Daily Archives: 2017/10/01

2017/10/01 — 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) Missionary transitions: Free Download-
2) Get Started with DMM by Taking in This Two-Day Training
3) Fact-Checker: Do We Really Spend More on Halloween Outfits
4) “Polling Everywhere” app Better Than We Thought
5) Google Really DID Release Real-Time Translating Earbuds
6) What’s the Best Counseling for a Group?
7) What Off-the-Shelf Donation Recording System Would You Recommend?
8) Parenting book: “Give Your Kids a Break”
9) Looking for a Debriefing Experience for Your Missionary?
10) Catch the Member Care Update of All Member Care Updates!
11) Is Your Organization Still Doing Psychological Screening? Oops.
12) You Can Submit an Item to Brigada — For Free!
13) We’re Grateful for…
14) The Last Bit: Our Small Study of Collaborative Writing Apps/Tools
15) Closing Stuff

Missionary transitions: Free Download-

“Missionary Transitions” is a 15-chapter e-book about many of the transitions that missionaries experience. Of course, it includes the major transitions to and from the field. However, its 230 pages also contain information about the transitions missionaries go through before they leave home, while serving in their host culture, and after they return home. The book is available to download free of charge as .doc, .pdf, or .zip files for your computer and as .mobi or .epub files for your Kindle or Nook. Find it at…


Get Started with DMM by Taking in This Two-Day Training

Have you been wondering, “What in the world is DMM?” Now you can find out — in two days, of all things!!! The dates are Nov. 15-16 and the place is the Peoria Convention Center. And get this — this workshop will set you back exactly $35, which includes the costs of the program and all the materials. (There’s no way they’re breaking even on this. Once you see the experience of the people involved, this has to be a situation in which the instructors are donating their time because they believe in the material. They are truly world-class trainers, each with experience launching DMM’s in a variety of cultures: Curtis, Frank, Andy, Terry and Amy. May God bless them. Because our seminar fees aren’t doing a whole lot of that.) Now, as I carefully examine things, there is a slight catch. You also have to register for ICOM (the International Conference on Missions), but that sets you back just $40 and for that, you can attend a four-day missions conference (for $40?; I don’t get these pricing structures.) Download the no-nonsense one-page flyer to learn more at…


Register at…


(You’ll have the chance to register for the ‘Pre-conference’ on DMM once you’ve registered for ICOM.)

Fact-Checker: Do We Really Spend More on Halloween Outfits

We looked into this fact and — it’s only partially true. The fact is — we really do spend more on Halloween outfits each year than the sum total that we spend on unreached people. It’s partially true because the original fact is that we spend more on Halloween outfits for our PETs than everything we spend on unreached peoples! (If we were to factor in everything we spend on Halloween in general, wow. Just imagine.) The original fact is here…


Read it and weep. The original stats on spending for unreached people groups come from the World Christian Database at…


“Polling Everywhere” app Better Than We Thought

In last week’s Brigada, item 14 (“The Last Bit: We Need to Read the Terms Before we Act”), we reported what we knew at the time (that the company could sell at any time and hand on your cell phone number to whomever). However, the more we learn about that service, the better it seems. First, a Brigada participant (or two) happened to be personally familiar with the people who run the app. They actually contacted them and the CEO actually commented and explained the company’s practices a bit more. For example, there is language built into the company’s DNA that, if sold, they’ll literally work with the buyer to compel them not to share your personal information. But also, the CEO of Polling Everywhere pointed out that (duh) if people didn’t want to give up their cell phone number, they could just use the web browser on their phone to interact with the Polling Everywhere app via the WEB interface. I’m not sure why this hadn’t occurred to us before, but it does indeed seem that by doing this, the company can’t capture any information about your cell phone at all. So we edited the item (from last week) immediately and we’re issuing this correction to say, actually, Polling Everywhere seems like a great idea. (But we would agree with the CEO that maybe the web page is a safer and more secure way of interacting, rather than texting with the service.) Learn more about Polling Everywhere at…


And thanks to Jeff, the CEO of Polling Everywhere, and Rocky, the Wycliffe guy who knew Jeff and took up the cause. You both helped us learn and pass on what we learned more effectively! Thanks for participating in Brigada!

Google Really DID Release Real-Time Translating Earbuds

What??? The rumor was true. Thanks to Matt, who pointed us to the real deal. Google has released…


They’re earbuds that do real-time translation. There are some caveats, of course (there always are — at first — for these kinds of deals). First, they’re $159. But hey — $159? That’s a crazy great price for this function, if you are a short-term trip participant and you already own a Google Pixel 2 phone. (If you don’t, the phone will set you back another $650 PLUS the cost of your contract (you’ll need an ACTIVE phone — i.e., with internet.) It seems they’re out of stock currently, but we’re sure they’ll restock, right? : ) Second, they don’t translate your speech back to your foreign language friend (so the translation is only one way). And most of all, anyone who has used these machine translations knows that there are often [humorous] mistakes. But still… this is one step closer to Star Trek! Please — if you have tried these, give us a real-time personal update as soon as possible. Thanks! (And thanks, Matt!)

What’s the Best Counseling for a Group?

Scott wrote this past week, wondering what organization or group we would recommend for counseling and biblical direction. He asked, “Who do you know that could come into a mission setting to help resolve conflict?” This is apparently a situation in which a third party is needed — one that is not bias. They would need to come to listen and learn and guide people get back to loving one another in Christ. Who would be the best bet for such a role? If you have a suggestion, please click “Comment” after the web version of this item. Please respect privacy whenever possible (for example, provide us with the counselor’s web page rather than giving us his or her cell phone number : ) ). Thanks!

