14) The Last Bit: The Tension Between Relief and Local Economies

There are times that our efforts to do “relief” can clash with local business people. Have you ever thought about it before? Someone ships in a container of clothing, gives it away at a local church, and three local clothing shops go out of business because they can’t compete with “free” clothes. This past week, a Brigada participant named Jen wrote to us about this idea. She wrote in regard to free handouts (shipped in as a form of relief) and we’ve adapted her comments here for a broader audience. She wrote, “Who are we to bring in these items to hand out for free and put local people out of business?  I live in Mali, West Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world, and everywhere I go there are guys on the corner selling inexpensive things. For the locals, they cost less than $1 (I have to pay $2 😏). Even at that low price, those vendors are making a living somehow. Who are we to come in and undercut their livelihood? I’ve never been in a Malian village that didn’t sell basic clothing items and where therefore someone was depending on selling these items to feed his family. But if some mission team came in with free clothing items for everybody, I suspect his kids would go hungry. I feel this way even about larger scale items. A few years ago I heard about an org that distributed the most basic wheelchairs in Ghana. If Ghana is anything like Mali (and they are in fact more prosperous), there are local blacksmiths who build perfectly adequate wheelchairs, and have the capability to repair them. I couldn’t help but wonder if the org would need to fly in repair persons for their fancy wheelchairs (or if they would simply be discarded as so often happens here when foreign imports break). How many more wheelchairs could have been provided if they had used their funds to buy locally (cheaper than imports PLUS you save the cost of air freight) and deposit funds for maintenance with a local partner?”


What’s your feeling regarding the tension between relief and local economies? How do you know “when helping hurts” (to quote Fikkert’s book title)? How do you avoid hurting those who try to help locally? Please click comment if you have advice. Thanks in advance for your help! (And thanks, Jen, for your pondering!)


12) Upcoming Medair ROC for Future International Roles

Medair is a humanitarian organization inspired by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places. They bring relief and recovery to people in crisis, regardless of race, creed or nationality. Participating in the Medair ROC (Relief & Recovery Orientation Course) prepares job applicants for international roles. Learn more at


If interested in the September ROC, apply here:


12) You Will be Moved by "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"

Have you seen “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (available on Netflix)? It’s about a young boy in Malawi trying to make it through life in spite of his family’s poverty and the political forces around him. He loves science and wants to learn — but there are so many enemies that seem to want to keep him away. The movie seems fit for ages 12 and above for sure. There’s a scene or two of fighting, but nothing that a young lad wouldn’t see on any other prime-time drama. Frankly, the life lessons about trying to make it in the midst of a corrupt democracy is pretty chilling. You’ll ponder this one for a long time after viewing it. Learn more about the movie on the BBC’s synopsis page at…


14) The BackPage: Fundraising and Development Remixed

Africa Feeding KidsThanks to Pat, who shared this past week this article from the New Republic…

[2 Warnings: It’s a VERY long article and second, the author uses some “choice” words in writing the article, apparently trying to achieve some “effect.” If you can get past those two downsides, the article does EXACTLY what Pat asserted: it challenges our thinking. Yikes.]

We’ve all come across “Helping without Hurting.” We want to believe we’re making things better, both around the world as well as inside our orgs. But, among other things, this article gives numerous examples of unintended circumstances, some of which are quite messy.

At the end of the day, one thing is for certain: Our initiatives will all have an impact. It behooves all of us to bump up our level of concern about what it is we’re actually accomplishing, as well as how we’re reporting on it.

What were your thoughts about the content of the article (aside from the ‘choice words’)?

