Team 3 here from Cincinnati! Life on NET has been amazing! Everyone is really starting to adjust to life on the road and the constant moving from place to place. Fortunately, because Team 3 is the Cincinnati regional team, we get to go back to some of the same parishes and host homes throughout the year and build up relationships in that way. The Lord is constantly revealing himself to us through road life. Our team is being taught humility by having to rely on those we encounter even for basic things like food and laundry. We are also learning a lot about detachment with limited phone use and even when our host dog eats our prayer journal!
God is always revealing His goodness, not only in the places we stay but in the people we meet. I have been so surprised by the way the Lord gives us divine encounters. Even when we have time off we still get the opportunity to minister to those we meet. When I had my first retreat off with two other teammates we decided to see a movie. As we were buying our tickets, the two ladies working there asked about what we were doing and as we talked they opened up to us about some things they could use prayers for. We ended up being a half hour late to the movie because the conversation was so fruitful! It became the best part of our day. How beautiful it is to experience the Lord actively using us as His tools to spread His love to His children. Praise God!
Our team has been blessed with great youth on our retreats. One of the blessings that is unique to the Cincinnati team is that we get to be part of a program called NET ID. We meet with a high schooler once a month and walk with them in discipleship throughout the year. We have had two ID nights so far and the Lord is already working in the hearts of the youth. Some come to grow closer with the Lord, others to walk with someone in their faith and learn from them, and others come because they can see themselves doing a year of NET.
Another thing that is unique to our team is CISE retreats. This stands for Catholic Inner City School Education. These retreats have a special place in my heart because the youth that attend don’t get much of an opportunity to go on retreats, so they are super into everything we do. The small groups are amazing because the youth can feel heard. During the time of prayer on our first CISE retreat, one of the students came up to each NET team member and thanked us for coming.
Something I cherish about being a NETter is the chance to show the youth how much they matter. A lot of the time we hear of things that the youth want to talk about but don’t feel like they can. NET retreats give them an opportunity to look at their relationship with Jesus and give Him everything on their hearts. It’s amazing to know that the Lord has chosen each of us to be a part of a team that goes back to so many places and builds up relationships, whether it’s through a school retreat or through intentional discipleship. They said at training that we should be like Christ to everyone we encounter, but what I have experienced is that Christ is in every retreatant, host family, and stranger we meet each day. Life on the road has shown me that the Lord is in everything we do and everyone we see. That is something I will forever be grateful for.
Sincerely yours in Christ,