When returning to their passport countries, many
missionaries have difficulty reentering the culture in which they grew up.
They may find it difficult to close the chapter in their life in the host
culture and begin the new chapter in their “home” culture.
To help with that transition, Ron and Bonnie have done several things
growing out of their experiences in about 35 reentry retreats including more
than 350 missionaries.
First, they have written
Before You Get “Home”: Preparing for Reentry, a book to help missionaries
during the last several months of their years of service.
It helps them finish their work well and prepare to exit well so that
they can enter their passport country well.
You can download a copy of this book at
Second, they have written two
books that will help elementary age children reenter their passport country.
One book, We’re Going Home: Reentry for Elementary Children, is
100 pages long and written at third grade level.
It includes the story of a family with children 6-12 years of age
returning to its passport culture. Each
chapter has activities such as scrambled words, crossword puzzles, word
searches, mazes and codes. The other
book, I Don’t Want to Go Home:
Parent’s Guide for Reentry for Elementary Children, is a
companion book for the parents. Each
chapter has information about TCKs in the Bible, children’s TCK issues today,
and suggestions to help children reenter well.
You can download a copy of these books at
Third, They have written
Coming “Home”: The Reentry Transition to help missionaries after they
arrive in their passport country. They
wrote this book to use in their reentry retreats, but it can be used by any
returning group—and even by individuals or couples.
It includes reflection on where they have been, where they are now, and
where they are going. You can download it
Fourth, they have written
Reentry after Short-Term Missionary Service for people who have served for
anything from a few weeks to a few years.
This is for people who planned to go for a short time and then come “home” to
stay as soon as that time was over or their project was finished.
These people tend to ask different questions, many about how that term of
service fits into their lives and what they do next.
You can download it at
Fifth, because they have been
receiving inquiries about the reentry retreats they have facilitated for
various agencies, they have decided to offer one-day debriefs
(mini-retreats) at GO InterNational in Wilmore, Kentucky.
GO International invites missionaries to a one-day debrief for
returning missionaries. These debriefs will follow the general theme of
Coming “Home”: The Reentry Transition by Ron & Bonnie Koteskey.
This book is available free of charge on this website
Why have such a debrief?
After Jesus’ disciples returned from their
evangelistic trip and reported to him what they had done, they were besieged by
many people coming and going. Jesus said to them, “Come with me by yourselves
to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6). When returning to your passport
culture, it is very helpful to spend some time reflecting on where you have
been, where you are, and where you are going. This is especially true if, like
Naomi returning to her passport country, you say, “I went away full, but the
Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1).
Who is invited to attend this debrief?
The Reentry debrief is for missionaries back from
the field for at least a month (six weeks or more is preferred). We have
no provision for children or teenagers, so parents are responsible for finding
child care at their home.
Where will the debfief be held?
We will meet at the office of Go International,
503 Wilder Reynolds Lane , Wilmore, Kentucky.
Lunch is provided.
What is the cost of the debrief?
There is no charge for the debrief itself; it is compliments of GO International.
Where will the participants stay?
Individuals or couples are responsible for
arranging and paying for their own transportation (Lexington, KY Airport is 20
miles away), lodging, and breakfasts. Lodging in the $60-80 range per couple
(double occupancy, including breakfast) is available at bed and breakfasts in
Wilmore. For those who prefer motels,
there are several within seven miles in Nicholasville, and within 15 miles in
When will the debrief be held?
We will schedule each retreat with each individual or couple at
a time available for all.
What is the schedule like?
There is no set schedule, but we usually begin
about 9:00 AM and talk about good things that have happened and difficult things
that have happened. Following lunch we
discuss where the missionaries are (emotionally) and what they see in their
future. Those who have printed copies of
Coming “Home”: The Reentry Transition, read it thoroughly, and made notes of
what they want to discuss usually finish in early afternoon.
Those who do not prepare tend to finish later in the day.
Where can I get further information?