Update – May, 2024

Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,

Note: This update is available as a PDF download with more pictures here.

Greetings from the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, where we are experiencing one of the hottest and driest years on record. We would like to share with you a little about what has been happening with us and our ministry.

A Time of Drought

The past several years have been very dry around our area. This has caused many problems, as the crops have been failing, the water reservoirs are drying up and even the wells are failing. Our home water supply, which had been completely dependable for almost 20 years, is no longer available. Our entire municipality has been without running water for about two months, and our local community has been without water for over four months. The price to have water brought in on trucks has increased by 400%. There is a severe water crisis. Thankfully, within the city of Tulancingo, there are still wells with water, but in the surrounding area, including the area of Mexico City, the water is almost gone. We desperately need rain!

The lack of physical rain and water is a reflection of the spiritual state of things in our country and many other places in the world. Crime and bloodshed are constantly increasing, unjust laws are being passed by the ungodly and the righteous are persecuted for doing good, while those with evil thoughts and intentions are praised.

It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to rise and shine. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it!”

We believe that we have been called by God to provide “streams of living water to a dry and weary land.” Our land has never been so dry and weary as it is today. Thanks be to God who allows his living water to flow through us by the Holy Spirit. The living water -the Holy Spirit and the Word of God- will be poured out and flow with power throughout our land! We will be his vessels of honor, his instruments, to bring this living water to the people in need of his glorious truth.

Advanced School of Ministry

Much of our time during the last couple of months has been invested in the Advanced School of Ministry degree program. We are working to help a large group of pastors/leaders finish the degree program by January, 2026. Many of them have been involved in the Advanced School of Ministry in one way or another for several years, but never completed the program. Our goal is to give them practical steps, assignments and other tools to graduate.

During the months of March and April, we have been in constant contact with many of them, reaching out to guide them, answering their questions, and working with them as they do their assignments. Two of our facilitators, Anna and Milca, have been working with over 40 of these students weekly as they complete the course work assigned for last January’s conference.

Online Bible School

The Online Bible School continues to go well. With about 170 students enrolled this semester, there are always assignments to grade, messages to answer and course work to continue to develop. I have been working with the group studying biblical hermeneutics and enjoy supervising their progress. Anna is facilitating a large group of students studying the degree program, plus another group working on New Testament Survey. Sara is in charge of the group studying the course on the Life of Christ, and other facilitators are in charge of the other courses we are offering.

At the same time, we’ve been working on developing new courses which will be offered in August.

Local Church

As always, we continue to work with our local church in preaching, discipleship, worship and prayer. God is moving in Tulancingo. Many Sundays we have visitors, and some of them receive Christ as their Lord and Savior during our services and activities.

We continue to meet under the tent which we erected on the property a year ago. What a blessing it has been to meet on our own property and no longer have to pay rent! Most Sundays have been warm (sometimes too warm) and sunny, but under shade of the tent the spring breeze makes the air very comfortable. Once each month, we invite the entire congregation to bring food to share with others, and we stay after church for a meal together.

We have a nice group of faithful volunteers who help us to set up chairs on Sunday mornings, and many others participate, storing everything after the services.

Above all, our times of worship, prayer and the preaching of the Word of God have been powerful. Our children and youth are growing in their relationship with God and learning his word. Several of the young girls who have been discipled by Anna participate very effectively in personal ministry and prayer. We are expecting our church to continue to develop, grow, raise up new leaders, and cause a true impact in our community.

Thanks!

Once again, Sara, Anna and I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your love, encouragement, prayers and offerings. Thanks for being a part of what we do here.

May the Lord richly bless each of you.

With love,

David and Sara Lont

Update – March, 2024

Note: This update is available as a PDF download with more pictures here.

Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,

Love and greetings from warm, sunny Mexico. We pray all is well with you and your family.

David and Sara, on February 14, 2024.

I recently heard the following phrase, and it really made me think:

“It is your direction, not your intentions, which will lead you to your destination.”

Andy Stanley

Hopefully, we all have good intentions. But we must realize that the direction we are heading is what really leads us to our destination. For example, let’s suppose that you are intending to go to the beach. However, you make a wrong turn and end up going in the opposite direction. Even though you may have the intention of getting to the beach, if you don’t turn around and start heading in the right direction, you are never going to get there!

