In this issue…
1. UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
2. GET A COPY OF “WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR” WITHOUT KILLING A TREE
3. FREE ONLINE VIEWING FOR THESE EVANGELISTIC FILMS
4. CHECK OUT THIS ONLINE SCHOOL
5. INTERNATIONAL TERM LIFE INSURANCE
6. WANT TO LEARN RUSSIAN OR ARABIC FOR MINISTRY?
7. THIS WEDNESDAY, GET FREE ANTISPAMWARE
8. ATTEND A SEMINAR ON CONTEXTUALIZATION
9. VIDEO CLIPS FOR MISSION CHALLENGE
10. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THOSE WHO PITCH IN
11. YOU CAN HELP MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL
12. THE BACKPAGE: GETTING JAZZED OVER A DISCARDED LEAF-BLOWER
13. CLOSING STUFF
1. UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT — Covenant College, a Christian college located in Lookout Mountain, GA, U.S., offers an undergraduate major in community development. The major equips students with the theory and practice of community development among the poor from a biblical world-view. It prepares students to be agents of Christian transformation within low-income communities, working in community-based organizations, churches, missions, relief and development agencies, and the public sector. The major offers three areas of specialization: Economic Development, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and Child and Family Development. A highlight of the major is its research internship in which students live and work for three-to-six months in a poor community under the auspices of a host church or ministry. Students can apply by submitting an application found on the Covenant web site, http://www.covenant.edu. A $9,000 merit-based scholarship will be awarded to an incoming freshman and renewed for three years. For qualified community development candidates who are not awarded this scholarship, other merit- and financial-need-based awards ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 are also available. Students can apply for the scholarship by submitting a separate scholarship application found on the financial aid section of the Covenant web site. The deadline for submitting an application is December 15, 2005, so better apply today! For questions about Covenant College, the community development major, or the scholarship, visit the Covenant web site or contact the Admissions Office by phone at 706-820-2398 (U.S.) or by email at admissions(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. GET A COPY OF “WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR” WITHOUT KILLING A TREE — Here is a free down load of the popular Missionary Emergency health Book Called; “Where There is No Doctor”. (Thanks Andy!) http://www.healthwrights.org/books/WTINDonline.htm
3. FREE ONLINE VIEWING FOR THESE EVANGELISTIC FILMS — For many years, Create International has been looking for more ways to make their multi-lingual evangelistic films available to unreached people groups around the world. Recently, a wonderful brother agreed to put all of these presentations into streaming video format on the Internet. Now you can view all of their evangelistic films produced for thirty different people groups in high quality fast streaming video. They will also make the URLs of these movies available to anyone who wants to put them on their own websites or used them in cyber cafe evangelism. Here are the movies and their URLs:
A Changed Life (Gan)
A Changed Life (Mandarin)
A Greater Love (Myanmar)
Ahmad’s Dream (Malay)
Building a Family of Love (Mongolian)
Debt of Honor (Madurese)
Help From Heaven (Balinese)
New Life (Awadhi)
The Burning Heart (Bengali)
The Light of Revelation (Hui)
The Return of Singkorn (Isaan)
4. CHECK OUT THIS ONLINE SCHOOL — Here’s an option for educating your kids overseas. The Potters School is http://www.pottersschool.org They offer home schooling over the internet with the availability of audio and video communication. Most communication is by e-mail. The school comes highly recommended, with friends of friends listed among the faculty. (Thanks Chris!)
5. INTERNATIONAL TERM LIFE INSURANCE – Are you having a hard time finding term life coverage while serving overseas? If so, be sure to contact Insurance Services of America. They offer a unique life insurance plan that is not available from traditional life insurance companies. While many companies automatically reject applications of those that intend to leave the United States, ISA has partnered with the oldest and largest financial institution in the World to create a term life plan that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of living abroad. Their plan has options of 1 to 10 year terms with face amounts up to $4.5 Million.
Coverage details, rates and the online application may be obtained online at http://www.missionaryhealth.net . You may also email them at health(at)missionaryhealth(dot)net , [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or call them at 1-800-647-4589 (1-480- 821-9052 outside of North America) and ask for Mark. ISA has a wide range of plans for missionaries, mission groups and churches, so be sure to contact them to see how they can “shop around” for you to help you save money on your health and life insurance needs. They are a Christian organization that specializes in helping individuals and groups find affordable health and life insurance coverage.
6. WANT TO LEARN RUSSIAN OR ARABIC FOR MINISTRY? — Studying at the Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures (ISLC) (Formerly Russian Language Ministries) will give you a good head start in learning the needed language and culture. Their experienced staff is called by God to equip you with the language & cross-cultural skills you will need to be effective in ministry to Russian and Arabic speakers. Courses are tailored to your learning needs and offer an intensive and focused experience with, gradual effective immersion in the language, communicative learning methods & flexible duration for all programs. Their U.S. based courses are taught in an encouraging spiritual atmosphere with a focus on future ministry. Classes forming for Spring (Jan. 23 – May 12). US toll Free: 1-800-799-7976 or 1-803-333-9119. Write RLMoffice(at)juno(dot)com or browse to http://www.strategiclanguages.org
7. THIS WEDNESDAY, GET FREE ANTISPAMWARE — That’s right… Thanks to an educational campaign, sponsored by TechSoup.org and Mailshell, you can pick up something for nothing. The campaign began in November and culminates on December 14 and 15, this Wed/Thurs, when nonprofits and public libraries can order free anti-spam software donated by Mailshell. For more information, browse to: http://www.stopspamtoday.org/stop_spam_fd.html (Note: This is not an endorsement of Mailshell software. Several reviewers currently indicate that the service has significant downtime, so … what’s the phrase… “Caveat emptor”: “Let the buyer beware.” (Thanks Chris!)
