Each year, Brigada tries to raise a small budget (less than the cost of a starting pre-school teacher) to help with server costs, projects among unreached peoples, spreading the word about Brigada, and helping with the cost of our one part-time salaried assistant. We only ask for help during the last 8 weeks of the year. Fortunately, friends like you have already given $12,757.11. What does this mean? It means we only need $4362.89 to reach our current year’s budget. This could happen several different ways. If 44 people stepped up to the plate and sent a $100 gift, we’d be completely funded. Or, one motivated believer in world evangelism could give a $4400 gift, underwriting the cost of many of our readers in Global South lands where money is in short supply. It’s your call. Either way, this is the last week for giving to count toward the 2013 expense budget. We need your help. Would you consider asking your family or church to make a generous gift this weekend? If so, we’d be very grateful. Just click “Donate” in the upper right corner, or, mail a check made payable to Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Drive, Louisville, KY 40299. Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so, for USA citizens, your gift to Christ through Team Expansion is tax-deductible. We’ll quickly send a thank-you note and receipt. We won’t add you to any mailing list unless you request it. Thanks for your prayers, your partnership, and your participation in the Brigada family!
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Copyright — This issue of _Brigada Today_ is Copyrighted 2014. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials, including those available on the Brigada website, provided that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Jesus Christ to reach the unreached.* To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted.
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In this edition:
1) Online Intensive Introduction to Missions Course
2) What are Cool Tools for Travelers?
3) The Right Bible
4) The Right “Grass-catcher” app
5) The Right Camera for Travel
6) The Right Photographer’s Vest
7) Carry an 8′ Brown Extension Cord
8) Back up Your Work
9) Make that phone a world phone
10) Secure Your Email
11) Satphones: Love ’em or Leave ’em?
12) Sat-enabled Beacons Rule
13) We’re Grateful!!
14) The BackPage: “Why Do you Raise Funds?”
15) Closing Stuff
Kingdom Expansion 101 is a convenient and inexpensive six-session user-friendly online course about world evangelization. This fresh and comprehensive class provides an overview of global outreach and how churches and individuals are involved in the Great Commission. Missions team members, short-termers and church leaders have commented on the quality of the variety of articles, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and interaction among the participants. The next class is a one-week intensive course which runs from January 20-26. For more information see
and feel free to write to
with specific questions. Several agencies offer the course to their constituents. To learn how your mission organization can do this, write to the email address noted above.
Over the years, certain Brigada “travel-related” items seemed to generate a lot of feedback. Sometimes, the feedback even bordered on excitement. So, over time, we have watched feedback on those items and collected them into a kind of “all-star” cast of items. Today’s edition features an update on some of those all-star “Cool Tools for Christian Travelers and Those who Serve Them.”
If we line up a dozen smartphone and tablet users, asking them for their favorite Bible app, my guess is we’d get a dozen different answers. By now, maybe every smartphone user has downloaded at least one Bible app, even if he or she still carries a printed Bible for backup. Truth is, when I travel, I still carry one myself — the thinnest Bible I can find that has print that is easily readable for my own eyes, while teaching in a dark environment. Still, my slightly-stepped-up-font Old and New Testament is no more than 1 inch thick. What if the power goes out for an entire day and I exhaust the batteries on both my laptop and phone? But beyond that, I’m convinced that in some contexts, it still just looks too… WEIRD to teach using a phone or laptop Bible.
But what about the other times, when you CAN read the Bible on your phone or tablet? Which Bible program do you like most as your iPhone, iPad or Android device? I’m biased toward Bibles that act as “apps” rather than just portals to a web page (to make sure I can see them when my phone is offline). Therefore, I’m not as big a fan of “YouVersion” or whatever it’s called. I’ve tried Zondervan’s “Bible Gateway.” For some reason, that hasn’t become my favorite. I’ve been a long-time big fan of Olive Tree Bible. Lately, I’ve also tried the Faithlife study Bible, the Logos Bible, and e-Sword LT. What’s your own favorite?
If you’re looking for an app for your PC, many point directly to Logos Bible at…
What’s your own favorite?
