Cool Tools

10) On Second Thought, Maybe Mobile Passport App Isn’t Such a Deal?

Thanks to Georgio, who gave input when we asked recently about the Mobile Passport App. He pointed out (accurately) that, to hold your information in the app, it would run you $75 for 5 years. He compared that to Global Entry (good for 5 years), which includes TSA PreCheck and suggested that maybe Global Entry is a better deal. After much consideration, we have to agree: Georgio is right. You can read about Mobile Passport at…


3) These "Flash Card" Prayer Guides Can Light Your Prayer Path

“Keys to the Kingdom” is a line of Scripture-based, topical prayer guides that are on small cards attached to a key ring. Developed and written by prayer leader Dr. Terry Teykl, the idea of the format is to have these prayers handy for the user. The key rings allow them to be hung in many locations where the user might see them regularly and be reminded to pray the prayers.


The Scripture-based prayers will teach the user both how to pray God’s Word back to Him and how to pray beyond simple fix-it prayers for a situation to cover a target with prayer for God’s purposes. See samples and/or order at…


9) As we Turn the Corner into 2019, What’s your Favorite "Cool Tool?"

We love revisiting “Cool Tools” just after the turn of the new year. Would you help us get started please? Try to think — what are the most enduring new (or old) tools that help you do your job, or just make life more fun while doing it. : ) It could be as simple as, “When packing for overseas trips, take one of those little brown extension cords in case the only plug in the room is out of reach” or whatever. What’s YOUR favorite cool tool? Just click “Comment” following this item on the web.

14) The Last Bit: How to Search for Brigada Content the Easy Way

We know, we know. You’re probably going to say, “Duh — Google.” But hey… it’s a legitimate question. For example, a Brigada participant wrote this past week, saying, “I really enjoy this service that you offer to us missionaries…. [Thanks, by the way! God be praised.] I look forward to the articles each week…. I remembering seeing just recently about the book resilient kids or MK’s or something like that but can’t seem to find the email. We have a potential family coming oversees to live and I would love to get that book into their hands before they come. Would you be able to send that to me again.” Now the truth is, it’s very possible to find this kind of thing using our built-in tools. For example, on the Brigada app on your smart device, just open the app and click the magnifying glass upper right. In this case, you could try, for example, putting in the word, “resilient” in the search box. A nanosecond later, there’s the item for which you were searching. (You haven’t installed the app? Gasp.)

Or head on over to the website at . There, you can find our index-based search engine on the landing page that uses WordPress magic to give you relevant pages from within the Brigada world — thousands upon thousands of past items are searched instantly all the way back to January, 1995 — even faster than Google could search them (especially since you won’t be searching cat videos on YouTube while you look for resilient MK stuff). What’s more, the Brigada search engine is famous because it’s pre-indexed. And there are never any ads — or anything shady. It’s all internally handled for your specific and purposeful use. To use Brigada’s own custom search, just enter your search term beside the magnifying glass upper right. You don’t even have to click to another page. And the results will be whole posts, the way they originally appeared in Brigada. This is super-helpful if you can remember the post by the picture that was associated with it.

You can still use a Google custom search too. We make it easy for you to search only the Brigada site. Just click “Search” in the top line menu. Now — using Google’s site search, you’ll see ads at the top of every search. Unfortunately, Google no longer allows users to pay a fee to get rid of those ads. But the Google search engine is configured slightly differently, so if you can’t find your item in the built-in ad-free Brigada search, you can at least try the Google site search as a backup.

Hope that helps. And yes — we answered the participant looking for the MK book and asked him to try the site search first. If he hadn’t been successful, we would have searched with him. We love you all!

3) Special Feature: Cool Tools for Offline Use

By popular request (Thanks for asking, Mike!), this week’s Brigada is featuring, among other items, Cool Tools for use in low-bandwidth situations. Maybe you’re a worker in a creative-access field with slow internet. We want to help you maximize your effectiveness in spite of bandwidth restrictions. In case we don’t mention a tool that you love, please tell us about it! Just click “Comment” under the web version of this item. Let’s find the best offline tools for Mike and everyone else plagued by small pipes!

9) Next Week: Special Cool Tools for Offline Use

cool toolsBy popular request (Thanks for asking, Mike!), next week’s Brigada will feature Cool Tools for use in low-bandwidth situations. Are you a worker in a creative-access field with slow internet? What tools have helped you maximize your effectiveness in spite of bandwidth restrictions? That’s what we’ll want to know. Please see “Submit” an item at or just email your item to Doug at DLucasatTeamExpansiondotorg

3) In Your Ideal World, What would a “Brigada App” Do?

Suppose we were going to create a Brigada ‘app’ for IOS and Android. What should it ‘do’? Think outside the box, please. If you get a moment, open our normal website in your iPhone, iPad or Android browser. How would you prefer that a specialized app would improve on your Brigada experience. We’re considering building one — and your ideas could help us a LOT in putting together something that really “scratches an itch” that matters. Thanks in advance for any help. Just click on “Comment” following the online version of this item.

7) VSee Adds Ipad App

We first learned about VSee from MAF, the airplane and technology folks. Now, VSee has released a new version of its app for iPad. This update supports receiving shared screens and annotations from PCs during group video calls. You can use group chat during video calls, view auxiliary camera feeds, and invite contacts from your iPad address book. It’s reportedly the first video chat app that’s FDA-registered and HIPAA compliant making it great for telehealth. And, in addition to being simple and secure, it’s absolutely free.

In fact, now, with the $49/month version, you get unlimited screen share for you and for your meeting participants. This is starting to look like competition even for GoToWebinar.