11) CHE Training in Dallas-Ft. Worth

Want to do holistic ministry? Pioneer Bible Translators, in collaboration with the Global CHE Network will be offering training in Community Health Evangelism (CHE) in Grand Prairie, Texas, January 27-31, 2014. CHE integrates evangelism and discipleship with disease prevention and community based development. A 2-day Vision Seminar is available for $50, or the complete 5-day Training of Trainers (TOT1) formation costs $180.  Both programs include CHE materials and lunches each day.  For more details and registration, go to

9) Director of Resource Development position opportunity —

Do you have a passion to see Scripture-based media bringing about life transformation in the two-thirds world? Does building relationships and developing resources for indigenous ministries resonate with you? Ethno Media Associates (EMA) is a new US-based 501(c)(3) that is looking for a resource development director to forward Scripture-based audio and video production in native languages throughout Latin America. For a description of this faith-support role, email Rick at:



6) Christian Economic Development Institute in Guatemala —

The upcoming Christian Economic Development Institute (CEDI) in Guatemala is slated for November 7th – 13th, 2010. Missions Frontier will host the event at the Hotel Casa del Rey in Chichicastenango, and the training will be delivered in Spanish. Read about the courses offered — involving microfinance, church-centered savings programs, entrepreneurships, the prices, and more details at…

2) Get Involved in the upcoming CEDI Forum —

Check out the upcoming Christian Economic Development Institute (CEDI) in Guatemala this November 7th – 13th, 2010. Missions Frontier will host the event at the Hotel Casa del Rey in Chichicastenango, and the training will be delivered in Spanish. Shared accommodations for the week-long event start at $500 USD, or private rooms are available for $725 USD. These prices include course fees, training materials, food and lodging. Please prayerfully consider whether you or someone you know in Guatemala should attend this training. Visit our website to read more about what a CEDI is or register for the event at Learn more about the courses offered at this training by reading the descriptions included below. Please contact me by phone at 706-956-4119 or via email at href="http://wwwdotbrigadadotorg/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/amydotkuenzelatchalmersdotorg_.jpg">title="amydotkuenzelatchalmersdotorg" src="http://wwwdotbrigadadotorg/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/amydotkuenzelatchalmersdotorg_.jpg" alt="" width="205" height="20" /> for assistance with any questions

6) The Poor, The Homeless, The Imigrants, And The Wealthy

*** An 18 year-old runway who has just taken his first hit of heroin, trying to escape a past he’d rather forget, while also wrestling with a future that seems hopeless.
*** A young, successful financial advisor who seems to have everything, but constantly searches for something to fulfill his empty life.
*** A 52 year-old Vietnam veteran who finds himself homeless, struggling with mental illness and simply finding ways to survive from day-to-day.
*** A Nepali nurse who has recently arrived to San Francisco, with little knowledge of English and facing a $12 an hour menial job to provide for her family.

YWAM SanFrancisco invites you to travel to California and meet the people in San Francisco. They want each one to come face to face with Jesus.

or email

8) Preach And Heal

In a new book, “Preach and Heal,” Charles Fielding offers a compelling argument that Jesus’ intention is for his disciples to do both evangelism and humanitarian work. Fielding, a medical doctor who has served as a church planter, explores the concept of balanced ministry and offers insights into a dozen practical strategies for reaching the lost by both preaching and healing. Fielding presents a balanced approach to a wide range of ministry approaches, from hospice and rehabilitation to tuberculosis and AIDS, in villages as well as slums, prisons, and refugee camps. Four appendices break down the steps of hospice, rehab, community development, and tuberculosis strategies. “Preach and Heal” is available at

or by calling (800)999-3113. Quantity discounts are available.

2) Transforming Nations/Neighborhoods Community By Community

Are you interested in establishing a Community-Based Development Program integrating the physical and the spiritual? LifeWind International’s (formerly Medical Ambassadors International) Training of Trainers (TOT) introduces people to Community Health Evangelism (CHE). This strategy teaches concepts, gives vision and practical How Tos for implementing and managing CHE in your ministry. The next training date in the USA is slated for September 15-20, 2008. This training will be a dual training for International CHE and Neighborhood Transformation for Urban CHE. For more information on this specific training visit,
or contact

International Water Missions Training, Oct 9-11, 2008

Every aspect of the PureWater PureLife Water Training Conference is designed to help ordinary people…missionaries, short-term mission teams, disaster relief workers… understand drinking water problems and learn practical ways to help. The 3 day conference features a blend of classroom sessions and hands-on experience. The training will take place at Country Lakes Christian Retreat Center, Underwood, Indiana (20 minutes from Louisville, Kentucky, USA), October 9- 11, 2008. Participants will learn to assess a village’s water and health situation, test water for harmful bacteria and heavy metals, teach basic health/sanitation concepts, purify water using a simple chlorinator that runs using salt and a car battery, and assemble and operate a mini-water treatment plant including storage tanks. Only 75 students will be accepted. For for complete training conference information and online registration visit:
For more info call Bob at 502-719-9845 or e-mail
edgeoutreach(dot)com (Replace “at” with @, “dot” with ., then reassemble the email address onto one line.)

