Poverty

8) Help Larry Find Stats on Poverty Caused by Corruption

poverty in usBrigada participant, Larry, wrote this past week, wondering “where we can find stats that say what percentage of poverty is caused by corruption and what percentage is caused by human actions and what percentage is caused by “acts of god.” Can you help us find a study on that? For background, see pages like…

http://www.statista.com/chart/2493/detroit-comes-first-for-poverty-in-the-united-states/

3) Grace’s Story will Inspire and Challenge

Today over 1 billion people live on the edge of survival with poor sanitation, no healthcare and little chance of education. There are many causes for poverty but the single greatest obstacle to overcoming this crippling poverty is corruption. Hear Grace’s story:

Christians around the world are coming together on this issue as part of the EXPOSED Campaign to shine a light on the scourge of corruption. The campaign wants raise a united voice to the world’s most powerful leaders, the G20 when they meet in Brisbane in November this year, and call on them to protect the poorest in our world. Governments are already considering anti-corruption measures, and we can encourage them further. Organizers are asking you to join your light and stand with thousands of others around the world by signing a petition and praying.

http://exposedcampaign.com

2) The Book, “When Helping Hurts,” Has Launched a Network —

You’ve read the book. Now you can join the network. Help foster interaction with the poor in ways that uphold the dignity God has bestowed upon every human being. Help start an asset-based movement that enables people who are poor to flourish. The Helping Without Hurting Network is a place to ask questions, access leading resources on poverty alleviation, and connect with others working to proclaim the Kingdom of God in their communities. As a member of the Helping Without Hurting Network you will have access to a wealth of resources on poverty alleviation issues, dynamics, and interventions, including:

*** Articles

*** Tools

*** Links

*** Recommended Books

*** Videos

*** Diagrams from When Helping Hurts

*** Quarterly Webinars and/or Podcasts with Chalmers staff and leading experts in Helping Without Hurting

*** A Forum to engage with other members and Chalmers staff through sharing questions, experiences, ideas, and thoughts

*** A regularly updated Blog maintained by Chalmers staff on asset-based practice and the role of the Church in helping the poor

To join, visit

 

http://www.chalmers.org/community/helping-without-hurting-network

 

 

2) When Helping Hurts

Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.

A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an “asset based” approach rather than a “needs based” approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and economic development strategies appropriate for North American and international contexts are presented, including microenterprise development. This book should be available at amazon.com within the next 2 weeks. See the link below. Or, to learn more, browse to

http://www.whenhelpinghurts.org/

To comment on this item, simply click “Comment” below.

2) Learn Holistic Ministry

The Chalmers Center offers a series of two distance courses on conducting economic development ministry. The initial course is called Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry. It helps you understand appropriate goals and strategies for conducting Christian economic development in poor communities within North America, addresses questions related to poverty, pro-poses a Biblical framework for understanding poverty and holistic development, and examines the role of the local church in the economic empowerment of poor people. Catch it May 4 – 29, 2009. The cost of this four-week course is $120 plus the cost of separately ordered course materials. Learn more about the Chalmers Center at…

http://www.chalmers.org/

20070527 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. TRAINING ON MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
  2. NORTH AMERICAN UNREACHED PEOPLE’S NETWORK ESTABLISHED
  3. SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT LONG-TERM HARM
  4. CHILD SAFETY GROUP CONVENES
  5. OPPORTUNITIES TO TEACH ENGLISH IN QINGDAO, CHINA
  6. RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT ONE-WEEK MODULES
  7. WANT TO SUBMIT AN ITEM TO BRIGADA? SEE THE GUIDELINES PLEASE
  8. FOCUS ON POVERTY, REFUGEES, HIV/AIDS AND OTHER SOCIAL ILLS
  9. NONPROFIT AND CHURCH LEGAL TRENDS MEMORANDUM POSTED
  10. PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR TEACHING ENGLISH
  11. LEARN DISASTER AND CRISIS RELIEF OPERATIONS
  12. FOCUS ON THE MBALANTU PEOPLE
  13. HATS OFF TO THOSE WHO MAKE POSSIBLE OUR WORK
  14. LET YOUR GIVING HAVE A GLOBAL VOICE
  15. THE BACKPAGE: TAP INTO THE TRUE ENERGY SOURCE
  16. CLOSING STUFF

  1. TRAINING ON MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT — The Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Develop 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 to 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 next offering is scheduled for Oct. 1 – Nov. 16, 2007. It also will be offered on Jan. 7 – Feb. 22, 2008.

    The prerequisite for the 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 Aug. 20 – Sept. 14, 2007. It also will be offered on Oct. 22 – Nov. 16, 2007.

    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

    When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-06/07.


  2. NORTH AMERICAN UNREACHED PEOPLE’S NETWORK ESTABLISHED — 32 lay people and ministry leaders recently met in Minneapolis to brainstorm and plan for a new network that hopes to help infuse new energy into unreached peoples networks reaching out from North America. Dubbed the North American Unreached People’s Network (NAUPN), its leadership team of 9 visionaries hope to stage its first major consultation in Dallas, Nov. 27-29. (Rats; I’m supposed to be in Europe that week. :-( Maybe I can change my travel plans — or send an associate.) Included in the group are representatives of Mission America, visionSynergy, Impact, Antioch Network, and others. If you’re interested, jot a note to info(at)powerofconnecting(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  3. SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT LONG-TERM HARM — In addition to its distance learning courses on economic development, the Chalmers Center also offers a low-cost 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 and 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 next offering is scheduled for Oct. 29 – Nov. 16, 2007. It also will be offered on 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

    http://www.chalmers.org

    When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-06/07.


  4. CHILD SAFETY GROUP CONVENES — On May 8-10, 2007, fifty-five people from twenty mission agencies/faith-based NGOs met on the lovely grounds of Campus Crusade for Christ in Orlando, Florida, for the Second Joint Consultation on Child Safety and Abuse Response. As had been hoped and prayed for, a collaborative network of mission agencies and faith-based NGOs are intentionally and strategically addressing the issues of child protection within the broader US-based mission-sending community. The response across the board has been enthusiastic and heart-felt.

    The results include the following: The third meeting, geared toward mission leaders/decision makers who will formulate and resource policy for each agency, is tentatively scheduled for February 2008. In the meantime, the attending organizations are committed to sharing resources and partnering in prevention and response when possible. They are also working toward a common set of definitions, best-practice standards, and prevention and response protocols that would provide a high level of confidence for their staff, along with consistency and partnership in this critical area between organizations.

    Further updates regarding the third meeting, including specifics on whom to contact, will be forthcoming on Brigada within the next few months. Keep reading.


  5. OPPORTUNITIES TO TEACH ENGLISH IN QINGDAO, CHINA — The Baishan School is looking for native English speakers with an education degree or teaching experience to teach English to Chinese children in kindergarten through grade 9 beginning August 1. The school is operated by like-minded local friends looking to impact Chinese society. Salary, airfare, housing, and local medical insurance is provided during the eleven-month contract. Committed Christian teachers desiring to teach English in this city by the sea should contact Cindy at Cindyf(at)ldius(dot)org

  6. RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT ONE-WEEK MODULES –- The SWORD training course offers one-week modules on Aquaculture, Micro-Finance & Business-as- Mission, and water & other community technologies. It all begins April 7, 2008 (Jordan), followed by a field assignment to selected countries on June 30, 2008. Both the 12-week lecture phase and the one-week modules are available. The Field Assignment is spearheaded by the Beijing Olympic Outreach. After the Beijing Olympics, a team will remain in China to finish their Field Assignment.( The Olympic outreach within the SWORD course is optional). The rest of the teams / candidates will proceed to their target countries in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and other Asian countries for their respective Field Assignments. And then, get the opportunity to work with our dispatches in some parts of the world! For more info, 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. WANT TO SUBMIT AN ITEM TO BRIGADA? SEE THE GUIDELINES PLEASE — Just click “submit an item” in the top line menu. There you’ll find 25 tips that help you find your way into Brigada Today effortlessly and efficiently.

  8. FOCUS ON POVERTY, REFUGEES, HIV/AIDS AND OTHER SOCIAL ILLS — Get it at the SWORD training course, along with info on the current situation in some of the poorest countries in the world. Learn the strategies. Find out where God is leading you to serve. It starts April 7, 2008 (Jordan), followed by a field assignment to selected countries on June 30, 2008. Both the 12-week lecture phase and the one-week modules are available. For more info, email streams7(at)juno(dot)com.

  9. NONPROFIT AND CHURCH LEGAL TRENDS MEMORANDUM POSTED — The latest issue of the Nonprofit and Church Legal Trends Memorandum is now online. Be sure to note the new location.

    http://www.nonprofitchurchlaw.org

    In this issue, learn about legal restrictions as to the nature and/or extent of fundraising solicitations that may be used outside the U.S. such that will jeopardize US donors tax deductions, read the latest stats on number of nonprofit organizations, see info on new governance practices posted by the IRS, learn how to substantiate business expenses, and much much more.


  10. PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR TEACHING ENGLISH — Invest three weeks in hands-on TESOL training and ensure that your teaching is effective and your ministry with students is enhanced. There are still a few slots left in Essentials of TESOL, July 9-27, 2007, at Biola University in southern California. You will: learn methods and techniques for teaching English language skills, be introduced to the sound and grammar systems of English, discover teaching materials, explore cultural issues, and learn appropriate ways of being a Christian teacher. You will also get supervised experience in teaching non-native speakers. Non-credit tuition is only $525. Dorm space may still be available. Learn more at

    http://www.biola.edu/sics/academics_tesol.cfm

    or call 562/903-4844 or contact kitty(dot)purgason(at)biola(dot)edu for an application. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  11. LEARN DISASTER AND CRISIS RELIEF OPERATIONS — Catch one-week modules on Disaster & Crisis Relief Operations, Light Search & Rescue, and Disaster Health Care at the SWORD (Strategic Seminars-Workshops on Relief & Development), April 7, 2008 (Jordan), followed by a field assignment to selected countries on June 30, 2008. For more info, write 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 .]

  12. FOCUS ON THE MBALANTU PEOPLE — This people of northern Namibia in Africa would be *hard* to reach, perhaps, but should that mean they are unreachable? Not so much. Needing a Savior? Yes. Driving through the northern areas of Namibia, a Christian worker asked our guide where were the majority of the Mbalantu people. He said “far west.” The worker asked him, is there any one ministering with them. His reply, “We have some preaching points to the west, but they are too far west.” God has put these people in Namibia and He did not put them too far west! Please pray that someone will see the need of the Mbalantu. Pray that someone will feel God’s desire to reach these people that are too far west! Pray for the Mbalantu people, a Forgotten People, but not forgotten by God! To adopt the Mbalantu people for prayer or for more information, please e-mail forgottenpeoples(at)telkomsa(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  13. HATS OFF TO THOSE WHO MAKE POSSIBLE OUR WORK — Thanks to the YWAMmers from the far North who sent $50 to enable more work from Brigada! We appreciate you and the fact that you wanted to remain anonymous… but we’re forever grateful for your sacrificial service long-term in the field. Another partner from Topeka sent $50. Shew. We appreciate you. Thanks to the other friend who sent $100 — same story – – long-time Brigada reader who just wanted to say thanks. What an honor to serve him. Another $100 came from Alameda, CA. Praise be to God. And finally, thanks to the missions-oriented church on the East Coast who sent $500 to undergird our work here and keep Brigada going out the door. Inspirational and humbling — that’s what that is. They added that they had been getting Brigada since nearly the very beginning. What an encouragement. Thank you so much.

  14. LET YOUR GIVING HAVE A GLOBAL VOICE — Help make Brigada happen. 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.

  15. THE BACKPAGE: TAP INTO THE TRUE ENERGY SOURCE — In my spare time (ok, I confess: not so much :-) ), I enjoy reading Astronomy Magazine, even though the cosmology articles are often off-base. Take the one by Scott Dodelson in the May 2007 issue (p. 43), entitled “Seeing The Red Limit.” He’s the Dir. of the Center for Particle Astrophysics at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Batavia, IL (sounds important enough). He wrote the book, _Modern Cosmology_ (Academic Press), 2003. And his quote looked promising, actually, at least at first: “Ordinary matter … can’t produce an accelerating universe. … Whatever causes this cosmic acceleration, it’s truly an exotic form of energy that isn’t diluted as the volume enclosing it expands. Physicists have dubbed this ‘dark energy.'” How do we tell these guys in a nice way that not only have we located the source of that “dark energy,” but that we also tap into it *daily*?

