Family Debriefing Retreats

It can be beneficial for children to be debriefed if you are moving permanently to a new situation, either home or to a different country with your mission, or if you have been together in a crisis situation.  (If you need a crisis debrief, please click the above button.)

We offer one week at Le Rucher in the summer for several families to come for debriefing.  Your children will be debriefed in a group with their peers by experienced debriefers.  Fun, meaningful activities will help them process their own experiences.  Some family times will be scheduled for the parents to be involved in their children’s processing and the family will be encouraged to share together. 

Parents will have completely different issues from their children, of course, so it is considered best practice not to debrief the family together.   As parents, your debriefing will look very similar to what is described in a “Personal Debriefing Retreat.”

We have ample space for the children to play safely (fields and forest).  However, if your children are less than 10 years old, you may be asked to arrange for a nanny because they will likely be in shorter debriefing sessions than you.


At Le Rucher. . .

. . .There will be 2-3 families together.

. . .There will be plenary sessions for worship, teaching, and general feedback and time to spend together with your family some afternoons.  If a parent’s debriefing session is being held in the afternoon, some fun activities will take place for the children.

. . .Debriefing sessions are scheduled from Monday through Friday and include time for personal reflection and meditation.

. . .Debriefing and counseling are provided from a Christian, Biblically-based worldview by pastoral care workers trained in debriefing and counseling skills. Prayer ministry is normally a part of this process, with the consent of those participating.

. . .Each bedroom is set up for 2 people, but we may need to have 3 children together in a room, depending on ages and room availability.

. . .A stay at Le Rucher would normally be for 5 nights. It is best to plan to arrive on a Sunday afternoon and to leave the following Friday afternoon. The retreat will end with a meal at noon on Friday, so if possible, please plan your flights accordingly. (We are 20 minutes from the airport.)  Details on local hotels are available upon request should you wish to stay in the area longer.

“The grounds were fantastic for the kids (and adults) to be able to spread out and enjoy.”

“I learned that my brothers were having a really hard time leaving the field as well, but that Jesus will help me get through this period and will always be with me.”

(17-yr. old)

“I realized it’s not going to be easy to move home, but I’m not alone and I will never be alone.”

(14-yr. old)

Upcoming Family Debriefing Opportunities

 At Le Rucher 

16 – 21 June 2024

7 – 12 July 2024


14 – 19 July 2024

13 – 18 July 2025 

The Netherlands 

9 – 14 June 2024

17 – 22 Nov 2024

Crisis Intervention

The July family debrief is not for those who have been through a crisis situation.  Check out the crisis debrief page for more information.  Each case will be different, depending upon personalities, involvement in the incident, and the nature of the crisis.  We try to make room for this kind of debrief on a case-by-case basis and do not mix it with other debriefing opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a good time to get an answer to my phone call?

Not really.  We’re all practitioners so often not sitting in the office. The best way to reach us is by email.  Several of us check the emails daily, even when we are traveling or running a program and we’ll make sure the right person gets connected with you.

What languages do you debrief in?

Family Debriefing Retreats are usually done in English at Le Rucher so children from different countries can communicate with one another.  The Family Debrief in The Netherlands is in Dutch.

What about our diet preferences?
We seek to serve health, delicious meals. Normally, we have enough choice on the table that anyone can find enough to eat. Unless the whole family are vegetarians or someone has a serious allergy (like nuts) that the kitchen needs to avoid, you don’t need to let us know about your diet preferences ahead of time. We are confident you will be satisfied with our menus.
Can we stay extra days?
No, we are not set up to cater for people on the weekends. We encourage everyone to find a hotel if they would like to stay longer in the area. If you want to stay on the French side of the border, you can search the internet for hotels in the vicinity of Gex, Divonne or Ferney Voltaire. Otherwise, Geneva for the Swiss side of the border.
Can we bring friends or other family members with us?
Sorry, this is only possible if they are needed for extra childcare and this must be arranged well in advance. Our facilities are limited.
Can we bring our dog, our cat, our. . .
Sorry, we do not allow any pets in the guest facilities.
Should I arrange to take a taxi from the airport?

Not a good idea.  Last we heard, it cost 1 guest nearly 100 Euros for a taxi for the 20-minute drive to Le Rucher (crossing the border automatically raises the price).  We are more than glad to pick you up.  Just be sure we know when you are arriving.  If you are on your way home from the field with a lot of excess luggage, please let us know that as well.

Are there shops within walking distance?

That all depends on your definition of walking distance!  We are on the edge of a residential district with homes on one side and farmland on the other 3 sides.  The nearest shops (a few very small ones) are about half an hour walk.  A large supermarket is about a 10-minute drive away (6.5 km).

What is the nearest airport?

Fly into Geneva, Switzerland.  We are only 20 minutes from the airport.  Paris is a very, very long way away!  Switzerland is a Schengen country so if you have a visa for France or another “Schengen country” you do not need one for Switzerland.  Please do NOT take the French exit from the airport.  We expect everyone to “follow the crowd” and meet us on the Swiss side of the airport.  For driving instructions click here.

Will we have free internet access?

Yes, wifi is available in the public areas for your devices.

Have a different question?

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Find us:

We are physically located in France, only 15 minutes from the Geneva, Switzerland airport: 

2067 Route de Tutegny

01170 Cessy, France

Tel:  +33(0)450.28.03.81

Copyright 2019, Mercy Ministries International.  All Rights Reserved.