Security

4) Headed To A Sensitive Place? Check For Security Vulnerabilities

One of the best spots for checking your computer for vulnerabilities is Steve Gibson’s “Gibson Research Corporation.” It’s even better, in my opinion, than the designers of anti-virus/firewall software… because it’s totally unbiased and not self-serving. Start at:

http://www.grc.com/

Follow the prompts to “ShieldsUp!”. (Note: You can look up in the upper left at the landing page there… hover over “Services”, then click on “ShieldsUp!” Read, then click “Proceed.” At the ShieldsUp page, click on “Filesharing.” The outcome you want is, ” All attempts to get any information from your computer have FAILED.” That’s the answer you want to see. Anything less is unacceptable.

Next, start the whole process over (you won’t be able to click “Back”. This time click on “Common Ports.” The answer you want this time is, “Your system has achieved a perfect ‘TruStealth’ rating.” Anything less is unacceptable. If you don’t see these two messages, go shop for a better firewall.

Next click on “All Service Ports.” The answer you want here is ” Your system has achieved a perfect ‘TruStealth” rating.'”

Hats off to Steve Gibson for giving us these kinds of tools.

6) Do You Work In Hard, Unreceptive Places?

If so, consider enrolling in the International School of Reconciliation Studies, a self paced, web-based, school for leaders. In association with the International Reconciliation Coalition, an organization founded by John Dawson, President of Youth With A Mission, The International School of Reconciliation speaks of reconciliation between God and Self, the Biblical Basis of Reconciliation, and best practices of reconciliation around the world. Scholars and practitioners from around the world are your teachers. Enrollment is open the month of January, for more information go to

http://www.gracebridge.org/

Limited financial scholarships are available.

2) ‘Safe Travel Solutions’ For Missions Teams

Overseas missions travel is becoming increasingly more dangerous. Just yesterday, a personal friend of mine watched as thieves duct-taped the mouth of his wife in his own home. A handful of thieves took whatever they wanted, then drove off in the missionary’s car. Traveler kidnappings, illegal detentions, carjackings, and home invasions increased 300 percent just in 2005-06, says personal security specialist David Dose, founder of Fort Sherman Academy, where faith-based audiences have been receiving hostage survival and anti-terrorism training since 2003. Now the highly effective Fort Sherman training is available in a two-DVD curriculum called “Safe Travel Solutions.” Topics include Protective Measures, Surveillance, Surviving Hostage Situations, Minimizing Sexual Assault, and Dealing with Demands for Information. For more information, visit

http://www.safetravelsolutions.org

Fort Sherman was kind enough to send an evaluation copy. We recently sent representatives from our organization out to Fort Sherman for personal training and my conclusion is – if you can’t get to Fort Sherman personally, get this DVD before you travel.

12) The Backpage: Trouble In Vpn-City

I just returned tonight from a trip to the Middle East, primarily in a country that filters Internet access through a national proxy. None of the hotel rooms (that I stayed in) had in-room Internet… so it was Internet cafes for me in each stop. You’ve heard us say before on Brigada — the only way to safely access POP3 email at an Internet café is to shield your communication in a secure software tunnel referred to as a virtual private network (VPN). There *are* solutions for encrypted email (like Hushmail), but none of them allow you to use a simple POP3 box with a client like Outlook. For example, I *was* able to access my Hushmail account, but … it’s just not as quick and easy. Plus, it’s not very dependable off-line (I’ve had annoying glitches keeping the Outlook IMAP3 plug-in to stay in the running with Hushmail.) So… for convenient POP3 email *and* for secure web-browsing to the site of your choice, you really need a VPN in any country which would misunderstand your good intentions… or anytime you’re exchanging information about sensitive finances.

In the old days, a VPN might have raised your profile; not so any more. Every business man that passes financial information uses (or ought to use) a VPN. You usually wouldn’t have to carry around a hardware device to run a VPN. Many “software” versions are available, usually by running a “client-side” application on your laptop — which, in turn, talks to a VPN “server-side” mother-ship application, either on your own server back in your homeland, or, alternatively, via a server maintained by the company from which you buy or rent the VPN service. Some companies will offer a VPN for free (usually with other, more powerful services sold for pay), while other charge a nominal fee per month.

One thing I noticed was that it seemed there was no consistent result with the VPN that we hand out to our workers going to sensitive fields. We use Cisco and we oversee the “dashboard” for this VPN ourselves, so it’s really easy to maintain. But, not in this particular land. For example, at the first Internet café I visited on the opening day of this trip, every time I logged on to the VPN, the connectivity to the Internet would vanish. (Have you encountered something similar to that in other instances? If so, please click on “comment” below this item and give your testimony — completely anonymously if you desire.) That night, I tried Wytopia, HotSpotVPN, PublicVPN, and a handful of other VPN suppliers. *Hushmail* worked (without the VPN), but, as for my POP3 mail, I left empty-handed that night. I wasn’t willing to download it into the open. Now later in the week, I went back to that same café and tried again — and this time it worked! (Have you experienced that too?) I wondered later… if I had rebooted, would it have reset some routine that allowed it to connect? Either way, let’s start a list below of our favorite vendors for VPNs, along with anything to beat the problems. Here are the issues we seem to be battling, in the “real-world testing” department:

*** Some internet cafes seem to have blocked the port that the VPN uses?
*** It seems inconsistent; it’ll work sometimes and not work other times.
*** The VPN would sometimes just drop… like… if the wireless radio in the coffee shop had a hiccup, the secure-conduit would drop. (Sometimes when I’d try to launch it again, it wouldn’t have exited cleanly, so I’d have to reboot first. Hassle. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind all the hassles in the world, if they help us do this stuff securely. I’m just wondering if there’s a better way out there.)

Maybe we’ll find an obvious lay-down best VPN in the world? :-) Or maybe a satellite solution has leap-frogged the old technology and now we don’t even need internet cafes anymore?

2) Is Cell Phone Security Even Worse Than We Thought?

Here’s a question from a field worker who writes, “Our mission team is located in a ‘police state.’ We know the police listen to our phone calls regularly. We also know they can use triangulation to locate us. We’re fine with that stuff. :-) But now we’re facing a couple of new concerns:

“*** REMOTELY EAVESDROPPING WHEN WE’RE NOT ON THE PHONE — The microphones in cell phones are now being turned on remotely to allow eavesdropping on their owners anytime (even when you’re not making a call). We’ve figured out how to overcome this problem… but we kind of hate to always have the batteries out of our cell phones. :-) [By the way, if you think this worker has been watching too many episodes of “24”, just do an Internet search for the term, “FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool.”]

“*** REMOTELY ACCESSING CONTENTS OF YOUR PHONE — We’re hearing (from some pretty tech-smart guys) that it’s easy to remotely hack into the contents of our phone, getting full access to our pics, calendars, docs, task lists, etc. The implications are huge. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

“To the degree all of this ‘just depends’ upon what model of phone a person uses we would be extremely grateful for information about which models are suceptible and which aren’t. Also, we’re re-evaluating our team’s technology security protocol. Can anyone share cellphone security guidelines they’ve adopted?”

Well, that’s a lot… but if you’ll just click on the link below, then click on “Comment”, you could write to your heart’s content, even anonymously.

8) Skip Skype?

We continue to follow the stories about the alleged compromise of Skype as a secure means of communication. See, for example,

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/10/02/surveillance-of-skyp.html

Note that if one were to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to log onto Skype in the USA, one might theoretically be able to assume a greater degree of privacy since it is presumably only the *overseas* Skype nodes that are compromised (through the sale of Skype technology to overseas governments). By logging onto Skype via USA nodes, we would bypass monitoring equipment totally. Your thoughts? Just click “Comment” below. (Thanks for your input on this Bill!)

20070715 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. DOWNLOAD GLOBAL PRAYER DIGEST TO YOUR MOBILE PHONE
  2. MEDEXS HOT SPOTS KEEPS YOU UP TO SPEED ON TROUBLED AREAS
  3. CHRISTIAN TRAVEL AGENT
  4. CLOSING STUFF

  1. DOWNLOAD GLOBAL PRAYER DIGEST TO YOUR MOBILE PHONE — Get the Global Prayer Digest prayer guide for your mobile phone at

    http://fourteenfloor.com/downloads

    A java enabled mobile phone is required to install this prayer guide and the contents are taken from

    http://global-prayer-digest.org

    By the way — cool stat from the “Did you know…” Department — the Global Prayer Digest was first served up to the Internet via the Brigada family of email conferences, all the way back in 1995.


