Daily Archives: 2009/11/08

1) Brigada Receives Matching Grant of up to $2054

matchinggiftYes, your eyes are working correctly. That’s Two Thousand Fifty-four dollars. For every $100 gift received for Brigada between now and Dec. 15th, Brigada will receive a matching $100 gift from an international church in the Middle East in celebration of the Missional International Church Network Annual Conference. And by the way, the next annual gathering for the MICN will be in April. Believe me — we’ll be celebrating that gathering along with them… but for today, our hat goes off to that congregation in the Middle East, willing to step up to the plate to help Brigada get these resources out the door and onto your screen. At the same time, we can’t really say thanks yet, because we’ll need the equivalent of 21 “True Friends” of Brigada before the full grant is awarded. It’s zany to thing that if no one else gave for the rest of 2009, we’d lose the chance at being able to receive over $2000! Please, … if God can empower and enable you… please prayerfully consider chipping in. To learn how, see the item, “Just 7 Brigadas left in 2009,” below.

2) Have you Tried This Free Backup Utility?

cobiansoftIf so, we’d love your feedback. Find Cobian Backup at…

http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/index.htm

We received the tip about this backup software from long-time Brigada reader, Greg, who is also Team Expansion’s I.T. guy. (Thanks Greg!) It’s totally free, and all but the latest version would be open source. It supports FTP backup (both downloads and uploads), both scheduled and unscheduled backups, and runs as an application or service. Running it in the background uses very little system resources. Also, the program can copy files and folders in compressed mode, if you’re into that sort of thing. (I like to have a real uncompressed copy of everything, myself.) Cobian Backup supports several methods of compression and strong encryption. (Again, thanks Greg!)

3) Why in the World Haven’t I been Using SendOutCards.com?

I can’t think of a single reason. If you ever needed a good tutorial on how to make great use of this site, just see this streaming video from Eddie Smith, in which he shamelessly gives an example of how he promotes his latest book through this service… :-)

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/1467461/
How_To_Promote_Your_Books_With_SendOutCards.wmv

(Note: That URL will wrap, so if you have trouble with it, just go to the online version of this item at www.brigada.org. We’ll make sure it works there.)

SendOutCards lets you choose or design a greeting card, write a message, then click “send.” The service then prints it, stuffs it, and mails it — all for less than you would pay for a standard greeting card! As the service puts it, they’re ” changing people’s lives for good one simple card at a time.” (OK — that’s pretty dramatic, but the service is really good. :-) )

Now maybe you don’t have a new book to promote, like Eddie (Why not?), but you could use the service to say thanks for a special gift, or as a way of sending out a birthday greeting? Imagine using this service from overseas, to send greetings to folks in the USA. They have 10,000 cards from which to choose, including post cards, greeting cards, and special 3-panel cards. You can include your own pictures — and even your very own handwriting. (Course, some of us would then be sending out cards that others could barely read, but that’s beside the point.) It’s a really cool service, if your card recipient lives in the USA, that is. It’s $99 to join, then about $1.50 per card, plus postage. And when they add the postage, they use a real live stamp. So as Eddie says, ” My dad was chairman of the SBC, FMB two terms back when missionaries could hardly talk with home base. It’s unbelievable that today a missionary in an Internet cafe in Pakistan can send a quality greeting card with his own photos and text to anyone in the U.S. with a .44 cent first-class stamp on it!” Eddie’s right. Quite reasonable, when you consider what you’re getting. (Thanks Eddie!)

4) Why do I always use Amazon when Bookfinder4u.com is around?

bookfider4uI’m not sure. Because, you see, Bookfinder4u *includes* Amazon in its search, along with about 74 other online stores.

Try them at…

http://www.bookfinder4u.com/

If we were asking someone to come fix our roof, we’d get 3 bids. Why do I just take Amazon’s price, assuming it’s the best. Maybe it is — but Bookfinder4u will always confirm that in an instant. Brigada reader Jim, in Chicago, wrote, “After much research in spring 2007, before buying 50 commentaries covering the Bible, I researched book-shopping comparison search engines. By far the best seemed to be www.bookfinder4u.com . I highly recommend it for saving money on books. It compares the best prices available from Amazon, eBay, and 128 other sites, then arranges them in price order.” Love it. (Thanks Jim!)

