In this issue…
1. TRAINING IN MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
2. LEARN HOW TO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE
3. TIPS AND TOP TOOLS (FOR WORKERS EVERYWHERE)
4. NW CHILDREN’S EXPO INTENSIVES!
5. OPERATION WORLDVIEW READY FOR ACTION
6. LEGAL & TAX INFORMATION FOR MISSIONS AND CHURCHES
7. WIRELESS NETWORKING ALPHABET SOUP
8. WILLING TO TEACH MKs OVERSEAS IN CENTRAL ASIA?
9. FOUR MORE OPTIONS TO CREATE PDFs
10. OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH TSUNAMI RELIEF
11. HAVING TROUBLE GETTING SKYPE FROM OVERSEAS?
12. GET CULTURALLY ORIENTED
13. ARE YOU BURNING CDs? TRY THIS FREE SOFTWARE
14. PREPARE TO LIVE IN SUCH A WAY THAT DRAWS MUSLIMS TO CHRIST
15. THE WONDER OF ANONYMOUS DONORS
16. TASTE OF TRANSLATION
17. BECOME A PART OF THE ENGINE THAT POWERS BRIGADA
18. CLOSING STUFF
1. TRAINING IN MICROFINANCE AND MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT — Equip your church or ministry with the tools you need to promote financial self-sufficiency in poor communities. Get training from the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College from June 13 – June 18, 2005 in Lookout Mountain, GA USA. You will engage in hands-on training through interactive discussion and simulation of real-world issues taught by field practitioners. Our Two-Thirds World/ Track focuses on providing small business training to low-income entrepreneurs, savings-led microfinance programs, rotating savings and credit associations, and microfinance institution partnership. Chalmers partners include Food for the Hungry International, World Relief and World Vision US. To register, email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or visit http://www.chalmers.org (The Chalmers Center is a regular supporter of Brigada. Please give them a try!)
2. LEARN HOW TO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE — Take Principles of Language Acquisition: Natural Tools & Strategies, April 1 7-29, 2005 in Toronto. Dr. Tom McCormick builds this workshop on the principles developed in the MTI, PILAT program. PLANTS is a proactive approach to learning a new language. Before you are field-tested you can be language lab- tested. You can evaluate your language learning strengths and weaknesses, learn the principles and skills of language acquisition, practice with national speakers of your target language, and actually grow in your target language, all within two weeks in what some would say is the world’s most multi-cultural city – Toronto. For more information or to Register on-line, click to: http://www.missionprep.ca or email info(at)missionprep(dot)ca
3. TIPS AND TOP TOOLS (FOR WORKERS EVERYWHERE) — Still searching for that ideal digital photo-editing tool that will let you batch process those 7 megabyte photo files into more efficient sizes for use on the web and in PDFs & Powerpoints? Try Pic2Pic at… http://www.wavelsoftware.com/pic2pic.htm This handy little tool will do batch conversion of image files with rotation, mirroring, and color resolution adjustment! Finally! This is what we’ve needed for so long. Important: Convert those photos headed to the web over to 72dpi, and by the way, they probably don’t need to be any bigger than 3×3″. For the printed page, you could get the max out of the printer by printing to about 300dpi (600 if you have a printer with high-res output and the extra hard drive space on your PC). Always save your original resolution (like 5 megabytes or whatever) for the big-time, like posters or offset brochures and the like. Wanna hear the best news about the Pic2Pic program? (the reason why it’s an answered prayer): It’s free!!!! That’s right – get it from wavelsoftware while you can. Now there’s no excuse. *Everybody* should be able to reduce the size of these mongo photos on the web.
4. NW CHILDREN’S EXPO INTENSIVES! — Now’s the final chance to register for this team-taught intensive seminar at Village Baptist Church in Beaverton, OR, April 22-23, designed to meet children’s ministry needs and packed with the most comprehensive children’s mission education training available today. Discover how to nurture a child’s heart for the world. Interact with top regional mission educators and network with other churches. Take home a thick syllabus of the latest resources! Information and registration: http://www.vbconline.org/global/children_s_expo_intensive or or e-mail lesliee(at)vbconline(dot)org, phone Leslie at (503)643-6511. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
5. OPERATION WORLDVIEW READY FOR ACTION — Check out the new pages in promoting the Perspectives Family Edition of the Operation WorldView Video Series: http://www.mission1.org/opwv_psp.html Don’t forget to tell them Brigada sent you! (Just to spread the word; we don’t make a thing off of recommending them. Thank for your work though, Werner! Great job!)
