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.
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!
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…
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:
Dear Praying Friends,
Busting At The Seams!
Each week our church is packed out, as people young and old are experiencing God’s amazing grace. It’s great to see new visitors nearly each week and a constant flow of people repenting and believing on Jesus for salvation, as well as following in baptism and discipleship. Leaders are being raised up and are serving in ministries both within and outside the local church body. The field is ripe in Colombia! We are needing more space and praying about our next steps. Would you pray with us?
Our Bible Institute is entering into its second semester this month. The 17 men in our institute all have a desire and calling to preach the Word, however and wherever God would see fit. Great days are ahead! Several of these are looking into training with me on a daily basis. Pray that the Lord gives us wisdom in training these, as well as the financial backing to allow them to dedicate themselves fully to the ministry.
In other news, there is a possibility we will be opening a children’s home soon. It’s an opportunity that the Lord seems to be dropping in our laps. We are praying for a family to help us lead this new endeavour. Stay tuned for details!
Learning To Say Goodbye
It was good to have Jason Fowler with us for part of June. He is a young man from our home church (Lighthouse Baptist in Dawsonville, GA), and is preparing to return for a long-term internship to work in our ministry. It’s amazing to see how God has worked in his life since I met him 9 years ago. Please pray for him. We have another individual and a small group who are planning to come this summer. If you’d like to line up a trip for your church or family to see the work here in Colombia, just shoot me an email or give me a call. We’d love to have you.
Our Kids, The Negotiators
There are several small stores in the first floor of our apartment building. Well, Anabel, our 4-year-old, found an umbrella toothpick one day, the kind they put in drinks, and took it into a store and came out with candy. We asked her where she got the candy, so she said, “I traded for it!” They’re learning the Colombian way! 🙂
Praises & Prayer Requests
Our church, Iglesia Bíblica Bautista El Faro. We’ll be celebrating our second anniversary in July! Pray for the spiritual growth of recent converts, as well as wisdom in how to accommodate everybody in our limited space.
- Men preparing for ministry in our Bible Institute. (Alfredo, Andrés, David, Díver, Ernesto, Félix, Hernando, Javier, Jesús Alberto, Jhon Fredi, Juan Carlos, Juan Danilo, Kenneth, Leonardo, Libardo, Óscar, Richard…)
- Trip to Chile in July. I was invited to preach a youth congress for some ministry friends, and Juan Danilo, one of the young men training with me gets to tag along!
- Pray for increased monthly support. With all the ministry growth we’ve been experiencing, comes greater expenses. Pray that God would lead more folks to partner with us in reaching Colombia with the Gospel.
- Pray for our family’s health. We’ve been dealing with minor illnesses lately, and Aubrie has had some deeper issues since the beginning of the year. Pray we can get some answers and relief for her.
Thank you for holding the ropes for us as we minister in Colombia. God is adding much fruit to your account! We love you thank God for every remembrance of you.
Love In Christ Jesus,
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;” Philippians 1:3-5
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.
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!)
Week in Review – September 30, 2014
Hello, and welcome to another week in review. We thank the Lord for the time he gives us to serve him in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and for you who pray for us and support us financially!
- We had quite the scare in our church on Sunday between our English and Spanish service. As people were arriving, one of our young man, Jhon desired to speak to me about something for a few minutes. This is one who just told me a week ago that God has given him a desire & calling for ministry. Well, during our conversation, he began to have massive seizures. Our people from church came in and were working with him, and contacting doctor friends and his family. We took him to a hospital and got his seizures under control. He spent the night there, but seems to be recovered now, and back on the right medications.
- Needless to say, we missed our 2nd service. However, we didn’t miss an opportunity to serve! During our hours-long wait in the hospital, I was able to spend that time with 4 of our men, discussing our great God and his Word and purpose for our lives. My wife stayed back at the church with most of the ladies. I think this event has strengthened our people.
- Please pray with me for both Jhon and his family. They are not believers, but we are praying that even through this situation that they will see the love we have one for another and surrender their lives also to Jesus.
- We thank the Lord for the growth we’ve seen in the church lately with new visitors in our services as well as new people plugging in to discipleship and serving. It’s amazing to be a part of God’s work!
- I was able to feel our little girl kick for the first time this week! Aubrie is just over 19 weeks along… Almost halfway there!
- We’re in the process of name picking. Since we happened to end up with all A names, we don’t want this one to be left out. Any ideas?
- We are hoping to purchase a vehicle this month, Lord willing. We are at a point now where it is needful, both for family and for ministry. Instead of a small car, we would like something that could carry 7 or more passengers for use in the church. Used vehicles are not cheap here, but we know that our God is able. Will you pray with us about this need? If you would like to give toward this cause, we would appreciate it greatly! Anything helps!
An event to consider
- This week I want to highlight a special ministry of our sending church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dawsonville, GA. For the past 3 years, they have done a special End Times walk-through drama called Hell’s Gates. It has been a huge evangelistic success. Tens of thousands of locals as well as church groups have come through and seen a clear biblical depiction of the end times and the plan of salvation. If you are within a few hours of Atlanta, I’d encourage you to check out their website to buy tickets or to get more info!
Think On These Things
- We’ve been walking through and studying the book of John as a church. It’s amazing to see how each message has been meeting the needs of our people. Here is a passage we dug into this week. Maybe it will challenge you as it did us…
- 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. … 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. [John 6:45-51]
- Jesus gave his flesh for the life of the world, but they must hear! All it takes to receive eternal life is to believe on Jesus, but how will they ever believe unless they’ve never heard?! As Romans 10:17 clearly states in the context of this thought, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As we lift up the Word, God does the work of drawing men unto him and saving. Are you actively concerned about helping others individuals, people groups, and cultures hear?