From a Far Country

on Thursday, 27 October 2016. Posted in Blog

From a Far Country

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” These words taken from Revelation 2:10 were written by the Apostle John to Christians living in the ancient city of Smyrna, today known as Izmir, Turkey. This passage is also the text of Scripture I was invited to preach on during my most recent trip to Asia.

According to Open Doors USA, a human rights organization that monitors Christian persecution worldwide, the country I visited ranks high as a place where Christians suffer for professing Christ. It is not unusual for Christians in this part of the world to be detained, imprisoned or even to face death for their allegiance to Jesus.

I was invited to bring encouragement to a host of men and women who daily count the cost of following Christ. I lectured at the largest Bible College in the country, spoke at a national leadership gathering, and preached before a multi-congregational worship service. Many related their own personal stories of perseverance, character and hope in the midst of unimaginable poverty, suffering and even danger.

Paul urged the church in Thessalonica to “pray that the message of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored” (2 Thess. 3:1). Many of you prayed as I traveled this past month. I’m deeply grateful for your partnership in prayer that ensures the Lord and His Word be honored through the ministry of BrookLink.

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Compassion for the Displaced

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 28 September 2015. Posted in Blog

Compassion for the Displaced

Dear Praying Friends,

It’s hard to miss the heart-breaking stories of the day-to-day crisis developing across the European Continent regarding the tens of thousands of men, women and children fleeing oppressive regimes. The continent of Europe is facing enormous challenges politically, economically, ethnically, and even spiritually.

For many years, Europe has been known as the post-modern epicenter. Yet today, many experts believe there is a new spirituality emerging out of this post-modern context, and it is potentially favorable for the Christian Gospel. Did you know that church planting is on the rise across many parts of Europe? And a great many of those church plants are sprouting up among the various migrant populations that are flooding the continent.

Terry and I saw firsthand evidence of this new reality on European soil when we visited Athens, Greece in May. We spent an entire week ministering exclusively among displaced Iranians, Afghanis and Syrians longing to learn of Jesus, and eager to draw hope from God’s Word. What oppressive regimes meant for evil, God is using for good by ‘gathering’ those scattered to Himself.

Stories from Greece

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 20 May 2015. Posted in Blog

Stories from Greece

Dear Friends,

Recently BrookLink was invited by 222 Ministries to teach and train a group of Iranian church leaders in Athens, Greece. All of them had a story to tell! For a whole week my friend Paul Sinclair and I were teaching these men and women about God as our Father—a heavenly Father, whose extravagant and costly love set Him apart from even the best of earthly fathers.Paul Sinclair

During one of our sessions I shared with those gathered about how God as Father knows everything about us—even our tears do not go unnoticed. I quoted the following Scripture:

“You have kept a count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8 (ESV)

There is a tradition in Middle Eastern cultures that a soldier going off to war gives his wife or girlfriend a small vial to be worn around her neck. Every time the woman would cry at night over the absence of her loved one, and as she wept, the tears would be collected in the bottle until her lover would return. This poetic imagery is the Psalmist’s way of teaching that God not only sees our tears, He preserves them too!

From the Field | Greece

Written by BrookLink on Monday, 11 May 2015. Posted in Blog

A Letter from Lisa Sinclair

Lisa Sinclair

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dear Friends,

As I write, I am looking out over a sky so blue and a sea even bluer that make the white buildings that stud the rocky coast startling in their brilliance. It is beautiful. The kind of beauty that almost hurts to behold, and it is so hard to reconcile with the evil that we have seen in our world.

It is a great privilege to minister here in Greece with Lee and Terry Heyward of BrookLink to Iranian and Afghan refugees. Actually, it has been a complicated trip, and we barely understand ourselves who we have been with! Lee and Paul have been primarily with Iranians who live in Europe now, having come to know the Lord from Muslim backgrounds. But there are also Armenians from Eastern Orthodox background. All have been blessed to learn more of the Father's character and love as Lee and Paul taught from Luke 15, the story of the Prodigal son(s).  Paul taught on characteristics of the Father from the lives of Moses, Noah, and Joseph to describe mercy, long suffering, and faithfulness. He was blessed to lead the closing communion.

Terry and I have been working with a different group. Every day after worship with the main group that Lee and Paul worked with, we left to go to another building close by to work with women currently living in the refugee camps. Every day we worked with Afghan refugee women, Muslims, who had come to Greece via Iran and Turkey, by land or sea. We taught them about the Lord's love for wounded women, and how He values women using the stories of the Samaritan woman, the woman with the issue of blood, Mary, and the anointing woman. We thought this would be a good subject for them, but had no idea how hungry they were, nor how oppressed by men they had been. We ended our time together by learning how to dance in an Afghan way! At least 2 of the 13 had come to the Lord, and others are on the Jesus road. 

