Monthly Archives: October 2019

2019/10/20 — Brigada Today

Compiled/Edited by Doug Lucas and Tina McCormick, Team Expansion
Brigada online has more graphics and links at


In this issue…
1) Is Netflix Making it Harder for You to Adapt to Your New Culture?
2) Curious About How Much Your Boss Makes? Now You Can Know
3) Don’t Forget to Check Out the Main Sessions at Missio Nexus
4) Is the USA Becoming Less Christian? Pew Researchers Say “Yes.”
5) Ethiopia’s Evangelical Prime Minister Continues to Surprise
6) As We Wake Up This Morning, 39 Are Dead in Human Trafficking Case
7) What Would You Pray for a King?
8) Bravo for the Ten Agencies Cooperating in IllumiNations Website
9) The Hindu World Prayer Focus Has Begun — But You Can Recruit Others
10) Free Documentary on Disciple-making Movement in Iran
11) If You’re Departing from Detroit, See a Loved One Off at the Gate?
12) Help with High School Sciences for Missionary Families
13) We’re Grateful for…
14) The Last Bit: What Does One Say at the Wake of Perished Missionary?
15) Closing Stuff


1) Is Netflix Making it Harder for You to Adapt to Your New Culture?

Rachel Kleppen thinks so. In her article in Christianity Today (“Netflix Is Making It Harder to Be a Missionary,”) she laments the globally connected world in which we all live.


Do you agree with her conclusions? …or is she out of touch? Please give us your take on this article by clicking “Comment” after this item on the web. Thanks in advance for letting us hear from you, anonymously or otherwise. (Thanks, Jenny, for pointing us to this article.)


2) Curious About How Much Your Boss Makes? Now You Can Know

If you’re with one of the agencies considered by the new CEO Survey and Analysis, by VanHuis et al via Missio Nexus. You’ll find over 75 pages of content, feedback from 119 CEO’s, 67 unique charts, graphs and infographics, 14 articles by mission organization leaders, multiple resource lists providing ideas, tools, books and other equipping tools, practical application ideas and questions, comparison studies of 2019 vs. 2016 CEO study, and much, much more. Order the print edition at…

But you can also download the digital edition for free if you’re part of Missio Nexus.



4) Is the USA Becoming Less Christian? Pew Researchers Say "Yes."

In their sweeping report, Pew Research said that two-thirds of the people in the USA now claim to be Christian, down from over three-fourths just ten years ago. Meanwhile, US of Americans who say they have “no religion” (the “nones”) have risen from 17% to 26% during the same time.


We love reading Justin Long’s take on the news, however. In an email he sent us last week, he asked about timing. “Will the “nones” change as they age?” He also challenged the research in its definition of “nones” anyway. But in a third conclusion, he also admitted — “This might be the new normal.”


Meanwhile, while traveling in Birmingham (England), we were struck by the statistics there. The city is said to have 1.3 million now. Residents told us that 35% are currently Muslim. But 55% of those under 11 years of age say they are followers of Islam. In a park on the evening of a recent Islamic religious festival, 110,000 Muslims gathered to celebrate. As we prayer-walked in certain sectors of the city, there were times in which we didn’t see anyone who seemingly WASN’T Muslim.


We don’t view this as a dramatic and horrible shift. We view it as a tremendous opportunity to love and care for people who have immigrated from other lands where they might have lived their entire lives without ever knowing a Christian or hearing the story of Jesus and the hope He brings. However, if they STILL do so, even in England (or the USA or wherever immigrants are settling), shame on us.


(Learn more about Justin Long’s ministry of research and analysis at


5) Ethiopia’s Evangelical Prime Minister Continues to Surprise

He pretty much campaigned on a single, solitary promise: “Elect me as Prime Minister and I’ll show you how an evangelical Christian pastors a nation.” Now, just months later, Abiy Ahmed has won the Nobel Peace Prize, distinguishing himself not just as pastor of a nation, but peacemaker for a world. He’s invited his enemies to return to Ethiopia so they will have a voice in a peaceful political process. Never mind that he might believe in the old adage, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Never mind that some people still call him “revivalist.” That’s what he’s doing. He’s reviving a nation. And with some 26% of the nation of Ethiopia now claiming to be evangelical Christian, today is Ethiopia’s time. Today is Ethiopia’s Day.


