Monthly Archives: February 2006

20060226 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES FROM USA
  2. OOPS – I MEAN FREECYCLE.ORG
  3. SHORT-TERM MISSION LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
  4. GREAT CALLING RATES FOR BROADBAND USERS
  5. ARE CHRISTIANS REALLY ONE BIG FAMILY?
  6. NEW CHILDREN’S MISSIONS CURRICULUM
  7. FRENCH EVANGELICAL BOOKS
  8. WHY DO WE REPEAT THE NOTE ABOUT “PREVENTING SPAM?”
  9. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMP
  10. BEFORE YOU SUBMIT AN ITEM TO BRIGADA…
  11. TRAINING IN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MINISTRY
  12. SUMMER TRAINING PROGRAM OFFERS OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT THE NATIONS
  13. RESOURCES IN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES OF MEXICO
  14. WOLOF CONNECTION 2006
  15. WOULD YOU TAKE A STAND TO HELP OUR BRIGADA SECRETARY?
  16. THE BACK PAGE: SPEAKING INTO SOMEONE’S LIFE
  17. CLOSING STUFF

  1. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES FROM USA — Get great calling rates for domestic (starting at 1.9cents/min to continental US and Canada) and international calls (200 countries for less than 10cents/min …UK 3cents, France 3cents, Russia/Moscow 2.5cents, Israel 3.2cents, Colombia/SA 4.2cents, South Africa 9cents). You can call from any touchtone phone including cell. It’s a prepaid service, so there’s no contract necessary, nor any monthly, activation, or connection fees. Furthermore, there’s no need to switch carriers. Beyond that, get up to 470 free minutes on signup and lots of convenience features. For more info go to:

    http://www.tel3advantage.com/?agentnumber=837371

    An agent affiliate program with good income potential is also available at no cost to sign up. (In our own case, the agent has committed to send a gift to Brigada as a way of saying thanks for each new partner that signs up — so please… keep talkin’! (Thanks Judy!)


  2. OOPS – I MEAN FREECYCLE.ORG — Contrary to the vicious rumor (instigated by the “.com” in last week’s Brigada Today), the site is freecycle.org, not freecycle.com. [blush] We apologize for any inconvenience. Thanks to those who helped us make this correction.

  3. SHORT-TERM MISSION LEADERS’ CONFERENCE — The annual Short-Term Mission Leaders’ Conference will be held 20-22 April at Bethany College of Missions in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This national training event is designed for anyone in North America who is a church, school, or agency leader, and who is leading, training, organizing, or supervising Christian short-term mission trip efforts. More than one dozen speakers and national leaders will discuss such STM topics as: Partnership or Paternalism, Maximizing Media in Short-Term Mission, and more. The STMLC is one of three national short-term mission training conferences endorsed by the U.S. Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission. For more information, visit

    http://stemintl.org/training/stmlc

    or email stmlc(at)stemintl(dot)org, or call toll-free in the USA 877-STEM-646 or local 952-996-1385. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  4. GREAT CALLING RATES FOR BROADBAND USERS — VoIP service is now available using a small adapter unit on cable or DSL connections with unlimited calling to US and Canada for $19.95 per month (and very low international rates). Check out details at

    http://www.voipnetadvantage.com/?agentnumber=837371

    This service can be used to call from international locations as long as they have compatible cable or DSL connections, and a US or Canadian address for credit card billing and shipping of the phone connection adapter unit. There is a one time setup and shipping charge of $46.90 for this service, but the first month of calling to US and Canada is currently free to offset some of the initial costs. (Thanks to Judy, who has said she’ll send a gift as a thank-you for everyone that signs up from this Brigada referral.)


  5. ARE CHRISTIANS REALLY ONE BIG FAMILY? — The Bible says that’s how God sees us, but perhaps you feel doubtful? Then visit the EasyEnglish website at

    http://easyenglish.info

    to find out how God has united all Christians under the leadership of Christ. Click on “What’s New?” and choose “One Family in Christ.” Cynthia Green and Carol Betts have translated the book of Ephesians into really simple English and short sentences. (Level A 1200 word vocabulary)


  6. NEW CHILDREN’S MISSIONS CURRICULUM — Caleb Project’s newest curriculum, “Outside the Lines: Connecting Kids to God’s Global Purpose” is being tested at 14 locations around the U.S. and should be released early this summer. The 13 three-hour lessons, based on the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course, cover biblical, historic, and cultural themes written at different levels for children from kindergarten to eighth grade. Outside the Lines includes Bible lessons, prayer activities, crafts, skits, games, and simulations, all in printable PDF form, and two DVDs of videos, songs, slide-show presentations, and animation clips. Outside the Lines is a great way to help kids discover they don’t have to wait to grow up before they can make an important contribution. For more information and to receive notification when the curriculum is available, contact outsidethelines(at)cproject(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] To view sample pages and learn more visit

    http://www.calebproject.org/outsidethelines


  7. FRENCH EVANGELICAL BOOKS — Need 6000 French titles to choose from? The website is the catalogue. Discounts are available for mission organizations. The store is located in Quebec, Canada. You can even request a subscription to the Missions Newsletter (25K maximum) sent out about 4 times a year. Call toll-free from Canada & the USA 1-866- 337-7772; or tel. 450-678-7772 elsewhere, or log on at

    http://www.librairiepassages.com or email

    info(at)librairiepassages(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

    (Note that they apologize for the fact that they are not able to ship directly to Africa or Asia at this time, but perhaps a go-between could order the books ad ship them to you on your behalf?)


