Update – March, 2022

Note: You can download a printable PDF version of this update here.

Dear Friends and Family,

So much has happened since I last wrote to you in January. I’d like to take a few minutes to share some of the highlights of what we’ve been up to during the last couple of months.

David and Sara Lont

Advanced School of Ministry

This year’s Advanced School of Ministry conference was different, but very good. Because of COVID restrictions, we did a live online conference, broadcast through both Zoom and YouTube. With the help of Carlos Marín and through Portland Bible College, we were able to access a Zoom account allowing several hundred people to connect at once. We also had over a hundred additional people and groups connect on YouTube.

Many pastors and leaders registered for the conference, and some groups of churches gathered in a single location to participate in the seminar using projectors in their auditoriums. Most people connected right from their homes, but it was especially fun to see church buildings full of leaders participating together.

On this occasion I didn’t teach personally, but we handled all the registrations, helped the general public, and took care of all the technical aspects of doing an online conference. Anna was especially helpful as the person in charge of the camera switching and bringing the correct speakers into focus at the right time. I spent many hours helping people without technical expertise getting registered and then, during the conference, taking care of the live broadcast and making sure everything went as planned.

Working on the technical aspects of the online conference

Our theme, “Transforma-T” (Be Transformed), was excellent, as we are living through times of great transformation. Our team was able to cover six different sessions during the two-day online event. One of the sessions even included a small group application of the concepts that were taught, using Zoom breakout rooms.

The majority of those who attended were pastors and leaders. One advantage of doing the seminar online was the fact that several pastors joined us online who had never been able to attend one of our conferences in person because of their jobs or distance to the conference. We had people across several time zones and even from different countries.

This conference was a huge blessing for many. We plan on continuing offering both in-person and online conferences in the future.

Worship Recording and Local Church

In February, we did another live worship recording in video and audio here in our living room. We’ve found these live session recordings to be very useful and effective to use during our microchurch meetings on Sundays.

Ricardo at one of our “micro-church” meetings. Ricardo and his family have been part of our church for several years. I met him some time ago at the local oil change shop and I had the opportunity to help win him for Christ there. He and his family have attended our church ever since.

Our church building project continues forward, but while our property is under construction, we have adopted a microchurch model. Small groups gather in homes for ministry on Sunday mornings using our online service, supplemented with personal ministry and prayer in each home. Of course, food and celebration are also on the agenda, so the microchurch setting allows for people to gather, eat and enjoy being together. Once each month we are gathering everyone together here outside our home for our celebration service.

Our Experience With COVID

Last month, after avoiding it for almost two years, we suddenly came down with COVID-19. It was very unexpected, as we had taken so many precautions throughout the pandemic. And now that there is so much optimism that the worst of things has passed, we somehow caught it!

Thankfully, none of us had any life-threatening symptoms, but all three of us got pretty sick. Anna fared better than Sara and me, but it took all of us about three weeks to recover. It’s only been a couple of weeks since we’ve been getting our energy back.

It was so beautiful to see how several people from our church cared for us and brought us meals. They would come by and drop hot meals off on our porch, and we’d say, “Hello!” quickly through the window, and then they’d leave. We are also so thankful to those who were praying for us during that time!

Online Bible School

In February we started our spring semester with the online Bible School. We were blessed to have Mark Simpson share live with our group as we began the semester. We’re offering nine different courses and have just under 180 students enrolled. This semester, we’re doing another new course, this time on the life of Moses.

We continue to develop new material as we’re working toward creating an entire online degree program. We’re very thankful for the positive impact we’ve been able to make on many pastors, leaders and churches through this Bible school.

Thanks for joining with us!

We are so thankful to you for partnering with us in ministry. We appreciate each one of you who takes interest in what we’re doing, prays for us, or helps us economically. We appreciate you so very much!

With love,

David and Sara with Anna

Update – January, 2022

Dear friends, family and supporters,

Happy New Year 2022! We pray that this year would be full of grace, provision, and the mercy and goodness of God for you and your family.

Everyone working on their computer on the porch.

Church building project

As some of you may know, this past fall we started on our church building project. We’ve had a nice piece of land for several years now, but hadn’t built on it yet due to uncertainty in terms of the development of the area. However, we were able to move ahead with this project and start developing the land.

Since the property was originally farmland, it was necessary to raise the level of the entire lot to protect it from flooding. We purchased many dump truck loads of fill to bring the level up to where it is now. Part of the wall around the perimeter has been built, offices and bathrooms are in the process of being built, and the foundation for the main auditorium (multipurpose room) has been laid.

An artist’s concept of what our church building may look like from the street when finished.

The next steps will be to finish the wall and office areas, complete the physical appearance of the front of the building, and plant the grass and garden areas.

We hope to have outdoor meetings in the large walled garden (about 8,000 square feet) after the rainy season starts. For the moment, it is too dry to be able to plant grass and the entire lot is brown dirt and dust. But once the rain comes, the plan is to plant grass, probably from rolls of sod.

Outdoor church meeting, January 9, 2022.

In the mean time, we continue to do online meetings, micro-church meetings, connect groups, and larger gatherings outside at our house. We’ve had a very positive experience with our gatherings here at our home over the last several months. Even though it is about a 1/2 hour drive for those who come, we’ve had a good turnout at every meeting. Our church family seems to really enjoy these simple outdoor gatherings and the times of fellowship, picnics and games after the services. And for those who can’t come for some reason, we offer the same service online simultaneously.

Online Bible School

In December we finished another successful semester of online classes with our group of Bible School students. We had around 170 students complete courses during the semester. I taught a group of students “Interpreting the Scriptures”, a course on Biblical hermeneutics. However, it was really our team of facilitators who invested time with the students and helped them to successfully complete their courses. We are very thankful for such a great team! At the end of the semester, Bill Brown ministered live to our students during the closing meeting. That was a real blessing and treat!

Now we are preparing for the Advanced School of Ministry conference, which will be held online using the Bible School platform, and then the next semester of courses will begin on February 15.

Our family

We are thankful for God’s provision and protection during the last couple of years. We credit Him with keeping us healthy and well. We’ve seen so many friends get sick and die of COVID, but so far, the Lord has protected us, and we believe He will continue to do so.

Our son David Jeremiah came to visit us for about three weeks during the Christmas season. We definitely enjoyed spending some time with him! Daniel and Elisa spent their Christmas in Washington state with Elisa’s family, but we got to say hello to them a few times using FaceTime. Anna is home with us, studying online, working with the online Bible School, helping with church and doing some youth ministry.

Youth meeting in December.

Sara has worked hard supervising the construction projects, purchasing materials, ministering to several women, and doing some of the one-on-one jobs of pastoring, such as calling people and showing them we care about them. She is very good at these tasks and it is such a blessing to have her support in these areas!

Prayer requests

Here are a few prayer requests for the next couple of months:

  1. Please pray for continued protection and health for us and our church family.
  2. We are thankful for several financial miracles that God has provided during the last several months. We praise God for these!
  3. Please pray for wisdom and provision to continue to build our church, both spiritually and physically.
  4. Please pray for the continued development of the online Bible School.

Thank you!

We thank God for each of you who pray for us and support us financially. You have a big part in what we do and we know God will richly reward you. Thank you so very much for believing in us and partnering together with us in ministry.

In His Love,

David and Sara Lont