20060903 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. HEARD THE LATEST? CALEB PROJECT + ACMC = INITIATIVE360 — That’s right. Caleb Project is no more. ACMC a thing of the past. Save your books and conference brochures. They’re now collectors’ items. :-) Sell ’em on some eBay missions chat room somewhere. Make millions. Tithe to initiative360. That’s the new result. Greg + Brent equals “Take it Global”. That’s their website, in fact:

    As a partnership of members, Initiative360 will walk alongside churches on their missional journey with life-changing products, services, curriculum, and real-time experiences. Sounds like a perfect marriage of two top-notch organizations. We look forward to hearing more.

  2. THE GLORY STORY PROJECT — Here’s a DVD that tells the story from Genesis to Revelation in animation. The whole Bible story in 10 minute chapters, is told in just under two hours. Two Covenants, two DVD’s, one story, The Glory Story. These guys sent me samples of this product and, honestly, it’s a cool idea that you could use with children *and* adults. Pull the snippets for upcoming messages on practically any topic in the Word. Interested? Watch the film trailers at The Glory Story website:

    They’ve also shared still pictures & text CD’s as well. With these, you tell the story personally. View all of the pictures at The Glory Story website.

  3. FREE SERVICES ABOUNDING ON THE NET — I’m kind of surprised by all the free services that are once again cropping up on the Internet. One of the columnists I read regularly was recently observing them: Mapquest, Google search, Google news, YouTube, Flickr, Putfile, Gmail, Skype, GTalk, jot, photobucket, … and the list goes on and on and on… How all these services sell enough ads to stay in business, I’ll never know. Maybe they don’t… in which case they end up getting bought out … or they start charging us someday, once we’re hooked. Either way, in the meantime, those of us who like a good deal should be able to find it out there online somewhere. Just be careful not to tie up a lot of your media without a backup. Someday we might try to access our stuff, only to find it’s vanished like a puff of smoke.

  4. INTERNET SEARCH WARNING TO WORKERS IN SENSITIVE COUNTRIES — [Thanks to the anonymous worker in an anonymous sensitive country who wrote, …] If you serve in a sensitive country, chances are you try to keep information about your work off the internet. So how would you know if some well-meaning church or organization is posting your newsletter on their website. Of course, you search the internet, right? WRONG! Every time you request info via a search engine you are again reminding that search engine that it needs to keep a history of whatever key words you are searching for. Even if you contact the offending website and get the original page deleted, the page lives on in the history of the search engine. You are in a catch 22 position. The more you do the searches, the more you are hurting yourself. Stop searching so that the history of these search engines will eventually “forget” you. Make sense? Don’t search!

  5. THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE: “WE WANT TO LEARN” — Amanda, a 24-year-old Christian woman lives in Grunau, Namibia. She is a single, unemployed Nama. Although she is a member of a Lutheran church, the church does not reach to unsaved people. Amanda wanted to start a Bible study in her home, but the church did not encourage it, and she had no materials. While two Christian workers visited her, they shared and discussed the principles of Pioneer Evangelism and left tracts and Bible portions from the book of John for her to use. They prayed for her mother, who had been a church leader. In the final stages of AIDS, the older woman is no longer welcome at the church. Please pray for Amanda to be strong in her faith. Pray that she will continue to have courage to reach out to the unsaved and ostracized. Pray that the members of this church will come to know the true meaning of grace, peace and mercy that comes with having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for continued teaching so these forgotten people will come to know the truth of God’s Word. Adopt the Nama/Damara people for prayer by visiting or email lynchdp(at)iafrica(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  6. PERSECUTED CHURCH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NETWORK ESTABLISHED — Responding to the serious, growing economic challenge for persecuted Christians, 16 leaders from 11 international organizations met recently in Atlanta to form the Persecuted Church Economic Development Network (PCEDN) to explore how the global church can assist fellow believers. In addition to discussing the status of the persecuted church, the group also agreed on broad definitions relating to micro-finance, sustainable small and large enterprise development, tentmaking and macro-economic conditions. Moreover, leaders identified critical roadblocks to economically helping the emerging, persecuted church. PCEDN Working Groups will address the need for sustainable economic develop models and standards for training and consulting with the emerging church. Plans are also underway for a PCEDN enewsletter and website. The next global meeting of the PCEDN will be held spring 2007 in Bangkok. For more information contact David,

