Update – October, 2020

David and Sara Lont with our daughter, Anna.

You can download a copy of this letter in PDF format here.

Dear friends, family, and supporters,

It’s a joy to greet you once again from the autumn fields here in the mountains, just outside of Tulancingo. Summer has gone by, and now it’s starting to get cooler again. We’ve have several nights of hard frost in our area, changing the beautiful green fields of corn to a dry, brown color and slowly transforming the luscious green pasturelands into varying shades of yellow. It is the cycle of life, the turning of the seasons, the very way God created nature to function. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT).

Everything is beautiful in its own time. Even during this season in which a plague of disease and death has come upon the earth, causing the lives of many to suddenly wilt away, God continues to reign above it all. He continues to be beautiful, faithful, true, holy and good. We can continue to place all of our hope in Him, for He still cares for us. Yes, there is nothing that can separate us from His love! We have eternity in our hearts, even though we cannot fathom the entire scope of God’s work within the affairs of our lowly human existence. Yet we trust Him who created us, because eternity has been planted in our hearts. We know that even when the oceans roar and the mountains crumble, our God remains the same, and when we are planted upon Jesus Christ, our Rock, we will continue to stand steadfast.

Nothing Can Stop The Kingdom of God

It is just amazing how many things can be done from the home today! So many of us thought that we needed a special building or an office to get “real work” done. However, combining the pandemic with technology, we have suddenly realized that many tasks once considered almost impossible to accomplish without leaving the house, today can be successfully carried out right from our homes. Since March, we have been leading several weekly Bible studies from our home, recording Bible School classes, transmitting our church services, doing counseling, praying for people, and just about everything else from home. It has truly been an interesting season, and something I would have never imagined. Yet, we’ve found that most aspects of ministry continue to be just as effective or perhaps even more productive than when we were able to constantly meet in person. And although we long for the day when so many limitations on personal and corporate gatherings won’t be necessary, still we realize that history has in some ways taken a bend in the road, and that the world we knew before March, 2020, may never be the same. How should we respond? We simply need to adapt!

One of the more interesting aspects of ministry since August has been with our Online Bible School. We began our fall semester in August with around 170 students. About 40 of those students are studying homiletics – the art of preaching. After receiving lectures on the subject during August and September, we moved into the more practical aspects at the beginning of October. Each student must prepare and deliver three sermons live, using a video conferencing platform. Their facilitators and classmates join the live stream to watch, listen, and evaluate their sermons and delivery. When they finish, we give them time to make constructive comments, and then send in an evaluation form, which is delivered to both the student who preached, and the course facilitator. What a varied group we have! Some are pastors with years of experience, yet they have never studied this topic. Others are young people, college students, older church leaders and even children’s church teachers. It has been a joy to see them, hear them preach, and give them direction as they continue to hone in on the skills required to effectively communicate the Word of God to an audience, be it in a church service, a small group, a classroom, or an online setting.

Our church continues to meet online. Although technically it is possible to meet in a very reduced capacity at this moment in our area (and some churches are), we have made the decision to continue for the time being mostly online. Legally, we would only be able to have in-person services with about 25 people in our building, and no children or senior citizens would be allowed to attend. I felt that it is much more practical to continue to invest our time and resources in online and remote ministry, as we are reaching many more of our people in this form. We know of other churches that began in-person meetings, but they were only able to do it for a few weeks, and then had to go back to online-only, because of an increase in COVID-19 cases in their areas.

Can the church continue on its mission to extend the Kingdom of God and make disciples during this season? I definitely believe we can! After all, we are the church; we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The true church of Jesus Christ has never been a physical building. It has always been a group of people who have been redeemed by Christ and who gather in His name, working to make disciples and to extend His kingdom. This is something we can and should continue to do, whether we’re in the middle of a pandemic, a natural disaster, or persecution. The Word of God will continue to flow forth and the Kingdom of Heaven will continue to expand!

I want to thank each of you who continues to pray for us and support us. I know that things have been difficult just about everywhere during the past half year, but God continues to be faithful. And Sara and I wish to express our most sincere thanksgiving to you.

