Retired

9) The Backpage: Do You, As A Missionary, Think About Retirement?

Depending on your age, the assurance you have of future employment, your health and your country of origin, you just might. In my own informal surveys, I’ve discovered that — these days — essentially everybody is willing to consider retirement, assuming someone will help lead them down the road of that discussion. Again, depending on what your homeland does for retirement funding, you might or might not have much set aside. As a result, it seems to me that this implies a certain burden of responsibility for those of us who are mission agency heads, missionary care-givers, missions ministers, missions committee chairman, and church leaders.

As a young missionary in my mid-twenties, I remember what a nice gesture it was when a medium-sized church in southwestern Louisville took out a small pension plan for my wife and me. They didn’t ask our permission. They didn’t even tell us. They just did it. And one day, we got the first annual statement. Today, that little pension plan is the centerpiece of our retirement planning. It seemed “courteous” and kind at the time. Today it seems mission-critical.

Want to make a big splash in the life of the missionary family you love? Talk to a financial advisor in your church. Ask about some kind of portable pension plan. If you’d like, confirm things with your missionary’s sending agency. (Always a nice thing to do.) But either way, ask. Take some initiative. Your “courtesy” might become “mission-critical” in 30 years. :-)

Want to see some discussions on this stuff? Blogs abound. Check out, for example:
http://www.thinkretirement.com/

Got an opinion about missionaries, retirement, pension plans, savings, social security, or the like? Just click on “Comment” immediately after this item on the web and share your story. Your “lesson learned” just might become someone else’s battle plan. And … thank you for taking time to share.

Doug

20071007 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. PRAY FOR NORTH AFRICA
  2. MINISTRY MANAGER SOFTWARE
  3. MEDICAL PRE-CONFERENCE AT SOUTHEAST CHRISTIAN IN LOUISVILLE
  4. HOW TO PROTECT EMAIL ADDRESES FROM BEING HARVESTED
  5. NEW BOOK ON MONGOLIAN CPM STORY
  6. IS THERE A VEDIC BRIDGE TRACK FOR BUDDHISTS?
  7. SCREAMS IN THE DESERT: FOR WOMEN IN CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTRY
  8. WANTED: “BEST PRACTICES” FOR SHORT-TERM HEALTHCARE
  9. ENHANCE YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS
  10. A NO-COST OPPORTUNITY FOR RETIRED MISSIONARIES
  11. MAKE BRIGADA HAPPEN
  12. THE BACKPAGE: THE TROUBLE WITH CHANGE
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  1. PRAY FOR NORTH AFRICA — At least one worker there believes that “a major breakthrough is in the offing in the next year or so.” At the same time, he grants that “there are going to be believers suffering to the point of shedding blood at some point in the near-ish future, and some of them might even be westerners.” If this happens, pray that their blood will be the seed of both new and stronger growth in this region where the percentage of adherents to Chr1st is regularly less than 0.3%. Pray that our brother there would remain humble when the harvest comes in. Pray that all glory would go to the Lord of the universe.

  2. MINISTRY MANAGER SOFTWARE — Here’s a free software package available to help missionaries manage communication with their donor base. Features include contact management, budget goals, contribution analysis, and advanced reporting. Download your free copy today at

    http://www.sunergeosystems.com/product_info.php


  3. MEDICAL PRE-CONFERENCE AT SOUTHEAST CHRISTIAN IN LOUISVILLE — This year’s Global Missions Health Conference, Nov. 8-10 at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., will open with a pre-conference on “Empowering the Indigenous Church,” Nov.8. Steve Saint will begin the discussion during the pre-conference. The main conference will continue this dialogue through workshops and more speakers. Last year’s focus on holistic mission stirred discussion around the role of the broader Christian community in raising up disciples, equipping them, and then disengaging. More fruitful discussion time is planned this year as conference presenters and participants take a look at indigenous churches and the way cross-cultural outreach efforts impact them.

    https://www.medicalmissions.com/


  4. HOW TO PROTECT EMAIL ADDRESES FROM BEING HARVESTED — It’s an ever- growing problem. Thanks to Brigada participant, Dave, who asked this past week, is it still safe — even with our typical “@ to ‘at'” approach. As a result of his questions, we did some reading. Like… at this site:

    http://nadeausoftware.com

    We went to this article: (paste this line after the above line)

    /articles/2007/05/effective_methods_protect_email_addresses_spammers

    As you can see, there are very few safe options these days. As a result of this study, we’re changing our approach effective *immediately*. From this edition onward, we’ll start placing email addresses, when they’re necessary, on separate lines. Web-posted information continues to be a better bet. Thanks for your patience as we wrestle with spam. Sometimes, the actions of a few ruin the fun for all. :-(


  5. NEW BOOK ON MONGOLIAN CPM STORY — “There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub: Birth of a Mongolian Church Planting Movement” by Brian Hogan, is the story of the church planting team that started a movement in Erdenet, Mongolia that continues to this very day. This is the full account of the case study made famous in the Perspectives Reader. Humorous and heart-wrenching, readers will experience the joy and the cost of being part of the transformation of a nation. The author is making an introductory offer for Brigada readers. Buy before the end of October and receive an additional $2.00 OFF. Simply put in the coupon code: “Brigada1007” in your shopping cart purchase at

    http://asteroideabooks.com/page4.html

    For special orders contact info@

    AsteroideaBooks.com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please reassemble them on one line.]


  6. IS THERE A VEDIC BRIDGE TRACK FOR BUDDHISTS? — That’s what Brigada Brigade commenter, John, would like to know. See his question at:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=31#comments

    And, if you know the answer, respond to him in the next comment please.


