Daily Archives: 2016/04/10

2016/04/10 — Brigada Today

WebCompiled/Edited by Doug Lucas and Tina McCormick, Team Expansion. Your gift to Brigada will help get motivation, resources, and news/trends out to thousands of Christian workers throughout the globe on a weekly basis. Search over 2 decades of weekly Brigadas using the search box below.


In this issue…
1) Looking for a Resource to Help Int’l Workers Return “Home” Well?
2) Are the Psalms missing from missions?
3) Think You’re a Geography Ninja? Let’s See : )
4) Beef up Your Prayer Life — by Praying the Bible!
5) Here’s Your Five-Star Book Set on the Refugee Crisis
6) So… $20 each for 3 days of Training on Farming God’s Way?
7) Mobile for Short-Term Ministry Teams
8) Learn about Christianity in China this Summer in Beijing
9) Free Resources To Engage Churches In Bible Translation!
10) Online Travel Safety Courses
11) Great Starter Course on Email Privacy
12) If you Have to Start Language Learning with an App…
13) We’re Grateful…
14) The BackPage: Discovering the Unreached People Group Near You
15) Closing Stuff

1) Looking for a Resource to Help Int’l Workers Return “Home” Well?

returning wellConsider “Returning Well: Your Guide to Thriving Back ‘Home’ After Serving Cross-Culturally.” Returning Well guides cross-cultural workers of faith, step by step, through the process of a debriefing that leads to renewal so that they may truly thrive back ‘home.’ Consider giving one to every re-entering staff person this year. What a great gift! Buy 10 or more and get a bulk discount at

(And thanks to Returning Well for believing enough in Brigada to help undergird our work!)

3) Think You’re a Geography Ninja? Let’s See : )

TravelI know. You’ve traveled the world. You sleep on trains (yawn) and instantly jump oceans in a single bound (on your favorite jet). But here’s the question: How much do you REALLY know about the world? National Geographic’s GeoBee Quiz can humble you. Yes, you’ll rack up insanely ‘high’ numbered scores (on our first try, we thought 7,947 was terrific, until we saw that several ninjas rated 10,000. So give it a whirl. And if you don’t mind, please report your best score in the comment boxes below. Let’s see which Brigada participant is TRULY a GeoBee Ninja.


4) Beef up Your Prayer Life — by Praying the Bible!

Donald S. Whitney has come up with an elegantly simple concept in the book, Praying the Bible. Here’s the Kindle edition…


The idea is so simple, you’ll ask, “Why must I buy the book?” Well the truth is, you really don’t have to. We can all just start doing it (Praying the Bible). But maybe this guy will model it or give us SOME kind of patterns, right? : )

5) Here’s Your Five-Star Book Set on the Refugee Crisis

refugeesWith these six titles, you can set up your special library on global migration and the refugee crisis. Take a few days off work, read these six books, and then go on the Perspectives speaker circuit and you’ll finance that new vacation to Malta that you’ve been dreaming about. : )

Immigration, by Dale Hanson Bourke


Arrival City, by Doug Saunders


Exodus, by Paul Collier


Strangers Next Door by JD Payne


Diaspora Missiology


Serving God in a Migrant Crisis

There you go. With those five titles, you’ll be an instant expert.
: )
(Disclaimer: There really is none. No one asked us to feature these five books, nor do we receive any money for recommending them. They are relevant, quick and easy to read, and thorough. : ) No surprises.)

6) So… $20 each for 3 days of Training on Farming God’s Way?

Surely there’s a catch. Surely one can’t simply pay $20 each for three DAYS of training about permaculture – “Farming God’s Way.” What am I missing? But … that seems to be the deal. And that includes lunch all three days??????????????????????????


Learn more about this cool org here…


They must have had a great crop of soy beans and now they’re subsidizing the training like the USA federal government subsidizes farmers. : ) The cool thing is — I know Brian. And he’s the real deal. This is not a joke.

8) Learn about Christianity in China this Summer in Beijing

ERRChina invites you to their Chinese Worldviews Seminar in Beijing from June 19-July 6, 2016. Explore China and Chinese culture from a Christian perspective through lectures and trips to important historical sites like the Great Wall, Imperial Palace and more.
Learn from distinguished professors Dr. Chuck Weber (Wheaton) and Dr. Kevin Yao (Gordon-Conwell) so you can reach Chinese for Christ, whether at home or abroad. Visit

to learn more!

9) Free Resources To Engage Churches In Bible Translation!

Wycliffe is offering free online resources to help advocates engage their U.S. churches in Bible translation. Want to help your church understand the importance of Bible translation and why they’d want to get involved? Want to show church leaders what it could look like to partner with a people group in need of the Scriptures? With beautiful, content-rich, downloadable videos, as well as materials for kids and women’s groups, Wycliffe wants to provide these free resources to help get U.S. churches engaged in the ministry of Bible translation, regardless of the organization you choose to support — or even if you’re involved in Bible translation yourself. Check out


10) Online Travel Safety Courses

It’s the elephant in the middle of the room: traveling abroad has been forever changed because of multiple terrorist groups in our world today. Here are several online courses which will provide safety awareness and training for students who travel abroad. Sarus Global gears these especially for audiences like those in the Brigada family.

