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Brigada Today is “the missionary helper newsletter!”
Compiled by Doug Lucas DLucas@teamexpansion.org>, Louisville, KY
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- RASCAL POINTY BRACES
- “FRIENDS OF BOSNIA” TO GATHER IN WASHINGTON, DC
- CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH FREE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY
- *** SPECIAL “PRAYER FOCUS” SECTION ***
- A PRAYER INTERCESSOR FOR YOUR MISSION TEAM
- WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT PRAYER FOR CREATIVE-ACCESS COUNTRIES?
- TO SUBSCRIBE TO BRIGADA TODAY
RASCAL POINTY BRACES
“FRIENDS OF BOSNIA” TO GATHER IN WASHINGTON, DC
- serve as a launching pad for an informal international network of churches, agencies, and individuals who want to help make a lasting difference for hope and peace in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Kosovo as well,
- encourage churches toward a more active role in participating in Bosnia’s future (Goal: 30 “new churches” represented there, 5 new “adoptions”,
- Continue building more and more camaraderie between churches and mission agencies already in Bosnia, and to
- Lift up the needs of Bosnia to the Washington, DC, community to reduce the likelihood of forgetting about its future.
The event has already attracted many key leaders in current Bosnian humanitarian outreaches and church planting agencies. Among those scheduled to participate in the event in one way or another are John Rowell and Tom Conway (Sr. Minister and Missions Director, respectively, from Northside Community Church, Atlanta, GA, whose highly successful and well-publicized work in Mostar has served as a model for many entering Bosnia), Doug & Penny Lucas (Doug is President of Team Expansion and is serving as a consultant to 2 churches and a missions agency currently involved in launching new projects in Bosnia), George & Hannah Miley (George is Director of Antioch Network, which has featured Bosnia as a “showcase” field), Jim Rosania (a specialist in Bosnian refugee work in Phoenix, AZ), and many others.
Planners have launched an “online email conference” to facilitate pre-event communication. To join, just send a message to email@example.com. FoBiH stands for “Friends of Bosnia & Herzegovina Input Group.” To find out more or register for the Washington, DC, event, email DLucas@TeamExpansion.org. Earlybird registration is set for the incredible low price of $69 per person, which includes facilities charges, supper on April 9th and lunch on April 10th. (Any excess funds will be used to convene a similar event in the year 2000 in a site to be chosen at the April conference. Write for details on housing. Registration on or after January 1st is $99 per person.)
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH FREE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY
*** SPECIAL “PRAYER FOCUS” SECTION ***
PRAYER IS ON THE RISE!
A PRAYER INTERCESSOR FOR YOUR MISSION TEAM
“When we tell people we are trying to recruit an intercessor for the mission team, their eyebrows go up ever so slightly. You can see the questions move across their faces whether they are ever voiced or not. A few even say, “An intercessor? We have never heard of such a person or a work.” This is a true statement among mission works in the Churches of Christ. But this should be said to our shame, not our credit. I think it is time to write about an intercessor and how I see him (or her) working on the team.
I actually envision the intercessor being the busiest person on the team. In the beginning, he would travel out to every congregation and preaching point. It would be imperative for him to get a feel for each place, the area, and to put faces with the names. On office days, he would visit and pray with each person who came to the office. He would keep and update his huge notebook of prayer needs. Such a notebook would help him pray more specifically and effectively for each person of place. In addition, he could begin to see trends or weaknesses/ strengths in individuals and congregations. This would be an important observation for those visiting in the field.
Special prayer times of at least one hour a week, would be encouraged for each team member. This would help facilitate communication, provide counseling opportunities, and give encouragement on a personal level. Special times could also be scheduled for church leaders needing additional prayer.
An important tool for the intercessor is similar to the war rooms portrayed in old war movies. In the movies, there was a large map table on which troops, tanks, ships, planes, and other strategic items were placed. Arrows and circles marked movements, battles, or ground held. The movies depicted junior officers running to and fro with dispatches. When news was received, long T-shaped sticks would reposition the map’s symbols to reflect the current situation. Generals would surround the map, watch movements, make decisions, and send out orders. The war room was the hub of communications and decisions. It was the only place where the larger picture was constructed providing the basis for wise and critical decisions that eventually affect the outcome of the war.
I envision an intercessor with a prayer war room. A large map reflects congregations, their level of development, their participation in Bible seminars, their spiritual assessment (strengths and weaknesses), and their prayer needs would be displayed. A whole wall of pictures, some of individual church leaders and others of whole congregations, would remind the intercessor to pray specifically for key people and places. The faces would bring a personal emphasis to each name and place. A wall calendar would reflect coming events which would remind the intercessor of important prayer items in the future. Another list of answered prayers would provide an opportunity for praise. It would also remind us all of the efficacy and power of prayer. Up to date information on clan spirits, shrines, witchdoctors and traditional ceremonies would help delineate the spiritual battlefront which needs assailing with prayer. The intercessor’s notebook would record information brought in by others working in the field. A comprehensive prayer list could then be developed and sent to prayer supporters in the States.
As the intercessor develops his work, new ways of seeing the mission effort will open. New activities and needs will present themselves that I have not listed. The intercessor’s role will change to reflect the mission’s needs as well as the strengths and interests of the intercessor. Future seminars on the discipline of prayer would be developed and taught throughout the area. Regular communication to the churches would mobilize Christians to focus on specific prayer needs. Local and national prayer concerns could be coordinated with other mission teams.
From my perspective, constant, consistent prayer would be one of the most demanding and physically draining works possible. The intercessor would require constant support from his team and family of friends. Also, an intercessor would be a key target for Satan’s attack and temptation.
Some have asked, “You mean all he is going to do is pray?” this shows a lack of faith in the power of prayer. It also reflects a gross misunderstanding of one of a Christian’s most important disciplines. We must remember our enemy is not flesh and blood and that our battle is a spiritual one. Therefore, we can not confine our work and emphasis to the physical realm only. The number of village visits we make, or the courses taught, or the miles traveled all contribute some to the advancement of the kingdom. But prayer – powerful, focused, consistent prayer, can tear down the bulwarks of Satan and free an enslaved people in the darkness of sin.
Let me remind you of the quotes from these famous men of prayer:
- “I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer” – Martin Luther.
- God does nothing but in answer to prayer – John Wesley.
- Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness – William Carey.
- Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life. It is original research in unexplored territory…… – Richard Foster.
- I know what a lovely, gracious, bountiful Being God is, from the revelation which he has been pleased to make of Himself in His Holy Word; I believe this revelation; I also know from my own experience the truth of it; and therefore I was satisfied with God, I delighted myself in God; and so it came, that He gave me the desire of my heart – George Muller.”
(snip snip — end of note)
Editors Note: So how ’bout your team? Should you designate a prayer specialist?
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT PRAYER FOR CREATIVE-ACCESS COUNTRIES?
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