“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”
It has been wonderful to see our God at work during these past few days. We praise Him that all of our Sundays have been filled with meetings close-by with the exception of Easter and Mother’s Day. We also have some meetings scheduled on Wednesday evenings. Many of the churches here in Iowa that we have had the privilege to visit are our “praying churches” and often we do not get a chance to visit them during our normal furlough. God continues to use His Word and John’s testimony as we go from church to church. A bonus has been that some of our needed monthly support has come in. What an encouragement that has been to us! We also praise Him for allowing us to get to know a young Brazilian couple, Andre and Maria, who live right here in Ankeny, IA. Andre has a PhD in crop pest control and works for Pioneer. They are not saved yet, so we are praying for their salvation. It was wonderful to be able to have them in our home this past Thursday evening for some Brazilian “delicacies,” and also to speak in Portuguese, talk about Brazil, and above all, share the Gospel plainly to them in their native language for the second time. Continue to pray for their salvation. They also have a young daughter, Lucinha.
We are in the thick of the wedding plans for our daughter, Jonna, and her fiance, Tim O’Tool. Since it will take place on June 9th, we are feeling time quickly slipping away from us. Please pray with us that on this very special day in our lives, at least one person would accept Christ as Savior and that the Lord would be glorified. For those of you who will not be able to attend, you will be able to watch the wedding LIVE on u-stream at this site-Saylorvillebaptist.com/live. Tim has plans to finish up his pastoral studies degree at Faith Baptist Bible College, and Jonna will continue pursuing her RN. We truly trust that they will continue serving our Lord diligently together throughout their lives.
Bev’s parents, Keith and Donna Fincham will be celebrating 60 years of marriage on August 6th of this year! This is quite a milestone, and since our plans are to head back to the field on June 17th, the family is planning a celebration two months early on June 6th. We also were reminded of our rich Christian heritage two weekends ago when John’s mother, Frances Leonard, was honored in Brazil for 75 years of life, 60 years of “spiritual life” and 50 years of missionary service to our Lord! Congratulations to our parents!
What an honor to reach a milestone in our lives as well. We were part of the 1987 Baptist Mid-Missions candidate class in Cedarville, OH. Yes, that was 25 years ago. Thank you for the vital part you have had in this joyful and God-honoring ministry.
Our tickets for our move back to Brazil have been purchased for June 17th. Our hearts are actually already down there, and we are anxiously awaiting this date! John is scheduled to speak on Sunday, June 24th at our church plant in Sao Pedro. They have kept us up-to-date on the happenings, and we are excited to meet the new believers, to renew acquaintances with others, and to continue reaching out to this needy mountain village with the Gospel of Christ. We also can’t wait to see the progress that has been made on the construction. Although it has been slow, they are so happy about what they have been able to accomplish in our absence, and we are, too! We praise the Lord for the opportunity we have to work with this loving group of people. Along with the blessing of being able to return to the field, God has given us another extra-special blessing. Jess Caster, an RN friend of ours, has offered to travel back with us to Brazil, helping us with our baggage, John’s transfers (we are switching planes in Chicago and Panama), and any other needs that may arise. She will be with us until July 30th, which should allow us to get settled into a good routine before she leaves. Jess is excited, since she is open to a possible future ministry in Brazil, should the Lord call her. It has certainly amazed us to see how God has provided for each and every need, and we know that your prayers have been effectual and fervent.
John and Bev Leonard
Andre, Maria, and Lucinha