China

2) Brigada piece on Believers in China turns up Follow-up Story —

Remember when we asked for input on why China is “investing in Christianity?” See the July 18th, 2010 discussion at:

http://www.brigada.org/2010/07/18_5211

One anonymous respondent, writing from within Taiwan, commented, “NPR aired a series this summer entitled “New Believers: A Religious Revolution in China”–on the Web at

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128644059

He continued, “It includes the story ‘Beijing Finds Common Cause with Chinese Buddhists,’ which quotes a researcher at the University of Ottawa as saying, ‘I have reason to believe the Chinese government might be encouraging Buddhist institutions, simply because they’re worried about the rapid spread of Christianity and Protestantism in particular.’ The series also has articles on Protestants and Catholics in China.

7) Live Online Chinese Learning: Get Ready to Go

Whether you are going short or long-term to China, or reaching the Chinese at home, learning the language will make you more effective. With this service created by missionaries serving the Chinese, you can learn Mandarin Chinese online, live and face to face with native teachers in China, right from home. Lessons are interactive, personal and customizable to help equip you specifically for where you are going. Email:

href="http://wwwdotbrigadadotorg/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/getreadyatgoservechinadotcom_.jpg">title="getreadyatgoservechinadotcom" src="http://wwwdotbrigadadotorg/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/getreadyatgoservechinadotcom_.jpg" alt="" width="213" height="20" /> for more information.

2) Intensive Course: Chinese Worldview Today

China Academic Consortium (Affiliated with ERRC) has designed a “Chinese Worldview Today” intensive course to be held in Beijing, June 4 to 20, for those who are committed to China ministries. Early registration date is April 15. You can even get credit through Denver Seminary (3 units for their M div program) or Azusa Pacific University (3 units to both undergraduate and graduate programs).  This 2-week intensive course will cover all Chinese philosophy and religions as well as modern thoughts and including a trip to Xian. Learn more at…

http://www.errchina.com/cac

or write to

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10) The Father Loves China —

This is a set of multiple-user online tools to produce a small video project for each of the 490 minority language groups in China that will introduce them to God as their loving Heavenly Father with indigenous pictures, indigenous music and voice — over of 55 scriptures. The organizers invite you to participate. They’re looking for indigenous pictures, music and translators and they’ll be glad to train you. Results will be posted on the web at

http://www.fathersloveletter.com/languages.html

They’ll also supply, at the same site, free downloads in video, audio and print formats. For details and to join the Googlegroup, go to

http://groups.google.com/group/the-father-loves-china/web/project-overview?hl=en

3) China Sojourn: The Children of China

A new 40-page book has been published by media consultant Dan Henrich. Henrich writes: “This first volume represents a small number of children in China. Think of each as representing people groups who have few Christians – unreached with the Good News. I would like to challenge you to simply pray through this book of images.” The book can be previewed and ordered via the link below at $15.95 – affordable for all donors!

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/280075/f3fc95dc9f571f7728cd01fc82e30ad1

4) Chinese and Spanish Marriage and Family Resources Added

Intermin.org is completely rebuilt. Its many articles on marriage, parenting, choosing a life partner, and a chronological study of the Life of Jesus are available now in English, Simplified and Traditional Mandarin. The Marriage articles are also available in Spanish. These resources are easy to download and print for free distribution. Check out

http://intermin.org/

Contact Mike at:

Strategy Coordinators Needed for SE Asia

Is God calling you to invest your life in reaching an unreached group within this region of S.W. China, or S.E. Asia? There are beckoning opportunities in the Mekong Region of Laos, Myanmar, China and Thailand. Check out

info(at)
mekongministries.com (Replace “at” with @, “dot” with ., then reassemble the email address onto one line.)

CHINA: UNREST RAISES FEARS OF EXECUTION OF CHRISTIAN

The Compass Direct News is reporting that as China deals with the fallout of protests in Tibet and alleged protests in neighboring Xinjiang province, the family of a Uyghur Christian fears he may be sentenced to death this month after officials accused him of endangering national security. Friends said a verdict is expected any time. Track this issue with Compass Direct and don’t forget to pray:

http://www.compassdirect.org

GOING TO CHINA? GO PREPARED

The China Games and Beyond Equipping Kit is a collection of key tools to help prepare teams to serve China during the 2008 Summer Games. The Equipping Kit includes two manuals, CD, DVD, 65 page handbook and more. Teams will learn about strategies for effective ministry, avoiding mistakes, the church in China, needs and opportunities, practical trip essentials, and security issues. For more information about serving China, visit

http://www.servingchina.com

or email information(at)

servingchina(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address onto one line.]

