Dear Praying Friends,
First of all, I apologize for the delay in getting updates to you. Our September letter did not go out, so I am sending it along with this one. It has honestly been the most blessed period in all of our years of ministry.
Don’t worry. We’re talking about the good kind — an explosion in growth! Since being in the new building, our attendance is now nearly 100. This is in addition to the many we see in our outreach ministry in the north part of the city! People are finding joy in the Lord and his Word. We are regularly seeing people saved and baptized. Colombia is experiencing a great movement toward the Gospel, but we need more laborers. There is much to do!
In September, we finished our series on the Gospel of John. To conclude, 7 of our men helped me by each preaching a mini-sermon on the “I Am” statements of Christ in John. It was a sweet night of reflecting on the sufficiency of Christ, and more exciting still to see him work in new preachers of the Gospel. This is why we are here — to train men! Pray for these & others as they develop the calling God has placed on their lives.
In December, we will conduct a special Christmas program again in a poor area of town where we have a weekly outreach ministry. We did this last year and it was a huge success! We’ll prepare a special gift and meal for each of the 200 children who attend and then preach to the families and community. For about $5 per child, we will include a toy, toiletry items, a gospel-centered kids book, and a personalized letter. This is the area of our next church plant, Lord willing.
We have also just started a bus route to this area on Sundays to bring families in until we can get a church officially started there. Pray for an increase in our monthly support to provide for this new ministry. Also, pray for funds to purchase a personal vehicle. This has become an urgent need.
Residents At Last!
It was quite a struggle to get our new visas, as the laws changed multiple times this year, extra certifications were requested, documents were lost internationally, and we paid much more than anticipated, but the Lord is faithful in providing each part of this need and allowing us to finalize everything just in time. Thanks especially to Community Baptist in NC and Calvary Baptist in OH for the special offerings. We are now permanent residents of Colombia!
Thanks to our sending church & family, we will be back in the States for one month over Christmas. This will be the first time we’ve been back since two years ago when we arrived in Colombia. We thank God for a full schedule including a couple new churches who wish to join our team of financial supporters. This is an answer to prayer!
We will also participate in an amazing missions retreat called the Our Generation Summit in Pigeon Forge, TN from December 31 through January 2. Why don’t you come join us? Time is short. Contact me for information.
- More lost souls to be saved, baptized and discipled
- Continued growth in our church — Iglesia Bíblica Bautista El Faro
- Christmas program for needy children in our outreach ministry
- Christmas traveling to Georgia and Ohio
- Our people who will be leading the church in our short absence
- Church Youth/Singles ministry camp in January
- URGENT: Purchase of a vehicle for family and ministry
We wish you a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for standing with us & supporting the Lord’s work in Colombia.
Aaron & Aubrie Vance
(with Amira, Anabel & Aris!)
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!
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.
- Thank God for new salvations! One of these was a lady named Rosalba who repented and believed on Christ on Monday! Pray for her as she grows in this new life.
- Saturday was the second time we’ve gone as a church to a community outreach on the outskirts of our city. We had 115 children, several adults and 10 from our church! I taught on the fall of mankind and our sinful nature, showing that though we all have sinned, Christ loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners. Pray as we lay a foundation for the Gospel in this needy community! Our hope is to start another church here eventually.
- Sunday services are always a joy as people come, worship the Lord passionately and listen attentively to the preaching of God’s message. It is an exciting thing feeding the spiritually hungry and seeing Christ and his Word satisfy their hunger.
- We began a weekly email for our church. If you’d like to receive this (it is in Spanish, by the way), you can sign up here: eepurl.com/3ycWr
- One of the most thrilling things for me this week was that a young single man and another middle aged married man came to me and expressed their desire to be in the ministry. God had been dealing with them. Pray for Jhon & Óscar, among a couple others that I believe the Lord is working on!
- We went Thursday to find out the gender of our next child and we discovered how rebellious (or modest) it was! No cooperation at all… So we went back Friday and without a doubt it is a… well, check out this short video we put together to find out: youtu.be/7GFXx9kxNNE
- This week, with the city’s fair going on, we’ve been in many situations where thousands and thousands of people surrounded us. I couldn’t help but to think of the Lord Jesus’ words in John 4:34-35:
“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
- I challenge you to lift up your eyes around this world and realize that the need is great, the time is now, and the responsibility is ours! Let us commit to doing the will of the one who has sent us, and to finish his work!