  8. WHY DO WE REPEAT THE NOTE ABOUT “PREVENTING SPAM?” — Have you noticed how many times we insert the phrase, ” [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]”? We repeat it because we’re told that many of our readers clip only just the one item, then forward it to members of their team, agency, or church. If we only post this explanation at the front of a Brigada Today edition, we fear it might be a tad more confusing for them if they receive the individual item without the benefit of the explanation. Please pardon any inconvenience.

  9. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMP — With many requests for additional training, the Elijah Company folks have scheduled an additional training from May 18-21, 2006. The four days provide steps, stamina and stature for those in or going into missions. For more information, log on at:

    http://www.elijahcompany.org

    or write elijah(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 .] Or call with any questions to +1-757-226-3507.


  10. BEFORE YOU SUBMIT AN ITEM TO BRIGADA… — Click on “submit” in the top line menu. The requests there might seem a bit daunting at first, but another way to get the big picture is just read a couple of editions to Brigada Today first, before you submit items. Notice our style: We don’t use “classified ad” language (skipping articles, etc.). We try to make the items *read*. And we *try* to keep them short (8-10 lines max, preferably). Please remember you’re writing for an international audience, and don’t use first person — “register for our conference,” etc. Above all, please check your spelling and grammar. Thanks!

  11. TRAINING IN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MINISTRY — For 25 years ACMI (Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals) has hosted a US/Canadian equipping conference for volunteers and staff involved in ministry among international students. ACMI’06 is June 1-3 at Eastern Nazarene College, Boston, MA. For a brochure, list of 50 workshops, and to register on-line see:

    http://www.acmi-network.org

    There’s an early registration discount until March 31st.


  12. SUMMER TRAINING PROGRAM OFFERS OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT THE NATIONS — Hope Builders International, a missions advocacy ministry in Charlottesville, VA. is hosting a summer training session from June 19th to August 11th at their facility. Proven church planters and mission workers from ministries in Asia and the Middle East will attend. The program targets these areas: a) developing a deep relationship with Christ, b) learning methods of meeting under the Lord’s headship that enable the church to grow outside of traditional building related worship c) studying English at a level that makes them better servants of their ministries. HBI is seeking 5-10 Americans to join the program who have a heart to serve, are teachable and dream big. The age range is generally early twenties to early thirties. More information is available at theforge(at)hope-builders(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or by clicking on The Forge icon on HBI’s website:

    http://www.hope-builders.org


  13. RESOURCES IN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES OF MEXICO — Millions of speakers of indigenous Mexican languages emigrate from their native areas seasonally or longer, often working in commercial agricultural areas or cities throughout Mexico and the US. Currently there are hundreds of thousands in the US. Contact Allan migration(at)dpmmcomimex(dot)com if you minister to such folks and want help finding out what Christian resources are available in their languages and how to acquire them. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Materials currently exist in about 250 languages and dialects. Check out http://dpmmcomimex.com/usmigration.htm for additional information.

  14. WOLOF CONNECTION 2006 — Are you interested in reaching the Wolof people of Senegal and The Gambia, one of the key people groups in West Africa? Would you like to connect with other leaders, churches and agencies who share your interest? Whether you are just considering becoming involved or are already involved in ministry among the Wolof, the Wolof Connection is for you. This is a growing group of leaders, churches and agencies who meet together annually in North America to consider how they can be more effective by working together than just through individual efforts to reach the Wolof. This year we will be meeting in the Seattle, Washington area for three days in April. Key African and expatriate leaders will be sharing in plenary sessions and leading workshops designed to enable all participants to work more effectively in collaboration with one another to demonstrate and communicate the love of Jesus. For more see

    http://wolofconnection.com

    Direct questions to Mark at mssnelling(at)comcast(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  15. WOULD YOU TAKE A STAND TO HELP OUR BRIGADA SECRETARY? — While on the road in Sudan, Uganda, and the U.K. these last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded once again how grateful I am for our Brigada secretary, who has reviewed mail daily and forwarded only what was urgent, filing the rest for my return from Sudan. There’s no way I could have hoped to look at all the Brigada traffic daily. Her help is a great blessing. The founder of the Medical Missions Conference at Southeast Christian Church once told us that Brigada was critical to the establishment of what is now said to be the largest medical missions event in the world. If you or someone you know has benefited from Brigada, would you consider taking a stand to help us pay for her salary? Is there a foundation you could approach… or a good steward who is looking for a project to sponsor… If someone were willing to grant Brigada $15,931, we wouldn’t have to mention finances again until January 5th, 2007. (For that is the amount remaining that we must raise in 2006 to sponsor her salary.) What if you knew that your gift would enable 10,000 readers to pick up resources on a weekly basis – for free, throughout the remainder of 2006. And many of those readers are missions mobilizers in majority world nations, where giving is much more challenging. Sponsoring or even chipping in toward our expenses is a way of saying thanks on their behalf too. But remember, either way, we’ll still show up next week, just as we have for the past 11 years. click on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. 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. In any case, thanks for considering Brigada in your estate giving, your monthly church missions fund, and/or your own personal giving for this calendar year.

