Monthly Archives: January 2005

20050130 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. MEMBER CARE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS WORKSHOP
2. USING CYBERCAFES FOR OUTREACH IN THE 10-40 WINDOW
3. AOL PARTICIPANTS GOING STRONG
4. MISSION AND MISSIOLOGY DISCUSION FORUMS
5. EASYENGLISH (WYCLIFFE ASSOCIATES UK) INTRODUCE ‘LIFE OF JESUS’
6. “PRACTICAL MINISTRIES” AND “SCHOOL OF MISSION” COURSES
7. NEED TRAINING FOR YOUR SHORT TERM TEAM?
8. WITH A GRATEFUL HEART…
9. ISSUES IN MISSIONARY MENTAL HEALTH
10. CLOSING STUFF

1. MEMBER CARE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS WORKSHOP — Wycliffe Bible Translators International will offer the 2005 Member Care in Crisis Situations Workshop June 13-17 in Dallas, Texas. The workshop includes discussion of crisis impact, organization issues related to crisis, and peer debrief training and practice. Participants should plan to attend the entire workshop, 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday. A registration fee of $100.00 is due upon registration to reserve a place in the workshop and is refundable until May 13, 2005. Workshop size is limited. Room and board fees for the workshop are $145.00/person, due upon arrival. For information or reservations contact International Member Care at: member_care_intl(at)wycliffe(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .].
2. USING CYBERCAFES FOR OUTREACH IN THE 10-40 WINDOW — People in poorer countries are desperate to learn computing skills, get online, and communicate by email. Where the ownership of a personal computer is out of the question, cybercafes are strategic. These articles share strategies for implementing a cybercafe ministry: http://www.cybermissions.org/icafe/index.html (Thanks Tony!!! You’re a great helper!)
3. AOL PARTICIPANTS GOING STRONG — Many (and we do mean *many*) AOL participants wrote to say they’re still receiving Brigada just fine. Bottom line: If you’ve had trouble receiving Brigada Today, it could be you need to check your individual anti-spam settings and make sure you didn’t inadvertently block it. (AOL Keyword “spam”) As an example, Mike wrote, ” In the lower left corner of the mailbox screen (the screen that lists the mail you have) there is a blue link which says “Spam Folder.” Click on that link, and it will list all of the mail that has been blocked out because it was suspected as spam. There is a button marked “This is not spam.” With Brigada highlighted on the spam list, click this button. It will send Brigada to the new mail list. Usually it will not be blocked anymore after this. It is a good idea to delete all of the real spam from the spam folder periodically. This will make it easier to find other mail that has wrongly been flagged as spam.” And Larry added, “Doug, Brigada Today is NOT blocked by AOL, I’ve got about 9+ years (from Nov 95) of archives to prove it. It is easy with some AOL versions to list something as span and get it blocked from your individual account. It takes a while to go thru the instructions and unblock an address, but AOL sure doesn’t block the domain or newsletter to all AOL addresses.” Thanks for the help Mike, and encouragement, Larry! And thanks to all the others who responded. (By the way, Larry has held the more-or-less formal role of “Mr. Brigada Tech Support” now for years. You can even write him at: BrigadaTechSupport(at)Brigada(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .])
4. MISSION AND MISSIOLOGY DISCUSION FORUMS — Have you heard about the series of mission and Missiology discussion forums formerly hosted by Global Mapping, and now hosted by FamilyNet? They are available as e- mail mailing lists, as news (NNTP) or (still!) as BBS echoes. For more information see:

http://www.geocities.com/missionalia/lists.htm

(Congratulations to them for being around even longer than Brigada! :-)) (Thanks Steve!)
5. EASYENGLISH (WYCLIFFE ASSOCIATES UK) INTRODUCE ‘LIFE OF JESUS’ — The Life of Jesus Bible Study Course is available as a single file or as 112 small files. It was written be Professor Barrie Wetherill at EasyEnglish level B and may be downloaded from http://www.easyenglish.info . More information about EasyEnglish may be obtained from martin(at)easyenglish(dot)info .
6. “PRACTICAL MINISTRIES” AND “SCHOOL OF MISSION” COURSES — You are invited to study for free with other interactive students at the “Agape-Biblia” site! The new intensive schedule starts on 28 Feb., and at two lessons per week you will finish the 13-lesson Introductory Semester in 6.5 weeks. Registration deadline is 23 Feb. You’ll get a unique ID and password. To check out the courses and enroll, go to: http://www.agape-biblia.org

USA callers can contact Agape-Biblia toll-free (others can call via Skype or Net2Phone) 1-877-998-0341. By email: stargate(at)agape- biblia(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
7. NEED TRAINING FOR YOUR SHORT TERM TEAM? — Details of your Short- term Mission trips consuming you? Wonder what you’ll do about training this spring? For the harried youth pastor or mission team leader, consider using the study guide “Before You Pack Your Bag, Prepare Your Heart”. It provides what each team member needs through its user- friendly, leader-friendly, spiral-bound Bible Study lessons. It takes a team member through the basics of serving overseas from cultural sensitivity to servant attitudes. A team meeting leaders’ guide is included so you have your training curriculum and devotional guide all in one resource. Check it out and order at: http://www.STEMmin.org or email: Judge190(at)aol(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
8. WITH A GRATEFUL HEART… — Thanks so much to the Chalmers Center, who pitched in again this past week with a $100 gift. In addition, we’re thankful for the anonymous donor from Colorado who sent $100. And thanks to those talking on the telephone with Blessed Hope, who made possible a $20.83 sponsorship this past month! (Please keep talking! :- ) ) Thanks to the anonymous donor from Sweden who keeps giving $5/mon! And to the second giver from Colorado, this time having given $25. Finally, thanks to the donor who worked with a foundation until he arranged for them to give $750! Yahooo! I hope more will follow his lead. We offer praise to God for the way he’s provided so far. If you’d like to help, just log on at http://www.brigada.org then click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or any credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. Thanks! As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.
9. ISSUES IN MISSIONARY MENTAL HEALTH — It’s coming fast! On February 25th & 26th, Missionary Resources of Columbia will hold their annual Issues in Missionary Mental Health conference. It will be hosted on the campus of Columbia International University (in Columbia, SC) and feature speakers well versed in both mental health and missions life. If you would like to attend this two day conference, please contact the MRC office at (803) 254-3313 or by email: info(at)mresourcescolumbia(dot)org or log on at http://www.mresourcescolumbia.org/seminars_and_retreats.htm#IMMH

20050123 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. WANTED: SOMEONE WITH CONTACTS IN FOOD WHOLESALE WORLD
2. OPERATION WORLD
3. VOICE OVER INTERNET
4. BLESS GOD’S CHILDREN WITH NEW BOOKS
5. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE BIBLE REFERENCE MATERIALS
6. SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
7. 2020 VISION: NEW BOOK ABOUT GOD’S WORLDWIDE WORK
8. CONSISTENT COMPUTER BARGAINS
9. RETREATS FOR PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES
10. ANOTHER TAKE ON “ENCOUNTERING NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS”
11. THANKS TO THOSE WHO MAKE BRIGADA WORK!
12. WHAT’S NEXT FOR BRIGADA TODAY?
13. THE BACKPAGE: WHY DO I RUN IN THE RAIN?
14. CLOSING STUFF

