Aubrie and I, along with our girls Amira & Anabel, want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for your friendship, your support, your prayers, and your heart for seeing God receive maximum glory!
Today is just another day in Colombia, but Thanksgiving is special to us for a few reasons. For one, we got engaged on Thanksgiving! I asked, she said yes, and it’s been a blur since then. Lol
But I give thanks most of all to our Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave his all, so that we might have life. We do not deserve his grace & mercy, but oh, what a wonder it is. Thank you, Jesus!
Do you know him today? Do you know where your eternal home will be? If not, there’s no better day than the present to know that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you’re saved! Click here to read more about this or contact us and we can share God’s Good News with you!
Here’s a fun post for you. These are a few adjustments we’ve had to make here in Colombia having to do with daily life. This list is definitely not conclusive, but they are just some things we’ve found interesting and had to learn.
At The Store
- Fruit is dirt cheap. Just be sure to wash off the dirt.
- Eggs are not sold nor stored in the refrigerated section but on a room temperature shelf.
- Milk is not sold in jugs but in bags, also on the non-refrigerated shelf.
- Cheese is used everywhere, but any type of yellow cheese is rare and expensive, that is if you can find any! (aka “Goodbye, Cheddar”)
- Mountain Dew and Red Bull both are sometimes available, and are less than a dollar for what costs $2-4 in the States.
- “Ragu” pasta sauce is imported and costs about $6 per jar.
- Bottled carbonated water is as common as uncarbonated water.
- Today we saw a tin of cookies (the same brand Aubrie used to buy for her Grandpa for Christmas at the Dollar Tree) for about $9.50 US.
- We won’t be eating those cookies.
- Hot water heaters are available, but not common. When we asked a real estate agent about this, he asked if the local water was too cold for us. We mentioned that we enjoy a warm/hot shower if we can get it, he gave us a serious look and asked, “But won’t that make you sick?”
- Tile instead of carpet, bars on windows instead of screens, and open windows instead of air conditioning (The AC isn’t too much of a problem since it stays moderately warm).
- Many friendly Colombian neighbors love to play music loudly at night. Salsa, Reggaeton, Mariachi… oh yeah.
- Rent is a bit cheaper than the US, but buying a house or property is much more expensive!
- Traffic signals, lines, and signs are merely suggestions and often ignored.
- On a 3 lane road, many times there will be 4 small cars and a couple of motorcycles squeezed in between each car. True story.
- For a city of 2 million, I’ve only seen 1 small wreck in the week we’ve been here. Not sure how that’s possible as I’ve seen how people drive here. Lol…
- Seat belts are almost never used. Just hold on for your lives!
- Many people have multiple cell phones. In fact, there are over 49 million active cell phones and Colombia’s population is only 47 million.
- On many street corners there are people who carry 50-100 new-release movies with copies of the cover and a burned DVD in a plastic bag, selling them for 1-2 dollars each. Yes, pirated. Right next to the cops. They don’t sell many in stores. I wonder why…
- Public restrooms are between 25 cents and a dollar to use, toilet paper is rationed, and most public toilets do not have seats.
- People that are strangers will often stop what they’re doing for hours to help you. I find this unique and refreshing, even coming from the Southern US!
- As I mentioned in my last post, our little blonde haired girls are referred to as “Monitas” or, little monkeys. There aren’t many foreigners, even in our big city, so they get lots of attention!
- Colombians are very proud of their heritage and superiority in society (what people group isn’t?!). I had a taxi driver preach to me for 1/2 hour last night about how terrible each other Latin American county is, and how Colombia and its people, of course, is supreme in all things. I just smiled and said how much I liked Colombia. Inside I thought how great it would be if this man got the same passion for Christ and his glory… what a difference he could make!
Just because some people do certain things differently, doesn’t make them weird. Actually, it makes us weird, because we are prone to do things differently than them, in their own land. We try to have a student’s eye, watching and learning how people do things. We try to have a servant’s heart, helping and lifting up instead of expecting to be served. We try to have the Savior’s mind, who left it all, came to a different land, and gave his all for us so that we could be with Him.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Let us all have the eyes of a student, the heart of a servant and the mind of our Savior!
Feel free to share, comment, or add to any of this. God bless!
It has been one crazy week. We have finally made it on the ground in Bucaramanga Colombia, thanks to many of you who have helped us with your prayers, finances and helping hands. You are a blessing to us!
Remember, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text at 678-686-0082. This US number forwards to my phone here. We’d love to hear from you! God bless. We love you in Christ.
Here are a few pictures of the things I have mentioned….
Dear Prayer Partners,
Well friends, this is the last prayer letter you will receive from us for a while…from the USA.
Update IS FINISHED!!
Yes, within days we will land in Colombia to begin the next stage of our ministry! Deputation has been a blessing to us over the last 2 years. We have made many “yoke fellow” friends. Thank you for standing with us as we take the Gospel to South America.
The best I can tell from our numbers, we were in just over 300 churches, travelling about 150,000 miles. We were in 23 States, stayed in 42 prophet’s chambers and over 100 hotels. It’s been a very busy but exciting time. God has taught us many lessons, primarily that we would trust him. He is a great God, and he always takes care of us. We don’t deserve his blessings, but we are so grateful both to Him and to you that have helped us along our way.
Currently we are at 95% of our needed support. Please pray with me that God would enable just a few more monthly partners, so that we may fully minister to the Colombian people.
Staying In Touch
Technology is great to stay connected overseas. Here’s how to get in touch of us while in Colombia. Be sure to check out our website, bemagnified.org (or sign up for email newsletter!) for periodic updates that aren’t included by mail.
(also works with iMessage/FaceTime for apple/mac users)
email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
(US number that will work for texting & calls)
Facebook / Twitter / Skype:
(contact us after we arrive and we can give you info on how to send us letters or packages)
Colombia Visit Opportunity!
Upon arrival to Colombia, we’ll immediately begin setting up our house and ministry. I would like to invite you to visit us on a short-term mission trip. We are organizing a special trip for singles & college aged students on June 9-26, 2014. This will include one week at the Our Generation Camp in GA for training, and nearly 2 weeks of seeing the need in Colombia, assisting with the beginning stages of a church plant and making an impact. The cost is $1700 and includes airfare from Atlanta and expenses. See our website for info and to fill out an application. Also, if you are interested in bringing a church or youth group, call or email me to work out a time. We’d love to have you!
- Our flight to Colombia on November 13
- That we could find a home to rent quickly
- Contacts to be made & souls to be saved
- Wisdom and safety
- Family back home. It will be hard on them too!
God bless. We love, appreciate, and pray for each of you. Thank you for giving so that we may go. As we see from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:16-19:
“…Ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
All For Jesus,
Aaron Vance & Family
This is just a quick update to say,
We are leaving in Six Weeks for Colombia!
And it is becoming more real every day…
On Wednesday, November 13th Aubrie and I will depart Atlanta, GA with two kids and a bunch of army duffel bags filled with our belongings to relocate to Bucaramanga, Colombia. We will have layovers in Miami and Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, before we land early Thursday morning the 14th in the city that the Lord has directed us to. We desire to see many souls come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and many churches started throughout Colombia and the world.
There is still much to be done — Visas to be finalized, things to be sold, bags to be packed, places to travel, churches in which to present, final support to be raised… and goodbyes to be said.
We have enjoyed our time on deputation, but we know the real work is only just getting started.
Thank you all for praying for us and holding the ropes for us as we take the wonderful Gospel message. Souls are in the balance.