LEARN MORE ABOUT REACHING INTO CHINA

Founded by Hudson Taylor, OMF International (formerly China Inland Mission and Overseas Missionary Fellowship) continues a strong presence for Christ throughout East Asia. Learn more from Elizabeth Lowe, featured speaker, and OMF representatives, about how God continues to build on these historical foundations and how you could be involved. Saturday, March 29, 1-4pm at Houston Chinese Church. Contact info(at)

omf (dot) org or 303.730.4160 (800.422.5330 US toll free) for more information. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . and reassemble the address onto one line.]

OLYMPICS PUT CHINA ON CENTER STAGE

The Olympic Games in 2008 put China on center stage. Chinese people everywhere are eagerly anticipating this national “coming out party.” “Beijing and Beyond” (April 19, 2008, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, Grace Brethren Church, Long Beach, CA) is an event that begins in reverent, exuberant worship of the living God who is sovereign over the events of history. OMF General Director, Patrick, will be the main speaker. Experienced long-term missionaries who have served in diverse fields will also share. Workshops will inspire and inform you so that you will be better equipped to serve as a sender or a goer. Visit

http://www.omf.org/us

and follow links from the home page or e-mail swregion(at)

omf (dot) org. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . and reassemble the address onto one line.]

CHINA ON CENTER STAGE

The Olympic Games in 2008 puts China on center stage. Chinese people everywhere are eagerly anticipating this national “coming out party.” “Beijing and Beyond” (April 19, 2008, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, Grace Brethren Church, Long Beach, CA) is an event that begins in reverent, exuberant worship of the living God who is sovereign over the events of history. OMF General Director, Dr. Patrick Fung, will be the main speaker. Experienced long-term missionaries who have served in diverse fields will also share. Workshops will inspire and inform you so that you will be better equipped to serve as a sender or a goer. Visit

http://www.omf.org/us

and follow links from the home page or e-mail swregion(at)

omf(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address back onto one line.]

OMF BAY AREA MISSION CONFERENCE (APRIL 25-26, 2008)

The theme is “Glorifying God in Beijing and Beyond!” Plenary Speakers include Dr. Patrick Fung – OMF General Director ( Singapore ) and Tony Lambert – OMF Director of China Research ( UK ) plus eight workshops focused on China. For conference inquires, contact Dick (866) 500-1248 or email dandrews(at)

omf(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address back onto one line.] or browse to

http://www.us.omf.org/northwest

They have a great Children’s Program and the location is Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, CA. Group, student and senior rates are available.

20071223 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. CHINESE BIBLES: BETTER THAN WE THOUGHT
  2. THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS; COULD YOU SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT BRIGADA?
  3. ANOTHER CALLING CARD TO TRY
  4. NEED A GREAT PRESENTATION? HAVE YOU TRIED PRO SHOW GOLD?
  5. COMIN’ UP ON 13 YEARS OF BRIGADA
  6. HAVE A GLORIOUS NEW YEAR CELEBRATION!!!
  7. THANK THE LORD FOR THESE GIFTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
  8. TEN FINAL DAYS FOR 2007 GIFTS TO ARRIVE: WILL YOURS BE ONE?
  9. THE BACKPAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?
  10. CLOSING STUFF

  1. CHINESE BIBLES: BETTER THAN WE THOUGHT — According to a couple of very connected Brigada participants, Amity Press is doing even better than we thought at getting Bibles into the hands of Chinese. Without going into a lot of detail, suffice it to say that it sounds like they’re being very intentional and effective at making that connection. God be praised.

  2. THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS; COULD YOU SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT BRIGADA? — One Brigada participant wrote that he is not able to make any kind of gift at this time, but he *did* commit to pray for Brigada. Obviously, that would be most excellent. As we turn the corner into 2008, would you also consider trying to find 10 new Brigada subscribers? Just ask them to send an email to:

    brigada-today-subscribeatgooglegroupsdotcom  (brigada-today-subscribeatgooglegroupsdotcom)  

    Here’s a block of sample text:

    “Hello. Interested in getting a free email (once a week) highlighting missions resources, opportunities, and helps? I’ve found Brigada Today to be helpful… and so have 11,000 others. It’s easy to get hooked up. Just send a blank email to: brigada-today-subscribeatgooglegroupsdotcom That’s all there is to it. The rest is automatic. And just so you know, they never send out anything else to that address, nor is it sold or made available to anyone else. Just FYI, in case you’re interested!”

