In this issue….
WE BREAK THE 10K MARK!
The first time I remember hearing the number was in the August 25, 1995, issue. Here’s the way it went: (the item was titled, “FROM THE “LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT VISION” DEPARTMENT
“) — Ya know, I always thought that if a person was highly technical, highly skilled, highly process oriented, then they would probably be pretty scared about bulging growth. Not so with Jonathan Marsden, who manages the technical end of CrossConnect and, as such, helps with Brigada
technical projects. When I asked him this past week about how he felt about Brigada
growing past the 800 mark, I was surprised to hear him say he wasn’t satisfied. “I won’t be happy until we have 10,000 people on board, with hundreds of conferences about least reached people groups and cities all over the world.” Wow. When I grow up, I want to be like that.
” [snip snip, end of excerpt] That was August 1995 . . . and five years later on February 10, sometime after midnight, we silently went into the record book as having 10,000 subscribers! Yahoo! Thanks to every single person who helped make it possible… for all those who have promoted Brigada
by word of mouth, in their personal newsletters and in their messages . . . and for all of you
who have remained with us… many for years
at a time! God bless us every one!
SO WHAT WAS CROSSCONNECT?
Curious about what “CrossConnect” was? It was an idea, really, with about 2 staff people.
Pete Holzmann was the visionary and Jonathan Marsden made it happen. If it weren’t for JM, I doubt there would even be
. It was he and Pete who said, “We have the technology to do what you’re asking, Doug, and we’re on the edge of being able to make it practical. Are you willing to work with us?” Well of course I was. (Nobody else offered!
) Within about 24 hours, we began experimenting. Two months later, on March 21st, 1995, Brigada
“went public.” After a year or so, CrossConnect finally admitted that the financial model just wasn’t working for email conferences. They were on the verge of folding. Mission Aviation Fellowship invested in continuing the dream of forming these email lists and “email conferences.” When they did so, they kept on saying that the Brigada
conferences were one of the primary reasons they were willing to do so. One MAF staffer said, “Brigada is the crown jewel of CrossConnect.” This was pre-web days. I mean… there was a web… but it wasn’t searchable yet and it was still pony express level. MAF enabled the CrossConnect vision to go forward, establishing the MAFxc wing of the staff at Redlands.
MILESTONE: MAJORDOMO TO LYRIS
As we look back, it seems that one of the critical milestones was MAF’s decision to transition to Lyris. It seemed to them like the right thing to do, at the time. The old Majordomo system made it really
hard for conference owners to maintain their lists, especially as they grew. Brigada
volunteers like Revis Ann Massey sometime handled hundreds
of requests per week — from assisting with unsubscribes to tracking down weird bounces. Switching to Lyris eased the burden for moderators because Lyris was so powerful. Still, something happened in the transition. Prior to switching from Majordomo to Lyris, we had hundreds
of conferences going… many of which were pretty active. I don’t understand it . . . but in the midst of the switch, we seemed to lose so much steam. Out of the smoke and charred ashes of changing our “operating system”, so to speak, it seemed like only a few conferences survived and they seemed to never really hit stride with Lyris like MAF thought they would. Eventually, MAF revealed their plans to begin charging a fee, maybe by the message, but definitely by the byte. We begged MAF to consider adding some kind of advertising at the bottom of each message… but their non-profit roots wouldn’t have a thing to do with it. (They didn’t like the “unrelated business income” side… and I completely understand.) Either way, here at Brigada
, since we were unwilling to begin charging for services, we concluded that we had to jump ship. Brigada
moved to eGroups. (Within a month, MAF issued statements saying they were basically folding the MAFxc program. They later recanted somewhat from that position, but seemingly the “CrossConnect electronic frontier heyday” was over.)