1. WANTED: SOMEONE WITH CONTACTS IN FOOD WHOLESALE WORLD — Know anybody who can set this new team up with a bulk food wholesale and distribution network? You’d be a part of a “business as missions” approach that would create an alternative platform for Christian workers among Muslim peoples. The workers have found an excellent product that far exceeds its industry standards for the highest grade. Olive oil… their new company can supply it by the pallet in bottles small and large, plus 5 liter tins. If you can help, write to: oliveoil(at)nym(dot)hush(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. OPERATION WORLD — Secure a special price on this landmark book by Patrick Johnstone by ordering through WEC International. Get case lots of 20 for $100.00 plus postage sent to US addresses only. Contact http://www.wec-usa.org or phone 215-646-2322 ext 150. Ask for Dave.
3. VOICE OVER INTERNET — The ability to speak telephone-style to someone else in real-time over the Internet has been around for a while. This VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is certainly highly usable now. SKYPE is a program that is being highly praised; it is essentially an instant-messaging system with voice. Advantages: – it’s no-pay – it works well – it encrypts communications, so missions with staff in Creative Access nations are using it for safe aural communication – it will even access phones for people who do not have the program – it will do conference calls – though their stated limit is 5 persons, apparently there is a way of increasing this. http://www.skype.com/ (Thanks Tony, for this reminder about Skype.)
4. BLESS GOD’S CHILDREN WITH NEW BOOKS – You can put books into the hands of God’s children with Usborne Books Missions Projects. Mission supporters participate in a pledge-based project that encourages them to read the Bible and devotions together. Supporters can make donations towards the purchase of books for missionaries to give to children. Usborne Books matches the donation with up to 25% cash or 50% value of books. The books benefit schools, orphanages and churches. The fundraisers are perfect for short-term mission trips to English or Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more at http://www.BlessThemWithBooks.com or contact Beth(at)UsborneBooksEshop(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
5. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE BIBLE REFERENCE MATERIALS — Ever thought, “I wonder who is working on Bible Reference Materials for all those minority languages?” Michael does too. If you are, know anyone who is or are interested in it please email Michael. He can be reached at Working4eternity(at)gmail(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
6. SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS — International Training Partners offers Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills Workshops in different parts of the world. These five-day, highly interactive workshops focus on biblical application of skills in relating to one another and to the host people.

A workshop hosted by Youth With A Mission will be held near Bangkok, Thailand March 14-18, 2005. Contact Lennie at lenniev(at)loxinfo(dot)co(dot)th for more information.

Go to http://www.itpartners.org for details on all of the workshops and information on ITP. If your mission is interested in sponsoring a SYIS workshop, contact Paul Lere at plere(at)itpartners(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
7. 2020 VISION: NEW BOOK ABOUT GOD’S WORLDWIDE WORK — It’s happening, but you won’t get the details on the news. In 2020 Vision find out how the Gospel is reaching people in some amazing places! Got my own copy in yesterday . . . and it’s *great*. Lots of really cool illustrations, many of which that will preach! Exciting breakthroughs in new harvest fields are highlighted, along with scriptural insights into God’s heart for the nations. Read about the Black Berbers, the Parmiri, and the Meo people and also that the percentage of born-again Christians is growing fastest in places like Cameroon, Aruba, and Togo! Written by Bill and Amy Stearns, 2020 Vision is an invaluable tool for God’s people, providing not only in-depth updates on missions today but also practical ways for individuals and churches to get involved. Ideal for adult Bible study groups focused on reaching the whole world for Christ. For more information, an excerpt, and the Table of Contents visit: http://www.bethanyhouse.com/2020vision. To order, e-mail orders(at)bakerbooks(dot)com or call 1-800-877-2665 or (616) 675-9185 (Bethany House ships internationally as well).
8. CONSISTENT COMPUTER BARGAINS — CCB is a national leader in representing nonprofits with special pricing programs since 1991 and is proud to continue providing technology solutions and support at a discount from the industry’s leading vendors, helping nonprofits to carry out their mission more efficiently and affordably. In the US, call 1-800-342-4222 or visit us online at http://www.1computerbargains.com
9. RETREATS FOR PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES — “The Journey Deepens” is a weekend retreat to help prospects explore, discover and connect with how they could become a missionary in another culture. These weekends are for college students, professionals, and high school seniors who are willing to become a missionary but not sure if that is God’s will or how that could unfold. Each retreat of 50 participants and 5 experienced missionaries from multiple agencies is highly relational with extended worship, small group discussions, personal reflection and much prayer. Discussions include the missionary call, support-raising, singles/families, etc. The next retreat will be April 15-17 in Davis, Oklahoma (between Dallas and Oklahoma City). The Journey Deepens is presented by MissionsFocus Int’l and co-sponsored by ACMC, Caleb Project, Perspectives and the U.S. Center for World Mission. Browse http://www.TheJourneyDeepens.com
10. ANOTHER TAKE ON “ENCOUNTERING NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS” — In a previous edition of Brigada Today we included a link to a review of a chapter in Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Approach. Irving Hexham, Stephen Rost & John Morehead II, eds. (Kregel, 2004; ISBN#: 0-8254-2893-9). This book has received overwhelmingly positive reviews in popular and missions sources, including _Christianity Today_ (where it is a finalist as a 2004 CT Book of the Year), Anvil and Evangelical Missions Quarterly. In the interests of balance, readers will benefit from the following review from Global Missiology:
http://www.globalmissiology.net/docs_pdf/reviews/hexam_encountering_new_religious_movements.pdf
11. THANKS TO THOSE WHO MAKE BRIGADA WORK! — Where would we be without them?! I remember a time “pre-Brigada-sponsored secretary”, when we were six months behind schedule on releasing these editions. Needless to say, we’re very thankful for the consideration our readers and sponsors give for these ads and charitable gifts/partnerships. This past week, we received help from: AcquireWisdom.com – $157.10 in commissions for those who visited! Anonymous from Newport News, VA – $250 YWAM Lebanon, PA – $300. They included this note: “We know that your newsletter is widely read, because we get inquiries in response to our announcements in your newsletter.” They added, “Right now we have a student from Japan who heard about our ESL school from your announcement…” Praise the Lord… We’re here for the long haul!
12. WHAT’S NEXT FOR BRIGADA TODAY? — We’re here for the long haul. Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World, recently wrote, ” The sad demise of EMIS Pulse means that the role it played in sharing about evangelical missions news from around the world, leadership changes and forthcoming events and conferences is no longer happening in the same way. You do some of this, but are these areas which could be expanded?” We’re willing to serve that role. You can help by…
*** Getting the word out about Brigada. Please mention it to your missionaries, your staffs, your team members and friends, print it in your church bulletins, put it in your church newsletter, post it on your bulletin board, and more. Just point people to the website or ask them to send a simple message to: brigada-today-subscribe-yahoogroups.com
*** Sending in items of interest to missionaries, mission agency reps, church missions team members, and more. When submitting items, you can help by going to the website at http://www.brigada.org and clicking on “submission guidelines” in the top line menu.
*** Praying for Brigada’s future
*** And if you’re led by God, helping provide for our Brigada-sponsored secretary. Your mission or company could do a sponsorship for the publicity, then write off the entire amount as advertising. Or, you or your church could make a gift. Just mention if you need a receipt; be sure the check is made out to Team Expansion.
13. THE BACKPAGE: WHY DO I RUN IN THE RAIN? — (The following item originally ran in the Feb. 5th, 1999, edition of Brigada Today. We run it again this week in celebration of our 10th-year anniversary.)

I’m sure many would have called me crazy. :-) (In fact, that’s actually a pretty regular occurrence. :-) ) I had just flown in from Bosnia about 24 hours earlier. The temp. was 34 degrees F., just above freezing. A cold rain was gradually turning to snow and nightfall had crept in over Louisville’s western skies.

But I couldn’t wait to show up for soccer practice. By the time we got rolling, there were 8 of us there… 4 v 4 in the scrimmage. It was great. I intercepted three low goal kicks and converted 2 of them to goals! Took another great pass from Sergey and left-footed it just inside the left post for a 3rd score.

