When asking some of my Colombian friends in the States where we should go while in Bucaramanga, many of them recommended a nearby canyon called Chicamocha. So, today we went to Parque Nacional Chicamocha, and let me say, it was spectacular.
The trip there was interesting, to say the least. It took us a total of a couple hours by bus to get to a place called Mesa De Los Santos. From there we grabbed the Teleférico (cable car) across the canyon and up to the park. This cable car system is one of the largest of its kind in the entire world and the view was nothing short of amazing.
Once at the park, we grabbed lunch (I had the goat–forgive me, it was tasty!), walked a bunch, saw some ostriches and other wildlife, and I was stung by a wasp and got highly sunburnt. Overall it was a pretty nice day!
Tonight we also looked around more at some places to live here. The real estate prices and rental prices are incredibly low compared to Medellín and of course the States. Medellín’s prices weren’t bad at all, but housing is dirt cheap here.
Tomorrow we fly out to Bogotá, our last stop before heading back to Georgia. It will be sad leaving this place. We’ve made some friends here already, and we know that the Gospel is highly needed. Will you pray that God sends more laborers to Bucaramanga, Colombia?
Also be praying for a touchy situation in Bogotá. The country’s truckers have been on strike for over 2 weeks over some financial issues, and for the last 3 days they’ve blocked several major intersections in the city. The president said that if an agreement wasn’t met tonight that force would be used to remove them (possibly resulting in violence), and they seem to have just met that agreement. But, even still, there may be a few complications in getting around. We’ve also received emails from the US Embassy warning us about these events. If you want to know more, click here.
Pray that God will be glorified through us as we finish up this last leg of our journey.
Life has been zooming by at full speed! We’ve had quite a bit going on over the past few weeks, so here’s an ultra quick update:
1. Hopefully The First Of Many…
Lighthouse Baptist in Dawsonville, Georgia has been my home church since my sophomore year of college 6 years ago and my wife’s home church since 2008 when she moved down to Georgia. We were so honored to be a part of their missions conference this year and look forward to being sent out to start churches and reach the lost in Colombia, South America. This was our first time presenting our ministry in a missions conference! My wife gave her testimony, and I was able to present our ministry plans and preach. Thank you, Lighthouse family for loving us, supporting us and for the generous love offering. We love you guys!
2. More Elbow Room….
God opened up the doors for my little family to move just this past weekend. It was incredible to see how he worked out all the tiny details to get us a place with a little more room. We now have a place that I can use as an office during deputation as I call hundreds of pastors and churches around the nation. Thanks, Lord! Now we’ve got to get unpacked. I don’t know… the “Box Jungle” look is growing on me…. nope, nevermind.
3. Wait, How Old?…
They always say that time flies, but it’s never been so true as now. It’s hard to believe that Amira is already 10 months! That’s almost 1 year! And that’s almost 18! Yikes!! Ha…. Well, anyway, she is now pulling up to stand, crawling like a speed demon (a cute one, of course), drinking through a straw, singing and talking like a politician just before election day. 🙂 Love that little girl!
4. Ten Days & Counting….
Our long-awaited survey trip to Colombia is only 10 days away! We’ve seen the Lord provide in a phenomenal way and now have 100% of our support for the trip. Be praying for us as we visit the cities of Medellín, Bucaramanga and Bogotá. We’ll be visiting a couple existing missionary works, a children’s rescue home and a couple indigenous churches as well. We’ll also be in some areas where there is nothing to be found. It burdens our hearts that we cannot find any like-minded churches or missionaries in so many parts of this country. Will you pray that God works in our hearts and lives as he gives us clear direction as to his will? We are confident that Christ will be magnified.
