Families and individuals in transition from the field, whether for their return or temporary home assignment, have a myriad of emotions and experiences to unpack. Cross-cultural work is full of highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies, and other experiences that fall somewhere in between. ABIDE is a five-day debriefing retreat that provides time and space to process those experiences, be refreshed and renewed, connect with other cross-cultural workers, and prepare for a healthy transition.
The schedule includes daily, one-on-one debriefing time with an experienced cross-cultural worker. This person serves as a neutral third party, listening with compassion and insight, and the content of these sessions is confidential. We also spend time each day debriefing in guided group sessions with other cross-cultural workers. In between, we linger over meals and enjoy conversation and unstructured time together.
We’re not only interested in hearing your stories and experiences but also in seeing you filled and refreshed. One unique focus of ABIDE retreats is the space we create for spiritual refreshment and renewal. We provide daily activities that are designed to help you connect with God and receive from him as you process your experiences abroad. The prayer walking trails and chapel located on our campus also provide space to enjoy unhurried times of reflection.
ABIDE retreats include childcare for infants and programs for children and youth. We introduce kids to many of the same concepts and themes that adults are discussing in ways that are appropriate to their developmental stages. This creates a shared vocabulary that helps families communicate better, allowing transition to become an experience you can better navigate together.
As the week unfolds, we’ll help you acknowledge the losses and gains you experienced on the field. Knowing how to tell those stories is one of the challenges of re-entry. The compassionate debriefers at ABIDE will listen as you share the good, the bad, and the ugly, and help you gain a holistic perspective on your experience, enabling you to tell your story in a way that is honest and meaningful.
Through interactions with debriefers and other cross-cultural workers, guided activities, and unhurried times of reflection, ABIDE will help you process your recent cross-cultural experiences and prepare you for what lies ahead. We look forward to serving, encouraging, and equipping you.