6) Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Skype in China for Good?

skypeIt would seem so.

Twice in the past 7 days, we’ve received word about it. These are unrelated notes saying, “Please help us get the word out.” Some are saying that Microsoft (now owner of Skype) has made deals with the highest levels in China that permits them to monitor not only the Chinese version of Skype, but somehow, according to some, to monitor any version of Skype conversation that passes through their pipes. Can anyone show us definitive proof that these accusations are a rumor? If not, let’s just throw our hands up and head over to…

for good.

12) How do you Record Skype Conversations for Later Playback?

evaerLet’s say you’re afraid the internet will be dodgy on Sunday morning for your ‘live interview’ with your favorite missionary. How might you record a Skype call on Saturday morning, allowing you to be more confident of the playback quality the following morning? Never fear. Just head on over to …

The free version will allow you full capabilities, as long as you keep the call short. (5 minutes or less) If you want longer calls, pay the $19.95 for the unlimited paid version. No spam, no Trojans, specify remote video only, or picture in picture with your interview screen up in the upper right corner. You can even specify that you want only the remote (overseas) audio to be recorded. It’s a great little program with no drawbacks at all.

5) VoxyPad Reportedly Takes “Line” or Skype to the Next Level

voxypadAlthough we haven’t had a chance to kick the tires on this service ourselves, Bruce, in a recent comment, shared that it is incredible. He reported that it was far superior to Line, Skype or Viber, and added that it even reminded him of OneNote and Evernote. Wow. Quite a testimony. Basically, it looks like they’ve taken instant messaging, added on-screen brainstorming tools and amped-up the interface substantially. It’s free for personal use, but it’s true that upgraded (paid) versions appear to add additional features and collaborative tools. Let’s check it out and, if you don’t mind, report in a comment on the web version of this item so we can see your feedback. Thanks in advance for your help in evaluating this tool — and thanks Bruce.

6) Is Skype Always Secure in Sensitive Lands? —

I’m a little skittish about that question. I asked Greg, our I.T. guy, to give his opinion. He answered,

– They say they encrypt everything on their American site.

– Many orgs who do communications as a business from inside those areas feel that Skype is their most secure communications channel

– China has its own version of Skype, called Tom-Skype:  It’s clearly marked, does not encrypt at least the IM part, and is only downloaded when you download from inside China and don’t use the VPN.” (Thanks Greg)

So my conclusion is — we’d better not totally trust the instant message portion of Skype. It would be more easily filtered, searched, and monitored. And once someone had a bumped-up profile, sensitive lands could possibly choose to listen in on Skype too – and here’s the really weird part: If the listener has a deal worked out with the execs in the national leadership of Skype (e.g., like China), then even if you operated within a VPN, the conversation might not be entirely secure because the listener might be operating from within the circle of security (i.e., from within the Skype firewall). Bottom line: Better not pass out all the family secrets on Skype. Trust a POP3 inside a VPN before you trust Skype. That’s my conclusion.

1) Skype Rolls Out New Version 5.0 with Group Video Calling –

[Yawn] Competitor has had group video calling forever. I’m not sure why it took Skype until Oct. 14th. What’s more, the feature is still in beta [yawn] and they haven’t announced pricing yet either. And to *completely* annoy all our Mac friends :-) , Skype hasn’t announced when it’ll have a Mac version of group video calling either. All of which makes me think that my subscription is still a very valuable commodity. Either way though, since about 3 billion people out of the roughly 6,875,077,647 people on the planet already have Skype, I admit — Skype’s a valuable thing to have too. So you might as well get the latest and greatest [beta] stuff and try it out. That way, after you’re hooked, and after they announce pricing, you can try

to see if you like it better. :-)

Get Skype 5.0 at…

Happy [beta] conferencing.

8) Skip Skype?

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

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!)

20061210 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. PLEASE HELP ME THANK GOD FOR THESE PARTNERS — Whoa! Several Brigada participants have stepped in to make a *huge* difference in the last week. We dared you to step up to the plate. Praise God for the Missions Prof at Johnson Bible College, Brent, who gave $40 of his own money. Learn more about them at:

    Join us in thanking Russian Language Ministries, now known as Institute of Strategic Languages and Cultures, who sent $100. See them at:

    One anonymous worker at StoryRunners gave $250!

    I wish so much you would visit their homepage and learn about this newest ministry of Campus Crusade to help reach Unreached People Groups of the world using oral strategies — storying. Most of those unreached groups, we’re told, are orally-based cultures.

    One donor gave $50 in honor of his Missions Pastor, Mark Struck, from Autumn Ridge Church, Rochester, MN. Mark, sounds like you’re loved! Another partner, an African Inland Missionary worker, gave $200! (Amazing) Other anonymous donors gave $20, $500, and $50. And the Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, MI, gave $500. (Makes we want to go visit there.) Another Michigan-ite gave $25 as a gift of love. Thank you all so very much.

  2. THE HOME STRETCH: CAN YOU HELP US BREAK EVEN? ($6600 TO GO) — We had $9244.74 last week. Today we have $11,054.74! Now here’s the challenge. How many folks will step up to the plate in these final 6 days of 2006 to give even $25 in honor of their missions minister… or $50 in honor of a missions-minded senior minister that they love and appreciate. We still need $6600 – in just two weeks. :-( Here’s the way our chart as of today, compared with what we were praying for:

    1 to give 1000 — (Nobody has taken this dare yet) 5 to give 500 — 3 down, 2 to go 8 to give 250 — 2 down, 6 to go 10 to give 100 — 6 down, 4 to go 20 to give 50 — 9 down, 11 to go 50 to give 25 — 7 down, 42 to go

    Remember, if you’ve no money to give, no worries. That’s the beauty of Brigada. Whereas other services might grind to a halt if you stopped paying the bill, Brigada just keeps on going… because others step in to help. What you have to ask yourself is this: Through Brigada, have you ever gotten a lead or a resource or a product that you appreciated? If so, now’s your chance to step up to the plate, say thanks to the Lord, and help somebody else who can’t afford to give. There are several ways to give. You can 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. (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. We only have 2 editions after this one left in 2006. Lord willing, both the 22nd and the 29th will come out this week. We’ll have to average about $3300 per edition to reach our goal. Right now, that seems like the hardest thing in the world. If you could help, we’d so greatly appreciate it.

