2017/04/09 — 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) Tons of Free Resources for Pastors Online
2) GMI to Offer Webinar about Online Mission Giving Project
3) IV Congreso Misionero
4) Free Resource To Supplement Your Children’s Programming
5) Instant Battery Power: In a Bag!
6) What’s the Best VPN for the Money?
7) The Last Bit: Securing the Data on your Laptop
8) Want to *Really* pray daily? There’s an app for that
9) Free Video to Introduce Zume (DMM) to Your Church or Group
10) What’s the Fastest-Growing Ethnic Group in the USA?
11) For Muslims Only: Did you Know that Some Christians Fast too?
12) The Easter Song: What’s the Best Version?
13) We’re grateful for..
14) The Last Bit: Christ is Risen: He is Risen Indeed
15) Closing Stuff

1) Tons of Free Resources for Pastors Online

This past week, we received a note from a great friend of Brigada who wrote, “Over the years, I have received many emails from pastors around the world wanting books for pastoral training. I know that most want the books on paper. I decided to do a website that might be useful for a pastor wanting to find something online. Here are the three websites I worked on. The second website has information on pastor training in around 50 languages. The third website has some useful information for people wanting to study the Bible.” What a labor of love! Here are the websites that resulted from his energies:

http://pastortrainingresources.com
http://pastortraininglanguages.com

http://www.missionaryresources.com

2) GMI to Offer Webinar about Online Mission Giving Project

Remember that Online Mission Giving Project (study) that GMI did? You’ll recall, they basically acted anonymously, giving a freewill offering via the online giving webpage for a bunch of different organizations, then they sat back to experience the next six months with each org, learning everything they could about what felt good and what didn’t. Then they wrote up their experiences and offered the results to all of us for $5. Love it. Well next Tuesday, they’ll be hitting some highlights from the report and interviewing reps from agencies that were commended for their online giving experience and follow-up. You can register on the GMI site:
http://www.gmi.org/connections/webinars

3) IV Congreso Misionero

COMIBAM is the network of the Ibero-American mission movement. They will be holding their once every ten years Congress – Aug 22-25 in Bogota, Colombia.

http://www.COMIBAM17.net

They are expecting about 2,500 mission leaders from across the region. If you know of someone involved in the Latin American mission movement who might be interested in receiving an invitation, please submit their details via this link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdLAHBpsydBbyMpxicGccE5slRT6_L4yLjhJiarhIwTBuUrWg/viewform

5) Instant Battery Power: In a Bag!

In a world of internet tethering and limited plugs during travel, Caleb shared a cool idea this past week that just might help you in a pinch.

https://powrtabs.com/

Basically, it’s a battery in a bag. Use the bag — then throw it away. But hey — if you’re traveling and you *have* to meet some kind of deadline, this might be just what the doctor ordered for that last punch of power you need. (Thanks Caleb!)

6) What’s the Best VPN for the Money?

We occasionally delve back into the world of “which VPN is the best for the money?” This time, it was spawned by a great and long-time friend named Ted who needed to set up VPN accounts for his office staff. Field workers in sensitive places *live* by these things. They basically create a bulletproof shroud around our entire internet experience, from the sensitive area where we live and work — all the way to the homeland. Once our traffic reaches our homeland, then yes — it finally opens up into the free and clear. But everyone in between sees our traffic as a bunch of encrypted code. Does it raise our profile? Not much. It just mainly looks like we’re online with a bank or a credit card interface — because they *all* use built-in encryption anyway.

So what are the best solutions? There are lots. They usually cost anywhere from $5 or $7 per month. The best service in our opinion is

https://strongvpn.com/

Another well-known option is Witopia…

https://www.personalvpn.com/vpn-products-and-services/

If you’ve got a favorite, please comment below the web version of this item. They vary widely as to their core components, their ease of adapting to various environmental variables, and their customer service. The most important factor is — if you’re headed into a sensitive land, use *something*.

7) Securing the Data on your Laptop

Let’s say someone steals your laptop. Could they see your data? Should you even care? Probably. First, there’s the issue of identity theft. (You *don’t* have all your passwords in an unsecured word processing file, do you? Please say no.) But what about private emails, identities of those working in secure places, and — who knows what else. But, you have a sign-on password, right? Actually, that might not help much. The brute-force solution is… they just take your laptop apart and move the hard drive over to THEIR machine. Rats. So what’s the best way to prevent prying eyes from seeing your data? It just might be VeraCrypt. Learn more at…
https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/

What’s he price? Free. Yup. It’s open source and very transparent. The smart guys among us can study the thing and see openly what makes it tick. That’s a good thing. But installed, it’s hard to beat. However, it does take some knowledge and time to get it working. What’s the second-best solution for the money? The one that might already be installed on your laptop. Some versions of Windows (mainly ‘pro’ versions) come with a VPN called Bitlocker.
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732774(v=ws.11).aspx

It’s *pretty* good — partly because, if you’ve got it, it’s free. And it’s soooooooo easy. You mainly just turn it on. The *only* possible downside is that, since it’s Microsoft, it just *might* be back-doored by the countries with whom Microsoft wants a competitive edge. (They might have given away a secret combination to the countries they wanted to market.) Nobody knows this for sure — but we can’t possibly rule it out. Therefore, *somebody* might have a way to break Bitlocker.