From the Field | Greece

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 08 May 2015. Posted in Blog

From the Field | Greece

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It’s Thursday afternoon here. I’ve just finished three hours of teaching, or should I say, leading the group in a robust exploration of Luke 15:11-32—the Story of the Prodigal Sons. They have gathered in small groups to study this passage in depth. Paul and I have also used Rembrandt’s famous painting, “The Return of the Prodigal” to engage their imagination! What a fascinating week it has been with these Iranian men and women. This group has been wrestling with Scripture unlike any other group I’ve ever been a part of. Their questions are penetrating, their observations are riveting, and their applications have been heart-warming.

Each day Paul and I have rotated teaching in the morning and afternoon sessions with the Iranians, while Terry and Lisa have worked with the innumerable refugees who show up each day (some are Afghans, some are Syrian, all with hard stories to tell). In addition, Lisa has been carrying an extensive counseling load each day (sometimes as many as 7 back-to-back one-hour sessions). While she is counseling individuals, Terry has been teaching, talking one-on-one, and even leading a children’s session (are any of us surprised?). If our pace seems full, it’s because it is! But we rejoice that God is using all of us according to our gifts and in a variety of ways. We’re tired, but it’s a good kind of tired!

From the Field | Greece

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 05 May 2015. Posted in Blog

From the Field | Greece

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Greetings from Athens, Greece! Terry and I, along with Paul and Lisa Sinclair, are here this week to teach and train Iranian Christians and to work with the refugee population. We arrived late Saturday night and after a day of rest, we began our weeklong meetings with 25 or so Iranians, along with Afghan refugees who have had to flee their homeland due to extremist violence.

Paul and I have been teaching and training the Iranian Christians in one location, while Terry and Lisa are meeting in a separate location with the Afghanis who arrive each morning from nearby refugee camps. In the evening the four of us gather to review the days’ events, adjust our teachings and share the amazing stories we are hearing from these people.

Our theme this week has been the “Fatherhood of God.” We are spending the whole week exploring the story Jesus told of the lost sons in Luke 15:11-32. Today the whole morning was devoted to just observing the details of the story.  Talk about a fascinating experience!! Imagine the electricity in the room as men and women brought forth one cultural distinctive after another from the text, enlightening all of us because of their unique Middle Eastern background. I saw a Middle Eastern story through Middle Eastern eyes today. I’ll never forget the incredible experience!

Together

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 22 May 2014. Posted in Blog

Together

Dear friends,

Terry and I have a good friend who is a well-known author, speaker and world traveler. When asked how she manages her hectic schedule, she replies, “I just do the next thing in front of my face.” 

Terry and I have added this phrase to our lives, especially when we look at our calendar for 2014. The year has already been full of adventures. Terry spent 20 days in West Africa shepherding a medical team as they set up and dismantled mobile clinics in remote communities. After saying goodbye to the dedicated doctors, pharmacists, nurses and volunteers, a team of contract landscapers arrived to provide clean water access that a Volta community lacked.

Trusting During Tremors

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 23 January 2014. Posted in Blog

Trusting During Tremors

Dear friends,

Located in southwest Wisconsin, Richland Center is a small town which prides itself as the birthplace of world-renowned architect, writer, educator and interior designer, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Years ago Wright was given the impossible task of building the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. No comparable construction job ever before had been undertaken. In the land of earthquakes and terrible tremors Wright proposed his plans for this building with uncanny patience and an eye for detail. During the process of the design Wright discovered that eight feet below the ground lay a sixty-foot bed of soft mud. Wright suggested a design to “float” the massive structure in some way to make it absorb the shock of an earthquake.

Thankful for Your Partnership

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 26 December 2013. Posted in Blog

Thankful for Your Partnership

Dear friends,

I am so thankful to God for your faithful partnership in 2013. Your support during this past year has equipped pastors and church leaders in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as here in the US.  It’s been a privilege to teach and share God’s Word and witness the growing hunger among the men and women called to lead Christ’s church. 

As we approach these final days of 2013, now is an outstanding time to make a contribution 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, there is still time to do so. You can send your check postmarked by December 31, 2013 to: 

BrookLink
c/o Karen Seemuth
221 N. Grandview Blvd
Waukesha, WI 53188

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