online courses

Online Training in Relationship-based Research

calebresourcesPioneering new ministry or seeking deeper insights into the culture where you live? Learn relationship-based research techniques used by short-term teams, church planters, strategists, and students around the world since 1988. Encounter Culture is a 10-week experiential training course developed by Caleb Resources using the book, “Exploring the Land.” A class begins September 15, 2009, and the next one is scheduled for January 15, 2010.

http://www.calebresources.org/node/270

11) The Back Page: Windfall of Training Booklets

Whoa… This looks really good. Here are five practical training manuals which each offer 26 hours of instruction, sharing a vision for saturation church planting as well as practical principles and priorities for accomplishing local church plants. They’re designed for modular instruction in a working seminar format. The training schedule can be adapted for work/ministry realities of your trainees. The price? Free. Hard to believe? Check it out. See the overview at…

Get the digital copies theallianceat…

 

 

 

http://www.alliancescp.org/resources/omegacourse.html

If you’ve been reading Brigada since 1995 and this is the only resource you’ve ever garnered, this one resource just might be worth it all. :-)

The same group also offers a mentoring guidebook at…

http://www.alliancescp.org/resources/mentoringmanual.html
I have a note into the author… but the main organization there (the “alliance”) has long since shut down. Either way, the copyright release says this is, for the most part, free for use. Amazing materials. Thanks to all those who took part in writing them!!!

(Thanks for the tip, Paul!)

8) Free Online Conference Room

If you are looking for a convenient and inexpensive way of increasing collaboration in your organization with members separated by distances, you might find this free online conference room useful. Flash version / cross platform (PC, Mac, Linux), Audio/Visual, Power Point, Browser, Chat, Send Files to Participants, Secure (more secure than most banks require), Worldwide Access, Desktop Sharing (Coming). This operates at low & high speeds and is very user friendly. This free version has a limit of 10 participants. To get this online conference room, go to:

http://hotconference1.myinternetools.com/

3) Don’t Loose Perspective In 2009

Keeping a kingdom perspective during trying economic times is essential. The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course may be your answer to help you refocus and find your place in extending God’s kingdom in the nations. Perspectives 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

4) Raise Your Full Support In Less Than Ten Months

Guaranteed Results! Kingdom Come Training has recently completed an eight-month study of six leading faith mission agencies, and has learned that with the right training, coaching and follow-up process missionaries can reasonably expect to raise their full budget within ten months. As a result, KCT has added expert staff and revised its identity from being just a training provider, to a provider of training, coaching and accountability through the entire process of raising support. They now guarantee if you apply their training and coaching you will add $500 to $1000 to your support goal every month or your fees will be refunded. There is no financial risk. The training and coaching is done conveniently in your home through live, interactive multipoint videoconferencing. No travel costs! Log on at

http://www.kingdomcometraining.com/

or give Jerry a call at +(503)314-7211 or email

20070805 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. FREE ONLINE COURSES FROM MIT
  2. KINGDOM CATALYST CONFERENCE – BUSINESS AND MISSIONS, ETC
  3. BE SURE TO RECRUIT THE PRAYER TEAM
  4. MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE WITH BRIGADA
  5. CLOSING STUFF

  1. FREE ONLINE COURSES FROM MIT — For those interested in self-directed education while on the field or in preparing to go overseas, there are a large number (1550!) of courses currently available online from MIT through their OCW (OpenCourseWare) program. Non-credit course offerings include extensive language and culture programs in Chinese, Japanese, German, and French, as well as offerings in the fields of business, linguistics, engineering, and many others. The courses are designed so that the needed materials (audio and text files) are downloaded for free and studied independently and in a self-paced fashion. Some courses have also been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese. No registration is required as the materials are intended for self-study. Find details and a complete course list at:

    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm

    (Thanks to the anonymous reader who reminded us of these materials. I was thinking we had mentioned them previously, but can’t find the reference right now. Either way, it’s a great treasure trove of information!)


  2. KINGDOM CATALYST CONFERENCE – BUSINESS AND MISSIONS, ETC — God is going to use His largely untapped workforce in the spheres of Business, Religion, Media, Arts & Entertainment, Education, Government, and the Family to complete the job He launched in Matthew 28:18-20. Organizers of The Kingdom Catalyst Conference hope it can serve to identify people, processes, and procedures needed to lay a foundation of transformation by training Christian leaders of today and tomorrow. The conference dates are Oct 31 – Nov 3, 2007, Dallas, TX. For more information, browse to

    http://www.kingdomcatalyst.org

    or call: 972.829.8753. or contact conference(at)kingdomcatalyst(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  3. BE SURE TO RECRUIT THE PRAYER TEAM — Neal Pirolo, Author of “Serving as Senders” and faithful Brigada participant, recently wrote us to affirm our admonition to develop prayer teams (in the June 22nd issue of Brigada Today). He remembered, “As I state in the preface of my book, Serving As Senders, I was sitting in the upper level of the U of IL at Urbana. My mind was dreaming of the 17,000 college students listening to the heavy-weights challenge people in missions. At the time I was directing a one-year ministry school with 90-95 students. My attention was arrested as the speaker said, ‘In secular war, for every one who goes to the front line of battle there are a minimum of 10 backing him up on the line of communication. In spiritual warfare how can we expect to win with any less?’ Without having had any experience or knowledge of war, as soon as a prospective student called about enrolling in our school, I would say, ‘Even as the application is coming to you in the mail, immediately begin developing a team of 10 (yourself +9) to sustain you in prayer, because you are entering a battle field more intense than you have ever experienced.’ And, of course, now with our push for the REST OF THE TEAM, the need for a minimum of TEN has become even more apparent.”

    Good observations, Neal — and very relevant. Thanks!


  4. MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE WITH BRIGADA — Because our requests for funding are lower than many other ministries, your gift, regardless of size, can make a huge difference. Check out the “Donate” page to see how little we are shooting for during 2007… and how far we have to go. Just click to:

    http://www.brigada.org/donate.html

    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.

20070708 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. TRAINING ON MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
  2. HELP OTHERS EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF MISSIONS
  3. TRY THIS FREE BOOKLET FOR NEW WORKERS
  4. SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT LONG-TERM HARM
  5. NEW SITE THAT RESPECTS AND WITNESSES TO MUSLIMS
  6. RECOMMENDED SHIPPER
  7. SOURCE FOR SWAHILI BIBLES
  8. OPPORTUNITY IN CENTRAL ASIA
  9. THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT AND SPONSORSHIP
  10. UNDERGIRD BRIGADA
  11. CLOSING STUFF

  1. TRAINING ON MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT — The Chalmers Center for Economic Development offers low-cost email-based distance learning courses on how to minister to the poor without creating dependency. This training “helps the church to help the poor help themselves.” A course called “Principles and Practices of Christian Microfinance and Microenterprise Development” gives you an overview to microenterprise development and microfinance and orients you to the selection and design of a holistic intervention appropriate for your ministry context. Cost of this seven-week course is $199 (USD) plus the cost of separately ordered course material. The course will be offered on Jan. 7 – Feb. 22, 2008.

