Off We Go

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

A Note from Terry

Off We Go

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.

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.

Make a Final Gift in 2016

Written by Lee Heyward on Tuesday, 27 December 2016. Posted in Blog

Make a Final Gift in 2016

During 2016 I have received feedback like this from church leaders we serve:

What Dr. Heyward taught us during this conference was the exact opposite of what many of us had believed. It helped us, not only to understand the bigger picture of Bible, but also to see how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. I learned the value of the Word when it is studied deeply and correctly.

                                                                                                                                                          A leader from the Middle East

Comments like these illustrate for me the impact you have made through your generous financial support and prayers for BrookLink’s ministry. Your large-heartedness is truly the strength of BrookLink’s ministry in unreached and unengaged places across the world.

Several weeks ago, I updated you on our financial situation. There are still a few days left in 2016 to make a year-end gift to the ministry. Many of you have already responded generously to our need, for which I am deeply grateful!

If you still wish to make a financial gift to BrookLink, use the enclosed card to send it to the address below. And please remember to send your check postmarked by December 31, 2016.

BrookLink
N105 W20939 Oak Lane
Germantown, WI 53022

You can also make a gift online right now.

Thank you again for “excelling in the gracious ministry of giving” (2 Cor. 8:7). May God make His grace abound to you in 2017!

Every blessing,

A Seed Has Sprouted

Written by Lee Heyward on Thursday, 01 December 2016. Posted in Blog

A Seed Has Sprouted

“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:1

Dear Friends,

Wisconsin has long been known as “America’s Dairyland.” Travel anywhere across our state and you’ll see beautiful, rolling farmlands dotting the Wisconsin landscape. It’s no secret; farming plays a major role in the Wisconsin economy.

Have you ever wondered what farmers do during the cold winter season? Do they use the time to catch up on their sleep? Read lots of books? Binge on Netflix? Certainly the winter months afford farmers more leisure hours, but most farmers use the dormant months to prepare for the next season’s planting schedule. Among other things, they order seeds, tune up their tractors and make necessary repairs to their trucks and equipment.

Like a farmer, I’ve learned there are seasons of ministry. Every year at this time we are busily planning for the next year’s planting cycle—where we’ll go, when we’ll go, and what kind of seeds will we plant.

But we also take time to celebrate what God has done this past year—to enjoy, as it were the fruits of our labor as BrookLink traveled to six different countries on four continents during 2016. The seeds that BrookLink is planting across the world are bearing great fruit. A few examples:

  • A young pastor we trained in South Africa several years ago took BrookLink’s material he received, translated it into Portuguese and has now trained over 300 pastors in Angola. A seed has sprouted!
  • Mahesh from Nepal wrote, “The guidelines and practical methods you taught me about preaching will help me prepare sermons, but also help me equip others to preach in Nepal.” A seed has sprouted!
  • Arif from Pakistan e-mailed, "Dr.Heyward's teaching was relevant and challenging. We want to see similar training happen every year.” A seed has sprouted!
  • Terry and I celebrated the birth of our third grandchild this past year—Ethan Charles Riebesehl! A seed has sprouted!

As we near the end of 2016 we have already received invitations to North Africa, Congo, Czech Republic, China and Ethiopia in 2017. Please pray with us about these opportunities and help us by planting a seed of your own.

It is not unusual for non-profits like BrookLink to receive the bulk of their annual contributions during the month of December.

As of December 5th we need to raise $135,000 by year-end.

Can I count on you to plant a seed?

Your financial gift will help us finish in strong fashion and also set us up for the good work God has opened before us. Please consider making a gift today!

When the Apostle Paul thanked the Christians at Philippi for their generous financial support (see Philippians 4:10ff), his primary concern was that God’s blessing would be upon them—for having been ‘seed-planters’ and givers to God’s work.

This is my prayer for you—that the seeds you generously sow will not only cause “righteousness and praise to sprout up among the nations,” but that you yourself will be enriched in every way by our ever-generous God.

 

Ever grateful for you,

 

Lee Heyward

Join the Generosity Movement

on Monday, 28 November 2016. Posted in Blog

Join the Generosity Movement

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Jesus in Luke 6:38

We have a day for giving thanks. We have a day for getting deals. Now, we also have a day called #GivingTuesday, a day devoted across the globe to giving back. It’s sort of an underground movement of generosity.

#GivingTuesday reflects a very simple idea that Jesus introduced in the New Testament called, “the law of self-administered return.” Here’s how it works: God promises when I turn on the faucet of generosity in my life, there is a heavenly reservoir waiting to flow back toward me with a whole lot more than I could ever contain. My capacity to receive is always in direct proportion to my capacity to give. Learning to give is a key to learning to live!

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, I hope you will consider making a gift to BrookLink. Help us further the work of equipping, empowering and releasing church leaders across the globe.

To make a gift to BrookLink this #GivingTuesday, visit www.brooklink.org/get-involved/make-a-gift. Thanks for joining the celebration!

Many blessings,

Help Us Say Yes!

on Tuesday, 15 November 2016. Posted in Blog

Help Us Say Yes!

“Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul...teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Ps. 143:8,10


In 2008 when Terry and I launched BrookLink as a ministry, I remember well reading these words and the Spirit ‘inscribing’ them upon my heart. As we stepped out in this new direction we knew we needed the Holy Spirit to, “show us the way to go, teach us to do His will and lead us on level ground.” These words became part of our regular prayer vocabulary.

Today I am truly grateful for the way the Spirit has shown us the way when we found ourselves mystified. The things God has taught us about Himself, the global church and ourselves humble me. I’m grateful for the repeated illustrations of the Spirit leveling the ground before us.

It’s also around this time every year we are reminded of these words and pray them for us and for BrookLink. You see, every year since we began we are receiving more and more “Macedonian calls” from ministries overseas to “come over and help us.” (Acts 16:9) The need for equipping, empowering and encouraging global leaders remains high!

Already in early 2017 we have accepted invites to North Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Czech Republic and Pakistan. Just this week I was contacted by three leaders asking if BrookLink would come and train Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have fled to Armenia, Muslim-background believers in Ethiopia and church leaders in Romania.

Jigsaw Puzzles and the Church

on Sunday, 07 August 2016. Posted in Blog

Jigsaw Puzzles and the Church

Jigsaw puzzles have been around for hundreds of years. Years ago European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and then cut them into small pieces. Who of us doesn’t remember learning the geography of the United States using a puzzle map? Even The Rolling Stones wrote a song about the Jigsaw Puzzle in 1968 (which, by the way is a song they never performed live).

Every piece of a jigsaw puzzle is important, but jigsaw aficionados will tell you that you usually start solving the puzzle by finding the four corners. The four corners are key to completing the picture.

 In a similar way, when God designed the Church he gave us “four corner” pieces. Paul alludes to these in Ephesians 4:11 when he writes, “And he (God) gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastor-teachers” to the church. These four gifts are not more important than the rest, but they are foundational to the health and wellbeing of Jesus’ bride.

Paul is equally clear about the role and responsibility those so gifted are to have in the church. They are not to do all the work; rather, they are to equip others to do the ministry.

Windows to the World: Milwaukee

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

BROOKLINK'S 7TH ANNUAL WINDOWS TO THE WORLD EVENT

Save the Date

Written by BrookLink on Tuesday, 01 March 2016. Posted in Blog

BrookLink's 7th Annual Windows to the World Event

 
 
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