Tag: Love

Episode 10: Wound Transformed

I am ready to burn out for God. I am ready to endure any hardship, if by any means I might save some. The longing of my heart is to make known my glorious Redeemer to those who have never heard.
-William Burns

There is a longing in the Christian’s heart that simply can not be fulfilled on this side of Heaven. It is born not of appetites, philosophies or theologies but of brokenness. The terrible sin-induced rift between God and Man has wounded us beyond comprehension. When we come to the Healer and begin our new lives as followers of Christ our wound begins to heal but a portion of it is transformed. Now instead of the sting of our own separation we become aware of the plight of those who have not yet found salvation. The ache of our hearts transforms from a selfish pain to a motivated desire to see as many as will respond to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. The longing of our hearts are to make known our glorious Redeemer to those who do not yet know.

 

May we never feel relieved of our holy longing to reach those who are lost and dying in their sin with the redemption and healing that can only be found in Christ Jesus!

 

Programing note!

We are happy to post Christmas Devotions this year! Starting on November 25th and every day until Christmas we will post a podcast devotoin. These daily podcasts  can be found on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. In addition to our podcasts a written version of each devotion plus bonus material will be posted here each day. Let’s prepare our hearts for Christmas together this year!

Blessings, 98A2B3E1-F362-49C6-A0F3-68ED1665662ETimothy, Angelita, Tim, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, and Adelena

Would you consider joining our support network? We need your help! Donations large and small, one time and continuing are very much needed and appreciated! Click here to  go to our giving portal. 

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,

3EBD6C6D-4E91-4F24-A8E7-B5210A7CB879
Timothy, Angelita, Tim 2, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, Adelena Downing

Please click here to read more about our ministry!

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.

dsc08670
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!

DSC02945
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.

B41FB1E5-4DE6-41A8-B5CC-34462D390135
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.

DC93492F-CFB7-42FB-876E-98876B9AD34F
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!

DSC01239
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

DSC06281
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.

dsc08670
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!

DSC02945
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.

B41FB1E5-4DE6-41A8-B5CC-34462D390135
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.

DC93492F-CFB7-42FB-876E-98876B9AD34F
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!

DSC01239
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

DSC06281
¡El camino a Pisambilla fue una aventura!

¡Gracias por sus oraciones, apoyo y aliento!

Bendiciones,dsc04797Los Downing

Fodder For Thought

With sadness we have been reading the headlines coming out of France and the rest of Europe this week.  As we gather around the Thanksgiving table this year we expect that at least a portion of the discussion will include words and issues never heard around our dinner table.  Words like Isis, Isial, the Levant, and Daesh and issues like Syrian migration, the Caliphate and the proper response to “radical” Islam. The issues are huge and they can be spoken about in many different ways.  We can speak in political, societal, cultural, personal, charitable, military, and religious terms.

Just for a moment we ask you to use your religious lenses to look at the response you hold in your heart toward the Isis terrorists.  Religiously what do you think about terrorism?  What do you think about those who perpetrate such violence in the name of their god?

We are Christians (followers of the way of Jesus) so our family often finds ourselves asking what the Christian response should be when confronted by the day’s news.  It is difficult  because the love of Christ compels us to look upon our enemy differently than what comes naturally to the human heart.  Jesus calls us to love and pray for our enemies.  He calls us to be radically different in our approach and reactions than our enemies take.

Ideals embodied in words tend to inform our minds but ideals embodied in art tend to exact a more visceral response.  We invite you to consider to following works of art (we found these on the internet a long time ago but we can’t determine who to attribute them to).

If you are a Christian, like us, you hold the ideal of love and forgiveness in high regard in your heart but what is your reaction to this:

    

And this:

Are these artistic expressions fair?  Does the philosophical and theological Ideal of love take on a deeper meaning when juxtaposed with real enemies?

What about this artistic expression?:

Another form of artistic expression places these words in our hearts:

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

-Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

We are glad that when we were still enemies of God He wrapped Himself in flesh, dwelt among us, then bled and died for us.  We are eternally grateful that He loved His enemies.

Just a little fodder for thought.

In His Grip,

comissioning

The Downings

(You can join us in our mission to Ecuador by clicking here)

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

Fun Along Our Mission Path

One of the pleasant surprises that we have encountered along our mission path has been an increased amount of quality family time.  We seem less stressed, healthier and closer as a family.  Not everything is fun of course but it seems that the fun times we are having together are great times of relationship building and memory making.  As a family we are enjoying our missions adventure.

This past weekend we had the privilege of speaking at the Edinburg Church of God in North East Ohio.  We also had the honor of spending time with some good friends.  We had lunch with the Davis family and enjoyed getting to know the heart and passion of their family.  We then enjoyed some fun in the snow with the Jones family.  Check out the video below.

We are privileged to have the friends that we do in North East Ohio (and all over).  It is sad to be leaving them for new adventures and ministry in Ecuador but our hearts will never really leave them.  In a sense, our relationships with our friends will keep us grounded as we serve in a foreign land.  No matter what might happen to us abroad we know there is a place where we are loved.  This gives us the strength and courage to continue on our mission path.

So thank you to the Jones, Davis, Klinesmith, Lance, Edmonson, Shook, Baker and many many more families in North East Ohio for your friendship.  You inspire us to attempt great things for God!

In His Grip,

The Downings

To donate to our mission click here.  To Partner with our mission click here.  To mail in a donation click here.

Anna, Hurting And Our Loving God

Today we are preparing our hearts to mourn with one who mourns.  Later today we will offer our condolences and love to a good friend at the passing of her husband.  Once again, in our humanity with tear stained eyes we look to heaven and wonder why there is so much suffering.  Why must the rose have a thorn?  Why must the rainbow be born out of the storm?  Are there any answers?  There are, but our tear stained eyes usually can’t see them in the midst of our pain.  Perhaps the words below will help to apply the Christmas message to our suffering.

There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment, she came up to them and began to give thanks to God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

~Doctor Luke, Luke 2:36-38

God invites those who are hurting into His family. Anna had only been married for seven years when the unthinkable happened, she lost her husband. In Anna’s time that meant she lost her income, her home and her protection. She was devastated. But God has a heart for the devastated. For eighty-four years Anna came under the protection of God as she worshiped him day and night in the temple.

Anna’s devastation drove her into a life of piety. Sometimes the beauty and the aroma of the rose leads us to a loving God, other times it is the prick of the thorn which drives us into the caring arms of our Savior.

Anna’s piety was rewarded with a glimpse of the redemption that God had promised the world. Her natural response to seeing Christ was to tell others of his life and mission.

My hope for you today is that you will find love and shelter in God’s family just like Anna did.

-Taken from Christmas Devotions

With love,

The Downings

pic2

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

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

 

To Join our Living Link network click here!

A Place Of Love

A place of love is hard to find in this world but when we do find such a place we always have a deep desire to return there.  This week as we travel our mission path we have the privilege of speaking in such a place.  We will be speaking at the Newton Falls First Church of God on Saturday, May 17th and on Sunday May 18th.  On the 17th we will be speaking to the children’s and youth ministry then we will have dinner together.  Our goal is to help engage the young people in Christ’s mission.  We are so happy to be speaking with the church of now.  On Sunday we will be speaking in adult and children’s Sunday School classes then Timothy will speak in the worship service, following the service we will have dinner together.  The Sunday morning festivities begin with a meet and greet at 9:00 (with coffee and doughnuts), Sunday School at 9:30 and the worship service at 10:50.  If you are in the area of Newton Falls, be sure to meet us at 426 W. Broad St.  We look forward to seeing you there!