Tag: Missionary

How To Listen To Our Podcast

This post was born out of a bit of wisdom shared by our friends at Boldly Went.

We really like their Adventure Podcast, we encourage you to click here and check them out!

We like their post about how to listen to podcasts so much that we have appropriated their well thought out structure so that we can clearly communicate about the wonderful world of podcasting. (Thanks Tim and Angel!)
We grew up listening to terrestrial radio which ment we were at the mercy of the stations’s program director and their preferences for content. The reality of today is that we can choose the content we prefer through podcasts. Yet, two out of three people do  not know how to access this freedom of choice!
If you are already one of our valued listeners you know how to listen to podcasts. Before you move on to another post, we need your help! Will you share this post with someone you know that would benefit from a simple guide to podcast listening?

Our Mission Path Podcast

Our Mission Path podcast is broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Monday we focus on a cultural insight from our missionary work in Ecuador. Wednesday’s podcast is always focused on a ministry story. Each Friday we share a short missions focused thought from our mission path book……which is currently being written……and shared for free!

  • Our Mission Path is always free!
  • We work hard to keep our episodes short, smart and sharable!
  • Each episode focuses on a specific aspect of our missionary service in Ecuador.
  • Esperanza Downing is the producer, the broadcast is usually voiced by Timothy Downing.

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Where to find Our Mission Path podcast 

  1. Through ourmissionpath.com
  2. By finding one of our podcast platforms.

Through ourmissionpath.com

You can listen to episodes for free directly from our website. If you don’t want to miss any of our updates we invite you to follow us. If you click follow us you will receive an email each time our website content is updated. The benefit of listening to us this way is that you get notified for all content updates not just our podcast broadcasts! How do you follow us? Just go to our home page click follow and give us your email address then you will recive an email each time we update!

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Here is a snapshot of our front page do you see the follow button?
When you are notified that a new podcast is available just follow the emailed link and click play on the audio player to hear our latest content! Here is a picture of a post with the audio player circled.
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Use A Free Podcast App

Our Mission Path is also available on these platforms.

Apple Podcasts

Spotify:

Radio Public:

Anchor.fm

Google Podcasts

Breaker

Castbox

Pocket Cast

Stitcher

 

Getting started with a podcast app is pretty simple:

  1. Select your preferred podcast platform and down load it to your computer or device.
  2. Search for Our Mission Path or click on the link above that corresponds with your app.
  3. Follow the steps that are unique to your preferred app to start listening. Your preferred app will walk you through with simple instructions. Make sure to click subscribe!

Devices and apps

Choosing a way to listen to a podcast is really a personal preference.

We recommend listening on our website.

We love connecting with you through ourmissionpath.com!

When you listen through our website you get to see the photos and the occasional video that accompany our podcasts. You also have the opportunity to comment on our posts through our website. As a bonus, it is easy to share content from our website to your social media feeds. (We love it when you do that!)
If receiving emails each time our website is updated isn’t really your thing, we understand! If you have an Apple device, the Apple Podcast app is built-in so you already have it! If you are into Android devices you can easily download Google Podcasts by searching the Google Play store. When you open your podcast app just search for Our Mission Path and you will find us!

Start Listening

The episodes of Our Mission Path are not serial so you can start listening with any that strakes your fancy. Here are some suggestions to get started:

Other Good Podcasts

Here is a list of podcasts we enjoy. We tend to binge listen as we travel here in Ecuador.

  • Unobscured is a history deep dive with Aaron Mahnke. The first season was about the Salem witch trials and was excellent.
  • Missionary Talks with David Peach no longer produces new content but the 85 episode series demystify Missionaries as normal people trying to follow God’s will.
  • We sometimes agree sometimes disagree but Frank Viola always makes us think!
  • The Bible Answer Man is a great thought-provoking question and answer podcast.
  • Something is off with Andrew Heaton politics minus bile plus jokes.
  • The Moth is a collection of short stories told by people of all walks of life. It is a great place to hear stories from people who are not like you.
  • Missionary on fire is a collection of 32 missionary interviews.
  • Imagine Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee with less southern accent and more caffeine, that is Levi Lusko. We love his verse by verse approach to Bible teaching.
  • For Adventure seekers and outdoor types our friends at Boldly Went are the best.

With much love,7297BF43-744F-46DD-AC7B-5867E3285812 The Downings

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.