Thanks for keeping up with us. Feel free to send us a message get in contact with us with any questions or comments you might have. God bless. Love you guys
Colombia Survey Trip Details
Aaron & Aubrie Vance | February 2011
∙ Bogotá (July 2009 metro population–8,500,000)
∙ Bucaramanga (July 2009 population–1,300,000)
∙ Medellín (June 2009 metro population–3,500,000)
∙ To obtain a larger burden for and understanding of the Colombian people and culture
∙ To gain more of an grasp of God’s Will for us in Colombia, specifically, the when and where
∙ To evaluate possible cities in which God would have us to work
∙ To plan general financial budgets, both personal and ministerial
∙ To assess specific needs and goals for long-term mission work
∙ To look upon the harvest, and to allow our eye to affect our heart
∙ To get footage, pictures and materials to assist with deputation
Information To Obtain:
Cost Of Living:
∙ Rent/Housing Costs per region/estrata
∙ Average Utility Costs per estrata
∙ Available Transportation and Costs–Buses, Taxis, Train, Purchase a Car, etc.
∙ Cost Of Food–Market, Grocery, etc.
∙ Availability and costs of Appliances and Furniture
∙ Residency/Visa Costs, Taxes
∙ Rent/Purchase of a Building & Property Costs per Region
∙ Legal parameters of starting a church–license, zoning, permission, etc.
∙ Evaluate need and reception of the Gospel per Region (locate other missionaries/churches)
∙ See what is already being done for God’s kingdom and the opposition that exists
∙ Meet experienced pastors and missionaries and learn from them
Missionaries For Possible Contact:
∙ Michael Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
∙ William Aya (email@example.com)
∙ Ruday Garrido (rgarrido.com)
∙ Johnny Bolin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
∙ Craig Lingo (email@example.com)
∙ Freddy Nieto (firstname.lastname@example.org)
∙ Rick Washburn (email@example.com)
∙ Jerard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
∙ Paul Clark (email@example.com)
∙ José Morales (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Expense Summary For Our Trip
Flight from US to Colombia $1000
Flights Between Cities $300
Buses Between Cities $100
Grand Total: $3500
Many have tried to guess what our “Big Announcement” would be. Are we having another baby? Are we starting deputation? Did we win the lottery? lol… Most have probably figured it out already by hearing it through the grapevine, picking up on hints, or just being super smart. Well, wait no longer to be sure. Here’s our big news:
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! We hope this letter finds you blessed by God, and living daily for His Kingdom. Aubrie and I have some exciting news to share. We are thrilled to announce that we will be taking our survey trip to Colombia in February of 2011!! This is something that we have been anticipating for years as God has burdened us for this place that so desperately needs Christ.
Colombia is commonly reported as the least evangelized of all Latin American countries, yet in recent years its doors are opening wide to the Gospel. Its reputation as a violent and dangerous country is also changing as leftist rebel groups and drug lords are loosing ground. On our trip, we plan to spend 2 weeks visiting missionaries and national pastors that are there doing the work, as well as scan out the land to see exactly where God would have us eventually live and serve. This is a vital step for us.
God has been working on my heart for missions since I was 11 years old. I have been able to go on several mission trips around the globe, including a 6-month internship in Peru, South America. I graduated in 2007 from the Baptist College for World Evangelism. In 2006 God allowed me to begin and pastor a Spanish ministry out of my home church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dawsonville, GA under Pastor Charles Blackstock. We have seen God do some amazing things during the past 4 years! People have been saved and baptized, lives have been changed, and we’ve seen many rise up in leadership. We have learned so much that will be put to use on the mission field. Although we love serving in the Spanish ministry, our heart is continually burdened for Colombia. We see that God is now opening the door to move on to the next stage of our lives. This survey trip is the next step for us before deputation.
As much as we anticipate our upcoming trip to Colombia, we desperately need your help in order to get there. We need people that will partner with us prayerfully and financially. This trip will cost around $3,500. We know that God will provide every penny, but we also know that he uses people to carry out his work. Will you be one of these people? Will you be a yokefellow together with us? If so, you can make a check out to Lighthouse Baptist Church and mark it “Vance Colombia Trip,” then mail it to 329 Harmony Church Rd. Dawsonville, GA 30534. This gift is tax deductable. If you would like to follow our life and ministry, feel free to check out our website at: www.BeMagnified.com. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you and your family.
May Christ Be Magnified,
Aaron, Aubrie & Amira Vance