    The prerequisite course is called “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry.” It helps you understand appropriate goals and strategies for conducting Christian development in poor communities. Cost of this four-week course is $75 (USD) plus the cost of separately ordered course material. The next offering is scheduled for Oct. 22 – Nov. 16, 2007. It also will be offered on February 4 – February 29, 2008.

    Because the courses are email-based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. Also note that you may spend 8-10 hours per week on course work.

    To learn more, including information about a discount for Two-Thirds World participants, or to register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org/

    or call 1-706-419-1805. When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN- 09/07.


  2. HELP OTHERS EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF MISSIONS — Having a hard time convincing your fellow church members that mission trips are worth it? Help them see what you see by taking them on a short-term missions trip. With the help of the book Equipped for Adventure, designed to help someone lead a short-term missions trip, you can see your church’s mission focus transformed! This book is available for $12.99, and is available online at:

    http://www.wmustore.com/product.asp?sku=N064143

    To order by phone call: 800.968.7301 (toll-free). If you live outside the US or Canada, call 205.991.4933. You never know who God could call to missions.


  3. TRY THIS FREE BOOKLET FOR NEW WORKERS — Chris, a missions minister at a large church just outside Indianapolis, recently recommended the booklet called, “Traveler’s Companion.” It is produced by Berna Products. You can find them at

    http://www.bernaproducts.com/

    Just click on “Educational Materials”. The brochure is really a 12-page booklet that covers a number of aspects of health and international travel. It is well done and the best part – it is free. (Thanks Chris!)


  4. SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT LONG-TERM HARM — In addition to its distance learning courses on economic development, the Chalmers Center also offers an email-based distance learning course on the issues surrounding short-term missions (less than one month) in the context of the socio-economic poor. This course presents frameworks for considering these issues so that the benefits of missions projects are maximized and potential harm is minimized. It is designed for those involved in short-term missions to locations in the U.S./Canada and throughout the world. The training is appropriate for: 1) sending churches and denominations, 2) host churches and missionaries, 3) missions project leaders, and 4) missions team members.

    Cost of this three-week course is $55 (USD) plus the cost of separately ordered course material. The November offering of this course is full. The next available offering is scheduled for March 10 – March 28, 2008.

    Because the course is email-based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. Also note that you may spend 6-8 hours per week on course work.

    To learn more, including information about a discount for Two-Thirds World participants, or to register, visit www.chalmers.org or call 1- 706-419-1805. When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-09/07.


  5. NEW SITE THAT RESPECTS AND WITNESSES TO MUSLIMS — Glance at:

    http://www.ruhallah.org/

    It is a new website that is directed to Muslims around the world. The site asks the seeker “What does the Qur’an say about Jesus?” and then answers many questions Muslims have. (Thanks for the anonymous tip.)


  6. RECOMMENDED SHIPPER — A good friend recently recommended a shipping company and, although the company is not a Christian Owned company, the sales representative with whom she had worked (Karen) is a believer. She mentioned that the company gives discounts to non-profits (especially churches, missions, etc.) on shipments within the U.S. They also ship abroad; however they cannot offer the same discount. The company can be found at:

    http://www.freightquote.com

    Or call Karen directly at 800.323.5441, x1548. They apparently allow the user to see multiple shipping avenues, thereby finding the best rate.


  7. SOURCE FOR SWAHILI BIBLES — Do you know a source for purchase of Swahili Bibles or New Testament? A search has been made through the International Bible Society but it appears that the only option is online through Bible Gateway. Right now the only other alternative that has been found is through the British Bible Society but it would be best if it were from a source in the states. If you have any other leads or suggestions just post a comment with the source at:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=27


  8. OPPORTUNITY IN CENTRAL ASIA — Here’s a person wanted as a Project Manager for Central Asia. They’re ideally looking for a couple, mid-30’s and above. Projects include water well drilling, water system delivery, build and repair schools. Engineering skills are not necessary, but the person must be able to manage people and make decisions or know how to find answers. Some financial management will be involved. The individual should be gifted or trained in discipleship. Contact travelwaterman(at)yahoo(dot)com if interested and for more details. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  9. THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT AND SPONSORSHIP — A Missions Minister wrote, this past week, “I’m a missions minister that is very grateful for the wonderful service you provide through Brigada. I find items in at least every third issue that is helpful to me. Thank you for your efforts for the kingdom.” He enclosed a check for $25. Thanks!!! In addition, thanks to PureSpring Int’l Ministries, Johnathon, Kathleen, Ruth, and First Baptist of Junction City who all bought their travelers’ insurance via , thereby resulting in a sponsorship gift of $47.75! If you’re going to buy traveler’s interruption insurance anyway, (or, for that matter, any other kind of insurance) why not give them a try at:

    http://www.missionaryhealth.net/brigada.htm

    Thanks, too, for the $20 donation from Golden Rule Travel

    http://goldenruletravel.com/missionary.asp

    a Christian travel agency that specializes in missionary, adoption, and humanitarian travel. They have special contracts to get the lowest price and extensive knowledge of our industry to give you the best service. Their 24/7 cell phone customer service is unprecedented and industry- leading. Please take a look at them.


  10. UNDERGIRD BRIGADA — Want to help? Just click “Donate.” 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.

  11. THE BACKPAGE: THE MEANING OF “CAMARADERIE” — To me, it’s a good word: “camaraderie.” It hails from an old French meaning “roommate,” and it carries with it, built in, not only a sense of friendship, but also a *positive* friendship. It goes beyond teammate by implying a sense of laughter, fellowship, and enjoying the challenge.

    I have to admit, I’m drawn to camaraderie. It just seems that any job or challenge feels easier when there’s fellowship among those accepting their various roles.

    Last night was a good example. I moonlight as a coach for the boys soccer team at a fairly large Christian high school. We were playing a team that had consistently beaten us. But on Labor Day, we did an optional practice where we even named the activities after their players. Drill #22 was the one where the defense sends a ball over the top of the opponents’ defensive line (just like #22 does on the team we were going to confront). When it happened during the game, our players were not only prepared for it, but they were kind of chuckling to themselves while they executed our strategy. They were enjoying camaraderie. Not only did they have a good time, but they also won! We beat our rivals 3-0, even though we had lost to them 3-0 earlier in the season. One reason? We took heart from the camaraderie we experienced with every player faithfully carrying out his role.

