April 28, 2019
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! Psalm 67:1 reads, “God be merciful to us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; that your way may be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations.” God is giving His church in Brazil some unique missions opportunities.
This month we hosted two mission conferences back-to-back on our campus. The first, for church leaders, had as a goal to bring the church members closer to the mission fields through short-term mission projects. This year we plan to send a team to Bolivia in August and another to Mozambique in October. The conference speaker showed how crisis times have been opportunities for the church to demonstrate God’s love and, as a result, grow.
Within two weeks of the devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique, our churches in
Brazil raised over $40,000 to help meet some critical needs in and around the city of Beira. Working through three former students who serve there, they provided food and medicine, and purchased two generators to run the pumps that would draw drinking water for the communities. Even though their own homes, churches, and schools were destroyed, these servants used the opportunity to reach out to those who were suffering. As they preached the gospel they served meals and distributed basic supplies. Now comes the bigger job of rebuilding; we hope to send a team from Brazil to help with this.
The crisis in Venezuela continues, but so does the faithful service of our missionaries, who, in the face of a political and economic crisis continue to preach the gospel and share God’s love with those around them. The First graduating class of students at the Venezuela Baptist Seminary will finish their four year course next month. The team is beginning a third church plant this semester.
The second conference at our college was the annual seminary mission conference. This year’s theme was “Planting Churches and Reaping Lives”. Jim’s students from Missions class gave reports on unreached cities within a two hour drive from our campus. During a conference session we received a text message from a girl named Gaby. While studying at the federal university in Juazeiro Gaby joined a campus Bible study group and received Jesus as Savior. She attended and was baptized at a church which is pastored by one of our college professors. Now graduated, Gaby is back home in a small town 50 miles away, where there is no Gospel preaching church. Her text message asked for somebody to come preach the gospel at her home and to the 100 families who live in her community. We immediately shared this need, prayed, and at the end of the session two different churches offered to visit Gaby’s community. On one of the afternoons Julie hosted a special tea for the ladies of the seminary as well as the missionary wives, with the theme, Bloom Where You Were Planted.
At the seminary missions conference we were blessed by several missionaries who
shared testimonies and reports on their work. One missionary, who works with child evangelism, shared that she first came into contact with the Gospel through the Source of Light correspondence Bible lessons. Another missionary church planter shared that three believers he recently baptized were saved while studying the Source of Light lessons. Please continue to pray for Samuel, the young man who is leading the Brazil branch of the Source of Light Ministries. Samuel’s current challenge is to organize a board of directors to help him in this ministry.
Thank you for your faithful love, prayers and support, as we work with the church in Northeast Brazil.
Jim & Julie Leonard