As we walked off the field after practice, I was trying to explain to Sergey the way I felt. After all, he’s 27 and I figured he had forgotten. “You’ve got to remember, Sergey, that this is all so fresh and new to me. I mean, I’ve only been practicing with you guys for 18 months. Every time I see you run a play, I’m filing it away in my head, trying to soak it all in. The excitement is beyond words. And Sergey,” I looked him in the eye, “maybe you remember what it was like in those first couple of years?? Maybe for you it was when you were 10 or 11 years old or whatever, when the game was still fresh and exciting?” He stopped dead in his tracks, looked deep into my eyes with the slightest smile, then spoke with a soft voice that still carried telltale signs of his Ukrainian roots. “Doug, it still is.”

Duh. Why else was he out there in the rain! The 8 of us probably came for 8 different reasons. But for Sergey and me, it’s pretty obvious. There’s something about the game. You can see it in our eyes when we’re putting the leather conditioner on our boots. You can sense it in the air when we’re stretching before practice. And you can *definitely* see it in that occasional “thumbs up” I get… or, like last Tuesday night, when our coach said one of his first encouraging words to me in 18 months. “See Doug, that all started with you. You stole that ball, passed it downfield quickly, and he scored, partly because of your hustle. Way to go!” I beamed. After practice, he tried to be his normal tough self. But it was too late. He had already let it slip. :-) …

What about your life? What’s going on in your marriage, or your relationship with your friends or parents or brothers or sisters? How are things at work… or on the language route… or in class? And more importantly, what’s going on in your relationship with the Father? If you’re a beginner, like I am in soccer, maybe it’s still fresh and new. But if you’re a long-termer, like Sergey, seems to me like you’ve got to figure out how to rekindle the romance… how to make it fresh again. Maybe it’ll take some extra effort. Or maybe you can remember the early days and say, like Sergey, “It still feels that way.” Whatever the case, I think that’s what the writer of Lamentations had in mind when he wrote, in Lamentations 3:21-25: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”

So this lesson I’ve learned and I hope I’ve learned it well: Next time you have the opportunity to show up for practice in a freezing rain, go early, and stay late. And find the freshness again. You’ll be glad you did.

20050116 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. HAS IT REALLY BEEN 10 YEARS?
2. RUMORS OF BRIGADA’S DEATH WERE EXAGGERATED
3. DAN SCRIBNER SAID “THUMBS UP”
4. IT WILL TAKE TIME
5. PERHAPS THE MOST ENCOURAGING RESPONSE…
6. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY?
7. SO WHAT WAS THE FIRST TRUE BRIGADA “ITEM”?
8. WANT TO SHARE YOUR OWN BRIGADA EXPERIENCE?
9. SCHOOL OF FRONTIERS MISSIONS IN FLORIDA
10. ANYBODY ABLE TO WORK WITH AOL?
11. MUSIC AND MISSIONS CD
12. LEARN A PRACTICAL SKILL FOR MISSIONS
13. TALKING BIBLE A GREAT PERSONAL AUDIOVISUAL
14. BE CHANGED BY THE WORD SO THAT YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
15. DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL FOCUSED ON UNREACHED PEOPLES
16. GIVE INPUT ON AN MK AND WIN BIG MONEY
17. SYIS IN TURKEY: SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
18. BOOK REVIEW NOT OPEN AND SHUT
19. FAVORITE “BACKPAGE” EDITORIALS
20. CLOSING STUFF

1. HAS IT REALLY BEEN 10 YEARS? — In just 4 days, it will be. The first feeble Brigada Today was actually sent between two people. Late on the evening of January 25th, 1995, I wrote Jonathan Marsden with some newly created gadgetry he had cooked up for me as a worker in a high-tech non-profit called “CrossConnect”. (Turned out that it was *really* non-profit, so CrossConnect was sold a few times and no longer exists as a separate entity. But Jonathan is still there… and occasionally I’ll drop him a note just to see if he still hears about Brigada stuff. So Jonathan, if you’re out there in India or who knows where, if you can see this, please hang with me here a moment.)

What did that first issue say? Well a number of things… some of which have long since gone by the wayside — nearly. One of the proposals was that we set up people-specific prayer/news email groups. I wrote, ” On a monthly basis, thousands of additional individuals around the world are gaining access to what amounts to a global communications network, commonly referred to as the Internet.” (Can you believe I had to kind of *define* it? :-) LOL ) … We propose to create a series of ‘electronic newsletters,’ available to anyone with an Internet connection (including those with Compuserve, America Online, Delphi, etc.)” Online services like Delphi faded in importance, but AOL, which eventually bought out rival Compuserve, has survived and thrived.

I went on to add, ” We would start with one simple newsletter, which would, as a minimum, carry news about mobilization for the 100 Gateway cities and the people groups that live in them.” That ‘simple newsletter’ has changed very little in format over the past 10 years. (I haven’t had time to think about it! :-) ) And that “simple newsletter” became, a very short time later, Brigada Today. And yes… it really has been 10 years and . . . whoa . . . there’s a Brigada Today to match every single Friday… all 520 of them… since January 25, 1995. Yikes. :-) See them all on the web for free at: www.brigada.org
2. RUMORS OF BRIGADA’S DEATH WERE EXAGGERATED — Several spoke out in favor of such a proposal. Well-known missions leaders like John Robb, Pete Holzmann, and many others wrote encouraging words. Some, like Patrick Johnstone, originator of Operation World, were just a tad more realistic, even though they agreed upon the need. ” I do not see that any system that tries to collect, collate and disseminate info – even on the 100 Gateway Cities and 130 Gateway Peoples (for a start) can work,” responded Patrick. “The burden on all will bring it rapidly to the point of overload.” Gulp. No wonder I’m tired. And what am I doing staying up ’til 2:30am at a people group consultation in the Mediterranean anyway??? :-) Some things haven’t changed. However, Patrick, if you’re reading — maybe it didn’t exactly *overload*. :-) He added, ” I think your present plans are almost certain to founder on the lack of the right personnel and adequate finance.” Oops. :-) Been a long time since I saw that line. Whoa. Maybe it’s hard to start things. But if it is, maybe it’s even harder to keep them going. Patrick should know. He’s labored tirelessly, day and night, to catalogue and chronicle the growth of the Lord’s church throughout the globe… and many have been inspired by his work, myself among them. Again, I hasten to add, I believe Patrick was only trying to improve on the project by being bluntly realistic. He also said, “To use electronic networks is a real option (of a number) We should develop a workable system, and maybe your proposal could lead to that.” To be fair, Patrick was slated to be married just a handful of days later. He was also planning his honeymoon that same night. What could I expect? :-) His mind was elsewhere. (Speaking with my best impersonation of his ever-so-proper British accent), I was quite fortunate to have gotten so thorough a look at all! :-)
3. DAN SCRIBNER SAID “THUMBS UP” — Whoa… I probably hadn’t taken another look at Dan Scribner’s response since that January of 1995. I’d forgotten he even replied. Ten years ago this week, he emailed back, ” Warmest greetings in the Lord. Brigida [sic :-) ] sounds like a wonderful plan. I hope AD2000 can contribute / assist in any way possible. At the moment we are up to our ears in alligators planning the GCOWE conference in May. We only have about a dozen staff here in the International Office. Please keep me in the loop of communications regarding this and if there are any specific AD2000 related questions I certainly will try to give my input.” Whoa. As you know, Dan went on to become one of 2 key players in making JoshuaProject.Net a reality today! And you know what? He’s still just as encouraging! :-)
4. IT WILL TAKE TIME — John Siewert worked for MARC, the Missions Advanced Research and Communication arm of World Vision. He wrote, in a prophetic tone, ” My experience in serving as discussion leader for one e-mail forum is that any e-mail-based undertaking takes more time than expected if responses are going to go back to those who ask questions, etc. Therefore Doug and the editor need to have some prime time set aside for this project.” Whoa. Was he ever right. (Yawn. I’m sleepy.) :-)
5. PERHAPS THE MOST ENCOURAGING RESPONSE… — But perhaps the most encouraging response of all (to the initial proposal) came from a Global Mapping employee named Dave Nesmith. ” In the vernacular of Madison Avenue, you have run it up the flagpole–I salute it.” He went on to add, ” Let us reject out of hand the notion that it won’t work. The resources and the technology are with us. The only preventive factor is the lack of our will and desire to make it happen. High-tech is handing us a golden opportunity. Let’s grab it!” Whoa. :-) Dave, wherever you are, thanks for the boost 10 years ago!
6. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY? — Then get training from real-world practitioners and colleagues to equip you to implement programs in your church or community that truly empower the poor. The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College offers courses for both the 2/3 World and U.S. contexts. Come June 13 – June 18, 2005 to the Christian Economic Development Institute at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA USA. Chalmers’ partners include World Relief, Food for the Hungry International, and World Vision US. To register, email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or visit http://www.chalmers.org
7. SO WHAT WAS THE FIRST TRUE BRIGADA “ITEM”? — Trivia… fun facts to know and tell… :-) Once you get past all the proposing and responding, the actual first true *item* was a note about Sali Berisha, then the leader in Albania, who on January 25th had proposed setting up private radio and TV channels to offer a broader and more impartial dissemination of information. We all know what *that* brought about! :- ) The second item had to do with a proposal of 30 days of prayer for the Muslim world (another proposal which has survived the decade). (Throughout the coming year, we’ll highlight each month “Ten Years Ago This Month in Brigada”. It’ll perhaps give us a chance to take a look back at from whence we’ve come… and sometimes might even clue us in on where we might be headed in the future.)
8. WANT TO SHARE YOUR OWN BRIGADA EXPERIENCE? — Do you have a favorite memory of Brigada? Would you want to take a moment to write about something you purchased, a service you used, or an opportunity you followed? Now you can. Just copy this URL into your browser window: (or, if you’re reading on the web, just click it)

