Daily Archives: 2011/03/27

1) The safest and most secure place in all of Mexico —

A recent US State Department official recently evaluated the Roca Blanca Spanish Language School to be in the safest and most secure area in all of Mexico, well-patrolled, virtually free from the drug and other violence issues that are plaguing Mexico’s border towns and some large cities. This is good news for serious language learners who want the element of cultural integration among Mexico’s indigenous without being exposed to unnecessary risk.


The Spanish school runs year round, has multicultural staff, students from many backgrounds and countries, and in a highly multicultural area. There are tons of opportunities to practice everything that you learn, especially since the Spanish school is located on a campus that also houses a Bible school, music school, vocational school, high school, and a medical clinic. Seasoned missionaries and Mexican coworkers complete the panorama. Come take advantage of all that we offer you as part of God’s plan for much fruit and fruit that remains!


Check it out! There is lots more information, and a google earth map to see exactly where we’re located, all at



2) Catch Brigada (& Doug) on David Mays’ Webinar this Thursday —

David Mays reports, “Webinars from The Mission Exchange provide the most convenient way to learn from the best experts in the broadest areas of missions.  You can sit in your home or office and watch and listen (and ask questions) as key leaders explore the issues facing you and your organization today.”  Create a profile and register in the online store at




The recorded webinars are available for purchase for use throughout your organization in the online store about 3 days after the webinar. And best of all, on Thursday Apr. 21st, you can hear Brigada Founder and Editor, Doug Lucas, with several Brigada contributors from around the world — live and in person — via the web on your own laptop or PC. The topic for Doug and his cohorts will be “Cool Tools for Travel and Training: Low Budget Productivity in a Gadget World.” So don’t miss the opportunity to learn (and maybe laugh) at Doug & his sidekicks. Joining him will be long-time workers such as KK from North Africa, along with other specialists in mobilization, information technology, finances, and more. All David Mays’ webinars begin at 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. eastern time (USA). See registration instructions and descriptions at




3) Five-Day Course on Multicultural Worship, Arts, and Mission —

Are you interested in developing a biblical and missiological framework for the arts in cross-cultural worship and ministry? Learning field research skills for the arts? Gaining practical tools for multicultural congregational contexts? Learning songs from a variety of world worship traditions? A collaborative team of experts from the Int’l Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE) will teach a course in “Ethnodoxology in Christian Ministry” at Ouachita Baptist University (OBU), located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, USA, from May 16 until 20, 2011. The course is being offered for undergraduate and graduate credit as well as a workshop option for people in full-time ministry. An on-campus housing-and-meals package is available for participants. For more information, write to Dr. Rob Hewell at

hewellratobudotedu or go to:




To learn more about other EthnoArts and ethnodoxology-related courses offered by ICE partners, see the “training” link at the website:


4) Cool Tools to be Featured Thursday, Apr. 21 —

Here’s your last chance to add some “cool tools” to the list of resources to be offered by Doug and company when The Mission Exchange stages a special Brigada-edition on Apr. 21st. David Mays writes, “One of the most popular series ever to appear in the weekly e-zine, Brigada Today, is a set of ‘Cool Tools’ which, according to some, contained just the right mix of ‘gadget’ with reality. This webinar will build on the Brigada series, discussing tools and gadgets that can enhance your efficiency and productivity, beginning with the simple and moving toward James Bond.

Doug will consider the elementary to the complex, the obvious to the obscure, discussing some of the equipment he has found to leverage his time in travel, keeping in touch, remaining secure, reporting to donors, and raising up prayer. Items range from a journal, camera kit, and USB cell-phone charger, to software and personal sat-beacons.” So be there or be square. Let’s see if we can beat the record for the most participants ever in a David Mays webinar. Who knows! If we gather enough Brigiteers, David just might be guilted into making a contribution to Brigada once the webinar has concluded! :-) (That’s a dare, David!) Learn more — and/or register — at



6) You Can Intervene with Love and the Latest for Libya —

With every hour that passes, new and challenging events are unfolding in Libya, causing great fear and uncertainty. The global community of faith seeks to immediately respond to this crisis by mobilizing prayer and sharing news and opportunities to help. Catch it all at…




This site displays real-time Tweets and Facebook prayers about this crisis. Sign up for daily emails with prayer points. Post and follow prayer requests on Twitter (Use hashtag @pray4libya ) and Facebook pray4libya . Each day, dynamic information is being added to these sites, where you will find ways to: Give: Provide funding for Medical Relief and other tangible initiatives. Serve: Submit and find opportunities to serve those affected by this crisis.

