In this issue…

1. TEACH ENGLISH TO REACH NATIONS
2. NEW BOOK EXPLORES LIVES OF EARLY JEWISH BELIEVERS IN JESUS
3. INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF RECONCILIATION STUDIES
4. RELEASING KINGDOM PROFESSIONALS TO IMPACT THE NATIONS
5. A NEW QUESTION: THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA IN AFRICA
6. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMPS
7. WATER PURIFICATION INFO
8. THE ZHUANG OF SOUTHERN CHINA
9. DEBATE ON GOOGLEMAIL CONTINUES
10. TURBO-CHARGE BRIGADA
11. REFLECTIONS ON A HURRICANE AND RESULTING OFFERINGS
12. CLOSING STUFF

1. TEACH ENGLISH TO REACH NATIONS — Nations are crying out for English teachers. You can reach them with the gospel as you teach English. YWAM/PA can train you to teach effectively in their TESOL course. The next course will be offered October 3 through October 28 at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA. Additional information and application forms can be found at http://www.ywampa.org or email questions to ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. NEW BOOK EXPLORES LIVES OF EARLY JEWISH BELIEVERS IN JESUS — Now is your chance to pre-order the much anticipated book, “We Have Found the Messiah, The Jewish Believers in Jesus of Antiquity,” based on Volume One of Dr. Oskar Skarsaune’s ground-breaking research on the history of Jewish believers in Jesus. Get a real sense of how the Jewish believers integrated with the rest of the Church, and learn how this work has potential to reestablish a sense of legitimacy for this group — both within the Church and the Jewish community — that has been owed it for generations. Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies is publishing this outstanding work as the December 2005 issue of the journal, Mishkan. Single copy price is US$19.00, with volume discounts available for 20 copies or more if ordered before October 15, 2005. Delivery in December. Call (630)668-3328 or email caspariusa(at)caspari(dot)com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
3. INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF RECONCILIATION STUDIES -— Here’s a web- based, 9-12 month, self paced school for leaders that is accepting applications 24/7/365. Faculty includes YWAM President, John Dawson, and other significant reconcilers from around the world. Mention Brigada when you register. You get world class training in reconciliation and, according to organizers, Brigada will be blessed as well. (This is a class you won’t want to miss! :-) ) Check it out http://www.gracebridge.org or contact fawn(at)reignbridge(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
4. RELEASING KINGDOM PROFESSIONALS TO IMPACT THE NATIONS — Again this year Carol Davis is hosting a conference to link professionals with global opportunities in their professional “domains” of business, health care, arts, education, technology, law-government and science. ** Along-side Consultations are for senior pastors to help churches identify, equip and release strategic professionals from their congregations; and for mission pastors and mobilizers to help them better mobilize this strategic work force. ** Each event is two days, and the three events overlap over three days (Oct 20-22nd) at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond (Seattle), WA. ** Discounted registration ends 9/14, so spread the word quickly! Visit http://intersectionconference.com or email information(at)intersectionconference(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. A NEW QUESTION: THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA IN AFRICA — While on a research trip among the Nama/Damara, one believer encountered three young men. He asked them what they would do when they stand before God after they die. These young men had never heard such a question. They gave all their attention to hearing the Gospel. They eagerly prayed and asked Jesus to save them and be their Lord. Pray for the Lord to build prayer support and call missionaries for the Nama/Damara, an unengaged people. To adopt the Nama/Damara people for prayer or for more information, please visit http://www.forgottenpeoples.info or email swacsc(at)iafrica(dot)com
6. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMPS — Elijah Company conducts these four day consultations for up to thirty people presenting practical steps and important concepts. Topics include spiritual development, character issues, relationships, culture and steps to move forward. Participants may also receive personal words and prayer for encouragement and direction. Many have already received this valuable training and are on fields around the world. The next camps are Virginia, October 27-30, 2005; El Salvador November 2005; Guatemala, February 2006. For more information see their web site at http://www.elijahcompany.org or write to elijah(at)elijahcompany(dot)org. To subscribe to Elijah Company mentorship network sent a blank letter to elijahcompany- mentorshipnetwork-subscribe(at)strategicnetwork(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. WATER PURIFICATION INFO — Check out this site: http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~rael/uvtube/uvtubeproject.htm Learn to blend the technical with the available. (Thanks to the anonymous Brigada reader, F.H., for the link! :-) )
8. THE ZHUANG OF SOUTHERN CHINA — October 1st will begin a month long prayer emphasis for the over 17 million unreached Zhuang of Southern China. They are the largest people group in the world without a Bible in their own language. Each month on the first is a time of prayer and fasting on behalf of Zhuang, but in the month of October each year there is a special emphasis. There is a full color prayer guide “31 Days for the Zhuang” available in several languages. The price is US $1 per book for one to fifty copies, after 50 copies it is sixty cents a copy and the postage charge to mail them. Please join with others around the world on October 1st for the October 1st 2005 Day Of Prayer for the Zhuang. To be added to the list of those who will take part, or to receive the prayer guide, please write: zhuang(at)pobox(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. DEBATE ON GOOGLEMAIL CONTINUES — Many still view Google’s mail service as ideal, with privacy being, in their opinion, plenty good enough. One reader commented on the item in last week’s Brigada, “One of the sites listed was www.google-watch.org. Most of what I saw there was hate for the big corporations and micheal moore type of name calling and conspiracy theory stuff. They did have a few interesting points about info gathering but to be honest it really turned me off more than anything.” The important thing is to find tools and resources that look and feel secure enough for your context. Just make sure you know exactly how “exposed” you are. Frankly, just about *anything* is better than the unguarded Internet.
10. TURBO-CHARGE BRIGADA — Our 2005 total giving is actually pretty good. At $7,664.18, we’ve got a ways to go (to reach our goal of $16,576 for the year), but year before last, one single donor gave $9,000 in one fell swoop. Perhaps you couldn’t ever imagine doing that… but do you know someone who could? Remember, we *limit* donations to the $16,576. Any excess gifts are escrowed for the next year — and once we make our goal, we no longer mention the appeal in future Brigadas for the remainder of the year. We intentionally try to receive only the *exact* amount needed. These funds encourage Brigada by under girding costs like webspace, secretarial help, and a small amount of advertising and promotion to help get the message out about Brigada’s resources. To chip in or make a substantial donation, just 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. 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. If you *do* know of someone who might help with these expenses, please feel free to relay this update to them. And thanks for any support you can give.
11. REFLECTIONS ON A HURRICANE AND RESULTING OFFERINGS — Maybe somebody living on Mars might have somehow escaped hearing about Katrina, but actually, I imagine Hurricane news would have traveled even there. Some of the best fund-raising for the hurricane has actually taken place at the hands of reporters for the major news networks, whose ratings probably skyrocket in times like these. Either way, viewers see the needs and are moved toward action, even before various aid organizations send appeals. Like many missions committees, the one I lead (at the local church I attend when I’m not traveling) stepped up to the plate, appealed for a matching gift grant from a great foundation, and 7 days later — bam — there was $70,000 ready to mobilize toward the two focal points we had chosen. And so, like many other participant/observers, I came away from the experience with a few conclusions:

