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Churches Gather Again, & A New Church Starting Soon! — September 2020 Prayer Letter


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Dear Praying Friends & Family,

The total lockdown quarantine has ended in Colombia! After six months of isolation, we’re gradually easing back into a sense of normalcy (whatever that is). We continue to move forward in the ministry in which God has placed us. There are spectacular things taking place in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and we get to have a part! Read on for more. 

We Meet Again!

September the 13th is a day I’ll not soon forget. It was the first day we met as a local church body since mid-March. Our gatherings haven’t been the same as before. There are now multiple services, attendance limits, strict safety protocols, per-registrations, masks, social distancing, and the like, but it feels like home. How is it that we don’t fully appreciate something until it is taken away? Though we’re not in the same circumstances, I am beginning to understand the Apostle Paul’s lavish expression of love toward the churches as he wrote letters to them, many times from prison. 

“But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.” 

(1 Thessalonians 2:17) 

May we never undervalue the great liberty and joy it is to assemble with other believers! 

Exciting Church Plant News

In mid-August, we got the keys to the building for the new work on our city’s southern side. We are working hard to prepare this building for public services, though there is still much to do. We thank the Lord for how he has already provided the funds and skilled workers amongst our people to repair the electric wiring, structural issues, and other needed renovations. God has also put together a fantastic core group of about eight families, and we have been meeting weekly to work out who we are and plans to launch the Agape Baptist Church very soon. I’m thrilled to see how everything is coming together! We still need some finances to get off the ground. If you’d like to help, any special offerings can be sent through our mission board and marked “A. Vance – Building Fund.” Following is a breakdown of things we still need:

  • 120 Plastic Chairs ($1,000)
  • Pulpit ($300)
  • Church Sign ($300)
  • Fans ($200)
  • Piano ($500)
  • Guitar ($200)
  • Water Dispenser ($200)
  • Basic Sound Equipment ($2,000)
  • Tracts and Literature ($500)
  • Basic Office Furniture ($500)
  • Security System ($1,000) 
  • Additional Building Repairs ($1,000)

Family Funnies

Kids learn new technology so fast! Alethea, our 2-year-old, recently found Aubrie’s cell phone and decided to go on a photo spree while we were talking one day. We looked up and heard her say, “What a handsome man!” She was admiring her photographic skills (and her “good-looking” dad!). 

Keep Holding The Ropes!

Once again, thank you! Thank you to those who support us monthly so we can live and minister in Colombia. Thank you to those who sent in special offerings during the last few months to help us get by and move forward in the Gospel Ministry. Thank you to the countless many who pray without ceasing for us. Thank you for remembering us. How can we pray for you?

By His Grace and For His Glory,
Aaron & Aubrie Vance & Family 

Everywhere we go now, the protocol to enter is basically the same. Here, Aris is getting her temp taken and hands disinfected to go into church.
All of our services are packed (with protocols) since reopening! We’ve even reached new families.
Meeting with our core group families to plan the start of Agape Baptist Church
We’re making progress on the new building. Hopefully, we’ll be able to show you the finished product soon!
Anabel and Amira once again enjoying an “arepa de choclo” (a sweet cheese & cornmeal cake).
September 19th marked a year since our son died. It hasn’t been easy, but thank God for His grace!

God’s Word Is Not Bound! — July 2020 Prayer Letter and Special Announcement


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Dear Praying Friends & Family,

The Apostle Paul affirmed from a Roman prison that he was suffering and bound, “but the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9). God continues to work, even through quarantines and lockdowns! We have seen some incredible stuff here in Colombia during the past months. Also, we’re excited to announce a new door of ministry that God has opened for us. Read on for more!  

Ministry In Times Of COVID

As I write this letter at the end of July, we are now passing 130 days of national quarantine lockdown. It would be easy to hunker down and wait for this pandemic to pass. Ministry looks different and is honestly challenging, but we always need to move forward with God! After over four months of virtual church services, fellowships, classes, discipleship, and counseling, we feel a bit of virtual fatigue. But as we take a step back and look at what God has done, it’s all worth it! We’ve seen several people saved, new converts grow, and families restored. Seven of our church members have had loved ones pass away during this time. It has been tough but also has provided opportunities to lead other family members to Christ. We keep hearing of formerly antagonistic brothers, parents, and neighbors who are hearing and believing. I was able to share the Gospel with a 30-year-old man with AIDS on his deathbed just hours before he passed. Another man, an agnostic in his 70s, accepted Christ last week. It’s worth it! 

A Huge Step Of Faith

Three years ago, the former pastor of a Charismatic church on the south side of our city contacted me. He asked if we’d be interested in taking their building. It wasn’t right timing then because we were starting our second church in the far north region. He contacted me again almost two months ago and offered it to us again. This time, I went to look at the possibility, along with several men from our church. It is in a very strategic area where we desperately need a church, and we have talked about the potential for some time now. Well, it seems now is the time. After praying, fasting, and seeking counsel, God has let everything fall into place. We have decided to move forward in faith to start another church, even though we’re still waiting on the government to lift church-meeting restrictions. Taking a step like this seems a bit crazy, but I believe the Lord is in it! We’re going to take a few families and start this work from scratch. In a virtual business meeting, our main church voted unanimously to accept Félix, one of our preachers, as their pastor, and in favor of the new work. It feels like a trust fall, but I’m amazed at how God seems to be leading and affirming this decision. Over the next two months, we will be getting things ready to start having services in the Agape Baptist Church. There are so many things we will need to purchase, and though we already have some savings for this church plant effort, we could use some more help with the finances of getting started. We would be grateful for anything you’d like to send. You can give online or by mail through MWBM and mark the gift “A. Vance – church plant.”

A Close Call With The Family

The national government still requires minors and adults over 70 to remain in their homes, except to walk within a half-mile of their house occasionally. Well, Aubrie recently took our 10-year-old Amira out to walk and spend a little time with her. A man on a motorcycle stopped to rob them at knifepoint. Thankfully he only got their picnic breakfast and some art supplies, and, praise the Lord, they are both OK. Pray for those who are desperate during this time. 

Staying Focused

We came to Colombia to evangelize the lost, establish local churches, and equip leaders (at least, that’s what’s on our prayer card). Since we arrived nearly seven years ago, God has guided us in fulfilling those goals and allowed us to see things of which we had only dreamt. However, the work isn’t done yet. We must keep focused on Christ and his mission, even amid uncertain times. Thank you for faithfully supporting the ministry and praying for us. We’d love to hear from you. How can we be praying better for you? 

For The Glorious Christ,

Aaron & Aubrie Vance & Family 

Amira organized a weekly Bible study with other kids in our neighborhood.
Abelardo & Janet were among several couples to complete the premarital course and get married during quarantine.
This is how our church has been gathering until we can meet in person.
The inside of the new church building. There’s much to do!
Here’s a quick walkthrough video of part of the new building. Since it was primarily to show to our church people, everything is in Spanish.

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