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Brigada Today is “the missionary helper newsletter!”
Compiled by Doug Lucas DLucas@teamexpansion.org>, Louisville, KY
[Pass this issue to a friend! To subscribe, see instructions at end.]
In this issue….
HOW TO SPEND 100 BUCKS AND NOT BE ANY CLOSER TO YOUR MISSIONARY
I really have a hard time with these online “chat” reports with missionaries overseas. I don’t know what it is about it . . . maybe the fact that the missionary is probably having to pay for his Internet connectivity by the minute (while someone backspacez…
THUMBS UP FROM PLANET ONE
I’m not fibbing… last night I dreamed I was on a set-up trip overseas (I won’t say where) and some terrorists blew up the airport. I watched the explosion and the resulting fire from outside the house where I was a guest. When I poked my head in the door and told them, they locked me out and shoved my passport/ID under the door. I was stuck outside with none of my belongings and nowhere to turn. But thankfully, I hadn’t taken in the Planet 1 yet. (You think I’m making this up . . . but it really happened… in my dream.) I snuck inside an unlocked car in the driveway and placed a call… to the State Department… direct… on my Planet 1 Satellite Telephone. (Now here’s the part where I’m making it up… I don’t own
a Planet 1 …yet.) Maybe I dreamed this because Penny and I watched Mission: Impossible
(the movie) last night… or maybe it was because a friend at MAF let me phone her from California last week . . . via satellite! Either way, it’s a pretty fascinating concept. There’s no doubt about it… if you appreciate a loved one or a missionary in a far-flung locale without dependable long distance, Planet 1 is the way to go. $3/minute is steep, but I can speak from experience, if the terrorists blow up the airport in your city (or in your dreams) or even if the baby takes her first steps while you’re serving in the jungles of the Amazon, you’ll wish you had Planet 1 to call the grandparents! Hey — what’s $3/minute if you’re trying to arrange an emergency airlift out of a wartorn or otherwise disaster-stricken location! What’s more, if you buy now, before the end of the year, you’ll get these zillions of free air-time minutes worth like hundreds and hundreds of dollars! You get the telephone (which looks more like a small laptop), case, and a bunch of other goodies for just under three grand. Ouch.
But save your pennies… I know I’d
like to. When you reach the big 3K, email Paul Lay at MAF PLay@maf.org
to find out more. I’m serious — I really didn’t make up the dream.
RENT A PLANET 1 FOR A SONG
And if you can’t afford to buy
one right now, why not try
before you buy
! Write email@example.com
for more info. 95 English Pounds per week… What would that be.. maybe $150 or so? Might be a great way to experience it for starters!
WATER FILTERS FOR THE REST OF US
So have you been holding back on buying a travel water filter for your next short-term trip? Maybe you didn’t want to spring for the $70… or $250! Or maybe you were kind of sheepish about dragging out all that hose in front of your host in rural Nepal? Well never fear, PentaPure is here! I finally got to try out one of those new PentaPure Sport bottles this past week. What a great option for someone “on the go”! You just fill it up (with clear water from a spring, river, or the faucet), and as you squeeze and sip through the built-in bottle nipple, the water is filtered and purified through several stages . . . enough to pull out the waterborne bacteria and viruses, along with protozoa, giardia, cryptosporidium, and anything else over 1 micron wide! Just think . . . no more pumping while you try to hold the hose under the faucet! (It’s like those old one-liners… “How many missionaries does it take to filter water, eh? Four! One to hold the intake hose under the faucet, one to pump, and one to hold the output hose in the mouth of the flask, and one to keep the hostess busy outside the bathroom door so she won’t wonder why you don’t think her water is good enough!!
) Well . . . never again! Just fill your PentaPure Sport bottle to the brim and run! Yahooo!
Not bad for $24. And that’ll do for your next 750 refills! (100 gallons!) You can write TealBrook for more info… firstname.lastname@example.org
. Just please don’t forget to tell them to give you a good deal ’cause you heard about it on Brigada
. Maybe they’ll throw in a belt “Hydro-Pak” holster for $8 more! (Okay… so you can’t afford the satellite phone… how ’bout the water bottle, eh?)
