In this issue….
- “WHOA!” – THIS IS A KEEPER – “PEOPLESFILE CD-ROM”
- “HOUSE CHURCH” NEWSLETTER
- WHERE DOES YOUR MK GET FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS?
- JOIN IN PRAYER FOR THE HAKKAS OF TAIWAN
- ONE DAY TENTMAKING SEMINAR IN VANCOUVER BC
- RESTORING STREETCHILDREN
- WEST AFRICA REGIONAL CONSULTATION – “CRAF 2002”
- MISSIONS COMPUTING CONFERENCE (ICCM)
- BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING
- WHERE DOES ONE FIND INFO. ON CONFERENCE CENTER OPTIONS?
- STOPPED IN FOR WEB-PRAYER
- WHO WANTS TO BE A MISSIONARY?
- CHRISTIAN CHURCH/CHURCH OF CHRIST “ALL-AFRICA” SEMINAR
- THE BACK PAGE: SIX YEARS OF BRIGADA
- CLOSING STUFF
“WHOA!” – THIS IS A KEEPER – “PEOPLESFILE CD-ROM”
“HOUSE CHURCH” NEWSLETTER
WHERE DOES YOUR MK GET FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS?
JOIN IN PRAYER FOR THE HAKKAS OF TAIWAN
ONE DAY TENTMAKING SEMINAR IN VANCOUVER BC
WEST AFRICA REGIONAL CONSULTATION – “CRAF 2002”
MISSIONS COMPUTING CONFERENCE (ICCM)
BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING
WHERE DOES ONE FIND INFO. ON CONFERENCE CENTER OPTIONS?
STOPPED IN FOR WEB-PRAYER
WHO WANTS TO BE A MISSIONARY?
CHRISTIAN CHURCH/CHURCH OF CHRIST “ALL-AFRICA” SEMINAR
THE BACK PAGE: SIX YEARS OF BRIGADA
Many have asked… where’d you get the funny name? Brigada, pronounced “bree-GAH-dah” (rhymes with armada), is the rough equivalent of a “brigade” — in Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Albanian and even Filipino (who knows what other languages)! The idea is to stand side by side to pass buckets of hope for those most in need of Christ’s eternal message — like the old-fashioned bucket-brigades for putting out fires or like my Crimean Tatar friends in Ukraine when they’re passing gravel to build a new house together, helping one another. We needed a name for the service and… it just seemed like something unique and appropriate.
Well, back to the story, as time passed, there were the inevitable changes. CrossConnect was a brilliant idea but no one knew for sure how to pay for it. What’s more, the “free-wheeling” (pun intended) style of the Internet just made it that much harder for CrossConnect leaders like Pete Holzmann to make ends meet — seemingly everyone wanted a free ride. So in the end, the entire department was sold off to MAF (the airplane people) in Redlands, California. By this time, Brigada had spawned literally dozens of “sub-groups”. There were tons of people-specific conferences, along with role-specialized groups. I suppose they were the true precursors to the “YahooGroups” of today. Though there was no real “web interface”, no one really cared. We didn’t have time to use the web anyway… and few of us had fast connectivity anyway. The web seemed, well, overkill for what we needed — at first. For those who wanted to use it as an archive of past issues, God raised up Bob Mayhew — an amazing volunteer staff-person who is still churning with us today. He’s the single-handed reason that you can go to www.brigada.org and look at all six years of back- issues… and even search them instantly.
The high-tech leaders and the financial numbers-crunchers at MAF’s headquarters were truly caring people. I remember, for example, one week that they flew me out to Redlands to speak in chapel there for the MAF staff. They just wanted to build the relationship all the more. I got to meet with Jonathan and all the others. It was a great celebration… 10,000 subscribers… dozens of functioning sub-groups. We seemed to be flying high. But soon the question was rearing its ugly head again … how do we pay for this technical hardware-heavy, software-laden, connectivity-based cooperating!? MAF finally had to make a tough decision — to start charging either by the byte, or by the message, or by the group, or something. And when they switched over to a fancy new software (remember Lyris?) that was intended to provide new bells and whistles for sub-conference operators, for some reason, many were confused and seemingly left in the cold. As I look back, I don’t think the subconferences every recovered from that shock.
