With much love, The Downings
With much love, The Downings
What motivates you to attend church? Today’s ministry story is a reflection on motives.
With much love, The Downings
With much love,
We are excited to be hosting an upcoming work camp. A group of friends from Tennessee are visiting in May and working on a church building project in Pisambilla
Together we can make a difference!
With much love, the Downings
Recently we had the joy of visiting the church of Pisambilla for a baby dedication.
Timothy was invited to dedicate Samara the daughter of Gloria, one of his seminary students. Gloria is also the daughter of Pastor Carlos.
Here is a short podcast about this wonderful experience.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read: “Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You must love the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and gates.”
This scripture is very important especially as we think about how to raise a child in a manner dedicated to God.
Deuteronomy teaches us that God is unique, the only one worthy of worship! The scripture teaches us that our attitude toward God is to be one of love. Love through thought (intellect, creativity), Love through body and spirit (our whole being), and Love through work (strength).
This is a Quechua hymn called Cuya Tayta Diolla. We love hearing our brothers and sisters sing in this beautiful language!
The scripture then instructs us that this truth is to be taught to our children. We are to teach our children to love God as we sit in our house. This means that our home must be a home focused on God’s truth. Both naturally and intentionally we raise our kids in an atmosphere of faith at home.
We see Pastor Carlos raising his children in a home filed with faith. We know that Gloria will raise Samara in the same atmosphere.
We are to instruct our children in the ways of faith as we walk along the road. Notice the contrast between the home and the road. At home we are supposed to be protected, safe, and free to be most ourself. The message of faith in the home is unified. The road is different. In the road we encounter the dangers of life, difficult people, and confusing thoughts. The road is where our faith is tested. The Scripture says that we are to teach our children in this challenging atmosphere as well. We are to guide them through the troubles in the life. We are to walk with them on the paths they choose to walk. We are to teach our children in the safety of our homes and also in the vulnerability of the road.
This Scripture then goes on to speak of another instance in which we are to instruct our children in the way of faith. We are to remind our children as we lie down and as we get up. This means that our day is to be spent in a manner that brings our kids into a living relationship with God our Father. In every situation during the day we have a choice, we can either act and react in a way that brings our kids into a deeper relationship with God or in a way that drives our kids away from the loving arms of our Savior. A measured and Christ entered response to life’s daily issues teaches our children the way of faith. We must try to act and react in godly ways to all of life’s problems both extraordinary and mundane.
We often rise to the occasion when the extraordinary occurs but consistency in the mundane is what prepares us for the extraordinary.
This Scripture then goes on to tell us to make physical reminders of the truth. That’s because we are both a physical and spiritual creation. Sometimes we need to make physical reminders of spiritual truths. We should find a physical reminder of our faith. We should connect the spiritual truth that we teach our children with physical reminders of that truth. This is what Jesus did when he taught.
This Scripture concludes with the instruction to write the truth on your door and gate. Door frames and gates are the part of the home that the community sees. What the Bible is teaching is that we are to be a witness to the community. As parents we have a lot of influence on our children the community we live in also shapes our children’s thoughts and actions. This is why we take every opportunity to share our faith with our neighbors. Our witness is to shine inside and outside of our homes, our witness should help shape the spiritual atmosphere in which our children will grow up.
What does your community see from the outside looking in?
Jesus quotes these verses and joins them with Leviticus 19:18 in Matthew 22:37-40.
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind .’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself .’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Loved ones, the same Jesus Christ who invited The children to come to him invites us to live in Divine love. Allow me to encourage you, love God, love others, live accordingly so that Our Children can see and believe.
With much love, The Downings
Time seems to move faster on the Equator! Our last few weeks have been packed with wonderful experiences. We had intended to post these updates in separate posts but we simply have not had the time to sit down at a computer until now. If you read this post really fast it will help you understand how we feel in this awesome, fast paced ministry!
¡El tiempo parece moverse más rápido en el ecuador! Nuestras últimas semanas han estado llenas de experiencias maravillosas. Teníamos la intención de publicar estas actualizaciones en publicaciones separadas, pero simplemente no hemos tenido tiempo de sentarnos en un coumputer hasta ahora. ¡Si lees esta publicación realmente rápido, te ayudará a entender cómo nos sentimos en este increíble y rápido ministerio!
We were privileged to attended the anniversary service of the Santa Clara Church. Timothy was honored to be one of the preachers during the service.
Tuvimos el privilegio de asistir al servicio de aniversario de la Iglesia de Santa Clara. Timothy tuvo el honor de ser uno de los predicadores durante el servicio.
We needed some video for one of our supporting Churches who are scheduled to visit the Pisambilla Church next year. So we visited Pisambilla and enjoyed a wonderful worship service and then we were able to spend the day with Pastor Carlos and his family.
Necesitábamos un video para una de nuestras Iglesias de apoyo que tiene programado visitar la Iglesia de Pisambilla el próximo año. Así que visitamos Pisambilla y disfrutamos de un maravilloso servicio de adoración y luego pudimos pasar el día con el pastor Carlos y su familia.
The Ecuadorian Church can’t help but grow! The Gospel message of hope resonates well among a people who need hope.
¡La Iglesia Ecuatoriana no puede dejar de crecer! El mensaje de esperanza del Evangelio resuena bien entre las personas que necesitan esperanza.
One evening we received word from the Pastors of our Carapungo church about a new work that they had started in a town about an hour away from Quito. We were invited to visit next weekend and we are sure to have more information and good photos for an upcoming post.
