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.

Coming Home with Gratitude

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

Dear Friends,

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” 
Psalm 107: 8-9

The plane ride home was exceptionally long. Lahore, Dubai, Shanghai, Dubai, Chicago with trains, buses, and taxis in between. I had departed Wisconsin on a lingering summer day in early October, and returned to a blustery fall day just a handful of weeks later.  The usually long transition, from a summer to a fall mentality, happened this year in a matter of moments.  As I drew in a few breaths of crisp air and admired the changing color of the leaves on the trees, my posture turned to one of gratitude. 

This time of year can be a “coming home” of sorts.  We are called indoors, drawn to family, cooking warm and heartier meals, watching football games, and trying to slow down the pace after summer.  It can also be a spiritual “coming home”.  A time of reflection and remembrance, a personal recounting of how God has moved in your life and the lives of others.  Psalm 107 reminds us of the way God is ever present through our circumstances, His steadfast love our sustenance and anchor. 

BrookLink is in an intense season of ministry. The time in Pakistan, followed by serving with China Partner in three provinces, was amazing.  Nearly 1,200 Pakistani believers attended this year’s conferences in 2 cities.  These leaders are serving in terribly difficult places and thirst for His word and encouragement in their faith.  Attendees were genuinely absorbed as we moved through leadership messages from the book of 1 Timothy and Titus. Leaders of the Full Gospel Assemblies (FGA) have asked me to consider returning next year to teach.

From the Field | China

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 19 October 2017. Posted in Blog

REPORT 1

Arrived late last night in Shanghai amidst typhoon conditions. Heading to Wuhan today to join Erik Burklin and the China Partner team that I'll be with these next two weeks. Covet your prayers!

REPORT 2

Visited an extraordinary training center for Christian leaders today outside Huangshi. About 100 Chinese church leaders have gathered this week for three days of training. What a privilege to be here and to equip these men and women. In a separate room were 90 younger leaders who have come from all over China to train for 1-2 years in theology, Bible and missions. It was a day full of teaching and training. Tomorrow we go back and continue. Please continue to pray for us.

 

From the Field | S.E. Asia

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 11 October 2017. Posted in Blog

From the Field | S.E. Asia

REPORT 1

Greetings from Southeast Asia!

Today we traveled 2.5 hours to the city of Faisalabad, the third largest city in Pakistan.

We toured the facilities of the Pakistan Bible Correspondence Institute. Afterward we joined Pastor Nazir and his wife Maureen, along with about 100 church leaders for afternoon meetings. I spoke twice today on the life of David from 1 Samuel 16-17.

Thanks for your prayers and support of this important series of meetings here this week.

Stay tuned for more reports throughout the week.

Every blessing,

REPORT 2

Dear All,
 
Today was the first day of the Leadership Conference. Last year when we concluded this same conference, the Board of Directors sat with me and and asked if I would come again. They said they wanted to plan a conference for 2017 that would host twice as many people as they invited last year (400 people).
 
Imagine how excited they were when they set up 1000 seats this year and today about 90% of those seats were occupied. They are expecting more than 1200 to show up for Saturday's sessions. Today I spoke on "Renewing Your Leadership Call" from 1 Timothy 1:1-11 and "The Leader and Prayer" from 1 Timothy 2:1-8. In the second session I challenged these leaders from the world's fourth most persecuted country with this idea: "Where the church is led forth in prayer, the Gospel goes forth in power!" 
 
It was a very satisfying day and one that brought great encouragement to leaders serving in a terribly difficult place. Thank you for the role you are playing in equipping and empowering church leaders serving in hard places.
 
For the cause that counts,


    
 

Full Sail

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 04 October 2017. Posted in Blog

Full Sail

Dear Friends,

What do sailing a boat and growing spiritually share in common?

My family spent a portion of every summer vacationing on the coast of North Carolina. My summers were full and never boring. Snorkeling, sailing, fishing and water skiing were included. My father believed it was important for each of his kids to learn to sail a boat. When the winds were light and calm he would strap me into a life jacket, and together we would launch out on the water.

My father taught all of us three basic principles of sailing. The first was: sailing is all about dependency. All the training, effort and experience will do little good if there is no wind. Likewise, spiritual growth is not guaranteed through following techniques or gimmicks, but through daily and conscious reliance and dependence upon the ‘wind’ of God’s Spirit.

Secondly, Dad taught us that sailing is about discernment. Wise sailors look at a body of water and discern which way the wind is blowing. Sailors take note of the sky to discern whether sailing is worth the risk. They know exactly which sails to hoist to catch the wind most effectively. In the same way, spiritual growth requires discernment. Growth happens best when we are intentional about discerning God’s ways, His voice and His wisdom.

Packing Parachutes

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 17 August 2017. Posted in Blog

Packing Parachutes

Charles Plumb recounts his story as a jet fighter pilot during the war in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb safely ejected, parachuted and was eventually captured and thrown into a Vietnamese prison for six years.

Years later, Plumb and his wife were eating in a local restaurant when a man said to him, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were shot down!”

Surprised, Plumb asked, “How in the world did you know that?” The man replied, “I’m the guy who packed your parachute.”

Later Plumb reflected on his experience. A stranger had spent long hours at a wooden table in the belly of an aircraft carrier, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute for someone he didn’t know. It was this man who had provided Plumb with what he needed to make it through a very difficult period of life.

Plumb’s story reminds me that all of us have people who, ‘pack our parachute!’ A person or stranger, who provided encouragement, affirmation and guidance to help us make it through some difficult or challenging period of life.

And here’s what’s really cool—the Bible is full of stories about men and women who packed the parachutes of God’s servants!

