What is the biggest surprise on NET?
As I sat in prayer and thought about this last month on the road, that particular question came up. What is the biggest surprise I have experienced this year? Is it how long the days are because of ministry? No, because we knew that before we signed up. Is it all the different families we get to live with and what they teach us about life? No, because we knew that a different house every two weeks would teach us a lot about relationships. Is it that being with the same group of people will help us to grow in love, patience and service? No, because again we signed up to live on a team with the same people for nine months! So truly what is the biggest surprise?
Before I tell you, let me explain how we got here. Each of us has a different story of how we got to NET. Some went on a NET retreat themselves and their life completely changed from there. Others randomly found out about NET through other people or online. Still others had a NET team at their parish or school. No matter how we got here, we all choose to do NET because we wanted to serve others in Christ’s name. It was our calling for this year of our lives. However, when we packed up and left for St. Paul, Minnesota in August of 2018, little did we know that the Lord wanted to change our faith journeys just as much as He wanted to change the youths’.
The biggest surprise is how NET increases a desire in us for sainthood. Honestly, everyone is always so impressed that we give up a year of our lives for other people, but in reality the Lord asks us to do it because WE need to change. We get to learn about sacrifice, humility, kindness, gentleness and so much more. We get the opportunity to guide the youth, but also learn from the their own stories. We get to love the same 6 to 11 people who are on our team and see each one of their unique faith lives. We get so many opportunities to watch other people grow towards sainthood and slowly become saints ourselves.
Sainthood is our goal. As we get closer to leaving NET, this simple truth from training will always remain: “Love is our aim.” We are blessed to have been provided the tools for prayer, discipleship, and how to love all of His children.
There is no doubt in our minds. We just simply want to be saints.