This is the place to find the most updated information concerning Missionary John Leonard. Most recent post are written by the family themselves.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September, 2007

Dear Praying Friends,
II Corinthians 4:16 says "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." What a comfort this verse has been to us!! In the midst of trials, we know that the Lord will renew our spirits every day!!

CHALLENGES
We are writing a brief up-date from the "Lan House" (a place where you go to get on the internet for a short period of time and pay a small fee) which is about a 15 minute drive from our home. Yes, we have been in contact with the server that we have for internet in our home, called "Speedy" five times since it stopped working last Wednesday. Each time, they told us that within 24 hours we would be receiving a call from a technician to resolve the problem. No calls until now. Actually, John got on yesterday and told them the situation, and they now have promised that a technician will come to our home within 48 hours. I guess that is progress!?! At any rate we are thinking of recommending that they change their server name to anything other than "Speedy!!" But we know that we need to have patience and be thankful in ALL things, so that is what we are trying to do. Please pray that we would be the examples we should be in this situation, and that soon the internet service would be returned to our home. Also, on Friday, John's power wheelchair went on the blink. In the States, we would simply make our way out to West Des Moines, have them fix it, and go on with life. However, down here, things are not that easy. Without the internet, we were not able to ask our prayer team to pray, but we know that many of you prayed anyway, since John was able to use the guys that are doing the construction here at the church to make it so that he could at least use it. So we appreciate so much your prayers. But tomorrow(Wednesday, August 29, we are headed to Sao Paulo to see if we can find someone to fix it right. Please pray for safety, as one of the problems has been that when John is riding in the van, the chair will flip over on it's side. (VERY SCARY!!! to say the least) Fortunately, we do have his manual chair, and we will most likely use that for travelling tomorrow. But, we asked our son Jerrod to send us the tie-downs from our van in the States. We were getting along fine without them before (we had "rigged" something else that was working), but it seems that it now is somewhat "out of balance" -- possibly because of the "rough terrain" that John goes on down here!! One of the guys from our church recommended a person here in town that has a "forklift" company, that may be able help a little. We knew that there was one "Invacare" representative here in Brazil, but they are in Porto Alegre which is at least 10 hours by car from us. We called them and asked them for a name of someone near us that would fix it and their response was "just send the chair to us and we will fix it!" Very "simple" solution!! Continue to pray for this matter that the Lord's will be done. We are confident He is going to work everything out for His glory and that He has a good purpose for all of this!
BLESSINGS
OK...enough of that...lets move on to the Lord's blessings, which are always abundant!! Our Thursday night Bible study has been so exciting! Continue to pray for the six unsaved people who are attending on a regular basis. We are studying through the book of John, and at last week's study, we sensed that the Lord was really working in their lives. Pray that soon we will see decisions.

Claudio and Isabel came to the couples' meeting we had last Saturday evening, and we were so encouraged. They are slowly coming around. Adam and his family were all in church on Sunday evening, and they are also gradually becoming more faithful at the services. Both of Juvana's parents were in the service on Sunday evening (Jose and Dottie). They are not only unsaved, but also our neighbors, and we are trying earnestly to reach them for the Lord.

Wow!! Something VERY EXCITING we heard from our church in Coqueiro Seco (the church were the incident with John occurred)... One of the ladies of our church who is very dear to our family, Ana, accepted Christ as Savior!! We have prayed for her since the work began, and our hearts were just overjoyed when we heard this news. She and her husband, Nene, are the ones that are still living on the property there, and they are a great couple. Nene accepted Christ as Savior the Sunday after our inauguration service back in April of 2004. He has been a blessing in the work there. Continue to pray for Pastor Andre and Deborah as they labor faithfully there. They are also reporting five recent desicions for Christ in the adolescents' group they have on Saturday afternoons. Praise the Lord, He is still at work in Coqueiro Seco. We are also requesting prayer that a missionary would step in to help out there. When we started that work, we were planning to be there the rest of our lives. It is in a very needy village, and we knew it would probably take a long time to totally nationalize it, since the salaries that the people make there are small. Perhaps someone reading this letter would be burdened for this ministry!! We have a missionary family that has shown some interest, but the earliest they can take over would be in June of 2008. It would be great if someone could step in to help out right now!! If you feel the Lord calling you to be a part of this ministry in some way, please let us know!