    Thanks for helping us get the word out!


  3. ANOTHER CALLING CARD TO TRY — Brigada participant, Charles, wrote this past week to recommend SpeedyPin.

    http:\\www.SpeedyPin.com

    “The card permits calls to Myanmar for 21 cents per minute with one minute rounding and no weekly fees. Most cards in this price range use three minute rounding with weekly charges until the minutes are used up. SpeedyPin has a great feature whereby they will (optionally, of course) automatically recharge the minutes on the card when they fall below a preset limit – say $5.00 worth, or whatever. This is a great time saver for us. We have been using this site for months with absolutely no problems.” (Thanks for the tip, Charles!)


  4. NEED A GREAT PRESENTATION? HAVE YOU TRIED PRO SHOW GOLD? — One of our team leaders in North Africa put me on to this new product. It’s kinda like a cross between Powerpoint, Adobe Premier, and Microsoft MovieMaker. Just import your MP3 sound track, then drag in your photos, then assemble your slide show and … bam… your presentation is ready to make its way out on the stage! Pro Show “Gold” will probably work for just about everyone; but if you need to produce AVI files, you’ll need Producer. Prices are reasonable, quality is excellent, and the payoff is big-time. Highly recommended.

    www.photodex.com/products/


  5. COMIN’ UP ON 13 YEARS OF BRIGADA — Can you believe it? Brigada will be a teenager? On Jan. 25th, we’ll celebrate 13 years of weekly updates. Well, maybe not always *weekly*, but at least one for each week. :-) Remember you can read every single one (shew; I’m sure that’s your favorite night-time reading, right? :-) ) by simply logging on at…

    http://www.brigada.org

    Click on ‘back issues’ and you can sort through by date… or click “Search” to type in a word or two from the item; just make sure the radio button is clicked to search Brigada domain only (as opposed to searching the entire web).


  6. HAVE A GLORIOUS NEW YEAR CELEBRATION!!! — From Brigada to you, we wish you the very best new year celebration ever! Let’s make 2008 the best year ever for global missions!

  7. THANK THE LORD FOR THESE GIFTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT — Just arrived are gifts from anonymous givers in … St. Louis, MO — $100 and Bellflower, CA — $25

    “Lord, please bless these encouragers for undergirding the work of Brigada!


  8. TEN FINAL DAYS FOR 2007 GIFTS TO ARRIVE: WILL YOURS BE ONE? — For those who mail in checks, we’ll need to allow about ten days for gifts to arrive… (because one could write out a check on Dec. 31st, mail it, and we might not see it for a few days). So … to be fair… we’ll count PayPal gifts toward 2007 needs all the way up through Jan. 10, 2008. As a result, all is not lost! :-) Even though we’re only standing at $11,558.90, we still have time to try to make our 2007 budget needs of $17,150. To pull this off, we’d need 74 more people, groups, or churches to step up to the plate. Just *one* courageous soul would need to give $1000 and 2 would have to pray in $500 each, in order to meet our 2007 needs. Here are the gifts we still need to raise in order to meet those 2007 ministry needs:

    1 (of 1) more gift of $1000

    2 (of 5) more gifts of $500

    8 (of 10) more gifts of $250

    0 (of 13) more gifts of $100

    13 (of 28) more gifts of $50

    49 (of 70) more gifts of $25

    The total for 2006 was $15,096. To match 2006 giving, we still need to come up with at least $3,537.10 in these next 10 days. Gulp. Would you pray with us that everyone who *can* *will* step forward? Thanks.

    You can make a gift from your PayPal account or from any major credit card. Or if you prefer, you can send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax- deductible.) 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. And thank you in advance for helping.


  9. THE BACKPAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS? — If you don’t mind sharing, please fill us in. Just go to:

    Click on “Comment” in the lines right below the item.

    What are mine? OK… I’ll get us started. In 2008, I resolve to…

    *** Help our organization make the move to our new campus in 2008. (See our progress at:

    http://www.emeraldhills.info

    *** Finish the corrections to my doctoral dissertation. (I received the feedback from my committee and it’s a good news-bad news kinda’ thing. Not a cakewalk but then, they didn’t tell me to start over, either. I’d love to finish my Ph.D. during 2008.)