Check out these great online resources for those working among Muslims…
“Islam, As It Sees Itself, As Others See It, As It Is,” http://answering-islam.org/Nehls/tt1/content.html
“The Islamic-Christian Controversy,” http://answering-islam.org/Nehls/tt2/content.html
“Muhammad and the Religion of Islam,” http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/Gilchrist/Vol1/
Also, you might want to catch the article on persecution of Christians around the world by the The Portland Oregonian at: http://www.oregonlive.com/series/christians.html (Thanks Gene!)
NEW MEANING TO THE YEAR 2000 BUG
I loved the note I got last week from Mike & Deb Lundeen, who said they had finally found a solution to the Year 2000 Bug (commonly being referred to as Y2K). If you haven’t heard about Y2K, you should probably hide under a different rock for awhile. The essence is that computer programmers (myself included… in a program I wrote back in ’89) abbreviated the year with only two digits in programming code. Come “00” (or actually, 2000), some of the code might not perform up to our expectations, since the computer might assume we’re talking about 1900 instead of 2000! But Mike & Deb Lundeen have concluded that they aren’t going to be sidetracked! As for their part, whenever they see “Y2K,” they’ve pledged to bow in prayer! Because they’re going to interpret Y2K as “Your 2 Knees!” I love it! By the way, these are the same Lundeens who sell the water bottles and other camping/survival equipment at TealBrook@aol.com
SUMMARY OF PRAYER INPUT
A couple of weeks ago, I asked how we can pray more effectively for those in limited (creative-) access countries. There were those who said it could be done by encryption. If you’re interested, the MAF people are probably the experts on that. Write to someone like email@example.com
for a lead on the cost of setting up an encrypted email server in your creative access country. But by a large margin, most responses have indicated that we shouldn’t be mentioning names, addresses, or probably even specific countries
when we raise up requests for our missionaries or the nationals with which they labor – even if we have encryption. The vast majority of responses said it’s just too easy for local governments to come down hard on specific individuals. And although encryption feels
like it’s working, it’s also too easy to seize the computer physically and read the decrypted messages on the hard drive… or just throw the guy out of the country because he looks suspect for using encryption in the first place! (Until we all start using encryption on a regular basis, that is.) God knows who you’re praying for . . . lift them up! Mark told us about a web-site he had created as a sampler… http://www.apaog.org/
under “About APAG” then Missions. He’s Mark Szymanski firstname.lastname@example.org
, the new Ass’t to the Pres. at United World Mission. Greg Fritz, of Caleb Project, wrote personally to add, “The security problem may be minimized by focusing people’s prayers on the people group. This kind of effective praying may actually bless the worker as much as the other. I also think that praying for the work more effectively mobilizes the Church than praying for the worker. So then, my suggestion becomes, let’s not just pray for the workers, let’s pray with the workers. They pray for the people they are trying to reach.” I agree fully with Greg… and I know he’s a man who implements that which he’s advocating. I’ve stayed at his house before and wondered upstairs at 5:00am to see why the light was on. There he’d be, already up praying and reading the scripture. Yikes.
Move over Dawson Trotman.
‘Course, he goes to bed at 9pm, too.