    Colossians 1:15-17 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” So there you have it: the true energy source.

    Just make sure you’ve tapped in tonight.

    Want to write a response? … express your own opinion on energy sources? Just click over to

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.

20061126 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY?
  2. NEW BOOK TELLS TESTIMONY OF BUSINESSMAN TURNING TO MISSIONS
  3. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES from US
  4. NEED A WORD TRANSLATED? TRY THIS SITE
  5. LOOKING FOR WEB-BASED BIBLE STUDY TOOLS?
  6. HOW TO KNOW A GOOD FORWARDING AGENT
  7. CASPARI STATIONERY
  8. MISSION TECHNOLOGY WIKI
  9. HOW WOULD WE DO IT WITHOUT YOU? WE PROBABLY WOULDN’T
  10. THE BACKPAGE: ALL FOR A STYROFOAM PEANUT
  11. 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. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for a team who ministers together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. Topics covered are: An understanding of poverty and its causes, a relational framework for addressing poverty, principles for doing relief work appropriately, needs-based and asset-based approaches to holistic community development, implications for short-term teams, impact of world view on poverty and development, and integration of biblical messages into development programs.

    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.

    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- 11/06. (Thanks to the Chalmers Center for all the great times you’ve pitched in to help Brigada move forward! God bless you all!)


  2. NEW BOOK TELLS TESTIMONY OF BUSINESSMAN TURNING TO MISSIONS — As you read Roger Babik’s ‘A Call Against the Will,’ you’ll be entertained, inspired and challenged. How can so many funny things happen to one family? (How can one family cause so many funny things to happen?) Get ready for a roller coaster ride of faith in action, joy in service, and miles of miracles. This is Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” brought to *life*! Learn how a career businessman does the trading-spaces thing by casting aside his secure management job of 17 years to launch a highly-successful Christian non-profit organization. It’s worth the read just to witness this family’s battle with (and victory over) a life-threatening illness. You’ll want to hurry up and finish it so you can loan it to your best friend.

    See the cover at

    http://www.masterprovisions.org/ by clicking on “Click here to see the cover.” The cost is $12.95 (includes post office shipping) and payment should be made to Master Provisions, 12236 Hutton Drive, Walton, KY 41094. Don’t forget to include your mailing address. Visa and MasterCard transactions will be accepted. Purchase 5 books and the 6th book is free. (For every book purchased, Master Provisions is planning to donate nearly $2.00 per book over to Brigada. Please be sure to tell them you heard about it on Brigada.) It can be ordered through Master Provisions by contacting roger(at)masterprovisions(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. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES from US — Here’s a way to get great calling rates for domestic (starting at 1.9cents/min to continental US and Canada) and international calls (200 countries for less than 10cents/min …UK 3cents, France 3cents, Russia/Moscow 2.5cents, Israel 3.2cents, Colombia/SA 4.2cents, South Africa 9cents). You can call from any touchtone phone including cell. They have prepaid service, no contracts, no monthly, activation, or connection fees, no need to switch carriers plus you get up to 470 free minutes on signup. They have lots of convenience features. For more info go to:

    http://www.tel3advantage.com/?agentnumber=837371

    An agent affiliate program with good income potential is also available at no cost to sign up.


  4. NEED A WORD TRANSLATED? TRY THIS SITE — The site is

    http://www.wordreference.com

    It features one-word dictionary meanings in Spanish, French, and Italian, as well as a cool verb conjugator built right in. (Thanks Jason.)


  5. LOOKING FOR WEB-BASED BIBLE STUDY TOOLS? — Bob found these (featuring “NextBible” helps & tools:

    http://next.bible.org/

    Stable Release Version:

    http://net.bible.org/home.php

    (Thanks Bob — and thanks to the IMB for sharing you!)


  6. HOW TO KNOW A GOOD FORWARDING AGENT — Hats off to Jason Casey, another compiler with a cause. As a Team Expansion missionary in Europe, he volunteered to compile a few “top 10 lists” on how to know when you have a good forwarding agent (i.e., the person handling your funds while you’re serving as a missionary overseas with certain organizations). See his list at

    http://www.brigada.org/today/articles/forwarding-agents

    Thanks Jason!


  7. CASPARI STATIONERY — It’s that time of year again! As you celebrate the birth of the Jewish Messiah this Christmas, share the true meaning of the holiday with family and friends by using unique, high quality stationery designed by the Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies. (Proceeds help support Caspari’s work with Israel’s Jewish believers in Jesus.) Letterhead and envelopes are sold separately for just $5 each in packages of 50 through their online store

    http://www.caspari.com/store

    Or call the Caspari U.S. office at (+1) 630.668.3328. Churches and organizations wishing to order a quantity for resale will receive a bulk discount. Contact the Caspari U.S. office by phone or by email at CaspariUSA(at)caspari(dot)com for details. (Price does not include shipping.)


  8. MISSION TECHNOLOGY WIKI — Here is a wiki use within the mission IT community. The Mission Tech Wiki at

    http://www.missiontech.info/

    aims to capture knowledge about the use of technology in mission. The wiki is run by members of the ICCM community

    http://www.iccm.org/

    There is a great article on what to buy as a laptop for workers – just search for ‘laptop’. Feel free to update the wiki if you see something missing, or wrong. (Thanks ICCM!)


  9. HOW WOULD WE DO IT WITHOUT YOU? WE PROBABLY WOULDN’T — Because your gifts are such an encouragement. Thanks for keeping the Brigada fires burning! Thanks to an anonymous donor “who appreciates your newsletter. ($50 gift). And to another who wrote, “Thanks for many years of faithfully preparing and sending out Brigada to us as missionaries. It’s been a blessing every time! Merry Christmas!!: $10” [What a great idea — a Christmas gift to keep Brigada going!] Another anonymous donor sent $25… and Judy sent $8 from Tel3 signups (Thanks Judy! and thanks to those who talk on Tel3!). For more info, go to

    http://www.tel3advantage.com/?agentnumber=837371

    Want to join the foundation builders? 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.


  10. THE BACKPAGE: ALL FOR A STYROFOAM PEANUT — This past week, I sold my previous telescope on eBay, bought a more powerful telescope (also on eBay — great deal, by the way), and was almost all ready to go observing when I noticed, inside the enclosed portion of the Schmidt- Cassegrain optics, a single styrofoam peanut. When the eBay vendor sent me the scope, he packed it up with tons of styrofoam peanuts — and one of them had made it into the inside optics because he left the cap off the back of the scope.

    I posted a message on an astronomy forum, asking what to do. I even posted a picture of the optics and the styrofoam peanut. After a brief explanation of the details, the answer came back, “Take the front lense/corrector off.” Yikes, that sounded difficult.

    But even so, tonight I did it. It was like having to do surgery without the undergrad, let alone the residency.

    Nevertheless, I finished it. (I’ll let you know for sure how I did next time we have a clear night.)

    Now the funny thing is… 150+ people have come to that forum thread to read about what happened. Can you imagine? 150+ people have double- clicked to read about one single styrofoam peanut! :-)

    So the thought occurred: how is it that the tiniest thing can cause such a great stir? James 2. A giant ship turns on a rudder. Control a large horse with a tiny bit. Tiny bacteria can cause Amoebic Dysentery The smallest cancer cell can spell torture for patients. And the smallest mispronunciation can change a Bible term to a word that we wouldn’t have ever wanted to say at all!

    One thing’s for sure: to be really good at something, we have to learn to do the small things *well*. Eat right, study the Word, Pray to God, exercise incrementally, etc., etc., etc. And if we do all things right, it won’t be just styrofoam peanuts. It’ll be the difference between success — and failure.

    So this week, let’s focus on the big picture stuff… *and* let’s remember to work equally hard on the small stuff… the “styrofoam peanuts.”

    By the way, I got the scope apart, removed the peanut, and got it back together! It’s like surgery is done! Now the folks on the forum are cheering me on for finishing it. Where’s your own ministry? What styrofoam peanut can you remove? What piece can you improve on and get a substantial increase in your own productivity? *That* is the question that haunts us all. That’s the question for you tonight.

    Doug

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!

20060910 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY
  2. FIRST DIGITAL TALKING BIBLES SENT TO AFRICA
  3. 5TH TENTMAKERS INT’L CONGRESS TO BE JULY 9-11
  4. HUNTING FOR HOSTS & HOSTESSES
  5. MORE FOLLOWUP ON GET PEOPLE PRAYING
  6. HOUSE OR PRAYER
  7. WEBINAR SERVICES?
  8. MOMENTUM MAGAZINE UP FOR LOOKS
  9. A SIMPLER VOICE-OVER-INTERNET OFFER?
  10. PDFS WITHOUT WAITING (OR PAYING) FOR OFFICE 2007
  11. SHARE EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR PARENTS OF MISSIONARY KIDS
  12. FREE 4-COLOR TRACTS ON MORMONS AND JWS IN 20+ LANGUAGES
  13. THE BACKPAGE: SATELLITES HAVE THE HIGH GROUND
  14. CLOSING STUFF

  1. 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. This course will be offered on January 8 – February 2, 2007 and again on May 7 – June 1, 2007. Note that the January course is nearly full and limited spots remain.

    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. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for a team who ministers together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities.

    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

    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(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-10/06.


  2. FIRST DIGITAL TALKING BIBLES SENT TO AFRICA — Talking Bibles International recently sent its first 1,000 new digital, solid-state Talking Bibles to Malawi, Africa. These Talking Bibles have a special arrangement of Scripture passages from the Old Testament as well as the entire New Testament in the Chichewa language. Learn more at…

    http://www.talkingbibles.org

    and

    http://www.audioscriptures.org

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


  3. 5TH TENTMAKERS INT’L CONGRESS TO BE JULY 9-11 — Tentmakers International (TI, formerly TIE) will hold its 5th Congress in Malaysia, and is open to anyone with an interest in tentmaking. From the 11th – 13th, the TI Consultation for TI associates and experienced tentmakers will be held in the same venue. To register, please contact ticongress(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 .] or browse to

    http://www.tentmakersinternational.info or

    http://www.tentmakernet.com


  4. HUNTING FOR HOSTS & HOSTESSES — YWAM Sahara Center in Torremolinos, Spain is seeking a couple for hospitality ministry. Interested parties can contact Mark at markf(at)gosahara(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  5. MORE FOLLOWUP ON GET PEOPLE PRAYING —- Why do people not care enough about missions to pray? A reporter interviewed two men who were digging ditches. He asked the first, “What are you doing?” He quickly replied, “I’m digging ditches.” Asked the same question the second man replied, “I am building a cathedral.” The person who only sees what HE is doing, whether it is ushering or getting excited about a friend’s marriage or a basketball game, is living life digging ditches. He does not see the big picture. What he needs is vision. What seems to be lacking in many churches is that vision of the big picture that missions is building the kingdom of God, and that through prayer for missions believers become an integral part of the building process. Until people in the pew catch that vision from their leaders, prayer for missions will continue to be viewed as just digging ditches. (Thanks for sending this item all the way from Russia, Tom!)

  6. HOUSE OR PRAYER — Campo247 for November 06 is in the southern most part of Spain near the Rock of Gibraltar, within eyesight of Morocco. Elijah Company and Intercessors Arise are uniting with the local churches to invite global Christians to join in this 24 / 7 prayer effort. The area is a point of entrance and exits for kingdoms, a focal point for four major ethnic groups and is at the summit between secular Europe and Muslim North Africa. Daily seminars will focus on missions, prayer, and various related topics. For details of the vision and ways to participate on-sight or from a distance see the web site at

    http://www.campo247.com

    or write to info(at)campo247(dot)com or call +1-757-226-3507. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  7. WEBINAR SERVICES? — Eddie and Alice Smith offer a free 52-week online school of prayer at

    http://www.TeachMeToPray.com

    They have several thousand students and wish to begin conducting teleclasses. Many of their students in other nations can’t afford a one-hour telephone call to the U.S. for training. Most of them utilize dialup Internet services. The Smiths would like your recommendations for inexpensive audio/video Internet training services. Do you use a webinar service? If so, please forward your recommendations to Eddie Smith at usprayercenter(at)cs(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. MOMENTUM MAGAZINE UP FOR LOOKS — Check out the latest edition of Momentum Magazine (September/October 2006) at

    http://www.momentum-mag.org


  9. A SIMPLER VOICE-OVER-INTERNET OFFER? — Rod at MissionFinder.org found a different approach to free phone calls, offered by JaJah.com. Nothing to download, no start-up or connection fees, no special equipment. You use your regular phone, cordless phone, or cell phone, and calls are free to other JaJah users in many countries. JaJay says calls to the rest of the world are very inexpensive. You can schedule calls ahead of time, set up conference calls, etc. This can save your money for use for other mission needs! (Thanks Rod!)