The girls officially started home schooling this past Monday, the 27th of August. It is going fine, but please pray for patience as the year goes on for all of us. Also pray for Josh and Jerrod who have begun their semester at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA. We thank you for your prayers for Josh. He recently went back to the doctor for a check-up, and found out that there was already blood-flow through the part of the hip that was operated on. The doctor had said that it could take up to a year for this to happen, and it happened in about a month and a half!! Once again, your prayers at work!! We are also thankful that he is able to continue his studies at Faith, as we were not sure if he would be healed up in time. Pray for our guys that they would take their studies seriously and follow the Lord's leading in their lives.

We apologize to those of you who have written personal e-mails to us in recent days. Most of you know that we try hard to answer them within one week of receiving them, but it was not possible this time. As soon as our "Speedy" internet service returns, we will reply to you!

Being renewed day by day,
John and Bev Leonard and family
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1 Comments:

You do not have to respond to this... I just want you to know how the Lord is using my flashlight to remind me to pray. I don't have to actually USE my flashlight often, but it is plugged into the wall to recharge -- it gets CLEANED/DUSTED often. Praise God!! I'm praying for you regularly!

Jennifer Johnston

By Blogger ~*~ Jennifer ~*~, at Friday, October 26, 2007 6:24:00 AM  

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007

Dear Praying Friends,

PEOPLE
Praise the Lord for His goodness!! Thank you for your prayers for the outreach ministry we had on Saturday, August 11th. Sixty people from a church in a neighboring town came for the day to help us canvass the entire area here with tracts and invitations to the film night that we had. The film "Left Behind" was shown, and although there were not as many results as we would have liked, we know that many tracts were left in the hands of those around us and we are just letting the Lord work. Many of you prayed for "Cristiane" who came to our Corn night. Actually, we need to correct the name, since we had mixed her up with another lady. Her actual name is JUVANA, and even though she has not visited the church, her mother, Dottie, was at the meeting on Sunday night!! We were so thrilled to see her! Continue to remember Juvana and Dottie and family in prayer. Pray also for Claudio. We also asked recently that you pray for Odair, who is participating in one of our Bible studies. He is growing by leaps and bounds in the Lord and actually brought his friend, Claudio, out here to the church to be saved during the week! It was neat! He was so ready to accept Christ, and he was also in the service on Sunday night, along with his wife, Isabel. Bev talked quite awhile with Isabel, and she is not a Christian--has a Catholic background, but we feel that she is close to making a decision. She is happy with Claudio's decision to become a Christian. Also, we were able to begin a brand new Bible study at Adriano and Renata's place of business this past Thursday evening. It was a real blessing, as there were six who were not saved and of those six, three of them had never participated in a Bible study of any kind. We are going through a study in John and they seemed to really enjoy it. Continue to pray that the Lord would use this as a tool to reach them with the Gospel.

CONSTRUCTION
The church roof is covered!! We are very excited! The plastering of the outside has been completed, and there is a large group of workers that is coming on Saturday to do the inside. Bev will be helping to make the "bean soup" with rice that they like to make to feed large groups. It is called "feijoada" and is made with black beans. Even though it is quite tasty, the "meat" that they throw in the pot to make it flavorful can be quite "unappetizing," to say the least. How can we say this nicely? Let's see...do you know what normally goes into a good old American hotdog? That is what they put into the beans without grinding it up!! John really gets into this kind of thing and can't wait to go buy the "meat" sometime this week. Bev is not quite so anxious. Enough of that subject!! Continue to pray for the construction of the church. It has been a true blessing to see it all come together and the best part has been to see the participation of the Brazilians!!

FAMILY
As far as we know, the boys are doing fine. Never in our lives have we been so excited to receive these occasional one to two line e-mails!! Perhaps it is just because they are boys and don't like to put anything "extra" in their letters--only the very basics. But we love them, just the same! Please continue to pray for Josh and Jerrod. It seems that Josh has healed up nicely from his surgery and that he will be able to begin classes at FBBC soon. We are so grateful for the Rotz family in Chariton, IA who have graciously taken Josh into their home at this time. Jerrod is at Bev's brother, Curt's house in Ankeny, IA and is doing fine. He told us he is ready and seems pretty excited about going to college. They both desire to be used of the Lord in His service, and please pray with us that this dream of theirs would someday become a reality!! Jonna and Jeanne are doing well. Jeanne had a good 14th birthday. We invited the youth group over (12 youth besides Jonna and Jeanne) and they were all so quiet at first! We were wondering how the whole thing was going to go. Since they were eating homemade pizza, though, we think they were all just hungry. After that, the Coke really "kicked in" and it was hard to get them to settle down! To top everything off, when it was time for them to leave, John asked who wanted to come in the bedroom and "watch the show" of us getting him from the chair into bed. There was a rather wild RUSH to the door, and they all lined up at the end of the bed to "see it happen!!" Kind of crazy, but it was lots of fun, and something they will always remember!! Not sure who is crazier, John or the youth! Your prayers for our family are always appreciated.

