Daily Archives: 2019/06/16

2019/06/16 — Brigada Today

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

In this issue…
1) ConnecTEFL: Get Certified Online to Teach English Anywhere
2) Former Special Ops Professionals will Help You Prepare for the Worst
3) “Turo” Car-sharing Service Received Good Reviews
4) Are You a Serious I.T. Guy Hosting WordPress? Tried GridPane?
5) Find out What Kind of Salary Other CEO’s Make. Evaluate Your Own.
6) CalCast – The Create International Podcast
7) Could This be True? “Spiritual Encouragement and Counseling, Free?”
8) Raise Your Hand if Resilience Isn’t Needed in Your Job
9) Looking for a Debriefing Retreat near Atlanta?
10) Or Debrief with Barnabas, International in Indiana
11) Experience Virtual Reality Church
12) Upcoming Medair ROC for Future International Roles
13) Share the Load, Broaden the Reach, It’s the Gift that Keeps Giving
14) The Last Bit: Lessons from 5 Days of Pneumonia
15) Closing Stuff



1) ConnecTEFL: Get Certified Online to Teach English Anywhere

What’s the fastest route to landing a job overseas? And what’s the fastest way to empower refugees and immigrants in the USA? ConnecTEFL is an affordable, professional 120-hour TEFL certification program that can be completed online anywhere in the world! The certificate meets the globally accepted TESOL International short-term certificate standards and makes you marketable in about every country in the world!

For more info, visit…




2) Former Special Ops Professionals will Help You Prepare for the Worst

Next time a donor or family member asks you if you’ve done your best to prepare for the unlikely event that you’ll face a violent encounter or other critical incident overseas, look them right in the eye and say, “By God’s grace, I’m ready.” Gear up with “STRES Training,” July 5-7, at Team Expansion’s Emerald Hills Campus on the outskirts of Louisville, KY. “STRES” stands for “Safe Travel In Risky Environments Seminar,” and it will be led by battle-hardened professionals from Morton Security. (In fact, Peter Morton himself is the lead trainer.) This experience is for anyone who is traveling or relocating to a risky location and is concerned about the safety of their org, partners or family as well as their own safety. It involves both classroom and hands-on training and will require individuals to work both individually and in a team environment. Attendees will learn how to plan local and international travel with risk mitigation in mind and ultimately, avoid a crisis. Each attendee will be challenged to question and solidify their motivations, leadership skills, experience, and even their faith. It is tailored to Faith-Based Organizations and can be attended by both families as well as teams/groups traveling to the field together. The cost is just $150, including lunch, snacks, outdoor training experiences and all materials. (Note… that’s $150 total; not $150/day. Shew. Where else could you get this kind of training for this price?!)  For more information, visit…




But if you’re interested, please act immediately. We just noticed that 12 are already registered. Space is limited since this workshop involves hands-on training. Please register today.


3) "Turo" Car-sharing Service Received Good Reviews

We recently asked about the Turo car-sharing service and associated app. With the proper disclaimers and with the right set-up, it seemed like some of our Brigada family liked the experience. Read the thread at …




One user wrote recently via email that he had “rented a car for several weeks this January through Turo. Got a terrific deal and had good interaction with the owner. I had an engine light come on at one point but didn’t find anything wrong so called the owner. He said to continue driving and when I came by his place the next day traded it in for another of the same kind that he had.” Seems like that’s a theme. Lots of personal care and interaction. Thank you, Brigada audience, for sharing! This service was totally new for me.


4) Are You a Serious I.T. Guy Hosting WordPress? Tried GridPane?

Obviously, it won’t work for everyone. Maybe you use CentOS instead of Ubuntu and Apache instead of Nginx. But it’s at least worth a look. Might make your organization’s staff happier with your WordPress world. According to the hype, “With a fully automated dashboard and server stack, GridPane delivers all the bells and whistles of managed WordPress hosting at a fraction of the cost. You’ll build servers in minutes and sites in seconds, all of them fast, secure, and ruthlessly efficient.” Check it out at…




If you don’t mind, let us know what you think by clicking “Comment” under the web version of this item.


5) Find out What Kind of Salary Other CEO’s Make. Evaluate Your Own.

Confession: As the President of a non-profit of 330 full-time workers, I (Doug) have no idea what my salary should be. Our board members are caring people. They want my needs to be met. But our organization is practically ALL faith-based. We raise support for the org equal to our ministry costs plus our salary. So what’s fair? What’s common? I don’t want to make anything that seems unkind to the people I’m supposed to lead, you know? Many of them are living *very* humbly in the places they serve. So — I was always a bit uncomfortable. What were other orgs doing? I had no *clue*. That’s why I was *thrilled* when Missio Nexus released their “Senior Leader Compensation Study — June 2019.” (How did they know I needed this?) Yes — you’ll have to join Missio Nexus to read it. But if you’re like me, you’ll be glad you did. Join first as an individual, if you like, just to try it out. (Confess: That’s what I did. And I’ve never looked back. This year, our whole org joined because of their new group health program. It was a no-brainer.) In this report on CEO salaries, you’ll see how yours stacks up against others in your region and over all. It’s 18 pages of charts, graphs and explanations. VERY clear. VERY helpful. And for me, very gratifying. (I immediately sent clips from the report to the board so they could be glad about the budget they had set for my salary. I won’t say where I was in the stack. I’ll only say it was extremely helpful to have this report — and it’s broken down by organizational size (number of people for whom you’re responsible). I bet some of you will experience something similar. Who knows – you might even use it as justification to ask for that raise for which you’ve been praying! : ) )  Well played, Missio Nexus. Thank you — again.




