Dear Pastors and Prayer Partners,
I am amazed at the Lord’s goodness to unworthy people like us! Consider the fact that we were once the enemy of God (Colossians 1:21), and now he has made us his representative and ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)… His grace sure is rich!
We have been blessed on deputation. For a year and a half, God has kept us safe, provided for each of our needs and allowed us to see people saved along the way. We have truly enjoyed each moment! Through your faithful prayers and giving, the Lord has now provided over 77% of our needed support! We are thankful to have added quite a few new partners since our last letter, and we only need a handful more churches to join us before leaving for Colombia.
With our departure nearing (November, Lord willing), we are now in the process of getting our setup fund ready. We will be purchasing tickets very soon, along with getting our passports and visas all set for our move. If your church or Sunday School class is interested in giving to this project, contact me by phone or email or send donations to our mission board and mark the check “Aaron Vance – Setup Fund.” For a list of specific items we will need to set up our home in Colombia, please check out our website: www.bemagnified.org.
From The Mouth Of Babes
Our 3-year-old Amira was talking to my Mother-in-law the other day who told her that she missed her a lot and was crying for her. Amira quickly gave comfort by saying, “It’s OK Mamaw, don’t be sad. God is here!” It’s amazing to see her picking up on spiritual truths like these.
Colombian Culture Corner
There are two words that are often heard in Colombia when people want to say something is “cool” or “neat.” Those words are “chévere” (CHEH-beh-ray) and “bacano” (bah-CAH-no). If something is really cool and you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can put those words together. Now, isn’t that chévere bacano?
- For several that we’ve seen saved recently
- For others to trust Christ, here and far away
- For our support & setup needs to be fully funded by this November
- For God to prepare hearts in Colombia even before we arrive
- For God to raise up more laborers for Colombia
- For the Our Generation Camp at the end of May
Thanks again for your constant prayers and financial support. We love you and pray Christ’s best for you. Also, we’d love to hear from you to know how things are in your life & ministry.
Serving the Worthy King,
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira & Anabel Vance
This summer, my family and I will be joining a team of missionaries in helping out at the Our Generation Camp in Dayton, TN. I want to challenge you to consider coming this year. It has made such an impact in my life, that I plan on giving away a sponsorship for somebody by next week (see how to win at the end of this post).
The following description is from their website:
In 2004 a group of young missionaries headed to the field held a camp (Baptist Camp for World Evangelism) for college age students interested in foreign missions. God blessed in a such a tremendous way that the world is still feeling the impact of the decisions made that week as alumni are now serving all over the world. Over the years the camp evolved into the Our Generation Student Leadership Conference and remained a focused training ground for foreign missions. In 2011 we expanded our vision and began to provide the Our Generation Camp for middle school and high school age students. It allowed them exposure to young missionaries, missions training, plus all the fun and excitement expected in a summer camp.During the Our Generation Camp we have two tracks running simultaneously. Two camps, five days, but for one mission! We are blessed to have over a dozen missionaries families join us to serve as keynote speakers, counselors, and to spend time with the students. We believe this unique equation makes for an awesome week with maximum impact on the life of the teenagers and college students.
Date: May 27 – May 31, 2013 (Mon – Fri)
Location: Fort Bluff in Dayton, TN
Cost: $200 (special pricing for youth groups)
Interested in bringing a group!?!
We would love to hear from you! Please, email Trent@visionbaptist.com. He will communicate with you directly and answer any questions you may have.
We will email you a Youth Pastor Packet that will help you as you promote the camp to your youth group, meet with the parents of the teenagers, and recruit youth sponsors to join you.
In partnership with Fort Bluff Camp and missionaries around the world we believe we offer a premier, missions focused camp at an extremely reasonable price. We have all you would expect in a summer camp plus so much more!!
To see more info about camp speakers, the schedule, and to register, please visit the official camp website here.
Now, for the good part…
If you are interested in coming to the camp or know somebody else that is, I want to help you get there! How do you win? Simple… leave a comment below, share this post on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to the email updates. Doing each of these things will earn you a separate entry. Then, next Wednesday, April 17th I will use a random picker to select the winner.
We serve a risen Savior! Thanks for keeping up with us as we take the Gospel message to Colombia.
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“¡Viva el Papa! ¡Viva el Papa! ¡Viva el Papa! ¡Viva el Papa!”
I tuned in yesterday afternoon in time to hear multitudes of Catholics from all over the world chanting in expectation of their new leader. Flags were waving all over the Vatican. The cry of the crowd was a cry of enthusiasm, expectation and energy as the new pope was to be revealed.
Then, as the curtains were pulled back, it was announced that the pope was none other than Argentine Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name Pope Francis. Indeed, this man is the first Latin American to ever be chosen as Catholicism’s Papal leader.
He is a simple man, choosing to be as much among the people as possible, live a simple life, help the poor and deny many of life’s dainties for the “greater good.”
He led the people in reciting the Lord’s Prayer, then a prayer to Mary.
You could see expressions of hope on the faces of all who listened.
…But is there hope in the pope?
I need to be careful here, because my intention is not to carelessly offend those that hold to the catholic teachings. But could I be so bold as to say, Catholicism, at its core teaching, is leading over a billion people to hell.