http://distantland.typepad.com/brigada/

Here you’ll find a spot to leave a comment, recall a memory, even offer a testimony. Others in the Brigada family will be able to visit the page and celebrate what God did in your life — and maybe even give glory to God for what happened in your situation. Hey – 10-year-old birthdays don’t come that often! :-) OK… enough sappy stuff.. Let’s get to work! :-)
9. SCHOOL OF FRONTIERS MISSIONS IN FLORIDA — The SOFM is an intensive Christian training course beginning with a 12-week lecture/teaching phase followed with an overseas internship in the 10/40 window. The purpose of the SOFM is to give student’s essential principles and tools needed to start long-term effective church planting movements among unreached people groups. Some of the topics being studied are: Principles of church planting among unreached peoples groups, The Power of Team Leadership, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries, Chronological Bible Presentation, History of Missions and much more! School starts on April 17th. For more information contact Jose at myglobito(at)yahoo(dot)com or call (904)221-5990. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] You can also check: http://www.ywamjax.com
10. ANYBODY ABLE TO WORK WITH AOL? — Does anyone know anything about the rumor that Brigada-Today is on a “blocked list” with AOL? If so, does anyone know the proper technique to be removed from that list? In contrast to spam (which is unsolicited), Brigada Today only goes out to those who subscribe to it. If we’re on that list, it’s a mistake. Maybe some subscribers don’t know how to remove themselves, but we never send Brigada unsolicited.
11. MUSIC AND MISSIONS CD — The first Global Consultation on Music and Missions was held in 2003. The multimedia CD-ROM of the Proceedings is now available. The CD-ROM has about 50 presentations, about 300 files total. Presenters, including John Piper, shared penetrating insights from around the world. If you are interested in the integration of music, missions and worship, you’ll be thrilled with the wealth of materials. One person said, “This was a phenomenal conference – probably the best conference I have ever attended.” Every missions organization should have one of these CD-ROMs as a reference. Though it is easily worth $40, it is available for only US $10. Write ethnodox1(at)netscape(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or see http://www.worldofworship.org/GCoMM/index.htm
12. LEARN A PRACTICAL SKILL FOR MISSIONS — Simplified dental care can open many doors to evangelism and relationship building among the unreached. No drills, injections, electricity, or sophisticated equipment are involved – only simple hand instruments, a compassionate heart, and two weeks of your time. Now you can bring greatly needed dental care to your community. Courses are offered monthly in Texas. http://www.dentaltrainingformissions.com or email dentaltrainingformissions(at)yahoo(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
13. TALKING BIBLE A GREAT PERSONAL AUDIOVISUAL — ASI in California says that the invention of the Talking Bible revolutionizes how one can now give non-readers access to God’s word in audio. A Talking Bible has an audio recording of an entire New Testament in a desired language sealed inside. It looks like a Bible but has a button to push rather than pages to turn… no longer any need for a cassette player and an album of individually labeled cassettes. The task suddenly becomes doable and affordable…that task is to take the work of the Bible translators, record them and make them available as Talking Bibles.

Half the world’s adult population cannot read. Among them are millions of non-reading Christians. They need God’s Word in audio format. ASI and others can now give them Talking Bibles with entire New Testaments speaking their languages. It seems unthinkable that the church/mission community would not do this.

ASI is appealing for churches to observe an annual Talking Bible Sunday. A Talking Bible Sunday will help church people become aware. The special offering will give them the opportunity to participate in this global effort …. an effort to give Bibleless non-readers Talking Bibles in their languages.

For more information visit ASI’s website http://www.audioscriptures.org. Or call ASI at 1- 800-318-7262 and ask for Dori. You’ll be glad you took the time to do this.
14. BE CHANGED BY THE WORD SO THAT YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD — YWAM Turner Valley Canada offers the 9 month School of Biblical Studies (SBS). Students in this school learn how to inductively study the Bible for themselves and are helped to prepare for the important goal of sharing God’s truth. The school begins in September 2005. Please call 1-403-933-3755 for more information or check out http://www.ywamturnervalley.com
15. DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL FOCUSED ON UNREACHED PEOPLES — YWAM Turner Valley Canada offers exciting Discipleship Training Schools (DTS)! Dates for DTS are March 23 – August 12, 2005 OR September 14th – February 10th 2006. The schools include 12 weeks of teaching and training in Canada. Some topics taught are: The Cross & Repentance, Bible Meditation, the 10/40 Window, Evangelism, Islamic/Buddhist Worldview and more. Turner Valley DTS also includes an 8 week mission trip to Southeast Asia or North Africa, working with SPECIFIC unreached people groups. North Americans can call toll free for information to 1-877-FOR-YWAM, Internationals please call 1-403-933-3754. Also check out the website at: http://www.ywamturnervalley.com
16. GIVE INPUT ON AN MK AND WIN BIG MONEY — Here’s a gal who is doing research with MKs and adult MKs at mkPLANET.com. If you are interested in helping out, check out http://www.mkplanet.com/community. Near the top/center of the page is a short message called “Join a research project giving MKs a voice!” That’ll have all the information about the study and the different ways to be involved. Everyone who signs up will automatically be entered for their draw to win one of two $20 US gift certificates to Amazon.com!
17. SYIS IN TURKEY: SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS — International Training Partners offers Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills Workshops in different parts of the world. These five-day, highly interactive workshops focus on biblical application of skills in relating to one another and to the host people.

