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References

When someone chooses Wonder Voyage to lead their group on a pilgrimage or a mission trip, they've made a choice to join a family. The leaders we serve often become lifelong friends. Our references will give you solid and honest feedback about the Wonder Voyage processes, trips, staff and why they choose Wonder Voyage to host their voyages. 

Wonder Voyage Reference - Kate Riley

Kate Riley

Episcopal Youth Missioner

Past Wonder Voyages

J2A Pilgrimage- Iceland 2017
J2A Pilgrimage- San Diego 2018
Diocesan Mission Trip- Puerto Rico 2019

We waited three years to go on this mission trip. The logistics were just not coming together. For three years we tried to do a mission trip to Puerto Rico on our own. After experiencing Wonder Voyage through pilgrimage and mission I knew they could accomplish what we could not. Thanks to the Wonder Voyage team we were able to enjoy being in the country without worrying about how we were getting around or where we would eat. This gave us a better opportunity to wholly integrate into the local community. We all enjoyed our new friends in a new place, and we were able to serve people suffering long after the hurricane Maria. I am so grateful to our Voyage Guide for making this potentially nerve-wracking trip (that felt like it was never going to happen) into a fantastic trip that transformed lives. Our youth and adult leaders have grown in Christ beyond measure because of their experience working with the Diocese of Puerto Rico and Wonder Voyage!

Rev. Zachary Nyein

Associate Rector

Past Wonder Voyages

J2A Pilgrimage 2015 – Croatia
J2A Pilgrimage 2016 – Alaska
J2A Pilgrimage 2017 – The Camino de Santiago
J2A Pilgrimage 2019 – South Africa

Our Wonder Voyage experience in Cape Town, South Africa was a powerful encounter with God’s Spirit in and through the people, places, culture, and history of South Africa. We were fully immersed in the culture of the city while gaining personal insight into the past and present struggles and victories in the face of apartheid through the lives and stories of those who experienced it firsthand. From our safari adventures, to hiking Table Mountain, to the penguins of Simonstown, we encountered the glory of God in the natural beauty of creation. Our group was inspired and empowered to return home with a true sense of wonder and awe, with eyes and hearts open to God’s power and presence at work in each of our own lives and stories.

Dr. Scott Martin

Executive Director

Past Wonder Voyages

School Trip 2017 - NYC
School Trip 2017 - Memphis
School Trip 2018 - New Orleans
School Trip 2019 - Arizona

Wonder Voyage is quite simply the best at shaping experiences for students to encounter wonder, discovery, passion and purpose. I have been with them all over the country, and, in each trip, they have far surpassed my already high expectations. I’ll give just one example to prove the point: The day before we were taking 70 students to New Orleans, we began to get word that a hurricane was headed there and the entire city was placed under a federal emergency. In 12-hours they changed our trip to Memphis. They acquired incredible lodging, museum visits, food, and on-site experiences that blew us away. By day two, we forgot we were supposed to be someplace else!

Their patience and flexibility are the reasons why we will continue to go back to them time and again. They display the utmost integrity and professionalism in their work, and their insider’s knowledge of each location saves me as, the Head of School, a tremendous amount of stress. I’ve been with Wonder Voyage from the mountains of Colorado to the subways of NYC and have experienced nothing but exemplary leadership and service throughout. I will continue to use them as long as we take trips, and I would highly recommend Wonder Voyage to anyone looking for a planned trip. You will find that they provide hospitality, intentionality, dedication and experience unlike anyone else.

Rev. Dina Van Klaveren

Rector

Past Wonder Voyages

J2A Pilgrimage 2011 - San Francisco ­
J2A Pilgrimage 2013 - Arizona
J2A Pilgrimage 2015 - New Orleans
J2A Pilgrimage 2017 - Austin
J2A Pilgrimage 2019 - Seattle

Working with Wonder Voyage on J2A pilgrimages is like falling into I Corinthians 12 and experiencing fully that to one is given the gift of arranging lodging, to another the gift of corralling teenagers in a museum, to another the ability to instantly regroup based on weather, to another the freedom to engage in conversation with the youth, to another the gift of leading Stone Soup meals, to another the grace to be present as a spiritual companion. When our parish youth program partners with Wonder Voyage, they utilize their many gifts so that our adult leaders and I can have the freedom to live into the gift of spiritual companionship with the pilgrims. This creates space for our adult leaders to observe, participate, pray, facilitate worship and share in conversation. I look forward to another Wonder Voyage in 2017 with the excellent Wonder Voyage trip leaders, who have been faithful companions on the way.

