In this issue….


A Day of Terror for the USA and its visitors

note Note: Though this Brigada Today represents the 8/24 edition, it is being compiled on Sept. 11th. I know, I know. It’s weird… but a long time ago we settled on doing editions on Fridays… and we’re told that if we keep the dates consistent it just works better that way. So… this the Aug. 24th edition… posted Sept. 11th.

In addition to his role of making an effort to compile Brigada Today on an [attempted] regular basis, Doug Lucas serves as President of a missions agency called Team Expansion. On Monday, Sept. 10, Doug wrote a personal note to each of the 175 full-time Team Expansion workers around the world, asking each of them to take a greater measure of caution — to “watch your back”, so to speak. After watching the morning of Sept. 11th, Doug wrote his colleagues again, this time, with the following message:

“Sept. 11, 2001 — A Day of Terror for the USA and its visitors

“Well obviously, when I sent out a warning message to you yesterday, I had no inkling that 24 hours later, we’d be viewing scenes of such horrible destruction and loss of life. Honestly, at that time, I was anticipating some kind of attack on an embassy in Tokyo . . . or something in a restaurant in South Korea. By no means would those kinds of acts have been “small-scale”, but the massive loss of life and the incredible sense of emotion that New Yorkers . . . and all Americans – – in fact, all sensible world citizens — . . . the stuff we feel at a time like this is probably something akin to what our parents or grandparents felt on the day after Pearl Harbor.

“Of course, when I thought about attacks being far away, I was actually thinking of you and all our missionary force. Often, what’s far away from us in proximity is close to you. In this case, the warning ended up with an ironic twist — the attack was much closer to home than I ever imagined. Was it Usama Bin Ladin? Or was it some Tim McVeigh with a twisted sense of “getting even” about something that happened to his mother or brother? The truth is, we might never find out for sure. But one thing is certain: regardless of where this kind of act takes place, we are reminded of just how fragile life can be. I mean, how do we prevent jetliners from crashing through the windows of skyscrapers… or, for that matter, smashing into the castle at Disneyworld? Yikes.

“The only thing we can really trust in is the fact that somehow, God is near to us in times like these. He empowers us to do His will… to carry out the good works that He’s created in advance for us to do. Sometimes that will require more courage, more endurance, and more stamina than we personally can muster.

“So where do we turn in times like these? (You know where I’m going with this.) We have to look straight into God’s face and seek Him. Here at Int’l Services, we just gathered for a quiet time of prayer. As each team member lifted up various aspects of this tragedy, I saw varying perspectives and took peace in giving over all the strain to God.

“So I’m asking… would you please join me today as we lift up the needs of all the families who have lost loved ones this morning? Would you help me lift up the families of those who aren’t even Americans but were simply in line to visit the World Trade Center as tourists? Let’s pray for peace for those who are, at this very moment, agonizing over a terrible injury or loss of limb… or loss of a Mom or Dad or son or daughter. We pray for wisdom for our leaders . . . for George Bush and all his advisors. … that he might have insight from God and incredibly swift and effective judgment. May God bless America and her allies on this fateful day.

“Would you and your colleagues there be able to gather today, even for a few moments, to jointly pray these prayers with us? Would you intentionally ask the Lord to grant wisdom to the USA’s leaders? Thank you.

“Now, the same message I sent you 24 hours ago… still applies… “Over these next few weeks, as you make travel plans, just remember, especially for those traveling between an overseas location and the USA… please maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase your security awareness and reduce your vulnerability, whenever it is possible. Maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with suspicion. In addition, Avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects, and report the presence of any such objects to local authorities. Vehicles should not be left unattended, if at all possible, and should be kept locked at all times. We appreciate you . . . and your friendship and camaraderie… so we felt an ounce of caution would be worth a pound of cure.’

“So please… just be careful. It truly is a jungle out there. :-)

Doug Lucas