Journaling isn’t for everyone, but it can be extremely helpful in processing your thoughts and writing out your feelings. Psychologists and therapists highly recommend journaling as a form of therapy. Not only that, but it’s also invaluable for your mental and emotional health. Here are 10 journal prompts for before, during, and after your mission trip. 


Journaling Before Your Mission Trip


10.) How are you feeling leading up to this mission trip? Write down everything you are feeling (nervous, excited, anxious, prepared, fearful, etc.)


Sometimes we think journaling has to be done in a nice leather-bound journal with perfect handwriting and each page should look well-organized and exactly like the previous one. But life doesn’t actually look like that. Life is messy, chaotic, and beautiful at the same time. By getting all of your feelings out on paper – no matter what they are – you will be able to see where you started and look back on it at the end of your trip. Hopefully, it will be encouraging to you.


9.) In what ways are you expecting the Lord to move in your life before, during, and after this trip?


Whether you expect it or not, the Lord will be working on this trip. So, it’s best to be expectant and pray specifically for Him to move in your heart and the hearts of the people you will meet. Write down these prayer requests, then look back on them when you return or even during your trip. 


8.) As you pray about your upcoming trip, what is one word you can choose to focus on, and why?


Your team might have a mission theme or word already but choosing one for yourself will tie in your own personality and help you stay focused on what really matters. For example, maybe you choose the word: serve. By reminding yourself daily of this word, you set your mind on being a servant like Christ and loving people the way He does – by serving them. 

Journaling During Your Mission Trip


7.) What is something the Lord is teaching you in the midst of this trip? 


If you started journaling prior to leaving for your trip, then the Lord may already be answering some of the prayers you prayed of being expectant for Him to teach you things. If you are just now starting, that’s okay too! In loving and serving His people, God will always be revealing more about Himself and teaching us. 


6.) Are there any unexpected cultural differences/similarities that stick out to you? What is something new you’ve learned about the place and/or the people?


We can learn so much from other people and cultures. You can journal about a landmark you visited, a few sentences you learned of a new language, a new food you ate, or how you can be a follower of Jesus across any culture. The Gospel is for all people of all nations, and we can be reminded of the Lord’s goodness, kindness, and faithfulness through interacting with others. 


I remember one time when I was on a mission trip, and we visited a church in the area. The church service wasn’t anything like what I had ever experienced in America. During the worship part, everyone sang as loud as they could (even if it didn’t sound good), jumped up and down dancing, and had huge smiles on their faces. The joy was so contagious that even though I didn’t understand the language, I couldn’t help but smile and sing along. It’s times like that I will never forget and something I think about often when I’m monotonously singing along to a worship song and how I can find joy in whatever moment I’m in.


5.) What has been one hard thing and one good or fun thing that you’ve experienced so far?


You can always write more than one thing for each of these, and you can do it daily. Essentially, you’re documenting a rose and also a thorn for the day or week. We can tend to remember the bad things that happen more than the good, so while you can document and process difficult things, don’t leave out the 


4.) Is there anything new you’ve learned about yourself? If so, what?


Answering this question doesn’t have to be super profound. It can be as simple as, “I’ve learned I don’t like ____ type of food.” However, you can challenge yourself to go deeper as well and prayerfully ask the Lord what He wants you to learn about how He has made you. For example, maybe you learn that teaching to a group of people isn’t your gifting, but talking to them one-on-one is, or vice versa. 

Journaling After Your Mission Trip


3.) What are 3 takeaways from your trip that you want to remember?


You can always journal about more than 3 or less than 3 takeaways, but it’s important to process your trip and not just move on with your life and chalk it up to “a good experience.” Think about the key points from the trip or the stories that you’ve been sharing with friends and family since you’ve been back and write those down. 


2.) After everything you’ve experienced, how will the experiences from this trip change how you live moving forward?


An example of this might be deciding to change how you spend your money or think about material things after you visit a poor community. Or maybe after your trip you’ve decided that you feel called to the mission field and start working towards getting more involved with the missions’ team. 


1.) Tell the story of your mission trip.


As humans, we can forget things very quickly. That’s why it’s so helpful to write all of it down so you can relive your memories and experiences later on. Who knows if maybe you’ll stumble upon your journal years down the road and be thankful for everything you’ve documented. You might even have multiple mission trip journals at that point.