In this issue…


  1. CHECK OUT OUR NEW SPONSORS — See the new sponsors by clicking to: then click on “Sponsors” at the bottom of the page. Enabling us this week are Wycliffe Bible Translators USA (specifically, their Church Mobilization group). Meet the Wycliffe folks at: and Lingua House (specifically, Betty Sue Brewster, co-author of “Language Acquisition Made Practical — LAMP”, the book that sparked a language learning revolution. Get it at: Thanks for your partnership in getting us a Brigada Secretary. She starts August 18th! Yahoooooooo! :-) Our first paid employee! :-) (Note: USA givers desiring a tax-deductible receipt can make their gifts payable to “Team Expansion” and mail to: “Brigada”, c/o Team Expansion, 3700 Hopewell Rd., Louisville, KY 40299 or just use the link at the Brigada website to give via PayPal. It’s fast, easy, and free! (And they don’t spam you with offers, either. :-) )

  2. WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH PLAXO? — This past week, I received a note from a Brigada participant in Africa: “Several of my friends … are starting to use PLAXO as their address book. What are your thoughts about using Plaxo – maybe you can respond in the next BRIGADA TODAY. …” Well the truth is, I’ve been getting more and more of these crazy Plaxo messages and I had just about begun to dismiss them as spam. Then I saw the PC Mag review at,3048,a=38903,00.asp , which, for its part, wasn’t really negative. However, I’ll have to admit, something about responding to all these Plaxo messages is troubling. I think part of it is… we’re just trusting the integrity of the software developers that none of our information is going to be shared. Call me paranoid — but knowing that it was written, in part, by the co-founder of Napster doesn’t raise it up any notches in my book. I mean… imagine your address book being managed by Napster? Maybe next thing you know, there will be some peer-to-peer database site with all our names and email addresses, made available for the right price to spammers somewhere. Think of how glad they’d be to get email addresses keyed to locations and tel. numbers. Yikes. Just what I need: More email to answer, more potential for exposure to spam, more automated Internet messages sucking up bandwidth. To see if others felt the same way, I did a quick search and, for instance, see this honest appraisal:,4149,949832,00.asp This columnist (Bill Machrone) finds the “pings” from Plaxo to be a pestering nuisance. I couldn’t agree more. Bottom line: To me, it’s a waste of time. Why does an email recipient need all my snail-mail address information and telephone numbers? And many of us don’t change email addresses that often. Mine’s been the same since 1995. So if there’s a “Plaxo [OFF]” switch somewhere in the Internet universe, count on me to turn it [OFF]. For now, I’ll be deleting all the Plaxospam messages. Too many other things to do besides take a risk for Napster-spammed-universe. That’s all I have to say about that.

  3. LEARN ABOUT CHRISTIAN MICROENTERPRISE — Here’s a distance-learning course on Christian Microenterprise Development in the 2/3 World that starts August 18th. Although the registration deadline has passed, they might let you in, still, if you beg and plead. :-) Even if this course is full, the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, at Covenant College offers other 6-week modules via email for missionaries and church workers. This particular course assists current and future evangelical church leaders, missionaries, and community development workers to understand basic principles and practices in Microenterprise Development (MED) and Microfinance (MF) so that they can determine the appropriateness of MED and MF for their community of service in the 2/3 World. For more information go to, or email .

  4. NEW WEBSITE BUILDER FOR MISSIONARIES — Have you seen ? Susie recently pointed us to it. The software they sell (“Handshake”) allows one to design and create custom websites to keep supporters informed. So skip Frontpage, Dreamweaver, and HTML code altogether. Storehouse charges an up-front fee for the software, then collects a small “transaction fee” from on top of every donation. Your donors who give $100 might be charged 19 cents extra, for instance. Now 19 cents isn’t much. In fact, it’s half the cost of the stamp — if they mailed you the check! (Plus they save the cost of the check and the envelope! :-) ) Secure transactions are provided through PayPal and the software automatically handles posting text and pictures to your site. See the samples and demo at . (Thanks Susie!)

  5. MINISTRY TO MUSLIMS COURSE — This “Ministry to Muslims” course is an overview of the origin, culture, fundamentals, and growth of Islam, with an emphasis on the present challenges facing the church, and how believers can practically reach Muslims today. Topics include The Fundamentals of Islam and Islamic Arguments, Biblical Responses to Islamic Arguments, Muslim Cultures and Lifestyles, Types of Muslims and Why They Behave the Way They Do, and How We Can Effectively Evangelize and Disciple Muslims. Practicums will be designed for those wishing to utilize what they’ve learned. … The International Department of Elim Fellowship is offering the class, which will be held on five consecutive Wednesday evenings at the campus of Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY, from October 22 to November 19, 2003.

    For more information, call the Academic Office at Elim Bible Institute at (585) 582-2130, or send an email to: .

  6. FOLK RELIGION COURSE IN BUDAPEST — This course runs September 29 – October 3, 2003, and is taught by Dr. Phil Steyne. Enrich your ministry or work on an MA in theology or missiology through Columbia International University while living in Europe. Pre-course work is required, so sign up today. For additional information write .

  7. HUMOR BREAK: FAVORITE *FIELD PERSONNEL* COUNTRY WESTERN TITLES — Okay, so maybe it’s time, once and awhile, to take a quick break for some humor. These titles are some of the most favorite Country Western tunes, according to Mark at: (Thanks Mark! Great media newsletter, by the way!) Disclaimer: You have to be a Nashville fan to understand some of these. :-)

    All Alone with Thirteen Million Friends I Can’t Stop Loving Them If Hope Were Oil, They’d Be a Quart Low Take This Culture Shock and Love It God Bless Wherever We Are Right Now You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy and We Don’t Own a Car On the Plane Again A Country Boy Can Survive Statesiding Your Cheatin’ Heart Got the Statistics Report Wrong Again Stand By Your UPG (The Unreached People Group Blues) Mama Don’t Let Your MKs Grow Up to Be Cowboys Get Another Mosquito Net (This One’s Full) You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly Air Conditioners I’ve Known and Loved Before My Salary’s Just a Bug on the Windshield of Life You Can Lose Weight (But I’ll Always Be Ugly) I’m Just a Nose Hair in the Body of Christ I’d Learn This Language If You’d Learn It First Tell Me a Story ‘Cause There Ain’t No TV Make the World Be A’Saved My Church is Under a Tree (But I Can’t Find the Forest) Your Tires Were Big, But That Rut was Deeper I’ll Fly Away If This Tuk-Tuk Won’t Slow Down

  8. TEACHERS NEEDED IN TIRANA, ALBANIA — The MK school in Tirana, Albania has an extreme shortage of teachers for the coming school year (starting in less than a month!). If no teachers can be found then some missionaries might be forced to return to their home countries. There are roughly 50-60 students in this school, all children of missionaries. All instruction is in English. If you are a K-9 teacher and would consider coming for a year, please check out or e-mail at .

  9. PEOPLETEAMS TOPS 555; ADDS URBAN CENTERS — now has 557 missionary team webs to explore. These web sites are produced by teams of field personnel who are advocating for their people group. A new upgrade includes an option to search by Urban Centers. This change was made to facilitate workers who are approaching complex peoples in mega-cities such as Beijing, Istanbul and dozens more. PeopleTeams is in its third year, receives some 447,000+ hits per month from more than 16,000 unique users. PT provides a free hosting service to 327 missionary teams and links to 211 other webs. As a ministry of its own, PT has published 19 webs which are advocacy priorities where no missionary personnel presently serve. Check ’em out at: