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Update On Anabel’s Tumor

First of all, let me thank you all for keeping up to date with us and the situation with little Anabel. We appreciate all the thoughtful notes, emails, calls, texts and visits.

For those that missed it, here’s the post I wrote about her Strawberry hemangioma. This is a type of benign infant tumor, and basically, hers was growing fast around her eye and was starting to threaten her vision. Doctors recommended we start treatment.

Now for the update…

Here are a few pictures from our stay at Egleston’s Children’s Hospital in Atlanta for Anabel’s hemangioma treatment.

Tuesday we went to see yet another specialist in Atlanta, this one a pediatric dermatologist. She recommended, as others had, that we begin treatment immediately with a medication called Propranolol. What’s crazy is that this type of treatment is so new for infantile tumors like Anabel’s, that if it had been our other daughter Amira just 2 years ago they would have gone a whole different route. Yet, nearly all studies and patients have shown amazing results.

We spent two nights at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston hospital in Atlanta as they began the medication. They performed an EKG to test Anabel’s heart before starting, then gave her 3 treatments a day. They monitored her blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, and pulse as well as pricked her finger to check blood sugar after each treatment. The whole reason being in the hospital was to make sure none of these levels were to go down (since Propranolol is actually a heart medication, after all).

Anabel responded fantastically.

We were told that if it were to make a difference in her tumor, we’d be likely to see a change before leaving the hospital. And sure enough, a change can be seen!

We’ll be on this treatment for about a year, at which time the doctors hope for a full recovery.

Thank you for your prayers. I know we serve a great God. He takes care of us, and does all things for our good and His glory.


I have to be honest, we really enjoyed sleeping in our own bed again last night. But alas, we can’t stay put long… We’re about to leave in a few hours to drive all night to Ohio where we have a few meetings there & in Alabama before coming home. Pray that God continues to protect and provide as we serve Him and head toward Colombia as missionaries.



Our Daughter Has a Tumor

About a week after our beautiful baby Anabel was born, we noticed a small dot on her left hand. Shortly afterwards, another, smaller dot appeared above her left eye. Both of these began to grow at a fairly rapid pace.


We asked her doctor about these and we were told not to worry. These “dots” are known as Strawberry Hemangiomas. We were told that though the markings will worsen before improving, they disappear without treatment on nearly all children that have them after around 5-10 years.

These hemangiomas, we found, are the most common of tumors in infants. They are benign and, as the doctor said, usually resolve themselves. But, what the doctors did become concerned about, particularly at Anabel’s 2 month checkup, is that the tumor above her left eye has grown so much it has hindered her from opening her eye all the way.

We were sent to an eye-specialist in Atlanta, who just followed up on her today. Since the growth is weighing on her eye and is swelling (mostly under the skin), it could cause her to lose vision in that eye. She may have to have corrective eyewear soon in life, but we will start treatment this week to try to reduce or remove the hemangioma. This should save her eye.

Treatment used to consist of injecting steroids directly into the affected area or laser surgery. Amazingly, there has been a new development with treatment that was found accidentally. The blood-pressure medication Propranolol was found to be extremely effective when given to infants early on in the development of the hemangioma tumor. Anabel will have to be monitored (since the medication can slow down the heart), may spend 48 hours in the hospital, and she will need to be on this for a year before they wean her off of it.

We pray that this treatment will work, but more than anything, we pray that God will be supremely glorified through whatever happens.

Thank you for your prayers. We know that the Lord is good.


June 2012 Prayer Letter

June 2012

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Deputation and Family update…

She’s here! Anabel May Vance was born on May 26th, was 7 lb 8 oz and 20 ½ inches long. Healthy and beautiful, both her and her mommy are doing wonderful. Amira loves having a baby sister and has responded extremely well to having the new little one around. (You can see more details and pictures on our website: or

I am constantly amazed at how good God is to us. We gained 7 new monthly financial partners in May and 4 in April. This puts us at 33% of our needed support. Praise the Lord!! Would you pray that we would reach 100% support by our goal of the middle of next year? Perhaps God would have you to join our team of partners. We’d love to help you extend your ministry to Colombia.

Out of the Mouth of Babes…

Our 2-year-old Amira is learning and growing every day it seems. Recently, when we ask her to do something (like pick up her toys) she often says, “Sorry Mommy & Daddy, I’m too busy!”. And sometimes when she asks us for something (like candy) and we say no, she says, “What I got to do?!” … Where does she pick up this stuff?  🙂

Colombian Culture Corner

In Colombia, once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on. Men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an “abrazo”) and women kiss once on the right cheek.

There are over 200 cities in Colombia that still don’t have a Baptist church. Would you pray that God would send more laborers? Maybe he would send you. Let us know if we can pray with you about this.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We couldn’t do what we do without you. We love you and thank God for you. Stay even connected with us through our website: or give us a call: 678-696-0082. God bless!


Prayer Points

1. Baby Anabel and Aubrie as they recover

2. Travels while on deputation

3. Salvation of lost friends/family

4. Financial support (now over 33%)

5. Colombia, 46 million people still need the Gospel!

Welcome To The Family, Anabel!


Well it has been a crazy day!

Last night (Friday 5-25-12) Aubrie started having contractions that were slightly harder than she’d been having for the past month. For those that have been following our story, you know we’ve been expecting our second daughter and were already overdue by a couple days. In fact, a month ago we spent the night in the hospital in which they tried to stop pre-term labor. They did a pretty good job! We spent another night in the hospital 3 weeks ago and they were sure we’d be leaving with our child in our arms then. Nope. It wasn’t time…

And, for 3 weeks she had regular contractions and was walking around at about 5 cm dilated.

Well, last night turned into early morning, and the contractions were getting so painful that we decided to go to the hospital as soon as we could.

We got there just after 2 AM and by 2:54 AM we heard the first cries of baby Anabel May Vance! Aubrie went so fast into hard labor that the doctor on call couldn’t get there in time for the delivery! In fact, though Aubrie was in extreme pain, they didn’t have time to get her meds or an epidural to relieve the pain. she went from 6 cm dilated to 10 in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes and only pushed for 2 minutes before Anabel made her grand entry. This baby was ready to be seen!

She weighed in at 7 lb 8 oz, measured 20 1/4 inches long and has been extremely healthy so far.

We decided to name her Anabel, which means Beautiful Grace of God. Her middle name is May, which was my grandmother’s name and is a part of my wife’s grandmothers name.

Amira came in later this afternoon and was thrilled to see her baby sister. She was all smiles. I think they’re going to make a good pair!

We appreciate your prayers. God has been so good to us and has been with us through it all.

Enjoy some pictures from the day….




Baby Update & Help Us Pick A Name!

Where’s That Baby?

Many have been asking me if we’ve had the baby yet. The short answer is, no, we’re still waiting. Now for the long answer…

Tuesday, April 17th we spent a few hours in the hospital because Aubrie was starting to go into early labor (see previous post). They put her on bed rest and our goal was to get to Thursday, May 3rd when she would be 37 weeks along and the baby would be likely to have fewer complications. Well, at around Midnight on Thursday the 3rd she started feeling heavier contractions and they were coming more frequently, so off to the hospital we went again.

Aubrie was measuring near 6 cm dilation and was about 65-70% effaced. We spent the wee hours of the morning on Thursday in the Labor & Delivery room, waiting on the baby to come. In fact, when we asked about the possibility of us leaving and coming again later, one nurse said… “Oh, you won’t be going home until after having this baby!”

After hours and hours with no further change, we came home. Later that afternoon we went back to the office for another check. Still no change, still no baby. When will she be here? Only the Lord knows! lol…

Aubrie is still having lots of frequent contractions, 3-6 minutes apart, but she’s the most patient mother-to-be that I’ve ever seen! I don’t know how she does it. Each day I get up knowing it will be the day, then another night comes and goes. For me, it’s been the longest few days ever. 🙂

Now for the good part…

With our first child we had her name picked before we were even married. This one has been different. We’re leaning toward naming her either Anabel or Anabela. The middle name is still up in the air too! What do you think? Vote on your favorite below:

Ok, one of those names is not really an option. Thanks so much for staying up to date with us. Your prayers and notes of encouragement mean so much. We know this baby will come in God’s timing, and we’ll keep you posted when we find out what that is! 😀

Here are some pictures from our adventure the other night at the hospital.

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