God is still working, even in the middle of COVID19! – March 2020 Prayer Letter
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…
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: email@example.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!
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 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:
November 2017 Prayer Letter
Dear Praying Friends & Family,
We just finished up Thanksgiving here in Colombia. It’s just another day for most folks, but it causes us to remember that we truly have much for which to be thankful! Besides the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin cheesecake we were able to enjoy (thanks to my mother-in-law!), we are sincerely thankful to God for everything around us. His blessings are plenteous, and his grace is abundant!
Click here to see and download a printable PDF of this letter
Thankful For Our Newest Baby Girl
We are pleased to introduce you to Alethea Jewel Vance, born November 16, 2017. Aubrie and the baby are doing great, and we are all adjusting to having a household of 4 daughters! Alethea is Greek for truth, and Jewel is Latin for Joy. We pray she can be a beacon of truth and a conduit of joy to the world around her!
Thankful For Our Upcoming Furlough
Our tickets have been purchased and we are starting to fill up our calendar for our furlough from the first week of February until the end of December 2018. Our goals are five-fold: (1) To give a report to our supporting churches of the work God has done; (2) To raise urgent financial and prayer support for the growing ministry; (3) to visit with extended family; (4) to raise awareness for world missions; (5) to give an opportunity to our leaders and churches in Colombia to exercise their gifts and calling.
We are praying to add 20 supporters to our team. If you haven’t yet begun partnering with us to reach Colombia, would you prayerfully consider us in your monthly missions budget? If you would like to schedule a meeting with us, or just need more info, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please see the included recommendation letter from our sending church pastor, Dr. Charles Blackstock.
Thankful For Recent Church Growth
Both of our churches have been growing stronger each month. We recently met with 30 of our church leaders to plan out the 2018 calendar while we’re gone. I look forward to hearing how God continues to use the church to reach our community. The need is great, and the doors are wide open to get the Gospel to the people! We are already planning to starting at least 3 more churches by the year 2020, Lord willing. Several of our men have taken great steps toward leading the two established churches while we are away next year, which also serves as preparation toward starting their own churches.
Thankful For Christmas In Colombia
Our entire city transforms every year at Christmas. Extravagant lights, fireworks shows, elaborate nativity scenes and a festive environment makes this time of year a lot of fun. However, most people see Christmas just as an excuse to party, have time off of work and relax. Though it would seem on the surface that Christ is more prevalent in Christmas here, most people still do not know him. They haven’t heard the true Gospel, of salvation that isn’t earned through religion or works, rather by grace through faith in Christ’s finished work. In other words, many here “have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2). Christmas is a great time to share the Gospel, both here in Colombia as well as wherever you live and minister. Let’s not hide the hope we have!
Thankful For Our Prayer Warriors
We appreciate all of you and your prayers for our family and ministry. Truly, God is working in spite of us, and I believe the prayers of His saints have had a great impact. Don’t stop! In fact, here are some specific requests you can lift up to God on our behalf:
- Pray for Alethea, and all the paperwork left to do for her to be a dual citizen and be able to travel.
- Pray for our furlough travels coming up January 31st, as well as the meetings we will have next year.
- Pray for the men and women who are leading the various ministries in our churches, both now and while we are gone. Especially pray for the men who will be preaching the Word.
- Pray for more missionaries in Colombia. Never has there been a time in which people were more re- ceptive to the truth of the Gospel, yet there is a need for more full-time Gospel-preaching laborers.
With love & prayers from Colombia,
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira, Anabel, Aris & Alethea Vance
Recommendation Letter from Pastor Charles Blackstock 2017
September 2017 Prayer Letter
Dear Praying Friends & Family,
Sometimes, the Gospel ministry feels like a hospital. In one area, new births are taking place, in another, the sick are being treated, and in another still, patients are in therapy and rehab. On every side, people’s lives hang in the balance, and we can have a small part in helping them get well. This is the joy of serving God!
Click here to download & print a PDF of this letter
Welcome To The Family…
Those new spiritual births are always a thrill to see. Several have accepted Christ and followed in believer’s baptism over the last couple months, including our oldest daughter, Amira! She had been asking questions for some time now, and was finally ready to take a step of faith to trust in Jesus for salvation, making it public through baptism. It’s so exciting to see the work of the Holy Spirit who brings conviction of sin and confirms the truth as we lift up Christ. This is the power of God!
Both of our churches have grown with new families being added constantly. We are seeing chains of people who have been reached with the Gospel and are reaching others. Those who were being discipled recently are discipling others in the fundamentals of the faith and even leading small groups and Bible studies. This is missions!