  16. THE BACK PAGE: SPEAKING INTO SOMEONE’S LIFE — Sometimes, it’s because we’re cowards. But at other times, I’m convinced that it’s because we’re just not sure it’s justified. I’m talking about — how do we know whether or not to open our mouths when we observe something we think could be improved. You see, maybe we say to ourselves, “Hey, I’m a mere mortal too; who am I to get involved.” Or maybe we think, “This is such a minor deal.” We’re afraid if we mention something, it’ll become bigger than life. Or — here’s a big one — we aren’t really the person charged with giving feedback, either because we’re not on the chain of command or because we’ve observed something that ought to be covered by a father or mother figure… and we’re just a friend (maybe not a great friend, at that).

    You know, the more I think about all those premises, the more I’m convinced that they’re all kind of hogwash.

    The truth is… if we really care about someone and *trust* them, then a) we’ll *want* them to speak into our lives, and b) we’ll want to make an investment in theirs.

    So how do we make the most of these opportunities to give and receive input? That’ll be the subject of our next “Back Page” editorial. :-) Tune in next week. In the meantime, start noticing everything you’ve always wanted to say to someone else but just couldn’t get up the nerve! :-)

20060219 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. LEARN A PRACTICAL SKILL FOR MISSIONS
  2. NEED FREE STUFF? TRY FREECYCLE
  3. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MK’S NEEDED
  4. PERSPECTIVES IS LOOKING FOR COMPUTER AND WEB DEVELOPMENT STAFF
  5. TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LITERACY EVANGELISM
  6. CHINA RESOURCE PACK AVAILABLE FROM OMF
  7. REACHING CENTRAL MEXICO TRIBES
  8. HOSPITALITY HOMES
  9. MISSIONARY SURVEY FOR MEMBER/MISSIONARY CARE
  10. OF CHURCHES AND FLU PANDEMICS
  11. AIMS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY
  12. THE BACKPAGE: “GOD’S SPIRIT IS BLOWING A WIND OF UNITY”
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  1. 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 offered monthly in Texas.

    http://www.dentaltrainingformissions.com or email dentaltrainingformissions(at)yahoo(dot)com


  2. NEED FREE STUFF? TRY FREECYCLE — First it was a highly energetic gal in our office. :-) Now a Brigada reader from Virginia has written about it… Guess it’s time we mention it:

    http://www.freecycle.com

    I guess you’ll see announcements from the people who have stuff to give away… and if you need it for free, you simply ask for it. That’s it. Free stuff. Try it. Emily says you’ll like it. :-) Jim agrees. (Thanks, you too! :-) )


  3. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MK’S NEEDED — ServantCARE Ministry has recently been contacted by missionaries seeking help locating US college scholarships for their children. ServantCARE needs your help in compiling a list to make available on their website,

    http://www.servantcare.com/

    for missionaries to easily access via the web. Would you help them meet this need? Do you know of colleges? Please send the names, websites, and all pertinent related information to icare(at)servantcare(dot)com


  4. PERSPECTIVES IS LOOKING FOR COMPUTER AND WEB DEVELOPMENT STAFF — The National Offices for the Perspectives Study Program recently relocated from Pasadena, CA to Fayetteville, AR. They are looking for a few folks with IT (MAC and PC) and web development experience to join their team as they prepare for the future of the Perspectives course both throughout the country and around the world. This would require putting together a personal support team, and at this point, they say that only US citizens need inquire. If you would like more information, call 479-587-1919 Ext. 102, or email David.Flynn(at)uscwm(dot)org

  5. TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LITERACY EVANGELISM — Literacy & Evangelism International is holding a five-week training institute on literacy evangelism. Topics include: Basic Literacy, Developing Bible-content literacy materials in local languages, Literacy Evangelism and Discipleship, Teaching English as a Second Language , How to Conduct Tutor Training Workshops, How to run church-based literacy programs and other topics. If you are interested in this training and want to learn more about Literacy Evangelism, which is a blind spot in Christian missions, visit their website at

    http://www.literacyevangelism.org or e-mail generalatliteracyevangelismdotorg The dates of their International Literacy Training Institute are June 4 – July 8, 2006, Tulsa, Oklahoma.