  3. PREDICT THE RISE AND FALL OF AIRFARES — That’s what Nick says you can do at:

    Check it out! (Thanks Nick!)

  4. WHAT MAKES JOHN’S GOSPEL SPECIAL? — John the Apostle was a man who was very close to Jesus. His understanding of our Lord’s mission was deeper and more life-changing than that of the other apostles. In his account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus he gives us unique details not found anywhere else. To find an excellent commentary on this book go to

    Click on “What’s New?” and at the top of the list then choose “John tells the Good News about Jesus.” This is in EasyEnglish Level B, using a 2800 word vocabulary.

  5. LEGAL & TAX INFO FOR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS — The latest issue of Nonprofit and Church Legal Trends Memo is online. The focus this time is new laws and regulations taking effect. Included are notes on tax- free contributions of IRA’s to non-profits, increased penalties for excess compensation to insiders, recapture of tax on contributions of non-cash property, new limit on contributions of clothing and household items, new recordkeeping requirements for nonprofits, increased penalties on overstated appraisals, new filing requirement for small organizations, and new inflation adjusted items for 2007 (including the standard mileage rate). What’s more, the author now informs us that a part of each paid subscription will go to Brigada. How ’bout that! :-) Check out more at or email infoatnpchurchlawdotcom  (infoatnpchurchlawdotcom)  

    The author asked that we make sure we type “Brigada” in the “How did you hear about us?” field.

  6. SKYPE USERS SOMEWHAT AT RISK — Apparently the news about a worm being circulated via Skype was a bit overblown. Turns out it was only a *trojan*, meaning that Skype users do receive notice that someone is trying to upload a file (presumably an unsolicited file). Only users of Microsoft Windows XP are at risk. Read more at by searching for the terms, “Skype worm”.

  7. DO YOU OR SOME MISSIONARY YOU KNOW NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? — Jeff suggests we check out [edited]

    It is, according to Jeff, a Christian health-insurance organization with a lot on the ball.

  8. ANOTHER WAY TO SAY TESOL — Thanks to those who responded regarding our item about ESL, TESOL, etc. (Item #5, “YOU SAY “TOMAHTOE”, I SAY “TOMAYTOH” (DO YOU SAY TESOL OR ESL?),” from Nov. 17th edition of Brigada Today). I was particularly interested in Lydia’s response. She suggested dodging both — and using “EFL” (English as Foreign Language) instead. “The confusion when TESOL is used,” Lydia explained, “is if the teacher is TEACHING English to speakers of other languages or teaching HOW TO TEACH English to speakers of other languages. In my experience, TESOL is usually used for the second, as is shown when we offer TESOL seminars, where people learn how to teach English. And then ESL or EFL is used when they are then doing teaching. There is a lot of confusion though, and in my research I have seen that often they are used interchangeably, which tends to spread the confusion.” I propose that we try to adopt Lydia’s approach. To me it makes the most sense. TESOL, to me, should apply when we’re describing someone presenting a course on how to teach English, and “EFL” should apply to the practice of actually teaching the English. For what it’s worth… :-)

  9. BRING HOPE TO POST-TSUNAMI THAILAND BY TEACHING ENGLISH — Big doors are open now at Step Ahead Training Center (YWAM Relief & Development)in beautiful Phang Nga, Southern Thailand. The horrible waves of Tsunami were followed by waves of God’s love that poured into this very unreached region. Yes, much has now improved, but many Tsunami survivors still want to improve their employment opportunities in the recovering hospitality market of Khao Lak, by building up their English skills. That desire opens the door of relationship and your chance to show God’s amazing love. Learn more at

  10. THE COLOURED OF NAMIBIA — “Three Years and Counting!” — God has been calling people all over the world to pray for the unengaged peoples of Namibia for more than 3 years now! Is God working among the Herero, Mbalantu, Nama/Damara and the Namibian Coloured peoples? Organizers of this prayer movement have responded with a resounding, “Yes!” However, there is still only a limited on-going evangelical presence among these four groups. So keep praying for God to give Christians in South Africa and Namibia a burden to take the Gospel message to those who haven’t heard. Pray for Godly wisdom for everyone involved in the effort. Adopt them for prayer yourself by visiting or

    write forgottenpeoples(at)telkomsa(dot)net for more information. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  11. MERRY CHRISTMAS BRIGADA FAMILY! — Thanks to Brigada participant, Ron Berrus, the Member Care guy at ABWE

    for writing this meditation — just this past week — and for sending it to us for use with the Brigada family:

    The Wonder of Christmas

    The Almighty became an infant
    The Shepherd became a lamb
    The Judge took our sentence
    The Lord became a man
    The Invisible became visible
    The Eternal stepped into history
    To make us His own again
    Amazing beyond explanation
    Too marvelous for words
    That God could become man
    That God would become man
    That God did become man
    That God became man forever
    To make us His own again
    We owed a debt we could not pay
    He paid a debt He did not owe
    We spurned His word, His law, His love
    In spite of all He came to save
    Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us
    Taking our form, our sin, our cross
    To make us His own again
    We ran... He reached
    We sinned... He died
    We left... He came
    We fell... He lifted
    We rejected... He accepted
    We condemned... He forgave
    To make us His own again
    A window of time
    A door of hope
    An offer of opportunity
    To believe the promise
    To receive the Savior
    To bow the knee
    To be made His own again

  12. THE BACKPAGE: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE — During the wrap-up of our recent planning conference at the mission I serve, I showed clips from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart. Remember the scene where Jimmy Stewart’s character is about to leave to go travel the world, but elects to stay because he feels a debt to all the customers at the “Savings & Loan”? As I showed the clip, I challenged our staff to ask themselves how we could build all the more trust with our missionary family, with the donors that made the work possible, and with one another. I asked the group how we might increase others’ trust in us during 2007.

