In this issue….



WebWatch What’s the sum of two guys who each speak five languages, attended Harvard Business School, and worked as McKinsey consultants? Parlo. http://www.parlo.com that is. The new Web company they started is trying to be a “Berlitz of the Internet,” offering foreign-language courses to students worldwide. It hopes to attract students by offering ways to study language and culture using audio and graphics technology, and to create Web communities through chat rooms and email. “It’s a lot more than classic textbooks and CD-ROM,” says Varun Bedi. Thanks to Neil for the tip. I enrolled in the Spanish class, just to see how far I could go . . . and it was great fun!!! Check it out!!!


cd-rom Okay – so say you don’t want to study language only on the web – you want a real CD that you can pop into your computer. Never fear… Rosetta stone is here. Hindi, Arabic, and Turkish Language CD’s are some of the new languages that are available from The Rosetta Stone Language Library. They are available exclusively for missionaries through Mission Training International at a low discount price of $99. plus shipping. This brings the total to 24 languages that are available. To place an order, call 800-896-3710 (if you live in North Am.) or 719-594-0687, or email MIntern@aol.com . For more information concerning Mission Training International, go to http://www.mti.org.


dollar sign A “Kingdom” venture capital group is raising funds to be invested solely in enterprises of exceptional merit which are operating or preparing to operate in or in support of the 10/40 window. The group is now searching for top grade businesses which will meet standard venture capital expectations — e.g., a promise a likelihood of return on investment and a clear vision with an executable ministry function, preferably to include church planting, evangelism, or discipleship. The group’s involvement will include both management and ministry guidance; it will not be a “loan,” but an investment. Minimum investment will be $100,000. If you or any colleagues know of opportunities to investigate, contact vc@operatorservices.com.


Campus Crusade for Christ is developing a leadership assessment tool, for which they need some assistance. It’s in a research phase, and they need a large number of people to fill out an anonymous on-line survey to help test the questionnaire items. You need not be a missionary — lay persons are welcome to participate. The web address is http://home.ccci.org/cccsurvey/index.html. The more people who fill it out, the better, so pass the word! The survey will be available until May 5. Those who participate will be able to see some of the results online.


book The International Journal of Frontier Missions (IJFM) is publishing two (possibly three) Special Editions on Muslim Contextualization this year. They’re inviting Muslim focused mission agencies and workers to submit articles (get guidelines by writing 103121.2610@compuserve.com). To celebrate, they’re giving away three Special Editions on Islam free of charge (if you become a regular subscriber of the IJFM). To qualify, you have to take out a new three year subscription worth $40.00US. Just ask for the 3 free issues and you’re in business! (If you’re in a sensitive area, write the CServe address above and they’ll work out an encrypted email to you.)

While you’re at it, they’re promoting some special training for cross-cultural workers, too. So if you’re interested in that kind of thing, ask away — 103121.2610@compuserve.com. Thanks IJFM!



book If you’ve been a fan of Jim Reapsome’s editorial column in Pulse newsletters, you’ll love the book by the same name, Final Analysis. It’s a 240-page hardcover compilation of tons of his Pulse write-ups. Lots of thought went into those pieces… and the book brings them all together. It’s $14.95 from EMIS emis@wheaton.edu, fax 630-752-7155.


lighting the way Evidently, there’s no free lunch. Stan contacted us this past week to let us know that the discounted site we had mentioned a couple of weeks ago (was it “Bigbooks.com?”) wasn’t able to get a discount on Barrett’s World Christian Encyclopedia after all. But fortunately, Oxford has renewed their special offer to Brigada customers. Again, mention that you saw it in Brigada and ask for the special introductory offer until the end of April ($70 off the US$395 price). Apparently that’s the best we can do. In the USA, call toll-free 800-451-7556; in Canada, dial 800-387-8020. Elsewhere, use 212-726-6453 or write intlsales@oup-usa.org or browse http://www.oup.com.


Jason’s a missionary CCIBrasil@xc.org and he needs to buy a house. But nobody in his host country will loan to him because he’s a foreigner there. Got any ideas for him? (Jason, email us a report if you get some tips, okay? Best of luck. We’ll publish the tips here later for all to see.)


Several readers wrote, asking why in the world I (Doug) felt guilty talking about my family taking a vacation. (Remember I felt the need to clarify that we paid for the airfare with frequent flyer miles.) I guess there’s the kind of fear that present or potential supporters will think, “Hey… if the guy can vacation in a rainforest, near a volcano, why should we support him or his mission?” :-) So the readers wrote to say not to sweat it. They wanted it to be a normal thing to talk about real family vacations. They’re probably right . . . but I still feel guilty. :-) Still, I’ll try to lighten up. :-) And the truth is, we could have never afforded the trip if we were to have had to pay for it with real money. Oops — there I go again. :-)


graduation cap Ivan wrote this past week to invite those who live in the Greater Toronto Area to a set of Saturday classes regarding the beliefs of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Those participating will broaden their understanding and appreciation of these world religions with the hopes of being better friends and neighbors. Some graduates of the course might also learn to share their own views of God in more appropriate ways. The deadline for applications is May 1. Better contact Marty today at 800-295- 4158 or im.marty.frisk@sympatico.ca.


graduation cap Cornerstone Centre for Intercultural Studies in the Netherlands is offering the course English For Missions at intermediate level, for future missionaries, other missionaries who need to brush up their English, those interested in missions or heading for bible college, and even parents of missionaries who plan to visit their kids. Dates are 17 July – 11 August 2000. Their asking 800 Dutch Guilders (ask for info on special prices for students/missios) everything included. It includes up to 3 hrs of classes and 3 hrs of practical work a day in an English speaking environment. For more info on the college or course go to http://www.WEC-int.org/cnrstone or write 101507.2223@compuserve.com.


I couldn’t believe it. I had just picked up a brand new Dell 3800 laptop. It was a great little machine… and fast too. But … it just wouldn’t download my email. I tried everything. I mean . . . I probably stayed up for 3 nights in a row, ’til like 2 or 3 in the morning, trying to reinstall this or reconfigure that. I called my Internet Service Provider (good ‘ole Netcom) and, with all due respect, the first two reps. with which I talked were pretty clueless. They tried basic stuff… but it was obvious they were blaming it on my install of Windows or on the modem or whatever. That was when I met Sherry. She was the third Netcom tech I had called. I was getting desperate. Email was bound to be piling up. But this nasty error 501 kept showing up. She did some checking, then came back and directed me to the properties of my Network Neighborhood. (“Great,” I thought. “Like 20 other people haven’t already checked there.”) This time, she told me to click on the properties for my TCP/IP connection… then to click on the “Wins Configuration” tab. (I’m sure this must be standard stuff you check every time you have this problem, right? :-) ) Then she popped the question: [don’t worry; my wife didn’t mind a bit!] “Is your Wins Resolution disabled?” Well honestly, no one had ever asked me that before! Not my buddies Eric or Chris… not our I.T. guy Todd, not my wife Penny, nor either of my sons Chris or Caleb… In fact, nobody had ever questioned my Wins Configuration! (Imagine!) Well, you can already guess what happened. Sure enough, I disabled it (whatever Wins Configuration is!), causing my laptop to whir and churn a bit… then restarted. Lo and behold… for the first time in days, I got email!

So I asked Sherry — how was it that she knew how to help me yet her other two compadres had come up empty-handed? She replied, with a seeming shrug of her shoulders, “I’ve helped someone else with it before!” :-)

I got to thinking, later, as I was writing a thank-you note to Netcom for Sherry’s wisdom, isn’t it like that in life? Sometimes the answers are out there. Just the right language program. Just the right orientation. The correct strategy. The exact person we need for the job. The trouble is . . . finding them.

People tell me that a big company in Detroit once hired Henry Ford to come fix their big motor that powered their entire factory assembly line there in Michigan. Henry Ford was there about 5 minutes, listening to the motor. He shut it down… made one adjustment, then fired it up again and it worked like a charm. Apparently the owner was amazed. However, when he got Henry Ford’s bill for $10,000, his amazement quickly soured. $10,000!!!??? He called Henry and asked why so much. After all, it only took him 10 minutes to solve the problem. Henry replied that the answers needed to fix the engine had taken a lifetime to learn. Would the owner have paid him $10,000 if it had taken a month to repair? The owner replied “Probably.” Then Ford responded, “Then the bill remains. $10,000.”

I tell this story not to run up your next consulting fees. :-) (Though, by the way, my sending elders just voted me a 7% raise! :-) ) Rather, I’m trying to make this point: Experience is certainly worth its due payment. As mission agencies and churches, for too long, we’ve underpaid our missionaries and helpers. As a result, they’ve had to rely on the charity of others to survive during sickness, retirement, and in the special challenges of life. I was shocked recently to learn that the average salary in the business world for someone with a Masters Degree was $60,000+. I know tons of missionaries with MA degrees who are very contented with $30,000/year. (Needless to say, I’m nowhere near the $60,000 mark and I’m nearly done with my Ph.D. :-) )

So if the Lord blesses your church, why not contact your missionary or missions agency today and suggest a raise for your favorite worker. Then, as you help them up off the floor, tell them you’ll help pay for the increased financial burden, if God so blesses you — and . . . maybe watch the tears form in their eyes… tears of joy. If they’re churning the grain, don’t muzzle the ox. That is . . . if they are the type to remember to have you check your “wins configuration.” :-) That is the kind of person to make sure you treat with special consideration!!! :-)


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