Stories from Around the World

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 20 September 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

As we’ve shared with you recently, BrookLink’s facilitator team had a summer of extensive travel.  You helped send six members of our training team and affiliates from Europe to Africa to South Asia.  The stories they shared upon their return were inspirational, and we want to share them with you! 

Dan Greene and his wife, Lynne recently returned from their 20th annual trip to Prague, Czech Republic, where a recent article states that 66% of the Czech people do not believe in God.  Their time included academic teaching, preaching, consulting with church leaders, teaching in local churches, and connecting with good friends.  Two events stood out to Dan. ADKP, a professional organization for Christians integrating faith and psychological practice, planned a conference around his visit, so he could teach and lead in case consultations. In 2000, within the Czech Republic there were zero psychologists who actively integrated faith and practice. Today, there are more than 60 who seek to intentionally and actively integrate their faith in the clinical and academic work.  Second, a celebration recognizing their 20 years of service included a reunion with former faculty and students. Former students are now in faculty and service provider roles while present and former faculty continue to minister in many roles. Dan says, “This was so encouraging to see. The work of BrookLink is impacting this and future generations.”

Dan & Lynne Green in Prague at ADKP Conference

Additionally, Paul and Lisa Sinclair just returned from five weeks in India. They traveled through the country, teaching with translators in several complex contexts--working with Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists of different ethnicities and languages. One state, Nagaland, has 16 distinct tribes, but they communicate across with English or like a pidgin Naga-mese. This is a land that is very proud of their ethnic identity and seeks to keep it pure and to separate from mainland India (they don’t refer to themselves as Indian, but as Naga). Interestingly, it is also a culturally Christian land. Even the police have churches!  Lisa and Paul led classes at local bible colleges as well as at Hindustan Bible Institute, the only area offering Doctor of Ministry (graduate level) courses.  Attendees are those who are intended to be future leaders in a local church, denominations and para church movements and are highly mission focused.

Map of Nagaland

Lisa commented, “We feel that God has allowed us here ‘for such a time.’ They are facing many challenges now as the world around them changes. But still, they know that their goal to send out 10,000 missionaries by 2025 is now inadequate—more are needed. Nagaland, just a little state in NE India, sees itself as God’s mission tool to the world. Such a privilege to be here! Our students represent many different ministries—women, children, orphanages, hostels, pastors, school and Bible college principals, teachers, etc. It is a wonderful place for BrookLink to work to equip, empower and release!”

Celebrating Our Partners

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 19 August 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

It is summertime in good ole Milwaukee.  The temperatures have been reliably warm, the ethnic festival season is in full swing, and there is growing excitement around the city about hosting a presidential convention next year. Wisconsin is truly a great place to be during the summertime.

Recently an article was published in Christianity Today about Ethiopia being on the front lines of the next mission movement.  The article struck me in two significant ways.  Firstly, the evidence of seeds sown long ago by missionaries that have grown into what now are evangelical denominations of millions, is awe-inspiring. It recalls the verses in Ephesians, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Eph. 4:11-12). The Ethiopian Church has not only grown numerically, but spiritually too!

BrookLink in Ethiopia in 2017

Secondly, I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I read of the Ethiopian revival because of our faithful supporters. BrookLink has had multiple opportunities to partner alongside and witness firsthand the growth and success of Ethiopia's Kale Heywet church.  It has been a privilege for us to train pastors and church leaders for the past three years, and to have continued conversations with leadership about developing a long-term training partnership with Kale Heywet. This partnership includes expanding BrookLink’s influence beyond pastoral training to include child and family ministry training.  Our ability to “say yes” increases each year, and we are so grateful for your financial support which makes this possible.

BrookLink in Ethiopia in 2018

As the article points out “Africa is a young continent,” noting 6 in 10 residents are under 30.  “Soon the main harvest force will come from Africa.”  The perspective that “missions is not a Western responsibility,” is aligned to BrookLink’s values.  When we train pastors and church workers overseas, we enter their context to equip, empower and release them for greater kingdom impact.  Releasing leaders to influence their networks is how the Global Church is strengthened. 

A Summer Update

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 24 July 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

BrookLink’s theme in 2019 is “From One to Many."

What began ten years ago as a hope and prayer, you have made possible!

Rejoice with us!

In June, BrookLink was invited to return again to Ethiopia to minister in the Kale Heywet churches. Pastor Timothy Ryder of Waukesha, Wisconsin and Pastor Ian Lawson of Alberta, Canada traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to lead church leaders through three days of training. Using lively discussion and readings, Tim and Ian spent these days resourcing and equipping forty doctoral students who serve as key leaders in these churches. Pastor Ian reports, "I am routinely impressed with the passion and the zeal of the Kale Heywet church of Ethiopia - currently 9,000 congregations and 1,000 church plants. This is a mission success story of the SIM who sent missionaries there one hundred years ago. Today she is a thriving and dynamic indigenous church reaching their own people with the gospel and sending their own missionaries to other countries on the African continent. How thrilling it is to help equip some of their pastors on the front lines!"

No sooner had Timothy and Ian returned to the U.S.A., when Pastor Jan Ryder (Timothy’s wife) boarded a plane for the same place. This time to train more than 40 Children and Family Ministry leaders, who minister weekly to thousands of children among the Kale Heywet. Pastor Jan writes, “It was exciting to learn about the family together, understand more of how children grow, use creative teaching methods to spark curiosity, and apply Biblical principles to practical aspects of ministry with children and families. I think the most useful session may have been one dealing with how children experience grief and trauma.”

These opportunities would not have been possible without your generous support.

Meanwhile, on the completely different continent of Europe, BrookLink affiliates Dr. Dan and Lynne Green traveled to Prague, Czech Republic to teach and train pastors and church leaders serving in this largely atheistic city.  Dan and Lynne have been offering their theological and counseling training and insights to the Czech people for 20 years with the last 4 years being under BrookLink’s banner.

Furthermore, would you please pray as Drs. Paul and Lisa Sinclair travel with BrookLink in August to two key cities in northeast India? They are uniquely equipped to conduct five weeks of doctoral-level teaching in the areas of Spiritual Formation and Grief & Trauma. Needless to say, it would have been impossible for me to step away from my responsibilities here in the U.S.A. to invest five weeks in India. The Sinclairs are excited to be a part of BrookLink and helping us move “From One to Many.”

A Turtle on a Fencepost

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 05 June 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Where do you turn in times of hardship and despair, in times of transition and change? Where do you turn when you need to gain perspective or inspiration or simply to bolster your faith?

If you’re like me, I usually go to a church. Why? Because you know that is where you will hear the Word of God, connect with brothers and sisters in Christ and build upon your faith.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”– Romans 10:17 NIV

Many people are attracted to a church not just for what it can offer, but also because of what it provides by way of leadership.  Perhaps you are a part of a flourishing church body where members have identified their spiritual gifts, are serving with their gifts, and are witnessing the church’s capacity to bless and fulfill its mission on earth.

But as the church develops across the world, you may also share our concern that as it grows in width it must also grow in depth.  Depth comes about in many ways. One of those ways is where gifted spiritual leaders from most-reached areas of the world offer teaching, training, equipping and mentoring to least-reached areas of the world.  By providing access to this kind of quality and affordable biblical training, church leaders grow, their churches are strengthened and their communities are improved.

For the past 10 years, your prayers and financial contributions have helped make BrookLink the organization that it is today.   We are so grateful to you for sustaining and supporting our mission to equip, empower and release global church leaders for greater kingdom impact.

You are helping our gifted team of facilitators reach and impact the lives of thousands by investing in training for global church leaders.  Please consider giving a gift today! Every $200 will support one pastor or church leader receiving training in 2019.

An Evening to Remember

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Thank you to the many of you who were able to join us for BrookLink’s 10thAnnual “Windows to the World” Celebration at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. Terry and I were touched by the many sweet conversations with friends old and new to the ministry.



As we drove home last Saturday night, we spoke of Stuart Briscoe’s message about the disciple Peter’s life and his reminder from the story of the boy who gave his small lunch which ended up feeding the many from Matthew 14.

“Inadequate resources willingly offered and divinely empowered by an adequate God will always accomplish divine ends.” Stuart Briscoe


You, your friendship, your prayers and your generosity have carried BrookLink “From One to Many!” Could any one of us imagined the story God was writing when we began in 2009? Our gifts handed to the adequate God can do so much more than we can even ask or imagine.

Partners in His-story

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 23 April 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

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!

Did you know 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 compelling love for human beings.

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!

For the past ten years, BrookLink has traveled to over 30 countries hearing stories and serving our fellow partners in the Gospel.

