March 4

Spreading Love

Watch, it starts off slow, but then people begin to respond. What a great way to be the hands and feet of Christ. Ok, Ok…I know people will look at you funny and think you are a little weird, but everyone can use a hug! Give a hug in the name of Jesus today and expect nothing in return.

February 11

Short Term Trip Preparation List

Preparations are under way for another year of ministry and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others around the world. I thought it might be good to offer a Preparation Checklist that will help keep you on track as you plan your short term trip. It is easy to miss details that become major headaches when overlooked. They may even keep you from getting where you need to go!

Additional things to watch for:

  • Passports are applied for early and signed upon receipt.
  • Passports have at least 6 months validity from date of return travel.
  • Passports must have at least 3 empty pages and in fairly good condition (not falling apart)
  • Check plane tickets for exact passport names of team members. Spelling errors can be expensive and cause someone to not be able to board the plane.
  • Check tickets for correct dates and itinerary. This will help you take care of any problems before the morning of departure.

I am praying for you as you carry the gospel to all corners of the earth. I would love to hear from you. Let me know what God is doing in and through your church.

May God be glorified and worshiped among the nations!

January 11

Fresh Starts and New Beginnings

With the falling of fresh snow come thoughts of new beginnings, fresh starts if you will. I am reminded in a very real way of God’s grace when I look out my window today and I reflect on Psalm 51:7b…wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. What joy fills my heart to know that I am cleansed of my sins through Jesus Christ and I have a life to live for Him!

My thoughts immediately turn to those who don’t know about this cleansing and the redemption that comes through Jesus. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15

Are you planning a trip overseas this year? Maybe you would like to but don’t know how to get started. Equipped To Go offers a variety of trainings and consulting services to help prepare your church, or short-term team, for service. This is a great time to train new team leaders for the upcoming spring and summer trips. Also, you can train several teams at once on how to be more alert as they travel overseas.

Contact Debbie Stephens at or 865-660-6863 for more information or to schedule a training.


November 19

In and Out of Season

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

I just returned from a trip overseas where we were able to share Truth with hundreds of people. We didn’t know how many God would allow us to encounter and we were asked to share a Word on the spot. I had prepared 3×5 cards with various Scriptures for prayerwalking, but they came in very handy when asked to share with a group.

This may be helpful for you as well:
Type Scriptures on a label template using the word processing feature on your computer. I used clear shipping labels so that I could put them on any color of index card and the labels would not show. Then laminate the cards, punch a hole in the upper left corner and secure with a ring that will hold them together. This allows for easy flipping so that Scriptures are easily read for prayerwalking, available to share with those we meet overseas or in our own community.


October 18


Team Leaders encourage each team member to journal daily and carve out time for it. Some people may be really good at this, but others may not be. So much will happen that they will not be able to remember it all after they get home. Journaling helps to process all that the Lord has done in and through them on this trip.

A few things to remember:

  • Security! Don’t write specific names of workers, places or people you meet. Never leave your journal lying out. Always carry it with you or lock it up.
  • Ask yourself:
    • What was my greatest joy today?
    • What was my greatest struggle today?
    • What did I see God do today in this place?
    • What did I see God do today in me?

By asking these basic questions each person will begin to think about the day and process their emotions and feelings. I like to pick a couple of these questions to ask in the morning meeting/prayer time to get the conversation rolling. As you share your deepest feelings with your team and pray together you will build a stronger bond and deepen your relationships. This will also help air out personality differences and promote teamwork. For more information on leading teams you may want to schedule a Team Leader workshop.

September 22

Gifts and Talents

God has gifted each one of us with spiritual gifts and talents. As mobilizers, we can be more effective for the Kingdom and help people grow in their relationship with the Lord by inviting them to use these in ministry areas that ‘fit’. Forget about looking for a warm body to just fill an urgent need in your ministry or mission team. Begin to get to know the people around you and confirm their call as you listen to their heart and offer opportunities that will enhance and stretch their spiritual growth. You will have a win-win-win situation for them, your ministry and the Kingdom!