You Can Impact the Global Church

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 15 November 2017. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to you today to share two examples of the kind of people BrookLink serves. Some of them minister under threat of punishment or imprisonment. Some labor in the shadow of shady governments or threat of civil unrest. Some are anchors of hope in a sea of poverty. All are hungry for God’s truth, eager to learn and poised to make a difference!

You can help the needs of the global church. The seeds of the Gospel are sprouting all over the globe! The need of the global church is great—to equip, empower and encourage its leaders! And the call of the global church is loud, “Come over and help us!”  (Acts 16:9) Make a gift today to equip those eager to learn God's truth and who are longing to influence their churches and communities.

Last month we were nearing the end of a three-day conference training church leaders in one of China’s eastern provinces. The days were full—speaking through a translator—four times each day and I was dead tired. Soon the team would be returning to our guesthouse, having supper and downloading the day.

Gathering my belongings, I looked up to see a young 20-ish Chinese woman approaching me. She was clutching a small piece of paper in both hands. As she neared, our eyes met and I couldn’t help but notice hers were welling with tears. The Chinese are honorable people and as is their custom, she bowed slightly and presented me with the piece of paper she was carrying. Timidly she said, “Thank-you,” and then hurried away. I was so touched and wanted to share with you the note she gave to me.

Windows to the World Event

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

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

 
 

A Seed Has Sprouted

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 01 December 2016. Posted in Blog

A Seed Has Sprouted

“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:1

Dear Friends,

Wisconsin has long been known as “America’s Dairyland.” Travel anywhere across our state and you’ll see beautiful, rolling farmlands dotting the Wisconsin landscape. It’s no secret; farming plays a major role in the Wisconsin economy.

Have you ever wondered what farmers do during the cold winter season? Do they use the time to catch up on their sleep? Read lots of books? Binge on Netflix? Certainly the winter months afford farmers more leisure hours, but most farmers use the dormant months to prepare for the next season’s planting schedule. Among other things, they order seeds, tune up their tractors and make necessary repairs to their trucks and equipment.

Like a farmer, I’ve learned there are seasons of ministry. Every year at this time we are busily planning for the next year’s planting cycle—where we’ll go, when we’ll go, and what kind of seeds will we plant.

But we also take time to celebrate what God has done this past year—to enjoy, as it were the fruits of our labor as BrookLink traveled to six different countries on four continents during 2016. The seeds that BrookLink is planting across the world are bearing great fruit. A few examples:

  • A young pastor we trained in South Africa several years ago took BrookLink’s material he received, translated it into Portuguese and has now trained over 300 pastors in Angola. A seed has sprouted!
  • Mahesh from Nepal wrote, “The guidelines and practical methods you taught me about preaching will help me prepare sermons, but also help me equip others to preach in Nepal.” A seed has sprouted!
  • Arif from Pakistan e-mailed, "Dr.Heyward's teaching was relevant and challenging. We want to see similar training happen every year.” A seed has sprouted!
  • Terry and I celebrated the birth of our third grandchild this past year—Ethan Charles Riebesehl! A seed has sprouted!

As we near the end of 2016 we have already received invitations to North Africa, Congo, Czech Republic, China and Ethiopia in 2017. Please pray with us about these opportunities and help us by planting a seed of your own.

It is not unusual for non-profits like BrookLink to receive the bulk of their annual contributions during the month of December.

As of December 5th we need to raise $135,000 by year-end.

Can I count on you to plant a seed?

Your financial gift will help us finish in strong fashion and also set us up for the good work God has opened before us. Please consider making a gift today!

When the Apostle Paul thanked the Christians at Philippi for their generous financial support (see Philippians 4:10ff), his primary concern was that God’s blessing would be upon them—for having been ‘seed-planters’ and givers to God’s work.

This is my prayer for you—that the seeds you generously sow will not only cause “righteousness and praise to sprout up among the nations,” but that you yourself will be enriched in every way by our ever-generous God.

 

Ever grateful for you,

 

Lee Heyward

The Power of Story

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 30 March 2016. Posted in Blog

The Power of Story

Everyone has a story. When meeting people for the first time I am eager to learn their story. Good stories grab our imagination, invite us in and broaden our understanding!

Someone once said that God created human beings because He loves stories. As proof, consider that over 70% of the Bible was written in story form. The Old Testament tells about God through the stories of His people. Even Jesus used imaginative stories to tell the world about God’s outrageous love for human beings.

I’ve just returned from Awash, Ethiopia—a market town situated in the central region about a 4.5 hour drive from the capital city of Addis Ababa. The city sits atop a large gorge overlooking the Awash River, part of Africa’s famous Rift Valley. And oh—did I mention it was hot, dusty and desert-like!

The week was spent teaching and training 75 pastors and church leaders, all of whom minister among the Afar people (an unreached people group). Having little to no access to a Bible School or formal training, these men and women showed up promptly each day eager to learn how to study and teach the Bible.

One highlight of my week was inviting men and women to immerse themselves in the giant storyline of the Bible. Africans by and large are ‘storied’ people—stories feature prominently in their cultures. No wonder that seeing God as the Master Storyteller and the Bible as the epic story is so captivating!

Here’s the really cool part—God not only writes His—story, but He writes the lines of my story and your story too! And oftentimes He writes the storyline of our lives to make something known about His!

