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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>, Louisville, KY
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In this issue….



This is a special issue of Brigada Today! Please read it all carefully! We’ll try to be as concise as possible.


MAFxc logo Since January of 1995, we’ve sent out Brigada Today via the folks at MAF, first under their original name “CrossConnect” and now simply MAFxc. They’ve been GREAT! They know their stuff and we have tremendous respect for them. thumbs-up


However, great equipment, maintenance, staffing and leadership all cost money. They flew me out to Redlands last year to speak in chapel and, while there, they shared with me the financial burden they’re under. Whew! If we only knew. They have to take measures to help the Information Technologies area pay for itself. They presented several models that would bill list-owners by the message or by volume of content or by subscribers. Needless to say, they all caused a lump in my throat, since Brigada is a free service… and I’m really just a volunteer. I asked them to consider an advertiser-based model and they had thought about it, but they didn’t like the ramifications of starting an ad-business. I can see their point.


The handwriting is on the wall. A few days ago, one of the MAF leaders put out a “heads-up” message: the billing software was in final testing. Gulp. gulp With over 9000 subscribers (I guess we’re like one of their biggest customers), we would presumably be hit the hardest. And the more we grow, the more we’ll be hit. I called MAF and talked to them one-by-one, explaining that we were a free service and we regretted deeply that if they were going to start charging us by message or by subscribers or whatever, that it would probably mean we would have to bow out and close down or something. I didn’t want to become a bill- collector. My goodness. I couldn’t imagine billing 9000 people for anything! They offered to bill subscribers on my behalf. As you can imagine, I declined. I again asserted that advertising, if done tastefully, was the wave of the future (in fact, the present!) on the Net. But they’re pretty stuck in the billing mode. Yesterday, I spent an hour on the phone with the head of their IT department. I can really see his point. If they’re going to run the service, it has to break even. But as I explained, I’m a volunteer. We don’t want Brigada to become a business.


Well, my friends always have said that I’m pretty quick to unfreeze on ideas. :-) So… here we are, 24 hours later, on a new list-server. Welcome to! You can still access the Brigada web page at: That won’t change. And it’s hosted by MAF, too! (We were already paying for that service and we have been since the beginning!) But eGroups offered us a deal that was hard to turn down. For list-owners that have 1000 people or more, they’ll actually pay them to bring their list over to! Can you believe it??? That shows the power of advertising. So whereas at MAF, I was going to have to pay by the message or by the subscriber to bring you Brigada Today, here, eGroups pays your costs and more! The only drawback is… there’s a little 5-line ad at the end of each issue. How much will they pay? They can’t say for sure so far, but it’s supposed to be about $7 or $8 per week… which should be enough to pay for the Brigada web site over at MAF! Yahoooo! Yahoo So for the first time, even the web site costs will be underwritten by the participants, without them even having to open their wallet! Those little discrete ads at the end of the message will hopefully work wonders. Thanks for putting up with them.


For their part, eGroups has signed a contract that they will
  1. never harvest our addresses,
  2. never sell them to anyone else,
  3. never send out ads apart from our messages, and
  4. be sensitive as to what kind of ads they attach to the bottom of our list! (So we’re working under the assumption here that they won’t advertise on the bottom of our messages!)



Like any change, there are undoubtedly bound to be bumps along the way. But for the immediate future, the most obvious benefit for us all is that we still get to enjoy Brigada as a free service. The folks at MAF kept asking, “But aren’t you willing to pay for the value you’re receiving?” My answer was, “Well of course! If there’s no way we can find it for free!” So I say… let’s try eGroups here for awhile and see how it goes.


Confession time. We saw the handwriting on the wall. Some six months ago, MAF started talking about billing. So we started investigating other services. We tried Topica, eCircles, Yahoo and Excite, the works! But we liked eGroups best. And, on the side, we’ve been maintaining lists of 50-100 people on their service just to try it out. So far, so good!


