Daily Archives: 2013/10/27

Brigada Today– 2013/10/27

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In this edition:
1) “Family Circus” is Finding New Ways to Serve
2) Become Fully Funded In A Few Months
3) Easybibles Volunteers Now In 15 Languages/10 Nations In Africa
4) What’s the best Learning Management System?
5) Mother-Tongue Translators in the Pacific
6) More Books/Resources on Understanding Islam
7) What’s Your Best Book for Understanding India?
8) Roving Reporter Picks Up on Air France Twist on Cutlery
9) CobianBackup Continues to Impress
10) Low Cost Renewal Retreats for Global Workers
11) Single Mission
12) Help Brigada Help Thousands of Workers Among the Unreached
13) We Give Thanks…
14) The BackPage: Lessons from Losing my Mother
15) Closing Stuff

1) “Family Circus” is Finding New Ways to Serve

family circusGotta love Darrell & Sandy who have a great ministry called “Family Circus Children’s Ministries” in the Philippines. They’re creative, persistent, and responsive. And if you’d like to see applications in use like aquaponics to feed the hungry, they’re a great source. Learn more at…


(Thanks, bunches, to Family Circus for the $100 gift to Brigada this past week!)





2) Become Fully Funded In A Few Months

Kingdom ComeIf you can commit to an hour and a half a day, four days a week for three weeks of training — then a weekly half-hour of coaching and accountability over Skype, you can achieve your full funding in a matter of months rather than years. Every year several hundred faith ministry workers are succeeding at accelerated partnership ministry. Kingdom Come Training Courses are immediately available for the Fall months. No travel costs! The training is done over live, interactive videoconferencing which makes it available almost anywhere in the world. Visit KCT at:


3) Easybibles Volunteers Now In 15 Languages/10 Nations In Africa

easybiblesEasybibles is asking for continued prayer for great progress being made in Africa (10 nations) and Asia (4 nations) by translators and checkers working for no payment. In certain countries, Martin and the Britannia Club Account send money exclusively for printing. (Still other countries fund their total operation.) Learn more, including details on conferences for the volunteers producing ‘easyBibles’ in Africa and Asia by visiting…


4) What’s the best Learning Management System?

map_homeDistance learning gurus speak about creating a learning environment, with a powerful “learning management system.” If you haven’t ever considered launching a distance learning program for your new candidates or existing workers, then — let’s. Start here…


And ask questions like which has the best price, best features, and the most “fun” (if distance learning can be considered fun?). As for price, you could easily walk in the door and spend $800/month on Blackboard (which is more or less the entry price tag), or you could try to use a kludgy open-source model [yawn]. The great thing is — the choice is yours. There are lots of options. The best approach might be to try SOMETHING so you get your feet wet. Then shop. In the past, Brigada has mentioned Nixty


and Estante.


But the field has matured a lot, even in the past year. Please tell us what’s your favorite system and why. Just click in a Comment Box following the web version of this item. We’ll be grateful.

5) Mother-Tongue Translators in the Pacific

Cool that Wycliffe Associates is stepping up its support of national, mother-tongue translators who are at work on Bible translation projects for their own people. This effort, called the Pacific Advance, focuses on providing national translators with resources and training to hasten the work of Bible translation in a region where 350 Bible translation projects are in progress, with 404 projects yet to begin. Read more at…


6) More Books/Resources on Understanding Islam

how-to-respond-muslimsI’m struck by the way Logos has created a learning system within its publishing platform. It’s a great way for missionaries to build a fantastic library at a decent price without buying those Rubbermaid “Tote” tubs. What’s more, one book that was $5 in print and $3.50 in Kindle edition (on Amazon) was just $2.25 in Logos’ marketplace. As always, it’s best to shop. About half the time, in my own comparisons, the Kindle edition would be cheaper, but Logos’ system was less expensive in other situations. See for yourself and do your own cost comparison at…


Either way, don’t forget that you can use coupon code BRIGADA5 at checkout to get 15% additional discount off the already-discounted price. (Disclaimer: They’ve said they’ll make a gift to Brigada as a result of these purchases. But what I don’t understand is — if they’re shaving off dollars from what Amazon charges, how will they have any money leftover to make a donation? Does this mean Amazon is becoming filthy rich? :-) Your choice as to whom you want to support. :-) )

8) Roving Reporter Picks Up on Air France Twist on Cutlery

AFOur Roving Reporter, Caleb, picked up a new twist on in-flight cutlery this past week when he referred us to Air France’s new kids set, reported here…


If you’ve got kids, and if tickets are the same cost, might be an interesting way to divert your kids on an overnight flight. (Can’t wait to hear about business class passengers ducking to dodge in-flight testing of these new designs. :-) ) (Thanks Caleb!)

