News and Notes about Brigada, Your Gateway to Missions Networking!
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Writing today from Paris, France; As of last week, there were 4329 Participants! [Lord willing, next week Brigada Today will return to its more regular format – if there is one. :-) It has been over a week since we’ve wanted to have access to “mission mail.” (We didn’t want to beam your messages into the 10/40 Window land where we were traveling!)]

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In this issue….

* COOPERATION IS ALIVE AND WELL!!!
* HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT AMONG THE…??!!!
* GATEWAY PEOPLE CLUSTER CONSULTATION, FOR YOUR CALENDAR!!!
* “THE POLICEMEN WON’T LET US GO HOME”

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COOPERATION IS ALIVE AND WELL!!!
I’ve just come out of a 10/40 Window nation having completed (with the help of a team of four of us in all) a pre-search/setup trip for a new project among a Muslim people group. It was great to see new opportunities and super to experience the love of new Muslim friends in a smaller city where there are no expatriate testimonies of the Messiah . . . but perhaps the most exciting thing for me was the spirit of cooperation we enjoyed from other witnesses already on-site in nearby (like 6 and 7 hours away) cities. There was a tremendous commitment to help us get started! And on our way back through Europe, thanks to a new friend in Paris (who hosted our visit and arranged appointments with those who work with immigrants from this nation – Thanks Freddie!!!!), we experienced again the mighty power of shared vision and the uniting spirit of prayer. Folks, God is on the move in our midst and he’s doing it through:

1. Prayer (E.g., “Praying through the Window” campaigns, prayer journeys, and the prayers of saints who have been lifting up these needs for many years previous!!!, etc.)
2. Shared Vision (E.g., AD2000 & Beyond’s JP2000 list of least reached people, the Gateway People Cluster Consultation mentioned below, Gateway People Cluster Advocates, etc.)
3. Renewal and revival (probably as a result of step “1” above! :-))

The Internet doesn’t hurt a bit either! One worker from Brussels took the train all the way from Belgium just to meet with us here in Paris – due to his concern and commitment to the people group we’re researching . . . and, according to him, because he’s fascinated by the prospects of more networking through Brigada! Yahooo!!! Y We put him on the marketing staff right away!!! :-) The brainstorming session we’ve just had at the dining room table included everything from opening up Internet hubs in the 10/40 Window to new tourism industry!!! Tentmaking prospects are unending. And God will use them . . . as he answers all our prayers together.

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HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT AMONG THE…??!!!
In a nation near the one we were researching, we heard amazing reports (verified from 3 different sources) of literally thousands of conversions in what appears to be nothing short of a “people movement” in North Africa among a Muslim people group that we probably should best leave unspecified. But the prospects are amazing. And the greatest part is that God’s doing it all through networking . . . and nationals already on the ground. Keep your ear close to the ground as we try to gain permission to publicize a portion of this success story. Prior to that, however, let us check for the advisability of the release of that information. We just want to make sure that no one suffers as a result of our attempt to rejoice and give hope to others working among Muslims. Keep listening! Meanwhile, we’re going to try to recruit several of these new converts to join in an international team to kick off work in the new land we’re praying for!

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GATEWAY PEOPLE CLUSTER CONSULTATION, FOR YOUR CALENDAR!!!
The AD2000 and Beyond Movement is planning a consultation focusing on developing key contact for clusters of people groups. The consultation will be held April 17-19, 1997 in Pasadena, CA. Ministry leaders, strategists, and unreached people advocates are encouraged to attend.

Approximately 140 clusters have been identified, into which the majority of the 1739 peoples on the Joshua Project 2000 list fit. (Examples include the Kashmiri, Sundanese, Kazaks, Fulani, Chinese minorities, Levant Arab, S. American Indigenous, and many others.) Key contacts for these clusters could facilitate communication and help churches, agencies and individuals work together more effectively to reach these peoples. The over all goal of this consultation is to bring reater definition and focus to the concept of Gateway People Clusters and identify the key contacts who might help others take advantage of opportunities and avoid ministry pitfalls as they work in the 10/40 Window.

