We, the NET retreat team for 2023-2024, have had such a wonderful first month of ministry so far! We had the beautiful opportunity to receive the blessing from Archbishop Damphousse at the commissioning mass in the Notre Dame cathedral in Ottawa, which was the opening of our new journey on the road! In the last few weeks, we’ve hosted retreats in Sault Ste. Marie, Carleton Place, Marysville, Bradford, New Liskeard, Kirkland Lake, Timmins, and we’re presently in Halifax! These retreats and many hours of travelling have given us time to get to know each other and to see significant parts of Ontario.
So far, we have encountered more than 1,500 youth at our retreats, telling them about God’s love for them and encouraging them to open their hearts and let Jesus be at the center of their lives. Even though we’re only at the beginning of our ministry, we can see the wonders that God is doing in the lives of so many youths, and it is such a privilege! Many children open up about their encounters with God during prayer ministry and how they desire to know more about Him. For example, when asked if this young boy wanted to have a deeper relationship with God, he said yes! We gave him a bible, and he started jumping for joy and kept thanking us. At the end of the retreat, a teacher pulled one of our members aside and told her: “He will never forget this, thank you.” Being a witness and a tool of God’s work in the hearts of His children is such an honour! Can you believe we get to do this?
One of the most essential parts of our ministry is one prayer with the youth. We’re so blessed to see the tangible works of the Holy Spirit with God’s children. Remarkably, many youth experience this inner peace, the feeling of being loved and having their burdens lifted from their shoulders. Some even tear up from the overwhelming love that is felt during prayer.
In this last month, we’ve grown so much as a team. We’ve developed many ministry skills and gotten the chance to work side by side daily, and we can share our fun and crazy stories in our host homes. Praying daily, driving together for so many hours, and spending time together on our days off have been so beneficial to our team bonding and just made us grow so much closer! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been out on the road only for two months.
As we continue our journey on the East Coast, we’re so excited to visit new sights and see places in Canada that we’ve never seen before! We’re also so thrilled and anticipating to encounter more teens and share our faith and joy with them. This is so exciting!!!
The Retreat Team (Amanda, Chris, Mackenzie, Mariah, Aoife, Blaise, Mickela)