In this issue….



Brigada Logo I guess it’s better to be early than late… but last week’s edition of Brigada Today took things just a little too far! :-) Our apologies! (The issue date should have been March 31st . . . but it went out with a date of April 7th.) We dated this issue April “7b” because now there’s no way to correct last week’s snafu. Actually, I was several thousand miles away from home on a family vacation while composing, sleep-keyboarding and sending the text. I’m surprised I remembered my name! :-) Again, we apologize for any confusion.


Joshua Project 2000 logo Faithful Dan… If anybody ever wanted a consistent data manager, this guy would be the guy. From the AD2000 & Beyond International Office in Colorado Springs, Dan Scribner has released the current status of the Joshua Project list as of this month:
  • Peoples on active JP list – 1591
  • Peoples on active JP list no Church of 100 reported – 1115
  • Peoples on active JP list no reported on-site Church Planting team – 528
  • Peoples on active JP list not targeted or “claimed” – 255

You’ll recall that this listing focuses on ethnolinguistic people groups of 10,000 or more with fewer than 5% Christian and 2% evangelicals.



graduation cap Columbia International University will be offering a course on the basics of English language teaching overseas from June 5th to the 14th, 2000. This course is an introduction for volunteers teaching English overseas. It is designed for the native-English speaker and includes info on principles, course and lesson planning, and the four macro- skills of language – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Also discussed is the role culture plays in language learning and the importance of cross-cultural sensitivity in ELT ministry. For more information, please contact Joe or call 800-777-2227, or visit their website at


Brigada autoresponder Kevin held up his end of the bargain (Thanks Kevin!). Now you can benefit. To read Kevin’s great summary of resources and approaches for funding short-term mission trips, just send an email to and our the autoresponder service will zip a copy of the 28K file forthwith to your inbox. Way to go Kevin! We’re anticipating that this will be one of our most popular autoresponders ever.


Tentmaking Quarterly Research is conducting a survey to gain a clearer understanding of what is happening among the unreached — and especially in the 10/40 Window. Organizers say that the information is secure. More information and the survey itself may be found at: The great part is . . . you don’t have to give your name nor the country in which you live. But as always, please give only the information you’re comfortable providing.


More and more media are being used by teams to raise various types of support. In order to take a look at the state of the communication process a missions researcher is conducting a survey project. The web-based survey only has 14 questions, mostly checking boxes. You can access the survey by clicking the link below, or pasting it into your browser address window. The website results are on a secure server that can only be accessed by password. You will not need to give your name. The author is pleading for participants for the survey which ends in May. Act fast and click the link below!


Authors Eddie & Alice Smith are offering a new resource for pastors and intercessors interested in developing meaningful ministry partnerships. For more information, send a “blank” email message to:


According to friends at Global Radio Outreach, the FCC has a new radio service called “Low Power FM” allowing for small, cheap FM stations in gaps between regular ones. It’s a community radio service, but would permit stations in cities, where huge concentrations of immigrants live. Missionary broadcasters already produce programs in their languages for use overseas, but could now re-use them to reach multiplied millions of immigrants! However, there’s a bill in the House to kill LPFM before it starts. It seems sure to pass unless we act. Pray that the bill fails! And call your congressman and ask him/her to kill Rep. Oxley’s bill against LPFM! Talk to an aide if you can. For info contact Mike Bond, Global Radio Outreach, 906-226-2129 or see the FCC’s website at


Multi-Language Media sells a large assortment of Christian materials for evangelism, discipling, and personal devotion in dozens of languages both common and obscure. Their 2000 catalog is 48 well organized pages loaded with scriptures, videos, books, tracts, Bible studies, music recordings and other Christian materials in about 100 languages all at attractive prices. They’re on the web at or email them via or write Multi-Language Media, PO Box 301, Ephrata PA 17522, 717-738-0582.


Brigada Logo Looking for something to do this summer? Check out Brigada-Opportunities! There you’ll find, for example, opportunities in China and in St. Petersburg, Russia (for those with some teaching experience). They need ESL teachers for teaching English to High School Students and Teachers of English beginning July 2. Contact Or other options in South Africa, Venezuela, Bolivia, Varanassi (India).