So it is in life. Many people have great intentions: intentions to follow the Lord, love their families, read their Bible, pray, grow in their walk with God. Others just have the intentions of being good people. However, if they never take the necessary actions and small steps in the right direction, their good intentions will never materialize.

James says it this way: “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).

We need faith, but we also need to put action and direction into our faith.

One of our tasks as missionaries, pastors, and Bible teachers is to help people unite their intentions with their direction – unite their faith with their actions – to reach the goals the Lord has for them.

The Advanced School of Ministry

During the third week of January, we celebrated the 34th seminar of the Advanced School of Ministry in Cuernavaca, with around 800 pastors and leaders attending. We had a good-sized group there in the auditorium as well as another group of people online.

Teaching on the pastor and his family at the Advanced School of Ministry conference.

What a blessing it was for us to see so many pastors from many parts of Mexico, many of whom we have gotten to know through the years. We have ministered in some of their churches and have become good friends with others.

The seminar, called “Fathers of Generations”, was based on God’s promise to Abraham and applied to the pastors and leaders of local churches. We have been called to minister to our generation, but also to become spiritual fathers and mothers to the next generation of leaders.

Our team and guest speakers taught and ministered on subjects such as generational vision, church growth, spiritual orphans, generational leadership, the pastor and his family, and spiritual fathers/mothers.

Sara, teaching at the seminar, on spiritual mothers.

We had a great seminar, and I know that many of those who attended returned to their local churches and communities blessed, equipped, and encouraged to continue their local ministries.

Online Bible School

On February 14, we began the spring semester in our Online Bible School. This is the second-largest group ever, with over 170 students participating. Many of them are continuing their studies; some are new, and others are working toward completing the Advanced School of Ministry degree program.

We are currently offering a total of 11 different courses simultaneously. Our course facilitators are busy grading assignments, answering students’ questions, and helping them progress through the courses.

We are offering a new course, Family Matters (by Bill Scheidler), with Stacey Brown as the teacher. Stacey is doing an incredible job in her video presentations, bringing the classes to life with many creative illustrations. She is recording at the same time we are presenting the material, so our team is working hard to have the presentations, assignments, and videos ready each week before the material is to be released to students. We have two full groups taking this particular course the current semester, and it will be offered again probably yearly.

Anna and Sara are both working with our online team once again. Anna has two full groups – the students of New Testament Survey and a second group of 22 students of the degree program working on the assignments from this past seminar. Sara has a large group studying The Life of Christ.

Local Church

Desert Streams Church in Tulancingo is doing well and advancing the Kingdom of God. We continue to meet under the tent in our church’s garden property. The Spirit of God is moving, restoring and saving people. We have had several testimonies of people who have been healed from cancer – with medical evidence to prove it. These testimonies may not necessarily be considered “miraculous” by everyone, but through prayer and medical treatment, they are now cancer-free! We give credit and glory to God for what He has done in their lives. Also, this past Sunday, six or seven people gave their lives to Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God is advancing. Lives and families are being restored and changed by the power of the Gospel.

A Sunday morning service at our church.

I have been teaching on Jesus in Genesis over the past couple of months. The series is designed to highlight how we can find illustrations, types, and shadows of the redemptive work of Christ throughout the Old Testament, especially in the book of Genesis. It is amazing how many stories and events perfectly foreshadow the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.

Anna and Sara have been participating on Sundays, but also in our other church events. Anna is our youth leader and is doing a great job. Sara has been working with the women of the church, doing monthly meetings the first Friday of each month. It is such a blessing to work together as a family in ministry. It is also a privilege to have a team that helps us in ministry each week.

Family

It was great having David, Daniel with Elisa, and Anna (of course!) here this past Christmas. Now we still see David, Daniel, and Elisa quite often, but on FaceTime instead of in person. We miss them, but they are all doing well.

We are especially thankful that Anna is here with us. After studying in BSSM the last couple of years, she is now working full time with me, in the online Bible School, the Advanced School of Ministry degree program, and our local church. She is also studying and practicing her fiction writing skills, as part of the Young Writer’s Workshop.

Thanks To Everyone!

We would like to express our most sincere thanks to all of you who pray for us, support us, send cards (thanks for those Christmas cards!), or simply know and care for us. May the Lord richly bless you!

With Love,

David, Sara, and Anna Lont

Update – January, 2024

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

Dear friends, family, and supporters,

Hello, greetings from Tulancingo, Mexico. We would like to give you a brief update of our activities over the last couple of months.