MOVING FORWARD WITH EMAIL FORWARDING SERVICES
Got a favorite email forwarding service? Ken and Luci Davis email@example.com
would like to know! Drop ’em a note with a brief description of your favorite and why you like it. These forwarding services save your friends a ton of headaches. Whenever you switch email providers (during home service, or maybe just because you find something better, or perhaps while you’re on a trip overseas), you
take care of switching your destination email by reconfiguring your “alias” to redirect your messages from your alias address over to your new real
address. It’s transparent! Your friends don’t even realize you’ve switched providers! Some are free (usually attaching a brief ad to the bottom of each message), while some charge a fee. When you tell Ken and Luci your favorite, make sure you fill ’em in on what you have to pay, if anything. Ken and Luci will, in turn, file a summary report with us here for the whole world to see. Well . . . maybe not the whole world
. Mostly just Brigada
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, SEARCHING FOR SCORCHED SYMBOLS
Here’s a guy with a vision: Vern Bissell firstname.lastname@example.org
, of ACMC (Advancing Churches in Missions Commitment), Washington State (tel. 503-848-7924), is looking for any symbols of persecution that he could use at an upcoming concert of prayer for the persecuted church around the world (on March 20). He wrote that he’s looking for “any scorched boards salvaged from burned churches anywhere around the world, especially Sudan — or similar objects which testify to the plight of Christian brothers and sisters. I would like to use these as an aid for intercessory prayer both for the persecuted and for the persecutors. Associated photos would also be helpful.”
WANT TO WRITE YOUR OWN GRANT INTO CENTRAL ASIA RESEARCH?
You can do it. Check out http://www.indiana.edu/~iaunrc
and learn more. If you’re really
serious, you could write the Indiana University administrator for more information . . . but remember that he’s a university administrator, not a missions guy… Anyway… you could qualify for up to $300 grant to study and present at IU. Free money. Cool.
GOT ANY INTEREST IN FREE MISSIONARY GUEST HOUSING?
wants to know. He’s putting together a proposal for his church, since their first attempt has proven so successful. The church already has one guest house working . . . and now they’re considering a 2nd. Ted wants to make a strong case to his board. If you’re a missionary who would appreciate a place to stay in North Boston (or nearby), why not drop him a line! And in the process, Ted will put together a written proposal that we can also make available here to all. Ted’s wondering if maybe others would want to make housing available elsewhere. Maybe his report/proposal could work as a model for others. So… if you like the idea of free missionary housing, drop him a line!
HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH 500,000 INTERESTED FRIENDS?
The Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board (IMB) is about to find out! Rick Wood recently shared Mark Kelly’s summary of a new communications tool that the IMB (The initials “IMB” remind me of something off Mission: Impossible!
) has come up with to inform churches and their members about the work of the IMB around the world. They made the bulletin-size inserts available on a no-cost basis to anyone who would distribute them to church members, free of charge. But still, according to Mark, they figured they’d be lucky to distribute 50,000 of them. Now, after just 3 months of publishing, they’re up to 500,000 requests weekly! Whew!
That’s enough to make any
printing press tired! Interested in seeing what they’re like? Why not try to get on the list!?! Make it 500,001!
Contact them via email@example.com
or call toll-free in the USA or via Net2Phone at 1-800-866-3621. The IMB’s web site is at http://www.imb.org
. As always, if any inquirer is caught, the IMB will disavow any knowledge of your actions.
BEEN WONDERING WHERE GLOBAL PRAYER DIGEST IS?
Well, it’s an interesting story. Apparently, several addresses (maybe hundreds?) were lost in the switchover to Lyris. As those folks realized one at a time that they weren’t receiving the digest any more, they’ve tried to resubscribe, only to find that their attempts would get kicked back in their faces. Rude, these computers.
Well after hearing several complaints, I got on the web last week and discovered, much to my surprise, that, for being such a smart piece of computer software, Lyris actually has a fairly limited spelling vocabulary — about 30 letters. (I mean.. there are kids in those 6th grade spelling bees that can do better!
) What I mean to say is that . . . any conference over 30 letters got truncated, whether it liked it or not. I barely remember the day back in 1995 when the then-editor of the electronic version of Global Prayer Digest
and I opted to spell out the entire publication in the list name. In retrospect (mostly in Lyris-spect), bad idea. Why? Because what Majordomo used to call firstname.lastname@example.org has now become email@example.com (whack off the “t”!). Can you believe it? So . . . bottom line . . . if you’d like to receive a daily
dose of prayer for unreached peoples, absolutely free, you’ll have to do so without the tea . . . or “t” . . . . whatever. Just write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and you’re in business! Computers. With all due respect to silicon, for being so smart, they can sure be dumb.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MINI-PERSPECTIVES?
