Daily Archives: 2017/04/16

2017/04/16 — Brigada Today

Compiled/Edited by Doug Lucas and Tina McCormick, Team Expansion
Brigada online has more graphics and links at http://www.brigada.org

In this issue…
1) Here’s a Surefire Way to Understand Muslims Like Jesus Does
2) Spanish Christian Resources
3) Short Course Simplified Dental Training For Missions June 12-13
4) Integrated Spanish For Missionaries And Cross-Cultural Christians
5) Implementing Disciple Making Movement (DMM) in Existing Churches
6) Heard of “One Today” by Google, Inc? What’s your Take?
7) Someone Wants to Register Your Brand or Domain Name?
8) Follow-up on the Best Encryption Software
9) Just when you Thought Certain Windows Versions were Toast…
10) What if You could Extract Water from Air?
11) Pastors, Maybe Think Like You’re a Missionary
12) What’s the Best Software for Online Calls with 3 or more?
13) We’re Grateful for…
14) The Last Bit: What to Do about Syria?
15) Closing Stuff

1) Here’s a Surefire Way to Understand Muslims Like Jesus Does

Long time Brigada friend and mobilizer, Shane Bennett, has recently launched a 300 word weekly email designed to help us think about Muslims the way God does and love them like Jesus does. It’s short, informative, funny and provocative. A recently edition was titled, “She’s Not Going to Blow Up the Walmart!” Join us in subscribing to this great little tool and sharing it with your friends. Sign up here:

or shoot an email to Shane
shanedaratgmaildotcom and he’ll put you on the list. We subscribed. Hope You will too.

2) Spanish Christian Resources

Are you looking for Spanish Christian resources like online Bible Institutes, correspondence courses, evangelism, tracts, pastor training and more? Got an outreach? … just need help? If so, you should probably visit


The author there has come up with an *amazing* list of start-up options. Wow. You could just visit one option per day and almost never reach the end. Well done, Spanish Christian Resource list!

3) Short Course Simplified Dental Training For Missions June 12-13

The “Dental Training For Missions” course for treating tooth decay has become simpler and easier. It offers 3 levels. Level 1 is free online. Levels 1&2 treat minor tooth decay, while Level 3 addresses severe decay. The one-day class (Level 2) with dental kit is $350. They also offer a Two-day class (Levels 2&3) for $500 plus kit. Both are being offered at the Institute of Biblical Community Development.


Class sizes are limited. Please register soon. For more information, email Gerry:
dentaltrainingformissionsatyahoodotcom or call (956) 831-9011 USA. Also, check out…


Got a comment? Just click the comment box after the web version of this item.

4) Integrated Spanish For Missionaries And Cross-Cultural Christians

More than 30 missions have sent their missionaries to the Roca Blanca Spanish Language School to learn Spanish well in an integrated context. Most come to learn, others to refresh and improve their communication skills. They are serious about equipping missionaries and cross-cultural Christians for the best of reasons, to share the news of Christ as succinctly as possible in the heart language of millions. Check it out at


5) Implementing Disciple Making Movement (DMM) in Existing Churches

How do we do this? How do we start with an “old wineskin” and implement DMM principles, practices, and *life* in a church with programs, budgets, buildings, and staff? It’s tough. We asked one church in Northern Indianapolis, Indiana. They started implementing DMM principles when they were roughly 350 people strong. They’ve now doubled in attendance and doubled the number of groups (from 11 to 29, in fact). They wrote this past week, “We are spreading the 1 day training over a period of 5 weeks on Wednesday evenings. We will have people come to the building from 6-8pm for a meal and a session. In addition to this live training we will introduce them to Zume during the last session. We start this Wednesday and have 100 people attending! This includes childcare (75-80 adults and 20-25 kids) but does not include those who will attend having not preregistered.” Exciting stuff. Imagine training *another* crop of 80 adults in a church already running 650 in attendance. Imagine if even 10 of those 80 begin implementing (starting additional groups). Love it. Another church on the northeast corner of Kansas City started with a group of 6 people. They’re now running 1100. Hear their story in this podcast interview we did with the lead pastor, Roy Moran, last week.


(We jokingly used the name “Prius” because they consider their church a “hybrid” between a “traditional” church and a batch of discovery Bible studies or 3/3rds groups.) Do you have a story of how you’re trying to implement DBSes in your existing church? If so, please share it by clicking “Comment” after the web version of this item. And thanks in advance for telling your story.