Thank you, dear ones, for praying for us! We will stay in touch! In His service, John and Bev Leonard
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Monday, July 30, 2007

Brief up-date from the Leonards...

PRAISE
-That Josh came through the hip surgery well, and is recuperating in Chariton, IA.
-That we had great attendance at our church services yesterday despite the low temperatures (53 degrees and no heat in the church building!)
-That the new believers are growing and excited about the things of the Lord
PRAYER
-For the 11th of August--a special day when we will host a group of 45 believers from another church who will come and spend the day with us evangelizing and canvassing our section of town. We are planning to show the first video of the "Left Behind" series that night as a means to reach out to the unbelievers.
-For continued growth in the lives of Adam and family and other new believers.
-For the unsaved believers and others who came to the Corn Fest--especially Cristiane who recently came close to accepting Christ as Savior.
-For the construction going on at the church--pray that the ceiling of the church gets finished quickly.
-For Josh that he will be able to begin classes at FBBC on August 21 and also for Jerrod as he begins classes at Faith as well.
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1 Comments:

53 degrees! We're swealtering in the 90's and for ten days straight! glad to hear attendance was so good.

By Blogger ben, at Thursday, August 09, 2007 3:01:00 AM  

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24th Update

Just a note to thank you all for praying for our Corn Fest. It was a great success--the Lord stopped the rain!!! Please take a moment to thank Him for this wonderful answer to prayer. It was a picture perfect day...we were able to have a bonfire and everything went just as we had planned. We are giving the Lord the glory for the great crowd--between 150 and 200 people. (we will send more pictures of the crowd later...our camera stopped working during the service, and we are getting pictures from another person). MANY unsaved came to our church for the first time. One lady came extremely close to accepting Christ as Savior. She came to Bev and said she needed to talk to John after the service. After their conversation, John asked her if she wanted to get saved, but she just wouldn't give her heart to the Lord, even though she knew she should. Please continue to pray for Cristiane and others who heard the clear plan of salvation.

Our meeting was able to be held in our new auditorium. One half of the ceiling is on and one half is off. John has been kept busy with this project. It is looking nice!!

Bev and girls served on the decorations committee. It was fun, and the results were rewarding!

The men talking outside in front of the bonfire.

Roberta served in the kitchen.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dear Prayer Team

Dear Prayer Team,
Greetings from the rain forest of Brazil!! Well...we are not exactly in the rain forest, but it is raining, and where we live, there are lots of trees, wild birds such as parrots, toucans, small squirrels, and last week, we saw a wild monkey running in the middle of the divided highway! We have been here in Brazil for over a month now, and we are still trying to get adjusted to the differences between here and the States. But we love it!! People are getting saved, being discipled, and it is wonderful to see the results of changed lives.

PRAISE ITEM

WE HAVE INTERNET IN OUR HOME!!! Since it was quite the process to get it here, we are all very excited!!! The desire of our hearts is to stay in better touch now that we don't have to go somewhere else to write our letters. If you want to contact us by e-mail, we should be able to answer our letters more quickly now.

PEOPLE

Continue to pray for our new convert, Adam, and family. They are doing well, but have had some sickness and have missed church. This past Sunday they were not in the service. Pray also for Guilherme, a man who was saved as a result of the special couple's banquet we had recently. Not only did he receive Christ as Savior, he also made the decision to restore his marriage with Ivonete! We are all very excited for them! They decided to go on a "honeymoon" and guess where they went? Back to the city where we formerly worked--Maceio in the stat of Alagoas! We can understand their desire to go there, since it is truly a beautiful city. Pray also for the Bible study that we are participating in, which has been a blessing. There are four couples who are involved. One of the things we are all working at is setting aside a specific time to spend with the Lord each day. One of the couples admitted that they did the entire lesson Sunday afternoon right before the study. We were so thankful for their honesty and openness! Pray that God will honor Odair and Miquele, and that soon they will be having faithful daily devotions. Another part of our study is memorizing key passages of Scripture. This has been a challenge, not only for the new converts, but also for us "old converts!"

