Daily Archives: 2009/10/18

1) Health Insurance Rate Increases

missionaryhealthIs your organization experiencing health insurance rate increases? Do you want to help support Brigada?

If so, be sure to contact Insurance Services of America. They are a Christian organization that specializes in helping individuals and groups find affordable health insurance options. They can put together a “tailor-made” plan to fit your group’s needs. Their group plan allows for takeover of existing claims & conditions and will provide your people with quality medical insurance worldwide – and they won’t charge you more when your people are in the US on furlough!

Check out some of their plans online at http://www.missionaryhealth.net/brigada

or email them at

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or call them at 1-800-647-4589 (1-480-821-9052 outside of North America) and ask for Mark. ISA has 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. Plus they have agreed to help support Brigada from sales that are made on this link, so when you purchase on this site you will be helping to support Brigada and you will be protecting yourself and your ministry from financial loss!

2) Microfinance and Microenterprise Development

chalmerscenterFor those ministering to the poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Chalmers Center offers a series of three distance courses on conducting Christian microfinance and microenterprise development. The initial course is Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry. The course is designed to help you understand appropriate goals and strategies for conducting church-based economic development in poor communities within Africa, Asia and Latin America. The next open offering of this course will be February 1- 26, 2010. Cost of this four-week course is $120 (USD) plus the cost of separately ordered course material.

The second course in the series is Principles and Practices of Christian Microfinance and Microenterprise Development. This course provides an overview of microfinance and microenterprise development and offers advice to those interested in selecting and designing a holistic intervention appropriate for their ministry context. The next offering of this course is scheduled for January 4 – February 19, 2010. Cost of this seven-week course including materials is $230 (USD). Note that the Foundations course is a prerequisite for this course.

The third course in the series is the eight-week course Promoting Church-Centered Savings and Credit Associations. The next offering of this course is scheduled for May 3 – June 25, 2010 with another offering scheduled for October 25 – December 17, 2010. This course is available to those who have taken the prerequisite Principles and Practices of Christian Microfinance and Microenterprise Development. Cost of this course including materials is $300 (USD). Learn more about these and other courses at:


3) Have you Tried Searching with Bing?

bingNot the Crosby kind. We’re talking about http://www.bing.com It’s fast. It seems equally effective. And some say it will save you as much as 30% of the time used by other search engines (because it takes, on average, 30% fewer letters to type its name into the box than certain other engines). :-) No but seriously… try it and see what you think. Yes, it’s from Microsoft, but when it comes to search engines, they’re coming from behind. Besides, the pictures are cool.

4) GoogleGroups Appears to have Changed Subscribe Command

googlegroupsIn the old days, you could use a hyphen… but apparently now, to subscribe to Google groups, you have to use a *plus* sign. So from now on, to subscribe to Brigada, it has to look like this:

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Please make a note of it. :-)

5) Last Quarter Perspective!

perspectives-1The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course is a great way to help you identify your place in extending God’s kingdom in the nations and receive missions education credit at the same time.  Perspectives covers the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic basis for missions. ICM (International Christian Ministries) offers the course on-line for certificate, undergraduate, or graduate credit. Check out


for more information and to sign up, or email:

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6) Grab drinking water from the air!

eolewaterFrench inventor Marc Parent has made the dream a reality. His company, Eolewater, located in Sainte Tulle in the high French Alps, has made a prototype that produces 70 to 200 liters of fresh water a day… from the air! The higher the “eolienne”, or wind turbine, the more water it can grab.

A 50-meter mast would produce an estimated 25,000 liters a day. For an article in French from the local newspaper, with a photo of Marc Parent:


For an article in English from January 2009:


For a 1 min 40 sec video at youtube:


For another video of unknown length from 1cast:


(Thanks to Jim, in France, for tipping us off on this!)

7) Errors at JoshuaProject.net? Surely not!

joshuaprojectThe good thing is … Dan and company have not a shred of defensive attitude. Quite the contrary. They beg for correction. Log on at…


to learn more about unreached people. And if you do a vision trip, prayer journey, or a full-time overseas experience and you hear of errors, please don’t just sit back and complain; Tell them about it!


