Category Archives: Events
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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 & Family,
One of the most significant messages of the Bible is that God works in ways we cannot fully understand. He uses ordinary people for extraordinary tasks. He makes a way to move forward when it seems to be a dead-end. He works out even the worst circumstances for his glory and our good. He only calls for us to trust and obey. In this update, we highlight how this is happening all around us.
One Door Closes, Another Opens
I mentioned in our last letter that the landlord of our second church told us we need to vacate soon. Almost immediately, we were approached by the owners of a store three doors down to inform us that if we would ever want to purchase property, they want to sell to us. What an amazing opportunity! God works things out, doesn’t he? This building was used as a community store on the first floor and served as the owner’s residence on the second and third floors. The space is beautiful and perfect for a church! It will provide a long-term home, and help this new church become fully autonomous. It is also right in the community park that was recently renovated. The first floor is big enough for the church auditorium, and children would have classrooms upstairs instead of meeting on the ground outside.
The owners are giving us an incredible price for the property, and already have all the documents in order. We need to raise $50,000 for this need by January when we return from Furlough. Praise God, in the last two months, we’ve already seen 30% of that given! Please pray about how you could help this young church. Any amount helps! Checks can be sent to:
Macedonia World Baptist Missions, Inc.
PO Box 519, Braselton, GA 30517
(put “A. Vance – Building Fund” in the memo)
You can also give online at mwbm.org. Click on the “give online” banner, follow the prompts, and look for us on the drop-down menu. All gifts are tax-deductible.
Hurry Up, and Slow Down!
It’s amazing how God makes us slow down sometimes. To say this fall has been busy would be quite an understatement. I have had some discomfort for much of this year that finally came to a head in November. I was experiencing extreme pain just hours after arriving “home” after a trip to upstate New York. I rushed to the emergency room and then was transported by ambulance to another hospital where I spent five days. They did several procedures and surgeries, and praise God that all was successful.
It’s hard for me to cancel meetings, but the rest required to recover has been a blessing in disguise. God knows what we need. I’m thankful also for my wife, Aubrie, and her support during all of this. Somehow she excels in keeping up with our children and home on top of being my nurse. She is amazing.
The End Is In Sight
Our tickets are purchased, and we will return to Bucaramanga, Colombia on January 15th, 2019! Furlough has been challenging in some ways, but a tremendous blessing in every way. I’ll write more on this in our next letter. We are close to our monthly support goal, praying the last 10% would come in soon. There is much to do when we return, so we appreciate your prayers as we make the transition back.
Thank you for holding the ropes for us through your prayers and financial giving. God is working, and he is adding fruit to your account. We are grateful for you!
Trusting and Obeying HIM,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance and family
Just a quick note to let you know that tomorrow, Sunday, March 5th, is the big day! We’ll be officially inaugurating another church here in Bucaramanga, Colombia at 4 PM in the afternoon.
It has been exciting to see how everything has been coming together. The enemy is fighting, yes, but the Light of the Gospel always overpowers the darkness!
This is the same neighborhood we’ve been working in during the last two years, primarily with the children. Because of this, the reception has been fantastic, even beyond what we expected. We’ve handed out thousands of invites and spent many hours in prayers and preparations, but we know that all is vain unless it is God doing the work.
If you get a moment this evening or Sunday before 4 PM Eastern Time, please join me in prayer for several things:
- For the 25+ leaders coming from our first church plant, including one of the men who has been training with me during the last couple years and will be preaching the main message. Others will help with music, children’s programs, logistics, etc.
- For the people in this new neighborhood, that they would continue to be receptive to the Gospel, that many would believe, that the new believers would take steps toward growth in their new Christian life and that we could train leaders of leaders who will take the torch and run the race set before them.
- For wisdom in finding a more permanent meeting place (we will be meeting in a community center as we continue to search for a building to rent/buy).
- For finances as we help the church get off the ground (if God would have you give toward this need, you can give by check or online here).
- For me and my family as we lead the charge. We have all been battling minor health issues during the last week and we pray this won’t get in the way of serving.
I’ll send another update on Monday, Lord willing. We don’t really know what to expect, but we trust that in all things, Christ is magnified! It is, after all, his church, his work, done through his strength, in his grace, and for his glory!
Colossians 1:27-29 says:
“27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
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!