Team 6 Ministry Update - "Bringing Forth Greater Good"

“If the wind goes where you send it, so will I” This song verse has been a common theme for our team this past year, and especially in these past few months. When just about everything seemed to be becoming a strong solid routine for our team, God decided to change the course of the wind. Being a school based discipleship team, we had developed a solid plan with three main forms of outreach in order to intentionally disciple students. We had started up many small groups where students had the chance to open up about questions related to the Catholic faith inside the classroom, we had established a few intentional small groups after school for students who showed interest in growing deeper in a relationship with God, and we also began one on one discipleship ministry with students who desired mentorship. With these three driving forces in our ministry and the fruits that came from them, our team was finally able to be at peace with a well established plan in place.

Then, suddenly, the wind started to change its course. With Covid cases increasing in BC, and with the students’ spring break following shortly after, we had to take a break from in person ministry. This meant that we had a whole month to plan without any genuine guidelines. We were able to facilitate some of our small groups and one on one mentorship online but this left us with large blocks of our days empty. In one day all the ministry we had built up and figured out felt like it was being ripped from our hands. It was hard at first to accept this, but I knew our team would get through it if we trusted in the Lord. We put our heads together and started to discuss how we could efficiently use that free time. Together, we came up with good ideas. For instance, to focus more on our team life, to get more involved in online parish ministry, and to prepare for our possible return to the school where we had our original in person ministry. These goals were great, but we were still left with a lot of extra time on our hands. 

Shortly after, we heard word from our supervisors in Ottawa that NET was going to start offering online retreats run by NET teams to schools and parishes all over the country. We received the news with open arms and were very eager to partake in leading these online retreats. We were originally only going to lead three of these retreats. We knew that this opportunity was not going to fill our schedule, but we still gladly accepted it and trusted that God would provide. And that He did. After seeing NET’s promotion for online retreats, so many schools and parishes around Canada requested online retreats for their youth, and before we knew it, we had to run nine online retreats in five days and fourteen retreats altogether! We suddenly became very busy preparing for these retreats and actually figuring out how they were going to work. Our team rose to the challenge and gave everything during these retreats. Many mission moments came from them. Here are just a couple of them:

“I asked my online small group during a retreat my team was putting on what they wanted prayers for and one girl said she wanted prayers to help her grow in her relationship with God and to pray more. She was in grade 7!” -Mandy. 

“During our second small group, I asked the girls if they ever prayed, and many of them started to share that they would pray for their family members who died in the last few months. Most of the girls in my small group had lost a loved one in the past few months. This led one of the girls to ask about heaven and about what I believed God thought of their lost ones. I told them that I believed in a merciful God, and a loving God who loves all of his children. This last part led a girl to have a few tears run down her cheeks. Then I felt inspired to ask them if they wanted to pray for the souls of their loved ones. All of them agreed so we prayed together for the souls of those who died lately, and for their families to have the strength to get through it and to know that they are loved, and that God is with them. A girl privately messaged me to tell me that she felt calm for the first time in a long time.” -Fanny 

These are just two of many amazing mission moments that happened during these retreats! 

God really blessed us when all seemed to be going downhill. Without the storm that we encountered, we would not have been able to facilitate these online retreats that over 200 youth, in total, got to experience. Their lives would not have been touched if God did not allow this event in our ministry to occur! This experience has really allowed our team to give all our plans and desires to him because we know that His will is greater than ours! 

Now, we are back doing in person ministry at the school, but we are also open to where the wind, also known as the Spirit, shall take us.