Don’t miss the newest update from David Platt

Don’t forget…The new Brook Hills Global Blog has moved to a new and improved location!

Why is it we keep reminding you?  Well simply….we don’t want you to miss anything.  Including the newest post from our pastor, David Platt, as he travels with other staff elders in the Horn of Africa.  In fact there is an update on a family we prayed for during the last Secret Church.  You don’t want to miss this.  Here’s an excerpt from his post…

During this last Secret Church, we spent concentrated time in prayer for persecuted brothers and sisters in the horn of Africa. We heard from a particular married couple from a country in the horn…we’ll call them John and Andrea. When John and Andrea came to faith in Christ, John’s father virtually kidnapped John and Andrea’s children and hid them from John and Andrea. They still don’t know where their children are today. So on the night of Secret Church, we prayed that God would restore families to one another, particularly families where new believers are experiencing persecution and separation from the people they love most.  Well today, I had a conversation with a woman in the horn of Africa who is a Brook Hills field partner in this part of the world. She is the one who initially introduced us to John and Andrea. As we talked, she shared how John was going into various villages and sharing the gospel with anyone he can.

To read more visit the new Brook Hills Global Blog.

While you’re there, go ahead and subscribe to the new blog for automatic updates.  You can also receive email updates by visiting the new blog and inserting your email in the field to the right.

Thank you for following the Brook Hills Global Blog.  We hope you will join us over at our new place and participate in the conversation of making disciples of all nations.

Thanks,

The Church at Brook Hills Global Team

Follow David Platt in Africa

Hello, everyone.

I wanted to remind you that we’ve moved our Global Blog to a new location.

I hope you’ll check it out because right now Pastor David Platt is traveling with some other pastors and elders from Brook Hills to visit some of our long-term missionaries and church planters in the Horn of Africa. Here’s a little excerpt from his latest post:

Brook Hills members know that at the beginning of 2011, we commissioned two of our members, along with their 1-year-old (at that point) son, to initiate and lead a Brook Hills church planting team among the Arundo in the horn of Africa. “Arundo” is a name we use to refer to one of the people groups that we have adopted and to which we are sending members. The Arundo are one of the most unreached, dangerous to reach people groups in the world. They are extremely resistant to the gospel, and they are desperately in need of the gospel.

Two days ago, we arrived in the city where our members are living. There are now three Brook Hills members here, and we will commission one more to join them here in June. (On a side note, there’s always room for more, if you’re interested!) Together, this team is learning the language of this people and preparing a strategy for engaging them with the gospel.

To read more visit the all new Brook Hills Global Blog.

And, of course, we’d love to have you subscribe to the blog so that you can receive your updates automatically. You can also subscribe to receive updates by email by visiting the new blog and filling in your email address in the field on the right.

Thanks.

We’ve Moved

Hello, everyone.

Thank you so much for reading this blog and following along with us all that God is doing through the global ministry of The Church at Brook Hills.

We’re excited to tell you today that we’ve launched a whole new Brook Hills Global Blog.

Unfortunately, this means you’ll need to re-subscribe to be able to continue getting our updates.

But we want to make that simple for you. So, to subscribe to the new blog, simply CLICK HERE.

If you’d like to receive our updates as an email, you can visit the new blog and enter your address in the field to the right.

Thanks, again.

The Church at Brook Hills Global Team

Meet our Mid-Termers – Day 5

Two Sundays ago, May 6th, The Church at Brook Hills introduced, prayed for and sent out 35 members of our faith family to spend 2 months to 2 years of their life serving around the world.  Last week we began to introduce you to these Mid-Termers and show you ways to pray for them as they prepare to leave.  We want to continue this process of introduction and encourage you to commit to praying for these individuals this summer.

