August 3, 2015
Dear Prayer Partners,
Thank you for praying us through a time of transition! After one month of living out of suitcases, we are now settled in our furlough apartment in Austin, MN, which will be our home until the end of the year. Our address is: 1100 NW 14th Street, Apt. 204, Austin, MN. We can be reached on our cell phones: Jim (515)446-1385; Julie (515)218-5153. Since arriving in the United States, we have been blessed with several special events involving our family in Iowa and Minnesota.
On Tuesday, July 14, Jordan Daniel was born to Josiah and Nikki. We enjoyed staying with Jeremy, Lydia and Tabitha while mommy and daddy were in the hospital. That weekend we were part of a large family reunion with Jim’s mom’s family. The following week we spent helping Julie’s family prepare for her parent’s 60th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated with a large reception on the farm. Joy Anna, Fabio and Kristi came from Brazil to be with us for these important family events and Jennifer was already here, having moved from Brazil to Iowa last month. It was precious to be together with our immediate family! We praise God for our heritage that is centered on and loves God.
We will spend the month of August with our home church, Grace Baptist, in Austin, MN. This church commissioned us for missionary service 27 years ago, and has faithfully maintained us on the field. God has been doing some exciting things in our church during recent months and we are pleased to be more present to actually take part in the church life. The “Grace to Brazil” mission team which was not able to join us in June because of their late arriving visas is now regrouping to go down next year.
From August 30 through December 6th, we will be visiting supporters which have partnered with us as we’ve serve in Brazil. We were not able to visit many of these churches on our last short furlough in 2012, so we have not been to most of them for nearly seven years. We are very excited to reconnect with many special people who have faithfully stood with us. Please pray that our ministry in these churches will be effective as we report on what God is doing on their mission field in Northeast Brazil and as we challenge them to continue reaching out to the world with the gospel.
Our home in Brazil is serving Daniel and Sarah Ruley, a recently arrived missionary family which has come to join our team in Northeast Brazil. Please pray for the Ruleys and their two young boys as they adapt to life in Brazil and learn the Portuguese language.
Last week marked the beginning of the semester at the Cariri Baptist Seminary. Obviously we won’t be teaching there this semester, but we will be working on some projects to prepare us to teach better upon our return. Julie hopes to get her book on Christ-centered celebrations written which will serve as a textbook for one of her classes. Jim will be preparing for a new class he’ll be teaching on Cults and Non-Christian Religions. Please pray that we will be Spirit-led as we prepare to better train others.
We appreciate your prayers as we engage in our furlough ministries. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support.
Your Servants for Christ in NE Brazil,
Jim & Julie Leonard