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There’s Nothing Like A Good Bath!

Have you ever been so dirty that you felt like you’d do just about anything for a good bath?

That was the case of our Toyota Matrix after a wonderful trip to Ohio and back over Christmas. The top picture really doesn’t do justice to the amount of cake-frosting-like-salt that was pasted all over our poor car. It got so bad that we’d have to stop every 100 miles to clean the windshield and windows just to see. And since it was below freezing when we returned to Georgia, it was several days before I could find an open car wash to clean off all the grime and junk that had built up.

But when bath time came, I think I almost heard my car breathe a sigh of deep relief and joy. Really.

OK, maybe not the car. It was probably me.

Anyways, it got me to thinking. You know, we need baths too. Life is dirty. We live in a dirty world. We’re heading to Heaven but the road there is covered in things that hinder our view, drag us down and make us feel filthy. Here are a few thoughts about this.

1. Christ Wants Us Clean

I think that’s why Paul said in Ephesians:

“…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25b-27

Just as I couldn’t wait to get my car cleaned off of the build-up of junk on the outside, Christ gave himself to clean us by the washing of water by the word. This is an interesting concept. Cleansed by his word? Well just think… His word was powerful enough to create the universe… don’t you think it would be sufficient to wash me and you of every spot, wrinkle and blemish? And he wants to clean us just to be able to present us back to himself as holy and without blemish!

2. We Cannot Clean Ourselves

If my car would have cleaned itself, it sure would have saved me a lot of trouble. I had to find a car wash, fork out money to pay for it, and invest time that could be spent somewhere else… But I wanted a clean car. It was worth it. That’s why Christ gave himself for us. He laid down his own life on the cross to pay for our dirty sin. He died to rescue us from a life of filth! Now, it is with the washing of the water (the Holy Spirit) by the Word (Jesus Christ) that we’re made spotless.

3. It’s A Process

In the car wash there were 7 or 8 stages. (I opted for the “Ultimate Wash.” 😉 ) Each stage peeled back another layer of dirt. Each stage was important in itself but near worthless if done alone. I think we have the wrong idea about Spiritual Cleanliness. The Christian might study the Word of God once after messing up thinking, “Good, now I’m clean!” but it’s a process! You have to dwell in his word. The reason sin builds up in our life is because we don’t dwell in his word. We don’t spend enough time with him for him to be able to do his work of cleansing. I could have quickly sped through the car wash but it wouldn’t have effectively cleaned my car. It’s a process.

4. We Must Be Washed Often

I washed my car less than 24 hours ago. It’s already dirty again. It needs to be constantly washed. The same with us, we must constantly return to the Water by the Word for a fresh cleaning. One time won’t do it. That’s why I take a shower every day. If not, my wife and I might be having some problems. How often do you submit yourself for a spiritual bath by the Lord and his Word?

There’s nothing like a good bath!


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:

September 2010

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: Thank you, and may God continue to bless you and your family.

May Christ Be Magnified,

Aaron, Aubrie & Amira Vance

Philippians 1:20-21

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Violence In Colombia

Colombia has recently gained much ground against leftist rebel groups, such as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces Of Colombia), especially during the past few years. Cities that were once plagued and controlled by these groups have become much safer & peaceful. Now, we are seeing a new problem.

Gang warfare.

This is another sign that Colombia desperately needs Jesus Christ. There is none other that can change lives such as he. There is none other that can heal the wounds that have so deeply penetrated the heart, body & soul of this country. Will you pray with me for Almighty God to send a revival to Colombia?

I encourage you to read the following article with a tender heart.

Raul Arboleda / AFP-Getty Images


Violence Returns to Colombia

Despite gains against the FARC guerrillas, the country is now wrestling to quell local drug gangs terrorizing its cities.

Although Colombia delivered some heavy blows in its war against the FARC guerrillas over the past decade, the country is facing violence on an entirely new front. Just three years ago, top U.S. officials were touring the city of Medellín to demonstrate how successfully then-president Alvaro Uribe had rescued the country from Marxist rebels and paramilitary drugrunners. But in August, Medellín’s mayor took to the streets to march with protesters through ghettos racked anew by gang warfare. And just last week, Colombia’s new president, Juan Manuel Santos, deployed troops to the city, where more than 1,200 murders have occurred so far this year, with 503 gang-related deaths in the first four months of 2010 alone—a 50 percent jump from the same period last year.

