I needed the time set apart…
For me this seemed so natural and encouraging as I walked through the process with Jesus and the Kerrs. I needed the time set apart to heal and seek the Lord.
The concrete actions at the end of the debriefing provide a visual reminder of things learned. Nailing to the cross the things I needed to give to Jesus is powerful. Summing up the week’s lessons in actions helped to make me process the week and take the next steps of healing. ET – Missionary
veteran trail guides…
“I tend towards being introverted. So, the prospect of spending five days with strangers and talking for hours about myself, my experiences and feelings was a little daunting. However, Andy and Janet quickly dispelled any anxieties with their welcoming, easy going personalities. They did not push me to go faster or farther than what was comfortable. Rather, like veteran trail guides, they journeyed with me encouraging me to go where God was leading. It was a successful journey, praise the Lord!” JS – Turkey
Eager to continue our journey…
“We arrived broken, hurt, and confused by our years in ministry. Our time of debriefing helped us sort through those years and understand why we were feeling this way. We left encouraged and refreshed, as well as eager to continue our journey with Christ wherever that may lead us. We are very thankful for how the Lord used you two and this ministry in our lives.”
RS – Turkey
following the model of Jesus…
“Andrew and Janet are truly following the model of Jesus in their approach to this unique ministry. They listened patiently with interest, spoke truth where appropriate, and walked beside me as I discovered more of what God had for me to learn in the trials I was facing. The fellowship was refreshing and I left with not only increased knowledge but also with great encouragement!” BA – California
deep pain and wounds that went unattended to.
” I found myself in a place with far more questions than I had answers. Before me stood the aching reality of years of deep pain + wounds that went unattended to. My past had caught up to me and was reminding me of what I had tried to forget. I came to debriefing with the baggage of my past scattered all around me, unable + unsure of how to bring order to the chaos. Yet I was lovingly received and tenderly listened to, constantly being pointed to the reality that Jesus heals and brings new life.” AW – Montana
It gives hope…
A friend asked what Emmaus Encounter was like. I answered, “It’s like Salvation…”
Only Jesus can do the one time work of redeeming our souls, but Emmaus was a gift to redeem a period of my life and the surrounding relationships in a way I thought was impossible – the same way that Salvation erases the guilt or shame of the past and re-presents your story redeemed and reusable for His glory.
With Christ as our guide, the journey nails the past definitively to the Cross and it’s freedom to walk again in wholeness. It is a very, very hard process, but worth the potential result. It gives hope for taking a step forward, even running, into the next day.
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13-13 JH- Montana
It’s amazing the baggage…
“For me Emmaus Encounter was an opportunity to take a week of reflection, listening and sharing in a hope that God would set me free from things that I honestly thought would never change. I had resolved myself to a place of hopeless acceptance. That place was leaving me lifeless and depressed.
It’s amazing the baggage and woundedness we can carry as believers in ourselves and our relationships. Through the process that Andy and Janet walked us through I was able to face my deepest fear of vulnerability and come out on the other side healed by God, renewed in my marriage and full of joy and hope.
It really felt like being a new person. My favorite part of the week was having so much time and space to hear and feel what God had to say about my hurt and disappointment. He truly set me free! I would recommend this to anyone who feels stuck and hopeless it is an amazing ministry. ” S – Montana
soaked in disappointment…
“After multiple painful experiences in mission’s I had found myself soaked in disappointment, pain, and the desire to hold it all within myself. I approached debriefing with this pain and received listening ears, and people who gently, and patiently pushed me towards the truth and kindness of God. Debriefing provides a special environment to not only process situations and experiences in your life, but to approach God in the midst of it all. I would highly recommend debriefing, as well as all of the people involved. This time was refreshing, peaceful, and freeing in so many ways. Even years later I see the fruit of choosing to process and approach my pain through debriefing.” CF -Oregon
I am grateful for the healing…
“I have been trained in debriefing missionaries but having never experienced a debrief myself, I thought it would be helpful to spend time being debriefed by Andy and Janet at Emmaus Encounter. I did not go to the debrief with anything in particular in mind that was heavy on my heart but I figured that the Lord would use the Kerr’s to bring out whatever He wanted to show me. I was very surprised about what the Lord showed me.
