What happened? The death of my mother took a huge toll on me personally and people around me were trying to mold into what they thought was the best way to raise a girl child. I struggled to stay calm and be who they wanted me to be, so that I would not be scolded for trying to be me.
Longing for a Better Future
As the years passed by, I was looking forward to going to college where I knew I would be away from preying eyes. I could try to be me. But it truly never happened as I was always trying to hide in the shadows of others and be validated by them.
While all this was going on I had given my life to Christ as a young teenage girl in secondary school. Yet I had not truly embraced the love of a loving God until I got into college and I joined a Christian fellowship. I achieved a deeper level of understanding of who God is and how much He loved me and how unique He made me to be.
So, I began the quest to discover who I was and what purpose God had for my life. I had worked in various fields and careers but one thing always stood out and that was my passions. I desired to support young adults who were struggling with who they are. I was also drawn to support women by helping them discover who they are and to have the right values that truly define them.
Discovery of GPS Life Journey
By the time I left college, I got married to the love of my life who saw so much potential on the inside of me. He was always supportive and pushed me to build on my capacity. It was during that journey of building capacity that I got a text message from one of my mentors, Dr. Yemi Alfred, inviting me on a journey of self-discovery called the GPS Life Journey.
Wow! I was curious and immediately called her to let her know I would sign up. This was in March, 2016. This discovery was the turning point in my life. I was able to truly define myself, understand my personality, my strengths and weaknesses. And, most importantly I discovered God’s purpose for my life. Light and understanding came to me. I began to explore new areas in children’s and youth ministry and women ministry also.
By 2017 I started an NGO for children where we support vulnerable children by sending them back to school and supporting them through training and counselling to help give them hope for a better tomorrow. This year is our sixth year and the Lord has helped us to impact so many children and we are trusting Him to reach more.
From Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates
As the Lord would have it, I relocated with my children to join my husband in 2018 who was working in the United Arab Emirates so we could be together as a family. By 2020 covid happened and the whole world was locked down and I started seeking new ways to build myself and also support other people around me. I reached out to Risa Baker, a global GPS Life Journey Facilitator, and told her that I also would love to be a GPS Life Facilitator.She was eager to train me. I was equipped and I went on to train other women.
Today I use it as a tool for coaching and training for the women in the women’s ministry the Lord led to start a year after I relocated to UAE. Because of the real danger of Christian group meetings here, my greatest asset is the ability to facilitate GPS online.
GPS Life journey is a sure way to go if you truly desire to discover God’s Plan for living a significant life. Thank you, Nolen Rollins, for developing this. GPS is not a book but a process that you go through to discover God’s purpose for the next stage of your life.
Angelica Ugo Macdestiny is a Certified GPS Life Journey Facilitator and ministry leader in the United Arab Emirates.
Discovered GPS Life Journey
While attending Legacy Church in Estero, Florida, and meeting Nolen Rollins I learned about a unique opportunity to participate in a workshop he had developed called the GPS Life Journey, designed to find my God given purpose for the next phase of my life. It resonated with me, so I signed up to take a GPS Life Journey Blitz over a weekend in the fall of 2017. I obtained the workbook in advance of the workshop and diligently worked on the homework and preparation.
I went into the GPS Life Journey with great anticipation and an open mind to where God would lead me. Not only was I thrilled with the workshop, I stayed an extra day to become a trained GPS Life Journey Facilitator, and I have since led several other people through the GPS Life Journey process myself.
The GPS Life Journey and Nolen Rollins’ experienced and skilled facilitation met me exactly where I was in need. It helped me appreciate my personality, life and career experiences, gifts, strengths, passions and interests, and what I was uniquely equipped to do.
I came out of the GPS Life Journey with a new mission statement: My mission is to mentor, coach and build trusting relationships with business and organizational leaders to make a positive difference in their lives. I was being called to invest my time and experience in developing leaders and helping younger leaders navigate their careers, relationships, faith journeys, finances, and personal health.
So in 2018, I made a transition out of the corporate executive role, achieving metrics and financial results, to making a significant difference in the lives of leaders, and organizations they serve.
Fast forward to today, in 2023, I’m a Senior Associate at Nelson/Kraft & Associates (www.nelsonandkraft.com) where I am an executive coach and consultant to boards and executive teams and I get to partner with search teams in executive searches.
God has put me in a position to use my faith, skills, career, and ministry experiences to develop leaders and high-performance teams for faith based not-for-profit and for-profit businesses and organizations. I’m helping leaders and organizations make a greater Kingdom impact!
It’s been a journey over the last five years, but it’s rewarding to see how seeds that were planted during my GPS Life Journey in 2017 have come to fruition all these years later. It feels good to be living on mission!
