Monthly Archives: May 2009

1) Missionaries Saving 200 Cumulative Years Of Support Raising!

kingdoncomeWe hear great things from Kingdom Come Training (in support-raising). So far in 2009 just over 100 missionaries from 21 agencies have enrolled in training, coaching and accountability with Kingdom Come Training. Most are now on track to achieve their full funding in less than ten months.  Compared to the average time it currently takes missionaries to raise full support, this saves more than two years for each missionary. Six of them have completed their full funding in five months or less. About 75% of their face-to-face presentations result in monthly support.  One missionary, who has gone from zero to 60% in four months, reports that about 90% of his presentations result in monthly support.  The training is done with live, interactive video. KCT now enrolls people from anywhere in the world who have adequate high speed internet. Check out their website:

http://www.kingdomcometraining.com/

or write Jerry directly at

kingdom_come_email

(And thanks so much for the $25 gift that Kingdom Come sent to Brigada last week! As a small way of saying thanks, we bumped their item to the front of the line.)

3) “World Bibles” Site Indexes Over 16,000 Int’l Bibles

worldbibles

The new “World Bibles” web site, just released by Wycliffe Associates UK, will help immigrant populations to find Bibles in their own languages.  It will also help Christian workers wanting Bible resources for outreach to non-English speakers. The site is at

http://www.world-bibles.org/

Resources are listed for hundreds of languages, including printed Bibles, Scripture cassettes, CDs, on line Bible text, downloadable Bibles, and films. Visitors to the site simply type in a language name.  A list appears showing known Bible resources available in that language. Since the site is an index, it provides links to existing sites on the Internet, but it does not offer any specific Bibles. In order to help non-English users, the user interface is available in ten languages, and more are being added. For more information, contact David

world-bibles-email

5) Change In Format For Emailed Brigada Today

stopspamLong-time friends of Brigada Today will notice a change in format beginning with this issue. The titles are obviously no longer in all upper case. We’ve made this change due to the news that, apparently, this practice is so common to spammers that some spam filters now search for text in all upper case, relegating those emails to spam folders. Forgive us if this change is an inconvenience, but we judged that we’d better shift formats for the benefit of those who might be losing the entire issue. In addition, beginning with today’s issue, we no longer created hard carriage returns at the end of each line of each item. We began this practice back in the day when certain email clients didn’t quite know how to deal with paragraphs of text and had dutifully kept the practice up until a Brigada reader recently requested that it be dropped. Upon researching his request, we realized that the practice no longer seems relevant, since all modern readers now seem up to the challenge. If either of these changes causes a problem for you, please log use the comment line immediately below and let us know. We hope it makes life easier for John and many others. Effective immediately, when submitting new items for use in Brigada Today, please cease using upper case in the title of the item.

6) Bless The Next Generation Of Believers In Turkey

turkey

They’re the world’s largest unreached people group. That’s what the “English Bible Club” (EBC) of Istanbul has been doing since 2005. EBC, a Christian school program for the children of persecuted converts, is looking urgently for 3 teachers for the 2009-2010 school year, ready to come by the end of August. Teachers need to be fluent in English, among other things, and be willing to spend a year of full time ministry in Turkey, having raised their own support ($800/month; free lodging in a Turkish Christian home). Get more info by emailing

english_bible_club_istanbul_email

7) Free Mission Illustrations (Grab some. Share some.)

World Missions 101 is still growing with hundreds of illustrations. Its organizers are collecting mission quotes, illustrations, stories & resources for use by you and many others in mobilizing and motivating. All sources are footnoted. Feel free to use, promote, and/or add illustrations to this resource.andyrayner

http://worldmissions101.blogspot.com

Looks like you’re supposed to email Andy with the illustration at

missions_101-email

8) Grateful For Partners

This past week, ISA sent $53.54 as a way of thanking us for getting the word out about their great insurance policies for travel, health, and life. Thanks ISA! See their info at: missionaryhealth

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

In addition, Kingdom Come Training sent $25 to fuel the fire here at Brigada. May God bless you all at Kingdom Come. Learn more about their ministry of training others in support-raising at:kingdoncome

http://www.kingdomcometraining.com

9) Would you consider asking your church to support Brigada?