 

 

CRAIG – South East Asia

Craig is originally from Indiana and will graduate in a few days from Samford University in Sociology with a minor in Business and Spanish.  He has been attending The Church at Brook Hills for the last year and has enjoyed being part of this faith family.  Last October, Craig began to think about going as a Mid-Termer.  As he prayed and sought out what this might look like he began to realize this time in his life was optimal for serving Mid-Term.  “I have no ties to hold me back which makes it easy to follow the Lord in where he wants me to go.  I see it as an opportunity to give a substantial amount of time in spreading His name to a place that is categorized as unreached,” says Craig.  Through prayer and guidance from the Global Team, Craig and two of his friends will be joining a field partner in South East Asia.  While they are there, they will be engaging college students through sports in order to build relationships to share the gospel.  When asked why he is going, Craig responded with this, “I read in Romans 10:14 that ‘how then can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?’ This breaks my heart for the unreached and leads me to go”.  Craig will leave in August to serve in South East Asia for nine months.

Craig’s perfects Saturday would consist of a day with friends hanging out at the park, playing sand volleyball or football and finishing the day with a cookout.

Ways to Pray for Craig:

- Pray for God to prepare the hearts of the college students Craig and his team will encounter.

- Pray that there will be unification grounded in the gospel for their team.

- Pray for Craig to be dependent on God and His word throughout his time there and not to lean on his own understanding.

 

 

JOSH – South East Asia

Josh grew up in Dothan, Alabama and is about to graduate from Samford University with a degree in religion.  He has been part of the faith family at The Church at Brook Hills for two years and has been highly involved with the College Ministry here.  Last year, through the encouragement of his college leaders, Josh began to pray about going as a Mid-termer.  “I decided that I want to spend my first few months out of college overseas sharing the gospel with people who have never heard of Christ.  I do not know of a better way to start my life after school than this”, says Josh.  His team will use their time supporting the work of a field partner by engaging college students through sports in order to share the gospel with those who have never heard it before.  Josh will leave in August and serve for 9 months in South East Asia.

Josh’s perfect Saturday would be waking up with coffee and getting into the Word, doing something active outside, going out to eat with friends for dinner and playing board games at someone’s house.

Ways to Pray for Josh:

- Pray for Josh to serve his teammates well.

- Pray for the Lord to draw college students to Himself.

- Pray for Josh and his team to not grow weary in the 9 months they are there but by God’s grace to work hard during the short time they are there.

 

 

JOHN – South East Asia

John grew up in south Mississippi and currently lives in Birmingham, Al.  He has been attending The Church at Brook Hills for the past year and has been encouraged through the teachings, church leadership and friends in his small group.  This past July, John began to consider going Mid-Term after what he describes as a time when, “God decided to gladly interrupt my selfish life with the joy of connecting the grace of God with the glory of God”.  This process of going Mid-Term has been challenging as this will be his first time overseas.  But he is excited at the same time that even though he doesn’t know what to expect he is sure that God is in the midst of it all.  John approached the Global Disciple-Making team with a willingness to go but with no direction on where to go or what to do.  He was open and willing and when asked about going to South East Asia he said, “sounds good to me”.  This willingness to go anywhere and to be up for anything has allowed for an excellent opportunity to share the gospel with an unreached people group.  John will join a team of Mid-Termers that will be using sports as a means to engage college students in a large city.  By putting on ultimate frisbee clinics, the guys will have ample opportunities to build relationships and share the gospel.  John’s past experience as a program coordinator at a summer camp will definitely help him with this role this year.  John will leave in June and serve for 7 months in South East Asia.

A perfect Saturday for John means having coffee in his left hand and a bible in his right hand.  After that he is good to go.

Ways to Pray for John:
- Pray for God to teach John to rely on the gospel and not himself.

- Pray for John to boldly proclaim the gospel while he is sharing with students in South East Asia.

- Pray the John will wake up dying to himself and live through the crucified life of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20).

Meet our Mid-Termers – Day 4

Two Sundays ago, May 6th, The Church at Brook Hills introduced, prayed for and sent out 35 members of our faith family to spend 2 months to 2 years of their life serving around the world.  Last week we began to introduce you to these Mid-Termers and show you ways to pray for them as they prepare to leave.  We want to continue this process of introduction and encourage you to commit to praying for these individuals this summer. 