This one continues to be easy. I have yet to meet anyone who, upon having given Evernote a fair try, isn’t impressed. It’s fast, it’s synchronized (with every device you own), the notes are always available off-line, and it’s full-featured. Basically, think of it as a funnel into which you can throw all your ideas, goals, things to remember, notes, and everything else. On the other side, you can retrieve everything. It has been said that the spreadsheet application virtually CREATED the market single-handedly for the personal computer. Why? Because paper spreadsheets were made SO obsolete by computerized versions.
To me, Evernote is another one of those apps.
Having said that, when you’re on an international trip, I still suggest we carry a thin notebook & a pen, and write everything down. We all need to get in the habit of making diligent and accurate notes. The notebook has to be thin enough to stick in your shirt pocket or hip pocket, so you always have it with you. Do a section for finances. Write down every expense, make note of every currency exchange, including the commission and the exchange rate. Do another section for language learning. Jot down words you want to learn to say, words you can’t quite understand, whole text phrases you want to memorize, etc. Depending on the stage of your work, you might want other sections for interviews & cultural lessons, another for prayer requests & praises & devotional thoughts, another section for contacts & addresses & people with whom you’d like to follow up. Most of all, write down the ideas you want to share with folks back home. I know we can take notes on our digital devices, but sometimes, paper still wins.
I was hauled into the back of a swat truck once in Uruguay because, unbeknownst to me, policemen were making a drug bust in the market I was photographing. I think they concluded I was working for some magazine or something because the camera I was using had one of those long telephoto lenses on the front. It was too high profile. My suggestion is – carry a camera that’s comfortable and practical for you, but beware of equipment that raises your profile unnecessarily. Last year, after carrying the Canon “G-series” for a decade, I switched to Nikon. The Nikon P-7700 was the sweet spot for me. High-def 1080 video WITH a mic jack into which we can plug a wired or a remote lavaliere mic (essential to bump up the audio quality for videos). It’s one of those unique cameras that has essentially all the settings of a digital SLR, without the look of one. In fact, it carries reasonably well in my jacket or vest pocket, completely out of sight. But the secret is to find something that works well for YOU. Pick up a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. I still carry an external flash too (with the Nikon, I’ve gone to one of the Speedlite series) when I need to light up the entire room. I suggest you get one with a head that you can pivot upwards to “bounce” the flash off the ceiling so it illuminates generally, instead of only from a flat front view. The Nikon Speedlite series meters through the lense of the camera with a small test flash first, allowing for a perfect exposure every time. Outstanding units.
I admit: I was always just a tad embarrassed to wear a photographer’s vest, even though it was extremely handy, just because it made me look like a gadget freak. With the development of the new slender profile “ScotteVest,” however, most of that image problem has gone away.
The ScotteVest’s pockets are all but invisible — and tech-enabled. It was recommended to me by a great friend and, I’ll have to admit, he was spot-on. They become a walking, incognito extra carry-on. My camera fits in one pocket, my flash or water bottle in another, and I still have PLENTY of space for a lightweight mini-tripod, a small flashlight, hand sanitizer, passport (in a protected, waterproof pocket), hand sanitizer, and virtually everything else you wish you had on the trail or village visit. I suggest you stick to khaki. The black vests seem a bit too paramilitary-looking.
File the widened ‘polarization tip’ off the one prong of the plug so it’ll plug into the 220 V. British (round prong) tip adaptor. Use the brown extension cord not only to bring the electric closer to you (in rooms that only have 1 plug for the whole room), but also to multiply the plug so you can charge your a) laptop, b) smartphone or iPad, c) digital camera battery all from the same cord. Many rooms will have only one plug. You won’t want to have to decide which unit to charge. If you’re lucky enough to be able to charge all your devices through USB ports (reducing the number of AC outlets you need), you’ll still be glad you have it for the times there are multiple group members who need power. USB-type charging is a great feature, whenever you can use it. Just get all this stuff sorted out BEFORE you depart so you can utilize your trip-time for people instead of devices.