7) VSee Continues to Impress (Completely Free of Charge) —

We’ve talked previously about VSee, an alternative to Skype that seemed, at least in my informal testing, to be superior in call quality when you need to do multi-person video conferences. See our original discussion at…




I was particular interested in one Brigada reader’s take. He wrote,

“Here’s the biggest carrot for VSee, from their blog:

“VSee uses end-to-end encryption where no server, including VSee servers, has the decryption key. VSee uses public/private RSA keys to exchange a 256-bit AES session key with the property that only the endpoints have the AES session key. VSee uses FIPS 140-2 certified 256-bit AES encryption.” He went on to test their service at some length and, at the end of the day, in several international video-conference tests, he, too, liked the outcome. About the security topic that he mentioned above, he added, “This is very significant. To my knowledge, no other video collaboration package offers this level of security. VSee looks like it might even be easy to use, which would be fantastic as well. I’m giving it a shot. The great thing is — it won’t set you back that much to try it. Though there are a few premium pieces you could choose to add for a price, the basic VSee service is free.

7) Which Web Meeting Software do you Prefer? —

Our office has been using GoToMeeting. It’s ok… but sometimes I wonder if we get stuck in a rut and forget to recheck to see if somebody else has improved another product, you know? For example, this past Monday I sat in on a webmeeting staged via software at…




It was ok too. Today, I saw the review at…




and sure enough, GoToMeeting was listed as #1, but, I sometimes wonder if some of those “reviews” are sponsored by the company that wants to be #1, you know? So — real life human experience — which medium do you prefer? Are there any steals of a deal out there? Some people might be using Skype or VSee.com — which would be poor-man’s webinar software, right? What’s your pick?

7) Conference On Vulnerable Mission —

Here’s your chance to learn about “Post-colonial mission and development at depth without dependency,” March 7-10, 2012. Organizers are live-casting this conference on the web. If you have access to the Internet, you can participate fully in all sessions for one price of $10. (The face-to-face version will take place at Abilene Christian University, in Abilene, Texas for those who wish to attend in person.) They’ve lined up a great batch of speakers. See the full list, learn more, and register at …




(Note: This last link will “wrap.” If you have trouble copying it and pasting it into your browser, just log on to Brigada today online and find this same item posted there. We’ll make sure the link works on our site. Thanks.)


or contact Deborah at (325) 674-3711 or

deborahdotniccumatacudotedu .

2) What’s the best simulcast to multiple sites?

I’ve tried using TokBox


I like Tokbox. It’s kinda like the classical “BradyBunch” view of participants (“Hollywood Squares” sort of). It’s medium inexpensive.

To do a simulcast video conference. Once I get to 6 or 7 participants, seems like it’s already maxing out. There’s some latency, some dropped connections, etc. But it’s still the best I can find so far. It doesn’t let me broadcast my desktop though, like a classical webinar provider. For that, I’ve relied on…


It doesn’t simulcast the video, though. Just desktop — which, don’t get me wrong, is still great. It’s medium expensive.

Also have tried using uStream…


I like it… but again, it’s just video and audio… and there are periods of latency and some drop-outs. No desktop-sharing. But the number of participants is through the roof. *Lots*. It’s very inexpensive.

Do you have a favorite service that fits in with these? A Brigada participant in North Africa is extremely interested. What’s your best recommendation?

If you have an option, just click “Comment” under this item. Thanks in advance for your help! Doug

5) Are Orgs & Churches Behind in Using Webcams?

tokbox_logoA missionary colleague of mine was recently lamenting that churches and missionary agencies seem to be lagging behind in their use of video links with their missionaries. Do you agree or disagree? He pointed to easy-to-use tools, some of which have been referenced previously here in Brigada. Of course, the most well-known tool is Skype. However, as my friend pointed out, Skype requires a download. There are other sites like 


which do not. Tokbox is free, like Skype, but doesn’t offer a connection to the public telephone grid (“Skype out”). At the same time, Tokbox remarkably allows you to add as many video conference connections as your internet bandwidth will allow, all completely free. And for what it’s worth, it embeds in Facebook and — Twitter. (Call me old-fashioned, but I still can’t bring myself to try Twitter. I keep wondering why anyone would ever care?)

As in all web tools, please remember to exercise caution regarding security. TokBox apparently has *no* security features whatsoever. Let the user beware. For users that can’t or won’t use a VPN, maybe Skype is a better option?

How ’bout you? Do you think we’re behind on this stuff? Any comments on TokBox’s lack of security or privacy? To comment, just click “Comment” below…

8) Free Online Conference Room

If you are looking for a convenient and inexpensive way of increasing collaboration in your organization with members separated by distances, you might find this free online conference room useful. Flash version / cross platform (PC, Mac, Linux), Audio/Visual, Power Point, Browser, Chat, Send Files to Participants, Secure (more secure than most banks require), Worldwide Access, Desktop Sharing (Coming). This operates at low & high speeds and is very user friendly. This free version has a limit of 10 participants. To get this online conference room, go to:


