Goodbyes are never easy, but Providence had to say a particularly difficult goodbye to the NET Team on May 11th. Since the netters came to PA last fall, they have been working as missionaries, hosting adoration, planning social events, checking up with the students, and leading retreats for every grade. When they arrived, they admittedly didn’t know exactly what they were getting themselves into. Netter Blake Flynn explained how his opinion of the school has evolved since the beginning of the year, “Initially, serving in a renowned Catholic school with amazing theology teachers and super smart students was intimidating. Over time, I’ve realized that the students here are just like any other school; they want to have fun, to be heard, and are searching for the truth.”

Walking into something not knowing anyone or anything can be scary and uncomfortable. To be a netter though, one has to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. They are constantly changing host homes and moving around throughout the year. Even so, the weather was still a big shock for them, as most were from warmer areas.  Flynn continued, “When it was -40 windchill and the sun was hidden from my pale skin, when it hurt to simply walk outside, the days seemed very repetitive. We would wake up, be surrounded by yellow walls for hours, and then go home. That was the hardest.”

2019 PA NET Team’s official photo.

Even through their humble service work, they made sure to spend time with each other and make memories for themselves. Almost every week, they had a team day where they spent time together alone as a team, frequenting their favorite spots like SkyZone and Vertical Endeavors in Minneapolis.

Most importantly though, the team grew the spiritually throughout their journey here at PA. Erica Rhode explains that, for her team, “God has drawn us further into knowing His mercy and the gravity of it through relationships we’ve built here.  We’ve also learned that Jesus’ humility is a great mystery, but he constantly invites us into that, and that is where we find peace with God, with ourselves, and with each other. Jesus gives way more grace than I have ever given him credit for.”

So, as we say farewell to our NET team, they wanted to leave us with one last thanks: “We’re so thankful for how welcoming you all were this year! This year has been so wonderful, and we’re so very thankful that we had this amazing opportunity to get to know you guys and your community.”

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