"Journaling the Journey"

Youthworker May/June 2001

How do you help your students interact with God's Word, reflect on what God is doing during a mission trip, respond to God's work and remember it years later?  A Mission Trip Journal!

READ GOD'S THOUGHTS

You are 300-3,000 miles away from your home because you believe the Bible highlights, models & commands missions. Show your students where & why by using themes in the daily verses. Possible themes include "one another" commands, joy in Philippians, verses that relate to poverty, love, or missions.

REFLECT ON GOD'S THOUGHTS

Leave space in their journals where they can write the answer to "What does this verse mean?"  They can rewrite the verse in their own words as an expression of interpretation.  They can also define the "Big Point" of the verses they read.

RESPOND TO GOD'S THOUGHTS

They can pray in their journal.  These prayers can involve confession, praise, interceding for others, thanksgiving for where they are and what they are doing. They can even question God as they reflect on the needs of others and the pain and suffering in our world.  They can also plan how they will apply the truths they learn through God's word and God's world.

REMEMBER THE JOURNEY

A few weeks ago, while moving boxes of books to our attic, I found a spiral bound notebook from my first mission trip.  I reflected on some great memories. God renewed my desire and calling into youth ministry on that two week trip to Chicago. Your students will forget what happens on their mission trip but with a journal they'll remember more of what God did with them, through them and to them.

For a free mission trip journal go HERE.
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