With love,

David and Sara Lont

Update – August, 2020

You can download a copy of this newsletter in PDF format here:

Hello, friends and family!

We hope you’ve had a good summer. I’m sure it’s been a bit different than a “normal” summer, since we’re in the middle of the pandemic, but summer is always a wonderful season. Here in our area, this is the rainy season, and we’re enjoying cool weather, sunny mornings, and rainy afternoons and nights. We’ve had around seven inches of rain since the month of August began, and the fields are a beautiful shade of green.

Online Bible School

As you probably know, our Online Bible School is one of the projects we spend quite a bit of time on. The last time I wrote to you, we were finishing our Spring semester. Now, we’re about to start our Fall semester. Enrollment is currently open, and we will begin classes on August 19.

Over the last couple of weeks I taught and recorded the material for our new homiletics course. (For those who don’t know, “homiletics” is a fancy word to describe a course on how to preach.) I taught 18 lessons on the subject of how to write sermons and preach, and these lessons will cover the first 7 weeks of the course. The remaining 8 weeks will be used to have our students practice what they have learned by preparing messages and preaching in front of their peers and facilitators live via Zoom. The students will be evaluated both by their peers and their facilitators, and will be receiving constructive feedback. It should be a very interesting experience!

We will also be offering several other courses, including Old and New Testament Surveys (4 courses), The Life of Christ and Systematic Theology.

We’re looking forward to starting once again! Several students have already signed up, and I’m sure many more will register for their courses over the next week or so.

It is such a blessing that we had prepared this Bible School several years ago to be totally online. We don’t have to worry about canceling in-person classes, and we can accept students from just about anywhere around the world!

Local Church Ministry

Since the middle of March, we had to cancel our normal church services due to the pandemic. We immediately moved everything online, using a combination of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, WhatsApp, and our own website to reach our people. Our state is still basically under stay-at-home orders, as the Covid-19 numbers continue to rise. We can only drive our car 3 days a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The local hospital here in Tulancingo is completely full and is sending patients to seek medical help in other cities. It looks like we won’t be going back to in-person services at our church possibly for the rest of the year.

However, online ministry has given us the unique opportunity to reach people that normally wouldn’t be reached by our church, including the extended families of some of our church members, some of which live in other cities and states.

We recently had a family over for an outdoor online service.

We had a good series of classes on parenting in June and July, connecting with parents using recorded teaching on YouTube, then question and answer sessions using Zoom.

Besides our Sunday services, we are also doing small group ministry on Zoom and Google Meet, with a special emphasis on growing in love, unity, communication and personal ministry. We start with a group activity, move into Bible Study, then finish with a time of personal ministry. We are calling these groups “Connect Groups”. We started last Wednesday, and our congregation is really excited about participating. We currently have seven different groups, and each group has between 10 and 20 members.

Our Family

Our son, David Jeremiah, has been working at Lowe’s during his summer break. He will be continuing with his last three semesters at Western Michigan University. Daniel is in Portland, Oregon, where he is studying at Portland Bible College. He has been working in the school offices with their online Bible School program, and he took a second job at Amazon. During this summer, he sometimes worked over 70 hours a week!

Daniel, leading worship in his church online

Anna is doing well here at home with us. She has been a great help in ministry, sometimes singing and playing the piano for our services, writing devotional material and teachings, proofreading our online Bible School material, and more recently, doing graphic design. She will be starting 12th grade in about a month. Anna is a great Bible teacher, and she has her own Connect Group on Wednesday nights.

Sara continues to work with me as a team. Sometimes we teach together; at other times, she helps by participating in our online services, proofreading material for the Bible School, and helping in so many areas. She is such a big blessing for me and for the church! She is also hosting and leading probably the largest of our Connect Groups online.

Life is busy during this pandemic, but we are enjoying it. We’re working pretty much 100% from home and have converted the living room of our cabin into a video recording studio. I am writing from one of the bedrooms where I have my little office. Who’d have thought? Remote ministry from a cabin!

Thanks for your prayers and support!

We are so thankful for those who continue to pray and support us each month. It is wonderful to know that we have a group of intercessors and partners who stand by our side and help us to effectively reach many people each week with teaching and ministry from God’s word. Thank you!