    *** Become a better vision-caster, leader, father, husband, and friend.

    Those are 3 from my own list. Now it’s your turn. Let’s hear them! :-)

20071216 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. CORRECT DATES FOR FORUM ON UNREACHED AZERBAIJANI
  2. SOURCE FOR FREE CHRISTIAN AUDIO BOOKS
  3. ARE YOU CATCHING THE GREAT DIALOGUE ON THE BRIGADA BRIGADE?
  4. GET PERSPECTIVES IN 2008!
  5. FREE SPAM BLOCKER
  6. PHONE CARDS/SERVICES ON THE CHEAP
  7. VIDEO SESSIONS OF WEB MINISTRY CONFERENCE
  8. THAT NEW MISSIONS TEXTBOOK…
  9. FURTHER READING ON CHINESE BIBLE PRINTING
  10. NEW BOOK UNWRAPS LATIN AMERICA
  11. CENTRAL ASIAN SCHOOL SEEKS STAFF
  12. WE’RE THANKFUL! GOD BE PRAISED!
  13. WOULD YOU BE ONE OF THE 76 PARTNERS STILL NEEDED IN 2007?
  14. THE BACKPAGE: THE STORY OF LETUNIN AND NGOTO

  1. CORRECT DATES FOR FORUM ON UNREACHED AZERBAIJANI — Earlier, we mentioned a North American Azerbaijani Network that is hosting a forum on gateway Azerbaijani people of Azerbaijan and Iran. The correct dates for the forum are Apr. 24-26 (not 24-28 as previously announced). The location is Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information email azpartnership(at)galacticomm

    (dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address onto one line.]


  2. SOURCE FOR FREE CHRISTIAN AUDIO BOOKS — Classic Christian books by writers including E.M Bounds, G.K Chesterton (and, Brigada participant, Charliy recently noted, “even a few who don’t use initials” :-) ) are available as audio book downloads for free. Start the year with “The Practice of the Presence of God” in your iPod by going to

    http://freechristianaudiobooks.com/

    (Thanks for the tip, Charliy! Cool name, too.)


  3. ARE YOU CATCHING THE GREAT DIALOGUE ON THE BRIGADA BRIGADE? — If not, tune in by browsing to:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/

    for the latest input on topics and questions such as polygamy, how to determine one’s calling, civil disobedience, moral behavior resources, and more! There have been some excellent pieces there. It’s truly a tribute to the high caliber of readership we have for Brigada Today. Thanks for participating!


  4. GET PERSPECTIVES IN 2008! — Do you need missions education credit before you can begin your missionary service? The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course may be your answer as it covers the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic basis for missions. ICM (International Christian Ministries) offers the course on-line for certificate, undergraduate, or graduate credit. Check out

    http://www.icmusa.org/perspectives.php

    for more information and to sign up, or email info(at)icmusa

    (dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address onto one line.]


  5. FREE SPAM BLOCKER — Thanks much to Brigada participant, Lloyd, who tipped us off to mail-filter.com. Lloyd, for his part, is an emergency manager for a city. And we *really* appreciate him referring us to mail- filter which, according to Lloyd, is not only free but also very effective. Check it out at…

    http://www.mail-filter.com/

    Lloyd says one can set up multiple accounts, and that the offending spam can be viewed on the web. Good find, Lloyd!


  6. PHONE CARDS/SERVICES ON THE CHEAP — Lloyd also referred us to

    http://cheap2talk.us/

    and

    http://kc5fm.pushline.com/

    where, he said, “visitors can obtain low cost calling cards and other communications products. Brigada readers who wish to have their commissions refunded may contact the vendor through either web site or email the author at kc5fm(dot)brigada(at)mail-filter

    (dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address on one line.]


  7. VIDEO SESSIONS OF WEB MINISTRY CONFERENCE — Seven of the web evangelism seminars from the September 07 Web Ministry Conference are now online (using an innovative system which displays the PowerPoint or screen content that the participants saw, as well as the speaker): http://www.webevangelism.com/index.php?id=100

    with some additional sessions available in audio only:

    http://www.internetministryconference.org/blog/

    Of particular interest to the mission world is the video session ‘The Edges of Cyberspace’ which looks at the huge potential of digital evangelism for the non-western world in the coming few years. With the ‘Next Billion’ web users coming online very soon (mainly in the 10-40 Window), and 3.3 billion people already using mobile devices, now is the time for mission agencies to look again at how they can use the Web, video and audio, mobile devices, and Internet Cafes:

    http://ong9d.rmxpres.com/Accordent/data/Edmiston/msh.html

    (Thanks Tony!)


