Celebrating Our Partners

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 19 August 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

It is summertime in good ole Milwaukee.  The temperatures have been reliably warm, the ethnic festival season is in full swing, and there is growing excitement around the city about hosting a presidential convention next year. Wisconsin is truly a great place to be during the summertime.

Recently an article was published in Christianity Today about Ethiopia being on the front lines of the next mission movement.  The article struck me in two significant ways.  Firstly, the evidence of seeds sown long ago by missionaries that have grown into what now are evangelical denominations of millions, is awe-inspiring. It recalls the verses in Ephesians, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Eph. 4:11-12). The Ethiopian Church has not only grown numerically, but spiritually too!

BrookLink in Ethiopia in 2017

Secondly, I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I read of the Ethiopian revival because of our faithful supporters. BrookLink has had multiple opportunities to partner alongside and witness firsthand the growth and success of Ethiopia's Kale Heywet church.  It has been a privilege for us to train pastors and church leaders for the past three years, and to have continued conversations with leadership about developing a long-term training partnership with Kale Heywet. This partnership includes expanding BrookLink’s influence beyond pastoral training to include child and family ministry training.  Our ability to “say yes” increases each year, and we are so grateful for your financial support which makes this possible.

BrookLink in Ethiopia in 2018

As the article points out “Africa is a young continent,” noting 6 in 10 residents are under 30.  “Soon the main harvest force will come from Africa.”  The perspective that “missions is not a Western responsibility,” is aligned to BrookLink’s values.  When we train pastors and church workers overseas, we enter their context to equip, empower and release them for greater kingdom impact.  Releasing leaders to influence their networks is how the Global Church is strengthened. 

A Summer Update

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 24 July 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

BrookLink’s theme in 2019 is “From One to Many."

What began ten years ago as a hope and prayer, you have made possible!

Rejoice with us!

In June, BrookLink was invited to return again to Ethiopia to minister in the Kale Heywet churches. Pastor Timothy Ryder of Waukesha, Wisconsin and Pastor Ian Lawson of Alberta, Canada traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to lead church leaders through three days of training. Using lively discussion and readings, Tim and Ian spent these days resourcing and equipping forty doctoral students who serve as key leaders in these churches. Pastor Ian reports, "I am routinely impressed with the passion and the zeal of the Kale Heywet church of Ethiopia - currently 9,000 congregations and 1,000 church plants. This is a mission success story of the SIM who sent missionaries there one hundred years ago. Today she is a thriving and dynamic indigenous church reaching their own people with the gospel and sending their own missionaries to other countries on the African continent. How thrilling it is to help equip some of their pastors on the front lines!"

No sooner had Timothy and Ian returned to the U.S.A., when Pastor Jan Ryder (Timothy’s wife) boarded a plane for the same place. This time to train more than 40 Children and Family Ministry leaders, who minister weekly to thousands of children among the Kale Heywet. Pastor Jan writes, “It was exciting to learn about the family together, understand more of how children grow, use creative teaching methods to spark curiosity, and apply Biblical principles to practical aspects of ministry with children and families. I think the most useful session may have been one dealing with how children experience grief and trauma.”

These opportunities would not have been possible without your generous support.

Meanwhile, on the completely different continent of Europe, BrookLink affiliates Dr. Dan and Lynne Green traveled to Prague, Czech Republic to teach and train pastors and church leaders serving in this largely atheistic city.  Dan and Lynne have been offering their theological and counseling training and insights to the Czech people for 20 years with the last 4 years being under BrookLink’s banner.

Furthermore, would you please pray as Drs. Paul and Lisa Sinclair travel with BrookLink in August to two key cities in northeast India? They are uniquely equipped to conduct five weeks of doctoral-level teaching in the areas of Spiritual Formation and Grief & Trauma. Needless to say, it would have been impossible for me to step away from my responsibilities here in the U.S.A. to invest five weeks in India. The Sinclairs are excited to be a part of BrookLink and helping us move “From One to Many.”

A Turtle on a Fencepost

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 05 June 2019. Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Where do you turn in times of hardship and despair, in times of transition and change? Where do you turn when you need to gain perspective or inspiration or simply to bolster your faith?

If you’re like me, I usually go to a church. Why? Because you know that is where you will hear the Word of God, connect with brothers and sisters in Christ and build upon your faith.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”– Romans 10:17 NIV

Many people are attracted to a church not just for what it can offer, but also because of what it provides by way of leadership.  Perhaps you are a part of a flourishing church body where members have identified their spiritual gifts, are serving with their gifts, and are witnessing the church’s capacity to bless and fulfill its mission on earth.

But as the church develops across the world, you may also share our concern that as it grows in width it must also grow in depth.  Depth comes about in many ways. One of those ways is where gifted spiritual leaders from most-reached areas of the world offer teaching, training, equipping and mentoring to least-reached areas of the world.  By providing access to this kind of quality and affordable biblical training, church leaders grow, their churches are strengthened and their communities are improved.

For the past 10 years, your prayers and financial contributions have helped make BrookLink the organization that it is today.   We are so grateful to you for sustaining and supporting our mission to equip, empower and release global church leaders for greater kingdom impact.

You are helping our gifted team of facilitators reach and impact the lives of thousands by investing in training for global church leaders.  Please consider giving a gift today! Every $200 will support one pastor or church leader receiving training in 2019.

