Tag: Downings. Church of God. Global Strategies

Our Year-In-Review

A quick word to our supporters: Thank you so much for your partnership this year! We wish we could share with you in person our gratitude that you have joined us on this journey. We have always considered our effort in ministry a team effort and we are proud to be part of your team. Thank you for extending your reach into Ecuador. Thank you for allowing us to be your hands and feet here.

We have had a wonderful and productive year! Here are some highlights.

We spent the month of January in Ohio and Wisconsin as we spent time saying a long goodbye to family and friends, knowing that some of our goodbyes would be permanent  at least until we reunite in heaven, other goodbyes were less permanent.  Regardless of what type of goodbye we were saying, we were glad to have the opportunity to say it. As Christians we have the privilege of taking the long view, among Christians we can’t say goodbye we can say see you in heaven.

Our beginning of the year picture.

We arrived in Ecuador in February. At first we stayed in the Seminary as we searched for suitable rental for our family.

Our First Night In Quito.

We also spent as much time with our predecessors and friends the Lamberts as possible (click here to check out their new ministry). We knew that our time was very short with them and we needed to have as many crucial conversations as possible. They walked us through our first National committee meeting.

During March we set up our residence, began work on registering our vehicle, and spent as much time being trained by the Lamberts as possible. It was like drinking out of a fire hose, refreshing but difficult to process.

Our New House Has A Climbing Tree!

In April we said goodbye to our friends the Lamberts. We began our first month alone. But God is faithful and we met two other missionary families who always make us feel renewed.

Our family also grew in April with the arrival of Adelena Ruth Downing. Two days after her birth we began our immigration process. DSC04621 (2)

We hosted a leadership team from the Breiel Boulevard Church of God in May. We were honored to visit six churches and the Seminary as they explored ways that they could become involved in our ministry in a more hands on manner.

A Good Meal On The Mountain.

We continued to build relationships with our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters and to learn our ever-expanding missionary roles during the month of June. We also began an aggressive visitation schedule so that we could know and understand our pastors and their needs in the context of their ministries. We are very impressed with each Pastor, we could not ask for a better group of leaders to work with!

We are happy to with our wonderful brothers and sisters!

This year brought many firsts. One significant first happened in July. We had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with several baptisms from the church in Tonsupa. We spent that whole day celebrating with the church. We spent the remainder of the month preparing for another first, the annual Seminary intensive week. DSC07988 - Copy

The first full week of August was our annual Seminary intensive week. Timothy had taught at the Seminary for several years but this was the first year that he carried the title of Director. We are eternally grateful to the pastors and other leaders who made this year’s experience a great success!

This Year’s S.E.T.E. Students

In August we also experienced a wonderful time of unity and sportsmanship at the first annual Quito invitational Soccer tournament between our city churches. Our older kids even played! img_1856

September brought with it a new beginning for Ezequiel and Elias as they began classes. Their school is entirely taught in Spanish except for one English class (they seem to be excelling in their English class). Our other kids are homeschooled over the Internet.

First Day Of School!

During October we had the privilege of traveling to the Cuenca area and meeting the leadership of several churches who want to join our organization. They are wonderful people and we look forward to a bright future together.

In November we finally received our legal citizenship! We also began building some significant friendships with a group of missionaries over Thanksgiving dinner.

Our first Christmas outside of the U.S. went very well. We always thought that Christmas time as a Pastor was busy but our first year of service as Directors of the Children of Promise program in Ecuador was intense. We are satisfactorily exhausted. DSC02934

We had wonderful and action packed year. We know this is just the beginning of many years of intense service.  We are very happy to be where we are. We are very firm in our calling. Most of all we are very grateful for all of you who have believed in our mission and have partnered with us.

If you have not yet partnered with us and would like to join our support team we absolutely need your help! Costs and budgets keep rising. The fields are ripe for harvest but the workers are few. It is very important that we are able to continue on in His glorious mission. To join our support team please click here.  DSC03138

If you are already a supporter could you do us a special favor? Could you share our information with someone you know who might be willing to join our support team? We need your help in expanding our network. We have a unique problem, we need to find more supporters but living overseas provides some special challenges connecting with people back home. If you would be so kind to discuss us with a friend and give them an opportunity to join our team we would be supremely grateful.

