Category Archives: Events
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!
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!
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?