An Email from a Pastor in Virginia…
Dear Rev. Nelson,
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate your Mission Trip Devotional Journal!
As a pastor, for many years I have taken teams on trips and tried to create a journal like this on my own. There is power in helping people process what is going on in these teachable moments with questions, journaling and discussion. I have also experienced the impact is further emphasized by working with the team prior to and following the trip. All of this you have pulled together in your resource! We have used your materials for at least three years now and I want to share a massive THANK YOU for continuing to put out such an excellent resource. I will certainly tell as many people I know about your work. Keep it up!
Blessings in Christ,
From Heidi Sherry in California…
“Having been on three mission trips and now planning to co-lead my fourth to Ethiopia, I have come to realize how valuable a mission journal can e in processing my experience. Although my first trip was fruitful and sparked a desire in me to continue God’s work in Ethiopia, I came home beaten, worn out and wanting to hide. I believe the main reason for this was I hadn’t processed what I had experienced. Seeing God’s children in the clutches of poverty was overwhelming, and I didn’t know what to do with all the guilt and sadness that boiled in me.
“I did return co-leading a trip to a school in Ethiopia. I knew though I couldn’t allow my team to return home in the same state I had been on my first trip. Thankfully, God led me to Talk Points mission journals. I ordered a few and settled on What’s Your Story?. I liked the combination of a week of preparing before going, a daily entry while on the ground and a week of follow-up after retuning home. The Bible verses and questions helped guide me and the team through processing what God was showing us and as a visual learner, I appreciated the daily page for notes, doodles or drawings. Although seeing the poverty was not any easier, the hope that came from my daily study in the mission journal gave me strength to continue.
“After my first trip, I spent months asking God, “Why?”, but after returning home from my second trip having used the mission journal, I am struck by these words that I wrote, “I am your servant, Mighty God. Use me. Complete me. Guide me. Thank you, Lord Jesus.”
– Heidi Sherry, California
An Email from a Mission Director…
I ordered your GPS missions journals for my teams that went out this month to serve in Africa and Costa Rica. I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed using these books. We started our pre-trip planning meetings 3 months in advance and I had them do one of the “Before we travel” pages each time we met. They were a great bible study and discussion tool as we prepared our hearts for what God had prepared for us on our trips. While on our trip, my team looked forward to answering the questions and sharing their insights each day. Now that we have returned home, we have continued with the at home pages which have helped tremendously with processing and applying the things that God revealed to us on our journey. After completing our journals, we each now have a wonderful “story” of our trip written each day to remember and share with others. Thank you so much for this wonderful tool. I will be ordering again next year and plan to continue using all of the different ones you have written. Keep writing!
– Serving Together, Pam McKinney, Missions Director, Coast Community Church
From a Youth Pastor…
“I found the journal’s format of “days before, during and after the trip” to be just what we needed for preparing our group for the mission experience, reflecting during the trip, and debriefing the impact afterwards. I loved the appropriate scriptures and also found the direction of thought & awareness for each day to be quite helpful! This is a great tool for individuals and groups to do reflective sharing and enhance their mission experience together!”
A mission organization representative wrote…
“The journals related to all ages. Children were captivated by the graphics and interaction, youth were challenged by responding to the questions and action steps and the adults appreciated the insights, as well as the blank pages to capture their own thoughts and learnings. This was truly an effective reflection guide for the mission experience.”
An adult leader wrote…
“Using the TalkPoints mission journal was a really great way to prepare my heart for service. Once our team was at the mission site, the journal was helpful for each of us to process the experiences we had each day. The Bible verses for each day came at just the right time, and really spoke to the challenges I faced on the trip. The journal is something that I’ll look back on for years to come to help me remember how God used me to make a difference in other people’s lives.”
“Thank you, Dr. Nelson! We have been leading a medical mission to remote villages of Belize for the past 5 years. Two years ago we used the “Do Love Walk” journal and it was excellent. After reading the reviews on “Everyday People,” I was excited to order another book from you. It sounds as if the format is similar to the “Do Love Walk” and that worked beautifully.”
“I have to tell you that we’re loving your journal! It did a wonderful job of preparing our hearts for the trip and really helps us explore our days. We’re having an incredible time with the children here.”
“Thank you for the wonderful devotion/journal, ‘Do, Love, Walk.’ It enhanced my mission experience and helped me focus on Jesus and His purpose. I loved the pre-field and post-field days?they helped prepare me for the mission and for the return. I look forward to your other mission journals.”
“The ‘Do, Love, Walk’ journal was a blessing while on my recent trip to Honduras. I faithfully wrote in it each day. It was a good way to reflect on what happened each day. It will also serve as a wonderful memory of my mission trip. The mission trip journal was quite helpful to keep focused on the purpose of our trip. I especially liked the daily Bible readings and daily prayers (better than I would say/create). Thank you.”
“The journal prepared our hearts for a ministry of service – not only service to those we were visiting, but also service to those with whom we traveled. I believe that the devotions in the journal contributed the overall success of our mission trip.”
“I think ‘Everyday People’ is the best one yet you’ve written so far! Seriously, this is beautiful. I especially like the headings at the top of the pages and the way you emphasize that ordinary people are called to do God’s work.”
“I love the ‘Everyday People’ Journal. The graphics are exceptional; the instructions are clear; the sentences to complete are inspiring and lead to a lot of sharing; the ‘countdown’ and ‘days after’ are good. I believe that the daily debriefing time is of critical importance, life changing for some. The Center me, Shape me, fill me and Use me format is very useful and gets one to reflect and choose.”
“I have used many different journals during my 20+ missions and so far Do/Love/Walk has been my favorite. But Everyday People even tops that one! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Center Me, Shape me, Fill me, Use me emphasis throughout will help journalers prepare for and process each day of their experience. I absolutely love the journal.”
“We recently came back from our Family Mission Trip to Mississippi to help those still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. We wanted to let you know that your journals were very helpful in our spiritual growth before and during the trip. You are doing a great job! Keep it up!”