In this issue…


    1. WANT GOOD WEB-VIDEO-CONFERENCE CALLS? TRY SIGHTSPEED — I know, I know. Everybody and his brother are doing Skype. But if you’re looking for high-quality *video*, I think SightSpeed has them beat:

      So if it works on your machine, and you want real-time web-cam- conferences on the cheap, grab it.

    1. REMEMBER SKYPE “OUT” IS NOT ENCRYPTED — We’re all pretty casual about what we say on Skype these days. We’ve come to depend on its built-in encryption. That’s all well and good . . . unless we’re using Skype-out (or Skype-in, for that matter), where Skype bridges with a “plain-old telephone service”. In *those* cases, just keep in mind that the packets you’re sending are completely open to anyone at any bus stop along the Internet — meaning that your conversation won’t be all that private, actually. In order to use Skype’s encryption, it has to be Skype to Skype. (And even then, remember that Skype has sold much of its technology to mainland China — so there are no guarantees if that’s where you live.)

    1. RESOURCE FOR EDUCATING CHILDREN OVERSEAS –- Fitted Pieces (667 pages, 2nd printing), published by SHARE Education Services, is a comprehensive collection of articles from more than 50 recognized experts in the field of educating children in a cultural context outside their passport country. Topics include evaluating education options, planning, choosing curriculum, second language issues, testing, and TCK challenges. It is designed for those using any education system–national school, home schooling, on-line, and other options. The book cost is $25, but it’s also available on CD for $15. Volume discounts are available. To order, see

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


    1. CHURCH MOBILIZATION TOOL – DualReach has developed the Design Your Impact Workshop, a five-hour seminar that enables church leaders to discover their congregation’s key characteristics and resources (their DNA) and identify a strategic missions focus that can unleash powerful, new global dynamic from their church. Workshops are led by trained individuals with extensive teaching resources: 7 video clips of model churches, 2 animation clips, PowerPoint®, Facilitator’s Manual and Participant’s Notebook. The next training date to become a Workshop facilitator is Thursday, April 12, in San Juan Capistrano, CA (south of Los Angeles). Learn more at…

      or email 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 .]

    1. LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT SUMMER TURKEY MISSIONS OPPORTUNITY? — Come join a team anytime between June 12-July 9, 2007 for the Istanbul Community Outreach. This is a great opportunity to: Join an experienced/ministry team (working with Campus Crusade), use conversational English as a tool to meet needs and make new friends, develop lasting friendships with professionals, students and business people, and share your faith through tea times, home visits, social activities and final boat trip. Optional 7 churches bible tour. Recruit, bring and lead your own group if you wish. This is an ideal opportunity for first timers or alumni, individuals or church groups. For more information contact Doug at dougnann(at)gmail(dot)com or 303 776 3273. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

    1. GET PERSPECTIVES IN A YEAR! — Is your church interested in embracing God’s missionary heart? Do you need continuing education credit for missionary service? The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course may be your answer. The Perspectives course covers the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic basis for missions. ICM (International Christian Ministries) offers the course on-line for certificate, undergraduate, or graduate credit. You can take up to a year to complete the course. Check out

      for more information and to sign up or email info(at)icm-intl(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]

    1. START LEARNING YOUR DESTINATION LANGUAGE NOW — Back in the early 80s, I had the privilege of studying language learning skills under Tom & Betty Sue Brewster, the authors of the well-known language learning approach known as “LAMP”. Tom used to preach to us, “Listen, listen, listen. Listen to the language a *lot*!” I asked once if it was a mistake to start learning the language *before* departing for the destination. Tom clarified that not only is it not a mistake, it’s actually *helpful* to begin your listening & practicing *now*, so long as you don’t let it stress you out. He emphasized not to worry about production; just listen, listen, listen. So — want to get started?

      Just hop on over to “Before you know it” — Pick a language and get started. (And thanks to Betty, Team Expansion’s Director of Prayer & Operations, for the tip!)

    1. EASTER! – DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? — If you have some doubts about the Easter story, Jesus coming back to life again, try reading the last chapter of Matthew’s gospel in EasyEnglish. It is magnificent! Go to

      Click on Bible Books, then choose ‘Matthew’s Good News’ and scroll to chapter 28.

    1. THANKS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP — Thanks to the pair of Team Expansion missionaries in Bosnia who sent $100 for Brigada. Feel the love! They affirmed an encouragement that keeps us writing. The Balkans have spoken! What about your region of the world? Can you match their encouragement?

