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

Friday, January 20, 2006

Our lives continue to be busy

Just a note to up-date our faithful prayer team and to thank you for lifting us up before the throne of God. John has been enjoying some good days health-wise, and we praise the Lord for this. No more infections, and he has been feeling well. He also has been trying "new things" such as getting his hand up to his face to scratch (he can do this best while lying on his back in bed), going off by himself in his chair while shopping (he has disappeared on me a couple of times and sent me into "mini-panic mode"), and once again, speeding around even faster than before. One of our Brazilian missionaries suggested to me that we use some "lombadas," (portuguese for "speed bumps"), to help slow him down a little! For awhile, John didn't even want to hear the word "hospital," so we have not pushed too hard the idea of more intense rehab. However, we have felt more and more in recent days that the time has come to make contact with Craig Hospital in Colorado where we are planning to go for a one-week evaluation. This will most likely happen sometime in March, and we are praying that the Lord will give us wisdom to find the right doctors and the right time to do this. Please pray with us regarding this matter. It will basically be a "second opinion" on John's condition at one of (if not THE) best SCI (spinal chord injury) hospitals in the nation. We would only go back out there if they feel they could help John significantly more than what he could be helped here at Iowa Methodist.

Our lives continue to be busy. John has some dear "Aunts" and one of them, Aunt Janet McClanahan (missionary to Brazil) came to spend a few days with us this past week. It was a real treat for all of us! Then yesterday, John's Aunt Marabel Kersey came over for the evening meal and brought with her a very interesting guest--"Dr. Kim" (her name is more complicated than this) from South Korea, who is currently training parish nurses in South Korea, among other things. John had a big day yesterday, since he had an interview with channel 8 yesterday morning, and then in the afternoon, a lady came from ISU vocational rehab. We were so pleased, since she is getting him all set up with computer software and adaptations which will enable him to do absolutely anything he desires on the computer. He was pretty excited to see how the computer could "understand" his voice and type as he talked! He also was able to control things with his right hand by using an oversized "mouse." They were just testing it out yesterday, but hopefully within one month, he will be all set up. Who knows, John may be the one to write the next up-date!!! Won't that be neat? Please remember to thank the Lord with us for this wonderful gift.

John talked to Pastor Lelo and Pastor Andre yesterday. It was great to hear the kids making noise in the background at the church. This is VBS week (that's right--it's summer in Brazil!) there at Graciliano Ramos, so it was exciting to hear about it--LOTS of kids, it sounds like, and things were going very well. The church in the fishing village will wait until the second week in February to have theirs, since Pastor Andre is just getting "on board" and trying to organize everything. Your prayers for the churches in Brazil are appreciated.

Josh received his "orientation papers" from Iowa School of the Blind last week and his official first day will be March 20th. He is excited...Bev tested him yesterday on his Braille, since he claimed that he had been studying. It does seem that he is doing pretty well and knows about half of the alphabet. His teacher should be here again next week to teach him the rest. His hip is healing nicely, for which we are thankful.

Jerrod has applied for a job and is driving quite a lot. We talk seriously to him every time he goes out of the door about being careful, but it still makes us nervous. Continue to pray for protection as he takes the girls to and from school, and sometimes to church as well. Jonna had her first soccer team meeting, and that sent her on an "exercising kick." Since Bev doesn't like her running by herself, she goes with her, which slows Jonna down quite a bit!! But we have enjoyed it nevertheless. Jeanne started going crazy doing things she never did before--cleaning mirrors, going out of her way to do things for her brothers and sister, helping out with meals without being asked... We were all very pleased, of course, and then we realized where she was going with all of it. Last week sometime, she had asked if she could go to a church slumber party that she was REALLY wanting to go to this evening. Her dad had then proceeded to talk to her about how she was not being very responsible these days and how she needed to make some improvements in her behavior. Oh well...even though she had obvious "ulterior motives," at least she was trying to get better, and I think she somehow gotten through to her dad's heart--at least the last I checked, she was going tonight. Of course, we were quick to tell her that her little "strategy" will NOT work every time!

God is hearing and answering your prayers--THANK YOU!

With grateful hearts,
John and Bev Leonard and family
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