    What about your own organization or church? How ’bout putting on your thinking caps and asking some of those tough questions too. What principles… what foundational pieces do you feel your staff might be able to address during the coming year? What are the missing pieces that might help your constituency trust you more? Those fundamental truths might be more important than any task or to do item, yet we all seem to be so easily distracted by the tangible. The *intangible* stuff is so hard to embrace. In 2007, let’s do some embracing. :-) Merry Christmas 2006 – from all your Brigada family!

20041107 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. THE YEAR IS SLIPPING BY — Thanks much to the anonymous donor in Colorado who gave $25 to help undergird the ministry of our Sec’y here. And here’s $10 from the good friend who pioneered the concept of “subscribing* to Brigada as a way of partnering with us to pay her salary. (To learn more, then click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. Thanks! As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.

  2. TALKING BIBLE MAKES A DIFFERENCE — Audio Scriptures International (ASI) in California tells of many ways the Talking Bible is making a difference. The Talking Bible has an entire New Testament sealed inside in a growing number of languages. Poor readers become good readers when they read their New Testaments and listen to their Talking Bible simultaneously. People learning to speak the English language become more fluent when they listen repeatedly to the NIV Talking Bible. These are just a few of the many reasons why Audio Scriptures International (ASI) and its partner World Mission (WM) have as their goal “A Talking Bible Sunday in Every Church” to help provide “A Talking Bible in Every Language for Every Person Who Cannot Read.” For more information visit, or e-mail asi(at)audioscriptures(dot)org, or call 1-800 318 7262 and ask for Dori.

  3. PROMOTE FINANCIAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY AMONG THE POOR — Get practical training to equip you to implement programs in your church or community that truly empower the poor. The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College offers courses for both the 2/3 World and U.S. contexts. Email-based distance learning courses begin in January, 2005 and a live training event is scheduled for June, 2005. Chalmers’ partners include World Relief, Food for the Hungry International, and World Vision US. To register, email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or visit

  4. ACTIVE TENTMAKER CONFERENCE IN SE ASIA — Here’s a get-together for tentmakers, February 6-11, 2005 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for fellowship, encouragement, and learning from each other. It’s open to all tentmakers. The conference is taking place in conjunction with the ITAG Worldwide conference and includes child care and a program for teens, so bring the family. Rooms are reasonable. Registration before Dec. 31 is only US$125.00. You can register on the internet at (Note the capital letters) This fee includes material, coffee breaks, and opening and closing banquets. For further information and a brochure contact: ari.rocklin(at)globalopps(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Also see

  5. SUMMER CHURCH PLANTING OPPORTUNITY — Interested in Turkey? Join a church planting team to help with an on-going church planting project there. The dates are two weeks in June of 2005. The cost is $55 per day (plus air fare). This is a real cross-cultural church planning opportunity among Turkish Muslim business people and students, not a tourist trip. It is ideal for anyone interested in church planting or ministry to Muslims. For more information contact Jim jimromaineatcableonedotnet

  6. AIDS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE CHURCH —- AIDS is now the greatest problem in the world, according Former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. It will certainly affect every aspect of missionary work in many countries. But it also affords some of the greatest opportunities for demonstrating the Kingdom of God that the Church has had in all of history! Here’s a week-long biblically based training that promises to equip you to mobilize people to fight AIDS and care for those affected by it, whether in your own church, in your city, on your short-term mission trip, or in your career as a missionary. Training will take place in Goshen, Indiana, USA, December 13-17, 2004. For more information go to or e-mail training(at)hopeinview(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  7. MIXED REPORTS FROM SKYPE USERS — We’re getting mixed reports from those trying out Skype, the voice-over-IP phone/Internet solution. One Brigada participant named Dennis has informed us that he has tried and continually gets disconnected during conversations. He has since been using AOL Instant Messenger. He says that the communication on AIM is consistent and much clearer. Both programs do about the same, but he recommends AIM. Still others have given glowing reports on Skype. Tom, another Brigada participant, wrote, ” This program is excellent. We’ve been using it now for a few months and it keeps on amazing us that we can get such excellent reception without any lagtime anywhere in the world and it’s free! I would highly recommend this to anyone.” Maybe it’s the broadband that makes the difference?

  8. FOR THOSE LIVING IN THREAT ENVIRONMENTS — “Missionaries on Alert” is a 2-volume, wire-bound instructional manual subtitled “A Security Awareness Training Manual for Living in Threat Environments.” It is written from a Biblical perspective as a basic security awareness training manual for missionaries. Book One tells a fictitious story of two men in separate hostage situations and how they acted, interacted and reacted. Book Two gives an assessment of what the characters of Book One did rightly and what they did wrongly. The cost of the set is either US $42.00 or CDN $54.00 including shipping and handling; make checks payable to Copy ‘n’ Print with the designation “Missionaries on Alert” and mail to the address below. The books are printed and bound on an “on demand” basis so please allow a 4-6 week delivery. For a graphic of the book, go to To order, write: Copy ‘n’ Print, Box 4566, Three Hills, AB TOM 2NO, Canada or e-mail john(at)copynprint(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or fax: 403-443-2120 or phone 403-443-7041.

