Download this as a printable PDF: update-september-2018
Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,
Happy Autumn! Summer has gone by so fast for us, as we were preparing for our trip to Africa during July, we left in August, and we returned in September. Perhaps you also have the same feeling. Life goes by so quickly, and we must take advantage of every moment the Lord has given us to live life to its fullest and make good use of our time, especially for the purposes the Lord has given to us. It is good to have time off, to relax, to enjoy life; but it is also good to have a purpose in life and work every day toward that purpose, setting goals and accomplishing the tasks that bring us closer to the fulfillment of our God-given dreams, visions and purposes.
Bill Brown Visits Us In Our Church
A real highlight of our summer was to have Bill Brown with us here in Tulancingo for a Saturday evening and Sunday services in July. It was such a blessing to us personally, but also for the church. Bill and his wife, Gerda, have been our “mentors” for many years in the ministry, and their lives and unwavering faithfulness have been a living testimony to us of the goodness of God. Their lives and service have literally changed nations, and the abundant fruit that continues to this day is an incredible inspiration. It is just amazing what God can do when a young person says “Yes!” to God and His plans. Bill and Gerda answered the call of the Lord to ministry in their youth, and now, almost 70 years later, they are still going strong!
Several years had passed since the last time they were with us personally, although they have also taught and preached in our church via Skype and FaceTime. What a blessing it is to have technology that allows us to connect with others virtually. But it is even a great blessing to have Bill with us personally this past July.
Online Bible School
We continue to work on our online Bible School. In August, we began our Fall semester with just under 150 students. This is the most students we have had up to the moment. The students who have been studying with us during the past semesters have been telling others how much they are learning, growing, and enjoying the classes; as a result, we have seen the numbers increase.
We are currently teaching Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey and Systematic Theology. We will soon be recording courses on the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit, and the Life of Christ. We are excited about the future of this program, as many pastors, leaders and others involved in ministry are taking our courses and growing in their faith. We believe that this program will have a positive impact on many churches throughout the nation. When pastors and leaders take the courses, they in turn teach many of the concepts they learn to their churches.
Trip to Africa
The biggest ministry focus we have had during the last month was our trip to Africa. For us, this was our first trip and it was full of unknowns. We were sent by Bill Brown to minister to the group of churches he and Gerda originally helped to plant in Uganda back in the 1960’s. From very small beginnings in Kampala and then other towns and villages, the group has now grown to around 1,800 churches. Many of the pastors of these churches were in Kampala for the conference in which Sara and I taught.
We left Mexico on August 22, and didn’t get back home until September 16, so we were out for quite a long time. We felt a bit bad leaving our church for so many Sundays, but we were blessed to come back and see that things had gone well in our absence.
It was quite a trip, full of adventure! I enjoyed trying all the different Ugandan foods and attempting to understand the Ugandan way of thinking. It was fun to worship with the churches and participate in the services. We had the opportunity to preach about 32 times total. I think the most difficult subject for us was teaching in marriage seminars, as the cultural differences are so great. In Uganda, a man can legally have many wives, and women are often treated as objects. From what I understand, a man will traditionally “sell” his daughters (the concept is really a dowry), although things are changing, especially in the church. In all, the conferences went very well, and we were able to share many Biblical concepts on the subject of marriage.
It was also a challenge to communicate. Although many people speak English, their accent is so different that we often had to listen very carefully to understand what they were saying. During the conferences, we had an interpreter who translated into Luganda, the main language spoken in the area, and in the pastor’s conference, their was another interpreter on the balcony who translated into a third language for the pastors who were seated up there.
Anna had the opportunity to share six times. She did a great job! She ministered together with Sara and me at the Makerere church, at the Nsambya church to young people and children, and by herself at a youth camp. We are “humbly grateful” (as my grandfather would say) for our daughter. She’s only fifteen years old and has already preached in Africa!
Sara finished our ministry time in Uganda with her participation in a women’s conference. She also did an excellent job, and I believe that she really connected with the women during her ministry time with them. We then had a day to rest before starting our 61 hour trip back home.
While in Uganda, we had a chance to see some of the animals at Murchison Falls National Park. I celebrated my birthday there with dinner next to the Nile River. It definitely was a trip we will never forget!
We believe that God used us to sow some good seeds of His Word into the hearts of the African people. We pray that the church in Uganda will continue to be strengthened and become a blessing for many generations.
Thanks for your prayers!
Thanks so much for praying for us. We were all healthy and well during our trip. God was good to us and protected us from all harm.
Now we ask for your prayers as we continue ministry here in Mexico. We are beginning another very busy season, getting ready for the Advanced School of Ministry conference, translating books, recording for the online Bible School, editing new material, pushing forward with our local church leadership and more. Thanks!
God bless you,
David and Sara Lont and Family