October 2016 Prayer Letter
Dear Pastors, Family & Praying Friends,
The last month has been packed full of God’s blessing on the ministry in Colombia. Read on to rejoice with us, as well as to be able to pray about several needs.
((Click here to download a printable PDF of this prayer letter))
Making It Official
In September, we took a big step as a body of believers in officially organizing and constituting our church. Over 60 saved & baptized adults signed a covenant of membership and legal documents as founding members. What an exciting day! Pray for us in the days ahead as we submit paperwork and travel to Bogotá to finalize the legal process. Having these documents allows us to open more facets of ministry, & assist missionaries who will need religious visas.
Passing The Torch
We were pleased to have my pastor, Charles Blackstock, with us for a week to celebrate the organizing of the church as well as preach several special services. He was a tremendous blessing to our people, to the men who are training for ministry, and especially my family. I wouldn’t be here today were it not for the years I spent under his mentorship!
Looking Around In Love
We love these people. We love the way God is working amongst them. Many of the men and women who have gone through the discipleship program are now reaching & teaching others, both within the church body and in the community. Continue to pray for this work, as well as a new meeting place as we are out of room! To move into a larger facility is going to cost quite a bit, but we have a BIG God! Pray if God would have you to support this ministry monthly as lives are being changed. It would be an investment into eternity.
Looking Back In Joy
Just over 10 years ago, in October of 2006, God allowed me, as a young, overconfident, single gringo to begin a Spanish ministry in Dawsonville, GA as an outreach of my church. I learned so much during those years. God was patient with me. My pastor was patient with me. Those first few families were patient with me. But through it all, a church was born and it is thriving today. The man who pastors now, Alfonso González, was my assistant for the last few years before we turned over the work to begin deputation, and is doing an excellent job! Many times I feel like a parent of grown children who are beginning their own families. That’s what ministry is all about. We trust to see the same thing many times over here in Colombia!
Looking Ahead In Hope
Our mission work in the north of our city is going fantastic. About 150 people meet with us on Saturdays in a park under trees & tarps with a “Sunday-School” type structure. We plan to find a building soon & establish a “full-service” church here as soon as God gives us the green light and one of our men is ready. Pray for this, as well as the finances to help them get started!
Also, each year we have a special event for Christmas. We give a gift to each child, teen, and adult who come to the program on Saturdays, a meal for everyone and a special presentation and Gospel message for the whole community. If you would like to sponsor one (or many!) of the 150 people, we’d love to give you the opportunity to do so! Just send a check to MWBM, PO Box 519, Braselton, GA 30517 and mark it “A Vance – Special Project”, or you can give online!
We Believe In Prayer
We couldn’t be here without your prayers! As you pray, please remember us in the following:
- The growth of our church — As well as finances to find a larger facility (we are packed out each week)!
- The training of the 16 men in the Bible Institute — Alfredo, David, Didian, Díver, Ernesto, Félix, Javier, Jhon Didier, Jhon Fredi, Juan Danilo, Julián, Kenneth, Leonardo, Libardo, Óscar, Óscar Mauricio…
- The advancement of our mission in the Café Madrid neighborhood — Especially the Christmas program in December and future plans to officially establish a church.
- Our family — Specifically our health and finances, and an upcoming trip I have in November to preach a pastors conference in Cuzco, Peru.
We love you & thank our God for each remembrance of you. Keep on keeping on for Jesus! He is worthy!!
Love In Christ,
The Vance Family
PS – Here are a few photos from recent days in the ministry here. Enjoy!
August 2016 Prayer Letter
Dear Praying Friends,
The work of the ministry in Colombia is flourishing and God is adding much fruit to your account! We’re pleased to share the latest in this month’s prayer letter…
((Click here to download a printable PDF of this letter))
It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since we officially opened our main work in Colombia! We celebrated our church anniversary in July with over 170 attending! I’m humbled that God would allow us to be a part of such a great ministry. The church is packed out each week. Just in the last few months, we’ve seen dozens trust Christ, follow in believer’s baptism and begin discipleship. Several of these new believers have even joined the other men in our Bible Institute to train for the ministry.
I am so glad that God allows us to have a part in the spiritual formation and training of these men of God. Many of them are showing great potential. In addition to preaching and teaching in bible studies and children’s ministry, we have one of them give a “mini-sermon” during each service. This is truly the reason we are here! To reach people, yes; to start churches, yes; but we are here primarily to train men who can continue to do the work for generations to come, as seen in 2 Timothy 2:2.
