Daily Archives: 2009/12/20

1) Short-term Trip Coming Up? Don’t Leave Home Without This

missionaryhealthHave you heard about the Day Tripper? It’s an international medical and medical evacuation plan for short-term teams. With rates as low as 52 cents per day you can’t go wrong with this plan! PLUS when you purchase this plan from Insurance Services of America on their web site


you will be helping to support Brigada! In addition to this plan, coverage is available for any international need – individual short-term trips, career missionaries, trip cancellation, short-term teams and term life insurance.

For coverage details, rates and the online applications of the Brigada sponsored plans, check ’em out.

2) Mobile Media Evangelism tools

indigitechNow you can share your faith while traveling cross-culturally in the languages of unreached people groups. Create International has developed “Gospel Gadgets” with all of their evangelistic films loaded ready to be shown to the target groups that you or your teams are reaching. These “Godpods” are specially designed for today’s “Mobile Media Evangelists” equipped with video and audio playback, ebook software to share the Bible in different languages, voice recording, and many more features. The best part about it is that they are one tenth the price of an ipod. For those of you working where electricity is rare or non-existent they have the answer for you: their portable solar charging unit. Find all of their Gospel Gadgets at:


(Thanks again to Create Int’l for that $50 gift they sent, acknowledged in last week’s Brigada.)

3) Free Downloadable Evangelistic Films

indigitech2Create International’s resource website at:


is focused on resourcing Christians around the world with a variety of evangelistic tools. Aiming to enhance one’s personal witness and provide effective cross-cultural tools in multiple languages, this website tool box is full of options, with more than 10,000 external links to resources and informative articles for helping you be as effective as possible in your witness to people of other cultures and languages. They now have a searchable database of hundreds of people groups with links to audio, video, and literature tools for evangelism and mission mobilization. Create International has just completed a new section of “FREELY downloadable evangelistic films” for more than 45 of the largest and least reached people groups! They are available in both Apple and PC compatible formats which are playable on any desktop, laptop, or portable media player. Please visit their “Indigitech” website and get equipped to reach the nations!

4) New Video Resources for Home Gatherings, etc., all Online

createinternationalCheck out Create International’s cool new DVD resources at their online store:


They have finished the first ever Contextual Home Gathering video for people from a Thai Buddhist background. Indigenous instruments, dance, symbols and appropriate word choices all came together for a lively presentation that will reach millions of Thais. Other new resources include “Contextualization in Action” and “Contextual Gathering Showreel”, which shows six examples of home group gatherings among Hindi, Kurds, Turks, Indonesian, Urdu, and now Thais. Subtitled in English, this is a great tool for showing believers who may worship in different cultural styles, but who are all united in their love for God.

5) Need an Online Registration Service? Try Wild Apricot

wildapricotYup… maybe it’s a silly name, but it’s a great service. For our March 6th eco-missions event (a Creation Care workshop), we’re using Wild Apricot to register the participants. Want to check it out? (Want to come? :-) ) See…


Need an online event-manager for your own church or agency? Find out more about their offerings… and register for immediate benefits at:


(If you become a new user, Wild Apricot has promised us they’d throw in a gift for Brigada… so while you’re getting the best online event-manager, you’ll also be helping Brigada too!)

6) More on Social Networking Sites

facebook.gifI continue to be interested in your protocols on social networking sites like Facebook. Some have expressed grave concern about their ramifications.  For example, one anonymous Brigada participant wrote this past week to share the procedure that his agency has embraced:

“Because of the responsibility we have as a ministry, all volunteers, visitors or workers who wish to be part of the project. will now be required to refrain from using social networking websites to make contact with the young people or children we work with via the internet or email.  Any contact will be through us.”

To others, this might seem “over the top.” What’s your opinion? For background, please see our earlier discussion on this at:


To comment or ask questions about this topic, or to paste in a copy of the protocol at your own church or agency, just click “Comment” below the web version of this item.

7) Need Bible Study Software? Try Logos

logosFor some years now… maybe as far back as 1996 or so? I’ve held on to Logos Bible Study software for sermon prep, personal Bible study, and writing. This past week, Logos contacted us to let us know they have set up a special landing page for Brigada participants:


Their marketing manager wrote to say that all Brigada participants using that page would receive a special Christmas gift: 25% off any Logos base packages. Just use BRIGADA1 in the Coupon Code field. Imagine… getting 1/4 off an already value-priced Bible software!

Try them. It just might ratchet up your Bible study life big-time. And by the way, there’s no promise of any help for Brigada from this sale. It’s just “one beggar telling another where to find bread.”