 

COURTNEY – Zimbabwe

Courtney Dunkerly is a native of Hubbard, OH but moved down south with her family a few years ago.  She is currently finishing up her third year at The University of Alabama in Birmingham where she is studying psychology with the hopes of serving special needs children after graduation.  Courtney volunteers at an intervention program for children with special needs.  Courtney has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills for almost two years and started thinking about going Mid-Term after hearing Katie Davis speak at Brook Hills about her experiences caring for children in Uganda.  “I just remember thinking how wonderful it would be to pour into a child’s life that has experienced so much pain and loss in the world”, said Courtney.  Through prayer and encouragement from the Brook Hills’ global team, Courtney decided to take an opportunity this summer to serve in Zimbabwe.  It has been exciting for Courtney to learn how to trust in the Lord and see His perfect plan develop through her obedience.  “I definitely don’t have any idea of what is going to happen next and it’s humbling to know that I am not in control of any of this”, says Courtney of her experience.  Courtney has had experience on short-term trips but has always desired the opportunity to stay for extended periods of time.  This summer she will have that opportunity while she serves elementary and middle school age children living in an orphanage.  Her main role will be to tutor the children for school and engage them with Bible stories so they can hear about Christ.  Courtney says, “I am most looking forward to investing in a new culture and forming relationships with the children at the orphanage and teaching them about God and His Word”.  Courtney will leave at the beginning of June and serve for 2 months in Zimbabwe.

Courtney enjoys being outside, being active and playing Frisbee or any other sport for that matter.  She also loves hiking and mountain biking. 

Ways to Pray for Courtney:

- Pray for Courtney’s family as they are fearful of the unknown.  Pray that they would trust in Christ with their lives as well as His calling on Courtney’s life to go and serve.

- Pray for God to unify Courtney and her teammate while they serve together on the field.  Pray for God to give wisdom in how best to minister to the children’s needs.

- Pray for the children and people at the orphanage Courtney will interact with daily.  Pray for God to open their hearts and for opportunities to share the gospel.

 

 

 

BRITTANY – West Africa

Brittany Yates grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and is currently in her last semester of school at the University of Montevallo.  Brittany has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills since 2006 and since that time has been encouraged and challenged to think through the command to make disciples and how the Lord is calling her to do this.  Brittany spent last summer living in another context, building relationship and in awe of the way God was working among a people who had never heard of Christ.  “That summer challenged the way I prayed, my dependence on the Lord and the way I served people”, says Brittany.  Through experiences in Short-Term mission trips, her time last summer in Honduras and her upcoming summer in West Africa, Brittany is seriously exploring the calling God has placed on her life to go Long-Term.  These experiences are helping expose Brittany to people groups around the world who have never heard the gospel and give her opportunities to see where God may be calling her full time.  Brittany will be spending the summer among an unreached people group.  She and her other teammates will be living in a village among the Housa people group.  The terrain is very difficult and life is not easy in the village.  When asked what she fears the most about her trip, Brittany answered, “I am most fearful about the physical effects of living in the village.  But I can’t imagine sharing the gospel any other way than by living among the people, getting to know their lives and gaining respect and trust to share about Christ”.  Brittany will leave the last week in May and serve in West Africa for 2 months.

Brittany enjoys reading a good book, learning about different cultures, spending time with her niece and doing something adventurous every once in awhile. 

Ways to Pray for Brittany:

- Pray for her family back home who do not believe in Christ to see her life as an example of the gospel.  Specifically pray for her ailing grandparents to be comforted by God’s promises while she is away.

- Pray for God to give Brittany opportunities to build friendships with the women she is living among.  Pray for Brittany to see ways to really serve their needs and have opportunities to share the gospel.

- Pray for Brittany and her team to be unified with one purpose to serve others and see God’s name glorified among the Housa people.