9) CobianBackup Continues to Impress

I believe we first mentioned Cobiansoft’s CobianBackup in 2009. But even today, it still continues to impress. For the purchase price (zero), it will do just about as a great a job as anything at helping you prepare for disaster. It supports FTP backup, runs as an application or as a service (consuming very few system resources in the latter mode), can compress or not compress, encrypt or not encrypt — it’s your call.


Remember, most computers have moving parts. If they don’t move, some of them likely warm up. It’s not a question of IF you’ll someday experience data loss due to some kind of failure. It’s WHEN. Backing up is a bit like buying fire insurance: The moment you realize you wished you had it, it’s too late to get it. Begin a vigilant and routine backup policy today so, when it happens, you can smile, and say, “Brigada told me I should prepare for this.” :-)

10) Low Cost Renewal Retreats for Global Workers

ELIMBarnabas International and ELIM Retreat Ministries will offer 8 renewal retreats for missionaries in 2014. These Retreats are held in gorgeous natural environments in the States, a good addition to a “home assignment.” These Retreats are not “busy,” but full of opportunities for replenishment and renewal. Each Retreat is 6 days, with participant groups of 10 to 14 singles, couples or families. The cost is $80.00 per person. Check out


for registration and information.

11) Single Mission

single mission“Single Mission: Thriving as a single person in cross-cultural ministry” is a new book, edited by Dr Debbie Hawker and Rev Tim Herbert. The book has been written for single missionaries, their supporters and member care providers. It covers the joys and challenges of single missionaries. Copies are available from

http://www.condeopress.com, at $11.95 US per copy. For purchases in the UK contact
doctors_hawkeratyahoodotcodotuk. A lower cost eBook version should be available soon, through Amazon. All profits from this book will be used to support mission workers.

12) Help Brigada Help Thousands of Workers Among the Unreached

On a regular basis, Brigada sends out helpful resources to workers throughout the entire world. Not a single worker has to pay any subscription fee. The Brigada website offers up 18 years of archived resources, completely free. Visitors don’t even have to register. How is this possible? Because of the kindness and unselfishness of people like you. If only a few dozen readers sent a $100 end-of-year gift, our entire annual budget would be done… and, like always, we wouldn’t mention finances again for an entire additional year. Want to help? Click “donate” at the top of any Brigada page, or, mail a check made payable to Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Drive, Louisville, KY 40299. Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so, for USA citizens, your gift to Christ through Team Expansion is tax-deductible. We’ll quickly send a thank-you note and receipt. We won’t add you to any mailing list unless you request it. Thanks for your prayers, your partnership, and your participation in the Brigada family!

13) We Give Thanks…

For the gifts that empower us — like the $20 gift from Tucker, GA, and, interestingly, from the same town, the $200 gift from WOM (God bless you!!!). We also received a $50 from KCT. Learn more about the way they coach wanna-be missionaries to become effect at launching partnerships with supporting individuals and churches by visiting them on the web at…


Thanks to the Brigada partner in Roseville, CA, who sent $200. Shaking our head in disbelief and thanksgiving.

We’re also grateful to Family Circus, as reported in Item #1 above.

14) The BackPage: Lessons from Losing my Mother

Mom with ZierMy mother, age 85, had experienced some weight loss over the summer. Because her doctor had changed roles, she no longer had a primary care physician. By early fall, I knew I’d have to help her get started with someone else, so I made a few calls and hooked her up with a doc who was well-known for a great bedside manner with the elderly. I went along with her to the first appointment and, right away, he suspected her gall bladder. A few weeks later, tests had confirmed it was malfunctioning and we gathered in the outpatient surgery center at her award-winning regional hospital. When the surgeon came in after an all-too-brief procedure, we were taken back to learn that cancer, now at stage IV, had completely infected virtually every type of organ and tissue in her abdomen. According to the surgeon, Mom would be lucky to see Christmas. Looking back, the surgeon was spot-on. We buried her in the Lucas Cemetery a week ago Saturday, exactly 30 days after first learning of her condition.

I reflected with visitors at her funeral visitation that it would appear that, with Stage IV cancer at age 86, there are really only 3 options.