Organizers are praying that by the close of the meeting, individuals and teams will be identified as key contacts for dozens of the Gateway People Clusters and a plan will be in place to identify other key contacts as they develop. One of the key issues is contact between field-focused partnerships and resource-based advocacy.

History:
In December 1994, Phill Butler, Patrick Johnstone and John Robb met with Luis Bush to explore the idea of consultations for the Gateway People Clusters. Since this meeting the concept and visibility of the Gateway Peoples has continued to develop. At the launch of Joshua Project 2000 in December 1995, a committee was established to identify people who serve or could serve as consultants for the Gateway Peoples (key contacts).

On October 24, 1996, 28 people representing adopt-a-people programs and agencies met. Among other things, this group agreed to convene a consultation on the Gateway People Clusters of the Joshua Project 2000 list.

Now is the time, before GCOWE ’97, to study the Gateway People Cluster concept. There is a felt need to bring better definition and focus to this concept. Understandable terminology and framework are needed.

Task Force:
A planning task force for the consultation is being pulled together. So far, this task force includes:
Phill Butler / Mats Tunehag (Interdev),
John Robb (MARC),
Patrick Johnstone (WEC),
Ralph Winter (WCIU),
Eric Watt (CBN WorldReach),
Luis Bush (AD2000 and Beyond),
Doug Lucas (Team Expansion/Brigada),
Mike Stroope (Cooperative Services Intl.),
and others.

Gregory Fritz (Caleb Project) has been appointed chairman of the planning task force and to oversee the consultation.

To offer input or get more information contact Gregory Fritz or John Hanna, Caleb Project, 10 West Dry Creek Circle, Littleton, CO 80120-4413; 303-730-4170; jhanna@xc.org.

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“THE POLICEMEN WON’T LET US GO HOME”
[The following is a letter I wrote this past week to my children and wife after visiting with a family which had previously worked in a North African land with a primary goal of telling about the Messiah – a missionary, of sorts, though such work isn’t really officially permitted in North Africa. We asked permission to make this article available to others in a more ‘published’ form and the family was willing to grant it, under the condition that his name be removed and his current address be left secret. So – republish this as you desire, but out of courtesy, please do so with sensitivity. And most of all, pray that the family described below will be allowed back into the country the family has come to love – or that many others will be raised up to take their place there!
For the glory and growth of the Kingdom,
Doug Lucas]

“THE POLICEMEN WON’T LET US GO HOME”
Jan. 7, 1996

Dear Penny, Christopher, and Caleb,

Tonight we enjoyed a wonderful meal with a family that has just months ago been denied access back into ?????? [a Muslim land in North Africa]. They had labored there for years… learning the language, trying to establish a business that would allow them continued residence, and trying to share a simple life that honored the Messiah, the Christ. But this man (we’ll call him John but that’s not his real name) left his home one day, a few months back, just to take a friend’s wife to the airport in a neighboring land. When he drove back to the border, he was delayed… and delayed… and delayed… until finally the border guards told him he was not going to be permitted to reenter! He was floored. His wife and children were in there, . . . his business, his life was there. The last few years of work were there. But that didn’t matter. He wasn’t allowed to go back to his family.

When he called his family, later that evening, they were struck with grief. What did all this mean? Why would this happen? What had he done wrong? When “John” asked his wife what she wanted to do, her brave reply was that she felt she simply must allow the kids to finish their last 10 days of school. Separated, spending the night apart as a result of a force they could not change, they stayed that evening on opposite sides of a border they could not cross.

Days passed… letters to congressmen followed from all over the world… ambassadors made calls… but to no avail. The government wasn’t about to change its mind. Some two weeks later, the government allowed him to go get his family, and some time after that, they let him go back to his house to pack everything up and close out his affairs. His life there ended.