 

 

ELISA – West Africa

Elisa Coker is a sophomore at Jeff State in Birmingham, Alabama.  She is currently working towards her undergrad in English/ Language Arts with an ultimate goal in teaching English as a second language on the mission field.  Elisa has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills since 2007 and serves as the children’s leader with Brook Hills’ partner church Divine Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Gate City.  Elisa starting thinking about serving overseas a few years ago while praying through Matthew 9:38 and Isaiah 6:8 while leading a vacation bible school in inner city Birmingham at her apartment complex.  At the time she had no idea what that might look like but that she was willing to go and participate in sharing the gospel to those who had never heard.  After experiencing some challenges, God provided an opportunity to go Mid-Term.  This summer, Elisa will be serving with a team living in mud huts in a West African village.  According to the Joshua Project, Elisa will be serving in area that is home to 37 different people groups with 0.1% Evangelical Christians (Joshua Project).  She and her team will be serving among the Hausa people.  The Hausa number more than 20 million and is the largest ethnic people group in West Africa.  Most Hausa live below the poverty line and have little to no access to the gospel.  There has not been much work from missionaries among because of the difficult terrain and extreme climate conditions (Operation World).  Elisa and her teammates will have an opportunity to live the life of a Hausa, learn their language and culture, and engage them with the gospel with recorded audio bible stories.  “I am so thankful that God has included me to serve among a group of people where hopefully one day God’s name will be glorified among this people group”, said Elisa.  Elisa and her teammates will leave at the beginning of June to serve for 2 months among the Hausa.

Ways to Pray for Elisa:

- Pray for God to open the hearts of the Hausa people and for them to be receptive to the Word of God.  Pray for many Hausa to see their need for Christ and repent.

- Pray for the field partners and handful of Hausa believers currently serving to be encouraged by Elisa and her team.

- Pray for God to unify Elisa and her teammates as they serve in the midst of culture shock, language barriers and the harsh environment they will be living in.

 

 

Meet our Mid-Termers – Day 3

Twice a year The Church at Brook Hills sends men and women from our faith family around the world to serve on a Mid-Term basis. This week we have the privilege of sending a new group of Mid-Termers out to different parts of the world.  A Mid-Termer is defined as someone who is serving and sharing the gospel in a different culture and context for 2 months to 2 years.  Each day this week we will introduce you to a few of these Mid-Termers and give you specific ways to pray for them while they are away.

CANDICE – South Asia

Candice grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky until she moved to Birmingham two years ago to attend pharmacy school at Samford University.  She started attending The Church at Brook Hills and after going through the membership process began to pray about going as a Mid-Termer.  It was during this time that Candice became burdened with the knowledge that there are millions of people who have never heard the gospel.  “I desire to go Mid-Term because there is an overwhelming need for workers to advance the gospel in regions such as South Asia”, says Candice.  She will be joining a team of four other Mid-Termers to serve with a national partner who runs an orphanage and ministers to exploited women in the city.  Candice and her team will be providing biblical training to new believers and discipling them as they grow in their faith.  When asked about what she is most looking forward to Candice replied, “I look forward to sharing God’s word and love He has for His people.  I long to see prayer and praise given to our Lord by the people of this region”.  Candice will leave for South Asia the last week in May and serve there for 2 months.

Candice enjoys going to UK basketball games (go CATS!), playing volleyball, traveling and being active in my pharmacy school’s organizations.

Ways to Pray for Candice:

Pray for God to guide every step and prepare the hearts of those Candice will encounter.

- Pray for the people Candice engages to be receptive to the gospel and to fully realize their eternal destiny depends on their response to Christ.

- Pray for Candice and her team to be constantly focused on God’s heart so they can be used effectively for the glory of God.

 

 

ANNA GRACE – South Asia

Anna Grace grew up in Arkadelphia, Arkansas but is currently residing in Birmingham, studying psychology at Samford University.  Anna Grace has been at Brook Hills for over a year now and is highly involved in a small group.  Through prayer, Anna Grace is being obedient to the desire to go as a Mid-Termer this summer.  The process of going has been a challenging and exciting one for Candice.  “I was hesitant to go at first and felt like I should spend my summer working or taking classes.  But God has changed my heart and I feel eager to go on this trip”, says Candice.  Being a college student means the summer is free to go and serve somewhere.  Candice is taking the opportunity to use her time in South Asia this year.  She will be joining Candice and 2 other girls.  Their team will be working alongside a Brook Hills’ field partner to disciple women and children.  Candice’s biggest fear is learning the language and communicating clearly in a different culture and context.  Candice will be leaving at the end of May and serving for 2 months in South Asia.

