Prayer Journal

I would encourage you to invest in a good journal and begin now keeping a journal of your devotion time with the Lord. Find a devotion guide and begin making it a priority to read God's Word and listen for His voice. In your journal jot down any key verse or scripture passage that God impresses on your heart.

Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to us. It's also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on and review some of the "gems" that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons! And while journaling is a very personal time with the Lord, you may want to share some of your daily journaling with your prayer partners or mission team members. Through discussion, you may be able to look deeper into what God is speaking to you, gain new insight and even encourage others.

One popular devotional guide outline is SOAP:

S for Scripture
Open your Bible to the particular devotion guide you are using. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
O for Observation
What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down, in your own words, in your journal.
A for Application
Personalize what you have read by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say!

You will find that few things provide you more strength and joy than a daily time alone with God. Remember the success of your mission trip is directly related to how much you devote yourself to prayer.

Your Testimony

One of the most effective tools you have for sharing your faith is your testimony--the story of how Jesus Christ has transformed your life. When the apostle Paul stood before King Agrippa (Acts 26), he spoke simply, logically, and clearly about his life before salvation, how he met Christ, and what his life was like after conversion. Paul's testimony takes three or four minutes to read aloud.

Learning how to tell others your story in the same manner will be important on your mission trip. The choice of the right words, the flow of your story and knowing how to begin and end are important. The purpose of preparing a testimony is not to memorize it and say it verbatim, but to help you put into words some of the important and interesting details of your own conversion experience. A testimony serves primarily as a "door opener," not a "convincing tool." Many people are not ready to be convinced they need Christ, but can often be led to talk about the Gospel after hearing a personal testimony.

Your mission trip will give you the opportunity to build relationships with new friends. This will enable you to share your testimony with them. Your testimony is uniquely your own--no one can share it like you can because it's YOUR story. You will help others see that Christ can make a difference in their lives, just like he has made a difference in yours.

Use the following outline for writing your testimony:

  • Greeting statement
  • Your name and a little information about you
  • Why you are in the country
  • Your life before Christ
  • How you were drawn to Christ
  • How you were saved
  • Your life after Christ