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

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Missionary Injured In Brazil Talks Of Recovery

Leonard Wants To Return To Mission Work
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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A missionary from Ankeny was gunned down last July as he greeted people at his church in Brazil.

John Leonard defied predictions that he wouldn't survive. Though his life has changed forever, he hasn't stopped spreading the word of his faith.

Leonard listened to the latest news from Brazil, a place he has called home.
"(I) never had a reason to feel unsafe," John Leonard said.

Leonard grew up in Brazil, living there with his missionary parents. As an adult, he and his wife, Bev, have also served as missionaries, starting five churches and working to change the lives of the people there.

"We saw many people come to meet God and change that way in their life, also," Leonard said.

Last July at one of his churches, two men came looking for him and opened fire.

"The reason why or who did it has not been discovered yet," he said.

Now, he's paralyzed and must use a wheelchair. His family and his faith sustain him.

"We all know that God has a purpose," Leonard said.

His son, Josh, was there when his father was shot. At the time, the Leonards had just returned to Brazil after a trip to Iowa to bring him home. Josh has a brain tumor and had an accident.

"I had a seizure and fell down some steps, broke my heel, wrist and hip," Josh Leonard said.
The family's ordeal has definitely tested them.

"You think, 'I could never take this.' The Lord always gives you exactly what you need," Bev Leonard said.

"He's the only one who brings anyone through anything," Josh Leonard said.

Mission work can be dangerous as a new movie called "End of the Spear" shows. It tells the story of five missionaries who are murdered in Ecuador.

Leonard said even with all he knows, he doesn't regret anything.

"If God makes us fit to go back to Brazil, we'd be back in a heartbeat," he said.

Leonard and his family will soon be going to various churches to talk about his ministry in Brazil.
Leonard's churches are continuing to operate. He has family members in Brazil as well.
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