There will always be those that seek to destroy and stop that which is good, holy, and pure. Most times that opposition is expected to come more from people and not as much from a sickness. COVID-19 has no doubt affected not only NET and its mission but also the lives of all in the country.
The key against this burden is to never give up. We may be slowed, but we will never be stopped. This may be a cross to bear now but in the end we will be even stronger. In 2 Corinthians Saint Paul says, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
God has shown us joy and happiness in the midst of struggling, and he has shown us that even in the darkest storm there will always be those that choose to be a light. Many missionaries on the team stayed with the same generous host families for the entirety of the first semester. These host families were monumental in keeping the team fed and sheltered throughout the year.
The team has continually found ways to showcase the silent ‘F’ for flexibility in NET’s acronym. When we were no longer allowed to participate in activities with youth, we played online games and went on walks with them; when we were no longer allowed to meet with the youth in person, we met with them in online groups. We even managed to get several discipleship groups started by Christmas time!
All of the adversity combined with the fact that the team (being unable to see youth in person) gets to spend so much time together, has really been instrumental in bringing us closer together as team mates. Over the course of the year the team has learned that we are all stronger when we stand together against the challenges that are thrown our way.
The Holy Spirit has been more prevalent than ever in our discipleship groups and simply our meetings with the youth. Sometimes bringing up God can be difficult with many kids that we are trying to form a relationship with and we need to pray for courage. Our teammate Monica was in this very situation with one of the youth she was ministering to and so she prayed that the Holy Spirit would give her an opportunity. Literally the next day, this youth asked if they could start doing a bible study together.
Just because people are fearful in these trying times does not mean that God has also forsaken his children. Catholicism is not built on seeing, but on Faith in God and his love. One thing to remember, however, is that Faith is not the only component of getting to Heaven: you must do God’s will as well.
In the love of Christ and Mary,
Matt, Leah, Sarah, Jeswin, Monica, Charlie, Olivia, and Thomas