    How ’bout you? Do you have more fun when you’re serving on a team with camaraderie? Got an example of camaraderie in your own life? Just click comments on the web version of this article to share your testimony and/or life lessons. Find the web version here:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=28

20070603 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. LET PROJECT MEDSEND EMPOWER YOUR MEDICAL DEGREE
  2. THE GLORY STORY
  3. GUESS WHO STOPPED BY THE DISCUSSION ABOUT LEARNING LANGUAGE
  4. RAISE YOUR FULL SUPPORT AND ACTUALLY ENJOY IT!
  5. GO TO THE NATIONS…AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER
  6. FREE DOWNLOADABLE MULTI-LINGUAL TRACTS
  7. LEARN CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH
  8. MEETING THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS ONLINE
  9. INTERNATIONAL CHURCH IN BISHKEK SEEKS PASTOR
  10. THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THEIR ENCOURAGING GIFTS
  11. EMPOWER YOUR GIVING WITH A VOICE TO THE NATIONS
  12. THE BACKPAGE: ALWAYS REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE THERE
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  1. LET PROJECT MEDSEND EMPOWER YOUR MEDICAL DEGREE — Project MedSend serves career medical missionaries by enabling them to get to their fields of service by removing the greatest barrier that causes delay: educational loans. See

    http://www.medsend.org

    for information and links to over 70 mission boards with a MedSend connection.


  2. THE GLORY STORY — When Glory to God (International) launched their online gallery of pictures, to equip missionaries to tell the whole Bible story from Genesis to Revelation. They received an overwhelming response of mail, some of which called them “White supremacists” and “Nazi’s” A spokesman for The Glory Story said: “Whilst these comments were unnecessary they were valid to a degree, due to the fair skin colour of a lot of the Bible characters.” The artists at The Glory Story, have spent the last 8 weeks making the skin colour of the Bible characters more culturally relevant for missionaries. Check out the whole of the Bible in pictures on this link.

    http://theglorystory.com/html/glory_picture_gallery.htm

    or email Aleshia(at)Mission316(dot)com


  3. GUESS WHO STOPPED BY THE DISCUSSION ABOUT LEARNING LANGUAGE — Remember the worker in North Africa who wrote to ask what phrases one should learn first? Several have stopped by to give lots of good input. And this past week, guess who commented on the LAMP/LEARN approach? :-) The co-author of the book itself! Betty Sue Brewster, always the linguist with her now-deceased spokesperson-husband, Tom Brewster, weighed in with a humble but helpful comment. See it and lots more at the Brigada Brigade discussion:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=8


  4. RAISE YOUR FULL SUPPORT AND ACTUALLY ENJOY IT! — Raising support doesn’t have to be a terrifying ordeal. Kingdom Come Training can equip you. They do it with live, interactive video conferencing. They will send you a laptop with professional videoconferencing software. You will join other missionaries in a multipoint session. All you need is a high speed internet connection. No travel costs! Your fee can be covered through a sponsorship project. The goal is to build confidence in communication and relational ministry skills that apply not only to raising support, but to all aspects of ministry. Learn more at

    http://www.kingdomcometraining.com

    or give Jerry a call at (503)314-7211 or email 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 .]


  5. GO TO THE NATIONS…AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER — Here’s an exciting and intensive 4-week TESOL course equipping you with effective English teaching techniques, sponsored by Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA. The dates are September 10-October 5 and again October 15-November 9, 2007. Get a certificate upon completion. Find details, application forms, and alternate dates listed on

    http://www.ywampa.org

    or email email ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net for more info. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  6. FREE DOWNLOADABLE MULTI-LINGUAL TRACTS — In 1954 a pastor preached a sermon entitled, “Steps Leading to Salvation” and distributed his notes. Little did he know that this would give birth to the _Step Up To Life_(tm) evangelistic booklet. Since that time the tract has been translated into 17 different languages and is used worldwide by many different denominations, organizations and everyday “Joe Christians.” More information, teaching materials, free downloads (several thematic English versions and multiple languages), and interactive versions are all available at

    http://www.stepuptolife.com

    Alternatively, e-mail sutlmail(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 .]


  7. LEARN CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH — Do you know of someone who wants to improve in English? Youth With A Mission in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA is offering a 12-week course from September 17 to December 7, 2007. Classroom teaching plus immersion in an English-speaking international community contribute to a rich learning environment. Get details and application forms on the website at

    http://www.ywampa.org

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


  8. MEETING THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS ONLINE — Imagine completing your college degree on the mission field in Asia, while your professors are in Mississippi. That’s now possible, thanks to Belhaven College’s (Jackson, Miss., USA) Virtual Online Education Program. Belhaven’s program is unique among higher education distance learning courses because students also participate in a once-a-week, live, online, two hour webcam class with professors and other students. The Belhaven Virtual Online Program offers a Bachelor of Science in Management and an Associate of Arts. Applications are being accepted for Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 classes. For more information, go to

    http://www.belhaven.edu

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


  9. INTERNATIONAL CHURCH IN BISHKEK SEEKS PASTOR — Looking for an opportunity to serve? The International Church in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan serving the expatriate English-speaking community in the capital city seeks a pastor starting Summer, 2008. Previous pastoral experience is required, and previous experience in an international environment is desired. Every Sunday at least 6 countries are represented with theological backgrounds across a wide spectrum. The congregation runs the gamut from baby-Christians to Christian workers. Also included are diplomats, businessmen, tourists and athletes (it’s a rough crowd…). Russian or Kyrgyz language helpful, not required. Contact Robert

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


  10. THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THEIR ENCOURAGING GIFTS — We have to thank our Dial-Abroad long distance users, whose long-distance phone conversations enabled Dial-Abroad to send us $213.16 as sponsorship for the last 4 months phone use. Thanks guys! If you have to purchase a long distance service from somebody anyway, why not use Dial-Abroad and recycle free money to Brigada! Just click to:

    http://www.dial-abroad.org/brigada.htm

    Another anonymous user just sent $180 as encouragement toward the work. Whoa. Thanks! Would you like to empower Brigada to keep on sharing resources and helps for missions, missionaries and those who send? Just click on “Sponsor/Donate” 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. (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.


  11. EMPOWER YOUR GIVING WITH A VOICE TO THE NATIONS — Your gift, whether $25, $250, or $2500, helps Brigada happen. All we need for 2007 is: We already have $3385.25. So only $13,764.75 to go, then we’ll stop mentioning money for the entire remainder of the year. Buy out this item with your sponsorship or donation. Local churches can make special one- time gifts. Just click “Sponsor/Donate” 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. (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.

  12. THE BACKPAGE: ALWAYS REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE THERE — In the mission organization I lead, most of our workers are USA-sent, but we do have a growing batch of awesome peers that have been sent out from other cultures in other nations. Recently, one of those internationally-sent workers — one sent from Zimbabwe — told us about the day someone asked her grandmother, “What was the greatest thing that ever happened in your life?” Her grandmother apparently responded without hesitation, “Simple. That would be the day someone brought Jesus to my people, the Batonga.”