CONSTRUCTION

As you know, construction has always been something that John has enjoyed in the ministry here in Brazil. It seems that not much has changed, since last week, he had a total of three constructions going all at once...the roof being put on the church auditorium, an upstairs storage/classroom, and also a garage for our van. Between the three of them, John's wheels were running most of the day! In the U.S., we didn't have to charge up his battery all that often, but now, he is on "E" (empty) every other night!! He continues to do what he did before...buying construction materials in different places and giving out the Gospel as he goes from store to store. The people of the church were surprised when he wanted 60 invitations to the special event we have planned for this coming Saturday night--which is called "Corn Fest" (details below). Yesterday I noticed that there were very few invitations left in the glove compartment of the car. He has invited so many people!! But continue to remember to pray for the constructions that we have going on...especially the covering of the church auditorium. We are now meeting in the fellowship room beside the kitchen, and it is pretty full in our main weekly meetings on Sunday nights (attendance has been in the lower 60's).

SPECIAL EVENT

As we mentioned, we are planning a special evening this coming Saturday here on the church property. Harvest is over, and the celebrations throughout Brazil begin. There are typically three major festivals, St. Paul, St. Peter, and St. Anthony which are commemorated by having a bonfire, shooting off fireworks, and eating traditional foods made of corn (corn bread, corn pudding, roasted ears of corn, corn cake, popcorn...on and on the list goes). We have waited until the end of the public happenings to do ours and are calling ours not a Saint Day, but a Corn Fest. Since we have plenty of space, we are able to do this for the community and it has become a big annual event. Our goal has been to invite only unbelievers, since the purpose is to reach the unsaved with the Gospel. John has been asked to speak, and we are expecting at least 100 people to come. We are asking that you pray with us that the rain will stop, and that many will accept Christ as Savior through this ministry this coming Saturday evening.

HEALTH

Thank you for your prayers for John's health. He has done very well--minor difficulties only, and we are very grateful to the Lord for the way He has answered our petitions. Otherwise, we are doing fine...Jeanne had a 2-3 day flu last week, but is doing fine now. She is at the moment helping build a bench, since we are planning to have lots of extra people on Saturday night. Please pray for Josh who is having hip surgery in Iowa City today. After having gone to the doctor for a checkup/x-rays, it was discovered that there were several areas of his hip that were not getting proper blood flow, and for this reason, it did not heal correctly. Pray that this surgery will be successful, as the only other option after this would be total hip replacement. We are also requesting prayer for the church people. Many have had a harsh flu, and some have even had to go to the hospital, as did Adriano yesterday.
Where would we be without our prayer team? Probably not here in Brazil, and we are grateful to you for your support. THANK YOU!!!

Working together for Christ,
John and Bev Leonard
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE WITH US WHILE WE WAIT TO GET INTERNET IN OUR HOME. FOR RIGHT NOW, WE ARE PAYING A SMALL FEE TO GET ON THE INTERNET AT A VIDEO RENTAL BUSINESS ABOUT 4 MILES FROM WHERE WE LIVE. WE WROTE THIS ON MONDAY THINKING THAT WE WOULD GET IT SENT RIGHT AWAY, BUT IT WAS ONLY POSSIBLE RIGHT NOW. KEEP PRAYING!!

We praise the Lord for the way He has blessed our ministry here in Brazil. Saturday evening we were able to do a visit at the home of one of the families that has been attending our services and it was a blessing. Our “made in U.S.A.” aluminum ramp has come in very handy over and over again, and is being used for the Lord to do visits and get into the homes of the Brazilians. The time of communion with Lourdes and Orlando was enjoyable (she plays the guitar, and sang a special number for us!!), and on the way out the door, John was able speak with Lourdes’ brother, David, who is not a Christian. He asked him if he had ever accepted Christ as His personal Savior. His response was that he calls upon the Lord every day, and since the Bible says that “whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved” he felt he would go to heaven when he died. He doesn’t attend church regularly, but promised John that he would come to the meeting last night to hear him preach. We are thankful that not only David came to the service,
but also many other visitors! There were a total of 62 in attendance, and after John finished the message, one of the couples raised their hands and then went forward! John was able to deal with Adam, who came forward for salvation. When Adam was asked why he came, he said that his life was not good and that he was a terrible sinner, but yet he wanted to go to heaven.
He said, “This is my situation, Pastor, and I just wanted to know if there was any way that I would be able to go to heaven.” John was just soo happy to let him know that it didn’t matter how awful or terrible the situation was, God still loves him and wants him to have a home in heaven. Adam was just thrilled to find out that he actually had even a chance to be saved!!
How exciting to hear him pray and accept Christ as his personal Savior. His wife Alzira came forward for assurance of salvation, and we are grateful that the Lord is working in this couple’s lives. Continue to pray for Adam and Alzira to grow in their walk with the Lord and also for David, who attended the service, but needs to be saved.

