The Rance Story

Read the exciting journey in which God brought a big city girl from California
and a boy from a small town boy from North Dakota
together to bring His change to a lost and hurting world.

DeLonn's Beginings

DeLonn and Valerie's Journey

    The years spent in Central America were of great influence in DeLonn's spiritual formation and to his missionary calling.  He got to know and relate to some of the great missionary pioneers. i.e. Ralph Williams, Melvin Hodges, David and Ruth Kensinger, Perry Diamond, and John Franklin.  DeLonn and his dad would sit and listen to Uncle John (Franklin) talk for hours about his early years and his philosophy of missions    
   In the years 1976 through 1978 DeLonn returned to North Dakota for High School.  This was the same school that his grandfather and father graduated from as well as Morris and Ward Williams (other Assemblies of God missionaries). Of vital importance to DeLonn in fulfilling his missionary call was the ministerial training he received at Bethany Bible College, Santa Cruz, California (1978 - 1982).  He graduated from Bethany with BS Ministerial with an emphasis in Missions and Biblical languages.    
Valerie Ann (Snyder) Rance was born in Escondido, California on October 19, 1956.  She is a third generation pentecostal and minister.  Her grandmother, Lovie Jacobsen (maternal mother) was a Foursquare minister who started rescue missions in the San Diego area.  Her aunt and uncle (mother's sister) were Foursquare missionaries to Japan.  Her father, Eugene Snyder became an Assembly of God minister later in life.  He was a Deputy Sheriff for the county of San Diego for 16 years.  After hurting his back, God called him at age 40 into full time ministry.  He served as an assistant pastor for five years at Calvary Temple, San Diego.  Then he became senior pastor at Bethel Assembly of God, Alpine, California.  He died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 51.  Her mother Janet Snyder passed away in 2013.  

Valerie's Beginings

        Valerie has felt a calling to be a missionary for as long as she can remember.  She formally asked Jesus into her heart at the age of five.  God never told her "Go To Africa!" but seemed to guide her life toward the goal of missions.  After high school the doors opened for her to attend a Summer of Service in Youth with a Mission. Those three months were a time of God showing her that she could be a missionary. She could live in a tent, eat only white rice three times a day and do one on one witnessing.    
After this experience, God started dealing with her to go to Bethany Bible College, Santa Cruz California.  She did not want to go to college; she just wanted to marry a missionary.  But after telling God that he had to show her a verse in the Bible that told her to go to college before she would go; she opened her Bible to Luke 24:50 which said " When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them."  So Valerie went to Bethany.  She only wanted to stay one semester to find "Mr. Right Missionary" but the one semester turned into five years.  She started with a Psychology major thinking that she could help her husband in the area of Christian counseling.  During her junior year God started dealing with her about her missionary calling.  He was calling her to be a missionary, not just a missionary wife.  She had to be willing to give up a husband and children and go to the field alone.  This was a major turning point in her life because her whole life goal was to be a missionary wife and mother.  She had to give her hopes and dreams of husband and family to God. It was a struggle but she changed her major to ministerial. She was scared to death of being the only girl in a all male classroom; of preaching in front of a room full of men; of having to answer again and again why she wanted to be a ministerial major. The only answer she could give was "I don't know why, all I know is that God has called me and I have to answer His call." Valerie graduated from Bethany in 1980 with a BS, double majoring in Psychology and Ministerial.
DeLonn and Valerie met at Bethany in 1979.  They were both working on the yearbook and they had a mutual interest: missions.  DeLonn being a "know-it-all" missionary kid wanted to let this "romantic going-to-be" missionary know how hard the mission field really was.  But as hard as he tried he could not dissuade Valerie from her missionary calling. As time went on their mutual commitment to missions lead to a mutual love between them and on July 19, 1980 they were married.
   DeLonn Lynn Rance was born in Cando, North Dakota on October 13, 1960.  He was the first of three sons born to Alver and Lynda Rance.  During DeLonn's early years he attended Bible school at Hub City Bible Institute in Aberdeen, South Dakota (Now called Trinity Bible College) with his parents as they prepared for ministry.  In 1964 his parents started pastoring an Assembly of God Church in Butte, North Dakota.  In 1966 they moved to Grafton, North Dakota to pastor the small Assembly of God work there.  DeLonn was saved in 1965 at the age of 5.  He was baptized in water and in the Spirit in 1968 at the age of 8.  In 1968 missionaries David and Ruth Kensinger, veteran missionaries to Central America held a missionary meeting in DeLonn's fathers church.  During this meeting DeLonn felt a call to become a missionary.  About 6 months later DeLonn's mother asked him how he would feel if the family decided to go to the mission field.  DeLonn responded "Great because I am going to go anyway!"  In 1972 DeLonn's family entered Costa Rica for the first time so that his parents could study the language.  They spent one year in Costa Rica and then three years in Quezaltenango, Guatemala.  Alver and Lynda served asmissionaries in Mexico (1977-1980) and then Belize (1980-1986). Lynda died of Cancer in 1986 at the age of 42. In 1989 DeLonn's father married Linda Moos and they served as missionaries in Belize from 1989- 1992 and Honduras from 1993-2005. They are now serving at Global University  in Springfield, Mo.      
After DeLonn graduated from Bethany in 1982 they received their licenses from the Northern California/Nevada district.  They then moved to Springfield, MO where DeLonn earned his MA in Missiology at the Assembly of God Theological Seminary.  This degree was directly related to future service in missions and was highlighted by missiological formation at the feet of a primer pentecostal missiologist and former missionary to El Salvador, Melvin Hodges. 
During their time in Springfield two births occured, their daughter LaDawn Lynn (January 18, 1983) and the Missionary In Training Program. They applied before the program was fully approved.  They then moved back to San Diego, California hoping to work in a cross-cultural situation.  Several weeks later they received a call from John Bueno.  He told them about an urgent need in El Salvador because the only missionaries on field were going on furlough.  He asked them if they would be willing to go and serve in El Salvador.  Three months later, after committee approval, on May 4,1984; DeLonn, Valerie and LaDawn Rance arrived in El Salvador.

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