    We live in a day and age when many have attempted, sometimes successfully, to make missionaries look like the bad guys. It seems that negative propaganda is everywhere, spewing out in newspapers, in blogs, and especially on the silver screen. But in the midst of it all, always remember why you’re there: Despite all our cultural norms about inclusivity, diversity, and “they’ll be happier if we just leave them alone,” Jesus’ words still echo into 2007, “Make disciples of all nations.” Maybe it’s not culturally popular. Maybe it doesn’t sound very vogue. Maybe it’s not very easy. But the marching orders still stand. Somehow in this great global adventure that we call life, God, who authored it all, has decided that the highest priority is that He should get glory. We don’t have to understand it. We only need to honor it. And that same God has concluded that He will gain even more glory when members of every people, every race, every color… can all surround His throne and show Him honor. Our 20th-century minds don’t have to understand it. Because He’s creator, we just need to respect it. Ultimately, it appears that people are a lot happier following Him anyway. So always remember — it’s not always about being socially acceptable. It’s about always being eternally unflappable. We’re in this, because He *said* to be in it. And at the end of the day (the very *long* day that we call creation), that’s really all that will matter — His Word.

20070121 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. SECURE YOUR DATA
  2. INTERNATIONAL SOUL WINNING WORKSHOP 2007
  3. NEW ISSUE OF NONPROFIT AND CHURCH LEGAL TRENDS MEMORANDUM
  4. APOLOGETICS REIMAGINED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
  5. ONLINE MAGAZINES FOR THE NON-WESTERN WORLD
  6. CORE-MEMBER CARE BLOG
  7. SHORT-TERM MISSION LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
  8. RESOURCE FOR TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT MISSIONS
  9. IN SEARCH OF BIBLE LESSONS FOR KIDS
  10. GOODSEARCH WORKS, POCO A POCO
  11. SCHOOL OF MISSION AND PRACTICAL MINISTRIES ONLINE COURSES
  12. THANKS TO THOSE WITH BIG HEARTS
  13. THE BACK PAGE: TOOLS FOR THE ROAD
  14. CLOSING STUFF

  1. SECURE YOUR DATA — Looking for a way to lock down your computer data? Brigada participant, Raul, just tipped us off to TrueCrypt, a without-cost, open-source disk encryption solution that will allow you to secure an entire hard drive, just a few files, or a pocket USB flash drive. Developed by a team of expert volunteers, you can install this in minutes by using the detailed user guide. The setup files are small enough to fit on a floppy diskette, and can be downloaded quickly even on a slow Internet connection. The encryption level can be set to better than what is used by government agencies, it can be installed to autorun on a CD or flash drive, and even run in “travelmode” without leaving a trace. Looks like it should work on Windows XP/2000/2003 and Linux, but I didn’t see a MAC version for now.

    http://www.truecrypt.org

    (Thanks Raul!)


  2. INTERNATIONAL SOUL WINNING WORKSHOP 2007 — If you haven’t registered to Exhibit at the 2007 ISWW and you intend on joining them this year, better head on over to their website

    http://www.tulsaworkshop.org/exhibits

    and register. There are still great affordable booths available. They are expecting a great turnout this year and hope you will be a part of it! Contact Becky isww(at)sbcglobal(dot)net or call 918-443-2108. The event is March 22- 24, 2007, and is largely attended by those attending a cappella Churches of Christ.


  3. NEW ISSUE OF NONPROFIT AND CHURCH LEGAL TRENDS MEMORANDUM — To see the whole story, go to

    http://www.npchurchlaw.com

    Here’s a sampler of what they cover in this issue:
    *** Treasury Department releases new anti-terrorist financing guidelines for charities.
    *** IRS releases latest statistics on tax-exempt organizations.
    *** If a church has a thrift shop that brings in $1200 a month but does not collect sales tax, is the 501(c)(3) status in jeopardy?
    *** Can a church or nonprofit send its leader/pastor and his wife to a conference and pay for it all if there is no organizational reason to send the wife? Check out these and more — and thanks to Dallas attorney, Jack Straus, for the great job he does collecting and reporting on these issues for all of us.


  4. APOLOGETICS REIMAGINED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY — That’s what Missional Apologetics hopes to accomplish at

    http://missionalapologetics.com

    The purpose of the site is to provide resources for a new paradigm of apologetics consistent with the book, _Encountering New Religious Movements_ (Kregel Academic, 2004). It seeks to implement missiological principles, such as cross-cultural communication and contextualization with apologetics.


  5. ONLINE MAGAZINES FOR THE NON-WESTERN WORLD — All you need is an Internet connection!

    *** INTERLIT Magazine, to help those publishing Christian literature in the non-western world, is now an online-only publication. Subscribe at:

    http://ccmiparters.org

    *** FOOTSTEPS Magazine, produced by Christian NGO Tearfund, is primarily for Christian national workers and missionaries and covers development issues. The most recent issue is a valuable study on HIV and relationships. Other publications are also offered, in several languages:

    http://tilz.tearfund.org/

    (Thanks Tony!!!!)


  6. CORE-MEMBER CARE BLOG — There is a new blog by Member Care Associates, and moderated by Dr. Kelly and Dr. Michele O’Donnell. The purpose of this blog is a) to discuss current and crucial issues in member care and b) to promote personal and professional growth and good practice. The materials are intentionally chosen to help member care folks think broadly, look into their own hearts, explore member care in light of current world events, and consider additional ways to support the international mission/aid community. This first month they are dialoguing about “core” issues for people in aid/mission work, including member care-givers themselves. They are looking at seven issues in particular (e.g., pessimism, distractions, forgiveness, contentment) and using them as a springboard to share ideas and “matters of the heart.” Join the international conversations. And please share this with others in your networks that might benefit. Here’s the address.

    http://www.COREmembercare.blogspot.com


  7. SHORT-TERM MISSION LEADERS’ CONFERENCE — Don’t miss the Short-Term Mission Leaders’ Conference, held April 19–21, 2007 at Bethany College of Missions in Minneapolis. This national training event is designed for church, school, and agency leaders who lead, train, organize, or supervise Christian short-term mission trips. You’ll learn from more than a dozen speakers and national leaders, including Lisa Espineli Chinn and Tim Dearborn. For more information, visit

    http://www.stemintl.org/training

    or call toll-free 877.STEM.646 or local 952.996.1385.


  8. RESOURCE FOR TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT MISSIONS — Looking for some new inspiration on teaching children about missions? Looking for help on how teach missions at your next teacher training seminar or conference? Need a mission speaker for your next children’s faith promise rally? Then contact Michalene(at)who(dot)rr(dot)com . She has developed materials for Teacher Training as well as lesson materials for K-6th grade. You can request that a brochure be mailed to you or a copy be emailed to you with more information.