It’s the only way we’ll create more accurate data! I wrote Dan this week to see if he was still seeking your honest feedback. He responded, “Joshua Project has no field workers or on-site researchers.  Joshua Project data is simply a compilation of data we get from others.  We use local researchers info, on-site missionary feedback, survey and mission trip reports, census info, etc. to compile Joshua Project data.  We also heavily reference other global data sets such as the Ethnologue, IMB / Peoplegroups.org, World Christian Encyclopedia and mission researchers such as Patrick Johnstone and many others.”

He continued, “Joshua Project data certainly has inaccuracies and we seek to continually refine / update / correct the data.  We are also most open to adjusting, tweaking, modifying, deleting material on the Joshua Project website in any way that would be most beneficial in advance the Lord’s Kingdom.  We want to scratch where the unreached people itch is, not simply to be an academic exercise in documenting ethnic peoples data.  I can’t promise we will implement every suggestion for the website mainly because of the very limited web development skills of yours truly, but we so value feedback regarding the pros / cons / needs / ideas for the web presentation of the data!”

What’s not to like about *that* refreshing attitude? So go ahead — make his day. Let him know how you feel about your specialty people group. It just might help the person who comes after you.

8) “The Harvest:” A Missions Video about Partnering for the Task

theharvestBecause it portrays a story in one man’s childhood, it really isn’t showing much age, even though it’s been around for awhile. At 17 minutes, it’s a bit on the long side, but it’s also extremely engaging. It’s the true story from the early childhood experience of a Campus Crusade Student Venture director.

It’s a powerful and moving analogy that vividly communicates the urgency to work together to bring in the spiritual harvest. Pick it up at…


9) Thanks for the Help!

thankyou2Want to help encourage the dream of Brigada… the dream of working together to finish the Task of reaching the unreached 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. We can even set up a regular once-a-month automatic withdraw from your checking account or major credit card. Set it up once and rest easily, knowing that you’re regularly helping get Brigada on the way to the nations. 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.) A gift of any size would help, whether monthly or one-time. If you know someone else who might like to help, just hit reply and tell us about him/her/them.

Thank you for any help you can give.

10) The BackPage: The Truth about Rhinos

rhinoIs it true? The word on the street (or should I say, ‘on the trail?’) is that these 4-ton beasts run about 30-40 miles per hour… but they can’t see past 90 feet in front of them. Talk about overdriving one’s headlights. So basically, any time they smell or hear something new, they charge at it.

(Sounds like the definition of a shopper gone wild.) For the one-tusked beasts, though, it’s a matter of survival. Poachers are seemingly always lurking nearby. I guess it’s all about multiple uses for their horns. (Kind of like the drivers in some of your favorite countries?) The sad and serious

truth: Rhino population has declined by some 90% over the past 30 years (according to the African Wildlife Foundation:


So the question begs to be asked: What’s your vision like… and how does it compare with your speed of execution? On the one hand, are you consistently suspicious of new ideas, bold ventures, and idealistic adventures? If so, maybe the rhino metaphor has merit. Just because it smells bad, or sounds dangerous, it doesn’t mean it really is. But like the rhino, we sometimes charge headlong at the unfamiliar, simply because, … well, it’s different than how we’re accustomed to doing things.

So let’s say you’re a missions agency of size and strength… and somebody suggests a different way of mobilizing in a new land. How do you go about evaluating the efficacy of such a suggestion? Might we look at it this way, in view of our unicorn-on-steroids friend: If you’re evaluating the lurking new idea based on its own merit, bravo; but if you find yourself eschewing it merely because it’s different, then perhaps we should take a page from the history of the rhinoceros. Or stated another way, just because someone yells, “The poachers are coming! The poachers are coming!”, there’s no need to overreact and trample the guy with the camera.

Got some thoughts about rhinos in a bad mood? Got an insight based on a personal experience with these not-so-gentle beasts? Did you grown up watching them out your window? We’d love to hear from you. Just click on “Comments” below and share your tusk-imony.

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, visit Brigada on the web at http://www.brigada.org/.”

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