Okay… I know they’re out there. All those “condensed” Perspectives-type classes and workshops, some on video, some “live”, some on cassette… whatever. Joe LFJU59A@prodigy.com
wants to know! He’s working with a very
large church which is considering asking all
its Adult Bible Fellowships to cover a mini-perspectives in their regular Sunday morning lesson series plans. Great idea. Naturally, you can understand why they can’t use the whole 45-hour Perspectives course during Sunday School time!
So they’re looking for something maybe 4-weeks long… 4 lessons. I know, I know. Everybody’s going to tell him not to shorten Perspectives. But hey – they’ve got limitations and they’ve got to work within them. So… please… no lectures… just the facts… where can he get a four-lesson course. Now… Joe… here’s the deal. You’ve got to fill us in on a summary of your findings, with all the sources and prices, okay? Thanks.
WHAT ABOUT ALL THE BRIGADA “GETS”
If you’re one of the frustrated users who has been looking for one of the old Brigada
“get” files via the email interface, I’m sorry to have to tell you that we’re still stuck in limbo-land. The transition from Lyris has brought about a situation where practically none
of the formerly available “get files” are available today. We’re told that someday, they’ll be brought over, though. So have patience. In the meantime, if you’re one of the lucky ones with web access, you can probably still see the “get” files via the web interface
, maintained by our buddy Bob! What a saint he is! Week by week converting all this ASCII gibberish into meaningful and colorful web pages! Well… his “get files” are still active and helpful links, ready to click on! So… go to the web, use the search engine, and go to town! We’ll announce it here when the archives are available again via the email interface.
INTERESTED IN ETHNIC WORSHIP AND ARTS?
Then this is your ticket! Write to receive the Ethnic Worship & Arts Focus Newsletter…the first (Nov98) issue has just come out and is available upon request from email@example.com
REGISTER YOUR HIGH-TECH SKILLS
Are you a Christian interested in the use of high tech tools for strategic worldwide ministry? Whether you have much time or little time to give, The folks at the newly-formed International Christian Technologists’ Association (ICTA) are asking that you please register your areas of expertise and interest and support the Association with your membership. They want you to contribute to their secure database of ministry high tech needs and high tech people skills and interests, then join what they hope will become a global community of Christian Information Technologists! Check ’em out at http://www.icta.net
ADVANCE IS READY TO READ
Mark Kelly has done it again! His November issue of “Advance!”
is ready to read.
Here’s the executive summary:
THE GOSPEL FOR EVERY PEOPLE — China’s “perfect city;” the Criollo of Argentina; gospel radio in Myanmar; the Barel of India; the “Jesus” film in Gombe, Nigeria; catastrophe in Bangladesh.
THE PERSECUTED CHURCH — International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Nov. 15; persecution in Southeast Asia; believers arrested, tortured in Egypt; Pakistan parliament passes Islamic law amendment; militant Hindus rape nuns; Ayizo believers persecuted.
SPIRITUAL FORCES OF DARKNESS — Jehovah’s Witnesses target young deaf believer; Muslim extremists booby-trap baby’s corpse; U.S. lawmakers fail to override partial-birth abortion veto; birth control pills kill after conception; study indicates lesbians at higher risk for breast cancer.
REJOICE! — God moving among the Sundanese; 1,000 attend Bhojpuri pastors conference; Sudanese believer acquitted of subversion charges; satanic priests, cult members turn to Christ; young believer leads 10 inmates to Christ; baby girl survives abortion; China officials ask church leader to conduct Christian training; Myanmar sorceress accepts Christ; 753 accept Christ because of ex-prisoner’s testimony.
NETWORKING — 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus; the “Bwanda Fusa Challenge” computer game; 1999 Heartland MissionsFest; “Mpact” student missions conference
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