January 2, 2015
Dear Praying Friends,
We trust that you all have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Life is more busy & blessed than ever here in Colombia. Up front, thanks to all who have supported us this year through your prayers and giving. We couldn’t do what we do without you allowing God to use you in this way!
Growing Church, Growing People!
In July we started our first church here, and in 6 months, God done things far beyond what we expected! New people visit nearly every week, many accepting Christ and getting into discipleship. There are also now 4 men who have expressed desire for ministry and are taking steps toward that end. Pray for Óscar, Eduardo, Sergio and Jhon and for me as I work in training them and others to do the work of the ministry. This is why we’re here!
Merry Christmas for Many Children!
In September we began an outreach ministry for children and adults in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of our city. The response has been phenomenal! We are averaging around 150 each week, with over 250 attending our end of the year Christmas program. Gifts were given, as was the Gospel, and several accepted Christ as their Savior! Thank you to those who donated toward this need. If you’d like to give toward future projects, you can give online (www.bemagnified.org), or by sending a check to our mission board marked “A. Vance – Special Project.” Our plans are to start another church here within a year.
Big God, Big Plans!
We are looking forward to seeing God work in 2015. We have big plans and ask that you pray specifically for these things. Be praying for free English classes we will be starting Monday January 5th. Pray for a youth camp that I will be preaching this month with churches from around the country. Pray for our leaders, and me as I train them. Pray for open doors to start more churches here. Pray for more laborers for our city of Bucaramanga, and the dozens of others that are full of unreached people. Pray for a missions trip we have planned for U.S. students and singles June 15-25 (There’s still time to sign up — info at http://www.bemagnified.org).
By our next prayer letter we’ll be able to introduce you to our new little baby girl, due February 23. Aubrie is doing well with the pregnancy, and our girls are thrilled about being big sisters. We’re required to leave the home we’ve been renting, so please pray as we find another house. It’s been over a 2 month process of complicated ups and downs, but we hope to finalize something this week. Contact us for our new mailing address. Also pray for a vehicle for our family and ministry. We have not have the funds for this, but we know that God can provide in his timing. If you’d like to give toward this need, you can give online or by sending a check to Macedonia (address below) and mark it “A. Vance — Vehicle.”
Once again, thank you! Thank you for holding the ropes for us! God is good. He is worthy. He is working. Are we willing to take steps forward this year for his glory?
Serving King Jesus,
Aaron Vance & Family
What an amazing time we had on December 20th with the children and families of Café Madrid, a poor community on the outskirts of our city of Bucaramanga Colombia. Our church, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista El Faro jumped in and participated in an amazing way. Dozens of people here collectively spent hundreds of hours preparing food, gifts, logistics and more to make the day a success.
And what a success it was!
We had 157 children sign up who had already been attending our Bible club program on Saturdays. These came, and brought people with them! We were expecting around 200, and God blessed us with over 250 people! Gifts were given, songs were sung, snacks were snacked upon and the Message of Christmas was preached. We thank the Lord for several who made professions of faith, receiving the BEST gift of Christmas, the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
Please enjoy this video we put together of the special day:
Thank you to those who gave online to this need. It was a help to us as we were able to bless many children who may not have had a Christmas otherwise. We are constantly seeing lives changed in this neighborhood. Pray that God continues to work, and pray for us as we wait upon His timing to officially begin a church here!
If you would like to give toward future projects like this one, you can send a check to our mission agency, Macedonia World Baptist Missions, Inc. (PO BO 519 Braselton, GA 30517), or online, here.
May God bless. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
**Editor’s Note** Somehow our November prayer letter was never sent out. We apologize for keeping you all in the dark for a couple extra months about the phenomenal things God has done in Colombia. Don’t miss this update!
November 1, 2014
Dear Praying Friends,
This month marks 1 year since our family moved to Colombia and nearly 4 months since we started our first church, and the Lord Jesus is building his work! We have seen growth in our people as many are beginning personal discipleship. There was so much of an interest in serving and growing that we also began a leadership training time on Saturdays. This is a precursor to a Bible Institute and then a Bible College.
Children Intercepted from the Devil
In September we began an outreach in a poor community on the edge of our city called Café Madrid. The neighborhood president is a member of our church and has opened the doors for us to go and make an impact in children and their families. A group of 10-15 from our church goes to sing songs, teach the Bible, do a craft and give something to eat to children who would normally not be able to do any of these things. Around 100 show up every time! We also just began a separate study for adults. The boys in this community are usually hooked on drugs and join gangs by the time they are 14. The girls have a mindset that if they don’t have a “husband” by the time they’re 12, that they’ll never get one. Most of their parents and older siblings are dead or in jail. It is sad. Satan has had a grip long enough. The Gospel is already changing lives!! We’ve seen children and adults accept Christ, and the light is coming to this dark community. Next month we plan to do a special Christmas gift for each of these needy children that attend our program. The cost will be about $5 per child. If you would like to send a gift for this, you can give online at www.bemagnified.org or by sending a check to our mission agency (PO BOX 519 Braselton, GA 30517) marked “Aaron Vance – Special Project.”
Our next little one is officially another princess (and I continue to be the king of our home). Pray for Aubrie and this little one, due February 23. Hopefully we settle on a name by then! Also, we are looking to move to another home to save money and be closer to our church. Contact us for the new mailing address. We want to thank those who send letters and packages. It sure brightens our day!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
These beautiful words are on the walls of our church here in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and the truth that they contain is taking place before our eyes each week. The power of darkness is losing its grip as people become followers of Christ, and receive the light of life! Your investment in our ministry is adding much fruit to your account. Thank you for praying for us and supporting us so faithfully. We couldn’t do it without you.