  8. THAT NEW MISSIONS TEXTBOOK… — We mentioned earlier a new missions textbook that teaches a proper perspective on Muslims. The authors are actually not “Charles Gailey and Charles Gailey” (oops! sleep- keyboarding! [blush]). We should have said that “Discovering Missions” is by Charles Gailey and Howard Culbertson, who was mentioned later in the item. As mentioned previously, the book is available at discount prices on such sites as Amazon.com. (Thanks to Andy for catching our mix-up all the way from Papua New Guinea; and to Bob, who regularly offices in the cubicle next to me! :-) )

  9. FURTHER READING ON CHINESE BIBLE PRINTING — Interested in further follow-up on that mention we made of printing Bibles in China? Brigada participant Andrew pointed us to a BBC article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7150613.stm

    Another Brigada participant, Martin, reflected on a Chinese pastor he had visited just a few months ago. Apparently the Chinese government itself has given him money to build what will become “China’s largest church (holding 8000 inc 2500 Bible College students).” Martin has seen with his own eyes the foundations of the perimeter wall. It happens that this pastor and his team have produced all the Bible documents on

    http://www.easybibles.com/

    Martin mused, “I don’t yet fully understand the intentions of Beijing or the leaders of this work. I await guidance and pray a lot.” Let’s join him.


  10. NEW BOOK UNWRAPS LATIN AMERICA — “From Rio to the Rio Grande: Challenges and Opportunities in Latin America,” is a book by Kenneth D. MacHarg. It’s $16.25 and is available by calling toll free 1(800)247- 6553 in the USA or from Amazon.com as well as through local bookstores. Readers tell us that it does a good job at revealing the way Latins tick.

  11. CENTRAL ASIAN SCHOOL SEEKS STAFF — Kazakhstan International School is a non-profit school that seeks to train up the next generations of leaders for Central Asia. The school is a “secular” school but the staff are strong, Spirit-filled believers who regularly work with students whose families come from 32 countries, many of them Muslim. They are looking for short and long term Christian teachers to share their lives with these young people and their families. Learn more at

    http://www.kisnet.org/


  12. WE’RE THANKFUL! GOD BE PRAISED! — Praise the Lord for these partners who have stepped up to the plate to help us connect the dots in 2007:

    $50 from a brother in Tulsa, OK, helping launch the Network of Azerbaijani Partnerships. This is a network of partnerships in several countries that work among and advocate for the 40 million unreached Azerbaijani people predominately in Azerbaijan, Iran, and Iraq, but also in smaller numbers in other countries in Central Asia, plus the UK and the US. Please take a moment right now to lift up the Azerbaijani people and this consortium of partnerships. Give praise that they’re hooking up and ask God to bless those who are trying to pull them all together.

    $50 from a partner in Minnesota $100 with love from some anonymous YWAMers who work in Vietnam; “God bless you richly for all you do on behalf of the unreached!”

    $25 from a partner in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

    $25 from Washington Injury Lawyers, http://www.washingtoninjury.com/ and

    $25 from Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers, http://www.beltlawfirm.com/ (Please give thanks tonight for these attorneys who are setting about to use their gifts & skills for God’s glory!)

    $216 from a worker in StoryRunners, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ using oral methods to reach Unreached People Groups. They wrote, “Thanks so much for your ongoing ministry to the missions community! I read your Brigada regularly and have benefited from it greatly! May the Lord meet ALL your needs and keep the Brigada flame bright!” Please pause tonight to lift up this innovative form of gospel outreach.

    $25 from a family headed soon to Zambia. They wrote, “I’ve been a Sr. pastor for the last 13 years here in Illinois; my wife and I are departing on Jan 10 to serve with Action International Ministries in Lusaka, Zambia. I will be involved in pastoral leadership development and my wife will be involved with pastor’s wives and children’s ministries. If the Lord would keep us in good health we hope to spend the next ten years serving the church in Africa. We are both 56. Your weekly email has proved helpful on several occasions as we have been preparing for missions. In fact, it is the only subscription email that I am keeping as we make the move. Thank you for your service to us.” Whoa. Sobering and encouraging. Please lift them up tonight.

    $25 from a worker at Global Mapping in Colorado

    $50 from a friend in Perry Hall, MD

    $100 from a new friend in Texas

    $50 from Honey Brook, PA

    $50 from Columbia, SC

    $25 from Orlando, FL

    $100 from an individual at CAL Berkeley

    We’re so thankful for these dear friends and partners. Thank you Lord!


