II Corinthians 4:16 says “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” What a comfort this verse has been to us!! In the midst of trials, we know that the Lord will renew our spirits every day!!
We are writing a brief up-date from the “Lan House” (a place where you go to get on the internet for a short period of time and pay a small fee) which is about a 15 minute drive from our home. Yes, we have been in contact with the server that we have for internet in our home, called “Speedy” five times since it stopped working last Wednesday. Each time, they told us that within 24 hours we would be receiving a call from a technician to resolve the problem. No calls until now. Actually, John got on yesterday and told them the situation, and they now have promised that a technician will come to our home within 48 hours. I guess that is progress!?! At any rate we are thinking of recommending that they change their server name to anything other than “Speedy!!” But we know that we need to have patience and be thankful in ALL things, so that is what we are trying to do. Please pray that we would be the examples we should be in this situation, and that soon the internet service would be returned to our home. Also, on Friday, John’s power wheelchair went on the blink. In the States, we would simply make our way out to West Des Moines, have them fix it, and go on with life. However, down here, things are not that easy. Without the internet, we were not able to ask our prayer team to pray, but we know that many of you prayed anyway, since John was able to use the guys that are doing the construction here at the church to make it so that he could at least use it. So we appreciate so much your prayers. But tomorrow(Wednesday, August 29, we are headed to Sao Paulo to see if we can find someone to fix it right. Please pray for safety, as one of the problems has been that when John is riding in the van, the chair will flip over on it’s side. (VERY SCARY!!! to say the least) Fortunately, we do have his manual chair, and we will most likely use that for travelling tomorrow. But, we asked our son Jerrod to send us the tie-downs from our van in the States. We were getting along fine without them before (we had “rigged” something else that was working), but it seems that it now is somewhat “out of balance” — possibly because of the “rough terrain” that John goes on down here!! One of the guys from our church recommended a person here in town that has a “forklift” company, that may be able help a little. We knew that there was one “Invacare” representative here in Brazil, but they are in Porto Alegre which is at least 10 hours by car from us. We called them and asked them for a name of someone near us that would fix it and their response was “just send the chair to us and we will fix it!” Very “simple” solution!! Continue to pray for this matter that the Lord’s will be done. We are confident He is going to work everything out for His glory and that He has a good purpose for all of this!
OK…enough of that…lets move on to the Lord’s blessings, which are always abundant!! Our Thursday night Bible study has been so exciting! Continue to pray for the six unsaved people who are attending on a regular basis. We are studying through the book of John, and at last week’s study, we sensed that the Lord was really working in their lives. Pray that soon we will see decisions.
Claudio and Isabel came to the couples’ meeting we had last Saturday evening, and we were so encouraged. They are slowly coming around. Adam and his family were all in church on Sunday evening, and they are also gradually becoming more faithful at the services. Both of Juvana’s parents were in the service on Sunday evening (Jose and Dottie). They are not only unsaved, but also our neighbors, and we are trying earnestly to reach them for the Lord.
Wow!! Something VERY EXCITING we heard from our church in Coqueiro Seco (the church were the incident with John occurred)… One of the ladies of our church who is very dear to our family, Ana, accepted Christ as Savior!! We have prayed for her since the work began, and our hearts were just overjoyed when we heard this news. She and her husband, Nene, are the ones that are still living on the property there, and they are a great couple. Nene accepted Christ as Savior the Sunday after our inauguration service back in April of 2004. He has been a blessing in the work there. Continue to pray for Pastor Andre and Deborah as they labor faithfully there. They are also reporting five recent desicions for Christ in the adolescents’ group they have on Saturday afternoons. Praise the Lord, He is still at work in Coqueiro Seco. We are also requesting prayer that a missionary would step in to help out there. When we started that work, we were planning to be there the rest of our lives. It is in a very needy village, and we knew it would probably take a long time to totally nationalize it, since the salaries that the people make there are small. Perhaps someone reading this letter would be burdened for this ministry!! We have a missionary family that has shown some interest, but the earliest they can take over would be in June of 2008. It would be great if someone could step in to help out right now!! If you feel the Lord calling you to be a part of this ministry in some way, please let us know!
The girls officially started home schooling this past Monday, the 27th of August. It is going fine, but please pray for patience as the year goes on for all of us. Also pray for Josh and Jerrod who have begun their semester at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA. We thank you for your prayers for Josh. He recently went back to the doctor for a check-up, and found out that there was already blood-flow through the part of the hip that was operated on. The doctor had said that it could take up to a year for this to happen, and it happened in about a month and a half!! Once again, your prayers at work!! We are also thankful that he is able to continue his studies at Faith, as we were not sure if he would be healed up in time. Pray for our guys that they would take their studies seriously and follow the Lord’s leading in their lives.
We apologize to those of you who have written personal e-mails to us in recent days. Most of you know that we try hard to answer them within one week of receiving them, but it was not possible this time. As soon as our “Speedy” internet service returns, we will reply to you!
Being renewed day by day,
John and Bev Leonard and family