From left to right: Daniel, Elisa, David, Sara, Anna and David Jeremiah. Taken on January 2, 2024.

Happy New Year!

Sara, Anna and I send our love and New Year’s blessings to each of you. We pray the Lord would prosper you abundantly as we begin 2024. May He bless and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and give you peace!

Advanced School of Ministry

These last couple of months have been our busy time with the Advanced School of Ministry, as we prepare for the big conference in Cuernavaca. I have been working on preparing the teaching manuals (a book of about 150 pages this year), advertising, and supervising the online registrations for the conference, as well as coordinating several other details. This year we will be having Dr. Lucas Leys with us. Lucas is a well-known Bible teacher and conference speaker. The entire Advanced School of Ministry leadership team will also be participating, giving conferences and workshops.

During the conference both Sara and I will be sharing workshop sessions. I will be teaching on “The Pastor and His Family”, and Sara will be teaching on “Spiritual Mothers”.

The conference is already less than two weeks away. We will be in Cuernavaca the week of January 22. Please pray for us!

Church Activities

We finished our church year on a high note at the beginning of December, with a special meeting and meal together on a Sunday morning. We had a wonderful turnout – so many people that we almost ran out of food! I gave a brief message from the Word, we sang worship songs and Christmas carols, and we also had games and piñatas.

Our Christmas celebration at church.

In December, we also finished a series of meetings with some of our leaders and other who are in training. It was great to see the enthusiasm and joy some of them are experiencing as they begin to take on more responsibility.

During November and December, Anna also conducted a ministry training class, first with a group of young people from our youth ministry, and then with another group of adults. She did a wonder job!

Online Bible School

As most of you know, our online Bible School continues to move ahead strong. We had a total of about 125 students last semester who completed their courses. In December, we closed the semester with a meeting on Zoom in which John Brown shared with the group. Also, I had several of the students share how this past semester challenged them and helped them to grow. It was very impressive to hear how the Lord had used the classes and assignments to help them grow, and even to guide them in some decisions they had made.

We believe that the online Bible School is definitely one of the most important parts of our ministry at this time, together with our work in the local congregation. We are pressing ahead to make it grow and prosper, with the blessing of the Lord.

Our family

In December we took some time off to spend with our family. David Jeremiah arrived first, flying in from Houston on December 17. Daniel and Elisa arrived on Thursday of that same week. They all stayed with us for just over two weeks. What a blessing it was for us to have them for Christmas and New Years! Anna enjoyed spending time with her brothers and sister-in-law, and we felt very blessed as parents.

Visiting the pyramids with our family on January 2, 2024.

Thanks for your prayers and support!

We would like to thank you for praying for us and supporting our ministry. There is so much to do in the Kingdom of God, and we are trying our best to do the part we feel the Lord has called us to participate in. Every week we are touching literally hundreds – some in our local city, and many others throughout the nation and beyond. We thank you for being partners with us in our labor of love.

In Christ,

David and Sara Lont
with Anna

Update – November, 2023

Note: A printable PDF version of this update is available here: november-2023.pdf

Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,

We are excited to share a little about what we have been doing, and also what God has been doing in the midst of us. As we continue on this faith journey, we are reminded of the words from Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”

It has been over 31 years since we first said, “Send me!”, and all these years have been filled with adventure, fruitful labor, and many lives who have been saved and impacted by the power of the Gospel.

Mariana and Alexis

A Testimony of Faith

Last month, I had the privilege of interviewing Alexis and Mariana, a young couple who first attended our church last year. They expressed their desire for me to officiate their wedding ceremony, which ultimately led them to join our congregation. Normally, I decline to officiate weddings for couples not affiliated with any church. However, after speaking with the couple, I came to realize that this particular situation was unique. I sensed a genuine sincerity in them despite their absence from church, and I saw in them a true hunger for God and His teachings.

It’s been over a year since their wedding, and they both serve the Lord Jesus with truly dedicated hearts. During our podcast interview, they shared their personal journeys to a transformational faith in Jesus Christ. It was wonderful to hear Alexis share his journey of getting to know Jesus through our online Bible School course on the life of Christ, and his involvement in our church. During the course, he decided to be baptized just like Jesus.

