Currently, Team 9 is in the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois and almost to the 100th mark in retreats since beginning in September. As a team we have grown a lot spiritually and being able to interact as a team.
The reason why we all have chosen to serve this year with NET is because of our own convictions and desires to serve, and we are constantly drawn outside of ourselves daily to give, and the fact that we do not greedily take time to ourselves when we can shows how much we know that we cannot do this without God’s strength. Whether this is as a whole team stopping to pray, or individually seeking each other out to pray, we have really come to realize the power in prayer and know that we can never ask too much from God.
We have experienced a lot of good things on retreat and off retreat together, but we have also experienced some challenges on and off retreat as well. Most retreats begin with the youth not wanting to be there and in general and by the end of the retreat the youth are always glad they came.
There is such a desire in this world to be in a relationship with God, and these youth show just how true this is.
There was this one retreat we did in Wisconsin with 11-12th graders, where the youth were fairly closed off in the beginning, but by the end of the retreat (the 2nd day) they left wanting to join NET and disappointed they all did not get to go to confession on retreat. It is incredible to be able to witness these transformations first hand. As a whole team we stayed with one single host family, and the mom said that being able to witness a conversion is more powerful than giving life, because it is in the conversion that the person realizes their true purpose.
As a team, we are much more united than ever. We have experienced people, places, and conversions together as team that will never happen again the same way. We are united with the best goal in mind, to bring others and each other to Christ.