Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well, I am so excited to share with you what our team has been doing here in Abbotsford, British Columbia!
So, to start off, our team is involved in helping lead different youth groups in our area. We help lead small group discussions, games and get to have a fun time with the youth who we also see during our high school ministry. We attend Saint John Brebeuf high school and spend four full days a week there. During our high school ministry, we get to go into classes and sit next to the students, hang out at lunch or join them in their sports and clubs.
In the beginning, it was quite awkward; sometimes you’re sitting next to students who don’t know you and don’t even want to talk to you. But, by joining their classes and sitting next to them, we are actually able to do so much! We are able to help them with schoolwork or learn about the things they are passionate about, get to know their likes and dislikes, or even just be there for them when they are having a bad day. All these little things done with great love really can impact a person’s heart, and we have been able to see that!
A beautiful example of how our presence has impacted the youth was when I joined a drama class. We had begun a class discussion and there was a young girl who I noticed was very passionate about her faith. She opened up to the whole class about how it’s really hard being Catholic for young people nowadays. She shared her own struggles and became emotional, so she ran out of the classroom! Her teacher looked at me and gave me a slight nod, so I ran after her. When I found her, I gently invited her to the chapel with me, and she said she would like that. There, we both shared and cried together. Her struggles are real, and they are the same ones I faced in Highschool and still face today. It took a lot of time and patience, but by slowly getting to know this youth, she was able to open up her heart. She is not alone in her faith, and every NET person is a reminder of that.
Sometimes it can be hard to do ministry work, especially when you can’t see the results of all the work you’re doing right away. But the peace we can find is in the fact that it is not up to us to change hearts, we are just His vessels, and Jesus is the one who truly changes the youth’s hearts – He does all the hard work! The moments when we do see the fruits of our ministry are what encourages us to just keep going and give more. When the youth have shared with us that when they see us just walking in the hallway it brightens their day, or when a teacher genuinely thanks us for looking after the one kid who doesn’t talk to anyone, or even when a parishioner comes to us and shares how impactful it is to see young Catholics reverently attending mass. These are the moments that remind us how great our God is and how His love pours out to all of us.
-Written Claire Mackness