Oh hey there! Greetings from Team 11 in Plymouth, Minnesota!
We are serving at a pre-K-12th grade school, Providence Academy, in the archdiocese of Minneapolis/ St. Paul. We have been in full swing of things for almost two months and we love our ministry here! Differing from other teams, we spend our days immersing ourselves in the lives of the students. Our main focus is the Middle school and high school students. We talk with them in the halls, have lunch with them, take theology classes with them, and cheer on their PA sports teams during the week!
One of the highlights of our ministry so far has been getting to put on the class retreats for the students 6th – 12th grade! We have led 4 retreats so far and are looking forward to leading the last 3 before Christmas break. Getting to spend the whole day with one class at their retreats is such a gift. It’s amazing to see the fruit that one day focused on God can do to a grade. The number of students that come hang out in the NET room grows after every retreat!
During one of the retreats, a girl approached a team member and asked how she could make time for God in her busy life. After talking to her about prayer, the team member left a note on her locker with an invitation to praise and worship with the NET team that week. When the team walked into the chapel that day, she was sitting in the back corner waiting to join. After praise and worship, her face was glowing as she explained that it was the most beautiful thing she had ever experienced. Seeing her genuine desire to love in the midst of school and busy schedules was a wonderful thing to witness.
Host homes have also been a huge blessing to our team and our ministry. Getting to be with a family and share in the joys of their daily life after a long day of ministry is truly a gift from God. We stay with a different host family every two weeks. Having such a long time with each families creates a unique bond that makes them like family to us.
One of the host sisters whom we were staying with was praying a novena to St. Therese. Not knowing this, our team bought her family a bouquet of roses as a thank you for hosting us, we gave them to the family on the feast of St. Therese. Afterwards, the girl from the family shared with us that those roses were her answer from God! Not only were we unknowing vessels of God’s will, but we got to see the joy in her heart from God’s answer to her prayers.
Our small group ministry is starting its fourth week. Once a week the NET team leads small groups for each grade level. These small groups can have activities to help the students grow in their faith, from a saint movie to teaching them how to pray with scripture!
Jesus is teaching us how to cling to Him in daily prayer and receive the grace to courageously pursue the hearts and souls of the students around us. Someone told our team that “Timidity is a defense mechanism to protect our ego.” We are learning just how much truth that statement holds as we are constantly praying for the courage to be bold in pursuit of souls and to not let our hearts be timid or lukewarm.
“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.”
– St. Teresa of Avila
We are learning everyday what it means to be the hands of feet of Jesus in the daily life of these students. We are praying for all of you! Thank you for your support and your prayers!
St. Michael, pray for us!
Alayna, Theresa, Lynsey, Kaylee, James, Tyler, Jeremy, and Mark