Tag: Faith

Christmas Devotions: The Promise

 

The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will crush your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel.”
~God, Genesis 3:14-15

The very first Christmas promise in the Bible is found in the sober description of the consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. The promise is that Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: The Promise”

Episode 7: Treasure

Do not think me mad. It is not to make money that I believe a Christian should live. The noblest thing a man can do is, just carry the humbly to receive, and then go amongst others and give.
-David Livingston

There is an old saying that “witnessing is simply one beggar telling another where to get free bread.” We are benefactors of the bread of life, a bread we could not purchase but that has instead been freely given to us, a bread without which we would die. We have been given so much should we not give freely what we have been given? The Apostle Paul describes us as “jars of clay.” We are jars, but jars are not meant to store treasure indefinitely. We must pour into others what we have been given.

May we enthusiastically be about the noblest thing, may we humbly receive then go and give.

Blessings, 19541BB1-C508-4835-A84B-0FA67F2E5AA8The Downings

Episode 4: Grown Out Of Love

Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love.
-Roland Allen
The Apostle John was known as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” His Gospel account has been called the Gospel of love. In his first epistle John even writes the bold theological statement “God is love.” There is perhaps no better witness for the Christian faith than a life lived in the grip of Divine love. Nothing can motivate our commitment to the Great Commandment better than love. Wherever our steps lead us, to our neighbor’s yard or to jungles far away when our steps are measured and motivated by love they have the best effect.

May we be a people known for our love. May we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength resulting in holiness. May we love our neighbors as ourselves resulting in their eternal benefit. Love God, love others and live accordingly!

With much love,

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

Please click here to read more about our ministry!

Success!

We tried something different and…. it was a success!35F815A9-755D-42C2-A278-F22816FA7E29

Each year the Church of God Seminary in Ecuador offers a week long intensive to help train leaders in the Ecuadorian Church. This year we expanded the reach of the Seminary by offering more class options, moving to a more spacious location, and including more Ecuadorian leadership.

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Pastor Rodrigo teaching Christian Ethics.
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Pastor Luis teaching Homiletics.
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Pastor Jorge teaching Life Stewardship.
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Pastor Paula teaching Hermeneutics.
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Pastor Patricio Teaching Evangelism.
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Pastor Pol teaching the Book of John
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Pastor Katita Preaching.
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Sister (future Pastor?) Veronica sharing during worship.
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Pastor Delia Praying before her Focus on Tonsupa class.

Last year we had a total of twenty-five participants with one international student. This year we had seventy-six participants with several international students!

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Our students this year!

Last year we offered five classes for the edification of the students. This year we were able to offer ten classes and a writing seminar!

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Pastor Jorge Palacio from Pennsylvania helped expand our class options by teaching Leadership Development.

Last year two Pastors from outside the Church of God and the Missionary taught classes. This year Seven classes were taught by our Ecuadorian Pastors, three were taught by Visiting Professors and the writing seminar was taught by the Missionary!

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This year we were blessed to host visiting Missionary Abby Torgeson teaching Biblical Sexuality.

Last year we held classes at the Seminary building in Quito. (We are blessed to have such a wonderful building but it could not have housed all of our students this year). We were able to hold classes at a campground that could have facilitated double the number of students!

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Doctor Eric and Doctor Bonnie Newell helping attract new students by co-teaching Christian Education.

Last year the student surveys evaluated the classes as valuable but somewhat lacking. This year the surveys and comments were overwhelmingly positive.

Perhaps the best indicator that this year was a success is the feedback we have already received about the students from their Pastors. This year the students returned to their Churches excited and willing to employ their newly acquired knowledge in their Churches.

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The students are eager to employ their new knowledge in their Churches!

Of course all of the many successes of this year were build on the firm foundation of years past. For many years Missionaries like Jon and Karen Lambert, Gregory and Linda Robertson, Jonny and Paula Snyder, Karvin and Sandy Adams, and Narciso and Udelia Zamora developed the Seminary program. In addition to so many dedicated Missionaries countless visiting Professors have poured their time talent and treasure into developing our Seminary program. It is on the shoulders of so many great leaders that we were able to achieve such a wonderful success this year!

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Pastor Paula and Pastor Delia both taught and studied in this year at the Seminary intensive!

If you donated this year to the Seminary project you where a major part of our success! By faith we planned something bigger than we have ever attempted before, trusting that God would provide the funds through His faithful Church. Your gifts added to the sacrificial giving of the Ecuadorian Church is what funded this vital Ministry! We already have a team working on the next two year’s Seminary intensive weeks and we have already received some much needed prayer and financial support. Will you join us? We need your prayers and your donations to ensure the future success of the Seminary program! We have big plans for the future but we can only reach them with your help. To donate to our Seminary fund please click here!

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Young Church leaders preparing for Christian service!

