In this issue…

  1. THANKFUL FOR OUR PARTNERS
  2. WILL YOU STAND IN THE GAP FOR BRIGADA?
  3. BRIGADA PARTICIPANTS SPIKE MOMENTUM MAGAZINE WEBSITE
  4. COST-FREE RENEWAL RETREATS FOR GLOBAL WORKERS
  5. MOMENTUM MAGAZINE SEEKS INPUT ON AFRICA
  6. FORUM ON AZERBAIJANI PEOPLE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL, 2007
  7. A HOOT OF A MISSIONS BOOK JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
  8. LEGAL NEWS YOU CAN USE
  9. CULTURE SHOCK RUSSIAN STYLE
  10. SUPPORT-RAISING TRAINING BREAKTHROUGH
  11. NEW BOOK ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST OFFERS EDUCATION & ENTERTAINMENT
  12. THE BACKPAGE: AIMING FOR ONE THING, HITTING ANOTHER
  13. CLOSING STUFF

  1. THANKFUL FOR OUR PARTNERS — This Christmas season, we here at Brigada Today are very thankful for our partners, those who are spurring us on to good works and keeping Brigada Today headed out the door. This past week, anonymous donors gave $25, $25, and $30. That $30 gift was from a worker in Russia who wrote, “We appreciate your service to the ‘Work’.” Another gave $100, and still another gave $500. That $500 gift came from the Dir. of “Commission to Every Nation,” who wrote, “You have been a source of great information over the years and we appreciate it very much. … I continue to recommend you to anyone looking for data and ideas pertaining to missions. Rich blessings to the entire team!” To learn more about Commission to Every Nation, browse to:

    http://www.cten.org

    In addition, Dial-abroad sent their Sept. and Oct. sponsorship, in view of those who “dialed abroad” during those months (thank you for talking!), a total of $93.75. If you’d like to learn more about their great deals for telecommunicating, just browse to:

    http://www.dial-abroad.org/brigada.htm

    Via PayPal, donors gave $50, $10, $25, $100, $100, $25, $25, $100, $100 and $10. All together, those gifts add up to $1198.75!!! To all of these helpers, we say a giant hats-off thank you!


  2. WILL YOU STAND IN THE GAP FOR BRIGADA? — A couple of editions ago, we dared Brigada Today participants to pray, in these last couple of weeks of 2006, that we could enlist a corps of Brigada underwriters to finish the course? We had $8045.99 toward our 2006 budget of $16,650 — so now we have $9244.74. Here’s the way it looks in the number of gifts we prayed for:

    1 to give 1000 — (Nobody has taken this dare yet) 5 to give 500 — 1 down, 4 to go 8 to give 250 — (Nobody has stepped up to the $250 plate yet) 10 to give 100 — 4 down, 6 to go 20 to give 50 — 3 down, 17 to go 50 to give 25 — 3 down, 46 to go

    Remember, if you’ve no money to give, no worries. That’s the beauty of Brigada. Whereas other services might grind to a halt if you stopped paying the bill, Brigada just keeps on going… because others step in to help. What you have to ask yourself is this: Through Brigada, have you ever gotten a lead or a resource or a product that you appreciated? If so, now’s your chance to step up to the plate, say thanks to the Lord, and help somebody else who can’t afford to give. There are several ways to give. You can 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. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax- deductible.) 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. We only have 3 editions after this one left in 2006. Yikes. We’ll have to average about $2500 per edition to reach our goal. Thanks for your prayers on this behalf!


  3. BRIGADA PARTICIPANTS SPIKE MOMENTUM MAGAZINE WEBSITE — The editor of Momentum Magazine wrote last week, a few hours after Brigada Today highlighted their new issue, ” Never let it be said people don’t read Brigada. In one day, some 600 people downloaded the State of Global Evangelization presentation! I’m impressed with the concern of Brigada readers for the unreached, and for the willingness of Brigada to consistently highlight them. I hope many more people will follow the Brigada model and be a voice for the voiceless.” Our response back to Justin, “May the Lord receive any of the praise… and may I just receive a challenge that only 600 downloaded that item.” Let’s keep ringing the bell until every last person on the planet has a valid opportunity to hear.

