Preparing for debrief and what the first few days will look like

There is slightly less than a week now before the Discoverers head back to Tamale for debrief, and John is busy pulling together their itinerary and arranging their transportation and accommodation.  He would much appreciate your prayers as he seeks to get things wrapped up before the arrival of the well as get as much rest as he can so he can fully recharge his batteries for the upcoming two weeks of Debrief.  This last part of the Discovery trip is always the most rewarding AND exhausting time; it is likely we will hear very little from him as things are ongoing.  I will try to give you the play by play like I did during Orientation,  so you will be able to better visualize and pray for him and the rest of the team during this time.


Today I am going to post the first several days of debrief, because, following the excellent example of my son Jordan and the encouragement of my husband John, after today I am going to take a break from e-mail/Facebook/blogging until the 26th of July.   So, without further ado...... 


Wednesday July 24th & Thursday July 25th -  Although most of the team will arrive back sometime on Thursday, a few will show up a day earlier.   Most everyone will be excited to come back, see their team mates, and tell their stories;  John, Papa Andoh and Bernice will be all ears!  Thursday evening will be a lot of “housekeeping”, telling the team what to expect in the next few days, getting everyone back into “team” mode after being in independent partnerships for four weeks.  As a team, they will begin this period of time together  focused on identifying what they need to do in order to successfully re-enter their home culture and integrate what they have learned from this trip into their lives.  One of the first steps in that process will involve having them think of 3 interesting words they can use to summarize their Discovery experience.  They will also shift their daily goal setting sessions back to time with a team leader instead of their partner as the leaders help them stay engaged in the culture during debrief while thinking thorough their re-entry strategies


When the participants return, they will bring back with them feedback forms filled out by their work supervisor, the family they live with, their partner and then one they fill out on themselves, all of which they will give to their leaders.  Then the leaders must take their own past and present observations of the participants, combine it with what they read in these other feedbacks and digest it all so that they will be prepared to interact with each participant in a one hour personal feedback session sometime during the next two weeks.  This is a wonderful time to help participants process their experience and help answer any questions they may have, as well as guide them to available future missions opportunities. 


Friday July 26th & Saturday July 27thDuring these two days the Ghana Institute of Literacy Linguistics and Bible translation that we partner with will hold their Annual General Meeting.  Discoverers will be involved in serving in many ways (ushering, helping in the kitchen, taking official notes) as well as spending some time sitting in the sessions, listening and observing.  It is a great opportunity for them to learn about how a National Bible Translation Organization works.  While this is the main focus of these two days, also during this time the team will share their three words with each other, and receive instructions on how they can now plan a three minute talk using one or more of those words.  In addition to this, one of the evenings John will  host a meeting with many of the project staff workers who will have traveled to Tamale to attend the AGM to answer their questions about the Discovery program and find out who would like to have Discovers help them out next year.


Sunday July 28th - The Discoverers will visit various churches in the morning and have free time in the afternoon.  In the evening will follow one of our favorite Discovery traditions; dinner at the Schafer’s.  Bob and Nancy Schafer (and if they are doubly blessed, their son Paul with his wife Jen and their family)  always cook an amazing meal (pizza anyone?) and share their equally amazing life stories of living and working in Ghana with 4 different translation projects between them. 


Monday July 29th Now is when the participants begin processing in earnest.  They will spend the morning with some specific questions/suggestions to sit with God with…in the afternoon, they will get together with a couple of teammates they know least well and share what they are hearing/sensing /learning.  Spending three hours alone with God can be a bit stretching for some….but it is foundational to the rest of what they will do together and a time they are very grateful for when concluded.

In the evening session together, they will talk about how we go back home embracing humility, being careful not to succumb to pride after having gone through such a life changing experience.  Then the leaders will break them into spate cultural groups to address any issues specific to each culture in order to help the team clear up any possible misunderstandings and keep unified as a team. 


And that will take us up until I will be back on e-mail, ready to send another update.  Thanks so much for reading….and for your prayers!


In His love;


Shevawn Ramsey




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