Daily Archives: 2009/02/22

2009/02/22 – Brigada Today

“Brigada: Since 1995… Buckets full of Resources, Trends, Challenges — all in a weekly e-zine & website…”
Compiled by Doug Lucas, Team Expansion, Louisville, KY

In this issue…
1) Another Look At Polygamy
2) Tune In To The Bloggers Among Us
3) The Kindle 2: What’s In *Yourrrrrrr* Library?
4) Learn How To Manage Crises And Field Security
5) Efl Workbooks For Christian Studies
6) Portable Backpack
7) Tried A “Round-The-World” Fare?
8) Easybibles.Com Now Has 60 Projects Online
9) E.T. Wishes It Would Have Been This Easy To Phone Home
10) We Give Thanks…
11) Help Brigada Be A Voice For Prayer, Missions, And Truth
12) The Backpage: America Becoming Less Christian? … Or Not?
13) Closing Stuff

1) Another Look At Polygamy

Back in 2007 (Nov. 25th edition), we looked at Polygamy. The item was entitled, “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF POLYGAMY?” and the text of the item went, “OK… remember my two sons? They’re at it again. Today at lunch they started asking me about polygamy. Well I knew to tell them that elders and deacons should just have one wife. But what do I tell them — scripturally — about marriages in countries that *allow* polygamy legally? I know it’s a problem, when missionaries confront new cultures where polygamy is dominant. Christianity arrives, the missionaries teach monogamy, and — what does that say to existing believers who are already married to 4 wives? If you have an answer… or a good scriptural response (especially one in the New Testament), or if you can even remember what you said before (back in Nov. 2007), please click “Comment” below. When we transitioned to this new format, it meant we lost those comments. Brigada participant, Charmaine, recently wrote to ask, “I received an email from a friend in Tanzania asking some contextualization questions. I remembered a fascinating conversation from Brigada that I followed a little over a year ago on polygamy. I followed a link from Brigada website and read the fascinating story of a missionary in west Africa working with Muslim peoples and his observations about polygamy. Please help us rebuild a thread on this important topic. Thanks.

2) Tune In To The Bloggers Among Us

Remember that discussion on blogging (Feb. 1, 2009, “For the Bloggers among us”) ? It’s turned into quite a stream of responses — from samples of great blogs to instructions on how to do it. Check it out at:


Got an additional comment? You can even log on to share in total confidence, anonymously.

To comment on this item, why not go back to:


3) The Kindle 2: What’s In *Yourrrrrrr* Library?

Have you been following the development of the Kindle 2? Available from Amazon.com, just think of it as one of those electronic clipboards that Captain Picard used to access on Star Trek. It’s basically a dedicated reading machine. It’s as thin as a magazine, 10 ounces light, doesn’t require a computer, has a long-lasting battery that lasts for days, runs on its own fast 3G network (so no having to look for a Wi-Fi hotspot), and even reads PDFs in 16 shades of gray. Check it out at


It’ll set you back about $359… but your load will be a lot less than if you had taken an armload of *paper* books. And just think of how much better it is for the environment! :-) Books are $10 and up, basically. Access to Wikipedia and a ton of blogs is free. Pay for quick access to a ton of newspapers then read them on your Kindle before your friends get the paper versions.

What do *you* think of the Kindle 2? Please just click on “Comment”, below the location of this item on the web at…

4) Learn How To Manage Crises And Field Security

CCI is offering two training seminars in April to assist those in the missions community with security and training needs. One, their Crisis Management Seminar, takes place April 23-25. It’s a three-day program that instructs on risk assessment, current threats and trends, policies, contingency planning and crisis management; it includes the EZRA risk assessment instruments. The other is a Field Security Seminar, April 27-29. It’s a three-day program that instructs on target hardening, profile management, disrupting the terrorism and attack cycles, managing violent encounters, convoys, checkpoints/ambushes and dealing with landmines, UXO and IEDs. These seminars will be held at the JAARS campus in Waxhaw, North Carolina. To register or get more information, please visit


Got a comment on crisis seminars or other such resources? Click on Comment after this item on the web at…

5) Efl Workbooks For Christian Studies

These workbooks provide contextualized passages for students involved in biblical studies who want to improve their proficiency in reading English. Vocabulary Building for Biblical Studies is an intermediate level workbook of 15 contextualized chapters centering on biblical and Christian themes. Each unit includes a passage of 1000 words and exercises that aid the students in understanding and expanding their vocabulary. Men and Women in the History of the Church is a pre-intermediate reader. Each unit begins with pre-reading questions and a biography of approximately 650 words. This is followed by exercises on reading comprehension and vocabulary building, and ends with discussion questions. The workbooks are available as a download, to print and photocopy for personal or class use, but may not be reproduced for profit. The website is:


Comments or questions can be sent to Lynn at

7) Tried A "Round-The-World" Fare?

