Hey friends! There has been much going on lately in the Vance family household. God has been good (what’s new there?!) and we’ve been enjoying each minute. This post is simply to get you all up to speed on some amazing recent events… (I alliterated it for my preacher friends, so bear with me).
The past week was both exciting and exhausting as I was privileged to teach a 14 hour modular class at the Our Generation Training Center on Evangelism & Leader Training in Catholic Cultures. God really blessed as we went through the Master Plan of World Evangelism and some of The Gospel According to Rome. I’d definitely recommend both of these books if you are serious about both learning how Jesus trained leaders to reach the world, and how to deliver the Gospel to those that are close yet still depend on works.
My family and I will leave Monday morning to spend a week with teens and college students from around the country at the OG Student Leadership Camp. I was at the very first camp that was held 9 years ago just before I spent 6 months in Peru preparing for the mission field. The camp helped me tremendously as I was able to get around missionaries that were getting the job done in reaching people and training men. It was encouraging to see how God was using other young men, and now I’m able to return on the other side of that equation. Please pray that God works in the lives of the many teens and singles that will be there. God has a plan for each of them. Pray that some are saved, some are called, and all would be surrendered to God’s will for their life!
This Sunday our little Anabel turns 1-year-old! It’s crazy how time flys by. It seems like just last week that we brought her home from the delivery room. It seems like just yesterday she was starting treatment for her tumor (which is doing fantastic, by the way), and it seems like a few minutes ago she was an infant. Now she’s trying to talk, walk (she’s getting close!) and she’s growing up into a little lady. Wow… We joy in the fact that God has entrusted our children to us, and we take very seriously our responsibility to shepherd their hearts and guide them through their childhood years toward knowledge of, and commitment to, Christ.
In our last prayer letter I mentioned that as of right now, it looks like we’ll be moving to Colombia in November. Well, that is becoming more of a reality each day! Our support continues to steadily rise (at 79% now!), and our setup fund needs are being met, little by little. We just received the girl’s passports this week and will be getting our religious visa for Colombia very soon. Here’s the challenge: Would you pray that everything goes smoothly in these last few months? There’s much to do, still some money to raise and lots of traveling to do on deputation between now and then. Secondly, would you pray that God would send more people to Colombia? The need is great. The laborers are few! If we were to plant a church for every 50,000 people, we would need at least 940 churches throughout the country! Maybe God would have you to come and help us.
We love y’all and would love to hear how things are going in your lives. What can we pray for you about? Keep your eyes on Jesus… He’s coming soon, we must be busy in the work he has left us to do. God bless!
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…
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.
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.