5) Member Care Materials in International Languages

Do you speak Pemerhati Utusan as your first language? (Are you from Indonesia?) Maybe you thought no one would provide member care for you if you went to the mission field. Never fear. Member Care is there. Our good friends, Kelly and Michele O’Donnell, shared with us recently, “Member care continues to be developed with input from so many people from a variety of backgrounds. Having materials in one’s own heart language (translated and original) helps us all to grow and develop additional skills.” They went on to share a sampling of such materials in the following languages:

Chinese:

http://www.chinamembercare.com/

Arabic:

http://arabicmembercare.googlepages.com/

Spanish:

http://www.cuidadointegralcomibam.blogspot.com/

Korean:

http://www.wearesources.com/  (site under reconstruction)

And Bahasa Indonesia:

http://indonesiamembercare.googlepages.com/

Learn more about best practices in Member Care by tuning in to Kelly and Michele’s latest thoughts at

http://www.coremembercare.blogspot.com/

(Thanks Kelly and Michele!)

6) Authentic Publishing offers free missions eBook download

authenticTo serve global Christian community and accommodate the growing demand for digital books, Authentic Books is now offering titles in e-book formats through

http://www.authenticpublishing.com/

Their Marketing Dir., Mike, wrote recently, “Our passion is to equip the missional community with great content. With our e-books, people anywhere in the world have the ability to select a book and be reading in seconds.” Dworak sees digital formats being particularly useful in areas of the world where print titles are unwieldy or too expensive to order and ship. And in countries that restrict access to Christian materials, digital downloads can provide isolated believers with essential resources. To celebrate the launch into e-publishing, Authentic is offering visitors to its website a free ebook and a monthly e-newsletter. Books come with a satisfaction guarantee and will be replaced free if customers are not happy with them.

7) Become a Teacher in Chiang Rai, Thailand

flagsChiang Rai International School/Family Learning Center is “Serving the Servants” in the beautiful and tropical Golden Triangle area of N. Thailand. Currently there are numerous opportunities for elementary, middle school and high school teachers.  CRICS also have a growing ESL program and needs additional teachers. Though certified teachers are desired, because CRICS is not yet fully registered and because of strong parental involvement in the education of the children, volunteers without teaching credentials are welcome for a minimum of 6 months, but preferably for 1-2 years.  This is a Christian school that has students and teachers from more than 7 countries. For more information, contact

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8) Experience Bible storying like the early church did

How 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 from May 10 – Friday, May 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

title="StoryRunnersatcccidotorg" src="http://wwwdotbrigadadotorg/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/StoryRunnersatcccidotorgdotbmp" alt="StoryRunnersatcccidotorg" />

9) Rock-bottom Prices on Missionary Books

books2Missionary Ken has allegedly retired and is trying to clean out his supply of unsold books that he has written. Titles include Inside Track, Latin America Through the Eyes of a Missionary Journalist, Proclaiming the Gospel, Guidelines for Local Christian Radio Broadcasting Around the World, and From Rio to the Rio Grande; Challenges and Opportunities in Latin America. Cleanout prices range from $ 3 to $5 each plus postage. For information and a description of the books, write to

title="kdmachargatgmaildotcom" src="http://wwwdotbrigadadotorg/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/kdmachargatgmaildotcomdotbmp" alt="kdmachargatgmaildotcom" />

10) Thanks to those who traveled and pitched in

missionaryhealthToday we give a great big ‘thank-you’ to Insurance Services of America, who recently sent $19.19 in recognition of Brigada travelers. When you travel internationally, if you’re like me, you always pick up trip interruption and travel insurance anyway. Shop around — my own experience is that ISA will have the best price anyway, *plus* they then send a tithe to Brigada even from that low price! Their tithe this time around came as a result of travelers like Eric, Wade, Steve, and Donna. But it just as well could have been you. So these travelers made a gift to Brigada without it having to impact their wallet. (They were going to purchase trip insurance anyway.) Please, then, consider using

 

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

 

Thank you travelers, and thank you ISA!

 

We’re also grateful for an anonymous long-time Brigada reader who sent $60. Because of your gift, Brigada is empowered to keep churning away. Thank you!

 

Finally, because of this grant from the church in the Middle East, that $79.19 actually has become $158.38, just like magic!

11) Just 7 Brigadas left in 2009

There are only 7 editions remaining in 2009. If you were holding off ’til the end of the year to see how great the need would be, well now you know. First, we’d love to see $2054 come in so that matching grant of $2054 would be fully realized. But the larger picture is — we’ve now rec’d, so far this year, a total of $4616.38. That means we still have $12,503.62 to go. Would you, your church, or your company be willing to help us reach our budget of $17,120? We could get there by just 125 “True Friends” of Brigada stepping forward with a one-time gift of $100. We made it in 2008, in the middle of a very sluggish economy. Please say a word to your church today. Just have them 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: Flipping a Hard Drive Nearly Flipped Me Out

[ Here’s an item that explains how to upgrade or replace an internal hard drive on a laptop, then draws a lesson & an observation about the determination that the process required.]