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

    The working consultation was developed and facilitated by visionSynergy

  7. WHY DID YOUNG ISAIAH FEEL GUILTY? — He tells us he saw the Lord, he heard angels calling to one another, he realized that he himself was ‘unclean’ in the presence of a holy God. So what happened next? To find out, go to

    Click on “Choose a Bible book” and select Isaiah Unit 9 “The Problem of Guilt” by Raymond Brown is translated into EasyEnglish Level B (2800 word vocabulary) by Mary Read.

  8. GATHERING OF LATIN AMERICAN COMICS ARTISTS — COMIX35 is calling on all Christian cartoonists and comics artists from Central and South America to gather at this year’s combined Letra Viva Consulta and LITT- WORLD 2006 conference near Sao Paulo, Brazil from November 12 to 17. In addition to the opportunity for fellowship and discussion with other Christian comics producers, and to hear practical and inspirational talks by the LITT-WORLD speakers, attending artists will also meet many Christian writers, editors, and publishers.

    For information in Spanish on the LITT-WORLD 2006 event, go to

    Information in Portuguese on the LITT-WORLD 2006 event, go to

    To learn more about the work of COMIX35, visit their web site at

  9. THE ZHUANG OF SOUTHERN CHINA — October 1st begins a month long prayer emphasis for the over 17 million unreached Zhuang of Southern China. They are the largest people group in the world without a Bible in their own language. Each month on the first is a time of prayer and fasting on behalf of Zhuang, but in the month of October each year there is a special emphasis. There is a full color prayer guide “31 Days for the Zhuang” available in several languages. The price is US $1 per book for one to fifty copies, after 50 copies it is sixty cents a copy and the postage charge to mail them. To be added to the list of those who are taking part, or to receive the prayer guide, write:

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

  10. ONLY 3 MONTHS LEFT TO HELP BRIGADA PAY ITS SECRETARY FOR 2006 — If you were considering helping Brigada during 2006 but haven’t yet, now would be a *reeeeeeeally* good time. Only 3 months remain. Want to help underwrite this weekly newsletter for thousands of overseas readers who don’t have access to checking accounts or credit cards? If you subscribe to another magazine, consider donating the cost of a subscription . . . or give double, so you can pay someone else’s share too. Just click on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a 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. 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. In any case, thanks for considering Brigada in your estate giving, your monthly church missions fund, and/or your own personal giving for this calendar year.

  11. THE BACKPAGE: “HURTING YOU IS LIKE HURTING ME” — With 3 school shootings in 5 days, the USA is reeling as it seeks to come to grips with violence played out against its most vulnerable citizens — it’s young people. Our mission happens to be engaged in purchasing some gazebos for use as prayer shelters . . . and we’re buying the kits from a company in Pennsylvania with several Amish employees. Yesterday morning, I picked up the phone and called to let them know that, “If someone hurts one of your children, it’s like they hurt one of mine.” The owner of the company took time to talk to me for 20′, I bet. He had gone to school as a child just a mile from the site of the most recent shooting, a one-room schoolhouse in rural PA. He transferred my call to a sales rep who was having a hard time . . . and before the day was done, they asked my permission to have one of their delivery guys call me. He was on the road in Maine… unable to process and debrief the shootings with his colleagues back in PA. In the middle of our phone call, he broke down and cried at the prospect that a random guy in Louisville would express identification with him and his neighbors of a different faith.

