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Back on the Field, and a Big Announcement! January 2019 Prayer Letter


Dear Praying Friends & Family,

Hello from warm and sunny Bucaramanga, Colombia! We thank God for a safe and smooth trip back on January 15th. We have hit the ground running and have many things to report in this letter, but first, a summary of our furlough last year.

Furlough Stats…

  • Total church services/meetings: 159
  • New churches visited: 36
  • Total miles travelled: 36,587
  • New financial supporters: 15
  • Beds slept in: 56
  • Gallons of gas used: 1,830
  • Vehicle break downs: 0
  • Books read: 72

We praise the Lord for the blessing of furlough! Yes, there were challenges, but God is always faithful. As you can see, he was very good to us during these 11 months.

Walking in Truth…

One of the greatest joys we had upon returning to the work in Colombia was in finding the churches united, growing, and walking in truth. We continue to meet new believers who have come to Christ since we left on furlough, and even those who are serving and being trained by the leaders we left behind. Our team of preachers and leaders have worked tirelessly, and with sincere hearts, all for the Glory of Christ, knowing their labor is not in vain.

HUGE NEWS!…

At the end of January, we signed a contract to purchase a 3-story building for our second church. God miraculously provided all the funds for this work in a short amount of time, and he used several of you to do so. We thank you! Our church in Cafe Madrid, Bucaramanga, Colombia thanks you. Those who will hear the Gospel and have the chance to believe also thank you. We should have the keys and be able to move in on March 28th.

Family Funnies…

Part of living in our area of the world is that we feel tremors (small earthquakes) often. We were welcomed back to Colombia by one of these tremors one night while I was meeting with the men of the church and Aubrie had all of our girls on our bed at home. Being on the 8th story of our apartment building, the effect is somewhat multiplied. Our 3-year-old Aris had forgotten about these tremors, and shouted, “What is this bed doing?!” Everyone is safe and sound, by the way.

What’s Next?…

As both of our churches move forward, we are continually looking for ways to keep growing and expanding the glory of God here in Colombia. Lord willing, we plan to start another church toward the end of this year, and maybe 2 or 3 next year. The leaders have been trained and are excited about the possibilities. Long term, we need at least 45 churches just for our city and hundreds more around the country of Colombia. We also look beyond our region and country, and we see many other nations who have yet to hear. We know that God wants to save them as well — how can we reach them? Friends, the harvest is great, and the time of harvest is now, but the laborers are few. We thank you for faithfully partnering with us in prayer and financial support as we do our part. But, I can’t help but think that maybe God wants some of you to join us… Are you willing?

May Christ Be Magnified,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance and family

Here are a few recent pictures from the ministry:

 

Yes, we took all of these bags to Colombia, and they all arrived with us. Praise the Lord!!

It’s great to be back at our church, who welcomed us back with open arms (and cake!).

This is it, folks! The future home of our church in the Cafe Madrid neighborhood of Bucaramanga.

The kids look forward to having a classroom instead of sitting outside on the sidewalk.

Reunited with old friends.

The highways of Colombia are full of Venezuelan families who have fled their country amidst the economic crisis. Some will establish themselves in cities of Colombia, while others are en route to other countries of South America. Pray for us as we minister to these precious souls around us.

Photo: Getty Images

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A great opportunity, a hospital visit, and a special date — November 2018 Prayer Letter


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.

[Download and print this newsletter: PDF file | JPG file]

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

 

 

Furlough Update & Church Robbery — June 2018 Prayer Letter


Dear Praying Friends & Family,

Hello again from the furlough road! We’ve got a lot to update you on in this letter, so buckle up!

 

Friends, Old & New

It has greatly encouraged us to visit some of our supporting churches and to see the many familiar faces of those who have been praying for us during all these years. It is awesome to share about God’s grace in Colombia, and the fruit that has been added to their account. We’ve also made some new friends at churches who have had us in to share about the ministry and are considering joining our team of rope-holders. Thank God for his faithful saints! Each month we are inching closer to our support goal. Contact us if you want us to come to your church.

