November 9, 2016
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! Because this letter is a bit longer than usual, we will divide it into two parts. In the first part you will find two exciting ministry opportunities for which we covet your prayers. In the second part we share a couple of praises related to our family and home.
MINISTRY PRAYER NEEDS
On our last furlough we asked you to pray for the thousands of communities in the interior of Northeast Brazil with little or no Gospel witness. In the Cariri Valley, our immediate region, God has raised up many strong and growing churches. A recent count revealed forty churches and church plants in the Cariri. But as we look to the east, west, north, and south, there is still a huge need for missionary work. There are a few church plants in Pernambuco, the state to our south, and in Paraiba, the state to our east. Last month we were contacted by some believers who have been transferred with their jobs to Teresina, the capital of Piauí, the state to our west. They confirmed that there are very few Bible preaching churches in the entire state and invited us to come help organize a church. This weekend Jim and Daniel Ruley, a co-worker, will be making the nine hour drive to Teresina. Please pray that God would direct them to the right contacts, and open our eyes to see the “fields that our white unto harvest.” And also pray with us that “God would send more laborers into His harvest fields.”
A few months ago we asked you to pray for a ministry opportunity in Mozambique, a Portuguese speaking nation of East Africa. For the past couple of years several of our Brazilian pastors have made trips to Northern Mozambique to train a group of pastors in that nation. Many of these men didn’t even have a complete Bible, yet alone a pastoral library. Last month thirty pastors in Mozambique completed this very basic Bible Institute offered to them by our Brazilian pastors. These men labor in a part of Mozambique that is predominantly Muslim and very poor. In order to take the work in Mozambique to the next level, there is a need for a few men from there with some formal Bible College training. For this reason we have offered a one year scholarship to two couples from Mozambique to come study at our college. Eliseu and his wife Pierina have worked closely
with our missionary in Beira, a large city in Northern Mozambique, and would eventually take the leadership of a thriving children’s ministry in that city. And Jonasse is a sharp young pastor from Beira who is well respected. He would continue helping with the training of other pastors in Northern Mozambique. For the time being, all three of these would come for our one year Basic Bible course. This is very little, but significantly more than what any of the church leaders in that part of the world have. We are asking God to provide for these two families the funds for documents, air travel, and living expenses while they are with us at the Cariri Baptist Seminary. If God should lead you to help with this project, please contact us and we will let you know how to direct your contribution through Baptist Mid-Missions.
HOME and FAMILY
We are happy to announce the arrival of our 6th grandchild, Hannah Joy Leonard Volpi. She was born in the wee hours of the morning on October 29th. Julie had arrived to help Hannah’s family on the 24th and returned home on November 8th. She was thankful that she got to spend some time with Joy Anna before and after Hannah arrived. Please pray for Joy Anna, Fabio, Kristi and little Hannah. They will embark on a 8-9 month furlough and support-raising trip that will take them more than 2,500 miles ONE WAY, from South Brazil to the Northeast. They plan to leave in December or January, depending on Fabio’s mother’s health, as she is needing to have a surgery. While they are in the Northeast, they will make the OASiS their “home base”. We’re looking forward to some time with them. Julie missed two weeks of classes, and we’re getting close to the end of the year. Please pray that she will be able to make up and then keep up with the remaining activities for the year. Graduation will be on December 10th, with about 30 graduating.
Another praise is that God has sent the ideal person to help with the house cleaning! Francinalva is a hard worker and leaves things spotless, even when there’s a lot of construction dust all over everything. She and her husband are moving to Crato from an interior town in the state to the south of us, and both of them are looking for work. They would like their 15 and 9 year old sons to study in the Cariri Valley. They have both heard the Gospel and they came to our church a few weeks ago at our invitation. They were introduced to us by a good friend of theirs who is working on our house construction. We’d love to see a chain reaction for many to come to know Christ as their Savior through them!
May God bless you for your faithful service to Him, which includes praying for those of us who are on the mission fields of the world.
Your Servants for Christ in Northeast Brazil,
Jim & Julie Leonard