Category Archives: Evangelism
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Dear Praying Friends & Family,
The Lord is always good, through the ups and the downs. The last two months have been no exception. The ministry in Colombia is thriving, and our family is moving forward in the power and grace that God gives.
Love in Action
Our fourth and newest church, Agape Biblical Baptist Church, celebrated its first anniversary in November. We are now averaging over a hundred people every week, with a constant flow of new professions of faith and new believers getting involved in discipleship and ministry. It is phenomenal how Christ is building his work! We have encouraged our people to think creatively in reaching others in addition to personal evangelism. Since October, several of our members have taken up this challenge. In conjunction with a local barber school, one man organized a community event in which we offered free haircuts to men and boys. Over a hundred came, and each received a one-on-one presentation of the Gospel. Another member organized a community concert for around a thousand people, in which I was able to preach the Gospel in the intermission. Another teamed up to do community service with our youth ministry at a local non-profit foundation. We also hosted a Thanksgiving meal for several American families we have met in our city over the years. Some of these people are not yet believers. Agape is the Bible word for God’s perfect love. We truly are seeing love in action.
Opportunity for Youth
Our churches received an invitation to participate in a youth camp in January with other Baptist congregations from all over Colombia. I know the church that organizes this camp, and they do an excellent job! I love camp ministry. At a Christian camp around 23 years ago, God called me into missions. Many of our teens would love to go but are limited in their finances. If you would like to sponsor one of these young people, the cost is around $60 per person. Send me a note if you want to get involved in this project.
Aubrie had surgery to remove a benign uterine tumor in October. The surgery was a success, and she is recovering well. She also just began treatment for her severe endometriosis. We are hoping that this treatment will help her avoid another surgery. And yes, we were finally able to move into our new house at the end of November. It is nice to put down roots here in Colombia and continue serving as long as the Lord allows. We’re here for the long haul.
We are planning a short furlough for the second half of 2022. Though we have not finalized the dates, we would love to hear from you if you would like us to come to your church and give an update. We will also be seeking opportunities to present the ministry to new potential partners as we reach Colombia for Christ. Send us an email if you are interested.
Once again, thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We have had an odd year, full of blessings and challenges. But it is so helpful to know we have an army of prayer warriors and supporters holding the ropes for us as we live and minister in Colombia, South America. We wish you a Merry Christmas and New Year.
Aaron & Aubrie Vance
(Along with the girls: Amira, Anabel, Aris & Alethea)
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”1 Corinthians 16:23-24
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Dear Praying Friends & Family,
God’s grace is amazing! He pours it out on us for salvation, and then he continues to let it flow as we serve him. We are learning more each day to rely on his grace. The ministry in Colombia continues to grow only by the grace of God.
Grace For New Believers
“I finally understand how the Gospel is good news. It’s the best news!” This is what a young engineer told me as I was counseling him. He began attending our church services with his girlfriend. He has continued coming, even after they broke up. I told him that his primary need was to be reconciled to God by Jesus. Over the past few weeks, we have been meeting and discussing the Gospel. It’s great to see it finally taking root in his life! He has believed and is growing in his faith. Over and over, we get to witness this work of God’s grace in people’s lives. If only I could tell you all of their stories! We do have the best job!
Grace For Faithful Churches
We recently celebrated the 7th anniversary of our first church in Colombia, El Faro. We have been mostly absent from this work since leaving it in the hands of Pastor Félix and other leaders to start another church last year. I am amazed by how well everything has continued to grow and flourish.
Our second church, Café Madrid, is also doing very well. Around 75 children and 25 adults gather each week to study the word and worship together. Pray as we are in a transition with the pastoral leadership of this church. It has been a challenge, but God’s people are evidencing grace to continue ahead.
Our third church, Girardot, recently began to meet again in a new place. Since we opened this church just before the pandemic hit and everything closed, it has been like starting over again. It is being led now by Pastor Ernesto.
Our fourth church, Ágape, is where we are currently working. In September, we signed the legal documents to constitute as a church. It was a wonderful day! After less than a year, we’ve been averaging around 80-90 people each week in our services. God’s grace is changing lives.
More Bible studies and future churches meet each week under the leadership that we have trained and are training. It’s incredible to see how God’s grace is working beyond our limits.
Grace In Family Blessings And Trials
My health has been excellent since having surgery in June. We thank the Lord for this. However, now Aubrie is having several health issues. Surgery is scheduled for October 20th to remove a tumor in her uterus. They believe it is benign, but it is causing problems. Another pending surgery will be to provide relief from her endometriosis. She had surgery for this just before we moved to Colombia around eight years ago. It is again causing so much pain and discomfort. Pray that God provides the finances for this need, as well as grace to get through this trial.