Since we are already asking for your support could we ask for your help in one more important way? We need you to lend us your voice! Will you please take some time and share this success story with your Pastor and Missions committee? Will you please advocate for your church to get involved in this Great Commission ministry? We need you, your prays, your donations and your voice. Together we can make a significant difference in the lives of our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters!

With much love,4DDAB047-130A-45DD-8E15-8CA9B1EE26D6    The Downings,

(also pictured, Bonnie and Eric Newell, and Abby Torgeson)

Baptisms In Jerusalem

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.

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The Cayambe Volcano

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!

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Pastor Luis Gave an Excellent Sermon Explaining Baptism!
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After a wonderful time of praise and prayer it was time for the baptisms.

Fourteen people were baptized!

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After the service we had wonderful fellowship with our brothers and sisters! They fed us well!

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Delicious food!
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Cuy is always a favorite!

Our family is beyond blessed to be working with so many lovely people in Eacudor!

With much love,DOWNING_235002Timothy, 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.

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El Volcán Cayambe

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!

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¡El pastor Luis dio un excelente sermón explicando el bautismo!
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Después de un tiempo maravilloso de alabanza y oración, llegó el momento de los bautismos.

¡Catorce personas fueron bautizadas!

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¡Después del servicio tuvimos una maravillosa comunión con nuestros hermanos y hermanas! ¡Nos alimentaron bien!

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¡Comida deliciosa!
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Cuy es siempre un favorito!

¡Nuestra familia está más que bendecida de estar trabajando con tanta gente encantadora en Ecuador!

Con mucho Amor, DOWNING_235002Timothy, Angelita, Tim, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, y Adalena

We Need Your Help To…

Our supporters are the best! Over the years we have heard the words “just tell us what you need and we will be glad to help.” Today we would like to tell you want we need. We have two projects that are designed to help our Brothers and Sisters in the Ecuadorian Chruch. One project is a leadership development project. The other is a construction project.

There is an exciting expansion underway in the ministry of the Ecuadorian Seminary. This year we are offering more classes, more choices and we are expecting many more students. This is a crucial time in the leadership development of the Ecuadorian Church.

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Last intensive we had 26 students, This intensive we are on track to have over 40!

How can you help? We need your to help in two ways. We need you to pray for the Seminary ministry. Please lift us up to the our Father in the Throne Room of Grace especially leading up to our next week long intensive class the first week in August.

We also need financial support for this ministry. Your generous support along with the sacrificial giving of the Ecuadorian Church will help train the current and next generation of leadership in the Church.

We are not asking you to do anything that we are not doing. We help teach in and organize the Seminary ministry but we also give financially to ensure this ministry reaches as many as we can while the evening light still shines! To join us in supporting this ministry please click here!

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The Seminary Building overlooking Quito

Another exciting opportunity to make a lasting impact in Ecuador is through the Pisambilla Church’s construction project. The Pisambilla Church is located in a community high up on the Cayambe Volcano. This congregation is the only evangelistic light in its area. The church is currently meeting in a three sided building. They are collecting materials to build a new worship space.

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The Current Worship space in Pisambilla.

How can you help? We need your help in three ways. First, please pray for this Church. Pastor Carlos and the Pisambilla congregation are doing a wonderful ministry at the “ends of the earth” and they need your prayer support.

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Site of the Future Pisambilla Church Building.

We also need financial support for this building project. The Church is very faithful and are collecting their building materials on their own but they need your help. Will you please bless them by supporting thier ministry in this way? The estamated cost is $8000 to complete their project. If you are like us $8000 is more than we can donate alone but if we join with others in the Body of Christ we can meet this need! To help your Brothers in Pisambilla click here!

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Pastor Carlos and His Family

The third way you can help with this project is in person. We are looking for a hearty group of people to come and help with the construction. If your family, Church, or small group would like to experience a hands on ministry in a beautiful high altitude location we need you to contact us at ourmissionpath@gmail.com

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The road to Pisambilla is an adventure!

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement!

Blessings,dsc04797

The Downings

 

Necesitamos tu ayuda para…

¡Nuestros seguidores son los mejores! A lo largo de los años, hemos escuchado las palabras “solo díganos lo que necesita y con gusto lo ayudaremos”. Hoy quisiéramos contarle lo que necesitamos. Tenemos dos proyectos diseñados para ayudar a nuestros Hermanos y Hermanas en la Iglesia Ecuatoriana. Un proyecto es un proyecto de desarrollo de liderazgo. El otro es un proyecto de construcción.

Hay una expansión emocionante en marcha en el ministerio del Seminario Ecuatoriano. Este año estamos ofreciendo más clases, más opciones y esperamos muchos más estudiantes. Este es un momento crucial en el desarrollo del liderazgo de la Iglesia Ecuatoriana.

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Último intensivo tuvimos 26 estudiantes, ¡Este intensivo estamos en camino de tener más de 40!