3) We’re Going to Send You Packing (There’s an App for that)

quinn_packingOK, here’s the deal: If you haven’t tried Quinn Genzel’s “Packing” app, you’ll want to. With Version 9.0 that was just released this past week, the app added multi-person, multi-bag list support (great for family trips), the ability to filter lists by bag and/or person, and the ability to create pre-trip “to do” lists with your packing checklists. This app will set you back 99 cents, but you’ll pay that off the first time you don’t have to buy something that you would have otherwise forgotten. The easiest way to find it is to search the app store or marketplace for your smartphone for the term, “Quinn packing” — That should get you to the right place. But to confirm, learn more about the app here:

If you’re an industrial-strength user, check out Packing Pro at

(Wade, I really owe you for this one. This is a fantastic find. Thanks from all of us who will feel — and be — more prepared for our next trip, and the one after that, and the one after that. :-) )

6) Don’t Let Power Failures Threaten your USB’s Survival

Thanks to the cool camp stove at…

You can now warm up those Vienna sausages AND recharge your USB-powered device all at once! :-) It’s a unique solution that is described as earth-friendly and practical all at the same time. We’d love some real feedback from an experienced user. (Just click “comment” below this item on the web.) (Thanks Caleb!)

3) Free Faithlife Bible App WITH NIV if you Download by April 8

This is one of those dated items. If you’re seeing this after April 8, it’s too late. Faithlife Study Bible (by Logos Software) is offering their app for FREE, as in no cost whatsoever. It’s available in IOS, Android and Kindle Fire. I can’t figure out why you WOULDN’T want to download this — unless you’re out of memory? Use it offline when your favorite online Bible isn’t available. I had been using Olive Tree, then I tried Bible Gateway. Just installed this and it’s INSTANTLY better. Search for it in your online marketplace or app store. Awesome. And now with the NIV. Free. You heard it on Brigada. :-)

3) Thuraya to Release a “SatSleeve” for iPhones

Perhaps you first saw it here, at PC Magazine’s website:,2817,2416920,00.asp

Or maybe you were actually scanning Thuraya’s own website. (“How do you know if you’re a real rugged cross-cultural worker?” You regularly scan satphone websites, right? Just kidding.)

Either way, it’s coming — if you have an iPhone 4 or 4S. Take a look at the Thuraya page. It’s basically a satellite adaptor for an iPhone. Download the brochure, get the factsheet, and start dreaming. Once it’s launched, it should provide your iPhone with virtually uninterrupted coverage throughout Europe, Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Australia. It’ll probably set you back $500 or so, with the average outgoing voice call running $1.25 per minute. Many feel that incoming text messages will be free. Those with an iPhone 5 will have to wait for the wi-fi version, which will run upwards of $700. Of course, those of us who believe in a CASE for our iPhone will have to struggle to get our unit in and out of the case before sleeving up. hassle. :-) But if you’re hiking that five-day trip out to the foothills of the Himalayas to visit that outlying tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, this would be worth its weight in gold. No cell towers out there. :-)

(Keith, thanks for taking time to submit this item from the Balkans!)

5) Revolting Soccer Balls: Do They Really Work?

soccketball[Note: We have just learned that Soccket balls have sold out of the current generation. Check their website soon, however, for a new generation that promises to be even more efficient.]

Anyone done any kick-arounds with these “Soccket” electrical generators? I’m serious: These are soccer balls that make electricity. Finally, my critics will see that there is a PURPOSE in soccer (more than me just enjoying it). Learn more at…

(By the way, read the cool story about their creation here…

Pretty awesome. These weren’t techies. They weren’t even engineers. This was a single Harvard class on science and the arts. Love it. Imagine the 13-year-old kid whose mother says, “Raul, will you go make some more electricity please? Your sister has to finish this book about Simon Bolivar.” “Ohhhhh all right Mama. [sigh] If that’s what you want.” He tries to hide his enthusiasm and play the part of a martyr. Then proceeds to go find 5 other guys for a fast 3-on-3 small-sided game. He comes back in 45 minutes and little Carmelita now has another 3 hours of reading time with her history book. “Anything to help the family,” he sighs. :-) Gotta love it. How can YOU and your teams use these pelotas? :-)

4) Like a “Thompson Chain Reference Bible” on Steroids

Remember the good ole days, when we turned to our “Thompson Chain Reference Bibles” to look up everything related to a particular verse or topic? Another approach was to use Nave’s Topical Bible, or a Bible Dictionary or Encyclopedia. Nowadays, those who own a good piece of Bible software might find that their Bible software becomes a “Thompson’s” on steroids. For example, Logos 5 features a new Topic Guide that connects to the Logos system (if Internet is available) to find every single nugget of related knowledge about a particular theme or issue, and it does it in seconds rather than minutes. You can find related media, lists of verses, profiles of related people, places, things or events. Learn more about Logos at

I think if you buy using that link, in fact, they give you a 15% discount off the standard pricing (and they make a gift to Brigada too; not sure how that math works, but it apparently does).

9) Loved my New International Phone Sim Card

Last week while traveling in Europe, I packed an upgraded sim card from Go-Sim…

The “new” capabilities deal with making it easier to deal with the call-back concepts used by Go-Sim and other vendors like them. The assigned number they gave me this time was a British number (rather than the Estonian number that I’ve been using with them for a number of years.) It was, in a word, EASY. The rates were great, coverage was wide (both voice and text), and the customer service (and infrastructure) was excellent. Highly recommended, affordable, and practical in scores of lands. Watch for the term “ekit” — because that’s a sign that they’ve shipped you one of the new sim cards.

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