  10. PDFS WITHOUT WAITING (OR PAYING) FOR OFFICE 2007 — Neil reminded us of these suggestions for crafting PDFs…

    OpenOffice – which will read and write to Microsoft Office formats has “export as a pdf” built-in.

    http://www.openoffice.org/

    CutePDF converts pdf documents from any Windows program (including Office), and is free. Download from

    http://cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp

    (Make sure you download and install the Ghostscript converter too, needed to make it work – available on the same page.)


  11. SHARE EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR PARENTS OF MISSIONARY KIDS — On October 12th and 13th there will be a conference in Moscow geared toward equipping parents as they seek to raise and educate their kids overseas. Topics will address the needs of parents choosing home schooling and national schooling as well as addressing general TCK and cross cultural parenting issues. North American norm-referenced testing will also be available to students using the IOWA Achievement test. Check out their web site

    http://www.ShareEducation.org

    for detailed information and registration. For inquiries contact Larry at lmilks(at)shareeducation(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  12. FREE 4-COLOR TRACTS ON MORMONS AND JWS IN 20+ LANGUAGES — Get free tracts on the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon Church available for the price of shipping, or downloadable from the internet. Most are in 4 color. They are produced by the Institute for Religious Research and available for the cost of shipping only if used for free distribution outside the USA. For downloadable articles organized by language go to:

    http://www.irr.org/languages

    To view sample pdfs go to:

    http://irr.org/resources.html

    To request tracts and get shipping estimates, USA callers may dial toll-free: 1 877-888-4477; outside the USA call 616-451-4562 or request information via email at: sarah(at)irr(dot)org


  13. THE BACKPAGE: SATELLITES HAVE THE HIGH GROUND — It began with a broadcast. Moeb (not his real name), a young man living in North Africa, was flipping through his family’s TV channels when he came across a broadcast about Jesus. He had heard about this prophet. He paused to watch for a minute. At the end of the program, he noticed an address. Curious, he wrote to ask for more information.

    Meanwhile, one of our mission’s workers in North Africa had become interested in satellite broadcasting as a way to “cast the net” larger. He traveled to Amsterdam to learn more from a studio there. As he started to leave, they asked if he would consider taking back some materials for a young inquirer.

    Once he arrived back in the Muslim land where he worked, the Christian worker sought out the address and actually found Moeb. He delivered the information and set up a follow-up meeting to answer Moeb’s questions. Six months later, the Christian worker baptized Moeb and welcomed him to the Kingdom of God. As a matter of fact, the worker is now focusing on satellite broadcasting full-time. His energies will become another piece in the global effort to bless Muslims with more knowledge of Jesus Christ. Pray for him and others like him laboring to bring Good News and Hope to those who haven’t heard.

20060423 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY
  2. DISTANCE LEARNING AT THE CHALMERS CENTER
  3. WORLDMAPPER: THIS IS ONE SITE YOU HAVE TO VISIT
  4. WORLDMAPPER: SEE THE GLOBE IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT
  5. WORLDMAPPER: USE THE TOOLS, EXPLORE, LEARN
  6. SUMMERTIME! HELP BRIGADA! SHORT-TERMERS, GET INSURANCE
  7. LEARN MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE
  8. FREE CHURCH PLANTERS TRAINING CD-ROM
  9. “PARTNERSHIPS THAT TRANSFORM” CONFERENCE: REGISTER NOW
  10. FULLER DISTANCE-LEARNING COURSE ON WEB EVANGELISM
  11. BE A PART OF GOD’S WELCOMING COMMITTEE
  12. SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR THOSE WORKING WITH CHILDREN
  13. FREE ON-LINE PROFESSIONAL MISSIONS JOURNAL
  14. RESOURCES FOR WORK AMONG UNREACHED PEOPLES
  15. VIDEO BLOGING FOR JESUS
  16. JOB OPPORTUNITY AT A US FOUNDATION FOCUSED ON GLOBAL MISSIONS
  17. OPPORTUNTIES AT WINDERMERE HIGH SCHOOL, BAHAMAS
  18. GO TO SCHOOL IN GHANA
  19. THE BACKPAGE: “24” AND A SENSE OF URGENCY
  20. CLOSING STUFF

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY — Learn how through the “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” course from the Chalmers Center for Economic Development (Covenant College) offered in distance format on August 28 – September 22, 2006. 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. To learn more or to register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    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 EN-BRN- 04/06.


  2. DISTANCE LEARNING AT THE CHALMERS CENTER — These distance learning options (like the one above) are appropriate for individuals as well as for teams who minister together. In the case of the topic above, the course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. Topics covered are: Understanding poverty, when to do relief and when to do development, harm that can come from inappropriately doing relief or development, the response of the local church to poverty, and how to integrate Biblical principles into development programs. This course is a guided-reading program with weekly written assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with the other course participants. Because it is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed from a remote location will not limit participation. Prior financial or economic experience is not required to participate. Group discounts and Two-Thirds World discounts are available. See the site above for more information.

  3. WORLDMAPPER: THIS IS ONE SITE YOU HAVE TO VISIT — The University of Sheffield and Mark Newman (at the University of Michigan) have pulled off a *major* coup. How in the world they were able to come up with such a cool tool I’ll never know. And how they can do it for free is beyond me. In the old days, this would have cost $29 as a book to sit on your coffee table. It would have been read by a few thousand people, grown obsolete quickly, and been fairly useless in a short number of years. By contrast, remember the name, “Worldmapper”. I wish I’d been able to pull it off. I’d have no trouble raising funds for our secretary *or* some publicity.

  4. WORLDMAPPER: SEE THE GLOBE IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT — I’ve seen a few static books like this before. So it’s not necessarily a *new* idea. They’re called cartograms, otherwise known as density-equalising maps. They’re beautiful, colorful and expensive. I can’t paste them into a Powerpoint very easily, nor can we replicate them very adequately — or legally. But in the space of about 1 hour — the time it takes for Brigada Today to make its rounds to 10,000 people around the globe, we can *all* see the globe in a whole new light at worldmapper.org. That’s the site. So although it’s not a new idea, these guys have just implemented it better. Have a look:

    http://www.worldmapper.org


  5. WORLDMAPPER: USE THE TOOLS, EXPLORE, LEARN — Basically, Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. The creators hope to continue to add data throughout 2006. My hunch is, they’ll continue for a long time to come. Click on the thumbnail labeled, “Land Area”, to see a fairly traditional world map. Look at the PDF poster at the bottom of the linked page. Print it for free at your office or in your home. (Proper copyright data is conveniently posted at the bottom in small print.) You can also choose to view Excel data (either smallish or generous), which you can save on your own hard drive, all free of charge. You can even read technical notes about the data. But the cool parts are yet to come. On the “Total Population” map, the territories are resized based on *people* instead of land mass. Again, all the data is provided below. Want to paste a graphic into your Powerpoint? You’re in luck. Right-click on the map, choose “Save Picture as…”, save the PNG file on your drive, then in Powerpoint (or whatever you use for presentations), just “insert|picture file” and paste it in. Done. If you’re using the material to teach a class, “fair use” might be all you need to use that graphic. If you’re using the material for any other reason… say… a profit motive, write to info(at)worldmapper(dot)org and see what you can negotiate. Again, the authors promise in advance that non-profit use will usually be granted.

    With each map there’s a cool block of explanatory text at the right. Very cool. Tells the story in a nutshell. Sometimes the text is *very* cool. On the poster, it’s nice enough to use as a *placemat* at your next missions banquet. Write for permission, then find some generous businessman with a color printer and a laminator. Bam. You’re in business. Today there are 56 maps. Someday there will be 500. Mark my words: this site is a happening place. :-)

    So who can connect with them to get evangelical Christianity mapped. :-) Don’t forget — you heard about it on Brigada.


  6. SUMMERTIME! HELP BRIGADA! SHORT-TERMERS, GET INSURANCE –- As you get ready for short-term mission trips this summer don’t forget to get travel medical, evacuation and trip insurance! 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! (Yay! :-) ) Coverage is available for any international need – short-term trips, career missionaries, trip cancellation, short-term teams and term life insurance.

    For coverage details, rates and the online applications of the Brigada sponsored plans, go to

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

    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!


  7. LEARN MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE — The Chalmers Center also offers a second distance course (in addition to the one noted above) and a self-study course on microfinance and microenterprise development services and interventions and a third distance course on basic principles of Savings and Credit Associations (SCAs) and how SCAs can be used as a ministry tool. For more information, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org


  8. FREE CHURCH PLANTERS TRAINING CD-ROM — George Patterson’s interactive novel, “Come, Let Us Disciple the Nations”, is now available as a free download. It will track your learning in 20 skill areas while you choose options for a congregation that reproduces in its own community, in a nearby culture, in a distant land and in a hostile one. The .zip file contains 25 megabytes of programme, text, pictures and sounds.

    http://www.paul-timothy.net/dn/

    Or write to the author at GPatterson(at)cvi2(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] The story consists of actual events known to the author that occurred in various church-planting efforts around the globe.


  9. “PARTNERSHIPS THAT TRANSFORM” CONFERENCE: REGISTER NOW — The 2006 COSIM conference is scheduled for June 12-14, 2006 at the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. The theme is “Partnerships that Transform: Here and There.” COSIM stands for Coalition on the Support of Indigenous Ministries. Tons of quality speakers and workshops focus on local church involvement, accountability, assessing your cross-cultural partnerships, etc. Visit the COSIM web site and download the fact sheet-registration form at:

    http://www.cosimnet.org

    Or write to werner(at)mission1(dot)org.


  10. FULLER DISTANCE-LEARNING COURSE ON WEB EVANGELISM — Course MP 537 is a pioneering 10-week distance-learning course on web evangelism starting 19 June:

    http://ied.gospelcom.net/links?=fullercourse

    In order to register for this course, students must first be admitted to a short non-degree or certificate program at Fuller Theological Seminary:

    http://www.fuller.edu/admiss/applications/applications.asp

    They then request registration for the MP537 course after 19 May:

    http://fulleronline.org/D2index.real?area=193

    (Thanks Tony!)


  11. BE A PART OF GOD’S WELCOMING COMMITTEE — “Welcome to My House: God’s Invitation to Ethnic America” is the theme of the 6th annual Ethnic Workers’ Summit, sponsored by the Ethnic America Network. The summit is a gathering of people from all over the USA and Canada who are ministering to Ethnic America or are wanting to get started in reaching their international immigrant neighbors. The event begins Thursday, April 27, at 6:45 pm and continues to 9:00 pm Saturday, April 29 at Rehoboth Baptist Church, 2997 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker, GA 30084 (an eastern suburb of Atlanta). Registration for the entire event is $110 for a single person, $170 for a couple, and $60 for a student. Day rates are also available. The three evening plenary sessions at 6:45 pm are free and open to the public. Visit

    http://www.atl06.org

    or write info(at)atl06(dot)org or phone 1-770-936-5217 for more information. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  12. SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR THOSE WORKING WITH CHILDREN — May 15-19 2006 “Offering Healing and Hope for Children in Crisis” is a course developed by Phyllis Kilbourn, author of several books and founder of Rainbows of Hope. This specialized training will be offered at Gateway Missionary Training Centre, May 15-19, 2006. This course has been developed in order to better equip people who will be working with Children in Crisis. It is the first of a series and deals with general trauma issues including the impact of trauma on children and foundational principles for intervention planning to restore healing and hope to these children. The final section also deals with care of the caregiver. These principles are applicable in any cultural contex. The cost is $150.00, plus Room and Board for $20.00 a day if needed. For more information contact: Gateway Missionary Training Centre in Canada via their site:

    http://www.gatewaytraining.org


  13. FREE ON-LINE PROFESSIONAL MISSIONS JOURNAL — Global Missiology

    http://www.GlobalMissiology.org

    is a free quarterly professional on-line missiological journal that features contributions from a host of today’s top thinkers and practitioners. The April English edition is now available featuring articles on “Pentecost and Missions” among other topics. The journal also features complete archives of previously published editions. There is also a Chinese edition that contains original articles from Chinese missiologists in simplified and full scripts. Global Missiology is launching a French edition and is accepting original articles for that version by queries to editor(at)globalmissiology(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] From the April issue on, readers of the English edition of GM can start receiving free downloads of out-of-print book titles by well known missiologists (e.g. Dr. Yamamori – Executive Director of Lausanne Congress of World Evangelism). To begin receiving an e-mail notice with a link to Global Missiology when new issues appear, send an e-mail message to editor(at)globalmissiology(dot)org and write “subscribe” in the subject heading. The GM editor will reply to your message with an acknowledgment of your request.


  14. RESOURCES FOR WORK AMONG UNREACHED PEOPLES — George Verwer of Operation Mobilization is recommending a new 94 page directory with information on where to obtain key resources for frontier missions world-wide – help with church planting, technical assistance, healthcare, travel advice, training, tentmaking, development, medical supplies, children’s education while abroad, etc. etc.. “Ian Benson is on the cutting edge of mission mobilization and his Resources for Missionary Work is a very useful and valuable tool in the great task that so many of us are involved in.” Cost GB £2.75 or US$5 plus postage. To order, visit

    http://www.missionarytraining.org/resource.htm

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


  15. VIDEO BLOGING FOR JESUS — Makoto and Delaina Miyazaki in northern Japan have just begun a new ministry of Video Bloging. Entertaining, funny and informative, this sure beats the average newsletter! Every Thursday a new edition of Truthwork.com’s Internet Christian News. Check it out and learn what kind of potential video blogging has for sharing Jesus with the target audience of your new home country. Learn what it takes to get this kind of work off the ground. For more information visit

    http://www.truthwork.com

    or email to: truthworkjapan(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 .]


  16. JOB OPPORTUNITY AT A US FOUNDATION FOCUSED ON GLOBAL MISSIONS -– First Fruit, Inc.

    http://www.firstfruit.org

    which is a private foundation that provides grants to Christian ministries and NGOs in the developing world, is seeking a Program Administrator. This individual will be a core member of the programming team, and will have myriad administrative and research responsibilities. The right candidate will be an engaging Christian with a passion for international missions, who would bring a set of administrative and analytical skills and gifts to the position. For more information, please contact Lori lori(at)firstfruit(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  17. OPPORTUNTIES AT WINDERMERE HIGH SCHOOL, BAHAMAS — Windermere High School has these teaching opportunities for 2006 – 2007: History– Caribbean and World (10-12) and Geography (10), Spanish (7-12) with general subjects, and Computer (7-12) with networking and general repair, or with general subjects. These are full time positions at a Christian school with an enrollment of 70 students. For more information, log on to their web site at

    http://www.windermerehigh.org

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


  18. GO TO SCHOOL IN GHANA — American International School, Accra Ghana, is an exciting new NICS school. Check out

    http://www.nics.org

    Applications are now being accepted for students grade K-8. They’re also accepting applications for teachers. School year 2006-2007 has a limited enrollment for its “soft start” so don’t delay. Contact CharleneBerry(at)nics(dot)org or call +233-277-549905 for more information. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  19. THE BACKPAGE: “24” AND A SENSE OF URGENCY — As you know, I’ve been catching up on back-episodes of “24”, the hit TV show from FOX. (Again, the violent parts aren’t pretty sights. I fast forward through those.) But for some reason, I keep gaining insights that seem applicable to my work in missions. Previously, we’ve talked about courage, patient wisdom, speaking the truth, freedom and accountability. Today, I’d like us to focus on urgency.

    In some ways, “24” and urgency are *synonymous*. Jack Bauer is a federal agent working for a special branch of Homeland Security called “Counter-Terrorist Unit” or “CTU.” You can already guess that most of the plots are pressure-cooked efforts to keep some shopping mall from being attacked by bioterrorists, or to prevent some wacko from setting off a nuclear bomb over downtown LA. Obviously, time is of the essence. Jack yells at the top of his lungs to bad guy after bad guy, “I’m runnin’ outa time!”

    Today, while watching an episode from season three, however, that message of urgency hit me harder than it had before. Here’s this CTU agent tasked with preventing a nerve gas canister from blowing up in front of a giant hotel ventilation system fan. He approaches it gingerly, fan blades still turning, and time just seemed to freeze for me. I found myself nearly trembling as I said in a whisper, “Stop the fan! Turn off the system before it blows!” And suddenly, — pssst! Like that… the canister squirts nerve gas in his face and 1000 hotel guests are exposed to a deadly virus. :-(

    Later as I reflected on that moment with my 16-year-old (who watched the show with the rest of the family for a full 3 years before I started), I realized how relevant it is to all our work. We all face obstacles… spinning blades of confusion, misunderstanding, interpersonal conflict, and more. Sometimes we *creep* toward finding a solution. Sometimes it blows up right in our faces. Meanwhile, the spiritual dilemma of Satan and his dominance over so many lands… it just gets more and more perplexing by the day. Watching that moment of “24” made me think — we can see bioterrorism so clearly. We can easily see how time is of the essence. Don’t waste a moment. Yet we sometimes seem to piddle at frontier missions. I’ve heard from my good friend, Dan Scribner, at joshuaproject.net, that the percentage of funds spent on frontier missions is just 1/2 of one cent per year, when compared to the over all missions giving of all our local churches. If we were to invest only 1/2 of once percent in terrorism-prevention, …. well you can guess the results we’d get. :-(

    So gang, let’s declare this an official emergency. 15,900 people groups, 6700 of which remain essentially unreached. 2 billion people (30% of the world’s population) with virtually no exposure to the gospel. Maybe there will be a day when we can relax. Maybe a day will come when we can pause. Now is not that day. Now is a moment to mobilize. Now is a moment to get *serious* about finishing the task of world evangelism. Let’s plan as if we have another century. But let’s *work* as if we have, fittingly, just 24 hours.

    Doug

20060319 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY
  2. UNDERSTAND THE WORLD OF ISLAM
  3. WATERS OF MERCY
  4. KONA, HAWAII CROSSROADS DTS
  5. BRIGADA READERS SLAM “CONNECTED” SITE, FORCE DISCONNECT
  6. GOOD RESPONSE ON SHIPPERS
  7. UK RADIO MISSION OFFERS UNIQUE TRAINING
  8. HOPE FOR AFRICA’S CHILDREN CONFERENCE
  9. WHAT DONOR MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE?
  10. WHAT NON-ENGLISH CHURCH MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE?
  11. OMF BAY AREA MISSION CONFERENCE
  12. LOOKING FOR THE LINK IN LAST WEEK’S “CORRECTION”?
  13. THANK THE LORD FOR PARTNERS
  14. THE BACK PAGE: KEEP THINGS FROM GETTING UGLY
  15. CLOSING STUFF

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY — Learn how through the “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” course from the Chalmers Center for Economic Development (Covenant College) offered in distance format on August 28 – September 22, 2006. 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. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for a team who ministers together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. Topics covered are: Understanding poverty, when to do relief and when to do development, harm that can come from inappropriately doing relief or development, the response of the local church to poverty, and how to integrate Biblical principles into development programs. This course is a guided-reading program with weekly written assignments and peer- to-peer interaction with the other course participants. Because it is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed from a remote location will not limit participation. Prior financial or economic experience is not required to participate. Group discounts and Two-Thirds World discounts are available.

    The Chalmers Center also offers a second distance course and a self- study course on microfinance and microenterprise development services and interventions and a third distance course on basic principles of Savings and Credit Associations (SCAs) and how SCAs can be used as a ministry tool.

    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 EN-BRN-04/06.


  2. UNDERSTAND THE WORLD OF ISLAM — Global Mapping International has announced the release of Version 2.0 of its popular World of Islam CD- ROM. Updated for 2006, the CD now contains 39 complete books by respected scholars and practitioners, ten newly-updated maps, an extensive new course on Current Issues in Islam, Hughes classic 750- page Dictionary of Islam, new country profiles, and fourteen new articles on current issues like contextualization and the roots of fundamentalism and militancy in Islam and much more… Over 12,000 pages of fully-searchable content! It’s a tremendous resource for any Christian seriously interested in understanding Islam or ministering to Muslims. To learn more, visit

    http://www.gmi.org/islamcd.htm on the web, or email info(at)gmi(dot)org or call 719-531-3599 in the USA.


  3. WATERS OF MERCY — Catch their workshop, “WATER 101”, in Lewisville, TX (north of Dallas) Friday, March 31 – 6 pm to 10 pm and Saturday, April 1 – 9 am to 5 pm. The course concentrates on practical knowledge and application for those interested in water related issues worldwide, with a particular focus on developing countries. You will learn about the water crisis, the water cycle, overview of waterborne illnesses, how disease is transmitted and how to prevent transmission, water assessment, water purification, water tools that are available (hardware), water purification, both as ministry and as a business in support of ministry. For more information, click to:

    http://www.watersofmercy.org

    or contact Waters of Mercy at 972.829.8139 or 888-243-3605 toll free in the USA or email deborah.davis(at)watersofmercy(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  4. KONA, HAWAII CROSSROADS DTS — The Crossroads Discipleship Training School will again be offered in Kona from June 29 thru November 24, 2006. The school consists of a 12-week lecture phase immediately followed by an 8-week outreach and is open to persons age 25 and older. Applications for the CDTS can be completed on-line and/or are available to download at:

    http://www.uofnkona.edu

    Additional information and application forms are also available from the University of the Nations, Admission Office, 75-5851 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740 (808-326-4433). E-Mail: admissions(at)uofnkona(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  5. BRIGADA READERS SLAM “CONNECTED” SITE, FORCE DISCONNECT — Life can be so ironic sometimes. Like… did you hear the one about the website on connectivity? They published a book and offered it to our Brigada audience at a good price. Well shortly after Brigada came out that night around midnight, there were so many Brigada readers responding that they overloaded the site, we’re told, forcing I.T. specialists to reset the server the following morning. When organizers of the site emailed this past week to share the testimony, the conversation went, “Brigada readers are responsive…. Doug will find this interesting.” Indeed. So, maybe somebody out there *is* reading this stuff that we compile in the still of the night. :-) Yay. :-) (By the way, if you’d like to try the site again, just click on over to…

    http://www.connectedbook.net/

    but please.. not everybody at once. :-)


  6. GOOD RESPONSE ON SHIPPERS — Remember our March 10th item, “10) WHAT SHIPPER DO YOU USE THESE DAYS?” We’ve had a good response to the inquiry. Find the response on the web by clicking *here*.

  7. UK RADIO MISSION OFFERS UNIQUE TRAINING — Radio Worldwide is the radio ministry of WEC International. This summer, from the 3-14 July, they are running another radio training course at their centre in Leeds, (200 miles north of London). Students are first given a week’s crash course in basic radio production. They then gain some practical hands-on experience by broadcasting on Rothwell Carnival Radio for the second week of the course. For more than 10 years Radio Worldwide has been running this special event station in conjunction with the local carnival. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day for a whole week and also streams to the internet during that time. No other Christian organization in the whole of the UK offers this kind of hands-on experience. This full-time residential course normally costs £440. The first ten Brigada Readers are offered a £40 discount; you might even qualify for a bursary if you are full-time Christian worker or a student. For more information on how to reserve your place this year, log on at

    http://radioworldwide.gospelcom.net/org/onairtraining.php or write to training(at)radioworldwide(dot)org or visit [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  8. HOPE FOR AFRICA’S CHILDREN CONFERENCE — Hosted by Watoto Child Care Ministries, this conference will feature a focus on HIV/AIDS, the world’s greatest social, medical and personal crisis. It will feature evening rallies, dynamic worship, and practical workshops. Speakers include Brian and Bobbie Houston from Hillsong Church, Australia; Dr. Charles Price, The Peoples Church, Toronto, Canada and Pastors Gary and Marilyn Skinner, Founders of Watoto Child Care Ministries. The conference will be held in Kampala Uganda, October 18 – 22, 2006. Visit

    http://www.watoto.com/conference.html for further details or email hopeforafrica(at)kpc(dot)co(dot)ug [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  9. WHAT DONOR MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE? — The folks at The Mission Station are interested in compiling a list of good/bad/indifferent Donor Management software used by various missions groups to handle the accounting and receipting of funds for missions endeavors. It will be good to find out both Pro and Con for the software, and we will include this information in a summary for all to benefit from. Whether you use a home-grown system, or big commercial product, there are many that can benefit by your experience. You can send a note to JohnCLewis(at)missionaries(dot)org (John, please let us know what you find out in your study.)