*** The book of James (James 4:2b in the New Testament) is right: sometimes we don’t see great offerings because we just don’t ask. (Where would all these people have sent their money if our missions committee hadn’t given them the chance?)
*** Donors are moved by matching gift requests. The one I approached is geared toward the fellowship of churches that I attend. But you can find tons of similar organizations online at Google.com. A simple search on the terms, “grantmaking foundations,” yields half a million pages of results.
*** Donors like it when they know their money will make it to the scene of the tragedy. We made arrangements so 100% of ours would make it to the field. (literally zero overhead) A couple of our staff even accompanied the first wave of ministry implementation (paying their own way). Our response was incredible. Donors have heard about scams where previous collections have been misused and they’re eager for a simple solution that bypasses a “big business” approach.
*** Special offerings for tragedies don’t have to negatively impact regular weekly tithes. We emailed our congregation’s members in advance, to tell them a Hurricane relief offering would be collected at the close of the service. The regular offering was one of the best ever . . . and the hurricane relief offering was remarkable. The Lord and his people are very generous.
*** Unchurched people want to give too. One of our church’s members said she took the appeal to her business place. She intentionally approached non-Christians, several of whom were eager to take part. They explained that they had wanted to help but didn’t know whom to trust. This particular business owner came back with $1200 in 48 hours. Another friend of a friend wrote a head coach of an NFL franchise; lo and behold, the coach immediately offered to give $10,000! If our friend hadn’t approached him, would he have ever gotten around to making such a gift? No one knows.
*** Donors like action. Our entire project, from beginning to implementation, required no more than 10 days. We didn’t ask for pledges over time.
*** At the same time, donors like to know long-term care will be granted. We assured donors of our regard for this by finding room in our budget for long-term hurricane relief funding as a part of the general missions budget, which is funded by regular Sunday offerings. In this way, we hope our members will be further motivated to keep giving their missions dollars to the regular Sunday offering.
*** Empower your missions committee chairman to *act*. Funny… in this particular case, I had been appointed chairman the very week of the hurricane. The chairman of our board and the chairman of the elders gave me a mandate to get the church involved in Katrina relief. I took that to be a clear assignment and proceeded to act pretty decisively, but all the while (daily, in fact), I sent out regular emails of the steps I was taking. These emails went to leadership in all cases, and in some cases, we sent those emails to the entire church membership. In this way, they could see that their agent was taking steps… quick steps. My theory on this was that they would be forgiving of me if I moved forward, forsaking regular monthly missions committee meetings in favor of an action orientation for the here and now. Everything I’m hearing, after the fact, says it was the right thing to do. Act — but keep everyone informed. Don’t wait for a committee meeting. Find out your mandate, then jump in and make it happen. (Example: I applied for the grant the very morning after being appointed, writing as if I represented the church.) Disclaimer: I also set up a meeting one week in the future where I told the committee members I would review the steps I had taken and, as a committee, we would be able to look at the entire project at the 7-day milestone. So they all knew that meeting was coming.

Bottom line: When tragedy strikes, my theory is — people want leadership that takes quick and decisive action. During those first couple of weeks, they’ll be *very* forgiving if someone acts without getting all the normal permissions and approvals, as long as everything is done with good integrity and good ethics, naturally. The key is to understand the mandate, the extent of the expectation to *deliver*, and the “reasonable checkpoints” with the right decision-makers. The corollary of my theory? In catastrophic situations, group members have little toleration for indecision, slow implementation, and wasted time. (View the feeling toward FEMA and other gov’t reps in New Orleans.)

Hurricane Katrina may well turn out to be one of the worst natural disasters to ever strike USA soil. But the response of kind-hearted people from all over the world is helping make a difference today… and it can do so in future catastrophes too.

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