Debriefing: A Simple Matter of Listening

Debriefing: A Simple Matter of Listening

Change, crisis, injustice, loss, feeling stuck. Everyone experiences these at some point in life, including missionaries. Because MBI’s goal is to help YWAM missionaries thrive, we offer spiritual debriefing to assist them in making sense of the things that happen in life and in mission service. Jeanette Brewster has worked with over 100 missionaries and heads MBI’s debriefing ministry.

“Jesus came alongside two disciples on the Emmaus Road on the morning of his resurrection,” Jeanette says. “He asked them what they were talking about. Distraught, they shared the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and how their hope seemed lost. Jesus listened, and as they invited him in, he gave them the revelation and perspective necessary for them to understand that he was alive and had done just what he said he would do. Debriefing is having someone come alongside us the way Jesus did to facilitate, listen, ask questions, and help us gain biblical perspective, a change of heart, and a renewed passion.

“As Christians we know the answer is the cross and the gospel,” Jeanette says. “Debriefing is simply a facilitative process that helps people see through the fog of hurt, disappointment, unforgiveness, and discouragement. It’s an opportunity to be refilled, a time to retreat and make space in our lives to hear what God has to speak to us and our situation. Here are some testimonies:

‘The beautiful, gentle five-day process helped me walk through each situation. I ultimately realized how much I’d been trying to carry myself. I feel like I have a new pathway for working through difficult situations.’

‘I really felt stuck and unsure of how to move forward in several areas of my life and ministry. By the end of the week, I felt a total shift and freedom.’

“Debriefees come in weighed down,” Jeanette concludes. “By the end of the week, they walk away much lighter because they’ve recognized that the cross not only carries and covers their sin, but also their burdens, shame, guilt, and pain. The Holy Spirit is enabled to do years of counseling within this one week. It’s simply a matter of aside setting time to listen.”


Change, Anyone?

Change, Anyone?

Few of us are comfortable with change. Whether it’s forced upon us or we embrace it willingly, change can lead us to a different way of looking at and doing things.

After years of working with our email address of, and with our website address in mind, we finally changed it to It now better reflects how we work and connect with the world. That’s just one visible change. Bigger changes are occurring behind our website, in our in-office document-handling, email and calendars, as well as in our accounting procedures and the way we communicate with the world, including the switch from ConstantContact to MailChimp for emailed newsletter service – starting with this newsletter.

Of course, right in the middle of all this change, our long-time, locally-owned bank of some 20 years (which has treated us like family) was bought by a regional corporate bank, forcing more change upon us. Oh yes, and how can I forget the ever-changing updates to our computer operating systems (Windows 10, anyone?), cell phones and every other electronic gadget, forcing us to learn and relearn new ways of doing things (whatever happened to the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?).

Even bigger changes are in the wind of U.S. politics, potentially affecting the direction and future of the nation for good or bad, depending on one’s point of view. I have to admit, there have been moments of my crying out to God for deliverance from the craziness of politics amplified by a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth media.

Gratefully, God’s not surprised, flustered or impressed by the flurry of changes affecting us. In fact, He is both the Author and Finisher of our faith and the events that create change in the first place! As a person who embraces the “new, novel and different,” I’m content to know that God is indeed in control and that everything will eventually work out. In the meantime, MBI continues to connect friends like you—who are willing to embrace change and trust the Creator—to the frontlines He sends us to.