  2. MEDEXS HOT SPOTS KEEPS YOU UP TO SPEED ON TROUBLED AREAS — Stay updated with real-time information on emerging political and security situations around the globe with MEDEX HOT SPOTS. View today’s report at

    http://www.medexassist.com/hotspots/default.html

    You can receive a daily report via email here. It’s important to know how the international political scene can affect your travelers and their mission. More information about protecting your travelers is available from www.medexassist.com.


  3. CHRISTIAN TRAVEL AGENT — Here’s an agent who specializes in out of States travel. Carole will help you with all your travel needs, including air travel within a foreign country. Unlike most other agents, Carole only charges $10.00 per ticket. She handles the travel arrangements for many missions teams and organizations. Carole does real well on domestic flights also. It is not likely that you will find lower prices anywhere! Contact our Sister at: ABC Christian Cruises and Travel, 2020 Harlem Blvd, Rockford, IL 61103, Fax: 815 377-4200,

    http://www.goabctravel.com

    or e-mail goabc(at)goabctravel(dot)com

20070624 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. GET A POPULAR EVANGELISTIC VCD FOR CHINA FOR YOUR PEOPLE GROUP
  2. WHAT’S THE “BEST RESOURCE” FOR A MISSIONS MINISTRY TO STUDY?
  3. TOP FIVE ARTICLES ON PRESENTING YOUR WORK
  4. MEDEX HOT SPOTS
  5. CULTURE SHOCK RUSSIAN STYLE!
  6. CASE STUDIES AND LEARNING TOOLS FROM CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
  7. SIBERIAN RAIL ADVENTURE BOOK
  8. NEXUS: THE WORLD HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT READER
  9. CAN YOU HELP THIS RESEARCHER OF MISSIONS WORK DONE BY WOMEN?
  10. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO SPUR US ON
  11. JOIN THOSE WHO MAKE BRIGADA POSSIBLE
  12. THE BACKPAGE: REFLECT, REPENT AND REBOOT
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  1. GET A POPULAR EVANGELISTIC VCD FOR CHINA FOR YOUR PEOPLE GROUP — There is a popular evangelistic VCD in China called “Hao Xiaoxi” (Good News) and nobody really knows who created it or where it came from. The VCD is in Mandarin Chinese. Recently, a worker had the soundtrack completely redone without the Mandarin narration and speaking parts, and is now dropping in the language of the minority group with which he works. He has a feeling there are a lot of folks out there working in China among minority groups who would benefit greatly from this “wordless soundtrack”. If this interests you, please send an email to his secure address: taihaole(at)pobox(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] He will try to get you the soundtrack on DVD. (Hats off to this servant-hearted worker!)

  2. WHAT’S THE “BEST RESOURCE” FOR A MISSIONS MINISTRY TO STUDY? — Steve is a great friend of mine and a missions minister in Columbus, Ohio. He’s on the hunt for the one best book (besides the Bible) or video for a missions ministry to read/study together. Let’s come up with the best list we can . . . and get the word out to all those who have similar interests. Post your best answer at…

    http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=23

    Thanks!


  3. TOP FIVE ARTICLES ON PRESENTING YOUR WORK — Digital Web Magazine recently featured “top five articles” on giving great presentations. They sum up the best of the best principles, as well as what to avoid. To see the link, click to

    http://www.brigada.org

    Click on the link to this Brigada Today, then scroll down to this item and click the link that will be here:

    http://www.digital-web.com/news/2007/02/top_five_articles_for_presenters/

    We aren’t featuring the link in this email because it’s long and would wrap … and going to brigada.org is way cooler than clicking on a “tinyurl” link that you can’t really see.


  4. MEDEX HOT SPOTS — Thanks to Team Expansion’s Global Security Coordinator, “Jim”, for giving us this tip —

    http://www.medexassist.com/hotspots/default.html

    It’s a list of political and security hot spots around the world. They update the page often, as needed.


  5. CULTURE SHOCK RUSSIAN STYLE! — Getting ready to visit Russia? “Peterburgers” is a humorously-piled platter that’s culturally insightful and spiritually challenging. Treat yourself and your loved ones to true and funny adventures in Russia’s cultural capital told with culture shock training for missionaries (and their supporters back home) in mind. Order by contacting Bill bill(at)billandrobinharris(dot)com [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) or $8.00 per copy when you order two or more. Bite down on “Peterburgers”!

  6. CASE STUDIES AND LEARNING TOOLS FROM CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE — The folks at City Gate

    http://www.CityGate.org

    (formally SEN) have updated their website. They’ve posted lots of interesting articles and tools for working in Central Europe. You can also contact them for more info at news(at)CityGate.org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  7. SIBERIAN RAIL ADVENTURE BOOK — “The Great Siberian Rail Adventure” is the hilariously heart-stopping, true story of the Harris family’s journey by car, ship, and rail across Russia. Come along and you’ll find a dragon, an axe-wielding conductor, a supersonic clothes washer, and a van with a death wish. Order by contacting Bill bill(at)billandrobinharris(dot)com [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) or $8.00 per copy when you order two or more. Climb aboard!

  8. NEXUS: THE WORLD HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT READER — In this new book edited by Rad Zdero (author of “The Global House Church Movement”), a team of almost 40 house church movement leaders and academics from around the world have written over 60 provocative articles designed to inform, inspire, and invite you to start your own network of multiplying house churches no matter where you live. This book reports on some of the amazing things God is up to today through saturation house church planting, as well as providing biblical insights, historical lessons, and practical strategies. (Paperback – 528 pages – 62 chapters). To order call 1-706-554-1594 (outside the USA), call 1- 800-MISSION (inside the USA), go to

    http://www(dot)missionbooks(dot)org

    or send email to STL(at)WCLbooks(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. CAN YOU HELP THIS RESEARCHER OF MISSIONS WORK DONE BY WOMEN? — Here’s a researcher looking to find the number of women currently involved in missions worldwide and training opportunities for women desiring to join the mission field. She writes, “My goal is to determine if there is a worldwide need for more women in missions and if there are sufficient training programs for women who are interested in dedicating themselves to God work in the mission field.” If you can help, post a comment at: http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=24

    If you’d rather correspond directly with her personally, about something you can’t say openly on the web, write Elaine at Elaineschrank(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. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO SPUR US ON — We are so grateful for those who take initiative to encourage us with a financial gift to help with our expenses and spur us on toward the future. We invest the money in webhosting, some small marketing projects, secretarial costs, as well as projects for world evangelism. Nothing is wasted. This past week, we rec’d a $180 gift from a very active worker with an interest in Asia. We praise God for his efforts. We also rec’d $20 from an anonymous staff member of Studio TEN Ministries. Dial-abroad pitched in another $38.70. To take advantage of their great low rates for long distance, click to:

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


  11. JOIN THOSE WHO MAKE BRIGADA POSSIBLE — Want to help? Just click to:

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

    You can pull the money from your PayPal account or from any major credit card.


  12. THE BACKPAGE: REFLECT, REPENT AND REBOOT — I saw an email cross my screen last week with a signature, “Reflect, Repent, and Reboot.” I chuckled to myself, then later thought… You know, that’s actually a pretty cool concept. The “ctrl-alt-delete” three-key combination is widely-known in the IBM-compatible PC world. MAC users usually insist that they don’t have to reboot as often :-) , but they still have the capability by clicking on the Apple button then hitting “Restart.” The metaphor is pretty interesting. In computing, one usually reboots because “something’s just not quite right.” The operating system is slowing down, or halted completely because of an error or a system crash. Sometimes the whole thing just freezes up — with no explanation.

    Life is like that. We trip up, commit an error, and suddenly confront the fact that we’ve sinned. There seems to be no way out — and then we remember the magic of starting over. We “reflect, repent and reboot.” Suddenly, life is good. We’re back in the groove. There’s a lilt in our step. We feel light-shouldered again. Romans 8:1 reads, ” Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Sigh. Thank goodness we can start over. Hit control-alt-delete in your life, today. (Thanks to the anonymous correspondent who included that in his/her signature!)

