Note: There is a PDF version of this update here.
Happy New Year!
It’s once again a new year, and, although many things are just a continuation of what was happening at the end of last year, this is the time in which many people make new purposes and begin new projects. Most of what we’re doing this January is part of the plan that we’ve been developing over years and decades, but there are a couple of things that are new, or at least different.
As many of you know, during the pandemic we did many online services and other ministry. Now that most things are getting back to normal, we have decided to use what we’ve learned about video and audio recording to start a podcast. This podcast is being hosted by Anna, and I’ll also be involved regularly.
In many ways the podcast will fill in the gap for those who have been following us online over the last several years. Now that we’re back to weekly church meetings, we are no longer doing weekly video online services, but our podcast will continue to reach some of the same people with Bible teaching in more of a conversational-style format. We published our first episode on January 1 and plan to release a new episode weekly. Our intention is to reach people with the Gospel and Biblical principals by having conversations and hosting interviews.
Our Local Church Family
We shared in our last update that we were about ready to move to our church property to start meetings there. We are happy to inform you that the first Sunday of December we had our first meeting there and have been hosting our regular weekly church meetings at our own facilities since then.
God has blessed us with 1,600m2 of land for our church. About half of that has been developed into a walled garden. Over the last year and a half we were able to build the wall around the perimeter, bathrooms, a couple of office spaces and a storage room. We are currently meeting under temporary tents, but work is being done on a more permanent large tent structure which will become our meeting place. We are especially thankful for those who have given toward this project!
Eventually, we hope to build an auditorium on part of the property. Right now, that area is fenced off, as it has been set apart for a future building.
Our people were excited about our new church home! We had a great turnout for our opening service and many positive comments about how nice the property looked. It was really quite a change from how the property was just a few months before, when everything was just dirt and construction materials. God has been so good to us!
Advanced School of Ministry
Most of my time during the last couple of months has been dedicated to the Advanced School of Ministry. We are currently working on putting together all the details for the conference in Cuernavaca, which will be held at the end of this month (January 23-26, 2023). This year we will be doing the conference both in-person and online, so there are some new challenges and details to take care of. I’ve been in contact with our team, the guest speakers and many others who will be involved. We’re currently training a small team to do personal online ministry for those who will be attending remotely and also working to make sure the online audience will feel just as welcome and well cared for as those who attend in person.
Recording For the Online Bible School
In November, we were privileged to have Pastor Enrique Borja here to record a course consisting of 24 lessons on the book of Genesis. Pastor Enrique was extremely efficient recording, and we were able to go through all the lessons in three days. That was a new record! He did a wonderful job and I feel he connected very well with the students through the recordings. His teaching was deep yet very applicable and he spoke to the students on a level that they will easily identify with. This new course will be released in February, with part two of the course to be recorded soon.
Sara and I are so thankful for each one of you. Thanks for praying for us and supporting us in all we’re doing. It is such a joy to be able to count on you.
David and Sara Lont