What Off-the-Shelf Donation Recording System Would You Recommend?

A large mission organization wrote this past week asking for help in picking out some new donor-tracking software. They need to replace their system to record gifts received from churches and individuals for mission partners scattered around the globe. They feel that off-the-shelf accounting packages don’t provide for the complexities of their context — so they’re seeking recommendations from other agencies. What system would you suggest? Of course, every org is different, but what are some of the best systems out there? Please click “Comment” following the web version of this item. Thanks!

Parenting book: “Give Your Kids a Break”

Kim Fredrickson, author and former counselor, has a new book, “Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children.” It is slated to be released on the 24th of October, but the digital version is available to pre-order now for only $2.99 (regular price 8.99). Most parents care deeply about their little (and big) ones. But if they don’t know how, they might default to a blaming behavior, shaming and bashing others. The good news is there is another way. Get the book. : )

Catch the Member Care Update of All Member Care Updates!

We loved the September Member Care Update from Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell. In it, they created a kind of ‘index’ of just over 100 previous Member Care Updates. Check it out at…


You can search by date-title (core summary); by date-title with a description (annotated summary), and by topic-theme (general content summary). Love it. Thanks Kelly and Michèle!

Is Your Organization Still Doing Psychological Screening? Oops.

This past week, while attending Missio Nexus, we were able to take in a workshop by Laura Mae Gardner, author of “Healthy, Resilient and Effective”


and Brent Lindquist, CEO of LinkCare


Dr. Lindquist clearly explained that there were both legal and moral implications AGAINST using psychological screening, even though he pointed out that member care practitioners and counselors (like Laura and Brent) were some of the very outspoken proponents for this practice even 20 years ago. Bottom line: According to these experts, organizations using psychological screening as a part of the application process should take steps immediately to a) redefine what they want the testing to accomplish and, more than likely, b) stop the practice immediately. Brent even went so far as to apologize for introducing the term, “Member care.” He went on to explain that the term has become so broadly applied, yet so often misunderstood. The best he could do was recommend we start saying, “Missionary health.” But either way, he said more often than not, people were thinking of member care people as counselors. He would RATHER the definition be much bigger than that. He urged organizations to redefine what they meant by “member care” — and suggested that the definition focus around the kind of care that everyone in the organization could show to everyone else. He said there was still a place for professionals, but held that member care can’t be delegated to a single department.

We’re Grateful for…

…the $30 gift from a guy who loves to get free resources out to mission workers worldwide. He empowers Brigada because he believes in the Great Commission and he wants to get help and hope to those living it out. Bless you brother.

Would you like to empower Brigada too? Do you think your church would consider sending a one-time gift to multiply the capacity of each of the thousands of churches, organizations, and individuals who receive Brigada? 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!

The Last Bit: Our Small Study of Collaborative Writing Apps/Tools

Granted, it was a small study, actually. And, to be fair, we decided not to include Google Docs. That’s because, when we read their privacy policy at…


we just felt it was a little too easy for them to learn a little too much about some of the sensitive information some of us might be creating in these docs. So we focused on apps like Etherpad and Ethercalc. Learn more about them at…




These are web document apps and web spreadsheets that you or your I.T. partner can install on your own server. The idea behind these kinds of tools is that a) multiple people can view and even edit a document and/or spreadsheet simultaneously. In a sidebar, these viewers and editors can talk about the content, making comments, “at” mentions, etc. And with these two options (Etherpad and Ethercalc), all the information is completely private — because you own the servers. This seems like the best option for those with sensitive information (like — ideas related to people serving unreached peoples in places some might misunderstand). In the case of these apps, you host them on your own servers — and the app software is free, so these services, if you can stage them, are not only secure, but in addition, they are essentially free. And they do pretty much what Google Docs and Google Sheets do. We found in using Etherpad and Ethercalc that they perform pretty much as promised. Yes, it’s possible to cross wires with someone while editing, so we should always back up our work. (But we should always back up all our work anyway, right?) There are occasional error codes when opening documents. This might cause some to lose a bit of confidence in the apps, but after trying these apps for many weeks, we only experienced one occasion in which we actually lost data (that we hadn’t backed up yet in the same day we lost it).

But if you don’t have an I.T. professional and you’re not sure how to install such things on servers, or if you want even more confidence in your data, you’ll need to pay someone for these collaborative tools. Why? Because by paying a small fee, you no longer have to use Google’s services, which are ad-supported (but free to you) and you get professional help and guidance.

One of these options is a fairly new Dropbox product called Dropbox Paper. Learn more at…


If you already use Dropbox, this might be a good option for you. But it doesn’t seem to provide you with the opportunity to do spreadsheets. But at least by paying a small fee to Dropbox, it seems you now own the material. They aren’t trolling you for potential marketing information.

If, however you want additional features like spreadsheets, the best example we could find for these purposes might be Quip, which was recently purchased by Salesforce.


Actually, this implementation is a bit cooler anyway. It goes beyond Etherpad and Ethercalc by merging both functions together (words and spreadsheets can appear in the same doc), and by creating the coolest implementations ever for mobile devices (like your phone and tablet). Neither Etherpad nor Ethercalc have mobile apps — and none are in sight. You’ll pay a monthly fee for Quip (like $30/month for 5 users), but you will own the content. Quip’s privacy policy doesn’t read the same as Google’s, naturally, in that they’re not trolling your data for content through which they can market you.

Do you know of other collaborative document platforms/tools for teams that permit multiple people to edit/view the same word processing document at the same time?? If you’ve got a favorite, please tell us by clicking “Comment” following the web version of this item. And thanks, in advance, for your input!

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