Personal Debriefing Retreats
Each year we hold about 8 “Exchange at the Cross” Personal Debriefing Retreats at Le Rucher in France. Several others are held in Holland, the USA and Germany. This retreat is unique in that it is a combination of a group and a personal debrief. A special synergy happens when people interact with others who have gone through similar experiences in different countries.
Combining the group interactions with your personal time with a debriefer gives you the much-needed time to grow, learn and reflect individually on your personal journey as a cross-cultural worker. You will be given space to reflect on your reactions to the events of your life and how you have been affected–including your triumphs, disappointments, conflicts and other changes and concerns. You will have the opportunity to bring closure (where needed) and bring pressing issues into the presence of God in a safe, peaceful environment.
At Le Rucher. . .
. . .The group will be at least 8 people, but not more than 12, and can consist of singles and couples (no children).
. . .Your sessions with a debriefer will always be on your own unless you have come with a team or as a couple.
. . .There will be plenary sessions for worship, teaching, and general feedback.
. . .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.
. . .Although each bedroom is set up for 2 people, we do not put strangers who have come for a Personal Debriefing Retreat together in the same room.
. . .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.
At Le Rucher
The remainder of 2019 is fully booked.
26 – 31 January 2020
23 – 28 February 2020
3 – 8 May 2020
21 – 26 June 2020 (family)
13 – 18 September 2020
1 – 6 November 2020
6 – 11 December 2020
8 – 13 December 2019
29 March – 3 April 2020
13 – 18 December 2020
in Dutch only
26 – 31 July 2020
in English only
9 – 15 November 2019
14 – 20 November 2020
20 – 26 November 2021
in German only
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come for a break at some other time?
No, we are not set up to cater for guests, except during the scheduled debriefing retreats.
Is there a good time to get an answer to my phone call?
Right now our phones aren’t working at all because a pheasant hunter shot down the line. . .one wonders if he ever got his bird? At any time, though, the best way to reach us is by email. Several of us check 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?
Personal Debriefing Retreats and Crisis Debriefs are offered normally in English. However, it may be possible to be debriefed in French or Dutch, as well. This must be arranged in advance and is only possible if the right people are available. However, everyone needs a basic knowledge of English for the group sessions.
What about my diet preferences?
We seek to serve healthy, delicious, Mediterranean-style meals. Normally, we have enough choice on the table that anyone can find enough to eat. There’s always lots of vegetables in case you prefer not to eat whatever main course is being served. (It’s easy to avoid carbohydrates or cheeses because there are so many options and fresh fruit is available all day long.) Unless you have 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 I 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 I bring my friends?
This is generally not a good idea because this is a time for you to focus on yourself and the Lord, and while we may enjoy your friends, they can also be a distraction to the process the Lord has for you while you are at Le Rucher.
Can I bring my dog, my cat, my. . .
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.
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?
Normally, we would gladly say yes! But the hunter that shot our lines (instead of a pheasant) got the internet lines, too, so you need to have your own private digital access. Closer to your visit, check out this spot. If this message is no longer here, then you are welcome to our free internet.
Have a different question?
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 - Temporarily out of service (a hunter accidentally shot the line down on the road!)
Copyright 2019, Mercy Ministries International. All Rights Reserved.