  13. WOULD YOU BE ONE OF THE 76 PARTNERS STILL NEEDED IN 2007? — Now you can give directly from your bank account, without having to go through PayPal or a credit card. Just log on to

    http://www.teamexpansion.org/

    Click on “Resources” then “Donate” and follow the instructions. Be sure to note that the gift is for Brigada.

    Now we only need 76 more people, groups, or churches to step up to the plate. Unfortunately, only 2 more days remain in 2007. Would you be one of those 76??? If you *can’t* give, would you be willing to ask someone who might – or at least pray for someone else to step out? We still need just *one* courageous soul to give $1000 and 2 to give $500, in order to meet our 2007 needs. Here are the gifts we still need to raise in order to meet those 2007 ministry needs:

    1 (of 1) more gift of $1000

    2 (of 5) more gifts of $500

    8 (of 10) more gifts of $250

    0 (of 13) more gifts of $100

    15 (of 28) more gifts of $50

    50 (of 70) more gifts of $25

    You can pull the money from your PayPal account or from any major credit card. Or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) 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. And thank you in advance for helping.


  14. THE BACKPAGE: THE STORY OF LETUNIN AND NGOTO — Yesterday we received this note from Dorothea, who served in East Africa. She wrote, “We had to fix lots of flat tires in the desert. On one such stop we came upon an extraordinary Samburu couple, Letunin and Ngoto. While my husband Jim changed the tire and our three children played in the sand, Letunin told us this of his life story.

    Letunin and Ngoto lived far out in a desert village and understood only a few portions of Scripture that had been translated into a related language. They had become followers of Christ and were extremely happy to be married to another person who shared deep faith in Christ. Among other life lessons, they had learned of the Apostle Paul’s instructions on marriage in I Corinthians 7, telling each man and woman to have his/her own husband. (“Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”) So, as a young married couple they had vowed to follow God’s Word in this area. Letunin would not take a second wife, though most of his friends had multiple wives as soon as they could afford to feed them.

    The village people regularly laughed at this long-married couple and reminded them that because Ngoto was barren she was obviously cursed by God. It seemed obvious that Letunin should take a second wife. The women told Ngoto, “If you really loved your husband you would INSIST he take a second wife so you will have someone to take care of your camels and goats when both of you are old.” Ngoto always replied that God had the power to give them a child. The women laughed out loud at Ngoto’s non- traditional notions.

    The elders called Letunan foolish and kept urging him to take a second wife. They called Ngoto “useless.” But Letunan always answered from God’s Word, saying that each man should have his own wife (singular) and each woman her own husband (singular). The couple became the laughingstock of the entire village and amongst the larger people group.

    One morning God turned the tables. Laughter erupted from Letunan and Ngoto’s house, drawing crowds of villagers. Perhaps the couple had gone insane from years of being childless? No. Letunan came out and announced, “Ngoto is pregnant. God has the power to answer prayer. Trust Him. He can do the impossible!”

    They named the child the Samburu word for “Laughter.” It reminded them of all the years people had laughed at them, and of their belief in God’s Word. It also reminded them of the joyous laughter God brought into their lives that day.

    If you ever get the opportunity to visit this small East African village, you will find a growing Samburu church, with many Christians trying to obey what they understand of God’s Word. Many began following Christ because of Letunan and Ngoto. God used this one couple and their adherence to His Word to start a God-honoring group of Christ-followers out in the desert.

    Letunan and Ngoto stand as examples to me and to you. Follow God’s Word against all odds. He always has the power to turn situations around to bring glory to Himself.

    I have also wondered about the latter half of that chapter, which talks about remaining in the state you are when you become a follower of Christ. Could this apply to polygamy, too? Good question for Bible scholars.”

    Hats off to Dorothea for sharing this very poignant example of how difficult it is to implement life-change when gospel confronts culture. Her comments gave me further pause not only on the question of polygamy and how to handle the gospel impacting a culture. But her note also reminded me of the collective experience of the entire Brigada family. I’m so thankful for all the people who make up our collective consciousness and I give thanks to Go for the group-think that can occur when we process these questions together.

    “God, please bless Letunin and Ngoto and the rest of their congregation tonight. Please meet their needs, keep them from sickness, and give them wisdom as they try to sort out your will in every single area of their faith-walk with you. Guide them and keep them close to you. In Jesus’ name we all pray, Amen.”

    Amen.

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