  9. ANNOUNCING HOPE TAJIKISTAN 2005 — 2005 is slated to be an International Year of Prayer for the country of Tajikistan. The Tajik Partnership has begun a grassroots movement to see 10,000 intercessors raised up to pray for Tajikistan. Located in Central Asia, this Muslim country has many spiritual strongholds, and needs the focused prayers of Christians worldwide for spiritual breakthrough! Fear, Hopelessness, Islam, Superstition, and a Thirst for Money and Power keep people from the Truth of Jesus Christ. If you are interested in praying with or helping this movement write to HopeTajikistan(at)yahoo(dot)com or check out the website at

  10. NEW INTERNATIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS — Short-term coverage for mission teams is now available with some new benefits from Insurance Services of America. They have added terrorism coverage, coverage for complications of pregnancy and a hospital indemnity benefit that pays the missionary $100 per day that they are in the hospital. All of the new benefits come without a rate increase, so they are still able to insure your people for as little as $1.00 per day! For details, a free quote and to apply for coverage go to , email them at health(at)missionaryhealth(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .], or call them at 1-800-647-4589 (1-480- 821-9052 outside of North America). Insurance Services of America is a Christian organization that specializes in helping missionaries and mission organizations find affordable healthcare.

  11. COMPUTER SUPPORT MINISTRY FOR MISSION — InTime Ministries are a new IT mission support team. They need more volunteer IT people to help overseas mission teams, and train and help on projects etc. Typical trip 3 days to 3 weeks. (Thanks to Tony for this item and the one immediately below!)

  12. MISSIONS/BIBLE COLLEGES PLAN TO USE INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY — The April 2005 new focus day on web evangelism is being taken up not only by churches. Mission and training agencies also plan to adapt the downloadable materials to their own needs.

20041031 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. THANKS FOR THE HELP! — Thanks to the anonymous participant who gave $25 this past week! You can join in to help underwrite the cost of the Brigada secretary by logging on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. Thanks! As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.

  2. GOOGLE DESKTOP SEARCH TOOL COULD BE USED AGAINST YOU — We’ve bragged here about the free Google desktop search tool… but remember it could also be used against you. You can uncheck “web history” (in preferences) from the searching process, and that should help a bit. Also, if you’re privacy-minded, you probably will *not* want to check the box that sends in reports to the Google programmers, regardless of *what* they promise now. :-) They could always sell the company later and change the privacy policy. :-) Finally, remember that if you keep a Word file filled with user names and passwords, use Word’s security feature to password protect *that* file too. (Go to “Tools|Options|Security” and assign a “Password to open” the file. Then open the Google desktop search tool and intentionally search for some of your known user names [but not passwords, since searches might be recalled in a drop-down box :-) ]. Protect them until they don’t show up any longer.) Bottom line: just be aware of its risks. (Thanks to those who wrote in to ask us to be cautious about this security risk.)

  3. DESPERATELY SEEKING HELP SETTING UP AGENCIES — Does anyone know of a specific conference for newly formed/forming missions agencies? Dan in Spain would like to know. Topics of interest would be organizational structure and strategy, focus, nuts and bolts issues, etc. If something like this hasn’t been offered, Dan’s asking someone to tackle it and let him know. (Dan, if you hear of anything from this item, please send us a follow-up report.) Write Dan at danieljohnson(at)iibet(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  4. ANOTHER ANTI-VIRUS OPTION, BUT THIS ONE’S FREE — Here’s another anti-virus software program that, according to one Brigada participant, is worth it weight in gold. The product is AVG and it’s available from They have a free version as well as an advanced version. The free version can be downloaded from the above web site. Free updates are available regularly. (Thanks to the Brigada participant who sent in this tip, whose name is, by some strange and ironic twist in cosmic fate, Norton. :-) Sorry… just ironic.)

  5. BALKANS CONSULTATION COMING UP — Catch a Balkans Consultation, hosted by Bethany Community Church in Tempe, Arizona on Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, 2005. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Peter Kuzmic, Director of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Osijek, Croatia. Through workshops and panel discussions, you’ll catch strategies and practices designed to lead you in establishing church planting movements throughout the Balkans. Questions? Write Bill wtoannon(at)bethanycc(dot)com (Thanks Tim!)

  6. SKYPE IS GREAT — One thing we failed to mention in last week’s item on Skype is that its calls are encrypted end-to-end, which is superb for those who live in security-conscious areas. It essentially enables communication without worries about who might be listening in — better than the telephone! So far, we’re hearing 100% positive feedback, especially if you have broadband.

    Another option is Secure Shuttle Encrypted Messenger, with a smaller installation file than Skype, but no possibility of connecting to ordinary phone networks. SST enables chat, voice chat, file sharing and e-mail, all encrypted, and all free. See: (Thanks Neil!)

  7. FREE ESL EVANGELISM MANUAL FOR IMMIGRANTS – This ESL tool was developed by Boone, an Indonesian immigrant, and Roy, a retired missionary. With it, they train congregations to provide a needed service to immigrants, that wins some to faith. Visit their site at The manual can be downloaded free from Or write to Boone at Rbsumantriataoldotcom

  8. SINGAPORE SCHOOL OF FRONTIER MISSION — YWAM’s SoFM starts 10 March 2005. Read more at . It’s a three-month lecture phase plus nine-month field internship. The entire program helping you develop skills in 1) language acquisition, 2) cross-cultural, 3) frontier survive, 4) teamwork and also 5) find a place of long-term service. The Singapore SoFM offers its internship at 6 entry cities and among 5 unreached peoples. You can see cost information at This is a secondary school with YWAM. A Discipleship Training School (DTS) is required before taking this course. For more info, write sofm(at)ywam(dot)org(dot)sg

  9. GREAT DEAL ON THE 3COM TRAVEL ROUTER — We failed to mention, last week, that the 3COM travel router is available at (a Provantage site) for $67.92. Thanks for sharing this deal, Tony!