A workshop hosted by International Training Partners will be held near Istanbul, Turkey April 4-8, 2005. Contact Robin Bower at rbower(at)itpartners(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] for more information.

Go to http://www.itpartners.org for details on all of the workshops and information on ITP. If your mission is interested in sponsoring a SYIS workshop, contact Paul Lere at plere(at)itpartners(dot)org.
18. BOOK REVIEW NOT OPEN AND SHUT — In our item last week, “For Academicians: Reviewing Morehead’s “New Religious Mov’ts”, it’s plain to see we didn’t offer both sides. One responder suggested the inclusion of the following link to give equal time: http://www.globalmissiology.net/docs_pdf/reviews/hexam_encountering_new_religious_movements.pdf Our apologies if we overlooked anyone! Remember we don’t have the luxury of reading *all* the reports and texts mentioned each week. Consider the source.
19. FAVORITE “BACKPAGE” EDITORIALS — Whenever I travel and meet Brigada participants, it’s always amazing to me that they remember these BackPage Editorials. This month, in honor of our 10th birthday, we bring back some of our most oft-requested editorials… Sergey and “Does It Every ‘Just Happen'”, which first aired the 8th of May, 1998:

“DOES IT EVER “JUST HAPPEN???” — Those who know me well (and many who know me only marginally) know that I have a love for God, family, friends, and soccer. :-) (In spite of what some might think, that’s really the order I try to keep them in!) I only hope and pray that somehow we’ll have all four in Heaven. [grin] The first three have been around a while in my life, but the last love, soccer, is fairly new to me. Although I’m playing on a competitive team this year, I’m really just a beginner (I have a whole two years of playing experience in a poorly run recreational league previously). As you might have guessed, it’s not easy to find a competitive team for a 41-year-old. So I play in a league designed for age 20 and up. I’m very fortunate to practice alongside some very talented players. (Our coach took an under-23-year-old team to the national championships last year . . and won!) To land a spot on the team, I just explained how hard I was willing to work and how serious I was about learning. Lo and behold, the coach put me on the team! And when the center forward of our team suffered a broken leg earlier this season, all of a sudden, I found myself as a starter in his place… and this past Sunday, I played the entire game there! (We won 5-2, with only marginal help from me.)

I have several heroes . . . and most are about half my age. :-) One young man from Ukraine is incredible. I mean… when he was born, his mother probably delivered a soccer ball first, and then Sergey. The ball was probably tied to his ankle and. . . I don’t think he’s ever untied it since! I love practice times even more than games because I get to watch him and really study him in action. He’s constantly moving… constantly sizing up the play and constantly vigilant about how he can contribute most. And even though he’s a star (and deep down inside, he has to know it!), he still pushes the ball my way PLENTY of times in any given night.

Last Tuesday evening, at one point during our scrimmage, I chipped the ball to him and, frankly, placed it rather poorly. The ball arrived at chest-height and his back was to the goal with defenders all around. Not a great situation. But for Sergey, it was all automatic. He cushioned the ball down to his feet and instantly faked then back- heeled it with such force that it swished right through the defenders legs. Sergey scored a goal without even looking at the net… without even having to turn around to glance into the eyes of his opponents. Incredible.

As he turned and ran up the field, I turned with him and asked, “How in the world ….?” With a shrug of his shoulders he responded, “It just happened.” I was quick to reply… “It DIDN’T just happen. It took 27 YEARS of daily practice to make it happen!” (He’s 28 years old.)

Ever since that moment, I’ve been reflecting about my fledgling soccer career. I coach an under-14 team (my older son’s) and assist coaching an under-10 team (my younger son’s). I play on a competitive team and sometimes play “pick-up” soccer in between. But maybe I’ll never “catch up” with Sergey. There are too many hours… too many YEARS of his life filled with touches on the ball. However, I’m not exactly envious. Instead, I’m filled with admiration and actually inspired to keep going. I figure I’ve got nowhere to go but up! :-) Who knows… give me another 25 years and maybe I’ll be ready to play! :-)

My REAL job is to lead a mission agency — about 120 missionaries in a couple of dozen countries. Where I sit, I get to read reports literally from all over the world. Now, after last Thursday’s practice, whenever I hear a success story about a villager who has walked in from 50 kilometers away just so he can study the Bible… then take it back to his village and repeat it to dozens of others… I’ll think twice about whether or not it “just happened.” Someone had to sweat bullets on Bible college mid-terms, then raise financial support, leave family and friends to go to the field, learn a foreign language, and most of all be determined enough to not quit when the going got tough. Someone had to pray, trust the Lord for supernatural intervention, and follow His guidance. After all that, if someone walks in and listens, should we be so surprised? Sergey might say, “It just happened…”, but truth be known, it didn’t JUST happen. Someone MADE it happen.

We live in a world of quick fixes — quick food, quick microwaves, quick computers, quick everything … just about. But in the midst of it all, some things aren’t so quick. You can’t learn to play Sergey’s kind of soccer without a few years of daily practice with someone who knows what he’s doing. And you can’t learn a language overnight, either.

I admire Sergey… but my heart is filled with just as much admiration for a guy I know who has invested the last 5 years learning Mandarin. He’ll probably never get a trophy (at least not here on earth), never be named an “MVP” in front of a crowd of 30,000 cheering spectators, and I can predict with a fair amount of certainty that he’ll never make the kinds of salaries that today’s pro athletes take home, either. (At least not as long as I serve as president of his mission agency! :-) ) But can he ever speak Chinese. I mean… it rolls off his tongue. When he opens his mouth, everyone expects English to come out… but if there’s a Chinese person looking on, inevitably, their mouth drops open.. their eyes bug out… (I love seeing that reaction!). His Chinese didn’t “just happen.” He didn’t “just happen” to teach Greek to house church leaders last year. He didn’t “just happen” to train evangelists that ended up baptizing 18 people in just one recent month. It took YEARS… and it’ll take YEARS for many of us to learn language, learn effectiveness, learn the field.

So — should we give up? Not on your life. But we probably SHOULD start thinking about recruiting some additional players for the team. :-) If they have to wait for me to invest the next 25 years to reach Sergey’s level, well, . . . let’s just say I hope my bones will still hold me up on the field when I’m 66! :-)

God bless your day! Be careful out there… it’s a jungle!!! Doug Lucas” [end of quoted story (SPECIAL UPDATE AS OF 23 OF JAN, 2005: Sergey married a Japanese immigrant, moved an hour away and we’ve not heard much from him lately. But the guy learning Mandarin learned it. He’s now a sought-after teacher involved in training house church leaders all over mainland China. Team Expansion now has 250 full-time missionaries, instead of 120. My older son is now 18 and, due to proper humility on his part, he won’t let me tell you the details of the soccer scholarships he’s looking at for college. I’m now coaching my younger son’s high school team at the local Christian School. And next week I start a new season with an over-30 team, where I’ll be captain of the “Energy United” team. God be praised for the incremental gains, step by step… Never, never, never give up. Because, 10 years after the birth of Brigada, it’s *still* a jungle out there.)

