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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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- THE BACKPAGE: TO COMPARE IS TO ERROR
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“Heavenly Father, today as we celebrate the 4th of July in America, we pray that all the nations of the world will enjoy the freedoms that we have been graced with as a nation. We also humble ourselves before You for the many wrongs we have committed in Your sight. We have failed to be Your witnesses before those who don’t know You. We recommit ourselves to stand in the gap for the many unreached people groups in the world who have yet to hear the Name of Jesus. We pray for an outpouring of your favor upon the leadership planning the Brigadafest and Friends of Bosnia Conferences. We lift up the participants, the logistics, the music ministry, the tape ministry, the finances, etc. Lord, send your best to people to these different areas. Set the participants with the fire of Your Holy Spirit so that they will take what they hear and run with it. You are an awesome God, You are a loving, compassionate God and we give you glory, and honor and praise for Who you are. We worship you and pray that you use us to reach the nations. I pray all of this in the Precious Name of Jesus, Your Son, our Lord!”
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FAX FOR FREE TO THE USA
TEACHING ENGLISH TO SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES
REENTRY BOOK UPDATE
Since the book will help local churches learn more about the re-entry process, a bibliography is being developed to be included as a resource. Neal would like to include every book, article, organization, seminar, church, etc. who has to do with re-entry; including names, address, contact persons, etc. If you would like to contribute to this resource, please email the information to EmmausRoad@eri.org.
CRANKIN’ FOR 20 YEARS!
GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE EXCHANGING EMAIL ADDRESSES!
THE BACKPAGE: TO COMPARE IS TO ERROR
The bright side was… because I’m a bit of a playing fanatic, I had no trouble with the fitness. While some of the other 30 or so coaches were sweating bullets, or sucking air, or grimacing as they tried to ease themselves into the cafeteria seating — I never felt a single ache or sore muscle the whole time. But the downside was pretty down: I was one of the most “beginner-type” players in the pack. In fact, I was probably the most novice of all. Most of the other coaches were involved coaching college teams, and all but 3 of the rest had played since they were kids… all the way through college level! Yikes. The 3 of us who hadn’t really stuck out.
I was constantly comparing myself to the other players. And when the instructors would want to demonstrate something fast-paced, they’d never pick me. I felt like Charlie Brown, wishing I could get a word in with that “red-headed girl.” I felt like the guy on the playground who always gets chosen last at recess — for the softball game or whatever. In short, I felt like a real loser.
About halfway through the week, I went for a walk all by myself (I was by myself much of the week anyway.. woe is me ) to a little park, where I stood on a bridge, contemplating jumping off into the creek below (which was actually more rocks than creek, but that was okay). I thought about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — and how behind I was in that pursuit. I wondered if I’d ever be able to learn that silly game. I thought of the “in” guys… the 22-year-old boy who could stand at the halfway line and kick three consecutive lofted balls to hit both posts and the crossbar respectively, without even so much as a huff or a puff. I thought about the guy from Memphis who could cut the ball on a dime and strike the ball with his left foot so hard that, even if the keeper did catch it, the force would drive him into the back of the net! And then I thought of me… a miserable excuse for a failure.
Then I realized — that’s exactly how so many of our friends feel so often… whether it’s language learning or in middle school/junior high! Sometime in the future, one of our teammates or kids is going to feel like a loser… and what he or she does with that feeling is going to make the difference in contentment or misery.
As for me, I decided I would experiment with the feeling. Whenever I encountered it again, throughout the remainder of the week, I would “examine it,” just like you do a rubix cube when you’re trying to solve a puzzle. I guess I had a strong enough personality to do that… but those with lower self images would have probably been much more affected… and maybe that’s why the most unsettled folks choose the rocks over the side of the bridge.
Lessons I learned:
- We dare not compare ourselves to others — but rather, we need to force ourselves to think of our progress only in terms of our own goals. If we only know 100 words in Albanian, that’s actually pretty bad… unless it’s our 2nd week, and our goal so far was to learn 50!
- We need teammates. I was able to email my wife and even talk with her briefly by phone each evening. I knew that when I came home, there’d be this blanket of unconditional acceptance. My teammates at the office think I hung the moon (boy do I have them fooled! ). Those teammates and my family meant so much to me in my time of testing.
- We need to put things in perspective. Since I was involved in morning-to-evening soccer, it seemed like the most important thing in life for those days. In reality, it was a kind of surreal. The real landscape is the eternal one . . . and in that world, we’re all precious in God’s sight.
- Finally, I really saw the importance of leadership. All it would have taken were even a halfdozen words of encouragement from the instructors. Instead, I felt constantly measured and never really reinforced. Let’s take note that we need to constantly be on the lookout for the person who is making progress, even if it’s only step-by-step.
So . . . you’re probably wondering… did I make the “C” license? I’d guess there isn’t a snowball’s chance in the Sahara. Another coach there had already failed one “C” clinic and he was far ahead of me, already coaching an elite club in Dallas and playing at a high level. But see… the license won’t mean nearly as much to me as the knowledge. I know I moved a step forward in my understanding of the game… even if I don’t get the license — and I’m assuming I won’t. (They send you the evaluation via the mail, weeks after the clinic… so I have yet to hear the bad news.)
Bottom line: Find someone today you can lift up. They just might be looking at the rocks over the side of a lonely bridge!
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