I have been invited to renew my service to be one of 150 Catholic young adults across the country who will volunteer for a year serving with NET Ministries. NET (National Evangelization Teams) is based in St. Paul, MN and since 1981, they have been sending out teams of young adults to travel across the United States to share their faith with youth on NET retreats.
In August 2015 I will travel to Minnesota to participate in a five-week leadership and faith training program. Then from September to May, I will be leading retreats across the country and sharing my faith with teens. I learned about NET from speaking with other NET alumnus, and after hearing NET's mission to facilitate relationship and encounter with Christ and these teens, and the radical deepening of their relationship with Christ through this ministry, I was convinced it was something I should pursue. So in August 2014 I set out on an unforgettable journey.
My first year with NET was one of if not the most challenging yet rewarding year of my life. I am proud to be an alumnus of a well respected evangelistic orginization that has trained and equipped thousands of missionaries and personally reached over 78,000 youth this year collectively with the gospel of life and love. My team put on over 120 retreats and reached over 7,000 youth ourselves. I have expierenced first hand the transformation that comes through service. In Pope Francis' apostolic letter 'The Joy of the Gospel' he says, "Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love."—Evangelii Gaudium
Here we see that Pope Francis is calling all Catholics and Christians alike to be a missionary people. Wether that is going out and spreading the gospel yourself or supporting those who do so, everyone is called to evangelization. It is the mission of the church, and a mission that fulfills our greatest hungers for the Lord.
After a year of service the majority of NET missionaries return home to finish college, start seminary, discern religious life, or start a new career and bring their new gifts to their local parish community. As this year winds down, I have been praying about whether the Lord is calling me to give another year of service. The life of a NET missionary is a challenging routine and a second year of service is something that only 20% of missionaries are willing to repeat. But, I find myself unable to resist the rewarding opportunity of leading many others to Christ! After much prayer, discernment, and meeting with my supervisor, I am happy to announce that I will be reporting back to NET Ministries in August for a second year of service.
I was so blessed this year to get fully-funded by so many generous partners like ya'll! The first leg of my renewed journey begins immediately as I need to raise a minimum of $5,000 for my second year of service. I am so grateful for your generosity in partnering with me this past year and hope that you are willing to remain on my support team for next year to help continue the work that Christ has already done.
I ask anyone reading this to most importantly keep me in their prayers, and also to consider a renewed gift of any amount you can afford. Even $1 helps. If you are unable to make a financial donation, I certainly understand and am still grateful for your prayers.
Wether I know you personally or not, I am tremendously grateful for your support. Please know that I remember you and your loved ones in my own prayers.
God Bless you for your generosity!
Mary Markert -
Daughter of God
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