20050109 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. DONORS HELP US CRANK OUT BRIGADA
2. NEED A NEW CELL PHONE? TRY BLESSED HOPE
3. ELIJAH COMPANY MISSIONARY TRAINING
4. LOOKING FOR A SINGLES RETREAT FOR MISSIONARIES?
5. MOROCCO SUMMIT
6. GOT TESOL?
7. YWAM CROSSROADS DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL
8. CROSS-CULTURAL CHURCH PLANTING SEMINAR
9. GO TO THE NATIONS… AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER
10. SCHOOL OF FRONTIERS MISSIONS IN BEAUTIFUL JACKSONVILLE, FL
11. FOR ACADEMICIANS: REVIEWING MOREHEAD’S “NEW RELIGIOUS MOV’TS”
12. THE BACK PAGE: THREE CHEERS FOR THE BACKSTAGE WORKERS

1. DONORS HELP US CRANK OUT BRIGADA — Cool! Here’s $120 from Family Circus Ministry, $46 from an anonymous donor who gave via Missionary Training Service (MTS). Learn more about their work at http://www.missionarytraining.org In addition, $25 from an anonymous donor in Fort Collins, CO, and $5 from a Christian worker in Sweden. May God bless each of these!!!
2. NEED A NEW CELL PHONE? TRY BLESSED HOPE — If you’re in need of a new cellular plan, don’t forget to check out the plans by Blessed Hope Communications (a Brigada sponsor). You can get service through most major providers; plus free phones, free accessories and even cash back are part of most plans. For every new order activated through Blessed Hope, Brigada receives a $40 sponsorship. (Whoa!) Please visit http://www.lowermyphonebill.com/brigada for more details and to configure a plan that works for you.
3. ELIJAH COMPANY MISSIONARY TRAINING — Here’s a four day preparation consultation from February 24-27 near Valentine, Virginia. The consultation introduces realities, necessities, models and methods. A close look is given to the personal profile of the missionary and developing relational abilities. The goal is to help provide a road map into missions involvement and motivation for the journey. Prayer is central to the training. Skills are also presented. Furloughing missionaries and missions leaders have also found this time to be of great value for resolving difficult issues. The Elijah Company manifesto is posted on the newly edited web site at http://www.elijahcompany.org . You can get more information and applications by writing to info4(at)elijahcompany(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]. The Elijah Company office phone (757) 226-3507.
4. LOOKING FOR A SINGLES RETREAT FOR MISSIONARIES? — Try the interagency retreats hosted by MET in the Czech Republic and South Africa. They bring together an excellent seasoned staff will daily facilitate times of Biblical meditation, prayer, teaching and worship song. Every afternoon MET offers personal relaxation time with the option of benefiting from one to one debriefing and / or counseling. Attend 21 – 28 April 2005 in Czech Republic or 20 – 27 October 2005 in South Africa. For registration or more info, write OfficeMET(at)aol(dot)com . [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] The deadline for application is: Czech Republic – 31 January 2005 ; South Africa 31 July 2005. Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served, basis.
5. MOROCCO SUMMIT — Want to learn what others are doing in Morocco? Looking for tips on how to begin ministry there, what to do, or how to do it better? Whether you are just considering an outreach or are already ministering in North Africa, the Morocco Summit is for you. Arise Shine Morocco invites missionaries, interested individuals, mission agency and church representatives to meet together in Southern California for two days in April to learn from one another and to explore together what has been done in the past and what might be done in the future. Workers with decades in Morocco will share from their experiences and teach on reaching Muslims within the Moroccan context. Panel and group discussions will address specific issues and opportunities. The overall thrust will be to unify, inform, inspire, encourage, equip and empower participants for effective ministry in Morocco. Discounted early registration is available until February 15. For more information write: asm(at)interum(dot)org
6. GOT TESOL? — Invest three weeks in practical TESOL training and ensure that your teaching is effective and your ministry with students is enhanced. During Essentials of TESOL, July 11-29, 2005, at Biola University in southern California, you will: learn methods and techniques for teaching English language skills, be introduced to the sound and grammar systems of English, discover teaching materials, explore cultural issues, and learn appropriate ways of being a Christian teacher. You will also get supervised experience teaching non-native speakers. Non-credit tuition is only $515. Dorm space is available for early applicants. Visit http:www.biola.edu/academics/sics/essentials_tesol.cfm for more info and call 562/903-4844 or contact kitty[dot]purgason[at]biola[dot]edu for an application. [As a means of preventing spam, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
7. YWAM CROSSROADS DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL — Are you looking for greater intimacy with God and a taste of cross-cultural missions? If you are age 30 or more, or a family with children, consider taking the Crossroads DTS at Youth With A Mission at Lebanon PA USA. This 20 week program includes 12 weeks of lectures, with speakers who focus on such topics as the father heart of God, how to hear God’s voice, intercession, spiritual warfare, and relationships. Students then have the option to minister in Ukraine for 8 weeks, a very practical cross- cultural ministry experience. Lecture phase is from March 21 to June 10, 2005 with outreach to Ukraine immediately following. Details and application forms are on website http://www.ywampa.org. E-mail questions to ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net. [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
8. CROSS-CULTURAL CHURCH PLANTING SEMINAR — Worldview Resource Group (WRG) is conducting a cross-cultural church planting seminar August 29 – September 2, 2005 at the Mission Training International center in Palmer Lake, Colorado, USA. The seminar provides training in cross- cultural church planting methodologies based on a worldview approach to ministry. Facilitators include: Dr. David Hesselgrave; Dr. Tom Steffen; George Walker, co-founder of WRG; and Mark Zook, featured in the Ee- Taow video. For online information about the curriculum, costs, and logistics go to http://www.wrg3.org You can register online. USA callers can dial toll- free 1-866-750-WRG3 (9743). Also, you can email WRG at info(at)wrg3(dot)org. [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
9. GO TO THE NATIONS… AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER — Here’s a 4-week TESOL course in effective English teaching techniques, sponsored by Youth With A Mission in Lebanon PA USA. February 28 to March 25, 2005. Details, application forms, and alternate dates listed in website at http://www.ywampa.org. E-mail questions to ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net. [Replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
10. SCHOOL OF FRONTIERS MISSIONS IN BEAUTIFUL JACKSONVILLE, FL — The SOFM is an intensive Christian training course beginning with a 12-week lecture/teaching phase followed with an overseas internship in the 10/40 window. The purpose of the SOFM is to give student’s essential principles and tools needed to start long-term effective church planting movements among unreached people groups. Some of the topics we will be studying are: Principles of church planting among unreached peoples groups, The Power of Team Leadership, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries, Chronological Bible Presentation, History of Missions and much more! Scholl starts in April 17th. For more information contact Jose at myglobito(at)yahoo(dot)com or call (904) 221-5990. You can also check
http://www.ywamjax.com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
11. FOR ACADEMICIANS: REVIEWING MOREHEAD’S “NEW RELIGIOUS MOV’TS” — If you’re the seminary type, you might enjoy a good heady review of John Morehead’s article which appeared in Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Approach. Eds. Irving Hexham, Stephen Rost & John Morehead II (Kregel, 2004; ISBN#: 0-8254-2893-9). Mr. Morehead’s article is titled “Where Do We Go From Here?: Transforming Evangelical Responses to New Religions.” The review is by Jeff Downs. Find it at: http://www.rctr.org/transformingreview.htm
12. THE BACK PAGE: THREE CHEERS FOR THE BACKSTAGE WORKERS — Sometimes the hardest workers get the least glory. Do you know the type? Take Bill Morrison, for instance. He’s been a full-time self-funded volunteer for the last five years at JoshuaProject.Net. http://www.joshuaproject.net He’s the “other member” of the Joshua Project “team”. (Truth is, there are only two of them. Dan Scribner is the more well-known, and it’s Dan we normally highlight, but Dan will be the first to tell you that Bill is the one who faithfully and meticulously manages all Joshua Project data, statistics and computer application. Dan’ll go on to point out that Bill is the one who “disassembled” the Bethany profiles into the photo, map and text elements and carefully cataloged each element so we could build the new web profiles. Dan would add that after getting permissions, Bill is the one who spent weeks carefully going through Paul Hattaway’s new Buddhist World people profile book incorporating all the relevant data into the Joshua Project database (this new Buddhist info should be on the Joshua Project website by the time you get around to reading this). Bill is the one who made 150 language maps one-by-one for an Indian researcher. And that is only the beginning. Dan would say, without Bill there is no Joshua Project.

