After the Team Returns – Debriefing Opportunities
One of the biggest life-changing aspects of a mission project is that in the process of learning another culture, we also learn a great deal about our own culture. Going overseas or spending time with people drastically different from us enables us to encounter our own cultural identity and put it all under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Even though we like to think of ourselves as being totally biblical in our views, we often find ourselves influenced more by our materialistic cultural background then we like to admit. When we go cross-culture our ethnocentricity comes out "big time" and we see how ugly it really is in us! Often short-termers realize how much of their “Christian” behavior and values are conditioned by our American culture. But now we have an opportunity to experience spiritual growth that may actually be “counter-cultural”, but Christ-centered, rather than culture-centered.
The process of Re-entry can potentially be the most traumatic and yet most transforming experience for the short-termer. Thus the debriefing time should be the most important requirement for a short-term mission team. DELTA can help to provide a trained facilitator to lead people through a reflection process that helps them to look back on insights from their journals or quiet times. We can lead the entire team together to provide a safe environment for verbalizing feelings and experiences and guide them to make appropriate adjustments into their normal life and culture.
The lessons learned overseas must continue to influence behavior and attitudes at home – that is when short-term missions can have long-term impact and DELTA’s trained Short-Term Mission Coaches are ready to help lead your team through the journey of coming home and engaging in life with a renewed commitment to missional living.