Pray and Participate:
- Church growth and leadership development
- Need: Christmas gift donations for Café Madrid children
- Need: Vehicle for family & ministry
- Need: Additional monthly support as we grow
Love in Christ,
Aaron Vance & Family
God’s Work In Café Madrid
For the past 3 months, our new church plant (just 5 months old), has sponsored an outreach ministry for children in an outskirt community of our city of Bucaramanga, called Café Madrid. I am amazed to see the impact God is making through us in this short time, both in families from the community and in our church people.
Changed Lives — Changed Destinies
These Children are thrilled to see us each time we show up, bringing their chairs to the local park, with smiles on their faces, ready to sing, say their memory verses, do a craft, eat a snack and hear a Bible lesson. Many of these do not know, or have been separated from their parents. Many of these would end up in jail, in gangs or dead within 5-10 years. Many of these might be lucky to eat one meal a day. Many of these have never understood or known the love of Jesus and his people. That is, until now. Children and adults are accepting Christ and experiencing a life and hope that is above circumstances.
Physical vs. Spiritual Food
We understand that giving physical help (humanitarian assistance) without the spiritual (real missions) is empty and non-profitable in the long-term. However, we also remember God’s words in Proverbs 28:27, “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” (See also Proverbs 3:27-28; 14:31; 19:17; 22:9; 31:20; Isaiah 58:10; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 20:35; Romans 12:20; James 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-18).
Big Hearts, Big Plans
With that in mind, we are planning a big Christmas event this weekend. 157 children have registered (who have already been coming to our Bible Club), and many of them are bringing whatever family they have around. A small choir will sing songs they have been practicing, I’ll share a Christmas salvation message, we’re making traditional Christmas food for everyone, and we’ll give away special gifts to each of these kids. In a special box, we’ll put a few small toys (according to the child’s age and gender), a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, a book of Bible stories, a children’s gospel tract and a personalized letter from somebody in our church. That’s the most thrilling part for me. Our church folks have really jumped on board with this program and are working day and night as a team to see it come to pass. It’s really going to be a great day!
Your Part — Help us be a blessing!
If you want to be a part of blessing a Colombian child this Christmas, there is still time to give. You can sponsor a child’s Christmas this year for $5! You can donate through our mission agency, Macedonia World Baptist Missions, who will then forward the funds to us. They’ve made it easy to give online through Paypal, or you can send a check to: P.O. Box 519, Braselton, GA 30517 (make it out to MWBM, Inc. and put “Aaron Vance – Special Project” in the memo). All contributions are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt. Any extra funds that come in will be used toward this ministry for future projects and events.
And above all, please pray. Pray that everything goes smoothly. Pray that we can be a blessing to these families. Pray more precious souls accept God’s perfect gift of salvation. That is, after all, the real reason we celebrate CHRISTmas!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17 -
Enjoy this slideshow of a few pictures we have taken over the last couple months.
Week in Review – September 30, 2014
Hello, and welcome to another week in review. We thank the Lord for the time he gives us to serve him in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and for you who pray for us and support us financially!
- We had quite the scare in our church on Sunday between our English and Spanish service. As people were arriving, one of our young man, Jhon desired to speak to me about something for a few minutes. This is one who just told me a week ago that God has given him a desire & calling for ministry. Well, during our conversation, he began to have massive seizures. Our people from church came in and were working with him, and contacting doctor friends and his family. We took him to a hospital and got his seizures under control. He spent the night there, but seems to be recovered now, and back on the right medications.
- Needless to say, we missed our 2nd service. However, we didn’t miss an opportunity to serve! During our hours-long wait in the hospital, I was able to spend that time with 4 of our men, discussing our great God and his Word and purpose for our lives. My wife stayed back at the church with most of the ladies. I think this event has strengthened our people.
- Please pray with me for both Jhon and his family. They are not believers, but we are praying that even through this situation that they will see the love we have one for another and surrender their lives also to Jesus.
- We thank the Lord for the growth we’ve seen in the church lately with new visitors in our services as well as new people plugging in to discipleship and serving. It’s amazing to be a part of God’s work!
- I was able to feel our little girl kick for the first time this week! Aubrie is just over 19 weeks along… Almost halfway there!
- We’re in the process of name picking. Since we happened to end up with all A names, we don’t want this one to be left out. Any ideas?
- We are hoping to purchase a vehicle this month, Lord willing. We are at a point now where it is needful, both for family and for ministry. Instead of a small car, we would like something that could carry 7 or more passengers for use in the church. Used vehicles are not cheap here, but we know that our God is able. Will you pray with us about this need? If you would like to give toward this cause, we would appreciate it greatly! Anything helps!
An event to consider
- This week I want to highlight a special ministry of our sending church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dawsonville, GA. For the past 3 years, they have done a special End Times walk-through drama called Hell’s Gates. It has been a huge evangelistic success. Tens of thousands of locals as well as church groups have come through and seen a clear biblical depiction of the end times and the plan of salvation. If you are within a few hours of Atlanta, I’d encourage you to check out their website to buy tickets or to get more info!
Think On These Things
- We’ve been walking through and studying the book of John as a church. It’s amazing to see how each message has been meeting the needs of our people. Here is a passage we dug into this week. Maybe it will challenge you as it did us…
- 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. … 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. [John 6:45-51]
- Jesus gave his flesh for the life of the world, but they must hear! All it takes to receive eternal life is to believe on Jesus, but how will they ever believe unless they’ve never heard?! As Romans 10:17 clearly states in the context of this thought, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As we lift up the Word, God does the work of drawing men unto him and saving. Are you actively concerned about helping others individuals, people groups, and cultures hear?