A perfect Saturday for Candice would be going for a run in the morning, making chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast with friends, going on an adventure, trying new foods, taking fun pictures, making smores around a bonfire, and watching a really good movie.

 Ways to Pray for Candice:

- Pray for boldness and confidence in sharing the gospel.

- Pray for wisdom to be culturally sensitive and aware when communicating in a different culture.

- Pray for God to give the Anna Grace and her team perseverance as they work to share the gospel.

 

 

MILCAH – South Asia

Milcah grew up in Ethiopia for eleven years then moved to Georgia until college.  She just graduated from Samford University and will be spending her summer serving in South Asia.  Milcah has been at The Church at Brook Hills since 2008 and has received encouragement from the teachings of staff and in her small group.  Milcah started thinking about going as a Mid-Termer after her first Short-Term trip to Costa Rica her senior year of high school.  Since that point she has been praying and seeking opportunities to go and serve for a longer period of time.  “I have a desire to be a mid-termer because I love Jesus and I want to love and share with those who have never heard.  Going Mid-Term gives me more time to build relationships with the people and gain their trust”, says Milcah.  This summer Milcah will be joining Candice, Anna Grace and Kacey to strengthen the work already being accomplished by a Brook Hills’ field partner.  They will have the opportunity to come alongside women and children to share the gospel and minister in difficult situations.  Milcah will leave the last week in May and serve for two months with her teammates.

Milcah enjoys being with people, reading, photography, singing and sweet tea.

Ways to Pray for Milcah:

- Pray for God to show Milcah how to serve in humility.

- Pray for Milcah to love the people of South Asia and her team well.

- Pray for patience and perseverance as she shares the gospel.

Meet our Mid-Termers – Day 2

Twice a year The Church at Brook Hills sends men and women from our faith family around the world to serve on a Mid-Term basis. This week we have the privilege of sending a new group of Mid-Termers out to different parts of the world.  A Mid-Termer is defined as someone who is serving and sharing the gospel in a different culture and context for 2 months to 2 years.  Each day this week we will introduce you to a few of these Mid-Termers and give you specific ways to pray for them while they are away.

 

DREW – East Asia

Drew grew up in the small town of Appling, Georgia where his family home is quaintly situated between a cow pasture and a horse field.  Currently Drew is a sophomore at Samford University where he is studying Accounting.  Drew also is intentionally involved with international students at Samford and feels like he has received a crash course this last year in how to relate to and share the gospel with people in other cultures.  While at Samford, Drew has been attending The Church at Brook Hills since 2011.  Brook Hills has been a home away from home for Drew and a place where he feels pushed towards obedience in missions and support in this obedience.  After returning home from a Short-term trip last summer, Drew knew he wanted to spend more time on the field.  So he began to pray and start the process of going Mid-Term with Brook Hills.  Drew will go with Matt, another Brook Hills’ Mid-Termer to East Asia.  Their goal is to meet with believers and encourage them by worshipping together and spending time in the word as well as to engage non-believers with the gospel through friendships and time spent on the university campus.  Drew says, “I have a desire to be a Mid-Termer because Mid-Term opens up many opportunities to develop friendships over time and really engage with people.  There is also time to live with the local church in an area and to really disciple new believers”.  By using his background and love for sports, Drew feels like he will have a unique opportunity to engage other athletes and make friends easily.  When asked about what his greatest fear in going, Drew said, “I fear all the unknown aspects.  How will I be accepted?  Will I be effective? What is it like to spend long periods of time where there isn’t a church on every corner?”  These are the things that he is praying through and trusting God to work out for His glory.  Drew’s biggest hope is to share God’s love and truth of Christ with people who have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel before.  Drew will leave with Matt on May 30th and serve for three months in East Asia.