First, one could get hit by a concrete truck coming out of the hospital. At first, this solution appears to be the best. After all, no matter how you slice it, cancer is an evil monster that consumes you from the inside-out. But the downside of this solution is, you have little opportunity to say goodbye to friends and family members. What’s more, if you haven’t prepared for the worst, you have zero time to do so in this approach.

At the other end of the spectrum is the one-year version. In this particular solution, one spends an inordinate amount of money for outlandish treatments, eventually landing in professional care institutions that might sap all your dignity, your savings, and your family time. Sure — due to all the fancy treatments, one might gain 60 days or so. But, according to some, the quality of the time drops exponentially.

My mother chose the 30-day option. No treatment whatsoever. She opted for a great hospice organization (Premier Hospice in Seymour, Indiana — we hope you’re lucky enough to live in southern Indiana so you can use them?) and spent her final month relaxing in her own home. I overheard her once, while I was doing dishes in the next room, telling a friend on the phone, “There’s no doubt cancer is a terrible outcome, but I have to say — it’s great having my sons living here again.” We took turns serving her, each of us grateful for some saved-up vacation and/or “family leave” time (and for understanding organizations, along with teammates who covered for us). Although Mom didn’t like the downside of cancer, she loved having her 3 sons in the house again. We laughed, reminisced, reflected, and, thank God, prepared one another for what might have been a terrible road ahead.

So… all of that to say, what lessons have we learned from losing my mother? Here are a few, in no particular order:

a) Get checked-out regularly, regardless of your age — One would think that by now we’d all know this. But I’m kind of surprised that there are still many people who don’t take advantage of annual check-ups. To me, it’s a bit like driving 70 mile per hour into the fog. Sure you can do it. But why would you WANT to? Most insurance companies cover the cost of check-ups. And even if they don’t, what’s that old adage about “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure?” At age 86, sure my mother opted not to get treated. But at least she was empowered with all the information so she could make an informed decision. This is a bit like backing up your computer. We just have to be vigilant and do it, whether missionaries, ministers, or — regardless.

b) Get the right people in the room to advise you — My two brothers and I were taking turns caring for our 86-year-old mother. (She had always told us – if we “were tempted to take her to a nursing home, please take her over on the hill and put a bullet in her head.” Frankly, she would have rather died than entered one. Somehow, by God’s grace, she avoided it.) My wife and I happened to be the ones on duty as her body wound down. Things began to get a bit dicey. If I may speak forthrightly, she was entering a phase in which she was vomiting and her body was being tested in every way. Right away (hats off to her), the marketing director of the hospice company spotted the situation and brought in an incredibly-experienced and well-trained professional. She knew end-of-life signs AND treatment. In 20 minutes, they trained my wife and me to walk my mom through what might have been the most difficult hours of her entire 86 years. Thanks to their insights, those last 9 hours were as painless and peaceful as one could ever imagine. My mother was lucid yet pain-free. She talked openly about the situation and my wife and I knew exactly what to do. At the end of the day, I’m now convinced — nothing trumps training and experience. Death is not the time to experiment with interns. Thanks to the marketing director and the hospice company — and to the professional they brought to our living room.

c) Hope for miracles, but also prepare for a more sobering reality — So many believers were stopping my mother, sometimes in the aisles at Walmart, with well-intended admonitions like, “Sally, just believe!” They’d tell her, “Jesus can heal you of this if you have faith!” Please hear me well: My mom had a great attitude. But this whole scenario was confusing. I finally put together an article to try to help her sort it all out — and she indicated that it did. (Read the story at the bottom of the page here…


We won’t repeat everything here… so please read the article to see our suggestions about how to pray for the seriously ill.)

d) Prepare and talk openly and often about worst-case scenarios — When and why did conversations about death become so taboo? (Why would mother wait until just days before her death to tell me where I would find the key to her lock box? Come to find out, she had appointed me as executor and her personal representative. She did that all the way back in the year 2000, bless her heart. If she had passed away during those 13 years, I would have been clueless. (She had stored it in a VERY obscure location, by the way.) If we’ve prepared for it, what is death — other than transitioning to life eternal? My thoughts are — few things are more important. Let’s sort this stuff out today so we’re ready.

Do you have additional thoughts about preparing for the ultimate transition? Just click in the comment box following the web version of this item… and thanks for taking time to share your testimony.

15) Closing Stuff

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