Multipoint Webconferencing With Low Bandwidth Demand

My friend, Curt, wanted to let us know that he has recently begun representing iZonIP, which is web conferencing software that has three applications. First, meetings with up to 24 participants for collaborative purposes. A whiteboard is available for document sharing and revision. Second, a webinar application allows you to broadcast into dozens of locations with the same whiteboard applications. Third, on-line classes can be taught and documentation can be archived. Currently this software is being used to train Christian leaders in remote and limited-access countries. They can offer low monthly rates for unlimited access with discounts for volume use. For more information, contact

or visit


They even have a free 30 day trial. Call 1.866. 835.4673 or 1.603.626.2756


We’ve already mentioned ooVoo, a web service offering free web-to-web voice- over-IP (free phone calls from your computer to any other computer in the world ). Now, in celebration of a recent upgrade, ooVoo is offering free unlimited phone calls (well, actually 3000 minutes) to the USA and Canada until mid-June. Instead of phone to phone, it’s web-to-phone (like “Skype-out”). Call your grandmother and watch her favorite movie with her while you laugh online together at the funny parts, just like you used to. Wrap up your work, go home at night, and play chess with your old high school sweetheart — online! Better hurry though: the free calling program ends June 15th, at which time it will resemble “Skype out.” ooVoo also offers free video-conferencing over the web with up to 5 friends. You can even record five minute web-conferences and turn them into teaching lessons or whatever you want. Check it out today — it’s Brigada’s “best deal of the week on the web”:


20070610 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. OPENING FOR A SENIOR DIRECTOR — The Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development is seeking qualified candidates for a Senior Director. The Chalmers Center,


    a research and training initiative of Covenant College, equips churches and missionaries to declare the Kingdom of God in word and in deed by bringing economic development and spiritual transformation in the context of poor communities around the globe. The Senior Director reports to the Executive Director and is the primary person responsible for managing the Chalmers Center’s human and financial resources in order to maximize the Chalmers Center’s impact. … For a complete job description including the job requirements, visit:


    Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Send a resume and a testimony of Christian faith and experience to: Director of Human Resources, Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, Georgia 30750; 706-820-1560; Email address:

    employment(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 .]. The application deadline is August 15, 2007.

  2. PALTALK MIGHT WORK FOR YOU? — This past week, I heard about a new service along the lines of Skype, but apparently it allows multiple video-conferencing (chat-room or conference-room style) with greater ease than Skype. (A cursory review indicated that it does not install spyware on one’s system, but still, one can’t be too careful these days, so watch carefully.) Try it out at:


    If you form an opinion of this product, please leave your notes in a comment form at:


    so that all can immediately see your opinion before they walk down the same road.

  3. WHY ARE BRIGADAS SOMETIMES RELEASED IN JULY WITH JUNE DATES? — Honestly? :-) Because we get behind. :-) Lately, high school soccer season has started up — so I coach 3 hours per night, 5 nights/week now, after a full work day at Team Expansion. But never fear. We always eventually catch up. Just please keep praying. :-)

  4. BIBLE SOFTWARE: SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR BRIGADA SUBSCRIBERS –- When you hear the words “Bible Software” what comes to mind? Complicated searches and advanced Hebrew word studies? Or simplified research techniques that make Bible study easy for anyone? Logos Bible Software was created to help everyday people dig deeper into the Word of God. And these aren’t just books on your computer screen. Logos gives reports and search results that will make in-depth Bible study easy. Logos is now offering 25% off to subscribers of Brigada Today. As an added benefit, part of the proceeds from your purchase will go directly to 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 .]

    This is a great opportunity to support Brigada and receive a great tool for Bible study. (Thanks for your plans to help Brigada, Logos!)

  5. US POSTAL SERVICE RADICALLY CHANGES “M-BAG” RATE — This is sad news for those that have relied on this discounted service. We heard from one worker in Botswana and another in Italy, both informing us that shipping books is now *radically* more expensive — like 2 1/2 *times* as much! If you have an alternative solution… one that can offer a cost-savings for those still seeking discounted shipping rates like the old “M-bag” rate, please click here and leave a comment at


    Those interested in finding solutions need only log on at the Brigada Brigade site above to see ideas from other readers in the 10,000-strong Brigada base.

  6. COULD YOU HELP GROW THE BRIGADA FAMILY? — If you could help put readers in touch with Brigada’s free services, just send this note to them in your regularly newsletter, report, or other publication. “For some time now, I’ve subscribed to a more-or-less weekly email called, ‘Brigada Today.’ It’s free and I find it often contains nuggets of information about missions resources, travel, conferences, and more, that I then forward to others. They’ve been in business for over 10 years and they’ve never signed anyone else up without permission, nor do they sell or release subscribers’ email addresses to anyone — so no spamming whatsoever. For a free subscription to Brigada’s weekly missions publication, write brigada-today-subscribeatgooglegroupsdotcom and/or visit Brigada on the web at www.brigada.org.” We’d appreciate you helping us get the word out so we don’t have to buy ads in slick magazines. :-)

  7. LEARN TO TALK WITH MUSLIMS ABOUT JESUS: PILLARS AND PROPHETS — Here’s a book by Carl Medearis that will help you learn to talk freely about your relationship with Jesus to a person of the Muslim faith. Written in a humorous and provocative style, Pillars and Prophets is an engaging quick read that leaves an indelible impression. The book is time well spent, from an author who has lived amongst the Muslims for over a decade, that calls him not only brother and friend, but also a true followers of Jesus. Carl builds relationships, based on the heart of the Jesus, not on religion or rules. To get prices, email your shipping address and how many books you would want to purchase to: Info(at)internationalinitiatives(dot)net