Celebrating Milestones & Ministry…
We recently celebrated our third anniversary at our main church, as well as the inauguration of a new meeting facility in our second church. Both of our churches are at capacity each week. It was a joy to have friends from the US (Steve, Erin, Jason and José) visiting during this time. They were such a blessing to us and the people to whom we minister, and worked hard in the getting the new building ready for use.
Our Bible institute has grown exponentially, and now has around 30 students preparing for ministry, both full-time and as faithful members and leaders in the local church. Please pray for these core leaders as we establish them in the Biblical doctrines and ministry. Over a dozen men have responded to God’s call to preach!
Let’s Meet Up! — Furlough 2018
Our furlough is quickly approaching, and we would love to come by your church to give a report of the work God is doing here through us in Colombia. We are now scheduling meetings for February through December of 2018. We are also looking to add around 20 monthly support partners to our team in order to continue to plant more churches. Do you have any recommendations? We have plans in place to plant three more churches by 2020, Lord willing. We have the leaders who are being trained, and we have mapped out the areas that are wide open and needing a Gospel preaching church. We just need the funds to help them get started. If you’d like more info, send me an email at: email@example.com or call 678-696-0082.
A Home Full Of Girls…
The family is doing very well, and Aubrie is nearing the delivery date for our 4th daughter. Pray for her especially during this time. We hope to introduce you to this little princess in our next letter toward the end of November.
We are sincerely grateful for your prayers and monthly support, as well as a few special gifts that have come in recently. It is through your faithfulness that we can live and minister here in Colombia. If you do not currently support the ministry here, would you consider partnering with us to become part of our team? Lives are at stake, and we have the message that can save them. Thank you, and God bless!
Your Missionaries In Colombia, South America,
The Vance Family
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira, Anabel, Aris & Baby girl “A” 🙂
Here are some recent pictures from the family and ministry…
March/April 2017 Prayer Letter
Dear Praying Friends & Family,
This month’s update is all about new life. In the US, many of you are currently in the middle of Spring, however, here in Colombia the weather stays about the same all year long… (HOT!) We’re talking about a different kind of new life! Read on to find out how God is being glorified through the ministry here in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Click here to view and download a printable PDF of this letter
A New Daughter Church Is Born!
In March we were able to start a brand new church out of our main work, which is just under 3 years old itself! We had been sowing seeds of the Gospel in this community, called Café Madrid, for some time now, and Christ is doing amazing things. We have several leaders who have been trained, as well as up-and-coming pastors who have been studying ministry with me and who are leading in almost every aspect of this new church. They are preaching, teaching, leading singing, discipling new believers and organizing events and services. It’s amazing to see the Lord working through these men and women, as well as the great response in the community. We’ve had between 50-70 for each service, and are in need of a more permanent facility. Currently we meet in a community center. Please pray for this work in the days ahead!
New Believers Born Into The Family!
As result of the work in the daughter church, as well as our main church, people are coming to an understanding and faith in the Gospel. It is a beautiful thing to see this new spiritual birth all around us. Some have come from religious backgrounds, but without having ever understood who Jesus is or why he died on the cross, and others come from humanism and atheism and are coming to a realization that there is a God who is HOLY, JUST, but also merciful and mighty to save! It never gets old! Pray for these first-generation believers.
New Leaders Born & Growing!
Our Bible institute has had tremendous growth this year. Training leaders is really the heart of our ministry. We know that without “teaching them to observe all things,” we are not fulfilling the Great Commission! This is what Jesus, Paul and the other Apostles did throughout their lives. Because of this focus, the Gospel message has made its way around the world, through the ages, to us here today. Last year we had 12-15 men training for ministry, but now there are around 25 who are committed to serving the Lord, peaching the Gospel, and have given their lives to the ministry. We are going through organized theological and ministerial themes and studies, as well as life-on-life and hands-on practical teaching. The long-term success of our ministry really depends on these men and women. Continue to pray for them!
New Little Vance Coming Soon!
Speaking of new life, Aubrie and I are pleased to announce that God is entrusting us with our 4th baby, due in November! Our three girls are excited and already convinced it’s going to be another girl. If that’s the case, there will already be plenty of hand-me-downs! Either way, we are so blessed, and we trust God to help us raise all of our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We appreciate your prayers for our family, especially Aubrie, in the months ahead as we prepare for this new arrival.
Once again, thank you for your continued support of our family and ministry. There are amazing things happening here, but we know that it’s only by, through, and because of God’s grace. One last prayer request is for our first furlough, coming up during 2018. We are currently making plans for this trip back to the States, to give a report to our supporting churches and raise more support for the growing ministry here in Colombia. If you would like more info, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 678-696-0082. I will give some more details in our next letter.
Our sincerest love and warmest greetings,
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira, Anabel & Aris Vance
Here are some recent pictures from our ministry and family: