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Brigada Today is “the missionary helper newsletter!”
Compiled by Doug Lucas>, Louisville, KY
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In this issue….



Brigada Logo Have you noticed the Brigada Today readership continues to climb? I checked it out today on a special tracking page to which MAFxc has given me access. Yowza! blinking1eyes I couldn’t believe that on every single day since Oct. 24, we’ve added new members – and on several days, we’ve added several members… for example,
19 new folks on Dec. 3rd,
15 on Dec. 2nd,
12 on Dec. 1st,
17 on Nov. 30th,
11 on Nov. 29th…. Yahoooooooooooooo! Yahoo
Welcome everybody! At the same time, it’s not all a bed of roses. This past week, super-Caleb Projecteer John Hanna (of “Global Glimpse” fame) ‘fessed up to the fact that he was not a happy camper in the new world of Lyris software. His scads of Brigada-connections-* conferences have perhaps seemingly not really caught on . . . so, he pulled the plug. As of this week, Brigada-connections-* is no more.


This past Wednesday, I decided maybe it wasn’t too late to try for prayer cards – you know, those color postcard things printed with your picture, your mission’s name and address, as well as a request for prayer??? I paid the $15 or so rush charge at Olympic Card Co. (OCC) and sent my photo to them in express overnight mail that evening. That was Tuesday or Wednesday night. Imagine my shock when they emailed me on the following day in the afternoon to explain how to proof my prayer card over the web! And get this – once I approved it, later that same day, they went to work and I received the entire shipment something like 24 hours later! So from start to finish, they were done in like 48 hours!!! Yahooo!  They have a website at but you might also just like to see the way ours came out (maybe even if you’d merely like to see how beautiful my wife is, and how lucky I am to have her :-) ), check it out at (By the way, just so you know, I didn’t seek nor did I receive a discount beyond what they normally advertise for missionaries. Nor did they ask me to include this note in Brigada Today. They just performed their job in a first-class fashion and in a real hurry! Bravo OCC!) For more information on OCC, write Vernon


They’ve finally made the plunge . . . sort of. At least they’re putting snippets and samples on their new website at Granted they’re not publishing whole issues (because, they maintain, after all, they get their revenue to stay in business through subscriptions, not free web pages!), but at least it’s a start! :-) And the pages are sharp, colorful, and well-done! Check it out . . . along with the snippets from Evangelical Missions Quarterly, too!


Take a look at “Future Mock,” a spoof by Lincoln Spector, at Note that that URL will probably “wrap” on your page. You’ll have to cut and paste it in two halves, kind of “reassembling” it in your browser’s “URL” box.


I’ve checked out a couple. Yahoo and Excite have new free “communities,” but there’s no comparison between the degree of flexibility you get with MAFxc’s. Even is tons better. So . . . if you want to start an email conference, my advice is to steer clear of Yahoo and Excite and go straight to MAFxc ($52/year, no ads) or (free, with supposedly some “discrete ads”). For more information see or write By the way, we’ve been trying out at our office and so far, the “ads” on egroups haven’t been at all bothersome.


Subscribe again if you’re not getting it (several subscribers were apparently inadvertantly “lost” during the upgrade to Lyris). Just write to  and say this:

Note! There’s no “t” on the end of “digest” because of a special limitation (number of letters Lyris will permit in the title of an email conference), so don’t forget to ditch it!



That’s the question on the mind of several would-be missionaries preparing for translation work. “We don’t know how to network, and that is what we would like to hear from Brigada ,” Donna wrote. “How can agencies pool their resources to help individuals get to where they feel God’s leading them?” If you’d like to write Donna, please send her a note. She’ll prepare a summary for us all to read later here in Brigada Today!


Apologies on 2 counts! Sorry that we didn’t mention (in the special “Brigada Express” bulletin) that it was a USA broadcast. I’ve got to do better at remembering that much of the Brigada family is now international in scope! Forgive me please! But many wrote that they did catch it, in spite of my confusion on “today Dec. 4th.” :-) It was written in the middle of the night and the truth is, I just got mixed up on the dates! Blame it on sleepiness… or the turn of the clock at midnight, but either way, again, I’ll try to do better! However (no thanks to me), several wrote that they did indeed tape it or watch it live and those who did were able to see interviewer Charlie Gibson do a great job of interviewing the wives of the New Tribes Missionaries kidnapped by Colombians wielding automatic weapons. Interestingly enough, even the President of Colombia himself has gotten involved in trying to find out the fate of the hostages – since nothing’s been heard from their captors for over 4 years! (They had been asking for $5 million U$S!) So thanks to Charlie Gibson and the folks at 20/20 and God’s blessings on the New Tribes people and the wives that wait. Goodness. That’s a fate worse than death, I think. To learn more about these kidnapped brothers, send a note to subscribe-ntm-update@XC.Org. (Thanks Joe!)


Has anyone tried to use marriage and family life instruction as a pre-evangelism door-opener in a cross-cultural setting? That’s what Bernie would like to know. He wrote Brigada this past week, “What about reaching Muslims? Workers in a major Muslim country see this as opportunity to show relevance of the Bible to a major felt need among the newly urbanized, where the old village ways are disintegrating. U.S. family life materials are so culture laden. Can anyone recommend materials that require minimal cultural adaptation? Especially desired: a video series where workers could dub the local language.” Also, let Bernie know if you’re aware of any books or articles on doing cross-cultural family life ministry. Bernie will assemble a quick summary report for us to read here in Brigada Today.


 Ramadan takes place during 20 Dec ’98 – 18 Jan ’99. Up to 35 Million Christians will be praying for Muslims during this time. Carl kept his word. He wrote us this past week, “…This was amazingly effective!” Evidently, you filled him in. He added, “What a challenge for the church in this Christmas time: Jesus came to save and seek the lost!! Let us remember why we are feasting, and why they are fasting – and let us make this a season of prayer. A daily e-mail edition of the Prayer Focus Booklet can be obtained for this time by sending a e-mail to (leave subject and body blank) A great sight with info and reportbacks from last year is: The complete list of where the hardcopy booklets are available from in 29 countries is at: (with the e-mail addresses).” Great job, Carl!!! Bravo for keeping your word and reporting back to us your findings! Thanks to all in the Brigada family for filling him in!


 Steve is a campus minister trying to put together one of those international banquets where different people at the banquet tables represent residents of various countries around the world. You know – the folks from Western Europe get pasta, while the folks from the USA get hamburgers and fries. Meanwhile, a bunch of other folks get some rice and many get only a few pieces of bread. Trouble is, he wants to make it realistic and can’t find a good resource. Does anyone have a kind of “script” or “kit” for doing a banquet like that . . . maybe already written up? If so, send it to Steve. He’ll compile any responses and make the results available to us here. (You don’t have to write me for them – if he gets responses, we’ll be sure to mention them in a future Brigada Today.) Thanks in advance for the help!


Daniel is in a fix. He has to do a presentation on mainland China at his church and hasn’t a clue where to begin. If you had to give a talk or presentation on that topic, where would you go for info? If you can help, could you drop him a brief note of encouragement and give him some pointers? He’s agreed to send us his compiled report and we’ll publish that which isn’t too secure or sensitive here in Brigada Today. Thanks!


 (Speaking of China…) The 1999 “Intercessors for China” Prayer Calendar offered by Silk Road Ministry is now available. This full-color, informative wall calendar was developed by Silk Road Ministry Staff to be used in praying for China. It is designed to help you focus on the people in 40 Gateway Cities in China. This calendar is intended to help Christians outside China pray strategically, comprehensively and specifically for the people and country of China and make wonderful gifts for your ministry partners! Order now, as supplies are limited! The price is $3.49 + s/h per individual calendar …See a sample on the web at To order, Call Integrated Resources at 1-800-729-4351, or write Dave and ask for item 7707e.


 David Sitton, director of The Institute Of Tribal Studies, has condensed three years of research and writing into a new book dealing with the reaching of tribal peoples for Christ. To Every Tribe With Jesus (159 pages) is a rich resource drawing from the experience of many missionaries, including the author’s own 20 years of tribal church planting in Papua New Guinea. To order the book ($15.) or to schedule a tribal seminar e-mail David at or DSITTON/0002072617@MCIMAIL.COM.


Russ would like a glance at any documentation you might have with respect to freedom versus persecution of Christians in the People’s Republic of China. He’ll report a summary back to us (the degree to which he can do so). Write him in Canada via air mail at: Inky Mark, M.P., Attention: Russ Kuykendall, House of Commons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6, CANADA. E-mail: (Note: “0” is the numeral zero). Alternate e-mail: If sending by e-mail, please include “China” in the subject line. Snail mail IN CANADA to a Member of Parliament does not require postage.


 Harvestime has no direct relationship with DirecTV and DirecTV has no plans to broadcast any kind of religious channel, now or in the future. Furthermore, despite such an allusion in the article, DirecTV has no ownership stake in Yokohama Bayside TV. One executive from there wrote Brigada Today and said, “I can assure you that DirecTV has no plans to air any kind of a full religious channel at the present time or anytime in the near future despite what this article says.” Actually, I was kind of amazed and surprised that they would even take time to write us!


Tim is willing to help! Send him your name, email address, and home city if you’d be willing to host a missionary traveling through on home service or support-raising. He’ll assemble the list and make it available to us here on Brigada. But please… don’t start writing him or us asking for cities! Once the directory is done, we’ll let you know! :-) Right now, let’s take it a step at a time!


Evelyn is here in the USA just 5 more weeks on home service. She’s needing information on the Internet related to community development and appropriate technology. Where does she start? If you’ve got a lead or a tip, write her please and she’ll assemble a summary for us here later.


