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20070128 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY
  2. THANKS TO THOSE WHO ARE TRYING GOODSEARCH!
  3. HOW TO DO SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT DOING LONG-TERM HARM
  4. CHRISTIAN HIV/AIDS RESOURCES
  5. US POST OFFICE SENDS PRAYER LETTERS
  6. FREE SYNERGY NEWSLETTER
  7. MEMBER CARE SERVICES IN BUDAPEST
  8. EQUIPPING CONFERENCE FOR MINISTRY AMONG INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
  9. TRAIN A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS FOR K’STAN
  10. UNDERGIRD BRIGADA, BUILD MISSIONS FIRE
  11. THE BACKPAGE: CALEB PROJECT & ACMC (INITIATIVE 360), 1978-2007
  12. CLOSING STUFF

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY — Learn how through an email-based distance learning course called “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” offered by the Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College. The next course offering is scheduled for May 7 – June 1, 2007.

    The “Foundations” course is designed for those doing ministry and community outreach among the poor. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for members of a team who minister together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. It is an e-mail based guided reading program with written (e-mail) assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with other course participants. Because the course is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. The course will require an average of 8-10 hours of work per week. The Chalmers Center also offers other distance learning courses on microfinance and microenterprise development.

    To register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-02/07. If you have questions, send email to 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 .]


  2. THANKS TO THOSE WHO ARE TRYING GOODSEARCH! — We’d love to thank those who have tried searching at…

    http://www.goodsearch.com

    All those pennies are adding up. Thanks to your combined help, the total contribution (that Goodsearch will make to our mother organization, Team Expansion) is up to $100 for 2007! :-) “Poco a poco, se va lejos.” Someone pointed out that only USA-based non-profits can receive “search-pennies.” As a result, he said, he won’t be able to register his own agency, so, he said, he’d keep searching for Brigada! Remember, all you have to do is type in “Team Expansion” in the “Who do you Goodsearch for?” box. Then click “Verify”. Click on the “Amount raised” button to find out how many pennies have been raised so far. Team Expansion tries to keep Brigada afloat when donations don’t quite make budget. (So far, donations to Brigada have never met budget. :-) ) (Thanks Team Expansion! Thanks Goodsearchers!)


  3. HOW TO DO SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT DOING LONG-TERM HARM — The Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College has added a new distance learning course to its curriculum on ministry to the poor that does not create dependency. This course, called “How to Do Short-term Missions Without Doing Long-term Harm,” is scheduled for April 16 – May 4, 2007. It is designed for: 1) sending churches and denominations, 2) host churches and missionaries, 3) missions project leaders, and 4) missions team members.

    The course provides an understanding of the issues surrounding the execution of short-term missions (less than one month) in the context of the socio-economic poor. Short-term missions have the opportunity to produce important benefits, but also have the potential to do significant harm, particularly to the poor. This course presents frameworks for considering these issues so that course participants can strengthen their missions projects and the benefits of their short-term missions are maximized and any harm is minimized.

    This training course is an e-mail based guided reading program with written (e-mail) assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with other course participants. Because the course is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. The course will require an average of 6-8 hours of work per week.

    To register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-02/07. If you have questions, call 1-706-419-1805 (U.S.) or send email to 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 .]


  4. CHRISTIAN HIV/AIDS RESOURCES — R.E.A.P (Resource Education For AIDS Prevention) is a complete AIDS/HIV education program that provides biblical, morally based hope in the crises of human tragedy. A 278-page manual is available as well as individual chapters, overhead transparency masters and PowerPoints. Materials are biblical, positive and practical include teaching tips and hints. These materials were developed by (the South African based) Vern & Esther Tisdale of Africa.. Operation Whole. You may freely use these materials in your ministry. The materials are now available for free download at:

    http://aibi.gospelcom.net/reap/


  5. US POST OFFICE SENDS PRAYER LETTERS — Thanks to Wayne who recently wrote to remind us that prayer letters can be printed and mailed through the US post office itself. Wayne wrote, “We have used them for the past year. Full color letters are mailed for .88 using presort first class postage. The minimum is $2 and so as few as three prayer letters can be made. We like the control and options that we have in the mailing process. The most we have had to wait is one extra business day.” To learn more, visit…

