20010114 Brigada Today

In this issue….

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PACE-LAB CONFERENCE IN LOUISVILLE JUST ONE MONTH AWAY

PACE-Lab is a unique event designed to help you and your church maximize the experience of adopting an unreached people group. (Disclaimer: Doug Lucas is one of the key planners and implementers of the event. So there’s got to be a way to work soccer into this somehow. :-) ) Each session is geared for action and results. The dates are Feb. 15-17 at Kavanaugh Conference Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Organizers are setting up an environment that will permit you to link up with other churches and agencies to navigate the potentially-troublesome waters of world evangelism. You’ll be directed toward helpful project outlines, CD’s, job descriptions, web pages, to-do lists, and videos. There’s lots of time for questions and some special time given to Brigada itself, including how we can improve the Brigada experience all the more. We follow up each session by helping participants develop actual plans, measurable goals and, Lord willing, tangible results. Interested? Check it out on the web at: http://www.teamexpansion.org/pacelab You can study the hour-by-hour schedule, look at the map and driving directions, and even register & pay the minimal program fee online! We’d love to have you there!
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SURVEY YIELDS DEMOGRAPHIC SHAPSHOT OF BRIGADA FAMILY

Brigada Logo The results are in (from literally hundreds of participants), and the survey said…

  1. 1/3 of us subscribed to Brigada because of an email from a friend. So… would you send a note to a friend today to ask him/her to subscribe to Brigada?
  2. 1/4 of us have been a part of the family for 4 years or more. Whoa. How in the world have you put up with these weekly emails for all that time??? :-)
  3. 41% said they read 100% of each issue! Another 38% average reading at least 3/4 of each edition. All of which goes to show… we’d better find some good stuff to say or someone’s going to be very bored. :-)
  4. 90% said the typical edition is “the right length”! yahoooooo!Yahoo :-)
  5. 83% preferred to keep our mailings “weekly”.
  6. Well over half said that they gleaned something that “made a positive difference” in their ministries at least once a month. Yikes… Brigada Logo what can we say this week??? :-)
  7. Two-thirds of us have purchased something “technology-related” as a result of seeing it in Brigada Today. (Now if we only had an advertising department that could use that statistic! :-) Just kidding.)
  8. 75% said they had referred someone else to Brigada. Yahooo! :-) No wonder we don’t need an advertising department! :-)
  9. Some 2/3 of us have never visited the eGroups website. So much for their advertising theories! :-)
  10. and now…. [drum roll please snare drum ], the statistic that I was most eager to hear, where do we live? Here’s the breakdown:
    • 59% in USA or Canada
    • 13% Asia & the Middle East
    • 12% Western/Central Europe
    • 9% Africa
    • 4% Latin America
    • 2% Australia/Oceania
    • 1% Eastern Eur./Russia.

    I think what surprised me most was the low numbers in Latin America. (Que lastima!) But I was also pretty shocked that there were just as many Asians involved as there were Europeans!

  11. 1/3 of us are field missionaries and 1/5 are other agency people. A ton of us are lay people, just caring about missions! Yessssss!
  12. 94% of us speak English as our first language.
  13. 3/4 of us are male. But … hey… 1/4 are female! That’s a better result than I see in many other missions venues!
  14. but get this — 1/4 of us are between the ages of 50 and 59! Who says there’s a technology generation gap! :-)

But I guess the feature I enjoyed most was the freeform commentary… all the verbatim responses and “get it off your chest” kinds of things. There were tons of people … I mean scads… who said they regretted that many items seemed designed for a USA audience. (Okay.. so no more editions dedicated to Internet Banking or payment. Sorry about that! :-) ) And many people encouraged briefer items. Oops!! I’m outa here! :-)

