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.

Unexpected: A Change of Plans

Written by Terry Heyward on Sunday, 25 September 2016. Posted in Blog

Unexpected: A Change of Plans

As BrookLink began in 2008, Lee and I agreed that we would continue to follow our philosophy from 25 years in ministry: “If we are asked to go, serve, or teach, and if we are available, we will say YES.” We strongly believe that the Lord is in charge of our schedules, so when the chance to return to China in October came, BrookLink agreed to join the team. A few months later that opportunity was delayed, and we understood that our partners on the ground have the best perspective to make that sort of decision. October was looking to be spent in Wisconsin, enjoying our beautiful fall season.

Then, a few weeks ago, a very strategic and unexpected invitation came for Lee to travel and serve in a country where less than 1% of the 200 million souls there claim to know and follow the Lord Jesus. Getting a visa for entering this nation has been difficult in the past, but the door was open and a visa obtained in less than a week. Lee is invited, available and has said yes! Now we are asking for your prayers as the October 9th departure day approaches. Would you consider marking your calendar and remembering BrookLink’s ministry that week? The estimates are that over 500 ministry leaders will be gathering for teaching and encouragement.

Twice Multiplied

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 05 July 2016. Posted in Blog

Twice Multiplied

Throughout my more than two decades of ministry at Northbrook Church, the congregation graciously encouraged me to travel overseas to visit our supported missionaries. Once or sometimes twice a year I would step out of my familiar and comfortable setting, travel to a foreign land and witness the extraordinary things God was doing in places quite different from my own. These experiences shaped me in profound ways. They also broadened my perspective about the issues and challenges I was facing at home.

When BrookLink launched, we wanted to offer U.S. pastors and church leaders a similar experience. So I began to invite folks from across the country to join in equipping, encouraging and empowering leaders across the globe. BrookLink has influenced and touched the lives of thousands overseas, but we have also influenced pastors and church leaders here, too! 

Mark Kiekhaefer is the Senior Pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Jefferson City, MO. Mark and I met as classmates at Trinity Seminary thirty years ago and have remained friends. When BrookLink was invited by Rev. Justus Miwanda, the Executive Director of International Needs Uganda (INUG), to come again for some training, I invited Mark to come along. INUG is a holistic ministry seeking to enhance Christian community development, including three schools that serve over 2000 orphans and vulnerable children. The heart of their work is to establish strong Christ-centered and gospel-preaching churches in the communities where these at-risk children live. BrookLink was invited to bring resources to pastors in the area of these schools.

 Mark Kiekhaefer

Impressions of the Czech Republic in a Post-Christian Culture

Written by BrookLink on Thursday, 07 July 2016. Posted in Blog

Impressions of the Czech Republic in a Post-Christian Culture

In June, BrookLink sent Dr. Dan and Lynne Green to the Czech Republic to teach at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Prague (ETSP).  Dan taught a course to pastors and lay leaders, and also continued his consultation with the seminary faculty on the subject of forgiveness research.  Here are Dan and Lynne's impressions from their time in Prague.

Want to Go Far? Go Together!

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 06 June 2016. Posted in Blog

Want to Go Far? Go Together!

Dear Friends,

There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” The Bible says very little about solo ministry. Instead there are an abundance of examples about collaboration: Moses and Aaron; Caleb and Joshua; Esther and Mordecai; Peter and John; Paul and Timothy. The list goes on and on.

On one occasion Paul urged his protégé Timothy to, “Pass on what you heard from me to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2 Msg). BrookLink is not only equipping those who are reliable and competent, we are also inviting and sending others who are reliable and competent to go along too! Partnering together in this way actually allows BrookLink to go further and multiply our impact across the world!

This is why I’m excited to tell you about what BrookLink will be doing in the month of June. From June 10-24th, BrookLink will be sending Dr. Dan and Lynne Green back to the Czech Republic to teach at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Prague (ETSP).

Lynne and Dan Green

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!

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