  6. CHINA RESOURCE PACK AVAILABLE FROM OMF — OMF International has recently published a resource that covers “all things China.” The China Resource Pack includes a book, four videos, a 30-day prayer guide written by China expert Tony Lambert (author of China’s Christian Millions), brochures, PowerPoint presentations and a web site:

    http://www.chinasmillions.org

    The book and web site are each broken down into five main sections: History, Religion, Culture, People and Current Events. This could be a valuable resource for individuals, Sunday school classes, churches or missions organizations with an interest in China. Cost of the complete pack is $30 and is available at

    http://www.omfbooks.com

    For more information, email cberry(at)omf(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. REACHING CENTRAL MEXICO TRIBES — Since 1994 E-VAN ministries have lead mission teams and projects in the cities of Fresnillo and Zacatecas. They have also pioneered with MCE (Ministerio a Grupos Etnicos) to minister to the “unreached” Tepehuan and Huichol Indians of the Sierra Madres. Mission trip opportunities are available for church groups to the cities or the mountain tribes. Teams may participate in pubic evangelism in cities or villages, the Tribal Bible school construction, and children’s ministry. Partnership is desired for the drilling of a water well at the Tepehuan Tribal Bible school, and the building of a simple church building among the Huichol Indians. For more info, contact Tim

    http://www.E-van.org or email missions(at)E-van(dot)org or call Mexico Phone 01152-478-985-1054 or U.S.Phone 361-362-1423


  8. HOSPITALITY HOMES — ServantCARE Ministry offers hospitality homes (US and overseas locations) to those in ministry. They will be traveling in April to establish much needed new homes near interstates in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma (Oklahoma City needed badly). They would like your help in connecting them with those who have the gift of hospitality who would like to serve in this manner. All the information needed, and questions answered, is found on their website

    http://www.servantcare.com/

    under “Hospitality Homes” They also have posted on their website 25 pages of “Referral Links”, many supplied by Brigada, to which they would like to add any other ministries across the country that meet needs of those in ministry. Please contact them at icare(at)servantcare(dot)com


  9. MISSIONARY SURVEY FOR MEMBER/MISSIONARY CARE — Brenda is working on her doctoral dissertation entitled “Training of Missionary Care Workers”. Missionaries, please complete the anonymous missionary survey on the Internet at weblink

    http://www.palmarium.co.za/mcsurvey

    It will take approximately 12 minutes of your time to complete this survey by merely clicking on your choices before 15 May 2006. This study is an endeavour to enhance the care of missionaries and to resultantly prevent missionary attrition. A safe survey is available for those in restricted areas in a Word file sent via email at request at purejoy(at)gmx(dot)ch [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors in the preceding email address, replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  10. OF CHURCHES AND FLU PANDEMICS — Here’s an M.D. that feels strongly that churches and mission agencies would be well advised to consider planning for an eventual flu pandemic, not out of fear but out of obedience to Christ’s command to love our neighbors. Specifically, how can churches and mission agencies operate, minister, and stay in touch with members. Explore issues of ethics and morality, such as the order of triage and the allocation of scarce resources. As church members are encouraged and equipped to dialogue with their neighbors with the purpose of forming small mutual assistance groups in Christ’s name, we might even witness unprecedented church growth. If you or your agency/church would like help — or would share your plan, email Tim:

    church_emergency_preparedness-owner(at)yahoogroups(dot)com or log on at

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/church_emergency_preparedness/


  11. AIMS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY — For 20 years, Accelerating International Mission Strategies (AIMS) has helped churches around the world complete the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. This year, AIMS will celebrate this important anniversary and cast a vision for the next era of ministry at a special celebration banquet. Church leaders, mission agencies, denominations, and individuals interested in learning more about AIMS or partnering with us in international mobilization are invited to join them at the Founders Inn and Conference in Virginia Beach on March 23 at 6:00 pm. Guest speakers include Dr. Howard Foltz, founder and CEO of AIMS, and Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of CBN. Cost is only $35 per person. For more information, call (757) 226-5850 or register online at

    http://www.aims.org/20thanniversary


  12. THE BACKPAGE: “GOD’S SPIRIT IS BLOWING A WIND OF UNITY” — Earlier this evening, I enjoyed the fellowship of some 20 other missionaries, church leaders, and missions committee members. Some were African, others were American, some were non-instrumental church of Christ, others were Christian Church, some were from the South, others from the North, some were sent ones, others were senders. In spite of all these differences, I was in awe at the atmosphere of harmony and unity that wove like a tapestry among us. One field worker summed it up to me in a one-on-one follow-up conversation: “God’s Spirit is blowing a wind of unity to all who will listen. I believe that those who refuse to accept it will be sidelined to a position outside the center of God’s will.” Whoa. Sobering. The cool thing was – this was the noninstrumental church of Christ guy. In former decades, his forefathers would probably have been convinced that I was sliding down the slippery slope to Hell. Now, he was citing statistics like … 70% of all non-instrumental church of Christ seminary students no longer make the instrument a test of fellowship, much less one of salvation.

