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.

For Un-Adults Only

Written by Lee Heyward on Wednesday, 01 March 2017. Posted in Blog

For Un-Adults Only

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.

A New Year of Ministry

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 30 January 2017. Posted in Blog

A New Year of Ministry

“For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.” Psalm 92:4

As BrookLink prepares for a new year of ministry in 2017, I want to take this opportunity thank you for your tremendous support during our ministry in 2016.

  • Your prayers sustained us as the LORD granted us safe passage to and from six different international locations.
  • Your encouragement helped us to say yes to invitations to train church leaders in under-served parts of the world.
  • Your commitment to our mission helped us to deepen the knowledge of Christ in lives of those we equipped.
  • Your generosity helped us to finish strong at year-end and positioned us for what lies ahead in the New Year.


We at BrookLink would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the way in which you prayed, encouraged, committed and gave generously to us in 2016.

What’s New in 2017?

Our Board of Directors recently met to celebrate what the Lord has done for us and to look ahead and review our plans for 2017. We would ask that you continue to remember us in prayer as we enter into this new season of ministry.

  • Pray for the completion and publication of a new book Lee is writing for the global church.
  • Pray for the men and women BrookLink has been invited to train in Czech Republic, North Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia in 2017.
  • Pray as we continue to tell the “BrookLink story” both locally and nationally. We are exploring new partnerships, cultivating new sources of funding, onboarding new trainers/facilitators and participating in new gospel movements across the globe.
  • Pray as we take bold steps of faith into the future, that God will enable us to achieve 100% of 2017 Annual Budget.

BrookLink Welcomes Ann Woelfel, Director of Strategic Development

BrookLink has grown steadily since our beginning in 2008. Our dedicated Board of Directors has undertaken some bold initiatives for the future. To continue to support these initiatives and the future growth of our ministry, the Board recently hired Ann Woelfel as our new Director of Strategic Development. Ann began to support BrookLink in a limited operational capacity in June 2015. Over the past 18 months, as Ann began to take a deeper interest in serving BrookLink, the Board created a role to merge her strategic, interpersonal and operational functions. Her primary areas of responsibility will be to strengthen donor relationships, help identify and execute strategic initiatives, manage global and affiliate ministry opportunities, and continue to support BrookLink’s internal operations.    

Ann grew up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, attended Menomonee Falls High School and earned a degree in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining BrookLink, Ann worked for 15 years in various roles for Robert W. Baird & Co., with her most recent role being a Senior Vice President, and Manager of Baird’s Corporate Events and Conference Center departments. Ann and her husband, Pete, have two children, live in Wauwatosa, WI, and are members of Meadowbrook Church.

Please join me in welcoming Ann Woelfel to BrookLink’s team.

From a Far Country

on Thursday, 27 October 2016. Posted in Blog

From a Far Country

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” These words taken from Revelation 2:10 were written by the Apostle John to Christians living in the ancient city of Smyrna, today known as Izmir, Turkey. This passage is also the text of Scripture I was invited to preach on during my most recent trip to Asia.

According to Open Doors USA, a human rights organization that monitors Christian persecution worldwide, the country I visited ranks high as a place where Christians suffer for professing Christ. It is not unusual for Christians in this part of the world to be detained, imprisoned or even to face death for their allegiance to Jesus.

I was invited to bring encouragement to a host of men and women who daily count the cost of following Christ. I lectured at the largest Bible College in the country, spoke at a national leadership gathering, and preached before a multi-congregational worship service. Many related their own personal stories of perseverance, character and hope in the midst of unimaginable poverty, suffering and even danger.

Paul urged the church in Thessalonica to “pray that the message of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored” (2 Thess. 3:1). Many of you prayed as I traveled this past month. I’m deeply grateful for your partnership in prayer that ensures the Lord and His Word be honored through the ministry of BrookLink.

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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

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.

Thanksgiving

Written by Lee Heyward on Monday, 23 November 2015. Posted in Blog

Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

In just a few days across America many of us will gather around tables with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving.

At BrookLink we have many reasons to give thanks. Let me share a few with you.

We give thanks to you for your faithful partnership with BrookLink. Throughout 2015 you have not only served us, but countless pastors and church leaders have benefitted from the ministry of BrookLink this year.

We give thanks that the global church continues to grow rapidly across parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In many of these places churches and church leaders face enormous adversity and opposition. That’s why we believe equipping and encouraging pastors and church leaders is so necessary.

We give thanks for our overseas partners who have written to express the ways their lives have been impacted:

  • "Thank you for the preaching seminar. Your training has transformed my perception and view of preaching and has brought about a renewed passion to be faithful in handling God's truth."
    Pastor Kennedy Dick, South Africa
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