NET Ministries Australia: At work in 2018

Net Ministries Van

We introduced you to the NET Ministries team earlier this year. CCI Personal Insurance is proud that through our sponsorship, NET Ministries were able to purchase a van for the national team. The team have used the van to travel around Australia to engage with Catholic youth to share the word of Jesus. We spoke to Hannah Cham, NET Ministries Supervisor and Scheduling Coordinator, to learn more about the NET National Team’s work in 2018.

What has this year’s national NET Ministries team been up to?

This year’s National Team has had quite the year. After completing their six weeks of training in Brisbane, they jumped right into ministry, running retreats for various high schools around Brisbane.

Then the time came to jump in the van and hit the road. They started heading south, stopping in Casino, Coffs Harbour and Woodlawn and then travelled to Adelaide where they visited a few schools and celebrated Easter. They then travelled to Port Lincoln, Whyalla, and Port Pirie and then continued up the middle to Darwin. They spent a week in Katherine and then a couple of weeks in Darwin. And then hit the road again and continued heading west to Broome.

After a week in Broome, they travelled south to Perth, where they visited several schools and parishes in and around the Perth area. The team then travelled across the Nullarbor, on their return back to Brisbane. They then had a very well deserved two-week break before returning to Brisbane for another week of training and then they were off again. This time up north. They spent about a month in the Cairns area and then close to three weeks in the Rockhampton area, before returning to Brisbane for the school holidays and Ignite Conference.

What has been the key focus of the National NET Ministries team’s work?

At the end of the day, our hope and mission at Net Ministries is to ‘Encourage young people to love Jesus and embrace the Church’. As the National NET Team, they live out this mission by travelling around Australia visiting schools and parishes and running Encounter Days, which are our retreat days.

We offer various themes, which the schools are able to choose. These include everything from social justice, leadership, self-image, to simply encountering Jesus. This year, we also launched a new theme called ‘Agent of Change’ in response to the Year of Youth in Australia. During this retreat, we explore how young people can transform and impact the world through their lives.

What have been some of the highlights for the 2018 group as a whole?

The team travelled nearly 40,000 kilometres and have met and ministered to well over 5,000 young people. While travelling through Central Australia they had the opportunity to camp at Uluru for a few nights and got to see some of the incredible beauty this country has to offer.

Travelling across the Nullarbor, they left the traditional ‘package under the cattle grate’ for next year’s National Team to pick up. Basically, the current team puts together a little gift/care package for next year’s team. The package might include notes, letters, photos, money or activities to complete while driving, and anything else that will bring a smile to team members’ faces. It’s a fun little tradition that has been going for about five years now.

They have also spent hundreds of hours travelling together in the van getting to know each other and seeing how God is working in and through each other’s lives. They’ve stayed with over 100 different host families along the way.

How has CCI’s sponsorship helped them achieve their goals?

CCI’s sponsorship has had a direct influence on what the team has been able to achieve this year because the van that was purchased for the team has quite literally become their home.

The van carries the team from town to town and, therefore, the van itself becomes a vessel of Good News. Schools and parishes get so excited when the NET team comes to run a retreat and they are often depicted in the van.

Being able to purchase a new van every few years reassures the team’s safety and wellbeing on the road. It also reassures the young people of Australia that the NET Team will be able to visit them, bringing the Good News of Jesus.

What's in store for the Net Ministries team for the last few months of the year?

The team will be running a few youth groups here in Brisbane and doing one last little loop to Grafton as well as Ballina. They then return to Brisbane for a week of debriefing and will then celebrate all that this year has been at their Thanksgiving Mass and Banquet on November 17th 2018.


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