April 04, 2017
Dear Prayer Partners,
Greetings in the name of our Lord! As the Northeast corner of Brazil experiences the best rainy season in eight years, we are enjoying fresh produce from our garden. Psalm 147:8 reminds us that it is God who “makes it to rain on the earth and causes grass to grow…” The previous verse shows us what our response should be: “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving.” Even better than rains, God has showered us with spiritual blessings in the past weeks.
Last month we rejoiced in the profession of faith of João, a tractor and truck driver who has worked with Jim on various construction projects. We also saw Deja publicly declare her faith in Jesus. Deja’s daughter was saved at our church in Parque Grangeiro and is now the wife of a young pastor, recently graduated from our college. Both of these responded to God’s gracious salvation after many years of hearing the gospel. This week is Evangelistic Week at the Parque Grangeiro. Each night we hold an evangelistic service somewhere in the community. We had more invitations for meetings than we had nights in the week, so we have a list of homes who want a service in the street in front of their homes in the upcoming weeks. Jim’s Evangelism class from the college is participating in these meetings. Pray for the salvation of souls.
The Parque Grangeiro church has now officially received Francisco Carlos as pastor, following his graduation from our college in December. Francisco Carlos has begun well, by dividing up ministry responsibilities among the believers and training each one for specific ministries. We have seen encouraging growth in the believers’ passion to serve God through this young church. We have not yet moved into the church building, as we still lack some basic things, such as chairs and doors on the classrooms. Pray for God’s provision of the few things that are lacking.
This week our student from Cape Verde, Jorge, arrived to begin his studies next semester. We are thanking God for allowing us to prepare laborers for harvest fields beyond Brazil’s borders. We are still waiting and praying for the two families from Mozambique who have not yet received their visas to travel to Brazil. We are hoping that they can arrive in late May, which would allow them two months to adjust to life in Brazil before the next semester begins. Our Brazilian believers have furnished two houses for these families for the year they will be studying at our college. Please pray that the needs of these two families will be met as they leave their country, culture and ministries in order to prepare to better serve God.
This weekend we are planning a four day road trip to Fortaleza, mostly to care for mission business, since Jim is the Brazil Field treasurer. While in Fortaleza we plan to encourage a pastor and his wife who are very near to us. Rosangela is undergoing radiation treatments for cancer. Please pray for her recovery. The month of April will find us enjoying several reunions with different family members who will be visiting the Cariri. Among those visiting are Joy Anna and her family, and Jennifer.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support as we continue preaching the gospel and making disciples in this corner of Brazil.
Your Servants for Christ in Northeast Brazil,
Jim & Julie Leonard