Friends and family, I trust you are experiencing the sustaining grace of Jesus through these challenging times. While you did not gather on Easter to worship the Risen King with other believers, I pray that the reality of the resurrection still filled you with Christ’s living hope.
I am so burdened for all of you who are suffering physically with the virus or with other scary symptoms. I am interceding for all of you who are facing job uncertainty and financial insecurity. I am concerned for all of you dealing with overwhelming isolation and loneliness. These are terrifying times. May God’s perfect love be so real to you that all fear is cast out of your hearts! Please contact me if I can pray for you!
Our family is dealing with seclusion with humor amidst the frustration. Leah graciously endured (or enjoyed) a three-week separation from me, as I self-quarantined myself because of symptoms. Maria is doing a great job finishing her college coursework, although she admits she much prefers being on campus. Rebekah starts a nanny job soon even with the strict stay-at-home order she faces in New Jersey. She is still waiting for her social work license to be processed, which may take some time since the government offices are closed. Victoria and Maria are doing childcare for some friends of our family. Most of Victoria’s music students are postponing their lessons until they can meet face-to-face. She is hoping that she and Noah do not have to postpone their wedding in May. Please pray for them!
Our church family is missing our times of corporate worship, although we did hold a brief, drive-in service on Easter Sunday (see above). We met for 20 minutes before a thunderstorm rolled in. My family and I are continuing to reach out to our neighbors. I pray for five neighbor families daily, and we passed out 33 copies of the Jesus Film over Easter weekend. We are writing notes to them to keep in touch during this quarantine period. This week we launch a neighborhood Facebook page to help our neighbors connect more effectively. I am praying about and starting to organize a post-covid block party, whenever we are able to gather again. We love our neighbors!
For those of you new to our newsletter, let me explain a little of my own recent experience. (For you faithful readers, please skip over the next paragraph.) I am diagnosed with severe axonopathic polyneuropathy. My feet have no feeling left, and my ankles and lower legs are severely numb. My ability to drive is extremely limited and I walk like I am Frankenstein’s monster. My hands have constant pain and numbness which impact my fine motor skills. Writing and computer work are difficult. The symptoms continue to progress. My wonderful team of doctors are unable to find a cause and are trying to set up an appointment with a very busy neuromuscular specialist at the medical school in Little Rock. I took a medical leave of absence last July 1st which turned into my resignation. I am now unemployed and unemployable. Although the courts are now greatly limited, I anxiously await a hearing to deal with my disability claim. For most of the past two years, I have worn a boot on one or the other of my feet to heal wounds (see above). Yet, through this trial God has proven Himself faithful time and time again.
I thank God for this past year! I have experienced God’s presence and peace in overwhelming fashion. Daily I wake up completely dependent upon His grace and mercy for absolutely everything. Corrie ten Boom has said, “You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.” I am privileged to live that truth every moment of every day!
One of the Scriptures that God continually brings me back to is the invitation that Jesus gives to us to “come” to Him when we labor and are heavy laden, so He can give us rest. I daily experience the reality of these words, and yearn for others who are now hurting to experience Jesus, too. I can’t help but think that God will use my experience to help others meet Him. People are really traumatized right now, and Jesus wants to heal their hurting hearts.
I am praying that God will spread the comfort He has given me to comfort others. To accomplish that, I sense God leading me to restart plans I had several years ago.
After three decades of pastoral ministry, including planting churches, acting as chaplain, serving as a children’s/youth worker, leading as camp director, and shepherding existing congregations, I am now beginning a private ministry that will serve pastors and local church fellowships. Details can be found at bheinen.com. Many pastors, especially those serving in smaller congregations, often need people to come alongside and encourage them and assist them with duties that they don’t have time to fulfill. The foundation of this new ministry is prayerful dependence upon our mighty God, and I will take every opportunity I can to personally pray for my pastor friends. My family remains committed to praying specifically for our neighbors as we reach them with the love and truth of Jesus Christ.
To exalt Jesus, I will focus on three main areas:
- Communicator. I hope to give pastors a needed break by providing church pulpit supply. I also am available to speak at camps and conferences. I am a trained FaithSearch Discovery presenter, and encourage your church or group to host this wonderful evangelism/apologetics seminar. Check out what FaithSearch is all about at faithsearch.org.
- Counselor. Many pastors just don’t have as much time to invest in biblical counseling as they desire. I will make myself available to help busy pastors out in this area. I am now a SYMBIS premarital assessment facilitator, and would love to do premarital counseling for those whose pastors are too busy to do so. I am also a certified Fresh Hope group facilitator, and hope to lead support groups all around our community for those with a mental health diagnosis (and those who love them).
- Coach. The role of a life coach is to help people decide where they want to go in certain areas of their lives and help them get there. The Christian Life Coach helps people discover where Jesus Christ wants them to go, and helps them get there by the power of the Holy Spirit. I would love to help individuals and groups be all that Christ wants them to be. My special areas of interest are Spiritual Formation, and equipping people going through transitions in life. If your church is between pastors right now, I would love to “coach” your entire church family during this transition.
Jesus Christ is my life, my everything. I want everyone to know Him. To borrow words from the apostle Paul, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28 ESV). This is my desire. Would you help me?
I need your prayer! Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts and lives. I simply want to be His instrument. Contact me to be part of our prayer team.
I need your financial partnership. Would you prayerfully consider giving a generous gift to help me get started? How about a monthly gift? I hope to make all my services available for whatever people can afford. This means I will need supporters like you to supplement what clients can give. Right now, until we become a 501c3 organization, donations will just be considered gifts and are not tax deductible. You can give by sending a gift to our home address or by visiting bheinen.com. I realize that during this time of economic upheaval in our nation, this is the worst possible time to ask for funds. Yet, there are so many now who need spiritual encouragement.
I need you to use my services and refer them to others. How can I serve you? Your group? Your church family? Please let your friends know I am available. I can’t wait to share my incredible Savior with you and your friends.
Please contact me if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.
Rev. Brian Heinen
802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802