8. ATTEND A SEMINAR ON CONTEXTUALIZATION — The 2006 Peace College seminar will be held on the 11th through the 29th of August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This represents a slight change from the announcement made at the 2005 seminar. Please plan to arrive on the 10th and to stay at least through the end of the day on the 29th.
This year’s topic will be contextualization. Look for a detailed reading list by the end of November along with details on venue and costs. If you have any questions, please direct them to peacecollege(at)swissmail(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
9. VIDEO CLIPS FOR MISSION CHALLENGE — If your role includes motivating or recruiting people for evangelism and mission, Tony suggests that you check out the range of downloadable clips available here:
http://the-task-virals.blogspot.com/ (maybe the 1st link is dead here?)
http://viral-life.blogspot.com/ (Thanks Tony)
10. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THOSE WHO PITCH IN — Thanks for those who pitch in to help motivate us and carry the expenses of our secretary here at Brigada/Team Expansion. Recent gifts include anonymous donors (1 at $5, 2 at $25 each, and a Wycliffe missionary at $45), $20 from the organizers of http://www.witnessJesus.org where you can post your testimony and impact others… and $20 from the folks at Send Global airtime http://www.global-airtime.com where you can get quality international calls on cell and landline phones for a fraction of the normal cost, and also $40 from the folks at: http://www.fullfaith.com/missions/paul.html where they teach people how to use storytelling for missions outreach. (Check out their DVDs there and please let them know you heard about them on Brigada!) Finally, we were humbled and astonished at a check from friends at New Mission Systems http://newmissionsystems.org/ for $1,000.00, representing the largest donation received thus far in 2005 and the 2nd largest ever in the history of Brigada. When asked why some of the organization’s members chipped in at this level, the reply came back, “Because we find that we have used items from Brigada over and over again and we here at NMS wanted to give something back to those who were giving to us.” Whoa. Now here’s the deal — I know they aren’t rich there. But they gave sacrificially. May God bring growth to them beyond all that they ask or imagine… That’s my prayer in Christ’s name and for His glory, Amen.
11. YOU CAN HELP MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL — This brings to $9,691.28 our gifts during 2005, which now represents well over half of our goal of $16,576. What happens if we run short? Team Expansion tries to make up the difference… but you can help by utilizing these last couple of weeks of 2005 to make the best donation you can muster. Maybe you can only pitch in $5. But maybe you can give $1,000 or more. Either way, we’re very grateful. Just click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.
12. THE BACKPAGE: GETTING JAZZED OVER A DISCARDED LEAF-BLOWER — A couple of weeks ago, I found what looked like a perfectly good Toro leaf blower in a garbage barrel on our property. It looked nearly brand new, but a quick check confirmed what I had suspected: it wouldn’t blow even one leaf, let alone a yard full. In fact, it wouldn’t even start. However, I’ve always been partial to Toro (even if this one was a reject; actually, it was a “Toro 51591 Super Blower/Vacuum”; click here to see it at the Toro website :-) ), so I have to admit — I threw it in the back of my truck and headed home. Tonight I saw the lonely machine sitting there on my workbench. Honestly, it reminded me of that jack-in-the-box on the Rudolph claymation show… You know… the one on the “Island of Misfit Toys.” It was a cast-off… Slated for destruction. Whoa. Only my hands had saved it from the clutches of Mr. Garbage-Truck-Man.
So, I did what every good Toro-lover does this time of year: picked up a screwdriver and started disassembling. About 7 minutes later, my heart leaped for joy. I discovered a fairly simple problem with a safety interlock mechanism inside the machine, designed to prevent operation when the tool was partially cracked open. I grabbed a piece of plate metal from my nuts-and-bolts collection, carefully fitted it in just the right channel, clamped everything back together and — whoosh… Away flew the screwdriver like the down of a thistle! Score one for The Garbage Patrol. :-) One Toro leaf blower salvaged.
Now I ask you: Why do I get so jazzed over rescuing a discarded leaf- blower, aside from the fact that I’m a big fan of Toro? :-) Well it’s hard to describe: There’s something about repairing something that was on the ropes… something about resurrecting a life that others had considered long gone. This leaf blower will always be special to me now… tons more significant than if I’d bought it today at Sears for $29.95 in the Christmas sail. (Did I mention it blows at 215 mph? :-) )
For some reason, I feel the same way about people. There’s a fine line between a “tough love” approach and the “cut-throat” response. That fine line, in my opinion, is the responsibility to weigh out the intent of the worker. If the worker is obviously thumbing his nose at expectations, then after a documented set of warnings, he or she should be let go — I’m convinced. However, if the worker evidences sincere and determined efforts to succeed, I personally believe we should extend some grace, some creative coaching, and see if we can’t salvage a life.
Now my 16-year-old son saw something different in the leaf blower. He thought it could stand for a Christian-waiting-to-happen… blocked only by some piece of faulty behavior, perhaps easily altered by a caring friend or an accepting family.
Either way, the outcome is the same: less junk in the landfill, fewer blisters from raking, and lots of 215 mile-per-hour miracles. And did I mention it’s a Toro? :-)