  7. SCREAMS IN THE DESERT: FOR WOMEN IN CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTRY — “Screams in the Desert” is an invitation to participate in one woman’s cross-cultural journey and the lessons she learns along the way. Sue Eenigenburg’s poignant and humorous accounts of life overseas provide insight into issues that many women encounter in the mission field. Join Sue for trips to the zoo, bouts of illness, landmine fields, miscommunications, and other everyday experiences of life in a foreign country. Providing women with examples to learn by, scripture to meditate on, and space to write about personal experiences, Screams in the Desert offers hope and humor to women working cross-culturally.

    During this prepublication offer from William Carey Library, the books are $8.00 individually and $6.00 per 100 books. After November 1, regular prices will be in effect.

    You can order the books through Send the Light at their website. Click on new titles and then pre-publication sales to find the book:

    http://www.missionbooks.org/


  8. WANTED: “BEST PRACTICES” FOR SHORT-TERM HEALTHCARE — An interdisciplinary multi-denominational group is now forming to develop best practices in short-term healthcare mission work. They welcome input from those who send and receive healthcare and medical short-term missionaries. Their goal is to create a set of Best Practices (Goals and Recommendations) which are Biblically guided, evidence based, consistent with ethical standards and common-sense experience. For more info, e- mail Peter Yorgin at

    pyorgin@

    yahoo.com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please reassemble the address onto one line.]


  9. ENHANCE YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS — Do you struggle to get out your ministry support letter? Could you use a little punch in its wording and format? Writer’s Edge International is a Christian business created just for you! They specialize in writing and creating prayer and ministry update letters which are attractive and enjoyable to read. With ministry responsibilities, and all that keeps you constantly moving, it is difficult to have the time to sit down and write that powerful letter you need to bring the money in. Writer’s Edge takes your letters, stories, or ideas and turns them into well-polished update letters that your supporters will enjoy reading. Your donors deserve to read a well- written and aesthetically pleasing letter, and Writer’s Edge would like to help you with that. Contact them now for 25% off your first letter! Ph: (760) 300-3690. Visit:

    http://www.writersedgeinternational.com


  10. A NO-COST OPPORTUNITY FOR RETIRED MISSIONARIES — Veteran missionaries, do you remember how alone you felt when you were out there and no one seemed to understand? Do you still long for a part of the work on the field? Nation to Nation is launching a ministry to support those who are now experiencing what you have already gone through. Experienced missionaries have much wisdom to share and encouragement to give those who request help. This can be done via email. Please send for more information to Karen@

    here4u.com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please reassemble the address onto one line.]


  11. MAKE BRIGADA HAPPEN — That’s what you do every time you give $50… or $500 … or $15. Just click on “Donate” .

    You can pull the money from your PayPal account or from any major credit card. Or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous. And thank you in advance for helping.


  12. THE BACKPAGE: THE TROUBLE WITH CHANGE — Have you ever noticed that, in general, we like the familiar? I thought about that this past week when the online music service, “Urge” did an ‘Urge-merge’ with the online service, Rhapsody. Urge was kind of “built-in” to Windows Vista. It was easy — just ‘turn it on.’ Suddenly, a million titles were yours for the clicking. I play keyboard for our church worship team… so I went for it. It was awesome. They’d give me a list of songs and I’d come home to see if Urge had them. The folks at Urge always did. Until this past weekend. An email had informed me earlier that Urge and Rhapsody were “teaming up.” (Smelled like a buy-out to me, though.) But this past weekend, the hammer dropped. Urge closed. I was being force-fed into Rhapsody’s subscriber list. I called customer support and was suddenly talking to “Bob” in India. (Have you ever met an Asian Indian with a name like “Bob”?) I promptly cancelled the account, partly because of principle. I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t give me a choice. But there was another factor: Rhapsody just didn’t work as well. The Urge plug-in was a 7 meg add-on to Windows Media Player. By contrast, Rhapsody’s software wanted to add over 50 megs to my already crowded hard drive. I balked. Instead of the urge to merge, I felt the balk to walk.

    Which brings me to my point. When we can see that change is on the horizon, here’s Doug’s top-seven ways to soften the blow. Try them out on your next big shift and see what happens.

    *** 1 – If there are ‘victims’ of the change, give them whatever choices you can. Let them be part of the decision. Don’t force them into Rhapsody.

    *** 2 – Explain the true reason behind the change. “Rhapsody has paid us well for this buyout. You’ll profit too. Here’s why.”

    *** 3 – Be personal. Don’t keep your ‘victims’ at arm’s length. “We know this is not going to be easy. That’s why we’ve set up a help line in case you have questions.”

    *** 4 – Try to list tangible benefits of the change. Rhapsody might have argued, “We know you’ll lose hard drive space, but you’ll gain features. Here are 10 things you can do with the new software that you couldn’t do with the old.”

    *** 5 – If possible, *ease* them through the change. For example, Urge might have explained, “Stay with Rhapsody for 3 months before you have to pay a cent. Try it out. If you don’t like it, you can always quite later.”

    *** 6 – Ask several different spokespeople to communicate the change. It would have helped to have heard from the president of Urge. “The reason we’re shutting service down is…”. The top-dog at Rhapsody could have chimed in too.

    *** 7 – Realize that your constituency is always one touch away from disenfranchisement. I liked Urge. I bragged about it. But when it closed, I bolted. I didn’t just blindly follow the crowd to the next big thing. Online music services became a commodity item to me, because I no longer had any owner loyalty. Urge, if they wanted to keep me, probably needed to do a bit more homework.

    What would help *you* in the midst of change? How could *your* employer, agency or church make it easier for you when something has to transition? Got an opinion? Write a comment below. Get it off your chest. Just click to:

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=43

    Click on “Comment” below the post and fill us in on your ideas.

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