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

Thursday, July 07, 2005

News - BMM missionary John Leonard attacked by gunmen in Brazil

Article from Baptist Mid-Missions:

BMM missionary John Leonard attacked by gunmen in Brazil

On Sunday evening, July 3, 2005, John Leonard was the victim of an attempted murder and was critically wounded in the assault. Three men were waiting outside the church that John pastors in Coqueiro Seco, Brazil. When the evening service ended, two of the men entered the crowd of congregants and asked for Pastor John. When John identified himself, one of the men shot him three times. John was wounded in the face, jaw, arm, and most seriously in the 4th vertebrae of his spine. At this time he is paralyzed.

In a joint effort between Baptist Mid-Missions, John’s family, and his missionary colleagues in Brazil, an air ambulance is being dispatched to evacuate John to Des Moines, Iowa, where he will undergo surgery. He is expected to be in Des Moines by Friday, July 8, 2005. A conclusive long-term prognosis will not be offered until the surgery is complete and medical testing is finished. The doctors in Brazil feel he is sufficiently stable to be evacuated to the United States, but his condition is quite serious.

No suspects have yet been apprehended. We have no knowledge of why anyone would seek to harm John. The American Embassy is tracking the case, but our consuming concern in the days since John was injured has been to ensure he has the best possible medical care.

John’s wife, Bev, and their three youngest children are in the United States. John and their oldest son, Josh, were together in Brazil. Josh had remained in Brazil to attend Bible school when his family came to the U.S. for furlough this spring. Josh has been battling cancer for a few years and a few weeks ago developed health needs that necessitated John returning to Brazil to care for him. They had planned to come to the U.S. together on July 22.

Please pray for John and all of his family--for health, safety, and grace.
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