6) CalCast – The Create International Podcast

Are you tired of listening to what the Mainstream Media is feeding you? Then check out, God Network News and the Gospel Gadget Podcasts, and find out what God is doing in the world today. Like a newspaper that is delivered to your front door, once you subscribe a podcast will be delivered direct to your computer or mobile device. Start by visiting their website at…




7) Could This be True? "Spiritual Encouragement and Counseling, Free?"

And get this — it’s not via Zoom. This is reportedly “providing on-site emergency, active, and pro-active.” Has anyone used this service and, if so, could you anonymously or otherwise share how it went? Remember — you don’t have to leave your name in a comment and the email address will only be seen by the Brigada editing team (two of us) and we won’t tell. Promise. Just seems … unreal. That they’ll like… parachute in to help you, if you have a problem serious enough to call them? That’s so WILD! Testimony anyone?




Note that they can also help with staff retreats. (Thanks for the tip, Jenny!)


8) Raise Your Hand if Resilience Isn’t Needed in Your Job

Whoa. Nobody. Then … raise your hand if you’ve ever trained in it. Yikes. Nobody again. Want to fix that? It’s easy. Our Member Care Coordinator (thanks Jenny) recently told us about a resilience course we can take *online* without having to miss a thing. No travel. No skipped meals. No dorms. Do it right from your den. It’s a course two-week online course designed to give you tools to understand and grow in resilience and to keep your life and ministry true to your calling. And it’ll only set you back $50 bucks or so. See it at…




Get the whole shooting match — the content, community, consultation, and connections you need to harden your armor. It could save you (and your church or org) a bundle when you don’t quit prematurely. Try it. Let is know what you think in a comment, afterward. We’d love to hear from you.


11) Experience Virtual Reality Church

Get ready: The future will be immersive! Join in on Sunday, August 11, at 4:30 p.m. Pacific (UTC -7.0) in virtual reality to visit the world’s first virtual reality church as featured in Wired Magazine, Daily Mail, and USA Today. Pastor D.J. Soto founded the church in 2017 and is about to plant their second daughter church.

Register at




12) Upcoming Medair ROC for Future International Roles

Medair is a humanitarian organization inspired by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places. They bring relief and recovery to people in crisis, regardless of race, creed or nationality. Participating in the Medair ROC (Relief & Recovery Orientation Course) prepares job applicants for international roles. Learn more at




If interested in the September ROC, apply here:




13) Share the Load, Broaden the Reach, It’s the Gift that Keeps Giving

When you pray for Brigada, tell someone else about an item, email an edition to a friend of co-worker, say to someone “hey you should sign up!”, or even give a gift of any amount, you


a) Share the load

b) Broaden the reach and

c) Give a gift that keeps on giving…


as it ripples its way throughout the world. Thousands of people read Brigada every week. When you share your message, feature an item or opportunity, promote your product that can help those who travel and serve globally “for His Name’s sake,” you expand Kingdom impact worldwide. Just click to www.brigada.org and use the “Submit an item” menu choice. Don’t worry about how to format things; submission guidelines will help you.


Want to join others in helping Brigada through 2019? If so, 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 by writing a check to Team Expansion is tax-deductible. Thank you, in advance, for your partnership!


14) The Last Bit: Lessons from 5 Days of Pneumonia

I (Doug) had had plenty of sore throats. But never like this one. In fact, on Monday night, when my throat felt like daggers and my chest felt like knives, I knew something was going on. I dreaded just to swallow. The lady at the immediate care center on Tuesday had that worried look in her eyes. She sent me directly to the E.R. The E.R. people took one glance at a chest X-ray and confirmed what some had already postulated. I had contracted pneumonia. From the start of the first sore throat pain to full-blown chest X-ray confirmation, it had probably taken less than 48 hours. But the steps that could have prevented it might have taken place throughout the previous 10 days — and just *maybe* I could have saved two nights in the hospital. (I was just released last night.) How might I have saved that hospital stay and avoided contracting pneumonia?