6) Heard of “One Today” by Google, Inc? What’s your Take?

Maybe you’ve heard of it. “One Today” — by Google, Inc.


Does the money actually reach the nonprofit? (Anyone actually receiving any?) Is it true that they don’t take out even 1%? — that *100%* arrives at the charity’s doorstep? Has anyone tried this? Any first hand stories that it’s worth it? Please click “Comment” under the web version of this item. We’re eager to hear if this works. (Thanks for the tip Garry!)

7) Someone Wants to Register Your Brand or Domain Name?

Beware. Scams can come in all shapes and sizes. If you receive an email that reads like this: “We are an agency engaging in registering brand name and domain names. Our center received the registration request applying to register [your brand name] and some top-level domain names. We found the main body of brand and domain names is the same as yours after our careful investigation. As a professional registrar, we are obligated to inform your company of this situation.” Don’t even answer these crazy scammers. You’ll just encourage them in their habit. Delete. (Thanks for sharing the latest attempt, Eric.)

8) Follow-up on the Best Encryption Software

This past week, after reading our item, “Securing the Data on your Laptop,” at…

John wrote to say that he read that VeraCrypt was going “out of business.” If that’s the case, maybe it’s tough to justify installing that option as your data encryption software of choice. Is Bitlocker the only good option? Surely there’s something else. This is a challenge that needs revisiting. What’s your best option? Please click “Comment” under the web version of this item and tell your solution.

9) Just when you Thought Certain Windows Versions were Toast…

If you saw the news release at…


the day it was released, you probably shook your head and decided to install Linux. But, although we think Linux is a great option, in this case, Microsoft actually came out smelling like a (very attractive) rose. As it turned out, they had already released a fix for the above woes even before the above woes became news! See, for example,…

So — Go Microsoft. Either way, what this proves, is that we should probably keep installing all those Windows updates. (Do we actually have a choice? : ) ) But really… some of them will keep our machines more secure than we might have imagined, maybe even before the hacks are made public. : ) (Thanks, Chris, for info on this.)

11) Pastors, Maybe Think Like You’re a Missionary

Suppose you’re a pastor of a small church, wanting to make an impact on your town or city. How do you start? What if you “think like a missionary?” Ed Stetzer, in the opinions of many, is good at helping people stretch their minds, measure reality (he used to lead Lifeway in researching church trends in the USA), and think “outside the box.” As the point person for the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton, he also knows something about cross-cultural work and missions. So his piece, “Exegete your Culture,” is a great (and relative short) instructional booklet for getting started in any town or city. In fact, come to think of it, it might not be a bad idea for missionaries to scan it as a recap or summary. You’ll find many of the concepts familiar. It’s just another example of how often it’s helpful to “think like a missionary.” Find the noncopyrighted PDF at…


Thank you Ed Stetzer! Learn more about Ed and his work at…


or see his regular editorials at Christianity Today at…


or follow him on Twitter @edstetzer .

12) What’s the Best Software for Online Calls with 3 or more?

We pretty much know what is the standard way to make online calls. In fact, sometimes I think the word, “Skype” has become a verb to describe the whole concept. I know this because, during an online prayer conference I was hosting last Thursday night about a certain country in Asia that has threatened to launch a nuclear missile, one of the participants gave “thanks to God for Skype — so we could have this prayer time together.” I ached, inwardly, for Cyrix, because I knew if they would have heard the prayer, they would have been sparked toward rebellion, but I somehow fought back the urge to correct her prayer. : ) And never mind the fact that, once again, the guys at Microsoft got the credit (because they now own Skype) when we should have been praying for Cyrix. But either way, it did prompt me to ask — what *is* the best online conference-calling solution? I haven’t been very successful in figuring out how to do Skype conference calls for 3 or more people. (Does anyone else do that?) It requires some kind of advanced Microsoft deal now, right? … and that deal is no longer free, right? So — what’s the best solution?

Some would argue…


They’re still free (like Skype *used* to be). And the quality is decent, right?

Some people swear by google hangouts — but because they troll most everything for advertising revenue, I’m still kind of creeped out by saying *anything* on a Google Hangout that I wouldn’t say to my mother, may God rest her soul. But if you dare, learn more here…


And if you decide to pay, please give Skype — I mean GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar — a chance.