Pray for several of these men who are looking to take the next step in their preparation. Many are giving up their careers and university majors to pursue the calling God has placed on their lives. We are looking into developing a work program for them to be able to focus entirely on their training. This will be an added expense to the ministry. Could I also ask you to pray about whether God would have you increase or begin support of our ministry specifically for this purpose of training faithful men?
God’s Work Among The Nations…
In July, I had the opportunity to travel to Chile to preach a youth conference hosted by ministry friends. One of the men who is training with me was able to make the trip as well. I was encouraged by the local churches and the men in the Bible college there, as well as the missionaries who labor in Chile. God is doing a mighty work all around the world. How will you be a part? Will you go as a missionary? Will you help others as a sender? We all must pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up more laborers for his harvest! We all must be busy about the Father’s business!!
Praises & Prayer Requests…
We literally could not do what we do without your help in prayer. It is always an encouragement to know there are people holding the ropes for us. Please remember us in the following requests.
- Our church family — especially as we plan to organize our church in September.
- Men preparing for ministry: (Alfredo, David, Ernesto, Félix, Javier, Jhon Fredi, Juan Carlos, Juan Danilo, Julián, Kenneth, Leonardo, Libardo, Mario, Óscar, Santiago…)
- Several men who have drifted off — some into sin and the cares of this world, others who are battling discouragement and sickness.
- Our 2nd mission work in the north part of the city, the leaders who serve there, and wisdom for our next steps.
- Our family — specifically our health and finances.
We love you all. Let us know how we can be praying for you! May the Lord bless you as you glorify Him, and may his peace, hope and love reign in your hearts.
Love In Christ Jesus,
Aaron Vance & Family
PS — Here are some recent photos of the ministry:
June 2015 Prayer Letter Update
June 30, 2015
Dear Praying Friends,
It is a challenge to squeeze into a few words the phenomenal things that have happened here in Bucaramanga, Colombia over the last two months, but let’s give it a try!
Our first church plant has grown so much that we are at capacity in our current facility! With this growing attendance, we are seeking God’s will for our next step. Please pray for wisdom. July 19th marks our church’s first anniversary. It’s amazing what the Lord has done in this first year. On that day, Lord willing, we will also officially and legally organize the church, which will give us much more liberty to do even more and sponsor more church plants.
Just this month, we have about 10 new young people (15-25) who are not only coming but getting involved and earnestly seeking to know God’s Word and to serve him with their lives. As I have mentioned in previous letters, there are several others who are continuing to grow as leaders and desire to be in the ministry. Pray as we plan to officially open a Bible Institute soon. This is why we are here!
Our children’s ministry has also taken off, with 150-200 each week now. It’s a blessing to see these participating in lessons, memorizing scripture, trusting in Jesus, and learning Bible principles which will guide them throughout life. Many of our leaders from the church are even teaching their own groups of children now! To me, that is the greatest success of this ministry.
*Click to see a printable PDF of this letter (with pictures!)*
Hard To Say Goodbye
We’ve enjoyed visits from several in the last few months. My mother-in-law came for Aris’ birth, and my parents and brother came in May for their first time! Also, we had a young man with us in March who is considering a life of missions. If you or a group would like to come for a short-term or extended trip, let me know and we can work something out.
Our 4-month-old, Aris Lily, is beautiful and growing fast! She was recently diagnosed with bilateral hydronephrosis. Thankfully it is the lowest grade of this disease. They will do an ultrasound on her kidneys every few months and hopefully it will resolve on its own without surgery. On another note, Aubrie and I took her to the U.S. embassy in April and she is now both a citizen of Colombia and the U.S.
As a matter of prayer, our family will need to either renew our religious visas or apply for residency within the next few months (we can do this now since one of our children is Colombian!). Either way, we are looking at an expense of about $1500 – $2500. Any financial help toward this need would be a great blessing.
Plans and Prayers
As mentioned earlier, we are in need of a new building soon. Pray with us about this project. Another desire of ours is to have a bus or van to be able to bring many to church who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come. We already have a driver. We also are still in desperate need of a personal vehicle. Will you pray with us for these needs? Will you prayerfully consider making a donation? You can give online or send a check to MWBM, Inc. (PO Box 519, Braselton, GA 30517), and mark it Aaron Vance – Vehicle.
Thanks again for your prayers & support. Only eternity will tell the full result of the investment you have made into God’s work here in Colombia. We love you all!
Aaron & Aubrie Vance (with Amira, Anabel & Aris!)