He is the kind of behind-the-scenes servant that would never want us to mention him. Dan Scribner tells folks that Bill “will have a very heavy crown in heaven and a front-row seat.” And you know what? You probably know one too. In Dan’s office, they go by the name of Bill. In my own, they answer to names like Penny, Melanie, Wayne, Julie, Bob, Aaron and others. How ’bout finding one of them in your world today — and say thanks.

Because this is a “Back Page” about the “back stage”, the workers we all know but say so little about. In fact, for all of you today, we give thanks to the Father of Lights, who illuminates the caverns of our minds so we can clearly see through the empty space in our heads to the beauty of the jewels in yours! To all those backstage workers, we give thanks and praise to God!

20050102 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. [DRUM ROLL] THE FINAL TALLY FOR 2004 (THANKS!)
2. MISSION NANNYS NEEDS VOLUNTEERS TO CARE FOR MISSIONARY KIDS
3. WHOA… UPDATED AND EXPANDED BETHANY PROFILES RELEASED
4. HELP: JOSHUA PROJECT INVITES INPUT ON NEW PROFILES
5. LEADER TRAINING STUDIES FOR CHURCH REPRODUCTION
6. MEMBER CARE IN THE CHINESE WORLD
7. SENDING IN AN ITEM FOR BRIGADA?
8. INSURANCE FOR SHORT TERM MISSION TEAMS
9. GOT A HAMMER? VISIT THE INDIAN OCEAN
10. UNREACHED PEOPLES CONSULTATION (FOR THE MUSLIM WORLD)
11. AN OPEN HEART: THE MBALANTU of NAMIBIA
12. 2020 VISION: NEW BOOK ABOUT GOD’S WORLDWIDE WORK
13. D&D MISSIONARY HOMES
14. MISSIONARY-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM AT BEESON DIVINITY
15. ELIJAH COMPANY MISSIONS TRAINING CAMP
16. INTERNET EVANGELISM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
17. THE BACK PAGE: A “RIP IN THE TIME/SPACE CONTINUUM”
18. CLOSING STUFF

1. [DRUM ROLL] THE FINAL TALLY FOR 2004 (THANKS!) — In this first edition of the new year, we’re humbled once again by the special gifts of those who make it possible for us to keep Brigada on your screen and out the door on time. Prior to the secretarial help you’re providing, we sometimes ran 6 months behind. Bottom line: your help keeps us going! Sure we ran short, but at the same time, we made progress! There were a lot more gifts in 2004 than there were in 2003. And besides… the way we see it, $9300 worth of secretarial help is still a tremendous encouragement. And — we’re not running 6 months behind any more!!! :-)

Final gifts included anonymous donations of $100 from Manhattan, KS, $20 from an I.T. guy for 3 major Christian ministries, $5 from an overseas worker in Sweden, $50 from Concord, CA, who volunteers with SERVE (“Sending Experienced Retired Volunteers Everywhere”), working especially with professionals working with disabled children in a mission outreach, and $100 from the Director of Mission Nannys (Thanks Betty!). See their item below. Dial-Abroad sent $199 for November phone calls (Please keep talking!!! :-) ) The team at http://www.thebiblechannel.org the Bible Channel sent $25. “We pray for God’s blessings on your ministry and trust that God will meet all your needs.” Finally, thanks to the anonymous donor from Hungary who gave $25, the last gift of 2004. And so that ends a good year of sponsors for Brigada. The final tally for 2004, at the end of it all, was $9,384.79. It’s a great encouragement. Thanks to one and all. If you’d like to help kick off the 2005 year, please click on “Sponsor” in the top menu. Thanks!
2. MISSION NANNYS NEEDS VOLUNTEERS TO CARE FOR MISSIONARY KIDS — Mission Nannys, a Brigada sponsor, needs women 50 years of age or older to go overseas and help in domestic situations including homeschooling, child care, and just being extra hands for someone. To learn more, visit: http://www.MissionNannys.org (Thanks again, Betty!)
3. WHOA… UPDATED AND EXPANDED BETHANY PROFILES RELEASED — I’ve had the hardest time keeping this a secret. :-) Over the past few months, I’ve been watching this project grow… and just as it has taken on momentum, so has my heart jumped for joy! You see, in cooperation with the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and the Bethany World Prayer Center, Joshua Project has released updated and expanded versions of the original Bethany People Profiles at:

http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php

The original Bethany profiles have been matched with updated statistics. There are over 1,700 maps, 1,100 photos (several hundred of them are new), and 1,450 textual descriptions profiling unreached people groups. New non-Bethany profiles have also been added. The easiest place to start might actually be on the listing of people groups in a particular country. For example, see Turkmenistan:

http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=TX

The columns on the far right show which people groups have a photo, map and text integrated with updated statistics. Any column can be sorted by clicking the column header. Clicking the people name on the far left will drill down to the specific profile. The Turkmen of Turkmenistan is a relatively complete profile with photo, map, text, statistics and links to other profiles and online audio. See:

http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php?rop3=110306&rog3=TX

Three cheers to Dan Scribner for the incredible late-night work this project has probably caused in his life. There’s no way this kind of thing can happen without somebody laying his life on the line. Only the Lord knows the number of hours Dan and his cohort(s) have struggled, getting this interface just right… collecting data… bartering with those who owned the rights… Tonight I give thanks for Dan’s work, as a form of worship to the one who deserves the labor Dan has offered up — may it be like a sweet-smelling sacrifice to the Savior of souls!
4. HELP: JOSHUA PROJECT INVITES INPUT ON NEW PROFILES — Joshua Project welcomes updated photos, maps, text and statistics. Have some great mission trip photos? Send them to Joshua Project at photos(at)joshuaproject(dot)net. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Done a Perspectives profile of a people group and want to share it? Send it to profiles(at)joshuaproject(dot)net.

