In this issue…

1. WANTED: SOMEONE WITH CONTACTS IN FOOD WHOLESALE WORLD
2. OPERATION WORLD
3. VOICE OVER INTERNET
4. BLESS GOD’S CHILDREN WITH NEW BOOKS
5. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE BIBLE REFERENCE MATERIALS
6. SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
7. 2020 VISION: NEW BOOK ABOUT GOD’S WORLDWIDE WORK
8. CONSISTENT COMPUTER BARGAINS
9. RETREATS FOR PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES
10. ANOTHER TAKE ON “ENCOUNTERING NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS”
11. THANKS TO THOSE WHO MAKE BRIGADA WORK!
12. WHAT’S NEXT FOR BRIGADA TODAY?
13. THE BACKPAGE: WHY DO I RUN IN THE RAIN?
14. CLOSING STUFF

1. WANTED: SOMEONE WITH CONTACTS IN FOOD WHOLESALE WORLD — Know anybody who can set this new team up with a bulk food wholesale and distribution network? You’d be a part of a “business as missions” approach that would create an alternative platform for Christian workers among Muslim peoples. The workers have found an excellent product that far exceeds its industry standards for the highest grade. Olive oil… their new company can supply it by the pallet in bottles small and large, plus 5 liter tins. If you can help, write to: oliveoil(at)nym(dot)hush(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. OPERATION WORLD — Secure a special price on this landmark book by Patrick Johnstone by ordering through WEC International. Get case lots of 20 for $100.00 plus postage sent to US addresses only. Contact http://www.wec-usa.org or phone 215-646-2322 ext 150. Ask for Dave.
3. VOICE OVER INTERNET — The ability to speak telephone-style to someone else in real-time over the Internet has been around for a while. This VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is certainly highly usable now. SKYPE is a program that is being highly praised; it is essentially an instant-messaging system with voice. Advantages: – it’s no-pay – it works well – it encrypts communications, so missions with staff in Creative Access nations are using it for safe aural communication – it will even access phones for people who do not have the program – it will do conference calls – though their stated limit is 5 persons, apparently there is a way of increasing this. http://www.skype.com/ (Thanks Tony, for this reminder about Skype.)
4. BLESS GOD’S CHILDREN WITH NEW BOOKS – You can put books into the hands of God’s children with Usborne Books Missions Projects. Mission supporters participate in a pledge-based project that encourages them to read the Bible and devotions together. Supporters can make donations towards the purchase of books for missionaries to give to children. Usborne Books matches the donation with up to 25% cash or 50% value of books. The books benefit schools, orphanages and churches. The fundraisers are perfect for short-term mission trips to English or Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more at http://www.BlessThemWithBooks.com or contact Beth(at)UsborneBooksEshop(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
5. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE BIBLE REFERENCE MATERIALS — Ever thought, “I wonder who is working on Bible Reference Materials for all those minority languages?” Michael does too. If you are, know anyone who is or are interested in it please email Michael. He can be reached at Working4eternity(at)gmail(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
6. SHARPEN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS — International Training Partners offers Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills Workshops in different parts of the world. These five-day, highly interactive workshops focus on biblical application of skills in relating to one another and to the host people.

A workshop hosted by Youth With A Mission will be held near Bangkok, Thailand March 14-18, 2005. Contact Lennie at lenniev(at)loxinfo(dot)co(dot)th for more information.

Go to http://www.itpartners.org for details on all of the workshops and information on ITP. If your mission is interested in sponsoring a SYIS workshop, contact Paul Lere at plere(at)itpartners(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
7. 2020 VISION: NEW BOOK ABOUT GOD’S WORLDWIDE WORK — It’s happening, but you won’t get the details on the news. In 2020 Vision find out how the Gospel is reaching people in some amazing places! Got my own copy in yesterday . . . and it’s *great*. Lots of really cool illustrations, many of which that will preach! Exciting breakthroughs in new harvest fields are highlighted, along with scriptural insights into God’s heart for the nations. Read about the Black Berbers, the Parmiri, and the Meo people and also that the percentage of born-again Christians is growing fastest in places like Cameroon, Aruba, and Togo! Written by Bill and Amy Stearns, 2020 Vision is an invaluable tool for God’s people, providing not only in-depth updates on missions today but also practical ways for individuals and churches to get involved. Ideal for adult Bible study groups focused on reaching the whole world for Christ. For more information, an excerpt, and the Table of Contents visit: http://www.bethanyhouse.com/2020vision. To order, e-mail orders(at)bakerbooks(dot)com or call 1-800-877-2665 or (616) 675-9185 (Bethany House ships internationally as well).
8. CONSISTENT COMPUTER BARGAINS — CCB is a national leader in representing nonprofits with special pricing programs since 1991 and is proud to continue providing technology solutions and support at a discount from the industry’s leading vendors, helping nonprofits to carry out their mission more efficiently and affordably. In the US, call 1-800-342-4222 or visit us online at http://www.1computerbargains.com
9. RETREATS FOR PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES — “The Journey Deepens” is a weekend retreat to help prospects explore, discover and connect with how they could become a missionary in another culture. These weekends are for college students, professionals, and high school seniors who are willing to become a missionary but not sure if that is God’s will or how that could unfold. Each retreat of 50 participants and 5 experienced missionaries from multiple agencies is highly relational with extended worship, small group discussions, personal reflection and much prayer. Discussions include the missionary call, support-raising, singles/families, etc. The next retreat will be April 15-17 in Davis, Oklahoma (between Dallas and Oklahoma City). The Journey Deepens is presented by MissionsFocus Int’l and co-sponsored by ACMC, Caleb Project, Perspectives and the U.S. Center for World Mission. Browse http://www.TheJourneyDeepens.com
10. ANOTHER TAKE ON “ENCOUNTERING NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS” — In a previous edition of Brigada Today we included a link to a review of a chapter in Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Approach. Irving Hexham, Stephen Rost & John Morehead II, eds. (Kregel, 2004; ISBN#: 0-8254-2893-9). This book has received overwhelmingly positive reviews in popular and missions sources, including _Christianity Today_ (where it is a finalist as a 2004 CT Book of the Year), Anvil and Evangelical Missions Quarterly. In the interests of balance, readers will benefit from the following review from Global Missiology:
http://www.globalmissiology.net/docs_pdf/reviews/hexam_encountering_new_religious_movements.pdf
11. THANKS TO THOSE WHO MAKE BRIGADA WORK! — Where would we be without them?! I remember a time “pre-Brigada-sponsored secretary”, when we were six months behind schedule on releasing these editions. Needless to say, we’re very thankful for the consideration our readers and sponsors give for these ads and charitable gifts/partnerships. This past week, we received help from: AcquireWisdom.com – $157.10 in commissions for those who visited! Anonymous from Newport News, VA – $250 YWAM Lebanon, PA – $300. They included this note: “We know that your newsletter is widely read, because we get inquiries in response to our announcements in your newsletter.” They added, “Right now we have a student from Japan who heard about our ESL school from your announcement…” Praise the Lord… We’re here for the long haul!
12. WHAT’S NEXT FOR BRIGADA TODAY? — We’re here for the long haul. Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World, recently wrote, ” The sad demise of EMIS Pulse means that the role it played in sharing about evangelical missions news from around the world, leadership changes and forthcoming events and conferences is no longer happening in the same way. You do some of this, but are these areas which could be expanded?” We’re willing to serve that role. You can help by…
*** Getting the word out about Brigada. Please mention it to your missionaries, your staffs, your team members and friends, print it in your church bulletins, put it in your church newsletter, post it on your bulletin board, and more. Just point people to the website or ask them to send a simple message to: brigada-today-subscribe-yahoogroups.com
*** Sending in items of interest to missionaries, mission agency reps, church missions team members, and more. When submitting items, you can help by going to the website at https://brigada.org and clicking on “submission guidelines” in the top line menu.
*** Praying for Brigada’s future
*** And if you’re led by God, helping provide for our Brigada-sponsored secretary. Your mission or company could do a sponsorship for the publicity, then write off the entire amount as advertising. Or, you or your church could make a gift. Just mention if you need a receipt; be sure the check is made out to Team Expansion.
13. THE BACKPAGE: WHY DO I RUN IN THE RAIN? — (The following item originally ran in the Feb. 5th, 1999, edition of Brigada Today. We run it again this week in celebration of our 10th-year anniversary.)

I’m sure many would have called me crazy. :-) (In fact, that’s actually a pretty regular occurrence. :-) ) I had just flown in from Bosnia about 24 hours earlier. The temp. was 34 degrees F., just above freezing. A cold rain was gradually turning to snow and nightfall had crept in over Louisville’s western skies.

But I couldn’t wait to show up for soccer practice. By the time we got rolling, there were 8 of us there… 4 v 4 in the scrimmage. It was great. I intercepted three low goal kicks and converted 2 of them to goals! Took another great pass from Sergey and left-footed it just inside the left post for a 3rd score.

As we walked off the field after practice, I was trying to explain to Sergey the way I felt. After all, he’s 27 and I figured he had forgotten. “You’ve got to remember, Sergey, that this is all so fresh and new to me. I mean, I’ve only been practicing with you guys for 18 months. Every time I see you run a play, I’m filing it away in my head, trying to soak it all in. The excitement is beyond words. And Sergey,” I looked him in the eye, “maybe you remember what it was like in those first couple of years?? Maybe for you it was when you were 10 or 11 years old or whatever, when the game was still fresh and exciting?” He stopped dead in his tracks, looked deep into my eyes with the slightest smile, then spoke with a soft voice that still carried telltale signs of his Ukrainian roots. “Doug, it still is.”

Duh. Why else was he out there in the rain! The 8 of us probably came for 8 different reasons. But for Sergey and me, it’s pretty obvious. There’s something about the game. You can see it in our eyes when we’re putting the leather conditioner on our boots. You can sense it in the air when we’re stretching before practice. And you can *definitely* see it in that occasional “thumbs up” I get… or, like last Tuesday night, when our coach said one of his first encouraging words to me in 18 months. “See Doug, that all started with you. You stole that ball, passed it downfield quickly, and he scored, partly because of your hustle. Way to go!” I beamed. After practice, he tried to be his normal tough self. But it was too late. He had already let it slip. :-) …

What about your life? What’s going on in your marriage, or your relationship with your friends or parents or brothers or sisters? How are things at work… or on the language route… or in class? And more importantly, what’s going on in your relationship with the Father? If you’re a beginner, like I am in soccer, maybe it’s still fresh and new. But if you’re a long-termer, like Sergey, seems to me like you’ve got to figure out how to rekindle the romance… how to make it fresh again. Maybe it’ll take some extra effort. Or maybe you can remember the early days and say, like Sergey, “It still feels that way.” Whatever the case, I think that’s what the writer of Lamentations had in mind when he wrote, in Lamentations 3:21-25: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”

So this lesson I’ve learned and I hope I’ve learned it well: Next time you have the opportunity to show up for practice in a freezing rain, go early, and stay late. And find the freshness again. You’ll be glad you did.

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