In this issue…
1) DON’T GIVE UP ON JOSHUA PROJECT II
2) MORE ABOUT THAT NOV. 4TH RALLY IN INDIA
3) LEARN TO TEACH ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
4) DEVELOP THE SKILLS NEEDED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET CULTURE
5) CORRESPONDENCE GUIDELINES FOR SENSITIVE COUNTRIES
6) A PLACE TO START TO FIND FILMS
7) STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS WITH A FUNNY MISSIONS BOOK
8) THE TALKING BIBLE FOR NON-READERS
9) THE BACKPAGE: HOW DID YOU SPEND YOUR THANKSGIVING VACATION?
10) CLOSING STUFF
1) DON’T GIVE UP ON JOSHUA PROJECT II — If you thought they had disappeared, think again. Don’t give up on Joshua Project II. True — their funding is in question . . . but their website is alive and well…
And they don’t appear to be at *all* ready to give up. :-) Keep up the good work Dan and company!!!
2) MORE ABOUT THAT NOV. 4TH RALLY IN INDIA — Thanks to Justin, who pointed us to all the more information on the Dalits, that group in India who was reportedly considering converting in mass to Christianity:
There are 16 articles, including internal Indian Christian leadership commentary on the event, as well as articles published “before” and “after”. And Justin promised there’d be more to come. (Thanks Justin!)
3) LEARN TO TEACH ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE — Join YWAM Montana for a TESOL course that will certify you through the Australian Qualifications Board as well as give you accreditation through the University of the Nations, Hawaii. The course runs from January 7, 2002 through February 1, 2002. The course instructor is Kim Greig from Australia. Kim has been involved in teaching English since 1994 and has led TESOL courses in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Jordan and Singapore. For information write to Julie Smude, TESOL Coordinator at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or download an application at </email@example.com>
http://www.ywammt.org . You may apply for this course through December 14, 2001.
4) DEVELOP THE SKILLS NEEDED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET CULTURE — Here’s a three-week intensive course designed to teach missionaries how to become students of the culture to which they will go plus give them the practical and theoretical tools needed for strategic ministry in that cross-cultural context. The course moves beyond principles to skill development as the student learns how to discover the structure and organization necessary for successful ministry that already exist within the target culture and then to adapt their plans to these existing systems. The course is taught by Dr. Richard Lewis at the Center for Intercultural Training in NC from Jan. 14-Feb. 1, 2002. For more info email
5) CORRESPONDENCE GUIDELINES FOR SENSITIVE COUNTRIES — Does anyone have a brief list of guidelines to follow when corresponding (email or snail mail) with missionaries in closed/restricted access countries? Lifewater International is looking for suggestions to share with their volunteers and would appreciate tips and or suggestions from organizations and people in the field who have already worked this out. Please contact Trudy at <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you can help. Check out http://www.lifewater.org . We’ll ask Lifewater to send us a summary when completed. Thanks. </email@example.com>
6) A PLACE TO START TO FIND FILMS — Okay… So even though http://www.ChristianSpotlight.com
isn’t *exactly* what we were looking for to find old Christian films, at least it’s a start. (See Item #3, “HOW DOES ONE LOCATE EXISTING GOSPEL FILMS?” in the Nov. 16th issue of Brigada Today.) They have reviews of numerous Christian and secular films, both recent and older, with a constantly expanding listing. The site organizers have many contacts in the Christian film industry (and have personally been involved as an organization in Christian film since the 1950s), so you could also drop them an email c/o <firstname.lastname@example.org> to explore unanswerables. (Thanks Tim, for your ministry and service!!) You could also search: </email@example.com>
There you’ll find a search engine feature for video titles. Also try http://www.gospeldirect.com . Thanks Ken!
7) STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS WITH A FUNNY MISSIONS BOOK — “Siberian Shivers” is a collection of true anecdotes told by Bill Harris, a missionary serving in Siberia. Each story is humorously told, then wrapped up with insights of practical use to newcomers to the foreign scene–whether or not they are headed for cold climes. Here is an entertaining way to get a real eye opener to culture shock issues sure to be faced in any culture. Order Siberian Shivers in time for Christmas! You can read the first story “Uaz Adventure” for free by going to:
or order immediately by writing to: <>. Don’t miss the Christmas special: $10 for your first copy; $8 for the second up to infinity! It’s never been cooler.
8) THE TALKING BIBLE FOR NON-READERS — Folks at Audio Scriptures International (ASI) in Escondido, California are praising God for their success in creating what they dub the world’s first “Talking Bible.” The Talking Bible is the brainchild of ASI’s President, Mark Hoekstra. This patented listening device looks like a Bible, is the size of a Gideon Bible and costs about what people pay for a printed Bible. The Talking Bible has an entire, translated New Testament in a desired language sealed inside. Combining high tech sound programs in the computer with the low tech of the analog cassette makes this revolutionary listening device possible. The first four thousand Talking Bibles have been manufactured in India. The first languages are Tamil and Telegu and are being used in the Adopt-A-Village Bible listening program there. Twenty thousand units are also being manufactured in China. In their enthusiasm for the Talking Bible, ASI is saying that, as a starter, all printed translations of the New Testament should be made available in audio for non-readers as Talking Bibles. They are saying that the ease with which Talking Bibles can be produced and their relatively low cost puts such a goal within reach. ASI is saying that it seems unthinkable that this would not be done when one considers the enormous cost and effort required to translate a New Testament into another language. Dr. Harvey Hoekstra, founder of ASI says, “The advent of the Talking Bible makes doable what was once only a distant dream. The Talking Bible will give non-readers the same opportunity to HEAR God’s Word by listening as anyone has who reads!” For more information check out ASI’s website: http://www.audioscriptures.org or email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. </email@example.com>
9) THE BACKPAGE: HOW DID YOU SPEND YOUR THANKSGIVING VACATION? —
[Note: Doug sent the following letter to all Team Expansion workers
on Thanksgiving Day. Here, we’ve changed only the verb tense to
reflect the fact that it’s now history.]
Though Thanksgiving Day is largely celebrated only by those of us from the USA, my impression is that much of the rest of the world at least identifies with it in principle. The idea is simple — to pause at least on Thanksgiving Day, as a nation, to give thanks for the way God has brought us all through hard times. Here in Louisville, Thanksgiving Day struck a very special chord in America’s heart. In the morning paper, one editorial spoke about “the New Normalcy”, referring to a newfound set of values this holiday season. Instead of focusing on glitter, gold, and glitz… the nation’s families were zeroing in on things that maybe matter more… like family, friends, and the value of life itself.
It is said that on that first Thanksgiving Day, a native American named Squanto helped newly-arrived Pilgrims make it through the season. The year was 1621 and Pilgrims were having a pretty tough time making a go of it in this new land. Squanto stepped in, acting as an interpreter, helping piece together a treaty between the Pilgrim settlers and Chief Massasoit. Interestingly enough, historians now tell us that Squanto had been kidnapped by Capt. Thomas Hunt in 1615, lived in England, and returned (1619) to North America with Capt. Thomas Dermer. So within a short space of only 4 years, Squanto had somehow managed to transform the feeling of hurt and betrayal (being kidnapped by one of these new European interlopers) into an unselfish life-risking effort that involved helping the very people who had previously sought to take advantage of him. He taught them to plant, fish, and love the land they had come to pillage. Little did he know that an even sadder fate awaited him in the wings. Just a short time later, while acting as a guide and interpreter on William Bradford’s expedition around Cape Cod, he contracted smallpox and died. In the end, he had paid the ultimate price to assist these pilgrims from another land.
I can think of several lessons after hearing such an awesome story of self-sacrifice. From one perspective, I think of you. You’re a modern-day Squanto. You’re out there putting yourself in harm’s way, leaving friends and family (often most obvious on a day like today), in hopes of helping pilgrims from other lands find new honor in values that they’d never before imagined. We know, from personal experience, that those values are worth living for. In fact, probably we’d be willing to give our very lives for those values. I think about the 8 Christian foreign aid workers recently released from Taliban captors. One of our own team members here in Louisville at Team Expansion knew several of them personally and even stayed over night with one of them on a recent visit to Central Asia. Now *those* 8 Squantos had something to celebrate this Thanksgiving Day, eh?
But I can also think of another perspective. There are those modern-day cross-cultural Squantos that many of us have experienced… those blessed souls who have helped us find local markets and renew our paperwork in the downtown offices. They’ve taught us local language and introduced us to their friends, who in turn have helped us accomplish more than we could have ever hoped to do by ourselves. They’ve paved the way for us … even though at times it has meant suffering for them. They’ve sometimes had to put their own personal career plans on hold. And what about the dozen or so Afghans arrested for helping those 8 Shelter Now aid workers in Kabul? They nearly lost their lives. (Today we give thanks that the latest news is that every single one has found freedom today, thanks largely to the incredible efforts of our men and women in uniform… combined with Northern Alliance freedom fighters.) Down through the years, I’ve given thanks for Squanto-like friends… I remember “Never” and “Amilcar & Charro” in Uruguay, …. “Tanya”, “Vlad”, and “Costia” in Kherson, …. and many many more… all the way up through even the last 24 hours, when a new Squanto is helping us get started in Afghanistan at this very moment.
Finally, there is the most obvious and life-changing Squanto of all — Jesus Christ. He, too, came to our assistance as we tried to learn to navigate the waters of this new land. He taught us a “New Normalcy”… new values, new truth, and a new love . . . .to find new life. Is there any higher purpose? Can you think of any higher values? Can you ever imagine any higher reason to live? The funny thing is that, like Squanto, helping pilgrims ended up costing him his very life. For Squanto, though, it was a tragic ending. But in Jesus’ case, it was an incredibly ironic *beginning*. Satan thought he was doing the ultimate evil terrorist act. What a surprise it must have been … an incredibly shocking surprise… when Jesus raised from the dead. Satan’s work will never be the same. His powers on this planet were forever altered … forever weakened… and in the end, forever destroyed.
The events of September 11th have, for our nation . . . and indeed for a world-full of people with civilized motives . . . galvanized our thoughts and values. If before, we were even tempted to yearn for glitter, gold, and glitz, people *everywhere* now see that it’s all going to perish in the end. It might be later… but it could also be much sooner than anyone thought. Our understanding of our own vulnerability is forever changed. Sales of Bibles and Christian books have skyrocketed. Publishers can’t even keep up. Meanwhile, bicycle manufacturers are backlogged this Christmas with inventories they can’t even imagine. Though terrorists meant this ugly deed for evil, it has instead brought about a) their own undoing, b) our own value-renewal, and c) a near-global awakening in spiritual things.
So… we have a lot to be thankful for. There is no greater love than that of a man willing to lay down his life for his friends. Squanto knew it. His name became a legend. Jesus knew it. In one final act of love, he changed eternal destinies. And today, in my prayers for you and all of those in our global family, I’m going to thank God for our modern-day Squantos… people like you… this very Thanksgiving Day!
Be careful out there. Helping those modern-day pilgrims is risky business… a bit like a jungle!
PS. Ironically, as I was proof-reading this note on Thanksgiving Day, the Radio City Rockettes came through Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Talk about glitter, gold, and glitz. Okay… so maybe some things never change. :-) Back to reality. :-)