Joshua Project is also looking for web surfers who would like to help collect additional photos, maps, text, stats or links to display on unreached peoples profiles. If interested please contact Joshua Project at info(at)joshuaproject(dot)net .
5. LEADER TRAINING STUDIES FOR CHURCH REPRODUCTION — These just- completed “Paul-Timothy” studies are for use by trainers with shepherds whom they coach for reproducing congregations and cells. Trainers use a provided “menu” to choose studies that fit trainees’ needs. Each topic has a shepherd’s lesson and a corresponding children’s lesson. Studies assume non-Christian, non-Western, non-Anglo background. Short studies can quickly be translated. They allow free download and free copying. Available as Word(r) documents and .PDF files, letter and A4 formats. Learn more at http://www.paul-timothy.net . If you require a CD-ROM disc, then write to gpatterson(at)paul-timothy(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
6. MEMBER CARE IN THE CHINESE WORLD — Catch the Asia Member Care Conference in Hong Kong Feb 16-19, 2005. This will be a great opportunity for counselors and member care people in Asia to network, learn, and exchange ideas. The keynote speakers will be Dr. Kelly O’Donnell and Mrs. Kathy Narramore. Topics including:
*** Member Care Update: The Flow of Care and the Flow of Flaws.
*** Best Practice Guidelines for Sending Organizations and Member Care Workers.
*** Field Counseling – Core Issues and Practical Tools.
*** Crisis and Contingency Management.
*** Practice of Pastoral Member Care
*** Cultivating a Caring Community The cost of the conference including lodging and food at the YMCA of Hong Kong is US$300. Register NOW with Scott Geisel at: ccg(at)attglobal(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
7. SENDING IN AN ITEM FOR BRIGADA? — Please read the Submission Guidelines *first*. Some of the most-often missed components?
*** Please turn off publisher’s quotes before composing in Word
*** Hold your item to 8-10 lines (then give a website for more info)
*** Please use 3rd person (don’t say, “We” or “I”; say “They” or “She”)
*** Please *don’t* use classified ad language. We use sentences here.
*** We don’t open attached files — you’re wasting your time. :-)
*** In general, we don’t publish appeals for support. OK… so maybe we try to float one staff person (part-time secretary). But that’s it. :-) See the complete list of Submission Guidelines at: http://www.brigada.org/submissions.html
8. INSURANCE FOR SHORT TERM MISSION TEAMS — Are you sending teams on short term trips this year? If you are, be sure to have them insured for medical expenses and medical evacuation! If you currently have a plan for them it is always good to make sure that you have the best plan for your needs. Insurance Services of America can “tailor-make” a plan to fit your teams’ needs. They can put together a proposal that you can use to compare with your current plan and they can include the benefits that you want and need for your people. Many times they have put together plans for organizations that cost less than a dollar per day per person! Not a bad deal, considering all of the coverage that is available. For details, a free quote and to discuss your needs, email them at health(at)missionaryhealth(dot)com, [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or call them at 1-800-647-4589 (1-480-821-9052 outside of North America) and ask for Mark. Insurance Services of America is a Christian organization that specializes in helping missionaries and mission organizations find affordable healthcare. They have a wide range of plans for missionaries, mission groups and churches, so be sure to contact them to see how they can “shop around” for you to help you save money on your health insurance needs.
9. Learn more at http://www.missionaryhealth.com/ GOT A HAMMER? VISIT THE INDIAN OCEAN — In response to this major catastrophe, CNFA is looking for potential volunteers to the Indian Ocean region. As a Farmer to Farmer (FtF) implementer, they are searching for people who have experience with post-disaster reconstruction. However, candidates don’t necessarily have to have the typical FtF volunteer credentials. USAID is compiling a roster, and it appears that many people will be called to assist with the recovery from the tsunami. If anyone is interested in helping or knows anyone who is interested in helping, please share those names and contact information immediately by emailing dphillips(at)cnfa(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] By the way, the USAID might kick in financially for those willing and prepared to participate.
10. UNREACHED PEOPLES CONSULTATION (FOR THE MUSLIM WORLD) –- Do you want to see a breakthrough among Muslims around the world? AFMA in partnership with AIMS, CBN, and Regent University presents “Breakthrough Among Muslims,” an unreached peoples consultation at Regent University in Virginia Beach, March 14-17, 2005. Learn how to effectively share good news with the Muslim world from people who have ministered successfully there. Early bird discounts are available through 2/14/05. To request a brochure or to secure your registration, call AFMA at (757) 226-5850 or send an email to afma(at)aims- usa(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] For more information, visit AFMA on the web at http://www.theafma.org.
11. AN OPEN HEART: THE MBALANTU of NAMIBIA — Jason is a young Mbalantu man beginning the life of adulthood. Two believers shared the Gospel with him outside his traditional village home. He prayed for Jesus to save him that day. Then he sincerely thanked them for coming and sharing the Word of God. Please pray for Jason to grow in Christ. Pray for the Lord to build prayer support and call missionaries for the Mbalantu, an unengaged people. To adopt the Mbalantu people for prayer or for more information, please visit http://www.forgottenpeoples.info or email swacsc(at)iafrica(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
12. 2020 VISION: NEW BOOK ABOUT GOD’S WORLDWIDE WORK — It’s happening, but you won’t get the details on the news. In 2020 Vision find out how the Gospel is reaching people in some amazing places! Exciting breakthroughs in new harvest fields are highlighted, along with scriptural insights into God’s heart for the nations. Read about the Black Berbers, the Parmiri, and the Meo people and also that the percentage of born-again Christians is growing fastest in places like Cameroon, Aruba, and Togo! Written by Bill and Amy Stearns, 2020 Vision is an invaluable tool for God’s people, providing not only in-depth updates on missions today but also practical ways for individuals and churches to get involved. Ideal for adult Bible study groups focused on reaching the whole world for Christ. For more information, an excerpt, and the Table of Contents visit: http://www.bethanyhouse.com/2020vision. To order, e-mail orders(at)bakerbooks(dot)com or call 1-800-877-2665 or (616) 675-9185 (Bethany House ships internationally as well.)
13. D&D MISSIONARY HOMES — Have you ever come across these guys, who have put together a center in the St. Florida so that missionaries on furlough can have a place to lay their heads? Check ’em out at 4020 58th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33714-1133. tel. 727-522-0522, fax 727-522-0524. email ddmissionaryHomes(at)juno(dot)com, or better yet, see their site at http://www.ddmissionaryhomes.org (I’d hate to wind up in the crossfire of that little girl about to hurl the orange at http://www.ddmissionaryhomes.org/beach.htm “Run for your lives!” Yikes! :-) LOL
14. MISSIONARY-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM AT BEESON DIVINITY — Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School (Birmingham, Alabama) recently announced the inauguration of a missionary-in-residence program to begin with the 2005-06 academic year. In exchange for teaching two, two- or three-hour, semester-length courses and speaking in various campus forums, the individual chosen as missionary-in-residence will receive a stipend of $15,000, a four-month auto lease, plus auto insurance, valued at up to $5,000. What’s not to like about that! :-) You’ve gotta have 5 years in the field, and an earned doctorate is preferred but not required. Learn more — and apply — by writing to: global(at)samford(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] and see more about the university at http://www.samford.edu/groups/global
15. ELIJAH COMPANY MISSIONS TRAINING CAMP – Here’s a four-day consultation from February 24-27 near Valentine, Virginia. The consultation introduces realities, necessities, models and methods. A close look is given to the personal profile of the missionary and developing relational abilities. The goal is to help provide a road map into missions involvement and motivation for the journey. Prayer is central to the training. Skills are also presented. Furloughing missionaries and missions leaders have also found this time to be of great value for resolving difficult issues. The Elijah Company manifesto is posted on the newly edited web site at http://www.elijahcompany.org. You can get more information and applications by writing to info4(at)elijahcompany(dot)org or calling (757) 226-3507 in the USA.
16. INTERNET EVANGELISM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY — This conference will be held April 1-2nd at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. There will be workshops and well known speakers such as David Bruce of HollywoodJesus.com. Visit http://ie-21stCentury.com for more information.
17. THE BACK PAGE: A “RIP IN THE TIME/SPACE CONTINUUM” — Remember in Star Trek, when there would be a “rip in the time-space continuum”? What was that, anyway? I guess… it meant that there was such a disturbance that it threw all nature out of balance. I’ve been thinking about how big of a disturbance has been wrought by this terrible earthquake. Weird… the quake would have cause terrible devastation if it were to have hit in a major city. But it didn’t. It hit in the middle of the ocean — a seemingly innocuous place. Nevertheless, its repercussions were then meted out to practically anyone with real estate bordering the Indian Ocean!

In the same way, life often hands out a similar blow. The strike will take place in the form of the death of a loved one, or maybe a best friend’s chronic illness. But the impact of that upheaval will, in turn, send shock waves throughout the rest of our existence.

Tonight I pray that God would comfort the fallen, lift up the weak, and strengthen the feeble knees … not only of those that have been struck, not only of those who have lost loved ones… but also of those who are now sacrificing to serve the fallen. The onsite workers, the pray-ers, and the givers… and all those who have longed for help to come to the Indian Ocean shores. Thank you Lord, for being where most of us can’t. Amen.

PS. Don’t miss next week’s Brigada Today, when we begin gearing up to celebrate our 10-year birthday on Jan. 25!

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