Greetings from the Diocese of Santa Ana in California! This is NET Team 6 reporting in one last time for this year. We are now less than a month from the end of our time here out on the West Coast. Over the past eight months we have grown a lot, both as a team and as individuals. As we enter into our final time here on the road, we thought we would reminisce about the lessons we have learned and will take with us beyond this year and our time on NET.
Through our ministry, our interactions with each other, with young people on retreats, with host families, and with the many youth ministers and other people who have brought us in to host retreats, we have had our view of the people around us changed. We learned the importance of forgiveness and reconciling with the people around us. We have learned to look at others as God sees them. Rather than nit-picking the flaws of those around us, we learned to instead to strive to love all those we encounter regardless of where they are and what they are going through. We have learned the importance of being vulnerable and sharing our hardships with each other rather than trying to fight through things all alone. In smaller ways, we have grown in patience with one another and learned to allow others room to fail and learn from those failures. We have even grown in practical, simple ways such as being able to confidently start conversations with strangers, and share our personal stories and testimonies with people we have had the privilege of staying with. Not only have we grown in our relationships with people, we’ve also grown in various aspects of our faith.
We have learned that regardless of how we feel, God is at work in and through us. Even when we are having a bad day and it feels like everything is falling apart, God can still use us to save souls. God does not play games with us. He will never leave us regardless of what mess, sadness, hurt, fear, or pain we are going through. He will always love us. We’ve also experienced the powerful ways God can heal us and the people around us. We have seen how He has taken our own brokenness and hurt and used our experiences to make beauty and redeem the bad.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve this year on NET and for all the ways God has been at work in our own lives as well as the lives of those we have met along the way.
NET Team 6 (2018-2019)