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 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!
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.
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
- 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.
Alternatively, here is a JPG image of the letter that you can view and print:
Dear Praying Friends,
Busting At The Seams!
Each week our church is packed out, as people young and old are experiencing God’s amazing grace. It’s great to see new visitors nearly each week and a constant flow of people repenting and believing on Jesus for salvation, as well as following in baptism and discipleship. Leaders are being raised up and are serving in ministries both within and outside the local church body. The field is ripe in Colombia! We are needing more space and praying about our next steps. Would you pray with us?
Our Bible Institute is entering into its second semester this month. The 17 men in our institute all have a desire and calling to preach the Word, however and wherever God would see fit. Great days are ahead! Several of these are looking into training with me on a daily basis. Pray that the Lord gives us wisdom in training these, as well as the financial backing to allow them to dedicate themselves fully to the ministry.
In other news, there is a possibility we will be opening a children’s home soon. It’s an opportunity that the Lord seems to be dropping in our laps. We are praying for a family to help us lead this new endeavour. Stay tuned for details!
Learning To Say Goodbye
It was good to have Jason Fowler with us for part of June. He is a young man from our home church (Lighthouse Baptist in Dawsonville, GA), and is preparing to return for a long-term internship to work in our ministry. It’s amazing to see how God has worked in his life since I met him 9 years ago. Please pray for him. We have another individual and a small group who are planning to come this summer. If you’d like to line up a trip for your church or family to see the work here in Colombia, just shoot me an email or give me a call. We’d love to have you.
Our Kids, The Negotiators
There are several small stores in the first floor of our apartment building. Well, Anabel, our 4-year-old, found an umbrella toothpick one day, the kind they put in drinks, and took it into a store and came out with candy. We asked her where she got the candy, so she said, “I traded for it!” They’re learning the Colombian way! 🙂
Praises & Prayer Requests
Our church, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista El Faro. We’ll be celebrating our second anniversary in July! Pray for the spiritual growth of recent converts, as well as wisdom in how to accommodate everybody in our limited space.
- Men preparing for ministry in our Bible Institute. (Alfredo, Andrés, David, Díver, Ernesto, Félix, Hernando, Javier, Jesús Alberto, Jhon Fredi, Juan Carlos, Juan Danilo, Kenneth, Leonardo, Libardo, Óscar, Richard…)
- Trip to Chile in July. I was invited to preach a youth congress for some ministry friends, and Juan Danilo, one of the young men training with me gets to tag along!
- Pray for increased monthly support. With all the ministry growth we’ve been experiencing, comes greater expenses. Pray that God would lead more folks to partner with us in reaching Colombia with the Gospel.
- Pray for our family’s health. We’ve been dealing with minor illnesses lately, and Aubrie has had some deeper issues since the beginning of the year. Pray we can get some answers and relief for her.
Thank you for holding the ropes for us as we minister in Colombia. God is adding much fruit to your account! We love you thank God for every remembrance of you.
Love In Christ Jesus,
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;” Philippians 1:3-5
Dear Praying Friends,
Productive Christmas TripThanks to family and friends who purchased our tickets, we were able to make a trip to the US over Christmas. It was a blessing to see people we hadn’t seen in a couple years, as well as take advantage of many opportunities to minister.
In addition to preaching opportunities in Ohio, Georgia, and at the Our Generation Missions Summit in Tennessee, I was able to record 15 Spanish sermons in our home church’s television studio, Lighthouse Global Studios. These will soon broadcast throughout Latin America. Pray that the Word would have free course and be glorified!
During our month-long absence from the work in Colombia, several of our men stepped up to preach & to make sure the services ran smoothly. They did an excellent job, and we returned to find that our church had even grown by a few new families!After only a year and a half since we began our church, it is humbling to see how God has blessed in our ministry. We are seeing well over 100 people attending Sunday services, as well as another 100-150 children & teens in our Bible clubs on Saturdays. People are getting saved, they’re excited about discipleship and they’re growing in their walk with God. They are getting grounded in the Truth. God is working in great ways in Colombia! We invite you to come and see for yourself, and to pray for more laborers for other cities where there is still no Bible-preaching witness.
Training MenA principle part of our ministry philosophy is that of investing in faithful men who can teach others also. We find this model throughout the whole Bible, and clearly worded in 2 Timothy 2:2. Since the beginning, my prayer has been that God would give us men for me to pour my life into. Well, in February we officially began a Bible Institute for this end. Twelve men have committed to training, all with a calling and desire to preach the Word. God is calling. Men are responding. Christ is being magnified.
From The Mouth Of BabesDuring Christmas, we overheard a deep theological conversation between Amira, our 5-year-old and her cousin Conner, also 5 years old. Amira: “The Holy Ghost is God.” Conner: “No, the Holy Ghost isn’t real!” Amira: “Yes, she is!” 🙂
Praises & Prayer Requests
- Vehicle. Praise God for the funds that have come in for this need! Thanks to those who have given. Lord willing, we will be purchasing something in the weeks to come. Pray that we can find the right vehicle, and that all paperwork will go smoothly.
- Mission Trip. We are expecting a mission team from one of our supporting churches toward the end of March. Pray that God would work in and through them. If you would like to line up a trip, just get in touch and we can work something out.
- New believers. There are several people who have recently believed on Jesus for salvation. Pray as we help them grow in grace and truth, and for others to be saved.
- Church growth & plans. This year we are focusing on training men and furthering our discipleship development, as well as opening a mission church on the outskirts of town. The enemy is not happy, as we have had some spiritual attacks lately, but the Light is always stronger than darkness!
- Financial Support. With the ministry growth and family growth, we could use at least another 5 monthly supporters. Would you pray about partnering with us as we continue to lift up Jesus and his Gospel to the Colombian people?
Love In Christ Jesus,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance
(along with Amira, Anabel & Aris!)
02-2016 prayer letter
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!)