August 30, 2013
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! After a busy and exciting summer, we are settling back into our home and ministries in the Cariri Valley. If you have access to the internet, we have posted in greater detail some of the summer activities on our blog, https://jimandjulieleonard.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/summer-blessings/. Though we will continue sending out our prayer letter by e-mail, we will use the blog to post other information and pictures.
At the beginning of August we spent a wonderful week in southern Brazil with Joy Anna and Fabio. We were satisfied to find them enjoying married life and serving God together in the ministry. We were able to speak several times in the church plants with which they are working, and were pleased to meet up with some of our former students who are ministering in that state. We also spent two relaxing days in a nearby mountain resort town where the temperatures almost got down to freezing!
Since March we’ve been holding a weekly Bible study in the home of a family we’ve known for many years. Both Antonio and Lucia made professions of faith last year, but there is no church in the village in which they live, 30 minutes from our home. Their two married daughters, who live nearby, a son-in-law, and the grandchildren also participate in the Bible studies. It has been thrilling to watch God produce changes in this family. Just this week the daughters shared excitedly how Antonio led the family in prayer during daily family meetings. This is something he had never done before. One of the daughters, Rosa, recently declared her faith in Jesus. Pray for the other daughter, Rosilda, who appears to understand the gospel but something is keeping her from receiving it. Also pray for the salvation of the sons-in-law and the grandchildren.
This semester Julie is teaching 2 classes at the college, one on raising children and the other on women’s ministries in the home. Jim is teaching a preaching class and directing the student ministries department. Because our college is now accredited, Jim had to give up some of his classes. This happened because our American degrees are only acceptable if we have them validated through the Brazilian consulate in the United States and recognized by a college in Brazil. This did not catch us by surprise and we are working on getting our degrees approved. But this situation has caused us to evaluate our continued ministry here. Pray for us and for the Cariri Baptist Seminary.
Jim is back into the construction business this semester. We have begun to build a small village of houses for national missionaries who will be returning on furlough. These houses and apartments will be located on some property God gave us next to the college campus. We feel like this would be an ideal place for the missionaries to furlough. It benefits the missionaries, the churches and the college. This week we hooked up electricity to the building site, and had a deep well dug. The next step will be a septic system, then we will begin the buildings. Please pray for this project, that God will be glorified in it, and that the churches and missionaries of Brazil will be blessed by it.
This weekend I’ll be preaching from Philippians 4:10-20 on The Marks of a Missions Minded Church. As I prepare this message I am reminded of all of our supporters who faithfully pray and support this ministry. It is easy to speak of Missions Minded churches when we partner with many living examples of these. Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission, and for allowing us to be on your missions team.
Jim & Julie Leonard E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com