We’ve recently committed to helping Team Expansion become established at its new training campus in Louisville, Kentucky. See their site at:

http://www.emeraldhills.info

Think of it as a smaller version of emerald hillsthe U.S. Center for World Mission. (Even as I write those words, I realize nothing could ever match the vision that the late Dr. Ralph Winter managed to muster for that campus. I remember in the late 70’s, when I first heard about it, I was amazed that he was tackling it. However, in the spirit of Dr. Winter, we’re venturing where only fools might dare to tread, … ) In a very unique fundraising initiative, Team Expansion is seeking 29 partners, each of which would be asked to donate $24,000 to create a “Prayer Shelter” at the Emerald Hills site. Since Team Expansion has been very very good to Brigada, we’re love to help them out as they get started at their new campus. If you’d like to help, just click on one of the “Donor” links at the top of this page. 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. Or, 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.) If you’d like your gift to go toward the “29” fund (the Prayer Shelter) just mark it on the check or in the comment line. Again, the goal for this “29” project is $24,000. Learn more about the “29” idea by browsing to:

http://www.emeraldhills.info/images/29_brochure-low-res.pdf

A gift of any size would help, whether monthly or one-time. If you know of someone who might sponsor the entire amount, please just hit reply and tell us how to help. Thank you for any help you can give.

10) The Backpage: How Do We Best Cheer On Teammates?

fansTwo weeks ago (in the May 17th BackPage [link opens new window]), we asked how we could adequately say thanks to financial supporters: Those who make possible the work we do. Today we face a different question, prompted again by a hard-working cross-cultural witness in North Africa. Today’s question is — how do we best encourage our peers. Specifically, how can we add fuel to the fire of those who are on the right track? How can we affirm the guys who “get it”, while motivating others through their example? Our friend from North African wrote, “It’s no coincidence that everyone wins more games at home than on the road. The fans are cheering for them there.  So the question is — How can we best cheer for our outstanding workers? Any ideas? If so, please use the comment box below. And thanks for helping us make Brigada Today useful for team leaders throughout the world!

Doug

11) Closing Stuff

Disclaimer — We can’t screen ‘em all. Please forgive us if a particular site contains offensive information — or no information at all! 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. You have my word: We’ll never sell the mailing list to a marketer, spammer, or advertiser. Life is good. :-)

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 2009. 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/.”

1) Asia Scripture Engagement Forum

scripture_engagementThe day after the Worldwide Scripture Engagement Consultation in Melaka, Malaysia, there are plans for an Asia Scripture Engagement Forum.  This is an opportunity for Scripture Engagement practitioners working in Asia to talk with each other about their own contexts and how to provide access to Scriptures, create a climate favorable for Scripture use, and facilitate encounters with the Scriptures. Desired outcomes for Asia SE Forum:

  • Strong motivation, encouragement, and enthusiasm of SE practitioners in Asia
  • Foundation for a multi-organizational community of SE practitioners in Asia
  • Joint action plans focused on SE in Asia.

It’s all slated for Friday October 9, 2009, 8:30am-5pm (Note: You must sign up before August 1, 2009). You’ve got plenty of time, but you’ll need to act in the next 10 days.

http://www.scripture-engagement.org/content/asia-scripture-engagement-forum

2) Find a Bible — Quick-like…

forum_of_bible_agenciesThe Forum of Bible Agencies International recently announced the launch of Find A Bible, an innovative and interactive website that gives easy access to Scriptures in more than 3,000 languages.  According to the release, the Find A Bible site

 http://www.findabible.net

provides the most comprehensive and current database of Bibles and portions in majority and minority languages available. “Through Find A Bible,” it explains, “users now have a single place to search, download, view, or listen to these Bibles through links to Forum member agency websites.” The Forum of Bible Agencies International is an alliance of more than 25 leading international Bible Agencies and other missions organizations with a shared vision: “working together to maximize the worldwide access and impact of God’s Word.” For a list of Forum members, point your browser to…

http://www.forum-intl.net

3) What are your values for Getting the Word Out via email?

ezineI recently came across this “top ten list” from iContact.com regarding getting the word out via email. They suggested that organizations need to… 

