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News and Notes about Brigada, Your Gateway to Missions Networking!
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Brigada Today is “the missionary helper newsletter!”
Compiled by Doug Lucas DLucas@teamexpansion.org>, Louisville, KY
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In this issue….

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NEW SPONSOR LIKE COLD WATER TO A THIRSTY SOUL!

… literally! TealBrook is an organization that specializes in marketing safe water supplies, first aid kits, and a wealth of other camping and survival equipment to missionaries and church groups traveling abroad. Think of them as the “REI-like supplier for the world of missions!” So — next time you have to order a Therm-a-rest air mattress, and you’re tempted to call your local outfitter, why not give a call to TealBrook. They’ll probably get you as good or better price than you’d get with CampMore or REI AND you’ll be helping out an organization that tries to put its money where its heart is — world evangelism! After all, if you’ve got to buy the SweetWater Guardian Plus water filter from someone, you’re going to pay around $70 or so wherever you go anyway… so why not pay that $70 to Mike & Deb at TealBrook and then let them tithe the income to missionaries and efforts [like Brigada! :-) ] rather than just see some store-owner buy another Mercedes at your local sporting goods store. PLUS — Mike & Deb know their products… so whether it’s Buck Knives or BuckTools, Platypus water bottles or PackTowls, or even first aid kits for your family . . . please give ’em a call, fax or email! Their gift came totally voluntarily . . . with no strings attached.. and no ad copy enclosed!!! Yahooo! Yahoo :-) If you have a moment… would you just drop them a quick thank-you note… to tealbrook@aol.com. and let them know you appreciate them! Because of gifts from folks like Mike & Deb, Brigada remains a free service!

They join other ’98 sponsors of Brigada expenses … (5 so far! A new record!!! — and we’re not even halfway through the year!!!)

  • Parkland Christian Church, 12305 Spanaway Loop Road, Tacoma, WA 98444, tel. 253-531-0757
  • CrossLink Communications, 9216 Independence Loop, Austin, Texas 78748, USA; tel. 512-292-3308, FAX 512-282-5877
  • Central Pres., 7308 York Rd., Baltimore, MD 21204, http://www.centralpc.org
  • TealBrook (Safe Water etc.), 1-800-222-6614, fax 612-480-8786 , http://www.sim.org/biz/tealbrook
  • Individual sponsor — a staffer at Caleb Project gave $50 just this past week! Thanks much! Maybe that’s our first individual sponsor????

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THE LOST ISSUES of BRIGADA TODAY

Sounds like the makings of an Indiana Jones flick, eh??? :-) Truth is, it’s almost as intriguing. The earliest issue we have on file at our web site is Feb. 18th. . . but already by that time, we were well over a month into testing with a whoppin’ 38 subscribers… so somewhere out there, there might be another 3 or 4 issues floating around. Is there anyone on the planet who can help us recover them? No rolling boulders, no tribal masks or dark dungeons… just 3 or 4 issues of Brigada history. Who can solve the mystery? :-)
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GLOBAL GLIMPSE IN ASIA

world globe The first Joshua Project 2000 Conference in the Philippines drew an impressive response and attendance last Jan. 21-24 with 120 missions executives and 300 delegates from 118 churches attending. Focused on partnering churches to adopt tribal groups and to plant churches among them, 25 people groups and 9 countries in Asia were adopted and seventeen partnerships and focus groups were formed. Resources were pledged, training scheduled and mission trips planned.
(Source: Chito Navarro, January 1998, Manila, Philippines, AD2000 & beyond.)
Global Glimpse is compiled each week by John Hanna, Caleb Project, Littleton, CO.
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GET THE POINT-TO-POINT PROTOCOL

lighting the way Last week’s item “GOT A SERVER RUNNING POINT TO POINT TUNNELLING PROTOCOL” generated a flurry of responses. We’re still digesting them all. But suffice it to say that within the next 30 days, it looks like a server will open up to any and all missions users that will allow us to utilize this new “point-to-point” protocol for secure email. Translation? You’d be able to be VERY open and transparent in your email to sensitive locations . . . without having to learn complicated encryption technology. Why? Because the encryption will be “built in” to the connection you’d have to the email server. And the capability is already built into the operating system you’re using. So . . . stand by . . . it’s coming!
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WEB-WATCH

WebWatch “Mike” suggested we check out the Mission Station http://www.missionaries.org because of its wealth of options for missionaries and missions committees. I visited there and he’s RIGHT! There are tons of options for everyone from furloughing missionaries to missions mobilizers. Great stuff.
Thanks Mike!
(Sorry – no non-web equivalent.)
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MUSLIM/HINDU EVANGELISM TRAINING

Summer Training and Outreach Program (STOP) gives practical training in sharing your faith with Muslims or Hindus. Put on by Christar, this year it will be held June 27-July 27 in the multi-ethnic NY/NJ area. It includes classes during the day and outreach to Muslims or Hindus in the evening. Very practical. Taught by experienced overseas people. For more information, contact Christar at the following. Tel: 1 800-755-7955, fax: 610-375-6862, email: info@christar.org.
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GO ONLINE WITH PERSPECTIVES

Perspectives Online is now setup for open enrollment. Students may enroll at any time and will have up to one year to complete the course. Perspectives Online is designed for those who do not have access to the traditional course. Currently we have students from Indonesia, Australia, Canada, and the US participating. For more information see: http://www.icm-international.org/seminary/courses/perspectives/online.htm
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LANGUAGE SPECIALISTS UNITE!

The Third International Congress on Missionary Language Learning will be held at The Navigators Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs, CO USA, October 19-23, 1998. ICMLL’s major purpose is to provide practical help for language facilitators.