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IF YOU NEED TO DO A SURVEY

By the way, if you or your organization would ever like to better understand the needs & values of your field personnel, prospective field workers, donors, church partners, or people groups you’re seeking to reach, I highly recommend you consider Jim McGee at Campbell Research jmcgeeatcampbell-researchdotcom  (jmcgeeatcampbell-researchdotcom)  . It was simply a joy to work with him on the Brigada readership survey and he invested acres of time, simply as a courtesy to the Brigada community. So naturally we’re going to recommend him in hopes that someday someone will actually pay the guy something so he can buy food for his kids!!! Seriously, Campbell Research has done research projects for the likes of Frontiers, Wycliffe, the Far East Broadcasting Company and other missions agencies in the past. Give him a try… please!
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WEB-WATCH: SEE THE CITIES OF THE WORLD BY NIGHT

WebWatch This is what the world looks like at night! http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights_dmsp_big.jpg Give it a minute to load, it’s a high resolution composite of hundreds of images made by NASA satellites orbiting the earth at night. How’s that for perspective? Can you find your favorite cities on this image? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. Where are the masses of the 10/40 Window? Take a look! Of course, this doesn’t show the rural masses where electricity and therefore lights are less common, but what a view of the cities! See also http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap001127.html (Thanks to Rod for tipping us off to this great site!)
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HEARTLAND MISSIONSFEST (50 WORKSHOPS, 100 AGENCIES)

calendar The tenth Heartland MissionsFest will take place Feb. 22-24 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with tracks on long-term missions, short-term trips, and serving as senders. Speakers include George Verwer, David Shibley, Betty Barnett, Bill Berry, John Dupree, Steve Hawthorne, Steve Hoke, Neal Pirolo, David Smithers, Tom Telford, Keith Wheeler and John Zumwalt. The last conference drew 2,000 participants from 15 schools, 21 states, 67 churches and 97 agencies. Co-sponsors include ACMC, Ask A Missionary, Caleb Project, and the U.S. Center for World Mission. Read the brochure and register online at http://www.askamissionary.com/hmf.html or phone 800-366-6641.
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GET READY TO RUMBLE – TRAVEL PREPARATION HELPS

Brigada autoresponder I’m compiling this week’s Brigada Today while traveling through 3 sites in Asia and I’m reminded again just how important it is to do good preparation prior to travel. You can get some great tips for packing (for both short- and long-term experiences) by sending a simple email to: packingatbrigadadotorg  (packingatbrigadadotorg)   Our autoresponder will wing its way into your inbox in no time flat with a 36K file on everything from how to get the most out of a suitcase to what to pack in your carry-on. Literally dozens of Brigada readers participated in compiling this October ’99 file. For those who want to stay connected while venturing abroad, send an email to: email_traveling_tipsatbrigadadotorg  (email_traveling_tipsatbrigadadotorg)   This 14K file was compiled from a series of items focusing on how to raise your chances of being an effective global communicator while on the road. And when you’re ready to book your flight, write to: travelatbrigadadotorg  (travelatbrigadadotorg)   This 19K annotated list of resources just might refer you to an agent or agency that could save you hundreds of dollars. Thanks to Bob, our volunteer web-genius, for programming this autoresponder feature into our website.
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MORE ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION

If you’re having trouble getting along with someone, but can’t afford the shrink next door, you can at least download our help file on the subject. Just send a note to: conflict-resolutionatbrigadadotorg  (conflict-resolutionatbrigadadotorg)   Hey… if you can’t settle a fight with someone, just send them that file. Maybe they’ll find it in their heart to get along with you! :-)
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FEBRUARY IS “PRAY FOR THE FULANI MONTH”

Some 26 million Fulani, speaking more than 41 dialects of the Pulaar language, live throughout the Sahel region, across Africa from Senegal in the West, and as far as Sudan in the East! The Fulani have been Muslims for centuries. Patrick Johnston described the Fulani as one of the Gateway people groups of the world. Any significant ‘turning to Christ’ among the Fulani would greatly influence other Peoples throughout the African region. Imagine the impact of 10, 20, 50, or even more than 100 thousand people, all praying and fasting for the Fulani during February 2001! A prayer guide is available for the February “PRAY 4 THE FULBE” prayer project. Full info on the Web site “Pray 4 the Fulbe” http://www.africamissions.com/fulbe.htm If you don’t have access to the web, try writing johandotbesteratlapostedotnet  (johandotbesteratlapostedotnet)   for more information.
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FROM THE “NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK” DEPARTMENT: BAHASA FILMS?