EGROUPS: POSITIONED FOR GROWTH
Switching over to eGroups was like putting on an old pair of jeans for Brigada
. Everything seemed to smooth out almost overnight. There were few shutdowns, few problems, and lots of growth. Although earlier, eGroups talked about giving Brigada
some ad revenue, it basically hasn’t happened. ($27 for all of 1999?) But that’s okay! Because, you see, just not having to pay by the message or by the byte is reason enough to rejoice! We managed to keep Brigada
a free service. And it looks like we could continue to grow, too. EGroups is saying we’re good to go for tens
of thousands of participants. Yahooo!
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Well, a lot of Jonathan’s “dare” has happened. But what we don’t
have anymore, essentially, is a unified umbrella of conferences. However, one only has to take a look at the “links” section of the Brigada
eGroups website to see that there are still dozens of “Brigada-like conferences hosted by all kinds of service-providers. We hope those continue to multiply like rabbits! Maybe they don’t all begin with “brigada-peoples-so-and-so,” but they’re still functioning, providing switchboards and networking forums for mobilizers and on-site workers alike. As far as Brigada Today
goes, we hope it’ll continue to grow as well. We’ll see if we can’t get in touch with Jonathan and get a new “dare” but for now, I’m shooting for a Brigada Today
with relevant, timely, meaningful content that you’ll want to share, relay, and talk about. And we pray that Bob Mayhew (our web guy) and Don and Judy (our volunteer customer service managers) will continue to push forward as they always have, because they’re doing an incredible
service to the missions world — and we all appreciate them greatly
!!! (Please, please
keep up the great work guys!
) Okay… enough reminiscing. Back to work!
LEARN ABOUT THE ETHNIC GROUP NEXT DOOR
How many churches adopting people groups think they have to travel half way around the world to make contact with them? The truth is that God is moving representatives from almost every nation and tongue to our doorsteps! A new website seeks to equip and inspire American churches to reach out to their ethnic neighbors, sharing the hope that makes an eternal difference, then learn about the mission field through them.
http://www.ethnicharvest.org has over 150 pages of content, with demographics and links to many mission sites. Ethnic Harvest began with a vision to serve the more than 100 language groups living in the Seattle area. They hope through the website to share this vision with churches nationwide. For more information, write Barbara firstname.lastname@example.org.
BROCHURES ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE GROUP
at Caleb Project would like to increase her collection of people-group brochures that link people to networks, partnerships, or strategy coordinators. She wants to pass these out in group settings to use for immediate prayer, as well as provide an opportunity to join strategic on-going efforts. No promises that this will bring you new partners, but it might! Want to help? If you have produced an informational/prayer brochure about the people group on your heart, you represent a network or serve as a strategy coordinator, and
your brochure contains contact information that can be passed to a general N. American Christian audience in relative safety, could you mail Marti 6-12 copies of your brochure at this address? Caleb Project, Advocacy & Research Dept., 10 W. Dry Creek Circle, Littleton, CO 80120 USA. She says “Thanks!”
JOSHUA PROJECT 2000 REPORT AS OF FEB
Dan Scribner at AD 2000 & Beyond tells us that, as of Feb., there are 1595 people groups on the active JP list. Some 1118 of these tribes have no Church of 100 reported yet. In fact, about 537 have no reported on-site Church Planting team. As a matter of fact, some 262 haven’t even been claimed for anything!!! Please pray that God will raise up some to adopt them!!! Contact AD2000 & Beyond for more information: http://www.ad2000.org
LEARN TO TEACH ENGLISH!
YWAM Lebanon, PA, (formerly YWAM Roaring Branch) is conducting a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) course May 1 to May 26, 2000. This four week school will be held in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, USA. The cost: $900.00 USD includes all costs of the course. Immediately following the school an optional outreach to Crimea, Ukraine is planned till June 15. The cost of the outreach is additional. For further information and applications e-mail YWAM at email@example.com
or write to YWAM, 870 Jay St, Lebanon, PA 17046 USA. Phone: 717-272-3153.
BUDDHA’S PROPHECY OF THE MESSIAH
This book by Inta Chanthavongsouk (copyright 1999) is available for $5.00 (not including shipping and handling) from The Lao Conference of Churches, PO Box 845, La Mirada, CA 90637, tel: 562-947-465 Ext 3126, fax: 562-943-0160. Dr. A. Dale Golding, Chaplain of Far East Broadcasting Company has written, “Although I have lived and worked in Asia for 30 years, I was not aware of the prophetic teaching of Buddha concerning the coming Messiah. Reading this book has been a revelation. I commend Inta Chanthavongsouk for his diligent research which has resulted in he authorship of this book and I recommend it as a valuable missionary tool.”
TRY THIS TRACT BASED ON THE KORAN
If you are looking for a simple but effective tract for ministering to Muslims, a Moscow missionary named Kerby firstname.lastname@example.org
may have just the thing and will send it to you by email. Titled, “What the Koran says about the Bible and Jesus,” the tract starts out with direct quotes from the Koran stating that the Bible is the word of God and should be obeyed, and that Jesus is sent from God and also should be obeyed. From this foundation it goes on to explain salvation and how to continue to grow as a Christian. Approximately 600 words. In English and Russian and soon to be available in Chechen and possibly Tatar. Write the address above for an email copy and specify which language(s). Kerby would also appreciate any help getting it translated into Arabic and French.
OPPORTUNITY FOR CARING WOMEN
Mission Nannys needs women over 50 to volunteer to travel to minister to missionary families overseas. Do you like to travel? Do you like to meet Christians involved on the front line of the enemy? Mission Nannys was formed 9 years ago to give domestic help to missionary families struggling on the field. We have opportunities of service just waiting to hear from you! Write to email@example.com
or send your name and address to Mission Nannys, PO BOX 609, Edgewater, MD 21037.
FOR MISSIONARIES NEEDING HELP WITH CHILD CARE
Are you having trouble meeting your obligations to the home and to your ministry? Are you stressed out and in need of a mature women to come to help you (Titus 2:3-5, 7)? Mission Nannys would like to minister to your need and assist you with house duties, child care, homeschooling or whatever your problem is. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
for an application –Mission Nannys, PO Box 609, Edgewater, MD 21037.
“WEST AFRICA MISSIONARY STORY” KEEPS CIRCULATING ON THE NET
Have you gotten it? Don’t worry. You will. This story about a West Africa missionary keeps making the rounds, over and over again, almost like a virus! Here’s a statement released to us personally by the International Mission Board headquarters just this past week: We continue to receive inquiries regarding an “Urgent Prayer Request for Mike Hutchinson”. This information from Ron may help you if questions arise in your local church. “Thank you for your concern and response to the email you received in that it prompted you to a prayerful concern. Though there was an accident early in 1999 involving Mike Hutchinson which did result in the death of a Senegaleze [sic] youth, the remainder of the circumstances described in the email did not happen. The matter was investigated as an accident by the authorities and dismissed. Mike and family carried on ministry, went on vacation and even relocated to another country as they were in the process of doing when the accident happened.” Ron Hunt, West Africa Office, IMB. If you receive this prayer request, please relay the answer and help us stop the bandwidth-busting forwards! (See the “OPC” protocol below
AVOID INTERPERSONAL PROBLEMS
The Center for Intercultural Training (CIT) in Union Mills, NC is offering a suite of modules designed to enhance interpersonal effectiveness. They include DiSC Personality Testing (2 days), Conflict Management (3 days), Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills (5 days), and Personal and Family Preparedness (8 days). You can take one or all of the modules beginning Feb.28. And the price is right! It’s not too late to get in! Contact CIT email@example.com
or call (in the USA or via Net2Phone) 800-887-1786 for more information.
EVANGELISTIC LITERATURE FOR OLYMPIC GAMES
UK-based SOON Gospel Literature produces the free quarterly evangelistic paper ‘SOON’. It is written in easy English and is designed primarily for second-language English speakers. A special issue is being printed highlighting the Olympic Games. Any ministry or individual who can use copies evangelistically, either at the Games, or in any other situation, can ask for free copies. The issue can also be downloaded as a PDF file to preview. Check it out at: https://brigada.org/today/articles/olympic.html
SEARCHING FOR AN EVANGELISTIC ALL-PICTURE TRACT
For evangelistic conversations with those who can’t read, an evangelistic picture-only tract or brochure would be very helpful. Who knows a source? Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
wants to know. He’ll report back to us later.