a) Determine your MOL — your Maximum Output Level. (I’m not sure that’s really a thing, but let’s just pretend it is.) What’s the maximum amount of stuff you can do to serve the Lord without “breaking something?” I get this rule from Coloss. 3:23, ” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” By “breaking something,” I mean — getting an ulcer, picking up high blood pressure or some other heart problem, and with some, just recurring headaches or becoming crabby with those around us. For me, for some reason, over the past few decades, I was just able to keep functioning. Basically, it seemed like my body didn’t care. Of course, I’m not overweight, I exercise three times per week (two hours minimum each instance), and I love my work. (If you’re curious about the exercise, just find an aerobic game you love. For me, it’s soccer. I play with a pool of 40 internationals. We play 10 v 10 on two fields. It’s a ton of fun. And wow — it’s great heart-work, in more ways than one.) For my own purposes, that worked. Your mileage may vary. Sooner or later though, my theory is, some little thing is going to give us a clue of our headroom. We’ll experience a tiny crack in a “head gasket,” figuratively speaking. Once we find that crack, we’ll know our limit. By God’s grace, for some reason, I didn’t see a crack until this week — pneumonia. The important thing is — once we experience that crack, we’ll know our max. Now go to step b.


b) Ask God to help you operate at 80-90% of your MOL. Take into consideration your age. (I’m 62.) So I have to realize… I probably shouldn’t have done quite so many flights and nightly trips to the train station at 2am in the morning in a foreign country last week while leading a global gathering, which left me with an average of 4 hours sleep while leading meetings and training sessions during the day. I confess: It probably lowered my resistance, making it harder for my system to fend off what otherwise might have been a bad cold germ — but this past Tuesday became pneumonia. Confession.) So now that I know my MOL, I want to stay just *under* it — without exceeding it. How will I do that? For me, I’ll start by adjusting sleep patterns. Instead of 4 hours’ sleep on multiple nights during push times, I’ll try to keep those nights to a maximum of 1 at a time, if at all possible. The other nights, I’m committing to you that I’m going to try for *7* hours per night average sleep now (I was getting an average of 5 or 6 hours for the past 40 years). So I’ll have to delegate a *bunch* more work. (Get ready guys. I’ll be asking for help. : ) )


c) Find regular throttle downs to cool your jets. No airline operates its planes at 100% thrust (or more) during 100% of every day. There are throttle-downs (if for nothing else, to do required maintenance). (People who know me: Can you believe you’re hearing me say this?) How much your engine needs for throttle down is a very personal thing. Some need more than others. Know thyself and listen for the changes along the way. Starting now, I’m going to try for at least a one- to two-hour throttle down at some point during every day of my life. No matter where I am. And a one-day-a-week throttle down even if I’m traveling. Throttle down (otherwise known as Sabbath) can mean different things to different people. Rest from stress combined with reconnecting closely with Christ seems to make the most sense, wouldn’t we all agree?


d) Listen to those around you — but not too much. : ) In other words, listen to your physician. Hear your pastor and supervisor. But remember that many well-meaning people are probably offering your advice gained through their own lenses on their own life experience with their own jet, not yours. Models vary. There were people telling me at age 16 that I was going to kill myself by the time I was 20. For whatever reason, one thing we know: that didn’t happen. That was over 40 years ago. I think we have to know our systems. Listen to our health and our heart. If we could just keep weight off, stay active, and love life, many of us could probably do a lot more during the three decades I’ve just lived. The trouble is, we either have a metabolism issue (for which, maybe we could go to the doctor?), or … I’m not sure. But whatever it is that causes so many of us to gain unhealthy weight… shew… Father please help us avert/avoid it. Again, let’s all find a game (or a gym) we love and work it. Sure it takes discipline. But you’ve got this. Eat to live instead of live to eat. Choose food that makes your life possible instead of living so you can choose food. We could all enjoy a tiny slice of a lot of life if we just did those slices in moderation instead of “slabs.” So … meeting with our doctors, trimming our portions, and exercising. Wow – what if that could give you 30 more years of 100% MOL?


The cool part is — It’s Friday … just three days after I was diagnosed in the hospital with pneumonia. I was just released from the hospital last night. Just prior to release, I asked my doctor for his opinion — and based on the recovery God has given me, he sanctioned my return to soccer — in tomorrow morning’s game (Saturday). I can’t wait. Again, there will be people who will tell me that’s crazy. But I won’t try to tell them what their system is like. And they might not be able to understand mine. I was lucky enough to hear a tiny crack (ok; Monday night it didn’t seem so tiny; I thought I was dying.) Now I have to follow it. But today, after just 3 days, my doctor says I’m already well enough to get back in the game? There’s a message (and a doctor) I love. (Truth is, he says restoring deep breathing is the most important thing to do anyway. : ) )


So — know your MOL, stay at 80-90% max, throttle down for a couple of hours/day and a Sabbath day per week, and listen to those around you but not too much. Pray a lot. Love life and all the people you meet. What could be better than that? Oh — and consider soccer.


Boy. Monday night, I thought I was dying. : )


Hopefully, I’ll write an update in 10 years to let you know how it’s going. Please comment. : )


15) Closing Stuff

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