Update from the road- "A New Hope"

When we arrived in Vancouver, I was feeling very discouraged about the ministry; there had already been so many roadblocks, I was in an entirely new city, and I was ready to crash after our many weeks of training in Ottawa. We were all very tired after our flight and we had flown through lunch, so all my fellow missionaries and I went to get food.

By the time I got downstairs after getting my food, I had realized that there were no more seats left at the tables we had planned to sit at, so we decided to look for some seats elsewhere in the airport. Once we found a table, we sat down to pray and bless our meal. A young man was sitting alone at one of the tables by us. Feeling a bit insecure, I blessed myself to pray before eating. I noticed that the young man had looked over when my fellow missionaries and I blessed ourselves. The man sat up a little straighter and asked if we were Catholic. I was surprised by his question and was worried he was going to be angry with us for our faith, as I’ve experienced before for showing an outward sign for my beliefs. My teammates answered, saying that we are Catholic, and to our surprise, the young man replied by pulling his scapular from under his shirt and happily sharing that he was also Catholic.

He asked us what we were doing in the airport and we told him about NET and our ministry; about us going into schools and building relationships with the youth we encounter. He, in turn, shared about his own ministry he had been involved in and shared his beautiful testimony with us. Hearing his story as the first person we spoke to in a new province was amazing and I felt God in that interaction; his testimony filled me with joy, confidence, and excitement and the Lord took that moment to renew my passion for our ministry. Now, in the past few weeks, I’ve been fueled by this fire from the Holy Spirit. We’ve been ministering in a school with so many kind, beautiful people and have had a few very successful retreats with all the students. This interaction has really helped me keep my head up these past few weeks and is a beautiful reminder that God works through all people and in the strangest places.

The devil works hard but God definitely works harder. We only got into the school two weeks ago, but it has already been very fruitful. Everyone is very welcoming and seems very excited to have us there. We have put on five encounter periods, which is basically when we call down each grade at a time and put on a mini-retreat where we talk about why we are here and how we just want to get to know them. It is beautiful to watch my team interacting with the youth at the school. The youth really seem to see how much we care for them and just want to be there. We have started going into classrooms and so many of the teachers are so excited to have us in their classrooms. I feel very blessed by the sense of community the school is giving us and how welcoming they have been. I can already see God working when some of my teammates come to me and tell me how open the youth are being. I’m excited to see how God works this year!