Jeff Pitchford is a Senior Associate at Nelson/Kraft & Associates, Canada
Adventure awaits! A new mission connected to my gifts and passions - jim robertson's story
We found the assimilation at a church with over a thousand people in attendance a little intimidating so we attended a variety of events and church gatherings to get connected with people. We met Nolen Rollins, the Founder and President of the GPS Life Journey, at a dessert gathering hosted by First Baptist Church, Lenoir City, Tennessee last spring.
We learned that we both live in the same apartment complex waiting for houses to be built and that he loves pickleball, a sport recently introduced to us. He also mentioned something called the GPS Life Journey, that was designed to help individuals discover their life purposes. We tucked that away until we received a phone call a couple of months later asking us if we would be interested in participating in the initial 8-week GPS Life Journey course that would be offered by the church. We decided to participate.
From personality types and strength finder assessments, to spiritual gifts and personal passions, the course provided the tools and resources for us to develop a personal mission statement. The process homed in my focus to put something into practice that has been on my mind the last four years.
My mother spent the last few years of her life in an assisted living facility in Mississippi. When I visited, I saw that she was adjusting to assisted living as her mission field. I was struck by the relationships she developed with her neighbors and staff. Then, a few years ago, my mother-in-law moved into an assisted living facility.
Since she lived two miles from us in California, my wife and I participated in the various challenges associated with transitioning from a home she had lived in for over 50 years to a new environment that included staff conflicts, additional health issues and the occasional fall that would include trips to emergency rooms where family would be by her side. Though the times were trying, I found a sense of purpose to connect with her and others at the assisted living facility. Now, fast forward to our participation in the GPS Life Journey class.
Even though I was actively involved in various volunteer positions at churches most of my life, sometimes my service was not consistent with my gifts or passions, leading to frustration or burnout. Knowing that God still has work for us, He used the resources of GPS Life Journey to personalize my mission that would coincide with my passions.
My mission is “To show the love of Christ to Assisted Living Residents through encouragement, prayer and other resources to fulfill their roles in Christ”.
However, the GPS Life Journey class doesn’t end with the mission statement; it also provides the plan to put the mission into motion. So even though the course is just 8 weeks, the results usher in our next chapter with God’s Plan for Significance along this Life Journey.
Click here to find out when the next GPS Life Journey events are happening, including online via zoom!
Nolen Rollins and I first met through our mutual association with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He told me about the GPS (God’s Plan for Significance) Life Journey Program. My wife, Mary, and I hosted a GPS session in the spring of 2019. The timing of developing a personal mission statement, a major part of GPS, was ideal.
I was retiring within months, so crafting my own mission statement greatly impacted my thinking about how to approach the next chapter of my life. My mission is to “Glorify God by focusing on family, health and other Spirit-led opportunities which leave a legacy of impact.” This statement has guided me every day of my retirement journey. The photo is from Halloween of 2021 and captures how much fun we are having with our three precious grandkids.
When we first moved back to Pittsburgh to be close to family after retiring, Mary and I had childcare responsibilities four days a week due to the pandemic. In addition, I have placed a much higher priority on both my spiritual and physical health. Exercise is now a scheduled part of most days, and I’ve come to enjoy it. Above all, I’ve grown in my faith, increased my prayer life and continue to listen for God’s Spirit-led opportunities for my life.
One such Spirit-led opportunity has been to explore ways to honor and recognize the life’s work of my mentor, Frances Hesselbein. Frances is the former CEO of Girl Scouts, USA and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award. Her mantra is “To Serve is to Live”. I would welcome the opportunity to share with you 10 of her leadership lessons and how they apply to these turbulent times. If interested in receiving this information, just send me an email @ Ldpphd@gmail.com.
Another Spirit-led opportunity is the prayerful re-opening of my consulting practice, Patouillet Consulting 2.0, utilizing 40+ years in the field of higher education to help colleges, universities and community-based nonprofits advance their respective missions.
It is my hope that this work will make a lasting difference in the future of these organizations and the people they serve, thus contributing to a legacy of impact.
While my wife and I try to treasure every opportunity we have with our three grandchildren, consulting will facilitate special trips with our son, daughter-in-law and grandkids to explore God’s complicated, but beautiful world and to create more magical memories. My prayer is that when my time on this earth is over, that I will have used God’s blessings in my life to serve and bless others- and that my family especially our grandchildren see this as how life should be lived.
Lee Patouillet, Ph.D.
President, Patouillet Consulting
God Guided my career change
Working 6 to 7 days a week along with long hours isn’t the exact recipe for a successful work-life balance, let alone family.