Mariana was baptized a several years ago, but had stopped going to church while studying for her university degree. Both of them are now faithful servants of the Lord. They frequently arrive an hour before church to help with the setup for the service. They’re expanding their faith and comprehension of God’s teachings, enrolling in courses, and flourishing as a couple, learning to build their house on the rock.

Leadership Training

Over the last year, we have been meeting about once a month with a group of young people who we believe have the potential to become leaders in our church. We recently started weekly sessions with them to study the Bible’s teachings on church growth. We’re using a book called “Building Churches That Last” by Dick Iverson, which emphasizes the Biblical principles that give churches strength and impact in their communities.

As we begin a new season with our church, I have been impressed to seek the Lord to strengthen our spiritual foundation and leadership team. Reflecting on our church’s founding twenty years ago, we did something similar where we welcomed groups of people into our home for ministry and leadership training. It’s enjoyable to recall those experiences, but we’re now in a different season. We were once among the younger members and leaders in our church. Now, we are part of the older and, hopefully, more experienced generation.

It is thrilling to witness young leaders emerging and assuming their roles in the Body of Christ. We have faith that a new generation of young, talented leaders will emerge and bring significant advancement to the Kingdom of God.

A recent women’s meeting at our church, with Sara teaching.

Sara and Women’s Ministry

Sara has worked hard to organize a series of monthly women’s meetings. She has developed an excellent team of women who meet and plan the gatherings. She has also found some good Bible teachers who often share their Bible-based messages as a team in a conversational style. These meetings are very attractive to many women who enjoy fellowship, decorating, engaging with the Word of God, and receiving ministry. Having Sara as a remarkable partner in both ministry and life is truly a blessing.

Anna, Sara and Adriana, teaching at the November meeting.

Bible School and Advanced School of Ministry

Our online Bible School is thriving, with our courses constantly expanding. Anna is currently translating a new course on family relationships, which we plan to have Stacey Brown record. It will be offered to our students next February. Sara and Anna are both part of our team of nine course facilitators, who communicate almost daily with our students. Additionally, we have a graphics design team that collaborates on creating visually engaging presentations for each course.

We’ve made significant progress toward our goal of the online degree program, but we require additional funding and effort to complete it. With the Lord’s grace, I’m confident we’ll achieve our objective.

I am currently working on several projects for the Advanced School of Ministry. These include developing a new website, overseeing public relations operations, and managing online registration for our upcoming conference scheduled for January.

We are truly blessed to be involved in impacting not only the people in our local area, but also many others who receive Bible training through these ministries.

A recent meeting at our church.

Our Family

We are thrilled that David, Daniel, and Elisa will be spending Christmas with us in Mexico. David is pursuing his doctorate at Texas A&M, while Daniel and his wife, Elisa, reside in Washington state and minister at a local church and Bible school. Anna, who completed two years of practical ministry training at BSSM, continues to live at home with us and remains a valuable asset to our ministry here in Mexico. We are blessed to have a family that both loves and serves the Lord!

Thanks!

We are grateful to all of you who enable our work to thrive. By means of your prayers and offerings, we cooperate to spread the message of God’s Kingdom to Tulancingo and throughout Mexico. Your loving labor is greatly appreciated!

In Christ Jesus,

David, Sara and Anna Lont

Update – September, 2023

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.

Youth 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.

The auditorium at the youth conference during a break. Several thousand young people gather for the conference.

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.

Podcasts

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.

Women’s Meetings

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.

Some of the ladies after the last meeting.

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.

Bible School

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.

Anna, recording the course “Discover Your Destiny” for the online Bible School.

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.

Our Family

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!

Thanks

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!

With love,

David and Sara Lont with Anna

Update – July, 2023

Note: This update is available as a printable PDF here.

Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,

We pray that you have been having a great summer. Ours has been going well, including hosting a youth camp, building some kitchen cabinets, conducting women’s meetings, finishing our spring Bible school semester, and hosting our Advanced School of Ministry team meeting. Let’s talk about it!

Preaching in our church in Tulancingo

Youth Camp

In the month of May, we hosted a youth camp here on our property. You may know that Anna is serving as our youth leader, and she helped to organize this camp. We had a group of young people here for two nights and three days. The boys stayed in tents, while the girls slept upstairs in the loft of our lodge.

Some of our youth at the camp.

