Monthly Archives: November 2009

1) Creation Care Conference: Register Today!

carecreationDon’t miss the “Our Father’s World” conference/retreat that will feature Ed Brown, of Care of Creation, on March 6th, 2010, at Brigada’s own Emerald Hills (on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky). You’ll learn straight from an expert — what kind of shape is our planet in, what can regular people do about it, how can churches and missions agencies get involved, and what are the potential ‘wins’ for all those entities. On top of all that, you can participate with the group in a prayer walk on one of the Emerald Hills prayer trails. Learn how you can combine ecology and missions, while taking care of creation, all in one full day, 8am to 5pm in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on March 6th. Lunch will be included. Online registration will open on December 1st. Only 150 seats are available. In a unique approach to helping raise funds for Emerald Hills, we’re conducting a limited-time online action for as many of the 150 seats as possible. Not only will this help cover the costs of the workshop itself, but it will also help Team Expansion’s capital campaign for building Emerald Hills.

Here’s how it works: Until Dec. 31, make a donation to Brigada of at least $101 or more and ask to be included in the guest list. Alternatively, make a donation of $101 or more to underwrite the cost of someone else’s participation. This is a special program that will only run only until Dec. 31. At that time, we’ll close registration. The first 150 people that donate $101 or more during the allotted time will be at the top of the guest list for the March 6th event. Once we’ve paid all the expenses for the retreat, all remaining donations will go directly toward the new Brigada Prayer Shelter at Emerald Hills. So you’ll be investing in creating a nerve center for missions and world evangelism — and you’ll also get a top-notch seminar *and* a free lunch to boot! Bring your family and make a day of it. Bring the elders from your local church and consider it a team building event. Bring your church or mission agency staff to investigate how you can *really* “go green”  — in more than just name-only. This theme might attract many new visitors to your church. I just saw in a front page newspaper article yesterday that one segment of the housing market that *is* booming are “green homes” (those involving solar and other creation-friendly components). If it’s working for home-builders, why not try it for church-builders!? Bring your leadership as you begin brainstorming about building your new church building.

How do you register?  Easy. Just go to

http://eh.wildapricot.org/

The “eh” stands for Emerald Hills, by the way. You can take care of everything there at one site — the registration process, the payment, the works.

2) Cloversites: Quick, Easy, Effective

cloverIf you’re considering developing or switching your web presence, take a look at…

http://www.cloversites.com/f/friendsofbrigada

See their feature list at…

http://www.cloversites.com/promo/Clover%20Features.pdf

I completed my first webpages there in a matter of *minutes*. Honest. And the tech support people have been stellar. I actually got a call from a real human (who knew how to use the tools on the site and spoke clearly), just to ask if I had any questions. She pulled up my new site while she was on the phone with me and even complemented me on how rapidly I had rolled it out (most in one evening). Check it out at:

http://www.mtm2010.com

I’ve sent 3 emails to the customer support line, partly just to see if they would answer. They’re batting 100%… and once, I left a voicemail which they didn’t return until the next business day and — get this — they apologized! They all must be Christians… or at least Christian-friendly. The whole site is designed custom for church- or mission-use. You can choose from several templates and post media at the drop of a hat — imagine your workshops, classes, sermons, and presentations, all instantly available to your organization or church members. Everything is so intuitive, nobody needs a guidebook. Everything is jazzy flash, yet loads quickly and is extremely search engine friendly. Their price? Always exactly $1000. That’s it. Afterward, pay a small monthly web-hosting fee ($20/mo for the first 100 gig). If you’re already considering switching web hosts anyway, please try Cloversites. If you’re starting up, for sure — please give them a chance. I haven’t found anything better on the web. On top of all that, they have a very clear and purposeful roadmap to the future. See …

http://www.cloversites.com/greenhouse-updates

As you can see, they’re adding a plethora of feature, all in the next few weeks, too. Passworded pages, the ability to refer to each page with a link even though it’s flash, “slide show” objects, photo galleries, font control, and much, much more. Not bad for $20/month. And all those upgrades will be instant and free. You never have to do any upgrading to the site yourself.