Update – June, 2020

Hello, friends and family.

Picture of David and Sara Lont

What a different season this has been! Just a few months have passed since most of the world has gone into chaos, but it seems like it has been much longer. We certainly hope and pray that you have been well during this time in which COVID-19 has spread literally across the globe, affecting both the health and the economy of most nations.

We are happy to report that we have all been pretty much well after a bit of a rough start this winter. You may remember that in February and March we all had Typhoid Fever. That’s pretty much over, although the effects tend to linger and come back every now and then. But we’re thankful for health!

Right now there are many people sick and dying here in our country. We know of several pastors who have died of COVID-19, including one who was a personal friend over the last 23 years. He went to be with Jesus this past Saturday night, June 13, leaving behind a wife, a son, and an influential church in the city of Puebla.

The country is beginning to reactivate the economy, opening businesses and getting back to a supposed “new normal”, even as the infections and death rates soar in many communities.

We plan to be very cautious during the next few months, continuing with our online work with the local church and avoiding large gatherings. There may soon be official permission to open some churches, but we feel led to continue to invest online with our people and perhaps open only small groups in homes, if that becomes a possibility later on.

Our experiences with online ministry

Over the last few months, we’ve ministered extensively online. Each week we do our online service via YouTube with a decent turnout. Although we pre record and produce our services usually on Fridays, they go live at 10:00 AM on our YouTube channel Sunday mornings. This allows us to maintain the experience of everyone gathering their families together to be a part of the service at 10:00 AM Sunday mornings, and yet gives us the flexibility and quality of a well produced program.

Over these last few months I’ve seen so many smaller churches here in Mexico place a cell phone in the back of their auditorium and try to reproduce the “live” church experience in this way on Facebook, but most obtain a very low quality production and ministry experience. Right from the start, we decided on producing the highest quality content and ministry experience we can, using the resources we have available.

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is being able to “connect” with our congregation on Sundays, even though we’re actually ministering in front of a camera on Fridays. There is truly a spiritual connection that can take place, transcending time and physical location.

We’ve also enjoyed very interesting times of worship utilizing members of our worship team. Although we haven’t been physically together in one location to play and worship, many times I’ll ask for the participation of two or three members of the worship team who then record their own parts in their homes using their cell phones. They send me the videos, and I put everything back together. It’s really amazing how this can work! (You can have a look at how this comes together by playing a little of the video below.)

On Wednesday evenings, we do small groups via Zoom video conferencing software. Just a couple of months ago, barely anyone even knew what “Zoom” was, and now many people in our congregation use it regularly to meet for Bible study and fellowship. We’ve also done online counseling with several people, helping them sort through their marriage or personal situations.

New opportunities

The pandemic has brought many problems, but God uses what was meant for evil and turns it for good!

People coming to know Christ

Even during this time, people are coming to know Christ! In our church, there is one family in particular, that has been able to bring the gospel to their family members in Mexico City via our online ministry. Several of them have given their lives to the Lord during the last couple of months and now meet weekly in our online groups.

Remote ministry

I’ve also had the opportunity to minister to another congregation in Mexico City via Zoom, thanks to Pastor Raúl Méndez. What a privilege to minister simultaneously in over 70 homes scattered throughout Mexico City, and to be able to see each family as they participated in the meeting!

Anna’s online devotionals

Anna continues to teach her little group of adolescents online every Friday, and she also started a devotional blog which many people have been reading. There is one lady in our church who has been using Anna’s devotional material to present the Gospel each week to her coworkers in an online Bible study that she started. (You can have a look at Anna’s site here. Sorry, but it’s all in Spanish.)

Anna’s online devotional blog

Parenting classes

Sara and I also recently started an online parenting class for the families in our church. It will run for a total of 6 weeks, meeting online Monday nights. First, we present 1/2 hour of material in video via YouTube, then 1/2 hour in a question and answer session live on Zoom. I’ve also prepared beautifully formatted written material for each session, including lesson notes and some questions for each couple to discuss together. That material is delivered by email. This past Monday we had our second session, and it is going well.

