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

Thursday, March 02, 2006

We truly believe that the Lord is hearing and answering your prayers

It has been awhile since we have up-dated everyone on how things are going here at the Leonard home. It seems that we are still "recovering" from our bouts of sickness that we have had--fortunately, John did not get what the rest of us had, and we truly believe that the Lord is hearing and answering your prayers for his health. The doctor also insisted that he take his flu shot, and now we are so glad that he did that! Bev, Josh and Jeanne had light cases of the "creepy crud," but Jerrod and Jonna were down for almost a week!! It was not good--especially since we depend on them a lot for helping out with John. Jeanne ended up getting some "new training" since she usually does other things while Jerrod and Jonna get the "bulk" of helping with transfers, turning...etc. She really surprised us all with how strong she was!! I think she surprised herself! We even needed to go to a meeting in Rochester, MN with just the three of us (John, Bev, and Jeanne) since the others were "out of commission," and we "prayed our way through" the overnight stay...getting John dressed in the morning, getting him into the chair, etc., but God was our strength and once again He helped us through it! Like always, all "difficult situations" turn into "good," since we found out that our little twelve year old could do more that we thought! We are not sure SHE is so happy we found that out, since she gets called on now more than she did before!! But we praise the Lord for His goodness.

Yes, we have had some blessed meetings since we last wrote including the one at First Baptist Church in Grundy Center, IA, another at Calvary Baptist in Rochester, MN, and this past weekend at Volga, IA. The Lord willing, this coming weekend (March 5), we will be at Calvary Baptist in Adrian, MO, so we are really looking forward to that. We will make out our schedule and put it at the end of our letter so that you can see where we will be in up-coming days. Isn't the Lord awesome? We were able to be out each weekend in February and March is full, and April doesn't lag much behind. Your prayers have sustained us, and we so much appreciate your remembering us. Don't forget to thank the Lord for what He has done, and also please remember to pray especially for safety as we travel. John's "back seat driving" was kind of a bother to Bev at first, but now she is kind of glad for him since he is sure to keep her alert and awake as we go down the highway! She has kind of gotten used to his little "Watch out for that curb!" and "Crazy woman driver!" comments (most of them for a good reason!) But she is gradually improving--the van is larger than what she is used to, so things can get a little "out of control" at times!! Continue to pray not only for our safety, but also for our patience with one another.

This week has been really busy...Monday night we had the privilege of having Heyder and Katia in our home again. They are the Brazilian couple who have been attending at Saylorville. Heyder came to John recently and had some questions about the Bible. John told him to bring his portuguese Bible and come over for a time of study at 7:30 Monday evening. They have been such a blessing to us--they were saved in Brazil, but are "young Christians" who are anxious to grow and learn more about the Lord. Continue to pray especially for Katia, who is homesick for Brazil. Thank you also for your prayers for Annette, Bev's friend whose husband was shot and killed some years back here in Des Moines. Our first visit went well--both Annette and Bev "traded stories" of what happened to their husbands...they cried together and there is certainly a special "bond" that between themselves. She is definitely Buddhist--she showed Bev her "room" where she goes to pray every day--has a picture of her husband on the wall with candles, colored lights and statues all around. She is so sincere, and it will take a lot to reach her, but we know our God is able. Since the first visit was close to Valentine's Day, Bev gave Annette a special "chocolate valentine" with a tract inside, and was also able to tell her that God had been my strength through these difficult days. She then asked if she could meet John, and Bev gave her directions to their home thinking that perhaps they wouldn't hear from her again. But she called Monday night, and asked if she could come for a visit on Tuesday night!! We were so thrilled!! And the perfect opportunity opened up when she asked John what he did for a living. He told her he was a missionary and she said she didn't really know what that was, so John explained it to her, and of course, got around to telling her that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died for us so that we could have eternal life if we would only accept Him and have a PERSONAL relationship with him. She listened carefully and politely, but kind of changed the subject after. But how we praise the Lord for this opportunity. If that wasn't enough, we were also able to go to Ames to the Department of Transportation for a time of "Bible study" yesterday (Wednesday). One of our friends from Saylorville asked us to do this since the missionary that started it (Russ Matthews) has gone to the field, and we would just take over where he left off. Yesterday was more of an "introductory day" when John gave his testimony and we showed our DVD which talks a little about our work and also what happened to JOhn. It was a great day--the study is only for a half an hour since the workers there at the DOT are doing it over their lunch hour, but they were such a blessing to us! They asked us to come back, so we are thinking of doing it perhaps every other Wednesday. Today (Thursday) we are playing "catch up" on letters, e-mails, laundry...etc., since tomorrow (Friday) we will head out to Iowa City to see how Josh's hip is doing. He is REALLY hoping and praying that he can get rid of his walker--it has been three long months. We ask that you pray with us that this time his hip healed well and that he can now get on with life a little. Then on Saturday we will head to Adrian, MO and Sunday we will speak there, so that pretty much lets you know what this week was like.

We have been in touch with a group of four people who went down to stay in our home in Brazil for a couple of weeks. They seem to have been enjoying their time there. Of course, they got "invaded" a little since our churches in Maceio had a "Carnaval (like 'Marti gra') retreat" out at our place beginning last weekend and going through this WEdnesday. This is something the believers do down there as a "substitute" for all that is going on at that time--about five straight days of worldly, riotous living. We take advantage of the time to have Bible teaching, social events, fellowship...etc, and in the past, we have seen many lives changed (including some who have been saved) as a result of this ministry. We are anxious to talk to Pastor Lelo to find out how it went. He tried calling us yesterday when we were out, and we tried calling him this morning, but were not able to reach him either. But how thankful we are for this opportunity. The group that went down was planning to have a few projects there as well including painting, and just helping out however they could while being there. I believe they come back this coming week. Thank you for praying for them.

The Lord has been working in our hearts regarding our future. There are lots of opportunities to minister here in the States, of course, but we have not done away with the possibility of heading back to Brazil. This is actually the most important prayer request that we are asking our prayer team to join us in. If we did go back, it would most likely not be before the year 2007 sometime. We want to be sure that John is doing very well physically and that he is as far as he can be in regards to his therapy. We are placing our desire to return to the field before the Lord, and asking Him to either shut the doors completely or open them wide. We are seeking His face regarding this decision, and ask that you do the same. Of course, the re-evaluation that we have at Craig Hospital in Denver will help us out with this decision as well. This is coming up on April 2-7th, and we are much in prayer regarding this time.

Thank you once again for your prayers on our behalf.

Here is our schedule for the up-coming two months:

March 5--Calvary Baptist, Adrian, MO
12-Pioneer Baptist, Louisburg, KS (a.m.)
12-Calvary Baptist, Ottawa, KS (p.m.)
18--Bev speaking at Regional ladies' meeting
19--Liberty Baptist, Bentonville, AR
25-26 Berean Baptist, Marysville, KS (a.m. of 26th)
26-Victory Baptist, Ossawatomie, KS (p.m)
April 2--First Baptist, Wilson, KS (a.m.)
5--Hilltop Baptist, Colorado Springs, CO
9--Calvary Baptist, Mesa, AZ (a.m.)
9--Open Door Baptist, Prescott Valley, AZ (p.m.)
30--Faith Baptist, Iowa City, IA
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