The Need to Be Heard

The Need to Be Heard

MBI’s goal is to help YWAM missionaries succeed and flourish in life and ministry so they can serve on the mission field long-term. One way we do this is by partnering with other trained debriefers to offer debriefing services to missionaries globally. As one individual said, “Sometimes we just need to be heard. There are times in life when being heard leads to being healed.”

Debriefing Director Jeanette Brewster says: “Missionaries carry a variety of responsibilities without much time to process difficult events. This can continue for years at a time, compounding stress, loss, transitions, grief, and injustices.  We all know the answer is Jesus, but the way to healing can sometimes be clouded. The debriefing week facilitates a process that guides individuals to lay their burdens at the foot of the cross and find healing. It is amazing what one week of retreat, silence, solitude, and reflection can do for the heavy-laden soul.”

Sophorn and Rothana B. have served many years at YWAM Battambang in Cambodia. They say: “It is good to reflect on what happened in the past and the Scriptures. God was always there to help us. God is faithful. You helped us trust and have peace through sharing what is in our hearts.”


Debriefing training seminars are vital. Training more staff and people on how to care for long-term missionaries helps prevent unnecessary attrition. In collaboration with YWAM Montana-Lakeside’s debriefing team, MBI’s team has conducted multiple on-location training seminars and debriefs since 2016 at U.S. campuses and YWAM locations as far away as Cambodia, Ukraine, and Thailand.

Jaimie B.’s story tells it all: “Isaiah tells us that Jesus can bring beauty from ashes. For my husband and I, debriefing was the vehicle that brought that beauty. In 2020, our lives got turned upside down when our son passed away. As we entered into a long season of grieving, debriefing became a gift to us. We felt deeply loved by our debriefers and by God. Now that we’ve undergone the training, we can offer this gift to others. We’ve seen the healing power of debriefing time and time again.”

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.”