We mentioned several months ago that, by the grace of God, we were able to purchase a home here in Colombia with our savings. It has been a long process to get things repaired and ready to move in, as we found many issues to address with the house, but it will be well worth it in the end. It is almost finished. We hope to move in before our next prayer letter.
With so much going on personally and ministerially, finances have been tight, and time has been short. But God is faithful, and his grace is sufficient! Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.
By His Grace,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance, and Family
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”1 Corinthians 15:10
Following is a video update we posted when we signed to constitute our newest church. (PS – Don’t miss a glimpse of the stuffed pig lunch we served!)
Dear Praying Friends & Family,
We have experienced an incredible two months since our last update! Between emergency surgery, church growth, travel, a medical clinic, and hundreds of salvations — God has been so good.
“You Shouldn’t Be Alive!”
As I mentioned previously, since last year, I had been dealing with occasional abdominal attacks. The doctors here did not know the cause. I decided to go another route and pay out-of-pocket to be seen by the best gastroenterologists in our city and get the care I needed. They quickly did more tests and found I had an umbilical hernia that was getting strangulated. Between October and June, I had ten severe attacks. According to the doctors, I should not have lived through them. But God must not be done with me yet! The surgery in June was simple, and I have recovered well since then.
“I Can Finally See!”
At the end of June, we hosted a team from Medical Missions Outreach to do a vision clinic for our city and surrounding area. Over four days, we served 938 people, nearly all of whom received glasses (and sometimes two pairs)! Each person also spent time one on one with personal evangelism workers from our churches, and over a third of them made professions of faith! Praise the Lord! Many waited for hours, and even days, to be seen. Unfortunately, we had to turn away thousands of people who we could not accommodate. The desperate need was humbling. After receiving glasses, one happy elderly person cried with joy and told us they were glad to finally see with their eyes, but also with their heart. They had just trusted Christ for salvation. Now, the real work begins. Pray as we follow up with each of these souls and get them connected into discipleship and community in one of our five churches.
“Is There A Church In My Area?”
Since arriving in Colombia in 2013, we constantly hear this question. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough churches to adequately help our city’s population and even less so the surrounding towns and villages. Even after the medical clinic, in which we had people travel hours to come to us, we received multiple requests to start churches in these other areas. The need is great. There is so much more to do. Though we are actively training many Colombian and Venezuelan men and women for ministry, we pray that God raises more missionaries to come and help. Will you help me pray for more laborers in this ripe harvest field of Colombia?
“I’m Ready To Let God Transform Me!”
One of the recent converts in our church has had a very messy past. Jaime was heavily involved with drugs, gangs, violence, addictions, crime — you name it. After hearing and believing the Gospel, he told me he’s ready for a change. As we sat over lunch last week, he expressed, “I don’t know what the future looks like for me, but I’m sure not going back to the past; I’m ready to let God transform me.” He’s still a bit rough around the edges, but I love seeing how the Gospel changes lives. It works.
Aubrie and I are so grateful for each of you. Your prayers are precious to us. Your monthly and one-time financial support is used by God to provide for each of our needs and to reach more people on the mission field. Your notes, cards, emails, and texts encourage us more than you will ever know. Thank you. We hold you close in our hearts and our prayers. May God bless you.
To Magnify Christ,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance, and Family
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;”1 Thessalonians 1:2
Following is a video update we posted during the Vision Clinic.
Dear praying friends and family,
Many of you will agree that this year has already proven to be one of the most unique and challenging we have faced. But Christ is still faithful! Join us as we review God’s great work here in Colombia, and we look forward to the days ahead.
During the last two months, we experienced a surge of new converts and attenders in our churches. We rejoice in seeing several baptized, 21 adults in our most recent new members class, dozens now in discipleship, and 12 additional students in our Bible Institute. All three of our churches have grown, and we praise the Lord for how he is building his church.
In February, we held evangelistic events for area children. We were able to reach over 150 kids through the local ministries of each of our three churches! Additionally, we took a team of 5 people to the remote village of Bocas Del Rosario. To get there, we drove 4 hours to a river port city, then took a small motorboat up the river for 3 hours. Over that weekend, we held Bible-Club style classes for 100 children, as well as an evening service for 80 adults (nearly everyone in the entire village!). The team plans to return each month, and the locals are asking us to start a church soon. Pray for wisdom in this new opportunity. We praise the Lord for dozens of professions of faith during each event.
Television and Media Outreach
In March, we hosted a team from Christian Media International. They have been raising funds to help us improve our media outreach and to get on local and national television. We’re very excited about this new door that is opening up to get the Gospel message to millions of Colombians who have yet to hear. They finished up their quick visit and brought us a couple of cameras to get started just before the outbreak of the Coronavirus. We must now go to digital services. God’s timing is impeccable!