    1. SPUR ON BRIGADA TO GOOD WORKS — Want to spur us on? 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.

  1. THE BACKPAGE: TOOLS FOR THE ROAD — A couple of editions ago, we started a series known as “Tools for the Road.” Because of special circumstances, we delayed in continuing it — until now. Recall that our first “Tool for the road” had to do with what is commonly called jet lag. We called it, “Determine to beat jet lag”, urging you to “make up your mind that you’re not going to experience it.” I received some [well-deserved] razzing from some of my friends who have traveled internationally since then. They told me it because a running joke during the trip to say, “Remember — Doug says we’re not tired.” :-) But the truth is, that really is the first step. That having been said, here are the next couple of tools, also helpful to beat jet lag and general travel fatigue:

    *** Tool #2 — “Sleep East, Party West”: Memorize it. Then traveling transoceanic on those 8-hour (and sometimes 16-hour) flights, if you’re headed eastbound (e.g., from the USA to Europe), get to sleep as quickly as you can. Flights tend to depart around 6pm. Settle in, eat, then hit the sack. Remember, it really doesn’t matter if you sleep or not. The truth is, it’s kind of irrelevant whether or not you really sleep. The trick is to convince your body that you *did*. That’s why it’s always entertaining to me when people say, “I just can’t sleep on planes.” You don’t really *have* to; just *pretend* you are. (Besides, even if you’re just laying there, relaxing, it’s still restful. You’ve got the whole jet engine thing going on, the dark plane cabin, … just pretend. :-) ) Experts (like me :-) ) say that just laying completely still is at least *somewhat* helpful for your well-being anyway.

    Keep in mind, your eyes have to be closed. See Tool #3.

    *** Tool #3 — “Gear up to sleep”: My own philosophy is — no sleeping pills. I have this theory that you need to be in charge of tricking your body. If you turn that power over to a drug, you’ve given up control. Besides, what if an emergency occurs and you need to be at your best. (For example, what if someone tries to hijack the plane? Have you ever seen Jack Bauer take sleeping pills? :-) ) But you *do* need a tool kit. Don’t wait ’til the night before. Here’s what you’ll need:
    ****** Eye screen — I know, they look kind of hokey. But you need one of those sleep visors that all the elderly people wear. Swallow the pride and pick one up at a travel or luggage store. You’ll be glad you did.
    ****** Ear plugs — I love kids. I just like them to be silent while I sleep… or pretend to. :-) Read the instructions. Have someone teach you how to insert them. There’s a trick to “rolling” them, pulling up on your ear with the opposite hand (from behind your head), then holding them in place while they expand.
    ****** Travel pillow — Choose the skrunchie kind that just compresses like a goose-down sleeping bag, or use the inflatable “u-shaped” pillow like I do. Either way, choose *something*. Airlines provide a flimsy excuse. I don’t like ’em. Just not quite enough meat there for my purposes. Today’s newest jets have moving “ears” that you can swivel out on your head rest. Those are helpful. But again, you need to convince your body that you’ve gone to sleep. For that to happen, get a real pillow.
    ****** Nab an extra blanket — If you can, grab an unused blanket from a nearby unoccuppied seat. If the plane turns cold, you’ll need it for some uncovered area of your freezing body.
    ****** Maneuver for empty seats — If you’re the type that needs to be horizontal, try to scout out a location with an empty adjacent seat so you can sprawl. As for me, I’ve trained myself to sleep in one reclined seat. It’s almost more trouble than it’s worth, to me, to try to lay down across the 3, 4 or 5 “middle” seats in a big jet. But I *do* try to get an aisle (so I’m not a victim to someone else’s sleeping patterns). For me, it just feels less constricted. Regardless, find something that works for you.
    ****** Pray for bad movies eastbound — You think I’m joking. :-) But the principle is, ignore the media. Oh… maybe you can catch part or all of a movie while eating. (What’s better than dinner and a movie at 35,000 feet? :-) ) But as soon as chow-time is over, lose the remote.
    ****** Floss & Brush — I’m not kidding. Remember, the trick is — convince your body that you’ve slept. That means going through your whole before-bedtime routine. And finally, …
    ****** Put on your favorite house slippers — I’m not kidding. Bring your favorite pair of comfy, cozy slippers from home. Last thing, before you go to sleep, rest those tired dogs. Take off those wing-tips or heels; take off your dress socks. Put on a pair of comfy athletic socks (or whatever you like), your favorite slippers, and snooze!

    More tools next time, when we consider herding *kids* while traveling.