Summer's Here: A Note from Lee

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 01 June 2017. Posted in Blog

Summer's Here: A Note from Lee

This year the Day of Pentecost lands on June 4th. According to Acts 2, Pentecost marked the day God equipped His church with the power of the Holy Spirit so that Christ would be glorified among the nations. In other words, Pentecost is all about mission!

The ongoing mission of the global church depends on receiving the Holy Spirit and relying on his power. The Holy Spirit’s presence is why the Book of Acts resonates with stories—of faith, obedience and courage on the part of believers, who prayed in earnest for boldness and power to make disciples of all people on earth.

The drama of God’s story continues today, and we are invited to join God as we watch HIS-STORY unfold. I shared about the changing face of God’s global mission at our annual Windows to the World event. If you’d like to listen to my talk, click here. You can also watch the new video that debuted at the event. As the global church continues to call for training and equipping to make servant leaders, we are glad to have been serving in:

  • Prague, Czech Republic: A collaborative effort with Czech, European and US church leaders to see the city of Prague transformed by the gospel.
  • Cairo, Egypt: Equipping leaders from Sudan and Egypt to plant churches across unreached Arab-speaking parts of the world.
  • Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: Training Congolese pastors to develop and communicate Biblical sermons

To answer the call of the global church, we rely on a powerful and often unseen team of people—special friends who give regularly to our ministry. But we also recognize our need to grow this team, which is why I am making this special invitation…

I’m asking you today to prayerfully consider making a mid-year gift or becoming a monthly partner—to help us equip and empower church leaders serving in under-resourced places around the world.

Believe me, whatever you choose—your gift will encourage and strengthen pastors and the churches they lead!

Thank you for prayerfully considering becoming a BrookLink partner.

Your faithfulness and generosity will make a difference! 

Every Blessing,

Sharing Our Story

Written by Lee Heyward on Saturday, 13 May 2017. Posted in Blog

Last weekend we hosted our 8th annual "Windows to the World" event at Meadowbrook Church, entitled "The Faces of BrookLink."  It was a special evening, gathering many BrookLink faces and friends to share the work that God has been doing through our ministry.  Thank you to those of you who were able to attend!

This video was debuted at our event. It tells a story about why BrookLink exists and what BrookLink does.

  
Please share this video with others who may want to learn about BrookLink.  Also, if you are interested in requesting a copy of the "Faces of BrookLink" video testimonial that was shown live at the event, please click here to submit your request.

If you're interested in supporting or learning more about our mission, please visit www.brooklink.org. You can also click here to give a gift now.  If you have specific questions about our ministry or ways to support BrookLink, please contact Ann Woelfel, Director of Strategic Development.

With gratitude for your faithful support and friendship.  Each of you truly is a face of BrookLink!

Blessings,


ECFA Accreditation

Written by BrookLink on Monday, 01 May 2017. Posted in Blog



BrookLink was recently accredited by the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). This accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fund-raising. We are delighted to add this distinguished award verifying our financial integrity.

Back to Africa!

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 19 April 2017. Posted in Blog

Back to Africa!

I’ve just returned from a ten-day visit to Egypt. I was invited by my friend, Yani Mafdy, to teach at the Tyrannus Missionary School outside of Cairo. The school’s mission is to equip and train Egyptian and Sudanese national evangelists and church planters to proclaim the gospel to unreached peoples across North Africa. The school has plans to start 10 such training centers across the Arab-speaking world.

Pastor Ian Lawson, Lead Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, joined me. While we were students at Trinity Seminary 30 years ago we dreamed of one day traveling and teaching together. What a joy to see our dream fulfilled! Ian taught on the Book of James and I taught a course on Spiritual Formation for Leadership.

Ian and I were privileged to teach 22 Sudanese nationals—11 from the northern region, 9 from South Sudan and 2 from the Darfur region. Each year several hundred apply for the opportunity to study at Tyrannus, but only 10-12 are accepted into the 18-month program. These young men are all between 22 and 24 years of age. They come from challenging situations and know they will return to conditions of poverty, war and persecution. Upon completion of the program they agree to return to their homeland Sudan to plant new churches.

In addition to these 22 Sudanese, we also had six Egyptians join the training. These men and women all clearly articulated a call to serve Christ’s mission somewhere in the Middle East. One gentleman named Michel is a medical doctor preparing to practice medicine while planting a church in Mauritania. Another Egyptian couple are pursuing ministry among Syrian refugees in Lebanon or Turkey.

Students in Egypt

Students in Egypt

Windows to the World Event

Written by BrookLink on Friday, 07 April 2017. Posted in Blog

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Bridge Building

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 20 March 2017. Posted in Blog

Bridge Building

Several days ago I received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation alerting me that a bridge nearby was going to be reconstructed over the course of the summer. For weeks I’ve wondered why I’ve been maneuvering around orange barrels, detours and burly construction crews busily preparing the area for this sizeable undertaking. I now know why.

Building highway bridges like these takes time, effort and energy.

While bridge building is what I have to look forward to this summer, it is also an apt metaphor to describe BrookLink’s ministry. For the past few months I have been helping ten students (5 men and 5 women) build bridges! Not a literal bridge, but a bridge of understanding through communication and preaching. You see, preaching is a lot like bridge building. I remind my students that they are building bridges between the first century world and the world of today. The proverbial bridge every preacher constructs is a means of communication between two places that would otherwise be cut off from the other—the ancient times of the Bible and the modern contemporary world. This kind of bridge enables God’s revealed truth to flow out of the Scriptures and into the lives of real men and women today.

Building communication bridges like these takes time, effort and energy.