  • #10 Build Your List at Every Opportunity You Have
  • #9 Avoid Excess Punctuation or Capitalization — “Don’t use ALL CAPS or multiple exclamation marks within your subject line or body. Doing this will trigger spam filters.” Oops. Warning: reformatting of Brigada Today is coming your way.
  • #8 Include Plain Text and HTML Emails — If you don’t include a plain text message, around 5% of your recipients will see a message with nothing in it.
  • #7 Familiarity Encourages Open — Make the From Name for your messages either your company name or the name of a person at your company. Once you choose a From Name, keep it consistent. In the split second where subscribers decide whether to open your email, the most important factor in their decision is whether the From Name is familiar to them or not.
  • #6 Add a Note About Deliverability — To improve message deliverability, add a message at the top of your emails that says something like: “To ensure receipt of our emails, please add somethingatyourcompanydotcom to your Address Book.”
  • #5 Be Consistent With Your Sending Frequency — Pick a schedule. Whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, stick to it as often as you can. This way, your customers will come to expect and anticipate your organization’s communications. Oops. Guilty again. :-)
  • #4 Timing is Key with Business to Business Communication — In most cases it is best to send business to business emails Tuesday through Thursday. We’ve found that the best times of the day to send are just after the start of the day or just after lunch. It is best to avoid sending business to business emails after 4:00pm or on weekends.
  • #3 Timing is Key with Business to Consumer Communication — According to iContact, in most cases it is best to send business to consumer emails either between 5:00pm and 8:00pm Tuesday through Thursday, or between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
  • #2 Only Include Relevant Content — Only send content relevant to the recipient. This can take many forms including content on a relevant topic, offers of a discount off a product related to one purchased previously, and so on. By being relevant, people will allow you to continue to contact them.
  • #1 Only Send Emails to Persons Who Have Requested to Receive Them — Unsolicited email is, of course, called spam. Sending spam will ruin any legitimate organization’s reputation and brand value quickly. Rule number one of becoming an intelligent email marketer is never to send unsolicited email.

So there you have it. Any additional values or warnings? If so, just click “comment” below.

4) Web Evangelism Conferences

ieday-poster-150x150In USA, the new Christian Web Conference is the successor to the Internet Ministry Conference, and will be held 11-12 September at Biola University: 

http://www.christianwebconference.com/

There will be a two-hour internet evangelism module in Spanish each day within the COICOM Argentina conference 26-29 August 2009.

http://www.coicom.grid.agathongroup.com/cgr09/index.php

Other  web ministry conferences and video recordings of sessions from previous conferences are available at:

http://www.internetevangelismday.com/events.php

5) Are Orgs & Churches Behind in Using Webcams?

tokbox_logoA missionary colleague of mine was recently lamenting that churches and missionary agencies seem to be lagging behind in their use of video links with their missionaries. Do you agree or disagree? He pointed to easy-to-use tools, some of which have been referenced previously here in Brigada. Of course, the most well-known tool is Skype. However, as my friend pointed out, Skype requires a download. There are other sites like 

http://www.tokbox.com/

which do not. Tokbox is free, like Skype, but doesn’t offer a connection to the public telephone grid (“Skype out”). At the same time, Tokbox remarkably allows you to add as many video conference connections as your internet bandwidth will allow, all completely free. And for what it’s worth, it embeds in Facebook and — Twitter. (Call me old-fashioned, but I still can’t bring myself to try Twitter. I keep wondering why anyone would ever care?)

As in all web tools, please remember to exercise caution regarding security. TokBox apparently has *no* security features whatsoever. Let the user beware. For users that can’t or won’t use a VPN, maybe Skype is a better option?

How ’bout you? Do you think we’re behind on this stuff? Any comments on TokBox’s lack of security or privacy? To comment, just click “Comment” below…

6) Creating National Networks for Digital Evangelism

ieday-poster-150x150Internet Evangelism Day and Guide Network have produced a page explaining the strategic value of national or regional networks, which link digital evangelists together, along with other media and mission agencies on the ground. (Thanks for this tip, Tony!) They know from experience that these can be hugely strategic, and are already enhancing effective evangelism and cooperation in several regions of the world.: 

http://www.internetevangelismday.com/building-networks.php

And their speaker panel offers experienced speakers about different aspects of digital evangelism, for mission conferences or mission agency consultations:

http://www.internetevangelismday.com/speaker.php

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