20041017 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. PRAISE FOR PARTNERS — They’re at it again. This past week, we received great help in the form of $50 from an anonymous worker in Thailand, $25 from Harvey Hoekstra (see book item below), $200 from Asbury United Methodist Church (with personal note of encouragement from their Director of Global Outreach), $50 from an anonymous friend in Iowa, and $50 from Julie and the folks at New Link Media (see item below). We’re extremely grateful that these partners brought us closer to covering the costs of our Brigada-sponsored Secretary, but we still have a ways to go. If you’d like to join this lone Alaskan, just log on to: then click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. Thanks! As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.

  2. REACH THE WORLD THROUGH THE MEDIA — New Link Media is a full service professional media production company specializing in cross- cultural communication. They create videos, web sites and DVDs and have produced projects in more than thirty countries for mission agencies, churches, and humanitarian aid organizations. From media consulting, script writing, video shooting and editing as well as graphic design, web programming and DVD authoring they will work with you to create a powerful media message. New Link Media combines a wide range of experience with a heart for God and a desire to reach the world for Christ. Check out their web site to learn more or e-mail andyatnewlinkmediadotcom. (Thanks to New Link for their “thank-you” gift of a $50 check!)

  3. LOTS OF GREAT STORIES BY HARVEY — Thanks to Harvey Hoekstra who gave a $25 sponsorship to celebrate his new book, “Knotted Strings” to Talking Bibles, available for $19.95 by writing 710 W. 13th Ave., Escondido CA 92025 or calling 760-233-0674. Published by William Carey Library, this captivating personal account of the Hoekstras years in Africa and beyond is also available in Christian Bookstores. Thanks Harvey!

  4. MISSIONARY FAMILIES: SEND YOUR KIDS TO THE MKPLANET — mkPLANET is a growing community designed and run by current missionary kids (MKs) and adult missionary kids (AMKs) as an active community providing information, interaction, and support. It welcomes friends, family, service providers, and others as well. Check it out at:

  5. IN THE MARKET FOR A CAMCORDER THAT PUBLISHES DIRECTLY TO DVD? — Try the Sony DCR-DVD301 DVD Handycam, which records directly to 3-inch DVD- R/-RW discs, which play in most current home and PC DVD players. It has a huge 3.5-inch screen, reportedly quite bright in broad daylight. It sells on the street for about $700 or $800. However, if you plan on editing the video you’re capture, think again before buying this or any other camcorder that captures directly to DVD. For a full review, along with the rationale behind continuing to use DV tapes, see:,1759,1681879,00.asp

  6. GOT IDEAS FOR YEAR-END CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR DONORS? — Larry’s willing to collect them, then compile the list and report back to us here at Brigada. Send him your best Christmas gift ideas for donors, along with the price, how to obtain it and if you have used it before, to Champoux7(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 .]

  7. HEARING GOOD NEWS ABOUT SKYPE — We keep hearing good news about This past week, it came unsolicited from Andrew: “I’ve started using a program/website which offers completely free local and/or international calls. If both parties have a computer with internet and a microphone (no other equipment necessary), you can make all the calls you want for free anywhere in the world. If the other person has no internet, then you can make calls to regular phones at greatly discounted prices.” The service is available at: Give it a whirl and let us know your experience.

  8. PASTORAL CARE FOR MISSIONARIES — Mission to Unreached Peoples is looking for several people to join its member care team in ministering to missionaries serving in Eastern Europe and Asia. For more information, check out, email Jeff JeffKatgatiwadotcom, or call (888) 847-6950 or (206) 781-3151.

  9. PROVIDE CARE FOR THIRD CULTURE KIDS — You can help equip kids to respond to God’s calling on their lives. Join Frontiers MK Advocate Team in Mesa, Arizona. Coordinate children’s and youth programs for pre-field training and re-entry. If you’re interested, contact Jeff at jeff(dot)sloan(at)gracetogo(dot)org. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  10. LONGING TO ENJOY WIRELESS AS YOU TRAVEL? — Maybe you *can* take it with you. One option is the 3COM OfficeConnect Wireless 54MPBS 11G Travel Router. (see it at for $89.99 list). It’s about like carrying an extra pack of cards. Or go big with the Linksys WRT54G with dual true diversity antenna and a Wireless G Range Expander. I used the latter two items while camping at a college in Missouri last week. After teaching a missions class all day long, it was great to enjoy wireless Internet in my camper at night. Without the router and the range extender, the signal kept dropping out. Fortunately, I was prepared this time.

  11. PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR BRIGADA SECRETARY — If you get a moment, please lift up our Brigada-sponsored secretary. Her uncle died Tuesday, and on Wednesday, her father went into the hospital to ultimately receive a pacemaker. On Thursday her uncle was buried. Another uncle is likely to pass away any day and her son has just been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. Not a good week, to say the least. Please lift her up with prayers for encouragement and wisdom.

20040801 Brigada Today

  1. OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF THEIR HEART… — Two more sponsors helped this past week: Greg Fritz, Director of Caleb Project, sent $50 of his own personal funds, adding thanks for the mobilization ministry of Brigada. To learn more about Caleb Project and the multitude of resources they make available to churches worldwide, visit them at: By the way, I recently ordered a set of videos from them. They shipped out the same day, the tape arrived exactly as promised, and I looked very efficient to the church where I was guest speaker. :-) Caleb Project will keep their word.