20070408 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON BIBLE SOFTWARE
  2. MEMBER CARE AND UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: THE WEB SITE
  3. VOLUNTEER WITH OR UTILIZE “MISSION NANNYS”
  4. MISSION TRIP SECURITY
  5. COSIM: VISION IN CROSS-CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS
  6. ENHANCE YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS
  7. SPECIAL: THE LATEST WEA-MISSION COMMISSION BOOK
  8. COMPOSE FOR MOMENTUM MAGAZINE
  9. TEACH ENGLISH, GERMAN OR SWEDISH IN THAILAND
  10. OPPORTUNITIES FOR INT’L SCHOOLING IN ACCRA, GHANA
  11. ASK YOUR CHURCH TO SUPPORT BRIGADA’S 10-YEAR+ TRACK RECORD
  12. THE BACKPAGE: MORE “COOL TOOLS” FOR TRAVEL & MISSIONS
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  • SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON BIBLE SOFTWARE — Logos Bible Software is offering a special discount for Brigada Today subscribers. Logos is the best Bible software I’ve personally ever used. Now you can purchase the world’s best Bible software at 25% off the retail price! Logos Bible Software puts hundreds of searchable, interlinked Bibles and biblical reference works right at your fingertips. You’ll not only be able to dig deeper into the Bible but you’ll be able to take your entire digital library wherever you go. Missionaries and traveling pastors rave about the way Logos has improved their time in the Word. These aren’t just electronic books that you can read on a computer, Logos provides a user- friendly, interactive search engine that guides you through word studies and passage exegesis – and it’s all accomplished with just a few clicks of your mouse! It integrates well when you add additional commentaries, study aids, and indices. Imagine the way we used to have to carry around study Bibles. To learn more go to

    http://www.Logos.com/brigada

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


  • MEMBER CARE AND UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: THE WEB SITE — This web site is one of the resources offered by Ethne-Member Care (part of the Ethne to Ethne Movement.) The web site offers materials to support the mission and member care community in its work among unreached people groups. There are web links to many core resources (e.g., member care materials in Chinese and Spanish, trauma management, support for humanitarian workers); tools/checklists to help you in your work; and important articles on member care history, future directions, and suggestions for senders. Another special feature of the web site is the archives of the Member Care Update. This Update is free, sent monthly/electronically, and includes news and resources to further equip people with member care responsibility. It is edited by a group of senior, international consultants in the member care field. Recent issues have included a Self-Care inventory, Marriage Potential tool, Coaching article, Rationale for Taking Risks article, Travel Medicine update, and Support Team overview.

    http://www.ethne.net/membercare


  • VOLUNTEER WITH OR UTILIZE “MISSION NANNYS” (sic) — In a recent item on “Missions Nannys” (Mar. 23, 2007 Brigada: “4) NEED A NANNY?”), we recommended them, but the contributor had provided the incorrect URL. Here’s their correct website:

    http://www.MissionNannys.org


  • MISSION TRIP SECURITY — If some of your people on a mission trip have a major accident, get arrested, or are abducted, do you know what to do first, whom to contact, how and when to inform families, how to respond to a political or ransom demand, and what the courts might expect of you? On May 10, 2007 the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies (EFMA) is sponsoring a 90-minute Tele-class (or Webinar) entitled “Ready or Not? What Your Church or Mission needs to Know about Crisis Management & Security for Short-term Teams.” Bob Klamser, Executive Director or Crisis Consulting International, a non-profit missions support agency that provides security training, consulting and emergency services to the missions community. The seminar is free for EFMA members and $35 per person for others. To participate, all you need is broad band access for your computer and a telephone. To see details and enroll on-line go to

    http://efma.gospelcom.net/getinvolved_learning.php

    or contact David Mays at davidmays(at)efmamissions(dot)org


  • COSIM: VISION IN CROSS-CULTURAL PARTNERSHIPS — The next annual COSIM conference is scheduled for June 11-13, 2007 at the Wheaton Bible Church, Wheaton, IL. The theme is “Breaking Tradition to Accomplish Vision: From frustration to joy in cross-cultural partnerships.” The featured plenary speakers and facilitators are Sherwood Lingenfelter, Provost, Fuller Seminary; Paul R. Gupta, President, Hindustan Bible Institute, Chennai, India; and John Watters, Executive Director, Wycliffe International. This will be a highly interactive conference to facilitate practical training, creative dialog, case study analysis, and strategic thinking. For more information, visit the COSIM web site:

    http://www.cosim.info

    Or write to Werner werner(at)mission1(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  • 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. 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 before May 15th, and receive $5.00 off your next purchase! Ph: (858) 413-5120 in the USA or browse to

    http://www.writersedgeinternational.com

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


  • SPECIAL: THE LATEST WEA-MISSION COMMISSION BOOK — The WEA Mission Commission is releasing its newest book in the Globalization of Mission series: “Worth Keeping: Global Perspectives on Best Practice in Missionary Retention.” It is written and edited by WEA-MC folks: Rob Hay, Valerie Lim, Detlef Blöcher, Jaap Ketelaar and Sarah Hay,

    The very special pre-print deal is a 52% discount offer through May 31, 2007 for this book only, which in part follows, but goes far beyond, the global research presented in “Too Valuable to Lose: Examining the Causes and Cures of Missionary Attrition.” “Worth Keeping” is the product of years of work by the Mission Commission task force called ReMAP II, which was charged with the job of carrying out the attrition follow-up research but going far beyond into the areas of retention and best practices. The book presents the outcome of that 20 nation study, crafted and led by a team of international researchers and global cadre of associates. The 36 chapters and 58 case studies from around the world make the book unique. It will be released on May 31, 2007 as a 7″ x 10″ with 448 pages, soft cover, perfect bound. The retail price is US$24.99. Special pre-publication 52% discount offer: US$11.99 !!! It is being published by: WEA Mission Commission & William. Carey Library To order, go to the pre-pub sale webpage:

    http://www.missionbooks.org/worthkeeping/


  • COMPOSE FOR MOMENTUM MAGAZINE — Justin Long, Editor of the online magazine, Momentum, invites you to consider submitting articles for upcoming issues …
    *** 2007-05 — Business as Mission — In this and all areas, he’s specifically hoping for non-Western writers as well as Western sources. Better contact him on this one to see if he can still use your material. :-)

    *** 2007-07 — Western Asia (which includes the Asian portion of what we typically call “Middle East”–e.g. Israel and east, as well as Turkey and the -stans of Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan).

    *** 2007-09 — Eastern Africa, with an especial emphasis on Sudan and Ethiopia.

    He can send you writer’s guidelines. Learn more at: http://www.momentum-mag.org


  • TEACH ENGLISH, GERMAN OR SWEDISH IN THAILAND — The worst hit place in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami, Khao Lak is now recovering beautifully. Today tsunami survivors want to improve their employment opportunities in the recovering hospitality market, by building up their language skills. That desire opens the door of relationship and your chance to show God’s amazing love. Travel there this summer for 2 months or more to the Step Ahead Training Center (YWAM Relief & Development) in beautiful Phang Nga, Southern Thailand. You’ll have Aircon housing with cable TV, and a $200 monthly stipend. For more info., contact: quinley(at)stepaheadmed(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or see

    http://www.stepaheadmed.org


  • OPPORTUNITIES FOR INT’L SCHOOLING IN ACCRA, GHANA — American International School (AIS) in Accra, Ghana is nearing completion of its first year with 60 students. AIS is a Network of International Christian Schools (NICS) school. AIS is now taking applications for the 2007/08 school year. Enrollment will be limited to 120 students preschool-12th grade so, don’t delay. Check out

    http://aisaccra.org/

    If you are interested in teaching at AIS or other NICS schools check out

    http://www.nics.org/


  • ASK YOUR CHURCH TO SUPPORT BRIGADA’S 10-YEAR+ TRACK RECORD — When you send your gift via PayPal or check, we’ll gladly mention your church (or you or your group). But more importantly, you’ll be helping undergird a ministry that has come to you faithfully with an edition for every week since January 1995. 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.

  • THE BACKPAGE: MORE “COOL TOOLS” FOR TRAVEL & MISSIONS — In previous issues, we’ve listed these tools:

    #1: Beat jet lag (Sleep E., Party W., Gear up to sleep, Herd your kids)
    #2: Get your own mosquito tent (for malaria-infested areas)
    #3: Insist on AC adaptors that don’t require converters/transformers
    #4: Rent or buy a “worldphone”, satphone, and/or sat modem
    #5: Pack by checklist, pack light
    #6: Use roller bags
    #7: Bring a filtered water bottle
    #8: Carry a thin notebook & a pen, write everything down
    #9: Use a money belt
    #10: Try a photographer’s vest
    #11: Stay healthy, but don’t become O.C.
    #12: Find a camera/kit you can truly *carry*, then *use* it

    With this edition, we add the following

    #13: Pack modularly — When I was a scout as a 7th grader, they taught us to pack “a sack of sacks.” Today, that advice still applies — for missionaries and short-term missions travelers too. This is a great use for those plastic grocery bags from your neighborhood grocery. Socks all in one sack, underwear in another, shirts in another, etc. Double-bag the electronics gear (in a clear bag if you can), soccer cleats in another, soccer ball in another, shin guards & air pump in another, a couple of “kits” or soccer outfits in another, you get the idea. Some say to pack your underwear on top, but I figure the terrorists have all heard that advice by now anyway, so forget it. :-) Send as many liquids as possible through your checked bag. For those liquids you have to carry on, don’t forget to have them ready in a clear zip-lock bag, and send them through the x-ray machine separately.