    http://www.usps.com/netpost/welcome.htm


  6. FREE SYNERGY NEWSLETTER — Here’s a communiqué that is a missions mobilization ezine published on the Internet by DualReach. It features stories and ideas from churches who are successfully involving their people in cross-cultural ministry. “Synergy Newsletter” also introduces readers to the resources of the expanding DualReach electronic resource centre, including ready-to-use tools that DualReach develops, and examples of best practice they collect from a wide array of dynamic missions churches. Recent topics included short-term youth teams and educating children in missions. Subscribe by visiting the DualReach website

    http://www.dualreach.org

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


  7. MEMBER CARE SERVICES IN BUDAPEST — The Budapest Care Center offers professional Christian counseling services for adult missionaries serving throughout Europe and Eurasia. Their primary work is short-term intensive counseling for adults and couples seeking help for themselves. Depression, trauma, anxiety, marriage conflict and burnout are among the more common concerns that bring people to the Care Center seeking help. The Care Center staff also provides training on understanding how personal and family problems develop, training on how to help others and seminars on marriage and family relationships. Contact them at:

    http://www.budapestcare.com

    or write info(at)budapestcare(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. EQUIPPING CONFERENCE FOR MINISTRY AMONG INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS — ACMI’07, at St. Olaf College near Minneapolis, May 31-June 3, 2007, marks 25 years of equipping, resourcing, and networking staff and volunteers involved in or interested in starting, international student ministry (ISM) in the U.S. and Canada. ACMI’07 is one of the broadest gatherings of ISM workers from campus ministries, mission agencies (including returned and retired missionaries), denominations, local churches, and individuals, and offers rich cross-training via 40+ workshops by veterans. Participation is limited to North American residents and missionaries returning from the field. The “early-bird” discount registration deadline is March 31st. Find them on the web at

    http://2007.acmi-network.org

    or email osbu0001(at)umn(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. TRAIN A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS FOR K’STAN — …At Kazakhstan International School, located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Founded in 1993 by two godly men who had a vision to use education as a pre-evangelism ministry to reach the people in Central Asia for Christ, the school needs godly teachers in grades 1-8 for the school year 2007-2008 and k- 12 for year 2008-2009. They have begun to use the International Baccalaureate Curriculum, and are committed to be a continuous learning community preparing young people to be skilled knowledge-workers with high moral standards, great social skills, strong academic backgrounds, and, God willing, knowledge of the Lord. For more info, email spotty4(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 .]

  10. UNDERGIRD BRIGADA, BUILD MISSIONS FIRE — Want to help undergird Brigada in its global ministry of resourcing and mobilization? 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. THE BACKPAGE: CALEB PROJECT & ACMC (INITIATIVE 360), 1978-2007 — When 5pm came on Feb. 13th, Initiative 360 closed the doors on a newly- merged team of people formerly referred to as ACMC and Caleb Project. Together, they held a whole lot of promise. But together, they did not survive.

    When the board of Initiative 360 closed the shop that day, they laid to rest a marathon-length history of outstanding missions mobilization on college campuses, at local church missions fairs, and in resource centers of all kinds. ACMC equipped churches for effective involvement in world evangelization through conferences, consultation, and resources. Caleb Project created life-changing materials, programs, and curricula for individuals and churches that built vision and enabled involvement in God’s kingdom work. See the press release at

    http://www.takeitglobal.org/

    but don’t go looking very deeply for details because they aren’t there. From the looks of things in this short press release by I360’s board, the two groups together must have overextended somehow during their merger. Apparently, the board felt they had gone past the point of no return.

    I started using ACMC training materials in 1980, best of my memory. They already seemed mature and effective by that time. And as for Caleb Project, Brigada has probably chronicled *hundreds* of new releases thanks to their hard-working staff down through the years. Folks, let me shoot straight: These were (and still are) some of the best people in the world. They worked long hours, were paid little, but had boat- loads of fun. They turned-on folks to the Great Commission. They analyzed, they mobilized, but above all things, they praised and worshipped.