7) Short-Term Missions for the Long Haul —

The Next Mile resources are designed to assist local churches and agencies plan and conduct effective short-term missions. Participants in the short-term mission experience include the goer/sender/local church/goer’s family/mentor/host and those to whom the STMer ministers. The mission experience that is well-planned and carried out will affect not only the life of each participant in their continuing journey to become more like Christ, but all the participants.  The Next Mile resources include a Leader Guide, a Goer Guide for youth and all-ages, and a post-ministry devotional.  Learn more at



8) Teaching in Thailand —

Chiang Rai International Christian School urgently needs Elementary, Middle School, and High School teachers and a principal for the August 2011-June 2012 school year. CRICS is serving the Servants of the Golden Triangle area of N. Thailand. Serve the whole community by serving children of missionaries and community builders, as well as Thai families.  No Thai language training is required. Volunteers must have a college degree. For more information email


10) Appeal for Prayer for Japan —

Pray that God changes the spiritual condition of the affected areas of the earthquake. The areas affected by the earthquake and tsunamis of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki are some of the most spiritually needy places in Japan. With over 4.9 million people yet only about 9,000 active Christians (about 0.15%) in 454 churches. Fukushima has the lowest average worship attendance with only 19 per church. There is one city and 44 towns still with no church. Pray for CRASH relief efforts as they assess needs and resources and mobilize people for relief efforts




Other agencies are very active and networking together.

11) We’re Sooooooooooooo Grateful —

Thanks to the Int’l Council of Ethnodoxologists, who recently pitched in $25 toward Brigada’s expenses, mobilization efforts, office and future vision. We appreciate you! Learn more about their work at




We also received $55 from good friends at the Roca Blanca Spanish Language School. This great education option is located in Cacalotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

12) The BackPage: Big on Flashlights —

When I was 11, our scout troop participated in an overnight camping experience near Bedford, Indiana, at a location known as Blue Springs Cavern. I had never been in a cave before and, I doubt our scoutmaster had either. In spite of the Scout motto, we were seemingly *so* ill-prepared. Blue Springs Cavern was a “wet” cave (duh). And to make matters even worse, about 30 minutes in, the battery in my big 6-volt flashlight began to fail. Two hours in, half our troop was “in the dark,” in more ways than one. I could make out ghost-like shadows way up ahead, silhouetted by the leader’s carbide lamp atop his fancy caving gear helmet. (Show-off.) In one section of the cave, we stepped from boulder to boulder (in the dark), across a cat-walk-like feature with drop-offs on each side that seemed two-stories high. (Maybe the guide was just *trying* to scare us. For those of us without light, it worked.) We waded through ankle-deep water in a “room” with a roof-top clearance of just 4′, forcing us to “duck-walk” through the mud. Finally it was lunchtime. My peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich was soaking wet. But perhaps the most discouraging news came right after lunch, when we learned that the only way out was the way we had come in. Only then did we realize that we had to do the whole thing again in reverse. When we finally climbed out of the “chimney” about 3 hours later, other scouts were bombing us with fresh-made snowballs. To our absolute shock, it had snowed 3″ while we were underground.


That day left an indelible mark on me. In fact, in many ways, perhaps I’ve never fully recovered. To this day, I jokingly carry a flashlight in my right pants pocket wherever I go. (Maybe it’s “jokingly,” but the fact is, I still carry it, nonetheless.) Did I mention that there’s a backup light in my briefcase? And — yes, I confess — spare batteries there too. I guess some things we never forget — or quite get over. And these are not ordinary lights, either. They’re both Surefires. Their lithium batteries have a 10-year shelf-life. In fact, they aren’t really just flashlights. They’re 100-lumen “illumination devices.” At least that’s what Surefire likes to call them.


How ’bout you: have you ever been jaded by an event in your life that you can’t quite forget. A broken relationship? … the loss of a loved one you can’t quite shake. … a bankruptcy, failed business, ejection from a sensitive field? My theory is — we *all* come with some baggage. Those gremlins in our past, in fact, are part of what molds us into who we are today. To me, it’s not necessarily all about forgetting the past; it’s sometimes about compensating for it.


Of course, some of these hiccups could have been prevented through better training, clarified expectations, or even the right tool. (A simple dependable flashlight would have done the trick with me.) Although we can’t Monday-morning quarterback the past, we can and should learn from it.


So — it’s worth asking… How do we train our workers so they can better deal with ejection from a sensitive land? What kind of tools (whether they be tangible tools or intangible ones) should we give to those traveling halfway around the world? How can we, as churches, agencies, and families, reduce the likelihood of post-Blue-Springs-Cavern syndrome? That question deserves our priority attention, every day of our lives.


Got a testimony of your own? Have you learned a lesson that might help the rest of us deal with Blue Springs Cavern? Just click “Comment” below the web version of this item, using the link below. Thanks in advance for sharing, whether by name or anonymously. And, by the way, don’t forget to take a flashlight *and* spare batteries. :-)




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