  9. IN SEARCH OF BIBLE LESSONS FOR KIDS — Good News Productions, International and others are exploring the need for and potential of a universal beginners’ curriculum. The idea originated as a response to the need for a curriculum free of western culture to teach children weekly Bible lessons. The concept is growing into a dynamic, modular, template-style curriculum that can be easily adapted to various age groups in a variety of settings. This would be available via a Web site. Their goal would be that those who have Internet access can use it to have the ability to constantly add illustrations, games, songs, crafts, etc. that they have used for a particular language, region, culture, age of student, or type of environment (tribal/village, rural, small town, metro) to the Web site. In an effort to assess the need for such a curriculum and look for any current materials that might exist, they’re inviting Brigada participants to take five minutes to participate in a survey at …

    http://www.gnpi-host.org/Survey/CurriculumSurvey/tabid/147/Default.aspx


  10. GOODSEARCH WORKS, POCO A POCO — For those with a base in the USA, we can now testify that Goodsearch seems to work, albeit poco a poco. Check out the results at…

    http://www.goodsearch.com

    To see our example, type “Team Expansion” into the 2nd blank (“Who do you GoodSearch for?”), then click “Verify”. You’ll notice that it’ll fill in “Team Expansion, Louisville, KY” into the blank for you. (That’s the organization that tries to cover for Brigada’s costs if we don’t come up with the budget here.) Now click on “Amount raised.” You’ll see that since we mentioned the concept in January, there’s now a whopping $82+ set aside for Brigada’s mother ship. Of course, Good search waits ’til the end of the calendar year to cut a check, but like we said before, if someone offered to send you a check for $82, would you turn it down? For the concept to work though, you have to have web- users who are willing to let go of Google (no small challenge). Give it a try . . . and even if your organization elects not to pursue it at this time, remember, every single Goodsearch is a penny for Brigada. :-)


  11. SCHOOL OF MISSION AND PRACTICAL MINISTRIES ONLINE COURSES — Enroll in the introductory semester of a “School of Mission” and “Practical Ministries” courses at a new “Biblical Learning Center.” Learn how you can reach the world for Christ, and also minister to the “poor, lame, maimed and blind” leading to the construction of self-financing ministry centers. Study on-line if you have a fast Internet connection, or download the courses and study off-line by email. To enroll online, go to

    http://www.agape-biblia.org/indexBLC-E.htm

    and click on the courses you want to enroll in, then click on “Enroll” and fill out the enrollment form. To register by email, write to agape(dot)biblia(at)gmail(dot)com telling us which courses you want to enroll in. Better hurry — you might already be “late for class.” :-) The deadline for enrolling in the spring semester is February. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] (As always, Brigada cannot be responsible to match every course and/or site for your own theological stands. Be sure you check it out first for your own mindset.)


  12. THANKS TO THOSE WITH BIG HEARTS — Today we’re grateful to a new friend in California who sent $150 anonymous dollars to help us make ends meet at Brigada. Would you like to join them this week with a bridge-building gift of $25? $50? $100? If so, just click on “Sponsor/Donate” 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. (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.

  13. THE BACK PAGE: TOOLS FOR THE ROAD — It occurred to me last week, as I was traveling through Bosnia, that more than one person has asked me about some of the tools I use for “the road.” I thought I’d just go ahead and do a series on some of the tools that have become dear to me over the past nearly-30 years. Some of these are fairly personal, I guess, in that not everyone would appreciate them. But others are just some kind of “hack” that I’ve found to “beat the system” for a particular problem or challenge I was facing. So… as long as you realize I’m just a fellow struggler (“one beggar telling another where to buy bread”; I’m confident we *all* have found certain principles or “hacks”; you probably have just as many.), here’s a new series on “Tools for the road.”

    *** Tool #1 — Determine to beat jet lag: How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m jet-lagged.” They usually are referring to the disorientation and “heavy eyelids” one feels after switching 4 or more time zones. The human body seems to have a kind of “memory” for the previous time zone. So when the individual arrives at the destination, it takes him/her 2, 3, sometimes 4 days to get adjusted. For some reason, I don’t usually experience jet lag. When I arrive in Europe or Africa, I’m awake enough to function through the day. When I arrive back home in the USA, I can go right to sleep and sleep the whole night through. Granted, some might argue that I have some better “natural” jet lag wiring. It could be in my DNA programming, I guess. Since I can’t climb into someone else’s skin, we’ll never know. But I also think there are several tools or “hacks” that help me. The first one is just making up your mind you’re going to do it. It’s my personal belief that jet lag is, at least in part, the power of suggestion. We believe, therefore we *do*. Since we *think* it’s going to be hard, it *is*. So the first tool is to make up your mind that you’re *not* going to experience it. There’s a good movie for background on this. It’s called, “Somewhere in Time,” and my wife loves it as a “chick flick.” :-) I like it because it helps prepare me for the power of suggestion. No, I don’t believe in astro-travel. :-) I don’t think I can “think” myself into a different *year*. But it’s fun to pretend I’m in a different *time* zone at least. And that’s the first tool. Just *pretend*. Make up your mind that you’re already adjusted, and it’s my theory that it’ll help you adjust. So no matter what, resist that age- old saying, that it’s such-and-such o’clock “my body time.” Just don’t go there. Explain to your friends that you’re following a Brigada “tool” or “hack” and you’d appreciate them not reminding you. Tell them the story about Christopher Reeves’ character in Somewhere in Time… the way that when he just saw the present-day date on the penny, it was enough to “jar” him out of the old-fashioned dimension he was living. (And while they’re wondering if you’re nuts, you’ll have time to change the subject. :-) ) Either way, just do it. Pretend. Imagine you’re in the new time zone. Set your watch to it. Pretend your hungry at the right time. Pretend you’re awake at the right time. *Believe!!!”* :-) Next week… more tools. :-)

20061022 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY?
  2. AVOID TAKING A HIT WHEN YOUR MISSION TRIP CANCELS
  3. REACHING JAPANESE FOR CHRIST CONFERENCES
  4. GET CREDIT: DISTANCE-LEARNING COURSE ON MICROENTERPRISE
  5. TINYURL TRICK: CUSTOMIZE YOUR BROWSER WITH THE TOOL
  6. YWAM OFFERS TO ENHANCE YOUR RELIEF TEAM
  7. THE LINK BETWEEN: CONNECTING CHRISTIANS LIVING BETWEEN CULTURES
  8. INTERNET EVANGELISM COALITION VIDEOS
  9. FREE EPHESIANS BOOKLET
  10. GREAT OPP FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PERSON IN RALEIGH, NC
  11. YOUR GIFT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
  12. THE BACKPAGE: WHAT WILL VIDEOCONFERENCING DO FOR YOU?
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  1. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY? — Learn how through the “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” distance course from the Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College. The January 8 – February 2, 2007 offering of the course is now full and the Chalmers Center is taking registration for the May 7 – June 1, 2007 course offering. The “Foundations” course is designed for anyone doing ministry and community outreach among the poor – pastors, church planters, ministry leaders and lay staff, and missionaries. This course is a guided- reading program with weekly written assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with other course participants. Because it is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. Prior financial or economic experience is not required to participate. Group discounts and a Two-Thirds World discount are available. To learn more or to register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    or call 706-419-1805 (U.S.), or email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-10/06.


