Monthly Archives: April 2011

1) A New Community Development DVD Curriculum —

Here’s a new Community Development DVD study solution, available in multiple languages.  This is a revolutionary new curriculum designed to help lift communities out of poverty. Imagine taking the cumulative knowledge of doctors, nutritionists and agricultural experts, who have worked among the world’s poor, and pooling that information into a single, practical and easy-to-use video curriculum in numerous languages.  To purchase or learn more, see…


(Thanks to the folks at Win Ministries for supporting Brigada this past week with a nice gift! This bumped them up in the queue and also bumped them up in the table of contents!)

2) Share the Best Missions Mobilization Video You’ve Seen —

Give us your best shot: What’s the best video you’ve seen to stir hearts and minds toward mission? For example, here’s a YouTube link that will lead you to MUP’s video, “Unreached: Did you know?”


It’s fast-paced, with hundreds of images from among the actual unreached. Hats off to MUP for publishing it. What about you? What’s your favorite? (Click “Comment” below this item on the Brigada website and list your link, source, or sighting. And thanks to Betty, Team Expansion’s VP of Prayer, Ops, and Personnel, for reminding us of this MUPs video.)

4) Which VPN Service-Provider is the Best This Month? —

I jest, but it’s almost that bad. For example, in February, the folks at Lifehacker voted Witopia as the #1 VPN service-provider, but around that same time, Barracuda spam prevention devices decided not to let any of Witopia’s connections enter a Barracuda-protected network. Bummer. My prediction is, unless Witopia can strike a deal with them, it’ll cost them a huge percentile of their customer base. (It did me, for example.) It’s enough to make a user switch  — period. But wait — some might wonder, “What’s a VPN?” Basically, it’s a tool that lets you create an encrypted “tunnel” through which your internet content can flow… until it reaches the “exit point” for whatever VPN service you’re using. For example, I’ve recently switched to StrongVPN (which Lifehacker readers voted #3, by the way), and they have exit points in 15 countries. With many services, you get to choose your exit point. At least that way, you can get your internet traffic out of, say, a country that wants to “see” your data and into the “clear” — maybe the country where you live. In StrongVPN’s case, for example, they’re based in the USA. But you can choose VPN service-providers based in lots of other countries all over the world.


So which is your favorite and why? Just click “Comment” below and tell us about it! This is a rapidly-developing field; we’d better pay attention to it. Apparently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was recently browsing — and hacked — at a public wi-fi hotspot. (This guy went to Harvard?) I guess it’s time we *all* get VPN’s. (And hats off to “K,” at our North African desk. :-) He’s the guy who brought this topic up to us this week.)

5) Check out or Add to the Movies That Can be Used for Debriefing —

Our series on “movies that can be used to debrief missionaries” has attracted some major attention. Check it out at…


Be sure to offer any additional suggestions you’re using. (Disclaimer: If you suggest an R-rated film, please provide details about any raunchy stuff it includes. Best bet: leave off the R-rated stuff and keep it all family-safe.)

6) Connect with Other Like-minded Workers Via —

Finishers Project


was formed to connect mid-life adults with global impact opportunities for God.  Finishers does not send people themselves, but they presently partner with over 80 other sending and mission service organizations.  In addition to an on-line database for individuals seeking service opportunities, they hold regional events to help seekers understand how they can transition from a career to a ministry.


If you were hoping to catch an upcoming Finishers’ Forum, unfortunately, you just missed it. But you can mark your calendar for the 2012 Forum in Detroit. Learn more at…


If you need more information than what is on the site, use the tool at

8) Apostolos: A Conference for Pre-candidates —

Apostolos is a conference for apostolic young adults to come together and learn from those who have gone before. They’ll hear from several career missionaries about their journey, the wisdom they have gained, and their advice as to how the next generation should go forward. Apostolos is for those 18 – 35 who have already made a decision to commit their lives to expanding God’s Kingdom at the frontiers. Apostolos tackles issues from the Western Perspective and is intended from those leaving North America to serve cross-culturally overseas. For more information, see


The dates are August 11-14, 2011. The location is the U.S. Center for World Mission campus, Pasadena, CA.

9) God’s Dreams Being Realized: Kingdom Dreams —

Kingdom Dreams is a new ministry from Adventures in Missions, which exists to facilitate the creation of God’s dreams.  They believe God has given everyone a dream to bring His kingdom, and wants to activate and mobilize people to pursue those dreams. They promise to encourage, challenge, network, and resource dreamers, launching them into their kingdom dreams, regardless of the area of culture: Ministry, business, the arts, government, sports, and education. Are you ready to go and pursue your dream? Do you want to pour into the next generation to see God’s dreams realized? Kingdom Dreams invites you to contact them, and start dreaming today.


If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions just click the word “Comment” below the text.

10) We Give Thanks —

Thanks to an anonymous family for giving $360 last week to Brigada. Amazing. And another reader who gave $10. God be praised. Win Ministries gave $25, which we greatly appreciated. See their item above in slot #1. Thanks, finally, to Mission Network, in Anacortes, WA, for sending $100. What great friends and encouragers! We appreciate you!

11) The Easiest $10 You’ve Ever Given Away to Brigada —

If you’ve ever purchased anything online before, or if you plan to do so in the near future, this just might be the easiest $10 you’ll ever give away. Glance through these steps — and if you’re willing to follow them, shortly after your first online purchase, Brigada will receive $10 in cash, in your name, just because you tried out the service.