As with any business, to be successful you need to be willing to put the energy into your work, the people you manage, and customers you interact with. Prior to 2016, I was feeling more and more personal pressure to find a work-life balance knowing that my current path would not be easy and likely fall short of what I wanted to achieve.
My story really begins when I was elevated to a leadership role in 2013 within the company. As the youngest General Manager in the company, I was opening two restaurants and a conference center while managing nearly 150 employees. My focus was solely on the operations of the business and building a strong team around me.
Fast forward 3 years to 2016. Work was going very well but continuing at the pace I was going was likely going to burn me out. I was forced to focus on long term priorities for the business and myself. Achieving a balance of work and life would require very intentional decisions and proper training for at least the next 5 years.
I was willing to commit but knew it was going to be long weeks, little time off, and continued to focus on the goals at hand. With God knowing the roadmap I slated out for myself He threw a curveball at me…my dad mentioned GPS Life Journey to me. He explained that it was geared toward retirees that were looking to find God’s plan and personal purpose for their next phase in life. However, he pitched it as a class that we could complete together and it may provide clarity for myself. I agreed to complete the class with him and the rest is history.
GPS Life Journey is exactly what I needed at the time and God knew it. He led me there and was able to provide clarity beyond any book I had read or devotion I had completed. GPS provided me with an understanding of my talents and God-given gifts. I had always been aware of my strengths and some of my struggles but GPS was able to not only highlight this but also put it on paper as a personal roadmap. That roadmap identified critical components of my personality and how I can inject those into my life and a career.
Then God showed up. Pastor Bruce Schoeman encouraged me to visit with a gentleman that he felt had a similar story as mine. We were introduced and I was fortunate to spend two hours asking questions and trying to understand my “WHY”. To this day I can remember the advice that was given to me, “The longer you do not pursue your WHY, the further away it moves”. For once I felt the confidence to make a decision, a decision that was never so clear. I needed to leave my job and pursue another career.
Two weeks later I would type a letter that I wouldn’t not have been able to prior to GPS. I put in my month's notice. Not a job lined up, not a resume built, not an application submitted. I didn’t know where life would take me but I knew my time with my current employer needed to come to an end. I ended up taking 4 months off to travel, spend time with family and friends, and pursue my next career.
Long story short, the gentleman I sought advice from worked for a local investment firm which at the time was not looking to add anyone new to their firm, nor was I looking to work a “desk” job. However, through a few conversations with the owner he felt led to bring me on. Note that I did not have investment or financial schooling prior. But he wasn’t looking for that, he was looking for someone that shared the same values, morals, and faith. He was confident in teaching me how to manage investments but he was more confident in my talents and God-given abilities, many of which were identified during my GPS journey.
If it wasn’t for GPS Life Journey, I wouldn’t have left my job or found my current career. God had set me up to attend this class and meet a future co-worker prior to me knowing. GPS Life Journey was the tool for me during that phase of my life. Since then, I see GPS as a tool for not only those looking for purpose in retirement but those looking for purpose in life and their career. This process helps identify who you are and how you may use those skills to be successful in life. Whether you are 23 or 63, you should go through your own personal discovery of your gift and talents and GPS Life Journey is the perfect tool."
You can discover your GPS Life Journey at one of our in person or online via zoom events. Check out what is happening on our EVENTS page or use the Contact page to get in touch with your questions.
This month's story is from Keith Nelson's GPS testimony!
"I had the opportunity to go through a GPS small group presented by our church in 2017. During the course I was challenged to look at my current career along with what I felt God was calling me to in my next career. At that time, I believed I was 5-8 years from retirement. The program was laid out well by first focusing on my God given strengths, which seemed to be servanthood-through ushering, greeting, helping at church behind the scenes.
One of our assignments was to develop my personal GPS Life Journey Road Map for the rest of my life. We were encouraged to do that during our prayer time and allow the Lord to speak into that statement.
My wife Kammy and I were on a business trip when I found time one afternoon to just stop and rest at the desk in the hotel room and allow the Lord to speak to my heart. I felt the Lord simply laid out a plan that spoke to me so deeply and positively that I knew it was from Him. I sensed Him impressing me with-look at all the talent I have given you in the construction industry, don’t waste it on just those who can afford it.
He also revealed how my heart hurt for those in my life that had suffered lost or divorce. Both my sisters had divorced and one of my sisters husband committed suicide. Even though she was very strong and appeared to be able to manage all the issues of home ownership on her own, I knew she needed encouragement and support.