Alarmingly, Medellín is not alone. Across Colombia, cities that once served as symbols of the country’s turnaround, such as Bogotá and Cali, are witnessing a drastic increase in violence. In mid-August, a car bomb in Bogotá’s financial district injured nine people, and both the FARC and right-wing extremists have been blamed for the attack. The same week, three teens from the embattled Putumayo state in southern Colombia, whose names were on an online list, were shot dead, apparently the victims of gang violence. And Cali’s mayor has called on the national government to address the city’s spiking homicide rate.

Alarmingly, Medellín is not alone. Across Colombia, cities that once served as symbols of the country’s turnaround, such as Bogotá and Cali, are witnessing a drastic increase in violence. In mid-August, a car bomb in Bogotá’s financial district injured nine people, and both the FARC and right-wing extremists have been blamed for the attack. The same week, three teens from the embattled Putumayo state in southern Colombia, whose names were on an online list, were shot dead, apparently the victims of gang violence. And Cali’s mayor has called on the national government to address the city’s spiking homicide rate.

Just as murders have increased, so have mass displacements: according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, some 3.3 million Colombians are now internally displaced, at a rate of 500 new people a day (that’s the second-highest internally displaced population worldwide). Meanwhile, the number of Colombian refugees pouring into Ecuador has spiked to 1,000 a month, and aid workers say many are fleeing gang warfare in the cities.

So why the new uptick in violence? While Colombia’s military has weakened the FARC, and the government has cracked down on the paramilitaries that once controlled the cocaine trade, these operations diverted focus away from local police forces, leaving a vacuum for opportunistic gangsters and loose criminal networks that rushed in to serve the ongoing demand for drug exports. “These successor groups have basically taken the reins of what the paramilitaries were doing,” says Maria McFarland, a deputy director at Human Rights Watch. The new groups, which number somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 members, are now operating in 24 of Colombia’s 32 states.

The challenge now for Santos is to fight an increasingly local problem—and the way to do that is with intense local efforts, says Aldo Civico, co-director of the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights at Rutgers University. That means addressing issues such as the growing inequality gap and broken police and justice systems, which had been largely ignored in Uribe’s FARC crackdown. Last week Santos offered the strongest proof yet that he might be up to the task by introducing a land bill that would return 4.9 million acres of land stolen by paramilitaries to displaced people, and seize up to 2 million acres currently held by narcotraffickers. It’s a step in the right direction. Now Santos needs to follow up on it quickly, or else the investors who have flocked to Colombia over the past few years may soon turn their heels and flee, too.

Bogotá Colombia Supports Gay Marriage

I’ll be honest. The following article was a little disturbing to me. It served as yet another wake up call… a call to action. We live in a fallen world. A world in which God is not honored as God. Colombia is no exception. Colombia needs a God-sent revival! Will you pray with me for this revival?


Bogotá Supports Gay Marriage: Study

A government-sponsored poll conducted in Colombia’s capital found that 63% of Bogota residents are in favor of same-sex marriage, newspaper El Tiempo reports.

The telephone poll, conducted between December 2009 and January 2010 and published Thursday, asked 1,200 Bogotanos between the ages of 18 and 59 if they supported gay civil unions. Of those interviewed, only 36% said they thought it should not be permitted

The poll found that women were more likely to be in favor of same-sex marriage than men, and also reported a positive correlation between socio-economic status and liberal views.

“In the lower stratas more work needs to be done … There was a greater acceptance of the issue among those with higher education,” said Carolina Giraldo, director of the Bogota Mayor’s Office’s Sexual Diversity Department.

Giraldo said the study was undertaken to investigate discrimination, and the vulnerability of the rights of the LGBT community in Bogota.

The study suggests that there is more acceptance of homosexuality in Bogota than in other parts of Colombia.

The lesbian mayor of the Bogota municipality of Chapinero caused controversy on Wednesday when she announced plans to “marry” her girlfriend.

The strictly Catholic Andean country has relatively liberal laws regarding gay rights, allowing gay couples to receive the same benefits as a straight couple after registering their relationship before a notary, which is what the couple plan to do.

Romans 1:24-32

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

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