    This is good news for guys in my position. (Who wants to be cast into Hell? :-) ) There are probably similar things happening in the stream of faith that you identify as your own. Here are some key factors we’ll have to consider: a) What are the absolutes for you and your congregation/agency? In other words, what is the core of the core for you — doctrinally? b) Will you write that down, knowing full well that the moment you do, you’ve “fenced out” certain others? Or will you leave it verbal only, so you have a chance to explain it? c) What projects can you and your “new neighbors” embrace, in order that you can immediately go to work together? You see, some experts in conflict resolution say that newly-united movements profit from immediately getting to work on a project. Think of it this way: In a war, the definition of an ally is “someone shooting at the same enemy at which I’m shooting.” Go to work. You’ll form alliances that solidify relationships . . . and once you’re in a relationship, it’s much easier to be unified. Very intriguing. What’s your project going to be?

20060212 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
  2. CALEB PROJECT TO HOST THE CONNECTION CONFERENCE
  3. ONLINE REGISTRATION OPENS FOR GCoMM 2006
  4. INTENSIVE CROSS-CULTURAL INTERNSHIP IN NORTH AFRICA
  5. CALIFORNIA WEB EVANGELISM CONFERENCE
  6. SECOND WORLDWIDE INTERNET EVANGELISM FOCUS DAY
  7. ZWEMER
  8. NEED A GETAWAY?
  9. UNREACHED PEOPLES CONSULTATION POSTPONED
  10. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CHIP IN
  11. THE BACKPAGE: SNOOPY’S TIPS FOR SAYING THANKS
  12. CLOSING STUFF

  1. 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 TEAM will be held in Dubai, UAE April 22-27, 2006. Contact Bill Turner at desertspring(at)tapmail(dot)org for information. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] 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 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 .]

  2. CALEB PROJECT TO HOST THE CONNECTION CONFERENCE — More than 750 leaders representing more than 100 area churches are expected to tap into an array of workshops and exhibits at a state-wide missions conference called The Connection: God’s People Empowered to Reach Our Communities and the World, March 16-18, 2006, at Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver’s south suburb of Highlands Ranch. Urban and Hispanic ministries are a new focus this year, including worship led by the multi-ethnic Confluence Band. The non-denominational event is sponsored by a coalition of churches and international mission agencies. Speakers and mission consultants will offer 72 workshops in eight different tracks. This regional missions conference is designed to equip, empower, and release God’s people in their unique role and application of Acts 1:8.

    The plenary speakers for this conference are Fran Blomberg, adjunct professor of Intercultural Ministries, Denver Seminary, missions consultant, and Doctoral student at Western Seminary; Ted Travis, Pastor of Jubilee Community Church in Denver and president of Neighborhood Ministries; and Scott Wenig, Pastor of Aspen Grove Community Church and professor of Applied Theology at Denver Seminary. The eight equipping tracks will include: Urban Transformation, Church Mobilization, Children’s EXPO, Effective Short-term Missions, Your Next Steps in Missions, Encountering Muslims, Purpose-driven Business, and a track for Hispanic ministry.

    Conference details can be found at http://www.calebproject.org/connection


  3. ONLINE REGISTRATION OPENS FOR GCoMM 2006 — Hundreds of musicians, music missionaries, educators, worship pastors, and Christian leaders from around the world will gather for the second Global Consultation on Music and Missions (GCoMM 2006), to be held July 11-15 at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. At GCoMM 2006, a superb team of plenary and seminar speakers will explore the cultural aspects of music and worship. Register for GCoMM 2006 before April 1 and receive an early-bird rate of $245, which includes 12 meals. The convenient online registration will also allow you to reserve your spot in Bethel University’s on-campus housing, obtainable on a “first come, first served” basis for $25/night. Discounted registration rates are also available for students and those coming from outside of North America. See all details and register now at

    http://www.gcommhome.org to take advantage of these select discounts. [GCoMM 2006 is made possible in part through a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.]


  4. INTENSIVE CROSS-CULTURAL INTERNSHIP IN NORTH AFRICA — Live with a Muslim family, study Arabic, and learn “how-to” study another culture May 20 – June 3 in North Africa. The program is led by a professor with 20 years of experience in the region, and is an excellent way to experience what it would be like to work long-term among Muslims. Participants include potential missionaries, current missionaries who want to improve their cross-cultural skills, and any who need a first- hand experience with Muslims in order to increase their effectiveness and missionary vision. The internship can be taken for academic credit or noncredit and is sponsored by The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, based at Columbia International University (CIU) in South Carolina. Registration deadline is April 1. For more information please email eurocourse(at)hotmail(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . ]

  5. CALIFORNIA WEB EVANGELISM CONFERENCE — Don’t miss TechVangelism conference on technologies for communicating Christ cross-culturally, at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, California, 18 March 2006:

    http://techvangelism.org


  6. SECOND WORLDWIDE INTERNET EVANGELISM FOCUS DAY — Internet Evangelism Day this year will be 7 May 2006. The purpose of this focus day is to share with Christians the potential and strategies for effective online outreach. Any church or mission group can create a custom program using downloadable PowerPoint, video clips, dramas, music, handouts and posters from the site:

    http://ied.gospelcom.net/index.php


  7. ZWEMER — What is currently taking place around the world as a result of cartoons about Muhammad suggests we in the West need to focus more on Muslims! This is the 10th Summer Institute in Islam, July 3-28, 2006 on the campus of Columbia International University in South Carolina. In the four, one-week courses, the focus in on understanding Islam, building healthy relationships with Muslims and training workers to effectively present the gospel. With over 35 hours of class instruction for each course, Zwemer’s distinctive over other similar programs is that it provides in-depth training for the Church’s greatest challenge in the 21st century. Material can be taken for credit or as a seminar (non-credit). Please go to http://www.ciu.edu/summerstudies and follow the link to Zwemer. You can register on line or e-mail muslimstudies(at)ciu.edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] You may also call 1-800-777-2227, Ext. 3325.

