Back to Africa!

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

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

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

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.

Make a Final Gift in 2015

Written by Lee Heyward on Sunday, 27 December 2015. Posted in Blog

Make a Final Gift in 2015

Dear Friends,

In two weeks time I will be traveling to Hindustan Bible Institute (HBI) in Chennai, India. Recently Chennai underwent record rainfalls resulting in massive flooding across this populated urban area, and the Bible Institute was no exception! Despite these challenges, our friends at HBI are insisting we come to teach and train eager young men and women preparing for ministry.

This will be the first of many influential training opportunities BrookLink will have in 2016. These opportunities would not be possible without your faithful financial support! Your generosity inspires men and women and equips them to serve Jesus in hard and desperate places!

There are still a few days left in 2015 to make a financial gift to BrookLink. If you have already made a year-end contribution, please accept my deepest gratitude! And if you are planning to contribute before year’s end, please send your check postmarked by December 31, 2015 to:

BrookLink
N105W20939 Oak Lane
Germantown, WI 53022

You can also visit the 'Get Involved' page on our website to make a gift right now.

A Leap Forward

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 11 November 2015. Posted in Blog

A Leap Forward

Dear Friends,

I remember the day well—July 20, 1969. As a fourteen-year old my eyes were glued to a flickering black and white television set. Late that evening, astronaut Neil Armstrong planted his foot in another world and uttered those now famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one GIANT LEAP for mankind.” I, along with an estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong’s image and heard his now famous statement.

NASA’s Apollo 11 mission is just one example of a ‘LEAP’ forward in history, and there have been many! Another leap occurred during the 1st Century when a young medical doctor-turned-historian decided to write his eyewitness account of the growth of a spectacular movement. In less than 30 years, this fledgling group became a worldwide phenomenon, impacting kings and kingdoms alike.

And in case you’re still wondering, the aforementioned doctor’s name is Luke, his book is “The Acts of the Apostles” and the movement is called the church. Sprinkled throughout the Book of Acts, Dr. Luke repeatedly reminds us of the growth and expansion of the church—orchestrated entirely by the Holy Spirit! It was a GIANT LEAP forward!

Saying Yes!

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 23 June 2015. Posted in Blog

Saying Yes!

Dear Friends,

On June 15, 2015 the evangelical world mourned. Elisabeth Elliot, one of the most influential Christian women during my lifetime, passed away. Elliot was a wise mentor to many, a passionate spiritual writer and a towering model of an obedient follower of Christ. Several of her books are on my shelf. Terry and I remember listening to her inspiring story at an Inter-Varsity Urbana Missionary Conference in 1976.

Elisabeth married three times—her first two husbands preceded her in death. Her first husband was Jim Elliot. Jim and four other missionaries were ambushed by a group of Auca Indians and killed along a sandy beach in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. Her second husband lost an agonizing battle with cancer. Elisabeth knew the experience of deep pain and loss.

Ironically, when I heard the news of Elisabeth Elliot’s death I was in Nampa, Idaho to speak at the Advocate’s Summit for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). As I was preparing to leave the final day, my host took me to the MAF gift shop. There displayed was the actual frame of the airplane that flew Jim Elliot and the others to the very beach where they were savagely killed (incidentally, it was a MAF pilot that flew the plane that day). It was a surreal moment for me—and a poignant reminder of the costliness of obedience to Christ. I love what I do because I often have the privilege to meet similarly minded followers of Jesus.

Lee Teaching in IdahoLee Teaching in Idaho

April, May, June

on Thursday, 16 April 2015. Posted in Blog

April, May, June

PLEASE JOIN US: Windows to the World

About 15 years ago I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Nabeel Jabbour at a missions conference in one of our local churches in the Milwaukee area. I was immediately struck by his personal humility, compassion for Muslim people and godly demeanor. Since that initial meeting our relationship has deepened, his books have impacted my thinking and I am very excited that he will be joining us for BrookLink’s 6th Annual Windows to the World event in Milwaukee (April 19th) and Chicago (April 26th).

Nabeel is originally from Lebanon. He lived with his family in Egypt for fifteen years before relocating to Colorado Springs in 1997. Although Dr. Jabbour comes from an Arab Christian background, for the first fifty years of his life, Muslims were his neighbors, teachers, friends, roommates, and students. He holds a doctorate in Islamics, lectures at five seminaries, and is considered by many to be a leading expert on Islamic Fundamentalism. You won’t want to miss hearing Nabeel share his perspective. Come ready to wrestle with some global shifts! Learn more about our upcoming Windows to the World events. 

OFF TO ATHENS: May 1-12, 2015

BrookLink has been invited by 222 Ministries to join their team in Athens, Greece. Terry and I, along with our long-time friends Paul and Lisa Sinclair, will equip and empower the 222 Ministries’ workers who minister amidst the soaring refugee population in Greece. Many of these refugees have fled or been forced from their countries because of violent extremist groups like ISIL and others. Thousands of men, women and children are squeezed together in small spaces, undernourished, without medicine or medical staff and without the possibility to go outside.

The four of us go with our “small loaves and fishes” asking God to multiply our efforts as we offer encouragement, share God’s Word and seek to presence Jesus among these dear servants. Please remember to pray for us during these important days!

Windows to the World: Milwaukee

Written by BrookLink on Sunday, 01 March 2015. Posted in Blog

Sunday, April 19, 2015 | 6:30PM | Meadowbrook Church

Windows to the World: Milwaukee

Thankful for the Year Ahead

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 16 February 2015. Posted in Blog

Thankful for the Year Ahead

Dear Friends,

It is a blessing to enter into these initial months of 2015 with a palpable sense of excitement and enthusiasm for what the year ahead will bring for BrookLink. But lest I allow my enthusiasm to get ahead of me, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the role you played in the success and support of BrookLink in 2014.
 
Because of your faithful generosity, BrookLink finished 2014 in the black, achieving 94% of our annual budget. Your kind gifts in the closing months position us well for the year ahead. When we look at the stories of the amazing transformation that God effected in the lives of the church leaders we equipped last year, we can only conclude it has been an exceptional year, because of you!
 
2015 is off and running! On February 25, 2015 I will depart for Cape Town, South Africa for 10 days. Once again, in partnership with my friends John and Barbara Doyle of Cape Missions International (CMI), BrookLink will provide training for church leaders across this beautiful city.

Hot Off the Press

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 17 November 2014. Posted in Blog

Hot Off the Press

Dear Friends,

From time to time, Terry and I are invited to speak at area churches about the ministry of BrookLink. These occasions never detract from our work internationally with church leaders. In fact, engaging regularly with US churches always affords us opportunity to keep a pulse on the local church, to bring a much-needed global perspective, and to mobilize area churches for cooperative mission.

This month Terry and I met with a delightful group of believers who invited us to come talk about BrookLink. Second Place Church is a six year-old church located in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago (Monee, IL). This mostly under-30 crowd has re-purposed a local warehouse, transforming it into a place of worship. We met men and women joyfully engaging in God’s mission locally and globally.

My talk at Second Place Church was on “Life in High Defi-Mission”, followed by a lively question and answer time. If you have 30 minutes you can watch the video of the sermon on the Sermons & Videos page.

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