No matter where we find ourselves — whether China, Kenya, the Czech Republic, a closed Muslim country, or even the good ol’ USA, I am a huge champion of partnership in mission. BrookLink places high value on collaborating with ministries, mission organizations and movements no matter what part of the world we happen to be visiting. I am also well aware that partnerships internationally rarely go very far without partners back home! You have been such a partner!

Windows to the World Event

Written by BrookLink on Monday, 01 April 2019. Posted in Blog

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Ten Years and Counting

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 26 March 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

It is my hope this letter finds you in good health and experiencing the abiding joy of relationship with our God and Father during the Lenten season.  As we enter springtime, our hearts delight in extended daylight, rebirth and growth.  At BrookLink we are humbled and thrilled to be celebrating ten years in ministry and are steadfastly focused on why this ministry was created a decade ago.

"It is estimated that more than 80% of pastors around the world have little or no biblical training – that’s more than two million pastors that are not equipped to help believers in their churches understand and apply God’s word." Langham Partnership

Without strong leadership the spiritual vitality of a church cannot be shaped and fostered, and the community that surrounds it fails to benefit.  The risk of poorly trained pastors and leaders can result in "a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you…" (Galatians 1:8 ESV).

There are many barriers to international leaders including costs, availability of effective teachers, access to dependable and culturally-appropriate curriculum, and for some, even persecution.  Through your faithful support, BrookLink helps our partners overcome these barriers by providing free in-person training within their cultural context, so that they may spread the gospel of Jesus Christ among their people.

 

We recently surveyed our international partners, and here are some of the challenges they are facing:

  • Need for more trained leaders in theological education, discipleship and expository preaching
  • Connecting secular people with the gospel with great relevancy and truth
  • Need for more trained leaders in organizational management and staff development

Here are specific prayer requests we received:

  • For personal strength and inspiration in mission. -European church planter
  • For God’s presence, protection and provision as we serve in [Middle Eastern country]. -Middle Eastern movement leader
  • For the Lord to lead urban professionals to Him. -European church leader
  • So that [our network of churches] would grow deep to grow wide. -African movement leader

Update from the Board

Written by Louise Warren on Sunday, 24 February 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends of BrookLink,

This month, BrookLink’s Board of Directors retreated to Lake Lawn Resort on the shores of Delavan Lake in Wisconsin with President and Founder, Lee Heyward, as well as our staff who skillfully organized the event.  These strategic planning retreats occur every 2-3 years.   This was my third opportunity to participate as I have had the pleasure to serve on the board for nine years, including this year as the recently appointed Chairperson.  What a blessing to work and fellowship together on behalf of this amazing organization! The individual members of the Board of Directors brought their love for Jesus and for people, their passion for the mission, their energy and engagement, their humility and commitment to honest and respectful communication, as well as wonderful ideas and questions with them.

During our time together we reflected on being still, as in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” which refers to stopping activity and resting in God, and also by Jesus in Mark 4:39 “Peace! Be still.”, which refers to actually being quiet.  Such stillness enabled us to listen for our Father’s plans for the mission of BrookLink.  Finally, we trusted those plans as we worked on operational processes, allocated budget considering financial stewardship, planned and encouraged each other during this time of growth, ‘From One to Many’.

A Special Year for Our Ministry

Written by Lee Heyward on Sunday, 27 January 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! As 2019 begins I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude to God for what YOU have made possible. I want to convey my heartfelt thanks to you for your generous gifts to BrookLink. Due to your extreme generosity, BrookLink strengthened nearly 4,000 church leaders in 5 countries and finished 2018 well positioned financially for the work ahead. Truly we are “strengthening churches together”!

“Praise the Lord. Praise God for his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” - Psalm 150

2019 marks a special year for BrookLink’s ministry. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary of equipping and empowering Christian leaders! It’s also the year we will focus on, “From One to Many,” which you will learn more about in the coming months. Additionally, I’ve just begun my engagement with Elmbrook Church as their new Lead Pastor which means going forward you will hear from me, along with who are others involved in BrookLink’s mission.

The BrookLink staff, Board of Directors and Facilitator Team are dedicated and engaged to continue BrookLink’s global partnerships and commitments. We are receiving new invitations, and we are nimbly adjusting to what God has put in front of us. Just this past week our Child, Youth and Family Ministry team had a follow-up meeting with our friends in the Middle East, with whom we are partnering to develop a yearlong curriculum.

Child, Youth and Family Facilitators

[12 3 4 5  >>  

Visit lbetting.co.uk how to sing-up at ladbrokes