Debrief session for MKs

I recently had the pleasure of being involved in a debrief session for three Missionary Kids (MKs) who are on Home Assignment. The children’s ages ranged from about 3 to 8, so the debrief had to take on more of an activity-based feel. I thought I would share the session plans here in case anyone is planning something similar. I am indebted to OMF and Wycliffe for some of the ideas.


Debrief Outline

Emotions Board – use a page full of facial expressions to indicate various emotions and tell the children that we’re going to play a game about feelings. Give each child a counter/select a toy and place it on the emotion they may feel when:

  • You’re going to a party
  • You fall over and hurt your knee
  • You go to school
  • You eat chocolate cake
  • You fly in an airplane
  • You watch something fun on TV
  • You go on holiday
  • You have a sore tummy
  • You think about (the country they were in)
  • You think about (their sending country)

We want to learn about life in (the country they were in) – I have never been there. We also want to learn about life in (their sending country) and to see what things are the same and what things are different.

Use a globe to show the location of both countries. Do they remember the route that took them there?

Show a map and everybody to mark on the places they’ve lived – play ‘global graffiti’ with the map (see additional post).

Show a couple of precious items from (the country they were in) (ie photo album and a couple of wee keepsakes).

Show us your house / your school / the places you played / the people you knew

What were your favourite places?

Who were your favourite people?

Use ‘paper suitcases’ (ie A4 pages) to draw the things that you couldn’t bring back with you.

How does this make you feel?

It can be hard to say goodbye to people and places and things that we love. We can feel sad. Can you still stay friends when someone is far away?

Using “scratch art” (or use chalk on black paper) draw down some of the feelings you have about being back here. Some feelings are happy and some are sad and some are big and some are small and all of them are OK.

Use two circles, intersected – left is the country you were in  and right is ‘home’, and the middle is the same to show the things that were different in both places and the things that are the same:

Mum and dad


Draw together and pray, giving thanks to God for His constancy no matter where we are.


Heroes of the faith

In Church we often teach our children about famous missionaries or Christian figures from the (relatively) recent-past. Here are two sets of books that we often use:

Irene Howat (including her “Ten girls/boys who…” books, particularly suitable for older children)
Little Lights (these books are more suitable for younger children)