  8. “SERVING GOD AS ALONE” — The International Centre for Excellence in Leadership (ICEL), a leadership development ministry of the IMB, has published a new self-study course for singles entitled Serving God Alone: Singles Serving Cross-culturally for the Glory of God. Serving God Alone is the result of many months of research, drawing heavily on interviews with single cross-cultural workers. The course is designed to help singles and those who work with them understand at a deeper level the unique perspective, strengths, and needs that single missionaries bring to the mission task. To order, email imb(at)imb(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] In the USA, call 1-800-999-3113, option 3. Check the ICEL web site for more details:


  9. MISSIONARY JOURNALIST WEB SITE —- Ken, who writes about mission activities around the world but particularly from Latin America, has developed a web site with almost all of his writing from the past ten years or so. He’s posted there hundreds of articles from Latin America and other regions, plus other articles grouped by subject such as Children at Risk, International Congregations/Union Churches, media and radio, ministry, missions and opinion. Check it out at


    and then check back from time to time to see the latest updates.

  10. THANKS FOR THE READER WHO GAVE $10 — We appreciate the anonymous donor from Oklahoma who sent $67. That was an incredible encouragement. Thanks, too, to the anonymous Brigada participant from Oregon who just set up a $10/month regular gift for our expenses here… and to encourage us on into tomorrow. We put the money toward webhosting, some small marketing projects, secretarial costs, as well as projects for world evangelism. Nothing is wasted. So when we receive $10 from a fellow from Oregon, it can accomplish a lot at Brigada. To set up a regular monthly gift for Brigada, simply go to


    You can pull the money from your PayPal account or from any major credit card. Just click on the icon that says, “PayPal subscribe”. In the next (resulting) page, type in a unit price — for example, $10.00. Then click on the button “Update totals”. If you already have a PayPal account and would rather use it, type in your PayPal account’s email address and password in the box on the lower right. If you’d rather use your credit card, click on “Continue” on the lower left of the page. If you click “Continue”, you’ll get a page asking for the typical credit card information. Thank you so much for spurring us on.

  11. THE BACKPAGE: LITTLE DECISIONS, BIG RESULTS — Have you ever heard that story about the French guy who kept planting trees? It’s pretty fascinating. All the online illustration versions seem to point back to the original story by Jean Giono. See it still being offered by the original publisher here:


    for $14, or get it at Amazon for $6 here:


    Read a summary at


    As they say at Amazon, it is not a detailed how-to guide to planting; it is a touching story of Elzéard Bouffier, who devoted his entire life to reforesting a desolate portion of Provence, in southern France. He single-handedly planted 100 acorns each day before, through, and after two world wars, and transformed a sorrowful place into one full of life and joy. Jean Giono’s words offer a tribute to how much good one person can accomplish in a lifetime and advise on how to live life with deep meaning. It is simply written but powerful and unforgettable.

    Granted, I’m a tree-hugger. But one doesn’t have to be a lover of trees to appreciate the patient determination exhibited by a shepherd with a bag of acorns… and some time on his hands. A lot of time, in fact. *Years*, as a matter of fact. Some estimate that by the time he died in 1947, he had single-handedly planted tens of thousands of trees.

    Is it a true story? Many present it as such. Wikipedia says no at:


    But regardless, the spirit of the story is the same — a motivated person, with a selfless spirit, determination, creativity, and long-term goals can take on a big problem and make a huge difference.

    How ’bout your own life. What are you tackling today? Maybe reforesting an entire valley seems overwhelming. Why not start with rebuilding the relationship with your son or daughter, renewing the friendship with your spouse, or healing a conflict in your local church. Start a mission project. Adopt an unreached people. Dream big. Find a guy with a bucket of acorns for inspiration and jump in to help him. You just might create a legacy that outlives your own life.

    Interested in giving feedback on this item? Just click on the Comment block at:


20070211 Brigada Today

In this issue…


    1. WANT GOOD WEB-VIDEO-CONFERENCE CALLS? TRY SIGHTSPEED — I know, I know. Everybody and his brother are doing Skype. But if you’re looking for high-quality *video*, I think SightSpeed has them beat:


      So if it works on your machine, and you want real-time web-cam- conferences on the cheap, grab it.

    1. REMEMBER SKYPE “OUT” IS NOT ENCRYPTED — We’re all pretty casual about what we say on Skype these days. We’ve come to depend on its built-in encryption. That’s all well and good . . . unless we’re using Skype-out (or Skype-in, for that matter), where Skype bridges with a “plain-old telephone service”. In *those* cases, just keep in mind that the packets you’re sending are completely open to anyone at any bus stop along the Internet — meaning that your conversation won’t be all that private, actually. In order to use Skype’s encryption, it has to be Skype to Skype. (And even then, remember that Skype has sold much of its technology to mainland China — so there are no guarantees if that’s where you live.)

