Tommy Downs

Tommy Downs

A Servant of Jesus Christ

Be yourself

If you had to give up your sense of humor, your hobbies, your family, your favorite foods, and even your own native language, could you? I used to be afraid of losing all the things about me that I used to think were so important, but now I see they’re just superficial and not who I am.

The Apostle Paul says: “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23, ESV2011)

I don’t want people to look at me and see anything other than Christ, I don’t want people to look and say, “there’s another American,” or “that guy’s unique,” or “that guy is special.”

We’re not called to be ourselves, Jesus calls us to deny ourselves.

The body of Christ


I’m comprehending a lot more when listening in the language and am starting to read and write using the Khmer “alphabet.”

Children’s Ministry


We’ve started teaching the kids in Kantuot and it’s great to see them excited about learning songs and memory verses about Jesus. I also appreciate that the vocabulary and grammar that Thanak uses when teaching them is more on my level and I can learn new words easier.

Because of travel restrictions we don’t have any expeditions of foreigners coming in to Cambodia to evangelize with us, however, this week a group of Cambodians from YWAM came to help us. They’re young and it’s cool to see Cambodians learning how to reach their own people with the gospel.


We had a “revival” day at Marlin and Sreyown’s house and our team in coordination with their team, preached to, worshipped with, and prayed for everyone that came. I heard it was great but I missed most of it because I had volunteered to teach the children. Some ministry partners and I took the kids to the field next to Marlin’s house and kept the kids busy.

It felt kinda funny that my Cambodian friends were looking to me to tell them what to do with the kids when I don’t really understand the culture or the language well enough to be able to do much on my own. But having helped Thanak before with the kids in Kantuot, I knew 2 songs in Khmer and taught the words and actions to the kids. Did I feel awkward and silly leading Cambodian children (and the adults who were helping me) in singing and dancing? Of course, but I think we did well. Since the songs were about Creation I asked for someone to share the story and so Nikah from YWAM gave a great message on it going from Adam and Eve and connecting it to Jesus and the cross; I was impressed by how attentive the kids were as she spoke. Then Sopoan taught them to recite Ephesians 6:1.


We played a lot of fun games. I picked some, had my partners pick some others. The kids taught us one where you have to jump over a rubberband rope (being tall and acrobatic it’s easy for me). You are allowed to touch the rope with your feet though, so a lot of little girls would do a backwards spinning jump kick to bring the rope down and cross it.

We also played soccer and I gave a lot of piggyback rides and flipped a lot of kids. We did some cartwheels and some handsprings and I wore myself out in the hot sun; it was good, I haven’t gotten that much exercise in a couple years. I’m a little stiff and a little red from sunburn and from putting out a very large brushfire the day before.


I could say some cliches about how important kids are, but it’s true. There’s nothing better than knowing Christ from a young age and being able to grow up knowing how loved you are. The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who will humble themselves like little children.

Administration Stuff

Overland Missions has overhauled some stuff on their website and now you can register an account online and track your donations and update your payment information there. Now you’ll only have to phone the office if you want to. It’s gonna reduce the load on our office staff and enable us to grow as an organization and take the gospel further.


We’re looking for land to build a base and that’s an exciting next step for our team as it grows. I made this page that talks about it and has a donation option.


My biggest regret is the time difference (I’m 13 hours ahead of Iowa) and my schedule and how difficult it is to keep in contact with you my friends, partners, and family. I would love to setup some timeslots where we can voice/video chat and catch up.

I miss you,

Tommy Downs