Cyrix (the people who bring you GoToMeeting) are actually very trusted in the world of security, so I just trust their product more than any of the free choices. I keep wondering — how will FreeConferenceCall.com monetize their service? Through Premium deals? Well then, they’ll have to chance their name, right? … to www.PaidConferenceCalls.com ???

Either way, what’s YOUR favorite service? Please click “Comment” after the web version of this item. And thanks for any tips you can share.

13) We’re Grateful for…

…a gift of $25 from a Texan with a big love for Brigada. God bless you!
…a $100 gift from someone who loves the Spanish-Speaking world. We appreciate you!
…a $50 gift from a guy who loves to share resources with others. Thank you!

Would you consider joining with them in empowering Brigada to the nations? It’s easy to give. Just click “Donate” at www.brigada.org, or 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. Thank you, in advance, for your partnership!

14) The Last Bit: What to Do about Syria?

Wow. Do you ever watch global events unfold, wish you could understand them, then wish you could make a difference? Is it ever frustrating for you too? I mean… we see events such as those in Syria… Some of us travel there and talk face to face with insiders (Syrians, refugees, as well as those seeking to help them). Our hearts bend and *break* because of the human suffering. Yet…, sometimes… it just seems to drag on and on and on. What can we *do* ??? What *should* we do? We (Brigada) are not politically inclined but — goodness. When politicians like McCain argue with politicians like Rand…


and then seemingly get *nowhere*, is it as frustrating for you as it is for us? Sigh. What do we *do*?

We wrote a doctoral fellow who has lived and worked in Syria and studied at the University of Damascus. We asked him to respond about this very question. He was kind enough to do so. We wish we could thank him personally here, but due to security, it’s probably better if we use a pseudonym. We’ll call him “Joshua” (not his real name). (By the way, when he speaks of “we” he describes the USA.) But he responded, “Intervening in Syria is certainly not in the national interests of the US. It would take some twisting of perspective to make such an argument. Of course, a humanitarian mission is something else entirely.

If we entertain the idea of a humanitarian mission it must be said that regime change is not trivial (see Iraq, A-stan). There is no indication that the US could depose Assad and prosper a democratic government [or any functioning government] without a similar commitment that was necessary in Iraq (which is still unfinished/floundering). The US had a window of opportunity in which involvement was feasible. It ended when Russia intervened. We could have threatened military involvement and at least tried to push Assad to the negotiating table pre-Russia. At this point, it would take a massive commitment and willingness to butt heads with Russia, who controls the airspace. The Pentagon has done some studies on what it would take to create a no-fly zone over Syria and we couldn’t do it without drawing resources from other conflicts and would absolutely require bombing Russia’s assets. This all ignores the fact that post-Iraq, other countries don’t trust/want to join us in coalitions like this anymore and that we don’t have a legal right to go into the country (and depose Assad). Of course we do have troops fighting ISIS there now).

In short, if it was ever a good idea to get involved, the days in which it was feasible to do so have passed. We will be forced to either apply light pressure and hope to catch Assad at a weak point, maybe pressure Russia/Iran with something to limit their support, who knows. But options are thin. Of course, we can continue to supply rebels with arms and cash, but that will/is just making the conflict longer and more violent. Research shows that, on average, these efforts fail and have consequences that are impossible to control, but that are often negative. In the Syrian context there is little reason to believe [today] that we can effect change through supporting rebel groups based on what we know about rebel group formation, cohesion, and fragmentation. See all our failed attempts in-country thus far.

So, in my humble opinion, the US has little power to do much and is forced to sit idly. We should be helping the people impacted by the conflict rather than making it more muddled or simply doing nothing. Humanitarian aid will do more than help their pain and suffering. It will make it harder for groups like Nusra and ISIS to recruit.”

Feeling frustrated by the lack of options? For *sure* we can all pray. Right here. Right now. We can ask God to intervene and bring an end to chemical warfare, bombing, strife, pride, greed, and violence. We can ask God to bring peace, openness, and opportunity to speak the Name of Jesus among these friends, no matter how many miles away they may live.

Do you agree or disagree with “Joshua?” Do you have other specific prayer requests? Please share your opinion by clicking “Comment” following the web version of this item. And thanks in advance for your thoughts. As always, please don’t include any names or details in your response that might cause harm or awkwardness for anyone. And thanks for your opinion and for taking time to share it.

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