    1. RESOURCE FOR EDUCATING CHILDREN OVERSEAS –- Fitted Pieces (667 pages, 2nd printing), published by SHARE Education Services, is a comprehensive collection of articles from more than 50 recognized experts in the field of educating children in a cultural context outside their passport country. Topics include evaluating education options, planning, choosing curriculum, second language issues, testing, and TCK challenges. It is designed for those using any education system–national school, home schooling, on-line, and other options. The book cost is $25, but it’s also available on CD for $15. Volume discounts are available. To order, see


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


    1. CHURCH MOBILIZATION TOOL – DualReach has developed the Design Your Impact Workshop, a five-hour seminar that enables church leaders to discover their congregation’s key characteristics and resources (their DNA) and identify a strategic missions focus that can unleash powerful, new global dynamic from their church. Workshops are led by trained individuals with extensive teaching resources: 7 video clips of model churches, 2 animation clips, PowerPoint®, Facilitator’s Manual and Participant’s Notebook. The next training date to become a Workshop facilitator is Thursday, April 12, in San Juan Capistrano, CA (south of Los Angeles). Learn more at…


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

    1. LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT SUMMER TURKEY MISSIONS OPPORTUNITY? — Come join a team anytime between June 12-July 9, 2007 for the Istanbul Community Outreach. This is a great opportunity to: Join an experienced/ministry team (working with Campus Crusade), use conversational English as a tool to meet needs and make new friends, develop lasting friendships with professionals, students and business people, and share your faith through tea times, home visits, social activities and final boat trip. Optional 7 churches bible tour. Recruit, bring and lead your own group if you wish. This is an ideal opportunity for first timers or alumni, individuals or church groups. For more information contact Doug at dougnann(at)gmail(dot)com or 303 776 3273. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

    1. GET PERSPECTIVES IN A YEAR! — Is your church interested in embracing God’s missionary heart? Do you need continuing education credit for missionary service? The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course may be your answer. The Perspectives course covers the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic basis for missions. ICM (International Christian Ministries) offers the course on-line for certificate, undergraduate, or graduate credit. You can take up to a year to complete the course. Check out


      for more information and to sign up or email info(at)icm-intl(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

    1. START LEARNING YOUR DESTINATION LANGUAGE NOW — Back in the early 80s, I had the privilege of studying language learning skills under Tom & Betty Sue Brewster, the authors of the well-known language learning approach known as “LAMP”. Tom used to preach to us, “Listen, listen, listen. Listen to the language a *lot*!” I asked once if it was a mistake to start learning the language *before* departing for the destination. Tom clarified that not only is it not a mistake, it’s actually *helpful* to begin your listening & practicing *now*, so long as you don’t let it stress you out. He emphasized not to worry about production; just listen, listen, listen. So — want to get started?


      Just hop on over to “Before you know it” — byki.com. Pick a language and get started. (And thanks to Betty, Team Expansion’s Director of Prayer & Operations, for the tip!)

    1. EASTER! – DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? — If you have some doubts about the Easter story, Jesus coming back to life again, try reading the last chapter of Matthew’s gospel in EasyEnglish. It is magnificent! Go to


      Click on Bible Books, then choose ‘Matthew’s Good News’ and scroll to chapter 28.

    1. THANKS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP — Thanks to the pair of Team Expansion missionaries in Bosnia who sent $100 for Brigada. Feel the love! They affirmed an encouragement that keeps us writing. The Balkans have spoken! What about your region of the world? Can you match their encouragement?

    1. SPUR ON BRIGADA TO GOOD WORKS — Want to spur us on? 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.

  1. THE BACKPAGE: TOOLS FOR THE ROAD — A couple of editions ago, we started a series known as “Tools for the Road.” Because of special circumstances, we delayed in continuing it — until now. Recall that our first “Tool for the road” had to do with what is commonly called jet lag. We called it, “Determine to beat jet lag”, urging you to “make up your mind that you’re not going to experience it.” I received some [well-deserved] razzing from some of my friends who have traveled internationally since then. They told me it because a running joke during the trip to say, “Remember — Doug says we’re not tired.” :-) But the truth is, that really is the first step. That having been said, here are the next couple of tools, also helpful to beat jet lag and general travel fatigue:

    *** Tool #2 — “Sleep East, Party West”: Memorize it. Then traveling transoceanic on those 8-hour (and sometimes 16-hour) flights, if you’re headed eastbound (e.g., from the USA to Europe), get to sleep as quickly as you can. Flights tend to depart around 6pm. Settle in, eat, then hit the sack. Remember, it really doesn’t matter if you sleep or not. The truth is, it’s kind of irrelevant whether or not you really sleep. The trick is to convince your body that you *did*. That’s why it’s always entertaining to me when people say, “I just can’t sleep on planes.” You don’t really *have* to; just *pretend* you are. (Besides, even if you’re just laying there, relaxing, it’s still restful. You’ve got the whole jet engine thing going on, the dark plane cabin, … just pretend. :-) ) Experts (like me :-) ) say that just laying completely still is at least *somewhat* helpful for your well-being anyway.

    Keep in mind, your eyes have to be closed. See Tool #3.