  8. NEED A GETAWAY? — If you can’t hit the entire Connection, at least take part in a getaway. See it at: http://www.pastorsretreatnetwork.org/ — free meals, room, and more… if you’ll rest and enjoy life in a laid back sort of way. Very interesting business model. :-) (Seriously – they want to take care of missionaries!)

  9. UNREACHED PEOPLES CONSULTATION POSTPONED –- The Unreached Peoples Consultation, “Connections for Kingdom Advancement” scheduled for March 21-24 in Virginia Beach, VA, has been postponed. The Alliance for Missions Advancement (AFMA) is planning to reschedule the consultation this October or November. An announcement will be released when the dates are solidified. For up-to-date information, visit the consultation website at http://www.upc2006.org or call AFMA at (757) 226-5850. (Thanks.)

  10. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CHIP IN — This past week, we received these welcome gifts: $6.38 from Good Neighbor Insurance because someone signed up with them via Brigada,

    http://www.gninsurance.com/brigada.asp

    and $10.08 from Blessed Hope Communications for those who talked on the phone this past month! :-)

    http://www.lowermyphonebill.com/brigada

    We also rec’d $18 from Insurance Services of America, where Mark Sneed is the VP, again, as a kind of “finder’s fee”.

    http://www.missionaryhealth.net/brigada.htm

    Thank you to these sponsors. Please remember them and the gracious way they’re helping Brigada.


  11. THE BACKPAGE: SNOOPY’S TIPS FOR SAYING THANKS — I remember a Charlie Brown comic that pictured Snoopy trying to make friends with the cat next door. Snoopy walks up to the cat with the “right paw of fellowship” extended . . . but covering his paw is a ball glove (with extra padding). It’s a comical commentary at curing cross-cultural conflict. But the trouble is — sometimes it’s a lot like real life. We reach out to others to say thanks but fail to appreciate the cultural differences.

    Let’s take, for instance, the missionary who gets behind on his or her reports. 2 months pass, 3 months, 4 months… and the next thing you know, a supporting church has to come knocking, with a question like, “Have I somehow been dropped off your mailing list?” :-) Well in this case, the churches that banked on regular reporting are now hearing nothing . . . and that *silence* becomes the distance-maker, pushing more and more *space* between the missionary and the donor.

    So how can we say thanks? I’m learning that it varies some. For one supporter, it truly might be just by sending the written report. For Team Expansion, that’s supposed to go out *monthly*. But for another one, it might be a phone call (upon receipt of an out-of-the-ordinary gift). For another, maybe it could mean attending the funeral of the donor’s close relative. Yet another might appreciate a handwritten thank-you note, “Just writing to tell you that we really appreciate you.”

    In today’s world, we sometimes get so busy with automation and mass production that we forget . . . personal is good. They had to sign the check. Let’s sign the card. So whether it’s with the pen or phone, or a voice or visit, let’s all work harder at saying thank you in a way that inspires greater and greater levels of trust and respect. I believe God will get more and more glory as we do that. And that’s a good thing… because it’s a jungle out there. We need Him.

20060205 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. COST-FREE RENEWAL RETREATS FOR GLOBAL WORKERS
  2. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BIBLE TRANSLATION
  3. MEMBER CARE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS
  4. INTERNATIONAL CHURCHES REACHING UPGS
  5. DISCIPLE-EQUIPPING MATERIALS TO ORDER
  6. FUND RAISING CONFERENCE
  7. BOAT BASED CHRISTIAN TRAINING
  8. ACU SUMMER SEMINAR IN MISSIONS
  9. BECOME AN ENGLISH TEACHER
  10. TORONTO SEMINAR: PLANTS
  11. EMERGENCY FOOD SHIPPING CONTACTS NEEDED
  12. INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, PACE-SETTING FRIENDS
  13. THE BACK PAGE: THE POWER OF THE OVERCOMER
  14. CLOSING STUFF

  1. COST-FREE RENEWAL RETREATS FOR GLOBAL WORKERS — ELIM Retreats, a ministry of Barnabas International, is offering 7 spiritual formation/re-entry/renewal retreats for missionaries in 2006. The Retreat site is a 1400 acre private, gorgeous family property on the shores of Lake Huron, 2.5 hours north of Detroit, Michigan. The emphasis is on personal spiritual assessment and growth, interacting in small groups around the Word. The Retreat affords lots of unscheduled time. Each Retreat is 6 days. 16 participants of multiple cultures and agencies have their own bedrooms, sitting rooms and in most cases, private baths. Adult couples and singles only. Find pictures, faq’s, dates and registration at

    http://www.barnabas.org/elimretreats

    or email hstewart5(at)juno(dot)com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] (Just one thing I noticed: You’d better be serious about retreating: I notice they ask that we not bring our computers. Gulp. Now there’s a serious retreater. :-) [I think I’d go into convulsions. :-)])