Meanwhile, the web was hot with advertisement-based features at spots like eGroups.com. The very week MAF determined that it had to switch to a fee-based approach, for better or worse, we moved Brigada to eGroups, where we could operate for free. Many sub-group subscribers moved with us. Many found other homes at spots like topica.com. And some probably just disbanded. In the end, with AD2000 hoopla seemingly cooling down and the reality of day-by-day operations setting in, some of the sub- group euphoria just didn’t make the transition. “Brigada” largely settled down to a weekly issue of Brigada Today. [yawn] [just kidding]
But since those days, StrategicNetwork.org started up… (see item #11 above) and don’t forget www.peopleteams.org (check it out if you haven’t been there lately). These networks filled a real need… and probably did it all the more efficiently using their web interfaces. And since they were run by professionals who were doing it for a living, the staff there had more time — than a Brigada approach, run totally by volunteers, who actually made their living as full-time missionary-types, doing all this Internet stuff on the side as a kind of overgrown hobby. And for those with web access, they probably resonate better than the tools we used to try to pull together in the old CrossConnect days, when a “friendly face” like John Hanna (Caleb Project) had to try to actually manually answer every inquiry personally at the “People Group Consultant” service (remember the “PGC” email on August 25th 1995? If so, you’re showing your “Brigada age”! ).
So today, when people ask, “Where are all the subconferences I’ve heard about on Brigada?”, I just smile to myself and remember the “good ole’ days.” They were filled with high-flying, adrenalin-pumping, marathon all-nighters. They’ll always mean a lot to those who took part in them.
But as always, the real “proof of the pudding” for Brigada (or any other service trying to lift up the needs of the unreached… and the tools for reaching them) isn’t really based in the tool itself… but rather in the act of reaching them. And everywhere we go these days, we see churches and agencies working together to complete the task of world evangelization. As long as that’s happening with gusto, the Brigada dream will still be alive.
But, I must close. We’ve got another six years of Back page editorials to think up. Thanks for being a part of Brigada. I truly hope it’s the best free service you’ve ever bought into. As a final “hoorah” for our sixth-year birthday party, here are three lessons out of many that I’ve learned since those wintery fateful days in January of ’95:
- RESOURCES — Many Brigada readers seem to like hearing about new resources… maps (remember those 100 Gateway Cities maps from August ’95?), videos, CDs, and even books. Maybe promoting these resources has become one of the key roles of Brigada.
- RELATIONSHIPS — In the end, it’s not the maps or videos or even the hoopla. It’s the relationships we establish that will last… and those are Brigada-strong.
- RESOLVE — Many have asked how we’ve managed to keep at it. Though nearly every issue of Brigada Today is “late” , we have for better or worse (you be the judge) always gutted it out. In six years time, through thick and thin, sometimes from Africa, Asia, South America, or wherever we happened to be in the world, … we’ve always managed to email you a message… six years times 52 weeks/year… yikes … now there’s a scary thought. 25,733 paragraphs, 85,340 lines, 723,191 words, for a total of 5 megabytes of just verbiage (no pictures)… makes me tired just thinking about it. And speaking of tired, it’s 4:36am. Time to hit the sack.
Oh… did I mention… a lot of Brigada readers like … brevity. Oops.
TO SUBSCRIBE — To subscribe to BRIGADA TODAY, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO UNSUBSCRIBE — Send email to email@example.com. (Subject and text are ignored.)
IF IT DOESN’T WORK — Write Don & Judy, our Customer Services Managers at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com>.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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, email@example.com
- Brigada Website: Bob Mayhew, WebServant@brigada.org
- Brigada Customer Service Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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!