In this issue…

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY
  2. THANKS TO THOSE WHO ARE TRYING GOODSEARCH!
  3. HOW TO DO SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT DOING LONG-TERM HARM
  4. CHRISTIAN HIV/AIDS RESOURCES
  5. US POST OFFICE SENDS PRAYER LETTERS
  6. FREE SYNERGY NEWSLETTER
  7. MEMBER CARE SERVICES IN BUDAPEST
  8. EQUIPPING CONFERENCE FOR MINISTRY AMONG INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
  9. TRAIN A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS FOR K’STAN
  10. UNDERGIRD BRIGADA, BUILD MISSIONS FIRE
  11. THE BACKPAGE: CALEB PROJECT & ACMC (INITIATIVE 360), 1978-2007
  12. CLOSING STUFF

  1. MINISTER TO THE POOR WITHOUT CREATING DEPENDENCY — Learn how through an email-based distance learning course called “Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry” offered by the Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College. The next course offering is scheduled for May 7 – June 1, 2007.

    The “Foundations” course is designed for those doing ministry and community outreach among the poor. It is appropriate for an individual as well as for members of a team who minister together. The course lays the foundation for understanding appropriate goals and strategies for Christian economic development in low-income communities. It is an e-mail based guided reading program with written (e-mail) assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with other course participants. Because the course is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. The course will require an average of 8-10 hours of work per week. The Chalmers Center also offers other distance learning courses on microfinance and microenterprise development.

    To register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-02/07. If you have questions, send email to 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 .]


  2. THANKS TO THOSE WHO ARE TRYING GOODSEARCH! — We’d love to thank those who have tried searching at…

    http://www.goodsearch.com

    All those pennies are adding up. Thanks to your combined help, the total contribution (that Goodsearch will make to our mother organization, Team Expansion) is up to $100 for 2007! :-) “Poco a poco, se va lejos.” Someone pointed out that only USA-based non-profits can receive “search-pennies.” As a result, he said, he won’t be able to register his own agency, so, he said, he’d keep searching for Brigada! Remember, all you have to do is type in “Team Expansion” in the “Who do you Goodsearch for?” box. Then click “Verify”. Click on the “Amount raised” button to find out how many pennies have been raised so far. Team Expansion tries to keep Brigada afloat when donations don’t quite make budget. (So far, donations to Brigada have never met budget. :-) ) (Thanks Team Expansion! Thanks Goodsearchers!)


  3. HOW TO DO SHORT-TERM MISSIONS WITHOUT DOING LONG-TERM HARM — The Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College has added a new distance learning course to its curriculum on ministry to the poor that does not create dependency. This course, called “How to Do Short-term Missions Without Doing Long-term Harm,” is scheduled for April 16 – May 4, 2007. It is designed for: 1) sending churches and denominations, 2) host churches and missionaries, 3) missions project leaders, and 4) missions team members.

    The course provides an understanding of the issues surrounding the execution of short-term missions (less than one month) in the context of the socio-economic poor. Short-term missions have the opportunity to produce important benefits, but also have the potential to do significant harm, particularly to the poor. This course presents frameworks for considering these issues so that course participants can strengthen their missions projects and the benefits of their short-term missions are maximized and any harm is minimized.

    This training course is an e-mail based guided reading program with written (e-mail) assignments and peer-to-peer interaction with other course participants. Because the course is e-mail based, slow dial-up speed will not limit participation. The course will require an average of 6-8 hours of work per week.

    To register, visit

    http://www.chalmers.org

    When registering, use Reference Identifier BRN-02/07. If you have questions, call 1-706-419-1805 (U.S.) or send email to 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 .]


  4. CHRISTIAN HIV/AIDS RESOURCES — R.E.A.P (Resource Education For AIDS Prevention) is a complete AIDS/HIV education program that provides biblical, morally based hope in the crises of human tragedy. A 278-page manual is available as well as individual chapters, overhead transparency masters and PowerPoints. Materials are biblical, positive and practical include teaching tips and hints. These materials were developed by (the South African based) Vern & Esther Tisdale of Africa.. Operation Whole. You may freely use these materials in your ministry. The materials are now available for free download at:

    http://aibi.gospelcom.net/reap/


  5. US POST OFFICE SENDS PRAYER LETTERS — Thanks to Wayne who recently wrote to remind us that prayer letters can be printed and mailed through the US post office itself. Wayne wrote, “We have used them for the past year. Full color letters are mailed for .88 using presort first class postage. The minimum is $2 and so as few as three prayer letters can be made. We like the control and options that we have in the mailing process. The most we have had to wait is one extra business day.” To learn more, visit…

    http://www.usps.com/netpost/welcome.htm


  6. FREE SYNERGY NEWSLETTER — Here’s a communiqué that is a missions mobilization ezine published on the Internet by DualReach. It features stories and ideas from churches who are successfully involving their people in cross-cultural ministry. “Synergy Newsletter” also introduces readers to the resources of the expanding DualReach electronic resource centre, including ready-to-use tools that DualReach develops, and examples of best practice they collect from a wide array of dynamic missions churches. Recent topics included short-term youth teams and educating children in missions. Subscribe by visiting the DualReach website

    http://www.dualreach.org

    or writing info(at)dualreach(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. MEMBER CARE SERVICES IN BUDAPEST — The Budapest Care Center offers professional Christian counseling services for adult missionaries serving throughout Europe and Eurasia. Their primary work is short-term intensive counseling for adults and couples seeking help for themselves. Depression, trauma, anxiety, marriage conflict and burnout are among the more common concerns that bring people to the Care Center seeking help. The Care Center staff also provides training on understanding how personal and family problems develop, training on how to help others and seminars on marriage and family relationships. Contact them at:

    http://www.budapestcare.com

    or write info(at)budapestcare(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  8. EQUIPPING CONFERENCE FOR MINISTRY AMONG INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS — ACMI’07, at St. Olaf College near Minneapolis, May 31-June 3, 2007, marks 25 years of equipping, resourcing, and networking staff and volunteers involved in or interested in starting, international student ministry (ISM) in the U.S. and Canada. ACMI’07 is one of the broadest gatherings of ISM workers from campus ministries, mission agencies (including returned and retired missionaries), denominations, local churches, and individuals, and offers rich cross-training via 40+ workshops by veterans. Participation is limited to North American residents and missionaries returning from the field. The “early-bird” discount registration deadline is March 31st. Find them on the web at

    http://2007.acmi-network.org

    or email osbu0001(at)umn(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]


  9. TRAIN A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS FOR K’STAN — …At Kazakhstan International School, located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Founded in 1993 by two godly men who had a vision to use education as a pre-evangelism ministry to reach the people in Central Asia for Christ, the school needs godly teachers in grades 1-8 for the school year 2007-2008 and k- 12 for year 2008-2009. They have begun to use the International Baccalaureate Curriculum, and are committed to be a continuous learning community preparing young people to be skilled knowledge-workers with high moral standards, great social skills, strong academic backgrounds, and, God willing, knowledge of the Lord. For more info, email spotty4(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 .]

  10. UNDERGIRD BRIGADA, BUILD MISSIONS FIRE — Want to help undergird Brigada in its global ministry of resourcing and mobilization? Just click on “Sponsor/Donate” 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. And thank you in advance for helping.

  11. THE BACKPAGE: CALEB PROJECT & ACMC (INITIATIVE 360), 1978-2007 — When 5pm came on Feb. 13th, Initiative 360 closed the doors on a newly- merged team of people formerly referred to as ACMC and Caleb Project. Together, they held a whole lot of promise. But together, they did not survive.

    When the board of Initiative 360 closed the shop that day, they laid to rest a marathon-length history of outstanding missions mobilization on college campuses, at local church missions fairs, and in resource centers of all kinds. ACMC equipped churches for effective involvement in world evangelization through conferences, consultation, and resources. Caleb Project created life-changing materials, programs, and curricula for individuals and churches that built vision and enabled involvement in God’s kingdom work. See the press release at

    http://www.takeitglobal.org/

    but don’t go looking very deeply for details because they aren’t there. From the looks of things in this short press release by I360’s board, the two groups together must have overextended somehow during their merger. Apparently, the board felt they had gone past the point of no return.

    I started using ACMC training materials in 1980, best of my memory. They already seemed mature and effective by that time. And as for Caleb Project, Brigada has probably chronicled *hundreds* of new releases thanks to their hard-working staff down through the years. Folks, let me shoot straight: These were (and still are) some of the best people in the world. They worked long hours, were paid little, but had boat- loads of fun. They turned-on folks to the Great Commission. They analyzed, they mobilized, but above all things, they praised and worshipped.

    Unfortunately, I still don’t get it. The board has made it obvious that none of the leaders are accused of anything dishonest. Nobody did anything immoral or unethical. Apparently, the board figured the merged organization just didn’t have a financial future. Well folks, please hear me well: somewhere, someone needs to help us all learn the costly lesson of this loss to missions mobilization. To the I360 board, I openly share that I so wish this could have been done differently. Surely there was a way to process these difficult steps with greater grace; surely there could have been more exchange; surely the community of Christ could have helped you step through these difficult moments without ending things so abruptly. But now, by all appearances, it’s done. And to all the people who are now struggling to process the events of the past 2 months, our hearts and our prayers are with you. As we seek to deal with our confusion, you also seek to find new jobs, new avenues of service, and new means of feeding your families. We are all so very grateful for your *decades* of service, your long days and nights of selflessness, and your incredible energy spent to the glory of God. Yikes. I can’t imagine church missions apart from ACMC. I can’t possibly imagine missions mobilization without Caleb Project. I don’t even *want* to.

    I’m sure there were long prayers. I’m sure there were painful tears. There must have been sleepless nights by the board members. I just wish the greater community of missions advocates could have somehow shared a bit more in that process. Because to me, this feels like somebody died, was buried, and there was no funeral. Only five cold lines in a press release. “Too many bills. Couldn’t make it. Closed up shop.” Who does that? What about some kind of reorganization? What about asking the CEO to do an appeal letter to tell how critical things are? Or how ’bout at least separating back into Caleb Project and ACMC again to see if either side could make a go of it separately? Even as I ask those questions, I hurt for the board members themselves, because I can only imagine how carefully they must have considered these steps. At least, I hope they did. Unfortunately, few, if any of us, can know. Because it was done — it was over — in what seemed like an instant.

    I called Caleb Project’s office on the morning after. It was Valentine’s Day. I spoke to the small team of staff people who had been given the task of cleaning up. My heart went out to them. My heart still aches for them and all the others. We don’t even know where to write. We don’t even know if they’re getting this. But our prayers go to the Father on their behalf. We join them today, praying for them, lifting them up. May the Lord somehow bring hope and healing, in a way that sudden closure could not.

    Yikes. There’s nothing more to say. Except, may the Lord help them all.

0 Shares