Windows to the World Event

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Bridge Building

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 20 March 2017. Posted in Blog

Bridge Building

Several days ago I received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation alerting me that a bridge nearby was going to be reconstructed over the course of the summer. For weeks I’ve wondered why I’ve been maneuvering around orange barrels, detours and burly construction crews busily preparing the area for this sizeable undertaking. I now know why.

Building highway bridges like these takes time, effort and energy.

While bridge building is what I have to look forward to this summer, it is also an apt metaphor to describe BrookLink’s ministry. For the past few months I have been helping ten students (5 men and 5 women) build bridges! Not a literal bridge, but a bridge of understanding through communication and preaching. You see, preaching is a lot like bridge building. I remind my students that they are building bridges between the first century world and the world of today. The proverbial bridge every preacher constructs is a means of communication between two places that would otherwise be cut off from the other—the ancient times of the Bible and the modern contemporary world. This kind of bridge enables God’s revealed truth to flow out of the Scriptures and into the lives of real men and women today.

Building communication bridges like these takes time, effort and energy.

By the time you read this letter, I will be in Prague, Czech Republic building a bridge of yet another kind. It’s called MOSTY—the Czech word for ‘bridges’. This will be my second trip to Prague in the last six months to gather with Czech, Dutch and American leaders who minister in this post-Christian-urban-European city. Our purpose: to construct ‘bridges’ that resource local churches and ministries in disciple-making and mission in the church and society.

Building relational bridges like these takes time, effort and energy.

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

 
 

For Un-Adults Only

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

For Un-Adults Only

Years ago while serving as a youth pastor I received a nasty and critical letter from a high school parent upset about a decision I had made. I was young, defensive and agitated by what I perceived to be an unfair and unfounded charge leveled against me. Stuart Briscoe, the Senior Pastor at that time, walked into my office, observed my fainting fit and said to me these words: “Every pastor needs the heart of a child, the mind of a scholar and the skin of a rhino.” In reality, my heart was anything but childlike! My heart was like a rhino—ready to charge at my critic with some hostility of my own.

Over the years, I have often repeated Stuart’s words of wisdom—both to myself and to others serving in ministry. One of the qualities I regularly need to cultivate both as a pastor and a person is that of childlikeness.

Recently, I preached a message on one of my favorite Bible characters—Zacchaeus! Remember him? Luke is the only one of the four Gospel writers to include his story. Frederick Buechner reminds us, “Zacchaeus was a sawed-off little social disaster with a big bank account and a crooked job, but Jesus welcomes him aboard anyway.”

A surprising feature of this story is Zacchaeus does something that a child would do, but no adult would do—he climbs up a tree. He does something so childish, so undignified, so silly—he hikes up his toga and climbs up a tree.

Only moments before this incident Jesus said, “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17).  Here’s a fiendish and corrupt little tax-collector taking Jesus at his word. He climbs a tree.

A New Year of Ministry

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 30 January 2017. Posted in Blog

A New Year of Ministry

“For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.” Psalm 92:4

As BrookLink prepares for a new year of ministry in 2017, I want to take this opportunity thank you for your tremendous support during our ministry in 2016.

  • Your prayers sustained us as the LORD granted us safe passage to and from six different international locations.
  • Your encouragement helped us to say yes to invitations to train church leaders in under-served parts of the world.
  • Your commitment to our mission helped us to deepen the knowledge of Christ in lives of those we equipped.
  • Your generosity helped us to finish strong at year-end and positioned us for what lies ahead in the New Year.


We at BrookLink would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the way in which you prayed, encouraged, committed and gave generously to us in 2016.

What’s New in 2017?

Our Board of Directors recently met to celebrate what the Lord has done for us and to look ahead and review our plans for 2017. We would ask that you continue to remember us in prayer as we enter into this new season of ministry.

  • Pray for the completion and publication of a new book Lee is writing for the global church.
  • Pray for the men and women BrookLink has been invited to train in Czech Republic, North Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia in 2017.
  • Pray as we continue to tell the “BrookLink story” both locally and nationally. We are exploring new partnerships, cultivating new sources of funding, onboarding new trainers/facilitators and participating in new gospel movements across the globe.
  • Pray as we take bold steps of faith into the future, that God will enable us to achieve 100% of 2017 Annual Budget.

