Giving Tuesday is Here

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 28 November 2017. Posted in Blog

Luke 6:38 - "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." [NKJV]

Have you ever received a gift that changed your life in a dramatic way? Gifts, small or large, hold potential for huge impact!

Your gift to BrookLink allows pastors and church leaders to teach Scripture more accurately, preach Christ-centered sermons, and humbly lead with purpose. Consequently, churches become healthier and stronger and communities are impacted.

That’s why I’m asking you to make a gift to BrookLink on #GivingTuesday.

Watch this video where you can hear Pastor Mudidi from Democratic Republic of Congo share how BrookLink has “helped me so much in improving how to preach the word of God…since I went through BrookLink’s training it has improved my way of preaching. I have received from my church, testimonies from my people, ‘now your message is more clear and concise’. I praise God for what he has done through BrookLink’s ministry."

#GivingTuesday reflects a very simple idea that Jesus spoke of in the New Testament called, “the law of self-administered return.” Here’s how it works: God invites us to turn on the faucet of generosity so that a heavenly reservoir waiting to flow back towards us begins. A small decision results in a huge impact.

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, please consider BrookLink in your giving. Your gift will further the work of equipping, empowering and releasing church leaders like Pastor Mudidi across the globe.

Make a gift to BrookLink this #GivingTuesday!

Thanks for joining the celebration!

Many blessings,

C. Lee Heyward

From the Field | Ethiopia

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 21 November 2017. Posted in Blog

REPORT 1

It’s a beautiful morning in Addis Ababa. Tomorrow begins a week of training in a foreign land. Covet your prayers!

REPORT 2

Good morning!

Arrived in Soddo, Ethiopia yesterday after long 6-hour car ride. Waiting when we got here we’re 150 pastors anxious and hungry to learn.

Soddo is the birthplace of the Kaleheywit Church over 80 years ago by SIM missionaries. Now it’s largest Evangelical Denomination in country.

These are joyous people, full of life and extremely eager to dig into the Big Story of Scripture. We’re having fun learning how to teach and preach God’s Word with accuracy and relevance. Please continue to pray!

REPORT 3

Enjoyed my visit with my friend Luelseged Alemayehu, who works with Great Commission Ministries (CRU) in Ethiopia. He served as my translator while here in 2015.

REPORT 4

Had fun today with Kale Heywet Pastors—Ethiopia’s version of modern-day Bereans who, “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true.” (Acts 17:11)

 

REPORT 5

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Finishing my week up with Kale Heywet Pastors. Head to home sweet home tomorrow night! My heart overflows with Thanksgiving to God for His mercy, steadfast love and the faithful prayers of his people. So many amazing moments from this week!

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.

Back to Africa!

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 19 April 2017. Posted in Blog

Back to Africa!

I’ve just returned from a ten-day visit to Egypt. I was invited by my friend, Yani Mafdy, to teach at the Tyrannus Missionary School outside of Cairo. The school’s mission is to equip and train Egyptian and Sudanese national evangelists and church planters to proclaim the gospel to unreached peoples across North Africa. The school has plans to start 10 such training centers across the Arab-speaking world.

Pastor Ian Lawson, Lead Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, joined me. While we were students at Trinity Seminary 30 years ago we dreamed of one day traveling and teaching together. What a joy to see our dream fulfilled! Ian taught on the Book of James and I taught a course on Spiritual Formation for Leadership.

Ian and I were privileged to teach 22 Sudanese nationals—11 from the northern region, 9 from South Sudan and 2 from the Darfur region. Each year several hundred apply for the opportunity to study at Tyrannus, but only 10-12 are accepted into the 18-month program. These young men are all between 22 and 24 years of age. They come from challenging situations and know they will return to conditions of poverty, war and persecution. Upon completion of the program they agree to return to their homeland Sudan to plant new churches.

In addition to these 22 Sudanese, we also had six Egyptians join the training. These men and women all clearly articulated a call to serve Christ’s mission somewhere in the Middle East. One gentleman named Michel is a medical doctor preparing to practice medicine while planting a church in Mauritania. Another Egyptian couple are pursuing ministry among Syrian refugees in Lebanon or Turkey.

Students in Egypt

Students in Egypt

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.

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

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

The Power of Story

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 30 March 2016. Posted in Blog

The Power of Story

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!

Someone once said that God created human beings because He loves stories. As proof, consider 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 outrageous love for human beings.

I’ve just returned from Awash, Ethiopia—a market town situated in the central region about a 4.5 hour drive from the capital city of Addis Ababa. The city sits atop a large gorge overlooking the Awash River, part of Africa’s famous Rift Valley. And oh—did I mention it was hot, dusty and desert-like!

The week was spent teaching and training 75 pastors and church leaders, all of whom minister among the Afar people (an unreached people group). Having little to no access to a Bible School or formal training, these men and women showed up promptly each day eager to learn how to study and teach the Bible.

One highlight of my week was inviting men and women to immerse themselves in the giant storyline of the Bible. Africans by and large are ‘storied’ people—stories feature prominently in their cultures. No wonder that seeing God as the Master Storyteller and the Bible as the epic story is so captivating!

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!

Lee, Luelseged (translator) and Pastor James

Study-Do-Teach

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

Study-Do-Teach

Dear Friends,

If ever there were a ‘poster child’ for BrookLink, it would be Ezra. You can read all about his life in an Old Testament book named for him. Ezra lived during a very dark and discouraging time in ancient Israel’s history.

In today’s world, we hear regularly the plight of exiles forced from their countries because of famine, war or religious oppression. Stripped from their homeland and driven by desperation, these misplaced peoples risk life and limb for a better future. Who will minister to these displaced people?

Ezra was called upon by God to minister to a displaced people group who had just survived seventy years of exile. His mission is summarized in these words, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).

Study, do, and teach—present a model for ministers around the world. Long-range effective teaching of the Bible does not happen without long hours of ongoing study of the Bible. We equip those we train in how to study their Bibles.

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