This Congress will put language teachers, language school administrators and language supervisors in touch with each other and with academicians, pre-field trainers, personnel directors and mission executives, all committed to enhancing the quality of missionary language learning and cultural integration. People from all over the world attended ICMLL1 and ICMLL2. Earl Stevick, extensive writer on language teaching and learning, will give the keynote address.

For the details, registration form, etc., contact http://www.mti.org or mintern@aol.com

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SPECIAL EDITORIAL: DOES IT EVER “JUST HAPPEN???”

Those who know me well (and many who know me only marginally) know that I have a love for God, family, friends, and soccer. :-) (In spite of what some might think, that’s really the order I try to keep them in!) I only hope and pray that somehow we’ll have all four in Heaven. :-) The first three have been around a while in my life, but the last love, soccer, is fairly new to me. Although I’m playing on a competitive team this year, I’m really just a beginner (I have a whole two years of playing experience in a poorly run recreational league previously). As you might have guessed, it’s not easy to find a competitive team for a 41-year-old. So I play in a league designed for age 20 and up. I’m very fortunate to practice alongside some very talented players. (Our coach took an under-23-year-old team to the national championships last year . . and won!) To land a spot on the team, I just explained how hard I was willing to work and how serious I was about learning. Lo and behold, the coach put me on the team! And when the center forward of our team suffered a broken leg earlier this season, all of a sudden, I found myself as a starter in his place… and this past Sunday, I played the entire game there! (We won 5-2, with only marginal help from me.)

soccer ball I have several heroes . . . and most are about half my age. :-) One young man from Ukraine is incredible. I mean… when he was born, his mother probably delivered a soccer ball first, and then Sergey. The ball was probably tied to his ankle and. . . I don’t think he’s ever untied it since! I love practice times even more than games because I get to watch him and really study him in action. He’s constantly moving… constantly sizing up the play and constantly vigilant about how he can contribute most. And even though he’s a star (and deep down inside, he has to know it!), he still pushes the ball my way PLENTY of times in any given night.

Last Tuesday evening, at one point during our scrimmage, I chipped the ball to him and, frankly, placed it rather poorly. The ball arrived at chest-height and his back was to the goal with defenders all around. Not a great situation. But for Sergey, it was all automatic. He cushioned the ball down to his feet and instantly faked then back-heeled it with such force that it swished right through the defenders legs. Sergey scored a goal without even looking at the net… without even having to turn around to glance into the eyes of his opponents. Incredible.

As he turned and ran up the field, I turned with him and asked, “How in the world ….?” With a shrug of his shoulders he responded, “It just happened.” I was quick to reply… “It DIDN’T just happen. It took 27 YEARS of daily practice to make it happen!” (He’s 28 years old.)

Ever since that moment, I’ve been reflecting about my fledgling soccer career. I coach an under-14 team (my older son’s) and assist coaching an under-10 team (my younger son’s). I play on a competitive team and sometimes play “pick-up” soccer in between. But maybe I’ll never “catch up” with Sergey. There are too many hours… too many YEARS of his life filled with touches on the ball. However, I’m not exactly envious. Instead, I’m filled with admiration and actually inspired to keep going. I figure I’ve got nowhere to go but up! :-) Who knows… give me another 25 years and maybe I’ll be ready to play! :-)

My REAL job is to lead a mission agency — about 120 missionaries in a couple of dozen countries. Where I sit, I get to read reports literally from all over the world. Now, after last Thursday’s practice, whenever I hear a success story about a villager who has walked in from 50 kilometers away just so he can study the Bible… then take it back to his village and repeat it to dozens of others… I’ll think twice about whether or not it “just happened.” Someone had to sweat bullets on Bible college mid-terms, then raise financial support, leave family and friends to go to the field, learn a foreign language, and most of all be determined enough to not quit when the going got tough. Someone had to pray, trust the Lord for supernatural intervention, and follow His guidance. After all that, if someone walks in and listens, should we be so surprised? Sergey might say, “It just happened…”, but truth be known, it didn’t JUST happen. Someone MADE it happen.

We live in a world of quick fixes — quick food, quick microwaves, quick computers, quick everything … just about. But in the midst of it all, some things aren’t so quick. You can’t learn to play Sergey’s kind of soccer without a few years of daily practice with someone who knows what he’s doing. And you can’t learn a language overnight, either.

I admire Sergey… but my heart is filled with just as much admiration for a guy I know who has invested the last 5 years learning Mandarin. He’ll probably never get a trophy (at least not here on earth), never be named an “MVP” in front of a crowd of 30,000 cheering spectators, and I can predict with a fair amount of certainty that he’ll never make the kinds of salaries that today’s pro athletes take home, either. (At least not as long as I serve as president of his mission agency! :-)) But can he ever speak Chinese. I mean… it rolls off his tongue. When he opens his mouth, everyone expects English to come out… but if there’s a Chinese person looking on, inevitably, their mouth drops open.. their eyes bug out… (I love seeing that reaction!). His Chinese didn’t “just happen.” He didn’t “just happen” to teach Greek to house church leaders last year. He didn’t “just happen” to train evangelists that ended up baptizing 18 people in just one recent month. It took YEARS… and it’ll take YEARS for many of us to learn language, learn effectiveness, learn the field.

So — should we give up? Not on your life. But we probably SHOULD start thinking about recruiting some additional players for the team. :-) If they have to wait for me to invest the next 25 years to reach Sergey’s level, well, . . . let’s just say I hope my bones will still hold me up on the field when I’m 66! :-)

God bless your day! Be careful out there… it’s a jungle!!!
Doug Lucas

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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
*Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew, WebServant@brigada.org
*Brigada Customer Service Manager: help@brigada.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!