Online Bible School

We are in the final two weeks of our Online Bible School courses, and around 150 students are currently taking their partial and final exams. We’ve had a good semester. The great majority of the students will successfully finish the semester with a grade of 80% or higher.

The nice thing about this project is that it was designed to work entirely online and has been going strong for several years now. So when the virus came around a few months back, we really didn’t have to make any major adjustments. Actually, the only minor adjustment I made was to eliminate the break we normally had to take for a week of vacation during Easter. All vacations were canceled because of the quarantine, so we were able to “plow straight through” and finish the semester a week early.

For the last several months, all three of us (Anna, Sara and I), have been working on courses. Sara has been facilitating a course on the Holy Spirit, I’ve been producing the reviews, quizzes and exams, and Anna has been my proofreader, finding and fixing all the little errors. We’ve also had our team of about nine other course facilitators working with us.

Thanks so much for continuing your support!

We are so very thankful to each of you who continues to give and support us during these most difficult economic times. We are definitely facing some challenges financially, as many people are. The lack of our physical presence in our church building has impacted our ministry finances, but the Lord has and will continue to sustain us, the work of the church, and other areas of ministry.

Our prayer is that you and your family would be blessed in abundance, even during challenging times such as these, so that you can continue to bless and reach out to others with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Update – March, 2020

Hello, friends and family!

I know that most of you are probably confined to your homes right now; we also are! However, it has been a very busy time for us, even while working from home. I wanted to get this update out to you sooner, but several things had prevented me from doing so, including illnesses in February and the beginning of March, and more recently, a rapid migration to online church services.

Advanced School of Ministry

The last week of January was our Advanced School of Ministry conference in Cuernavaca. The meetings were very good with a good attendance (around 1,000 pastors and leaders), great teaching, worship and prayer times, and a wonderful atmosphere of the presence of the Lord. We were blessed to be a part of many aspects of the conference once again, including handling the registrations, compiling, writing and editing the teaching material, producing the student notebook, translating and publishing a book on the Holy Spirit, and teaching at the conference.

Sara, teaching on the “Attributes of God” at the Advanced School of Ministry conference

Our daughter, Anna, was in charge of translating the book The Holy Spirit Today, by Dick Iverson. She did a great job and worked on it during almost half of the year. I did the final editing and layout, and our son, David, did the cover design. Sara was my proofreader and helped us get all the little errors and typos out before going to print. It is wonderful to have a family that works on projects like this together!

Recording for our Online Bible School

Shortly after the conference, our friend Mark Simpson, who is a great Bible teacher and missionary, came to record our newest course for the Online Bible School. The Person and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, as we have called it, takes student on a study of who the Holy Spirit is, what He does, and how we can relate to Him.

Recording Mark Simpson at our church

Mark did a great job teaching 24 classes in four days. What a marathon!

During the afternoon of our third day of recording, I started running a fever. That night, I went to the doctor, and after doing a blood test, we discovered I had Typhoid Fever. That put me “out of the game”, so to speak, for the rest of the recording. Thankfully, we could count on Anna and Zabdi, another young girl in our church, to finish the recording sessions without me. I felt really sorry to suddenly disappear and leave Mark to do things without me, but I really didn’t have a choice. (Sorry, Mark.)

In spite of all this, we got the entire course recorded and all the sessions edited, uploaded and processed in time for the start of the semester, which was on March 4.

Taking Time out to Recover

I had to use the last couple of weeks of February and the first part of March to get some much needed rest and recover from Typhoid Fever. During this time, Sara and Anna did a great job filling in for me at church.

Sara, Anna and Alejandra, ministering together to our church on a Sunday morning

I ended up missing church for two Sundays in a row. That was pretty incredible! However, even during those weeks I continued to work with our online Bible School, getting things ready for the start of the semester.

We also missed the planning meeting for the Advanced School of Ministry which was held during the first week of March. We were very much looking forward to this time, especially being with Bill Brown and his wife, in warm, sunny Acapulco, right on the ocean.

A couple of weeks ago, Sara and Anna also were tested for Typhoid Fever, and both of them also had it! We’ve all been through treatment and are recovering, little by little. I am finally feeling quite a bit better, although still a little weaker than normal.