    #14: Get hold of a good pair of passive noise-reducing earphones — These will do you double-duty. Not only can you use them with your mp3 player or laptop, but also, most airlines have switched to the same “stereo mini-plug” size for their in-air entertainment and movies sound tracks. So rather than use their cheapies, you can reduce the ambient jet noise (and crying kids, bless their hearts :-) ) by at least 10 dB, while getting better fidelity at the same time.

    More cool tools next time.

20070218 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SHARPCAST
  2. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT ADOBE LIGHTROOM
  3. INSIGHT INTO ISLAM IN THE NORTH AFRICAN SETTING
  4. GET BY “ON THE CHEAP” WITH TRUECRYPT
  5. SUPPORT RAISING TRAINING
  6. SEARCHING FOR EFL MATERIALS FOR AFRICAN CONTEXT
  7. CLARIFICATION ON SECURITY OF SKYPE-OUT CALLS
  8. THE CALL FOR TWO BIBLE SUNDAYS ANNUALLY
  9. EXAMPLES OF INNOVATION IN MISSION
  10. THANKS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP
  11. THE BACKPAGE: MORE “COOL TOOLS” FOR THE ROAD
  12. CLOSING STUFF

  1. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SHARPCAST — In a word, *lots*. Find Sharpcast at…

    http://www.sharpcast.com

    It’s probably best described as an all-encompassing (though somewhat “lightweight”) digital photo archival, sharing, and even editing solution. The first step is to download and install the application on your own PC. (There’s no spyware or adware associated with Sharpcast.) Use this free application to import and clean up photos you’ve captured or scanned. Of course, you might still need more traditional editing software like Photoshop if you plan to do any “heavy lifting.” But if you’re just straightening, lightening, or resizing, Sharpcast can do it all. (Use the “Export” feature to resize.) But the really cool part begins when you realize that the Sharpcast people are *cloning* your photos over to a web-based application as well. There are no limits on space, no limits on resolution, and no limits on time. That’s right — Sharpcast is making a commitment that they’ll stay in business for you there, for free, forever. So how do they intend to make money? By upselling you on additional goods and services, like making prints and enlargements of your photos.

    There are other services that let you store photos online. But I think you’ll appreciate the ease with which you can sweep your media into your desktop-installed application, knowing that it’s working in the background to backup everything on your own Sharpcast website. What’s more, you get to decide on an album-by-album basis how broadly you’ll share the material. So you could make non-sensitive photos totally public then use the site as the web-server for all of your digital media. At the push of a button (“Download your photo”), Sharpcast will give you web addresses on a photo-by-photo basis. These URLs are direct and ad-free. In this way, you can make even available photos at different resolution levels for your readers, supporters, and partners. Create a gallery of “web-res” versions for use with email and the web; Create another gallery of “laser-print-res” versions in case your supporters or friends want to print copies on their home printers; and create a final “high-res” version in case family members back home want to print enlargements on photo paper. The good thing is — they’re all free. If you’re working in a sensitive environment, just set up your sharing database so you open up the album only to particular users, restricted by password. The photos aren’t “encrypted”, but nor will they be searched by indexing “spiders”. So they won’t be seen through Google images.

    All in all, Sharpcast is a great service, especially for the price — absolutely free. Just remember you heard about it on Brigada. :-)


  2. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT ADOBE LIGHTROOM –- Only that it just might be the best lightweight, easiest-to-use Windows-compatible photo-editing program around. If your digital camera happens to be like mine (incapable of producing “RAW” format photos), Lightroom is truly a lifesaver. From now on, artists the world over can feel comfortable with a JPG-only digital cameras. What’s more, Lightroom will help you organize, catalogue and tag your digital photos, too. One has to wonder if this program won’t replace Photoshop Elements as one of the best lightweight digital photo-editing packages around. For more information, visit:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/


  3. INSIGHT INTO ISLAM IN THE NORTH AFRICAN SETTING — What a difference Jesus will make! Um Daoud, with her years of living and working among Muslims, has once again given us a realistic picture of life for Muslim women. This time, in “Things I Never Told My Mother,” she illustrates the life of thousands who live in more secular Muslim countries and the struggle they face between Western influences on their societies and what little they know of Islam. Things I Never Told My Mother can be found through online book distributors. (Xulon Press, Jan 2007. ISBN: 1602660107. Paperback, 332 pages). For comments or questions you can contact Um Daoud at UmDaoud2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. GET BY “ON THE CHEAP” WITH TRUECRYPT — Looking for an economic solution to the whole portable encryption question? Look no further. Get TrueCrypt on a 1GB flashdrive from

    http://www.meritline.com

    for $12 including shipping. Almost “cheap as free,” this comprehensive solution will help you cover email for the time being too.

    http://meritline.com/1gb-pqi-mr-flash-u172-usb-2-silver.html

    (Thanks Raul!)


  5. SUPPORT RAISING TRAINING — The BodyBuilders “Personal Support Raising Boot Camp” is a two-day intense training for first-time support raisers and under-funded veterans. Their goal: Getting you to 100% in 100 days! Check out their website for more details at http://www.thebodybuilders.net or email

    info(at)thebodybuilders(dot)net

    Upcoming Boot Camp dates:

    Colorado Springs, CO – March 26-27th Jacksonville, FL – April 27-27th Bellflower, CA – June 4-5th Register online today.


  6. SEARCHING FOR EFL MATERIALS FOR AFRICAN CONTEXT — A team of teachers doing evangelistic EFL classes is looking for curriculum that is culturally appropriate for Africa (not ones which use the Bible to teach English). Is there anything out there? Please send your responses to

    dclouser(at)gmail.com

    We’ll ask Deb’ to send us a summary job later.


  7. CLARIFICATION ON SECURITY OF SKYPE-OUT CALLS — Earlier, we mentioned that we had understood that “Skype-out” calls were not secure. This was due, in part, to the fact that we noted that the “padlock” icon was not visible on these types of calls. But thanks to a point-in-the-right- direction from our good friend, Justin, we’ve now learned that even Skype-out calls are secure until the point at which they tie into the PSTN (regular telephone or mobile phone) number/phone number. This clarification came directly from the FAQ materials at the Skype website. So to clarify, Skype-out calls *are* encrypted until they are transformed into normal telephone copper.

  8. THE CALL FOR TWO BIBLE SUNDAYS ANNUALLY — Annual Talking Bible Sundays are now possible in thousands of churches so that God’s people can become aware and involved. A Talking Bible Sunday helps God’s people become aware that millions of Christians living in oral cultures do not read. They come to recognize that Talking Bibles in the hearer’s own language are the exciting new possibility in this digital, microchip era. Hence the call from Talking Bibles International for churches to observe two Bible Sundays annually – the well known Gideon Bible Sunday and the newer Talking Bible Sunday. For more information visit

    http://www.talkingbibles.org or contact

    info(at)talkingbibles(dot)org


  9. EXAMPLES OF INNOVATION IN MISSION — Are you looking for inspiration in your ministry? Jim Reapsome (retired editor of EMQ) and Jon Hirst (Director of Communications at HCJB Global) have just launched a book that showcases the innovations of thirteen mission practitioners. Whether you want to learn about how TEAM launched e-learning, how Olive Technologies integrates business as mission, and how Link Care and YWAM are re-imagining member care in the developing world, these quick case studies provide a great workshop to help you innovate within your ministry context. Read more about the book at

    http://www.authenticbooks.com/search/isbn/1932805761

    and

    http://www.innovationinmission.com


  10. THANKS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP — Thanks to recent Brigada donors which included $21.20 from Blessed Hope, a Christian owned US long distance service with cheap rates for people living in the USA. Get 4.9 cents per minute interstate rates with no monthly or hidden fees. If you are paying higher rates, then visit this site.

    http://www.lowermyphonebill.com/brigada

    and $25 from Magazine Training Int’l, equipping Christian magazine publishers for effective ministry in East-Central Europe, Asia and around the world. Learn more about their work at:

    http://www.magazinetraining.com

    Can you join them in spurring Brigada on to good works? Just visit:

    http://www.brigada.org

    and 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: MORE “COOL TOOLS” FOR THE ROAD — In the past couple of editions of Brigada Today, we’ve listed some tools to help you leverage your travel for greater effectiveness (or at least more fun). So far, we’ve listed…
    *** #1: “Determine to beat jet lag”
    *** #2: “Sleep East, Party West”
    *** #3: “Gear up to sleep” (Eye screen, Ear plugs, Travel pillow, an extra blanket, empty seats, bad movies eastbound, floss & brush, and even your favorite house slippers)

    Today we cover Tool #4: Herding *kids* while traveling. Truly, this is a heartbeat item, as is evidenced by the email I recently received from a faithful Brigada participant from Taiwan, who wrote, ” In my experience… when a small child has jet lag… EVERYONE has jet lag… no matter how much I *believe* that my kids aren’t awake at 3AM and want to go to the park and play… it doesn’t seem to make them sleepy at all.” LOL Well said, Scott. So how can we help kids make the most of their time in the air and/or on the road with us? Well books could be written, for sure, but we’ll just list 5 principles to get the juices stirring…

    ****** a) Keep ’em busy — As anyone who travels can tell you, you have to plan ahead so you’ll have appropriate activities, interesting games, familiar (but replaceable) toys and, best of all, cool snacks. Use your imagination. Think like a kid. Ask for their input before you ever leave to go there.