COVID-19 In Colombia
Yes, we’re feeling the effects of this worldwide pandemic. Since mid-March, our city and country have been on total lock-down. All schools and most businesses are closed. Nobody can leave their houses except to get groceries and medicine, and all public meetings are banned, including churches. Police and military check every person that is out to see if they have a permit or a valid reason to leave their home, heavily fining those who violate the lock-down. Everything changed quickly, and we have tried to adapt. Our main church has gone entirely online, for now, using Facebook and YouTube to hold our services, as well as doing daily Bible studies. We have stayed connected to most of our people, and have even reached new people during this time. Our second and third churches have suffered more, as they are in more vulnerable areas, and not everyone has a reliable Internet connection or a device to watch services. The people, like many around the world, are hurting financially. Most aren’t able to work and were already living day-to-day. We have tried to deliver essential food supplies to those who need it most. It has been a great chance to minister even more and fulfill 1 John 3:16-18. Pray for us as we try to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Any additional support during this time will allow us to provide for more families.
Our Living Hope
There are many uncertainties and changes in our world today. Historically, that is when Christianity flourishes the most! When the pressure is applied, what’s on the inside comes out. As Christians, we have a living hope. We ought not to find our joy and identity in present circumstances, in health, in investment accounts, in job stability, or even in ministry itself. Our hope is in Christ, and HE never changes. We trust him to provide for us. We also pray for you as you go through much of the same there in the United States. We love you, and thank you for your faithfulness. Let us know how we can pray for you!
For Such A Time As This,
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira, Anabel, Aris & Alethea Vance
Enjoy some recent pictures from the ministry…
Dear Pastors, Family & Praying Friends,
The last month has been packed full of God’s blessing on the ministry in Colombia. Read on to rejoice with us, as well as to be able to pray about several needs.
Making It Official
In September, we took a big step as a body of believers in officially organizing and constituting our church. Over 60 saved & baptized adults signed a covenant of membership and legal documents as founding members. What an exciting day! Pray for us in the days ahead as we submit paperwork and travel to Bogotá to finalize the legal process. Having these documents allows us to open more facets of ministry, & assist missionaries who will need religious visas.
Passing The Torch
We were pleased to have my pastor, Charles Blackstock, with us for a week to celebrate the organizing of the church as well as preach several special services. He was a tremendous blessing to our people, to the men who are training for ministry, and especially my family. I wouldn’t be here today were it not for the years I spent under his mentorship!
Looking Around In Love
We love these people. We love the way God is working amongst them. Many of the men and women who have gone through the discipleship program are now reaching & teaching others, both within the church body and in the community. Continue to pray for this work, as well as a new meeting place as we are out of room! To move into a larger facility is going to cost quite a bit, but we have a BIG God! Pray if God would have you to support this ministry monthly as lives are being changed. It would be an investment into eternity.
Looking Back In Joy
Just over 10 years ago, in October of 2006, God allowed me, as a young, overconfident, single gringo to begin a Spanish ministry in Dawsonville, GA as an outreach of my church. I learned so much during those years. God was patient with me. My pastor was patient with me. Those first few families were patient with me. But through it all, a church was born and it is thriving today. The man who pastors now, Alfonso González, was my assistant for the last few years before we turned over the work to begin deputation, and is doing an excellent job! Many times I feel like a parent of grown children who are beginning their own families. That’s what ministry is all about. We trust to see the same thing many times over here in Colombia!
Looking Ahead In Hope
Our mission work in the north of our city is going fantastic. About 150 people meet with us on Saturdays in a park under trees & tarps with a “Sunday-School” type structure. We plan to find a building soon & establish a “full-service” church here as soon as God gives us the green light and one of our men is ready. Pray for this, as well as the finances to help them get started!
Also, each year we have a special event for Christmas. We give a gift to each child, teen, and adult who come to the program on Saturdays, a meal for everyone and a special presentation and Gospel message for the whole community. If you would like to sponsor one (or many!) of the 150 people, we’d love to give you the opportunity to do so! Just send a check to MWBM, PO Box 519, Braselton, GA 30517 and mark it “A Vance – Special Project”, or you can give online!
We Believe In Prayer
We couldn’t be here without your prayers! As you pray, please remember us in the following:
- The growth of our church — As well as finances to find a larger facility (we are packed out each week)!
- The training of the 16 men in the Bible Institute — Alfredo, David, Didian, Díver, Ernesto, Félix, Javier, Jhon Didier, Jhon Fredi, Juan Danilo, Julián, Kenneth, Leonardo, Libardo, Óscar, Óscar Mauricio…
- The advancement of our mission in the Café Madrid neighborhood — Especially the Christmas program in December and future plans to officially establish a church.
- Our family — Specifically our health and finances, and an upcoming trip I have in November to preach a pastors conference in Cuzco, Peru.
We love you & thank our God for each remembrance of you. Keep on keeping on for Jesus! He is worthy!!
Love In Christ,
The Vance Family
PS – Here are a few photos from recent days in the ministry here. Enjoy!