movie camera From time to time, let’s feature a “needle in a haystack” search. The only condition: you’ve got to agree to write back to tell us if you’re successful. Like this week, Tom Tgaudetataoldotcom  (Tgaudetataoldotcom)   is looking for some Moody Science Films in the Bahasa Indonesian language. (Hey… I told you it was a needle in a haystack!) Evidently, Moody did like 8 films in Bahasa… but they’re all out of print. So Tom is holding out hope that somebody has a couple of them sitting, gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Let’s pitch in and help the guy out. I sent him first to brigada-peoples and he didn’t hear a peep there. I hate it when that happens. So let’s get those wires hot. Start those telegraphs a hummin’. Surely somebody among the 10,000 of us has heard of Bahasa before! :-) (Warning: Please don’t write me about it. I can’t even pronounce Bahasa. :-) Write Tom. He’ll be a happy camper. Thanks!!!)
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AN INTENSIVE COURSE ON CHRISTIAN COMICS AND CARTOONING

graduation cap Centro Cultural Milamex A.C. and Prisma Magazine are hosting a Christian comics training in Cuernavaca, Mexico from February 2-5, 2001. The teachers will be Mexican cartoonist Paco Palafox and ROX35 COMIX instructors Nate Butler and Len Cowan. You can learn more about the ROX35 COMIX training ministry at this web site http://www.rox35.org or by emailing ROX35atrox35dotorg  (ROX35atrox35dotorg)  . For more information on this course in Mexico, please contact Centro Cultural Milamex A.C., Matamoros 29 Col. del Carmen, Coyoacan. 04100 Mexico, D.F., Fax/Tel: 5659 6930, email Ccmprismaataoldotcom  (Ccmprismaataoldotcom)  .
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SATURATION CHURCH PLANTING: THREE DAY SEMINAR

calendar Here’s a three-day training course laying out the basic principles and strategies of saturation church planting. This seminar is geared for mission leaders and any missionary who wants to better understand the enabling of national church planting movements in the countries where they work. It is taught in Europe and the United States by those actually doing SCP. The next seminar dates are February 5-7 and will be held at the Center for Intercultural Training in Union Mills, North Carolina. For more information, contact Patti at citinfoatcompuservedotcom  (citinfoatcompuservedotcom)   or call 800-887-1786 in the USA or via Net2Phone or visit http://www.citi.org.
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EASY-ENGLISH EVANGELISTIC MATERIAL BY EMAIL

The quarterly evangelistic paper SOON in easy-English is now also available by email. Articles may be freely re-used or translated. Send a blank email to: soon-subscribeatsoondotorg  (soon-subscribeatsoondotorg)  
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UREACH.COM SET TO START CHARGING

letter and ligntening bolt In times past, we’ve recommended ureach.com as a universal inbox, including (in its initial year or two) a personal toll-free number for free! Well — no more. Starting next month, ureach.com will begin charging for those types of services. Some are still free, so it’s worth a look — but thanks to Ted and Tom for drawing attention to the fact that the free lunch is over. :-( It was good while it lasted. But hey… these folks have to make a living somehow! :-)
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COLUMBIA LAUNCHES NEW DELIVERY SYSTEM

