, Luke 2:25-32

A promise had been made to Adam and Eve. That same promise was given to Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Simeon”