In this issue…

  1. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY?
  2. NEW BOOK TELLS TESTIMONY OF BUSINESSMAN TURNING TO MISSIONS
  3. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES from US
  4. NEED A WORD TRANSLATED? TRY THIS SITE
  5. LOOKING FOR WEB-BASED BIBLE STUDY TOOLS?
  6. HOW TO KNOW A GOOD FORWARDING AGENT
  7. CASPARI STATIONERY
  8. MISSION TECHNOLOGY WIKI
  9. HOW WOULD WE DO IT WITHOUT YOU? WE PROBABLY WOULDN’T
  10. THE BACKPAGE: ALL FOR A STYROFOAM PEANUT
  11. CLOSING STUFF

  1. WANT TO MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY? — Learn how through the “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” distance course from the Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College. The January 8 – February 2, 2007 offering of the course is now full and the Chalmers Center is taking registration for the May 7 – June 1, 2007 course offering.

    The “Foundations” course is designed for anyone doing ministry and community outreach among the poor – pastors, church planters, ministry leaders and lay staff, and missionaries. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for a team who ministers together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. Topics covered are: An understanding of poverty and its causes, a relational framework for addressing poverty, principles for doing relief work appropriately, needs-based and asset-based approaches to holistic community development, implications for short-term teams, impact of world view on poverty and development, and integration of biblical messages into development programs.

    This course is a guided-reading program with weekly written assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with other course participants. Because it is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. Prior financial or economic experience is not required to participate. Group discounts and a Two-Thirds World discount are available.

    For those ministering to the poor in the Two-Thirds World, the Chalmers Center also offers a distance course on microfinance and microenterprise development services and interventions and a distance course on basic principles of Savings and Credit Associations (SCAs) and how SCAs can be used as a ministry tool. The microfinance and microenterprise course is also available in self-study format.

    To learn more or to register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    or call 706-419-1805 (U.S.), or email chalmers(at)covenant(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN- 11/06. (Thanks to the Chalmers Center for all the great times you’ve pitched in to help Brigada move forward! God bless you all!)


  2. NEW BOOK TELLS TESTIMONY OF BUSINESSMAN TURNING TO MISSIONS — As you read Roger Babik’s ‘A Call Against the Will,’ you’ll be entertained, inspired and challenged. How can so many funny things happen to one family? (How can one family cause so many funny things to happen?) Get ready for a roller coaster ride of faith in action, joy in service, and miles of miracles. This is Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” brought to *life*! Learn how a career businessman does the trading-spaces thing by casting aside his secure management job of 17 years to launch a highly-successful Christian non-profit organization. It’s worth the read just to witness this family’s battle with (and victory over) a life-threatening illness. You’ll want to hurry up and finish it so you can loan it to your best friend.

    See the cover at

    http://www.masterprovisions.org/ by clicking on “Click here to see the cover.” The cost is $12.95 (includes post office shipping) and payment should be made to Master Provisions, 12236 Hutton Drive, Walton, KY 41094. Don’t forget to include your mailing address. Visa and MasterCard transactions will be accepted. Purchase 5 books and the 6th book is free. (For every book purchased, Master Provisions is planning to donate nearly $2.00 per book over to Brigada. Please be sure to tell them you heard about it on Brigada.) It can be ordered through Master Provisions by contacting roger(at)masterprovisions(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  3. GREAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC CALLING RATES from US — Here’s a way to get great calling rates for domestic (starting at 1.9cents/min to continental US and Canada) and international calls (200 countries for less than 10cents/min …UK 3cents, France 3cents, Russia/Moscow 2.5cents, Israel 3.2cents, Colombia/SA 4.2cents, South Africa 9cents). You can call from any touchtone phone including cell. They have prepaid service, no contracts, no monthly, activation, or connection fees, no need to switch carriers plus you get up to 470 free minutes on signup. They have lots of convenience features. For more info go to:

    http://www.tel3advantage.com/?agentnumber=837371

    An agent affiliate program with good income potential is also available at no cost to sign up.


  4. NEED A WORD TRANSLATED? TRY THIS SITE — The site is

    http://www.wordreference.com

    It features one-word dictionary meanings in Spanish, French, and Italian, as well as a cool verb conjugator built right in. (Thanks Jason.)


  5. LOOKING FOR WEB-BASED BIBLE STUDY TOOLS? — Bob found these (featuring “NextBible” helps & tools:

    http://next.bible.org/

    Stable Release Version:

    http://net.bible.org/home.php

    (Thanks Bob — and thanks to the IMB for sharing you!)


  6. HOW TO KNOW A GOOD FORWARDING AGENT — Hats off to Jason Casey, another compiler with a cause. As a Team Expansion missionary in Europe, he volunteered to compile a few “top 10 lists” on how to know when you have a good forwarding agent (i.e., the person handling your funds while you’re serving as a missionary overseas with certain organizations). See his list at

    https://brigada.org/today/articles/forwarding-agents

    Thanks Jason!


  7. CASPARI STATIONERY — It’s that time of year again! As you celebrate the birth of the Jewish Messiah this Christmas, share the true meaning of the holiday with family and friends by using unique, high quality stationery designed by the Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies. (Proceeds help support Caspari’s work with Israel’s Jewish believers in Jesus.) Letterhead and envelopes are sold separately for just $5 each in packages of 50 through their online store

    http://www.caspari.com/store

    Or call the Caspari U.S. office at (+1) 630.668.3328. Churches and organizations wishing to order a quantity for resale will receive a bulk discount. Contact the Caspari U.S. office by phone or by email at CaspariUSA(at)caspari(dot)com for details. (Price does not include shipping.)


  8. MISSION TECHNOLOGY WIKI — Here is a wiki use within the mission IT community. The Mission Tech Wiki at

    http://www.missiontech.info/

    aims to capture knowledge about the use of technology in mission. The wiki is run by members of the ICCM community

    http://www.iccm.org/

    There is a great article on what to buy as a laptop for workers – just search for ‘laptop’. Feel free to update the wiki if you see something missing, or wrong. (Thanks ICCM!)


  9. HOW WOULD WE DO IT WITHOUT YOU? WE PROBABLY WOULDN’T — Because your gifts are such an encouragement. Thanks for keeping the Brigada fires burning! Thanks to an anonymous donor “who appreciates your newsletter. ($50 gift). And to another who wrote, “Thanks for many years of faithfully preparing and sending out Brigada to us as missionaries. It’s been a blessing every time! Merry Christmas!!: $10” [What a great idea — a Christmas gift to keep Brigada going!] Another anonymous donor sent $25… and Judy sent $8 from Tel3 signups (Thanks Judy! and thanks to those who talk on Tel3!). For more info, go to

    http://www.tel3advantage.com/?agentnumber=837371

    Want to join the foundation builders? Just click on “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or if you prefer, 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. In any case, thanks for considering Brigada in your estate giving, your monthly church missions fund, and/or your own personal giving for this calendar year.


  10. THE BACKPAGE: ALL FOR A STYROFOAM PEANUT — This past week, I sold my previous telescope on eBay, bought a more powerful telescope (also on eBay — great deal, by the way), and was almost all ready to go observing when I noticed, inside the enclosed portion of the Schmidt- Cassegrain optics, a single styrofoam peanut. When the eBay vendor sent me the scope, he packed it up with tons of styrofoam peanuts — and one of them had made it into the inside optics because he left the cap off the back of the scope.

    I posted a message on an astronomy forum, asking what to do. I even posted a picture of the optics and the styrofoam peanut. After a brief explanation of the details, the answer came back, “Take the front lense/corrector off.” Yikes, that sounded difficult.

    But even so, tonight I did it. It was like having to do surgery without the undergrad, let alone the residency.

    Nevertheless, I finished it. (I’ll let you know for sure how I did next time we have a clear night.)

    Now the funny thing is… 150+ people have come to that forum thread to read about what happened. Can you imagine? 150+ people have double- clicked to read about one single styrofoam peanut! :-)

    So the thought occurred: how is it that the tiniest thing can cause such a great stir? James 2. A giant ship turns on a rudder. Control a large horse with a tiny bit. Tiny bacteria can cause Amoebic Dysentery The smallest cancer cell can spell torture for patients. And the smallest mispronunciation can change a Bible term to a word that we wouldn’t have ever wanted to say at all!

    One thing’s for sure: to be really good at something, we have to learn to do the small things *well*. Eat right, study the Word, Pray to God, exercise incrementally, etc., etc., etc. And if we do all things right, it won’t be just styrofoam peanuts. It’ll be the difference between success — and failure.

    So this week, let’s focus on the big picture stuff… *and* let’s remember to work equally hard on the small stuff… the “styrofoam peanuts.”

    By the way, I got the scope apart, removed the peanut, and got it back together! It’s like surgery is done! Now the folks on the forum are cheering me on for finishing it. Where’s your own ministry? What styrofoam peanut can you remove? What piece can you improve on and get a substantial increase in your own productivity? *That* is the question that haunts us all. That’s the question for you tonight.

    Doug

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