  10. WHAT NON-ENGLISH CHURCH MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE? — The same folks are also compiling a list of Church Management packages that have non-English capability (both in entered data, and program/menu language). There is a wide variety of Free to very expensive software available for the English Speaking world, but there are a lot of churches around the world that don’t speak English, yet still need the CMS capabilities. Just send your best ideas to JohnCLewis(at)missionaries(dot)org and they’ll fill us in later on what they find. (Thanks John!)

  11. OMF BAY AREA MISSION CONFERENCE — It’s happening April 28-29, 2006 in Redwood City, CA. The theme is “Planting “Christ’s Church in Asia!”, and it’s taking place at Peninsula Covenant Church. The plenary speaker is Dr. Patrick Fung, OMF’s new General Director. Attend 10 church planting workshops, children’s Win Our World program and fellowship with visiting missionaries. There are group and individual registration rates, with discounts for students and seniors. Learn more at

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

    or email omfconference(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 .] or call 925-459-0734 in the USA. You can also subscribe to their quarterly email newsletter by sending an email to: omf_bayarea-subscribe(at)yahoogroups(dot)com


  12. LOOKING FOR THE LINK IN LAST WEEK’S “CORRECTION”? — If you’re looking for the link in last week’s item “5) CORRECTION ON PASTORS RETREAT NETWORK”, just click here.

  13. THANK THE LORD FOR PARTNERS — This week we’re thankful for an anonymous worker from WEC Int’l who gave $150 to undergird the work of Brigada Today. Thanks, too, to New Dimensions Int’l for the very helpful gift of $25. NDI is a small organization that trains, equips and resources church planters among unreached people groups. Want to join them in becoming and amazing partner? Just click *here* (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.

  14. THE BACK PAGE: KEEP THINGS FROM GETTING UGLY — In this last entry in our series on “Speaking into someone’s life”, we’re focusing on what to do to reduce the stress involved in giving correction. How do you keep your friend from merely thinking you’re being overly critical. He or she might think it’s none of your business . . . or your motives might be misjudged. In these and other cases, here are some key principles to keep in mind:
    *** Wrong time? — Consider waiting until your friend is in a better state of readiness to hear what you have to say. Maybe he or she is under a lot of stress or just having a difficult day. Waiting 24 hours, or even a week, might make all the difference in the world.
    *** Wrong motive? — *Are* they wrong? Try to be objective with yourself. Are you jealous, hurt, tired, etc? Could there be any other agenda affecting you? If you’re 100% convinced that you only have the person’s best at heart, tell them so genuinely. They’ll hopefully see your transparent care and concern, but if they don’t, you’ve at least tried.
    *** Wrong setting? — Did you forget the part about speaking into someone’s life “one-on-one”? If you tried to speak into his/her life in a group, sometimes the group setting alone is enough to cause roadblocks. Closely related: did you speak to others first, before sharing directly with your friend? This can cause *deadly* confusion. Your friend will perhaps feel you’ve got some other agenda besides being helpful. Or — suppose you wait ’til after the assignment is over. Now your friend has no way of changing the behavior or activity that you’re describing. Example: Suppose you’re an elder or pastor in a local church and you’re given the task of leading a short-term mission team to the field of a missionary your church supports. During the visit, you notice the way your missionary treats someone in the group. Every day it pains you, yet you say nothing. Following the two-week experience, you travel home. Only then do you get up the nerve to say something. The trouble with this scenario is that your missionary friend will now feel a bit left behind. Furthermore, even if you’re right, he or she won’t have a chance to correct the error “in flight”. So, whenever possible, we ought to try to offer feedback as close as possible to the actual occurrence, and, whenever possible, at a time when our friend can still effect change, in an effort to set things right. Nothing’s more frustrating than learning about a mistake we made, but not being able to correct it because now it’s too late.

    In summary, try to build trust with everyone, including those who are making mistakes. As we correct, let’s try to make it as easy as possible for our friends to straighten things out. The measure of success, as we try to speak the truth in love, isn’t based on whether or not we were able to speak our mind. The measure of success is — did we help the person improve while maintaining the relationship so we can be there to help again, when and if we’re needed. *That* is how to be an authentic and genuine friend.

20060115 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. WANT HELP DELIVERING TRAINING?
  2. CONFLICT IN ISLAM SHOW NOW HAS SOUND
  3. RESOURCE TO ENCOURAGE MISSIONARIES
  4. SIXTH WORLD CHRISTIAN GATHERING ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
  5. GMAIL NOT SO ENCRYPTED AFTER ALL?
  6. FEEDBACK ON GOOGLE EXPERIEMENT
  7. N. AM. INSTITUTE OF INDIGENOUS THEOLOGICAL STUDIES
  8. MARRIAGE & SINGLES RETREAT FOR MISSIONARIES IN AFR/MIDDLE EAST
  9. CHECK OUT YOUR ANTISPYWARE SOFTWARE BEFORE INSTALLING
  10. WOMEN OF THE HARVEST
  11. REENTRY SCHOCK
  12. BLOGGING FOR EVANGELISM
  13. COPE WITH IT
  14. HOW DO YOU LEND TO THE POOR?
  15. M.A. IN ORG. LEADERSHIP
  16. THANKS TO INSURANCE SERVICES OF AMERICA
  17. THE BACKPAGE: CAN THE INTERNET BE A LENSE TO THE SOUL?
  18. CLOSING STUFF

  1. WANT HELP DELIVERING TRAINING? — Ever had someone say, “You’re good at that, you should train”? More and more Christian workers find themselves called on to share their skills with others. The International Communication Training Institute has announced plans for two more of its Training of Trainers workshops. These courses have previously been held in Europe, Africa and Latin America and offer you the opportunity to improve your training and teaching skills so you can not only to train more effectively, but also assess and revise your own training methods. Bookings are being taken for a two week course in Accra, Ghana (20-31 March 2006) and a six day course in Leeds, UK (15- 20 May 2006). For full details including cost and online booking visit: http://www.icti.org.uk/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=41 or contact Andrew or Iris by Email at icti(at)icmc(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  2. CONFLICT IN ISLAM SHOW NOW HAS SOUND — The revised 12:50 minute show includes narration and a music score. Here are the URLs for downloads with the respective file sizes. http://www.oprev.org/Intel/QuickTimeVersion.ZIP (10.9 meg) http://www.oprev.org/Intel/MPegVersion.ZIP (5.9 meg) http://www.oprev.org/3rdQtr05/ConflictInIslamWeb.mov (2.8 meg) The silent unrevised PowerPoint version is at http://www.oprev.org/Intel/PowerPointVersion.ZIP (3 meg) This show by Operation Reveille details the nature and implications of conflict between modernist and fundamentalist Muslims by comparing and contrasting the conflict with differences between liberal and evangelical Christians. You may request the presentation on DVD from bside(at)oprev(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. RESOURCE TO ENCOURAGE MISSIONARIES — A Bible study guide called, “Finding Strength for the Journey,” provides a tool for member care or personal encouragement. Author Janice Lemke drew from experiences as a missionary when writing this series of thirty studies that explores topics such as perseverance in hardship, dealing with depression, handling conflict, and benefit from trials. For Brigada readers, they’ve discounted the price to $5.00, plus shipping. There’s a bigger discount ($4.00 each) for orders of 20 or more. For more information contact cjlemke(at)cs(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  4. SIXTH WORLD CHRISTIAN GATHERING ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE — This September 11-17, 2006 the sixth WCGIP will be hosted by the tribal people of the Philippines in Davao City on the Island of Mindanao. These are remarkable times of teaching, worship, fellowship and networking as Indigenous believers gather together from around the world. Since 1996 they have been hosted by the Maori in New Zealand, Aborigines in Australia, Hawaiians in Hawaii, First Nations in North America, and Saami in Sweden. Richard Twiss is one or the founding members from North American. He extends an invitation to any and all (not exclusive of non-Native-tribal people) to attend this great time of celebration as the cultural gifts of music, dance, ritual and protocol are shared with one another as well as networking to extend the work of “mission from the margins” back to the church in the West. For more information call Wiconi International in the U.S. at 360-546- 1867 or visit the website at http://www.wcgip.org

  5. GMAIL NOT SO ENCRYPTED AFTER ALL? — Thanks to David for discovering this past week (by analyzing port traffic on his computer) that *attachments* fly through Gmail unencrypted, regardless of how one logs on at the Google Mail website. Your best bet, perhaps: Lot on to it using POP3 access. Or, if you need real privacy in the country where you’re working, avoid the whole question by using a mail service like http://www.Hushmail.com. Remember to secure your local hard drive using something like PGP or equivalent — or buy one of the new laptops (like the Thinkpads) with built-in fingerprint sign-on and encryption-on-the-chip built in.

  6. FEEDBACK ON GOOGLE EXPERIEMENT — We received some good feedback on the Google experiment relating to the new website, http://www.emeraldhills.info (Jan 13th edition, “14) THE BACKPAGE — CHASING GOOGLE: TRY THIS EXPERIMENT”. You’ll recall that this site shares news and information about the new missions center where Brigada will be based, hopefully about a year from now.) One Brigada participant pointed out that Google uses very sophisticated routines that aren’t so quickly affected. Another reader referred us to an alternative search engine, http://www.dogpile.com (note that that’s “dogpile” and not “dougpile” :-) ) which, when we put in two simple words, “Emerald Hills” (without quotes) a ranking of 14 out of 88 top searches. Don’t ask me how the programmers at dogpile.com could read my mind and know that I wanted the retreat center and not the golf course or town in California. But bless their hearts for programming the search engine in this way.

  7. N. AM. INSTITUTE OF INDIGENOUS THEOLOGICAL STUDIES — This institute will convene its fourth, “First Nations Missiological Symposium,” June 22nd – 24th, 2006 at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Organizers have invited submissions of papers. Tite Ti-nou, Darrell Whiteman, Douglas Hayward, Miriam Adeney, as well as key North American Native men and women have been past presenters. This is a time to learn, rethink and dialogue with others about the changing focus of missions from a Western ecclesiological focus, to a broader global focus with its emerging reorientation of missions from south to north and east to west. Papers should focus around the theme “Historical Efforts to Contextualize the Gospel: Perspectives and Practices,” in particular, as it applies to the North American Native context. For more information contact Richard at Wiconi International at 360-546- 1867.

  8. MARRIAGE & SINGLES RETREAT FOR MISSIONARIES IN AFR/MIDDLE EAST — Tumaini Counseling Centre of Nairobi, Kenya announces their annual coast retreats for missionaries which will held at the Voyager Hotel just north of Mombasa, Kenya from April 9-13, 2006. The retreat is open to missionaries of all mission agencies. The marriage and singles retreats will share some of their sessions together. The morning sessions will include talks, small groups, private talk times for couples, and break out sessions and additional worship for singles. Afternoons and evenings are free for relaxation and vacation at the all inclusive coast hotel location. Organized childcare is provided during the morning sessions. Initial registration is due by February 10; 50% deposit is due by Feb 20; and balance due March 15. To receive an Email registration form and further information contact Tumaini Counseling Centre at tumaini.ac(at)aimint(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. CHECK OUT YOUR ANTISPYWARE SOFTWARE BEFORE INSTALLING — How do you know that a particular antispyware software is legitimate? Nick wrote this past week to say, “Be on the lookout for another new supposed anti-spyware program. This one is called PestTrap and it’s a clone of SpySheriff. SpySheriff was one of the top 10 rogue anti-spyware apps of 2005, coming in at number 2. You can see a screenshot of the PestTrap website at SunbeltBLOG and a screenshot of the app itself, along with the false positives in the scan results here. You’ll see that SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpyDemolisher, SpywareNo! and Spyware-Stop are almost identical. Check out the full article with links to pictures here: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Spyware/ So… good idea number 349: By major name-brand antispyware applications like Norton/Symantec, PC Tools, etc. Your mom was right all along: “Don’t get in the car wit a stranger.” :-)

  10. WOMEN OF THE HARVEST — Women of the Harvest is a ministry of support and encouragement for women serving cross-culturally. Visit http://www.womenoftheharvest.com for current international retreat information and all their free online publications, including a bi- monthly electronic publication (an OnlineMagazine), a Bible study (The Weekly Word Study), and a quarterly e-newsletter that is distributed to parents of people who live overseas (Harvest Legacy).