    ****** b) [For infants and toddlers], Take along a stroller — Even though it will seem like a hassle, a stroller will help you in several key ways. First, it’s “home base” for all your stuff. Second, it’s a home base for the *munchkin*. Third, it’s a protected “security zone”. And finally, it’s a roving sleeper-car. You probably get the point on all those.

    ****** c) [For infants], Get them an airline bed — Again, this takes advanced planning. Some airlines still let you use the portable beds that fasten to the wall of the bulkhead. Several others have apparently ceased that practice. But in its place, they’ve come up with other strategies. Call around. Find a kid-friendly airline that flies where you fly. If worse comes to worse, pay the 10% extra ticket price to book a *seat* for your infant, and just drag along a cheap car seat that you pick up at a yard sale. See “b” above.

    ****** d) Recruit a partner to help you care for the kids — On a recent trip to the Balkans, while accompanying a young couple headed to one of Team Expansion’s mission fields, I took a turn caring for their 8-month- old baby so they could get at least *some* sleep through the night. I walked laps around the plane. I rocked her, bounced her, and otherwise entertained her for at least a *while* so the family could snooze. Find someone who will go along and do the same for you — and more.

    ****** e) Finally, remember the power of some potent cough medicine. [grin] If your child has a cold or congestion, it’s especially important… and that cough medicine just might be the ticket to put them to sleep for hours. I’m not saying drug ’em and forget about ’em. But at the same time, if the medicine is appropriate, and if it happens to make them drowsy, *use* it. [grin]

    Next edition, more cool travel tools for the road, including the story of “the rat I recently killed” while traveling.

20060903 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. HEARD THE LATEST? CALEB PROJECT + ACMC = INITIATIVE360
  2. THE GLORY STORY PROJECT
  3. FREE SERVICES ABOUNDING ON THE NET
  4. INTERNET SEARCH WARNING TO WORKERS IN SENSITIVE COUNTRIES
  5. THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE: “WE WANT TO LEARN”
  6. PERSECUTED CHURCH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NETWORK ESTABLISHED
  7. WHY DID YOUNG ISAIAH FEEL GUILTY?
  8. GATHERING OF LATIN AMERICAN COMICS ARTISTS
  9. THE ZHUANG OF SOUTHERN CHINA
  10. ONLY 3 MONTHS LEFT TO HELP BRIGADA PAY ITS SECRETARY FOR 2006
  11. THE BACKPAGE: “HURTING YOU IS LIKE HURTING ME”
  12. CLOSING STUFF

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

    http://www.takeitglobal.org

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


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

    http://www.TheGloryStory.com

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


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

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

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

    http://www.forgottenpeoples.info or email lynchdp(at)iafrica(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


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

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

    The working consultation was developed and facilitated by visionSynergy

    http://www.visionsynergy.net


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

    http://www.easyenglish.info

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


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

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

    http://www.littworld.org/LW06_spanish.htm

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

    http://www.littworld.org/LW06/lw06_bro_port.pdf

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

    http://www.comix35.org


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

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


  10. ONLY 3 MONTHS LEFT TO HELP BRIGADA PAY ITS SECRETARY FOR 2006 — If you were considering helping Brigada during 2006 but haven’t yet, now would be a *reeeeeeeally* good time. Only 3 months remain. Want to help underwrite this weekly newsletter for thousands of overseas readers who don’t have access to checking accounts or credit cards? If you subscribe to another magazine, consider donating the cost of a subscription . . . or give double, so you can pay someone else’s share too. Just click on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous. In any case, thanks for considering Brigada in your estate giving, your monthly church missions fund, and/or your own personal giving for this calendar year.

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

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

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

20051023 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. SCHOLARSHIP FOR DEGREE IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
2. PUTTING ALREADY TRANSLATED SCRIPTURES INTO TALKING BIBLES
3. RESOURCES FOR REACHING SIKHS
4. NEED A WORSHIP SONG OF PERSEVERANCE AND TRUST?
5. WANT COMPUTER THEFT PROTECTION ANYWHERE?
6. SECURITY ALERTS FOR MISSIONARIES
7. ADD NEW VERSIONS TO YOUR COPY OF ESWORD
8. LEARN ENGLISH IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
9. VOLUNTEER, TEACH IN TSUNAMI-AFFECTED AREAS OF THAILAND
10. STEP AHEAD TRAINING CENTRE
11. NAM KEM BURMESE SCHOOL
12. CONFERENCE PLANNED: “PARTNERSHIPS THAT TRANSFORM”
13. CATCH GREATER VISION IN MOMENTUM MAGAZINE
14. YOU CAN HELP BRIGADA WITH ANY AMOUNT OF DONATION
15. THE BACKPAGE: FORGE ON, ONE LINE AT A TIME
16. CLOSING STUFF

1. SCHOLARSHIP FOR DEGREE IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT — Covenant College, a Christian college located in Lookout Mountain, GA, U.S., recently established a scholarship for its undergraduate major in community development. The scholarship, valued at $9,000 will be awarded to an incoming freshman and renewed for three years. Other merit- and financial-need-based awards ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 will also be available for qualified community development candidates. Students can apply by submitting a scholarship application available from the Covenant web site at

http://www.covenant.edu

The deadline for submitting an application is December 15, 2005. The Community Development major combines a liberal arts education with the theory and practice of community development among the poor from a biblical foundation. It equips students to be an agent of Christian transformation within poor communities, working in community-based organizations, churches, missions, relief and development agencies, and the public sector. For information about the major or the scholarship, visit the Covenant web site, call the Admissions Office at 706-820-2398 or 888-451-2683, or send email to admissions(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. PUTTING ALREADY TRANSLATED SCRIPTURES INTO TALKING BIBLES — As a result of modern technology, every translated New Testament, can now be made available in audio form for non-readers in less than ninety days. It can be done for only a very small fraction of the cost of translating and printing it. By putting already translated Scriptures into Talking Bibles, one can reach twice as many people with God’s Word for less than 5% of the initial cost of translating it. To learn more visit

http://www.talkingbibles.org

and

http://www.audioscriptures.org

or contact harvey(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. RESOURCES FOR REACHING SIKHS — You can find current prayer requests and personal experiences with reaching Sikhs by going to

http://www.imb.org/compassionNet/PeopleGroups.asp

and scrolling down to “Jat Sikhs of India.” People profiles on Sikhs are available by going to

http://www.joshuaproject.netpeopctry.php

and selecting country “India” and people “Jat, Sikh” or “Khatri, Sikh.” Also, you can purchase a prayer guide or video on Sikhs by going to

http://www.calebproject.org/store

then use the search button in the upper right-hand corner to search for Sikhs. You’ll see “Sikhs, India Unreached People Group Booklet” and “Sikhs of the Punjab Video – India, 2002.” To learn more about how you can witness to Sikhs, go to

http://www4truth.net/

and click on “World Religions” and then click on “Sikhism.” Or contact Gurmeet & Nitu by emailing: gurmeet(at)pqsa(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
4. NEED A WORSHIP SONG OF PERSEVERANCE AND TRUST? — Is someone you know going through deep trials? Are you? Do you need a worship song that declares your willingness to follow the Lord no matter what come your way? “I Will Trust Him” was born in the suffering of ministry and will encourage your soul. Visit

http://www.tonguetied.org/IWillTrustHim

to download the words, lead sheet and MP3. In addition, consider using it for your fellowship or church. No web? Email chap(at)tonguetied(dot)org asking for the song pdf. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
5. WANT COMPUTER THEFT PROTECTION ANYWHERE? — Worried about computer theft? Every time a PC PhoneHome or MacPhoneHome-protected computer makes an Internet connection, it sends a stealth email message containing its exact location to a pre-determined email address of the user’s choice and to Brigadoon Software. If your computer goes missing, make a police report and contact Brigadoon. They do the rest. Your missing computer is returned to you with the help of their recovery agents, local police services and global ISPs. A single copy of PC PhoneHome and MacPhoneHome retail for a one time cost of $29.95 USD. No additional charges.

http://www.brigadoonsoftware.com
6. SECURITY ALERTS FOR MISSIONARIES — You can have security alerts that are relevant to missionaries emailed to you. They cover natural disasters, political unrest, persecution outbreaks, epidemics, terrorist threats and activities. Currently, Christian Missionary Alert consists of a team of four moderator specialists who glean updated information from their own resources and security networks. When you join you can choose to have messages come to your inbox or opt to read them on-line. To join, simply send blank message to: cmalert-subscribe(at)yahoogroups(dot)com
7. ADD NEW VERSIONS TO YOUR COPY OF ESWORD — Did you know you can use a Bible Import Tool to download versions of the Bible such as (NKJV & NIV) which are not available at the eSword website. It’s available at:

http://www.dnspad.com/engine/index.php

(Click on “e-Sword Editors, Templates & Tools” and find the import tool in the list.) Note: When you run the program it may tell you that there is a newer version available for download.
8. LEARN ENGLISH IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA — The Christian English Programme (CEPA) can help you improve your English and ability to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Ministry skills. Through formal lessons with experienced TESOL teachers, immersion in the Australian culture through arranged Homestay, electives and excursions. The teaching centre is located in the heart of the central business distinct of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. Fees are very reasonable CEPA is an outreach of the Flinders Street Baptist Church, Adelaide in association with SIM Australia. The next course will be held 5 July to 25 August 2006. Enroll early to save your spot. For further information contact johnaukim(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 .]
9. VOLUNTEER, TEACH IN TSUNAMI-AFFECTED AREAS OF THAILAND — There are a number of projects currently requiring English teachers in the Pang Nga region of Thailand. Volunteers should ideally be able commit for a minimum of 3 months and be confident in planning and delivering lessons to groups of adults and/or children. Get involved via either of the two programs listed below in the next 2 items.
10. STEP AHEAD TRAINING CENTRE — This is a training centre for adults and children who have been impacted by the Tsunami. Step Ahead currently run a number of courses, including Hospitality and General English classes. To find out more about the centre please check out the website:

http://www.freewebs.com/stepaheadtrainingcentre
11. NAM KEM BURMESE SCHOOL — This is a school that is being set up by an Organisation called Habitat to educate the many Burmese children that live in the Nam Kem area (impacted by the Tsunami). The school is looking for English teachers to teach English at the school, which will initially just be for children between the ages of 6 and 12. For more information email: helenmorris7(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 .]
12. CONFERENCE PLANNED: “PARTNERSHIPS THAT TRANSFORM” — The 2006 COSIM conference has been 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. The conference, which is COSIM’s tenth annual, has this vision: Help participants understand how the practice of cross-cultural partnerships between ministries in the West and those in the developing world can bring biblical transformation, individually and corporately, to all the partners involved. Details about registration and costs are forthcoming. To learn more, download a one-page fact sheet at:

http://www.cosimtnet.org

Or write to werner(at)mission1(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
13. CATCH GREATER VISION IN MOMENTUM MAGAZINE — Get a clue. Read it at…

http://www.momentum-mag.org

Justin Long is Senior Editor. It’s a free periodical to help believers passionately, quickly, and effectively reach the least-reached 27% of our world.
14. YOU CAN HELP BRIGADA WITH ANY AMOUNT OF DONATION — Thanks to those who chip in to grow Brigada into the future. Want to help? Just click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.
15. THE BACKPAGE: FORGE ON, ONE LINE AT A TIME — Do you ever look at your to do list and wonder how you’ll ever actually finish it? Maybe it even feels a bit overwhelming because there are so many items, you’re convinced it’s just not possible? If you ever feel stuck in this situation, don’t feel alone. Either Churchill, Edison or Oswald Sanders said, “The world is run by tired people.” (The quote has been attributed to them all. Truth is — everybody’s so sleepy, they can’t remember who said it! :-) ) The idea is to make incremental progress. You don’t actually *have* to finish the list. But when you chip away at it and make progress, at least you’re “in route” to finishing it. If your list is too big, train yourself to take about 10 top priority items and list them in a separate location. Focus on those 10 for today. (Few of us can actually finish more than 10 things in any given day anyway.) The trick is to make sure you’re grabbing the right 10 for the day! No matter what, forge on.

Doug

20050821 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. NEW ONLINE MAGAZINE OFFERS MOMENTUM
2. COOL TOOL: ONLINE PARALLEL BIBLE
3. LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON THAT CONSULTATION IN TURKEY?
4. WANT TO GET UPDATED RISK INFORMATION FROM THE STATE DEPT?
5. INSTEAD OF IKOBO, TRY CASH2WORLD.COM
6. STILL USING THE VPN, “FINDNOT?” IF SO, HEED THIS
7. SEND GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL AIRTIME
8. NEW WEB SITE ON PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLES OF SAUDI ARABIA
9. MOBILE PHONE OUTREACH
10. GMAIL DEBATE CONTINUES
11. AMAZING ENCOURAGEMENT
12. BACKPAGE: PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS
13. CLOSING STUFF

1. NEW ONLINE MAGAZINE OFFERS MOMENTUM — Its compiler hopes to help believers passionately, quickly, and effectively reach the least- reached 27% of our world. Read it this month at: http://www.momentum-mag.org
2. COOL TOOL: ONLINE PARALLEL BIBLE — Check out this online parallel Bible: http://bible.cc/ Imagine how far we’ve come in the past 10 years, compared to the previous *50* years!
3. LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON THAT CONSULTATION IN TURKEY? — Try this email address instead: GlobalConsult(at)itnet(dot)org (See last week’s Brigada, Item #2)
4. WANT TO GET UPDATED RISK INFORMATION FROM THE STATE DEPT? — Just go to: http://www.lsoft.com/scripts/wl.exe?SL1=DOSTRAVEL&H=LISTS.STATE.GOV to set up automatic emails of the most crucial information.
5. INSTEAD OF IKOBO, TRY CASH2WORLD.COM — This new service allows you to send funds directly to a person via courier and the fees they charge are reasonable, according to Brigada user, “Scott.” (Thanks Scott!)
6. STILL USING THE VPN, “FINDNOT?” IF SO, HEED THIS — Just in case you’re still able to access FindNot, beware Brigada user “Andy” says they charge your card again without notice, if they have the card on file. That’s not a totally bad thing, unless you didn’t want them to do so. (Thanks Andy!)
7. SEND GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL AIRTIME — Here’s a service that allows missionary families here in the U.S. to keep in touch with their loved ones serving on the foreign mission field. It’s reported to have outstanding rates to anywhere in the world with clean, quality connections and can be used with any cellular or land line phone. Find out more and read other missionary testimonials at our website. You can even try it out for free! Look up rates to anywhere in the world.

