Daily Archives: 2010/11/14

1) New Book on Church’s role in Candidate Prep is a Winner —

Whoa… I just finished reading Greg Carter’s new book, “Skills, Knowledge, Character: A Church-based Approach to Missionary Candidate Preparation.” There’s just one major flaw in this book: I didn’t write it first. Honest… I read it cover-to-cover, word-for-word, because it’s that good. He analyzes the typical preparation track (at least for USA-sent workers; other countries’ mileage may vary), picks apart the process, and helps figure out how to improve it. I *love* it that he blends the agency’s role with the church’s role. (He notes that some churches back in the nineties were previously heading in a direction of ditching agencies. “Big mistake,” he concludes. My kinda’ guy. :-) ) (Course, I lead a missions agency on the side, in addition to my role of editing Brigada. :-) ) He also blends in special training agencies *and* formal college/university training experiences. Actually, the appendix and his “dashboard” are worth the price of the book all on their own.

But I’ll point out just one more fault: In the pre-release version I read, he doesn’t even mention Brigada in the entire publication! (He’s since promised to fix that error, he says. :-) :-) :-)

Seriously, all kidding aside, you’ll want this book… if you’re involved in local church missions.

The cost is $19.95, but because he felt so bad about not including Brigada on the pre-release version (kidding again), he’s dropping the price for Brigada participants. Use PayPal to send $17 to

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— and he’s even throwing in shipping for that price. Reason to celebrate. The *appendix* is worth that. You can also mail a check made out to:

Turtle River Press

153 Bedford Court

Valparaiso, IN 46383

for $17 as well.

So hats off to Greg. This book is a keeper.

2) Pretend you Attended Caravan’s Member Care Training Day 2010 —

You pretty much can — pretend at least. Because Caravan archived the whole thing… then shared it with you at…


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focused on organizational health for supporting staff and operations. The main case was on the organizational ethos of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).  The five presentations are available for free, in video/audio formats:

*** Member Care: The Organizational Perspective

*** Case Study: Review of the Executive Summary on the UNHCR Organizational Ethos

*** Case Study: Urban Ministry and Inter-Cultural Member Care

*** Case Study: International Aid Workers

*** Member Care: Current and Future Directions.

(Thanks to Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell for sharing their day and this link with the entire Brigada family.)

3) Repeat Traveler’s International Insurance Coverage —

Now you can avoid the need to apply for a short-term insurance every time you travel internationally and, if you make at least two trips a year, these new multi-trip plans are cost-effective. Depending on your age and the coverage you choose, you might be looking at between $89 and $109/year for a full-tilt coverage that even includes $250,000 medical evacuation coverage. Note that these plans are for USA residents leaving from the USA with USA domestic insurance coverage. You can apply for this plan online at…


If you get the chance, be sure to tell them you heard about it on Brigada.

4) Go to Fuller for Free… and Learn the latest in Member Care —

That probably sounds too good to be true, but isn’t the Internet wonderful? :-) Now, thanks to their graciousness, you can! Just browse to…


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You’ll be looking at the 2009 Fuller Integration Symposium, which featured Dr. Kelly O’Donnell on the theme of “Practicing Psychology in Mission/Aid.” It comes complete with free video, audio, and written materials. You’ll learn about the history, future directions, health, dysfunction, good practice, and ethics of member care. Christmas has come early folks. :-)

5) Learn to Train people for Mission Using Case Studies —

Alan Neely makes it easy, in his book, “Christian Mission: A Case Study Approach.” He includes 18 case studies with study questions and teaching notes, all from the perspective of training cross-cultural workers.


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(Thanks to Kelly O’Donnell for referring the Brigada to this book.)

6) National Missionary Convention Ready to Roll —

Starting Thursday evening, some 7,000 students, church members, mobilizers, college reps, missionaries, and aid workers from all over the world will gather in Lexington, Kentucky’s Rupp Arena (where the famed UK Wildcats play). Learn more about the program by checking out the website…


and even peruse the program book at…


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7) Coming to an airstrip needs you

Yup folks, he’s done it again. This is the same Steve Saint who was tragically left behind when his father, famed pilot in “Through Gates of Splendor,” was murdered by local (national) indigenous people. So was Jim Elliott. This is the same guy who made the movie happen — “End of the Spear.”


Our organization has used the i-tec dental tables. Perhaps yours has too.


But have you heard about Steve’s flying car? I had heard of it some time ago, but Lissa, our Uganda correspondent :-), tipped us off to this new video, which had completely eluded us until she uncovered it in Uganda:


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So… tell me the truth: If you knew it would only cost you $80,000 to help get your favorite national missionary back to that hard-to-reach tribe, would you hesitate to begin praying for one of these “i-fly” vehicles? :-) Check it out. Very interesting. (Thanks Lissa!)

8) Ouch: Denial of Service Attack Costs Brigada $352 :-( —

On the one hand, we’re thrilled to be a target. On the other hand, we aren’t that well off financially anyway. A recent denial-of-service attack racked up $352 worth of processing fees on our Authorize.net credit card donation portal. (They didn’t touch the PayPal portal. Remember, if you plan to give via credit card, you can still do so via PayPal without joining their service. Just look for the “Continue without logging in” option to bypass the whole PayPal registration thing.) If you’re in the position to pitch in $35, that would pay 1/10th of our loss and we’d be grateful. We’ll report all donations here in Brigada so you’ll know *exactly* what was given.

9) The BackPage: “Lord, may we all be as humble as Paul Eshleman” —

Here’s an update on last week’s “BackPage” editorial. You’ll recall I was fairly direct about the fact that I felt Paul Eshleman had fumbled the ball a bit, at least in the opinion of the members at my own table group in Cape Town. Recall that they felt the list was poorly-cited, the unreached people groups ill-contrived, and the presentation itself a four-minute rush-job. Well did you ever write something, assuming few people would ever read it… only to find out that at least one person did. :-) Within 24 hours of releasing that edition of Brigada Today, Dr. Eshleman himself called me personally. See his biography at…


His message to me? “Come to a meeting to help us fix this. Help us get it right.” So, in a couple of weeks, about 30 of us will be gathering near Paul’s “Finishing the Task” offices. The goal? Figure out how to do a Finishing-the-task push all-the-more effectively.

My first conclusion: “Lord may we all be as humble.” This guy practically *invented* the Jesus Film, he has degrees and initials after his name, and lots of major donors ready to sponsor big-time initiatives. He doesn’t really have to listen to little guys — like me. Many of us would have become defensive, partisan, and even critical. But his posture is a real model: “How can we make this better?” By including me, sure he’ll get input from my Cape Town table group. But he’ll also get something else. He’ll get broader *ownership* of his initiative. If you stop and think about it — that’s genius, for more than one reason.

My second question is this: What message would you have me take to that meeting in California? What would *you* say to the Finishing the Task initiative? See their website at:


Click “Comment” below and give me a mandate… Please. After all, if I’m going to *go*, I’d like something to say! :-)

Thanks in advance for your input.

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