TONS OF INFO ON TEACHING MISSIONS TO KIDS
Thanks to Kerryn for stimulating the discussion on teaching missions to kids. It happened that Ken KennethWes@aol.com
had been gathering material for quite some time!!! Get his full list of resources by sending an email to: email@example.com
CORRECTION RE: COURSE IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES
If you’ve been trying to contact the folks in Southern Philippines regarding the 4-week intensive course there (Jan. 21st edition of Brigada Today
, Item 18, “BECOME A TESOL TEACHER WITH MUSLIM STUDENT PRACTICUM!
“), the email address in the ad turned out to be an old address. Try firstname.lastname@example.org
instead. Thanks Dawn!!!
WHO READS BRIGADA TODAY?
Plenty of people. In fact, so many people that we’d better think again about the way we word our conversation here. Now that I think about it, maybe we’d better think again about all
our conversation. This past week, I’ve been corresponding with a very concerned gentleman named Matthew. He wrote from North Thailand basically asking us to be more sensitive. He’s not a believer — but he’s apparently a weekly reader of Brigada Today
. As we talked, I realized just how familiar he was with Caleb Project’s Nance Profiles, the Jesus Film, and all kinds of other regular topics. His input helped me see our material from a totally different perspective. From his shoes, we are sometimes pretty insensitive to local cultures. He even has a website designed to “rally the troops” against foreign interlopers. (Check it out at http://www.akha.org
. It’ll do us all some good to appreciate his viewpoint.) I have tried to share with him that Christians feel a moral obligation to share Christ’s message of hope with the world. I’ve tried to communicate that desire in a very sensitive way, so that he can understand we do so not out of a feeling of superiority but rather, out of a religious conviction. But in the process, may God free us from a prejudicial attitude that would hurt the feelings of those who seek to guard traditional cultural values. In sharing Christ, we need not seek to wreck local cultures. If there are changes that need to occur, let’s let the words of Christ speak to those changes over time. And let’s be quick to apologize for the noncaring acts of some of those who have gone before us, offending local people with a sometimes-warlike spirit of aggressive proselytism. May God grant us wisdom to understand such a complicated world!
TO SUBSCRIBE — To subscribe to BRIGADA TODAY, send email to email@example.com.
TO UNSUBSCRIBE — Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Subject and text are ignored.)
IF IT DOESN’T WORK — Write Don & Judy, our Customer Services Managers at email@example.com. Yahooooo for volunteers!!!
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>.”
IMPORTANT: To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted.
DISCLAIMER — Please note that there’s no way we can possibly screen all the text on all the web sites or items we recommend. We try to check them out first… but if we miss something, please don’t assume that the opinions on those sites are identical to those of the Brigada family of networks. “Eat the corn, leave the cob!”
For subscription questions or problems, write email@example.com.
SUBMITTING CONTENT — To submit content or ideas to Brigada Today, first please get a copy of “Guidelines for submitting items to Brigada” Then, once you’ve composed your item in keeping with those guidelines, send your item for Brigada Today to DLucas@teamexpansion.org.
Thanks to for hosting the Brigada mailing list.
Emphasis is placed on items relating to unreached peoples and challenges faced by those reaching them cross-culturally.
PLEASE 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!
WARNING 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.
BRIGADA TODAY IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FOLLOWING TEAM OF REGULAR VOLUNTEERS:
- Global Glimpses: John Hanna, Caleb Project, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew, WebServant@brigada.org
- Brigada Customer Service Manager: email@example.com
- Brigada Coordinator: Doug Lucas, Team Expansion & Brigada, DLucas@teamexpansion.org
- and many other occasional contributors too numerous to mention!
- But thanks for working together! That’s the dream of Brigada!