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

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Letter to Church

Letter to the Church Body from Pastor Pat Nemmers:

Dear Brethren,

Just a short update on the John Leonard situation. As you know by now, John was shot Sunday night, apparently by 2 or 3 assailants. He was rushed by car to a public hospital in Maceio. Eventually they were able to get him to a much better hospital in the same city. He suffered 3 gun shot wounds, the most critical being one that apparently entered his mouth and lodged in his 4th vertebra. A cat scan yesterday revealed the bullet will not be easy to extract. Furthermore, the damage done is indeed serious. John is currently paralyzed and from what we know it will be a true act of God for this to be reversed. This of course is what we are asking, if He is willing, our God to do.

Bev, along with Trudy Paulson, will be leaving for Brazil at 4:30 this afternoon. Be in prayer for them as they make their way to John's side. Praise the Lord that Trudy can be with Bev. Bev is very encouraged that she is able to come along. The children (except for Josh who is there) will remain in the states for now. Suffice it to say we are staying as close to this as we possibly can and as a church will remain ready to help in any way we can.

There are many questions that are being asked, some of which we know the answers, others we simply have to trust God who knows all things. As to the perpetrators of this crime, I am told that they were not recognized and sadly, a very low percentage of those who commit such acts in Brazil are ever caught. Troubling as that may seem, we must not forget that our God is just, and He will deal with those involved as He deems fit. As to why they would have done such a thing, the only explanation I can think of is the Gospel. Jesus said, "A time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God." John 16:2. This area of Brazil is strongly Roman Catholic. If you will recall John himself told us that they even worship former priests in their respective communities. When we were there a year and a half ago and opened up this new work a great number from the town filled the church. Many souls were saved during that time. I cannot help but think that the opposition was already scheming. The apostle Paul told us that "all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." and our brother John is a direct recipient of such. What will happen after this we simply don't know. It's way too early to try and speculate what will happen in the near future. For now, we pray.
Thank you for your prayers and overflowing support for John and his dear family.

Serving Him-to the end,
Pastor Nemmers
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