Besides all the fun activities and campfires that are typical at camps, we also had some wonderful ministry and worship times. Titled “The Awakening,” we explored themes such as identity, emotional health, living your dream, the gender crisis, and more. Our group of kids had a great time, and many were impressed by how they experienced God’s movement in their lives during our time together.

We pray that “The Awakening” will continue to have an impact on every aspect of these young people’s lives.

Women’s meetings

In June, Sara began a series of meetings for the women of our church and community called “Conversations.” Instead of just preaching to them, the idea has been to present themes as a panel of four people and simply have a conversation around the topic. On June 3, we hosted a ladies’ breakfast with catering service. With the theme “Abiding in Christ,” Sara, Anna, Adriana, and Zabdi discussed different aspects of how to remain connected to the Lord throughout our day and week.

A breakfast meeting with the women of our church

At the end of the meeting, Anna and some of the other young girls ministered to the women individually in prayer. It was amazing to see how the Lord touched several of them, bringing them into a new place of relationship and freedom.

The series of women’s meetings continues monthly. Pictured are some of the women enjoying refreshments after the meeting on July 7, 2023.

Bible School

Our spring semester concluded on June 19, with a special meeting in which Bill Brown ministered the Word to our students. We had about 120 students successfully complete their courses as many of them work toward a bachelor’s degree in theology.

Also, in May, we completed the recording of the second part of our Genesis course with Enrique Borja, our Bible teacher from Puebla. We recorded 24 classes in two days. That was an incredible marathon! After recording, I began developing the quizzes, exams, and forum discussions for the course. We’ll be offering the course in our fall semester, which will begin in August.

Advanced School of Ministry

We were privileged to host the Advanced School of Ministry team meeting here at our house. We had the entire team stay with us for three days of meetings and strategic planning.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, Sara thought it would be best to have the kitchen in our lodge in order before the meeting, so I spent a couple of weeks in June building and installing the cabinets.

Most of our leadership group arrived on Wednesday morning and stayed through Friday evening. We hosted some of the team members, while others stayed in our neighbors’ cabins. We did the meetings and meals in our lodge, which was the perfect type of room for a planning meeting. A couple from our church did all the cooking and catering. What delicious and beautifully decorated plates of food they served!

We spent our time casting vision for the future of this ministry, working on team-building activities, and planning for the upcoming conferences. We had a good meeting!

Our Advanced School of Ministry team meeting

Thanks for your support!

While there is much more to share, these are the highlights of the last couple of months. We really appreciate your prayers and financial support. You are our partners in ministry, and we’re thankful for you!

With love,

David and Sara Lont
with Anna

Update – May, 2023

Note: There is a printable PDF version of this document here.

Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,

What a blessing it is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ! We know that even in the midst of challenges and difficulties, God is good. He makes all things work together for the good of those who love and trust in Him.

David and Anna, recording a podcast

Missions Trips

As I mentioned in our last update, both Sara and Anna were about to go on missions trips in March. Anna was to head to northern California for a trip to the small town of Weaverville, CA, to do evangelism and help out in the local church. And Sara was going to be in Cuba. Both of the trips were to be at the same time.

About a week before their scheduled departure, Sara’s trip was postponed due to the political situation, and was rescheduled for the end of April. This actually turned out to be very good, both for me and for Sara. Sara had been a bit ill the weeks coming up to the trip dates, and I ended up coming down with COVID (for the second time) the weekend before she would have originally left, so we’re glad her trip was changed! Anna’s trip went as scheduled.

For Anna, it was a totally new experience to travel by herself to the U.S. from Mexico. However, since she has traveled extensively with us (even to Africa), she didn’t have any problem navigating airports to get to her destination. Anna spend a week there, split between some time in Redding, and then a long weekend in Weaverville, which is located up in the mountains. Anna was a big blessing for those she was able to serve, and the trip was also a great personal experience for her. As you may remember, she has studied for two years now online with BSSM, and this was an opportunity for her to connect in person with some of her classmates and also with the on campus school. When it was over, she was very glad to be home, but also very thankful for the experiences she had on the trip.

The time for Sara’s trip finally came at the end of April. She went as part of a group of female Mexican pastors (and pastors’ wives) who went to minister in a women’s conference. She spent the first few days in the capital city, then the following weekend in a small town near the center of the island. It was a difficult and hot trip, but many women responded in the conference and she and some other women were also able to encourage the pastors and leaders of another small congregation. She arrived home last Wednesday night.

