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Member Care

PEP: Spiritual, Personal, and Professional Renewal (Video)

Something special happens when overseas workers join together for a retreat in their home country that is beyond a clear explanation. Maybe it has something to do with their joint understanding of living in multiple cultures. Maybe it has to do with sharing the wide variety of experiences they have had. Is it possible that it relates to the deeper waters that some of them have walked through in order to obey God’s leading for them? Whatever it is that brings this about, it is wonderful to experience.

PEP renewal experience for adults

One Challenge requires that all of its field workers attend a Personnel Enrichment Program (PEP) once every four years. The official goal of the time is to provide the opportunity for each person to debrief the experiences of the last four years abroad within a safe place among their peers. The PEP renewal experience also provides the chance for a corporate debrief, which allows the workers to discuss company policy and actions with OC leadership. Combined, these debriefs allow workers to unpack all the joys and challenges of the past years of service with people who have experienced similar things and who, many times, have walked the path before them.

PEP renewal experience for all

All in the family

This PEP renewal experience is structured with the whole family in mind, which is critical because it is not just the adults who experience the joys and challenges of living and working cross-culturally. The children, of all ages, meet in similar ways, appropriate to their age and attention span, to discuss the same issues and things unique to what they experienced. All of the staff connecting with these international kids are, themselves, products of cross-cultural families. These young leaders have lived the experience and came out on the other side as healthy and effective young adults. Much has been written about the characteristics of cross-cultural children, which would be too lengthy to repeat here, but they form a group in and of themselves with deep and rich connections, best understood by them. If you would like to learn more about cross-cultural children (often called Third Culture Kids, TCKs) check out Interaction International’s website at https://www.interactionintl.org/.

PEP renewal experience for kids

In keeping OC’s value and commitment to healthy families, a final debrief is focused just for them. Parents and their children meet with mentors and a MemberCare worker to discuss the family experience of the last years abroad. Children are encouraged to honestly share how they are feeling about their value in the family and part of the work. It is an eye-opening time for all.

PEP renewal experience testimonies

PEP is filled with laughter and tears, handshakes and hugs, first connections and reconnections, funny tales and sad stories, prayer and worship. Through all of those things, both intentional and informal, healing happens and people move on to engage the world renewed.

Here is a video that shares personal testimonies of the power of renewal at PEP…

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