From the Field | Ethiopia

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 22 February 2016. Posted in Blog

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From the Field | Ethiopia

I arrived in Awash Afar, Ethiopia Friday night. Earlier that same day Kibru Tadesse met me at the Addis Ababa airport. Kibru is the National Director of Great Commission Ministries (GCM) in Ethiopia, the ministry we are partnering with the whole week. GCM is better known in the US as Cru.

In the early afternoon we loaded into a car and headed in a NE direction out of Addis to Awash Areba in the Afar region of Ethiopia. You pass along modern Chinese-built roads through vast semi-arid land with large deposits of volcanic rock. Oversized container trucks are common on this route as it’s a major corridor leading to shipping ports north at the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The air is hot, dry and dusty.

When we pulled into the hotel parking lot the team was awaiting our arrival. I met the full team, had dinner, downloaded the events of the day and put my jet-lagged body to bed.

Yesterday (Saturday) we drove to the medical clinic located 20 minutes from our hotel. When we arrived, a large crowd of men, women and squealing children were already pushing and shoving at the gate waiting to enter. Our Global Health Outreach (GHO) team consists of four doctors, a dentist, two pharmacists, a physical therapist, a nurse, 2 logistics personnel and two pastors. Throughout the morning and into the early afternoon, I assisted by escorting patients to the various rooms to be seen by a physician and praying with and over patients. During the fours hours we were there over a hundred patients were seen.

Today is Sunday. There is no clinic today. We will worship together, rest and prepare for the week ahead. Tomorrow Pastor James and I will begin gathering with the Pastors who will come from nearby regions for training. We covet and appreciate your prayers for us.

From India to Ethiopia...

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 17 February 2016. Posted in Blog

From India to Ethiopia...

Dear Friends,

Imagine a roomful of bright, energetic and inquisitive young people, all of whom are preparing for ministry across the world’s second most populated country. While in India last month, I spent each morning with these students in their morning Chapels exploring selected Psalms. I loved it!


Following the morning Chapels at Hindustan Bible Institute the rest of my day was spent with these seven men and women doing a weeklong workshop on Biblical Preaching.


Each of them is either actively engaged in planting and pastoring churches or planning to go as a missionary to unreached parts of India, China or Nepal. One of these young men is a recently retired professional cricket player. Few Americans are aware that cricket is played by 120 million people across the globe, making it the second most popular sport in the world. Jonathan leads a national sports ministry using cricket as a platform to share the love of Christ with those who have never heard of Him.

From the Field | India

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 22 January 2016. Posted in Blog

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From the Field | India

Move Over David Letterman!

Rather than writing my usual trip report I thought I would take a page out of David Letterman’s book and give you my “Top Ten” for the day:

#10—My alarm didn’t go off this morning so I overslept. Over-sleeping is over-rated!

#9—You can run a ceiling fan and a room air-conditioning unit simultaneously in Chennai in the winter months and still sweat profusely.

#8—When you add cardamom and coconut to cold oatmeal it still tastes like cold oatmeal.

#7—Some Indian names are really hard to pronounce, but you can really botch the pronunciation with a smile and it doesn’t matter.

#6—My Indian dinner tonight was served with a toasted cheese sandwich (and I didn’t even request it).

#5—One of the doctoral students in my class has made a five-hour round trip every day this week to participate.

#4—Nagaland, a state in NE India is 98% Christian.

From the Field | India

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 20 January 2016. Posted in Blog

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From the Field | India

The Antidote to Discouragement

I’ve just completed day three of teaching. I spoke this morning to the students and faculty on Psalm 42-43 on “Finding Hope When You Are Discouraged.” No matter what country you’re in it’s not uncommon to find devoted servants of Christ who struggle regularly with discouragement and even depression. The demands of ministry are the same here as elsewhere—loneliness, struggle, betrayal and disappointment are common. There’s no better spiritual tonic for the soul than these companion psalms. I reminded those listening that some of God’s choicest servants—Martin Luther the Protestant Reformer, William Cowper the brilliant poet hymn-writer, Charles Spurgeon the famed English preacher and Soren Kierkegaard the Danish philosopher, all struggled with what Spurgeon called “fainting fits.”

