August 19, 2017
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! We make 1 Thes. 5:25 our words: “Brethren, pray for us”.
We arrived in Brazil on August 7th after a few weeks visiting family in the Midwest. Trying to “make-up” for lost time with the grandkids is impossible, but we are thankful for the wonderful, fun times we had. It’s always hard to leave, but it puts perspective into what Julie’s parents experienced when our kids were growing up. Please continue to pray for Dad and Mom Hansen. Dad has leukemia but treatment has been suspended for lack of positive results and because of the negative side-effects. He is feeling OK but is very weak. Please pray for the family as decisions are made about Dad’s care. Julie may go back to help for a short period. His goal is to be at home and to make every day special.
While in the States, we were able to attend the BMM Annual Conference in Cleveland. It was a precious time of seeing co-workers who serve in other parts of the world. Julie was thrilled to see two missionaries for whom she prayed as a little girl. We appreciate all that the BMM Office staff does for us. It was thirty-one years ago that we were accepted with BMM and attended Candidate Classes.
As we left behind family, friends and our home church, we returned to family, friends and our church plant! Our first week back was filled with visits from our “kids”, former students who serve as pastors and missionaries; we saw missionary colleagues and celebrated the Brazilian Father’s Day with the Parque Grangeiro church. Jim joined a group of men from the church to install and paint the inside doors at the new church building. They are now working on the outside landscaping. We hope to have the inauguration of this church building next month, along with the formal installation of Francisco Carlos as the pastor. Pray for the various people we are discipling.
This past week we began the semester of teaching at the Cariri Baptist Bible College. Julie is teaching a woman’s class about ministering in and through the home, and another class on how the church should celebrate holidays. Jim is teaching a preaching class and another on cults and world religions. We continue to advise the student mission fellowship and travel once each month with a group to promote missions. Next week we will drive south for a missions conference at the church in Casa Nova. Please pray for this ministry, for travel safety, that the churches will be strengthened and that the students will learn through serving.
We have enjoyed meeting our two student families from Mozambique. They have been well received and hosted, each by one of our local churches, and are already actively involved with these church families. Pray that their year of studies in Brazil will give them the tools to be a blessing to the countless pastors in Mozambique who have very little training in God’s Word.
In October Jim plans to travel to Venezuela with a team from our Brazilian churches. The purpose of this trip is to put on a missions retreat for the churches up there. Several Venezuelan pastors have told us of the lack of missions among their churches and they would like to begin developing a missions program. Pray for the political stability in Venezuela, and for our effective ministry while there.
We close this letter, once again asking you to “pray for us.” We consider you our partners in this missionary work.
Your Servants for Christ in Northeast Brazil,
Jim & Julie Leonard