    *** Tool #3 — “Gear up to sleep”: My own philosophy is — no sleeping pills. I have this theory that you need to be in charge of tricking your body. If you turn that power over to a drug, you’ve given up control. Besides, what if an emergency occurs and you need to be at your best. (For example, what if someone tries to hijack the plane? Have you ever seen Jack Bauer take sleeping pills? :-) ) But you *do* need a tool kit. Don’t wait ’til the night before. Here’s what you’ll need:
    ****** Eye screen — I know, they look kind of hokey. But you need one of those sleep visors that all the elderly people wear. Swallow the pride and pick one up at a travel or luggage store. You’ll be glad you did.
    ****** Ear plugs — I love kids. I just like them to be silent while I sleep… or pretend to. :-) Read the instructions. Have someone teach you how to insert them. There’s a trick to “rolling” them, pulling up on your ear with the opposite hand (from behind your head), then holding them in place while they expand.
    ****** Travel pillow — Choose the skrunchie kind that just compresses like a goose-down sleeping bag, or use the inflatable “u-shaped” pillow like I do. Either way, choose *something*. Airlines provide a flimsy excuse. I don’t like ’em. Just not quite enough meat there for my purposes. Today’s newest jets have moving “ears” that you can swivel out on your head rest. Those are helpful. But again, you need to convince your body that you’ve gone to sleep. For that to happen, get a real pillow.
    ****** Nab an extra blanket — If you can, grab an unused blanket from a nearby unoccuppied seat. If the plane turns cold, you’ll need it for some uncovered area of your freezing body.
    ****** Maneuver for empty seats — If you’re the type that needs to be horizontal, try to scout out a location with an empty adjacent seat so you can sprawl. As for me, I’ve trained myself to sleep in one reclined seat. It’s almost more trouble than it’s worth, to me, to try to lay down across the 3, 4 or 5 “middle” seats in a big jet. But I *do* try to get an aisle (so I’m not a victim to someone else’s sleeping patterns). For me, it just feels less constricted. Regardless, find something that works for you.
    ****** Pray for bad movies eastbound — You think I’m joking. :-) But the principle is, ignore the media. Oh… maybe you can catch part or all of a movie while eating. (What’s better than dinner and a movie at 35,000 feet? :-) ) But as soon as chow-time is over, lose the remote.
    ****** Floss & Brush — I’m not kidding. Remember, the trick is — convince your body that you’ve slept. That means going through your whole before-bedtime routine. And finally, …
    ****** Put on your favorite house slippers — I’m not kidding. Bring your favorite pair of comfy, cozy slippers from home. Last thing, before you go to sleep, rest those tired dogs. Take off those wing-tips or heels; take off your dress socks. Put on a pair of comfy athletic socks (or whatever you like), your favorite slippers, and snooze!

    More tools next time, when we consider herding *kids* while traveling.

20060910 Brigada Today

In this issue…


  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY — Learn how through the “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” distance course from the Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College. This course will be offered on January 8 – February 2, 2007 and again on May 7 – June 1, 2007. Note that the January course is nearly full and limited spots remain.

    The “Foundations” course is designed for anyone doing ministry and community outreach among the poor – pastors, church planters, ministry leaders and lay staff, and missionaries. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for a team who ministers together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities.

    For those ministering to the poor in the Two-Thirds World, the Chalmers Center also offers a distance course on microfinance and microenterprise development services and interventions and a distance course on basic principles of Savings and Credit Associations (SCAs) and how SCAs can be used as a ministry tool. The microfinance and microenterprise course is also available in self-study format.

    To learn more or to register, visit


    call 706-419-1805 (U.S.), or email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-10/06.

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




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

  3. 5TH TENTMAKERS INT’L CONGRESS TO BE JULY 9-11 — Tentmakers International (TI, formerly TIE) will hold its 5th Congress in Malaysia, and is open to anyone with an interest in tentmaking. From the 11th – 13th, the TI Consultation for TI associates and experienced tentmakers will be held in the same venue. To register, please contact ticongress(at)gmail(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or browse to

    http://www.tentmakersinternational.info or


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

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

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


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

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


    They have several thousand students and wish to begin conducting teleclasses. Many of their students in other nations can’t afford a one-hour telephone call to the U.S. for training. Most of them utilize dialup Internet services. The Smiths would like your recommendations for inexpensive audio/video Internet training services. Do you use a webinar service? If so, please forward your recommendations to Eddie Smith at usprayercenter(at)cs(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

  8. MOMENTUM MAGAZINE UP FOR LOOKS — Check out the latest edition of Momentum Magazine (September/October 2006) at


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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


    To view sample pdfs go to:


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

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

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

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

20050904 Brigada Today

In this issue…


1. VOIP PHONE SERVICE OPTION — Check out http://www.lingo.com for a good VOIP phone service. For around $20 you can make unlimited calls to the US, Canada, and Western Europe- from where ever you are in the world. They even give you US phone number in the area code of your choice. This is a great way for your friends, family and supporters ‘back home’ to contact you. One catch is that you must have high-speed internet service. If you use the name of this particular Brigada participant as a reference, both he and you will get a $25 credit!! All new subscribers receive one free month also. From Mexico City, he effectively uses the service. Remember, for the $25 credit to work, new subscribers must enter his email klmyers(at)theriver(dot)com as a reference. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] (Be sure and enter the email address in the traditional format rather than the Brigada “anti-spam” format. Thanks!)
2. FINAL ANSWER: GOOGLEMAIL NOT SECURE — Based on definitive proof from Brian, of UWM, we have concluded that Gmail is definitely not a secure format for workers in sensitive access countries. Apparently, only the log-in is a secure link. Once logged in, looking at email, we’re now told that this all-important stage is completely open and in the clear, to anyone that has access to the web. (This would make Gmail pretty much like sending a postcard.) Word to the wise: Get Hushmail at: http://www.hushmail.com
3. NEW CONFERENCE CALL SERVICE — Tired of waiting forever on conference calls? Here’s a free conference call service that benefits the kingdom. It is found at http://www.greatercalling.org It’s pretty amazing. Dave Butts is a prayer mobilizer from western Indiana. He writes, “We’re using it for prayer calls, conference calls, and long distance teaching. It uses the freeconference calls technology and as a matter of fact, contract with that company to do this as a non-profit benefiting ministry. Hope this is helpful.” Give ’em a try! (Thanks Dave!)
4. WORLD CHRISTIANS THROUGH BUSINESS CONFERENCE — Here’s a conference for anyone interested in Business as Mission or Business as Ministry. This conference will explore the marketplace missions movement, consider models for business as missions, examine principals of great commission companies, and relay practical applications where God is clearly at work through businesses and business people across the globe. Leading authors and missiologists will be the featured speakers at this event. The second conference in 2005 will be hosted at Mariners Church in Irvine, CA on Saturday, 10/22/2005. Learn more at http://www.WorldChristiansThroughBusiness.org
5. BILINGUAL MISSIONS AND MINISTRY DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL — The German youth ministry StEP International has a few more openings for their ten-month residential training school in Pirmasens, Germany starting November 5th. The school will be bilingual, in both German and English languages. Blending both local church and missions focuses, the school will include ministry training, life skills training – including English and German language, and introductory missions training. Three months of outreach is planned, including Poland, Germany, and seven weeks in Suriname. For more info, visit the website at: http://www.step-international.de/ or email Joe & Shelli Sellars at office(at)step-international(dot)de. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
6. GET YOUR HOPE TAJIKISTAN PRAYER GUIDES TODAY!! — Looking for more prayer resources for your church or small group? Desiring to reach the world through prayer? Passionate about what is happening among the unreached of Central Asia? Then join the growing number of grassroots prayer warriors who are currently interceding for the people of Tajikistan. Printed and electronic prayer guides are available on the Hope Tajikistan website: http://www.hopetajikistan.com or by emailing PrayerGuides(at)HopeTajikistan(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

Hope Tajikistan 2005 is a grassroots prayer mobilization effort burning with the passion to see new intercessors raised up for the people of Tajikistan.
7. REACH MORMONS IN UTAH! — You are invited to be trained by a loving staff at Utah Partnerships for Christ http://www.upfc.org to reach Mormons with the love of Jesus Christ. There are 60,000 Mormon missionaries around the world. Are you ready to reach them when they come to your door? Contact Russ, Director of UPFC, at (801)645-7433 to learn more about how you can speak the truth in love to Mormons. They have =conducted mission trips to Utah since 2000, and have worked with groups ages 13 on up. For more info, contact them at: info(at)upfc(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
8. GREAT COMMISSION COMPANY OPPORTUNITIES IN BEIJING – A well established Great Commission Company in China, is currently seeking a Finance Manager and a Human Resources Manager (could the same person). The goal of this GC company is to establish one new GC company in China per year, seeing people’s lives changed long term. They do a combination of consulting work for companies coming to China and management of their own manufacturing companies in China (currently have four manufacturing operations and two other types of GC companies). This company has 15 years of experience in China and has started or helped start over 20 companies during this time. This is a great place to gain insight and contribute towards BAM in China.
9. For more information, write graeme(at)priusa(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] THESE CONTRIBUTORS PAVED THE WAY… — Thanks to these courageous donors who paved the way for this Brigada Today to come onto your screen: an anonymous worker in Taiwan gave $67, another reader anonymously gave $25, and a former missionary to Papua New Guinea anonymously gave $100. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! To chip in or make a substantial donation, 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. If you *do* know of someone who might help with these expenses, please feel free to relay this update to them. And thanks for any support you can give.
10. THE BACK PAGE: GLAD TO SEE LAUSANNE STILL TICKING — As a global missions movement, we need Lausanne to be strong. If you’ve forgotten who Lausanne is, get reminded at: http://community.gospelcom.net/Brix?pageID=12892 Read the now-famous Lausanne Covenant at: http://community.gospelcom.net/Brix?pageID=12891 and see a review of their global gatherings at: http://community.gospelcom.net/Brix?pageID=12736 Anyway, I’m glad to see them “still ticking”. Check out their new “world pulse” newsletter at: http://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/ I say, bravo to those who have survived the hype of the turn of the millennium, stayed consistent in the trenches, and remained motivated to move forward. Bravo. Keep up the good work.

20030928 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  14. SPECIAL REPORT ON PHONE & VIDEO CONFERENCING Special web-only feature!

