Packing Parachutes

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 17 August 2017. Posted in Blog

Charles Plumb recounts his story as a jet fighter pilot during the war in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb safely ejected, parachuted and was eventually captured and thrown into a Vietnamese prison for six years.

Years later, Plumb and his wife were eating in a local restaurant when a man said to him, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were shot down!”

Surprised, Plumb asked, “How in the world did you know that?” The man replied, “I’m the guy who packed your parachute.”

Later Plumb reflected on his experience. A stranger had spent long hours at a wooden table in the belly of an aircraft carrier, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute for someone he didn’t know. It was this man who had provided Plumb with what he needed to make it through a very difficult period of life.

Plumb’s story reminds me that all of us have people who, ‘pack our parachute!’ A person or stranger, who provided encouragement, affirmation and guidance to help us make it through some difficult or challenging period of life.

And here’s what’s really cool—the Bible is full of stories about men and women who packed the parachutes of God’s servants!

  • Mordecai ‘packed the parachute’ of Esther—see Esther 2
  • Barnabas ‘packed the parachute’ of John Mark—see Acts 15:36-41
  • Paul ‘packed the parachute’ of Timothy—see 1 Timothy 4:11-16


 

Off We Go

Written by Terry Heyward on Monday, 17 July 2017. Posted in Blog

A Note from Terry

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.

Sharing Our Story

Written by Lee Heyward on Saturday, 13 May 2017. Posted in Blog

Last weekend we hosted our 8th annual "Windows to the World" event at Meadowbrook Church, entitled "The Faces of BrookLink."  It was a special evening, gathering many BrookLink faces and friends to share the work that God has been doing through our ministry.  Thank you to those of you who were able to attend!

This video was debuted at our event. It tells a story about why BrookLink exists and what BrookLink does.

  
Please share this video with others who may want to learn about BrookLink.  Also, if you are interested in requesting a copy of the "Faces of BrookLink" video testimonial that was shown live at the event, please click here to submit your request.

If you're interested in supporting or learning more about our mission, please visit www.brooklink.org. You can also click here to give a gift now.  If you have specific questions about our ministry or ways to support BrookLink, please contact Ann Woelfel, Director of Strategic Development.

With gratitude for your faithful support and friendship.  Each of you truly is a face of BrookLink!

Blessings,


ECFA Accreditation

Written by BrookLink on Monday, 01 May 2017. Posted in Blog



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. We are delighted to add this distinguished award verifying our financial integrity.

Back to Africa!

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

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

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

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

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.

[12 3 4 5  >>  

Visit lbetting.co.uk how to sing-up at ladbrokes