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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 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”

Episode 6: From The Beginning

World missions was on God’s mind from the beginning. -Dave Davidson

God seeks a dwelling place among the creation that He has made in His Own image. Although with horror we read about the walk of God and mankind being shattered by sin in the early pages of Scripture, we read of God’s missionary nature revealed throughout the remainder of sacred writ. The great hope of the Scripture is that what was once shattered in the garden is resurrected in the city of God. This redemption is achieved not through our seeking but through God’s, not through our power, but His, not by our actions, but by His. The redemption of the world has been heavy on His mind from the very beginning.

May we all join in the mission that was before time and will be achieved in a new Heaven and new Earth!

Blessings, 7297BF43-744F-46DD-AC7B-5867E3285812The Downings

Podcast 5: The Safe Dictates of Common Sense?

 

I go out as a missionary not that I may follow the dictates of common sense, but that I may obey the command of Christ.
-James Gilmour

Answering the call of love has nothing to do with common sense or self preservation. Promises flow easily from pulpits these days. “Come God has a wonderful plan for your life, a plan to prosper you.” The message is easy to listen to and enticing. It is seductively sweet like honey. But what happens when the bee stings, when we run headlong into suffering? Is there healing in the empty promise of the preacher? Our hopes are better served if we turn to the Word of God for guidance, for healing, for resolve. The psalmist calls out “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Let us build our faith on the sure foundation of trust in our Lord, and let us grow in faith by acknowledging Him. Only then will we be free from our own understanding and safe from the false expectations of the prosperity preacher.

May the safe dictates of common sense never interfere with the dangerous thrill of obeying the command of Christ!

Blessings, 80043A40-76C2-43CC-B0CE-426E5CD252F8The Downings

To find out more about our ministry please click here!

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

 

Another Place We Call Home!

Home is such a powerful word.  We so often connect it to where we grew up or the first place we lived on our own.  Many missionaries struggle with the concept of “Home Assignment” because they have found a new home among the people they serve.

Think about where home is for you.  Is it your childhood home?  The place where you feel most comfortable?  Is is among family and friends?

For us home is quickly becoming where we feel connected and loved.  That is a long list of places and the list keeps growing.  Most recently we have found another place to call home.  We want to extend our gratitude to the Wauseon First Church of God for grafting us into their family!  We feel at home with you.

In His grip,

Wauseon

The Downings

(If you would like to partner with us click here to join our living link partnership network.)

Timothy And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Good(?), Day

An early morning call awoke part of the Downing family last Sunday.  It was one of those calls that you don’t really want to receive.  It was Granny (Timothy’s mother) and she spoke in a very worried tone.  “I need to take Grandpa to the hospital you need to get here as soon as possible.”  The reason we needed to get there as soon as possible was that all of our boys (2 years old, 3 years old, and 13 years old) were visiting their Grandparents.  As well as our boys behave (cough, cough) and as good as our boys are (total loss of composure) Granny had no interest in taking them to the ER with Grandpa.  In the bleak midwinter darkness Timothy fumbled around getting dressed and finding his keys, he paused briefly at the door, looked out over the snowy landscape and threw the snow shovel in the back seat.  What followed is best told in Timothy’s own words.

I raced to my kids who were by this time left alone at Granny and Grandpa’s house.  My eldest had been awakened and informed that he needed to watch the other two until I arrived.  The car’s engine was racing and my mind was turning just as fast.  What if my Dad was in real trouble?  How will my Mom deal with this?  How will my kids deal with this?  How will I deal with this?  What if my younger sons are awake and crying, will my eldest son act wisely and maturely?  What if that police officer I just passed wants to catch a speeder this Sunday morning?

I shaved a significant amount of time off of the hour it usually takes to get to Mom and Dad’s house.  When I arrived I found a quiet serine house with three children sleeping in a common bed.  As I gazed into the innocent sleeping faces of my sons I could not help but contrast their serenity with my inward turmoil.  Undercutting the peace I found in the house was the uncertainty of my Dad’s situation.  At that moment I decided to shield my kids form the maelstrom of emotion I was experiencing.  I made a quick breakfast for the kids and woke them up so that they could get ready for church.  We kept the schedule that they were expecting, only instead of Granny and Grandpa’s laid back approach the kids would have to deal with Daddy’s fast paced manner.  We arrived at church in time for Sunday School, then we enjoyed worship.

