In this issue…


  1. 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 International TEAM will be held in Dubai, UAE April 22-27, 2006. Contact Bill Turner at desertspring(at)tapmail(dot)org for information. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Go to for details on all of the workshops and information on ITP. If your mission is interested in sponsoring a SYIS workshop, contact Paul 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 .]

  2. CALEB PROJECT TO HOST THE CONNECTION CONFERENCE — More than 750 leaders representing more than 100 area churches are expected to tap into an array of workshops and exhibits at a state-wide missions conference called The Connection: God’s People Empowered to Reach Our Communities and the World, March 16-18, 2006, at Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver’s south suburb of Highlands Ranch. Urban and Hispanic ministries are a new focus this year, including worship led by the multi-ethnic Confluence Band. The non-denominational event is sponsored by a coalition of churches and international mission agencies. Speakers and mission consultants will offer 72 workshops in eight different tracks. This regional missions conference is designed to equip, empower, and release God’s people in their unique role and application of Acts 1:8.

    The plenary speakers for this conference are Fran Blomberg, adjunct professor of Intercultural Ministries, Denver Seminary, missions consultant, and Doctoral student at Western Seminary; Ted Travis, Pastor of Jubilee Community Church in Denver and president of Neighborhood Ministries; and Scott Wenig, Pastor of Aspen Grove Community Church and professor of Applied Theology at Denver Seminary. The eight equipping tracks will include: Urban Transformation, Church Mobilization, Children’s EXPO, Effective Short-term Missions, Your Next Steps in Missions, Encountering Muslims, Purpose-driven Business, and a track for Hispanic ministry.

    Conference details can be found at

  3. ONLINE REGISTRATION OPENS FOR GCoMM 2006 — Hundreds of musicians, music missionaries, educators, worship pastors, and Christian leaders from around the world will gather for the second Global Consultation on Music and Missions (GCoMM 2006), to be held July 11-15 at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. At GCoMM 2006, a superb team of plenary and seminar speakers will explore the cultural aspects of music and worship. Register for GCoMM 2006 before April 1 and receive an early-bird rate of $245, which includes 12 meals. The convenient online registration will also allow you to reserve your spot in Bethel University’s on-campus housing, obtainable on a “first come, first served” basis for $25/night. Discounted registration rates are also available for students and those coming from outside of North America. See all details and register now at to take advantage of these select discounts. [GCoMM 2006 is made possible in part through a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.]

  4. INTENSIVE CROSS-CULTURAL INTERNSHIP IN NORTH AFRICA — Live with a Muslim family, study Arabic, and learn “how-to” study another culture May 20 – June 3 in North Africa. The program is led by a professor with 20 years of experience in the region, and is an excellent way to experience what it would be like to work long-term among Muslims. Participants include potential missionaries, current missionaries who want to improve their cross-cultural skills, and any who need a first- hand experience with Muslims in order to increase their effectiveness and missionary vision. The internship can be taken for academic credit or noncredit and is sponsored by The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, based at Columbia International University (CIU) in South Carolina. Registration deadline is April 1. For more information please email eurocourse(at)hotmail(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with . ]

  5. CALIFORNIA WEB EVANGELISM CONFERENCE — Don’t miss TechVangelism conference on technologies for communicating Christ cross-culturally, at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, California, 18 March 2006:

  6. SECOND WORLDWIDE INTERNET EVANGELISM FOCUS DAY — Internet Evangelism Day this year will be 7 May 2006. The purpose of this focus day is to share with Christians the potential and strategies for effective online outreach. Any church or mission group can create a custom program using downloadable PowerPoint, video clips, dramas, music, handouts and posters from the site:

  7. ZWEMER — What is currently taking place around the world as a result of cartoons about Muhammad suggests we in the West need to focus more on Muslims! This is the 10th Summer Institute in Islam, July 3-28, 2006 on the campus of Columbia International University in South Carolina. In the four, one-week courses, the focus in on understanding Islam, building healthy relationships with Muslims and training workers to effectively present the gospel. With over 35 hours of class instruction for each course, Zwemer’s distinctive over other similar programs is that it provides in-depth training for the Church’s greatest challenge in the 21st century. Material can be taken for credit or as a seminar (non-credit). Please go to and follow the link to Zwemer. You can register on line or e-mail muslimstudies(at) [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] You may also call 1-800-777-2227, Ext. 3325.

  8. NEED A GETAWAY? — If you can’t hit the entire Connection, at least take part in a getaway. See it at: — free meals, room, and more… if you’ll rest and enjoy life in a laid back sort of way. Very interesting business model. :-) (Seriously – they want to take care of missionaries!)

  9. UNREACHED PEOPLES CONSULTATION POSTPONED –- The Unreached Peoples Consultation, “Connections for Kingdom Advancement” scheduled for March 21-24 in Virginia Beach, VA, has been postponed. The Alliance for Missions Advancement (AFMA) is planning to reschedule the consultation this October or November. An announcement will be released when the dates are solidified. For up-to-date information, visit the consultation website at or call AFMA at (757) 226-5850. (Thanks.)

  10. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CHIP IN — This past week, we received these welcome gifts: $6.38 from Good Neighbor Insurance because someone signed up with them via Brigada,

    and $10.08 from Blessed Hope Communications for those who talked on the phone this past month! :-)

    We also rec’d $18 from Insurance Services of America, where Mark Sneed is the VP, again, as a kind of “finder’s fee”.

    Thank you to these sponsors. Please remember them and the gracious way they’re helping Brigada.

  11. THE BACKPAGE: SNOOPY’S TIPS FOR SAYING THANKS — I remember a Charlie Brown comic that pictured Snoopy trying to make friends with the cat next door. Snoopy walks up to the cat with the “right paw of fellowship” extended . . . but covering his paw is a ball glove (with extra padding). It’s a comical commentary at curing cross-cultural conflict. But the trouble is — sometimes it’s a lot like real life. We reach out to others to say thanks but fail to appreciate the cultural differences.

    Let’s take, for instance, the missionary who gets behind on his or her reports. 2 months pass, 3 months, 4 months… and the next thing you know, a supporting church has to come knocking, with a question like, “Have I somehow been dropped off your mailing list?” :-) Well in this case, the churches that banked on regular reporting are now hearing nothing . . . and that *silence* becomes the distance-maker, pushing more and more *space* between the missionary and the donor.

    So how can we say thanks? I’m learning that it varies some. For one supporter, it truly might be just by sending the written report. For Team Expansion, that’s supposed to go out *monthly*. But for another one, it might be a phone call (upon receipt of an out-of-the-ordinary gift). For another, maybe it could mean attending the funeral of the donor’s close relative. Yet another might appreciate a handwritten thank-you note, “Just writing to tell you that we really appreciate you.”

    In today’s world, we sometimes get so busy with automation and mass production that we forget . . . personal is good. They had to sign the check. Let’s sign the card. So whether it’s with the pen or phone, or a voice or visit, let’s all work harder at saying thank you in a way that inspires greater and greater levels of trust and respect. I believe God will get more and more glory as we do that. And that’s a good thing… because it’s a jungle out there. We need Him.