A Note From Anna

Of all the places we could have gone to, this was the most unexpected, yet the most beautiful. It wasn’t about the crowds, or the lights, or the biggest church services, rather, it was about loving the person in front of us. Every time we served and blessed someone, we would get more blessed in return without even expecting it. The church reminded me of the Philippians – full of love, sacrifice, and devotion to God.

We saw people get healed, saved, and filled with the Spirit. Yet it wasn’t so much about the result as it was about the obedience. If we had one plan, it was this, “Pray and obey.”

We loved the church, the community, and served those from youngest to oldest. In the middle of it all we were all stretched, thrust forward, and grown. There were parts that were uncomfortable, but God met us in our weak points. I have been marked by these people and their passion for Jesus. In the words of Suki (our hostess for the weekend), “You are soldiers. Stand strong.”

To everyone who believed in me and invested in this journey both through prayer and financially, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Weaverville is under the momentum of heaven and we planted so many seeds that will one day bring about an incredible harvest. I have been marked as a person, and we have been marked as a team. Here’s to new adventures with Jesus!

Celebrating Our Children

We recently celebrated Children’s Day here in Mexico, and since it was on Sunday this year, we planned a celebration after church with some of our children. First, during the service, I preached about the value of children in God’s plan, which somehow runs contrary to today’s culture. Whereas in biblical times, children were always seen as a blessing, in many families today, they are seen as a burden or hindrance to the prosperity and freedom of the couple. We talked about how we should always see children as a gift from God and as a blessing. Afterward, we had the parents lay hands on their children and bless them.

Playing games with water guns

After the service, it was time for fun! Our volunteers set up an attractive party atmosphere for the children, complete with balloons, games, two inflatable bouncy houses, a kiddy pool and ice cream. It was a beautiful, warm sunny afternoon, and boy, did those kids have fun! The parents and grandparents also enjoyed themselves, as did the youth.

Painting rocks

Our church in Tulancingo is going forward in God’s strength. We have been enjoying great services under the presence of God and are believing for seasons of refreshing, revival, and growth. We have been placed in Tulancingo to bring streams of living water from heaven to our city and region, and we’re going forward with that vision, teaching, preaching, baptizing, and discipling those in our care.

Podcasts

During the last few months, Anna and I have been working on doing a podcast. We’ve been recording weekly episodes with themes based on Biblical teaching on subjects such as how to develop a relationship with God, spiritual gifts, hope and perseverance, friendships, personal finances, and many others. We have developed a format which is based on questions and answers, and we generally do the episodes as a discussion. Sara and others in our church have also participated in various episodes. We believe that the podcast will grow to become an effective means to influence many with the Gospel message, both within our church, our community, and in other geographical locations.

Online Bible School

We are currently about two-thirds of the way through our winter/spring semester with the online students. We have a great group, and most of our students are doing really well. We have students from all across the nation, and most of them are pastors and leaders in their local churches.

I’m especially thankful for all those who collaborate with us as course facilitators, content creators, and graphics designers. We have a great team!

Family

I’m happy to report that our entire family is doing well. Daniel and Elisa, in Vancouver, WA, have been married for just about two years now. Elisa works as the head of the music program at Portland Bible College, and Daniel is the music pastor at Mannahouse Church in Vancouver.

David Jeremiah continues his PhD studies at Texas A&M and works in the lab doing experiments. He has also had the opportunity to visit Upperroom Church in Dallas, on several occasions.

Anna just graduated from BSSM Second Year studies from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. We have seen so much personal and ministry growth in her over the last couple of years. She regularly teaches, leads worship and is also in charge of our youth ministry. Besides that, she is also my assistant, working almost daily on our Online Bible School as a content creator and course facilitator.

Prayer Requests

Please help us, as we pray for the following ministry needs:

  • Our Youth Camp which will be held at the end of May. Please pray for the preparations, for the young people who attend, for the presence of God in the meetings, and that there will be a lasting impact in the lives of all our young people.
  • For our Advanced School of Ministry planning meeting which will be held in June. Please pray that the Lord will lead us as we begin a new season with this ministry
Some of the youth after a service at our church

Thank You!

Sara and I are so thankful for your love, prayers, and financial support. We are a team. Those who pray and give are partners with those who go and preach, teach, and disciple.

Thank you so much for your help.

