September 18, 2016
Dear Prayer Partners,
“For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, … and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hb 4: 12. How thankful we are, that in a day of slanted media reports, misinterpreted quotes and all sorts of other miscommunications, our God and His Word is effective and true. Even more so, we are grateful that the Holy Spirit helps us to apply those truths to change our lives and the lives of others.
We were reminded of these truths as we helped examine 24 graduating students in the oral defense of their Biblical beliefs. It was a long 2 weeks with 3-hour exams each day, but they did well. Please pray for these graduates, some of whom have not yet confirmed a place of ministry. After the stress of the doctrinal exams, the seminary family enjoyed a refreshing retreat up in the mountains near our town. It was encouraging to hear the testimonies of the graduates and what God has taught them. It was a blessing to realize that we have had a part in preparing them to live and teach God’s Word. All of us would appreciate your prayers as the weather gets hotter each day. It’s hard for both teachers and students to concentrate on class preparation, assignments, and the class itself. Pray for us all as we teach and learn the precious truths of God’s Word!
Francisco Carlos, our student leader at the Parque Grangeiro church, is among these graduates. Because of the demands of his studies this year he has had little time to invest in the church. Please pray that as he finishes his formal course of studies he would devote more time to the leadership of this young church. Jim is working with him on developing a philosophy of ministry for 2017. Please pray that the Word of God will not return without eternal results, specifically in the neighborhood of our new church building, into which we plan to move yet this year.
On September 7th, Brazil’s Independence Day, we laid to rest one of our co-workers, Luis Meneses. Luis was a Brazilian co-worker with Baptist Mid-Missions, who faithfully served for over 40 years in church planting, a Bible Bookstore and camp ministries. God used Luis in the lives of many, even though he preferred to be behind the scenes. He was faithful in sharing the power of salvation through the preaching of the Word. Please pray for his wife, Janet, and their 2 daughters and their families. Luis will be greatly missed!
We continue to pray for the Source of Light Correspondence School. God has brought Samuel Milanez, a seminary grad, to take the leadership of this ministry. He is raising support among the area churches, as the school only has the finances to support him through December. Please pray that the national church will be able to take on his support. God’s powerful Word has been shared with thousands through SOL lessons and lives have been changed. Pray that the distribution of these lessons won’t have to stop!
We’re excited for the speaking opportunities that God has given to both of us. Besides our regular classes, Jim is preparing for 2 conferences in October. Julie has a bridal shower and a ladies meeting scheduled. As we share God’s Word, pray that people will be challenged to live out that Word in their everyday lives.
We are praying for several supporting churches in America who are without a pastor. The number is unusually high and some have been in that situation for a few years already. We’re also praying that the Church will stand strong on political issues that will determine the course of our nation. We are confident that God is in control, but there are many areas of concern, both in the USA and Brazil. May we be ever faithful in sharing His Word!
On the home front, the construction of our house is nearing completion. We hope to move in November. It’s fun to see the daily progress on the finishing work. Our daughter, Joy Anna, is going into her last month of pregnancy. Julie will head to south Brazil in mid-October to help care for grand-daughter Kristi and the housework. Pray that she will be a blessing to Joy Anna and Fabio during this important time.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support as we share God’s Word in NE Brazil.
Jim & Julie Leonard