Colombia’s New President

On June 17, Colombia had their final presidential runoff election, wherein Iván Duque won the majority vote. He looks to carry on the efforts of the last two presidents to eliminate the corruption, violence and drug trafficking that plagued the country for decades. Many are happy, others are not. We know, however, that real peace only comes through knowing Christ. Pray for this new leader, and for the people of Colombia, to know the true peace-giver.

Planting Seeds In New Fields

Our preachers and leaders in the two churches of Bucaramanga have been doing a tremendous job with the preaching, outreach, discipleship, as well as every other ministry. Thanks to technology, we talk very regularly and I am excited about getting back in the trenches with them. We are looking forward to planting a couple more churches when we return, and these leaders are already holding bible studies in some of the target areas. It is exciting to see!

Church Robbery

We had somebody break into our main church just a couple of weeks ago. They stole at least $1,500 worth of cash, and maybe other things. This was the church’s rent money, missions support and some of the building fund offerings. It looks like we will simply have to absorb the loss, as the police couldn’t find any significant evidence to continue an investigation. We thank God nobody was hurt and the damages were not worse, and we trust him to provide. He is always faithful.

Family Funnies

Aris, our 3-year-old, was just asked if she’s ever been on a family trip. She said NO! This is a kid who has had passports from two countries since she was a baby and has already visited more countries and US states than most people do in their lifetime. For her, life on the road is normal, as is traveling on planes and staying in hotel rooms. #MKlife

Prayer Requests

  • Wisdom as we raise our children, lead ministries, and plan for the future.
  • Continued safety as we travel on the road (several close calls lately).
  • Remaining support to be raised (we are at around 85% of our recommended level of monthly support).
  • Special financial needs for recuperating what was stolen in Colombia as well as other projects.
  • Opportunities and boldness to witness as we travel here in America.

Once again, thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We love you all and pray that God continues to bless you as you strive to glorify him.

May Christ Be Magnified,
The Vance Family
Aaron • Aubrie • Amira • Anabel • Aris • Alethea

 

Here are a few recent pictures from our lives and ministry.

 

Click here to download a printable PDF of this letter

Alternatively, here is a JPG image of the letter that you can view and print:

 

Between Here & There — April 2018 Prayer Letter Update


Dear praying friends & family,

We are in the full swing of our furlough and God has proven himself more than faithful. Thank you for keeping up with us and the ministry in Colombia.

Click here to view/print a PDF of this prayer letter

On The Road Again…

So far, we have updated several of our supporting churches, and shared the work in new churches in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. We’ve already seen five new monthly supporters join our team, and a few more that will be voting on us soon. Praise the Lord! We are still praying for 10-15 more partners to reach our needed support. If you’d like to schedule us to come to your church, or if you know of a church that may be looking to take on new missionaries, please get in touch by email: aaronlvance@gmail.com or phone: 678-696-0082. We have a few openings left for the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile in Colombia…

Our leaders back in Colombia are doing a phenomenal job with all the preaching, teaching, event planning, and ministering in both of our churches. I continue to receive wonderful reports of the growing ministry, new families, as well as how edifying all of the sermons have been. We praise God for his faithfulness in this area as well. God allowed me to travel back to Colombia for a quick trip over Easter week. What a blessing it was to meet some of the new converts, minister to both of the churches, as well as meet with and encourage the leaders!

Family Funnies…

We take for granted how many things in the USA are foreign to our children. Our two oldest children were 3 and 1 when we moved to Colombia, and the youngest two were born there, so it’s been fun to expose them to the following “new” things: Taco Bell, vacuum cleaners, Wal-Mart, baseball, bagels, white eggs sold in the refrigerated section, root beer, free refills, all-you-can-eat buffets, snow, booster seats, and the abundance of other kids that look just like them.

The Time In Between…

As a family, we are enjoying furlough. Sure, we miss some of the stability and sense of purpose of being in Colombia, however, being here is more needful for now. Each side presents its own unique challenges and blessings. Here, we are learning how to juggle the girls’ education, the countless hours on the road, the changing environment, etc., but we’re also learning how to make it all very positive and beneficial. We are grateful for opportunities to share the Gospel around the country, realizing that people need Christ everywhere. We are reminded about the need to lean on God and not our own understanding. It has been a rewarding time to meet new friends, grow personally, rest a little as a family, plan for the future, and consider how we can improve each area of life and ministry.

Thank You…

Thank you all for your prayers and faithful support! Thanks as well to those who have given special offerings. God has used you to not only encourage us, but to reach many people in Colombia and beyond. Please let us know how we can pray for you.

May Christ Be Magnified,
The Vance Family
Aaron • Aubrie • Amira • Anabel • Aris • Alethea

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” — Philippians 1:20-21

 

Here are some recent photos:

 

 

Goodbye Colombia, Hello USA… February 2018 Prayer Letter


Dear Praying Friends & Family,

I am writing this update during a layover halfway between Colombia and the USA. Yes, we have officially begun our furlough. We are looking forward to the next 11 months. However, to be honest, we have been inundated by intense emotions and spiritual warfare. What will happen to the work, the people, our close friends and spiritual family in Colombia? Yet, we rest in Christ‘s faithfulness, and we trust him for the future. After all, it is HIS church.

Click here to view and download a printable PDF of this letter

A Time To Reflect

Long before we landed in Colombia as missionaries, and long before there was a church, we were already preparing to leave. It may seem odd, but having an “expiration date” of sorts allowed us to have a determined goal and clear path of ministry. If our purpose is to not only win disciples of Christ but also to train them, this deadline gave us something to work toward. Now, we leave behind not only 2 growing churches full of passionate followers of Christ, but also the leaders to continue to take them to the next level. There are 8 preachers who will preach regularly, 4 who will preach semi-regularly, and another 4 who are just starting and will assist in scripture reading, discipleship and other ministries. Other men and women have stepped up to lead every other ministry of the church. What once fell only on the shoulders of Aubrie and I, has grown into a dynamic effort of many to make disciples and see Christ glorified. It really is incredible that God would allow us to be a part of HIS work in Colombia.

Successful Recent Activities

Here’s a quick rundown of what has happened in our ministry and what we’ve been up to since the last update at the beginning of December:

  • Christmas outreach in our Cafe Madrid mission church. We were able to sponsor, with generous help from both of our local churches, over 100 needy families with baskets filled with food, basic toiletries, toys for their kids and a Gospel DVD.
  • First men’s retreat. Why did we wait so long to do this? It was great to get away with 30 men and study John chapter 17 and Jesus’ prayer for his disciples, as well as relax a bit and strengthen the brotherhood.
  • Missions conference. We enjoyed the fellowship and preaching from Latin American missionary pastors who serve in Bogotá – Colombia, Maracay – Venezuela, and Trujillo – Peru. What an eye opening time. Please pray for these families. In addition to fully supporting our daughter church, our main church is giving sacrificially to others to see the Gospel get to the regions beyond!

The church and its leaders are also getting ready for events to reach even more people during the whole year. I look forward to hearing how God uses them, even in our absence

Planning Ahead & Dreaming Big

We are already making big plans for our return at the beginning of 2019. We hope to begin at least 3 more churches in key areas, as well as other outreach ministries to minister to the 2.2 million people of our city of Bucaramanga, and beyond. Obviously as we make all these plans, we submit them to the Lord and his will. For the task ahead, as well as the growth of our family, we find ourselves under-supported. We are praying and trusting God that during this furlough, we can see another 15-20 monthly prayer and financial partners added to our team to help fulfill the Great Commission. Will you be pray about being one of these special partners?

From The Mouth Of Babes

After we landed in the USA, we were standing in the immigration line for US citizens. There was another American lady behind us, and Anabel, our 5 year old, looked up and told her it was OK to take her picture if she wanted to. She‘s been used to this for the past 4 years, but apparently blonde hair & blue eyes are more common here than in Colombia. The lady was a bit perplexed.

Thank You

We are sincerely grateful for you. Because of your faithful giving and prayers, God is adding much fruit to your account. People are being saved! Continue to pray for our family during this furlough. We expect to have a great time sharing of God’s favor upon the ministry, but we are not oblivious to the possibility of reverse culture-shock, as well as the dangers on the road. Also pray for our dear friends and leaders in the churches of Colombia during our absence.

Rooted & Grounded In HIM,

Aaron & Aubrie Vance
(along with Amira, Anabel, Aris & Alethea)

 

02-2018 prayer letter

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