(Please be sure to use the link above so they’ll know Brigada sent you their way. We would have recommended them anyway — and that’s the truth — but this way, it’s the best of both worlds: You get a snazzy, quick, world-class website, and Brigada ends up with a gift as a result of your good choice! By the way, they’ve already sent their first gift! So thanks to those who chose to try them out!)

3) Transparency in Mission: Promoting Health/Safeguarding

kellyodonnell2.gifWe heard this past week from Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell, authors of several industry-defining books on member care. They had updated their site at…

http://www.COREmembercare.blogspot.com

dealing with the tough questions of, “How transparent should we be in our work and lives?” on the international weblog “Reflections and Resources for Good Practice.” The entries include definitions and applications of transparency in mission, personal stories from Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, and photos. They also highlight several core resources/links including quotes from Bennis et al’s amazing book Transformation: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor, a link to the Summary Report from Transparency International on Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Assistance, and a link to the ECFA’s suggested guidelines for dealing with misconduct and whistle blowing. They personally invited Brigada users in particular to peer into their souls, leave a comment, and join the interaction.

4) Unreached People of the Day in your Inbox

prayforunreachedIt is hard to miss Joshua Project’s “Unreached of the Day” widgets on websites and Facebook profiles. But perhaps you are unaware there is an email version of these. Fuel your prayer for the unreached by getting these daily or weekly prayer reminders in your inbox. The email features a profile of a different unreached people group each day–complete with picture, map, and prayer ideas. Currently a “Double the Prayer Challenge” is underway to put the number of people who receive these daily reminders to pray for the unreached up over a thousand. For more information about the challenge and how to subscribe to the “Unreached of the Day” emails go to:

http://prayfortheunreached.com

(Thanks for reminding us of this cool feature, Peter, of Mission Data Int’l!)

6) Tokyo 2010 Global Mission Consultation

tokyoRegistration applications are being received for the Tokyo 2010 Global Mission Consultation scheduled for Tokyo, Japan May 11-14, 2010. For more information see

http://www.tokyo2010.org

or email

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The Consultation theme is “Making Disciples Of Every People in Our Generation.” You can register online to this global mission consultation in the pattern of Edinburgh 1910 and 1980 specifically designed for mission sending agencies and structures from around the world. It is the responsibility of sending mission agencies and churches to choose and send their delegates to the Tokyo 2010 conference, in the pattern of Edinburgh 1910. Individual invitations are not sent.  Register before 12/31/09 for priority consideration. (Thanks for this note David, of Tokyo 2010.)

7) Tell us Your Experiences with DropBox

dropboxLately I’ve been thinking about tryout out DropBox. Brigada User Bill originally tipped me on it. He pointed out that if we have more than one PC/Mac, we are always moving files from one system to another. Usually we email them to ourselves, “sneakernet” them with a USB drive, or manually leave them at a site like DivShare or some other online document-handler. DropBox takes it a step further, apparently. It’s a free utility that, once installed as a tiny client, creates a folder on your computer. Drop files into that folder, and they magically appear on all of your other computers. Delete a file: deleted on both/all of your computers. Update a file: updated everywhere. Works across Macs and PCs, and even your iPhone. Bill touted two other features. He pointed out that you can also retrieve your files from any internet browser at your DropBox account. What’s more, he reminded me that we can designate folders within your DropBox folder as “shared” and then anyone on our share list can see them. So we could set up a team, drop photos in our shared folder, and bingo – they have the photos the next time they log on to their computers. The best thing about DropBox is — it’s free. Sound too good to be true? I know. It did to me too. That’s why I’m asking, in the comment box following this item, would you tell us, if you’re a DropBox user, are there downsides? Is there a security risk? Is it really as smooth as they say?

http://www.getdropbox.com

(Thanks for the tip, Bill!)