Life in Quarantine

Covid-19 has affected almost the entire world! Here in Mexico, few people even knew much about it in January and throughout February, but during the last couple of weeks that has all changed. We are several weeks behind what everyone in the U.S. is experiencing, but the reality of the impact of this pandemic is finally starting to sink in here in Mexico.

A couple of weeks ago, some of the major schools began to close and only offer courses online. Then an official statement came from the government, asking everyone to self-quarantine by remaining home. All group meetings are canceled, restaurants are closing, and all schools are canceled.

We have been working hard to move our church services and meetings online during the last couple of weeks. We’ve done two Sunday services this way so far, and both have had a good online attendance. But I must admit, it is much harder to try to pastor a church without seeing the people personally! We continue to work to make personal contact with our people via messages, phone calls and Skype calls.

Our Online Bible School continues forward without any interruptions. We have over 150 students taking courses right now, and since everything is already online and all the students and facilitators work from their homes, there has been no problem continuing forward with this ministry. In fact, many of the students now have more time to study online with us, since so many other activities are canceled.

Thanks so much!

We definitely understand what so many of you are going through right now. There are so many people without jobs in a failing economy, but we also believe that God will provide for you and for us during this season!

We pray that the life-giving power of Jesus Christ would fill and sustain each of you in both health and economy as we go forward proclaiming the Gospel and teaching the Word of the Lord.

In His love,

David and Sara Lont

Update – January, 2020

Note: You can download this update as a printable PDF file here.

Happy New Year!

Hello, family, friends and supporters. Happy New Year! We hope each of you has had a great start to the year and enjoyed the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

I’d like to take a moment to share a few things that have been going on with us.

Sorry I’m not in the picture, but it seems like I’m the one always taking the pictures!

Wrapping Up The Semester

Our Online Bible School semester ended the second week of December. We had just over 150 students who completed their semester with us and most of them did very well in their studies. The end of a semester is a busy time, both for students and faculty. The students did reviews and studied for final exams, while the faculty was responsible for answering questions, grading exams and getting the final grades posted.

It was a very profitable semester for all of us. I’m sure many of the students are already using the material we’ve given them in their own ministries in local churches around the nation.

It is also great to have a little break from the everyday work with the students. Now it’s time to get new course material ready, as we’ll soon be opening registration for the spring semester which will start in February.

Advanced School of Ministry

November and December are always busy months for us, as this is the time when I work on material for our next big conference, which will be held the last week of January. My jobs include editing each speaker’s material, writing my own material, forming the conference notebook, handling online registration, conference promotion/advertising, on-screen conference presentations, and a host of other activities.

Our daughter Anna did another book translation, and I did the layout and editing of that book as well. Everything has been sent off to the printers now, so this part of the work is finished. This book will be a homework assignment for those studying the degree program.

Church Activities

We wrapped up our church year with several Christmas celebrations, including a service with the participation of the children’s ministry, a Christmas lunch, a Christmas dinner for our small groups, and a special service which included testimonies of God’s goodness throughout the year.

The participation of the children singing in a special Christmas service
Some of the children with Sara at their Christmas celebration

Now we are beginning a new series of Wednesday night meetings in small groups. These discipleship groups will be studying the parables of Jesus together, and learning the practical and spiritual lessons Jesus taught in each parable.

Christmas and New Years

What a blessing it was to have our son David Jeremiah with us for Christmas. We missed Daniel, as he had to stay in Oregon this Christmas, but we enjoyed being with David and Anna. We had a simple but nice Christmas with our family.

Ready for Christmas Eve dinner, December 24, 2019

David returned to Michigan on January 31, and we spent New Year’s Eve with friends from church. We had a great time with them and enjoyed a meal of homemade pizza.

Thanks for partnering with us!

Sara and I would like to say “thanks” to each of you who prays for us, gives, or is somehow involved in our lives. We appreciate each of you.

We pray that the Lord would abundantly bless you with His wonderful grace, health and provision during this new year. May you have 20/20 vision to see His good plans and purposes!