In this issue…


1. TRAINING IN CHRISTIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT — The Chalmers Center for Economic Development provides distance learning courses on church- based, field-tested strategies that promote financial self-sufficiency among the poor. These courses are email-based guided readings with instructor feedback on weekly written assignments along with peer interaction. Three courses are offered. The first is scheduled for Jan. 2-27, 2006. It provides an understanding of the needs of the poor and lays the goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. The second gives an overview to Christian microenterprise development and microfinance. The third teaches the basic principles of Savings and Credit Associations (SCAs) as a ministry tool. To learn more about these courses or to register, visit the Chalmers Center web site at . You can also contact the Chalmers Center by phone at 706-419-1805 (US) or by email at 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 .]
2. ENCOUNTERING THE WORLD OF ISLAM ONLINE — Caleb Project is pleased to announce EWI Online, the distance-learning version of Encountering the World of Islam. In 12 weeks, EWI Online provides a positive, balanced, and biblical perspective on God’s heart for Muslims and equips Christians to reach out to them in Jesus’ love. Students learn about Muhammad and the history of Islam, gain insight into today’s conflicts, discover the frustrations and desires of Muslims, and learn how to pray for and befriend them. EWI Online involves textbook readings, downloadable lectures, weekly online discussions, meeting a Muslim and visiting a local Islamic center, four quizzes, one paper and a Concert of Prayer. Students complete one lesson each week. Winter classes begin January 2! For more information, email info(at)encounteringislam(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 see
3. GRANTS AND LOAN DIRECTORY — The “American Grants and Loans Directory” is now available. This publication contains more than 1500 financial programs, subsidies, scholarship, grants and loans offered by the US federal government. It also includes over 700 financing programs available by foundations across the United States. The Canadian Subsidy Directory is also available for Canada. The CD version is $69.95 and the printed version is $149.95. To order, just call 450-224-9275 in Canada.
4. MAPPING FOR MISSION WORKSHOP — Catch some introductory training for the Global Ministry Mapping System (GMMS) for ArcView, December 5-9, 2005 at Global Mapping International (Colorado Springs, CO). Learn how to implement the GMMS for your ministry. Tuition will be $300.00 for GMMS licensees & $500.00 for those who have not acquired the GMMS (Price includes printed materials and lunches/snacks). Multiple attendees from a single organization will each receive a $50.00 tuition discount. For more information, contact Tony tony(at)gmi(dot)org or call 1-800-569-6312. Remember to respond quickly. Space is limited to 10 participants. If you sign up by November 21st, you’ll guarantee your spot and save $25.00 off registration. (Note: The cost of lodging and meals other than lunch are not included in the tuition fees.) Visit to find out more.
5. PEACE COLLEGE SEMINAR ON CONTEXTUALIZATION — The 2006 Peace College seminar will be held on the 11th through the 29th of August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (This represents a slight change from the announcement made at the 2005 seminar.) Please plan to arrive on the 10th and to stay at least through the end of the day on the 29th. This year’s topic will be contextualization. Look for a detailed reading list by the end of November along with details on venue and costs. If you have any questions, please direct them to peacecollege(at)swissmail(dot)org
6. SHARPENING YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS (SYIS) — This valuable workshop will be held February 27 to March 3, 2006 at Gateway Missionary Training Centre in Langley B.C. The Cost will be $190.00CDN which includes lunch and course materials. This course, developed by Dr. Ken Williams, is offered internationally and has been greatly appreciated by intercultural workers around the world. Gateway Missionary Training Centre has offered the workshop each year since February 2001 to missionaries from a variety of organizations. For more information contact info(at)gatewaytraining(dot)org or call 604-530-4283 and ask for Beverly.
7. DO YOU FIND ENGLISH DIFFICULT? — Then go to and click on ‘What’s new’. Now download ‘Stories from the Book of Genesis’. Helen Sealey has written these exciting stories in short sentences, using Accessible EasyEnglish (level A 1200 words in the lexicon). She has designed them especially for anyone who struggles to read English. The EasyEnglish Bible Dictionary is also available now, from the same website. This item explains over 800 Bible words in EasyEnglish.
8. WEB PUBLISHING, DATABASE PROGRAMMING FOR $10 US AN HOUR — Here’s a Christian-owned company that does Web & Flash Publishing/programming, Graphics Designing, Database Programming, Image Processing and Data Capturing (data capturing from faxes, books, magazines, forms), Admin Support, Data Entry, File conversion (from one file format to another). For more information, please contact Brian cbpdirect(at)aol(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. THANKS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP! — Thanks to Dial-Abroad for their sponsorship in response to Brigada readers signing up with their service. This past week, they sent $103.76… so if you ever need phone services, please consider them first. Just go to and choose the long-distance service, “Dial-Abroad”.
10. THE BACK PAGE: LESSONS FROM A SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT — When I’m not writing Brigada material, I’m trying to do my best to lead a little missions agency called Team Expansion, with about 260 full-time workers in 36 countries. When our field workers experience a loss of a parent or child, we try to make sure someone from our “home office” attends the funeral with them. I’m guessing most other agencies do the same. Well one of those funerals was scheduled to happen today. The funeral was slated to take place in a small rural community in Central Illinois. Commercial flights just didn’t line up . . . so I was forced to plan to make the 9-hour drive (originating at a missions convention I was attending), leaving at 2am or so. Not an ideal situation… but doable. (We do what we have to do, right? :-) ) Well the truth is, my co-workers love me… so after I went to sleep at 9:30pm or so, they were like little elves, scurrying around arranging better options for me. :-) When my alarm went off at 1:30, I found a note under my door explaining that they had managed to secure a friend of the mission to fly me there in a private plane. What’s more, another staff person had volunteered to accompany me. I was instructed to go back to bed and sleep for another 4 hours. Instead of having to drive 9 hours one way, the pilot got me there and back in 5 hours round trip!

As I pondered the events of the day, I took away a few lessons from the whole process.

First, I’m convinced that scheduling the trip to the funeral was the right thing, even though it was hard. The truth is — sometimes we evaluate our courses of action based on how difficult we guess they’ll be. More and more I’m realizing that if I just focus on doing what’s right, lots of the infrastructure grows up after the decision is made.

Second, traveling by plane — “as the crow flies” — sure makes a lot more sense than driving along traditional roads. The metaphor is probably goes without saying: Let’s solve problems by tackling them “head-on.” Let’s don’t allow traditions to slow us down, regardless of how many times “we’ve done it that way before.”

Finally, I was thrilled at my team’s willingness to take initiative. Can you believe they changed my travel plans “while I was sleeping!” But one of the reasons they took that initiative, I think, was because they knew me well enough to know that I’ve empowered them to do more than just *talk*. They know they can take action and, within reason, make big changes — even changes that impact the president :-) — and life will go on. In fact, lots of times, it goes on better!

So … next time you think you have your travel plans set for the morrow, beware closing your eyes to go to sleep — if you’ve trained your team to dream, plan, and take action. You just might wake up to learn that the tables have turned… and the outcome just might be tons better than what you had originally hoped!

And that’s a good thing… because it’s truly a jungle out there.