Happy New Year!DOWNING_235002

Timothy, Angelita, Timothy 2, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, Adelena

Seminary Week

It seems like a lifetime since we last posted. We have had one intense month!

Knowing that we do not walk alone but with wonderful supporters from all over the world and wonderful brothers and sisters here makes the intensity of our work a joy.

Before we tell you about Seminary week we want to share two experiences at two churches with which we are honored to partner.

Pastor Orlando and Lidia at the Carapungo Church.

Since we last wrote we had the opportunity to attend several churches, all of them are wonderful and loving.  One of them, the Carapungo church, has made a significant inroad into their local school. The pastor’s wife, Lidia, has taken something that she had learned from a North American sister in Christ who has invested some time visiting and teaching the Ecuador church and given that teaching in an unlikely place.

On day Lidia listened to some of the kids in her church talk about a problem in their school. There were many students being abused by other students. Lidia’s heart broke for the students and she was moved to action. She approached a teacher she knew at the school and asked if she could share a powerful truth that had made a significant difference in her life with her class. She was invited and she shared some basic Christian teaching about the Christian ethic of individual value, fairness, and love. The students listened and the Gospel worked! Over the following weeks the teacher and school administration were so impressed with the change in lives of the students that they invited her to share with the entire school.

We are so proud of our sister who took what she learned from another and shared it with those in need. Her actions are a testimony of the effectiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We also had a wonderful experience with the Comite del Pueblo church. We arrived early to the church one Sunday with the intent of attending Sunday School. We were surprised to find that the church cancelled Sunday School once a month so that the people can walk the neighborhood around the church, meet people and pass out literature. Our family was privileged to walk alongside of our brothers and sisters through their neighborhood meeting people and sharing Christ.

Pastor Patricio, a man with a heart for his church and his city!

The story continues in a wonderful way. A few weeks after we experienced this act of evangelism we had the opportunity to visit a hardware store near the church. Guess what we saw on the counter? The literature that was passed out a few weeks before! Written words have a way to staying around.

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The Seminary of 2017

Every year the S.E.T.E. (the Church of God Seminary in Quito) offers a week long schedule of intensive classes. The preparation for this week is time consuming. This year we were able to offer five classes. A missionary working with the Bible League of Quito taught “The Church and The Community.” A local pastor taught “The Pentateuch.” And Timothy was privileged to teach “Leadership Development,” “Simple Doctrine,” and “Missiology.” We had 27 students, two translators and three professors.

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We had wonderful food, made by our beautiful sisters who worked from dawn to dusk each day.
We had new experiences
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like chicken foot soup!
Preaching with a great translator!
We celebrated a dear sister’s Birthday!
Happy Birthday Pastor Delia!

We thank everyone who helped provide such a wonderful week of encouragement and learning.

Next year we plan to offer more classes and we will push for participation from 100% of our churches.

Would you or your pastor like the opportunity to participate in upcoming Seminary weeks? If so, click here and you will be directed to our Global Strategy page. Simply click on the email icon and we can begin our conversation about your participation.

We are privileged to work with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ecuador. We are honored to partner with many churches and supporters from our home country. If you would like to help us by joining our support team we would love to partner with you! Please click here for our donation page.

With love from the equator,dsc04854

The Downings

Two Rivers: Gloria’s Story

In the seventh chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus invites all who are thirsty to come to him and drink and he promises that everyone who accepts his invitation will see rivers of life flowing from them. Today we invite you to listen to a story of two rivers recently recorded in Wisconsin.

Gloria’s story is certainly encouraging.  Even more encouraging; there are many more people who could have stories like Gloria’s, if the waters from the river of life reach them in time.

Friends, the fresh life-giving water of the Gospel is free for all to take.  Will you make a commitment to help us reach people with this living water?  We have now raised 94% of our living link budget and we desperately need your help to raise the rest.  Currently we need $4762.00 in new living link pledges to reach 100% of our budget, (a pledge is a commitment to give a set amount of money to this ministry monthly or yearly).  We are so close, would you consider giving by clicking here?  Until we are funded to go we will be faithfully carrying living water to everyone we meet here.  We invite you to do the same.

In His Grip,

The Downings