Tag: relationships

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. 

Church In Public

Baptisms are amazing. Not only are they a significant event and act of obedience for the believers involved but they are also a significant testimony for all who witness the public event.

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The song leaders preparing to lead worship in the park

We were honored to be invited to the Mount of Olives’ recent baptism service. They held it at a National Park named Bosque Protector Jerusalem. We met under the shade of some trees near a public swimming pool.

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Gathering under the trees for worship

The atmosphere of this service struck us as very appropriate. We sang and heard the Word of God proclaimed to the background noises of families enjoying themselves at the park. From time to time a curious onlooker would stop what they were doing and hear a song, or listen to the preaching. After we worshiped together we turned our attention to the pool which was already quite busy with aquatic activity.

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We prayed before we entered the mountain fresh (cold) water

As we entered the refreshing water, families ceased their diversions and watched intently as we baptized six new believers.

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Pastor Luis and Timothy entering into the baptism waters

Timothy was overjoyed when he was asked to help with the baptisms. Pastor Luis baptized the new believers and Timothy gave each a private word of encouragement. F5B9F107-48FA-43A7-A55D-B7141FEC834C88595BA0-83A3-494C-AFC5-8177C87DE5BC98DBA191-6A51-4C07-8FE4-878EC4EFEB97D7BFEF4E-29D5-4BB6-9709-85CC2EFC13E49EACA390-269D-4AF8-B277-EAAA2E1D9D8ECD9DD526-2468-4A55-90CC-7C9C7D267A5162EBCCF6-C30A-4459-B0EB-E507425D2B442A23D895-846C-4BCF-BA04-F62630830563A1319158-7BA5-4299-8BED-3CE25A3E987FF13C2748-80FB-40CD-B15F-1822F7311398

After the baptisms we lingered in the pool a little longer for prayer.

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We prayed for those who were just baptized

When we said “Amen” the pool filled up with activity once again!

Those who simply came to the park intending nothing more than a fun day in the sun received something greater. They received the testimony of the new believers who were baptized. They received the Gospel in action. It makes us want to abandon our buildings and hold public worship every week!

With much love, 19541BB1-C508-4835-A84B-0FA67F2E5AA8The Downings

We trust in the international community of Christ to pray for, encourage and fund the ministry we have been given. Would you like to join our effort? Click here for our contact info.

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

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

Friday Photos And An Immigration Update

We live in a very photogenic country!  In the busyness of missionary life we sometimes forget to share the photos that we have taken. Today we would like to share a fun time Elias, Ezequiel, Esperanza, Tim, and Timothy enjoyed on Mt. Pichincha.

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Ezequiel taking in the view of Quito.
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Tim and Esperanza taking a moment to pray over the city we love.
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Enjoying some horseback riding on top of the volcano. 

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Above the tree line 

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A good rest and a great view.
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overlooking the Quito valley 
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little legs and long walks equal good naps 
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Happy to explore so close to heaven
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Are selfies allowed?
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The view is as breathtaking as is the altitude

We love living here for many reasons. We of course love the views and the experiences but more than anything we love the people!

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Ezequiel and Timothy recently had the opportunity to take a road trip with eight members of Pastor Carlos’ family!
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We even stopped to play in the rare snow along the way!

We love ministering along side of our Ecuadorian Brothers and Sisters. It is not simply a job, or a calling, it is a pure joy! Many of you know that this joy does not preclude some amount of frustration. Our most recent frustration has to do with some paperwork which is required for our residency. We have asked our social media friends to pray about the situation. We were hoping to give a positive update on our prayer request in this post…but we can’t. The good news is that we also can’t give a negative update. What we can do is ask that you pray that we will have the strength and resources to overcome this mountainous paperwork issue.

It is truly by your prayers that we are able to continue along our mission path.

Love,

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The Downings

(If you would like to join our support team please click here)

The Big Secret That All World Changers Share

We recently read a very good interview with Debbie Taylor from the Church of God Global Missions office.  We think one particular question and answer needs to be amplified.  Here is a quick explanation of the Living Link Partnership Network we are currently building.

Not everyone is familiar with how Church of God Ministries functions. What is Living Link and how do you keep it going?

Debbie: Living Link is the financial support ministry of Global Missions that gives both churches and individuals the opportunity to be involved in the Great Commission through partnerships with our missionaries. Relationships are key, and partnerships are essential, to accomplishing kingdom work beyond the borders. My role, as the liaison between the missionary and local churches and individuals, is in facilitating the connection with the missionary, and keeping our partners updated on their investment through missionary newsletters and videos. I assist the missionaries as they raise funds and keep them updated on their progress. We trust God to supply the need, and he is faithful to do this through our wonderful partners in ministry. It takes a team!  (you can read the complete interview here.)

We agree, relationships are key to what we are called to do!  In fact relationships are the secret power that all effective world changers draw upon.  If you would like to partner with us to bring the life changing Gospel to Ecuador you can do so by clicking here or calling Debbie Taylor at 1-800-848-2464, ext. 2129.

We look forward to partnering with you!

In His Grip,

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The Downings