  2. AVOID TAKING A HIT WHEN YOUR MISSION TRIP CANCELS –- Have you ever had to cancel a mission trip due to weather, political unrest, personal emergency or other crisis? Have you lost out on pre-paid travel expenses? What if you could get insurance that would pay you back for nonrefundable trip expenses? And what if you could help Brigada at the same time? Well, through a partnership between Brigada and Insurance Services of America it is now possible to do so! When you purchase insurance from Insurance Services of America on Brigada’s website your purchase will help to support Brigada’s work with the missionary community! Check out the “Round Trip” travel insurance plan at

    http://www.missionaryhealth.net/brigada.htm

    In addition to this plan, coverage is available for any international need – short-term trips, career missionaries, trip cancellation, short- term teams and term life insurance. Insurance Services of America has agreed to help support Brigada from sales that are made on this link, so when you purchase on this site you will be helping to support Brigada and you will be protecting yourself and your ministry from financial loss!


  3. REACHING JAPANESE FOR CHRIST CONFERENCES — The Reaching Japanese for Christ 6th Annual National Conference will take place February 16- 18 at Northshore Baptist Church, Bothell, Washington. And now for the first time, on January 27th at Pacific View Baptist Church, Torrance, CA. there will be a one-day RJC conference in Southern California. Besides important workshops Dr. George Gallup, Jr. will speak concerning religious awareness of Japanese. If you are involved in or interested in ministry to Japanese in North America, these conferences are for you! Information is available at

    http://www.rjcnetwork.org

    or contact Don Wright at don_wright(at)comcast(dot)net


  4. GET CREDIT: DISTANCE-LEARNING COURSE ON MICROENTERPRISE — For those ministering to the poor in the Two-Thirds World, the Chalmers Center also offers a distance course on microfinance and microenterprise development services and interventions and a distance course on basic principles of Savings and Credit Associations (SCAs) and how SCAs can be used as a ministry tool. The microfinance and microenterprise course is also available in self-study format. To learn more or to register, visit http://www.chalmers.org or call 706-419-1805 (U.S.), or email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-10/06.

  5. TINYURL TRICK: CUSTOMIZE YOUR BROWSER WITH THE TOOL — Hats off to Jonathan for pointing out that we don’t have to “go to TinyURL” to create a shorter URL for that long web address. We just put the following Java code in our toolbar in IE, Firefox or Opera. Then we click and — wala! — the page we’re viewing is given a TinyURL! According to Jonathan, this also works a shortcut in Blazer on the Palm/Treo. Here is the javascript:

    javascript:void(location.href=’http://tinyurl.com/create.php?url=’+loca tion.href)

    Warning: Ironic, isn’t it . . . that the above script might wrap in your email client — so be sure to reassemble it into one line when we enter the above code into a favorite or bookmark. (Thanks Jonathan!)


  6. YWAM OFFERS TO ENHANCE YOUR RELIEF TEAM — Join Streams Express in “Streams in the Desert,” a trans-national relief & development ministry of YWAM-MMI. Streams would like to host all types of teams through their dispatches within the 10/40 countries. Streams dispatches are equipped and some are nationals in their country base. Contact the Streams Center now if you know the number of people in your teams coming to which country. Streams dispatches can host your teams and enhance their capability in the outreach with the needs of their target communities. Streams dispatches are particularly in the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Iraq, Liberia, Mali, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Tanzania, Syria, Dubai, China, Albania, Kosovo, etc.

    http://www.streams.mysite.com

    Skype: streams7express or email streams7(at)juno(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  7. THE LINK BETWEEN: CONNECTING CHRISTIANS LIVING BETWEEN CULTURES — In searching for support in the wonderful, yet challenging task of uniting across cultures within intercultural marriage, Rukshan and Jody F. have often felt like pioneers. Though globalization increases the stakes of effective cross-cultural skills, much seems left unsaid – especially by Christians. “The Link Between” seeks to provide a network for Christians living out Christ’s call to “live at peace with all men” by crossing the cultural boundaries of parenting, marriage, church, career and life. The Link Between is continually compiling resources exploring these themes. If you are interested in contributing articles are resources, check out Jody’s blog at

    http://thelinkbetween.wordpress.com/

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


  8. INTERNET EVANGELISM COALITION VIDEOS — The Internet Evangelism Coalition

    http://www.webevangelism.com/

    is offering free access, until the end of November, to videos of presentations from its 2006 Annual Meeting in Chicago. Just click on “Meetings” in the left margin and you’ll see the selection for all the media. Questions? Just email naomi(at)webevangelism(dot)com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  9. FREE EPHESIANS BOOKLET — SOON Ministries have produced a free 32- page small-group study booklet on Ephesians. Written in easy-English, it is intended primarily for the non-Western world. The booklet is available to download in PDF and Publisher formats, so that users can print it themselves. They are also free to sell copies without restriction, or translate the material.

    http://www.soon.org.uk/studyephesians


  10. GREAT OPP FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PERSON IN RALEIGH, NC — The Southeast Regional Offices of the Perspectives Study Program is looking for an administratively gifted individual to help work in the office. Bob Stevens is the Regional Supervisor over a nine state region that will run about 30 classes this year alone with over 900 students. Bob is looking for someone who has good administrative abilities, is good at closing out details and follow through, a self-starter with good computer and phone skills. Such a person must be willing to raise support or fund him/herself and be willing to make a minimum 2 year commitment, working at least 1/2 a day for 4 days a week. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact Bob at BSUSWCMSE(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 .]

  11. YOUR GIFT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE — Let’s talk end-of-year. Did your stocks do well? Got $10,000 you’d like to give to a ministry where it won’t be just another gift? Think about Brigada. With $10K, you could underwrite the rest of our entire calendar year 2006 financial needs. (We’re currently at just under $6800 and we need $16,650.) Once you give the $10K, the entire Brigada list of 11,000 subscribers would receive their weekly Brigada editions courtesy of your special gift! These blips would vanish. You’d make a *huge* impact because the entire annual budget is just $16,650! Perhaps you’ve only got $100? Your $100 would still make a huge difference here. 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. THE BACKPAGE: WHAT WILL VIDEOCONFERENCING DO FOR YOU? — Years ago, when I would hear about videoconferencing, I’d imagine how cool it might be… then quickly snap back to reality when I saw the hefty fees and per-minute charges. Well… welcome to 2006. Just a few days ago, I had the opportunity to greet and pray with 4 of our mission’s teams working on the island of Taiwan. They had come together for a strategy summit, with the intent of improving their respective outreaches. They hooked up a data projector and shined me on the big screen. From my home in Louisville, KY, I shared a 15-minute challenge & devotion, prayed with them, and then we did question and answer about the latest stuff with the over all organization. So basically, we were able to do a half-hour video conference across the Pacific and the total cost for everybody involved totaled zero dollars. Dream come true — for 5 people… or 500 people. You see, it doesn’t matter. If you get a chance, and the opportunity presents itself, try it out. All you need is a Skype ID, a webcam (pick one up for $40 at CompUSA or have someone bring you one on an upcoming visit), broadband Internet (you might have to visit an Internet cafe… which might be a problem if you’re in a limited access country; but except for that, Skype is supposed to be encrypted, as long as the technology they sold the Chinese doesn’t betray us :-) ), and a headset/mic. On the *conference* side, in addition to the above equipment, they’ll need a data projector and a screen.