graduation cap Beginning with the Urbana Missions Conference, Columbia Biblical Seminary & School of Missions launched its Advancement In Ministry (AIM) track for delivering degree programs. AIM enables students to fulfill the residence requirements for a degree by spending a maximum of four weeks per year on the school’s South Carolina campus. One week intensive courses are combined with independent learning courses, enabling students to complete a Certificate (10 courses) in twenty months, a Master of Arts (20 courses) in forty months, or a Master of Divinity (30 courses) in sixty months. AIM’s pages on the CBS website may be viewed at http://www.ciu.edu/aim or write the coordinator jharveyatciudotedu  (jharveyatciudotedu)   directly.
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ESCAPE BIG EMAIL ATTACHMENTS FOREVER

letter and ligntening bolt If your Internet connection is slow or paid for by the minute, you have probably been bothered by people sending you, without asking, huge file attachments which take 5, 10, 15 minutes or more to download. And that’s assuming they don’t stall halfway through the download process! But until they are downloaded, you have a queue of emails you can’t get at! There are several ways to get round the problem:

  1. If you use the excellent Eudora emailer, in Options/Attachments, select ‘put attachments in body of message’, and in ‘checking mail’ select a small maximum file size to skip. (The Pegasus email program offers a similar facility). Reset it after, if you wish to receive normal-sized attachments.
  2. Download the little free utility Email Remover (for Win95+). This allows you to view emails waiting for you, and delete any you wish to from the server without downloading them at all. It can be set up for multiple email accounts: http://www.snip.net/help/eremove.htm
  3. Use the procedure described in a recent Brigada Today to download POP3 email into a Hotmail account. Ensure that it is set up not to leave email on the server. Then delete selected emails via the Hotmail webpage.

(Thanks to Tony tonyatsoondotorgdotuk  (tonyatsoondotorgdotuk)   from the UK for these tips! And yes… it is a hassle, Tony!)

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THE BACKPAGE: ESCAPING THE RAT RACE

books and penDid you ever have one of those weeks where you just had to say “Whew!” at the end? You know… the hectic kind… with phone calls, to do lists, databases, visits to make, books to read, doctoral dissertations to write, financial reports to compile, lessons to prepare… not to mention personal quiet times waiting in the wings. Is it my imagination, or does it seem to you that there are more of those these days than there were, even, say… five years ago? What’s happening to our lives? Makes me want to wish for one of the stopwatches I saw on an old Twilight Zone re-run. You know the episode… the guy clicks off the watch and the whole world stops except for him? He gets a chance to tidy up his shop or learn the violin, then … click… he starts the watch again and the whole world kicks back into gear without so much as a stutter. “Whoa”, they say, “You’re sure making fast progress on the violin!” :-)

So what can missionary-types do in times like these? Visit your local Dick’s Sporting-goods store and try out all the stopwatches? :-) Nice try. Here’s a more practical alternative. First, go through the list and find any and all items that are so urgent and so important that you simply positively have to finish them before anything else. Rank those as a “1”. Maybe some of them can be delegated to someone else (like, if you’re fortunate enough to have a secretary). Some of them might be so big that you have to break them down into smaller, bite-sized steps. If so, break them out if you must.

Don’t be so quick to rank an item high just because it’s urgent. Stephen Covey (author of 7 Habits books) does a good job of helping us see the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important. My doctoral dissertation isn’t urgent, but it’s probably important. (So why am I sitting here writing a Brigada Today BackPage editorial when I could be writing a dissertation? Probably because the dissertation looks so big that it’s no fun to tackle. By contrast, I can whip out a Brigada Today in just a few hours or so. So … here’s a memo to myself: Work the important things in as well as the seemingly urgent.

Next, start assigning a rank to the other items on the list. I used to try ranking things from 1 to a hundred… but I’ve come to believe it’s almost counterproductive to do that. (By the time you finish the list, the day is done!) Use 1 to 10 or whatever is manageable for you.

Once you’re done, change the order of the items to reflect the new look and feel of a managed task list. Now, look at the first item on the list and get started. When you finish it, celebrate (but only for a moment), then take off on the next item and so on.

Now here’s the key to escaping a hectic day. Here’s what I tell our mission’s Personnel Director when he’s feeling the pressure of a whole page full of items: Just do one at a time. That’s the secret to survival in a hurry-up world. “One line at a time.” Avoid seeing the list as a big stack of things. Just see it as one line (the next one) and tackle it ’til it’s finished.