Una noche recibimos noticias de los pastores de nuestra iglesia de Carapungo sobre un nuevo trabajo que habían comenzado en un pueblo a una hora de Quito. Fuimos invitados a visitar el próximo fin de semana y estamos seguros de que tendremos más información y buenas fotos para una próxima publicación.
This is an exciting time in Ecuador! The Carapungo Church is not the only Church to expand their reach in service of the Gospel. We are aware of five other new works and several Churches that are in the process of joining our movement!
¡Este es un momento emocionante en Ecuador! La Iglesia de Carapungo no es la única Iglesia que expande su alcance al servicio del Evangelio. ¡Somos conscientes de otras cinco obras nuevas y varias iglesias que están en proceso de unirse a nuestro movimiento!
We were honored to attend a baptism service in the beautiful cloud forest town of Pacto. The Zabala Church baptized ten young Christians!
Nos sentimos honrados de asistir a un servicio de bautismo en el hermoso pueblo de Pacto, en el bosque nublado. ¡La Iglesia de Zabala bautizó a diez jóvenes cristianos!
The river was swift and cold but the service was happy and our hearts were warm. Timothy helped baptize the young believers by standing upstream and being an anchor for each person so that the river would not take them!
El río fue rápido y frío, pero el servicio fue feliz y nuestros corazones fueron cálidos. ¡Timoteo ayudó a bautizar a los jóvenes creyentes parándose río arriba y siendo un ancla para cada persona para que el río no los llevara!
Pastor Rodrigo baptized all ten believers and then invited each one to attend the Seminary (click here to give finical support or Seminary program) intensive week this year. We sung I have decided to follow Jesus on the banks of the river then we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together.
El pastor Rodrigo bautizó a los diez creyentes y luego invitó a cada uno de ellos a asistir al Seminario (haga clic aquí para apoyarlo en forma definitiva o en el programa del Seminario) semana intensiva este año. Cantamos Decidí seguir a Jesús en la orilla del río y luego celebramos la Cena del Señor juntos.
It is an honor and a privilege to live and serve in Ecuador!
¡Es un honor y un privilegio vivir y servir en Ecuador!
With Love, Con mucho amor,The Downings Los Downing
Part of the adventure of living as a missionary in Ecuador is the journey to various ministry sites. We had the privileged of visiting the Church of God in Pisambilla last week. With excitement we discussed an ongoing building project with the Pastor and the possibility of having a work-camp at his Church (this would be the first work-camp ever to visit the Pisambilla Church).
We love visiting our churches all over the country, part of the adventure is getting there. Our journey begins in our driveway an hour before the first video in the playlist. Your ride along begins in the beautiful town of Cayambe about forty-five minutes from Pisambilla.
What the video can not do is produce the actual feel of the road. If you want to experience the bumps you should watch this playlist on a mechanical bull.
Thank you for riding along with us on this adventure we sincerely hope that one day you can visit us in Ecuador and we can ride together again.
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.
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.
Blessings, The Downings
If you would like to join our support network Please click here. We need several new supporters to join our team!
During our first year of missionary service in Ecuador we are focusing on building relationships with pastors and church leaders. Recently Timothy and Tim were blessed with the opportunity to take a small group of church leaders from the Breiel Blvd Church of God to the Pisambilla church on the slopes of the Cayambe volcano.
We were delighted to see the current church building and the very beginning of the future church building.
The believers in the Pisambilla church are a hearty bunch, worshipping in a lean-to feeling the breeze from the glacier atop of Mt. Cayambe.
We would love to lead a construction work camp to help our brothers complete the new church building.
From what we understand the salvation story of Pastor Carlos is nothing short of miraculous. It is the kind of story you can read in the book of Acts. It begins with a group from a pseudo Christian cult. They came to the Pisambilla area and preached their brand of the Gospel and Carlos was interested. What they said about Jesus moved his heart but what was written in the book they gave him rang hollow. The mixture of truth and falsehood that this cult preached left him certain that there was truth and just as certain that he did not yet know the complete truth. One day he awoke with an idea, he would go on a walk, he would walk until he found the truth. There is a word, Chaquiñán, in his language of Quechua which means meandering path. Carlos decided that he would walk his own personal chaquiñán, and if Jesus was real he would surely meet him along the way. Carlos said goodbye to his wife and kids and began his search. His chaquiñán eventually took him to the door of a Church of God. As he began asking question after question the Pastor presented the simple Gospel and Carlos accepted Christ as his Savior.
Carlos’ chaquiñán did not end at salvation, finding the truth and accepting the truth always carries with it the responsibility to tell others of the truth! And tell others is exactly what he did. He returned to Pisambilla and told the Gospel story often enough that a church was born. He told of Christ’s love and sacrifice to the point that his community elders accused him of calling into question the “old beliefs” and departing from the “old ways.” Carlos was persecuted to the point of physical beatings. In the face of severe persecution Carlos chose to take the eternal view. He told his persecutors that he would leave the village for a time and if the church he had started survived without him they would know that it was a work of his powerful God, but if the church died then the “old beliefs and ways” must be the truth. During Carlos’ absence….the church grow.
It is a privilege to have our ministries intersect with the ministry of the Pisambilla Church. Angelita is the director of the Children of Promise program in Ecuador. The Pisambilla Church has eight children enrolled in the program. Timothy is the director of the Seminary and is honored to have Pastor Carlos and some of his older kids in class.
Of course, when we speak of our ministry we always keep in mind that our ministry is actually an extension of your ministry and we are both simply carrying out the ever expanding ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! So thank you for your trust and support.
With love, The Downings
(If you would like to partner with us in the ever expanding ministry of Christ, please click here.)