Jun 22 - Jul 1, 2023
Aaron and Aubrie Vance
Agape Baptist Church
The Vance family will celebrate 10 years in Colombia this year, and we get to join them! Come see what God is doing through this church-planting ministry. We will partner with Agape Baptist Church, who number about 150 and represent people from various religious backgrounds and social classes. They are united in their new faith in Jesus and excited to reach their city for Him. The church was planted at the end of 2020, when many churches were closing down, and the growth has been exciting to witness.
When asked about their goals in partnering with us, Pastor Aaron explains: “We are always looking for methods and opportunities to reach our community and to share the love of Christ in a tangible way. This clinic will help with just that, as well as connect interested contacts with each of our five churches and two mission works. We hope to launch these new churches soon after the time of MMO’s visit. Many people have access to government subsidized healthcare, but the delay in receiving help and treatment often results in the loss of opportunity, or even the life of the person waiting. Other specialized helps, such as eyeglasses, can oftentimes be unavailable or inaccessible to the average person.”
We will be just one way the church seeks to build relationships and help their community. Besides regular church services, Bible teaching, children’s ministry, discipleship and counseling ministries, the church offers food and clothing ministries, a national television broadcast, and special events to meet community needs.
We also asked Aaron to tell us what makes his corner of the world stand out: “Colombians are very warm hearted. They are very relational, and love meeting new people, especially Americans. Many are learning English and want to practice with native speakers. Furthermore, when they see you trying to learn Spanish and their culture, they will open up even more! Our city is located in the mountains of Colombia. The weather is both tropical and moderate, and stays about 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit year round.”
Learn more about the Vance Family!
Social Media: @aaronlvance
Colombia is a beautiful country filled with very friendly people. It is roughly twice the size of Texas. The landscape is quite variable throughout the country, with snow-capped mountains, beaches, jungles, and everything in between. Colombia is one of the world’s top exporters of coffee, bananas, cut flowers, gold, and emeralds.
Since 1991, the Colombian constitution has granted a non-discriminatory freedom of religion to all faiths. 90% of the population is Roman Catholic, but the remaining 10% is composed of Jews, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Seventh Day Adventists, Evangelicals, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Baha’i, and even Taoists.
Sadly, for many decades, Colombia has been plagued with violence from paramilitary groups and the drug cartels. There are still occasional conflicts with local police and Colombian military, but they are not the prevalent force of danger that they once were and things are, over all, quite safe. The city where the Vance family lives, Bucaramanga, has over 160 parks and has been given the nickname "La Ciudad de Los Parques" ("The City of Parks") and "La Ciudad Bonita de Colombia" ("Colombia's Beautiful City"). Join the MMO team and come to the Beautiful City!
For more country information, visit the World Factbook.
Our plan is to offer optical care to this community. Every patient who receives care will hear the gospel from a member of this local church.
This trip is now closed. Thank you for your interest.
UNABLE TO JOIN BUT STILL WANT TO HELP?
Joseph shares the “need-to-knows” about Colombia:
- You will partner with an amazing host church. Iglesia Bíblica Bautista Agape is a young church with incredible zeal. You will notice their commitment to loving each patient well and sharing the Gospel carefully.
- You will love the landscape of Colombia. We will serve in Bucaramanga, a city which sits on a plateau surrounded with mountains that appear to be hand painted to perfection. Known as the “City of Parks”, you will enjoy capturing all the sights and sounds of this city.
- You will see a great need. Steeped in Catholicism, this community is desperate for Truth. Our previous clinic experienced thousands of sweet Colombians waiting in line for hours for a pair of eyeglasses. Why such a need? For most in Colombia, it would require an entire month’s salary to buy a pair of eyeglasses. The gratitude and appreciation from our patients in Colombia is something you won’t soon forget.
See photos from our last trip to Colombia in 2021!