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.

Multiplier

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 22 July 2015. Posted in Blog

Multiplier

Dear Friends,

It’s mid-summer in good ole Milwaukee. After a cool start to the summer, the temps have risen, the ethnic festival season is in full swing, and the debate ad nauseam about a new Bucks Basketball Arena has all but subsided. Wisconsin is a great place to be during summertime.

It’s been good to be home for a few weeks. June was a busy month for BrookLink with events in Seattle, ministry at the Advocate Summit of Mission Aviation Fellowship in Idaho, and my first-time trip to southeastern Poland to train ‘Free Church’ pastors and leaders in three cities.

This week I leave for Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR-Congo). In 2007 leaders from the African Evangelical Free Churches met to address the African Church’s need to reach Africa with the gospel. One leader shared, “It’s our job as African Christians to reach Africa’s unreached people.”  Pastor Nubako Selenga was their unanimous choice to lead this new movement.

Serving Abroad: Democratic Republic of Congo

Written by BrookLink on Friday, 01 May 2015. Posted in Blog

July 23-August 2, 2015

Serving Abroad: Democratic Republic of Congo

BrookLink will be in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo July 23-August 2, 2015. Lee will be training at The Mission and Leadership Equipping Center, a ministry of ReachAfrica. There he will serve alongside Congolese leaders to equip local church leaders in order to help them address issues such as corruption, violence, the prosperity gospel and the influx of Islam across the continent.

Additionally, Lee will participate in meetings with community leaders to explore how the Gospel impacts business, commerce and the marketplace.

This will be BrookLink's second visit to Kinshasa in 2 years. We invite you to pray for these important days of equipping “leaders of leaders” in the central region of the African Continent.

Impact in Cape Town

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. Posted in Blog

Impact in Cape Town

Dear Friends, 

This past week I returned from a week of ministry in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Situated at the southernmost tip of the African Continent, the city boasts stunning views from its mountaintops of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Cape Town, South Africa
This was my third trip to Cape Town since 2008, where we have long partnered with the ministry of Cape Missions International headed by our friends, John and Barbara Doyle. I not only spoke in various churches across the city, but also, along with Keith Doyle, conducted a seminar and workshop for pastors on, “Preaching With Clarity and Relevance.”

Meet Raymond Katts. Raymond actually works as an officer in the Cape Town Fire Department, but he also serves as the Pastor of “House of Praise” in Ocean Side Township. Situated in a poorer area of the city, the church is only three years old and is having a deep impact on the residents of Ocean Side through its various ministries—especially those trapped in drugs, alcohol and gang violence.

Lee and Raymond

From the Field | South Africa

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 04 March 2015. Posted in Blog

From the Field | South Africa

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It’s Wednesday afternoon in Cape Town. It’s much cooler today after yesterday’s record-setting high temperature of 104 degrees. The fires that have been burning across the peninsula since Saturday continued throughout the night. When we arrived home last night, Paul and I went out our front door and took these pictures. They were taken less than a quarter mile from the residence where we are staying. Officials promptly evacuated those houses nearest the fires. 

Wildfires in Cape TownWildfires in Cape Town

We had a great start to the Pastors Seminar last night. I will continue tonight and tomorrow night, as well as all day Saturday. This morning I spoke at a Men’s Breakfast about an hour across town. Enroute we passed a region of the Cape where the burning fires were threatening to engulf massive oceanfront residences. During our pre-dawn drive, we passed countless people standing along the oceanfront looking up toward the steep mountain slopes behind their homes with helpless looks on their faces. Huge flames could be seen hovering over these homes threatening to consume them. I’ve never seen a sight quite as ominous. We prayed for rain.

Thankful for the Year Ahead

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 16 February 2015. Posted in Blog

Thankful for the Year Ahead

Dear Friends,

It is a blessing to enter into these initial months of 2015 with a palpable sense of excitement and enthusiasm for what the year ahead will bring for BrookLink. But lest I allow my enthusiasm to get ahead of me, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the role you played in the success and support of BrookLink in 2014.
 
Because of your faithful generosity, BrookLink finished 2014 in the black, achieving 94% of our annual budget. Your kind gifts in the closing months position us well for the year ahead. When we look at the stories of the amazing transformation that God effected in the lives of the church leaders we equipped last year, we can only conclude it has been an exceptional year, because of you!
 
2015 is off and running! On February 25, 2015 I will depart for Cape Town, South Africa for 10 days. Once again, in partnership with my friends John and Barbara Doyle of Cape Missions International (CMI), BrookLink will provide training for church leaders across this beautiful city.

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