If you have access to the web, check out the eGroups web page! You have to go through a bit of a song and a dance when you first log on. But if your browser supports the use of “cookies” (those little configuration files that help a web site to keep track of your preferences), once you’re set up, from then on, it’s a no- brainer! Just go to and click on the button that says you’ve forgotten your password. Put your email address in and the eGroups server will mail you instructions. Follow them, and you’re in! It’s that simple. From then on, whenever you go to the eGroups page, the Brigada-Today group will be marked for you.


Now, if you have web access, you’ll have some new capabilities! (Isn’t free enterprise wonderful? They pay us and we get more potential!) You’ll have access to live on-line chat in our own Brigada-today space. What’s more, we’ll be able to do real online polling, plus space for an online “vault”, a database to keep track of things, an online Brigada-Today calendar, a links page, and with all this, your identity is still protected so no one can “spam” you! yahooo! Yahoo Watch for our first user poll this coming Friday. Be sure to hook up so you’ll be ready to rock and roll!


If you were active on the Brigada Today list as of the weekend of April 27th, you don’t have to lift a finger. It’s all been transferred over. All 9026 of us! But if you’d like to tell others how to subscribe, those instructions have changed! Now they’ll need to send a message to Note that we’ve changed the name of the list to brigada-today rather than just brigada. The folks at eGroups are going to use the name brigada in the future to somehow give us a special web-site all our own, like or something similar. That’s not done yet. So THIS conference will become brigada-today. Please help us out with this change by informing your mailing list or newsletter. Those who have access to journals like Pulse and others… Please help! See the last item below for a quick clip. Thanks.


The next issue of Brigada Today will hopefully come to you this coming Friday and we’ll be back on a regular schedule again. And yes, we’ll try to do Friday again – sending the issue out on the actual day that it’s dated! :-)


praying hands Ever attend a virtual prayer meeting? :-) Well now you can! On the evening of May 6th, The Nationally Broadcast Concert of Prayer will air live in the USA (8-11PM EST; 5-8PM PT). It is a project of the USA National Prayer Committee. Broadcast annually for five years, the emphases of the prayer concert are the revival of the American Church and national spiritual awakening. The prayer meeting will originate from Overlake Christian Church, Seattle, with remote sites from The Church On The Way, Los Angeles, The Russell Senate Building, Washington, DC, and Allen AME Church, Queens, NY. Leaders of the broadcast include Joe Stowell, Bill and Vonette Bright, Ron Sider, Shirley Dobson, Lloyd Ogilvie, Joy Dawson, Paul Cedar, Fernando Ortega, Isaac Canales, Jack Hayford, Floyd Flake, Rod Caesar, The Maranatha Praise Band, and Ron Kenoly. For more inforation, visit the website:, or call 612-853-8461 in the USA. To participate in the prayer meeting via the internet, go to Crosswalk will stream the prayer concert live video and audio with virtual prayer rooms. The whole world is invited!

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COPYRIGHT — This issue of Brigada Today is Copyrighted © 2001. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials, including those available through email autoresponders, provided that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Christianity to reach the unreached. But please include this phrase: “For a free subscription of Brigada‘s weekly missions publication, write>.”
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not symbolPLEASE DON’T SUBSCRIBE US TO YOUR LIST — It’s always better to ask before manually force-adding anyone to your list-serve or mailing list. Recently, tons of well-meaning people have been subscribing Doug to their lists. Since he often travels overseas, he doesn’t join many of those, for obvious reasons (like being charged big-time for overseas access). So as a general rule, please don’t bulk-mail us! See the note above if you’d like to submit items for Brigada Today. Thanks for understanding. Bottom line: We will never create Brigada Today items from bulk mail. Bulk mail gets deleted immediately — sorry. Nothing personal. We suggest you apply the same standard to everyone. Ask first!

OPCWARNING ABOUT FORWARDING EMAILS — Please, before forwarding any kind of request (even if it says “please send this to all your friends”), please check to make sure it has a VERIFIABLE ORIGIN, a VERIFIABLE PURPOSE, and a VERIFIABLE CLOSURE (OPC). By following this simple approach, many “email viruses” could be nipped in the bud… at least in the Brigada family. More information about the full Brigada OPC protocol is available. Thank you.



*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!