August 12, 2016
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” were the comforting words spoken by Jesus to the missionary Paul in 2 Cor. 12:9. What wonderful words of comfort from an Almighty God! We have been running “full-steam ahead” for such a long time, a summary would be hard to fit on one page. Our ministries aren’t slowing down at all, so as you rejoice in the strength He has given us, please continue to pray for His grace in our upcoming ministry opportunities.
We had an awesome ten days with the Grace to Brazil Team from our home church in Austin, MN. We ministered in several churches, did some street evangelism, and received over 100 students at the English Retreat. Many lives were touched. Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit keeps working in sensitive hearts through what was taught. To see a bit of what we did, visit:
Two days after the Austin group returned home, Seth and Deanna Peterson from Silver Lake, WI, and Josh and Jamie Huang (siblings) from Mason City, IA, arrived. They all participated in the Music Week at the Seminary. Jim translated for Seth’s workshops on Music Ministry and we attended some awesome concerts and worship services. Deanna’s vocal workshops, Jamie’s help in the children’s classes and Josh’s violin playing and photography were a blessing, in spite of the language limitations. The Petersons returned home and the Huangs will be here until September 1st. It is great to see God’s sufficient grace played out in the lives of others as they serve Him!
Jim is busy preparing for various conferences during the next few weeks. Actually, this weekend he’ll preach for a Missions emphasis at our church plant in Parque Grangeiro. Next weekend will find us at our state camp with the church family from Farias Brito for their annual retreat. In early September we’ll head to Fortaleza for a couple’s retreat with the Manancial Baptist Church and then back to the coast for a conference with the Luz do Mundo church at the end of the month.
As we see our house come together, we know it’s an act of God’s grace. It takes a lot of Jim’s time, but he loves his construction hobby! Our “down” days in July were spent at construction stores. The walls are all up and the inside finishing began today. This is the most time-consuming phase. Please pray for safety as the men work on the roof in the coming weeks. The Lord, in His grace, has given us some very competent, conscientious workers – not easy to find! We hope to move before the end of the year, as in January, 2017, we’ll be hosting some very special missionaries in the house where we are currently living in at the OASIS.
In the midst of the construction business, we were forced to stop and prepare our class notes for the upcoming semester. Jim will be teaching Cults and Non-Christian Religions for the first time, and also a preaching class. Julie will be teaching “Magnifying Christ Through Special Events” to nearly 30 graduating students and her Women’s Ministry class to just 3 or 4 single gals. Please pray that the Lord’s strength will be magnified in our weaknesses to proclaim His perfect grace to our students.
Towards the end o October, Julie will have to miss a few weeks of her classes as she heads south to help take care of grandaughter, Kristi, while Joy Anna and Fabio welcome another little girl into the family. “Nana” Julie is praying for God’s strength to keep up with our little “firecracker”!
We have been praying fervently for co-workers Doug and Renate Reiner, who have been close friends and co-workers over the years. Doug is also an MK and childhood friend of Jim’s. Doug and Renate left Brazil in April to work in BMM’s Office. Almost immediately upon their arrival in the USA, Doug was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. He has responded well to treatments for the pancreatic cancer but a recent scan showed the cancer in the liver has spread even more. Medically, the prognosis is not good. We are praying for a miracle. We are praying that God’s grace will be sufficient for both Doug and Renate during these difficult days. Will you please pray with us?
We also ask you to pray for Luis and Janet Meneses, missionary colleagues who work near us in Crato. Luis has been in the hospital for nearly a month with complications from a plugged bio-duct in the liver, which has resulted in a generalized infection. He needs specialized treatment in our state capital, Fortaleza, but he is too weak for the overland trip. Besides, there are no available beds in the hospital in Fortaleza. So pray that God would supply an air transport service and a vacancy in the hospital in Fortaleza.
Thank you all for your love and prayers for us as we serve in NE Brazil, by God’s grace.
Your Servants for Christ in NE Brazil,
Jim & Julie Leonard