First, point your browser to…


Second, select “My ebates” in the topline menu. Choose “cashback method” and change the checkbox to “donate” then choose “Check” made to Team Expansion, 4112 Old Routt Road, Louisville, KY 40299. Then select “Update.”


Third, if you’d rather not receive promotional mailings from, click on “Subscriptions,” and check the box at the bottom that says, “Unsubscribe from all promotional emails.” Ebates has a very strong privacy policy and a 100% “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau. Based on their past track record, you will *not* be spammed – Period.


That’s all there is to it. Now take a moment to look through all the stores. For example, next time you order something from, or Lowes or Autozone, or Kmart, Barnes and Noble, Staples, Vistaprint, Walmart, Sam’s Wholesale, Sears, Verizon, Sprint, JCPenney, NewEgg, TigerDirect, Circuit City,, Orbitz, Marriott, Priceline, Expedia,, REI, Bass Pro, Under Armour, and about 1200 other stores — *anytime* you click through the site (making sure you’re still logged in), when you buy like normal, the vendor you visit through eBates will send a cash gift to Brigada afterward. Your summary statement will always tell you how much you’ve donated. We’re happy to furnish you with a tax-deductible receipt for that amount.


So to summarize — follow the simple steps above to log on to, using the link above. Then, find the store (where you were already going to buy something online anyway), use the ebates link to click there, make your purchases as usual (perhaps saving something along the way because ebates constantly makes available coupons for your use). You’ll see at the ebates page, within a day or so, the amount you’re saving as a donation to Brigada (which is a ministry of Team Expansion). That’s all! You never pay any membership fees. If you’ve always wanted to send a gift to Brigada but just never got around to it, at least by following this method, a percentage of everything you buy *will* help Brigada. In fact, just by signing up and making your first purchase through the service, you’ll be sending Brigada a $10 gift right off the bat. If 100 people sign up, that’s a $1000 one-time gift, and all you will have had to do is try the service one time! By the way, one of our Team Expansion workers has been using this service for quite some time and they really honestly do pay out in checks — and the money really does come. It might not be big, but it really does come, and small gifts would add up if many people took part. Thanks for checking it out. As always, we’ll report accurate figures here as to what happens.

12) The BackPage: One of the Most Useful Programs I’ve Found —

For mission committees, churches, and on-site teams wanting to collaborate, communicate, and share files, this just *might* qualify as one of the most useful programs we’ve used. It’s called,


There are free start-up options, so you can ‘try before you buy.’ But you can’t beat the subscription deal — For a mere $25/month for a key facilitator, your whole team can come together on an infinite number of projects, and each project can contain up to 5 gigs of files, viewable by everyone you’ve added in that project. So this is a file storage solution without limits, essentially. For example, you might create one project to serve as a kind of “intranet” for your team or community, then create another one for each team you’ve sent out. There’s a “status” page, where folks place updates (like status updates in Facebook). There’s another tab for Tasks, where you can assign tasks, “complete” them, and do discussions about them. And then there’s the “Files” tab with which you can store documents. Everything is “needle-in-a-haystack searchable, so you’ll never lose things again. And the document storage also has lightweight ‘versioning.’ There’s even a “chat” built-in for use with those who are registered. Use “labels” to tag ideas (also unlimited), and mark tasks with due-dates and label-based priorities. Each project is encrypted and separated from the other projects with a “wall” of separation, so you can invite as many guests into one project and they’ll never see the contents of the “project next door,” so to speak, so you can maintain security. Give it a try. Keep in mind — There’s no affiliate discount or kick-back being given here. This is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.

1) Use This Photo Fact File to Teach about Mental Health —

Member Care specialists, Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell, recently referred us to a web page that teaches about mental health issues around the world, complete with pictures. It’s almost something one could use, with just a little tweaking, as a CHE (Community Health Evangelism) tool. Either way, it’s free for the learning at…


(Note that this URL will ‘wrap.’ One option: Use the link below to find this item on the web at Brigada. The link there will work.) Thanks Kelly and Michèle!)

2) Free Online Collaborative “Cool Tool” for Teamwork —

Looking for a simple tool to help you at your next team wide planning session? Why not have a look at…


Ask 2, 3, or 4 or more members to bring their laptops along to the planning session. The first guy sets up the “TypeWithMe” page, then sends the link to the others. Before you know it, you’ll all be typing together on the same webpage — and all for free! When you’re done, import or print the page, then produce as many others as you want.

3) A BAM pioneer/supporter has died (“graduated to Heaven”) —

Don Nordstrom helped start and grow PRI (since 1987), a BAM company with over 10 operations in China.  Don was father and greatest mentor to PRI’s Chairman, Dwight Nordstrom.  Don finished well. Also the Lord graciously protected Don’s legacy at the time of his death.  Policemen and doctors say that Don was a “hero” – he died from a massive heart attack (unconscious in less than 2 seconds) while driving his car with Dwight’s 2 small children in the back seat.  Although the car was travelling an estimated 50MPH (80.5 KPH) on a downhill section of a major 4-lane road in California, Don quickly began to put on the brakes and then went unconscious.  For several minutes, even while others were performing CPR on him in the car, and with Don unconscious sitting in the driver’s seat, his foot was firmly on the brake with the car engine running and still in “Drive”.  The police said they needed to pry it from the brake to get him out of the car.  Even in his death he and the Lord were protecting others. Join us in giving thanks for Don Nordstrom.

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