  4. COST-FREE RENEWAL RETREATS FOR GLOBAL WORKERS — Barnabas International announces that 7 six-day renewal retreats for global workers will be held in Michigan beginning in May, 2007. The focus is personal spiritual assessment in a low-key format, leaving loads of time open to participants. The retreats take place on a private 1400 acre family estate. They take adults only, 16 participants per retreat. 7 homes, fully equipped, on 1.5 miles of quiet and beautiful Lake Huron beach front. To learn more and register, visit

    www.barnabas.org/elimretreats

    or email for information to hstewart5(at)juno(dot)com The best part is — if I understand correctly — the retreats are free.


  5. MOMENTUM MAGAZINE SEEKS INPUT ON AFRICA — As we mentioned previously, the November/December issue of Momentum is online, featuring an in-depth presentation on the State of the Gospel developed by Jason Mandryk (editor, Operation World) and Justin Long (Assoc. Ed. of World Christian Encyclopedia). Find it here:

    http://www.momentum-mag.org

    The next issue – possibly the next several issues – will be focused on the unreached peoples of Africa. (After that they plan to tackle Asia, Europe, etc. in turn).

    If your ministry is focused on Africa (or some sub-region thereof), they would love to hear about it. In particular, they are looking for significant initiatives to highlight and for article submissions. Justin wrote us this past week, “Depending upon response we may either focus on the continent as a whole, or divide it into subregions (in which case the first will probably be West Africa). We look forward to e-mails from Brigada participants.” So send your stories and ideas to: editor(at)momentum-mag(dot)org


  6. FORUM ON AZERBAIJANI PEOPLE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL, 2007 — The North American Azerbaijani Network will host a forum on the Azerbaijani people April 18-21, 2007 in Chicago. The Azerbaijani people are 40 million strong, live predominately in Azerbaijan and Iran, are Muslim, with only 0.03% Christian. This forum will provide vital information for anyone interested in learning more about these gateway people. Opportunities will exist to (1) gain a better understanding of these people’s spiritual importance in the Middle Eastern, Turkic, Russian, and Arabic worlds, (2) hear of work efforts directly from those who have experience there, (3) interact with national and foreign workers, and (4) learn what opportunities exist to participate in sharing hope and help among these dear people. If interested, please send an email to azpartnership(at)galacticomm(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. A HOOT OF A MISSIONS BOOK JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS — “The Great Siberian Rail Adventure” is the hilariously heart-stopping story of the Harris family’s journey by car, ship, and rail across Russia. Come along and you’ll find a dragon, an axe-wielding conductor, a supersonic clothes washer, and a van with a death wish. Packed with cultural insights, your loved ones will love this funny book! Order by contacting Bill Harris at: . [As a means of preventing SPAM for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Copies are $10.00 per copy (plus shipping) or $8.00 per copy when you order two or more.

  8. LEGAL NEWS YOU CAN USE — Good news: The latest issue of the Nonprofit and Church Legal Trends Memorandum is now online. Just go to

    http://www.npchurchlaw.com

    for the issue. You’ll find info on new laws, regulations, and inflation adjustments which have recently taken effect or will on January 1, 2007, including the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the standard mileage rate, and the Exempt Organizations Implementing Guidelines for 2007. (Thanks to Jack, a long-time friend, for making the simplified level available to Brigada participants!)


  9. CULTURE SHOCK RUSSIAN STYLE — Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? “Peterburgers” is a humorously piled platter that’s culturally insightful and spiritually challenging. Treat yourself and your loved ones to funny adventures in Russia told with culture shock training for missionaries (and their supporters back home) in mind. They’ll love this! Order by contacting Bill Harris bill(at)billandrobinharris(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Copies are $10.00 per copy (plus shipping) or $8.00 per copy when you order two or more.