With love,

David and Sara Lont
with Anna

Update – March, 2023

Note: There is a PDF version of this update located here.

The Changing Seasons

Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,

Hello from warm and sunny Tulancingo. Just a month ago, it was close to freezing almost every night. Now, a few weeks later, we are coming up on the warmest season of the year for this region of Mexico, high in the mountains. We go from cold to hot, without much in between. April and May are normally the hottest months of the year, but by June, the temperature will drop again.

Another interesting thing about March here is that this is the month in which all the leaves fall off the oak trees. It’s warm, it’s almost spring, but the several dozen oaks we have on are property are shedding all their leaves. In April the oaks are bare, but by May all the leaves will have grown back.

Seasons mark the constant changes in nature each year, and every geographic location has it’s own seasons. In a similar way, God has ordained seasons and cycles for our lives, ministries, churches, and so many other things. As the Bible says, “He has made everything beautiful in his time…” (Ecc. 3:11).

We clearly see these seasons in our work and ministry. The year 2023 marks something new for our church family, and it is a bit different when we compare it to the last several years. I believe it is a new season of life and rebirth for our church family; its a time for renewal, a time for new vision, a time for new purposes.

Simple Church

As I shared in our last newsletter, in December we moved to our new location, which is across town from where we previously were located. We have now been doing our Sunday meetings there for just over three months. It has been a new adventure, and many in our congregation love our new location and atmosphere.

We have gone back to our roots – simple church and simple worship. One of the things that I believe the Lord put on our hearts as we made the move was to go back to simplicity in our church life. It is so easy to become entangled in church programs, schedules, a multitude of ministries, meetings, etc. All of these things may be good and produce great fruit. However, we feel that in this season of our church life, we need to focus on the basics and the simplicity of our relationship to the Lord Jesus. We are focusing on simple but deep worship using a small worship team, teaching, preaching and practicing the Word of God, and living lives that usher His presence into our daily interactions.

At the Advanced School of Ministry conference in Cuernavaca

The Advanced School of Ministry

In January, we celebrated our first in-person Advanced School of Ministry seminar in Cuernavaca since the pandemic. On this occasion, we had about 600 people attend in-person, plus another 200 online. Over 80% of those attending were pastors and leaders of certain departments in their churches.

We had great teaching, with two different guest speakers, each of which focused on different aspects of ministry. Mel Mullen, from Canada, focused on ministry within the local church, while Ian Green, from England, focused on transformation of society by bringing the Kingdom of Heaven out of the local church context and into the market place.

It was a great joy for me to work alongside of Ian Green, since I was his translator. He shared some very powerful yet challenging concepts with our group of pastors and leaders. So often we focus mainly on what goes on within church meetings. Ian challenged us to take a closer look at what the Kingdom of God is, and how we can partner with Him to bring heaven to earth. Part of that message includes how we see and practice evangelism and discipleship. Are we looking to bring people to church, or are we working to bring the church to where the people are at?

On the technical side, I was in charge of many aspects of the conference, such as registration, the editing and printing of the conference workbook, coordinating the live stream, setting up interviews with our guests, providing hosts for the online attendees, and coordinating times of personal ministry. Our daughter Anna did a great job training our online ministry team, and we received several reports of people who were really impacted by these additional sessions of personal online ministry.

Anna and Xenia, talking with our online audience.

It was a busy but really good conference. From the feedback we have received, we know that the 800+ pastors and leaders who attended received some really good teaching and ministry, and returned to their local churches refreshed and equipped with new tools to build their local churches.

Bible School

On February 15, we started the spring semester with our online Bible school with around 130 students. We have again added a couple of new courses – one on the book of Genesis, which we recorded in November, and another course based on the contents of the Advanced School of Ministry seminar. We continue to be blessed with a faithful team of course facilitators and content creators which help us make it all happen.

We also continue to press toward the goal of making this a full time online Bible School and the basis for a degree program. There are so many pastors, leaders and young people who are called to ministry, but can’t afford to move away from their towns, families and jobs to attend a Bible school. We are providing a way for many of them to further their education in a very practical way.

Interviewing Ian Green

Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for us, especially in the following areas:

  • For both Sara and Anna, who will be going on mission trips in a couple of weeks. Anna will be going with a group from her school to minister in a small town in the U.S., and Sara will be going with a group of Mexicans to minister in a communist nation.
  • Please continue to pray for the leadership teams of the Advanced School of Ministry and the online Bible School, that we may be led by the Lord to make good decisions as to the future of these ministries and how to best build them.
  • Please continue to pray for our local church.