Lee, Luelseged (translator) and Pastor James

From the Field | Ethiopia

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 26 February 2016. Posted in Blog

Report 2

From the Field | Ethiopia

There are so many enriching benefits of a short-term mission experience! It is not just about the work you do or the shared experience itself; mostly it is about the relationships you develop.

For two weeks, we’ve sat together, eaten together, prayed together, worked together, struggled with language and cultural barriers together, hurt together, failed together, laughed together and learned together. Quickly and powerfully friendships form, barriers decrease and love grows!

It’s also these same things that make farewells so hard! These past two days the team has been saying their farewells to our Ethiopian friends. On Wednesday Pastor James and I (Pastor Lee) said good-bye to seventy-two pastors and church leaders. Over the course of the past week we have encouraged these servants of Christ to prioritize and model disciple-making in their ministries. We have instructed them about the importance and necessity of deepening their spiritual lives through daily interaction with the Word of God.

During our concluding session we reminded the pastors of the Apostle Paul’s words from Romans 10:14-15 and John 13:1-15.  We then had them gather in small groups to wash one another’s feet as a way of symbolizing, “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Pastor James and I then gave each pastor a pair of socks that had been sent by one of our donors, along with a copy of the book, How to Understand the Bible (translated into Amharic). Pastors in this part of the world seldom have access to solid theological resources, and it was quite moving to both of us to see their joy receiving a book in their own language! Then the pastors gathered around us, showered us with gifts and prayed over us—one of my more memorable moments of our time here!

Thursday was our last day in the medical clinic. While the docs examined the few remaining patients, the rest of us helped pack up remaining supplies, hugged people and said our goodbyes.

In Ethiopia, like most African cultures, there are customs and cultural traditions that are important to observe and honor. One of those is the final farewell. And no farewell is complete without Ethiopian coffee!  Our entire team gathered in a tiny office along with our cousins—district administrators, medical personnel, government employees, grateful patients and giddy children. A sea of faces peered through windows and doors to say their thanks and send us off! We exchanged comments, testimonies of the week and gratitude between us. The District Administrator thanked us on behalf of the hundreds of people who were seen at the clinic throughout these two weeks. And then in the true spirit of African friendship we all gathered under the hot African sun for a final photo.

One of our translators commented yesterday that he has never been around a team of people with greater passion, love and joy for Jesus than this GHO Team! I’m equally grateful for the privilege of serving with these dedicated servants of Christ. The team is now back in Addis Ababa. We will spend part of the day in debrief and do a bit of shopping before heading to airport to fly back to the States tonight. We are truly grateful for your prayers throughout this two-week experience. We are tired to say the least, but it is a good tired. In both word and deed God has used each of us in unique ways to be, “Jesus with skin on!”

A New Year to Serve

Written by Lee Heyward on Sunday, 17 January 2016. Posted in Blog

A New Year to Serve

Dear Friends,

Each December as the final days of the year wind down, I take time to look back on the previous year and think about the year ahead. I recount with joy and gratitude the opportunities God opened before BrookLink during 2015. Included among these...

the Afghani, Iranian and Syrian refugees we met and ministered to in Athens, Greece

the Pastors and Leaders we were privileged to train in the Democratic Republic of Congo

and the new opportunity to encourage Pastors in Poland.

It’s been a fruitful and productive year.

But I am equally thankful for those who gave so generously to BrookLink in the final weeks of 2015. Through your sacrifice and partnership, BrookLink met and exceeded its financial goal for 2015. God has once again proven that He can do abundantly more than we ask or imagine. Rejoice with us for the many individuals, churches and foundations that have helped to make this possible!

2016—THE YEAR AHEAD

Now I turn the page to the year ahead. Perhaps you’ve heard that I finished up my Interim Pastoral role at Meadowbrook Church on December 31, 2015. I left on Thursday for India to teach and train men and women at Hindustan Bible Institute who serve in churches across the world’s second most populated country.

Impact in Cape Town

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. Posted in Blog

Impact in Cape Town

Dear Friends, 

This past week I returned from a week of ministry in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Situated at the southernmost tip of the African Continent, the city boasts stunning views from its mountaintops of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Cape Town, South Africa
This was my third trip to Cape Town since 2008, where we have long partnered with the ministry of Cape Missions International headed by our friends, John and Barbara Doyle. I not only spoke in various churches across the city, but also, along with Keith Doyle, conducted a seminar and workshop for pastors on, “Preaching With Clarity and Relevance.”

Meet Raymond Katts. Raymond actually works as an officer in the Cape Town Fire Department, but he also serves as the Pastor of “House of Praise” in Ocean Side Township. Situated in a poorer area of the city, the church is only three years old and is having a deep impact on the residents of Ocean Side through its various ministries—especially those trapped in drugs, alcohol and gang violence.

Lee and Raymond

Extraordinary

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 15 December 2014. Posted in Blog

Extraordinary

Dear Friends,

In just a few days we will roll over our calendars into 2015. And before we do I wanted to write you a quick note for two reasons.

First, it’s probably no surprise to you that many non-profit ministries receive more than a third of their annual income each year in the month of December. BrookLink is no exception.

Presently we need to raise $80,000 to help us meet our 2014 budget and to set us up for the good work we have been invited to do in 2015. Many of you have already responded to our need and I want you to know how grateful we are for your generosity and support.

Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to give during the rush of the season; may I ask that you give a generous gift to BrookLink as the Lord leads you by December 31. Make a Gift today.

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