Author Archives: Brian

About Brian

I am a follower of Jesus, blessed with a wife, two children, and a call to serve God as a missionary journalist sharing stories of His work in Southern Africa.

Celebrating missions

What a whirlwind it’s been lately! With the fundraising appeal prep work, the special writing assignment, the magazine redesign and issue, and new prayer cards, I’ve been blessed with a great flurry of work.

Now, it’s time to celebrate some more!

Every year, Browncroft Community Church (2530 Browncroft Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14625) dedicates a week to celebrating missions and the work they help support. It was Tracy’s home church growing up and launched each of us into missionary work, so it’s always a joy to visit them and celebrate together. I’m excited to share our new prayer cards and preview the new magazine (finalized and approved earlier this week) at this year’s Global Outreach Celebration.

They hold their worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. We’ll be there in the morning (and other times throughout the week), so come on down and say hello! It’s always a wonderful place to worship God.

Please pray for us to bless and be blessed in each of these opportunities:

  • sharing about our ministry at a display table between services and after second service
  • sharing about our ministry in a breakout group at the Women’s Fellowship
  • attending the 20th anniversary celebration of BCC’s partnership with the Wolof people group, which is also how Tracy and I got involved in missions and where we still have many friends
  • a missionaries-only retreat luncheon (always a blessing to us and a wonderful time to connect with others in this work)
  • presenting about missionary work to their Kids Club
  • sharing about our ministry (along with several other missionaries) at retirees group
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Celebrating a major milestone

What a joy to celebrate! The magazine is complete!

Late in August, the South Africa office in Cape Town asked our regional office in Johannesburg to oversee creating the next issue of their magazine. The colleague who has been doing it for years was departing, and they still haven’t filled my old role there. Moreover, they wanted the design to be updated, and this seemed an ideal time. Would we be willing, and would it be possible to complete it in time to send out by November 15? Printing, stuffing and mailing preparation would require a few weeks, so I would need to be done by Oct. 24.

Learn the computer program. Arrange, obtain, write and edit the content and all images. Design the pages and ensure it’s all error-free. Do most of that by myself. For the first time. In two months. “Yes!” but also “Yowza!”

So for the past five and a half weeks, I’ve been living at my computer. Workday? Do the magazine. Meetings? On the magazine. Insomnia? Might as well go down and do the magazine. Helping my elderly parents for the weekend? Take the laptop, and work on the magazine while they’re napping. With a deadline so ambitious, I’ve spent every moment I could muster on this. I’ve pushed late into almost every night to ensure that when my Cape Town colleagues arrived at the office by 9 a.m. (3 a.m. for me), they would have the absolute most they could to work with, consider, and redirect, as they leave the office around 11 a.m. for me.

I’ve been so busy that despite having many joyful things to tell our supporters, I haven’t been able to make time to share more than a few scattered Facebook updates to keep the prayers coming.

It’s been a joy and a very satisfying opportunity to make some long overdue changes and updates, but it has also been an enormous challenge. Earlier this morning, I finally completed the magazine and held a printed, cut-to-size facsimile in my hand. Three years of ideas and dreaming and hoping and a little over a month of fervent effort finally real and tangible and present. It’s not really finished (it’s complete (all there) but still has to be finessed and approved and adjusted) and my printer doesn’t reach the same quality that the real copies will have (the colors are duller, the paper rougher, the text and images aren’t as crisp), but I’ve never held a product I was more pleased by or prouder of making.

God blesses each of us with different talents, skills, knowledge, and abilities, but there’s nothing that can’t be offered up to Him as a gift of service. The ministry I am able to perform from here contributes vitally to the work happening around the world by sharing the good news of what God is doing in and through lives and ministries. The Lord deserves our very best work, and I’m pleased to say that this magazine represents that. It looks professional, even beautiful, and it tells of beautiful things being done around the world in His name.

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Praying, speaking, & acting against xenophobia and gender violence

This is a piece I wrote for our mission’s South Africa office following some high-profile crimes there against women and immigrants. You can read it below or at their web site, www.sim.org.za.


 

The first sin committed was putting selfish ambition before loving God. The second was putting selfish anger before loving another human being. They have plagued us ever since.

Continue reading

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The National Day of Prayer 2019

https://mailchi.mp/42f1b2c94158/x2vipm43zx-1493865

 

Friends and family praying over us at our commissioning service at Crosswinds Wesleyan Church in 2016.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.

— Romans 8:26 (Berean Study Bible)

National Day of Prayer

Dear friends, family, and partners,

The verse above has always been one of great comfort for me: that even when we don’t know what to say or ask in prayer, it is enough for us to reach out to Him, and He will do the rest.

“…the LORD does not see as man does. For man sees the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).

The Lord looks at our hearts, and He calls us to immerse ourselves in His. Yes, He is a god of holiness and of commandments, but those are because He is a god of love. “Love one another, just as I have loved you,” Jesus instructed us in John 13:34.

When we approach Him in prayer, whether broken as sinners or grateful as saved or joyful as children, He delights in our hearts, in our love. Prayer is spending time with Him, sitting in our Father’s lap, so to speak. Enjoying the blessing of His love, and offering ours in return.

Today was the National Day of Prayer, an event held annually since 1952 but harkening back to our nation’s founding moments and through its times of great trial and triumph. Its theme this year was “Love One Another,” drawn from that verse in John 13:34.

I was glad to be able to attend an observance at a local high school, where dozens believers of different denominations prayed together for the good of our country and all the people within it. We prayed for all those in America to love one another, for the church in America to be united in love even when we disagree on doctrine, for the families and workplaces and communities in America to love one another, for all ethnicities and people to love one another, and for all of us to pray for and participate in a great spiritual awakening in America. The full list of prayer points can be read at https://nationaldayofprayer.org/prayer-guide.

Whether you were able to attend an event today, whether you knew it was the official day of prayer, and whether you prayed those things or others, I hope you were able to spend some time talking with God and feeling the warmth of His love for you. Today and every day.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, and encouragement, and may God bless each of you and all you hold dear.

In Christ’s love,
Brian and the family

In case you missed it…

Last fall, I (Brian) was appointed to a new position: media coordinator for a ten-country region in Southern Africa. Working primarily from home, I continue to help gather and share stories of what God is doing through and in the people and ministries of SIM.This position change moved me from SIM South Africa’s office in Cape Town to SIM’s Southern Africa Service Center (SASC) in Johannesburg. SASC provides various administrative services for SIM teams in Angola 🇦🇴, Botswana 🇧🇼, Madagascar 🇲🇬, Malawi 🇲🇼, Mauritius 🇲🇺, Mozambique 🇲🇿, Namibia 🇳🇦, Réunion 🇷🇪, Zambia 🇿🇲, and Zimbabwe 🇿🇼.

Praises and Prayer Requests

We give praise:
•    for the privileges and opportunities that come with being Americans.
•    for the ways He has blessed this nation and its people, including making a nation out of people from many lands and cultures.

We ask prayers:
•    for those petitions listed by the organizers of the National Day of Prayer, especially for love to heal the divisions rife within our land and people.
•    for God to guide and protect people around the world, including leaders at every level and in every endeavor.
•    for the Lord’s love to be shown brightly through His followers.
•    for people to be touched by today’s event and drawn closer to Him.

How can we pray for you?

PARTNER WITH US

You can help us continue to show God’s love to others by continuous prayer and through monthly or one-time financial donations.

We appreciate each contribution – we could not do this without you!

Make a one-time or monthly donation

LET’S STAY CONNECTED!

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
The Heffron Family
Brian’s email
Tracy’s email
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