BrookLink Welcomes Ann Woelfel, Director of Strategic Development

BrookLink has grown steadily since our beginning in 2008. Our dedicated Board of Directors has undertaken some bold initiatives for the future. To continue to support these initiatives and the future growth of our ministry, the Board recently hired Ann Woelfel as our new Director of Strategic Development. Ann began to support BrookLink in a limited operational capacity in June 2015. Over the past 18 months, as Ann began to take a deeper interest in serving BrookLink, the Board created a role to merge her strategic, interpersonal and operational functions. Her primary areas of responsibility will be to strengthen donor relationships, help identify and execute strategic initiatives, manage global and affiliate ministry opportunities, and continue to support BrookLink’s internal operations.    

Ann grew up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, attended Menomonee Falls High School and earned a degree in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining BrookLink, Ann worked for 15 years in various roles for Robert W. Baird & Co., with her most recent role being a Senior Vice President, and Manager of Baird’s Corporate Events and Conference Center departments. Ann and her husband, Pete, have two children, live in Wauwatosa, WI, and are members of Meadowbrook Church.

Please join me in welcoming Ann Woelfel to BrookLink’s team.

Make a Final Gift in 2016

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 27 December 2016. Posted in Blog

Make a Final Gift in 2016

During 2016 I have received feedback like this from church leaders we serve:

What Dr. Heyward taught us during this conference was the exact opposite of what many of us had believed. It helped us, not only to understand the bigger picture of Bible, but also to see how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. I learned the value of the Word when it is studied deeply and correctly.

                                                                                                                                                          A leader from the Middle East

Comments like these illustrate for me the impact you have made through your generous financial support and prayers for BrookLink’s ministry. Your large-heartedness is truly the strength of BrookLink’s ministry in unreached and unengaged places across the world.

Several weeks ago, I updated you on our financial situation. There are still a few days left in 2016 to make a year-end gift to the ministry. Many of you have already responded generously to our need, for which I am deeply grateful!

If you still wish to make a financial gift to BrookLink, use the enclosed card to send it to the address below. And please remember to send your check postmarked by December 31, 2016.

BrookLink
N105 W20939 Oak Lane
Germantown, WI 53022

You can also make a gift online right now.

Thank you again for “excelling in the gracious ministry of giving” (2 Cor. 8:7). May God make His grace abound to you in 2017!

Every blessing,

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

Join the Generosity Movement

on Monday, 28 November 2016. Posted in Blog

Join the Generosity Movement

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Jesus in Luke 6:38

We have a day for giving thanks. We have a day for getting deals. Now, we also have a day called #GivingTuesday, a day devoted across the globe to giving back. It’s sort of an underground movement of generosity.

#GivingTuesday reflects a very simple idea that Jesus introduced in the New Testament called, “the law of self-administered return.” Here’s how it works: God promises when I turn on the faucet of generosity in my life, there is a heavenly reservoir waiting to flow back toward me with a whole lot more than I could ever contain. My capacity to receive is always in direct proportion to my capacity to give. Learning to give is a key to learning to live!

That’s why #GivingTuesday is not just a good idea—it’s a good practice! Think of a way for your family, your business, your small group, your community or your organization to come together and give more. Invite your friends to join you, and be a part of a celebration of generosity.

As you plan for #GivingTuesday, or any year-end gifts, I hope you will consider making a gift to BrookLink. Help us further the work of equipping, empowering and releasing church leaders across the globe.

To make a gift to BrookLink this #GivingTuesday, visit www.brooklink.org/get-involved/make-a-gift. Thanks for joining the celebration!

Many blessings,

Help Us Say Yes!

on Tuesday, 15 November 2016. Posted in Blog

Help Us Say Yes!

“Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul...teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Ps. 143:8,10


In 2008 when Terry and I launched BrookLink as a ministry, I remember well reading these words and the Spirit ‘inscribing’ them upon my heart. As we stepped out in this new direction we knew we needed the Holy Spirit to, “show us the way to go, teach us to do His will and lead us on level ground.” These words became part of our regular prayer vocabulary.

Today I am truly grateful for the way the Spirit has shown us the way when we found ourselves mystified. The things God has taught us about Himself, the global church and ourselves humble me. I’m grateful for the repeated illustrations of the Spirit leveling the ground before us.

It’s also around this time every year we are reminded of these words and pray them for us and for BrookLink. You see, every year since we began we are receiving more and more “Macedonian calls” from ministries overseas to “come over and help us.” (Acts 16:9) The need for equipping, empowering and encouraging global leaders remains high!

Already in early 2017 we have accepted invites to North Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Czech Republic and Pakistan. Just this week I was contacted by three leaders asking if BrookLink would come and train Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have fled to Armenia, Muslim-background believers in Ethiopia and church leaders in Romania.

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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