    Thanks, too, to the anonymous donor who sent $10 again this month. He’s been faithfully sending $10/month for some 9 months now! Want to join these donors in making possible a real secretary for Brigada? Just log on to: then click “sponsor” in the top menu, or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. Thanks! As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift by anonymous. Remember, your gifts and sponsorships are the only way we can pay our Brigada-sponsored secretary. Also, remember that once we reach our goal for the year, we’ll no longer seek partnership gifts or donations. So if you’d love to get rid of these ads at the beginning of each issue, give generously and enjoy the rest of 2004 ad-free! :-)

  2. TRY SKYPE AND ENJOY ENCRYPTED “VOICE OVER IP” — Thanks to Justin, who tipped us off to Skype on the very day we saw a news piece about it on CNN. For example, you can use Skype to call any phone # in Malaysia for $0.05euros (about $0.07 US – that’s 2 cents per minute). Call any of 22 Westernized countries for $0.02/minute. Call any Skype user for free, and have end-to-end encryption. According to Skype, “It’s VOIP, works over your computer, and has very good sound quality.” Click on at: (Thanks again, Justin!)

  3. LEARN CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH — Do you know someone who wants to improve in English? Youth With A Mission in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA is offering a 12 week class, from January 10 until April 1, 2005. About 20 hours/week of classroom instruction, plus application opportunities during activity time, plus living in a community setting with native English speakers and others from around the world all contribute to provide a rich learning environment. Tuition is $2250 USD, which includes food and housing costs. See their website at or e-mail questions to ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net. [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  4. NEW MISSIONARY CARE RESOURCE NOW AVAILABLE — ERI is happy to announce that the long-awaited Spanish updated edition of “Serving As Senders” is now available. George Verwer’s comment on this book: “Estoy convencido que éste es uno de los libros misioneros de más impacto de esta década. Al paso que el pueblo de Dios responda a su mensaje, la obra de alcanzar a los no alcanzados avanzará en gran manera.” Details for ordering “Serviendo al enviar Obreros” may be obtained by emailing a request to Emmaus_Road(at)eri(dot)org [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with].

  5. A NEW QUESTION: THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE of NAMIBIA — In the desert town of Warm Bad (pronounced “Var-um Bot”), which means “hot springs,” the Water of Eternal Life is now flowing. Two families found salvation through Jesus. When asked, none could explain what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It was a question they had never heard before. Each family member was asked at different times and places, yet the answers were the same. None of them knew the true gospel. They were all grateful for finding their spiritual thirst forever satisfied in Jesus. Pray for the Lord to build prayer support for the Nama/Damara, an unengaged people. To adopt the Nama/Damara people for prayer or for more information, please visit or email swacsc(at)iafrica(dot)com [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  6. INTERNET EVANGELISM FORUM SEPTEMBER 14 AND 15 — Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, will be one of the keynote speakers at the September 14 and 15 meeting of the Internet Evangelism Coalition in Chicago, Illinois (US). Many other speakers and authors will weigh in. The Internet Evangelism Coalition meeting provide a forum for individuals, churches and organizations interested in sharing ideas and information on using the Internet for outreach. For registration information go to or email iec(at)webevangelism(dot)com [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .].

  7. FREE INTRODUCTORY PAGE ABOUT WEB EVANGELISM — The Web has enormous unused potential for outreach. You can add this page to your own website using a single line of Javascript code, in order to encourage Christians to take up this challenge. It is also designed for re- publication in print media.

  8. AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN AFRICA — Do you have a heart for the Least Reached People groups of Southern Africa? Join the Live School 2005 hosted by World Mission Centre in Pretoria, South Africa, where Focus Teams will be trained specifically to reach out to some of the 100 Least Reached People groups of Southern Africa. Their main focus will be to enhance the process of a self-sufficient, self- governing and self-propagating church in each of the remaining 100 Least Reached People groups of Southern Africa. The entire training process including outreach will be a year long so don’t miss this unique opportunity to be selected for this rare event! For more information write liveschoolsa(at)worldmissioncentre(dot)com [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .].

  9. FREE ONLINE CROSSWAY BIBLE GUIDE IN EASYENGLISH — Download in 7 sections Stephen Dray’s exciting guide to Matthew’s Gospel translated with the publisher’s permission into EasyEnglish level B. Find it at: EasyEnglish is a department of Wycliffe Associates UK. More information may be obtained from martin(@)easyenglish(dot)info [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .].

  10. QUALITY PUBLISHING FOR OBSCURE SCRIPTS/LANGUAGES — Okay, so here’s one of those hard-to-publish items about MAC computers, so I’ve pushed it way down here at the bottom so that only the faithful few will see it. (Joking! :-) ) Truth is, it’s a pretty good deal. :-) Jonathan Kew of the Summer Institute of Linguistics has released XeTeX (pronounced: zeetek), a powerful Unicode-enabled desktop publishing tool that produces quality PDF output for (theoretically) any language/script in the world. Use it on Macintosh with complex fonts like Arabic, Hebraic, Indic, etc. And get this: XeTeX is free! or email nrsi(at)sil(dot)org [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

    Users prejudiced against Macintoshes have a second option: UltraXML on Microsoft Windows that displays complex scripts via OpenType fonts. It costs 2,400 British Pounds (about US$4,400) per license: or email sales(at)webxsystems(dot)com [replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]. (Instead, why not buy some Macs with the money saved by getting XeTeX?? :-) )


20040118 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. THANKS TO THE GREAT SUPPORTERS… — We’re so thankful, today, for Family Circus Children’s Ministries, which sent a $100 gift for our Brigada-sponsored secretary, thereby enabling us to continue to get Brigada Today out the door on time! Thanks, too, to, which sent $50. (See their item next.)