    All of the above led me to conclude that we probably need to be more intentional about *empathy*. I mean… think about Jesus’ life: much of it was built around the concept of empathy. He walked our dusty paths, ate our food, was tempted with the same transgressions — yet remained sinless. Gave his life… rose again… so that in turn, we could empathize with Him in his struggle and victory.

    So maybe it’s a key principle of the Christian faith . . .and one that we should/could employ on a daily basis. With whom can you empathize today? How can you express it? Simple words and prayers might be enough. They seemed to work for a bunch of builders in Pennsylvania. But you could also choose greeting cards, flowers, visits, cookies, emails, phone calls, … the list is endless. Let’s practice empathy and walk dusty roads with someone who needs a friend — today.

20060521 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. SPECIALIZED MINISTRIES FOR SPECIAL TASKS — God raises up unique ministries for special tasks in Christ’s mission. Talking Bibles International trains and equips people from other churches and missions to help them provide Talking Bibles for non-readers and the blind. If you or your ministry could use help from a Talkingn Bibles representative, perhaps to shape strategy or plan outreach, visit: or write info(at)talkingbibles(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  2. CATCH TESOL IN SOUTHEAST ASIA — Now you can study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in Chiang Rai, Thailand, October 2-27, 2006 . This TESOL is a four-week course to teach people how to teach English as a second/foreign language. This course is registered with the University of the Nations, Kona, the international training body of Youth With A Mission and is accredited through Sea English Academy International in Australia and carries with it an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV. Upon successful completion of this course, the TESOL graduate will be qualified to teach ESL or EFL in almost every country in the world. The class size is limited so early inquiries are recommended. Application and reference forms will be sent via email. Contact chiangraitesol(at)gmail(dot)com for further information or for an application. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  3. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES FROM US — Get great calling rates for domestic (starting at 1.9cents/min to continental US and Canada) and international calls (200 countries for less than 10cents/min …UK 3cents, France 3cents, Russia/Moscow 2.5cents, Israel 3.2cents, Colombia/SA 4.2cents, South Africa 9cents). Call from any touchtone phone including cell. Prepaid service. No contracts. No monthly, activation, or connection fees. No need to switch carriers. Up to 470 FREE minutes on signup. Lots of convenience features. For more info go to: An agent affiliate program with good income potential is also available at no cost to sign up. (By the way, thanks to Judy and her crew for the recent sponsorship $14 gift to Brigada based on those of you that had signed up for long distance with her. It’s a great system. Have at it!)

  4. PROFESSIONAL COACHING TRAINING TO MULTIPLY YOUR IMPACT — Don’t tell people what to do, help them to think better! Transformational leadership requires new ways of communicating with those you work with. Coaching skills are essential. Introducing the 65-hour Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program. A first of it’s kind, this program is for leaders who wish to gain coaching skills and take on a part-time or full-time coaching role in their ministry. The “beta” course will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand October 30 – November 3, 2006. For complete details go to: or e-mail for an alternative web site with little Christian language keith(at)asiacoaches(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  5. PARTNERSHIP TRAINING THAT REALLY WORKS — If you are called to faith ministry and terrified of raising support, this training can work for you. It gives you the thorough communication training, coaching and relational skill development that will equip you for a lifetime of ministry. The secret for results is two-way, live, interactive video conferencing that builds skill and confidence over a three week period. They send you the video conferencing unit which is easy to plug in and use. You meet on line for two or three hours a week and work on practical assignments in between sessions. All you need is high speed internet and a TV monitor. It is low cost (especially if you can get four to six people together) and results are guaranteed. Check out the website:

    Or send an e-mail:

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

  6. ANOTHER WAY TO GEAR UP FOR TEACHING ENGLISH — Can’t wait ’til October? Thailand not in your travel plans? Try TESOL Training in Hong Kong, July 18-21, 2006 by Tony Mendoza of Jesus Is Supreme Global Outreach Society. It is a program of Project Light International, a U.S.-Accredited TESOL Certificate Training Program from that will be held at Shepherd’s Heart Family Christian Church, Longos, Bacoor, Cavite (just right after the Las Pinas and Bacoor Boundary at Coastal Road). The course contents are 1) Nature, culture and context, 2) Essential language teaching theories, 3) Lesson planning, assessment and instructional material preparation, 4) Team and individual teaching activities, 5) CD-ROM tutorial training, 6) Tentmaking and Missions, 7) Observed teaching component. There will also be TESOL Trainers Training Course during the afternoon sessions. For more information email shemfamily(at)yahoo(dot)com or call or text Carol at (63)928-3416817. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  7. CHRISTIAN DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE 2006 — From September 22-26, 2006 about ten international speakers will meet about 140 participants to discuss development issues from a Christian perspective. Main topics include “The role of local Christians in Community Development (Focus on HIV/AIDS and Reconciliation)” and “Linking Relief and Development”. Keynote addresses, practical workshops, and tracks are offered to help participants in aspects of their work and life. More information at While there, pick up a CD of the last conference containing all speeches (mp3, ppt) and lots of additional material for just $20. See the content at

    Send your request to ccd(at)awm-korntal(dot)de [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]”

  8. MISSION COMMISSION LEADERSHIP TO CHANGE AT CONFERENCE — South Africa will mark a leadership transition during the Mission Commission’s 10th International Convocation, June 18-24. At this global consultation for mutual encouragement, common work and greater understanding of the mission enterprise around the globe, participants examine global issues and challenges, plan their joint work and strategies, and foster the in-depth relationships without which the MC could not function. This will be a special conference, because after twenty years at the helm of the MC, Dr. William (Bill) Taylor will hand over the direction of the MC to Dr. Bertil Ekstrom. Learn more at

  9. GREAT CALLING RATES FOR BROADBAND USERS — VoIP service is now available using a small adapter unit on cable or DSL connections with unlimited calling to US and Canada for $19.95 per month (and very low international rates). Check out details at This service can be used to call from international locations as long as they have compatible cable or DSL connections, and a US or Canadian address for credit card billing and shipping of the phone connection adapter unit. There is a one time setup and shipping charge of $46.90 for this service, but the first month of calling to US and Canada is currently free to offset some of the initial costs. A portion of every new subscription will allow Judy to pitch in on Brigada costs here… so please … let’s all get talking! :-)

  10. TESOL TRAINING IN EUROPE! — YWAM Latvia is running a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certification course this summer! So if neither Thailand nor Hong Kong will work, maybe Latvia will do it. They’ll cover topics such as basic theories and methods of teaching English, intercultural communication for teachers, classroom management, how to work with different learning styles, testing, principles of language acquisition, as well as the how to use English as a ministry tool. The certificate you will receive at the end is an internationally recognized TESOL certificate and will be accredited through the University of the Nations. It will be a 4-week course with an optional 5th week of English camp/outreach at the end. It will be held at the YWAM base in Valdemarpils, Latvia, and will run from July 23 – August 18 (or to the 23rd for camp). The cost is only $995 which includes all teaching, room & board and materials. (To stay for camp will be an extra $100.) For more information, contact Lydia at tesol(at)ywamlatvia(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] and/or find more info at

  11. INVEST IN BRIGADA’S FUTURE — Want to help Brigada spread the news about missions resources, unreached peoples, and outreach conferences all around the world? Just click on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a 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. 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. In any case, thanks for considering Brigada in your estate giving, your monthly church missions fund, and/or your own personal giving for this calendar year.

  12. WHERE DO YOU TURN TO FIND MISSIONS PASTOR OPPORTUNITIES? — Mark’s wondering where you go for Missions pastors’ openings. He’s visited but sees almost nothing from churches looking for a missions pastor or director or outreach pastor or director. Now he’s wondering if there’s a better option somewhere. Is there a site that is more focused on finding missions personnel? If you have an option, write Mark mark_simpson53(at)hotmail(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  13. THE BACKPAGE: TODAY I SHOT A MOLE — That’s right. I’m a murderer. :-) Last week my wife complained that a mole was tearing up our front yard. Those new runways were for him, I’m sure, shopping aisles for all sorts of snacks. But for her, they were ugly cracks in the new lawn we had just re-seeded last fall. And her flower bed was nearly vaporized by the little guy. I felt sorry for Penny, but didn’t know how much good I’d do. I scattered the obligatory white grubworm poison — instant death to the mole’s favorite party menu items. No dice. He still kept nosing around our yard, in search of other tidbits. Next I scattered some castor-oil-type powder, guaranteed to annoy him. I guess the stuff is supposed to taste, to him, about like onions do to me. Sadly enough, our unwelcome guest seemed all the more determined to haunt our front hard like a devious ghost from a bad science fiction movie.

