For the past two years, Girl Catch Fire has offered debriefing and reentry retreats for global workers returning to their home countries. We’ve hosted five of them in Chamonix, France and the Northern Rocky Mountains, walking nearly 40 people through the tricky territory that is going “home” after living and working abroad. You can read all about it here.
We’ve learned so much.
And since Girl Catch Fire is an agile and zippy little company - big on listening and iteration - we are happy to announce some big changes we’re making to Intermissionary.
What we’ve learned.
First, the most consistent pain we observe among the people we work with is the crushing loneliness and loss they experience after leaving the field. “I miss my community” is the most frequent comment we hear.
The second thing is, when people have to choose between rent and a debriefing retreat, they choose rent. Financial pressure is a thing. We get it.
So we’re changing our model to look something like this.
Here’s the Plan.
Last Fall, United Pursuit hosted a weekend gathering in the hills outside Nashville. One of our firegirls - who is also an Intermissionary alum - went and immediately called me to say, “we have to do this.”
The website describes “Reunion” as a four-day music festival/spiritual retreat, hosted by United Pursuit and their friends, like Heidi Baker and Father Richard Rohr.
I know. Awesome. I’m totally going this year.
Now, Intermissionary is smaller, younger and not quite so famous, but its unfolding is every bit as much an exercise in following the whispered leading of the Lord. This is just another step on that long and interesting path. So, while there are 1000 things I don’t know about our new event, here are a few I do:
The new gathering will happen Fall 2019. Probably in Tennessee. Probably in late September. Probably three-ish days.
It will be heavy with worship, practical and encouraging content, ample free-time and fun. Think summer camp and you’ll have the idea.
We will open it to probably 75-100 people - mainly returning missionaries and other global servants from different locations, agencies and backgrounds.
Out of that number, we will build dedicated small groups - each led on site by professional listeners, teachers, counselors and encouragers. We will encourage ongoing connection among these groups long after the gathering has ended.
We will host several break-out sessions covering topics like, identity and purpose, practical reentry strategy, grief and loss, dreaming big again and how to find your new groove in your old world.
Most importantly we will gather with old and new friends, and remember how it feels to live simply, next to a fire, under the stars, in the presence of the Lord.
Want to be the first to know when tickets drop? Get on the mailing list. We won’t spam you - just the good stuff.
What Happens Next.
In order to do this, Intermissionary is now working to become a 501c3 non-profit, so we can better leverage some new partnerships, to support more global workers in their reentry process.
We think most churches/families/friends have no idea that missionaries need just as much support - if not more - on the way out as they did on the way in. If we can help provide it, everyone wins.
And while we don’t have an exact price on the tickets yet, we promise it will be manageable on a missionary budget. Also, kids will be free - because let’s face it, reentry rocked their little worlds too.
Does this make your heart race a bit? Mine too but in a really good way.
How satisfying will it be to unplug for an entire weekend? Camping out with people you love, under the stars, relieved that you don’t have to explain yourself and your crazy, beautiful life, because everyone already gets it. All the while gathering solid tools to help process where you’ve been and where you’re going.
How cool would that be?
Subscribe to the mailing list, and be the first to know the exact date and ticket price! Oh and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part II post where we talk about how we’re pulling all this off!
How You can Help.
Share this on your Facebook pages, particularly if you are a global servant. This helps us broaden our reach into communities of people we don’t know yet, who could really use what we’re doing.
Also, you can pray for wisdom and courage for us. We believe God loves it when dive into impossible things, so He can work in, through and for us.