6) As We Wake Up This Morning, 39 Are Dead in Human Trafficking Case

In one of UK’s worst human trafficking cases of all time, authorities discovered a giant truck full of deceased travelers in an industrial park 40 Km East of London this morning. When will all of this end? Please pray for the families of those discovered. Pray for others like them who might be trapped or locked in the back of a truck just now. Ask God to bring them hope, help, and healing. Learn more about this incident at..


8) Bravo for the Ten Agencies Cooperating in IllumiNations Website

The new version of IllumiNations Bible translation website went live this week. See it at…


And be sure to scroll to the end to see the 10 agencies that make up this powerful impact alliance hoping to finish the majority of Bible translations (95% of the whole Bibles and 99.96% of the New Testaments) by 2033. It’s a beautiful example of synergy and partnership.


11) If You’re Departing from Detroit, See a Loved One Off at the Gate?

Can you believe it? Since 9/11, USA residents seeing off passengers have watched from “outside the security line” as loved ones entered the secure zone. But at last, Detroit is one of a handful of airports (less than a handful, in fact) testing a new project to modify that. Read more at…


(Thanks for the tip, Caleb!)


12) Help with High School Sciences for Missionary Families

One of our readers is concerned about missionaries leaving the field because of a lack of options for their children for high school level science. Her ministry is helping homeschooling missionary parents with biology, chemistry, and eventually physics and physical science. She will provide lesson plans, instructional videos, lab help, and grading services to missionaries working among UPGs. The missionary family provides the specified textbooks. You may email her at

mmthompson6atgmaildotcom  (mmthompson6atgmaildotcom)  

(Note: Michelle is hoping to focus on US of American families serving OUT of the 50 United States.)


13) We’re Grateful for…

…the $50 gift from Mission Network. We’re grateful for your partnership. God bless you!


Want to join these partners in helping Brigada through 2019? If so, just click “Donate” at, 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: What Does One Say at the Wake of Perished Missionary?

Last week, I (Doug) migrated from one funeral wake to another to show our respect, appreciation, and partnership at the loss of three treasured workers, each of whom gave their lives while serving Christ, our org and our partners, and the Great Commission. Unfortunately, the sensitive nature of their work prevents us from revealing where they served or what they were doing. We probably shouldn’t even reveal how they died (other than to say that it wasn’t a death planned by those who might have wanted to persecute them; it was a tragic traffic accident; enough said). Their family members’ emotions were all over the board, as one might imagine. But I have to say — the overarching theme was a sense of pride and purpose. Comments like, “You can’t stop telling the Good News. If you do so, our son’s (daughter’s) life will be for nothing.” We were humbled, sobered, and inspired by family and friends — and the testimonies they shared about the life-long plans these workers had held to serve cross-culturally.


So — what does one say? What can we communicate in times like those? All I could think of saying was, “Thank you. Your son/daughter was doing something incredibly, eternally important. He (she) didn’t die while doing drugs or getting in trouble. Your daughter (son) made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the Creator and King of the universe. For that, you can always be thankful.” Still, I wept because I couldn’t find words.


We also helped team members deal with the grief. We placed three chairs at the front of the room, each with a sign bearing the name of the fallen teammate. Team members each could walk forward and speak to the chair, sharing a leave-taking, or giving thanks in a way that he or she didn’t have time to give previously. It took as long for team members to grieve as it did for family members. And, in fact, the grief will continue forward. We shared something of the cycle that they’ll see in the days, weeks, and (for some) even months to come. We predicted frustration, confusion, guilt, sadness, depression, anxiety — and more — would take place on the journey ahead. We asked team members to watch for *deep* depression (suicidal thoughts, inability to function, etc.) and refer those team members immediately. But we also cautioned them against judging team members who seemed ready to move on in a more “instant” way. We explained that different people grieve in different ways. Just because a friend doesn’t cry, it doesn’t mean she didn’t love. And just because a friend DOES cry, it doesn’t mean he isn’t working through the process in a healthy way.


What would YOU say at the death of a missionary/friend? What’s the best resource or book to recommend for team leaders or regional specialists? Thanks for any help and hope you can give. Please pray for fallen colleagues throughout the globe, wherever and however they might have perished.


15) Closing Stuff

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