Why is that?
Don’t Catholics believe in God? Don’t they believe in the Bible? Don’t they believe that Jesus died on the cross?
Yes, they believe all of these truths.
But what is different between biblical Christianity and catholic teaching? Simply put, it’s a matter of do vs. done.
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist.”
Their teachings go on to express that there are 7 sacraments of the church, and in keeping these sacraments you will have favor with God and earn salvation.
But ask any catholic if they know where they will spend eternity and they always reply, “I don’t know” or “you can’t know” or “I won’t know until after I die.”
Why is that? Because salvation is depending on what they do. They are initiated into the church as a baby when they are baptized, they go through confirmation as a child or young adult, and they take the communion. They confess their sins to the priest, pray to Mary, pray to the saints and other idols, and help the poor, but it comes down to one question: What is their salvation depending on? DO or DONE!?
Friend, there is no hope in the pope. He is just a man. He may be a nice man, but he is a man who is leading people down a religious road straight to an eternity that is separated from God.
Salvation is only by grace through faith. It is either grace or it is works. It cannot be both. Jesus already bought our salvation, and offers it as a gift to all who will believe on him. Why are you trying so hard to earn it?
If you have never been biblically saved, if you are still trying to work your way to God, if you don’t know for sure if you’re eternity will be Heaven or Hell, I challenge you to do one thing. Repent.
Repent of your sin and your faith in works or religion. Then believe on Jesus. Run to Jesus. Throw out any other hope that you have and cling to the cross where Jesus paid for your sins. He says he will forgive you. He will accept you. He will make you his child and an heir to all promises. He promises to give you life. Don’t wait any longer.
The Bible says in John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
You have God’s word on it. He never breaks his promises. Don’t wait any longer. Believe on Jesus.
Christian, maybe you agree with all that I’ve written here. Would you pray with me for the billions around the world that are deceived by religion? Would you pray with me that God would raise up more laborers to take the GOOD NEWS to them, that Jesus paid it all? Would you pray that God would open their eyes, that they would know the truth, and this truth would make them free?
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” 1 Timothy 1:12
My heart is full today.
I feel blessed far beyond what I deserve.
Last night, at our home church, 18 men gathered around me for several hours to encourage me, bless me, lay their hands on me, and ordain me into the Gospel ministry. These men have had, collectively, hundreds of years in the ministry. I was so humbled to be surrounded by these giants of the faith, and to hear of their recognition of God’s hand in my life.
I would like to thank the following men for not only having a part in my ordination, but for investing in my life. God has used you!
- Charles Blackstock — My pastor and close mentor and friend. (over 30 years of ministry)
- Carl Braswell — Church planter for years and now missionary with Macedonia World Baptist Missions. (over 50 years of ministry)
- Jeff Bush — Missionary to Argentina and now Director of Vision Baptist Missions. (over 10 years of ministry)
- Robert Canfield — Assistant pastor at Vision Baptist Church. (about 5 years of ministry)
- Trent Cornwell — Assistant pastor at Vision Baptist Church. (about 7 years of ministry)
- Mark Coffey — Missionary to South Africa with Vision Baptist Missions. (about 10 years of ministry)
- Austin Gardner — Close mentor and friend. Pastor of Vision Baptist Church and missionary to Peru for many years. (almost 40 years of ministry)
- David Gates — Close friend and missionary to Egypt with Macedonia World Baptist Missions. (about 5 years of ministry)
- Alfonso Gonzalez — My assistant while I pastored the Spanish church in GA, now pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Faro. (about 3 years of ministry)
- Kevin Hall — Missionary to South Africa with Vision Baptist Missions. (about 10 years of ministry)
- Brandon Mayes — Missionary to China and now Deputation Director for Macedonia World Baptist Missions. (about 15 years of ministry)
- Rex McPherson — Missionary in Wales and now Pastor of Galilean Baptist Church. (about 30 years of ministry)
- Larry Monroe — Pastored for many years now assistant pastor at my home church. (about 20 years of ministry)
- Cory Sexton — Friend for years and now pastor of The Church at Hoschton. (about 10 years of ministry)
- Donald Swaim — My grandfather and missionary to Mexico and US hispanics with BIMI. (about 30 years of ministry)
- Richard Vance — My dad and missionary printer with Macedonia World Baptist Missions. (about 18 years of ministry)
- Thurman Wade — Pastor for several years, now Director of Macedonia World Baptist Missions. (about 50 years of ministry)
- Frank Whitmire — Pastor for several years, now assistant pastor at my home church. (about 30 years of ministry)
For years, I have seen God do great things over and over again in my life, and I’m constantly reminded that it’s not about me… it’s all about HIM! I’m just an earthen vessel, he’s the real treasure. Knowing this humbles me. It is an honor to serve the King of Kings. It is a privilege that God would see it fit to put me in ministry. It is a joy to be his voice in this world.
I want to also express my love and gratitude for the one that is by my side — that is, my wife, Aubrie. There’s no one else that has loved me more, encouraged me more, inspired me more, helped me more and will ever be with me more than her. Ministry can come and go, but she will be with me until the end. I tell you, God has been super good to this ol’ boy!