Bottom line? Use Veracrypt if you can figure it out. But at least use Bitlocker. Do you have a different (better?) solution? Please comment below the web version this item. (And thanks for your input, Greg!)

8) Want to *Really* pray daily? There’s an app for that

To launch a disciple making movement (DMM), we’re all told that we need to embrace extraordinary prayer. In fact, at least one very successful disciple maker (who ended up with 1.7 million disciples as his legacy — so far) has said that prayer is the most critical factor. When would-be disciple makers would ask him how to overcome the barriers they were facing in getting started, he would often ask them to “show their knees.” (He wanted to know how much kneeling they had been doing.) So confidentially (you don’t have to comment below the web version of this item), how much do you really pray? A recent study by Barna revealed that most pastors in the USA pray only 5 minutes or less per day. Yikes. So how do we help one another get over the hump? One solution (for those who are into ‘apps’) is PrayerMate.

http://www.geero.net/prayermate/

You can download the app for free from the marketplace for your digital device. (Later, if you like, you can make a $5 donation if you choose, but it’s completely optional.) The developer of the app is hooking up syndicated content to ‘feed’ the app in an open architecture format. See, for example, the possibilities by importing some of the suggested content at…

http://www.MoreDisciples.com/pray
It’s a great system — for those who like apps. For those who don’t, show me your knees. : )

9) Free Video to Introduce Zume (DMM) to Your Church or Group

Trying to figure out how to introduce disciple making movement principles to your group or church? Try this free 90-second video …

https://vimeo.com/204087326

In a quick nutshell, it introduces not only the tools and skills, but also the online training course called Zume. It’s fast-paced, professional, and free. And it plays during your offering time. (Thanks for your work on this Kelsey!)

Zume Training Promo from Team Expansion on Vimeo.

10) What’s the Fastest-Growing Ethnic Group in the USA?

Before you answer, here’s a hint: No hablan español. According to the latest stats, the answer would be someone from Asia. Check out this talk from a Pew Researcher. (The talk was just given 2 weeks ago. This is fresh data.)

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_1c5e0892-14f2-11e7-b3f6-c743cd9889af.html

So it’s Asian Americans that are growing at the fastest rate. We’d better start practicing our tonal languages, folks. : )

11) For Muslims Only: Did you Know that Some Christians Fast too?

It’s true. And the Zwemer Center just featured a cool podcast at…

https://soundcloud.com/mcza-92123771/muslims-love-jesus-but-not-easter

entitled, “Why Muslims Love Jesus but Not Easter.” After the podcast, check out the articles at…

http://www.zwemercenter.com/why-muslims-love-jesus-and-hate-easter/

and

http://www.zwemercenter.com/the-passover-of-jews-christians-and-muslims/

These are *great* ways to get into the “Easter spirit.” (Is there such a thing? If there isn’t, there should be.)

13) We’re grateful for..

…the anonymous Brigada participant who sent $50 this past week to empower Brigada on its way to thousands of screens around the world, all of which are owned by people wanting to reach unreached peoples everywhere. Thanks for your help!

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: Christ is Risen: He is Risen Indeed

Easter is a really big deal in the Christian faith. Bunnies and eggs aside, it’s probably the biggest holiday, with Christmas, for all eternity. Years ago, while serving in what was then the southern USSR, I (Doug) made friends with a then-diesel mechanic who eventually became my constant sidekick (partly because the handful of local Christian leaders was afraid I’d mess something up). Years later, that diesel mechanic is still pastoring the local church that God raised up in our midst. It was the stuff of miracles — in a crazy, chaotic time that saw the world’s largest country break up into some 15 different republics. The place where *we* happened to be living because Ukraine. And the diesel mechanic ended up becoming the pastor of a church that grew to include hundreds (maybe one thousand) members. He writes every Easter, like clockwork, to say those famous words, “Christ is risen.” I’m supposed to answer, “He is risen indeed.” It’s a huge deal. If Jesus had *not* risen, where would we be? As lost as the deep blue sea. We wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in … well… Hell. Because that’s where we’d be. So grateful. So thankful. So praising God for Easter. So Zhenya, Christ *is* risen: He is risen indeed.

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