This session is designed to help the team process the unique experiences they had while serving with Food for the Hungry. The process of working through some of these things is often referred to as “debriefing.”
While it is important to debrief at the end of the trip, it is also important to encourage the team to process their experience throughout the trip. A list of conversation starters and ‘debriefing topics’ are available on page 38 of the FH Team Training Manual.
Encourage your team members to spend some time journaling. The following questions may help them get started:
- What three things did you like most about the country where you served? Why?
- What things did you like least? Why?
- What aspects of relating to your team did you enjoy? Why?
- What aspects of relating to your team were challenging? Why?
- What aspects of the work/ministry you participated in were meaningful to you? Why?
- What aspects of the work/ministry you participated in were challenging? Why?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What did you learn about your relationship with God?
- How would you like your life to be different when you return home?
Thank You Letter
Following up with supporters can be helpful in the debriefing process. If possible, try to provide your team members with time to write a thank you letter before they return to the U.S.
Remind your team members to include:
- The activities your team was involved in.
- The ways you saw God move.
- The things God taught you through the experience.
- Your appreciation for their involvement.
- An invitation to sponsor a child.
Sharing Your Experience
Encourage your team members to identify the single most important thing they learned during their time overseas. If you have time, ask the team members to practice sharing this experience with the group. This will help them prepare to share about their experience with their friends and family when they return home.
Encourage the team to determine their “next steps” before they return home. Determining one or two action steps before returning home will help them to extend the impact of the trip.
Ask each team member to select two next steps from the list below to commit to when they return home. Or, encourage them to think of two ideas of their own.
Be Focused on God:
- Evaluate your personal quiet time. Are there ways it could improve?
- Attend church faithfully and look for ways to serve.
- Pray for Christian brothers and sisters around the world.
Be Informed about Poverty & Global Issues:
- Read a book about holistic ministry or missions.
- Read articles or magazines about poverty or the area of the world in which you served.
- Share child sponsorship with others.
Be a Steward of Your Resources:
- Recognize areas of wastefulness (food, water, time) and look to be a better manager of the resources God has given you.
- Give financially to organizations working with the poor.
- Host a fundraiser for an issue that is important to you.
- See if the company you work for is able to provide a “matching gift” based off the time or resources you invested into this trip.
- Become an FH Child Sponsor. Or if you already are, commit to writing to and praying for your sponsored child more often.
- Commit to being grateful for family and work.
- Volunteer with a local ministry.
- Befriend a refugee family in your hometown.
- Commit to serving on a short-term team again.
- Consider a life of missions or overseas work.