Dear Praying Friends,
What a joy it is to report to you that God’s work in Colombia is bursting in growth!
Our church, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista El Faro celebrated its first anniversary on July 19th. After our first year, we have had an average attendance of about 50 but on the anniversary we had a big day with a record attendance of 140 people! Each week we’ve seen new visitors. Many have repented and believed the Gospel for salvation and we praise God that many others are in the initial and advanced stages of discipleship. We praise God for this growth.
In August, God opened the door for us to move our church to a new location just on the other side of the block from where we were. The timing of this can only be attributed to God! Because of the growth we’ve seen, it was difficult to fit into the first building, then just one week after we left the old location the entire road closed down for a construction project. We thank the Lord for many of our men who have pitched in to paint, knock out walls, put up new walls, and get things ready for services. We now have over double the seating capacity! With the rise of the value of the US dollar lately we were able to do much more than we could have just a couple of months ago. Still, there is much to be done. During the construction one of my key men, Eduardo, fell off a ladder and broke his leg. Pray for a quick recovery!
Our two-year religious visas will be expiring in October. Since our youngest daughter was born in Colombia and has dual citizenship we can now apply for residency. This will be a slightly higher up-front expense than reapplying for the temporary visa, but much better in the long run. Pray that everything goes smoothly. [Update: we got them!] Please also pray that we would be able to purchase a family/ministry vehicle soon.
Fruit Bearing Fruit
A dear friend, Rafael Gomez, is a pastor and missionary in Barranquilla Colombia (on the northern coast). He and his church invited me to preach their third anniversary and first missions conference at the end of August. They are excited about getting involved in supporting other missionaries to reach the world while reaching their Jerusalem. Would you pray for them? Will you pray about coming to Colombia to plant solid bible-believing churches?
- More lost souls to be saved and discipled
- Men who are heading into full-time ministry
- Eduardo’s recovery
- Resident visa application and trip to Bogota
- Vehicle for family and ministry
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and financial support! Lives are being changed because of your investment!
For King Jesus,
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
- 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!
September 1, 2014
Brace yourselves — This is perhaps the most exciting prayer letter we’ve ever written! The past two months have been packed with God’s grace and blessings. Here is a quick rundown summary.
The Iglesia Bíblica Bautista El Faro had its first official services on July 13th with around 40 in attendance. Several acknowledged their need for salvation, repenting and believing on Jesus that day! There have been new visitors every week and many families and individuals are plugging in with personal discipleship, helping around the church and bringing their friends. Pray especially for a few young men who have shown interest in going further. Christ is building his church!!
Just days before the inauguration of our church, a Colombian lady contacted me from the USA whose mother was back in her hometown of Bucaramanga visiting family, and suddenly passed away. Both the daughter and this woman had been recently saved and were attending a good church in Florida, and I was asked to perform her funeral. The wish of this woman was that her lost family members would hear the Gospel preached at her funeral. What God did was truly amazing. By our best counts, about 120 people showed up for the service at our church (which really only holds 80), and heard a clear presentation of Biblical salvation. Dozens of these decided to place their faith in Jesus alone for eternal life. It was amazing! What an honor to this lady who had just been saved one year before. God is good!
More Lives Changed
We have seen several receive Christ and become born again in the past month, including religious people, who realized that Jesus is the only way, He is enough and that works do not save; also Atheists, who understood that there is a God who created them, loves them and died for them; and even an ex-paramilitary hit-man, who found a new beginning and new life in Jesus. God’s power has no limits. He is mighty to save all who will believe.
A Productive Visit
Our pastor and several from our home church came to visit in July. They helped get out thousands of invites the weekend before the big church launch and were a tremendous help to get the building ready for all the people. God worked through them and in them. Please pray especially for two of the young men that desire to return here or another place as God leads to work as full-time missionaries. If you would like to bring a group to Colombia, please get in touch with us, or see our website with details about a trip for students and singles June 15-25, 2015. We would love to have you!
- Growth of the church numerically and spiritually
- Families and individuals who are in discipleship
- A new youth outreach starting this month in the poorest and most dangerous neighborhood of our city
- Additional monthly financial support. At this point we have many more plans but are only held back by lack of funds. Would you consider partnering with us, that fruit would abound to your account? No amount is too small!
- Aubrie and the new baby — they are healthy and in the 2nd trimester already!
We love you and pray that the abundant grace of Almighty God would fill you, bless you and enable you to continue laboring for his Worthy Name!
Aaron & Aubrie Vance and family
Thank you for all you do to make it possible for us to be here! How can we be praying for you?
Dear Prayer Partners,
6 Months There, Now 6 Here…
Ten years ago I spent 6 months in Peru, South America for missions training and hands-on preparation. It was an amazing time in my life that God used to teach me and mold me into who I am today.* Well, 6 months have now gone by since our family arrived in Bucaramanga Colombia for long-term church-planting ministry. It feels like just a short while, but at the same time it feels like we’ve been here all our lives! In other words, it feels like home.
God has been working mightily lately. The past couple months we have seen blessings with both ministry and with our own family. In March we enjoyed a visit from my Mother in law, our first from the USA! In April I was able to travel to Chile for a very helpful Latin America church planters conference with many other missionaries. Aubrie and I also celebrated our fifth anniversary in April. Our children are growing and adapting well to life here. God has been good to this family!
We just signed this week on a building to rent for our first church in Colombia! This is a blessing as it takes us one step forward in our ministry goals. Within a few weeks, in June Lord willing, we will hold our kickoff service. Please pray that as we share the Gospel, God would work in many hearts and build His church. He is worthy!!
Several have asked me to share special financial needs as they come along. In the coming weeks I’ll be buying 80 chairs, basic sound equipment, 20,000 pieces of literature, nursery supplies and much more as we get ready for the first service. If you would like to help offset these expenses, we have set up PayPal on our website for secure online giving through Macedonia World Baptist Missions, or you can send a check to MWBM at the address below with our name in the memo. Thanks for your help!
We had been saving funds for a vehicle but will use this money to go ahead with the church plant and wait for God’s timing on our own transpiration. We have been using public transportation here and will keep doing so until we have the funds for a car.
We express our heartfelt thanks to those of you that support us regularly with your prayers and financial support. God is already adding fruit to your account and we are most grateful that you have chosen to hold the rope for us! How can we be praying for you?
- Church kickoff within a few weeks
- More people saved, baptized and discipled
- Young men that I can begin to pour my life into
Servants Of Our Great King,
Aaron Vance & Family
“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
*PS – if you or a young person you know is interested in missions, I highly recommend they check out the Our Generation Training Center!