  • Mordecai ‘packed the parachute’ of Esther—see Esther 2
  • Barnabas ‘packed the parachute’ of John Mark—see Acts 15:36-41
  • Paul ‘packed the parachute’ of Timothy—see 1 Timothy 4:11-16


 

Off We Go

Written by Terry Heyward on Monday, 17 July 2017. Posted in Blog

A Note from Terry

Off We Go

JUNE 1978

My world got turned upside down! Or more likely right side up. Lee and I married on Saturday, packed a small trailer on Sunday, and began the drive from East Point, Georgia to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with all the hope and excitement two newlyweds can muster. On Tuesday we arrived in Greendale, Wisconsin and stopped at a gas station to make a call from a payphone (that’s right, there were no cell phones or GPS) to Jan Keddie—a friend of a friend who lived in Wauwatosa and would help us find our way in the new world.

Jan and I have found our lives intertwined ever since. Thirty-nine years later, we can say we have owned a business together, directed kids’ musicals, driven across the country to visit our moms, raised four kids each, and served on staff in two “Brook” churches for over 50 years combined. Whew!

A few months ago, Jan and I were invited to go to Prague, Czech Republic with the MOSTY (meaning BRIDGES) project. Lee has gone twice to consult and dream with this group about building ‘bridges’ for the Good News in Europe’s most atheistic country. Jan and I have been invited to help process and design a new program aimed at bringing interns next year to serve in the churches in Prague. Jan oversees the Mission Apprenticeship Program at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. She comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area. My recent years of taking teams overseas gives me some ways to add to the discussion. We will travel under BrookLink’s banner as ‘Affiliates’ to equip, empower and release.


Jan Ryder, Terry Heyward, Jan Keddie

Prayer Requests

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 23 June 2017. Posted in Blog

August 2017

  • Praise God for the healthy birth of Megan Susan Woelfel on July 11, 2017. Megan is the daughter of BrookLink’s Ann and Pete Woelfel. Please continue to pray for Ann during her maternity leave.
  • I’m preparing materials for training in anticipation of a busy fall travel schedule. Book-writing has been on pause for several weeks. Continue to pray for discipline, clarity, wisdom and creativity as I write. I am about halfway done with the manuscript.
  • We have applied for VISA to an undisclosed country. Please pray that the Embassy grants Lee a Tourist Visa for his scheduled trip in October.
  • As soon as we receive word about the Visa we will apply for a Chinese Visa. We appreciate any and all prayer for these processes.
  • Give thanks for the men and women who serve on BrookLink’s Board of Directors. Ask God to guide them with spiritual wisdom, discernment and godly counsel as they advise Lee and help lead this ministry.
  • Continue to pray for BrookLink’s incredible staff team—Becky Riebesehl (Operations), Ann Woelfel (Strategic Development) and Kathy Myszka (Marketing Asst). Pray for life-work balance, team unity, and blessing upon their families.
  • We are grateful to God that He always supplies the financial needs of this ministry. Recently we sent out a letter informing our friends of our financial picture. People continue to respond. PRAISE GOD!
  • Tariq and Angelina Waris will be with us next week. Tariq will be preaching at Meadowbrook Church on Sunday morning, August 27th at 9:00am and 10:30am. Please pray for their ministry while they are Stateside, as well as their ministry in an undisclosed country.
  • Our youngest daughter Ruthanne recently announced her engagement to Mr. Robert Berdahl. Plans are underway for a late 2017 wedding.

June 2017

  • Give thanks for the positive feedback we have received from our recent “Windows to the World” event. It was very well attended. For those of you who missed the event, visit our Sermon & Video page to listen to my talk on the "Changing Face of Global Mission" and to watch the video we put together for the event. It's titled "BrookLink: What We Do."
  • All summer Lee continues writing a book, hopefully to be published soon. Continue to pray for discipline, clarity, wisdom and creativity as he writes.
  • Lee and Terry will be traveling to Seattle, WA June 12-19th to meet with several ministry partners and to promote BrookLink’s mission. Please pray for productive conversations and interactions.
  • Give thanks for the men and women who serve on BrookLink’s Board of Directors. Ask God to guide them with spiritual wisdom, discernment and godly counsel as they discharge their responsibilities.
  • Offer thanks for BrookLink’s incredible staff team—Becky Riebesehl (Operations), Ann Woelfel (Strategic Development) and Kathy Myszka (Marketing Asst). Pray for life-work balance, team unity, and blessing upon their families.
  • Continue to pray that God will supply the financial needs of this ministry. We are sending a mid-year “appeal” letter this month. Pray that God will raise up new financial partners for BrookLink’s ministry.
  • During the summer months Ann and Lee will be meeting with representatives from several area churches to request support for BrookLink’s ministry. Please pray for these important conversations.
  • Give thanks to God that 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.

May 2017

  • Lee has just returned from Cairo, Egypt where he and Canadian Pastor Ian Lawson were teaching/training at the Tyrannus Missionary School. There were 22 Sudanese church planters (ages 22-25) and 6 Egyptian believers (all preparing to serve Christ somewhere in Middle East). This was a thrilling week! Please pray for all of these students as they plan to graduate from this program this month and return to Sudan to plant churches across Sudan, South Sudan and the Darfur region.
  • Due to Lee’s recent travels he has had to take a hiatus from book writing. He plans to resume next month. Continue to pray for clarity, wisdom and creativity as he writes.
  • Lee leaves on Thursday, April 20th for Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He will be preaching at the National Cathedral in Kinshasa on Sunday April 23rd. April 24-28th Lee will be joined by Dr. Diet Schindler (Germany) and the two will be teaching at the Cemiler Center with Congolese Church Planters and Pastors. Please pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon Diet and Lee as they train these men and women in Expository Preaching and Church Planting.
  • Continue to pray that God will supply the financial needs of this ministry. We rejoice and give thanks to God for a good beginning to our second quarter.

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,


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