9) Stress and Trauma Handbook a Core Resource for Worldwide Workers

stressandtraumahandbookThe O’Donnells think so anyway (Kelly and Michèle). They wrote recently to recommend it to Brigada participants. Entitled, “Stress and Trauma Handbook: Strategies for Flourishing in Demanding Environments,” it is  edited by John Fawcett (2003), and published by World Vision. Kelly and Michele wrote, “This is a core handbook for our libraries and our work. Its four sections cover stress in organizations, stress research, healthy work settings, and supportive resources. Here are some superb introductory quotes.” Interestingly, the O’Donnells quote the author as saying, “The most stressful events in humanitarian work have to do with the organisational culture, management style and operational objectives of an NGO or agency rather than external security risks or poor environmental factors.” However, the author also concludes, “Strong relationships afford the best protection in traumatic and stressful environments.” Sounds like the agencies of our world have to work harder to get our stuff together. :-) Lord help us. (Thanks Kelly and Michèle.) Get a copy of Fawcett’s book at…


If you have trouble with this URL, just click to our online edition at the link below, then click on the picture of the book.

10) Still Looking for that Perfect Gift?

afarimportsBrigada participant, Allan, recommends handmade goods from Afar Imports


According to Allan, they are an importer that helps international companies of all kinds in many hard-to-reach places sell their products in the USA.  He had met them personally at a recent conference. Shop online, find unique gifts, and support global workers all at the same time. The prices are great right now, with free shipping. (Thanks Allan!)

12) Online Training in Relationship-based Research

calebresourcesPioneering new ministry or seeking deeper insights into the culture where you live? Learn relationship-based research techniques used by short-term teams, church planters, strategists, and students around the world since 1988. Encounter Culture is a 10-week experiential training course developed by Caleb Resources using the book, “Exploring the Land.” The next class is scheduled for January 15, 2010. Learn more at…


13) We Give Thanks… —

thankyou2…for Brigada participants in Chesterfield, MO who gave $40 this past week. Thank you!!!

…for a new Brigada family friend in Queensland, Australia who sent $50. They were missions mobilizers in PNG for 25 years. While there, they worked with CLTC (Christian Leaders Training College) an interdenominational Bible College on the island. They now live in Australia but produce an e-letter to link an island people serving in missions.  They wrote that they, “… have been receiving Brigada for many years and the information is great!  Thanks for the good job done consistently over many years.” [glow] Thanks for the encouragement — both kinds! :-)

…for an amazing five-fold “True Friend” of Brigada from Dallas, Texas who just sent $500! Whoa. Shaking my head in amazement and thanksgiving.

14) 2009 is Vanishing: Would you be a “True Friends” of Brigada?

The gifts described above bring out total 2009 giving to 11,139.38. Everything is openly disclosed here. To reach our goal of 17120, we still need to pray up just under $6000. So … all we need are 60 “True Friends of Brigada” to each chip in $100. *Or*, like last year, one single entity could volunteer $5000 — and we’d be nearly there. Unfortunately, there’s just 1 more edition of Brigada in 2009. No time to lose. If you were waiting it out… to see how close we’d come? … now you know. If you’d like to turn the tide, 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!

15) The BackPage: Twelve Days of Christmas

12daysHave you ever heard of that “12 Days of Christmas” song? [Note: This story has been edited from its original form to promote a more sensitive reader experience in certain contries.] According to some opinions, people often think of The Twelve Days of Christmas as the days preceding the festival.  Actually, Christmas is a season of the Christian Year that starts December 25 and continues until January 6, the Day of Epiphany, when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the Magi.

Now I know that Snopes would call it a fanciful explanation. Read the “cold water” at…


So truth is, perhaps none of the following is true. :-) However, after a thorough reading of the Snopes site, I’m convinced that *nobody* really knows for sure the background of this song. So — why not indulge in just a *little* imagination at Christmas time? :-) Besides, all those facts at Wikipedia seem so… *cold* and sterile. :-) So … with positively no historical backing at all, here’s the *real* meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas:

You see, [Storybook mode ON] [pulling up a chair by the fireplace, as if reading a story to your kids] once upon a time in a land far away, according to legend, there was an era when Christians didn’t feel safe speaking openly about their faith. According to the story, someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ as a kind of secret message that could be sung in public without risk of persecution.  The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church.

Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds are the four Gospels.

The five gold rings recall the torah (Law) the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.

The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the spirit (Gal.5).

The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the 12 points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

There you have it, the HIDDEN meaning of “The Twelve Days of

Christmas” and the secret behind the song.

Either way (legend or truth), it’s a fair reminder of some great numbers that lead us up to this coming Friday — when, speaking of numbers, we can wish the 10,000 participants in Brigada a very blessed Christmas!!!!


PS. [Storybook mode OFF] :-)

16) 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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