    Unfortunately, I still don’t get it. The board has made it obvious that none of the leaders are accused of anything dishonest. Nobody did anything immoral or unethical. Apparently, the board figured the merged organization just didn’t have a financial future. Well folks, please hear me well: somewhere, someone needs to help us all learn the costly lesson of this loss to missions mobilization. To the I360 board, I openly share that I so wish this could have been done differently. Surely there was a way to process these difficult steps with greater grace; surely there could have been more exchange; surely the community of Christ could have helped you step through these difficult moments without ending things so abruptly. But now, by all appearances, it’s done. And to all the people who are now struggling to process the events of the past 2 months, our hearts and our prayers are with you. As we seek to deal with our confusion, you also seek to find new jobs, new avenues of service, and new means of feeding your families. We are all so very grateful for your *decades* of service, your long days and nights of selflessness, and your incredible energy spent to the glory of God. Yikes. I can’t imagine church missions apart from ACMC. I can’t possibly imagine missions mobilization without Caleb Project. I don’t even *want* to.

    I’m sure there were long prayers. I’m sure there were painful tears. There must have been sleepless nights by the board members. I just wish the greater community of missions advocates could have somehow shared a bit more in that process. Because to me, this feels like somebody died, was buried, and there was no funeral. Only five cold lines in a press release. “Too many bills. Couldn’t make it. Closed up shop.” Who does that? What about some kind of reorganization? What about asking the CEO to do an appeal letter to tell how critical things are? Or how ’bout at least separating back into Caleb Project and ACMC again to see if either side could make a go of it separately? Even as I ask those questions, I hurt for the board members themselves, because I can only imagine how carefully they must have considered these steps. At least, I hope they did. Unfortunately, few, if any of us, can know. Because it was done — it was over — in what seemed like an instant.

    I called Caleb Project’s office on the morning after. It was Valentine’s Day. I spoke to the small team of staff people who had been given the task of cleaning up. My heart went out to them. My heart still aches for them and all the others. We don’t even know where to write. We don’t even know if they’re getting this. But our prayers go to the Father on their behalf. We join them today, praying for them, lifting them up. May the Lord somehow bring hope and healing, in a way that sudden closure could not.

    Yikes. There’s nothing more to say. Except, may the Lord help them all.

20070107 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. GOT PASSPORT?
  2. ‘EASY TO READ’ BIBLE PORTIONS IN MANY LANGUAGES
  3. INSTEAD OF GOOGLE, TRY GOODSEARCH FOR A DAY
  4. GET PAID FOR SEARCHING
  5. NOT-SO-GOOD SIDES OF GOODSEARCH
  6. ESL: LEARN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
  7. ENCOUNTERING THE WORLD OF ISLAM CLASS IS COMING TO L.A.
  8. GO TO THE NATIONS…AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER
  9. HIRE THE POST OFFICE TO DO YOUR MAILINGS
  10. NEW BOOK HELPING CHINESE RETURN TO THE “FAITH OF OUR FATHERS”
  11. PARTNERS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
  12. WANT TO HELP BRIGADA FINISH ITS ’07 $ NEEDS EARLY?
  13. THE BACKPAGE: THE BIGGEST COMEBACK EVER…
  14. CLOSING STUFF

  1. GOT PASSPORT? –- Have you heard that the US passport laws are changing effective January 23rd? According to the Arizona Republic, travel agents are predicting that the new rules will have its greatest impact this spring and summer as travelers make plans for spring break and summer trips. Are you ready for your spring break and summer mission trips? Do all of your participants have passports? Do you know if you need a passport or visa? One of Brigada’s sponsors, Insurance Services of America, has information on their web site to help you navigate the new passport rules! Check it out at

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

    While you are on that page, take a few minutes to check out the insurance plans that ISA offers for short-term mission trips. Coverage is available for individuals and groups. Remember that 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!