Rev. Nathan Bostian

Head Chaplain

Past Wonder Voyages

Mission Trip 2003, 2006 - New Orleans
Mission Trip 2004, 2008 - San Antonio
Mission Trip 2005, 2007 - Del Rio
School Trip 2013 - Belize
School Trip 2014 - Toronto
School Trips 2015 - New Orleans, Dominican Republic
School Trips 2016 - San Diego, Jamaica
School Trips 2017 - Chicago, Costa Rica
School Trip 2019 - Guatemala

I have been working with Wonder Voyage for well over a decade as youth minister, then a college minister, and now as an Episcopal priest and school chaplain. They have led my groups in “servant-leader adventures” in places within our city, across the country, and around the world. What keeps me coming back to Wonder Voyage is how they customize every trip to the unique spiritual and social needs of my group, whether that is a committed group of mature Christians, or a multi-faith group of teenage students, or somewhere in between. Every trip includes opportunities for meaningful service that truly benefits our host communities, cultural immersion to help us get out of our “bubble” of entitlement, and spiritual reflection to help us see how God is walking with us on our journey. All of our trips have been so much more than mere work camps or spiritual tourism. They have truly been Wonder Voyages!

Rev. Chris Harpster

Deacon

Past Wonder Voyages

J2A Pilgrimage 2010 - New Orleans
J2A Pilgrimage 2012 - New York
J2A Pilgrimage 2014 - New Orleans
J2A Pilgrimage 2016 - Chicago
J2A Pilgrimage 2018 - New Orleans

Wonder Voyage creates amazing J2A pilgrimages! I have worked with this great group of people on four pilgrimages and each one was incredible. I really believe that this organization is Spirit-filled and full of God’s amazing love and grace! They are truly focused on serving the teams they take out. I can’t say enough good things about these folks.

Rev. David Carter

Rector

Past Wonder Voyages

J2A Pilgrimage 2007 - Grand Tetons
J2A Pilgrimage 2009 - Toronto
J2A Pilgrimage 2011 - Colorado
J2A Pilgrimage 2013 - Charleston
J2A Pilgrimage 2015 - San Francisco
J2A Pilgrimage 2017 - Vancouver

Each of our Journey to Adulthood Pilgrimages with Wonder Voyage was quite special. Each was a mixture of the expected service and education along with challenging and delightful surprises. Our young people have never forgotten the connections and discoveries they made. As adults we discovered as much as our teens. Our latest trip was no exception.

St. Nicholas Church

Matt Stroud

Lay Pastor for Youth Ministries

Past Wonder Voyages

Mission Trip 2006 - San Antonio
Mission Trip 2007 - Biloxi
Mission Trip 2008 - New Orleans
Mission Trip 2009 - Memphis
Mission Trip 2010 - Nashville
Mission Trip 2011 - San Antonio
Mission Trip 2012 - Biloxi
Mission Trip 2013 - New Orleans
Mission Trip 2014 - Memphis
Mission Trip 2015 - Nashville
Mission Trip 2016 - San Antonio
Mission Trip 2017 - Biloxi
Mission Trip 2018 - New Orleans
Mission Trip 2019 - Memphis

I have found that taking a team of individuals anywhere is a challenge. Trying to feed and shelter them in a strange location adds another level of difficulty. And still more difficult is finding ways for them to serve God in a distant location in a way that makes a difference. All of these issues led me, at the start of my first mission trip, to a develop a severe case of “Where do I begin?” paralysis. So I prayed and was led to call Wonder Voyage. Realizing each trip is different because each team is different, they ask questions to maximize whatever dynamics are important to your team. Without a doubt, Wonder Voyage’s expertise in this area of ministry has been used by God to provide meaningful, life altering experiences for our church family in all kinds of locations and situations. God uses them to give you all you need. In turn, your team can focus on God and relationships and abound in every good work.

Rev. David Grant

Next Gen Pastor

Past Wonder Voyages

Pilgrimage 2005 - San Antonio
Mission Trips 2006 - Mexico, New Orleans
Mission Trip 2007 - New Orleans
Mission Trips 2009 - Dallas, Memphis
Mission Trips 2010 - NYC, Memphis, New Orleans
Mission Trips 2011 - Honduras, San Antonio, Memphis
Mission Trips 2012 - Honduras, New Orleans, Navajo Nation, Dallas
Mission Trips 2013 - Dominican Republic, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio
Mission Trips 2014 - Memphis, Albuquerque, Dallas, Honduras
Mission Trips 2015 - Honduras, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Dallas, Hungary, Romania
Mission Trips 2016 - San Antonio, Albuquerque, Dallas, Honduras
Mission Trips 2017 - Honduras, Memphis
Mission Trips 2018 - Austin, Galveston, Honduras

Short term missions has been a strategic part of my student ministry for over 25 years. Being responsible for all the planning, preparing and then implementation of the trip is so much work, many times I wasn’t able to pastor the students the way I wanted. Wonder Voyage has become vital in creating opportunities that fit the uniqueness of our middle school and high school ministries. Wonder Voyage directors work seamlessly with our staff to create the perfect atmosphere for our students to understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Not only did they make the administration of the trips easier, they truly enhanced the overall experience for the students. They are professional, in touch with the unique needs of student ministries, team players, and lovers of the world around them. I can’t imagine doing short term missions again without the partnership of Wonder Voyage.

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