A Missionary Never Retires

My name is Laura Vogel (Day) and I served on NET Canada ‘95-’96, and on NET USA ‘97-’98. I married my teammate Joseph Vogel (NET USA ‘96-’97 & ‘97-’98) and have enjoyed almost 21 years of wedded bliss thus far! God has blessed us with 8 children (aged 19-5): Jonathon (NET USA ‘19-’20), Sebastian, Justin, Charlotte, Joshua, Christian, Juliette & Ethan. We also have 5 saints up in Heaven praying for us! 

In my mother’s womb, I was consecrated to Jesus, having a miraculous picture of the Sacred Heart pressed against me. My Catholic Faith has been a love affair with the Lord ever since. As an answer to prayer, I even developed an intense love for His Mother Mary. Little did I realize that she would be my literal role model and complete support in my future vocation. God’s guided me down an exciting path that has led to my vocation as a wife to my incredible husband, a mother to my 13 treasures from Heaven, and a teacher to my children at home. NET was instrumental in preparing me for this great life that God ordained for me. I learned so much on how to serve, love, and strengthen relationships. I even grew and blossomed into the meaning of true femininity and womanhood. Much of the keys to conflict resolution and forgiveness in my marriage have been gleaned from serving on my NET years. 

On my second NET year of service, I had the pleasure of having the RCMP confiscate my suitcase at the airport when I was flying home from the US for Christmas! You see, back in my year, it was cool to coin the phrase: “Jesus is da Bomb! Props to Jesus!” So in an attempt of solidarity to spread this message and to be accepted in the “cool” circles, I painted the words: “DA BOMB” with white paint on the outside of my black suitcase. The RCMP didn’t think it was funny... but after hearing my missionary story and silly reasons for doing the unthinkable, they let me off the hook with a nice warning. :) So.... I covered my suitcase in duct tape and stickers to hide the words until I arrived back in St. Paul, MN to finish my second half. I then removed the camouflage to spread the love for the rest of the year! 

God equipped Joe and I with the necessary tools to keep our marriage and our family life as a lighthouse for the world, to lead others to Him. We were called to be a missionary family for 16 years with NET Canada staff, with Joe serving as Executive Director for a little over 10 of those years. We moved out to BC to open a Western office for NET, and now continue to reside here presently. Having moved on from NET into the business sector, we continue to witness our Faith in our local and Church communities. Having been away from the active NET community for 2 years now, I can honestly say that the Lord has continued to fulfill us and bless us with His graces and mercy. The mission fields are in the every day, with our friends and neighbours around us; and the need to be a steadfast lighthouse is greater than ever. We have much to thank NET for, but the journey doesn’t end there. It is a continuous roller-coaster of challenges and rewards, leading up the mountain towards Heaven.

Laura Vogel, NET Alumna, 1995-96, 1997-98 USA