http://www.global-airtime.com
8. NEW WEB SITE ON PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLES OF SAUDI ARABIA — Here’s a new web site focusing on the prayer needs of Muslims in Saudi Arabia. http://shaketheheavens.org This site focuses on mapping out the history of the main cities in Saudi and any other factors which may be of interest to those wishing to pray in an informed manner over Saudi. Feedback / contributions to the current content are welcome. Please send email to: feedbackatshaketheheavensdotorg
9. MOBILE PHONE OUTREACH — There are many countries, even in the 10-40 Window, where mobile phone ownership is very high. Although many groups are offering such things as devotionals by text message, these are primarily for believers. One major potential would be the passing-on of very short video or cartoon clips which had a gentle evangelistic message. Another might be the secular strategy detailed in this London Times article: http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,2040-10315- 1750622,00.html (If the above link wraps to a second line, don’t forget to reassemble it.) If you know of anyone doing creative evangelism through mobile devices, the Web Evangelism Guide wants to know! Please write to: guide [at] web-evangelism [dot] com
10. GMAIL DEBATE CONTINUES — Recently, we mentioned that we were considering GMAIL to be a fairly good approach for secure email. Several Brigada participants wrote “pro” or “con” viewpoints. Bottom line: It has great spam filtering and appears to offer certain features compatible with secure communications. Several mentioned that since it includes the “s”, i.e., https, it’s as secure as downloading banking informational. On the other hand, one user wrote, “Maybe, kinda secure. The segment that is secure is only the google -account-holder part of the trip. The rest is up in the air for anyone to grab, even if you are emailing to another supposedly secure site.” So that secure address would be: https://mail.google.com/mail/ (Thanks Peter!) On the other hand, other users wrote that the user should beware, based on sites like: http://www.google-watch.org http://www.ericschmidt.com/ (the personal site of the leader) http://www.firstadopter.com/fa/archives/001169.html
11. AMAZING ENCOURAGEMENT — Thanks for the amazing encouragement offered by the individual sending $200 of sponsorship funds: “I have benefited so much from reading your newsletter the last few years. My wife and I are going to … [a Muslim country] to serve a group of missionaries for a couple of weeks and to spend time to pray and think as we consider joining them … for more permanent service. Please pray for us, that we would know God’s will for us (and do it). Thank you again for serving us through your efforts as you serve our Lord.”
12. BACKPAGE: PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS — Here are some resources for Personal Spiritual Retreats PERSONAL RETREAT RESOURCES — We learned much about personal retreat resources. Here’s a summary: — Get “A Day of Prayer and Vision”, a CD offered by The Evangelical Alliance. Write info(at)teamworld(dot)org for more information. Sorry we don’t have pricing or order information — so be sensitive when you write. (Thanks for the tip, Glen!) — http://www.ywamaxiom.com — Idea: “Silent Retreats.” ‘Lydia’ writes, “I have attended one of these, led by the base leader, Jeff … and it was amazing. To learn more, go to “events.” (Thanks Lydia!) — Click here to read “Mike’s Personal Prayer & Planning Retreat” worksheet. Mike writes of it, ” This is a series of questions organized around 7 relational arenas in our lives that my wife and I get away and go through once or twice a year. It has been very helpful to us and has been an excellent discipleship tool when we have taken others through it with us.” (Thanks Mike!) — http://www.womenoftheharvest.com then click on “Resources”, then click “Rest and Relaxation” and/or “Counseling and Care Centers”. — http://rancho.across2u.com — Site discusses “Rancho de la Paz”, located in Riverside County, California, with seven guest rooms where missionaries (and ministers) can have a time of spiritual renewal.

(German’s) personal retreat — Peter, a German Brigada reader, wrote, “Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down. It’s not always the same of course. Mostly it’s a battle to really get quiet before the Lord – but it’s a great help to have this day once in while. Often I have some points where I need to spend some time asking Jesus, needing orientation, facing problems, having to decide important things. But sometimes (as last Saturday) it’s Him to tell me to let all things fall and just get into His arms, listening to Him (like Mary), waiting for Him to speak. Many times I like to praise the Lord with singing and playing guitar. He even gave me a new song once (I’m not a musician and had trouble writing it down, but it was first of all just for me). Sometimes reading Psalms aloud helps me to get away from all the things that distract me and to fill my spirit with His Word. (For those praying in tongues, that helps a lot.) Sometimes I read a good book, while talking/listening to Jesus in-between.”

Place: I like a quiet place where I’m alone (sometimes not easy to find). I go to monasteries, public gardens. Some I know go to the desert or to the forest. You can go up to a mountain like Jesus. Some like walking while listening / praying. Others (like me), like to sit in a place, having a notebook around to write down what Jesus tells me.

In addition: I would recommend the book “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster / Harper & Row Publ. – it’s available in German, too (which is what I read).” (Thanks Peter!) — Here’s a directory of retreat centers — http://www.worship-arts-network.com/OCretreatcenters.html (Thanks Jolene!0 — www.wisdomcrossing.com/whatiswc.php — Check out the world’s largest collection of free bible studies. — http://www.mhbcmi.org/listen/index.php — Download the mp3 of Tim Keel’s Aug. 7, 2005 sermon. (Thanks for the tip, Shane!) — Visit Praise Mountain, just west of Colorado Springs, tel. (719) 748- 3719. — Go to the Brigada website and click here to download the expanded outline about personal spiritual retreats, with additional “how to” information.

Personal Prayer & Planning Retreat “Personal Prayer & Planning Retreat”

I. Preparation

A. BRING: Bible, paper, pencil, eraser

B. BRING: One copy of The Bondage Breaker

1. With your spouse, pray through the “Steps to Freedom” (Chapter 12 in The Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson, Harvest House Publishers)

C. Unhindered Prayer and Premeditated Submission

1. Confess sins, repent, make restitution, and reconcile relationships to clean and open, before you start. (Mt 5:23-24; 1Pet 3:7)

2. Decide before God speaks to you, that you agree with Him, and that you will obey Him.

D. Listen and respond to God regarding these seven relational areas of your life:

1. God, what do You think about my marriage? Family? Extended family? Church? Ministry? Mission? Discipleship?

2. Act by making a schedule and budget that accurately reflects your commitments.

II. Marriage

A. Spiritual Leadership (BRING: Spiritual Leadership study)

1. Servant

a. What spiritual needs can I be asking God to meet in my wife, children, others?

b. How can I help them using God’s Word?

c. How could I demonstrate sacrificial service for my wife? Children?

d. When you are ready to act on her answer, ask your wife this question: What one area of my life could I grow in at this time?

(1) Don’t ask this question if you are not prepared to act, to grow, to change.

2. Shepherd

a. In what areas do my wife and children need protection? How can I make them feel more secure?

b. In what areas could I more clearly communicate to them the direction God gives me?

3. Steward

a. What are my gifts, talents, resources? My wife’s? My children’s?

b. How can they best be used to build up the Body of Christ?

c. What effects did they have last year?

d. How can I reproduce those gifts, talents, resources in another? How can my wife? How can my children?

B. Spiritual Submission

1. Supportive

a. What can I pray, say, or do to demonstrate my support for my husband’s leadership?

2. Sensitive

a. What needs of his can I pray for or meet that would help him lead us?

b. When you are ready to act on his answer, ask your husband this question: What one area of my life could I grow in at this time?

(1) Don’t ask this question if you are not prepared to act, to grow, to change.

3. Suggestive

a. Is he inviting my suggestions in any way?

b. When he does, what would I suggest, and how might I make suggestions, that would help him lead us?

III. Children

A. Loving

1. How can I better express love to each of my children at this time in their life?

2. What makes each of my children feel loved by me at this time in their life?

B. Teaching

1. What are the next lessons each of my children need to learn about God? Relationships? Themselves?

2. What are the questions each of my children is asking me?

C. Blessing

1. What can I pray, say, and do to bless each of my children?

2. What makes each of my children feel valued by me?

IV. Extended Family

A. Parents

1. How can I honor my parents?

2. How can I improve my relationship with them?

3. What would be their next step closer to God?

B. Siblings

1. How can I improve my relationship with my brother? Sister?

2. What would be their next step closer to God?

C. Read Changes that Heal, Henry Cloud

D. Boundary Questions for Stressful Relationships

1. Am I trying to take responsibility for someone else’s commitments?

2. Am I trying to make someone else responsible for my commitments?

3. Is someone else trying to take responsibility for my commitments?

4. Is someone else trying to make me responsible for their commitments?

5. How can I more clearly define, express, and, if necessary, enforce more healthy boundaries of responsibility and commitment?

V. Church

A. Commitments

1. What invitations to serve our local church have I received?

2. To what ministry will we commit ourselves this year in our local church?

VI. Ministry

A. Passion (Ps 37:4)

1. What do you want to do more than anything else for the Body of Christ?

2. What thrills your heart, blesses your soul, challenges your mind, charges your body, and fulfills your dreams?

B. Gifts (Rom 12; Eph 4; 1Cor 12-14; 1Pet 4)

1. What gifts have been affirmed in me by others?

2. What invitations have been extended to me to use my gifts? Locally? Regionally? Globally?

C. Fruit (Jn 15)

1. What effects have my gifts had in the Body of Christ in the past? Last year?

VII. Mission (BRING: Mission Statement)

A. Legacy

1. If you died today, for what will your children, church, friends, neighbors, patients, remember you?

2. How would you want to be remembered?

B. Statement

1. Update and upgrade your mission statement.

C. Process

1. What needs to happen this year to keep you on track?

2. What needs to happen in five years to keep you on track?

VIII. Discipleship

A. Investment in the Only Two Things that Last Forever

1. God’s Word (2Tim 3:16-17)

a. Describe your current integration of God’s Word into your life?

b. What did you learn about God last year?

c. What questions do you have for God this year?

2. People (Mt 22:35-40; Mt 28:16-20)

a. Describe your current strategy for making disciples?

b. With whom will you apply this strategy this year?

c. Whom have you invited to invest significantly in you?

B. Returns (Jn 15:1-11)

1. What effect has God’s Word had on your life this last year?

2. What fruit would you like to see increase this year?

3. Is there pruning that needs to happen so more good fruit can grow and last? Where?

C. Reproduction

1. How are the people in whom you have invested reproducing their faith?

2. Do you see any increase in fruitfulness?

3. Do you see good fruit that is lasting over the years?

IX. Schedule (BRING: Last year’s planner, weekly schedule, and blank weekly & 18 mon planners)

A. Prioritize

1. List your proposed activities in order of priority.

B. Prune

1. Starting at the top of the list, fill your schedule.

2. After you fill your schedule, cut off the bottom 10% time takers so you have time to be a Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) and to be quiet (1Th 4:11).