    Here are some tips you could try to maximize the effectiveness of your videoconference:

    *** Headset/Mic: Be sure to pick up one of these for you, if you’re the main speaker. If you try to use the mic built into your laptop, you’ll get lots of ambient room noises *plus* the rebroadcasted echo of their questions. Look for headset/mic with a broad frequency range like the Logitech Premium Notebook Headset Mic (for about $50-$60).

    *** Outline: Plan your talk, but I’d recommend that you not write it out word-for-word. Part of the magic of these video-conferences is the spontaneity of it all. If you read a prepared speech, it’ll sound more … “canned”. At the same time, have your talk planned so you can get to the point without rambling. See the next point.

    *** Keep it brief: As fun as these conferences are, I’d suggest keeping your prepared talk to 10′ or less. Leave time for your audience to ask you questions. It’ll *soooooo* much more show off the technology. (After all, you could have just sent them a video or DVD of yourself and the quality would have been much higher.)

    *** Practice makes perfect: Try out your connection in advance, before the crowd gathers. Chad (the guy who prepared the equipment at the summit mentioned above) and I got together a week or so beforehand to work out any bugs. Make sure everything is smooth before you feel “under the gun.”

    *** Be on time: Your group will be looking forward to the new technology. But one of the downsides of this format is … you have to *be* there. In other words, email is “send-it-and-forget-it.” You can be 30′ late and nobody cares — or even knows. Videoconferences, by contrast, are “real time.” What does that word, “real” mean? Simple. If you’re not there, they’ll be *real* frustrated.

    Have fun and good luck. And again… welcome to 2006… the day and age of essentially free videoconferencing!

20051120 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
2. GET A COPY OF “WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR” WITHOUT KILLING A TREE
3. FREE ONLINE VIEWING FOR THESE EVANGELISTIC FILMS
4. CHECK OUT THIS ONLINE SCHOOL
5. INTERNATIONAL TERM LIFE INSURANCE
6. WANT TO LEARN RUSSIAN OR ARABIC FOR MINISTRY?
7. THIS WEDNESDAY, GET FREE ANTISPAMWARE
8. ATTEND A SEMINAR ON CONTEXTUALIZATION
9. VIDEO CLIPS FOR MISSION CHALLENGE
10. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THOSE WHO PITCH IN
11. YOU CAN HELP MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL
12. THE BACKPAGE: GETTING JAZZED OVER A DISCARDED LEAF-BLOWER
13. CLOSING STUFF

1. UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT — Covenant College, a Christian college located in Lookout Mountain, GA, U.S., offers an undergraduate major in community development. The major equips students with the theory and practice of community development among the poor from a biblical world-view. It prepares students to be agents of Christian transformation within low-income communities, working in community-based organizations, churches, missions, relief and development agencies, and the public sector. The major offers three areas of specialization: Economic Development, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and Child and Family Development. A highlight of the major is its research internship in which students live and work for three-to-six months in a poor community under the auspices of a host church or ministry. Students can apply by submitting an application found on the Covenant web site, http://www.covenant.edu. A $9,000 merit-based scholarship will be awarded to an incoming freshman and renewed for three years. For qualified community development candidates who are not awarded this scholarship, other merit- and financial-need-based awards ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 are also available. Students can apply for the scholarship by submitting a separate scholarship application found on the financial aid section of the Covenant web site. The deadline for submitting an application is December 15, 2005, so better apply today! For questions about Covenant College, the community development major, or the scholarship, visit the Covenant web site or contact the Admissions Office by phone at 706-820-2398 (U.S.) or by email at admissions(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. GET A COPY OF “WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR” WITHOUT KILLING A TREE — Here is a free down load of the popular Missionary Emergency health Book Called; “Where There is No Doctor”. (Thanks Andy!) http://www.healthwrights.org/books/WTINDonline.htm
3. FREE ONLINE VIEWING FOR THESE EVANGELISTIC FILMS — For many years, Create International has been looking for more ways to make their multi-lingual evangelistic films available to unreached people groups around the world. Recently, a wonderful brother agreed to put all of these presentations into streaming video format on the Internet. Now you can view all of their evangelistic films produced for thirty different people groups in high quality fast streaming video. They will also make the URLs of these movies available to anyone who wants to put them on their own websites or used them in cyber cafe evangelism. Here are the movies and their URLs:

A Changed Life (Gan)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=c6eaaa7f-8ea5-4605-b5ae-b893d42faa3b

A Changed Life (Mandarin)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=2faeff2f-0294-4d34-9bb3-40c1bb08a887

A Greater Love (Myanmar)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=70d5050d-4067-4468-a8c1-9867285422d4

Ahmad’s Dream (Malay)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=268e3447-93bc-4d9c-9330-a886ec9c6341

Building a Family of Love (Mongolian)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=185d34c3-46d0-457d-81fa-92b14061ba08

Debt of Honor (Madurese)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=331d09d7-64fd-437e-97d9-f933b2510409

Help From Heaven (Balinese)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=deb8c16b-62f0-4698-a5b3-bbd95204b334

New Life (Awadhi)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=5839e83b-2774-4d80-b281-e23622fcf842

The Burning Heart (Bengali)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=46cf2f31-18c9-438a-847b-06aabab61d8e

The Light of Revelation (Hui)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=d65ced37-91be-49d9-83df-a3c5b161a2fd

The Return of Singkorn (Isaan)
http://skn5x.rmxpres.com/skn5x/viewer/?peid=d50bad14-0eb9-43b0-ba25-473729551c36
4. CHECK OUT THIS ONLINE SCHOOL — Here’s an option for educating your kids overseas. The Potters School is http://www.pottersschool.org They offer home schooling over the internet with the availability of audio and video communication. Most communication is by e-mail. The school comes highly recommended, with friends of friends listed among the faculty. (Thanks Chris!)
5. INTERNATIONAL TERM LIFE INSURANCE – Are you having a hard time finding term life coverage while serving overseas? If so, be sure to contact Insurance Services of America. They offer a unique life insurance plan that is not available from traditional life insurance companies. While many companies automatically reject applications of those that intend to leave the United States, ISA has partnered with the oldest and largest financial institution in the World to create a term life plan that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of living abroad. Their plan has options of 1 to 10 year terms with face amounts up to $4.5 Million.