I realized through my debrief that I had felt hurt and rejection by one of our pastors and the enemy used this to develop in me a fear and dread when I would have contact with this pastor. Because of the bitterness that was building in me, the enemy was stealing from me, anything good I could learn from this pastor. As I dwelt on the pain and injustice I felt, I failed to see where God had always been present with me and had used others in our church body to manifest Himself to me over the years.
Through my time at Emmaus Encounter, the Lord revealed these truths to me and showed me where I had been giving Satan a foothold by believing his lies. I was able to take the hurts, pain, losses and injustices to the cross and forgive my pastor. But it doesn’t end here.
When I returned from my debrief, our pastor invited my husband and I out to eat. I did not feel the usual fear as I anticipated our meeting. As we shared with him about what God had been doing in our lives, he became very excited and supportive and I was able to receive the words of encouragement that he had for us without a knee-jerk reaction of distrust.
I am grateful for this healing that took place in my life during my time at Emmaus Encounter and I am looking forward to seeing how God will use this in my ministry as I debrief other missionaries.” Missionary
expectations I had placed…
“The debriefers of Emmaus Encounter helped guide me to realize that much of the frustration and pain in my life was birthed from expectations that I had placed on my leaders, my community, the homeless, and my God. I will continue to walk out my calling to the poor and marginalized, carrying with me these valuable lessons. I would personally recommend this debrief to anyone in missions and I hope to return again sometime in the future.” – Mike, SF
“It was more effective than other professional counseling programs that we had been through because it addressed the needs of ministry leaders.”
“Debriefing was great for our marriage it allowed us to take time to listen to each other and really hear what our spouse was going through. “
“The demands of ministry have taken a toll on me and my family and debriefing helped me see the places that I had gotten off track and been hurt. Debriefing helped me heal and understand some of my personal issues and frustrations. “ – Pastor Tim, WA
“Last year my wife and I experienced a very difficult life change involving the end of a 19 year chapter of Pastoral ministry. We had so many emotions and unanswered questions. Being guided through this process enabled us to understand what we felt and gave us a context to put them in. It was what we needed! I would without hesitation endorse and recommend this valuable ministry.” – Pastor Don, MT
“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
“Quite simply, the debriefing rescued us. It was like an intervention. To have our pain not only validated but resolved allowed us to move on. The debriefing brought us once again to the foot of the cross to have our debts forgiven as we forgave our debtors. Andy and Janet are compassionate listeners the solution they offer is not empty sympathies but a true and living Savior who redeems everything. They opened the door for the Holy Spirit and then let Him do His work.”. – Medical Missionaries to Uganda
I’ve been serving with Youth With A Mission full time for over 20 years. Twelve of these years have been in Taiwan. It was encouraged by our leadership team and friends around us that we go through a “debrief” as we’ve been in ministry for awhile and have gone through different seasons of transition. My husband and I had the opportunity last year to do our debrief with Emmaus Encounter. We didn’t really know what to expect from our time, but just praying that it would be fruitful. I think the biggest blessing was having the week set apart from our daily routine and responsibilities and having time to process different events and seasons in the past, fears, concerns,etc. It was like a “facilitated” retreat with the Lord and by the end of the week, we truly felt strengthened and refreshed as we had been with Jesus. This week was so valuable for us. We not only highly recommend it to friends, leaders and those who’ve served in ministry for awhile, but also plan on making this a part of our spiritual health and setting aside time every several years to go through it again. – Long Term Missionary to Taiwan
We found ourselves in a place of brokenness that we had never faced before. We were desperate for help and are grateful we found support through Emmaus Encounter. The Kerrs were fantastic and walked along side us through an extremely difficult season of our lives. Our debriefing gave us the time and space we needed to work through the pain and frustration we were experiencing and connect with God on a deeper level, which in turn allowed us to begin the healing process. We were equipped to continue the journey towards wholeness and the tools we obtained are invaluable. We will be forever grateful for the gift of our Emmaus Encounter. – Pastor, Michigan
Have you found yourself in a place where you just want to be the greeter at Wal-Mart? A place where you didn’t need to be invested in other peoples lives. I was there. I had no desire for ministry and certainly no passion for others. I found myself questioning who I was and who God created me to be. The Emmaus Encounter focused on the hurt and pain I had experienced and began turning that ship around. I can’t say enough about how God met us right where we were during our debrief. A voice (God’s) I hadn’t heard in months or even years came back with clarity and more importantly healing. It’s still a process back in ministry, but I have a full toolbox that will help me manage hurt and disappointment I sometimes face in ministry. – Pastor, Michigan