WebWatch A new website for missionaries in media-saturated environments is underway. is building a helpful resource for communication planning. This free web- based educational ministry gets tips from professional marketers, advertisers, researchers, public relations professionals, and more to help teams in communication planning. Missionaries will learn design basics, strategic planning and other communication tips all taylor-made to fit with the missionary’s planning process. You’ll enjoy the article by former Madison Avenue advertiser Ginger Sinsabaugh tells, “How to Advertise Your Faith”. Check it out!


graduation cap Are you preparing to go overseas as a Short Term or career missionary? MissionPrep in Toronto, Canada has cross-cultural training to meet your needs. Consider their 3-day Orientation 4-6 May or their Language training 18-30 June. A generic cross-cultural training seminar 4-19 July will help develop your skills to face many of the adaptation issues most missionaries face. For more information contact Robert or browse


I had always heard of those chilling tales about how a whole village would throw someone’s firstborn into a volcano to appease a god or goddess . . . but I never thought I’d become one!!! This past week, we visited a live volcano on a family vacation. [Before you jump to conclusions, let me hasten to add that we paid for it almost entirely with frequent flyer miles! :-) ] Although nobody said a word about human sacrifice, at one point, things grew pretty tense.

We arrived about sundown at what we had been told was the scene of the lava flow. However, all we could see was a faint red glow in the shimmering sky, just over the hill off in the distance. We immediately took off walking across the brittle lava formations. They crackled under our feet and, at times, we had to edge our way around steep cliffs or leap over gaping fissures. It was strange knowing that we were walking on earth that was less than a year old.

Caleb, our youngest, wasn’t too sure about the wisdom of our hike. We had come here primarily because of his interest in the fiery infernos, but now that it was dark . . . and what with that red glow in the sky looking pretty ominous, I think he would have just as soon taken home a postcard.

But the ridge looked so close… I estimated it was only a mile or so away. We soon reached a boulder-sized formation, still cracklin’-fresh with crunchy black glass-like deposits throughout. We climbed to the top and stood in awe of God’s power. After a few moments of sobering silence, I asked if anyone thought we should walk on, toward the ridge. By now it was pitch black. We each had a flashlight with us, but no one knew for sure how long the batteries would last . . . nor for sure how far away the ridge was. Was it safe to try to cross a rough lava field in the middle of the night, just to see the molten stuff forming new earth?

We agreed to walk on, though Caleb did so under duress. A few minutes later, he was tired, thirsty, and feeling light-challenged. He began rather softly, “I think it’s too dangerous.” Within a matter of minutes, however, his stress level had risen to its boiling point. It didn’t help matters that it seemed at that point that we were the only humans within miles. And when my wife, Penny, slipped on a ledge and landed hard on her knees, he pretty much crashed. “This is crazy. We could die! We could slip down one of these fissures and break our legs!” Although we doubted his death scenario, we all knew he was right about the potential for a broken bone. It was too rough, too black, and too windy. At the same time, all of us were kind of wishing we could see that lava flow. And it did look “just over the next ridge.”

I finally called a “family meeting.” We pulled together into a tight circle and prayed, asking God for wisdom. I prayed that God would help Caleb just put one foot in front of the next and think about the process rather than the outcome. I asked for endurance. We prayed for determination.

But still, within a minute or so, it was pretty obvious. Caleb was miserable. Who were we fooling. I quoted some Star Trek episode about how sometimes ‘the needs of the one sometime outweigh the needs of the many’ and said ‘enough was enough.’ Taking one last glance at the ever- brighter red glow, we turned back. Caleb insisted on holding my hand… and he kept asking me to tell him stories about how I had gone through stressful times and survived. Once, when he stumbled, his older brother came over to help him up. His mom shined her flashlight into his path so he could see every stone. Truly, we rallied around him the whole hike back to the Blazer we had rented (with frequent flyer miles, by the way! :-) )

Were we dismal failures? Not by a long shot. For the next 45 minutes, we debriefed as we drove back through the rain forest. Caleb repeated over and over again how much he appreciated everyone listening to him. And his older brother said what we were all feeling — that the whole experience had brought us closer as a family.

Which brings me to the point of it all — sometimes life’s greatest lessons come only through fiery cauldrons that bring our blood to a near boil. Sometimes the deepest meanings in life flow in the midst of the toughest quests imaginable. We could have been at home, in air- conditioned comfort, watching the NCAA final basketball game (many probably were). But would we have learned how an entire team sometimes has to rally around the needs of one or two members? Would we have come to appreciate each other the way we did that night? I don’t think so. Nope. The best things in life probably come at a price . . . and at times, that price is our own comfort.

So next time you feel pushed out of your comfort zone… just remember that steel doesn’t reach tempered strength until it passes through the fire. And they tell me that gold isn’t worth much until it’s melted and purified. So next time we face the red glow of our own trials, let’s open our eyes to see what God is teaching us. Maybe… just maybe… the greatest lessons will be crinkling right under our feet!


PS. (By the way, in case you were wondering, I asked Caleb’s permission to share this story. :-) He’s a great little buddy.)


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