Dear Praying Friends & Family,
Grace and peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? We have found both favor with God (grace) and have been reconciled to God (peace) through Jesus. It makes Christmas time even that more special to know what Christ has done for us. We wish you a Merry Christmas from Colombia! Read on to rejoice with us in the great work God is doing here.
Surprise Church Plant
We have made mention in previous letters about the possibility of several church plants that are already in the works around our area. One of these was in the Girardot (hee-dar-DOHT) neighborhood, where a couple in our church runs a children’s foundation. In November, we went ahead and started a few months ahead of schedule. God has blessed already! One of our preachers, Libardo, along with his wife Laura and daughter Valeria, is leading this new church. The foundation has graciously loaned us their facilities free of charge, but we are going to need to find a new place soon, as it is full each week! Please pray for us in the days ahead as we help this new church get off the ground. If you’d like to donate toward setup costs, send a check to Macedonia (or give online) and mark the gift “A Vance – Church plant.”
In November, our pastor, Charles Blackstock, and his wife, Debbie, came for a quick visit. What a refreshing time it was! We put him to work, preaching in all of our churches, and encouraging our leaders. Their stay was also a blessing to us as a family. They gave us wise counsel and comforted our hearts in the loss of our son a couple of months ago.
In December, we enjoyed the company of Aubrie’s mom and aunt, Juanita and Chris. We had a great time with them, though their visit did not go quite as planned. Our vehicle had trouble, and most of the family was sick while they were here, but it all worked out, and we even got to celebrate Christmas with them. We thank God that our families are so supportive of us being missionaries.
I recently went on a daddy-daughter date with Anabel, our 7-year-old. At the end of the evening, she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Dad, you’re the second-best dad I’ve ever had! Of course, #1 has to be God, but you’re pretty great too.”
Blessings & Opportunities
There are so many opportunities that have been opening up to get the Gospel out like never before. People are being reached. Leaders are being trained. New churches are being opened. God continues to pour out his blessing on it all. We don’t understand why he has been so gracious to us, but we are grateful. As long as he goes with us, we aren’t stopping anytime soon. We have another door that seems to be opening up to be on television all around Colombia. Also, we’re looking at a much larger building for our main church. More on these in our next update letter!
Thank You For Your Faithfulness
This year has been extremely challenging, but also full of blessing. We saw God do things beyond our dreams, and we felt stretched beyond our strength. We honestly couldn’t do what we do without your faithful prayers and financial support. God has used you to help us see many people reached with the Gospel. You may never meet these people face to face on this earth. But imagine that day in Glory when we’re all gathered around the throne of God. The redeemed from every nation, giving praise to the one who gave us grace and made peace. What a day that will be.
Prayer Requests and Needs
- For our three churches and their leaders (in San Alonso, Café Madrid & Girardot)
- For the Lebrija church plant, and funds to help them get started
- For the Real De Minas church plant (more on this soon!)
- For the many other pastors and leaders whom we are training
- For our monthly financial support to increase as the ministry grows
Thank you for your love and support. Let us know how we can be praying for you!
For the Cause of Christ,
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira, Anabel, Aris & Alethea Vance
Dear praying friends and family,
The ministry in Colombia continues to grow. God truly has us here for such a time as this. When I wonder, “Who are we for such a task?” I remember that it’s not about us. It’s about HIM! Your faithful prayers and support make it possible to see Christ magnified.
Leaders Training Leaders
Our core group of leaders has been both faithfully reaching others and reproducing themselves in others. This is what we set out to do from the beginning, and it is the plan we see laid out in the Great Commission and in 2 Timothy 2:2 — “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” These are exciting days!
Moving Ahead — Lebrija
We have several Bible studies going on weekly in different areas of our city. The men we have been training are leading these groups, and we hope to launch them as churches soon. I plan to highlight one of these in each of our following letters. The first one is our work in Lebrija (pronounced: leh-BREE-ha). This little town is the pineapple capital of South America (yes, it smells delicious!), and is close to the airport on the western outskirts of our city. Its population is around 50,000 people. Juan Cruz and his wife Jennifer lead the work, and it is hosted by a local family who has been traveling an hour each way to be a part of our main church in the city. Currently, there are between 10-15 people who attend every week on Wednesday nights. Both Juan and Jennifer are engineers who graduated from a large university close to our church. They have been with us since the beginning, and I married them last year. It has been great to witness God’s work in their lives, from salvation, discipleship, ministry training, and responding to God’s call. Pray for this work and the days ahead!
Building Update — Café Madrid
Our church in the Café Madrid neighborhood is advancing on the building project, though we have had some delays and added expenses in getting everything ready. The flooring had to be replaced entirely, and we found water leaks in the walls and ceiling. We hope to have the first floor finished in July, and continue to work on the second and third floors as the money comes in. The estimate we were given for the remaining projects is around $4,000. If you would like to help, you can send money to Macedonia (online or by mail) and mark the checks “A. Vance, Building Fund.”
Special Visitor for 5th Anniversary
Our first church here celebrated its 5th anniversary in July. I am amazed at how Christ has built his church! We have been at capacity for several years now, but somehow the church keeps growing. It was such a blessing to host Bro. Bruce Berry, our field director from Macedonia. He has been faithfully serving in ministry for over 40 years! He preached in 4 of our church services, taught our institute students for hours, encouraged our preachers in a special meeting, and even joined us for one of the future church plants in their Bible study. Yes, we put him to work! It was a very edifying time for all.
Welcome to 2 New Family Members!
We had the great honor to travel back to the States in June for a few weeks to support my brother Zach and his bride Taisa on their wedding day. We spent time with family, and I enjoyed preaching in our home church (both in the English and Spanish speaking congregations), as well a few other supporting churches. There were some complications with travel plans and our transportation, but God worked it out, and we’re glad to be back at home in Colombia. Also yes, we’re also expecting another baby, due in March 2020! We praise the Lord for this blessing.
Your prayers and support mean so much to us! Many people are hearing the Gospel, believing the Gospel, and growing in the Gospel because of your faithfulness. We would love for any of you to visit us and see the ministry here for yourself. It truly is a blessing what God is doing.
May Christ Be Magnified,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance & Family