Hey y’all! This is Team 16 of Fort Pierce, Florida.
We’ve been at the lovely parishes of Saint Anastasia and San Juan Diego for a little over a month and a half now, and we have been truly blessed to see some of the fruits of the work done by the past two NET teams here. While we are privileged to be a third year team, there is still plenty of work for us each day, with new youth to reach out to and more retreats to put on! In our 50 days of being here, we have have met over 350 youth, led 4 retreats, hosted over 20 events, and stayed with 15 different host families.
Host home ministry has quickly become one of our favorite things. As a Discipleship Team, we are blessed to stay with the same families for two weeks at a time; to live alongside them, learn about their family, and walk with them on their faith journey. At a host home a few of us stayed at recently, the father communicated to us that he was inspired to start a personal relationship with the Lord through a daily prayer life. At the end of the day, going home to loving host homes is all the more encouraging when we are growing in love with them. We have received nothing but support from the generous families in this community. One family had this to say about the impact of hosting: “We all really enjoyed having you guys stay with us. We appreciate and admire what you guys are doing and the sacrifice you are making. You definitely made an impact on the four of us. Hope you enjoy the rest of your journey.”
Being welcomed into a loving community has helped us to grow closer as a team as well. On a recent team day, we were privileged to have one of the priests from our parish join us for breakfast and team prayer. He communicated to us that the love he felt from the team has displayed an encouraging and welcoming environment. This is truly what our team is striving to represent.
In early November, our team had the opportunity to spend part of the day outside, enjoying God’s creation. We took a few kayaks and headed down the Indian River to a nearby island, where we spent some time exploring together, praying, climbing trees, and reflecting on our faith journey. Most of our days are spent apart from each other, doing ministry with the youth who attend the middle school and high school attached to Saint Anastasia, so our team time is highly valued. Though we are from all over the country, we find that our strength, identity, and hope all lie in the same faith. Spending time together helps us to build each other up as better brothers and sisters in Christ.
Throughout our time here in Florida, we are learning to rely completely on God. And through us beginning to live that out, we are diving deeper into His love – a love that continues to give us the strength we need for ministry and team life.