Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! Psalm 65:5 reads, “O God of our salvation, you are the hope of all the ends of the earth.” This was the theme verse for the annual missions conference at the Cariri Baptist Seminary last month. During the conference Jim’s missions students challenged us with reports from unreached fields. The main preacher, Geraldo Cruz, was the first of our graduates to be sent as a cross-cultural missionary. Geraldo has served in Columbia for nearly fifteen years. Since then several others have been sent out to other nations.
As our churches send missionaries overseas, we keep challenging them with the many unevangelized communities in Northeast Brasil. During the conference a married couple, Fred and Andreia, sensed God’s leading them back to their home state of Maranhão to plant new churches and begin an institute to train leaders. Since the conference their church decided to commission them as missionaries, they have begun the process of joining a mission agency, and plan to raise support during the next semester, so that at the end of the school year they can already be on their field of service. This may seem like a nearly impossible task, but this is exactly what another couple did one year ago when Fernando and Lany, from our church in Crato, felt the call to Venezuela. Today they are already on the field, developing a church and working with a group of Venezuelan pastors to establish a Bible Institute for the training of pastors and missionaries in Venezuela
Tomorrow our college will be hosting a special day for prospective students to visit the campus. Among several simulated classes, Jim will be giving a workshop on Missions, and our student missions group will be presenting a missions prayer challenge to the guests. Julie’s cooking class will be serving deserts and drinks. Please pray for the Lord to continue calling laborers to help us reach the fields of Northeast Brazil, and beyond.
Julie puts many hours into her cooking class, teaching the ladies much more than just how to cook. Jim’s Missions class this semester, with 24 students, is the largest he’s had up until now. We are thoroughly enjoying the opportunities God gives us to influence our students both in and out of the classroom.
As a mission field matures there arises the need to nationalize ministries begun by the missionaries. We are pleased to see this happening in Brazil. Jim is on a committee that is drawing up the plans for nationalization of our regional Christian camp. This time of transition from missionary to the national leadership is a very sensitive time in the life of a ministry and of a mission field. Please pray for wisdom of all those who are working on this.
Last month we asked you to pray for property for the future building of the church in Parque Grangeiro. God answered that prayer when our mother church in Crato purchased a good-sized property. This purchase has come with mixed feelings. We are happy that our church in Brazil contributed a generous offering, because we would not have been able to pay the full price ourselves. The property is well located between three communities, two of which we have not yet reached into. The third community is that of Socorro, the lady we introduced in our last letter. On the other hand, the location of this property is quite a distance for some of our believers. Because most of our people do not have vehicles, they walk to church. This is a problem for three of our older ladies whose health would not allow them to walk to church if we build on this newly purchased property. We share this with you so that you will continue to pray for us to know what God is planning for the Parque Grangeiro church. God would not give us property to create division in the body. Neither would He want us to exclude some valuable members from the church. Until the next phase, we continue meeting in public school in the community. God is certainly good. Thank you for your prayers, love, and support.
Jim & Julie Leonard E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com