Dear Prayer Team, March, 2012
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Is. 60:1-2
God answered your prayers!! We are back from our extensive trip out west to visit supporting churches, supporting individuals, family, and friends. Wow! What a trip it was, and many, many times we felt “an extra measure of strength” which could be nothing but your prayers. How can we possibly tell you how valuable they are to us?!? Even as we ministered, we could just tell that God had “gone before us” and made hearts truly receptive to His Word. Thank you so much for this vital role that you play in our “team effort” to reach souls for Christ and edify believers. May the Lord bless each one.
TRIP OUT WEST
We have tried to decide what the “highlight” of our trip was out west, and truly it is a near impossible task! God gave us so many opportunities to minister…to individuals, to couples, to small groups of students ( including a group of college-aged Chinese students who cannot be freely taught the things of the Bible in China, so they are brought here to the U.S. where they can have in-depth discipleship–how awesome!), to youth groups, to Sunday School and Kid’s Clubs, to ladies’ groups, to churches of all sizes, to new church plants, to Bible studies…wow… we praise our Lord for His grace and mercy in allowing us to be involved in each one! However, one opportunity seemed to be a divine appointment by God and it was quite unique. On the final day of our missionary conference at Calvary Baptist Church in Mesa, AZ, we ate our noon meal out at a buffet restaurant with a dear couple. When Bev went to start the van afterwards, she could not get the key to turn in the ignition. We thought it was because we were using our spare key since our other key had been left with another person who was planning to use our van to pick up a handicapped individual to bring to church, so the man we ate lunch with decided to go get the other key. It was during that time while we were visiting with our hostess and showing her pictures from our trip on our camera that a Vietnamese young lady named Cindy came up to us and offered to take our picture. John struck up a conversation with her and then we decided to give her a “Gospel coin” that a man from Open Door Baptist in Prescott Valley, AZ had given to us. The coin said “Where will you spend eternity?” John 3:36. Since she was just learning English, she asked us, “What is eternity?” What an opportunity!! We then were able to talk to her about her need to accept Jesus as her Savior so that she could spend eternity with Him. She told us she had been faithful to attend the Buddhist temple for two years in her life, but that she was now “in limbo” trying to decide if Buddhism or Christianity was what she wanted to follow. We invited her to church, and our hostess said she was going to follow up on her and encourage her in the Lord. After that, we were able to get the van started, and there really seemed to be no other reason for the delay other than we were supposed to talk to Cindy about where she would spend eternity!! Thank you for your prayers, and thank you, Lord, for one more chance to witness for you. Continue to pray for Cindy and her lost condition.
Early in our road trip, we received some exciting news from our daughter, Jonna. She became engaged to Tim O’Tool, a godly young man who has a heart for God and for the Lord’s work. He is attending Faith Baptist Bible College preparing for the ministry and plans to graduate in 2013. They plan to be married on Saturday, June 9th, and after seeking advice from both our home office and our home church, we were counseled to stay here in the States until after the wedding. The decision was not easy. In fact, we already have at least half of our packing done and we were so excited to be able to soon return to Brazil. But we have great peace that this is what we should be doing at this time. Our field administrator, VW Peters, notified us that we are still a little below the needed monthly support level, and encouraged us to contact churches at this time to try to bring that level up. Between visiting churches, wedding preparations, doing more packing and preparing for the move, we are sure that this short time will fly by. We are thankful for the opportunity to help our daughter during this important phase of her life. Please pray that the wedding will be used to glorify the Lord, and pray that Jonna and Tim would be used in His service. Pray also for us as we set up meetings that God would continue using us.
WORK IN SAO PEDRO
What a joy it was to be able to talk with Pastor Eneias about the work in Sao Pedro. Most of you know that John was scheduled to speak at their anniversary celebration on March 10th, and although it will be hard for us to miss this joyful occasion, we promised our prayers on their behalf. We ask that you, our prayer team, pray with us for these dear people. One of our concerns is Pastor’s and his wife, Mara’s health. We praise the Lord that God has sustained them thus far and has used them mightily to reach this dark area of Brazil with the light of the Gospel. They reported that attendance is up and down, but they are seeing God work in the lives of the believers. They are holding regular open air meetings, and excitement is in the air for the upcoming weekend conference in celebration of their anniversary. The construction is going forward at a slow but steady pace. Continue to pray that God would bless our new church plant. We can’t wait to get back!!
Thank you again for your prayers!
Sincerely in Christ,
John and Bev Leonard