Monthly Archives: April 2016

People in our lives

April 26, 2016

Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,

There are times when we get so busy with WHAT is going on in our corner of Brazil that we fail to mention WHO God brings along to work with us. It’s a privilege to serve our God, as we work together with others to glorify Him. Here are a few updates and prayer requests. Thanks for keeping us all before the Throne!

Alexa Wood, a young lady from our home church, came to Brazil in January. She has helped us organize and keep the OASIS in order so that we are freed up for our other ministries. It’s been a blessing to see how God has worked in her life! Alexa will return to the USA on May 4th. Pray that she will faithfully follow the Lord ‘s leading for her. We have not found a replacement to help us clean the OASIS and our home.

"Grace to Brazil" team from our home church

“Grace to Brazil” team from our home church

Alexa will be back on June 17- 28 with the “Grace to Brazil” team from our home church, Grace Baptist in Austin, MN. We have a full schedule of evangelistic meetings, a three-day English Retreat, church services, seminary chapel and classes, and typical life in NE Brazil. Please pray that this will be a great time of working together to present Christ to the Brazilians. The posters for the English Retreat should be posted this week. Also pray for safe travels, good health, and life-changing ministries for Clint and Nikki, Bill and Helen, Dave, Nick, Vicki, Gail, Alana and Alexa. Pray for us as we prepare for a full house!

Soon after the Grace team leaves, we’ll receive TWO dynamic duos from the USA: Seth and Deanna Peterson from Silver Lake, WI, and Josh and Jamie Huang (brother & sister) from Mason City, IA. All four will be involved in the Sacred Music week, a music camp held on our college campus. Jim will be translating for Seth and there are English speakers to help with the others. Josh and Jamie will stay until the end of August, helping with youth and children’s activities and other ministries. Please pray for these young people as they experience God’s direction, and pray for us as we share our lives and ministry with them.

Jim on a camping trip with the boys in 2005

Jim on a camping trip with the boys in 2005

Jim with Helder, Cacá, and Junior in 2016

Jim with Helder, Cacá, and Junior in 2016

About 15 years ago we began a Bible Club for kids in our backyard. A group of neighborhood boys were very faithful. They went to Sunday School with us (this was before we began the church in Parque Grangeiro), and came over weekly for games and a Bible study with Jim. A few professed Christ as Savior. We thought perhaps that these boys would become the leaders of a future church in Parque Grangeiro. Sadly, while we were on a furlough they all strayed away from God. Jim tried to maintain contact but they showed little interest. In the meantime we opened the new church in their neighborhood. Some of them began to appear once in a while at a church service. Recently, a few have been more faithful at the services. Last Saturday three of them began a weekly Bible study with Jim. Please pray for Helder, Junior, and Cacá. Two are married, one of them has two little girls. As they have grown up, they have grown away from the Lord for a time, but now desire to come back to Him.

We love our Magic jack phone which helps us keep in touch, especially with our kids and grandkids. That is, of course, when the internet is working well. We’ve gotten LOTS of wonderful news in the past few weeks. Jeremy (5) and Lydia (almost 4), Josiah and Nikki’s two oldest, accepted Jesus as their Savior! Jeremy made his decision the end of March and Lydia shares her spiritual birthday with Papa’s birthday, April 8th. Please pray for Josiah and Nikki as they disciple and teach their children.

Jennifer finished her Advanced CNA clinicals that took her into many Des Moines area hospitals. She also had a few opportunities to ride with the Des Moines and Ankeny Rescue Teams. She’s enjoying the warmer weather and having fun with her plants and herb gardens.

We skype often with little Kristi. Joy Anna and Fabio announced that she will have a little brother or sister in October. That will be grandchild #6! They are very busy in their ministries and have many adventures to look forward to in the coming year. At the end of this year they will be taking their furlough to visit their supporting churches in Brazil. We’re anxious to have them come enjoy the OASIS in January and we’re looking forward to some great Papa and Nana time.

With Ricardinho at his 18th.

With Ricardinho at his 18th.

