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.
“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!
Recently a good friend and one of my mentors, Austin Gardner, began a podcast on leadership. It has quickly become one of the things I look forward to most each week! I encourage you, if you are in any type of Christian leadership role or desire to be some day, check it out! It will be a great investment of your time. Each week for 10-20 minutes you will hear loads of practical & biblical advice. This is one of those things that will be invaluable in ministry.
You can check the website above for updates each week or subscribe for free in iTunes by clicking here.
The Spanish podcast, which is also helpful and sometimes deals with different issues, can be found here.
Dear Praying Friends,
Deputation & Family Update
It has been quite a busy couple months since our last paper prayer letter! God has blessed in incredible ways and we’ve seen our support climb to 43% as of the first of August. We praise the Lord and trust him for the rest to come in soon so we can get to Colombia. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and financial gifts. We couldn’t serve the way we do without you holding the ropes for us.
Our newest daughter, Anabel, was diagnosed with a Strawberry Hemangioma (a type of infant tumor) on her hand and eye brow. The one above her eye was growing and forcing her eye to close, so at the end of August we spent a couple of nights in the children’s hospital in Atlanta to start treatment. It has improved and they are hoping for a full recovery after a year of medication! I have posted more details and pictures on our website: http://www.bemagnified.org.
From The Mouth Of Babes
Recently while at a church in Madison, GA, we met with the pastor before the service. Our 2 ½ year old Amira heard a crinkle sound when he put his hands in his pocket. Without missing a beat she asked him, “You have candy for meeee?” He then took her to a basket full of sweets and made a new friend.
Colombian Culture Corner
In Colombia, using your two fingers to indicate length of something is an obscene gesture. Instead, extend your right arm and use your left hand to mark off distance.
My wife is from northern Ohio and she experienced a bit of southern culture shock while in our Georgia home the other day… a live scorpion by the baby bed! Yikes! (We’re just getting prepped up for Colombia, of course.)
An Event To Consider
HELL’S GATES is an outdoor end-times drama put on by our home church during October. Last year was a huge success. Over 400 people made salvation decisions and many others were challenged. If you live anywhere near Georgia, bring your church group or lost friends! For more info, and group or individual tickets, visit http://www.hellsgates.com or call 1-888-295-0099.
1. Travels while on deputation
2. Salvation of lost friends/family
3. Financial support (now over 43%)
4. 46 million Colombians still need the Gospel!
We have just printed new, updated prayer cards. Please let me know if you would like any of these sent to you.
Serving The King of Kings,
Aaron, Aubrie, Amira & Anabel Vance
Jeff Bush, the missionary to Argentina that was robbed this week, just wrote this on his blog. I thought I’d pass it along to keep you all up to date.
This past Sunday night we were coming home from church and as we were walking into the house, Mindy started to close the front door and was surprised when she felt someone pulling it back open from the outside. Immediately a gun was pointed at her and 2 men barged into our house yelling at us to get down on the floor. My parents and nephew had just arrived and thankfully each of our girls was close enough to one of the adults as we were made to sit down on the floor. The thieves started asking for money, cell phones, etc. One of them went over to my wife and tried to pull her necklace off and asked for her wedding rings. Then one of them took me upstairs to our bedroom and made me give him money that we had saved back and started dumping out stuff from drawers and closets in our room. They found our computers and emptied out my wife’s jewelry box. During this time my wife and parents and the children were downstairs with the other thief. My wife asked him if he believe in God and he said, “Yes.” She then told him, “I will tell you what is the most valuable possession we own. See that Book over there?” he went over, picked up her Bible and thumbed through it. Before they left as they were packing up our belongings, he started to put the Bible in the backpack and the other man told him, “Don’t take that (the Bible)!” He said, “But this lady gave it to me.” And he put in the bag. It was very ironic as they were stealing important things and he acted like he needed to take it because my wife had given it to him. May the Lord use that Bible to speak to his heart of his lost condition. When the other one brought me downstairs he again started to wave the gun around and asked where the “big money” was and said that he was “sent” to our house because someone has been watching me. They obviously thought they were going to get more than they did. I told him that the money goes to the construction at the church (which he had already referred to our church, knowing that much about us). He didn’t believe me and both of them started to go through everything downstairs putting things in their pockets every now and then. They started filling up my backpack with our computers, camera, cell phone and took our wedding rings off our fingers. They found our passports but when I asked him not to take them, he left them alone. I also asked him for a credit card that he had taken with some of the money and he very kindly gave it back! For a few minutes I was able to talk to him about the Lord and he listened, probably more so than the average person on the street! Finally after about an hour they decided they weren’t going to get anymore. The older one lifted up some duct tape of ours that he had found in a drawer and was going to tie us up. I begged him to not touch my girls and although it sounds crazy, he started to walk over and then just set the tape down. I believe the Lord blinded his understanding as he just put the tape on the table and said, “Ok, let’s go.” Before leaving, he said, “If you report us to the police, we’ll be back to take your daughter.” They then proceeded to go out the door in what felt to most of us like the end of a very bad dream. We all gathered together and through many tears, we thanked the Lord for protecting us. Our 9 year old daughter, Lydia, got her Bible and suggested we read a passage from Psalms.
After having talked through this, my wife said, “Whenever I imagined that something like this would happen, I always imagined that we would all be hysterical and panicking, but somehow the Lord gave us all a peace as if we were just calmly watching it happen in a dream.” Even our daughters were very calm during the time that the men were in our house. Only once towards the end did they start to cry. And our VERY active 15 month old Alexa, “somehow” sat quietly on her Papaw’s lap for close to an hour without moving!! We see now how God protected us and kept us safe as many people have told us that usually when they come in unmasked, many times they kill or will do something so you cannot identify them. We believe that the Lord held their hand from touching and harming us.
We ask that you would pray for us that the Lord will give us back a sense of security in our home and will allow the girls to not be afraid. Pray for the protection of all missionaries on the field where wickedness abounds so much more. Although we had many earthly possessions taken away from us, we are not so worried about any of that. We are just thankful that we have each other and no one was harmed! So many of you have been kind in sending emails, saying you are praying for us and some have even taken up a love offering to help with our needs. We want to thank you for this. Our fellow missionaries have been kind enough to allow us to borrow a computer. And our churches in Argentina have showed us their love in so many ways. We may not be able to answer every email as our computers were stolen and some emails were never received, but we have read everything received and thank you so much for loving us!
Here to Serve,
Jeff and Mindy Bush and family