Unfortunately, a lot of churches don’t fare very well in giving anyone permission to admit they are discouraged, much less their pastor(s). Consequently, many pastors and church leaders suffer silently and “fake it til they make it,” which seldom works and often compounds the issue. Fortunately the anonymous writer of Psalm 42-43 is refreshingly and disarmingly different. He lets himself go, tells himself the truth and points himself forward—and in the end finds solace and hope in doing so. I have long treasured these psalms during my own fainting fits. The author’s unpretentious words give me language and vocabulary to come out of hiding and confront my own discouragement.

Chapel was followed by another full day of teaching and training students in how to prepare sermons. I love these students. They are highly energetic, delightfully engaging and a blast to teach! Today I had them laughing hysterically at my imitation of an Indian agreeing with you—they shake their heads side-to-side (which means ‘no’ in America), but in India they are actually saying yes. They loved it!

I sure appreciate your prayers. Please keep them coming as the week is winding down.

From the Field | India

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 18 January 2016. Posted in Blog

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From the Field | India

It’s good to be back with old friends this week at The Hindustan Bible Institute (HBI) in Chennai, India. I’ve been here multiple times and always enjoy the opportunity to interact with a host of young men and women, all preparing for some form of ministry throughout India. Each morning I’ll be bringing messages from the Psalms to the students and faculty during their chapel services.

The rest of my day is spent with doctoral and masters level students who are either actively engaged in ministry or preparing for ministry throughout India and elsewhere. This is a smaller number than I’ve trained in the past, but what they lack in numbers they more than make up for with their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.

One student is from Nepal. He came to Christ out of a strong Buddhist background, sensed God calling him to ministry, and made his way to HBI to prepare accordingly. All the members of his family are Buddhist and have proven to be very antagonistic toward him and the gospel. Another student is a professional Cricket player with one of the national teams. To say that Cricket is an obsession in India is an understatement. This young man and his father, also a professional player, actively lead a nationwide sports ministry using Cricket as a platform to share Christ.

Men and women are preparing for missionary service in remote parts of India or in larger urban centers. Mobilizing missionaries and church planters is one of the things HBI does exceedingly well. Many of these men and women are excitedly stepping out to serve Christ in parts of this country that have never heard of Jesus. What a joy to a part of their preparation!

Please pray for me throughout the week as I’m teaching, training, interacting with and encouraging these young people. It does my heart good to see the richness of their faith and their robust commitment to the cause of Christ.

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.

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 11 December 2015. Posted in Blog

It is estimated that there are more than two million pastors across the world who have little to no formal training for ministry. When we consider the enormous growth of Jesus’ church in Asia, Africa and Latin America, along with the adversity faced by the church in many places, we begin to understand the need for equipping and encouraging pastors.

Years ago the Apostle Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). Today, it’s as if there is a new ‘call.’ It’s a call from under-resourced parts of the world to those who are well-resourced. ‘Come over and help us’—not by controlling, dictating, or dominating, but by collaborating, partnering and building the capacity of church leaders. This is what BrookLink does.

Would you join us in this effort by praying for or making a financial gift to BrookLink, so pastors and church leaders receive the necessary resources to lead well and not lose heart? There is still time to make a year-end gift. Make a Gift today!

Blessings,

Celebrate #GivingTuesday

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 01 December 2015. Posted in Blog

Celebrate #GivingTuesday

"I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them."

C.S. Lewis, English author

Dear Friends,

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.

It’s a very simple idea. Just 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 global celebration of generosity.

As you plan for #GivingTuesday, or any year-end gifts, we 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, please visit our website.

Thanks for joining the celebration!

Many blessings,

Thanksgiving

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 23 November 2015. Posted in Blog

Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

In just a few days across America many of us will gather around tables with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving.

At BrookLink we have many reasons to give thanks. Let me share a few with you.

We give thanks to you for your faithful partnership with BrookLink. Throughout 2015 you have not only served us, but countless pastors and church leaders have benefitted from the ministry of BrookLink this year.

We give thanks that the global church continues to grow rapidly across parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In many of these places churches and church leaders face enormous adversity and opposition. That’s why we believe equipping and encouraging pastors and church leaders is so necessary.

We give thanks for our overseas partners who have written to express the ways their lives have been impacted:

  • "Thank you for the preaching seminar. Your training has transformed my perception and view of preaching and has brought about a renewed passion to be faithful in handling God's truth."
    Pastor Kennedy Dick, South Africa
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