"I didn’t think I needed debriefing personally, but I wanted to serve fellow missionaries as a debriefer, so I went through with it. Little did I know how much I needed debriefing of my many years on the field and subsequent years upon returning home. It was a huge surprise to me how helpful this week was to me."
How important is debriefing?!
Along the right is a timeline of the activities and events which God has allowed us to experience and see come to pass since MRC’s inception three years ago. Please notice how many weeks we’ve been involved in something related to debriefing, either training, debriefing retreats or individual debriefs. We’ve been saying that we believe this is the most important and useful service that we have to offer to missionaries and it’s reflected in the amount of time and money we’ve invested in this tool. Since our first training in December 2012, we’ve spent a total of fifteen (15) weeks and over $9,000!! This dollar amount includes fees for each of the events, travel, lodging and accommodations, but does not include our salaries (MRC still pays us during those weeks), nor hours that we’ve spent in study and preparation for the events. Neither does it reflect the salary paid to our administrative assistant for her hours. She has been with us at the last two retreats putting in lots of hours helping with meals and also leading worship.
Other Training and Conferences
We’ve also had the privilege of attending a number of challenging and useful conferences focusing on member care including the PTM (Pastor To Missionaries) conference three years, just recently the SYIS (Strengthening Your Interpersonal Skills) seminar and the most exciting, the Global Member Care Conference in Turkey last February. These have given us other practical and useful tools as well as the opportunity to network with others involved in member care. This is a total of 6 conferences or seminars, most of them 3 or 4 days long, at a total cost of around $7,500.
PRAISE & PRAYER
Great visits – We spent several days in Charlotte, NC, during July where we visited a number of long-time friends, cousins and supporters (8 families) total, including friends from Egypt who had been traveling in the US. It was great reconnecting with all of these special folks.
Challenging Seminar - Then we went to Columbia, SC, to attend a seminar called SYIS which was very challenging and helpful. We’ve wanted to attend this seminar for years and finally had the opportunity. It was a tiring week
Debriefing Retreat – Last week (Aug. 9-14) Linn and I and our administrative assistant were all at a Debrief Retreat in North Georgia. John was much more involved in the preparations this time than any previous retreat (receiving applications, lining up housing, arranging rides from the airport, arranging food, assigning jobs, etc.) which turned out to be a rather steep learning curve and quite stressful, but totally worth it as we see the results. John and Linn were each involved directly in the debriefing. Three single missionaries and one couple were debriefed (representing decades of service on several different continents) and by the end of the week powerful testimonies were shared of having been met by the Lord in some new and significant ways. What a privilege and joy to be involved and watch the Lord work in these precious lives!
Out of country friends – This week we have friends visiting from Europe. A gal that we worked with in Portugal, and her husband and daughter, are coming for a visit over the second half of August. Pray for Linn as she determines what things to do WITH them (local museums, etc.) and how much to encourage them to do on their own.
This is an incredibly busy time for us and we so need the Lord’s wisdom and filling, allowing Him to order our time. Thanks for bringing us before the throne. Let us know how we can pray for you.
A Little On the Family...
For years Ashley & Eric have dreamed of buying some land to build a house, have a big garden, some fruit trees and a few animals, and Andrew has wanted a place to park his RV…and within the last two weeks they both did it! We are excited with them all in these big steps. One challenge is that Ashley & Eric need to be out of their current house by the end of August so they can rent it out. Pray for them in the busyness of moving with 4 little children, and for us to know how much we can help.
Thank you for your continual prayers and for partnering with us
LAST 3 YEARS
May - Given permission from Pioneers to start MRC of NC
May – Dave Tabor and Colleen helped set up our accounting
June – Ruth volunteered to fill out the letters of incorporation and application for 501(c)(3)
August – Given first car for missionaries to use
October – Attended PTM conference (Pastor To Missionaries)
December – First week of debriefing training from Le Rucher
January – MRC was incorporated in NC
January – Linn and I were debriefed
May – Second week of debrief training
June – We debriefed a gal who had served in Gabon
July – MRC officially began, separated from Pioneers, and started receiving funds via MRC
October – PTM Conference
November – We debriefed couple serving in Africa
Fall 2013 – Raised funds and hired administrative assistant. Sarah started January 2014
June – Granted tax exempt status
February – John debriefed a man from Honduras
April – Debrief Retreat, and week of training (2 weeks)
June – Debrief at Fellowship Valley
August – Debrief meeting (2 days)
August – 10 days visiting supporters from Tenn. to Alabama
October - PTM Conference
October – We debriefed couple from the Middle East
November – Attended BAM conference
December – MECNet consortium in GA
Summer – Both admin assist and accountant resigned
Summer – God gave us new admin assist and accountant
February – Global Member Care conference in Turkey
March – Linn helped debrief a family in Atlanta with Beverly
March – Dr. Roy Ringenberg added as medical consultant
March – Given car #2 for missionaries to use
May – Debrief Retreat in GA
July – John debriefed guy who had served in Malaysia
July - Seminar – Strengthening Your Interpersonal Skills
August – Debrief Retreat in GA
August – Given car #3 for missionaries to use
We’re a little late, but we don’t want to miss an opportunity to celebrate and thank the Lord for all that He has done during the first 3 years of MRC. It was just 3 years ago last spring that we received permission and blessing from Pioneers to start this ministry here in North Carolina and it’s been truly amazing to see how the Lord brought together finances, a team of people to help with accounting and legal documents, provided cars for missionaries, etc. But most of all He’s brought people to us who needed a listening ear and helping hand. What a privilege to serve and encourage His servants as they return from overseas!
This blog contains the latest MRC news. MRC exists because we believe that many missionaries return from the field tired and discouraged, in need of a helping hand and a listening ear.