8) Instant podcast? Share audio without ‘taking it with you’

simplifymediaTry it at…

http://www.simplifymedia.com/

It shares your itunes playlists via internet. Mac or PC, also iphone and itouch. Notes: no file downloading takes place. You can’t get copies of your friends’ music – just listening. And get this: it’s free – No hidden charges. No spyware. Easy – Set-up is fast. No need to upload files to a website. Integrated – Play music in iTunes, Front Row, Winamp, WMP 11 or Rhythmbox. Safe – Only your group can access what you are sharing, and no one can see your other files. Legal – Files are streamed only within your private group. Universal – Connect across PC, Mac and Linux desktops and the iPhone and iPod touch. (Thanks again, Bill!)

9) Experience Bible storying like the early church did

10minute bibleHow did the early church spread God’s Word so quickly despite political persecution and cultural resistance? They simply told stories! Now you can spend 5 days in beautiful Orlando, Florida and experience Bible storying as it was used by the early church. After your time in Orlando you’ll be able to train others. This training is for individuals, churches, and mission agencies, May 10 – 14, 2010. Check in time on Monday is from to 2pm – 5pm.  The seminar begins Monday at 6pm and ends at noon on Friday. This all-inclusive package of on-site lodging, meals, materials, and airport ground transfers is $299 per person. Reservations must be made by Tuesday, May 4, 2010. Training is limited to 18 people. For reservations or information email

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10) Thankful for those who empower us…

thankyouHats off to a couple preparing for a ministry in linguistics and medicine — who wrote, “No, I don’t have a project or specific ministry.  I just enjoy reading Brigada! Brigada helps us to stay focused on our long-term goals, and helps us from getting bogged down in the details of this (really loooong) time of preparation.” Thank you for undergirding Brigada with $50 as we wrap up 2009!

Thanks, too, to the “True Fan” of Brigada who works up in the Andes Mountains of Peru, with a heart for the Int’l School of Ministry, on the web at

http://www.isom.org

With courses in over 70 languages (primary school) plus Youthbytes and WOW (Women of the World), this ministry is one to watch. The latest is 5 classes by Lance Wallnau on the 7 Mountain Strategy.

We’re grateful to a worker in North Africa who sent $100 yesterday – to become a true friend of Brigada and to finish and completely leverage the matching gift from the int’l church in the Middle East. Thank you!

Thanks to the long-time Californian friend of Brigada who, when sending his gift for $35, wrote, “Thanks Doug. I enjoyed and appreciated your work with “Brigada Today” as a missions pastor. I’m retired now (<g> Do we ever?) but still appreciate your efforts in this very important endeavor. For His Glory!”

A pair of True Friends of Brigada sent $100 from Plano, Texas as well. Thank you!!!

Because of the gift-match donation from an international church in the Middle east, the gifts above increased to $570.81!!!! This brings to $9174.38 our total so far for 2009. There’s still a  small amount in the undergirding money that Brigada received from the int’l church in the Middle East.

11) Only 79 True Friends Needed

Thanks again to the int’l church in the Middle East who gave the $2054. Through their vision of a matching gift, the end-result is $4108. But now, with that gift gone, we really could use someone else stepping up to the plate big-time. Last year, a single donor gave $5000. Is there someone called by God to give similarly this year to help us make it in the direction of the $7,945 still needed? That’s 79 True Friends… or one major donor of $5000 and 29 True Friends. Would you or your church be one of those true friends? If you’re unable to give $100 at this time, are you in a position to help with a portion of that value? If so, 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 your help in fueling the fire of Brigada!

12) The BackPage: Yes Victoria, there *is* a Brigada

Recently, we received a note from a long-time reader of Brigada, currently serving in India. His daughter, whose first name is Victoria (used by permission) was apparently sitting beside him (an image I like, by the way :-) ), and she was curious. “What’s Brigada mean?” Her father struggled for a moment, then told her he “didn’t know what the word meant but knew what the newsletter was. She said to check dictionary.com, which I did and found no listing, so now I’m left wondering, “What does Brigada mean?” I’d be satisfied with an email answer, but you could actually make this a back page story in one of your upcoming newsletters as others may wonder where the name Brigada came from and what it means.” Great question — and please say thanks to your daughter for asking. I hope she always keeps asking questions like that when she doesn’t know the answer or meaning.