Drew’s perfect Saturday would consist of mountain biking at Oak Mountain with friends, eating his mom’s famous taco salad and playing ping-pong with his dad.

Ways to Pray for Drew:

-   Pray for God to give Drew patience as he serves with his partner, the people and unfamiliar situations.

Pray for swift and effective language learning for Drew.

The harvest is plentiful in East Asia and more workers are needed.  Pray for God to call more to come after Drew to serve and continue God’s work in East Asia.

 

 

 

MATT – East Asia

Matt grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He is currently a sophomore in Communication Studies at Samford University.  By God’s grace, Matt ended up at Brook Hills his first Sunday as a new freshman at Samford and has been attending ever since. When asked to describe his time with our faith family Matt says, “At Brook Hills I’ve been challenged to look beyond my personal faith…the gospel is good news only if it is heard, and it’s only heard if it’s shared.  Brook Hills has helped me realize the tremendous blessing of having the gospel and need for Christ-followers to share their faith with a lost world”.  In the fall of last year, God began to press upon Matt’s heart the desire to pursue missions.  Having no idea where to begin this process, Matt started praying about opportunities to go.  Without knowing Matt’s interest in missions, his friend Drew asked him if he’d be interested in going with him this summer.  Four months later, they are both going to East Asia for the summer. Matt will have the opportunity to engage university students by taking language classes on campus.  Outside of class they will connect with local believers and disciple college students in a local church.  Matt is well equipped for this, as he has been involved with international students at Samford.  Matt has been able to develop strong friendships with students from East Asia and begin to engage in their culture.  This will be valuable as Matt begins his journey this summer.  Matt’s desire is to do life with people, build relationships, learn a new language and share the gospel with people who have never heard. “Going mid-Term gives me the opportunity to do all of those things and gain direction for whether God is calling me to go Long-Term” says, Matt.  Matt and Drew will leave May 30th and serve for three months.
Matt’s perfect Saturday would be going to the park with his American and International friends, complemented with Frisbee, fellowship, food and conversation.  Usually best concluded with dinner together and staying up till ridiculous hours of the morning.  And where a Waffle House run after 2am is always a possibility.

Ways To Pray for Matt:

Pray for Matt to have patience in travel, relationships, learning a new language, living with others and adapting to a new culture.

Pray for confidence in God’s sovereignty regardless of the situation.

Pray for God to give wisdom in who and where to invest the limited time Matt will have once he is in East Asia.

 

 

SARAH – West Africa

Sarah Witkowski is a native of Peachtree City, Georgia.  Currently she is a student athlete studying public relations at UAB.  She has been at The Church at Brook Hills since 2011 where she is involved in leading a small group.  Sarah began to pray about going Mid-Term this past fall.  She knew her summer would be a great opportunity to serve for longer period of time.  While she has been excited about going, it has been challenging convincing others that this is a good idea.  Sarah will be going to a difficult area in West Africa that will require great physical and spiritual strength.  There, she will be living in a hut in a village engaging the Hausa people.  The Hausa are one of the largest unreached people groups in West Africa.  Sarah said, “I desire to be a Mid-Termer because one of the best ways to share the gospel with people to is live life together.  It is what Jesus did with his disciples and I will have the opportunity to live among and share Christ with the Hausa in this way”.  While Sarah is in West Africa she will be living among the Hausa and sharing recorded gospel stories in the Hausa language.  She will leave at the end of May and serve for 2 months.

Sarah’s perfect Saturday is going to Crestline bagel shop, hammocking in the park for the afternoon armed with a C.S. Lewis book and a cup of hot tea.

Ways to Pray for Sarah:

Pray for the physical health of Sarah and her team.

Pray for the Spirit to begin to soften the hearts of the Hausa people who Sarah will come in contact with to hear the gospel.

Pray for Sarah to have patience as she learns a new language.

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