You know… I was thinking this past week… It really shouldn’t be this hard. I honestly think it’s easier to buy a *house* and flip it than it is to switch to a new roomier hard drive. (OK… maybe I’m exaggerating here… but I’ve never flipped a house, so how should I know.) First, Windows Vista no longer allows the user to create a “system” disk. So you can’t just hook up the hard drive as a “virtual” drive and use some cryptic command like “sys f:” or whatever. Why in the world did every Microsoft operating system allow you to create system disks… until Vista… and suddenly, it’s no longer possible… I’ll never know. Anyway, so how *do* you do this? The only way I could figure out how to make it happen was to make a real “hot” image of my current hard drive courtesy a free treasure-trove-of-a-utility I found called “Disk Copy,” by a company called “Easeus”.

http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/

Now the great part about Disk Copy is that it works on any operating system. The weird thing is — Disk Copy isn’t an executable. Instead, it comes as a zipped file… and when you extract that zipped file to “real” size, all you have is an “image file” — an “ISO.” It’s basically an image file used to create a DVD or CD. They just kind of *assume* that you know how to do that. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t.

So I had to learn how to create DVDs using image files… and it turned out I had no tool for doing that either. So after an hour of educational research, I found a little utility called Isorecorder.

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Now this is a weird program too. After you install ISO Recorder, no program group is created and there is no application to run. Instead, it’s a Shell extension, which means it provides additional options in a file right-click menu. To create a CD with ISO Recorder right-click on a file with an .iso extension and select “Copy Image to CD.” After you make this CD, then next critical piece is to make sure your computer checks your CD drive *first* in the boot-up process. The easiest way to check that is to simply reboot your computer with the newly created CD in the CD drive. If your computer starts like normal, you’ll have to figure out how to get into your computer’s bios settings and change the boot order so your computer tries to boot from a CD first, *then* to your hard drive. Once you’ve changed and saved that new bios setting, then rebooted with the CD in the drive, your computer now boots into a special operating system native to your new boot CD.

Now you’re ready to create an exact “hot image” of your old drive. To do that, you’ll need to hook up your new hard drive using a USB external drive caddy. I borrowed one from our I.T. guy at Team Expansion (Thanks Greg). But you could also purchase one at your local computer store, or, if you live in the bush, pick one up in town the next time you fly to the capital. (Sorry about that.) If you live near a computer/electronics store like BestBuy, you’re spoiled. Just ask for a hard drive caddy… like the one pictured at….

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182197

or get a mobile version at…

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817816001

Make sure you choose an enclosure that is compatible with the kind of hard drive that fits your computer. If you need help, ask the salesperson, then hope that he/she knows something about hard drives.

Now you just follow instructions in Disk Copy, making a ‘real image’ of your old hard drive. Unfortunately, when you’re done, the new hard drive won’t *seem* any bigger — even if your old drive was a 60-gig drive and your new one is a 300-gig. Why? Because Disk Copy will have even copied the *partition*. So you need one more free utility. I used the one at…

http://www.partition-tool.com/

Once again, thankfully, it’s a free utility. (I hope all these companies make some money off someone else; because they sure didn’t get much from me.) Using this tool, you get a new capability that’s pretty cool: You can “grow” the partition on your hard drive. Now you might not be able to grow the one that’s live — the system drive. But you *can* grow the one hooked to your external USB holder. It’s kind of like expanding the bookshelf — by pushing out the sides of the bookcase. Expand your partition, remove the new hard drive from the enclosure, install it in your laptop permanently, and — bam — you’re in business. Easy, eh? Riiiiiiiiiight. :-)

So what does all this have to do with a BackPage editorial? Well, among other things, it occurred to me during all this … who *does* this? It probably requires a bit of stubbornness, combined with some willingness to think outside the box. I guess it requires the ability and willingness to read and learn. And a bit of history doesn’t hurt. (For example, I knew that somewhere on the hard drive, there’s a special set of “grooves”, so to speak, dedicated to system functions.) At the same time, I’ve never taken a computer class… nor have I ever really been taught or mentored by anyone. So I’m left to wonder… are these some of the same tendencies one needs to do missions? Do we need to somehow intentionally find people who won’t give up? … people who are self-starters? …individuals and families willing to keep pushing through obstacles even when they don’t make sense at first? And… can these characteristics be learned? … modeled? …mentored? In short — can a person improve his/her ability to forge on, in the face of obstacles like this? I’m beginning to think that it takes a bit of practice, a bit of desire, and, yes, maybe there’s a personality trait or two that helps. What’s your opinion? How do we create folks willing to assemble these pieces? And — do you agree that sometimes, these traits would help new workers on the field? … not necessarily to install hard drives, but to overcome any of the thousand-other disparate challenges faced by new workers in the field? What’s your take?

13) 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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