Coverage details, rates and the online application may be obtained online at http://www.missionaryhealth.net . You may also email them at health(at)missionaryhealth(dot)net , [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or call them at 1-800-647-4589 (1-480- 821-9052 outside of North America) and ask for Mark. ISA has a wide range of plans for missionaries, mission groups and churches, so be sure to contact them to see how they can “shop around” for you to help you save money on your health and life insurance needs. They are a Christian organization that specializes in helping individuals and groups find affordable health and life insurance coverage.
6. WANT TO LEARN RUSSIAN OR ARABIC FOR MINISTRY? — Studying at the Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures (ISLC) (Formerly Russian Language Ministries) will give you a good head start in learning the needed language and culture. Their experienced staff is called by God to equip you with the language & cross-cultural skills you will need to be effective in ministry to Russian and Arabic speakers. Courses are tailored to your learning needs and offer an intensive and focused experience with, gradual effective immersion in the language, communicative learning methods & flexible duration for all programs. Their U.S. based courses are taught in an encouraging spiritual atmosphere with a focus on future ministry. Classes forming for Spring (Jan. 23 – May 12). US toll Free: 1-800-799-7976 or 1-803-333-9119. Write RLMoffice(at)juno(dot)com or browse to http://www.strategiclanguages.org
7. THIS WEDNESDAY, GET FREE ANTISPAMWARE — That’s right… Thanks to an educational campaign, sponsored by TechSoup.org and Mailshell, you can pick up something for nothing. The campaign began in November and culminates on December 14 and 15, this Wed/Thurs, when nonprofits and public libraries can order free anti-spam software donated by Mailshell. For more information, browse to: http://www.stopspamtoday.org/stop_spam_fd.html (Note: This is not an endorsement of Mailshell software. Several reviewers currently indicate that the service has significant downtime, so … what’s the phrase… “Caveat emptor”: “Let the buyer beware.” (Thanks Chris!)
8. ATTEND A SEMINAR ON CONTEXTUALIZATION — The 2006 Peace College seminar will be held on the 11th through the 29th of August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This represents a slight change from the announcement made at the 2005 seminar. Please plan to arrive on the 10th and to stay at least through the end of the day on the 29th.

This year’s topic will be contextualization. Look for a detailed reading list by the end of November along with details on venue and costs. If you have any questions, please direct them to peacecollege(at)swissmail(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
9. VIDEO CLIPS FOR MISSION CHALLENGE — If your role includes motivating or recruiting people for evangelism and mission, Tony suggests that you check out the range of downloadable clips available here:
http://the-task-virals.blogspot.com/ (maybe the 1st link is dead here?)
http://viral-life.blogspot.com/ (Thanks Tony)
10. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THOSE WHO PITCH IN — Thanks for those who pitch in to help motivate us and carry the expenses of our secretary here at Brigada/Team Expansion. Recent gifts include anonymous donors (1 at $5, 2 at $25 each, and a Wycliffe missionary at $45), $20 from the organizers of http://www.witnessJesus.org where you can post your testimony and impact others… and $20 from the folks at Send Global airtime http://www.global-airtime.com where you can get quality international calls on cell and landline phones for a fraction of the normal cost, and also $40 from the folks at: http://www.fullfaith.com/missions/paul.html where they teach people how to use storytelling for missions outreach. (Check out their DVDs there and please let them know you heard about them on Brigada!) Finally, we were humbled and astonished at a check from friends at New Mission Systems http://newmissionsystems.org/ for $1,000.00, representing the largest donation received thus far in 2005 and the 2nd largest ever in the history of Brigada. When asked why some of the organization’s members chipped in at this level, the reply came back, “Because we find that we have used items from Brigada over and over again and we here at NMS wanted to give something back to those who were giving to us.” Whoa. Now here’s the deal — I know they aren’t rich there. But they gave sacrificially. May God bring growth to them beyond all that they ask or imagine… That’s my prayer in Christ’s name and for His glory, Amen.
11. YOU CAN HELP MAKE UP THE SHORTFALL — This brings to $9,691.28 our gifts during 2005, which now represents well over half of our goal of $16,576. What happens if we run short? Team Expansion tries to make up the difference… but you can help by utilizing these last couple of weeks of 2005 to make the best donation you can muster. Maybe you can only pitch in $5. But maybe you can give $1,000 or more. Either way, we’re very grateful. Just click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.
12. THE BACKPAGE: GETTING JAZZED OVER A DISCARDED LEAF-BLOWER — A couple of weeks ago, I found what looked like a perfectly good Toro leaf blower in a garbage barrel on our property. It looked nearly brand new, but a quick check confirmed what I had suspected: it wouldn’t blow even one leaf, let alone a yard full. In fact, it wouldn’t even start. However, I’ve always been partial to Toro (even if this one was a reject; actually, it was a “Toro 51591 Super Blower/Vacuum”; click here to see it at the Toro website :-) ), so I have to admit — I threw it in the back of my truck and headed home. Tonight I saw the lonely machine sitting there on my workbench. Honestly, it reminded me of that jack-in-the-box on the Rudolph claymation show… You know… the one on the “Island of Misfit Toys.” It was a cast-off… Slated for destruction. Whoa. Only my hands had saved it from the clutches of Mr. Garbage-Truck-Man.

So, I did what every good Toro-lover does this time of year: picked up a screwdriver and started disassembling. About 7 minutes later, my heart leaped for joy. I discovered a fairly simple problem with a safety interlock mechanism inside the machine, designed to prevent operation when the tool was partially cracked open. I grabbed a piece of plate metal from my nuts-and-bolts collection, carefully fitted it in just the right channel, clamped everything back together and — whoosh… Away flew the screwdriver like the down of a thistle! Score one for The Garbage Patrol. :-) One Toro leaf blower salvaged.

Now I ask you: Why do I get so jazzed over rescuing a discarded leaf- blower, aside from the fact that I’m a big fan of Toro? :-) Well it’s hard to describe: There’s something about repairing something that was on the ropes… something about resurrecting a life that others had considered long gone. This leaf blower will always be special to me now… tons more significant than if I’d bought it today at Sears for $29.95 in the Christmas sail. (Did I mention it blows at 215 mph? :-) )

For some reason, I feel the same way about people. There’s a fine line between a “tough love” approach and the “cut-throat” response. That fine line, in my opinion, is the responsibility to weigh out the intent of the worker. If the worker is obviously thumbing his nose at expectations, then after a documented set of warnings, he or she should be let go — I’m convinced. However, if the worker evidences sincere and determined efforts to succeed, I personally believe we should extend some grace, some creative coaching, and see if we can’t salvage a life.

Now my 16-year-old son saw something different in the leaf blower. He thought it could stand for a Christian-waiting-to-happen… blocked only by some piece of faulty behavior, perhaps easily altered by a caring friend or an accepting family.

Either way, the outcome is the same: less junk in the landfill, fewer blisters from raking, and lots of 215 mile-per-hour miracles. And did I mention it’s a Toro? :-)

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