¿Como puedes ayudar? Necesitamos que ayudes de dos maneras. Necesitamos que ores por el ministerio del Seminario. Por favor, elevámonos al Padre nuestro en el Salón del Trono de la Gracia, especialmente antes de nuestra clase intensiva de la próxima semana que ofrece la primera semana de agosto.

También necesitamos apoyo financiero para este ministerio. Su generoso apoyo junto con la entrega sacrificial de la Iglesia Ecuatoriana ayudará a capacitar a la actual y la próxima generación de líderes en la Iglesia.

No te estamos pidiendo que hagas nada que no estemos haciendo. Ayudamos a enseñar y organizar el ministerio del Seminario, pero también ofrecemos ayuda financiera para asegurarnos de que este ministerio llegue a todos los que podamos mientras la luz del atardecer aún brilla. Para unirse a nosotros para apoyar este ministerio, ¡haga clic aquí!

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El edificio del Seminario con vista a Quito

Otra oportunidad emocionante para tener un impacto duradero en Ecuador es a través del proyecto de construcción de la iglesia de Pisambilla. La iglesia de Pisambilla se encuentra en una comunidad en lo alto del volcán Cayambe. Esta congregación es la única luz de evangelización en su área. La iglesia se está reuniendo en un edificio de tres lados. Están recolectando materiales para construir un nuevo espacio de adoración.

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El espacio de adoración actual en Pisambilla

¿Como puedes ayudar? Necesitamos su ayuda de tres maneras. Primero, por favor oren por esta Iglesia. El pastor Carlos y la congregación de Pisambilla están haciendo un ministerio maravilloso en los “confines de la tierra” y necesitan su apoyo de oración.

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El sitio del futuro edificio de la Iglesia

También necesitamos apoyo financiero para este proyecto de construcción. La Iglesia es muy fiel y está recolectando sus materiales de construcción por su propia cuenta, pero necesitan su ayuda. ¿Podrían bendecirlos apoyando su ministerio de esta manera? El costo establecido es de $8000 para completar su proyecto. Si usted es como nosotros, $8000 es más de lo que podemos donar solos, pero si nos unimos a otros en el Cuerpo de Cristo podemos satisfacer esta necesidad. ¡Para ayudar a tus Hermanos en Pisambilla, haz clic aquí!

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Pastor Carlos y su familia

La tercera forma en que puede ayudar con este proyecto es en persona. Estamos buscando un grupo abundante de personas que vengan y ayuden con la construcción. Si a su familia, iglesia o grupo pequeño le gustaría experimentar un ministerio práctico en una hermosa ubicación a gran altitud, necesitamos que se comunique con nosotros en ourmissionpath@gmail.com

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¡El camino a Pisambilla fue una aventura!

¡Gracias por sus oraciones, apoyo y aliento!

Bendiciones,dsc04797Los Downing

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Beauty

People have been struggling to put pen to paper and define beauty for millennia. Consequently there are a plethora of eloquent and pithy quotations about the essence of beauty. Though our words might not be quotable or poetic what we have to share in this post is beauty personified.

This week we worshiped with our brothers and sisters in the Pisambilla Church.

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The singing was led by two beautiful young believers.
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Pastor Carlos spoke eloquently about becoming the person God wants you to be.
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We could feel the refreshing cold wind and occasional rain drops from Cayambe’s glacier.

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Cayambe is on the equator! After Church we descended down the mountain and enjoyed some time on the equator. Elias even spent some time running around the world.

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Blessings,dsc06195.jpg The Downings

If you would like to join our support network Please click here.  We need several new supporters to join our team!

A Post In Three Parts

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.

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The Hacienda has a Catholic Chapel that was built on the remains of a ancient temple.  The Chapel was built around 1580.  It was the first building on the property and was the only place of Catholic worship in the region.  In 1736, the Chapel was presided over by a Priest of 80 years, along with an acolyte who was one of his children.  The other participants in the service were the children of the Priest and his five concubines.

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In 1922 socialist revolutionaries looted the Chapel of all its religious icons and wealth.  This is the alter today.  We think it is interesting that after the looting the Catholic church considered the place profaned and no longer allowed services to be held.  Strange that the church did not consider the Chapel profane in 1736.

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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).

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The drive to our Cangahua Congregation is quite the adventure!  Google maps does not recognize this road.

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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.

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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!

With love,

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The Downings

 

Experience

Experience is central to our faith.  As missionaries we never ask people to simply embrace the intellectual tenets of our faith, we invite them to experience the grace, love and forgiveness that we enjoy.  In John 13 Jesus expresses our faith in two meaningful experiences.  Our Lord established Foot Washing and Communion as experiential expressions of our love, humility and unity.  Here is one of Timothy’s sermons that explores these themes.  This sermon was lovingly given to the Hillside Ave. Church of God congregation.

On this Maundy Thursday we hope you enjoy an experiential worship service at your church.  Our prayer for you is that your love will be magnetic, your service unifying, and your fellowship sticky.

In His Grip,

family pic tree

The Downings