Now a final word about “biggie” items. For example, during the past 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve been working with my boys to build a soccer practice area in our basement. It’s not huge, but it was a big challenge for me – over 26 feet long, just over 13 feet wide, complete with “dasherboards” (like an ice skating rink), goals, real indoor turf, … the works. I set a goal to have it finished before I left for this trip to Asia and just about everything on the to do list had to wait. Now maybe that’s good, in a sense. Singleminded determination and enthusasism are good things. But along the way, I’ve had to review my “family” to do list each evening to see what, if any, smaller items were slipping. Some nights I had to take time away for helping the kids with a homework question, helping Penny hang a curtain in the bedroom, or spending time with a family we might have invited over for a meal. I guess what I’m saying is that we can’t let this “one line at a time” thing keep us from eyeing the rest of the list on a daily basis, to make sure we don’t let a really important item fall through the cracks. Like… I didn’t finish grooming the dog before I left (poor pitiful- looking thing! :-)). But now that I’ve left, I’ve got to let go of it. I can’t let it keep bugging me. I’ve got to let go. Release it.

Okay… so there you have it. Magical stuff . . . stuff that’ll help you hang in there over the long haul. “One line at a time!”

And be careful… it’s a jungle out there. :-)
Doug

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COPYRIGHT — This issue of Brigada Today is Copyrighted © 2001. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials, including those available through email autoresponders, provided that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Christianity to reach the unreached. But please include this phrase: “For a free subscription of Brigada‘s weekly missions publication, write <brigada-today-subscribeategroupsdotcom  (brigada-today-subscribeategroupsdotcom)  >.”
IMPORTANT: To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted.

DISCLAIMER — Please note that there’s no way we can possibly screen all the text on all the web sites or items we recommend. We try to check them out first… but if we miss something, please don’t assume that the opinions on those sites are identical to those of the Brigada family of networks. “Eat the corn, leave the cob!” ear of corn
For subscription questions or problems, write helpatbrigadadotorg  (helpatbrigadadotorg)  .

SUBMITTING CONTENT — To submit content or ideas to Brigada Today, first please get a copy of “Guidelines for submitting items to Brigada” Then, once you’ve composed your item in keeping with those guidelines, send your item for Brigada Today to DLucasatteamexpansiondotorg  (DLucasatteamexpansiondotorg)  .
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Emphasis is placed on items relating to unreached peoples and challenges faced by those reaching them cross-culturally.

not symbolPLEASE DON’T SUBSCRIBE US TO YOUR LIST — It’s always better to ask before manually force-adding anyone to your list-serve or mailing list. Recently, tons of well-meaning people have been subscribing Doug to their lists. Since he often travels overseas, he doesn’t join many of those, for obvious reasons (like being charged big-time for overseas access). So as a general rule, please don’t bulk-mail us! See the note above if you’d like to submit items for Brigada Today. Thanks for understanding. Bottom line: We will never create Brigada Today items from bulk mail. Bulk mail gets deleted immediately — sorry. Nothing personal. We suggest you apply the same standard to everyone. Ask first!

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BRIGADA TODAY IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FOLLOWING TEAM OF REGULAR VOLUNTEERS:

*Global Glimpses: John Hanna, Caleb Project, jhannaatcprojectdotcom  (jhannaatcprojectdotcom)  
*Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew, WebServantatbrigadadotorg  (WebServantatbrigadadotorg)  
*Brigada Customer Service Manager: helpatbrigadadotorg  (helpatbrigadadotorg)  
*Brigada Coordinator: Doug Lucas, Team Expansion & Brigada, DLucasatteamexpansiondotorg  (DLucasatteamexpansiondotorg)  
*and many other occasional contributors too numerous to mention!
But thanks for working together! That’s the dream of Brigada!

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