My oldest daughter recently returned from a mission trip to Brazil. For five days, she and 30 other volunteers, both American and Brazilian, offered free medical care and shared the unconditional love of God with natives in each village. She met new friends and discovered a new part of her heart. The days flew by quickly, each day filled with new experiences and heart-wrenching reality. As she gently swayed in her hammock on deck each night, she furiously journaled the details of her day by the light of a small flashlight clenched in her mouth. Her written words made her life-changing experience a tangible personal history. As she shared the details of her trip with us, she often referred to her journal for names or exact details.
On our faith journey with God, we too often rely on committing to memory the details of God's provision, healing, and guidance. Left to our human memory, many details are lost or altered over time leaving us in no better condition than the forgetful Israelites wandering around in the desert. It's just as important to remember how God helped us through an ordinary day as much as how we were changed during a mission trip.
Set aside the last five minutes of every meeting for journaling. Provide a journal for every person in your group or have them bring their own. Encourage your group members to focus their journal writing on where they see God actively working in their life during the week and how they are applying the truths learned at group. Emphasize that each person can also write in his or her journal during the week as well. As part of worship time each week ask if anyone would like to share something from his or her journal. The personal testimony of God actively at work in our lives is powerful motivation and inspiration.