  2. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BIBLE TRANSLATION — From hard drives to saved lives! Learn how your Information Technology skills can advance God’s Kingdom through Bible translation. Wycliffe Bible Translators is hosting two-day conferences on February 24 and 25, 2006 in San Francisco, CA and on March 3 and 4, 2006 in Pasadena, CA. One is also planned for the Seattle area in May. Wycliffe urgently needs over 200 seasoned IT professionals in order to complete the task of Bible translation for millions of Bibleless people. IT professionals are needed in the US and abroad for everything from exciting cutting edge language applications to enterprise systems, business analysis, electronics, management, software development, consultation and training. The “Check IT Out” conference costs $65 and includes 4 meals, materials, and snacks. Housing is available. For more information or to register, go to http://jaars.org/checkitout or you may write to Norm Purvis at: mobilization_wsw(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 .]

  3. MEMBER CARE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS — Wycliffe Bible Translators International and Missionary Care International will join forces to offer the 2006 Member Care in Crisis Situations Workshop, June 19-23, 2006 in Dallas, Texas. The first half of the workshop will deal with a variety of topics, including: What constitutes a “crisis situation?” How can we expect people to respond in times of personal or group crisis? What populations are most vulnerable? How can we respond as an organization? How can we use “Peer Responders” to care for people in crisis? The last half of the workshop will focus on debriefing skills for “peer level” debriefing. 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. Room and board fees for the workshop are $145.00/person, due upon arrival. For information or reservations contact Wycliffe 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 .]


  4. INTERNATIONAL CHURCHES REACHING UPGS — At no time in history have expatriate international churches had more potential to impact the world than today. International churches are filled with unique resources – talented people, money, and know-how. The Missional International Church Network (MICN) models and teaches how international churches can dynamically engage in God’s transformational work. The third MICN Conference will be 24-28 April 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. Speakers are all experienced international church leaders. For information contact: conference(at)micn(dot)org or on the web at:

    http://www.micn.org

    [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  5. DISCIPLE-EQUIPPING MATERIALS TO ORDER — In the new year it is typical to attempt some well-intended organization for more meaningful ministry in 2006. What is always needed is a fresh look at accepting and applying truly Biblical leadership. Dr. Kenneth O. Gangel has prepared an essential tool for a clear, scriptural vision of leadership, called “Biblical Leadership.” Evangelical Training Association

    http://www.etaworld.org

    has just published this new resource for $11.99. Learn about it and other disciple-equipping materials by accessing the website or by calling at 800-369-8291 or 630-540-7840. You can write Mark Simpson, ETA’s Global Training Consultant, at

    Mark(dot)Simpson(at)etaworld(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  6. FUND RAISING CONFERENCE — The People Raising conference is designed to Double your effectiveness in raising individual or organizational funds. Attend the People Raising basic conference March 24-25. Move beyond the fear factor and raise more funds in half the time. Implement 10 key habits for success. Network with other Christian leaders. Arm yourself with tools needed for effective fund raising. You can’t afford to miss this breakthrough 2-day conference. Ask for the $100 spouse discount. This conference is essential for those raising personal support, coaching others or raising organizational funds. Tap into the more then 35 years of experience Bill Dillon brings to fund raising. Register by February 24th and receive the early bird special pricing. For more information or to register on-line go to

    http://www.peopleraising.com/conferences.cfm

    or e-mail Bill(at)PeopleRaising(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  7. BOAT BASED CHRISTIAN TRAINING — Marine Reach, YWAM’s ship ministry, has announced its second Bluewater Discipleship Training School (DTS). After the success of last year’s Bluewater DTS aboard the 90ft schooner, Genevieve Challenge, it was necessary to look for a larger sailing vessel to accommodate more students. The hope is to develop the Bluewater DTS into a long term ministry that not only disciples young people, but also reaches out within the sailing community and beyond. As a part of creating this ministry it was decided to hold this year’s Bluewater DTS in a sailing community. Therefore the next Bluewater DTS will take place in Aberystwyth, Wales, UK, a place that offers good sailing, effective sail training and involvement in the local community. It will begin April 14th and ends October 14th 2006. You can get full details including the application form at

    http://www.marinereach.com/dts_bluewater or by email to bluewaterdts(at)marinereach(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. ACU SUMMER SEMINAR IN MISSIONS — Abilene Christian University’s Halbert Institute of Missions is hosting its annual Summer Seminar in Missions May 15-June 2. There will be a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate courses available for credit or audit: anthropological studies, intercultural competency, evangelistic strategies of Bible translation, evangelism in a post-modern world, history of missions, campus ministry, spiritual formation in missions, and more.

    http://www.acu.edu/missions/summerseminar contact

    guild(at)bible(dot)acu(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  9. BECOME AN ENGLISH TEACHER — In the town of Kailua Kona on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, University of the Nations offers a wonderful opportunity to become a certified ESL teacher in six weeks. At the beginning of every quarter this TESOL course uses state-of-the- art curriculum and an emphasis on technology to interweave theory and practical application, giving students intensive well-rounded training. For more info call 808-326-4400 ext. 4178 or write to tesol(at)uofnkona(dot)edu.