Actually, we have other grandchildren, when we count those who have adopted us as grandparents. Last week we celebrated with our oldest “grandson” on his 18th birthday. Ricardinho is the son of former students, Ricardo and Rosangela. They are like our “kids”, so their kids are our grands! Please pray for this young man as God guides him. He’s taking preparative courses to try and get into Brazil’s top engineering school. Please pray for his father, Ricardo, who recently assumed the position of senior pastor at First Baptist in Juazeiro, as the former pastor took a leave of absence.

The OASIS is growing, with the most recent addition being Jim’s wood shop and the dog kennel. The roof should go on this week. The crew is putting up the retention walls that will be part of our garage and house. This construction team is awesome: efficient, precise and respectful. Pray for their safety as they help us develop the physical part of this ministry. And pray for their salvation, as only one of the four is saved.

Thank you for your faithful love, prayers, and support, we are your Servants for Christ in NE Brazil,

Jim & Julie Leonard

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Make Disciples, Oasis, Parque Grangeiro Church

Pray for Brazil

April 9, 2016

Dear Prayer Partners,

Greetings in the name of our Lord!  All around the world we are seeing chaos; political, social, economic, and religious chaos.  We can’t keep from thinking that our King, Jesus Christ, will be soon returning.  But until He returns we keep busy preaching His gospel and making disciples, just as He commanded.

Missions Conference

Poster for Cariri Baptist Seminary Missions Conference – 2016

At the Seminary we are planning for the annual missions conference on April 27-29.  With the theme Announcing the Light of the World in the City of Men, we will focus on missions in the world’s largest urban areas.  Jim’s Missions class will bring reports on some cities which are in need of missionaries and Julie’s cooking class will be serving the canteen each night of the conference.

Culto Evangelístico

Evangelism class preaching the gospel in Parque Grangeiro

This week the students from Jim’s Evangelism class held two street evangelism meetings in different parts of Parque Grangeiro, the neighborhood of our church plant.

Construction on the Parque Grangeiro church is going well, as the downstairs walls are up to ceiling height.  After we get the concrete ceiling poured, which is also the floor for the upstairs auditorium, we hope to do enough of the finish work downstairs so that the church can move.  We are now aiming for this to happen in July which is sooner than what we were planning.  The use of the school where the church has been meeting has become increasingly complicated.  On our recent furlough we received several special offerings which were put towards this church building.  A special thanks to all of you who contributed.  We have also begun the construction of our house which we hope to complete by the end of this year.  We began with the shop and dog house to let our construction crew practice with some different building techniques.  We’re very happy with their efficiency and speed.  They are a blessing!

The pastor of First Baptist Church in Crato left at the beginning of this year to assume a ministry in another state.  This is the church with which we work in one of its church plants.  This church currently has five daughter churches in and around the city of Crato.  Rafael, a young man who was leading one of the church plants, was called to be the interim pastor for six months while the church works through the calling of the next pastor.  Rafael has asked Jim to assist him during this transition time, as neither he nor most of the church members have been through a pastoral transition.  Though we are delighted to help our church in this way, it does involve many hours of visits, meetings, counseling and prayer.  Please pray for First Baptist Church, that the members would all be united in one Spirit.

Please be in prayer for Brazil as a nation.  Because of some major corruption scandals surrounding the governing party, dozens of businessmen and congressmen have been found guilty and the president is facing impeachment.  This instability has brought on a recession that has closed down many businesses and factories.  Unemployment is high and prices have skyrocketed.  Millions of Brazilians are participating in street manifestations against corruption.  We do not feel that public security has been affected yet, but the conditions are right for massive chaos, with a weak government, shattered economy, and a restless public.

Alexa and friend

Alexa with friend found in the cleaning closet

At the end of this month we’ll be driving out to Fortaleza to see Alexa Wood off.  It is hard to believe that she will have been here for four months.  Alexa has been a big help with the cleaning of the OASIS, but now we are looking for somebody to replace her.  Pray for Alexa as she returns home to a busy summer, which includes a two week trip in June back here with a the Grace to Brazil team from our home church.

 

Thank you for your faithful prayers, love, and support.

Your Servants for Christ in NE Brazil,

Jim & Julie Leonard

Phone: (515) 257-2766

E-mails: jim.leonard@hotmail.com; juliemarieleonard@hotmail.com

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized