Daily Archives: 2008/07/13

2008/07/13 — Brigada

“Brigada: Since 1995… Buckets full of Resources, Trends, Challenges — all in a weekly e-zine & website…”
Compiled by Doug Lucas, Team Expansion, Louisville, KY
(Thanks for your patience as we ‘catch up’ with the publishing date.)

In this issue…
1) How Do You Ship?
2) New Christian Holiday And Conference Center Open In Italy
3) Breakthrough: The Movie
4) Omf International’s Heart For Asia Conference
5) Vision For Asia Conference: Beyond Beijing
6) Explore Pathways To Missions
7) Why Do We Use Ascii Text For Brigada’s Emailed Edition?
8) Help Us Test Our New Online Giving Tools?
9) The Backpage: The Power Of Harmony
10) Closing Stuff

How do you Ship Goods to the Field?

That’s what David would like to know. We originally reported on this topic in the Nov. 28, 1999 edition of Brigada Today. Uhmmm… So I think it’s time we refreshed it. :-) Please, if you have a moment, click online to the address below and share your favorite shipping recommendation. Whether you’ve got a favorite packing tip… or just a website URL, please spread the news.

New Christian Holiday And Conference Center Open In Italy

Interested in waking up to the sound of cow bells and the sight of sunlight streaming into the valley from the Italian Alps in a brand new Christian holiday and conference center? OM Italy has just opened “Forterocca” in the location where the Waldensians fled to escape persecution. The center offers quality accommodation for about 200 persons (and 25 beds are suitable for disabled persons) and several conference rooms. The center has been built to help churches grow their missionary vision, a place where younger generation could be trained, and more. For more info visit


Breakthrough: the Movie

About 100 years ago a young English college graduate gave up a potential career and fame to serve as a missionary in the remote regions of China. But after six years there was little response and the mission needed him elsewhere. Produced by OMF International, Breakthrough is an inspiring half-hour docudrama which tells the story of James O. Fraser and the Lisu people reached for Christ. The premiere showing will be in Denver, Colorado on September 12, but you can order your own copy of this inspiring new resource at the introductory price of about US$9.99 at

Questions? Contact

Explore Pathways To Missions

Are you wondering if becoming a missionary is for you? Then check out this tool that will help you find out if you are. Explore is a set of learning experiences designed for people who are exploring the possibility of missionary service. This tool will:
– Clarify God’s will for one’s life
– Teach what it takes to become His servant on the field
– Strengthen gifts and skills for ministry
– Help one discover the requirements of a missionary lifestyle
– Encourage you to work through the material with a mentor


Why Do We Use Ascii Text For Brigada’s Emailed Edition?

When we tried the switch (to HTML formatted email), the outcry was pronounced. And no wonder. Of the 1,173,109,925 Internet subscribers at the end of 2007, only 349,980,000 were said to connect via broadband. That means that the vast majority of the world is still looking at the Internet through a small pipe (dial-up).
(this last source will wrap; please reassemble it in your browser’s “To:” box.)

What’s more, many of these dial-up users have HTML disabled by default, which means — when they receive emails laced with http: links within them, the http: links complicate and confuse normal text like nobody’s business. Beyond that, many of the world’s broadband users have “download pictures in email” turned off by default, as well. (They’ve been taught to do so because of virus- and trojan-laced emails.)

What’s more, in an in-depth survey by Jupiter Research in 2006, some 1166 users asserted that they were more likely to open and read/respond to an email if it contained a) products or features that were interesting to them (54%), or b) written copy that attracted them (40%), or a subject line that caught their eye (35%) or a compelling offer (33%). Less than one-fourth even paid any attention to pictures.
(The source for these stats was:
http://www.emaillabs.com/tools/email-marketing-statistics.html )

But what about using hot links to skip down to the individual items from the table of contents in the top-line summary? Wouldn’t that save time for all readers? Well if they have HTML functionality turned on, yes – probably. (I for one don’t; by default, I look at mail in ASCII text mode.) But why wouldn’t those users be able to click over to the web, then, and just use the corresponding web version to leap from link to link to their heart’s content? In this way, if they’ve decided to look at text-only email, they’ll like Brigada. Otherwise, they can always click to the web version for pictures, links, special features and lots more.

So our conclusion, after lots of consideration, was to preserve Brigada’s original ascii formatting by email, but continue to focus on sprucing it up some for those who are able to use the web. That’s all we have to say about that.

Help Us Test our New Online Giving Tools?

Would you help us test our new online giving software? As you know, our budget for 2008 is $17,150. So far, we have about $3500. These funds go for secretarial help, costs of the website, missions mobilization, and even a share of the new building where Brigada will be based (on Team Expansion’s new site, Emerald Hills). Would you help? See the pushbuttons at the right-hand top of the home page… or use the PayPal link if you prefer. Either way, you can also click on the “Donate” page in the link at the top of the webpage

You can choose to use PayPal or any major credit card (to do the latter, when it asks for your PayPal account, just erase the user name and password, then, at the bottom of the page, where it says “Use any major credit card”, just click there and fill it out like a normal form at any other payment web form. On the other hand, if you want to use PayPal, just fill in the info for your account. Or if you prefer, just send an old-fashioned check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) 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 thank you in advance for helping.

The Backpage: The Power of Harmony (Olympic Opener)

Like many inhabitants of our planet (about 15% of the whole world), my wife and I watched as China threw a party to beat all parties at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I was amazed by all the wizardry, costumes, people hanging on wires, and the works. Granted, I would have loved a more telling commentary — one that explained the ups … and *downs* of China’s past and present. (Can any body say, ‘positive spin’ on a history that hasn’t always been known for guarding human rights?) But laying all that aside for a moment, I’ve got to ask: How in the *world* did they do that refrigerator box routine? (Photo at left courtesy Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) You know… the “movable type blocks” scene which everybody just assumed those 897 boxes were run by hydraulics, forming shapes of the wind, Chinese characters, ‘waves’, and more. How does one create that kind of teamwork? (On 3 different occasions, they showed the Chinese character that translates, “Harmony.”) How’d they do it? How do you get 897 guys to spell out the shape of a wave, the wind, or a complex Chinese character in Bronze, Seal, and then Songti kaishu (Modern Chinese Script)? Well the explanation I heard was 8 hours a day, solid, for 4 months. That’s right: 861,120 man-hours. Yikes. No wonder they had teamwork. Never mind that the budget was $300 million dollars. The point is — how does a guy know how high (let alone *when*) to raise his box. (Curious there were no ladies, right? :-) ) Again, let’s try to overlook all the human rights violations for a moment and just focus on the “lessons learned” from that one scene: What’s your opinion? How would you train 897 guys to do that? What kind of technical assistance would you give them? (What were those audio headsets telling them?) Anyone got any inside info?

So if we grant that it took a lot of teamwork and precision, what this illustrates *big-time* is that for a team of 897 to reall pull off a large-scale success like this, he has to recognize he’s part of the body. Likewise (if you can permit me a poetic license for a moment, even about a government that has restricted rights for decades), we’ll function best in the body of Christ if and when we see ourselves in perspective of the larger body. Ephesians 4. Romans 12. I Corinthians 12.

What’s your perspective on that “harmony” movable type routine? How do *you* think they did it with all those refrigerator boxes? (I’m prepared for a couple of commenters to take me to task about ‘why in the world would I watch an opening ceremony from a nation that has limited human rights’… but what I’m really hoping we can carve out is — how does a team learn to act together as one?)

Closing Stuff

DISCLAIMER — We can’t screen ’em all. Please forgive us if aparticular site contains offensive information — or no information atall! We try to visit them in advance, but often write “on the road”so we simply can’t preview everything.

PLEASE DON’T SUBSCRIBE US TO YOUR LIST — Sorry — nothing personal –but we’re already deluged. We’ll eventually teach our spam filter to just delete it anyway, but in the meantime, we’ll have a sad face because of the volume of mass mailings we receive. :-(

PRIVACY INFORMATION — We will never give your information to anybody. We won’t market you, won’t hassle you, and won’t ever bother you. You won’t be signed up for mailings you didn’t request. Your address is safe and your future is secure. Life is good. :-)

COPYRIGHT — This issue of Brigada Today is Copyrighted 2008.However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials,including those available on the Brigada website, provided thatsuch redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of JesusChrist to reach the unreached. To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted.When you quote or paraphrase material from Brigada, please includethis phrase:”For a free subscription to Brigada’s weekly missionspublication, writeand/or visit Brigada on the web at http://www.brigada.org/.”

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