One last time, hello from Team 2!
In this blog post we’d like to take a little time to reflect on our past year with NET Ministries. First of all, it’s hard to believe we’re at that point in the semester where the end is in sight. In some ways this has seemed like the longest nine months of our lives, and in other ways the shortest. Similarly, this has been one of the hardest and simultaneously best years of our lives. This is because of both the challenges and the joys that come with being a missionary and living in a van with eleven other people. But when we take a step back and look over the year, more than anything we think of all the amazing things we have experienced and learned as a team.
It is staggering to think back to when our team was first formed and to reflect on how much we have changed and grown. We know that God hand selected our team for a reason, and although we began this adventure as strangers, we are finishing as family. Each and every single one of us has grown in so many ways throughout this year, and we are so grateful for that reality.
Getting to share the gospel and how much God loves us everyday with the youth has really given our team a greater understanding of the nature of God’s love. The Lord gives us the ultimate example of how to love through His beautiful sacrifice on the cross and the way His entire life exemplified service. The incredible fellowship and community within our team provides for each of us a reflection of this love and the importance of following His example of life even when most difficult. Our hope is that going forward in life, we are able to be witnesses to God wherever he leads us.
Another way I believe our team has grown is just in the ways we consciously choose to die to ourselves. Especially with our mission and way of life here on NET; obedience is most necessary. This has been so hard at times, but also a big way each of us has grown. And through physically dying to self when its hard, has also helped us to spiritually die to self through surrendering to the divine will of God. It is so easy to want everything to go according to our own plan, but over and over the Lord has shown us that our plan isn’t always His. Amidst the challenges of the year, we have all learned to place our trust in God, and have faith that He will care for us as He always has before.
Reflecting back on the year, we have all gained a new realization of how incredibly hungry our world really is for something more, something lasting – God. I have honestly never appreciated my Catholic faith more or understood how blessed we truly are to know the truth. This year has also showed us the necessity of a prayer life and taught us the importance of commitment to a relationship with the Lord. It is essential!
During our year we have traveled over 15,000 miles putting on retreats in Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. So far we’ve held over 110 retreats, ministered to around 6,000 youth, and are expected to reach about one hundred and forty retreats before returning to the NET center. It is such an amazing thing to feel like you are making even the smallest difference in someone’s life. I remember saying at the beginning of the year that if we touched even just one life this year, it would be worth it. Through the grace of God working through us, I know many more have been touched – more than even we have witnessed, and many seeds planted.
We’d like to again thank you for following us through this year and all your prayers and support. We cannot begin to tell you how appreciative we are for them! Please continue to pray for us as we finish our last month of service with NET. Team 2 is beyond blessed with the opportunity to serve and the chance to share the greatest hope of Christ’s light with a world so full of despair and darkness. It is truly such a privilege. This is a year that we will forever treasure with experiences we will never forget, and friendships we will always cherish.
One closing piece of advice from Team 2: always look at the blessings you have, because it is usually right in front of you.
May God bless you,
Team 2 (Ben, Jess, Aleisha, Nicole, Lo, Sam, Molly, Nate, Paul, Sorcha, Michelle, and Gabe)