 The pre-release edition of the 32-song AD2000 Worship and Arts Network mission songbook is ready for distribution. The title for the collection is: “Let The Nations Rejoice-Worship Songs Proclaiming God’s Glory.” Reportedly includes some of the finest new contemporary choruses and hymns from a variety of sources from North America, UK and Australia. The songbook also includes several aids to worship, quotes, articles and other materials. Early in the new year the songbook can be purchased with an accompanying teaching CD featuring soloist Scott Wesley Brown’s recording of 12 of the 32 songs. The CD will include both vocal and backing track recordings of the same songs on the CD. The pre-release version of the songbook is available now, and costs $10. Make checks payable in US funds to OM Lit, PO Box 1047, Waynesboro, GA 30830-2047. Tel: 706-554-5827. Fax: 706-554-7444. For more information contact Frank Fortunato


ASI reportedly has an attractively packaged, beautiful Christmas cassette entitled, “God’s Greatest Gift,” that contains a beautiful narration of the Christmas passages from Luke’s Gospel plus the main events in the life of Jesus. Includes beautiful Christmas music background and bridging. The liner-(J)-Card is very colorful and reads, “Merry Christmas from …(personal name) ……………………..” In quantities of ten ASI will print on the J-Card your personal name or the name of your church. Individually these Christmas Greeting cassettes are $5.00 each, but in lots of ten or more just $3.00 each. For more info., email


 Looking for a web page to give you ideas on reaching the unreached? Try It’s the homepage of a new group called All Peoples, which reportedly hopes to serve the local church by expanding its global view, … serving the church as it searches for the people group that God has for them, offering training on how to be an effective living witness of Jesus Christ in closed access areas, as well as strategy development. Along similar lines, check out which hopes to do the same. This latter group, by the way, is the one which really pays my salary! :-) And the web page for Team Expansion is a kind of hobby – a laboratory in which I’m constantly trying to learn more about creating websites. Check it out… and please join us in praying God will use it!


Check ’em out at


Know any Internet bulletin boards or forums which discuss theological education? John is a missionary running a pastoral training school and a Theological Education by Extention (TEE) program in French speaking West Africa and would be interested in those kinds of resources. He’s agreed to assemble a report for us all here in Brigada – so send him your best shot!


 John says, “Simply select a help page (from most any windows program) and open a page from it. Select “Keep help on top” from the Options menu and make sure “on top” is checked. Then just make the size of the help window equal to the (ad) banner. Now when you place this help menu over the banner, no more ads! Thanks John!


If so, Kelly (a guy) is looking for Spanish videos that would highlight individual unreached people groups. He’s hoping to learn of such videos by 12/21. Help him out and he’ll share the list back with us for all the world to read!


If you’re looking for water purification for a large group, Mike & Deb Lundeen, the folks at TealBrook can help you with that too. And by the way, you must really read this stuff! They wrote this past week to say that, after they were featured in the last Brigada Today, their email increased 12-fold! Whew!  Great job, gang! Check out their group-sized water filter equipment by sending them an email or browsing: Web page:


Last Thursday, our office staff at Team Expansion’s International Services went wild. They began decorating the tree out there in the front office. It was quite an event. Christmas was definitely in full swing. “In egg-shell-sis day-oh” playing out of the CD drive on Deborah’s desktop. The International Services Christmas Prayer Retreat just two weeks away. Lights were aglow, Christmas cards in full production. And everybody walking around saying, “Can you believe it’s already December???” :-)

Meanwhile, my mind wondered. On the other side of the world, somewhere in East Africa, I could envision a faithful Christian Woman of God swatting at yet another mosquito, waiting on her husband to return from Dar, hopefully with good news about medical tests on his kidneys. And my mind, rolling all this over, began to think – which of us has this whole Christmas thing figured out? I mean, does it really matter that they’ve finished construction on the upper parking lot deck at St. Matthews Mall, meaning that they can now park twice as many cars beside the J.C. Penney store’s front door?

Face it – the woman of God faithfully waiting on her husband might not be chuckling to the sounds of Rudolph (“A Dentist????!!!!” :-) ), but as I thought about it, her life of love spoke volumes. I can’t even begin to honor her enough for her investment in the needs of countless unreached Makua tribespeople in Southern Tanzania.

I was thinking of one of our Team Expansion missionaries, Trena Lieb, but your mind could probably have wondered to another saint of God, laboring in lands scattered throughout the globe. I’m so proud of Trena, her team and all the others like her. It’s an incredible privilege to be involved with them in spreading the eternal hope that brought hope and light to the streets of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. If you’re involved with missions – and you probably are or you wouldn’t still be reading . . . I’m sure you feel the same way.

Wow. Where’s the hot cider when you need it.


PS. By the way, Trena’s husband, Roger, is much improved. For some unknown reason (I’d prefer to think of it as answered prayer), doctors in Dar were apparently astonished by the fact that his kidneys apparently began functioning much more efficiently than they had been the day before! God be praised for answered prayer! TO SUBSCRIBE — To subscribe to BRIGADA TODAY, send email to

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*Global Glimpses: John Hanna, Caleb Project,
*Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew,
*Brigada Customer Service Manager:
*Brigada Coordinator: Doug Lucas, Team Expansion & Brigada,
*and many other occasional contributors too numerous to mention!
But thanks for working together! That’s the dream of Brigada!