That made the vision of helping widows and single moms clear almost immediately. The Lord allowed me to write a simple plan: “My personal mission statement is to fulfill needs thru works of service to those in need so they will be introduced to the love of Christ.”
The vision for the next stages of my life:
*I envision people’s lives less stressful thru my works of service.
*I envision starting a ministry outreach for the single moms and widows.
*I envision people’s eyes being able to focus on the love of Christ thru random acts of kindness.
My action steps were:
1. Explore single mom’s ministry teams online.
2. Find out if there were any current groups offering similar services in our community.
3. Ask for prayer from church leadership to sharpen the vision.
The ironic thing about this entire testimony is that during the time of reflection and hearing from the Lord-I was a secret but functioning alcoholic. The Lord delivered me from that bondage November 10, 2019! This resulted in a new passion for the ministry to start.
I shared my vision for this ministry with our small home group and a good friend stated he wanted to join me in this ministry. We approached the church and asked our Senior Pastor Keith Kerstetter for his thoughts and asked if the church would support this ministry. His response was overwhelming. He said he’d been waiting 20 years for someone to come forward with this, as he also had a vision for this ministry
Since then, we’ve spoken to a men’s breakfast and had 43 guys sign up to help with the SWAT team. (Servants With A Toolbelt) We’ve participated in 9 different projects with about 15 guys helping on different projects. Some of the projects included helping a single mom of 6 children replace a broken tub, repair structural posts and repair broken sewer lines. We’re currently completing a bathroom for a single mom with 3 children who lost her husband a year ago. We may be able to send a couple guys on a missions trip to Romania this fall to help paint and do repairs on a girls home.
With the Lord’s help, this ministry will continue to bless all who we serve, but it truly blesses us that we get to help others."
Keith Nelson, Ter Wisscha Construction Company, Willmar, MN
If you're interested in participating in the GPS Life Journey process then check out the EVENTS happening in person and online. Or learn more here! We look forward to helping you discover God's plan for you.
This month's story is from Linda Seehusen GPS testimony!
"My GPS journey started about 20 years ago during a sermon where a missionary was speaking. She was about 70 years old with medical problems and was traveling around the world doing mission work. I sat there thinking that if she could do that, why wasn’t I doing anything.
Later that day, while I was doing dishes, I felt that God told me that I should be a nurse. This was the furthest thing from my mind.
Nigeria’s Mrs. GPS
Nigeria’s Pastor Dr. Yemi Alfred faced her greatest tragedy. Recently, she and her family were deeply saddened by the loss of her 18-year-old, beautiful daughter, Miss Shekinah Alfred, who was tragically killed in a ghastly motor accident. Both Dr. Alfred and her daughter were graduates of GPS Life Journey.
Pastor Alfred, who has a personality that faces every life situation with great confidence, now must rely on God’s grace and comfort alone. And, as it has been true in every other situation of life, God has faithfully sustained her and her family through this difficulty.
Doctor Yemi faces life with a sense of purpose. She understands why God has her here on earth. She is accustomed to living in a hostile environment with church bombings and terror an on-going threat in Nigeria.
Several years ago, a team of Americans went to Nigeria to facilitate a GPS Life Journey Summit. Dr Yemi participated in this workshop experience and discovered her personal profile and gifting, her personal mission statement and purpose in life, and how to turn her vision into reality.
“GPS Life Journey has helped me to focus and not be confused over what God wants me to do. I no longer just focus on church planting but on helping others discover their calling so that many now are involved in church planting.”
Since participating in the GPS Life Journey process, she has helped hundreds of others discover who they are and their purposes in life by facilitating multiple GPS groups. “I have taken GPS Life Journey to prisons, shared it with Muslims, Hindus and many other non-believers. I invite couples who are having problems in their relationships to participate in the GPS Life Journey process. I use it with teenagers and next gen young people”
A recent GPS Life Journey group facilitated by Dr. Yemi Alfred
“I have seen God do miraculous things in people’s lives of all ages from teenagers to older adults in their 70s. I am happy that all across the region I am referred to as Mrs. GPS.”
“I am grateful to Nolen Rollins, the author and founder of the GPS Life Journey, and to the American team who made GPS available to me. I am now on my mission of making it available to thousands of others in the future. GPS can change your life!”
Yemi Faith Alfred, Ph.D., FMCDI, FCILG
Dr. Yemi is an ordained minister of the Gospel. She pastors alongside her husband (Bishop Alfred Femi Martins).
From Depression to Joyful Purpose
Kenzy recalled, “I was coming out of 2020 when I had my third baby during the
Covid pandemic and I had experienced extreme depression. It was the most
difficult time of my entire life.
