August 25, 2018
Dear Prayer Partners,
Job 23: 10 says, “He knows the way that I have taken; when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.” God has always prepared the road we travel even though at times it’s not easy. We are thankful for a God who cares, prepares and teaches. We are also thankful for those who share our burdens before the Throne, lightening our burdens.
Our return trip to Brazil had weather-related delays but our layovers were long enough so that we didn’t miss any flights. It goofed up our body clocks a bit, and once we got home to our own bed we slept for 12 hours. We were both feeling the effects of a busy four-month furlough as well as head colds that hit us just before we left the USA. Upon arriving there wasn’t much time to recover as classes had already begun.
Last weekend, Jim made a six-hour trip to Itapiuna with our college Missions group, the AMEN. This is a small but growing church lead by a Brazilian missionary, Reginaldo. They were blessed to see this small church plant already investing in missionaries. The student leader of the AMEN, Sergio, is Reginaldo’s brother. And Reginaldo’s son and daughter-in-law will be coming to the seminary next year to begin their training for full-time ministry. What a joy to see how God is using this family to reach others!
This week, we have been involved in the oral doctrinal exams for our graduating students. This year we only have six graduates, with the only woman being Valouie, our student from Haiti. Julie was part of her examining board and Val did very well considering that she learned Portuguese while attending Bible College classes. She is very persistent and her journey has been admirable. We serve a great God who wants to use whoever is willing! Please pray that all of these will be excellent workers in God’s harvest.
As we put together our class schedules we realize how busy this semester will be! We both teach one class each on Thursdays and Fridays. Ministry related conferences are filling up many weekends. We’ll be travelling almost the entire month of November, returning just in time for graduation on December 8th. We need wisdom and time slots to make up missed class hours. Jim has a very important seminary board meeting on September 1st. Please be in prayer for these men and the decisions that have to be made so that the seminary can continue preparing workers for God’s harvest fields.
Please continue to pray for the country of Venezuela. Through answers to prayer and generous gifts, we were able to send offerings to put food on the table for 23 pastors this month. Our intention with these gifts is to keep these pastors at their posts, ministering to their churches through this horrible economic situation. Besides the political/economic crisis, our missionaries in Central Venezuela felt the recent earthquake though they are quite a ways from the capital where it registered over 7. God have mercy on this needy mission field that is so open to the gospel.
We have both been trying to take care of our health. Jim is doing another 6-month check-up, with a lot of lab exams, and visits to various doctors. Julie has been to her ear specialist, and is still dealing with issues caused by the pressure from air travel. With her immune system low, she has developed a painful boil which put her on some strong antibiotics. Please pray with us for healing and that we will learn the lessons God has for us through these trials. Doctor’s appointments take time; pain does not lead to clear thinking and productivity, at home or in the classroom. This takes us back to Job and his suffering. As difficult as it may be to understand, our desire is still the same as Job’s: “My feet have followed in His tracks; I have kept to His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily food.” (23: 11-12)
Thank you for your support through prayer as we serve God in Northeast Brazil.
We are Your Servants for Christ in Northeast Brazil,
Jim & Julie Leonard Internet Phone: (515) 257-2766