Note: A printable PDF version of this update is available here: september-2023.pdf
Hello, Friends, Family, and Supporters.
Summer is almost over, and autumn is coming! This summer has been a good time for us as a family. We’ve made progress with our church, our Bible School, podcasts, and the Advanced School of Ministry.
Anna, who is in charge of our youth group, took a group of our young people to a youth conference in Puebla in July. Although we had done several camps and other events with the young people, this is the first youth conference they have attended since the pandemic. Although it was a challenge for her to organize this outing, it was good for our kids.
Our group has also had many other great meetings over the last several months. The event of the biggest impact has been our camp (which we did in May), and so many of the kids have been blessed by it.
We have continued to produce podcasts on an almost weekly basis. Anna and I have been doing these together most of the time, with Sara participating from time to time. We have also had several guests, including some of the young people of our church, other pastors, and our special guest Bill Brown. It was a delight to have him share about some of his many life experiences and testimonies of God’s provision and care on his many missionary journeys.
Most recently, Sara and I shared together on a couple of episodes where we talk about training up our children. We called it “Keepers of the Inheritance, Parents of Influence.” There are so many young families who desire to see their children grow up with the influence of Godly parents, but with all the social pressures from governments and public education, some of them just don’t know what to do with their kids. Now that our own children are all adults, we can see the many things we did right, and also a few that we did wrong. As we teach Biblical parenting principles, we draw from the Word of God and illustrate the concepts from our own experiences. Our hope and prayer are that these moms and dads will follow Biblical principles for educating and disciplining their children to follow the Lord and His righteous ways.
Our monthly women’s meetings are going very well. Sara has done an excellent job creating a team of women to plan and execute some of the best women’s meetings I have ever seen. The decorations and details they have invested in for their meetings have been incredible! The worship and ministry times have been very good, definitely not boring. Titled “Conversations”, Sara and her group of ladies have been focusing on Biblical teaching for women in a conversational style, often with two, three, or more women sharing together about the theme. They have also done crafts and always have something delicious to eat after the meetings. These meetings have been very attractive to guests who may hear about Jesus for the first time.
Our Sunday Church Meetings
I know that I’ve been focusing on many of our church activities in this newsletter, but we’re excited about what God is doing in the midst of us. The pandemic hit most churches very hard, dispersing people, causing a change in priorities and Sunday morning habits, and causing people to reevaluate their faith and Christian practice. Economically, we needed to make a move during the pandemic, since we were paying thousands of dollars in rent to be in the center of our city and could no longer afford that. During 2021-2022, we began work on a piece of land we already owned to make it into a garden and a meeting place for our church. We’ve been meeting there weekly since December 2022, and little by little, God has prospered His people.
We have seen some good fruit over the last several months, including over a dozen baptisms, young people giving their lives to Jesus, great teaching and intimate worship times, as well as more and more people becoming more constant in attending Sunday meetings. The Spirit of God is in our midst. We are “Desert Streams Church” of Tulancingo, and we have the mission to take streams of living water to our city, to manifest the Kingdom of God in every aspect of society, and to produce disciples of Jesus Christ.
We are innovating a bit in terms of how our services are done. We are outside, under a tent, without a platform. Our worship team leads from the center of the tent, with the people gathered around on all four sides, and I usually preach from the center as well. The words for the songs are not projected on a screen but rather sent to each person’s cell phone, so they can see them if needed. Once each month we have a meal together after the service “potluck” style. The children often take a soccer ball to church so they can play there in our garden after the service. Our focus is on worship, the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, personal ministry, and fellowship. God is blessing us.
While Sara and Anna were at the youth conference in Puebla at the end of July, I was able to get an entire course ready for production online. Called “Discover Your Destiny”, this course is especially helpful for young people who are looking to fulfill the purpose God has for their lives. I had Anna teach it, and we were able to complete the recording of the 12 sessions in three days. Anna is such an incredible teacher! She connects so well with the students, both in person and online.
We started our fall semester on August 16. We have around 130 students, several of whom are from our own local church. However, most of the students are pastors and leaders from churches across Mexico. Many of them are working toward their bachelor’s degree in theology. This semester, we are offering nine different courses, including Old and New Testament studies, Victorious Christianity, The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit, The Acts of the Apostles, and Social Roles and Relationships.
I am also currently working on transforming the Advanced School of Ministry’s degree program so that it will be available totally online in conjunction with the Bible School program.
One exciting piece of news (at least for us) is that our entire family is planning on being together for Christmas this year. David has plans to come here from Texas A&M, where he is doing his doctorate degree, and Daniel and Elisa have tickets to come from Washington. So for the first time since Daniel and Elisa are married, we’ll have all of the family together!
Sara and I would like to express our most sincere thanks to each of you who pray for us, write to us, and support us economically. We really appreciate your help. We definitely couldn’t do what we do without your help! It is such a blessing to be able to count on each of you. Thank you so very much. May the Lord bless you abundantly!
David and Sara Lont with Anna