To answer your question Victoria, let’s quote from the very first edition of Brigada Today, Jan. 25th, 1995 — still readable here:

http://www.brigada.org/1995/01

The 3rd item in that edition went like this:

To help bring these [various global mission] streams into one easy flow for churches and agencies everywhere, we now propose the formation of a new networking tool to be known simply as, Brigada. In 1942, Stalin, then leader of what used to be the USSR, banished some 200,000 Crimean Tatars from their home on the Black Sea. They were not permitted to return to their homeland en masse until the early nineties, when the Soviet Union broke apart. Unfortunately, since their homes had been confiscated by others, the Crimean Tatars were forced to rebuild entire settlements during the cold winters of 1990 and 1991. While living in Crimea, we saw, at times, literally dozens of Crimean Tatar families working together in ‘brigadas’ (brigades), helping one another build homes in rapid fashion. They found, through experience, that working together produces synergy, i.e., the output is greater than the sum of the inputs. As Bill Taylor writes in Kingdom Partnerships, “… One draft horse can pull four tons. If you harnessed two draft horses together, they can pull twenty-two tons.” We need just this kind of ‘brigada’ and just this kind of synergy!”

In item #5, we added, “We propose to create a series of ‘electronic newsletters,’ available to anyone with an Internet connection (including those with compuserve, America Online, Delphi, etc.), and, via Relay Agents, to faxes. We would start with one simple newsletter, which would, as a minimum, carry news about mobilization for the 100 Gateway cities and the people groups that live in them. Those wishing to subscribe would simply send a subscription request to the … main frame computer. In an automated process, the individual’s name and e-mail address would be added to the subscription list. At the same time, those with news or resources would mail them via e-mail to a compiler or editor who would create the digest mentioned above and send it to a very special … system. The … computer, acting as a “list server” would then automatically broadcast this newsletter to the subscription list.”

How ’bout that. Nearly 15 years later, it’s still going strong! In the early days, we anticipated the creation of dozens, if not hundreds, of newsletters that would be regionally- or people-group-specific in nature. Along the way, others rose up to pick up that piece of the vision. On the Brigada side of things, we decided to focus on what we seemed to do best — the compiling and distributing of key missions news, conference information, resources, and a wide variety of tools that can be used in carrying out the Great Commission among far-flung unreached peoples.

Read more about Brigada and its connection to a special mobilization event in Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky in 1996:

http://www.brigada.org/1994/10/30_3#more-3

So, Victoria, that’s Brigada. And thanks to you for being part of the family! Comments about Brigada? Just click to the URL below:

Doug Lucas

Recently, we received a note from a long-time reader of Brigada, currently serving in India. His daughter, whose first name is Victoria (used by permission) was apparently sitting beside him (an image I like, by the way :-) ), and she was curious. “What’s Brigada mean?” Her father struggled for a moment, then told her he “didn’t know what the word meant but knew what the newsletter was. She said to check dictionary.com, which I did and found no listing, so now I’m left wondering, “What does Brigada mean?” I’d be satisfied with an email answer, but you could actually make this a back page story in one of your upcoming newsletters as others may wonder where the name Brigada came from and what it means.” Great question — and please say thanks to your daughter for asking. I hope she always keeps asking questions like that when she doesn’t know the answer or meaning.

To answer your question Victoria, let’s quote from the very first edition of Brigada Today, Jan. 25th, 1995 — still readable here:

http://www.brigada.org/1995/01

The 3rd item in that edition went like this:

To help bring these [various global mission] streams into one easy flow for churches and agencies everywhere, we now propose the formation of a new networking tool to be known simply as, Brigada. In 1942, Stalin, then leader of what used to be the USSR, banished some 200,000 Crimean Tatars from their home on the Black Sea. They were not permitted to return to their homeland en masse until the early nineties, when the Soviet Union broke apart. Unfortunately, since their homes had been confiscated by others, the Crimean Tatars were forced to rebuild entire settlements during the cold winters of 1990 and 1991. While living in Crimea, we saw, at times, literally dozens of Crimean Tatar families working together in ‘brigadas’ (brigades), helping one another build homes in rapid fashion. They found, through experience, that working together produces synergy, i.e., the output is greater than the sum of the inputs. As Bill Taylor writes in Kingdom Partnerships, “… One draft horse can pull four tons. If you harnessed two draft horses together, they can pull twenty-two tons.” We need just this kind of ‘brigada’ and just this kind of synergy!”