They are a faith-based company focusing mainly on mission groups traveling abroad. They are partnered with Good Neighbor Insurance and Standards of Excellence. The CEO spent ten years working for the U.S. Department of State working at embassies training and evaluating threats in foreign countries. The owner’s husband is still involved in law enforcement at a very high level. They’re the real deal.

12) If you Have to Start Language Learning with an App…

Which app would you use? Naturally, learning language on-site, with the people who speak it, is the best approach ever. In fact, let’s just come right out and say — it’s the only approach into which ANY of us wish to invest time and effort. It’s more fun, it’s more efficient, and it’s more effective. But if you CAN’T learn onsite and you HAVE to invest in some kind of individualized program (and you can’t hire a ‘live’ tutor, take a class, or join a conversation club), which app would you prefer and why? That’s the question. Lately, we’ve been trying out this app…

And we’ll have to say, it’s better than nothing at all. It offers native language speakers for modeling purposes. It forces the user to be engaged in guessing meanings, listening to pronunciation, and mimicry. And, to cap it all off, it’s free. What’s their model? Apparently, according to the CEO, it kind of tricks you into helping with translation projects — which are already generating a few hundred thousand dollars per year for the company. Learn more at…


Bottom line: Duolingo will be free forever. Try it. It’s addictive. : )

13) We’re Grateful…

thank-youTo “Returning Well,” for a $20 gift to help speed Brigada on its way to your screen.
To the “true fan” in Locust Grove, VA, who sent $100 this past week. Whoa. Thank you so much.

Would you like to join them in boosting Brigada out to literally thousands of screens all around the world? If so, just mail a check 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. If you’d rather give online, just click “Donate” in the upper right corner at brigada.org .

14) The BackPage: Discovering the Unreached People Group Near You

refugee in kyThis past week, a friend referred me to a blog entry by a Missions Pastor who was seemingly attempting to pull attention away from unreached people groups (thanks for the note, Jon). I’m sure the blogger did his best. But – bless his heart – he used the old argument that “unreached people group thinking was no longer relevant in a fast-paced, urbanizing world.” (Yawn.) Exactly 6.7 miles (a 15-min. drive) from his church, I found a mosque. The community there isn’t just Muslim. They all come from the same Central Asian country. And in fact, they aren’t just from that same country. They come from a particular ethnic group within that land — an ethnic group that has kept its identity AND its exclusivity. Until I made the intentional effort to park, walk up to their door, and knock, I had never met anyone from (or even HEARD of) this particular people group before. I asked if it might be possible for the imam to come meet with several members of my local church so we could learn more about Islam. The imam, bless his heart too, has lived here for years — but he doesn’t speak 50 words in English. They gladly sent 4 men. We talked for two hours with 20 people from our church (all through interpreters that they sent with the imam). They loved it too — and they’ve invited all of us to their mosque for a big feast. It was an amazing night. Even if they aren’t ready to drop Islam at this point (by any means), at least these 20 members from our church have now overcome SOOO many cultural and ethnic assumptions they won’t make ever again.

Now here’s my point: The missions pastor who wrote this blog entry (remember — he offices exactly 6.7 miles from that mosque). I called him today to ask if he had ever heard of this people group. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available. The problem is — that’s been the problem with the church… all along. They’ve been unavailable for this people group. And until somebody MAKES an effort, these people — 6.7 miles from his church — will never have a clue about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Unreached people group thinking isn’t a fad that is going to go away. It’s a known-effective strategy… a tool that enables us to see the world the way it exists — whether that’s an ethnic group from Central Asia, living 6.7 miles from my back door, or in Central Asia itself. This mosque holds 5 services per day, all of which are conducted, not in English (the dominant language of their urban area), but in their particular strain of the language of their native Central Asian land. The mosque has been there for years. No church had ever invited them to visit before. The imam doesn’t even speak English. Until some church approaches this city with people group eyes, they will, according to scripture, have no other hope for eternity than Hell.

When Jesus told the story about leaving the 99 in search of the one lost sheep (Luke 15), he wasn’t telling a joke. He wasn’t being funny. He was serious: A good shepherd would actually leave the 99 sheep in the green grass of the high country to risk his life on the cliff to search for the one lost sheep. If this guy’s article is read by even one more person, I feel just one click sorrier for the one lost sheep, who will be ignored one more time.

It’s time we gave some attention to the one lost sheep.

Bottom line: It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. We have to find a way to keep the 99 sheep faithful while we engage the 1 lost. Or in our case, keep the 1/3 of the world faithful (as believers) while we tell (many of whom will be hearing for the first time) the 1/3 unreached part of the world about the Good News.

Please — lose the arguments against the unreached. And let’s start doing the Great Commission well — making disciples of ALL nations, even this unheard-of group from Central Asia that lives in this mission pastor’s back door.

15) Closing Stuff

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