Bienvenue chez Steadfast Roots
We are the Downs Family
Serving in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa
We met in September of 2015 while we were both living overseas on two different continents. Because we were both living overseas with the desire of seeing lives changed by Jesus, there were many parts of our individual stories that overlapped. Talking was like chatting with an old friend who understood where we had come from and the uniqueness of life overseas. With much prayer and a ton of video chats, we both realized we wanted to continue to serve God overseas, but together.
Fixing Our Eyes
In the summer of 2016 we both moved back to the States (Tim from Ivory Coast and Sarah from China). We were married in the fall and thought we would head to Africa a year or so later, but God had other plans.
Before we had moved back to the States, several seasoned missionaries had advised us to set up strong roots in our marriage as well as with a home church. Even though we both longed to be serving overseas, we knew that we needed community here to support us as we went out to serve as a family. Our plan was to leave to go back overseas as soon as we could, but God was faithful to us as we waited for His timing. We learned to live out Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." In the waiting God has blessed us with a wonderful church family and community as well as opportunities to develop our gifts and skills. In this time He also expanded our family and has blessed us with three beautiful daughters Lucy (3), Hazel (1), and Eleanor (3 months).
As our family grew, the vision for Africa grew. We knew that we wanted to return to Ivory Coast and encourage sustainable living for those serving the church, but that vision became more refined as we continued to seek God.
Our family is being sent out by our church in Lees Summit, Missouri and our organization, WorldVenture. Please pray with us as we partner together with churches and individuals with the purpose of serving pastors and their families in the Ivory Coast.
Sitting under a tree with a pastor in Ivory Coast, West Africa, he began to tell me about some pastors that were bowing out of the ministry because they could not sustain life and provide for their families.
God began to stir in me a vision to tackle the attrition of pastors from the ministry. The vision that came about was one of sustainability. We are going back to the basics and we are tackling the basics through a system called Permaculture. Permaculture is the growth of agricultural ecosystems in a self-sufficient and sustainable way. Merriam Webster defines it this way, an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems.
Sarah and I want to move our family to Ivory Coast, West Africa and create a training center for pastors and their families to come and learn to care for plants and animals in a sustainable way. While at the training center pastors will also be working on cultivating relationships with people in the community.
Our desire is for people from all walks of life to know that the pastors home and the church are places of refuge and peace. Knowing that if some one has a need they can go to the pastors house and he will do everything in his power to meet that need and minister to that individual and/or community.
1 Corinthians 15:58 talks about being steadfast and unmovable always abounding in the Lord’s work. Our desire with the training center is to create a firm foundation for pastors and their families so they do not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. In doing so, we have provided them with a steadfast root system as they labor in the work of the Lord.
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