  11. REENTRY SCHOCK — Study about “Re-Entry Transition and Life-long Care (Re-Entry)” from March 12-16, 2006 in Toronto. Missionaries returning from overseas often experience “Reverse Culture Shock” upon re-entry into their home culture. To assist missionaries in navigating the deep waters of re-entry transition in a healthy way, MissionPrep, in collaboration with other skilled facilitators, offers this four day re-entry workshop. Re-TLC seeks to provide support and encouragement to the entire family. A children’s program will provide age appropriate activities which will assist every member of the family to process and explore the sensitive issues of transitioning into you’re their new culture. Please contact info(at)missionprep(dot)ca for more information or visit http://www.missionprep.ca to register on-line.

  12. BLOGGING FOR EVANGELISM — Almost all Christian blogs are written for other Christians. But it is possible to reach non-Christians with blogs, if you use the right strategy. And anyone can do blogging – no technical knowledge is needed at all. http://ied.gospelcom.net/blogging.php

  13. COPE WITH IT — MissionPrep is planning a “Cultural Orientation for Personal Endurance & Enjoyment (COPE) seminar” in Toronto, Feb 12-24, 2006. It’s designed for Christian workers intending to serve for more than one year overseas. This intensive two-week program equips missionaries to live the paradox of the enjoyment/endurance challenge of the cross-cultural experience. Spiritual, personal, language, interpersonal and cultural aspects of the missionary experience are taught through a unique combination of experiential and formal instruction. To register on-line or more information go to: http://www.missionprep.ca

  14. HOW DO YOU LEND TO THE POOR? — Check out The TentMaker Project! The TentMaker Project is a model of micro-enterprise development in Africa which works through the local church. It provides an efficient way for Christians to help the poor without creating dependence, alleviates poverty to answer family needs, ministers mercy through the church, and equips impoverished Christians and churches for Gospel ministry. For more information about this project and to watch a video interview with a pastor in Uganda, go to http://www.TentMakerProject.org or email Nate at nathan.wilson(at)att(dot)net . [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  15. M.A. IN ORG. LEADERSHIP — Take your Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University, while living in the Philippines. Start with classes May 29-June 9 in Quezon City. Two courses are taught each week, for a total of 4 courses in one summer. You complete the reading and coursework during the year. One can also can take on-line courses, transfer in courses, and self-study courses if you want to accelerate your program. Check it out online at http://www.apu.edu Look for the Operation Impact Program. This summer’s courses are: 1. Servant Leadership 2. Mentoring and Developing Leaders for the Future 3. Understanding Vocation in a Changing World 4. Organizational Behavior and Development. Prices are 1/2 of on- campus prices for U.S. Citizens, and 1/4 U.S. prices for the rest of the world. Contact Melody Kuka at kzkuka(at)i-manila(dot)com.ph for more information, or email graduatecenter(at)apudot)edu

  16. THANKS TO INSURANCE SERVICES OF AMERICA — Thanks to Mark Sneed and the folks at Insurance Services of America, who have just reported they’ve already insured their first customer as a result of the item in last week’s item, “1) NEED INSURANCE? WANT TO HELP BRIGADA?” So Mark wrote yesterday, “Hi Doug, I just wanted to let you know that we got our first case through Brigada! The premium was $180, so that’s $18 to Brigada! Not a lot, but it’s a start! I look forward to many more!” (Whoa. Mentioning items in Brigada gets results!) So once again, if you’ve considered changing insurance or opening up a new life, health, or any other policy, check them out at: http://www.brigada.org/referrals/recommended_services.html Thanks for being concerned for your health costs and Brigada too! :-) Want to join ISA in helping underwrite the next issue of Brigada? Just go to http://www.brigada.org and click on “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.

  17. THE BACKPAGE: CAN THE INTERNET BE A LENSE TO THE SOUL? — It’s funny, isn’t it, that early software authors and personal computer manufacturers thought PCs (and MACs too) would be all about productivity and utility. And that’s the way it looked at first, too. Back in the early 80’s, I was an early user of those original spreadsheets, word processors, and database applications. They fueled the first wave of computers. But no one imagined what would fuel this next wave. Now it’s practically impossible to imagine that the PC revolution was fueled by a spreadsheet program called Visicalc. My 16- year-old has studied everything from falconry to the correct way to hold a pistol for target-shooting, all on the Internet. The truth is, the PC isn’t really so much of a “*personal* computer” any more, at least according to the early intent of the word “personal.” Instead, it’s a node to a great cloud of users that are all working (and playing) on line simultaneously — virtually.

    You see, any more, it doesn’t have to be all about spreadsheets, data, bits and bytes. Here’s an example. Just as he and his family were poised to leave for Southeast Asia as new missionary recruits with our mission org., Mark Trotter learned last Monday that he has malignant brain cancer. His family gave up a successful dental practice to prepare for the mission field. Now, with his departure imminent, he and his wife, Lyla, learned Monday that the fast-growing tumors in his head are inoperable, incurable, and, barring a miracle from God, will inevitably take his life. Within a few hours of hearing about this calamity, our mission created a page on our website where friends and family can “virtually pray” for him. (Please log on at: http://www.teamexpansion.org then click on “Caring for Mark” in the right-hand “main menu.” Check out the responses of others. Leave a short prayer yourself. You don’t have to register or sign in. But imagine how a word of encouragement from a dozen or two Brigada readers would help his wife and 10 children [yes, you read correctly; 10 children] make it through the surgery Tuesday (designed, we’re told, to aid his quality of life, but not save his life).]

    Now here’s my point: See how the “personal computer” begins to become *personal* in ways that original creators never imagined. One could say that the machine has become bigger than its creators, in fact. The truth is, the machine *enables* personal ministry to Lyla Trotter and her children… and to Mark as well. Previously, how would we have gotten this news out. There are 10,000 people who read Brigada every week. How could we have asked 10,000 people to pray for Mark Trotter on Tuesday. It would have been impossible. Maybe at times like these, the *personal* computer finally becomes … *really*… ***personal***.

20050313 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. PROMOTE FINANCIAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY AMONG THE POOR
2. INT’L HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN CONTINUOUS (IN THE USA)
3. HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE BUDGET CONSCIOUS MISSIONARY?
4. MOROCCO SUMMIT
5. EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR MINISTERING TO THE POOR
6. 2005 SHORT-TERM MISSION LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
7. CULTURE SHOCK RUSSIAN STYLE!
8. NEW MISSIONARY TECH SUPPORT FORUM
9. RETREATS FOR PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES
10. GO TO THE NATIONS… AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER
11. FUN PREPARATION FOR SUMMER MISSIONARIES
12. VIETNAMESE FISHERMEN’S FELLOWSHIP
13. CROSS CULTURAL TRAVEL CAN BE A HOOT!
14. FESTIVAL DC
15. “A PRAYER A DAY FOR MYANMAR”
16. COMMUNICATION BARRIERS
17. SO. CALIFORNIA MISSIONSFEST CONFERENCE
18. AMAZING SPONSORS!
19. CLOSING STUFF

1. PROMOTE FINANCIAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY AMONG THE POOR — Are you interested in learning church-based, field-tested strategies that equip you to promote financial self-sufficiency among the poor? Get training from the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College from June 13 – June 18, 2005 in Lookout Mountain, GA USA. Their Two- Thirds World/ Track focuses on providing small business training to low-income entrepreneurs, savings-led microfinance programs, rotating savings and credit associations, and microfinance institution partnership. Chalmers’ partners include World Relief, Food for the Hungry International, and World Vision US. To register, email chalmers(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 .] or visit http://www.chalmers.org
2. INT’L HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN CONTINUOUS (IN THE USA) — Most international plans cannot provide on-going health insurance coverage for a person that returns to the USA with a chronic illness. Now an American company is offering international health insurance for individuals that also guarantees continuous coverage in the USA. The plan also provides an HSA option, copays and no waiting period for maternity. For more information on how to set up “country-specific group health coverage” contact: jeff(at)gninsurance(dot)com or call 480/813-9100. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Toll free in USA: 866/636-9100. Visit http://www.gninsurance.com
3. HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE BUDGET CONSCIOUS MISSIONARY? — Yes it’s true! If you are looking for international health coverage at a reasonable price be sure to check out the International Citizens Series Economy Plan from Insurance Services of America. A quick glance at the rates will show you that a 25 year old male can get health insurance for an entire year for as low as $380! Rates vary by age and gender, but they are all very affordable! This plan provides excellent coverage underwritten by the oldest and largest insurer in the world. Also, at no extra charge, you will get 15 travel assistance benefits with help provided by a live operator 24 hours a day! You may get complete details at http://www.missinonaryhealth.net or for a free quote and to discuss your needs, email them at health(at)missionaryhealth(dot)net, [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. Insurance Services of America is a Christian organization that specializes in helping missionaries and mission organizations find affordable healthcare. They have 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 insurance needs. (Thanks to Mark and Insurance Services for their help with Brigada’s operating expenses!)
4. MOROCCO SUMMIT — Interested in reaching Morocco with the Gospel? Want to learn what others are doing in Morocco? Looking for tips on how to begin ministry there, what to do, or how to do it better? Have a vision and looking for folks to partner with you in the work? Whether you are just considering an outreach or are already ministering in North Africa, the Morocco Summit is for you. Arise Shine Morocco invites missionaries, interested individuals, mission agency and church representatives to meet together in Southern California for two days in April to learn from one another and to explore together what has been done in the past and what might be done in the future. Workers with decades in Morocco will share from their experiences and teach on reaching Muslims within the Moroccan context. Panel and group discussions will address specific issues and opportunities. The overall thrust will be to unify, inform, inspire, encourage, equip and empower participants for effective ministry in Morocco. HURRY – the deadline for registering is March 31, 2005. For more information write: asm(at)interum(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
5. EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR MINISTERING TO THE POOR — Learn exciting strategies that have been used by missionaries and national Christians working in both rural and urban contexts as well as countries closed to the gospel. The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College, in partnership with Food for the Hungry International, World Vision and World Relief, is offering training in Lookout Mountain, GA USA from June 13-18. Learn about microfinance and microenterprise development strategies that are appropriate for churches and missionaries and grounded in a Christ-centered message. For information on this event or their email based distance learning, visit http//www.chalmers.org or email CEDI(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 .]
6. 2005 SHORT-TERM MISSION LEADERS’ CONFERENCE — This intense, interactive short-term mission training conference seeks to empower church, school, and agency leaders in Christian short-term mission. Training topics include STM Basics 101; A Host Receivers’ Perspective of STM Teams; Effective Planning, Training, and Leading of STMs; A Prayer Walking Strategy for Your STM; Our Response to the Poor; Understanding Cultural Mannerisms; Reentry, Debriefing, and Follow-up; Risk Assessment; and much more. For information and registration, visit http://www.STEMmin.org or e-mail dbromley(at)STEMmin(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. CULTURE SHOCK RUSSIAN STYLE! — Planning an overseas summer missions experience? “Peterburgers” is a humorously piled platter that’s culturally insightful and spiritually challenging. Treat yourself to funny adventures in Russia told with culture shock training for missionaries in mind. Order by contacting Dick Sleeper dick(at)sleeper(dot)us [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Copies are $10.00 per copy (plus shipping). Bite down on “Peterburgers”!
8. NEW MISSIONARY TECH SUPPORT FORUM — Those geeks over at Missionary Tech Support have just added a new online forum to help you with your computer questions and challenges. http://www.missionarytechsupport.com/forum Of course you can still email for tech support help(at)missionarytechsupport(dot)com or schedule a “Remote Geek” session. Tech support is always free to the missions community. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
9. RETREATS FOR PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES — “The Journey Deepens” is a weekend retreat to help prospects explore, discover and connect with how they could become a missionary in another culture. These weekends are for college students, professionals, and high school seniors who are willing to become a missionary but not sure if that is God’s will or how that could unfold. Each retreat of 50 participants and 5 experienced missionaries from multiple agencies is highly relational with extended worship, small group discussions, personal reflection and much prayer. Discussions include the missionary call, support-raising, singles/families, etc. The next retreat will be April 15-17 in Davis, Oklahoma (between Dallas and Oklahoma City). The Journey Deepens is presented by MissionsFocus Int’l and co-sponsored by ACMC, Caleb Project, Perspectives and the U.S. Center for World Mission. Browse http://www.TheJourneyDeepens.com.
10. GO TO THE NATIONS… AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER — Here’s a 4-week TESOL course in effective English teaching techniques, sponsored by Youth With A Mission in Lebanon PA USA. May 9 – June 3, 2005. Details, application forms, and alternate dates are listed in at http://www.ywampa.org. E-mail questions to ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net. [Replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .].
11. FUN PREPARATION FOR SUMMER MISSIONARIES — Culture shock can hit your funny bone! Siberian Shivers is a great preparation for summer missionaries to any culture. Bill uses humor to tell true stories with cross cultural lessons for missionaries to cap each adventure. Whether you’re headed for Siberia or someplace toasty, get ready with Siberian Shivers! Order by contacting Dick Sleeper dick(at)sleeper(dot)us [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Copies are $8.00 per copy (plus shipping). It’s never been cooler.
12. VIETNAMESE FISHERMEN’S FELLOWSHIP — Got any idea where to find good resources to present the gospel to a Vietnamese, or disciple them? David grsin(at)singnet(dot)com(dot)sg would like to know. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
13. CROSS CULTURAL TRAVEL CAN BE A HOOT! — The Great Siberian Rail Adventure is all about finding humor, spiritual encouragement, and cultural insight traveling in the middle of nowhere. Journeying this summer overseas or know someone who is? Get ready for your adventure with this funny book. Order by contacting Dick Sleeper at dick(at)sleeper(dot)us [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Copies are $8.00 per copy (plus shipping). Climb aboard!
14. FESTIVAL DC — The dates are Oct. 3 to Oct. 10, 05. Delta Ministries International is partnering with the Louis Palau Association to bring teams to Washington DC to serve in various venues demonstrating the love of God in a “two-handed” Gospel approach. For the week leading up to the DC Festival, teams will be involved in saturation evangelism, prayer walking, restoring homes with Habitat for Humanity, medical needs and random acts of kindness. The two days of the DC Festival will include humanitarian needs, medical screening, sports areas, children’s games, Christian music, presentation of the gospel of Christ and much more. The registration deadline is June 2005. For more information or to find out how you can be involved, please contact Asher Sarjent at DELTA Ministries International, PO Box 30029, Portland, OR 97294 USA; U.S.A. callers can dial toll-free: 1-800-533- 5822; Out of U.S.A. callers dial: 001-503-669-8048 or email ashers(at)deltaministries(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Website:

http://www.deltaministries.com
15. “A PRAYER A DAY FOR MYANMAR” — This is your opportunity to pray for Myanmar: http://www.p4mm.com The site is initiated by Myanmar Partnership, a group of about 20 Christian organizations with a focus on Myanmar. This website has prayer requests for every day of the month. Subscribe for email updates at the website.
16. COMMUNICATION BARRIERS — The Mbalantu People of northern Namibia: I. lives in a traditional Mbalantu home which is several small, round huts surrounded by a tree limb fence. He welcomed three believers sharing the Gospel with him one afternoon. He repeated his gratefulness and showed a great desire to learn. However, he never grasped what it means to be saved. It was a prime example of the task of missions to clearly communicate the Gospel. Pray for the Lord to build prayer support and call missionaries for the Mbalantu, an unengaged people. To adopt the Mbalantu people for prayer or for more information, please visit http://www.forgottenpeoples.info or email swacsc(at)iafrica(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
17. SO. CALIFORNIA MISSIONSFEST CONFERENCE — MissionsFest, a FREE family missions conference is coming to the Ontario Convention Center April 29 to May 1st (Friday – Sunday). There will be programs for: Children (ages 3 to 11), a Saturday Youth Rally, and Adults (3 Plenary Speakers, 60 Seminars and 85 Missions Displays!). A special track of seminars will be offered for Missions Pastors, Spanish Speakers, and Children’s Workers. All Pastors, Church and Mission Leaders are invited to attend a special Friday luncheon to hear Pastor Ed Smith, Board member of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union. Pre-purchased tickets are required for this luncheon and the Youth Rally (call 909-394-1263). Volunteers are needed for set up, hosting, ushering and supervising children. If you want to be a part of the world-wide missions movement, plan now to attend April 29th to May 1st. And why not sign up to volunteer for a couple of hours? Visit http://www.mfestsocal.org or e-mail info(at)mfestsocal(dot)org for further details, or call (909) 394-1263. No registration is required for this FREE family missions conference.
18. AMAZING SPONSORS! — Hats off to the 3 anonymous sponsors for sending $10, $15, and $25 respectively (Thanks!), and to Dial-Abroad for sending $142 as a portion of the long distance usage fees from January! Please keep talking! :-) If you need a long distance program, or if you’d just like to help Brigada, just log on at http://www.brigada.org then 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. Thanks! 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.

20050116 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. HAS IT REALLY BEEN 10 YEARS?
2. RUMORS OF BRIGADA’S DEATH WERE EXAGGERATED
3. DAN SCRIBNER SAID “THUMBS UP”
4. IT WILL TAKE TIME
5. PERHAPS THE MOST ENCOURAGING RESPONSE…
6. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY?
7. SO WHAT WAS THE FIRST TRUE BRIGADA “ITEM”?
8. WANT TO SHARE YOUR OWN BRIGADA EXPERIENCE?
9. SCHOOL OF FRONTIERS MISSIONS IN FLORIDA
10. ANYBODY ABLE TO WORK WITH AOL?
11. MUSIC AND MISSIONS CD
12. LEARN A PRACTICAL SKILL FOR MISSIONS
13. TALKING BIBLE A GREAT PERSONAL AUDIOVISUAL
14. BE CHANGED BY THE WORD SO THAT YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
15. DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL FOCUSED ON UNREACHED PEOPLES
16. GIVE INPUT ON AN MK AND WIN BIG MONEY
17. SYIS IN TURKEY: SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
18. BOOK REVIEW NOT OPEN AND SHUT
19. FAVORITE “BACKPAGE” EDITORIALS
20. CLOSING STUFF

1. HAS IT REALLY BEEN 10 YEARS? — In just 4 days, it will be. The first feeble Brigada Today was actually sent between two people. Late on the evening of January 25th, 1995, I wrote Jonathan Marsden with some newly created gadgetry he had cooked up for me as a worker in a high-tech non-profit called “CrossConnect”. (Turned out that it was *really* non-profit, so CrossConnect was sold a few times and no longer exists as a separate entity. But Jonathan is still there… and occasionally I’ll drop him a note just to see if he still hears about Brigada stuff. So Jonathan, if you’re out there in India or who knows where, if you can see this, please hang with me here a moment.)

What did that first issue say? Well a number of things… some of which have long since gone by the wayside — nearly. One of the proposals was that we set up people-specific prayer/news email groups. I wrote, ” On a monthly basis, thousands of additional individuals around the world are gaining access to what amounts to a global communications network, commonly referred to as the Internet.” (Can you believe I had to kind of *define* it? :-) LOL ) … We propose to create a series of ‘electronic newsletters,’ available to anyone with an Internet connection (including those with Compuserve, America Online, Delphi, etc.)” Online services like Delphi faded in importance, but AOL, which eventually bought out rival Compuserve, has survived and thrived.

I went on to add, ” We would start with one simple newsletter, which would, as a minimum, carry news about mobilization for the 100 Gateway cities and the people groups that live in them.” That ‘simple newsletter’ has changed very little in format over the past 10 years. (I haven’t had time to think about it! :-) ) And that “simple newsletter” became, a very short time later, Brigada Today. And yes… it really has been 10 years and . . . whoa . . . there’s a Brigada Today to match every single Friday… all 520 of them… since January 25, 1995. Yikes. :-) See them all on the web for free at: www.brigada.org
2. RUMORS OF BRIGADA’S DEATH WERE EXAGGERATED — Several spoke out in favor of such a proposal. Well-known missions leaders like John Robb, Pete Holzmann, and many others wrote encouraging words. Some, like Patrick Johnstone, originator of Operation World, were just a tad more realistic, even though they agreed upon the need. ” I do not see that any system that tries to collect, collate and disseminate info – even on the 100 Gateway Cities and 130 Gateway Peoples (for a start) can work,” responded Patrick. “The burden on all will bring it rapidly to the point of overload.” Gulp. No wonder I’m tired. And what am I doing staying up ’til 2:30am at a people group consultation in the Mediterranean anyway??? :-) Some things haven’t changed. However, Patrick, if you’re reading — maybe it didn’t exactly *overload*. :-) He added, ” I think your present plans are almost certain to founder on the lack of the right personnel and adequate finance.” Oops. :-) Been a long time since I saw that line. Whoa. Maybe it’s hard to start things. But if it is, maybe it’s even harder to keep them going. Patrick should know. He’s labored tirelessly, day and night, to catalogue and chronicle the growth of the Lord’s church throughout the globe… and many have been inspired by his work, myself among them. Again, I hasten to add, I believe Patrick was only trying to improve on the project by being bluntly realistic. He also said, “To use electronic networks is a real option (of a number) We should develop a workable system, and maybe your proposal could lead to that.” To be fair, Patrick was slated to be married just a handful of days later. He was also planning his honeymoon that same night. What could I expect? :-) His mind was elsewhere. (Speaking with my best impersonation of his ever-so-proper British accent), I was quite fortunate to have gotten so thorough a look at all! :-)
3. DAN SCRIBNER SAID “THUMBS UP” — Whoa… I probably hadn’t taken another look at Dan Scribner’s response since that January of 1995. I’d forgotten he even replied. Ten years ago this week, he emailed back, ” Warmest greetings in the Lord. Brigida [sic :-) ] sounds like a wonderful plan. I hope AD2000 can contribute / assist in any way possible. At the moment we are up to our ears in alligators planning the GCOWE conference in May. We only have about a dozen staff here in the International Office. Please keep me in the loop of communications regarding this and if there are any specific AD2000 related questions I certainly will try to give my input.” Whoa. As you know, Dan went on to become one of 2 key players in making JoshuaProject.Net a reality today! And you know what? He’s still just as encouraging! :-)
4. IT WILL TAKE TIME — John Siewert worked for MARC, the Missions Advanced Research and Communication arm of World Vision. He wrote, in a prophetic tone, ” My experience in serving as discussion leader for one e-mail forum is that any e-mail-based undertaking takes more time than expected if responses are going to go back to those who ask questions, etc. Therefore Doug and the editor need to have some prime time set aside for this project.” Whoa. Was he ever right. (Yawn. I’m sleepy.) :-)
5. PERHAPS THE MOST ENCOURAGING RESPONSE… — But perhaps the most encouraging response of all (to the initial proposal) came from a Global Mapping employee named Dave Nesmith. ” In the vernacular of Madison Avenue, you have run it up the flagpole–I salute it.” He went on to add, ” Let us reject out of hand the notion that it won’t work. The resources and the technology are with us. The only preventive factor is the lack of our will and desire to make it happen. High-tech is handing us a golden opportunity. Let’s grab it!” Whoa. :-) Dave, wherever you are, thanks for the boost 10 years ago!
6. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY? — Then get training from real-world practitioners and colleagues to equip you to implement programs in your church or community that truly empower the poor. The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College offers courses for both the 2/3 World and U.S. contexts. Come June 13 – June 18, 2005 to the Christian Economic Development Institute at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA USA. Chalmers’ partners include World Relief, Food for the Hungry International, and World Vision US. To register, email chalmers(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 .] or visit http://www.chalmers.org
7. SO WHAT WAS THE FIRST TRUE BRIGADA “ITEM”? — Trivia… fun facts to know and tell… :-) Once you get past all the proposing and responding, the actual first true *item* was a note about Sali Berisha, then the leader in Albania, who on January 25th had proposed setting up private radio and TV channels to offer a broader and more impartial dissemination of information. We all know what *that* brought about! :- ) The second item had to do with a proposal of 30 days of prayer for the Muslim world (another proposal which has survived the decade). (Throughout the coming year, we’ll highlight each month “Ten Years Ago This Month in Brigada”. It’ll perhaps give us a chance to take a look back at from whence we’ve come… and sometimes might even clue us in on where we might be headed in the future.)
8. WANT TO SHARE YOUR OWN BRIGADA EXPERIENCE? — Do you have a favorite memory of Brigada? Would you want to take a moment to write about something you purchased, a service you used, or an opportunity you followed? Now you can. Just copy this URL into your browser window: (or, if you’re reading on the web, just click it)