Tonight, his 6-year-old daughter – we’ll call her Mary (but that’s not her real name) – asked me if I’d like to leave the table to play Stratego with her in the next room. I said I’d love to. As we were setting up all those little red and blue figures, I asked her quietly, “So… do you miss your house in ?????? [the Muslim land]?” She looked up from the board like a young woman… and her eyes instantly welled up in tears. She paused, put down another figure, then looked me straight in the eye and said, “The policemen won’t let us go home.” Then she came over and hugged my neck. I asked her, “Which house do you like more – the one there or the one here?” Without hesitation, she said, “The one there. It’s home.” (At that point her four-year-old brother added, “I like the one here ’cause it’s got two bathrooms.” :-) ) After I gave her brother an understanding smile, I turned back to “Mary” and said, “Well, what do you suppose we ought to do about that?” She replied, after thinking for a moment, “Well maybe God will change the policemen’s minds.” I said that was totally possible and I suggested we pray. She agreed, so right there beside all those generals and the two flags on the Stratego board, we bowed our heads, folded our hands, and began to pray.

“Father, Mary is very sad because she’s been asked to leave the only home she’s ever known… and the one she loved… and the people she loved. And now she misses that home… and she and her Daddy and her whole family are wondering whoever will live a life for the Messiah in that land now. Now there’s no one there to tell them that Jesus is Lord. Please Lord… please let them back in… and if you choose not to make the policemen do that… please heal Mary’s heart and the hearts of her whole family . .. so they won’t ache for their friends or their house or their town back in the town where she grew up. We pray all this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

I raised my head and Mary raised hers and she looked at me and said, “I probably won’t pray because I get all shy when I pray out loud sometimes, especially if I’m crying.” “That’s okay, Mary,” I quickly answered. “Jesus understands. You don’t have to pray out loud.”

Then my eyes started fogging up with tears. I looked over at her brother and he was just as wide-eyed as could be. Then I looked back at Mary and now tears were running down my cheeks and she said, “It made you cry too.” I choked out, “Yes Mary – it made me cry too. And, here’s what I’m going to promise you. I’m going to do everything I can . . . and I’m going to pray really really hard . . . that God raises up a new family to go back into the town where you grew up to live there to tell people that Jesus is Lord, so they can learn that He’s the Messiah.”

And as I wiped the tears from my cheeks, and tried to clear my throat, she looked at me again, and do you know what she said? She looked back and said, “Do you know what else? We had two turtles there.” I laughed and, as she began telling me about their two pet turtles, I remembered she was just 6 and then realized what a young woman she was. I thought of all the 6-year-olds back home who think about all kinds of things . . . television, playing, school, and everything else… but few of them would shed tears about the fact that their family had just been asked to leave their home in a Muslim land, most probably because their Daddy had been too busy telling people about Jesus. Then, probably about the time she got to the part about the little local boy who was willing to keep one of their turtles for them, I pulled her brother close, and reached over and pulled her close, and gave them both a big hug.

How I long for the ?????? [Muslim people group] of ?????? [country in N. Africa] to learn about the Christ, the Messiah. And how I yearn for workers to come here and pick up the baton, . . . to create businesses and agencies and jobs that would permit them to stay in the country for years to come . . . and maybe even to visit Mary’s turtle someday! … and all her other friends. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we cross that border and we’ll see Mary’s town and a whole lot of others . . . and all the while, I’ll be praying, . . . “Lord, please raise up another John . . .and another Mary’s Mother, and another Mary and her brother.
Please Lord. Amen.”

Love,

Dad

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BRIGADA TODAY IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FOLLOWING TEAM OF REGULAR VOLUNTEERS:

*Global Glimpses: John Hanna, Caleb Project, jhanna@cproject.com
*ADVANCE: Mark A. Kelley, Kainos Press, 70420.1057@compuserve.com
*Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew, Brigada Volunteer, mayhew@xc.org
*Technical Development: Jonathan Marsden, MAFxc jonathan@xc.org
*Brigada Customer Service Manager: Revis Ann Massey, RevisAnnMassey@xc.org
*Brigada Coordinator: Doug Lucas, Team Expansion & Brigada, DLucas@TeamExpansion.org
*and many other occasional contributors too numerous to mention!
But thanks for working together! That’s the dream of Brigada!

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