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Debriefing for Christian Missionaries and Pastors



What is Debriefing?


Debriefing is a guided 5 day rest; with personal reflection, sharing your story, and finding new perspectives from God.

We follow the Le Rusher Ministries model of personal debriefing. This is a proven method of assessing events of life and ministry in a safe and supportive environment. It is a structured progression through stressors, associated losses, adjustments, and recovery of hopes for fresh vision and energy.



What to Expect


These general elements apply:


  • a personal debriefer (neutral and impartial) listening to your story and facilitating the process
  • several hours each day with your debriefer (usually mornings)
  • personal time for completing assessment, resting, and whatever you do for down time
  • flexibility that considers your specific emotional, physical, and spiritual needs
  • confidentiality
  • breakthroughs for the journey ahead
  • themes covered include: personal reactions to loss caused by conflict, crises, criticisms or changes, transitions, managing stress, adjustments to loss, God's provision and power.  



  • arrive Sunday evening and leave Friday at lunchtime
  • Blue Rock Bed & Breakfast lodging with amenities provided (more below)
  • breakfast included; other meals not provided
  • kitchen available; grocery stores and restaurants in walking distance



Individual - $650

Couple - $750

Family - $995

Group - by arrangement

Note:  If these costs are financially impossible, please contact us to explore options. Especially if the costs come out of your personal budget, we do not want finances to keep you from the benefits of this debriefing.



To obtain an application and for scheduling call Ed or Stephanie at:

ph: 717-872-1192, or

email: edward.hersh@verizon.net
We sometimes offer similar debriefing (as described above) in the Virginia Beach, VA area. Contact us about this option.
For Lancaster area residents (not wishing to stay at our BnB), we offer the option of the debriefing time only (suggested cost $350).
If traveling to Lancaster is not possible, we offer the debriefing via Zoom or other online tools. Contact us for options.



Why Debrief


  • Helps a person make sense of changes, concerns, criticisms, conflict, and crises
  • Provides a neutral place to verbalize thoughts and feelings
  • Helps prevent deeper mental and emotional pain from developing
  • Brings closure to difficult circumstances and celebrates accomplishments
  • Validates common thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences
  • Experience God's touch and find healing for losses, disappointments, offenses, and pain
  • Reaffirms identity and refocuses purpose for future growth and development



Who would benefit?


Christian leaders are so accustomed to responding to the expectation to be "the strong one" in situations, that they often neglect time-out for recharging and replenishing of spirit, mind, and body. Pastors, missionaries, and other human service staff frequently have no one with whom they can be transparent and share problems in confidence. We are just as vulnerable to failure as everyone else. We need a safe environment to process through difficulties and place them under the grace of the Cross of Christ.   Debriefing is for anyone who desires a deeper relationship with God.


You would especially benefit if:


  • you haven't taken a sabbatical from ministry in years
  • you feel like you are "just going through the motions" in the midst of your activities
  • you feel burdened, stressed, or burned out
  • you experience unstoppable negative thought patterns
  • something you do feels unstoppable, or feels like it is controlling you
  • conflict or uneasiness develops in your relationships
  • you feel like you want to quit and not go on
  • you frequently feel alone, abandoned, guilt, shame, mistreated, misunderstood, confused, disoriented, depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry without cause, fearful without danger. or the like
  • you have lost a sense of who you are and where you are going, or your calling from God



About the Debriefers/ Hosts


Married since 1980, Ed and Stephanie Hersh have four adult children whom they home educated.  They are active in various community organizations and local church ministry.  They are innkeepers at Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast.  Ed is a member of a local CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) team for EMS responder debriefing, and is a certified Le Rucher Ministries model debriefer. 


Dr. Ed Hersh earned his M.A. in Human Service Counseling from Regent University in 2001. He also  completed a Doctor of Religious Studies program in Conflict Management at Trinity Theological Seminary.  As a trained and experienced counselor Ed has helped many individuals and families find God in the midst of difficult circumstances in their lives.  He maintains membership in AACC, CAPS, and is ordained through the HarvestNet International network of churches and ministries (Ephrata, PA).  He is a book author and blogs at: http://authoredhersh.blogspot.com

Ed is also a part of a team of missionary debriefers called LREC USA (Le Rucher East Coast USA). See http://leruchereastcoastusa.org. Also see http://LeRucher.org





Frequently Asked Questions:


Q:  How does debriefing differ from counseling?

A:  Debriefing is not the same as counseling. Debriefing is a broader discovery process, whereas prayer counseling generally focuses on a more defined issue.  Depending on a persons needs and desires for more ministry, prayer counseling is available as an additional process.


Q: Is debriefing only for trauma or serious stress experiences?

A: No, anyone experiencing transition in life or has completed a season such as volunteer service, employment, pastorate, mission, or business venture, even if the outcome was positive and rewarding.   


Q: Is it necessary to commit an entire five days to this process?

A: Yes, for best results. You can only receive from debriefing at the level you are willing to engage God in the process.  God is a loving Father and giver of good gifts to his children.  It's all about relationship with the Father.  There is no substitute for "time" in relationship. However, a modified schedule may be considered.


Q: Is there free time during the week?

A: Yes, after each day's assignment is complete, you may have time to sight-see or do something relaxing with your time.  We strongly encourage breaking from work, and refraining from meeting other people which may distract from the work God is doing in your heart.




In the heart of Lancaster County, PA, Blue Rock BnB is located at 72 Blue Rock Road, Millersville, PA, four miles from Lancaster City square and  3.5 miles south of US route 30.    We are 50 mi. east of Gettysburg, an hour  west of Philadelphia, 40 minutes south of Harrisburg and 40 minutes from Hershey.

Nearby are museums outlets, malls, theaters, Amish attractions, and much more.

 (visit  www.discoverlancaster.com).  Sight and Sound Theatre is about 20 minutes away. Discount tickets for this Christian theatre can be purchased through Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast.  



About the Blue Rock BnB

We are within walking distance of several restaurants, a grocery store, convenience stores, pharmacy, post office, golf course, and a community park.   We are also two blocks from Millersville University of PA.   

Built in 1847, this colonial farmhouse contains a bit of the character of each of its previous residents.  The rustic decor of the lower level includes barn siding, brick walls and a water pump circa 1900.  More BnB info. can be seen at:  http://bluerockbnb.com



BnB front view of house




(from people who experienced Le Rucher model debriefing)


“It was an incredible and intensive week! Many more Christian Workers should be able to come to a week like this and benefit from this ministry.”


"Never before have I experienced a week with so much spiritual depth. To be led to the Cross at the end of the week was so powerful and freeing that I can not find the words to describe this experience.”


“ I received such a clear picture of my situation and have taken the first steps into the newly discovered perspectives. I have acknowledged in a much deeper way that I can take  my pain, my anger and my deep longing for justice and righteousness to the Cross. I experienced that in all the confusion of the past time I have simply come to a place of rest. It feels as if I have been re-born!”



To obtain an application and for scheduling call Ed or Stephanie at:

ph: 717-872-1192,  or

email:  edward.hersh@verizon.net

If traveling to Lancaster is a problem, Dr. Hersh may be available to travel to your location or schedule online sessions.  If local to Lancaster, or the five day model is impossible for scheduling, call about other options.  Call with questions.
  For visitors to the BnB, they can reserve space to extend their stay (based on room availability).