http://distantland.typepad.com/brigada/

Here you’ll find a spot to leave a comment, recall a memory, even offer a testimony. Others in the Brigada family will be able to visit the page and celebrate what God did in your life — and maybe even give glory to God for what happened in your situation. Hey – 10-year-old birthdays don’t come that often! :-) OK… enough sappy stuff.. Let’s get to work! :-)
9. SCHOOL OF FRONTIERS MISSIONS IN FLORIDA — The SOFM is an intensive Christian training course beginning with a 12-week lecture/teaching phase followed with an overseas internship in the 10/40 window. The purpose of the SOFM is to give student’s essential principles and tools needed to start long-term effective church planting movements among unreached people groups. Some of the topics being studied are: Principles of church planting among unreached peoples groups, The Power of Team Leadership, Anthropological Insights for Missionaries, Chronological Bible Presentation, History of Missions and much more! School starts on April 17th. For more information contact Jose at myglobito(at)yahoo(dot)com or call (904)221-5990. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] You can also check: http://www.ywamjax.com
10. ANYBODY ABLE TO WORK WITH AOL? — Does anyone know anything about the rumor that Brigada-Today is on a “blocked list” with AOL? If so, does anyone know the proper technique to be removed from that list? In contrast to spam (which is unsolicited), Brigada Today only goes out to those who subscribe to it. If we’re on that list, it’s a mistake. Maybe some subscribers don’t know how to remove themselves, but we never send Brigada unsolicited.
11. MUSIC AND MISSIONS CD — The first Global Consultation on Music and Missions was held in 2003. The multimedia CD-ROM of the Proceedings is now available. The CD-ROM has about 50 presentations, about 300 files total. Presenters, including John Piper, shared penetrating insights from around the world. If you are interested in the integration of music, missions and worship, you’ll be thrilled with the wealth of materials. One person said, “This was a phenomenal conference – probably the best conference I have ever attended.” Every missions organization should have one of these CD-ROMs as a reference. Though it is easily worth $40, it is available for only US $10. Write ethnodox1(at)netscape(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 see http://www.worldofworship.org/GCoMM/index.htm
12. LEARN A PRACTICAL SKILL FOR MISSIONS — Simplified dental care can open many doors to evangelism and relationship building among the unreached. No drills, injections, electricity, or sophisticated equipment are involved – only simple hand instruments, a compassionate heart, and two weeks of your time. Now you can bring greatly needed dental care to your community. Courses are offered monthly in Texas. http://www.dentaltrainingformissions.com or email dentaltrainingformissions(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 .]
13. TALKING BIBLE A GREAT PERSONAL AUDIOVISUAL — ASI in California says that the invention of the Talking Bible revolutionizes how one can now give non-readers access to God’s word in audio. A Talking Bible has an audio recording of an entire New Testament in a desired language sealed inside. It looks like a Bible but has a button to push rather than pages to turn… no longer any need for a cassette player and an album of individually labeled cassettes. The task suddenly becomes doable and affordable…that task is to take the work of the Bible translators, record them and make them available as Talking Bibles.

Half the world’s adult population cannot read. Among them are millions of non-reading Christians. They need God’s Word in audio format. ASI and others can now give them Talking Bibles with entire New Testaments speaking their languages. It seems unthinkable that the church/mission community would not do this.

ASI is appealing for churches to observe an annual Talking Bible Sunday. A Talking Bible Sunday will help church people become aware. The special offering will give them the opportunity to participate in this global effort …. an effort to give Bibleless non-readers Talking Bibles in their languages.

For more information visit ASI’s website http://www.audioscriptures.org. Or call ASI at 1- 800-318-7262 and ask for Dori. You’ll be glad you took the time to do this.
14. BE CHANGED BY THE WORD SO THAT YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD — YWAM Turner Valley Canada offers the 9 month School of Biblical Studies (SBS). Students in this school learn how to inductively study the Bible for themselves and are helped to prepare for the important goal of sharing God’s truth. The school begins in September 2005. Please call 1-403-933-3755 for more information or check out http://www.ywamturnervalley.com
15. DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL FOCUSED ON UNREACHED PEOPLES — YWAM Turner Valley Canada offers exciting Discipleship Training Schools (DTS)! Dates for DTS are March 23 – August 12, 2005 OR September 14th – February 10th 2006. The schools include 12 weeks of teaching and training in Canada. Some topics taught are: The Cross & Repentance, Bible Meditation, the 10/40 Window, Evangelism, Islamic/Buddhist Worldview and more. Turner Valley DTS also includes an 8 week mission trip to Southeast Asia or North Africa, working with SPECIFIC unreached people groups. North Americans can call toll free for information to 1-877-FOR-YWAM, Internationals please call 1-403-933-3754. Also check out the website at: http://www.ywamturnervalley.com
16. GIVE INPUT ON AN MK AND WIN BIG MONEY — Here’s a gal who is doing research with MKs and adult MKs at mkPLANET.com. If you are interested in helping out, check out http://www.mkplanet.com/community. Near the top/center of the page is a short message called “Join a research project giving MKs a voice!” That’ll have all the information about the study and the different ways to be involved. Everyone who signs up will automatically be entered for their draw to win one of two $20 US gift certificates to Amazon.com!
17. SYIS IN TURKEY: SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS — International Training Partners offers Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills Workshops in different parts of the world. These five-day, highly interactive workshops focus on biblical application of skills in relating to one another and to the host people.

A workshop hosted by International Training Partners will be held near Istanbul, Turkey April 4-8, 2005. Contact Robin Bower at rbower(at)itpartners(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] for more information.

Go to http://www.itpartners.org for details on all of the workshops and information on ITP. If your mission is interested in sponsoring a SYIS workshop, contact Paul Lere at plere(at)itpartners(dot)org.
18. BOOK REVIEW NOT OPEN AND SHUT — In our item last week, “For Academicians: Reviewing Morehead’s “New Religious Mov’ts”, it’s plain to see we didn’t offer both sides. One responder suggested the inclusion of the following link to give equal time: http://www.globalmissiology.net/docs_pdf/reviews/hexam_encountering_new_religious_movements.pdf Our apologies if we overlooked anyone! Remember we don’t have the luxury of reading *all* the reports and texts mentioned each week. Consider the source.
19. FAVORITE “BACKPAGE” EDITORIALS — Whenever I travel and meet Brigada participants, it’s always amazing to me that they remember these BackPage Editorials. This month, in honor of our 10th birthday, we bring back some of our most oft-requested editorials… Sergey and “Does It Every ‘Just Happen'”, which first aired the 8th of May, 1998:

“DOES IT EVER “JUST HAPPEN???” — Those who know me well (and many who know me only marginally) know that I have a love for God, family, friends, and soccer. :-) (In spite of what some might think, that’s really the order I try to keep them in!) I only hope and pray that somehow we’ll have all four in Heaven. [grin] The first three have been around a while in my life, but the last love, soccer, is fairly new to me. Although I’m playing on a competitive team this year, I’m really just a beginner (I have a whole two years of playing experience in a poorly run recreational league previously). As you might have guessed, it’s not easy to find a competitive team for a 41-year-old. So I play in a league designed for age 20 and up. I’m very fortunate to practice alongside some very talented players. (Our coach took an under-23-year-old team to the national championships last year . . and won!) To land a spot on the team, I just explained how hard I was willing to work and how serious I was about learning. Lo and behold, the coach put me on the team! And when the center forward of our team suffered a broken leg earlier this season, all of a sudden, I found myself as a starter in his place… and this past Sunday, I played the entire game there! (We won 5-2, with only marginal help from me.)

I have several heroes . . . and most are about half my age. :-) One young man from Ukraine is incredible. I mean… when he was born, his mother probably delivered a soccer ball first, and then Sergey. The ball was probably tied to his ankle and. . . I don’t think he’s ever untied it since! I love practice times even more than games because I get to watch him and really study him in action. He’s constantly moving… constantly sizing up the play and constantly vigilant about how he can contribute most. And even though he’s a star (and deep down inside, he has to know it!), he still pushes the ball my way PLENTY of times in any given night.

Last Tuesday evening, at one point during our scrimmage, I chipped the ball to him and, frankly, placed it rather poorly. The ball arrived at chest-height and his back was to the goal with defenders all around. Not a great situation. But for Sergey, it was all automatic. He cushioned the ball down to his feet and instantly faked then back- heeled it with such force that it swished right through the defenders legs. Sergey scored a goal without even looking at the net… without even having to turn around to glance into the eyes of his opponents. Incredible.

As he turned and ran up the field, I turned with him and asked, “How in the world ….?” With a shrug of his shoulders he responded, “It just happened.” I was quick to reply… “It DIDN’T just happen. It took 27 YEARS of daily practice to make it happen!” (He’s 28 years old.)

Ever since that moment, I’ve been reflecting about my fledgling soccer career. I coach an under-14 team (my older son’s) and assist coaching an under-10 team (my younger son’s). I play on a competitive team and sometimes play “pick-up” soccer in between. But maybe I’ll never “catch up” with Sergey. There are too many hours… too many YEARS of his life filled with touches on the ball. However, I’m not exactly envious. Instead, I’m filled with admiration and actually inspired to keep going. I figure I’ve got nowhere to go but up! :-) Who knows… give me another 25 years and maybe I’ll be ready to play! :-)

My REAL job is to lead a mission agency — about 120 missionaries in a couple of dozen countries. Where I sit, I get to read reports literally from all over the world. Now, after last Thursday’s practice, whenever I hear a success story about a villager who has walked in from 50 kilometers away just so he can study the Bible… then take it back to his village and repeat it to dozens of others… I’ll think twice about whether or not it “just happened.” Someone had to sweat bullets on Bible college mid-terms, then raise financial support, leave family and friends to go to the field, learn a foreign language, and most of all be determined enough to not quit when the going got tough. Someone had to pray, trust the Lord for supernatural intervention, and follow His guidance. After all that, if someone walks in and listens, should we be so surprised? Sergey might say, “It just happened…”, but truth be known, it didn’t JUST happen. Someone MADE it happen.

We live in a world of quick fixes — quick food, quick microwaves, quick computers, quick everything … just about. But in the midst of it all, some things aren’t so quick. You can’t learn to play Sergey’s kind of soccer without a few years of daily practice with someone who knows what he’s doing. And you can’t learn a language overnight, either.

I admire Sergey… but my heart is filled with just as much admiration for a guy I know who has invested the last 5 years learning Mandarin. He’ll probably never get a trophy (at least not here on earth), never be named an “MVP” in front of a crowd of 30,000 cheering spectators, and I can predict with a fair amount of certainty that he’ll never make the kinds of salaries that today’s pro athletes take home, either. (At least not as long as I serve as president of his mission agency! :-) ) But can he ever speak Chinese. I mean… it rolls off his tongue. When he opens his mouth, everyone expects English to come out… but if there’s a Chinese person looking on, inevitably, their mouth drops open.. their eyes bug out… (I love seeing that reaction!). His Chinese didn’t “just happen.” He didn’t “just happen” to teach Greek to house church leaders last year. He didn’t “just happen” to train evangelists that ended up baptizing 18 people in just one recent month. It took YEARS… and it’ll take YEARS for many of us to learn language, learn effectiveness, learn the field.

So — should we give up? Not on your life. But we probably SHOULD start thinking about recruiting some additional players for the team. :-) If they have to wait for me to invest the next 25 years to reach Sergey’s level, well, . . . let’s just say I hope my bones will still hold me up on the field when I’m 66! :-)

God bless your day! Be careful out there… it’s a jungle!!! Doug Lucas” [end of quoted story (SPECIAL UPDATE AS OF 23 OF JAN, 2005: Sergey married a Japanese immigrant, moved an hour away and we’ve not heard much from him lately. But the guy learning Mandarin learned it. He’s now a sought-after teacher involved in training house church leaders all over mainland China. Team Expansion now has 250 full-time missionaries, instead of 120. My older son is now 18 and, due to proper humility on his part, he won’t let me tell you the details of the soccer scholarships he’s looking at for college. I’m now coaching my younger son’s high school team at the local Christian School. And next week I start a new season with an over-30 team, where I’ll be captain of the “Energy United” team. God be praised for the incremental gains, step by step… Never, never, never give up. Because, 10 years after the birth of Brigada, it’s *still* a jungle out there.)

1 2  Scroll to top