  10. MISSIONS FOCUS — Abilene Christian University’s Halbert Institute of Missions is hosting its annual Missions Focus 3 day program May 23- 25. Presenter- Dr. Laura Mae Gardner, D.Min., of Wycliffe Bible Translators on “Missionary Care.” There will also be training modules on the role of the church in the care of missionaries and services for missionaries on furlough: eye exams, dental work and blood tests.

    http://www.acu.edu/missions/summerseminar contact

    guild(at)bible(dot)acu(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  11. TORONTO SEMINAR: PLANTS — Principles of Language Acquisition: Natural Techniques and Skills is a proactive approach to learning a new language. Before you are field-tested you can be language lab-tested. You can evaluate your language learning strengths and weaknesses, learn the principles and skills of language acquisition, practice with national speakers of your target language, and actually grow in your target language. All within two weeks in the world’s most multi- cultural city – Toronto. April 2-14, 2006. Register on-line:

    http://www.missionprep.ca


  12. EMERGENCY FOOD SHIPPING CONTACTS NEEDED — Children of the Nations (COTN) is seeking shipping contacts to send containers of emergency food and supplies from Minnesota and Washington State to Malawi, SE Africa. If you have shipping contacts that can help COTN meet the needs of the COTN Orphan homes, school and feeding centers in Malawi, please email Dave Schertzer ASAP at daveschertzer(at)cotni(dot)org For more information on COTN, please visit http://www.cotni.org Thank you.

  13. INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, PACE-SETTING FRIENDS — They’re daring you to step up to the plate. Setting the pace at the head of the pack. And they’re the object of our deepest gratitude. Thanks to Caleb Project (the Training Department, and especially Marti Smith) for the $30 help. Learn more about them at:

    http://calebproject.org/

    And thanks to DialAbroad

    http://www.dial-abroad.org/brigada.htm

    for the $90.17 from this past month’s long distance sponsor-ers. Finally, we also really appreciate the two anonymous donors who chipped in $25 and $5 each. Never thrown anything into the pot before? That’s ok. You can start any time. Been reading for 10 years? Now’s as good a time as any. And the whole thing is — Brigada is free . . . so you’ll always be able to keep reading. Chipping in toward our expenses is just a way of saying thanks. Either way, we’ll still show up next week. Just go to “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. 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. And… thanks.


  14. THE BACK PAGE: THE POWER OF THE OVERCOMER — Night before last, as I was watching the Olympics, I was struck by the courage of Zhang Dan (and her partner, Zhang Hao – both from China) in her willingness to get back up and finish her routine. She took a nasty fall while implementing a move that had never been attempted before in competition, an unprecedented throw quad Salchow. (Don’t ask me to describe it; I only know it involves spinning around maybe 4 times up in the air.) She kind of did the splits when she landed, only it involved painfully smacking her knee directly on the ice. Ouch.

    The USA — and indeed, the world — loves an overcomer. Well the funny thing was, in spite of the fact that she didn’t stick the quad, because she came back out there and kept skating, they gave her the credit for finishing a *triple* throw. Granted, one could ask all kinds of questions about how they still managed to take the silver medal in spite of the fact that they broke their routine with the 5-minute medical leave. Maybe the judges, in the end, had a heart for them. After all, it’s the Olympics, not the Superbowl. It’s amateur athletics, not professional hockey. It’s young ladies that are 18 and 19, not hardened criminals. So, it would seem — give ’em a break. Some would argue that they deserve it.

    Either way, is there a lesson hiding somewhere here for all of us? I think so.
    *** First, if we fall flat on our faces (or smack our knees), let’s get back up again. Who knows, we might still win — or at least come in 2nd. And no matter what, we’ll be showing gallant effort & unceasing commitment to the calling.
    *** Second, if someone extends grace to one of our peers (or enemies, for that matter), forgiving them for something that we believe should be punished, we’ve got to somehow overcome the tendency within us to question or challenge it. Somewhere in Italy, there’s a skater that’s whining about the fact that this girl complete washed out but still earned a silver medal for it. Jesus spoke to this on more than one occasion. Take, for example, Christ’s parable in Matt. 20:10, where the workers hired at the beginning of the day expected to receive more than those hired in the final hour. In the end, like the judges at the Olympics, the answer comes back, “It’s up to the judge alone to decide.” So let’s quit our whining.
    *** Third, and finally, let’s never let the good grace of the judge become a license to disregard the challenges, thus arriving ill- prepared. In other words, if we are granted grace, we’ll celebrate it. But let’s don’t *presume* grace. Romans 6.

    I guess there’s a corollary: We need to be working as if he’s coming tomorrow, while *planning* as if he’s coming in 20 years. We’ll certainly enjoy the journey a whole lot more.

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