  2. ‘EASY TO READ’ BIBLE PORTIONS IN MANY LANGUAGES — Martin Lloyd, who for over 7 years co-ordinated the EasyEnglish project for Wycliffe Associates UK

    http://www.easyenglish.info

    is now thrilled to be able to encourage similar projects in major languages on all continents. Thirteen such ‘easy’ languages, namely Chinese, Amharic, Swahili, Lingala, Telugu, Juba Arabic, Bengali, Yoruba, Zulu, Spanish, Portuguese, Welsh and French are displayed on

    http://www.easyBibles.com

    and several more, including Nepali, Tagalog, Konkani, Indonesian, Shona, Tamil and Fulani will soon be added. More information may be obtained from mlloyd3000(at)gmail(dot)com . [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  3. INSTEAD OF GOOGLE, TRY GOODSEARCH FOR A DAY — Have you Goodsearched yet? If not, would you? … at least for a day. Just try it. Here’s the way it works. Browse to…

    http://www.goodsearch.com

    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.” It’ll probably be something like $20 or so. Write down that number. Now search for something (something you’d really like to find, that is). Want to learn about the best camcorder? Maybe find a good site on Bosnia? It really doesn’t matter. Whatever you would normally hunt for in Google, you can search for it using Goodsearch.


  4. GET PAID FOR SEARCHING — So how does Goodsearch work? It basically just relies on Yahoo’s search engine for it’s data-gathering ability, selling “hits” to advertisers then giving about 50% of their profits to the charities that recruit eyeballs for them. But there’s one critical difference (get this): Every single time you search for something, it’s just like you gave a penny to Team Expansion. Don’t believe it? Go look for 5 random things… (real things). Type in “Emerald Hills” or whatever *real* stuff for which you’re searching. Click through a few searches. Now go back and look at the “Amount raised”. It’ll probably be about 5 cents more than when you started. Pretty cool, eh? Whoever knew they could give an offering to a mission organization just by searching the Internet?

  5. NOT-SO-GOOD SIDES OF GOODSEARCH — Are there downsides? Well sure. For one thing, the amount that any organization receives will be limited by the number of searchers who make it a *regular* habit to hunt for things via Goodsearch. But there’s more. Once your church or mission finds out about Goodsearch, you’ll likely register your own group, right? So when that happens, you’ll stop helping Brigada. So truth is… we’ll really only have you for about 24 hours (the amount of time it takes Goodsearch to set up your new account).

    Finally, there’s another limiting factor: pennies. (Lest you get the idea of just rat-a-tat-tat machine-gun-searching, please don’t; Goodsearch “listens” to the ports that are searching. If anybody tries anything underhanded like that, they just shut off that charity. :-( So please, in spite of your most noble intentions, make these *real* searches… not just fake searches to up the pennies.) So it takes literally *thousands* of searches to add up to anything significant.

    On the other hand, $20 is $20. :-) So — while you’re all opening your accounts, please… search on! Big-time. :-) Get curious. :-) (Thanks.) And in the end, we hope this gives your organization some dimes and quarters for your annual Christmas party or whatever. :-)

    Is the searching capability as good as Google’s? Jury’s still out. If I don’t find it on Goodsearch on the first couple of tries, I go to Google and try there. But it’s good enough that I’ve made Goodsearch my default search engine now. Maybe you can too. (Instructions are at the bottom of the Goodsearch landing page.)


  6. ESL: LEARN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE — Anyone who has a desire to learn English or to improve their English communication skills is encouraged to apply for this course sposored by Youth With A Mission, Lebanon, PA. USA. The date of the school is March 12, 2007 – June 1,2007. Details, and applicaton forms are listed on the website

    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 .]


  7. ENCOUNTERING THE WORLD OF ISLAM CLASS IS COMING TO L.A. — Encountering the World of Islam is being offered in the Greater Los Angeles area for the first time. This class from Initiative360 is a dynamic and effective 12-week experience that will have life-long impact. Choose from any of three locations. Get info or register at

    http://www.encounteringislam.org

    It’ll happen on Sundays beginning Jan. 28, Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, 6:30 – 9:00 pm Contact Andy Pearce andy(dot)pearce(at)gmail(dot)com Mondays beginning Jan. 29, Rolling Hills Covenant Church, Rolling Hills Estates, 7:00 – 9:30 pm Contact: Jenny Kottke at southbayewi(at)gmail(dot)com Tuesdays beginning Jan. 30 at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, 7:00 – 9:30 pm Contact: Tim Hardy thardy(at)cornerstonesimi(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. 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, Lebanon, PA USA. School dates: March 5, 2007 – March 30, 2007 and May 7, 2007 – June 1, 2007. It’s a certificate program. Get details, application forms and alternate dates by browsing to…

    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 .]