“I never really knew what depression was before when others talked about being
depressed. To be honest, I thought depression was a cop out for just having a
negative mindset. Then I found myself dealing with pregnancy and being totally
isolated from others. I am a people person and need interaction with my friends
and family. I could not believe how depressed I became.
“Then GPS came at the beginning of 2021 and gave me a clear sense of real
purpose in life. My mission is to raise my babies, intentionally pointing them
Kenzy continued, “It’s so easy for someone in my season of life to think that I am
nobody, that I am not worthy, that I am just a mom. Then I came to learn through
the GPS Life Journey class that my mission and ministry IS my home and my role
as a mom.”
Going into the GPS process, Kenzy felt that she would have to have this massive
structured plan for her life, that her identity had to be related to something apart
from motherhood, like a profession.
“I thought that I had to have a big dream to lead some other big venture. Then I
realized that God’s mission for me now was to rear my children and establish a
Christ-like home environment.”
“Now I am living my life with a sense of purpose and I have a sense of significance
that I lacked previously. GPS Life Journey gave me such joy again in doing life and
being a mom. It gave me a renewed desire to want to grow and improve.”
“The GPS Life Journey class gave me the accountability to prepare for each
session, and as a result, I came to a greater understanding of myself and my
husband. What we learned really helped our communication and relationship.”
Kenzy added, “I loved that the GPS process was in a group setting and everyone
could interact with each other and support each other.”
When asked if she would recommend the GPS Life Journey to others, Kenzy
enthusiastically responded, “I would highly recommend the GPS Life Journey to
others. So many people feel lost; they live without any sense of purpose and don’t
want to admit where they are in life.”
The GPS Life Journey is for everyone, in all stages and life situations. We firmly
believe that God has a purpose for the next stage of your life. Contact us to learn
how you can discover God’s purpose for the next stage of your life and how you
can be fully engaged in fulfilling that purpose. Contact Nolen Rollins, GPS Life
Journey President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW DIRECTION AFTER THE PANDEMIC thanks to gps life journey online
Sam knew that she was gifted and loved dancing but for her it felt like a selfish pursuit. “I also had no specific direction for it. I had been praying for almost a year for clear direction and truly asking God to reveal it. I was really frustrated and disheartened and felt like I had little vision and hope.”
When she discovered GPS Life Journey online, it was the only Christian course she knew that seemed to suit her needs perfectly! She said, “I was doubtful that this course could still be offered to me in Australia (before finding out about the zoom options) but I was so keen to try and reach out anyway because I felt like I had nothing to lose and everything to gain!
I really wanted God to speak to me through this course and give me the vision and direction I had been praying for so long for.”
Thanks to connecting via Instagram @gpsjourney she was able to chat with Emily Miller. In October 2021, they started the GPS Life Journey process online via Zoom. Meeting weekly for up to an hour to discuss the eight sessions.
Vaartjes shared “The weekly classes were really manageable (as long as I had done all my homework!) and the short snippet videos gave a good little intro into the class for the week. I felt excited for the weeks to come (especially the one where we hear from God) because I was expectant concerning what I was going to hear.”
She felt encouraged and felt like she had ticked off another piece of the puzzle towards understanding herself and her calling better. “It was really eye opening finding similar patterns, or themes through my answers, which helped give me clarity, confirmation and confidence.”
“I am so extremely thankful for the GPS life journey. It was the vehicle through which God answered my prayers and gave me vision I had been praying for, for so long.
It was such a wonderful journey, through which I discovered the way God has intentionally designed me, the passions He has given me, and the values I hold dear - they are not a mistake, but carefully given to me for what I am specifically called to.
This process has restored my hope … it has given me vision for the future, and every day is exciting as I take one step forward into the calling God has for me.
I cannot recommend the GPS life journey enough! If you embark upon it though, be prepared - come expectant and get ready to hear God speak and release you into the wonderful exciting future He has planned for you!
The best thing about it is that it can be taken from anywhere in the world ... I was blessed to be able to go through this process via zoom. It was so personal and really allowed for extra time to be given to explore my calling and answers with my wonderful facilitator (Emily).
Thank you Nolen Rollins for creating such a God inspired course. It is something that has changed my life, and will be something I come back to time and time again as I age, and step into new seasons in my life.” Blessings, Sam
Sam has been working since December at Luna Park as well as a few more job opportunities here and there. "I have moved back to Sydney and am loving being part of the industry. I am working to settle in a new church up here and really get connected to be anchored in God’s community before going back out to do my work."
If you would like to participate in GPS Life Journey online, then please check the EVENTS page to find out when the next group begins.
Nolen Rollins, Founder & President of GPS Life Journey