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Jesus came along side two disciples on the morning of his resurrection. He asked them what they were discussing. They shared their stories and Jesus listened and gave perspective. They in turn invited him in and experienced a change of heart. We as debriefers want to come along side as Jesus did – to listen, ask questions, and give biblical perspective. Hopefully this will help people get new perspective, a change of heart, and renewed passion.
Debriefing is a time set aside for you to purposefully share your story and intentionally process a certain timeframe of your past (of your choosing). Oftentimes debriefees have gone through a lot of transition and/or grief, and have experienced injustice at varying levels. Our goal is that by the end of the week these people will receive some perspective on their circumstances, hear very personally from God, find healing and freedom, extend forgiveness, and be able to move forward feeling strengthened.
If you are wondering whether debriefing would be helpful for you personally, continue reading for a few details of what to expect, the structure of the week, who we debrief, and why we believe it is beneficial. You can also check out some testimonials of people who’ve gone through Lakeside Debriefing Ministry and hear about their experience. If interested in being debriefed, please fill out an application online. When it is complete, we will be in touch with you as soon as we can.
If you desire to grow in your understanding of God, yourself and others, If you desire to process experiences that have shaped your life up to this point, If you desire to set aside time in your busy life to see how the full work of the cross can bring healing, understanding and personal revelation,
… then debriefing is for you.
You can expect as a debriefee (whether you are single or a couple):
There are many of us who are trying to live healthy godly lives in missions, business and the pastorate who struggle with these and other issues. We are taught to “suck it up and get on with the work”, yet sometimes we just can’t. God understands. He understood that the disciples were hurting, that they had lost hope and were discouraged, disorientated and grieving a great loss as they walked on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24). Jesus walked towards them. He asked them questions and allowed them to answer without interrupting. He valued their story and taught them that He was still very much with them. He was actually physically walking with them. He was the first debriefer. Debriefing your journey is important to your emotional and spiritual health. Burying things alive (stuffing pain and loss) only promises one thing… that it will resurface at another time. We need to give our pain and loss to Jesus so that we can be free to live the abundant life He has planned for each one of us.
** When returning from overseas it is best practice to have a physical check-up with your doctor. Likewise, you could consider that a personal debrief is also important for an emotional and spiritual check-up. This is especially true when undergoing major cross cultural changes and transitions
“In the business of life and ministry we tend to neglect making a habit of creating space to hear God. Debriefing not only allowed that space during a time when I desperately needed to hear from God but it gave me questions and methods to continue to put into practice for the rest of my life. I got so much clarity and relief and felt so well cared for thorough out the process! Do it! — Ministry Worker in the Inner City
“Debriefing gave me a new way to see my life. Before, I saw transition, trauma, and mistakes as a tangled mess of experiences and emotions. But, as I revisited those confusing moments through the week the facilitators and the Spirit of God spoke words of clarity over those things. I was able to see, for the first time, how faithfully God has weaved himself through my life. That week will always be memorable and I would (and DO) recommend this program to everyone I know!” – Bethany, MT
“Debriefing with the team was so helpful in many ways. This past season of my life was a whirlwind, and for not just one person but a team of people full of wisdom to come behind you and help you unravel it and say “well done” is nothing but encouraging.” — YWAM Missionary Member after leading a team on outreach
“This time helps me to actually realize all that God has been doing. In a way it puts handles on the life lessons I’ve been living through, so that I can really walk away with solid truth and application.” — YWAM Missionary Member after leading a team on outreach
“You guys really helped bring in an outside perspective to my experience which helped me process a lot more effectively. It was also great just to hear the encouragement and eternal perspective or our outreaches.” — YWAM Missionary Member after leading a team on outreach
“I greatly respect and appreciate the people in charge of debriefing. From the very beginning I felt loved and safe sharing with them. I truly trust their wisdom. When I shared I felt heard and like they truly understood what I was talking about and how I was feeling. I feel like I have the tools to continue processing my outreach.” — YWAM Missionary Member after leading a team on outreach
“My time of debriefing helped bring a calm and fresh perspective to a crazy season of life. It was extremely helpful to get to process through what had happened in such a safe environment.” — YWAM Missionary Member after leading a team on outreach
“These few days of debriefing are truly a blessing! By allowing us to process what we have gone through and also reflect on what God has been teaching us, I feel refreshed and receive closure to a season that was me constantly pouring out. This team cares for us and I feel truly valued by them all. I honestly feel that without this time [of debriefing], I couldn’t live in this constant state of transition like I do. It really is to the benefit of my spiritual health and, therefore, the health of those I am able to disciple.” – K.H.
Debriefing began in YWAM Montana in 2009 as a service to missionaries in YWAM and other organizations, pastors, and a variety of lay people who were looking for a place of safety and confidentiality to process their life experiences. In April of 2015, Andy and Janet Kerr, founders of Emmaus Encounter Debriefing were commissioned out from YWAM Lakeside to pursue developing Emmaus Encounter, Inc. (EE, Inc.), a ministry of debriefing and spiritual formation. YWAM Lakeside Debriefing Ministry (YLDM) continues to serve at the YWAM Lakeside, Montana location and is led by Anna Cleghorn. YLDM and EE, Inc. still work together as associate organizations, collaborating in personal debriefings, training and outreach to Target Nations. For more information about Emmaus Encounter, Inc., visit their website: emmausencounter.org