  10. SUPPORT-RAISING TRAINING BREAKTHROUGH –- Now you can receive effective, low cost training to raise your support in the convenience your own home. Raising support doesn’t have to be a terrifying ordeal and it doesn’t need to take two or three years to bring your support up to 100 percent. You can build the relational and communication skills that make raising your support a joy-filled ministry that blesses individuals and churches with greater vision for fulfilling their primary purpose for existence: being the expression of Christ to the nations. Jerry, at Kingdom Come Training, will send you a laptop and a webcam that is ready to plug and play. You will join a multipoint workshop with a small group of other missionaries. It works as if you are all together in the same room. You will need high speed internet access. The training goes for an hour and a half a day, four days a week for three weeks. KCT guarantees results. Single point training is available to groups of six to eight people at an even lower per-person cost. Give Jerry a call at (503) 314-7211. jerry(at)kingdomcometraining(dot)com

    http://www.kingdomcometraining.com


  11. NEW BOOK ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST OFFERS EDUCATION & ENTERTAINMENT — _Mondays in the Middle East: The Lighter Side of Arabian Nights_ by David A. Cross is a newly-published book by an American Midwesterner living in the Middle East. His short glimpses of ordinary life will educate and entertain while giving you a perspective you won’t find anywhere else making it ideal for cross-cultural training. As Russ Lunak, Professor Emeritus at Northwestern College, says in the book’s foreword, “By illustration from his experiences, Cross offers the reader effective coping mechanisms using laughter more readily than lecture.” _Mondays in the Middle East_ is available at online and local bookstores. (Bookstores may order from Spring Arbor Distributors and/or Ingram Book Company). Paperback ISBN 1-60034-652-9; hardcover ISBN 1- 60034-653-7

  12. THE BACKPAGE: AIMING FOR ONE THING, HITTING ANOTHER — How do goals work for you? Our team just spent a week reviewing 2006 and planning for 2007. We’ve been doing this sort of thing for years… but for some reason, this particular year it seemed to go exceptionally well. I’m not sure why, exactly. For what it’s worth, here’s the format we followed:

    *** Day 1, 9-noon: Report on how we did meeting last year’s goals. We gave 2′ to each team member (there are 35 or 40 of us in Int’l Services), plus reported some on departmental goals. Basically, we asked each team member to tell two significant goals he/she accomplished from the previous year’s Field Ministry Plan, then one significant goal that went undone. While the team member talked, we all listened *plus* we jotted a brief one- or two-line note to the person, listing one trait that regularly helped our team fulfill its objectives. (We collected and distributed those at the end, so as not to distract too much during the session.) I gave a frank yet hopeful talk, with a Powerpoint presentation, detailing some of the areas where we seemed to need some extra attention. I gave the group four “dares” (4 general principles that seemed critical to our effectiveness in 2007). I asked them to try to apply the dares in each of their respective sub-team planning sessions. We ended the meeting with lunch and we were done by 1pm.

    *** Days 2-7: Each sub-team conducted its own planning according to its own unique characteristics, setting its own schedule, meeting off-site or on-, short- or longer-term meetings, … it was totally flexible. (In each case, I had met with the respective department heads in Leadership Team meetings, to seek their input on how to structure things, but next year, we want to expand that dimension.) As the week progressed, members keyed their goals into a wiki (a web-based notebook of sorts) that everyone could see. Some of us changed our goals, once we saw the direction or pace others were taking.

    *** Day 8, 9-3pm: On this wrap-up day, we all met together again to share the results of the process. Department heads shared the big picture and, in many cases, individual team members broadened the base by explaining unique roles they hoped to play. Mid-way through the process, we ate a scrumptious lunch together. We ended the day with a full hour of prayer for our goals and for 2007. We especially asked that God would get any glory for what happens.

    *** Day 9, 5:15pm: We staged our annual Christmas dinner and party, played games, played music, sang, and just enjoyed the positive energy that had flowed out of the week.

    It seemed that, without exception, everyone gained perspective on what he or she contributed to 2006 . . . and we hope that, similarly, each team member has gained a sense of vision as to where we’re going in 2007. May God give each of us clear vision.