  1. SPONSORS MAKE A DIFFERENCE! — Can you believe it? Caught up … after *months* of trailing badly behind! Thanks to the wonderful sponsors who have not only provided funds to hire a Brigada Secretary, but have also provided a strong intangible incentive: “These folks *care*!” We appreciate the anonymous sponsor who sent $30, saying, “Thank you for your good work!”, as well as the other very encouraging partners who wrote, “Hi Doug. I’ve been enjoying the Brigada updates for several years now. It’s great help in keeping up with missions events and topics. I’m now serving with a church planting team in Spain and it’s even more important to stay connected. You are doing a great job and I am happy to be able to contribute to your Secretary Fund!” (Enclosed: Check for $100) Honestly, we dedicate this issue of Brigada Today to those two sponsors because in a very real sense, they are the reason we’re caught up today!
  2. For more information on sponsors, click here.

  3. SAVE ON YOUR PHONE RATES / HELP BRIGADA — Save on overseas phone calls and help support Brigada – go to http://www.brigada.org/phone.html for more information.

  4. THE LOCAL CHURCH: A VITAL ROLE TO PLAY — Member Care Southern Africa has recently published a 127-page book, entitled “Member Care for Missionaries – A Practical Guide for Senders,” written by Marina Prins and Braam Willemse. The book serves as a practical resource to equip senders in the comprehensive care of their missionaries. Subjects such as the Biblical basis for member care, what the missionary experiences on the field, the support team within the local church, and re-entry care are some of the topics covered in the book’s three sections. A short chapter on attrition is also included. The book is based on thorough research, practical experience from the presentation of workshops in local churches, as well as the practical field experience of both authors who served as missionaries in Malawi. The book is available in both English and Afrikaans and comes with strong endorsements from Marjory Foyle and Kelly O’Donnell. The price is US$12.00 per copy (excluding postage). For further detail contact Member Care Southern Africa at mcsaatxsinetdotcodotza . To order a copy, go to their web site at http://home.wol.co.za/~20141204

  5. HURRY! 2 ONLINE COURSES FREE / FREE “E-BIBLES” — Study the “School of Mission” and the “Practical Ministries” courses while online (connected to our servers), or download them and study offline, then dial-up to your Internet service provider (ISP) to connect with your whole class, your discussion group, your instructor or the registrar by email. The 13-week introductory semester has already begun, and ends December 24. To try out the courses, just login as “guest” and password is “password” at these links: http://www.agape-biblia.org/index02.htm – School of Mission http://www.agape-biblia.org/index04.htm – Practical Ministries Then click on “Introduction” on the left side, and you’ll see how to enroll. After taking the 3-month introductory semester, you can continue studying with “Agape-Biblia” four more semesters for a certificate, or open your own online “School of Mission” and “Practical Ministries” website with the free software. (The same courses are also available in Russian.) Also available are FREE electronic Bibles in Russian (3Mb with notes and commentary), Hebrew-Greek, English, Spanish, German and French (1.5Mb each) with more to come! Each Bible works independently, or links to any of the other Bibles to compare chapters. For the above courses you will need the English Bible: http://www.agape-biblia.org/Biblia02.htm

  6. MISSION TEAM SEEKS SCHOOL TEACHERS — A mission team serving among the Watchi people in southeastern Togo, West Africa is seeking one or two school teachers to work with the team’s eight elementary age children. The team provides a three-room school, with American home school curriculum and computers, a furnished house, a vehicle, and partial salary. A teacher is needed beginning in January 2004. Commitments should be for one or more school semesters. An education degree and knowledge of French are helpful, but not essential. Learn more about the team and the position at http://www.watchiharvest.com Email the school principal at togodudeatyahoodotcom

  7. YOUNG PEOPLE IDENTIFY OBSTACLES TO MISSIONS — Here’s a new book release, “Scaling the Wall”, by Kathy Hicks of OM USA. At the Urbana 2001 Missions conference hundreds of college students were posed the question, “What is keeping more people from becoming involved in the great commission?” Their fears were written on a large wall and later collected, compiled and categorized. Fears such as loss of friends, loss of money, disapproval of parents, inadequate experience surfaced as common obstacles to be overcome. In this brand-new book, missionaries, from many organizations and from around the world who have experienced these same fears, share their personal stories of how God overcame and met their needs in ways they could have never expected. The distributor, Gabriel Resources, offers discounts on books to individuals, missionaries, mission organizations and churches. Email orderatomlitdotomdotorg or call 1-8MORE-BOOKS (1-866-732-6657) toll-free in the USA & Canada or 706-554-1594.

  8. CHURCH MOBILIZATION TOOL – DualReach has developed the Design Your Impact Workshop — a five-hour seminar that enables church leaders to discover their congregation’s key characteristics and resources (their DNA) and identify a strategic missions focus that can unleash powerful, new global dynamic from their church. Workshops are led by trained individuals with extensive teaching resources. They include 7 video clips of model churches, 2 animation clips, PowerPoint, Facilitator’s Manual and Participant’s Notebook. Upcoming training dates: Oct. 15/San Juan Capistrano, CA (south of LA); Dec. 2/Orlando, FL; Jan. 14/San Juan Capistrano, CA; and Jan. 29/Vancouver, BC. Details at: http://www.dualreach.org/resources/ or email infoatdualreachdotorg