    Your organization or church could be next. See… for complete instructions. Thanks again!

  2. TALKING BIBLES TESTIMONY BOOK, ONLINE FREE! — “From Knotted Strings to Talking Bibles,” Harvey Hoekstra’s latest book, published by William Carey Library is now available on line at The most common reader response is, “I just couldn’t put it down…” Full of anecdotes and photos, this book reads like a novel. Some have said that chapter eight on “Customs and Concepts” alone is worth the price of the book. This is the captivating personal account of a pioneer missionary family’s years in Africa and beyond. “It’s a thrilling story of an adventure in life and an adventure in changing mission that sets the Gospel free among illiterate peoples around the globe,” says the Rev. Harold Kurtz former head of the Presbyterian Mission Fellowship. “Here is an amazingly vivid and marvelously detailed account of mission that captivates you as if you and I were there too,” by Dr. Charles Van Engen, Fuller Theological Seminary. “From Knotted Strings to Talking Bibles” is a book every new missionary contemplating engaging in pioneer evangelism in remote places crossing cultural and linguistic barriers should read. Available on line: for $19.95. All proceeds go to support Audio Scripture International’s Talking Bible Projects.

  3. DYNAMIC MISSION: POWERFUL MISSION SOFTWARE — Tired of managing folders and spreadsheets instead of your mission? Dynamic Mission software helps you efficiently send service teams all over the world. In 2003, Mission to the World used it to send out 6800+ volunteers. It handles projects, teams, staff, finances, travel, work assignments, inventory and more. Built by professionals over the last six years. “We couldn’t manage all the details and paperwork of projects and teams without Dynamic Mission.” — Carol G., MTW Save tons of time using a tool already tailored for the short-term missions environment. Use intuitive screens instead of forcing your process through a generic project tool. Refocus your energy on your mission by purchasing Dynamic Mission today. Try it free at Become a sales affiliate and earn 20% at or email salesatDynamicMissiondotcom or call in the USA 770.978.8468.

  4. HOW TO GET THAT FREE FAMILY MAGAZINE FOR YOUR MK — Several people had difficulties with the Focus on the Family website mentioned in last week’s issue, in relationship to the free magazine offer. Focus on the Family says that you can subscribe through the internet site, but it seems as though no one is having any luck. Therefore, Melissa (the original contributor of the item) called them and they said to send the 1) full name of the child 2) the age and birthdate of the child 3) the full address 4) and the magazine requested either through post mail to their address listed on the website or to serviceatfotfdotorg, and they will be able to process the request. Make sure that you mention that are a missionary asking for a complimentary subscription. You could even tell them you heard about it in Brigada at! :-) I doubt they’ve ever heard of us. (Thanks Melissa!)

  5. TESOL OPPORTUNITY IN THAILAND — Cornerstone Workplace English (C.W.E.) is a legitimate profit making English language school company that employs professionally trained and experienced ESOL teachers to train the staff of Thai business in Chiang Mai North Thailand. The aim of the company is to bypass the “missionary label” and engage the Thai marketplace with the gospel. The company is looking for properly trained ESOL teachers who are believers with a heart for reaching Thais. The long term goal of the company is to see small groups of Thai believers planted within the Thai workplace and to generate a people group movement in a contextualized way. Applicants need to be socially very capable, flexible and willing to bend with an Asian culture, and a strong follower of Jesus with a heart for outreach. Applicants need to speak English with a “western” accent. Contracts available for 6 to 12 months. Visas and work permits available. Contact Stuart cweatloxinfodotcodotth for an information pack.

  6. “WOW” STORIES NEEDED FOR CATCH THE VISION “2020” — The couple who wrote the golden-oldie mission book/Bible study Catch the Vision 2000 is back in the U.S. for a year of R&R (Rest and Riting?). If you know of recent “wow” accounts of mission breakthroughs, contact Bill & Amy CatchTheVision2020atyahoodotcom They know how to handle security issues as they track down the factual details of striking stories for a new, improved Catch the Vision 2020!

  7. NEED FRENCH MATERIALS? — Equipping the Saints offers French Thompson Chain Reference Bibles and French ministry books at up to 90% discount. A resource list is available on the ETS web site. Check out In the USA call 1-540-234-6222 or email etsatricadotnet for more information.

  8. EVANGELICAL PURCHASING SERVICE — Thanks, Ken, for the tip about Evangelical Purchasing Service, (EPS), tel in the USA 800-445-6791 or write epscrcataoldotcom or log on at

  9. INTERESTED IN MINISTRY AMONG INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS? — Check out the International Student Ministry Conference May 28-30. International student ministry (ISM) is growing in North America, Europe, and many other countries. ISM will be one of the issue groups for the Lausanne 2004 Forum. Last year leaders of ISM from 12 countries attended the annual equipping conference of ACMI (Association of Christian Ministries to Internationals). ACMI ’04 will have 40 workshops, plenary sessions and special interest groups related to ministry among International students, May 28-30, at Wheaton College, near Chicago, Illinois, USA. There will be a concurrent conference for Christian international students. For brochures and details, go to or email acmiofficeatgatemandotcom

  10. FEEDBACK ON SKYPE.COM CALL SERVICE; OPTIONS — We got quite a bit of feedback on that peer-to-peer calling service. Bottom line: Be wary of any peer-to-peer service. Since your computer becomes a kind of server for someone else, there’s a certain degree of risk that you’ll be hacked. Course, Andrew wrote with what seemed like a better option, Free World DialUp. He added, “FWD currently offers the ability to make outgoing calls to toll free numbers AND incoming numbers (no fee payable for allocation of the number) so someone on a regular phone can call your VoIP number. FWD also offers a voice conferencing service. The advantage of services such as FWD is they are based on the agreed standard known as SIP whereas Skype currently uses its own non-standard protocols.” (Thanks to all – and especially to Andrews — for responding!)