Thanks!

Once again we thank you for your love, notes of encouragement, Christmas cards, prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do it without you!

With love,

David and Sara Lont
with Anna

Update – January, 2023

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.

Podcast

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.

Preaching at our opening service

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!

A Christmas gathering with a couple of our small groups

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.

Pastor Enrique, recording for the online Bible School

Thanks!

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.

With love,

David and Sara Lont
with Anna

Update – Fall, 2022

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

Dear friends, family and supporters,

I’d like to share with you a little family and ministry update. I last wrote in August, and now it’s already November! Over the last few months many things have been happening.

Church Building Project

Our church building project is finally nearing the end of the first phase. It has been an incredible journey with many hurdles. However, we are about one month away from the end of the first phase of this project.

Part of the font of our building. This area will serve for some parking and as the entrance to the property.

We started out the project in July of 2021, with an architect who was in charge of the entire process. However, after finding several problems with the way the project was going, we decided to suspend building until we could correct these issues. We then hired another team of builders last March, and I asked Sara to be the supervisor of the project. She gladly took on this project, but soon we ran into problems with permits (as I mentioned in our last newsletter). This caused another delay of a couple of months. In August, the permit processes were finalized and we began construction once again.

The first phase of this project involves building the wall around the perimeter of the property, creating a parking lot, entrances, bathrooms, offices, a patio, an outdoor kitchen and a large garden. Within this garden we will be hosting our meetings under a tent on the patio especially designed for this purpose. We also already have the foundations in place for the general purpose building (auditorium), but we are leaving the rest of the construction of this building for a second phase.

Sara has been at the construction site almost every day, and has been in charge of buying materials and the general supervision of the project. She has done such a great job! She has been given a divine grace to negotiate prices and deal with the providers of the different materials needed. She has also done so well dealing with the masons and making sure everything is being built correctly.

Last week we finally had sod planted in the garden, and now we’re finishing some details, such as putting in doors and windows, flooring in the offices, etc.

The sod has been planted in the garden.

In the next few weeks we’ll be having the tent made and then moving in for our dedication service on the first Sunday in December. We are excited and full of anticipation to see what God is going to do in the lives of the people of Tulancingo as we take this next step. We are believing the Lord for radical encounters with Jesus and life transformation!

If you would like to help us pray for this project, we’d appreciate it. We need the Lord’s provision, especially for the tent. Please also continue to pray for the safety of the workers and that we can soon finish all the details.

Bible School and the Advanced School of Ministry

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to the U.S. to meet with the people at Christian International, in Florida, to talk with them about our degree program which is offered through their school of ministry. For over 30 years now, our Mexican Advanced School of Ministry has been able to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, thanks to our connection with their school. I am now taking on the responsibility of the program here in Mexico, and needed to meet with them. I had a very profitable visit and enjoyed getting to know some of the staff at Christian International. They are happy with our plan to move the Advanced School of Ministry forward in the next several years and will continue to back our degree program.

We’re now preparing for the big conference which will be held at the end of January. I’m receiving material from our conference speakers from Mexico, translating material from our speakers from the U.K. and Canada, and preparing conference registration.

This year we’ll be doing the conference both online and in person. We plan to provide exclusive features to our online audience, including interviews with conference speakers, and personal online ministry. We’re excited about what God is going to do during this conference called “Generational Transformation”.

Sharing with a group of people at our house in September.

Family

Our family is doing well. As many of you may know, Daniel and Elisa live in Vancouver, WA, where they both work in ministry. Elisa is the head of the music department at Portland Bible College and Daniel is the music pastor of Mannahouse Church in Vancouver, Washington. David graduated in 2021 from Western Michigan University and is now doing a doctorate degree at Texas A&M.

Anna is here with us. She is studying online at BSSM and works almost full-time in ministry with the online Bible School doing curriculum development, social media, teaching and also doing youth and general ministry. It is an incredible honor and blessing to have her helping us with our church and online Bible School.

Our daughter, Anna.

Thanks!

Once again I want to thank all of you who so faithfully pray for us and support us. We appreciate each one of you so much!

With love,

David, Sara and Anna

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