Health-wise, John is doing very well. We were able to meet his doctor this past Wednesday, and Dr. Thomas seems to be very competent and not hesitant to refer John to other specialists should needs arise. Getting into his elevator to go to his office on the third floor was very tricky, since the elevator was the smallest we have ever been on. We found out that if we did it “catty-cornered” and at a certain point I crossed his feet, it would work! Whew!! There have been so many times down here that we have had to get “creative” to make things happen, but of course that comes quite naturally to John—he sees it as a challenge and it makes life quite
interesting!! Besides preaching, teaching, witnessing, and visitation, John has been able to help out with the construction of the church building right here on the property. He enjoys that immensely and the workers here have already gained a high respect for his knowledge and experience in this area. Praise the Lord together with us for the way the Lord has used John already here in Brazil, and continue to pray for good health and strength to carry on the work.

Jonna and Jeanne have amazed us. We were quite concerned about feeling the loss of Jerrod’s help with John and also around the house. However, the girls have really done a great job at trying to help out more with John. Jerrod always did his “range of motion” therapy on his legs each night before bedtime, and had a time of “training” with the girls before he left Brazil. What was decided is that each girl would do one leg every night. It has worked out well, although we do miss Jerrod a lot. The getting in and out of the van has been a challenge, since we have a ramp that needs to be manually taken out of the van and unfolded every time we get in and out.
The “tie-downs” are ones that we have “rigged,” so they take awhile to figure out. But the girls have done really well at helping John get in and out. So far only one near “mishap” as John’s chair went off the edge of the ramp, but it was right near the bottom, so between the three of us, we were able to get John and the chair “unstuck.” Brazil is sooo different from the U.S., but of course the girls were expecting it, and we think they have surprised themselves as to how easy it has been. They are also helping out a lot around the house, and things are going pretty well so far. Pray for Jonna and Jeanne and their walk with the Lord, and also for their continued
adjustment to life here in Brazil.

Our home is very simple, but nice. Things are pretty well organized now, and we are feeling like we are settling in. There are still some items that we have not found, but each day we take a little time to slowly go through our barrels. When we finally discover something we have been looking for in awhile, we get all excited!! Party time!!! When my 13 year old Kitchen Aid
mixer (it is still in great shape) was found, I suddenly became a new person. Who cares if I have to balance it on a small wooden stool and plug it into a transformer each time I use it!!!! Hey, it works and it is a “wife-saver” down here in Brazil! The girls also found their aquarium and
now bugging us to buy some fish. What makes John happiest is the finding of his tools. Even though he can’t actually use them now, God has provided a couple of workers to be his “hands” and it is great to see his face light up when he sees progress in the construction going on here at the church.

Thank you again for your prayers for our family and ministry. Our adjustment time has gone extremely smoothly, and we are confident that it is because the prayers of our support team!!

May the Lord continue to bless each one of you!

Sincerely in Christ,
John and Bev Leonard
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Back in Brazil

Just a brief note to let you know that we made it to Brazil!!! Things went
so much more smoothly than what we expected. We were able to hand some
tracts out on our journey, for which we are thankful. John made the trip
very well, and is absolutely delighted to be back on the field. It is hard
to say how many times we have thanked the Lord for His goodness.

John was able to speak for the first time this past Sunday evening, and it
was so great to see the way the Lord worked. After he preached, the
Brazilian Pastor (Celso) went up afterwards to give the invitation and could
hardly speak. Through his tears, he did give the invitation, and although no
salvation decisions were made, there were approximately 15 Christians who
went forward to dedicate their lives completely to the Lord. Continue to
pray that God would use us in this new ministry.

We are getting settled into our home, and things are going well. Guess
what we have in our front yard? A beautiful poinsettia plant!! Some other
good news, our boys are back in the States safe and sound...even though we
miss them TERRIBLY, we are thankful that they are "on solid ground."
Continue to pray for them and also for the girls who are adjusting quite
well to life in Brazil.

Thank you again for your prayers. We appreciate each one so much! We will
send more details in the future.

Sincerely in Christ,
John and Bev Leonard
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1 Comments:

May the Lord bless you and give you strength. We will hold you up in prayer. We were priviledged to hear you speak while you were in Creston.... My heart was blessed.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:15:00 AM  

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