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The Most Action-Packed Update, Ever!


September 1, 2014

Dear Friends,

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.

Church Launch

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!!

Surprise Funeral

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!

Prayer Requests

  • 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

Click for a printable PDF of our prayer letter (with pictures!).

Click for a printable PDF of our prayer letter (with pictures!).

 

 

Thank you for all you do to make it possible for us to be here! How can we be praying for you? 

Bogotá — Day 2


 

 

What a day!

We saw much of the city today, but honestly we have hardly scratched the surface. We walked around several important neighborhoods, saw huge plazas and big museums, and we were able to go up to Cerro Monserrate, a Catholic church on top of the mountain by the city. We’re finding that the Colombians are very good at their Teleféricos (cable cars) as this is the third one we’ve ridden so far.

 

 

Here’s a few things we’ve learned while here in Bogotá, many of which can also be applied to many other cities around the world:

 

1. People are Religious

This country is over 90% Roman Catholic, and it shows in many parts of their society. The Hotel we stayed at in Bucaramanga even had a chapel and held mass everyday for those traveling through. Catholics aren’t the only ones here, though. There are reports of Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Taoists, Ba’hai, Atheists, several Evangelical denominations and others that claim this as their home. Everybody has religion. It’s that way in the entire world. So, what makes us different? Why would we want to come here when people already have something to believe? Read on…

 

2. Religion is Empty.

 

One person defined religion as “Man’s attempt to get to God.” But that’s just it… we can’t get to God. That’s why he came to us. Nearly every religion, including most of those found in this country, are based on works. My good deeds. You know, the scale system. Everything good I ever did is weighed against everything bad I ever did. Whichever is greater determines my eternal fate. If I were sincerely judged on that scale, I’d lose. There’s no doubt. I was talking to one of our taxi drivers about this today as I was explaining the Gospel. He seemed so intrigued that we could actually be saved in spite of who we are. It’s the beauty of God’s salvation. But religion…. religion is empty. It leaves you wanting. That’s because it can only give so much hope. What we need is a relationship. When Jesus Christ becomes not only a figure of our church but our Savior and Lord, that’s when we have hope of life. That’s when things become different. That’s what sets us apart. It’s not what I do, it’s what He has done!

 

3. People are Searching.

You remember all those religions I listed off just a second ago? You know why those places are filling up? It’s because people want something else. They want hope. The dead faith of their fathers has left them wanting, and they are willing to look elsewhere for the truth that’s missing. Unfortunately, what they find many times, and even what they take a risk on and sometimes change their entire life for, is just another lie. That’s why we need to get the truth in their hands. The harvest is ripe. People are searching!

 

4. Christ’s Church is Growing.

In spite of all the lies in this place, in spite of all the deception, in spite of all the false prophets, and in spite of the need that still exists, God’s is building his work here. There are quite a few good churches that we’ve found in this city. We hope to visit two of them tomorrow. Be praying though, that God would send more laborers here. Would you pray about coming?

 

I’ll leave you a few more photos before going to bed. We only have a couple of days left before heading back to Georgia. Pray that God would help us redeem the time. Love you all….

 

Three generations grace a busy sidewalk with sweet music. You should have seen the kid on the harp. He was flying!

 

 

Plaza Bolivar is a huge open place, surrounded by official buildings, churches and... pigeons. Lots and lots of pigeons!

 

 

 

It has been common for us to see people such as this man looking through the trash for something to eat. In fact, many do whatever it takes to get by. We've seen many beggars, street performers (acrobats, jugglers, unicyclists, musicians, etc...), windshield washers (they sneak up on you while you're at stop lights), and quite a few that just seemed to have given up. Some sleep during mid day, some swim through trash for a moldy piece of bread and some stare off into nowhere, wondering if anybody cares. Do you?

 

 

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