6. LEGAL & TAX INFORMATION FOR MISSIONS AND CHURCHES — The Nonprofit and Church Legal Trends Memorandum is a newsletter that has been distributed free of charge for over seven years to leaders of churches, missions agencies, and other religious non-profit organizations. The memo regularly recaps the latest news from the U.S. legal and tax front on issues of concern to churches and organizations. It also has a subscriber section with much more detailed analysis of legal and tax issues, along with practical tips to help ministries. The publishers (Nonprofit and Church Law Ministries) are now offering a special arrangement to help Brigada. Two dollars out of every subscription purchase (now $25/year) will be donated to Brigada. Recent issues covered, “How the anti-terrorism laws are affecting missions organizations,” “U.S. Senate panel recommends provisions that would substantially increase regulations on tax-exempt entities,” “IRS releases a memo containing a wealth of material giving helpful guidance for any charitable organization that might have business components,” “Two recent cases address when clergy-penitent conversations can stay private,” “U.S. court rules that mature minors can make their own choices about Christian conversion and baptism, even if contrary to their parents’ desires,” “No religious exemptions to the Family and Medical Leave Act,” “IRS outlined the definition of the term “church.”
Check out more at http://www.npchurchlaw.com or email info(at)npchurchlaw(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]. Please make sure you type “Brigada” in the “How did you hear about us” field so they’ll know who sent you.
7. WIRELESS NETWORKING ALPHABET SOUP — Have you been confused about the wireless networking “alphabet soup”? No wonder. Here’s a quick summary: 802.11a (Wi-Fi “a”): 54 Mbps on 5 Ghz band 802.11b (Wi-Fi “b”): 11 Mbps on 2.4 Ghz band 802.11g (Wi-Fi “g”): 54 Mbps on 2.4 Ghz band 802.11n (????????): 200 Mpbs on 2.4/5 Ghz band* * Note: 802.11n is a concept, but has not been officially approved. Still, we’re starting to see some early release merchandise designed to work in this spectrum. It’s going to be *twice* as fast as most current wired ethernet connections. (Essentially, only Gigahertz networking is faster!) All four protocols allow communication up to about 150′, depending on the walls you have to traverse. So bottom line: If you’re buying today, try to find a router with at least “b” and “g” networking. That’ll insure the most compatibility. When “n” is finally approved (probably late 2006), it will be backward compatible with “b” and “g” anyway. One final note to confuse it all: Bluetooth is upgrading too. If you’re considering buying something bluetooth, ask if you can get Bluetooth 2.0. It runs at 3Mbps instead of 720kbps…. so over 4 times faster with 2.0. Or better yet, get Wireless USB, which runs at 480 Mbps, faster than anything yet named above! It’ll travel about 32′ away.
8. WILLING TO TEACH MKs OVERSEAS IN CENTRAL ASIA? — Then the folks at Evergreen School in Tashkent, Uzbekistan would love to talk to you. They have a host of opportunities open from Kindergarten through 10th grade, as well as for administrators, too. Write them for more information at calldale(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 .]