After church we hurried back to Mom and Dad’s house just in time to meet them in the driveway.  Of all the possible outcomes of Dad’s health scare the actual diagnosis was the best possible diagnosis.  Nothing life threatening, just something uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Latter that day I decided to load up some fire wood before driving my kids home.  I could not load much because I brought the family car.  What happened next happened fast, almost like a slap-stick comedy.  I slipped in the snow and busted my knees on the way to the car.  Then I drove the car off of the driveway and into a tree.  That was right before spraining my back by picking up too much firewood at once, crushing my fingers in the car door and cracking my head after falling down during my attempt to dig the car out of the snow bank that I had managed to lodge it in.  All of this happened shortly before the excitement of a “controlled” slide down my parents steep snow covered driveway.

Then it began to rain (apparently the front end of a winter ice storm).  As I drove home with all of the early morning drama and late afternoon slap-stick in my rear view mirror I noticed something else in my mirror…red and blue lights.  Thankfully I received no ticked, just a friendly reminder to slow down on the icy roads.

The day defiantly took me to the depths of emotional uncertainty and irritation but over all it was a very good day.  It was a good day because at the height of my concern (dare I say worry) over my father’s condition I heard my friend Rev. Wesley Duff give a sermon the helped me put my concern into perspective and eliminate my worry.  It was a good day because even during the slap-stick phase of the day or the red and blue lights portion of the day the words of worship spoken by Rev. Dan Schaub echoed in my mind and the morning’s songs of worship provided for me the soundtrack that overcame the rest of the day.

It has always amazed me how a good dose of worship cures the ills of the day.

Of course, as uplifting, meaningful and healing as a worship service can be there is a different approach to the practice of worship that develops a particularly Christ-like demeanor.  When we view our work and play as an act of worship we establish a lifestyle of worship which adds a deep sense of purpose to our life.  Now even mundane tasks become infused with meaning because they are and act of worship.  It is this kind of worship that we hope to instill in the lives of our kids.

May your worship shine before all people everywhere!

In His Grip,

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The Downings

 

Bonus missionary exercise: Our first year on the mission field will be spent at a language school geared to missionary families in Coasta Rica.  There we will learn how to assimilate into a Latin American culture, and we will intensively study Spanish.  We will have a radical change in our lifestyle, for the first time we will have no car and space at our apartment will be very limited.  We have told the kids that each of them will need to fit everything necessary for life in one suitcase.  Here is the exercise, look through your house, find what you think is necessary to live in Coasta Rica for a year.  Now try to fit it all in one suitcase.  Can you do it?  Our kids can!

If you would like to join our Living Link network please click here.  We need your help!  

Another Exciting Announcement!

32% Keep the momentum going!

Last week our family celebrated what seemed to us to be an impossible achievement.  We had reached 25% of our Living Link partnership budget.  To put this into perspective we had spoken at various churches since Last Easter every Sunday, (with the exception of four), in order to reach 25% of our budget.  Today we are ecstatic to announce another major milestone in our effort to serve Christ in Ecuador.  But first some significant statistics with a common number, a clue to our big announcement.

32% of the world’s population are Christians.

32% of Americans think that the rise of Isis signals the end times.

32% of Muslims living in the UK believe it is righteous to kill in the name of Islam.

32% of American households hold to a budget.

32% of Americans are nonreligious.

32% of Ecuadorian women living in the USA are single mothers.

32% of Ecuadorians make their living farming.

And we are now at 32% of our Living Link partnership budget!

Why is this such big news for us?  For several reasons.  When we reached 25% of our budget the long held dream of serving Christ in Ecuador began to materialize.  Now that we are at 32% we are beginning to make lists of possessions we need to liquidate before we leave.   (Anyone want to buy an old house or old pickup truck?)  Another reason for our exuberance has to do with benchmarks.  As a Church of God missionary, we are given benchmarks to meet as we raise our funds.  Our first benchmark is coming up early next year.  We are within striking distance of meeting our looming February benchmark of raising 50% of our budget.  We are excited about where we are but we desperately need your help to get to where we need to be.  Have you considered partnering with us?  How about an end of the year gift?  Together we can serve Christ both here and to the “ends of the earth!”

A quick and easy way to partner with us is to visit the Church of God missions website by clicking here.  Another way to partner with us is by calling Debbie Taylor at 1-800-848-2464 ext. 2185, she will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Thank you and God bless,

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The Downings