  9. HIRE THE POST OFFICE TO DO YOUR MAILINGS — Need to send post cards to addresses in the USA? Turns out the USPS will become your mail room. Thanks to Susie for pointing us to…

    http://www.usps.com/netpost/sendpremiumpostcards_business.htm


  10. NEW BOOK HELPING CHINESE RETURN TO THE “FAITH OF OUR FATHERS” — The Chinese church worldwide is growing rapidly and yet Christianity is still seen as something ‘foreign’ to most Chinese. This book traces ancient Chinese language, culture, and events to show that many throughout Chinese history indeed worshipped the Creator God of the Bible and coming to Christ is a return to the faith of their ancestors. The book is available in Mandarin (paperback only) and English ($15- paperback, $20-hardback + SH) from Leadership Development International, 678/783-4900 or Leaders-Of-Hope(at)ldius(dot) org. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  11. PARTNERS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE — Next edition, Brigada will celebrate a dozen years of weekly issues. Confession: we aren’t in it for the money. Having said that, it sure helps cover expenses, including secretarial help. And what a glorious encouragement it is to see a $200 gift from an anonymous donor from Las Cruces, NM. What’s more, here’s an anonymous donor that gave $10 in cash, and a fortune in words: “Thank you Doug for your consistent work for so many years! Not only have you kept our focus on unreached peoples, but you have shared invaluable internet and email security tips and software. Both of these features have been essential for effective international outreach. Thanks a million!” We give praise to God for these encouarging words.

  12. WANT TO HELP BRIGADA FINISH ITS ’07 $ NEEDS EARLY? — 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 BACKPAGE: THE BIGGEST COMEBACK EVER… — … in American football conference championship play, that is. And a great comeback it was. My son and I started watching the game tonight as father-and-son bonding time, but by halftime, he had pretty much given up. In fact, he left for Walmart. The New England Patriots were ahead of the Indianapolis Colts by a score of… what was it… 24-3? I was born & raised in Indiana though… and, somehow, I just couldn’t give up on Payton. So I came in to start working on this Brigada Today. Fortunately, my son came back from Walmart. And the Colts came back as well.

    What kind of tensile strength does it take be down by 18 points at halftime, then outscore the opponent 32-13 in the second half!? Payton led the charge; he threw for 349 yards and one touchdown, but he also led by believing. He was quick to point out after the game… “everybody did their job,” as the team piled on 455 yards of offense and six of their final eight drives. But regardless of the numbers on the jerseys, everyone knew what it had required: Mental toughness. It was a shining example.

    None of us knows when we’ll be placed in just such a position. Maybe our financial support will take a nose dive, or perhaps we’ll experience a huge hurt or emotional loss. Obviously, coming back in an athletic contest can’t hold a candle to life’s real hurdles… but the principles are the same.

    *** First, we have to believe that it’s possible.
    *** Second, we have to do the fundamentals – patiently & thoroughly.
    *** Third, we can rely on superhuman strength — the Lord’s strength.

    I was glad, in the case of both the owner/CEO of the Colts as well as the coach himself, to hear grown men giving total glory to God. They had found inner strength from above the flurry and the distractions of those who wanted to eat them for lunch.

    Someday, you might need that same inner strength. At that time, you won’t have the luxury to drill, practice or condition. We need to prepare *now* for the day that we’ll be called upon to come back. If you’ve been drifting away… if the job has become routine… if your relationship with God has taken a back seat and now… you’re just going through the motions — find someone to help you. Read a book. The Bible, a devotional guide, a challenging biography… or talk to a team member that can help you catch your breath.

    The game you might have to win someday might call from within you every ounce of mental toughness you can muster. Begin training today.

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