9. FOUR MORE OPTIONS TO CREATE PDFs — Need yet one more way to make PDFs? Mike suggests using OpenOffice. It’s free at http://openoffice.org and works on Windows, Macs, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris, is available in 44 different languages, and does spreadsheets (like Excel), presentations (like PowerPoint), and drawings (like Visio), in addition to word processing (like MS Word). Worth a try! Good thinking, Mike! Meanwhile, Steve and Joel like PDFCreator. It is totally free “open source,” cross platform and works very well. Steve has created large and complex PDFs with no problems from several different pieces of software. Get it at http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ or http://sector7g.wurzel6.de/pdfcreator/index_en.htm (Thanks Steve and Joel!) Or, try http://www.primopdf.com/ It acts just like a print driver… and is as easy as selecting a printer. *Or* if you don’t like the free options above, just switch to a MAC, says Ed, rubbing it in for the rest of us who have chosen IBM- compatibles. :-) Ed reminds us all of the painful truth that Mac OS X permits users to “save as” in PDF format without the need of special software. (Of course, 90% of the world still isn’t purchasing Macs, but if Ed has anything to do with it, the number of Mac users will grow. :- ))
10. OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH TSUNAMI RELIEF — Marine Reach is sending a new ministry called Mercy Trucks to Sri Lanka. Mercy Trucks will use vehicles to deliver aid and equipment to the Tsunami affected areas of Northern Sri Lanka. Roy and Catherine will be establishing the ministry when they arrive in Sri Lanka and would like outreach teams to work with them. They will be cleaning, rebuilding, doing community development projects and counseling. If you would like to hear more please write Jeff at jlyon(at)oval(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or check out the Mercy Trucks web site at http://www.mercytrucks.org
11. HAVING TROUBLE GETTING SKYPE FROM OVERSEAS? — Brigada participant “Randy” is in the same boat. But he got hold of the Skype folks over Instant Messaging and reports that they are fixing a new approach whereby credit card sign-up will be easier from overseas. So try again soon if you were frustrated. Again, Skype is the voice-over-Internet phone kind of thing. www.skype.com In the meantime, one reader by the name of Andrew wondered why we didn’t recommend other similar (SIP) services: FreeWorld Dialup (http://www.fwdnet.net) SipGate — http://www.sipgate.co.uk Gossiptel — http://www.gossiptel.com VoIPTalk — http://www.voiptalk.org or the list at http://www.fwdnet.net/content/view/full/333/ Check ’em out! Thanks Andrew!
12. GET CULTURALLY ORIENTED — Now you can participate in Cultural Orientation for Personal Endurance & Enjoyment (COPE), May 30-June 12, 2005 & Culture & Language Learning (CALL) June 13-25, 2005 in Langley BC. This intensive two week program equips missionaries to live the paradox of the enjoyment/endurance challenge of the cross-cultural experience. Spiritual, Personal, Language, Interpersonal and Cultural aspects of the missionary experience are taught through a unique combination of experiential and formal instruction. For Christian workers intending to serve for more than one year overseas. Register on-line at http://www.missionprep.ca or call toll free from the USA or via Net2Phone 866-640-1621 or email info(at)missionprep(dot)ca
13. ARE YOU BURNING CDs? TRY THIS FREE SOFTWARE — Thanks to Scott for recommending the Open CD Project http://www.theopencd.org This includes office productivity, graphics design, internet applications, multimedia programs, utilities, and games. You can download the CD iso image and burn it yourself or go to individual program sites to download particular programs. The advantage of the CD is that it has a very easy to use installer. (Thanks Scott!)
14. PREPARE TO LIVE IN SUCH A WAY THAT DRAWS MUSLIMS TO CHRIST — Just attend the Sahara Challenge, an intensive one week training and outreach experience, May 28 – June 5, in Orlando, FL. For more information, click to: http://tinyurl.com/65b9s (We’ve used tinyurl because the original link wrapped. Thanks for the tip, Bob!)
15. THE WONDER OF ANONYMOUS DONORS — I still marvel at the graciousness of anonymous donors. Here’s one for $25… “Thanx for the work you do,I would appreciate being annonymous on this.” Amazing. Thank you brother.
16. TASTE OF TRANSLATION — Are you interested in learning about Bible Translation during Spring break? Then you need to check out Total It Up! It’s a “Taste Of Translation And Linguistics” (“TOTAL”) back by popular demand! This five-day course includes introductory classes on phonetics and phonology, grammar, language and culture learning, translation and semantics, as well as field reports, videos, and personal testimonies. Learn in a relaxed, informal setting with experienced translators from many different countries and language projects. Devotions, prayer time and group living build meaningful relationships between staff and students. Housing and meals (breakfast, lunch and tasty ethnic dinners) are provided. Class sizes are 20-35 people. Classes include: Phonetics, Phonology, Grammar, Language Learning, Translation & Semantics. Each evening includes a delicious ethnic dinner, staff field reports and personal sharing, an exciting mission video, hang-out time and help with homework, if needed. Cost is $200 per person. The course is being offered at the Wycliffe Northwest Regional Office in Portland, Oregon, March 20-25, 2005. For further information and registration forms contact Kris Russel at: kris_russel(at)sil(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or phone the Wycliffe Northwest Regional Office at 1-800-269-2007 or check out the web at: http://www.wycliffe.org/events/Total/home.htm
17. BECOME A PART OF THE ENGINE THAT POWERS BRIGADA — Want to help make this work possible? If so, just log on at https://brigada.org then click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. Thanks! As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.