  11. CRISIS & TRAUMA WORKSHOP — Presented by Dr. H. Norman Wright, Wycliffe Counseling Ministries is sponsoring this workshop for missionary personnel, member care workers, counselors, ministers and lay counselors. The workshop will be held on May 14 & 15, 2004 at the Wycliffe US Headquarters in Orlando, Florida. For more information or a Workshop brochure contact Mary Maggio at Wycliffe Counseling Ministries (972) 708-7315 or e-mail Mary_Maggioatsildotorg

  12. TV SHOW ABOUT MISSIONS ON DISH NETWORK — The new weekly television program, MISSION, begins airing on the Dish satellite network, Friday nights at 9pm Eastern Time starting February 6. Co-hosted by Steve Saint, son of martyred missionary Nate Saint, the program features stories about mission work around the world. Stories from AIM, Pioneers, SIM, SEND and World Team as well as mission stories of the Saint family. Friday nights at 9ET on the Dish network – channel 9701, Angel One. Get more information at (click on MISSION).

  13. SHORT-TERM LEADER’S TRAINING IN APPLETON — It’s not too late to sign up for the ServantPrep Short Term Mission Leader’s training February 12-14, 2004 in Tampa, FL. Learn how to prepare, lead, and debrief team members effectively so that your short term experiences will result in long term passion and commitment to reach the nations. But, you must register soon! Download a brochure with all the details at To get more information on the material contact Ray xctrainerataoldotcom . To Register or ask questions, send an e-mail to Jamie babbslovefloridaataoldotcom

  14. DON’T GO TEACH ENGLISH WITHOUT TRAINING — Invest three weeks in practical TESOL training and ensure that your teaching is effective and your ministry with students is enhanced. During Essentials of TESOL, July 12-30, 2004, at Biola University in southern California, you will: learn methods and techniques for teaching English language skills, be introduced to the sound and grammar systems of English, discover teaching materials, explore cultural issues, and learn appropriate ways of being a Christian teacher. You will also get supervised experience teaching non-native speakers. Non-credit tuition is only $505. Visit for more info and call 562/903-4844 or contact kittydotpurgasonatbioladotedu for an application.

  15. TEE ON RADIO? — A group of missions in Cambodia are interested to learn if anybody has TEE lessons as radio scripts. If you know of somebody who does, please contact Janice jreidatrtsinternationaldotorg (If you’d like a copy of the results, be sure to tell her.)

  16. YWAM CROSSROADS DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL — Are you looking for greater intimacy with God and a taste of cross cultural missions? If you are age 30 or more, or a family with children, consider taking the Crossroads DTS at Youth With A Mission, Lebanon, PA, USA. The three month lecture phase begins April 18, 2004. It includes topics such as the father heart of God, how to hear God’s voice, prayer and intercession, evangelism and missions, and spiritual warfare. The following two month outreach to Ukraine provides practical experience in cross cultural ministry. See their website at or email ywampaatcomcastdotnet

  17. NEED 16MM PROJECTORS? — Equipping the Saints offers good used 16MM film projectors at $125-150. These are Eiki SSL or SL units and are in good working order. Check out In the USA call 1- 540-234-6222 or email etsatricadotnet for more information.

  18. OMF BAY AREA MISSION CONFERENCE – Catch “The Great Commission and 21st Century Asia”, April 30-May 1, 2004 at Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, CA. There will be four plenary sessions, 13 workshops, children’s program and fellowship with visiting missionaries. Featured speakers include OMF’s General Director Dr. David Harley and Professional Service China’s Field Director Dr. Rudolph Mak. For registration, contact Elaine Tai omfconferenceatyahoodotcom or (650) 559- 8088. Or log on at

  19. PRAYER “SPAM” — It’s really a shame that, once I’ve seen my 200th prayer request email in a single day, sent to me without request, those prayer request emails begin to *feel* a lot like *spam*, especially when I’m traveling, collecting messages via my cell phone. On the one hand, I feel *guilty*, because when would a prayer request ever become a piece of spam. On the other hand, they meet the definition, in that they’re a) unsolicited, b) clogging up my channel so I can’t get my work done as effectively, and c) ultimately undesirable, since I already have 240 missionaries to pray for in the mission with which I work! So — warning: Before adding someone to a prayer request list, even though your motives are noble and admirable, better ask first. If they don’t answer, don’t add them. Because, I’m just adding *all* those prayer request email addresses to my “blocked list” in my Norton AntiSpam. So… unfortunately, if those folks ever want to send an item to Brigada Today, I won’t even know they wrote me. :-(

  20. VOLUNTEERS (E.G., IN EAST AFRICA) — Occasionally we get email from volunteers ready to serve in a particular place. How do we get that word out. Obviously, we can’t promote them all. Say a gal wants to serve in the Kenya/Uganda area this summer. She’s a missionary with experience working with orphans and street children in that area looking for information on opportunities and the state of affairs in that area. So … you could write Tammy tammymariedonahueatyahoodotcom but… how do we help the other *thousand*? I think one of the best models is Brigada Opportunities. But for it to work well, reps from the various missions have to be *listening*. Then when willing workers want to see options, they’ll just join and drop their interest inquiry to the group. To learn more, write: brigada-opportunities-subscribeatTeamExpansiondotorg You can unsubscribe at any time. There are nearly 200 mission leaders waiting online right now, to help you.
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