By the time you read this letter, I will be in Prague, Czech Republic building a bridge of yet another kind. It’s called MOSTY—the Czech word for ‘bridges’. This will be my second trip to Prague in the last six months to gather with Czech, Dutch and American leaders who minister in this post-Christian-urban-European city. Our purpose: to construct ‘bridges’ that resource local churches and ministries in disciple-making and mission in the church and society.

Building relational bridges like these takes time, effort and energy.

Save the Date | May 7, 2017

Written by BrookLink on Sunday, 12 March 2017. Posted in Blog

BrookLink's 8th Annual Windows to the World Event

 
 

For Un-Adults Only

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 01 March 2017. Posted in Blog

For Un-Adults Only

Years ago while serving as a youth pastor I received a nasty and critical letter from a high school parent upset about a decision I had made. I was young, defensive and agitated by what I perceived to be an unfair and unfounded charge leveled against me. Stuart Briscoe, the Senior Pastor at that time, walked into my office, observed my fainting fit and said to me these words: “Every pastor needs the heart of a child, the mind of a scholar and the skin of a rhino.” In reality, my heart was anything but childlike! My heart was like a rhino—ready to charge at my critic with some hostility of my own.

Over the years, I have often repeated Stuart’s words of wisdom—both to myself and to others serving in ministry. One of the qualities I regularly need to cultivate both as a pastor and a person is that of childlikeness.

Recently, I preached a message on one of my favorite Bible characters—Zacchaeus! Remember him? Luke is the only one of the four Gospel writers to include his story. Frederick Buechner reminds us, “Zacchaeus was a sawed-off little social disaster with a big bank account and a crooked job, but Jesus welcomes him aboard anyway.”

A surprising feature of this story is Zacchaeus does something that a child would do, but no adult would do—he climbs up a tree. He does something so childish, so undignified, so silly—he hikes up his toga and climbs up a tree.

Only moments before this incident Jesus said, “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17).  Here’s a fiendish and corrupt little tax-collector taking Jesus at his word. He climbs a tree.

A New Year of Ministry

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 30 January 2017. Posted in Blog

A New Year of Ministry

“For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.” Psalm 92:4

As BrookLink prepares for a new year of ministry in 2017, I want to take this opportunity thank you for your tremendous support during our ministry in 2016.

  • Your prayers sustained us as the LORD granted us safe passage to and from six different international locations.
  • Your encouragement helped us to say yes to invitations to train church leaders in under-served parts of the world.
  • Your commitment to our mission helped us to deepen the knowledge of Christ in lives of those we equipped.
  • Your generosity helped us to finish strong at year-end and positioned us for what lies ahead in the New Year.


We at BrookLink would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the way in which you prayed, encouraged, committed and gave generously to us in 2016.

What’s New in 2017?

Our Board of Directors recently met to celebrate what the Lord has done for us and to look ahead and review our plans for 2017. We would ask that you continue to remember us in prayer as we enter into this new season of ministry.

  • Pray for the completion and publication of a new book Lee is writing for the global church.
  • Pray for the men and women BrookLink has been invited to train in Czech Republic, North Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia in 2017.
  • Pray as we continue to tell the “BrookLink story” both locally and nationally. We are exploring new partnerships, cultivating new sources of funding, onboarding new trainers/facilitators and participating in new gospel movements across the globe.
  • Pray as we take bold steps of faith into the future, that God will enable us to achieve 100% of 2017 Annual Budget.

BrookLink Welcomes Ann Woelfel, Director of Strategic Development

BrookLink has grown steadily since our beginning in 2008. Our dedicated Board of Directors has undertaken some bold initiatives for the future. To continue to support these initiatives and the future growth of our ministry, the Board recently hired Ann Woelfel as our new Director of Strategic Development. Ann began to support BrookLink in a limited operational capacity in June 2015. Over the past 18 months, as Ann began to take a deeper interest in serving BrookLink, the Board created a role to merge her strategic, interpersonal and operational functions. Her primary areas of responsibility will be to strengthen donor relationships, help identify and execute strategic initiatives, manage global and affiliate ministry opportunities, and continue to support BrookLink’s internal operations.    

Ann grew up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, attended Menomonee Falls High School and earned a degree in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining BrookLink, Ann worked for 15 years in various roles for Robert W. Baird & Co., with her most recent role being a Senior Vice President, and Manager of Baird’s Corporate Events and Conference Center departments. Ann and her husband, Pete, have two children, live in Wauwatosa, WI, and are members of Meadowbrook Church.

Please join me in welcoming Ann Woelfel to BrookLink’s team.

Make a Final Gift in 2016

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 27 December 2016. Posted in Blog

Make a Final Gift in 2016

During 2016 I have received feedback like this from church leaders we serve:

What Dr. Heyward taught us during this conference was the exact opposite of what many of us had believed. It helped us, not only to understand the bigger picture of Bible, but also to see how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. I learned the value of the Word when it is studied deeply and correctly.

                                                                                                                                                          A leader from the Middle East

Comments like these illustrate for me the impact you have made through your generous financial support and prayers for BrookLink’s ministry. Your large-heartedness is truly the strength of BrookLink’s ministry in unreached and unengaged places across the world.

Several weeks ago, I updated you on our financial situation. There are still a few days left in 2016 to make a year-end gift to the ministry. Many of you have already responded generously to our need, for which I am deeply grateful!

If you still wish to make a financial gift to BrookLink, use the enclosed card to send it to the address below. And please remember to send your check postmarked by December 31, 2016.

BrookLink
N105 W20939 Oak Lane
Germantown, WI 53022

You can also make a gift online right now.

Thank you again for “excelling in the gracious ministry of giving” (2 Cor. 8:7). May God make His grace abound to you in 2017!

Every blessing,

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