One of our member care volunteer families has just purchased a special airfare from Raptim that lets you pick virtually any airports around the world so long as the next destination keeps traveling in the same direction. So our new volunteers are starting in Indy, stopping at 8 different int’l airports. Their itinerary includes some pretty exotic destinations — and the final price came out to about $3700 each. That’s a great deal considering the value they’re getting. So if you have a number of destinations to visit, give it a try. The only real limitation is that the destinations must each continue to be in the same general direction. (For example, each airport must be west of the previous airport.)

Contact Raptim at…

8) Easybibles.Com Now Has 60 Projects Online

These are ‘easy’ and ‘very easy’ languages from every continent – including Russian, Chinese, Farsi, Urdu, Seraiki, Swahili, Amharic, Polish, Indonesian, Portuguese, French and Hebrew. The target is 70 projects online by Easter Sunday, and 100 by the end of 2009. There is also now in place a growing team of Advanced Checkers to raise standards. More information is available from Pastor Martin at

9) E.T. Wishes It Would Have Been This Easy To Phone Home

If you’re from the USA and you run on a network that isn’t global (like — Sprint maybe?), you’ll likely need to pick up a different phone for travel. Why buy when you can rent one for just the handful of days you’ll be gone? What’s your favorite vendor? Here’s one such vendor that Brigada participant, Tim, likes…


They pretty much take care of everything, including shipping your phone to you the day before you leave. These are true global phones: they’ll work pretty much everywhere, with roaming rates up to 80% less than your home-based plan would have cost you. They also rent satphones which will work basically anywhere in the world as long as you’re outside.

Another Brigada user, with a great first name (“Doug”), likes
They have a worldphone that you buy for $99 on a pay-as-you-go plan. No contracts, no hassles. Just prepay.

If you already own a GSM phone, just ask for a free SIM chip from Mobal. They’ll manage your relationships with virtually every country in the world (170, to be exact), allowing you to talk and recharge with one vendor. They make a strong case for their product at:


However, their rates seem higher than the vendor I’ve been using. See their USA landing page at:


Got a favorite vendor for communications devices like these? Please recommend them by clicking “Comment” after this item on the web at…

11) Help Brigada Be A Voice For Prayer, Missions, And Truth

With CNN writing a more liberal view on the web these days, who will be a voice for the truth? You can help Brigada do exactly that. Just click on one of the “Donor” links above. Both are safe, the one with PayPal and the other with one of the most well-known “real” online merchants on the web. Neither requires you to open an account with anyone … and neither ever spams you. If you prefer, just send an old-fashioned check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada), 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.

12) The Backpage: America Becoming Less Christian? … Or Not?

I read with interest the CNN story about the survey conducted (for the 3rd time in as many decades) regarding religious claimants in the USA. The title, “America becoming less Christian, survey finds,” is one of those comments that should give us pause. That all depends — on “which Christian” one is describing. While it’s true that the survey found that adherents to “mainline” congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches had fallen, the same survey also indicated that adherents to Roman Catholicism had remained stable and, surprisingly, members of “megachurches” had “skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey” (conducted between Feb. and Nov. 2008). That change doesn’t sound quite like the summary CNN offered. A certain William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, was quoted as saying that he thinks “a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it.” Hmmm. It would seem to me that if a stream of Christianity grew from 200,000 to 8 million in the space of just 20 years, that works out to an average annual increase of more than 20% per *year*. I would have been thrilled if it were 10% growth per *decade*. What’s more, while it might be true that 1 in 5 now claims no religious identity, the truth is that 1 out of 3 claim to be an evangelical Christian, up from 1 out of 4 just 30 years ago.

If I were to re-write the summary for CNN, the title I would propose would be, “America becoming more evangelical,” and the text would include some personal testimonies of adherents that have found peace in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. That peace and faith might go a long way toward giving the world some hope in today’s troubling economic times.

Find the original article by logging on at


then typing the following phrase, in quotes, in the search box:
“America becoming less Christian, survey finds”
It will be the first pick of the list.
Your comments on the growth of evangelicals in your own country? Your own thoughts on the “state of the evangelical church” in general? Any thoughts on how this impacts missionary sending? … or the theological underpinnings of missions in general? If so, just log on and click “Comment”

13) Closing Stuff

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COPYRIGHT — (We actually have to say this stuff so the material can’t legally be used by those who are not likeminded.) 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 that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Jesus Christ 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 include this phrase: “For a free subscription to Brigada’s weekly missions publication, write and/or visit Brigada on the web at http://www.brigada.org/.”

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