The WHAT

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 10 December 2018. Posted in Blog

The WHAT

“They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.

Acts 14:21-22a NIV

Dear Friends,

As my wife, Terry, got off the plane from West Africa in Detroit, Michigan, I was boarding a plane for East Africa in Chicago, Illinois. We spent Thanksgiving Day apart this year. But don’t feel too sorry for us. We were on Kingdom business and following His lead. Last month we talked about why we do what we do at BrookLink. Strengthening the church is WHAT BrookLink is all about. We were invited and available, so off we went.

“Thank you, Pastor Lee for coming! Will you come again?” were the words I heard over and over again from the leadership team in Soddo, Ethiopia. BrookLink facilitator and dear friend, Ian Lawson, and I spent three full days teaching eager pastors. Their receptivity was energizing and their questions were engaging. This is WHAT BrookLink loves to be a part of around the world. Leaders equipping leaders, to sustain and strengthen movements that exponentially expand the Gospel. 


Our answer to those dear friends is “YES, we will come again!" The prayers and financial gifts of so many have made this “YES” possible.

With just 20 days left this year, you can contribute towards our goal of $70,000 to continue the work of strengthening churches together in 2019 and beyond.

Equipping the church of Jesus Christ has been the WHAT for BrookLink from the beginning— ‘equipping’ pastors, church leaders and churches not just in East Africa, but in over 50 countries and 8 U.S.-based churches, classes and small groups—for the past ten years wherever we have been welcomed and invited, we go.  But we have not done it alone.

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!

Full Sail

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 04 October 2017. Posted in Blog

Full Sail

Dear Friends,

What do sailing a boat and growing spiritually share in common?

My family spent a portion of every summer vacationing on the coast of North Carolina. My summers were full and never boring. Snorkeling, sailing, fishing and water skiing were included. My father believed it was important for each of his kids to learn to sail a boat. When the winds were light and calm he would strap me into a life jacket, and together we would launch out on the water.

My father taught all of us three basic principles of sailing. The first was: sailing is all about dependency. All the training, effort and experience will do little good if there is no wind. Likewise, spiritual growth is not guaranteed through following techniques or gimmicks, but through daily and conscious reliance and dependence upon the ‘wind’ of God’s Spirit.

Secondly, Dad taught us that sailing is about discernment. Wise sailors look at a body of water and discern which way the wind is blowing. Sailors take note of the sky to discern whether sailing is worth the risk. They know exactly which sails to hoist to catch the wind most effectively. In the same way, spiritual growth requires discernment. Growth happens best when we are intentional about discerning God’s ways, His voice and His wisdom.

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

From the Field | Ethiopia

Written by Lee Heyward on Friday, 26 February 2016. Posted in Blog

Report 2

From the Field | Ethiopia

There are so many enriching benefits of a short-term mission experience! It is not just about the work you do or the shared experience itself; mostly it is about the relationships you develop.

For two weeks, we’ve sat together, eaten together, prayed together, worked together, struggled with language and cultural barriers together, hurt together, failed together, laughed together and learned together. Quickly and powerfully friendships form, barriers decrease and love grows!

It’s also these same things that make farewells so hard! These past two days the team has been saying their farewells to our Ethiopian friends. On Wednesday Pastor James and I (Pastor Lee) said good-bye to seventy-two pastors and church leaders. Over the course of the past week we have encouraged these servants of Christ to prioritize and model disciple-making in their ministries. We have instructed them about the importance and necessity of deepening their spiritual lives through daily interaction with the Word of God.

During our concluding session we reminded the pastors of the Apostle Paul’s words from Romans 10:14-15 and John 13:1-15.  We then had them gather in small groups to wash one another’s feet as a way of symbolizing, “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Pastor James and I then gave each pastor a pair of socks that had been sent by one of our donors, along with a copy of the book, How to Understand the Bible (translated into Amharic). Pastors in this part of the world seldom have access to solid theological resources, and it was quite moving to both of us to see their joy receiving a book in their own language! Then the pastors gathered around us, showered us with gifts and prayed over us—one of my more memorable moments of our time here!

Thursday was our last day in the medical clinic. While the docs examined the few remaining patients, the rest of us helped pack up remaining supplies, hugged people and said our goodbyes.

In Ethiopia, like most African cultures, there are customs and cultural traditions that are important to observe and honor. One of those is the final farewell. And no farewell is complete without Ethiopian coffee!  Our entire team gathered in a tiny office along with our cousins—district administrators, medical personnel, government employees, grateful patients and giddy children. A sea of faces peered through windows and doors to say their thanks and send us off! We exchanged comments, testimonies of the week and gratitude between us. The District Administrator thanked us on behalf of the hundreds of people who were seen at the clinic throughout these two weeks. And then in the true spirit of African friendship we all gathered under the hot African sun for a final photo.

One of our translators commented yesterday that he has never been around a team of people with greater passion, love and joy for Jesus than this GHO Team! I’m equally grateful for the privilege of serving with these dedicated servants of Christ. The team is now back in Addis Ababa. We will spend part of the day in debrief and do a bit of shopping before heading to airport to fly back to the States tonight. We are truly grateful for your prayers throughout this two-week experience. We are tired to say the least, but it is a good tired. In both word and deed God has used each of us in unique ways to be, “Jesus with skin on!”

From the Field | Ethiopia

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

Report 1

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.

[12  >>  

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