  9. THE WORLD OF STREET CHILDREN & HOW TO RESPOND — Here’s another new release entitled, “Street Children,” by Andy Butcher. In it, he documents an estimated 100 million Children spend their days on City Streets around the world, 10 million of these are totally on their own, uncared for and unprotected. He cites 4611 children and adolescents that were executed in Brazil between 1988 and 1990. These frightening statistics are just a snapshot of the plight of street children in the world today. The result of extensive research, this book combines hard statistics with individual stories to challenge our indifference and awaken our conscience. Andy Butcher’s newly updated book compares the situation facing Street Children today with that epitomized in the Dickens novel Oliver Twist. Frighteningly, he concludes that if we look at a global perspective, little progress has been made. Gabriel Resources offers discounts on books to individuals, missionaries, mission organizations and churches. Email orderatomlitdotomdotorg or call 1- 8MORE-BOOKS (1-866-732-6657) toll-free in the USA & Canada or 706-554- 1594.

  10. A FINISHERS FORUM — Catch this event slated for Charlotte, NC October 24-25, focused on those willing to serve the Lord in the missions enterprise, home or abroad, short-term or as a second career. This is a powerful time to consider how to spend the rest of your life. It for those post-college through post-career. For details and registration see http://www.finishers.org/events/

  11. HOSPITALITY FOR THOSE WHO SERVE — ServantCARE http://www.servantcare.com is a ministry that cares for those who serve, and they’ve been establishing “Hospitality Homes” around the world for those who serve while they travel, whether for ministry, or on furlough. To date they have “Hospitality Homes” in 16 states and 11 countries, but need more, especially in the United States. The goal is to have five locations in the N., S., E., W., and Central part of each state. They would like more volunteers to serve as a B & B, or to do exchanges. Please let Christian friends know of this opportunity to serve. For information contact Anita at apatservantcaredotcom . They also have a home in S.E. Alabama that serves as a retreat center for individuals or couples in need of rest and refreshing.

  12. FINISHERS PROJECT — “Finishers” has added an interesting new feature to its website. Each partner mission agency is able to post five of its top needs so you can easily find a specific compelling assignment that fits you. About half of the top needs are in North America. Each entry contains facts and a summary description. There are several ways to sort the list. See http://www.finishers.org/start/topneeds.php

  13. TESOL SCHOOL: PREPARE TO TEACH ENGLISH — Teaching English opens many doors to ministry throughout the world, but it takes some training to teach English well. Youth With A Mission in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA has scheduled the next TESOL school for January 18 to February 13, 2004. For information, see the website: http://www.ywampa.org, or e-mail to ywampaatcomcastdotnet .

  14. ESL-JOBS.COM — This is a new website to mobilize Christians to take real jobs teaching English as a second language in Asia. These are now being filled by secularists and Mormons. These are first of all ministry positions, but they also offer income. Finishers Project partner organizations are placing applicants with real employers. There are many partial support and missionary assignments as well. Successful applicants must speak English as a first language and have a college degree. Help mobilize our own to represent Jesus in these spiritually needy countries. Visit http://www.esl-jobs.com and commend it to your friends, especially those in their 20s and empty-nesters.

  15. SPECIAL REPORT ON PHONE & VIDEO CONFERENCING — Here’s the special report on phone and video conferencing from Andrew Steele, a Senior Assoc. with International Christian Media Commission in the UK. Thanks Andrew!
  16. First of all for video conferences (and quite often audio only links) everyone involved needs a broadband connection. Although most services claim to work on 56k dial-up modems our experience was distorted sound and vision unless a broadband link was present. Sometimes audio worked OK but video without broadband was never successful.

    The most effective package that we discovered in our searches is iVisit. This comes in a free version and a slightly more functioned subscription based version. Both provide audio and video streams plus the usual text chat service. The subscription version (US$25 per year) adds the option to create private meeting rooms). iVisit connections seem to work well until organisational firewalls come into effect. Theoretically they shouldn’t hamper the service but somehow we kept running into issues when firewalls were in the loop. http://www.ivisit.info

    University College London provides a set of conferencing tools that are full of promise but need some technical assistance to set up. So, we haven’t been able to test the software yet. So if anyone wih the skills wants to volunteer to help us get the package up and running we’d be keen to speak. http://www-mice.cs.ucl.ac.uk/multimedia/software/

    MSN Messenger and Microsoft’s NetMeeting software are both useful tools provided you only want to conduct a two way conversation with video and audio. In fact for two way work our experience was that these packages were more intuitive to use than other packages. http://messenger.msn.com

    For lectures and presentations we found a combination of either Real Server or Windows Media Server for the presentation and a simple text chat using MSN Messenger (or one of the other messenger programs) worked well. Real Server (now called Helix Server) and Windows Media Server require an arrangement with an ISP willing to host the server software but both come in a free version that served our needs adequately for small groups. http://www.realnetworks.com/products/server/

    We also found a few commercial providers whose rates were prohibitive for regular use.

    We are still convinced that we can find a combination of tools that will do what we need but are resigned to the fact that, so far at least, those part of the world without broadband Internet will be limited in their ability to link up. That means we’re sticking with our tried and trusted methods of connection so that all our contacts can participate regardless of where they are and only use the ip based technologies when we are sure that everyone can link up.

    Andrew Steele

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