In item #5, we added, “We propose to create a series of ‘electronic newsletters,’ available to anyone with an Internet connection (including those with compuserve, America Online, Delphi, etc.), and, via Relay Agents, to faxes. We would start with one simple newsletter, which would, as a minimum, carry news about mobilization for the 100 Gateway cities and the people groups that live in them. Those wishing to subscribe would simply send a subscription request to the … main frame computer. In an automated process, the individual’s name and e-mail address would be added to the subscription list. At the same time, those with news or resources would mail them via e-mail to a compiler or editor who would create the digest mentioned above and send it to a very special … system. The … computer, acting as a “list server” would then automatically broadcast this newsletter to the subscription list.”

How ’bout that. Nearly 15 years later, it’s still going strong! In the early days, we anticipated the creation of dozens, if not hundreds, of newsletters that would be regionally- or people-group-specific in nature. Along the way, others rose up to pick up that piece of the vision. On the Brigada side of things, we decided to focus on what we seemed to do best — the compiling and distributing of key missions news, conference information, resources, and a wide variety of tools that can be used in carrying out the Great Commission among far-flung unreached peoples.

Read more about Brigada and its connection to a special mobilization event in Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky in 1996:

http://www.brigada.org/1994/10/30_3#more-3

So, Victoria, that’s Brigada. And thanks to you for being part of the family! Comments about Brigada? Just click to the URL below:

Doug Lucas

1) Coaching Training for Church Multiplication

creativeresultsEmpowerment, transformation, and innovation require Spirit-led communication skills. Join more than 300 leaders who have taken the 60-hour Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program, a unique training for mission leaders integrating Biblical values, professional coaching skills, and cross-cultural ministry. Learn in-person and by telephone. Programs in 2010: Seattle January 11-15; Singapore April 5-10; Kunming, China April 19-23; Colorado Springs May 17-22; and Burgundy, France in September 12-17. Save US$450 by registering early. Go to

http://www.creativeresultsmanagement.com/courses/coaching01.htm

for details. Or email

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2) Connect your MK’s to these Re-entry Retreats

mrcMissionary Kids (MK’s) have unique needs and abilities. They pick up the best characteristics from each of the cultures in which they’ve lived, giving them stellar potential, if it’s fully utilized. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not totally understood. Enter mResourcesConnection. They have two MK Re-entry Retreats this upcoming year.  Learn more about the org at…

http://www.mresourcesconnection.org

And see the 2 TCK/MK retreats at…

http://www.mresourcesconnection.org/seminars_and_retreats.htm

3) Illiteracy: A Frontier we have to Face

mapsoftheworldMuch of the world’s population cannot personally read the Word of God because they are illiterate.

Compare the illiteracy rate for the countries you love at…

http://www.mapsofworld.com/thematic-maps/world-illiteracy-map.htm

Learn how to open people’s eyes to the words so that they may read The Word by attending the International Literacy Training Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 13 – July 17, 2010. Topics include Basic Literacy, developing Bible-content literacy materials in local languages, Evangelism through literacy, Discipleship through literacy, teaching English as a Second Language, how to train tutors, and how to run church-based literacy programs.  For more information, visit

http://literacyevangelism.org/resources/training/international-literacy-training-institute-tulsa-2010 [Note: This URL will probably ‘wrap’ in the email to you. If you have a hard time making it work, just log on to Brigada Today online at www.brigada.org. There, we’ll make sure this link is set up accurately. Or e-mail

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4) Start streaming your Service or Project to the Web/World

livesteamAll you need to know is…

http://livestream.com

They’ll take care of everything else. OK — you have to get a webcam working with your laptop. But beyond that, the rest is easy. Think about it: Your next class, church service, organization-wide meeting, training session, etc., streamed live to the web for your entire organization/church/set of supporters to enjoy. Best of all, it’s totally free.

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