    Today it was time for desperate measures.

    As I returned the ladder to the garage after mounting a wall hanging for her, I saw the sod had been pushed a little farther than it had been earlier in the morning. Quietly, I just stood there watching the grass, frozen in my tracks. Sure enough, in a few moments, the ground started quivering. I was witnessing “mole at work” in real-time. This was an amazing moment… surreal… almost religious in nature. :-) Ever so gently, I laid down the ladder and retreated to the basement for my Ruger .22 Mark III Hunter handgun, complete with standard fiber- optic sights. Yes we live in a subdivision, and yes today was a holiday with *lots* of neighbors of all ages outside…. and yes I held the gun pointed at the ground, kind of like a federal agent stalking a mole at CTU. (Remember, I’ve just finished watching 5 seasons worth of “24” in 5 weeks. :-)) I paused just long enough to try to imagine where his head might be. (Well you didn’t think I was going to aim for his knee did you? I was trying to *stop* him, not interrogate him.)

    That’s when it happened. As the shot rang out, I pictured every housewife (and househusband, for that matter) within a 10-block radius calling 911 with a report of a madman stalking something in the sod. The good news was, the kill was swift. All it took was 1 round and, I suppose you could say the little critter then had quite a headache. I parted the sod with a shovel I had retrieved from the garage. There he was. (Right through his skull. And he would have made such a nice mount, otherwise. :-) ) Well, you can guess my glee when my wife proclaimed me her hero… and my 16-year-old added that I was, “Cooler than ever.” Later, as I buried the little guy in strip of woods behind our backyard, I wondered what one says at a graveside service for a mole. Surely there are certain prescribed words expected at all such events. And in fact, as I pondered the moment, I began to draw some hard-earned lessons from the day’s events — some of which just might apply to missionaries, as they enter new cultures. Let’s see…

    *** First, find a way to bring value: If, when we enter someone else’s yard, we only focus on our own interests, some host, somewhere, is bound to eventually become annoyed by *something* we break or abuse. We’ve got to bring something of value if we expect to survive in life. Leave the world better than you found it. In the mole’s case, some might argue he brings air to the roots. My wife thinks otherwise when the mower chokes on his runways and mine shafts, spewing out dirt in all directions. So — lesson learned… find a way to bring some value to your host country’s lives. Keep your nose clean.

    *** Observe, like the bunny: Of all things… my wife *feeds* the bunny rabbits. They’re somehow cool and furry. Meanwhile, she hires hit men for the moles. These dirty guys are like… in their own world. But the bunnies sit there quietly, across the yard, taking everything in — learning about their environment, carefully aware of their surroundings. So observe; listen; inquire. Be a bunny.

    *** Finally, don’t dare be caught sneaking around: Part of the reason my wife was so quick to take out a contract on this guy was because he was nameless, faceless, invisible — yet troublesome. So make friends. Establish relationships. It was ok for E.T. to be an alien, but it won’t work for you. It sure didn’t for this mole. You’ve got to forge *friendship* with your new world. And not just with anybody. Find the people in charge. (In this case, my wife. :-) ) Engage. Build bridges, not tunnels. You’ll be glad you did.

    With the graveside service complete, I turned the last spade of dirt and headed for the house. Supper tasted extra good tonight. I was a hero. Order was restored… for everyone but the mole, that is. Now it was time for debriefing. Sigh. Oops. Forgot to clean the gun. Gotta run.

20051120 Brigada Today

In this issue…


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, 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!)
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 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 . 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
7. THIS WEDNESDAY, GET FREE ANTISPAMWARE — That’s right… Thanks to an educational campaign, sponsored by 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: (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: (maybe the 1st link is dead here?) (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 where you can post your testimony and impact others… and $20 from the folks at Send Global airtime 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: 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 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? :-)

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