C. Percentages

1. Whom does your schedule show you love? You spend time proportionately with whom or what you love.

2. Could you lead someone closer to Christ with your schedule?

X. Budget (BRING: Last year’s Income & Expense sheet for work and home)

A. Prioritize

1. List your proposed financial goals in order of priority?

B. Prune

1. Determine your income.

2. Starting at the top of your priority list, dispense your income?

3. When you run out of money, stop spending.

4. Adjust your budget to fit your income.

5. Adjust your lifestyle to fit your budget.

C. Percentages

1. Decide on a percentage or amount of God’s money you believe He wants you to invest in His Kingdom.

a. Decide on a percentage or amount of God’s money you believe He wants you to invest in His local church where you serve.

2. Decide on a percentage or amount of God’s money you believe He wants you to save.

3. How can we be the best and most faithful stewards with the rest of His money? (Mt 25:14-30; Lk 20:11-27)

4. What does your budget say you believe? These numbers tell you what you believe.

5. Could you lead someone closer to Christ with your budget? Income/Expense Sheet?

6. —————–

Things To Bring:

A pocket sized notebook & pen so you can

jot down any thoughts that could be from the Lord,

no matter when/where they occur

Small CD player & praise/worship CDs

Pocket NT/Ps/Prov so you’re never away from the Word

Index cards with items you want to pray or talk to the Lord about;

good for using on walks

Notebook/Journal with plenty of pens/pencils

List of questions / issues to talk to the Lord about

Good walking shoes

Mack’s ear plugs (in case the place isn’t as quiet as you planned)

A favorite devotional book or hymnal / songbook

One extra set of clothes in case the weather’s warmer or colder than planned,

whichever’s more likely in your location

Things To Do

Have people specially praying for you (and your family, if you have one) while you’re away

Pray thru different sections of Ps. 119 during the day

Try praying thru sections of Scripture such as Mt. 5-7 and/or Jn. 14-16

or Revelation Chs. 2 & 3 to see if the Lord has words for you

Take a couple of walks during the day, and expect to meet God

(Thanks to Bruce from Connecticut)

—–

There are a few things that I do to make my retreat times productive and focused. I keep a specific journal that I only record retreat times in. Then, at the beginning of my retreat, I reread past entries to remind me of how far the Lord has brought me.

I recommend Intimacy with the Almighty by Chuck Swindoll to jumpstart a person’s desire for a retreat time. As a prayer help, I often bring pictures or a collage of what I am praying for to help me to focus.

Also, taking a walk/hike, or some other form of exercise for awhile before you sit down to focus helps to clear your mind and relax your body, especially if you are going to be sitting for an extended period of time. I try to take most of my retreats in rural areas or state parks or other natural and more isolated areas. It is a lot easier to get away from distractions and focus my thoughts on God.

Finally, I find it very helpful to set goals for my time: specific concerns to think and pray about, specific Scriptures to read, etc. and then just relax and let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts and prayers.

(Thanks Rebecca !!!)

20021201 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. WANT TO SECURE YOUR EMAIL? GET PGP
  2. OPERATION REVEILLE READY FOR VIEWING
  3. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST HISTORICAL RESOURCES ONLINE
  4. 2003 KIDS AROUND THE WORLD CALENDAR
  5. ALTERNATIVE FOR MONEY TRANSFER
  6. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMP
  7. TOP 10 WAYS TO INVOLVE ONE’S SELF IN MISSIONS
  8. SIMPLE SECURITY STEPS
  9. NEW BOOKS ON HOUSE HELPERS
  10. CLOSING STUFF

  1. WANT TO SECURE YOUR EMAIL? GET PGP — If you’re interested in securing your email you can use pgp, available at: http://www.pgp.com . Also, feel free to add another layer of protection by using http://www.hushmail.com , which can encrypt your mail one step further.

  2. OPERATION REVEILLE READY FOR VIEWING — The Fourth Quarter 2002 *Reveille Shofar* is now posted at http://www.oprev.org/Shofar.htm . It addresses the following:
    *** What does history teach us about the War on Terrorism?
    *** What is really happening in Nigeria and the Ivory Coast?
    *** What is the spiritual situation in Iraq?
    *** Why did terrorists bomb a night club in Bali?

  3. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST HISTORICAL RESOURCES ONLINE — The entire Disciples Historical Society Resources library catalog is now up and running, as of May. It contains records of entire books and pamphlets. Check it out at: http://voyager.dishistsoc.org (Hope it’s up and running by the time you get this. If not already, please check back.) Thanks Sara!

  4. 2003 KIDS AROUND THE WORLD CALENDAR — This beautiful wall hanging calendar is full of photographs and short narratives about kids throughout the world. Each month, religious holidays celebrated by the people where these kids live are highlighted and contrasted in a mini- Bible study or devotional so you and your children can learn to pray more effectively for them. US$7.50 each (price breaks for ordering 10 or more, or 50 or more). To order, call 303-730-4170 or purchase online at http://www.calebproject.org/2003Cal.asp .

  5. ALTERNATIVE FOR MONEY TRANSFER — There are a number of money transfer sites on the internet. PayPal is the largest, but some people have had issues with them. CitiBank has an online money transfer service called c2it, and some Brigada members are liking what they find there. There are limits to how much money you can transfer ($500/day and $1000/4 days), but transfers between American based accounts (bank accounts or credit card accounts) are without fee. Transfers to international locations, including currency exchange, are a flat $10.00. They’re on the web at http://www.c2it.com . Contact them toll-free from the USA or via Net2Phone from elsewhere at 1-800/200-3881. They accept collect international calls 24/7 at 904/954-7222. For security reasons, they do not transact any business by email. (Thanks David!)

  6. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMP — Elijah Company will conduct another camp from January 30 – February 2, 2003 in North Carolina. In this intensive training, a staff of experienced missionaries present issues and steps dealing with character, spiritual warfare, relationships, faith, and direction. A person leaves with impartation to fervently pursue a missions call, either short term or long. Church missions leaders benefit by learning what people need to go through to prepare and how they could best assist. Three other 2003 camps include Pennsylvania, Virginia and southern Spain. For information, contact Elijah Company <infoatelijahcompanydotorg>, or call (757) 474-2054. See the web page at http://www.elijahcompany.org/html/training.html . </infoatelijahcompanydotorg>

  7. TOP 10 WAYS TO INVOLVE ONE’S SELF IN MISSIONS — Here are 10 ways to involve yourself in missions. We’ll list the website…

    Caleb Project Mobilization Resources http://www.brigada.org/today/articles/caleb.html

    Fingertip Mobilizer Resource for Missions http://www.globalmission.org/fingertip.htm

    Heirs of a Haystack http://www.kipertek.com/forerunner/forerunner/X0596_Heirs_of_a_Haystack .html [note: watch word-wrapping]

    Missions Education and Mobilization Network http://www.calebproject.org/bomm/dbindex.htm

    Missions Mobilization Cartoons/Art http://www.calebproject.org/toons.htm

    Mobilising Second Career Missionaries – article http://www.om.org/relay/stories/1-98secondgen.html

    Motivations for Missions http://www.calebproject.org/motivat.htm

    Recruiting: Mobilization of Students http://www.acu.edu/academics/missions/jam/mobstud.htm

    Top 10 Bible Studies on Missions http://www.calebproject.org/bomm/dbindex.htm

    Order something from Gabriel Resources: http://www.gabriel-resources.com/index2.php3


  8. SIMPLE SECURITY STEPS — Are you running scared because of all the virus horror stories these days? Here are a few simple measures that could keep you and your PC more secure:
    *** Run an antivirus program & keep it up to date
    *** Run Windows Update
    *** Run a firewall
    *** Use nonobvious passwords
    *** Back up your files regularly
    *** Enable the security features you already have
    *** Know your programs
    *** Visit www.pcmag.com/securitywatch

  9. NEW BOOKS ON HOUSE HELPERS — Did you, while you were overseas (or still are?), consider your house helper a blessing or a curse? Now you can read a book about it! “House helps: Blessing or Curse?”, by Beatrice Lawson (’98), presents the straight truth about someone who can make or break your ministry. Chapters focus on recruiting helpers, helping your house helper adjust to new living conditions, and relating to the fellowship. Order it straight from the publisher by contacting <acpbooksatghanadotcom>. </acpbooksatghanadotcom>
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